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  • Writer's pictureSarah Pence

How is your design style affecting your mood?

The brain is such an interesting thing, friends. Our environment, whether natural or man-made, can have a profound affect on our emotions. There is an area of research in psychology called "embodied congnition" that explores the idea that the way in which we physically encounter the world is in sync with our frame of mind. Simply put, when it comes to interior design, a happier person is more likely to notice and find more pleasure in the colors, textures, and patterns of their surroundings than a person who is in a negative state of mind.

Design elements like lighting that can make us feel energized, paint colors that can make us feel calm, and textures that can make us feel comfortable and relaxed are all things we should be considering when we think of what we want to bring into our homes. Did you ever notice that the moment you crawl into bed and feel the soft sheets against your skin you feel instantly sleepy? [Side bar: If you don't, then try these!] Or when you cozy up on your couch beneath that super soft throw blanket to watch a movie and instantly feel completely relaxed? That's your brain connecting texture to mood. On the contrary, if you've ever stepped into a meeting room in an office for a big presentation, you've more than likely had a much more formal vibe and felt more alert in order to bring your "A game". That's no accident. Thats good design.

I'm sure you've heard people refer to modern design styles as "cold" or "sterile" feeling while others look at the same modern design style and feel instantly calmed by the clean lines and organized look and feel of the room. We all have a unique way of seeing the world. What triggers a sense of calm for one person may trigger emotions of chaos for another. This is where we in the design industry step in.

When I'm creating a design concept, I always ask "How do you want to feel when you walk into this space?". For example, if it's a living room and the client expresses wanting to have a feeling of calm, cozy, and inviting, I'm not going to suggest funky wall art, bright paint colors, and industrial style hardware. Soft items rarely have strong, hard lines so they tend to visually imply more of a relaxed flowing feeling. This is why I like to play with textured throw blankets, baskets, and throw pilllows to "soften" the space - especially if we are working with existing furniture items that come off as "cold" or "hard". If we are starting with a blank slate, I may suggest something like a velvet couch in a rich color (double whammy, yall - color AND texture!) or a fun ottoman. [You can find some beautiful options here!]

The take away: No matter what design style you prefer in your home, you can always make it feel more inviting and cozy by simply adding elements of texture! If you want more tips and help choosing fabrics and textiles to soften your space, let's connect! I'd love to help!


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