I Learned to Solve All My Interior Design Problems by Dancing-Distractions Ruin Everything

I Learned to Solve All My Interior Design Problems by Dancing-Distractions Ruin Everything

Essential Elements for a Beautiful Stage or Design.

Recently I took a dance class called From Practice to Professional Presentation with professional dancer and instructor Helia Bandeh.

This class discussed essential elements to create a beautiful stage or background to highlight your dance performance on a stage or video. She discussed decor, lighting, and costumes.

So many things related to creating your perfect space with Interior Design! This article focuses on decor.

Some critical factors related to set decoration included:

      • The dancer is part of the stage environment.  There needs to be a visual balance between the dancer and the background. Consider how the dancer looks compared to the background based on the colors she is wearing, how large or small she appears compared to the background, or how interesting she might be in context. For example, if you are dancing in front of the Taj Mahal, will people be looking at you or the building?
      • Eliminate visual disparity between the dance and the background. For example, don’t perform a dance about a love story in a Catholic Church with the cross behind the dancer. A background in nature would be more appropriate.
      • Interactive elements in the decor add dimension to the performance (such as a chair or flowers). 
      • Removing distracting elements is more important than adding supporting elements. If you are doing a Persian dance on a stage filled with chords, speakers, signs, and more, adding some Persian decorations only makes it worse, not better. It is essential to neutralize the stage and removing unneeded things first, then add decoration if it highlights the dance. Otherwise, the audience looks at everything, not just the dancer, and in essence, sees nothing but distractions.

 

For example, above, we are performing an Azeri Drum Dance. The room is brightly lit. The stage decor is permanently set up with a design specific to the Alaska Shriners. The background also has flags and other decorative items unrelated to the dance we are doing. The background colors do not go with our costumes and the lights do not highlight the dancers.

While the stage itself is pretty, there are a lot of distracting elements for the audience to look at that have nothing to do with, and do not enhance the dance performance.

I Learned to Solve All My Interior Design Problems by Dancing-Distractions Ruin Everything
Simorgh performing an Azeri Drum Dance at the AlAska Shriners in Anchorage.

By contrast, below I am performing a Qashqai scarf dance on a beautiful stage that perfectly shows off my dance, costume, and the scarves with it’s simplicity, colors and lighting.

I Learned to Solve All My Interior Design Problems by Dancing-Distractions Ruin Everything
Me performing a Qashqai Scarf Dance in Anchorage Alaska on a beautiful stage, perfectly set up to highlight the dancers.

How Does This Relate to Interior Design?

All these things relate, but in particular, this is key to creating a beautiful room.

  • Removing distracting elements is more important than adding supporting elements.

The older I get, the more I realize the connections between all things artistic. The same principles apply to making the magic happen in Interior Design or any other art form. You just need to open your eyes, listen, and feel it to notice.

It always seems to come back to the alignment between art (creativity), science (color), and energy (connection) that makes the magic happen. I use this alignment to create both beautiful dance pieces and interiors.

To learn more, see some other articles in this series:

I Learned to All my Interior Design Problems by Playing Music.

I Learned to Solve All My Interior Design Problems by Dancing and Playing Music- Every Part Must Play Its Part.

I Learned to Solve All My Interior Design Problems by Dancing and Playing Music- We all Hear Music Differently.

I Learned to Solve All My Interior Design Problems by Dancing and Playing Music- Precision is Beautiful.

You might also enjoy my series on lessons I learned about Interior Design from dancing:

I Learned To Solve All My Interior Design Problems by Dancing: The Magic of Transitions.

I Learned To Solve All My Interior Design Problems by Dancing : Surprise Me.

I Learned To Solve All My Interior Design Problems by Dancing and Learning to Tell a Great Story.

I Learned To Solve All My Interior Design Problems by Dancing- Bring on the Bling.

I Learned to Solve all My Interior Design Problems by Dancing- There Can Only Be One Star.

I Learned to Solve all My Interior Design Problems by Dancing- Be Brave.

I Learned to Solve all My Interior Design Problems by Dancing- Create Drama with Shapes.

I Learned to Solve all My Interior Design Problems by Dancing- Create Drama with a Focal Point.

I Learned to Solve all My Interior Design Problems by Dancing.

Creating a Magical Stage

Let’s look at the three elements in stage design that help create a beautiful performance and see how they relate to that room you are designing.

We are Part of the Design

We are part of the design of our rooms and need to consider how we look and feel within them.

 For example, if navy blue makes me look old when I wear it, but I look beautiful in turquoise, I will not design my living room with navy blue because I will not look good surrounded by that color. And if I don’t look good, I will not feel good in the room.

Think about how you will look and feel in the room. After all, when you are in it, you will be the star of that show.

I Learned to Solve All My Interior Design Problems by Dancing-Distractions Ruin Everything
We are part of the design. Does it make you look good? Photo by Jens Lidner on Unsplash.
I Learned to Solve All My Interior Design Problems by Dancing-Distractions Ruin Everything
We are part of the design. Does it make you look good? Photo by TheWonderAlice on Unsplash.

