How Interior Design Studios Craft Narratives Within Spaces

How Interior Design Studios Craft Narratives Within Spaces


  • Creating bespoke residential design is about bringing to life personalized experiences that align with the house plans and the homeowner's lifestyle
  • Storytelling plays a central role in interior design, similar to how artists tell stories through paintings
  • A narrative-driven focus in residential design can spark a range of emotions and can create an immersive experience throughout the entire space
  • Storytelling used by a talented interior design firm can portray many stories, such as the homeowner's life journey by incorporating personal artifacts within the space
  • Creating narratives within interior design is a comprehensive process which includes elements such as research, client collaboration and creative inspiration
  • Every element of the design from a full-service interior design company must be used in a strategic way to contribute to the overarching narrative within the home
A cozy living room with a lit fireplace, brown leather sofa, assorted colorful cushions, abstract wall art, a modern coffee table, and a rug. Green plants are placed the corner near the window.
Photo by Spacejoy from Unsplash

Interior design can be many things for different people, however; at the heart of it, interior design is about transforming spaces into a unique, one-of-a-kind experience that makes sense within the space and for the homeowner's lifestyle. Similar to artists telling stories through their paintings, interior design crafts narratives within the home by using a clever blend of the homeowner's aesthetics, interesting design elements and practicality within the home. In this blog, we will explore how interior design plays an important part in crafting narratives throughout the home, and why this is important for the overall experience for the homeowners and all who visit. Continue reading to learn more.

The Power of Storytelling in Residential Design Services

In the human experience, stories are what connect us. When this is integrated into our living spaces in a thoughtful and meaningful way, it holds the potential to completely redefine our spatial experience. A seasoned interior design studio will approach residential interior design with a narrative-driven focus, which can unlock a full range of emotions within the home, such as peace, tranquility or determination. Using a narrative-driven focus throughout the home gives the owners and all that enter an unfolding story as they walk through the space. From one end of the home to the other, it is possible to tell a story that overflows into every room within the home, for a seamless and interesting experience.

Beyond the visual aspect of storytelling within residential design, it can create narratives within the spaces that are unique to the owner. By showcasing the owner's life journey by using personal items within the interior design plan or incorporating unique pieces they have acquired from their travels, storytelling within the home can completely bring a space to life and enrich it like no other.

The Art of Narrative in Interior Design

Regardless of the square footage and if the space is residential or commercial interiors, storytelling within interior design is an art form which can determine the space's ambiance, purpose and overall experience. Beyond this, storytelling within a space sets the mood and is responsible for a seamless flow within the home. In our opinion, the goal of the design narrative is to create a space for the owner which resonates on both a physical and emotional level. In residential design, it is important to understand what elements are important to the owner and to fully understand their lifestyle and everyday habits to create a narrative that makes sense within their home. By incorporating certain design elements which come together to tell a story, an interior designer can influence mood, feelings, thoughts and behaviors within a space.

modern, sophisticated interior design with large mirror and benches
Photo by Spacejoy from Unsplash

Understanding the Process an Interior Design Studio Uses for Storytelling Within Residential Interior Design

As previously stated, crafting a narrative within interior design is an art form. It goes beyond simply using artifacts and specific paint colors; it is a complex process which includes professionals from the building industry, research, client collaboration, creative inspiration and much more. At Stewart-Schafer, our method involves the following steps: predesign, concept, schematic design, design development, bidding and project management. Our process has been designed to ensure goals and visions are met while ensuring an outcome that exceeds expectations. To read more about our process, please click here.

Within our process, the narrative of the space typically begins during the concept phase. During this stage, we work with the client to design a comprehensive mood board that is intended to capture the mood and feeling that is envisioned for the project, which includes creating a detailed space narrative. If the client knows the story they want to tell within their home, we take their wants and needs and weave that into a beautiful narrative which we will incorporate throughout the home, and then weave in clever design concepts. Once this has been outlined, we then create a mood board which will guide the project, and evoke the feelings the space narrative will tell. This step is extremely important when storytelling within a space as it serves as a guiding light during the design process. Once the client approves the concept document and space narrative, we then can begin to bring the project to light.

When crafting a space narrative within residential design services, a great starting point is to look at the home, its history and its surroundings, and craft a design narrative around that. Often times, older buildings which are renovated into homes have unique histories, and, for some clients, it can be important to keep aspects of the buildings' history and weave certain information from it into the space narrative. However, it should be noted that not all clients have a defined story they want to tell within their spaces, and the building may not have an interesting history, or any history at all to use as a starting point for the space narrative. However, at Stewart-Schafer we are experts in creating stories and can use artifacts or a special piece that is important to the client to create a space narrative. Once we have a starting point, we are then able to build upon this to create a narrative our client will resonate with.

Overall, interior design is the platform in which stories are created and shared within the home. Through an extremely thoughtful approach and a blend of aesthetics and attention to detail, functionality and creativity, interior designers can create spaces which are tailored to the homeowner's lifestyle and preferences while telling a narrative throughout the home. Regardless if it is incorporating the owner's life journey into the home design or using the building history as inspiration or the core of the narrative, storytelling within interior design can transform houses into a one-of-a-kind experience which draws upon both the physical and emotional levels. At Stewart-Schafer, our design process ensures that every step of the process is grounded with intention and narrative to create homes and spaces that not only reflect the homeowners but also inspire and wow all who enter. If you are interested in learning more about how we weave space narrative into interior design, please contact our interior design studio today to get started

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