Interior design is as much about how our homes feel as how they look, so it’s probably not all that surprising that interior design and mental health are actually closely linked.
Think about the room that you’re in right now. Is it warm and welcoming? Does it inspire creativity and openness? Design has a real power to impact these and other elements of our well-being, and just as a well-designed room can improve how we feel, a poorly designed room can do the opposite. It’s important then to acknowledge the effects of interior design on mental health when designing a home, as well as to understand just how closely intertwined our mood is with our physical space.
Below, we’re taking a deeper look at this connection, including some quick tips that you can put to use right now to make sure that your home is a positive place to be.
How does interior design affect mood?
The link between your home and your mood is likely one you’re aware of even if you haven’t put it into words before, but how does interior design affect mood—and how can we ensure our homes lift us up instead of bringing us down?
Throughout history, people have acknowledged the essential role that physical spaces have in our lives. From the ancient Chinese art of feng shui to the tenets of Indian vastu shastra, we know that design elements can directly impact positive or negative emotions, and that we can use that to our advantage when making decisions for the interior of our homes.
Some of the specific elements that can improve our mood and make us feel more peaceful, happy, and comfortable at home include:
- Increased natural light
- Feelings of spaciousness
- Lack of clutter
- Organic flow of movement
- Plants and other natural elements
- Strategic use of art and color
At the intersection of wellness and interior design is the idea that even the smallest of decisions can make a very big difference in our mental health. So when you’re making design choices for your home, it’s only natural that you should consider their impact on your well-being and prioritize those elements that help you feel your best.
Easy ways to design with mental health in mind
If a room just doesn’t feel right to you, there’s no need to empty it out and start completely from scratch. There are lots of simple changes that you can make to create a space that elevates your mood—including these quick and easy ideas.
Let there be light
Just as the long, dark days of winter can bring on feelings of sadness, keeping sunlight out of your home can dampen your mood and zap your energy. The fix: let in lots of natural sunlight and take advantage of the sun’s natural mood-boosting abilities. Swap out heavy curtains for sheer blinds, or nix window treatments entirely in rooms where privacy isn’t an issue. You can also use mirrors to reflect sunlight throughout a room and mimic the effect of having more windows.
Edit down and organize your stuff
Clutter can weigh you down emotionally. Get in the habit of regularly going through your things and donating, recycling, or tossing anything that you don’t use or that carries mental weight. Then put into place smart storage solutions for the things you do keep so that you’re not constantly surrounded by stuff.
Change your layout
Physical blocks in a room can lead to mental blocks in your mind. Remove any obstacles that are interfering with your movement through a room, and use the feng shui principle of the commanding position to make deliberate decisions about what you want to achieve in your space. Under this principle, you place certain key items—your desk and bed among them—in a commanding spot; or more specifically, where you can see the door but aren’t directly facing it. This is supposed to help create feelings of ease, and opens yourself up to receiving more of the opportunities that you want in life.
Is your home in need of a wellness refresh?
It’s so important that your home supports your mental well-being. And if it’s not, our experts at Design Solutions can help. Our team of architects and interior designers can revamp and optimize your space so that it meets all of your needs. View our past projects to see what we can do, and get in touch today for a consultation.