As the nights draw in and we spend more time indoors, it’s important to make our homes our castles. The way we design the space around us can dramatically impact the way we feel and every selection of wallpaper or every choice of fabric can do something to our mood.
In fact, there’s a name for it – neuro-architecture. This is the study of how the body and brain respond to the built environment. In interiors, it’s how you apply shapes, colours and textures in the context of each room. There’s a link between interior design and mental health and by understanding the connection we can make our homes a whole lot happier.
If you suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or just experience low mood from time to time, here are some décor tips to transform your home into a happy, healthy sanctuary.
Dynamic displays of wildlife
Mural in photo: Beautifully Wild
One of the easiest ways to lift your mood with interior design is by injecting a sense of life into your home. Displays of animals and living things can re-establish a feeling of purpose and forge a connection with the outside world…even when you’re stuck indoors!
The best way to get ‘unstuck’ is to bring the outside wilderness, inside. We should never feel confined by our homes. Instead, our humble abodes can be a place of escapism as much as a trip to the park.
This tropical Beautifully Wild tiger wallpaper is the perfect example of how exotic displays of wildlife can make us feel rejuvenated, alive and totally free.
Happy, mood-enhancing wall colours
Mural in photo: Zen Leafage Rust
When it comes to choosing the right wallpaper colour, there’s a lot to think about. Are you easily stressed or dealing with anxiety? Calming hues such as pale blues, pastel pinks and soft greens could help to soothe you.
If your mood is low, vibrant and bright colours may be able to do the trick. With colour psychology and interiors, colours like yellow, orange and red can increase energy levels as well as feelings of happiness and optimism. Of course, it must be used in the right way and applied in moderation. A small room surrounded by red can be too much to deal with and yellow that’s too harsh will only lead to headaches.
Something bright yet gentle like this Zen Leafage Rust wallpaper makes a great feature wall. And if in doubt, coordinate with neutralising creams and off-white hues for light-reflecting balance.
Houseplants, houseplants, houseplants
If there’s one thing you can never have enough of, it’s houseplants. Not only are these beautiful creations of nature a joy to look at, but they’re an important part of the basic human drive – to nurture and be nurtured. Potted plants do exactly that. They need us to keep them pruned and watered, and in return they purify our air and remove all those nasty toxins.
It’s a relationship that never stops giving and it’s the perfect way to combine interior design and mental health. But you don’t have to just stick with live plants if you just enjoy looking at them. Faux and dried plants are set to be a huge interior trend in 2021, and they can add life and soul to your home in a similar way.
There’s nothing stopping you from creating an indoor garden with jungle-themed wallpaper either. Botanicals are everywhere right now and where better than our walls to create a stylishly on-trend shrine to Mother Nature?
Gentle geometric patterns
Mural in photo: Harmonis Waves
According to neuro-architecture, there are five pillars of home design. One of these relates to learning and memory, and shapes can directly impact how we absorb information. Patterns can be stimulating, soothing and intriguing, but gentle geometry is best if you want to create a relaxing space.
Pattern recognition is imperative to learning and repetition feeds into the human need for order. That’s why prints and patterns are loved across all of life’s important subcultures. Whether you’re addicted to prints on the catwalk or you just can’t get enough of the latest wallpaper patterns, geos are a great way to celebrate stability, harmony and symmetry.
Rounded furniture with smooth edges
In the same way that gentle geometric wallpaper patterns can bring uniformity and calm, furniture with soft-looking edges (rather than harsh squared-off edges) can help us feel comfortable. Did you know that there’s actually a vast amount of science behind this too? Our brains are conditioned to deem sharp objects as harmful. In real life, we see this in practice every day (think cautious mothers baby-proofing furniture corners).
So if you’re wondering why an elliptical chair with rounded wooden legs makes you smile, it’s your natural instincts at play. Rounded furniture gives off friendly and approachable vibes, and curves are pleasing to the eye.
Colourful artwork and murals
Mural in photo: Goten Yama Hill Shinagawa
It’s been a long time coming, but the healing power of art has finally been documented. Brain research (including from the likes of Harvard and Mayo Clinic) now confirm that the arts has a positive effect on mental wellbeing. So if you love a painting or two, don’t hold back with your home gallery.
Movement is just as important though. This is because a change in environment can help to improve your mood. So keeping your décor from becoming stagnate is the key to aligning good mental health and interior design practice. Switching up your art prints or installing a fresh art mural could make you feel like a whole new person.
While we have a full library of classical art, a trend to watch right now is oriental art, with stunning murals like the Goten Yama Hill Shinagawa being all the rage.
Your favourite books and trinkets
If you want to feel happy at home, you have to make it yours. A personal space should have all the things that make you smile. Books that you love to read over and over again, souvenirs (stylish ones) picked up from your travels, photographs of loved ones, and decorative items that make your heart sing.
Of course, there does need to be a balance of ‘things’ and clutter. So curate your items with care. Poet and textile designer, William Morris, once said: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” So if it’s neither of those things, it probably doesn’t deserve to be on display.
For an effortless bookcase effect that doesn’t take up valuable space in your home, take a look at our bookcase wallpaper collection.
We hope you enjoyed our post on home interior design and mental health! Let us know in the comments what type of décor keeps you happy and healthy. And don’t forget to share this with anyone you know who may find neuro-architecture and mood-lifting design tips helpful…