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Design Matters | How design can improve your mood!

Updated: May 18, 2019


This post will take a general look at the ways design impacts behavior and mood and in what ways we can make changes to our environments to better influence positivity in our lives! We will also share examples of the ways which we put these to practice to improve our own lives!

Photos Courtesy of: Jeremy Levine, MidCentArc, Lyconf, cravingsomecreativity, WickerParadise,

+ TheaN.


It wasn't long ago when design, concerned about our health, was focused mostly on how easily surfaces could be cleaned to prevent the spread of germs. Bacteriology and studies about the transfer of viruses gained traction at the turn of the 20th century and healthcare design quickly followed. Just picture a 1900's hospital with white linoleum floors, glossy white concrete block walls, and those bare metal rail beds. Those hospitals, while highly functional and sterile environments, were devoid of any sort of aesthetic treatment—or at least at that time aesthetics weren't a top priority when it came to creating a healthy environment.

Research of the recent past however, has more deeply evaluated how our health is affected by the environments that we create for ourselves. And we aren't only talking about our physical health either. It is now widely known that our built environments affect our mental wellbeing as well.

So take a moment to consider your surroundings: The size and shape of the room; The height of the ceilings; Any views outside and the amount of natural daylight; Every color and sound; any natural materials or plant life. Believe it or not, all of these characteristics of space and design has an affect on your behavior, your mood, and your wellbeing!

So let's take a deeper look at each of these characteristics and how we can design our homes to be places of comfort, peace, and health for an enriched life!


My wife has given me the advice that if you’re ever feeling down, take some time to spoil yourself, dress nicely, and wear a bright, happy color. Now, I didn't always heed that advice, but I realized that snippet of advice applies to our homes too! In the same way that wearing a frumpy brown sweatshirt can make you feel frumpy and well... brown, the same could be said of your home! Shabby furniture, overwhelming solid colors, and blank walls can leave you feeling bleh. There's something about beauty and color (or the lack thereof) that has a direct impact on the way that we feel!

Consider lightening up the walls with a bright paint color and adding pops of color with planters, pottery, or an accent chair (or four— I have an obsession with chairs). If changing furniture is out of the budget, pillows, large format artwork, and throw blankets can help bring color and life to your space! Subtle uses of bright and happy colors can turn your space from dreary to cheery and help brighten your mood each day!

What We Did:

When we bought our house we inherited that need-to-sell beige. You know that color that everyone is supposed to like but no one actually does... So we knew the first thing we were going to do was to lighten it all up. We ended up re-painting the entire first floor with Valspar's Honeymilk, which is a warm tinted white! Then we got to hanging our colorful pieces of art (my wife's art is sensational), and let me tell you, the change was tangible. The rooms were brighter, our accent colors more vivid, and our framed photos and artwork seemed to leap from the walls! Our home was much improved from it.


It's often overlooked, but daylight is critical to our health. It gives us vitamins, leads to increased productivity, minimizes seasonal depression, and helps strengthen our sleep. If you have an office with a window you'll know that tracking the sun's course throughout the day helps give you a sense of passing time. This awareness to passing time helps with productivity and helps keep us alert.

Here are some quick tips for increasing daylight levels in your home.