Mental health issues have long been the elephant in the room until recently when people and organisations around the world started to talk about the epidemic it has become. According to a survey by the NHS, 1 in 4 people in the UK is subject to a mental health problem annually. Pretty grim, we know… but what’s good is that, now, more people are open to dealing with the problem.
From relaxation apps to forums and social media, there are now plenty of platforms sufferers can use to fight it. Did you know that one other good avenue is interior design?
As for how you can optimise interior design to bring about positive benefits for the mind, you can begin with these steps.
Pay more attention to colour
Colour is a good place to start because there are hues that are, simply put, more calming than others. Blue and green, in particular, have been shown to ease most people’s anxieties. Who among us does not get relaxed by strolling through a park brimming with verdant greeneries or gazing at the immaculately azure ocean?
The same applies to rooms as far as its dominating hues are concerned. Naturally, those that incorporate lighter colours will help in reducing stress and anxiety.
Let the light in
Maximising on natural lighting has always been a preference. And, again, this really just hinges on the keyword “natural”. Anything that is associated with nature helps in human stress response and brings about positive feelings. It’s not for nothing why staying in a dark room has always reinforced depressive thoughts.
So, if anything’s blocking out the light (from needless walls to dark, thick curtains), by all means, remove them all. You don’t really need to invest time in learning more interior design theory to see the almost immediate positive effects it will bring about.
Because once you do, you free up more space. And, for most people, more space readily translates to happiness. Wide, open spaces evoke feelings of freedom, after all, while enclosed spaces cause the exact opposite. And if there is one factor that eats up space it’s furniture. So even if the room has adequate space, it might still have that claustrophobia-inducing effect that not a lot of people can put up with. This underscores the need to opt for minimalisation. Include only what is necessary and what the person loves – which brings us to one last element.
Designing interiors should never really depart from the owner’s subjective taste. Yes, most humans share elements that relax them or help them deal with stress better, as evidenced by the facts above. But, in the end, how the person feels about a room or space is what matters more.
Some may find the presence of plants to be more relaxing, for example, but this is definitely not the case for everyone. How high should the ceilings be? What are the objects that give you meaning or happiness? What do you find beautiful? These are but some of the personal questions that should be asked to help figure out how to make interior design more beneficial to mental health.
These factors, after all, directly affect one’s mood. And to surround oneself solely with them, minus those that don’t, is definitely one good step towards the right direction.