How Your Design Choices Impact Your Mental Health
Let's face it, it's hard to catch a proper break these days. We've all had that experience of coming home after a long, tiring day just wanting to unwind on the sofa before doing it all over again the next day. We naturally seek the most comfortable spaces to retreat to and recharge our minds.
While so many parts of our lives may seem out of our control, our homes are the one places we can truly make our own, but many of our design choices for our comfort spaces may actually be contributing to the mental stress many of us find ourselves under. Interior designers will often work with psychology and other behavioral sciences to put together spaces that can decrease stress, fatigue, anxiety, and promote a more positive mental state.
As our day-to-day lives become more stressful and wear down our minds, here are a few ways that your spaces may be contributing to your mental health.
What Your Favorite Colors Are Saying
Color psychology has long proven that colors and color palettes have a significant impact on the way our brain reacts and functions while in their presence.
Red, although often a color of passion and energy, in the wrong spaces can beckon feelings of anger, aggression, and even hunger. Avoid using bright reds in places where you want to feel at ease and in the dining room - or you may find yourself eating more than you can handle!
Orange is a warm and inviting color that promotes confidence and gives you a feeling of success and enthusiasm. Used improperly in excess, however, orange can frustrate you and make you a tad impulsive.
Yellow is, of course, the most cheerful and positive of the color spectrum. Yellow can spark creativity and optimism, but can also make you anxious and on edge.
Green provides more natural tranquility with added feelings of growth and renewal. Greens with more yellow undertones can provoke feelings of unease and nausea if used in larger quantities.
Blue in light shades and tints has been proven to reduce anxiety and stress as well as lower blood pressure. Lighter blues can make your spaces more tranquil and are ideal for spaces where you want to decompress. Darker shades of blue, however, may cause feelings of sadness and loneliness.
Purple is a little tricky and will often depend on the shade. While lighter purples can induce calmness and courage, darker shades focus on spirituality, power, and promote feelings of luxury and ambition.
Change Up the Layout!
Get ready to move everything around! Okay, maybe not everything, but a good reevaluation of your furniture layout can oftentimes reveal that you don't absolutely ~love~ how you move through your space. You may find that your path of travel is inconvenient or that your recliner is angled in direct line of the sun glare on the TV.
Although small things like this seem insignificant in the grande picture, those same little neusances can often contribute to negative experiences in your favorite spaces and can chip away at our mental well-being on top of everything else. If you get frustrated by the way you always run into your coffee table, consider pushing your sofa set around until you have given yourself enough space to walk around it. If space is the issue, a different variation of the layout may prove to solve the small problem and make you a bit less irritated with your space.
Consider what the main focus areas of our furniture arrangements are. Is your bedroom arranged to view the en suite bathroom or the windows that allow in bright, warm light into your room? Do you provide space on your dining table for everyone to avoid overcrowding? All is to say, you don't need to buy all new furniture to be pleased with your area. Simply moving things around can create the feel of a brand new space with the same furniture items you already own.
Bringing the Outside In
Have you ever sat on the beach and fallen asleep to the sound of the waves crashing on the sand and the gentle breeze on your face? Or are you more of a hiker that enjoys taking breaths of deep, fresh air at the top of a mountain trail? Regardless, nature has proven itself to be extremely beneficial to both physical and mental health.
Studies show that even looking at images of nature landscapes have a significant improvement on stress, blood pressure readings, and being clear of mind. Try bringing nature inside by adding some plants or nature-based artwork into your home. Small pieces of nature in your comfort spaces can help you set the foundation for a deeper connection with your home and the environment it sits on.
Not much of a nature person? No problem! The brain will connect textures, scents, and colors with nature for you. You don't have to fill your home with leaves and seashells to gain the benefits of nature-inspired design.
These are just a few ideas of ways you can use design to improve your mental wellbeing. Got any more brain-friendly design ideas? Share it with us in the comments!
If you're ready to explore your spaces, let's connect through a complimentary discovery call.