Implementing certain interior design tips can have a positive effect on your emotional state and even help you cope with depression.
But before we list our feel-good interior design tips and ideas, let’s talk about depression. We thankfully live in an age where depression is being taken seriously as an illness. Gone are the days where the default answer was to, “Suck it up and deal with it.”
Today, people are acknowledging depression as the serious, debilitating condition that it is. People suffering from depression have more resources to get help and more coping mechanisms than ever before. It’s a trend that I hope continues for a long time to come.
However, while there have been plenty of strategies developed for people to address the internal causes of depression, there hasn’t been as much said about passive, external stimuli.
In particular, one key area that has been seldom addressed extensively is the environment that people deal with every single day: their own home. In this post, we’ll explore how home decor affects a person struggling with depression.
We will also offer some interior design tips to help you decorate in a way that helps you feel happier.
Gauge Your Space First
Since the perceived size of a home can have a huge impact on a person’s state of mind, especially if they have depression, this is an aspect you can’t afford to overlook.
How Space Influences Emotion
When we talk about space within a home, there are two psychological elements that come into play: freedom and constraint. Think about the last time you walked into a room you’d never seen before. Was there plenty of room to maneuver? Did you feel like you might bump your head because the ceiling was so low? Did you feel comfortable or distressed?
Odds are, if the room was large and open, you probably felt more comfortable than if it was more cramped. We tend to associate openness with freedom. When we have more room to move, we feel unbound and more optimistic.
By contrast, a smaller space can lead to impressions of constraint, putting us on edge because we don’t have room to maneuver. This effect isn’t limited to just how we feel in our immediate setting but can also extend to how we react to different situations, as a study by two psychologists at Yale revealed.
Bigger Usually Means Better
The conclusion we can draw from this is that people with depression need a bigger space to live in. You’re probably well aware of how easy it is to succumb to anxiety, and a cramped space will only compound those feelings.
If you’re in a position where you’re looking for a new home, try to find a house or apartment with at least one big room. You can use this room as a safe space and set it up to make you feel completely comfortable. If you’re stuck where you’re at now, try to devote the largest room in your home to this purpose.
Achieving Balance with How Much You Have
One caveat to space is that no matter how big your room is if it’s filled to the brim with clutter, you lose the uplifting effect a larger space can provide. Conversely, if you leave your space completely empty, you risk injecting a sense of loneliness.
This is the last thing a person suffering from depression needs. For your safe space, there’s a balance that you need to achieve between how big your space is, how many items you have in it, and where you put them.
Striking the Perfect Balance
First and foremost, no matter what interior design tips you have already implemented and however many decor items you have in a room, it’s essential that they’re organized in a way that’s calming for you.
For most people, that means similar items perfectly arranged in a deliberate fashion. For more artistic types, however, a little bit of unorthodox placement can feel inspiring and creative. That part depends on you.
As far as how many decor items you need, that depends on you. There’s no single solution that will fit everyone. To figure out if you have the perfect amount of decor, when you walk in your room, ask yourselves these questions:
- Does the room feel cluttered?
- Does it feel empty?
- Do I have to dodge pieces just to sit down?
- Would rearranging the room become an all-day affair?
If you answer yes to any of the above questions, you haven’t struck your balance yet. Continue adjusting until you can confidently answer no to each question.
Colors – Patterns – Emotions
Interior designers and decorators have always known the importance colors and patterns have in establishing a certain mood. Even if you have no idea about interior design tips and rules, you know what your preferred colors are, even if you don’t know why.
To help cope with depression, it’s important that you choose colors that help set you the most at ease.
What Effects do Different Colors Have?
In the home decor world, there are two primary types of colors that people work with: cool colors and warm colors.
Cool colors, like green and purple, tend to make people feel “cooler,” as the name implies. They can be useful for helping to foster a sense of carefreeness and relaxation.
Warm colors, such as red and yellow, have the opposite effect. They can foster feelings of energy, passion, or excitement, leaving you feeling warm.
Either type of colors can help you feel more comfortable and ease your anxiety. Your best bet to find the colors that achieve this for you is to look at color samples, either on the web or in your hardware store’s pain aisle.
How Do Patterns Come Into Play?
Patterns play just as important a role in your design scheme as your colors. There are thousands of pattern variants available, so how do you know which one works the best? Again, the decision ultimately comes down to what makes you feel the most comfortable. However, there are a few interior design tips I can offer to point you in the right direction.
Usually, the simpler and more repetitive a pattern is, the more relaxed it will make you feel. Patterns based on simple shapes, like diamonds or ovals, and arranged in a predictable manner create a sense of order.
For people with depression, these styles of patterns can help you feel as though there’s both rhyme and reason in the world. Each of the shapes has their assigned place in the design, just like you do. It can help keep a sense of chaos or meaninglessness at bay.
When you choose your pillows, rugs, and other decor items, I’d recommend you look for patterns that foster a sense of order.
Tying All These Interior Design Tips Together
Whatever design choices you make, remember: your design should make you feel comfortable and it should make you feel happy. Keep in mind the interior design tips and the principles we’ve talked about regarding space, arrangement, colors, and patterns, but don’t be afraid to inject your own personality as well!
The worst thing that a person with depression can do is keep everything bottled up inside. By creating a living space that puts you at ease and speaks to who you are, you’ll find that you wake up each morning feeling happier, healthier, and able to face the day with hope for the future!