Interior Designing: How decor can affect our well being
Be it our workspace, home or shopping centre, the interior of a place significantly affects us. It can make us calm and productive, make the kids behave better or make the customers buy more.
Usually interior designing is taken to mean only the aesthetics. But that’s only one part of the puzzle. The psychological effects of interior design on our subconscious is not really spoken about. The look of our house or office space can have a documented effect on our emotions. An office with just tables, chairs and barren walls may not provide its employees the mental stimulation to work better. Likewise a cluttered home may fail to give the much needed relaxation at home. Interior design of these places can dictate how we feel. Hence, a music studio or a chef’s kitchen and most other workspaces are artistically designed to give employees the feel of their respective professions.
A balance of colors, size of windows, fall of light and the shape and texture of furniture can make all the difference how one feels.
Colors are an important aspect of how we perceive our surroundings. That colors produce certain emotional response is evident from our vocabulary. We feel blue, go green with envy and sometimes we just think pink! It is difficult to decode the exact implications of colors, experts agree that bright hues of yellow and green offer a splash of energy and stimulate communication and socialization. Richer shades of orange have a similar vibrant effect, it increases appetite therefore mostly used in kitchens. Purple and dark shades of blue and green cause a tinge of gloom though when used in appropriate proportions they can evoke comfort. Softer shades of orange and yellow are soothing, create happiness and enhance creativity. Light shades of blue evoke the color of sky and sea and usher in tranquility. Icy green and grey create a sense of calm and peace. Red can pepper the room with energy but if used in excess, it can appear hostile.
Humans are like plants. They bloom in natural light and wilt in dark dingy spaces. Natural light is the primary source of health and means of a composed body and mind. Bright natural light energizes the surroundings and make the space look spacious. Dim light creates sad, gloomy and suffocating spaces and hence are unproductive. The best source of light is sunlight and that is why the number and sizes of the windows in a space can boost ones happiness or make one depressed, sad or anxious.
Space can have a definitive effect on our behavior, mood, thoughts and feelings. The size of the room and height of the ceiling impacts the mood and individual’s perception of freedom and confinement. It is documented that in rooms with higher ceilings, people are more focused and creative. Studies point that the proximity to plants can lift one’s mood, increase concentration and even improve memory retention, since the sight of natural elements and green color reduces stress. Clear passages and uncluttered homes allow the free flow of energy and create happy vibrations.
Shapes and Forms
The ancient practice of Feng Shui tells us that besides spaciousness, light and colors, the texture and form of the furniture can produce a particular emotional response. The shapes and textures should represent the five natural elements i.e. earth, fire, water, wood and metal. Rich textures ooze a sense of comfort while metal elements like wall clocks are linked to strength. Wooden elements promote personal growth and health. Feng Shui also teaches us that the arrangement of the furniture should ensure a seamless flow of energy. Dead spaces due to ill arrangement create negative energy.
Authored by Shraddha Jadhav, Faculty of Arts and Design at Vishwakarma University.