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Psychology Behind Interior Design: How Room Aesthetics Can Affect Your Mood

Psychology Behind Interior Design: How Room Aesthetics Can Affect Your Mood

The correlation between interior design and mental health is undeniable; people's surroundings can influence emotions and overall well-being.

August 5th, 2023

The correlation between interior design and mental health is undeniable; people's surroundings can influence emotions and overall well-being. According to the Social Science Research Network, office workers feel more productive in well-organized workspaces.

A thoughtfully arranged commercial interior design can lead to a better performance and mood among employees, ultimately improving productivity and KPIs. Besides, it can also leave a lasting impression on consumers and encourage them to visit retail and hospitality establishments more frequently.

This article explains the influence of interior design on mental health, and provides practical tips on improving work environment and consumer experience in commercial property. Read on!

3 interior design aspects that affect mental health

From a neurophysiological perspective, humans thrive better in nature. At the same time, intense color tones, artificial materials, cramped spaces, and excessive noise aren't native to the natural environment. As a result, to drive efficiency and add a positive tone to your commercial property, it's essential to use natural motifs and hues in the interior design.

#1 Colors and lighting

It's scientifically proven that colors drive specific emotions, moods, and behaviors. They can even influence people's blood pressure and heart rate. Natural light is vital since it supplies human bodies with vitamin D and aids in reducing the risk of various health conditions, including depression.

Let's explore how specific color palettes and lighting conditions in interior designs can improve people's moods and influence purchasing behavior.

Basic color palettes

Primary colors are fundamental hues that can be mixed to get any shade. They are used in designing commercial spaces since they can significantly change consumers' perceptions of products.

  • White—considered a symbol of purity; white can help clear your mind and create a sense of simplicity. This color can be used for spa centers or businesses aimed to deliver relaxation.
  • Black—represents a sense of control over emotions. When mixed with light shades, it can be used in offices to help employees tune into work.
  • Red—symbolizes energy and impulsivity. You can use this color to engage consumers in fast-paced shopping. Red also increases appetite, so quick-service restaurants like KFC and McDonald's utilize this hue in their interior designs.
  • Yellow—radiates warmth, evokes joy, and creates a cheerful atmosphere, making it ideal for commercial spaces aiming to uplift and energize visitors. In retail, yellow attracts attention and encourages browsing, enhancing customer engagement and creating a lively shopping experience.
  • Blue—often associated with calmness and tranquility, this shade can have a soothing effect on people's minds. It's an excellent choice for spaces of relaxation, such as spas or well-being centers. Blue can also be used in offices to foster focus and productivity.

Pastel color palettes

What are pastel colors? And how can they impact people's moods? These colors deliver calmness, tranquility, and sophistication. The pastel color wheel is formed from soft shades, hues, and tints. It includes primary colors, each boasting its unique tone and subtlety, ranging from gentle pinks, blues, and yellows to soothing purples, greens, and oranges.

In commercial interior designs, you can use pastel shades to:

  • Create a sense of calmness, making visitors and workers feel more at ease;
  • Deliver a welcoming ambiance that motivates consumers to explore your products;
  • Foster an innovative and inspiring atmosphere in offices;
  • Prevent visual overload by providing a gentle contrast to bold architectural elements or patterns.

To drive your inspiration using these sophisticated hues, explore aesthetic pastel color HEX codes like #D6B8FF (Lavender), #FDC1C5 (Pale Pink), and #D3D3D3 (Light Gray).

Natural light

In everyday life, people are deprived of natural light due to prolonged staying indoors, while excessive exposure to artificial blue light from electronic devices has become commonplace, also leading to visual impairment. Natural light can improve mood, increase productivity, and help maintain overall health.

Moreover, lighting conditions can influence consumer purchasing behavior. By providing your customers with favorable lighting conditions, you can trigger positive behavioral responses, such as spending more time in the store, returning, and making purchases.

Here are some scientifically proven tips to enhance your office and retail atmosphere with proper lighting conditions:

  • Incorporate natural light whenever possible. This will allow you to create an energizing atmosphere;
  • Use light with different temperatures depending on the zone. Warm color temperatures deliver a cozy atmosphere, while cool color temperatures promote productivity;
  • Install dimming controls for artificial lighting to adjust brightness levels based on the time of day, specific activities, or mood requirements;
  • Use lighting to define different zones within the space, such as entrance areas, product displays, and checkout counters.

#2 Space clutter and organization

People feel stressed in packed spaces, which greatly affects their well-being and can sometimes cause depression. For instance, a cluttered and disorganized living or work environment can lead to reduced focus and feeling overwhelmed.

In retail stores, cluttered spaces cause visual overload in customers. Thus, it's challenging for them to focus on specific items. At the same time, a well-organized and visually appealing retail space can enhance the overall shopping experience, attract customer attention, and encourage them to explore products more effectively.

#3 Natural and biophilic design elements

In today's world, people spend approximately 90% of their time indoors, which is an unnatural evolutionary phenomenon that leads to poor health and increased stress levels. And biophilic design is an effective solution to this tendency.

It's a special approach to interior design that emphasizes the human connection to nature by incorporating plants, water features, minerals, and ample light into indoor spaces. Based on scientific research, biophilic design can lead to lower blood pressure and heart rate, which results in heightened mental engagement, increased happiness, and reduced risk of depression.

The Oliver Health Design agency offers some remarkable statistics supporting the implementation of biophilic design in commercial spaces:

  • In office spaces, productivity can be increased by up to 8%, and well-being rates can go up by 13%. This also significantly boosts creativity.
  • In planted and landscaped retail spaces, customers have demonstrated their willingness to pay 8–12% more for goods and services.

How interior decorations help improve mental health and overcome depression

Therapeutic offices pay great attention to patient surroundings, which is not coincidental. According to research by environmental psychologist Ann. S Devlin and urban planning researcher Jack L. Nasar, people feel more relaxed when seeing comfortable chairs, soft pillows, artwork, and neatness in psychiatry office decor. This positively affects the therapy's success. The same applies to non-psychiatry individuals, affecting their mood and well-being.

To inspire and uplift office workers or retail visitors with captivating decorations, consider incorporating the following options:

  1. Art pieces, such as paintings or sculptures, can evoke positive emotions and add a touch of aesthetic appeal to an environment, fostering a sense of creativity and inspiration.
  2. Aromatherapy diffusers with essential oils can create a soothing atmosphere, promoting relaxation and reducing individual stress levels.
  3. Mindfulness corners can offer a tranquil space to unwind and practice mindfulness techniques, enhancing focus and mental clarity.
  4. Mood lights can be strategically used to influence people's behavior and create a particular ambiance, whether it's to energize, relax, or enhance concentration.
  5. Greenery, such as plants and indoor gardens, can infuse a space with a sense of nature. This improves air quality and overall ambiance while fostering a connection to the outdoors and promoting well-being.

Wrapping up

Interior design significantly impacts mental health and business performance. Thoughtful design choices like color palettes, lighting, and biophilic elements can influence emotions, productivity, and purchasing behavior. Besides, incorporating nature-inspired elements and strategic interior decorations can foster relaxation, reduce stress, and enhance well-being. By creating inviting and inspiring environments, you can improve employee satisfaction, creativity, and customer experiences.

Laura Bartlett

Laura Bartlett

Northern girl Laura is the epitome of a true entrepreneur. Laura’s spirit for adventure and passion for people blaze through House of Coco. She founded House of Coco in 2014 and has grown it in to an internationally recognised brand whilst having a lot of fun along the way. Travel is in her DNA and she is a true visionary and a global citizen.