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It’s a popular idea that interior design and our feelings go hand in hand. Behavioral scientists are now learning that this may have some truth. Not only that, but the right room design can promote creativity, relaxation or even socialization. Everything from the ceiling height to the color of the wall can impact your mood, and, if done without considering the psychological effect, even cause anxiety. If done well, however, they can promote wellness.
A study published in the Journal of Consumer research suggested that the height of the ceiling in a room can impact the way a person thinks, acts and feels. According to this study a 10-foot high ceiling will promote abstract and free thinking, which leads to creative ideas and solutions. On the other hand, a person living in a space with an 8-foot ceiling tends to focus on specifics and think practically. If you happen to be stuck with a low ceiling, you can always use tricks, such as lighting, floor-to-ceiling doors, striped wallpaper to give the illusion of height.
It is no secret that different colors trigger different emotions. Based on the knowledge we have on colors, we can conclude which shades are the best for which room. The bedroom, for instance, should be painted in soothing and relaxing hues, like soft greens and blues, while the living room can be colored in vivid shades to encourage socializing, creativity and happiness. When you are choosing a color palette, you do not have to stick to one color, you can use a combination of neutral for larger surfaces, calm shades for furniture and dramatic shades for accessories.
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As with colors, lighting can make a person feel happy and energized, or moody and anxious. The more natural light is allowed into the space, the better a person in it will feel. Additionally, if the windows look onto trees or a green space, it can improve focus. The intensity of person’s emotions (both positive and negative) is proportional to the intensity of light. Poor lighting can cause feelings of sadness and fatigue, while excessive artificial lighting leads to nervousness and anxiety.
The Furniture and Accessories
These elements make a home feel like home, so it is no wonder they play such an important role in making people feel pleasant and relaxed. A comfortable sofa filled with throw pillows in a living room will evoke socializing and fun conversations, while a leather, straight lined sofa will reflect a more formal sense. It is similar with curtains, bed covers and rugs. For example, rug manufacturer Zado suggests that a soft shag rug next to the bed in the bedroom will make waking up much easier, giving your feet a soft place to land.
Clutter vs. Open Space
Clutter, and here we do not only mean general mess, but also overcrowded furniture and accessories, can drain and frustrate a person. On the other hand, an open space can make a person feel more relaxed, free and creative. Holding on to too many old items can make you feel suffocated, or even depressed. To create a healthier living space, try decluttering, using demonstrated techniques such as the Konmari method. Visualize your ideal space, set goals, and keep only the items you really need or really love.
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House plants are known for cleaning the air indoors, but they do much more than that. They are directly linked to wellness, since they generally improve mood and sense of wellbeing. Additionally, the presence of house plants can reduce stress, depression and anxiety, and increase self-esteem, calmness, optimism, relaxation and sense of control and stability. Some of the best mood-improvers out there include aloe, English ivy, rubber tree, peace lily, snake plant, bamboo palm, philodendron, spider plant, dracaena and golden pothos.
All of these suggestions can be applied differently to various rooms in your house. Dress your room for its function (e.g. bedroom = relaxation, living room = socialization, home office = creativity and focus, etc.), and you may find your mood and overall satisfaction with your living space improve as a result.