How interior design affects how we think and feel

Your home is your safe place, which means comfort, protection, and peace. You probably don’t think about it too much but the way that interior design in your home looks is only one small facet of its impact. Interior design affects people’s moods through the different elements, including lighting, colour, texture and room spaces. The interior design choices you make do, in fact, have a documented effect on your perceptions and emotions.

Although the bond between interior design and our emotions has gained much attention in the last decade, it’s not something new. For example the ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui has been practiced worldwide for over 3,000 years and participants believe that adhering to those principles can help attract good luck, success, love, and positive energy. With the rise of neuroscience, scientists are doing plenty of research on this topic and finding the most incredible results. The ability of interior design elements to evoke positive or negative emotional response in people is proven. And these amazing findings make every good designer think about space more consciously and manipulate decorative elements with the goal of encouraging creativity, peace and happiness.

Numerous studies show that buildings and interiors can impact a person’s health, and as citizens of modern societies spend 90 per cent of their time indoors, this is more important than ever. However, we don’t often consider the physical and emotional effects of interior design on the subconscious. But I’m sure you notice how a powerful colour can alter your mood? Colour has such an impact on how we feel. For example: office workers arriving to find their work walls painted red immediately began working more productively but by the end of day five in the same office, began arguing with each other and reported being more tired after work, climbing into bed immediately.

How the space is lit is also very important for the overall ambience. The best lighting source is, of course, the sun so the number and size of the windows in the room can boost one’s happiness, increase sadness or enhance anxiety.

Light has a physiological impact on people. Research has shown that visible light helps the human body to regulate the production of the hormone melatonin, which in turn helps to regulate our body clock, affecting sleep patterns and digestion.

Besides colours, spaciousness and natural elements, the textures and shapes of the furniture in the house can also produce certain emotional responses.

In The Architecture of Happiness Alain De Botton contrasts the Westminster Cathedral in London to a McDonalds right up the street. He observes that walking into the McDonalds you immediately feel “anxious” and hurried—the harsh lighting; the colours; the hard, plastic furniture—compared to walking into the cathedral where you immediately feel calm and reverent. In the cathedral you whisper, there is no jostling of friends. You walk slowly. However, de Botton reminds us that both spaces contain the same core architectural elements: doors, windows, ceilings, and furniture on which to sit.

As people’s lives become more luxurious and more comfortable than before, people start to care about the interior design and the decorations of their rooms or their houses and that’s really good. Our surroundings effects how we think and how we feel. Spaces should be designed first and foremost around their occupants. Especially for kids. We want them to feel safe and happy, so they can grow and develop. We want them to have their own little sanctuary, room or just the corner where they can relax and play and learn. Where they be who they are, safe and comfortable. Using the psychology of interior design, everyone can easily become more comfortable in their home. Just small changes to colours, layout, and fabrics can easily improve everyones mood and evoke positive feelings.

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If you have any questions at all about styling your baby or childs room send me an email.

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Hi there! My name is Kristina, I’m Sydney based Interior stylist and love to create rooms that makes you feel great when you come in. Rooms that are not just pretty, not that they have amazing pieces of furniture or that they architecture is beautiful, but rooms that make you feel nice and comfy, that you really enjoying when you’re there. I love to create beautiful and unique spaces for children that will be loved and enjoyed, spaces where families can build great memories together, rooms that children will never want to leave!

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