How do our interiors influence our morale?
Adopt the principles of interior design for your well-being
It is well known that the physical space we live in can have a positive or negative impact on our mental and emotional well-being. The time spent within our walls over the past two years has certainly aroused our interest in the subject. Some of us have sought to make the places we live healthier for our minds, sometimes hanging up a beautiful nature photo to entice us to relax. What gestures should be favored for an interior that is as beautiful as it is benevolent?
The palette of our emotions
Color comes to mind very quickly when we talk about interior design or that one seeks to arrange a room or an entire dwelling. After all, hues are an intimate part of our daily landscape, so there's no denying their influence on our morale.
To understand our sensitivity to colors, we can look at the unconscious messages they convey. If red is associated with excitement and energy and blue with calm and stability, it is because these color associations are the result of thousands of years of physical and cultural development. In the house, the bedrooms are generally decorated in softer and soothing hues, an ideal place for a nature photo. On the contrary, the office, the living room or a kitchen can be equipped with brighter tones to stimulate brain activity. Do you see how our perception is governed by these rules that we integrate despite ourselves?
In interior design, a color palette often reflects a specific problem or objective. The foyer of the student residence of Bard College in Berlin, which accommodates foreign students, is decorated in an optimistic yellow and a bright green to bring warmth and conviviality to these living spaces shared by the residents. Could more cheerful hues help put us in a sociable mood? However, beware of the dominance of bright colors in your home, a study carried out at Logan Regional Hospital in the United States found that too many bright colors intensified states of discomfort or anxiety. Moderation is key!
Bard College Berlin Residence foyer. Source
We tend to want to bring as much natural light as possible into a living space, just as we often highlight bright rooms in real estate ads. However, artificial lighting is also decisive in interior design, as much to create an atmosphere (relaxing, optimistic or social) as to illuminate the activities of the occupants.
For example, a harsh light in your kitchen can make a place feel cold and inhospitable. In contrast, good warm light can encourage you to spend more time there and pay more attention to the room. We will more want to cook in a bright space, to welcome guests in a warmly lit living room and to sleep in a dark bedroom.
In sum, light establishes sensory cues that can influence our state of mind. The lighting must adapt to the function of the room and also to the time of day. A bright space to have breakfast in the morning, with an inspiring art photo on the wall, will help awaken the senses, and put us in a good mood, while dim lighting in the evening prepares our mind for sleep for restorative rest.
Space allocation has a huge impact on our mental health and is a basic human need. We need space to live, work, play and rest. But not everyone benefits from this basic resource, especially in urban areas where there are multiple uses for a single space.
Running out of space can cause anxiety and stress in both adults and children. The latter are the most at risk since they have not yet developed the physical and psychological capacities necessary to occupy a restricted environment. When we don't have enough space to do what we want, it impacts our thinking, our choices, and our behavior.
Faced with this problem, there are several solutions. Invest in interior design to reduce friction points or choose to engage in certain outdoor activities, such as working in a coworking space or playing sports in a park, among others.
Let the natural [world] come galloping back
Speaking of nature, it is well known that spending time outdoors in contact with fauna and flora contributes to good mental health. Widespread discipline, but whose name remains little known, biophilic interior design draws on natural mechanisms to positively influence morale and fitness. Natural light, materials with organic shapes and touches, air circulation, and even the presence of animals, it is a question of bringing together all these elements offered by Mother Nature in our interiors. This is a good reason to hang a picture of the sea or a picture of the forest on the wall!
How to create an interior in our image?
To create an interior that makes us feel good, we must first take an interest in our lifestyles. We are accustomed to juggling various daily activities and superimposing work and leisure, social and private space, etc. Here are some common cases where interior design can relieve tension:
- In telework, set up your workspace outside the bedroom promotes better sleep.
- Storage spaces and storage boxes are your friends. Out of sight, leisure or sports equipment, not to mention children's toys, cease to pollute the visual space. Because living in disorder is a factor of anxiety.
- In a large loft, you can choose to delimit the spaces with a color adapted to the activity, or with art and nature photos, to indicate the location of an office or a cozy corner.
If you want to live better in our interiors, then it will be a question of taking stock of your days, your habits and what you would like to change. Invest in your interior to make it a living place that allows you to be the best version of yourself.