02 Mar Design Psychology
Most often when one thinks of Interior Design we think of the aesthetic of a space and how a designer’s role is to create beautiful spaces. This is only part of our task. The places we live and work largely impact our feelings and behavior as well as our thoughts and mood. Interior Design Psychology is a field within environmental psychology, which concerns the environmental conditions of the interior. It is a direct study of the relationship between an environment and how that environment affects the behavior of its inhabitants, with the aim of maximizing the positive effects of this relationship. Through interior design psychology the performance and efficiency of the space and the well-being of the individual are improved. It is crucial for a designer to consider design solutions for interior environments while supporting the health, safety and well being of occupants in addition to enhancing their quality of life. With all that said, it should not surprise us that interior designers are using some knowledge from psychology to improve emotional impacts of the space. This realization is especially significant for those whom are going through a divorce. The process is an education. Design is mostly about balance, order, and symmetry and the overall harmony a space evokes. The good taste and pretty colors, factor into the selections however, it’s much more important, especially at this time with emotions running rampant, that a home FEEL right, in addition to looking right!
The widely accepted notion that ‘home is a happy place’ is definitely true, but it’s important to realize that homes are not promoting happiness in themselves, but they can be molded and designed in a way that promotes good mood and health. Since the rise of neuroscience, scientists are doing lots of research on this topic and finding the most incredible results. They have shown the ability of interior design elements to evoke positive or negative emotional responses in people. These findings open the door to design spaces that consciously manipulate decorative elements with the goal of encouraging creativity, peace and happiness.
As designers we are allowed to peer into the emotionally charged environment of clients.
Some of the techniques used are persuasive design (including persuasive elements into physical objects, such as seating around the table to boost communication, instead in front of the TV), spatial perception (opening up some space to create a sense of freedom), and stimulation of natural environments (bringing in elements of nature to create an optimal atmosphere for relaxation and health)
Every object chosen to fill a space helps to inform its function. But, beyond that, the combination of every item that fills an interior – from the seating arrangements, to the wall hangings, and down to the coasters that sit on your coffee table – act as an expression of our personalities and desires. Many objects and elements inside a house can have a significant impact on one’s mood. Take colors as an example. The fact that they can generate or enhance certain emotion is so deeply rooted in our minds that we even use it in our vocabulary – we say we feel blue, that we are green with envy and sometimes we just like to think pink. According to what we know about color psychology, vibrant shades like yellow, orange, and green encourage socializing and communicating, while dark hues like purple, deep blue, red, and darker shades of green reflect a bit gloomy feel. Still, when applied in appropriate places, they can evoke sense of comfort. Warmer shades of yellow and orange inspire relaxation and boost creativity. On the other side of the thermostat are icy blue and green, which evoke a sense of calm. Red is the usual “bad guy” of the home décor, because although it can raise energy when used in smaller amounts, it can appear hostile and increase anxiety when used as the prevailing color of the room.
How the space is lit is also very important for the overall ambiance. The best lighting source is, of course, the sun, so the number and size of the windows in the room can boost one’s happiness, increase sadness or enhance anxiety.
The size and the spaciousness of the room also influences occupant’s mood. In fact, the impact that ceiling height can have is often overlooked. The height o of a ceiling can affect an individual’s notion of freedom or confinement as well as impact one’s subconscious perception of space and environment. Furthermore, people are more creative and focused in rooms with higher ceilings, and their mood is significantly improved. Many studies pointed out that the proximity of plants can especially improve one’s mood, concentration and even memory retention, since the sight and the presence of natural elements reduces stress.
Besides colors, spaciousness and natural elements, the textures and shapes of the furniture in the house can also produce certain emotional responses.
So, if you want to change your mood, situation and/or attitude on life, a great place to begin may be to hire an Interior Designer.