20 September 2021

Using Interior Spaces and Furniture Improve our Well Being

When we decide to choose furniture such as dining chairs to the colours we put on the wall, smart choices improve our well being and general health. To understand why this is, we have to understand how decorating works and how it affects our mood, and we have to look at what our homes mean to us.

An Englishman’s Home Is His Castle

If we consider what home is, it offers both shelter and protection. When you get home you feel safe and warm. This is the place where you bring up your family, and where you sleep.

Whereas in the past, your home may not have been decorated to the degree it is now, it still offered the qualities outlined above.

As the twentieth century unfolded, increasingly people wanted to personalise their homes. As such, furniture design, DIY, and decoration products became highly popular.

As well as having the means, choices can be influenced consciously and subconsciously. This is why we often see a canopy over a front door or a railing. This symbolises a barrier between our homes and the outside world. It is a psychological comfort and protection.

Not every design decision is designed to make us feel protected. Other mindfulness is at work with other decisions.

An Interesting Experiment

Google partnered with the Arts & Mind Lab at Johns Hopkins University where they experimented to assess the aesthetic impact of rooms. At the 2021 Salone del Mobile in Milan visitors were bands that tracked their physiological responses as they moved from room to room.

They were encouraged to fully engage with their surroundings and to remain quiet and avoid using their phones.

The results were interesting with around 50% feeling the calmest in rooms they were not attracted to visually. Ivy Ross, VP of Product Design at Google concluded that people have been approaching room design and décor too cognitively and they needed to get back to what feels good rather than what looks good.

Taking Control

Ivy Ross may have a point. When we decorate to our tastes often it is to create a feel rather than a look. If you feel good in your home you are more likely to feel protected and comfortable. This contrasts a room that may look amazing but feels a little cold or you simply can’t relax.

This makes furniture and décor choices important. It isn’t just how it looks and gels with the rest of its surroundings, it is also the feelings it generates. This also extends to the artwork you have on your walls. Some point out that often art that conjures childhood memories are the most comforting.


Some hospitals from around the world have started to employ interior designers and architects to make medical settings less institutional and clinical. Organisations such as Maggie have tried to make the clinical environment come across as more homely. This, they believe provides a better environment for healing.

So, when you come to make furniture and design choices, go with what feels right rather than what looks right. You won’t regret it.