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The Psychology of Interior Design

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Look around your living room and try to put into words how the design of your home makes you feel. Perhaps you’re not happy with that ugly painting you inherited from your grandparents, maybe you feel like the coffee table doesn’t suit the rest of your decor or you think that those curtains are starting to look a bit dated.

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The truth is that you probably aren’t totally sure why you are unhappy with the interior design of your home, and when you start trying to identify the cause of your dissatisfaction, you’ll start trying to find things wrong with certain elements of the room without actually understanding the true root of your misgivings.

 This is because the psychology of interior design actually works on a much subtler level, affecting your moods in ways that we don’t even realise is happening at the time.

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Colour

 When buying furniture or accessories for the home we often pay attention to colour in terms of whether it will fit in with the existing decor. However colour can have a much greater impact than just creating a theme.

 Although different colours mean different things to different cultures, as a general rule warm colours such as red, orange and yellow are stimulating, while cool colours such as blue and green are calming and soothing.

 With this in mind, you can decide on the colour scheme of each room based on its purpose – calm and soothing colours for the bedroom and bathroom where you want to relax; warmer colours for the dining and living room where you want to feel energised and spark sociable and communicative feelings.

 Why not paint your hallway red to give you an energy boost as you leave the house in the morning?

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Layout

 As the saying goes, a cluttered home leads to a cluttered mind, and it is this principle which is at the heart of good interior layout.

 As a species we can feel stifled if we don’t have the appropriate living space to move around in, while it is also important for sheer practicality to be able to move around without tripping over each other.

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Light

 You should never underestimate the power of lighting to shape our mood – in particular natural light. Studies have shown that a lack of natural light can lead to feeling more stressed, reduced

alertness levels and generally feeling more tired. Consider how much harder it is to wake up on a dark winter morning compared with a bright summer one.

 Although modern lighting may seem to create similar conditions to that of daylight, our brains can tell the difference on unperceivable levels, negatively affecting our moods and energy levels.

 With this in mind, the size and placement of windows is an essential consideration when you’re looking to buy a house, but if you aren’t moving home there are certain things you can do to make the most of what you have.

 Make sure you don’t obscure the windows at all with large pieces of furniture or bulky curtains, while mirrors are a great way of enhancing the natural light in a room.

 So the next time you are considering a redesign of your home try to take into account the principles of psychology rather than just what you think looks nice, as what your conscious brain thinks will work may not agree at all with your subconscious.

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 This guest blog was written by John Rooney on behalf of Hans Boma – stockists of stylish contemporary modern furniture.

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