By Alice Fulton-Russell, Lead Projects Designer, LOFT
Interior design plays a huge role in our everyday lives. When we’re happy and comfortable in our surroundings, we feel more relaxed and at ease. The reverse of this is true as well. If we can’t warm to our environment, it affects our mental wellbeing.
When you look at how interior design influences aspects of human behaviour, it’s no surprise that many designers aim to create spaces that evoke the right emotions. It requires finding a delicate balance between visual appeal and practicality. No two rooms can be designed in the same way either, as they all perform different functions. For example, the way we dress our living rooms is completely different from the way we would furnish a home office.
Creating an interior that positively influences human behaviour means understanding how different aspects of interior design can affect our psychology. We have listed the key aspect of design that affects our behaviour.
A cluttered space equals a cluttered mind
Many cultures around the world have embraced the concept of keeping a home as tidy as possible in one manner or another. The Chinese believe in the idea of feng shui, that our environment needs to be balanced in a way that promotes harmony and wellbeing. The Japanese have perfected the art of minimalism, ensuring every feature of a room serves a purpose.
Western civilisations have been a little slower on the uptake, but trends are moving in the right direction. The concept of less is more is something most Interior Designers will agree upon, especially in the home. A cluttered space will only serve to clutter your mind, causing strong feelings of frustration and putting your mind off balance.
The more simple you can keep a space, the more relaxing it is to be in. In a time where our mental health has become a key aspect of our overall wellbeing, our interiors must reflect a form of peace and tranquillity.
Finding the perfect colour
The theory behind how colours can affect aspects of human behaviour has been well proven and documented. Certain shades have a way of brightening up our day, while others can cause us to dwell on negative thoughts. The context in which a colour is used plays a significant role, too.
Take a vibrant hue of red as an example. Many associate the colour with anger or danger, but it also has a deep connection with love and passion. It’s a colour that brings out our strongest emotions, and its intensity makes it a bold option for any room. Red should only be used as an accent colour, though, as the vibrancy can become overpowering and leave you feeling uneasy.
Different colours have different strengths and weaknesses when designing a space with human behaviour in mind. You want to find the perfect balance that will also appeal to an ideal resident. But don’t be afraid of colour, make it work in the space, whether it’s as an accent or as the main feature. It can take a while to find the right colour scheme, but with help from an experienced Interior Designer, the process can be made much simpler.
Mind the furniture
Furniture can influence aspects of human behaviour in two different ways; through its quality and its positioning.
Unfortunately, some people believe the only way to have quality furniture is by having a large budget, but we’ve proven time and time again that luxury is affordable. Instead of finding furniture they like at a price they love, people end up purchasing furniture that looks and feels cheap, making them feel unhappy in their own homes. Alternatively, many people may spend a small fortune on decor and end up with buyer’s remorse.
Furniture should be arranged to encourage social interaction. The further away chairs are from one another, the harder it is to maintain a conversation and strengthen bonds, as people don’t want to speak to each other from two different sides of a room. Try arranging your seating so it’s more inclusive and inviting, and you’re sure to see a huge improvement in your mental wellbeing.
Lighten the mood
Natural light has a phenomenal effect on our behaviour. During the day, we should expose ourselves to as much natural light as possible, as it’s thought to release serotonin which boosts our mood. When a property is being designed, large windows should be a priority to help us feel more connected to the outside world.
Artificial lighting can also be used to alter a person’s mood. Have you ever noticed how you feel more relaxed when the lights are dimmed? This is because lower lighting levels reduce our inhibitions. Restaurants often make use of this tactic to make you feel more comfortable, and the more relaxed you are, the likelier it is that you’ll stay for longer ordering food and drinks. You can use artificial lighting in your own home to set a chilled vibe. To relax after a long week at work, turn the lights down low, settle into a comfortable seat, and get ready for the weekend!
What aspects of human behaviour are you looking to influence?
It’s truly incredible to think about how much interior design can alter our moods, make us happier, sadder, more thoughtful, or even more passionate. Each room has its own purpose and must be designed in a way that brings out the best in you and the space itself.
Our award-winning interior design team understands how to fashion a room to its full potential. With our keen eye, expert knowledge, and access to quality furniture and furnishings, there’s no space we can’t design to improve certain aspects of human behaviour. If you’re interested in hearing what we can do to help with your property, visit our website for more information.