The psychology of interior design

Designing the interiors of a home isn’t about pretty drapes and the right cushions. It is a science with an often-neglected psychological impactRaj Khaneja

Very often people flip through magazines, browse through home stores or hire professional design firms to come up with a suitable look for their built space, be it the home, study, nursery or office. But interior design doesn’t exist in isolation. The aesthetics of interior design is driven by the sole purpose of creating a harmonious look and this is greatly influenced by various factors ranging from geographical surroundings, popular materials, personal choice, current design trends, and even nature.

Interior design isn’t about choosing pretty drapes and pairing the right  cushions, instead it is a deep science, with an often neglected psychological impact. The interior of any space has a considerable impact on your subconscious. The choices that you make when deciding how your home will look have a documented effect on your emotions and perceptions. The colour of the walls in your bedroom could be contributing to your anxiety, while your choice in the sitting room couch could lead visitors to feel comfortable and make them feel at home.

It’s a good idea to look behind the scenes, regarding your various design choices and understand what the deeper impact can be.

The colour component

It is a well-known fact that colour is a main component of design and plays a pivotal role in how we experience the world around us and has a definitive effect on our moods and emotions. As you begin to conceptualise your home’s interior design, make sure that you are using colours in ways that fit with the tone you want to create in the space.

For instance red symbolises power and passion. It can be used to warm up spaces and make them feel more intimate; orange offers a jolt of energy and innovation, but too much can leave people feeling overwhelmed. Yellow is associated with happiness, creation and creativity.

Blue perpetuates feelings of calm and freshness, while brown’s natural roots give it a relaxing touch. White helps impart a sense of cleanliness and purity. It is great for defining a space, but use along with other colours since too much can make a space sterile.

Often grounding and stabilising, neutral hues such as cream and gray can also swing into boring territory if they’re not accented with other cheerful colours. A simple and soothing beige living room can be given a rich feel with the help of upholstery in varying shades of purple or electric blue.

Also another good tip is play with a combination of three colours, with the least intrusive shade reserved for walls, the second  complimentary colour for the over-all furnishings and the third most dramatic hue used sparingly to highlight and add accents.

Objects of desire

From furniture to paintings and other decorative arty bric-a-bracs, people often make the mistake of choosing objects to fill space. It is important to understand that every object chosen also serves to form a function, even if it is purely aesthetic. But, beyond that, these items act as an expression of your personality. People visiting your homes tend to evaluate the interiors on these various value criteria: how functional is the home; value of the items in terms of whether they are worth the price; are the objects of sentimental or heritage value and of course the aesthetics of it all.

When it comes to the aesthetics, proper furniture placement can make you feel calmer and even happier, shows certain research. It all boils down to symmetry, which can change the atmosphere of your home, because as far as interiors are concerned we see rooms as a whole — a kitchen, a living room, a bathroom — before we can focus on the individual design elements themselves. And it is in our nature to love balanced designs because they keep the amount of  information that our brains need to process to a minimum. By picking up a pattern, we are able to process the individual elements faster. Since we are easily able to understand symmetrical spaces, we often think of them as more aesthetically pleasing.

Perception of space

In the world of interior design, space is an actuality as well as perception and while it is easy to gauge and judge and perceive physical space, creating the illusion of one is far trickier.

Interior designers have been using a concept called perception of space for decades to make home’s appear more spacious and to make sure that rooms are as user-friendly as possible. This involves choosing furniture that is scaled to size and slimmer, placing a large mirror on the back wall, and creating depth with wall hangings. Also the biggest space creator is a clutter-free room, with high ceilings and the absence of walls that restrict the eye movement.

Another way to create the illusion of space is to bring the outdoors in, by either creating French windows or having a glass fronted balcony that again does not restrict the outdoor view. Thick curtains or blackout shades also tend to make the room look smaller, go for lighter window treatments such as sheers and lace.

Source: Property Weekly


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