May 31, 2023

The Psychology of Interior Design

2 min read

In the early 60s, the American behavioral researcher John B. Calhoun demonstrated, using his infamous Norway rat experiments, that overcrowding leads to a ‘behavioral sink’, where undesirable behaviors often arise from the stresses of highly dense populations. In the same decade, the proxemics theory rose to mainstream, citing a study where commuters in New York and New Jersey had elevated cortisol (stress hormones) levels when jam-packed in a commute to and from work.

This is an indicator that space is a premium among humans, even animals, and when left in a confined area with others steadily decreases their mood and cognitive performance. This is why, in an age of skyscrapers and increasing urban density, office furniture in Dubai and interior design must work in concert to create the ideal working environment.

Color is a mood-changer.

This is actually a branch of psychology called ‘color psychology,’ and it stems from how color can affect your mood, based on the 19th-century book Theory of Colors. While some shades are still under debate, most interior designers swear by these color choices and what they could impart you:

  • Red: this fiery color represents power, passion, and intimacy. This is used to ‘warm’ spaces up (such as in low-traffic rooms).
  • Green: is a soothing color, used to create an inviting vibe in the entry hallway or foyer or the reception area in offices.
  • Blue: a calming color, used in high-traffic spaces like the kitchen or pantry.
  • White: cleanliness, but white should be used to complement, not as the be-all, end-all. Too much white looks clinical, detached, and sterile.

Use the perception of space.

Interior designers use a trick called a ‘perception of space’ to trick the eye into viewing a certain space as how you want it. For example, for a tiny room, they would choose smaller furniture scaled to size, use mirrors unsparingly, paint their walls with bright colors, or use wall hangings to have an illusion of depth.

On the other hand, large spaces can become more intimate by using wood panelings, ambient lighting, and darker colors while grouping similar furniture together, such as office chairs in UAE.

Your choice of furniture reveals your personality.

According to Jean Baudrillard, an object that fills a space informs the viewer of its function, and a combination of these objects signifies the expression of the desires of the objects’ owner. In other words, how you choose your furniture and how you lay them out speaks volumes about who you are.

For example, a spotless, minimalist kitchen is probably more concerned with practicality and convenience, but someone with kids’ utensils and bold colors is more emotional and easygoing.

Your furniture is a big part of your space and, consequently, your mood. And mood is one of the most prized possessions you have as you work in your office.

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