If you have ever hired an interior designer or just known an interior designer outside of work, there is a decent chance you have heard the word “ambiance.” When decorating a room or house, creating an ambiance is one of the best things you can do, as long as it is a good one. For those unfamiliar with the word, ambiance refers to how a place makes you feel. If you want the technical definition from a dictionary, it is “the character and atmosphere of a place.” So, your favorite dive bar on a Friday night probably has a very casual ambiance, while a fancy black-tie optional cocktail party with your boss is going to have a very rigid and formal ambiance. It is obvious we want to create different ambiances for different activities, and there are multiples way to go about doing that.
In Your Home
If we had to use just one word to describe how we want to feel when we are at home, most of us would probably say something like calm, safe, or relaxed. A home should not be a high-stress place. There are still stressors at home. You still have to do things like cook dinner and clean out the cat box, but it is a different kind of stress than the kind you find at work or even just while visiting your in-laws for Christmas. Home is your place, so in theory, you should be able to make it whatever you want it to be. Lighting is a key part of that. Track lighting and dimmer switches are popping up in newer homes. The latter is an especially good way to control exactly how much light you want in a particular room; you no longer have to choose between simply off or on. There are also a ton of ways to light your front porch or back porch, including via lighting that is filtered through perforated tubing.
Do not forget scents as well. Scents offer olfactory clues to your nose and tell you how you should feel about a certain place. A musty old smell is not very welcoming, while the scent of apple pie being baked in an oven is incredibly inviting. You do not have to bake a pie, either, you can buy some candles, plug-in air fresheners, or even set out a bowl of potpourri.
Most of us have way less control over how our office is laid out and decorated. Sure, we can put up a photo collage in our cubicle, but most of the big suggestions are left to the higher-ups. Depending on your relationship with your boss though, you may be able to make some suggestions. If you work in a place with a retail operation, then the way you display your product makes a big difference in how easily you can move that product. Speciality fixtures could be a better way to get customers’ attention than simply using bookshelves and tables.
The sound of a storefront matters a lot as well. Some places opt not to play any sort of music or background noise at all, but that can sound a bit eerie. Other places leave the music selection up to the manager on duty each shift. That can mean customers who shop on Saturday hear classical music and customers who shop on Tuesday hear country music. It may be better to have a consistent style of music every day of the week rather than risk giving customers auditory whiplash.