• Dominique Michelle Vidal

How Interior Design Impacts Your Mental Health


After a long day at work, we all return home exhausted. Perhaps you've encountered an issue at work. Maybe you had an argument with a family member. It's possible that you lost a crucial game for your sport. Or perhaps you even lost a loved one. When we are stressed, we instinctually seek out security and familiarity.

The personal spaces in our homes set the tone for many of our life's events. And because these areas are the setting for so many important and stressful periods in life, it’s crucial that your personal spaces comfort, support, and provide positive emotional energy.

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While most of our lives are beyond our control, our house is one location where we have complete authority. The way you furnish your home, paint your walls, and organize your items will all have a huge impact on your sense of security and well-being, whether you choose a minimalist approach or believe in the “more is more” school of home design.

This is particularly evident in children. Kids build nests in their rooms for no apparent reason. They decorate their rooms and beds with the things they enjoy. They want their space to feel individualized, but also secure and free of parental or sibling influence. A “keep out of my room” sign is more of an attempt to create a private haven than it is defiance.


Anxiety and depression are the most common mental health issues, according to the Mental Health Foundation. Many interior design ideas and approaches, on the other hand, have been found to alleviate stress and despair. While the idea of a link between home design and emotional stability isn't new, recent research has backed up these claims. The connections are well-documented in the healthcare industry. Creating places to be together and apart can help people's mental health.

The psychological consequences of interior design are also taken into account in the corporate sphere. Color, lighting, layouts, textures, and artwork are used by corporate designers to create inspiring, uplifting spaces that promote efficiency, creativity, happiness, trust, and even intimidation. Business designers think about mindset just as much as they think about aesthetics.

According to Chloe Taylor of the magazine Psychology Tomorrow,

“Although the bond between interior design and our emotions has gained much attention in the last decade, this form of environmental psychology exists for thousands of years now – the Indian Vastu Shastra, the Chinese Feng Shui, etc. Because of the rise of neuroscience, scientists are doing plenty of research on this topic and finding the most incredible results. They have shown the ability of interior design elements to evoke a positive or negative emotional response in people. These findings open the door to design spaces that consciously manipulate decorative elements with the goal of encouraging creativity, peace, and happiness.”

While many aspects of interior design have been linked to better mental health, there are a handful that appear to be emphasized again. Sunlight, space, plants and flowers, natural elements, color, and artwork have all been examined extensively. Each of these design components, when implemented effectively, can help to create an environment that is conducive to lowering stress, anxiety, and depression.

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A brightly lit environment is pleasing to the eye, but did you know that sunlight also helps to alleviate depression? Sunlight is a mood enhancer, whether it comes from the outdoors or through a window. In fact, allowing more sunlight into rooms can make people happier. A lack of sunlight might make you melancholy or make you anxious. Humans appear to be energized and motivated by sunlight at home and at work. According to a 2002 study, daylight was one of the most important elements in raising retail sales volume.

While several studies have shown the psychological and physiological benefits of natural light, one study found that employees who had access to natural light outperformed those who did not have sunlight in their workspaces. Furthermore, when persons were forced to work under artificial light, they displayed a qualitative lack of vitality as well as indicators of bad sleep.


One of the fundamental components of happier settings appears to be a sense of spaciousness. Most people prefer spacious rooms over smaller rooms, but not everyone realizes that a feeling of spaciousness can also improve your mood. According to one study, people are more creative and their mood improves when they are in rooms with higher ceilings. The benefits of spaciousness can, nevertheless, be attained in rooms with lower ceilings.

The first step toward creating spacious rooms and residences is to declutter. Room layouts, furniture placement, storage solutions, and color palettes all play a role in creating an open and breezy atmosphere. According to one study, room organization is a key component of a serene, relaxing house. Anxiety was minimized in spaces that were easy to navigate and also had furniture layouts that encouraged social interaction. The use of furniture arrangement and the function of furniture pieces assisted in the creation of psychologically healthy places in all room sizes.

