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The Power Of Negative Space

We’ve all seen works of art and illusions that use negative space. Negative space is defined as “the space that surrounds an object or an image” and can be as important as the subject of a composition itself. It helps define boundaries and can bring balance to a work of art. Much like the space created in the attached drawing or the power of silence in the middle of a song – It creates tension and excitement and can elevate the appreciation of a subject matter. Let’s take a moment to discuss a simple topic in astrophysics, matter vs. anti-matter… No wait, let’s not.

Why the heck are we talking about this?

I was standing in a kitchen this morning with a potential client discussing a new layout for her space. I found myself saying the same thing I’ve said so many times before in tight kitchens, “We need to increase the negative space in order to enjoy the positive.” The positive space would be the cabinets, counter-tops, etc., the work space, the storage. The negative space is where we walk, we stand, the space our bodies take up while walking, working or entertaining in our kitchens.

One of our goals is to increase the negative space in a kitchen while enhancing the functionality and visual beauty of the kitchen as well. As an example, we often delete peninsulas in order to reconfigure kitchens for an island. Done right this leads to increased storage and counter space while providing an additional walkway into the kitchen. We want a family to be able to gather and not feel crowded while maintaining good traffic flow. Elbowing each other in the ribs may be your idea of an action packed family get-together but I like my space.

Let the places where there is “nothing” highlight where there is “something”. Increase the negative to enhance your appreciation of the positive.

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