A home should emit positive feelings when you enter and each room should be designed not only for functionality but also for emotions that correlate with the room’s purpose. In fact, research shows that interior design could impact your mental health positively and negatively. 

Decorating and arranging your home in the right way can be a great way to supplement other positive choices like mindfulness meditation or therapy. Making sure your home is a safe place to come home to can greatly impact your larger mental health. You probably want to know what aspects of interior design may actually help to improve your well-being. This article looks at all of the different design choices and the ways that they influence mood, productivity, stress, and more. For extreme cases such as how it affects kids that have experienced trauma or even child abuse, you can speak to mental health professionals to learn how to make your home a safe place and to read more about issues such as these, click here.

You probably want to know what aspects of interior design may actually help to improve your well-being or the well-being of others. This article looks at all of the different design choices and the ways that they influence mood, productivity, stress, and more. 

Color

Research shows that there is a correlation between mood and color choices. In fact, this is potentially the most important interior design element when it comes to mental health. Different colors evoke different responses. 

This is taken into consideration with businesses as well. Red, orange, and yellow are often used for clearance sales while greens and blues may be used for a spa. Let’s look at each of the main colors and how they could affect your mental health. 

Neutral colors are very versatile for different rooms and different moods. Brown is great to accent other colors but may also be good for relaxation when used correctly. White is another neutral color that is often symbolic of purity and cleanliness in the West. Too much may make your home look like a hospital, but it can also be bright and welcoming if you do not use too much. White can also open up a room and make it look larger than it is. 

Black is not recommended as a dominant color but can be elegant when used with lighter colors. It can add contrast and may be good for a secondary color in the bedroom or bathroom. However, keep in mind that it can make those rooms look smaller. 

Warm colors are often associated with energy and passion as well as love, fire, and anger. Red may have a correlation with higher metabolism and blood pressure. In Feng Shui, the color red symbolizes good fortune. Red is most often used as an accent color and is rarely good for dominance. 

Reds may not be the best choice for those with PTSD or child abuse victims because it can contribute to feelings of anger, irritability, and anxiety. It can be used sparingly or as a secondary color, but as a primary color, it may be too stress-inducing. 

Yellow is great for showing positivity and boosting mood. This is because it is bright and reminds us of sunshine. It is most commonly used in the kitchen and dining rooms for welcoming mealtimes. 

Yellow is a great color for child abuse victims or anyone else suffering from mental health conditions. It is bright, positive, and reinforces a positive mood. While you may not like the style of yellow throughout your entire home, it may be great to use some throughout. 

Pink is great for showing playfulness, love, and happiness. It is a calmer version of red and is great for guest bathrooms and children’s rooms. You may even want to use it as a secondary color in other rooms as well. 

Orange is strong and bright and can make people feel energetic and creative. It is most often used as an accent. Be careful when using it with neutral colors because they tend to contrast too much or blend together. 

Cold colors are known for being relaxing and may even help to decrease appetite. Blue is representative of confidence and stability. Light blue is commonly used in living rooms and other places that you want to be relaxing. Darker blues are often associated more with sadness, so be careful when choosing dark blues. 

Sometimes child abuse survivors like to have a room where they can get away to feel safe and secure. This can ease their worries and help them to remain calm, especially when the survivor encounters a trigger. Painting and decorating these areas with bright blues may help to emit positivity and relaxing cues. 

Purple is often associated with royalty and wealth. It is a great color for use with other colors in any room for showing elegance and luxury. Green is often associated with calming feelings and vitality. It can be a great color for grounding your thoughts as well.

How the Interior Design of Your House Can Affect Your Mental Health

Art and Decorations

When you are choosing decorations and art to place around your home, it is important to find ones that invoke a positive emotional response. While it is okay to find pieces that do not make you feel happy, they should be combined with those that do boost your mood. 

You may also want to incorporate art that makes you feel relaxed and calm. Nature scenes are great for this because research shows that scenes of nature in art or photographs can be great for mental health. 

Nature is wonderful for anyone and if you are a loved one is a child abuse victim, they may find that nature is something that has remained the same throughout a lifetime. This can bring feelings of security and tranquility, even in stressful times. Natural settings and house plants can be great for anxiety, depression, PTSD, and more. 

You may also want to choose family photos or, better yet, photos of your family in a natural setting like at a beach or while they are camping. Looking at pictures of the people that we love and care about can also spring positive emotions to the forefront of our minds.

Be careful selecting photos that could potentially trigger a child abuse survivor’s negative memory. The same goes for anyone who has gone through trauma or suffers from PTSD. Some photos will likely do the opposite, but it is important not to bring back feelings unnecessarily and un-therapeutically.  

Plants can also help to boost mental health and well-being. Adding plants to your home can be great for reducing stress. They also release oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide, thereby refreshing the air that we breathe every day. 

Having plants around can also boost productivity. This is a great choice if you are working from home and even if you aren’t, you may want to consider adding some vegetation to your work area at the office. 

Furniture

Furniture should be carefully chosen in order to reflect your style and to convey your personality, heritage, and purposes of each and every room. A couch and the surrounding pieces in a living room should be functional and comfortable, but you can also have them appear welcoming and relaxing. 

