Interior design has the potential to influence personal health, especially when it comes to the living spaces we occupy. This potential has recently become more thoroughly investigated as, in a post-pandemic world, residents both spend a greater amount of time at home and have demonstrated greater concern regarding topics such as mental health.
Every element of an interior has the potential to affect wellbeing. While some of this potential impression is rooted in subjectivity, a great deal is objective and every feature, from colour to organisation, can be a positive or negative influence on individual health.
Lighting is, for many interior designers, the most important part of the creative process. It can be manipulated and shaped to improve spaces, making them feel more comfortable or even spacious. Natural lighting also has a strong influence on health too, regulating circadian rhythm and improving sleep hygiene.
The colours with which we surround ourselves, whether those of paints, furniture, or decor, influence us psychologically. Bold and bright colours promote energy and creativity, which has its benefits but may not be appropriate for rooms where individuals intend to relax.
There are a number of phrases that stem from the concept of tidy room, tidy mind. This brief maxim captures the potential positive impact that a clean and decluttered living space has on wellbeing. Cluttered spaces, by contrast, can leave individuals feeling more easily stressed and anxious.
The benefits of a natural space can be brought into the home in a number of ways, from an abundance of house plants to decadent log cabins. Those who decorate their homes with natural designs and organic materials can create a wholly relaxing space that offers respite from the stressors of modern and urban lifestyles, with simple additions, such as house plants promoting positive thoughts and improved mood.
The prints, paintings, and sculptures with which we adorn our homes are shortcuts to experiences and can be used to create an environment of positivity. By decorating a home with artwork that inspires or makes us feel more positive about the world around us, living spaces begin to feel safer and more comfortable. It has also been shown that admiring art can reduce stress.
Having a secure home improves psychological comfort greatly and helps environments to feel fundamentally safer. This comfort can be achieved in a number of ways, including through interior decor. Windows and doors, for example, that are heavier create a sense of security, protecting interiors from the elements. Even something as simple as a large or weighted blanket can be used to not only promote a cosy aesthetic but also add an immediate sense of safety and comfort to residents, especially on cold days.
Understanding how interior design affects wellbeing can best be done by considering human senses. The moment a resident begins to consider how their sense of sight, touch, or even hearing is influenced by a space is the moment they can start to create a design that promotes improved wellbeing.