Aesthetically Pleasing – Elements of Calm, Simple Visuals

At home and at work we tend to decorate our spaces and fill our rooms with things we find beautiful or pleasing to the eye.  These things make us comfortable, fill us with serenity and peace, and are what we can call aesthetically pleasing.  Let’s investigate what aesthetically pleasing really means.

Aesthetically pleasing is something that is beautiful, visually artistic, and satisfying to look at.  Many things can be aesthetically pleasing from environment and pictures to movies and words.  Benefits of aesthetically pleasing things include calm, decreased stress, and better focus.

Are you happy with the way your bedroom, kitchen, office, or living room look?  Would you be interested in redecorating or finding a way to make the space more comfortable or relaxing?

What Does Aesthetically Pleasing Mean?

Aesthetically refers to an artistic or visual thing of beauty.  Aesthetically pleasing is something that pleases the eye, and something that is satisfying to look at or watch.  Aesthetically pleasing is in the eye of the beholder-that is it fulfills your qualities for something you consider to be beautiful.  According to Slobodan Markovic from University of Belgrade, aesthetics have both biological as well as psychological functions.

Blue water against a pink sky - Aesthetically Pleasing - Gone Minimal
Blue water against a pink sky

Things that Can be Aesthetically Pleasing

There are countless things that can be aesthetically pleasing, as aesthetics can vary greatly depending on personal taste. From nature and art and science to symmetry, decor, and lighting, beauty and aesthetics are subjective, and what one person finds pleasing may differ from others. Appreciating aesthetics is a personal experience influenced by cultural, historical, and individual preferences.

There are many, many things that can be considered aesthetically pleasing.  Let’s talk about a few of them.

Aesthetically Pleasing Environment

An aesthetically pleasing environment is one that brings us peace, calm, and serenity.  This can be created at home, at work, or anywhere we like.  Declutter your environment and incorporate nature through pictures or artwork, throw in a warm blanket and soft pillow, and surround yourself with your favorite things. 

If it adds to your comfort, decreases your stress, or even makes you more productive, then you find it to be an aesthetically pleasing environment.

Aesthetically Pleasing Pictures

Aesthetically pleasing pictures can add to the environment to make a space more comfortable and serene.  Balanced pictures of nature with cool colors, repeating patterns in bright colors, waterscapes, sunsets, or whatever you find aesthetically pleasing can be added to your space for interest as well as calm.  Aesthetically pleasing pictures can add style and beauty to any room, which is always a win-win!

Blue candies - Aesthetically Pleasing - Gone Minimal
Blue candies

Aesthetically Pleasing Wallpapers and Backgrounds

Aesthetically pleasing wallpapers and backgrounds are usually calm or neutral colors, incorporate nature, or have satisfying repeating patterns.  Whether they’re on your house interior walls or your laptop screen, these images should bring a sense of peace and perhaps even make you contemplate life.  Does this make you more thoughtful or caring?  Probably so!

These images should bring a sense of peace and perhaps even make you contemplate life.”

Aesthetically Pleasing Movies

Yes, there are even aesthetically pleasing movies to be experienced and shared.  One of my favorites is 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).  These types of movies have comforting music, beautiful scenes of nature (or outer space), repeating patterns or motions, designs and color palettes that just work magically.  So there’s more to a movie than just the story line-there’s the aesthetics!  This is also where those big awards for cinematography and art design come from.

Space - Aesthetically Pleasing - Gone Minimal

Aesthetically Pleasing Words

The English language is one of the most confusing languages on the planet, but it does have exceptions and words that make it beautiful.  Aesthetically pleasing words are those that are considerate to say, are nice to hear, and are just pretty.  These words include effervescent, ephemeral, serendipitous, beautiful, charming, and exquisite.  They’re just really pleasing to say-and great to hear!

The Benefits of Aesthetically Pleasing Things

There are so many benefits of aesthetically pleasing things from mood to environment.  When you choose these types of things, you may notice some of the following:

  • Less stress
  • Calm
  • Rested
  • Better focus
  • Improved outlook
  • Less distraction

These benefits may occur in any area of life, especially around where you incorporate aesthetically pleasing things.  Next let’s talk about how to integrate these things into your everyday life.

Simple - Aesthetically Pleasing - Gone Minimal

Integrating Aesthetically Pleasing Things Into Your Life

Integrating aesthetically pleasing things into your life is not difficult, but it does go beyond decorations.  Yuriko Saito from Stanford University claims “aestheticization of life is not a new phenomenon”, and we as humans negotiate life through our interactions with our environments to create our own aesthetically pleasing lives.  We can choose to make our lives beautiful through some of the following activities:

  • Break the mold of “routine”.  Schedule a party or fun event to mix things up.
  • Take in the visual of food before digging in.  Appreciate the beauty in food art.
  • Surround yourself with your favorite things.  Favorite colors, artwork, decorations, etc. for a pleasing and comfortable space.
  • Be considerate of others.  Pay a compliment to your barista, thank your mail carrier, and give the trash collectors some home-baked muffins.
  • Be present in the moment.  Take a minute to look around, pay attention to colors and sounds, and remember your emotions right now.
  • Appreciate people and things, because you never know when they’ll be gone.  Tell your mom you love her, take your dog to the park, take a picture of your favorite plant.

Keep in mind these practices are not limited to life at home.  Use these tips at work, on vacation, at special occasions, and incorporate them into your everyday life.  It will make each day even more meaningful as well as being aesthetically pleasing.  This will also add to your memories of all of the above-making them even sweeter!

Listening to music can be aesthetically pleasing - Aesthetically Pleasing - Gone Minimal
Listening to music can be aesthetically pleasing

Related Insights

What Makes Anything Aesthetically Pleasing?

Anything can be aesthetically pleasing if there is color, balance, movement, shape, and pattern.  Other characteristics include rhythm, proportion, contrast, and unity.  When some or all of these qualities are in sync, you can have some pretty aesthetically pleasing things to experience.

What Are the 5 Aesthetics?

Because aesthetics are dependent upon the viewer, i.e. the eye of the beholder, there are personality traits that define aesthetics.  These 5 traits are extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism, openness, and conscientiousness and all have a great effect on how aesthetics are determined.

The 5 personality traits that define aesthetics are extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism, openness, and conscientiousness.”

Is Aesthetic a Feeling?

Aesthetic is a feeling, yes.  It’s the experience of emotions you feel during taking in a beautiful view, or something that pleases your eyes.  It’s highly individual and very personal.

Here is a helpful crash course in the philosophy of aesthetics.

Characteristics and Traits That Real People Find Pleasing To Look At

I asked friends and family members to list three characteristics or traits that make something pleasing to look at. Here is what they shared and what I learned from the poll:

Characteristic/TraitTally of Family/Friends
Anything purple2
Cool colors4
Rainbow colors2
Increasing or decreasing sizes1
Fits a space2
Requires no thought3

Other Resources:

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and things that are found to be aesthetically pleasing are the same.  From the artwork we hang in our homes to the screensaver we program on our smartphones, we all find different things aesthetically pleasing.  What are the most aesthetically pleasing things in your home or office?

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