Some of us view home decor and design as extras. Sure, a well-decorated home would be nice to have, but we generally perceive it as a last priority, something to be focused on after all of our other wants and needs have been met. But while interior design may technically be a luxury, as it turns out, it can have a very real impact on our mental wellbeing. Psychologists have studied exactly how our living spaces can affect our mood, and it’s clear that the aesthetics of our living space can make a big difference in not only our happiness, but our productivity and subsequent success.
The History of Interior Design
Interior design has been around in some form or another for centuries. Many people are familiar with the Chinese principle of feng shui, which provides a set of instructions for charging a space with positive energy through design. Feng shui can be pretty complicated, but in a nutshell, it helps you arrange your furniture and home in a way that makes for easy movement, pleasant aesthetics, spatial organization and mood-boosting features. The Indian system of Vastu Shastra is a similar concept.
Today, we focus more on how certain decor styles fit with our own likes and needs. We consider things like color, art, furniture style, patterns and lifestyle needs, such as soft edges (for people with children) or gourmet kitchens (for those who do a lot of cooking). But even on a very affordable level, it’s possible to decorate and design our home in a way that inspires us and boosts our mood.
How To Decorate Your Home for Positivity
There are a lot of ways to tilt things in your favor by dressing up your home correctly. All of these techniques are based in real psychology, according to Psychology Tomorrow. Here are just a few ideas for increasing the mood-boosting properties of your space.
- Keep it organized. Nothing drains energy and saps the mood like a cluttered home. Marie Kondo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” has some great advice for how to reduce clutter and keep things organized in a sustainable, long-term way.
- Choose the right wall color. If you’re into painting your walls, go with tones such as yellow, orange, blue or green. Always choose the pale, light versions of these colors. They have been shown by science to be relaxing and to boost creativity (in the case of yellow and orange) or to calm and sooth (in the case of blue and green).
- Use the elements. Feng shui encourages the use of the natural elements (earth, water, wood, metal and fire). These bring us closer to nature. Earthy elements are a must. Plants in particular are known to boost our mood, according to Texas AM University. Water-based elements such as a small standing fountain induce calm, while wooden decor elements and furniture encourage personal growth. Metal accents can give us a sense of strength, and an indoor fireplace can make us feel cozy and warm.
- Let the light flood in. One of the biggest predictors of home satisfaction is the level of natural light within a space. Do whatever you can to let more light enter your home during the daytime. Pull back the curtains, open the windows and consider installing skylights. If your home currently makes you feel sluggish, natural light can do wonders for boosting its creative and energetic potential.