What is Design Psychology and How Will it Help Me?

In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the most basic aspects of Design Psychology, first asking a question, and then addressing the various concepts, in abbreviated form.

“I wish I had learned all this before we bought our first house 25 years ago, and before we had our children. Not only would our homes be more harmonious, but so would our lives together. It’s amazing to learn how colors, lighting, sounds, and patterns affect us so deeply.”

-Angela Pederson, Palm Desert, California

What are the basic fundamentals of Design Psychology?

  • Lighting & our psychological responses to light
  • Color & psychology
  • Patterns & reactions
  • Textures & the sense of touch
  • Scale & human response
  • Styles, themes & desirable effects
  • Ethnic traditions & the importance of heritage
  • Furniture & arrangement for human comfort
  • Sounds & repercussions
  • Scents & sentiments
  • Embellishments & emotional undercurrents

How can Design Psychology help me?

It can help you:

  • Select from the mass confusion of home furnishings.
  • Decorate your home right the FIRST time.
  • Save time, effort, and money.
  • Find out which colors, patterns, furniture, and accessories support happy feelings.
  • Learn about lighting and color psychology, and the underlying emotional effects of your home’s design details.

Discover how Mother Nature can guide your home decorating, to create an environment that’s perfect for your emotional needs.

What Design Psychology ideas could I use to best create an environment that would support my emotions?

Lighting is the crucial design element for happiness.

Using Color Psychology without fear supports joyful living.

Happy warm colors need cooling balance, in order to maintain harmony.

Color, when used as a background, needs to flatter individuals.

All of your senses should be considered when creating your Overall Design Plan.

There you have it; Design Psychology in a nutshell. The concepts are unique and powerful, and can help you create a home that’s perfect for joyful living.

(c) Copyright 2004, Jeanette J. Fisher. All rights reserved.

An Interview with Design Psychology Expert Jeanette Fisher

Interview with Jeanette Fisher by Gary Anderson, of www.abciowa.com

GA: Jeanette, just what is Design Psychology?

JJF: Simply put, Design Psychology empowers you to create a fabulous home that sustains your emotions, using techniques based on science. Design Psychology turns spaces into happy places.

GA: How is Design Psychology different from “traditional” interior design?

JJF: Our senses react to many other factors besides those of basic interior design, even though those factors can profoundly affect our emotions and happiness. Design Psychology addresses elements that interior design doesn’t take into consideration.

GA: What’s the difference between Design Psychology and Feng Shui?

JJF: The two concepts are compatible, and homeowners can use both Feng Shui and Design Psychology to enhance their homes. However, I believe that Design Psychology is superior to Feng Shui, because Feng Shui is based on superstition, while Design Psychology draws its concepts from science.

GA: How did you discover Design Psychology?

JJF: In 1985, my husband and I purchased an 1878 Queen Anne Victorian and began a major renovation. After tearing everything out of the kitchen, all the way down to the dirt, we rebuilt the entire space, using concepts I’d learned while studying interior design in college. But when we were done, it FELT all wrong! So, I went to the University of Florida Architectural Library and began a fifteen-year search to learn about how design details influence our emotions.

GA: How do you use Design Psychology to increase your profits as a real estate investor?

JJF: We create an Overall Design Plan, based on our target market and selling season. By using particular colors, patterns, props, and staging methods, we’re able to sell our homes in as little as three hours, and for thousands more than our competition.

GA: Do you use landscape as part of your overall Design Plan?

JJF: We certainly do! We start with the emotions and feelings we want to bring into a space, and over the years, we’ve come to realize that Mother Nature knows best about blending light, shadows, colors, patterns, textures, and form. So we always choose our design details to support our buyers’ emotions, based on ideas inspired by the greatest Design Psychologist of them all, Mother Earth.

GA: Do you have any final thoughts for folks who may not be familiar with Design Psychology?

JJF: After going through a major renovation fiasco, I discovered that all of our senses react to the design choices we make. Picking the wrong color and pattern in a wallpaper, fabric, or paint will negatively impact our senses. But if you take a little extra time to avoid design mistakes, you’ll save time, hard work, and MONEY, which will all have a profound effect on your bottom line at closing time!

(c) Copyright 2004, Jeanette J. Fisher and Gary Anderson. All rights reserved.

Design Psychology: Fabrics

From a riot of color in bold chintzes to the gentle rustle of taffeta, fabrics influence our mental attitude in many subtle and not so subtle ways. Playful patterns make us smile, while mixing prints and solids can present a paradox of dynamic energy. No matter which effect you’re looking for, you’ll want to choose the right fabric colors, patterns, and textures to reflect your interior design plan.

Emotional Factors

Fabrics make impressions on all of our senses. For instance, tactile pleasure is strongly reinforced by the softness of fabrics. The touch of a fabric suggests wealth (silk), formality (damask), or informality (burlap). Our hearing is enhanced in rooms with an abundance of noise-absorbing fabrics. The colors and textures of fabric affect our sight, and some fabrics also influence our sense of smell, offering scents that may be pleasurable, cooling, or annoying. Fabric colors even modify our perceived sense of taste.

Fiber and Texture

Fiber is what gives substance and texture to fabric, and may include such things as reeds, grasses, animal hair, or even plant seeds. When shopping for any type of woven fabric, look for a high thread count for softness and durability.

Wool is the environmentally-favored choice for carpeting. It’s natural, renewable, fire and soil resistant, and long-wearing. For furniture upholstery and window coverings, cotton is the natural fabric of choice.

Fabrics also reinforce the degree of formality in a room. Rough-textured fabrics say “picnics,” while soft textures whisper “formal dinners.” Cotton damask, toile (sheer linen and silk cloth), chintz (which is never out of style, just out of popularity from time to time), and soft chenille speak of formal, traditional spaces.

Regardless of the look and feel you’re seeking for your home, the careful use of fabric textures, colors, and patterns should be a large part of your overall design plan.

Copyright c. 2014 Jeanette J. Fisher. All Rights Reserved.