How our surrounds affect our mood and why it matters
We spend hours upon hours indoors; at home, in the office, at a restaurant, at the grocery store, at the densest, the list goes on and on. Do you have a different feeling when you enter any of these places? Does your mood change when you get to the office? Does it feel different or the same when you go to the grocery store? There's more to it than just location.
For example: Let's say you would like to go to a restaurant. You have narrowed it down to 2. Option A looks like the image below:
Option B follows:
Do you have a different feeling toward each of these restaurants? Do you feel that one will have better service or better tasting food? Or maybe you feel like one is more in your price range and the other is for special occasions.
In reality both of these restaurants have amazing food, great service and their price points are compatible. (I speak from experience, both are wonderful!)
Design Factors That Come into Play
There are multiple design factors that affect our mood in a space. They include, lighting, color, and use of space.
Lighting plays an important role in how we feel in a space. As humans we thrive in natural light. We will feel most comfortable when we have clear views to the outside world. Large windows or any windows that let in sun light is a great mood booster!
When you can't get the natural light we crave your next best thing is layers of light. LED's have come a long way and are no longer just in the blue spectrum. When looking for light bulbs is best to try and mimic the color of natural light, or even slightly warmer. 4000 Kelvin to 6000 Kelvin is a great range. LED or incandescent lights are a good second option when it comes to light source. Layers of light is also great. Light from above and also eye level or even a bit lower with floor lamps and table lamps create a great light spectrum that we feel welcome in.
One reason we may not feel our best at the office or a commercial space is the type of light. More often than not the lighting is fluorescent. This type of light source can lead to headaches and eye strain when exposed for long periods of time.
Color is a huge deal! There is so much psychology behind color and how it makes a feel. Let's take a look at a few different colors.
Reminds us of natural elements like the sky, or ocean helping to bring a more calming energy in the psychology of interior design. When used correctly blue can also help you be more productive, and may even cub your appetite.
Another color of nature. When you think of being outdoors most often you think of green trees, grass, flowers. The color green is thought to evoke a sense of stability, and calmness.
Pure, bright, and clean. White is great for spaces like the dentist office because it is bright and clean. However you don't want to live in a dentist office, too much white in your home will feel too sterile and you will not feel comfortable. Remember to use pure, bright whites sparingly. When selecting white for you walls look toward the warmer spectrum. (if you need help selecting a white paint head to our blog post here).
Associated with energy, power, and love. Too much red can feel a bit intimidating and may even make you feel angry. Deep dark reds however feel warm and inviting. Paired with yellow red may even increase your appetite. (Ever wonder why so many fast food chains are designed with yellow and red?)
May seem like a depressing color choice for an interior, but dark rooms are trending and when done correctly can feel very cozy and inviting. When using black its is key to keep in mind how much natural light and accent light you get in your space. Using black incorrectly may turn your room into a black hole, and will not feel welcoming.
Might seem overly corporate or boring, gray can be calming. Just make sure you balance it out with other neutral colors. There are 100's if not 1000's shades of gray. Chances are there is the perfect one out there for you, that will feel welcoming and calming.
Use of Space
Use of space is crucial to us feeling comfortable in a space. If the space is too large and lacks furniture or decor on the walls, or even different textures thought the space we may feel a sense of loneliness. However if a space is too small or has too much furniture or decor we may feel claustrophobic. Interior designers study floor plans and space planing (where furniture goes). Knowing how to layout spaces with walls and furniture can be a bit of a puzzle, and takes practice as well as patience.
Maximalism vs Minimalism
If we are going to spend a large chuck of our lives indoors we should make sure we are comfortable! We should be strategic about what colors we surround ourselves with as well as be conscious about the type of light we are exposed to in our homes and places of work.