Decorate Your Home for Joy Using Design Psychology

What Is Design Psychology?

Design Psychology exceeds “traditional” interior design practice by considering the effects of design elements on our five senses, as well as our emotions. Rather than decorating to impress or to follow a certain style, you can choose specific lighting, color, patterns, and other design elements to support your happiness and well-being.

Design Psychology includes an understanding of both physiological and psychological effects of design elements. For instance, our pituitary gland releases tranquilizing hormones when we view sky blue. Knowledge of physiological effects of color can be applied to home decorating to make sure a room uplifts, calms, or energizes.

Our physiological reaction to aspects of design leads to our psychological response. We all know that a trickling waterfall not only looks pretty, but relaxes those nearby. But do you know that certain textures make you feel irritable, while others comfort? Or that undulating patterns uplift the spirit, while geometric patterns cause anxiety?

With an understanding of design psychology you can choose elements of vision, hearing, touch, smell, and even taste which bolster positive feelings and contribute to happy living.

How Do You Get Your Home Decorated and Furnished Right the First Time?

Using design details chosen to encourage joyful living is easy. First, learn about lighting — the most important factor in residential design. Next, use colors appropriate to the natural setting, lighting, and desired emotional response. Then think about reactions to patterns already in the space and add harmonious patterns based on nature; patterns proven to make people happy. Other design details in your home also come into play — sounds, accessories, furnishings and arrangements for comfort.

Once you understand the science of Design Psychology, you can follow your own inspiration and creatively employ design elements.

Just as master artists study the physical body and anatomy, your background knowledge in Design Psychology prepares you with underlying theory. The practice or application of design details in Design Psychology is the ART of Residential Design.

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

Feng Shui, Design Psychology and Bed Placement

I love Feng Shui! Whether you believe this ancient Asian design method is based on ancient wisdom or superstition, Feng Shui includes some valuable principles and is simply fun! Consider these Feng Shui rules:

– Don’t sleep with your feet facing the bedroom door.

– Place head of bed so that you can see the doorway.

– Don’t sleep next to the wall that has the meter box on it.

– Don’t place head of bed next to a bathroom wall.

So where do my husband and I put our bed according to these rules? In our bedroom with four walls, one wall is all closets, one wall backs up to the bathroom, one wall is all doors opening to the garden, and the last one (oh my!) has the meter box on it! Not to worry, Feng Shui has all kinds of rules to fix any problem, including using crystals and houseplants to counteract negative energy.

Design Psychology, based on years of scientific research, comes to some of the same conclusions that Feng Shui practitioners, based on years of experience, utilize. But Design Psychology boldly contradicts the Feng Shui rule that you can’t sleep with your feet facing the bedroom door.

Design Psychology creates rooms to support happiness and well-being. The bedroom, a personal space for refreshment and enjoyment, requires attention to details like the bed placement for comfort. As the main attraction, the bed is usually the focal point of the room. Therefore, position the headboard directly opposite the doorway up against a wall. This creates the visual expansion of the room and underscores the bed’s importance. A greater reason to place the bed so that it faces the doorway is for a feeling of security. People feel safe when they can easily see the door.

The bed represents the beginning and ending of life. In the past, people were conceived, born, and they died in the same bed. You spend more time in your bed than in any other piece of furniture. So, follow Feng Shui rules or Design Psychology principles and place your bed with the head facing the entrance of the room. Not only will this spot reinforce the bed’s significance in your design plan, you will feel comfortable and sleep well!

(c) Copyright 2005 Jeanette J. Fisher. All rights reserved.