How Interior Design Affects Our Emotions

How Interior Design Affects Our Emotions

The elements that improve our interior living spaces can also improve our emotional well-being. Understanding basic human needs and applying that to design can create a living environment that makes us feel comfortable and at peace.

Interior Design & Emotions

Is there a correlation between interior design and emotions? Absolutely, yes!

Our well-being is directly impacted by our senses as we are visually, physically and mentally influenced by our surroundings. Therefore interior design by its very nature impacts our senses. That’s why environmental elements we choose can have a positive or negative effect on our feelings, emotions, and our overall sense of well-being.

In 1955, Guy Debord defined Psychogeography, a term used in architecture and urbanism with a strong application in interior design, as “the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behavior of individuals.”

In our Organic Contemporary Blog, we discuss not only trends but also creating a peaceful home where we can relax, enjoy irretrievable time with family, and renew our spirits for upcoming day. And applying psychogeography to design, it is necessary way to improve our clients well being.

Why Does Interior Design Affect Us?

Our brains! The reason interior design affects our emotions and behavior is that our brains are designed to respond to external stimuli. In fact, our brains are so powerful that they process some things that we may not actively be aware of due to perception. 

Perception is defined as the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses. It informs us about the external world, the smells, sounds, sensations, and visual cues. And it colors our internal world, how we feel based on that stimulation. But perception is a subjective reflection of objective reality in our consciousness.

The sensations we feel as a result of our perceptions are the basic material for more complex thinking, feeling, memory, etc. Said more simply, our surroundings can influence our thoughts, mood, and feelings, all of which impact our behavior.

How Does Our Environment Impact Our Sense of Self and Human Needs?

Personal Territory and Privacy

Everyone has a different sense of personal space. And concepts such as the need for privacy and the amount of personal space required for comfort are shaped by our cultural backgrounds and life experiences.

Privacy is a complex but basic human need. But it is part of our physical and psychological health, self-identity, and emotional well-being. The reason privacy is needed for survival is that it gives us an opportunity to release stress and refill our emotional reservoir. 

Personal space needs stem from our culture, upbringing, and personality. While for some, distance is essential, others crave proximity and contact. This influences our preferences and relationships with certain spaces, settings, and belongings. And it explains why we may feel creative and autonomous in one setting, cramped in another, and safe and comfortable in yet another.

The end goal of the personalization of our living space through interior design is an efficient space that meets the individual or collective needs for space and privacy.


People have an inherent need to connect to nature. Therefore it’s important to create a living environment that can facilitate a connection with nature. 

Adding living indoor fresh plants; having views of nature, including greenery or the ocean; or even using natural materials can make a difference. 

Creating an indoor sanctuary can be done by balancing combinations of wood, crystals and stones, metals, fountains and water features, and candles and lighting. In fact, these elements are part of the Chinese 5 Feng Shui Elements (Wood, Earth, Metal, Fire, and Water) that are historically proven to have a long-term positive effect on human beings. Though they add to the “to-do list” for today’s norms in ergonomy and space planning, they have a solid reason for belonging there. 

Other benefits of affiliating with nature include reduced mental fatigue and lowered stress levels, enhanced productivity, improved cognitivism, and even reduced muscle tension!

One of the most important and “new” trends is “Biophilia,” which means appreciation for other natural forms of living. It’s often used in modern architecture, mostly in commercial spaces, to immerse the space in nature and create a retreat in a workspace where one can feel less stressed, and more productive.

Read more about implementing natural materials into your home, where we cover beautiful stones and even unique organic materials such as mycelium (mushroom fungus) and sea salt.

A Good Design

Given that we are strongly influenced by the features of our environment, it’s important to understand the design elements that achieve a pleasing sense of home, that make us feel comfortable and at ease. Let’s look at a few elements that are essential for a good design. 

A Sense of Harmony

You have to think about your home as an entire living environment. The individual spaces are linked together to create the whole picture of what you consider home. For that reason, it is helpful to have a common style or theme that is present in each space. 

Your design elements don’t have to be the same, but they should work together to create a composition that pleases your senses. For example, you might choose several colors and materials that can be used throughout the home. 


It’s also important to create a sense of balance. What that means is that you want to have an equal distribution of the visual elements present in a room. That balance can be symmetrical, asymmetrical, or radial. 

Symmetrical balance involves using identical or similar objects that are positioned opposite of one another. You have a candle on one side of the sofa and another one on the other side. That’s symmetrical. Symmetry is pleasing to all organisms because scientists believe it affects an organism’s perception of beauty; the more symmetrical, the more beautiful an organism is perceived to be. 

Asymmetrical balance is achieved by having objects that are dissimilar but which have an equal visual weight distributed throughout the space. The distribution typically appears more casual, though it is often more difficult to achieve. Asymmetry is pleasing because it suggests movement and helps create a more lively interior. The asymmetry leads your eye around the room as you take in each object. 

Radial symmetry is achieved when you arrange the design elements in a space around a center point. For example, you could use a spiral staircase as a central point around which you place various design elements. Again, you can use those design elements to suggest movement radiating out from the central point. 

Focal Points

Well-designed spaces always have one or more focal points. These are dominant features that draw the attention and encourage the viewer to explore more of the space. A focal point is something that should be interesting enough to create a strong impression, but it should also be integrated with the whole design so that it blends seamlessly with the other elements. A fireplace is a great example of a focal point in a room. 

Sensual Stimulation

Finally, a good design will stimulate all 5 senses, and by doing so, it creates strong, lasting memories. You want your living environment to engage every single one of your physical senses, and in doing so, it can create a particular mood or feel. 

It’s important to remember that good design is not just about creativity, it also has to solve problems, allow for ease of movement, and tangibly connect with your individual needs and desires by engaging all of your senses to create a vivid and memorable experience. 


Check out this post on Living Environments and the 5 Senses to learn just how important sensual stimulation is to creating a healthy, happy living space where you can feel at home. 


A glimpse into my interior design journey, providing a behind-the-scenes look at our projects, insights into design trends, and exciting discoveries from events like Salone del Mobile in Milan and Maison & Objet in Paris, where I source inspirations for our projects.