Eliminate Visual Disparity

Eliminating visual disparity is important. What is your personality and story? Are you being true to it and does it fit with the architecture of the building?

For example, are you a maximalist that loves to be surrounded by lots of things and color, creating that style in an ultra-modern space?

Or, are you trying to create an ultra-modern look in an ornate Victorian living room? The contrast might be interesting, but can you live with that visual disparity every day?

Some may call this eclectic, but even eclectic styles need a balance with one primary style.

There needs to be a connection between the architecture, style, and story you are portraying. Otherwise, it will always be distracting to the viewer.

Interacting with Your Design Elements

In design, we interact with almost all the elements in our spaces. It is critical to make sure elements such as furniture and decor are comfortable, support how we live, are beautiful to us, and there is not too much of it!

Do you enjoy interacting with everything, and like the touch, feel, smell, and comfort of your decor items?

I Learned to Solve All My Interior Design Problems by Dancing-Distractions Ruin Everything
Do you enjoy the touch, feel, smell, and comfort of your decor items? Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash.
I Learned to Solve All My Interior Design Problems by Dancing-Distractions Ruin Everything
Do you enjoy the touch, feel, smell, and comfort of your decor items? Photo by Johnathon Fink on Unsplash.
I Learned to Solve All My Interior Design Problems by Dancing-Distractions Ruin Everything
Do you enjoy the touch, feel, smell, and comfort of your decor items? Photo by Gemma Evans on Unsplash.

Removing Distractions is More Important than Adding Supporting Details

Removing distracting elements is more important than adding supporting details, which will make or break a room.

If you have a room filled with clutter and distracting things, no amount of adding more of your favorite decorative elements such as art or pillows or knick-nacks will fix the problem.

The most important thing is to neutralize the “stage” and eliminate all the unnecessary elements first. Then begin adding layers until you have created the effect you want. Otherwise, you and everyone else using the room will only see the distraction

I Learned to Solve All My Interior Design Problems by Dancing-Distractions Ruin Everything
Its better to remove distractions than add more decor when creating a beautiful room. Photo by Ayla Verschueren on Unsplash.

Neutralize First

The first step in creating a beautiful stage or a room is to neutralize it first by removing distractions. Once that is done, then you can add meaningful decor items to create the perfect background for your performance or your perfect space.

A problem I often see, is when people have too many distractions in their room, usually in the form of clutter.  The room may also have too much decor or furniture. They think that adding beautiful decor items will fix the problem, and create the look they want. 

It does not work.

The key is remove the distractions first, then add decor to get the look you want.

In the example below the focal point of the room is the art. To make it stand out as much as possible, the rest of the room was designed with neutral colors.

In a similar way, a neutral background on a stage could highlight a dancer in a purple dress and her beautiful movements without distractions. 

I Learned to Solve All My Interior Design Problems by Dancing-Distractions Ruin Everything
Edesign and "A Passion for Purple" fractal art by Northern Lights Home Staging and Design.

This design highlights my fractal art, “A Passion for Purple” which you can purchase at my studio on Society 6.

Edesign and "A Passion for Purple" fractal art by Northern Lights Home Staging and Design.

Before you start decorating, take everything out of the room you really don’t need, neutralize things as much as possible and then add on your layers.

I Learned to Solve All My Interior Design Problems by Dancing-Distractions Ruin Everything
Its better to remove distractions than add more decor when creating a beautiful room. Photo by Samantha Gades on Unsplash.

Are You Ready to Create Your Masterpiece?

Now that you know some of the elements that work together to create your perfect space, are you ready to take action to make it happen in your home? If you knew absolutely for certain that creating a perfect space would create a better life for you, you would do it, wouldn’t you?

Let’s tell your unique story and find the alignment of art, science, and energy that makes you happy.  Let me help you take that trip to your perfect space in a Ferrari instead of a stagecoach. Try my Aligned Design consultation and let’s get started.

Curious about your Interior Design style? Take the quiz and find out.

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Published by

Mary Ann Benoit

President- Northern Lights Home Staging and Design Owner- Arctic Paradise Bed and Breakfast Artist- Stained Glass, Jewelry and Alcohol Ink Art Wildlife Biologist Director- Kaleido World Percussion and Dance Company Director- Tavus Dance Company of Alaska Lover of music, art, dance and animals.

5 thoughts on “I Learned to Solve All My Interior Design Problems by Dancing-Distractions Ruin Everything”

    1. Thank you, I keep thinking I have covered all the lessons and then with each dance class, a new revelation comes up:)

  1. I love this series of the parallels between design and dance – and I especially love the admonition to edit out the distractions before adding back the decor! The necessity of that is SO true!

  2. Removing the distracting elements. I find clients find this task extremely hard to carry out along with adding in the supporting elements.

    Thus, one more reason to hire someone who can look at a space with objectivity and ‘no strings’. Having a fresh set of eyes is wonderful and can really help someone achieve what they are dreaming.

    As always, a great blog!

    1. This is so true. I find the biggest obstacle is people’s attachment to everything in the room. They want change but do not want to let go of the way things are. Those fresh eyes are such a great reason to hire a designer…..and listen to them! Thank you!

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