Life keeps moving at a faster pace, we are still figuring out how to keep up with everything from work, relationships, keeping our families together, social circles and our expectations for ourselves, now we also have to learn about pandemics, teaching our kids how to deal with school shootings.. the list can go on.
Everyone is pulling us in different directions, and it can be overwhelming to say the least. Jesus and I have found that applying the principles of design has helped us to create a balancing act that has enabled us to overcome all the hurdles that have come our way.
“The principles of interior design are the rules and guidelines that designers follow to create functional, aesthetically pleasing spaces. There are seven main principles of interior design: balance, harmony, scale, rhythm, emphasis, contrast, and details.”
Balance in the world of Design is the equal distribution of visual weight in a room. It is important because it ensures that no single element in a room overpowers another in terms of visual weight or dominance. I think we can all agree that learning to balance the roles we play as wife, husband, parent or boss likewise helps us make sure no single one aspect negatively overwhelms us. Jesus and I took on roles from early on in our relationship and throughout our 28 years we have had to adjust.
Harmony is the aesthetic effect created by balancing variety with unity. Harmony is an essential part of having a healthy household because let’s be honest a home in chaos affects every aspect of our lives. We are Latinos and our household is loud, but we found a way to bring in the different parts of our family together to create unity and achieve harmony.
When I first met Jesus, I was a single mom studying interior architecture and design and he also had a child of his own. We then welcomed our 3rd child into this world together, yet we have always looked at all 3 as being ours. We have understood that similar to design, the variety of our blended family and our ability to unify has been a part of what makes our lives so beautiful.
Scale refers to how well your pieces fit in your space. Get to know what the limits and boundaries are in your space, relationships and career. Learn how to use a scale to be your own person and not lose your identity. When I was younger, I had a hard time setting boundaries, being true to myself and organizing my own finances. I let the people around me dictate my life, finances and so much more. One day I woke up and asked myself “Who am I and how do I fit into my own life”? I took the reigns of my own life and opened my own bank accounts, did my own investments, laid out what kind of career I wanted and went for it. I took back my life and now I teach my daughters all these lessons.
Rhythm in design is used to create visual interest throughout your space through the use of repeating and contrasting visual patterns.
It helps to guide the viewer’s eye around a space rather than allowing the eye to settle on a particular focal point. In our lives, we have allowed rhythm to move our feet! Dancing has been a way for us to take a step back from stress or overwhelm and bring some joy into our lives.
It helped us more than you can imagine through the rough times of chemo in 2020. From salsa to bachata, merengue and more siempre estamos bailando!
Emphasis is about creating a focal point in your room that draws attention as soon as you enter it. I’ve found that in applying this principle to life, there must be an emphasis on respect. Whether we’re talking about work relationships, marriage, your relationship with your children or friendships, respect is a key element to success. Respect is integral in building feelings of trust, safety and wellbeing in our relationships and let’s people know we value them as well as ourselves.
Contrast in design refers to the arrangement of opposite elements and effects. For example, light and dark colors, smooth and rough textures, large and small shapes. In life while we all thrive and live for the great times, yet without the hard times we don’t truly understand how grateful and blessed we are.
The contrast of the dark guides us toward the light.
In the words of Ruben Blade, “la vida te da sorpresas” and boy we were surprised when in 2009, we lost everything we owned during the economic crash. It threw us into a stark contrast of what we had become accustomed to, but we knew if we were going to get through it we had to work together. We each worked several jobs because no-one was designing or building anything.
Details… Have you ever heard the saying it’s all in the detail? In design, the small details are just as important as the bigger and more obvious aspects… the same can be said for life. It’s true we love the big gestures as much as anyone else, but it is the seemingly little things built up over time that strengthen our relationships and enrich our lives.
“Enjoy the little things in life because one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things.” –Robert Brault.
Throughout our marriage, all the ups and downs, the good, the bad and the ugly (and we have been through enough to write a book) our ability to take the time to still say good morning with a hug and a kiss, to pray together, or sit and talk without the distractions of phones has been just as important in bringing and keeping us together as all the big life events. We hope our life lessons can give you some insight throughout this journey called Life.