It is well documented by psychologists, architects and interior designers alike that the places we inhabit on a regular basis, be it our homes or places of work, can have a profound influence on our psychological wellbeing. Interior layout impacts our moods and emotions, which can also impact our physical state; many of us however, are not always aware of this.
How we arrange our furniture can significantly change our perception of space and the overall feeling of energy inside a room. We can position furniture to encourage socialising, by arranging chairs and sofas in groups facing one another.
Or discourage it by putting sofas and chairs in lines against the wall.
Interior design and layout should be kept in proportion with the available space - if space is limited don't overcrowd the room.For example, an oversized dining table and chairs in a small dining room will make the space feel small and restricted. Use furniture which is slim and scaled down, well placed mirrors, wall hangings and the right colour scheme to create a feeling of depth to the room. These days the choices of furniture available on the market is immense, there is something to fit all different tastes and sizes.
Ornaments and Art
Our furniture and any ornaments should reflect our personal taste as well as creating a warm and inviting environment. Original art – a one of a kind painting or a sculpture can put your unique fingerprint on the place.
This ancient art dates back over 3,500 years and is practised worldwide, it addresses harmony and balance within any given space. A complex philosophical system, the basic concept of Feng Shui inside the home is to harmonise everything within the surrounding environment. Practitioners will analyse the available space and make a map to determine furniture, décor arrangements and colour schemes into one seamless flow, allowing occupants to move easily around the home.
Too many sharp lines and edges create an unwelcoming environment, some studies suggest this is due to a subconscious association between sharp edges and danger. Curved forms appear to create a more comforting and relaxing atmosphere – this is not to say that sharp lines are completely out of bounds, just as long as the key pieces are rounded.
The best source of lighting is without a shadow of a doubt, the sun. Natural lighting is linked with improved performance and increased levels of happiness and wellbeing, homes with good natural lighting sell more quickly than those which are dimly lit.
Therefore, the natural light available in any given space should be utilised as much as possible and care should be taken not to further darken already dimly lit rooms by concealing the window.
The use of colour heavily contributes to the overall feel of any given space.
Lighter colours can make rooms feel more spacious and less cluttered.
In spaces with low ceilings, opt for a light colour as dark ceilings make the room appear more snug.
Neutral colours are an obvious safe option and work well in most spaces.
The colours of nature such as greens and blues are calming, blues are a popular choice for the bathroom and green for living rooms.
Reds, oranges and pinks are warm colours but can be over powering if used excessively.
Plants and Flowers
Flowers and greenery are intrinsically linked with wellbeing, the presence and proximity of plants improves the mood and has a calming and restorative effect, reducing levels of stress. The power of nature can explain why city dwellers sit in the park during their lunch breaks, why sitting in the garden is considered pleasant and relaxing, and why so many people choose to go for walks in the countryside or visit public gardens.
Plants are not only beneficial for our psychological wellbeing, they also improve air quality and increase levels of humidity.
Improving your home décor, de-cluttering and creating a harmonious space can be extremely therapeutic – transforming your home into a soothing, stress free environment which promotes good mood and health.