3 easy tips to improving your mental health through interior design.

3 easy tips to improving your mental health through interior design.

I know it sounds strange to design your home to maximize positive emotional energy. It may sound like a hippy way to do things, but let’s take a look at today’s world and see why this may not be so “far-out”. 

Everyone has been confined to their home for a period of time this year and most are still finding comfort and safety within their walls. In addition, people are now working, living, and playing all in one space: their home. 

2020 has caused many emotional issues including anxiety and depression to surface. What if we could all enjoy our homes more and design our homes to alleviate those underlying mental conditions. It’s actually well documented by the healthcare industry and the Mental Health Foundation that many interiors design techniques have been shown to reduce stress and depression. 

Hospitals and businesses have been using specific colors, layouts, textures, and lighting for many years to create an emotion for their prospective clients and employees so it doesn’t actually seem that far-fetched that we could apply this same method to designing our own homes.  You may not want to intimidate other lawyers in your home, but you may want to create a home that is inviting, uplifting and that promotes happiness and trust. 

The big question is how do we do this?

Our family completely redesigned our home this year in order to create a space that is not only beautiful but also relaxing. I used all of these tips below in creating our new space and I know they work! You can see how newly renovated home here: https://torisikkemaphotos.com/2021/03/10/interior-design-photography/

If you are ready to DIY your home and make it into an incredible space that helps eliminate your stress and make your daily life better, then here are some tips just for you:

  1. Create a space to gather and a space to be apart.
    1. One of the best things you can do right now is to create a space to gather with your family and spaces where you can each retreat and have personal space. This may be obvious, but the more you can pay attention to how you and your family members are interacting in a space, the more you will understand what each person needs to thrive. It may be as simple as creating a space to read a book, write in your journal or have a cup of tea. It could be that one person needs a dedicated work out space. Think through the functionality of your home and how you can each have space to be alone as well as one central place where everyone can gather together for quality time.
  2. Sunlight
    1. Having a warm and bright home reduces anxiety and depression. Adding soft white drapes vs. black out drapes, taking down the blinds and widening windows can help you achieve a sun drenched home. This is especially important for a home office. One study showed that people who only work using artificial light showed lack a vitality and poor sleep. Sunlight heals us as humans and lifts our mood.
  3. Declutter
    1. Having a clean and open space not only looks great, but also declutters our minds and elevates our mood. Take some time to get rid of what you do not need and keep what you do. Use the Konmari Method. An organized room will create a peaceful and soothing environment and reduce stress levels.
  4. Bring in natural elements like plants, stones, wood, water and fire. Plants and flowers have been known to have a calming, relaxing effect on people. In addition, they are natural air filters and reduce allergens while increasing air quality which will help your overall well being. Adding other natural elements will also help you feel more relaxed and less anxious in your home. Throughout history, humans have been finding creative ways to bring the beauty of the outdoors inside with animal furs, grass mats, woven clothes and so many more natural items. Adding candles, stonework, iron materials and other natural materials to your home with also increase the feeling of warmth while decreasing your stress levels.
  5. Color. One of the most well studied design techniques to change emotion is the use of color. Colors actually do change or mood and each one is used for a specific purpose. When choosing paint colors, fabrics and accent pieces, first think about what mood or emotion you are trying to convey, then choose your color to achieve your goal.
    1. Red: Red represents power, aggression and passion. There is nothing wrong with using red in your home to add warmth, but became about how much red you use as it can make people feel unsettled and anxious.
    2. Orange: The color of energy and innovation. Orange tones can create a sense of warmth, however it is not often used in a home because it can prevent people from feeling relaxed.
    3. Yellow: Yellow is the only warm color associated with relaxation, happiness and creativity. Kitchens, children’s rooms and naturally sunny places benefit the most be the use of yellow tones. 
    4. Green: Green is soothing, calming and natural. It creates a sense of balance and harmony. Use green if your goal is to create a relaxing space.
    5. Blue: Blue give the sense of freshness, calmness and serenity. Blue is also associated with sadness and may not be the best choice if trying to ward off depression.
    6. Purple: Purple is the color of royalty and gives the feeling of luxury and creativity. Too much purple with make a person feel sad in the space so use it sparingly. 
    7. Grey: Grey creates a feeling of balance. A blue toned grey can be associated with depression and loss so pay attention to the tonality of the grey.
    8. Brown: Brown is often found in nature and can be used throughout the home in woods and leathers. It gives a sense of strength and reliability.
    9. White: This is the color of pureness and helps light reflect throughout the home making it feel sunnier and more spacious improving overall mood.
    10. Black: Black is linked with death, mystery, sophistication and intellect. When used sparingly, black elements can create a calming harmony and balance in any room.
  6. Art
    1. Art has a powerful impact on your mood and mental health. It has been scientifically proven that looking at beautiful artwork can help reduce stress. Our brand are actually wired to feel emotions based on colors, textures and patterns. Because art is an emotionally and style based item, it is important to find patterns and colors that promote the emotions your are trying to achieve in your space.
  7. Have it be well designed and pleasing to the eye. Having a space that is pleasing to the eye will help your body relax. When you do not have to subconsciously focus on flaws in your space, colors that cause you to feel anxious, or furniture placed in ways that do not flow naturally, your mind will be at rest and you will find your home to be a place where your mood increases in positivity. Choosing a designer to help you plan your space can be extremely beneficial.

Your home is where you spend the majority of your time with your family, by yourself, with friends on Zoom, and at work. Having a space that helps improve your mood will also improve your quality of life. 

Whether you choose to improve the space on your own or hirer a designer is up to you. Hopefully, these tips will help you understand how the design can change your mood and improve your overall mental health. 

The Journal

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