Room Psychology 101: How Your Set-Up Can Impact Your Mood

Wrapping your head around today’s current climate is a challenge in itself, pack on your new “work from home” norm and you’ve basically whipped up a recipe for disaster. There are several outside factors that impact your mood, and your home’s current setup could be one of them.

Normandy Designer Ashley Noethe holds a Bachelor’s in Interior and Environmental Design, making her an expert on how the space around you can positively or negatively impact your mental state. She uses this expertise when renovating her clients’ homes to either invoke certain emotions or influence particular behaviors.

There are a variety of factors that contribute to your state of mind. “Color is one of the most important elements to consider when designing a room,” says Ashley. “For example, you may love the color red but painting your entire office or bedroom red can have unintended consequences. In the spaces around us, red is used to evoke feelings of energy, excitement, or even anger, which when applied in a room designed for sleeping or work, can wreak havoc.”

Another element that impacts your mental state is natural light. “If your room has no windows or access to natural light, your productivity may be stunted as natural light keeps you energized and connected with nature,” Ashley states. “Especially in modern times where we are in our homes all day, you want to work in a room with natural light to avoid cabin fever. If your work space doesn’t allow for natural light, or worse, if it only features fluorescent lighting, try incorporating a desk lamp. Different types of lighting and light sources also combat your screen’s blue light, which in turn can relieve eye tension, and lift your mood.”

Physical organization is another element to consider when evaluating your work space. “Messier spaces, both physical and digital, can cause us to lose focus and lessen productivity; whereas neatly organized areas allow your brain to keep everything tidy and on task for whatever you set out to accomplish.”

Oftentimes, we will do various tasks in rooms devoted to specific functions. “Getting work done in your bedroom, a room designed for rest, halts productivity as your brain associates that space with sleep,” Ashley notes. “This is also important to keep in mind when trying to create routines. For example, if you routinely tend to read a book or journal in your bedroom before going to bed, your brain associates these activities with sleep, which will cause you to become drowsy even though you’re not planning to go to bed.” This is also evident when working from home. “For those who have a tendency to stray to various parts of your home to get work done, try to create a designated room or space for solely doing work,” Ashley mentions. “The goal of this is to have your brain associate getting work done with a specific area, which allows you to mentally be ready to go and become more productive.”

If you’re looking for a few tips to help boost your mood, try out a few of these easy adjustments you can start making today. “Adding a house plant or fresh flowers to your work space not only improves your air quality, but is also known to lower your blood pressure,” Ashley says. “If your space allows you, rearrange your furniture just for the time being to create some separation between work space and living space during this transitional period. This can be as small as condensing your lounge area to create a defined work-from-home space.”

There are so many ways your home can impact your mental state, and sometimes you need more than minor changes to make everything feel just right. Set up a time to talk with Ashley about more extensive changes to your home like moving walls, creating new rooms, or remodeling your kitchen. Make sure to visit our photo gallery for some home design inspiration, and while you’re at it, follow Normandy Remodeling on Facebook and Instagram for even more tips and tricks for your home.


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