7 Interior Design Tips to Improve Your SpaceJuly 21, 2022
Interior design is more than just arranging furniture and putting pictures on the walls. Studies have shown that the way our spaces are designed can have an impact on our mental well-being. This is not a new idea, either; from traditional Chinese Feng Shui practitioners thousands of years ago to modern psychologists, many people understand the benefits of spatial design for well-being.
How you design your space can relieve stress and anxiety while promoting focus and productivity. Putting in extra effort to curate your space is conducive to your happiness, whether just a simple coat of paint and some new furniture or adding better climate control with a Mitsubishi AC unit.
Discover some tips to make your space better, homier, and perfect for your lifestyle.
1. Consider the Space’s Size
The size of your space is probably the most critical design metric and will inform all your interior design decisions. A small room overfilled with furniture can feel claustrophobic, just as a large room with no furniture can feel sparse and uninviting.
There is no hard rule about how many pieces of furniture belong in each room size, but you should consider two main ideas. First, less is more. It is far better to have fewer pieces of furniture than too many; you can always add more later.
Second, when arranging your furniture, allow for foot traffic. When moving around your room, you should be able to pass between pieces of furniture easily without moving or brushing up against anything.
2. Think About the Space’s Function
Before planning any space improvements, consider what it will be used for and how the improvements will enhance or inhibit that function. For example, adding an armchair to a home office improves the function, but it may obstruct foot traffic in a kitchen. An air conditioner would not affect a bathroom, but a Mitsubishi mini split could make a bedroom much more comfortable.
When you think of adding an object, moving things around, or restyling, consider its impact on the room’s function and make design adjustments.
3. Choose Ambient Lighting
Architects and interior designers have long understood the connection between light and mood, and modern neuroscience backs them up. Our bodies have a natural light-dark cycle called a circadian rhythm. Proper lighting in a room can affect this rhythm both positively and negatively. Adding or subtracting lighting in a room will change how you feel in that room.
The science behind lighting and its effect on mood is complex but, broadly speaking, bright light intensifies feelings and low light calms them. The temperature (color tone) of light also alters your mood, with warmer light making you feel welcomed and relaxed and cold light boosting productivity and focus.
Consider what you will use the room for and how light might help or impede that activity. Choose the lighting for the activity you want to do; brighter colder lights for work and warmer dimmer lights for relaxation.
4. Add a Splash of Color
Changing a room’s wall color is one of the most effortless design changes to make to a space. When choosing a color, consider the space’s color scheme as a holistic design, not one of several parts. Create a color palette for the walls, furniture, and all accent pieces. Make sure everything coordinates and the colors complement each other.
Try to pick one item like a large piece of furniture such as a sofa or desk, and match all primary and accent colors to that piece. If another smaller piece of furniture doesn’t fit, you can swap it out for something that does.
5. Create a Focal Point
A room’s design can play with human perception. A focal point draws the eye and causes your brain to alter your understanding of distance, shape, and size. This focal point can be one of several things, including a rug, a piece of art or a painting, or a central piece of furniture.
Rooms without a focal point can feel unorganized and awkward. A central focus gives balance to a room and will make it feel more inviting and more comfortable. A focal point can also be a statement piece. If you have a passion for a certain type of artwork or a sofa that is particularly beautiful, make it your focal point and showcase it front and center.
6. Use Plants to Improve Air Quality
Adding plants is one of the best small changes you can make to any space. They filter the air, improve air circulation, and have been proven to positively affect your mental health.
Numerous plants thrive indoors but ensure that whatever plants you choose can live with the amount of sunlight the space receives. Plants may also need specific temperatures and humidity levels.
Pay special attention to your plant choice if you have children or pets. Some common houseplants can be harmful if ingested, and plants with spikes and spines like certain cacti can cause injury.
If you don’t have a green thumb, consider switching your AC unit for a ductless mini split like the Gree Flexx. Mini split systems don’t rely on ductwork, so there is no dust, mold, or microorganisms buildup. They also have HEPA filters to purify your air while heating and cooling your home.
7. Declutter and Organize
Clutter is often cited as a common cause of stress among those that work from home. Many people struggle to focus if their space has too many extraneous things or is not properly organized.
One of the best ways to improve your space is to minimize and organize. Remove as much as you can, leaving only bare essentials, packing away anything you don’t need at hand. Organize anything that remains for quick and convenient use.
Go through every item in your home room by room. Place items into one of three categories: keep, donate, and throw. Items you keep should be either essential for a functional home or hold deep sentimental value. Items you’ve outgrown or no longer meet your home’s stylistic and practical needs should be donated to Goodwill. Broken or damaged items that cannot be repaired should be recycled or thrown in the trash.
Once you’ve organized everything, you need to ensure that all the items you’re keeping have a place. Invest in stylish storage like a chest of drawers, hollow ottomans, or freestanding wardrobes to keep non-display items out of sight.
Improve Your Space, Improve Your Life
The spaces you inhabit affect your mood, productivity, and lifestyle. By designing and arranging your rooms well, you can maximize the positive benefits your home offers to create a place where you enjoy spending time.