How Interior Design Affects Our Mental Health

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When people think about interior design, they often picture the front cover of a magazine, featuring a lightly-coloured couch in a high ceiling room with lots of tastefully placed accent décor. While that may be true, there is a much deeper side to interior design that has a close relationship with mental health.

The Danish came up with the concept, Hygge, to refer to the pursuit of creating joy, coziness, and living in harmony with a space. Our homes are our safe space, it’s the place we go when we need to rest, block out the noise of the outside world, and it’s where we can truly be ourselves.

Interior designers do more than make a room look aesthetically pleasing, they can create a safe space where we can relax, de-stress, and be at peace. It’s an interior designer’s job to help create this feeling within a home, office, coffee shop, restaurant, store, etc.

The health of our mind and body is so important, and our team at Janks Design Group continues to work hard to design interior spaces that are beneficial to our well-being and mental health.

This article explores the relationship between interior design and mental health and how certain interior design elements can impact our well-being.


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Considering mental health while designing a space is extremely important, especially since many of us had to stay indoors for long periods of time due to COVID. A survey conducted in 2014 with 5,000 Canadians discovered that people spent 89% of their time indoors, most of which was at home. You also have to consider the winter months where the snow and cold weather can force people to stay inside for even longer.

While there are so many factors that can lead to poor mental health, people often don’t realize that the interior design of their space can be one of them. Due to the large amount of time we spend indoors, it’s necessary to think about how interior design can affect our mental health and to seek out ways we can improve our overall health through design.


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Interior design psychology is a branch within the field of environmental psychology that studies the interactions between people and their surroundings, whether that be natural or built environments. Interior design psychology studies how interior design directly affects the behaviour of people and works to create environments that positively impact people’s mental health and well-being.

Researchers believe that interior design has a direct impact on a person’s subconscious, emotions and perceptions. While this concept has gained more attention over the last few years, this concept has existed for thousands of years, examples are the concepts of Feng Shui originating from China and Vastu Shastra from India.


Artifex Studios, Vancouver BC / Design by JDG / Photo by Christine Pienaar
English Bay Dental, Vancouver BC / Design by JDG / Photo by Christine Pienaar

Colour is one of the most important elements in interior design and it is also one of the most impactful on our mental health. Colour can affect our mood, behaviour and emotion, and in turn, have an influence on our mental well-being.

Interior designers, architects and psychologists have all explored the psychology of colour, from how colour can improve workplace productivity to how different wall colours can affect our emotional state.

Most people associate colours with certain feelings already, for example, red is often associated with anger, while blue is commonly connected with a sense of peace and tranquillity. People also categorize colours depending on warmth or coolness, often referring to reds, yellows and oranges as warm, and greens, blues and purples as cool. In turn, this can invoke a feeling of warmth or coolness when around us.

Our team at JDG also knows that colour saturation and brightness can have an effect on one’s mental health when it comes to interior design. For example, paler blush pink is less saturated and brighter, making it more soothing than vibrant pink colour.

This is why it’s recommended to work with a professional interior designer when designing your space, whether that be residential or commercial, the designers at JDG are skilled in creating spaces that suit your needs without compromising your mental health.

Custom Home, Vancouver BC / Design by JDG / Photo by Christine Pienaar

More space has been linked to feelings of happiness and content. In particular, higher ceilings have been found to improve one’s mood and increase their creativity. However, you do not need a large space to create such a feeling.

JDG’s interior designers are experts at working with small spaces and transforming them to give the feeling of spaciousness while maintaining functionality. One of the techniques to create a more spacious design is to free up floor space. Remove anything unnecessary from the floor and instead utilize wall space to provide you with more room to move around.

It’s always important to avoid having clutter in your space, as clean, open rooms can facilitate better moods. This can be achieved with optimal furniture placement, organizational solutions, and the right lighting and colour palette.

Field and Social, Vancouver BC / Design by JDG / Photo by: Christine Pienaar

Sunlight is a proven mood-booster and is very valuable when it comes to interior design and mental health. A lack of sunlight can make people feel anxious and sad, which is a reason why seasonal depression is very common.

As we go into the winter months, we can experience feelings of tiredness, mood swings, and sadness more often, which is why it’s so important that we design our spaces to bring in as much sunlight as possible. Only using artificial light can affect your sleep patterns and reduce work productivity. When designing a space, our team of professionals at JDG can find creative ways to incorporate natural light.

AmorePacific Offices, Seoul / Design by KINZO / Photo by Schnepp Renou

Bringing elements of nature can elevate moods and decrease stress and anxiety. Biophilia refers to the bond that humans have with our natural environment, and the closer we are to it, the more our cognitive performance improves and our stress levels go down. Placing flowers, plants, organic materials, or other natural design elements in space comes with many benefits.

Interior design plays an instrumental role in our mental health as we spend so much time in the built environment, whether that be at home, school, work, or in the community. When designing the interior of your home or commercial space, you may not be able to recognize design elements that are negative to one’s mental health.

That’s why it’s better to put your trust in our interior design experts at Janks Design Group. With a strong understanding of the relationship between interior design and mental health, you can be assured that your space is optimized for a positive and stress-free atmosphere.

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