Create a Space You Love: The psychology of interior design

 
A few works in progress. . .

A few works in progress. . .

 

Do you ever consider how a space makes you feel? It is where you host parties with your friends, it is where you shelter your children and loved ones, it is what surrounds you during life’s greatest, and sometimes worst, moments of your life. Does that space make you feel joy, inspired, or warm? Does it reduce your stress level?  Do you feel at home? It should reflect you and bring you peace, but does it? The science of environmental design isn’t anything new. It has been around for thousands of years. Think Feng Shui. Thanks to the wellness and mindfulness boom, scientists have been doing more and more research on the matter and have found very interesting results--design elements really do impact positive and negative emotional responses.

Have you ever heard of a Design Psychologist? Heck. Me either, but after doing some reading I think I might have need to add “go back to school for a psychology degree” on my To Do list because it sure does sound like a fun job. They design spaces to create a calm, peaceful, and stress free energy. Their art is based on ancient practices like Feng Shui. The practice is over 4,000 years old, so there must be some truth in it.

Interested!

Now I kinda wish I had paid more attention in that college psychology course.

My grandmother was always very particular about her home. Everything was always in its perfect place and displayed. Trinkets were here and there, scattered, but in perfect order. There was an entire room that was simply off limits. We never used it. I didn’t understand that. Still, I don’t. I am more function than display. But, I get that there is a tradition and this made her happy. I never put much thought into my space or into the things that filled my home. It was simply decoration, maybe because that is what I was used to seeing or simply the new trend.  It wasn’t until a couple of years ago I happened upon the idea of turning my space into an extension of myself. I wanted it to exude happiness, love, and stress free living. Maybe it was the wellness or self-care craze, maybe it was my maternal instinct coming out. I don’t know. I don’t care. All I know is that I want my space to make me feel happy. Who knew a wall color could invoke such emotion! It sure does. Imagine lavender walls. How would you feel? There are so many things in this life working against us, pushing us in directions we don’t want to do, forcing thoughts you don’t care to have, but I can control my home and how it makes me feel. It is my safe haven. It is my solace. It is my zen in this crazy, busy, life we live--if you design it that way.

While I certainly don’t plan on becoming a Feng Shui master, I do plan on learning the basics. Furniture placement, colors, elements--they all come together to create a space you love, if done correctly. Your space exudes an energy based on its design. Fill it with things you love or bring you joy. Maybe you are more familiar with Marie Kondo’s KonMari method?  Her work serves to satisfy a piece of Feng Shui. Tidying up; removing anything that does not invoke joy. What I am trying to accomplish is to create a space you love. If you love it all, by golly, keep it! If a piece serves no purpose to you, get rid of it! Most of all, bring intention to your design--create a space you love. In my case--plants and books. All the books! Oh, and, old southern charm.

Feng Shui is actually quite intimidating. Don’t believe me? Just look up a Bagua map. I knew that compass app would come in handy someday. I won’t get into it all right now, but this will get you started in the practice. Or, at least get you started on the path of creating a space you love.


Colors are important.

  • Yellow-sunny, nourishing, happy. Use these colors in living room, kitchens, or children’s rooms.

  • Red-passion, romance, courage. However, too much radiates anger. Use as an accent.

  • Green-Growth, health, vibrancy. Green encourages fresh energy. Bring on all the green!

  • Orange-Social, open, optimistic. Add a pop of orange to your space with an armchair.

  • White-Innocence, freshness, new beginnings.

  • Blue-calm, tranquility, peace. I use a light blue in my kitchen. Cooking does not bring me joy. I need as much good energy in this room as possible!

  • Gray-Clear, detached, neutral.

  • Purple-royal, mysterious, noble. The key is to use this color in moderation, however, as the energy can be over powering.

  • Pink-Gentle, soothing, loving. Do you need to soften the energy in a certain space? You can never go wrong with pink. Unfortunately, my husband does not agree. Little does he know I WILL incorporate pink in my office. *wink*

  • Black-unknown, infinite, absorbing. If you need to add a stronger energy to your space, add black. Think entryway or kitchen.

  • Brown-Strength, grounding, stability. Use this to increase a nourishing energy.


Personality and your possessions. Do the items in your home reflect you? Do they bring you joy. Think Marie Kondo here--keep the things you love. Remove the ones you don’t.

Entryway. Your entryway serves as a source of flow for nourishing energy. Create a welcoming space with a bouquet of flowers on a round table or a strong, vibrant rug. If you lack direct light, use a lamp to illuminate the area. Your front door is also very important. Is your door strong? Does it have broken pieces? Your front door should be clean, painted a color that reflects you, and free of any damages. Freshen her up! Ensure that any plants or bushes at your entry are trimmed and not obstructing the entry. Keep your entry tidy!

I encourage you to consider your space. How does it make you feel? If it does not produce a positive reaction maybe consider some of these Feng Shui basics. Come along with me on my path of learning Feng Shui. Subscribe to my blog and visit me on instragram @lauraebaize. Happy Sunday!