Curved edges are more likely to foster feelings of calmness and tranquility. Therefore, this is crucial for any room that should be relaxing. You never want sharp edges in your bedroom where you sleep. Sharp edges may be okay for offices and kitchens but opt for curved edges in any place where you do not want to be energetic or focused. 

The arrangement of the furniture is also an important factor. Where the pieces are can influence how welcoming they appear to you and your guests. Seating against the wall typically discourages social interaction. Placing chairs and couches in a circle or otherwise facing each other can promote a social space. 

Lighting

Lighting can have an impact on mood as well. Dim lighting can be beneficial for some spaces. It can help to stimulate conversation and feelings of romance. This is why fancy restaurants often choose dim lighting. It can help you relax in the room and situation. 

Bright overhead lights are more likely to encourage productivity and energy. It is also best to choose natural light over artificial light whenever possible. Sufficient light for the purpose of each room is also important. You never want your reading room to strain your eyes or your bedroom to be too bright to relax and sleep. 

You can have different lighting throughout the house to suit the moods of different rooms. For a bedroom or any place where you, your loved one, a person suffering from mental illness, or a child abuse victim goes to relax, you will want dim or natural light. For a social area, a brighter light can promote social activity.

 How the Interior Design of Your House Can Affect Your Mental Health

Clutter

Cluttered decorations and items are never good. Minimalist designs tend to be the better option for boosting well-being and mental health and relaxing the mind and body. A cluttered area correlates with a cluttered mind and may hinder productivity and mental clarity. 

Having an unorganized home may contribute to stress and anxiety. It is important to keep the interior of your home clean and tidy to support positive and relaxed moods. Each person is different, and some can tolerate more clutter and disorganization than others, but it is never great to have too much clutter around, even if you are not a naturally organized person. 

Bedroom Décor

A bedroom needs to promote healthy, restful sleep. Quality sleeping habits are an extremely important factor for overall mental health. Feng shui has some great recommendations for the bedroom that could help to encourage good sleep. 

The bed should be placed against a solid wall without facing mirrors or doors. In addition, if you have a choice, it is best to put the bedroom near the rear of a home or at least away from outside noises. The energy should flow through the room, and it should be a place where relaxing becomes imminent as soon as you sit or lay on the bed. 

If you have a child abuse survivor in your household, for their room you will want to avoid any decorations that could become a catalyst for distressing memories. It may also be good to use decorations that inspire hope, change, and positivity. 

Space

The use of space is as important as the use of items within the space that you have available. A lot of people like spaciousness, and there is evidence that having space in the form of higher ceilings or open rooms could help to improve mood and boost creativity. 

Openness is sometimes difficult to achieve depending on the living situation and size of your home but finding the right furniture and organization to promote a feeling of openness can be beneficial.  Sometimes, you may even be able to remove a piece of furniture or decoration that you do not really need in order to open up the room for mood-boosting benefits. 

Having just the right number of decorations and balancing the color, space, and other factors can help to create a welcoming and relaxing environment. You surely do not want to come home to a space that is completely filled with items because that is not conducive to tranquility. If someone in the household is a child abuse victim who suffers from anxiety or PTSD, then you certainly do not want a chaotic and cluttered space. A clutter-free space can correlate with a clutter-free mind. 

 How the Interior Design of Your House Can Affect Your Mental Health

Distinct Areas

Sometimes we have a bedroom that functions as a place to read, paint or play guitar while the dining room is used for games and food and the living room is used for socialization, television, and children’s play. While this can work, it may be better for you to have distinct areas made for unique activities. 

A bedroom will promote more restful sleep if that is all that you use it for. When we associate the bedroom with work, hobbies, or other activities, then it will not subconsciously associate the room with only sleep. 

Also, having clear, distinct areas for different functions can make it easier to design them for that purpose. Then you can use the colors, lighting, and decorations specific to the function of the room. 

This ensures that the members of the household have places they can go for security, comfort, and a variety of different activities. This can help to declutter the crowded mind and help to ease anxieties and stressors. 

Sound

While interior design primarily focuses on other aspects, the acoustic properties and sounds around the home can also have an influence on our mood. Rooms conducive to noisiness may not be the best choices for sleep and relaxation.  Most homeowners do not have much of a choice in the architecture, materials, and other design elements that contribute to the acoustics of each room, but there are factors that you may be able to influence like materials of the furniture and which rooms you choose for different functions.

Noisy areas can be annoying and have higher levels of stress. In fact, this could even increase your risk of depression and anxiety, especially if it is noisy in a place that should be relaxing like a bedroom, library, or office.  Noise can also make it harder to concentrate. 

If the acoustics in your home make some areas noisier than others, choose these rooms’ functions carefully. Also, softer materials for furniture and choice of flooring or the use of rugs can significantly reduce noisiness and the annoyance that comes along with it. 

Conclusion

When you are decorating and arranging the interior of your home, your choices could actually influence how happy you are. For you and the members of your household, including those suffering from mental illness or child abuse survivors, make sure to take color, style, decorations, lighting, space, and sounds into consideration. Doing so may help the entire household improve overall mental health and well-being. 

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