Happy Home: How Interior Design Affects Our Well-Being
The definition of emotional design is NOT using emotional blackmail to get the other occupants of your house to agree on your ideas for the interiors. Emotional design is creating any sort of product or arrangement that generates a positive experience or reaction.
When it comes to interior design, there are various elements that go into the experience of a space, and all of them can have a substantial impact on how we relate to our surroundings. Feng Shui and Vastu Shastra are great examples of how the elements of interior design can evoke positive or negative responses from us. Let’s look at some of the ways we can plan our interior environment so that it has a positive impact, on both our emotional and behavioural responses.
Opening up the space
Being ‘closed in’ does not feel great. That’s why designing the interiors for small spaces can be tricky. But by playing with the elements (colour, lighting, materials, patterns, furnishings, etc.) a little, you can give the illusion of open spaces. For example, placing full-length bookcases, using low furniture or hanging high curtains will create an illusion of higher ceilings. Similarly, using a light, neutral colour palette for the room, putting up mirrors and pulling furniture away from the wall will make smaller spaces look and feel more open.
Let nature in
Natural environments put people at ease. This holds true for when elements of nature are brought indoors as well. Studies show that people working among natural elements are healthier, happier and more productive. The changes can include using brick as a backdrop, adding natural wood furniture, choosing a bedspread that has leaves on it or just adding a few potted plants inside the house.
Colour me happy
Colours have a big impact on our emotions and mood. When deciding the colours for your home, choose shades that go with the mood you’re trying to create. For example, lighter shades of blue give a feeling of tranquillity and peace while red brings in energy.
General tips for a more ‘happy’ home:
- The living room and kitchen should be happy places for the entire family so make sure they are filled with natural light and are open.
- Use warm textured fabrics in the bedrooms to evoke the feeling of comfort.
- If there’s something you love – like a painting or a quirky accessory or furniture, place it somewhere where you’ll see it all the time so it can cheer you up instantly.
- Add some fresh flowers or colourful stems to evoke thoughts of freshness.
- Use scented candles, potpourri or diffusers to spread soothing smells (like lavender) throughout your home.
- Keep your home clean, organized and clutter free.
To know how your room makes you feel – leave it and re-enter it. If those feelings are not positive, then it’s probably time to incorporate some of these ideas or call in the experts and tell them what ‘mood’ you want your space to promote.