Aesthetic of Well-Being: the Impact of Design Elements on Your Mood Back to Blog

Aesthetic of Well-Being: the Impact of Design Elements on Your Mood


Aesthetic of Well-Being: the Impact of Design Elements on Your Mood

Although the link between the environment and our feelings has only recently started gaining the deserved attention, environmental psychology is something that has existed for thousands of years in the form of Chinese Feng Shui and Indian Vastu Shastra. Today, our experience and science (mostly neuroscience) provide some support for this view. Numerous studies and surveys proved that some design elements are able to provoke positive or negative feelings in people, but the findings are not the most important thing here. It is the application of what science has shown us in our homes that will help us to design spaces that inspire positive emotional responses and change the way we think of interior design.

Let's Talk About Colours

The impact of interior design on our mood is perhaps the most obvious with colors. They are so generally accepted as “mood-changers” that we use them sometimes to describe an emotion we are going through, like “feeling blue” and being “green of envy”.

According to what the color psychology has taught us, vibrant shades of orange, yellow, and green are encouraging communication, while deep tones, like purple, dark blue and darker shades of green, provoke a gloomy feel.

Warmer shades of orange and yellow can boost creativity and icy blue and green are soothing. Red is the usual suspect for anxiety and hostile feelings, but when used in smaller amounts, it can raise energy.

The Importance of Windows

Being stuck in a windowless room can truly make one feel depressed and anxious. In fact, a 2002 study proved that the presence of daylight was a significant factor in increasing sales volume, which is telling us that natural light improves human performance, too.

From this evidence, we can conclude that daylight isn’t only important in offices and shops, but also in our homes, where it can make us feel more energetic and productive. When a room lacks natural light, it is important to compensate it with three types of artificial lighting (task, accent and mood).

The Role of Textures and Shapes

Lines that create forms and shapes are creating a sense of harmony, unity and contrast. They can make the space feel more soothed or dynamic and thus impact our emotions. The impact of textures on emotional responses is studied in the ancient practice of Feng Shui where they represent natural elements (earth, fire, water, wood and metal).

The rich texture of a furry rug enhances comfort and happiness, a water feature calls for calmness, fireplace and candles accentuate warmth, wood strengthens the bond with nature and metal elements such as pendant lamps, artwork, etc. promote strength and independence.

Spatial Perception

It’s no secret that small and cluttered spaces make us feel anxious and stressed out. Then, we turn to de-cluttering, painting the room white and all the other tricks that can create an illusion of spaciousness. The factor we often overlook is the ceiling height. A study published in InformeDesign reviews the impact of this element on an individual’s notion of freedom or confinement. According to its results, the height of the ceiling impacts a subject’s subconscious spatial perception, evoking creativity and focus in people spending time in rooms with higher ceilings, as well as boosting their mood.

The Function of a Room

There is a deeply rooted pre-determined opinion about how each room in our home should make us feel. The bedroom should induce sleep and relax us, the entryway should be inviting, the living room should call for socializing and communication, the walk-in closet should represent organizational skills, etc. A survey published in A Journal of the Association for Psychological Science, gave us concrete evidence that certain rooms can produce very tangible emotions, depending on their function.

With all these findings, the job of interior designers is much easier, since now they can lend some science-based techniques to improve the emotional impact of a space. If you are planning to redecorate your house anytime soon, consider “stealing” some knowledge yourself and design the space that will encourage positive mood, because a home should always be a happy place.

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