How interior design can improve your mental and physical health

Neuroscientists have discovered which interior design choices, from flooring to lighting, can help create homes that improve our mental health, decrease stress and fatigue, and even boost creativity


April 13, 2022

Leonie Bos

YOU might recognize the feeling of visiting a friend – the feeling that a space is good for you. It may be a feeling of deep relaxation, like leaving your worries at the door. Or you may have found the perfect office space that leaves you buzzing with creative ideas. Yet try to explain why you felt that way, or recreate those effects at home, and you fail.

According to the ancient Chinese practice of feng shui, there are rules for harmonious living that affect the flow of energy through your body, and many modern design gurus are taking a similar line, doling out advice in lifestyle magazines. and Instagram accounts. They give advice on room shape, furnishing materials, wall colors and book organization – it can make your home look good, but does it make you feel good?

While there’s nothing wrong with following your decorating instincts, there might be a better way to make design choices. A growing number of neuroscientists are collaborating with architects and interior designers. With carefully controlled experiments using objective physiological and psychological measures, they begin to systematically test the influence of design elements on the brain and body.

The work couldn’t be more timely. The rise of remote work means more time at home for many. Whether you want to improve your mood, lower your blood pressure, decrease bad habits, or ease the burden of dementia, this research can provide evidence-based strategies to optimize your living space for your physical and mental health.

The roots of this work lie in…

Betty K. Park