How Interior Design Affects Your Mental Health

5 Tips for Uplifting Your Space

Whether you are consciously aware of it or not, the type of space you surround yourself with has a direct and immediate effect on your state of mind. At some point in your life, you have probably found yourself disliking a certain room, building or area because of the impact it had on your mood.

Whilst there is nothing quite like the great outdoors for healing and soothing our emotional wounds, the unfortunate truth is that we spend a large portion of our lives indoors. From our working world to our home environment, we spend most of our time inside various sets of walls.

And that is before we even begin to take into account the effect of lockdowns and home seclusions brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. The quality of the space we’re in plays such an important role in our happiness levels. Now more than ever, when so much time is spent at home, it’s important to do everything we can to uplift our space.

Benefits of Good Interior Design

  • It has an impact on the whole family. A positive and healthy living space in turn encourages creativity and energy in children.
  • It creates a place where you can feel comfortable and relaxed.
  • It helps to put your personal stamp on your home, making it feel more like your home.
  • It forms part of the expression of who you are. This brings with it a sense of inner peace, knowing that this part of your inner personality is reflected outward.
  • Simply put, it can make life easier. Your interior space will be tailored to suit your requirements. Your environment will be optimised to fulfil your unique needs.

While most of us understand the benefits of good interior design, we often fall into the same pitfalls when it comes to feeling content in our surroundings. Here are some of the main challenges that people face when trying to truly feel happy and comfortable in their home:

Moving in with Someone

The merging of the stuff. The combining of two sets of styles and tastes. No matter how alike you are or how similar your style is, moving in with someone new will always be a challenge. There will be furniture that doesn’t match, belongings without a home, or an item of theirs that you just don’t like. You both must be prepared to make sacrifices for the sake of the equilibrium at home.

An Expanding Family

Having a baby brings along extra bags, boxes and baggage that must be squeezed into a home. As your family grows, the needs of your home will change and evolve, too. Trying to integrate your baby’s belongings into your existing décor scheme can present certain obstacles, which only increase as your child grows.

Moving to a Foreign Land

For anyone who has emigrated to another land, the need to feel at home is compounded even more. But on top of all the usual challenges, there are a whole host of additional obstacles that non-natives face on a daily basis:

  • You don’t have a support network or community of friends and family to ask for recommendations or referrals.
  • You don’t know the best shops or where to find most value for money when designing your home.
  • Moving from one country to another will often require changes in living styles, such as smaller houses and apartments in the Netherlands.
  • Different décor schemes will evolve out of different climates. What is comfortable in sunny Spain may not suit chilly northern Canada, for example.
  • Immigrants are often extra busy as there is nobody else to help them. This leaves little extra time for home designing.

Pre-Furnished Rental Homes

It can seem impossible to make a place that’s been furnished by someone else feel like your home. But there are many ways that you can put your own stamp on an impersonal space. Adding personal touches such as pictures, photographs and artwork will instantly change the look of an area. Cushions, rugs and throws can bring colour to a neutral palette. Even boring white walls can be painted bright colours to give the room a twist. They can always be painted back before you move out.

Finding Inspiration

Another common roadblock is finding simply being uninspired. It happens to the best and most creative of us. Here are some useful ways to find design inspiration:

  • Make a collage of everything you like, for example on Pinterest, from favourite colours to furniture styles. This will give you an easy overview of your likes and favourite styles.
  • Design and décor magazines offer a wealth of inspiring ideas.
  • Get out and window shop. Look around everywhere you go – department stores, hotels, second-hand fairs, even other homes – for new ideas.
  • Find a good and affordable interior designer, who understands your needs and style, and hand your project over to them. They provide the inspiration and will present you with numerous possibilities based on your taste and style.

5 Tips to Uplift Your Home

But, what can you do without spending a fortune redesigning your home? Although there is no across-the-board design scheme for a positive mental state, because of course that is subjective, there are certain things that can positively improve your mental wellness. There are a few simple changes you can make to your interior design that will uplift your environment and your mood, while giving your home an easy makeover:

1. Add plants and natural materials

A great place to start when trying to improve your indoor environment is to add greenery. Not only is buying some plants an easy place to begin, but it also brings the soothing elements of nature to your indoor environment. This provides great benefits to your mental state.

Plants offer great benefits to your mental state.

Incorporate the natural world into your home design scheme by choosing furniture made from natural materials or in the calming tones of nature. By introducing more natural elements into your home you will help to create a serene space for yourself. You don’t need to be an expert to know that a calm state of mind is incredibly good for your overall well-being.

2. Experiment with colours
Captivating colours.

There is nothing new in the concept that different colours trigger or enhance certain emotions. The psychology of colour tells us that vibrant shades like bright yellow, orange and green encourage socialising and communicating. Warmer shades inspire relaxation and boost creativity. On the other end of the colour thermostat, icy blues and greens are known for evoking a sense of calm. Red can raise energy when used in small amounts, but it can increase feelings of anxiety when used as the prevailing colour of the room.

However, it is always worth being more bold and brave when it comes to experimenting with colours in interior décor schemes. Putting theory aside and surrounding yourself with your favourite colours is sure to uplift your mood.

3. A spacious layout for practical living
A cluttered layout.

Do you always bump into the same end table? Are you frustrated every time you negotiate a certain space? Good interior design is not just about creating a home that visually reflects your personality. It must also be practical and serve your daily needs. The natural flow and ergonomics of the space are incredibly important on your wellbeing. Ideally, high ceilings improve moods but this isn’t something easily adjusted. However, keeping your space uncluttered and free-flowing will help.

4. The importance of lighting

Lighting cannot be underestimated for its ability to transform your interior space and, in turn, your state of mind. Extra lighting in the home can nurture an optimistic and confident mindset. Both natural and artificial light can be used to make a statement, create depth, illuminate an area or cast intriguing shadows. Ideally you will want to add as much natural lighting as possible. But artificial lighting will work as a substitute. Play and experiment by adding different styles and shapes of lighting and notice its effect on your overall mood. Because of how light bounces off different surfaces, it is an incredibly versatile interior design tool.

5. Play with textures and materials

All of your senses should be catered to when trying to feel fulfilled in your home. Different textures and materials, from soft wool to cold clay, can produce various emotional responses and can be used to create a sense of comfort and happiness. A lot can be achieved by combining various textures throughout your home, such as the cool touch of leather, luscious velvet, smooth glass, rough hessian and soft mohair.

As a parting piece of advice, remember that creating the perfect home for yourself and your family is an ongoing endeavour. All going well, you will constantly change and develop as a person over the years. And with that your style and taste will change too. Therefore, the interior design scheme that soothed your heart ten years ago may not include the same colours you love today. Be prepared to change and adapt your home and your living environments many times over the years.