Creating flow - How to design a space that feels cohesive and connected

Designing a space that feels cohesive and connected is like writing a song: each element needs to harmonize with the others. It’s about creating a functional flow that takes you from one area to another without noticing that you’re entering or leaving different spaces.

In this blog post, I’ll share practical tips on how to design a seamless and cohesive space that feels like home.

What you’ll find here

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Hi, I’m Nadine

Interior design expert, globetrotter and the creative mind behind this blog and NH.DESIGN.

I’m originally from Germany but have been living abroad for over 10 years, from Canada and the UK to Sweden.

So I ask myself the question what “home” means every day.
I have made it my mission to help as many people as possible to find their own answer to this.

Join my creative world on Instagram @nhdotdesign or find out more about me

Start with a vision to create a cohesive look

Before diving into the nitty-gritty details, you need to have a clear vision for your space. Think about the purpose and functionality of the area.

How will you (and other people) use the space?
What emotions or atmosphere do you want to create?
What look are you going for?

Find your own personal, unique interior design style with my guide.

If you have a clear vision, you can create a cohesive design plan that aligns with your goals, both functionally and aesthetically.

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Pro tip:

The easiest way to make sure your ideas actually work together is by creating a Mood Board. Learn how to make yours with Canva!

If you’re feeling stuck, uninspired or overwhelmed with too many ideas (or not enough),
let’s brainstorm together and get you back on track.

Book a Design Consultation with me and let’s create a vision for a home you love!

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    Define zones and the purpose of each space

    Once you have a vision in mind (and made a Mood Board to make sure all your ideas work nicely together), divide your space into zones based on their functions. Whether it’s a living room, kitchen or office, each area should have a clear purpose.

    Identifying these zones will help you determine the flow and ensure that each space seamlessly transitions into the next.

    Consider traffic patterns to connect different spaces

    Take a moment to think about how people will move through the space. There are natural traffic patterns in a room, for example between doors or from doors to windows.

    Determine the most efficient pathways for people to get from A to B. Avoid placing furniture or objects in the middle of these pathways, because they interrupt the flow and create unnecessary barriers. Instead, arrange furniture to encourage easy movement and create a smooth transition between zones.

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    Pro tip:

    Sketch the layout of your room on a piece of paper and draw the natural walkways first. That way you can immediately see which areas you shouldn’t be placing furniture in.

    Use transitions for a functional flow

    Transitions between spaces significantly impact the flow of your space.

    Transitional elements like flooring materials, lighting fixtures or even architectural details like crown moulding guide your eye through different spaces and visually connect them.

    Think of them as the glue that holds different rooms and areas together, so make sure they complement the style of both spaces.

    If you’re feeling stuck, uninspired or overwhelmed with too many ideas (or not enough),
    let’s brainstorm together and get you back on track.

    Book a Design Consultation with me and let’s create a vision for a home you love!

    Styling Secrets guide by NH.DESIGN

    Styling Secrets

    Learn how to style any room in your home like a pro with my Styling Secrets guide.

    Maintain visual consistency for a cohesive look

    Consistency plays a key role in creating a cohesive design. Pay attention to the style, colour palette and materials used throughout the space.

    While each zone may have its unique characteristics, maintaining a few consistent elements will tie everything together. This doesn’t mean everything needs to be the same. It just means that you should repeat certain colours, materials and architectural elements throughout different rooms and areas to visually tie them together.

    If you’re wondering how to successfully mix and match different patterns and textures, check out this blog post.

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    Pro tip:

    Based on your colour palette, choose 2-3 elements (colours, materials or architectural features) that you’ll repeat in multiple rooms or areas. Here’s how you design a cohesive colour palette.

    Balance proportions

    A cohesive design is all about balancing proportions. Make sure that the scale and size of furniture, decor, and architectural elements are appropriate for the space. This goes for everything from rug sizes to light fixtures.

    Oversized or undersized items can disrupt the flow and create visual inconsistencies. You know that feeling, looking around a room and something is just “off”.

    To get it right, aim for a balance where each element is proportionate to the size of the space.

    Sometimes it’s hard to picture everything in a room before making changes.

    Will the sofa fit on that wall?
    Should I paint this wall, or all of them?
    Is this lamp going to be too big/small?

    That’s why all my design services include 3D renderings,
    so you can see what your home will look like before pulling the trigger on expensive renovations!

    Book a free Discovery Call with me and let’s chat about your home project!

    Pay attention to lighting

    Lighting is a powerful tool that can transform the mood and atmosphere of any space.
    It’s also one of my favourite elements in interior design. I even wrote a whole blog post about designing the perfect lighting plan for any room, and choosing the right fixtures.

    One of the most important things is that your lighting plan should be consistent throughout your home, using a combination of general, task/functional, and mood lighting to create a functional and visually appealing space.

    Consider how light flows from one area to another and use it strategically to enhance the connection between zones. For example, if you have an open concept living room/dining/kitchen space, think about which lamps you’re turning on when, and how that’ll look across the different areas.

    Incorporate natural elements

    Bringing natural elements into your home can create a sense of harmony and connection.

    Introduce plants, natural textures like wood, linen or cotton, or even a view of the outdoors to establish a visual link between the interior and exterior. Nature has a way of making spaces feel vibrant and alive, so incorporate some elements in different areas and rooms to tie them together.

    If you’re into making more sustainable choices for your interior design, check out my post on how to make your home more sustainable.

    The White Guide by NH.DESIGN is a helpful resource to choose the right white paint colour.

    The White Guide

    Every white is not the same, and choosing the right one isn’t easy.

    Learn everything about undertones and how to pick the perfect white paint colour for any room in your home with my White Guide.

    Designing a space that feels cohesive and connected is an art that requires thoughtful planning and attention to detail. By considering the flow, defining zones, maintaining consistency, and incorporating transitional elements, you can create a space that seamlessly guides you from one area to another.

    Remember, a cohesive design is more than just aesthetics; it’s about enhancing functionality, promoting a sense of unity, and ultimately creating a space that feels like a harmonious whole.

    Thanks for reading!

    If you enjoyed this post, follow along for more interior design tips and inspiration on my Instagram @nhdotdesign and sign up for my weekly Welcome Home Letter.

    Take care, Nadine

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