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Bringing nature into the home improves moods, and using house plants and flowers is one of the most efficient methods to do it. According to Texas A&M University research, the presence of plants increased concentration, memory retention, and stress reduction.

Houseplants act as natural air filters, lowering allergens and improving air quality. They also improve air quality by increasing oxygen levels, regulating humidity, and looking beautiful. It's no surprise that they make people feel more at ease and in control.

Flowers can also help to improve one's mood. Flowers, in fact, can help to alleviate depression and enhance pleasant sensations in the house. Flowers have a calming, relaxing influence on humans in addition to their aesthetic beauty. Flowers are not only a lovely complement to any space, but they also make people feel better.


People in their houses feel more comfortable and less stressed when they have access to natural light, space, plants, and flowers. It's no surprise that all of these ingredients are natural. Mankind has attempted to bring the beauty and calming influence of nature into the house throughout history. People have been bringing nature indoors for thousands of years, whether it's through animal furs, woven grass mats, or Christmas trees.

Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese art that honors the natural elements of earth, water, wood, metal, and fire through designs and textures. These features can be incorporated in a variety of ways in today's home. Water is celebrated in fountains and pools, but mirrors and reflective surfaces provide some of the same benefits. Wind is brought in via fans and open windows, but fast-moving textiles and mobiles also provide some of the psychological benefits of wind. We can introduce fire into the room with the help of a fireplace and candles. Iron, brass, silver, wood, and stone all contain metal and earth.

A healthy, happy home should make it easier to soothe using the elements, in addition to literal architectural interpretations. Deep baths and rain showers, for example, allow us to use water in therapeutic ways. Stone can be used as a decorative element as well. Sunrooms and screen porches enable us to create comfortable internal areas that connect the inside and outside.

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Color is one of the most well-known mood-altering design aspects. Color is an important part of many people's world experiences. Our present understanding of psychology extends back to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's publication of Theory of Colors in the 1800s. Researchers and interior designers have continued to reevaluate and change their perspectives on color's impact. Colors' saturation and brightness are important components in their emotional impact, in addition to the psychological features and benefits attributed to them. Saturation refers to the color's purity. Less vivid hues, for example, contain more grey or black. Steel blue is less saturated than true blue.

The amount of white in a color, or how light it appears, determines its brightness. Colors that are bright are less saturated. These lighter, paler tones can help you relax. True red, for example, is connected with worry, whereas a soft, blush pink, which is both less saturated and brighter, is calming. Colors like emerald green, which are highly saturated and less brilliant, might feel strong or invigorating.

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Reds, yellows, and oranges are referred to as "warm colors," whereas greens, blues, and purples are referred to as "cool colors." These classifications aren't coincidental. We feel physiologically warmer when we are in rooms with warm colors. Colors that are cool help us feel cooler. That's why reds are so popular in the winter, whilst turquoise and teal are more popular in the summer.

And of course, each color has associated psychological effects. Decades of research confirm that some colors consistently evoke certain emotional responses.

  • Red is the color of anger, passion, and power. It also makes you hungry (which is why it is such a popular color in restaurants.) Because red is a warm hue, red accents can quickly warm up a room. Red, on the other hand, is connected with wrath and control. If you're attempting to achieve a calming effect, don't use too much red in your home. It can make people feel uncomfortable or restless.

  • Orange is associated with energy, sports, competition, and innovation are all connected with the color orange. It's another warm tone that may instantly make a room feel cozier. However, because orange is such a vibrant color, it is rarely utilized as a primary color in interior design. It's more common in places like offices and sports facilities. Orange isn't the hue to choose if you're trying to create a peaceful environment, but when used correctly in interior design, it can be a mood booster.

  • Yellow is the only warm color linked with relaxation. It is linked to feelings of joy, creativity, and innocence. Yellow is frequently used in kitchens, children's rooms, and private spaces of the home since it is also connected with nurturing. Yellows that are less intense blend well with neutrals to create a soothing appearance. Yellow can also be used in sunny areas to enhance the impact of the sun.

  • Green is a relaxing