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12 home decor tips for a mental health boost

Elizabeth Yuko, RealSimple.com on

What do funeral parlors, prison cells and courtrooms all have in common? Other than being places you’d probably rather avoid, they’re all examples of spaces that use color, texture, lighting and room layout to evoke particular emotional responses from their occupants. And it works.

Although it’s a far less extreme — and solemn — example of this, the interior design and decor of a home can also influence mood, emotions and overall mental health of its habitants.

For many, cleaning, purging and organizing are necessary first steps toward creating a space that supports their mental well-being. But what about after the clutter is gone?

That’s where decor and design elements enter the picture and work their magic.

1. Prioritize emotional safety.

“The overall feeling of a space — how it’s organized, how clean it is, how comfortable it feels, how personal you make it — all these things can put you at ease and affect how safe you feel in an environment,” says interior designer Kristen Fiore. “When you’re having mental health struggles or are triggered, you want a place that feels safe and comfortable to be who you are.”

 

2. Surround yourself with friendly faces.

“Maybe you want an abundance of frames filled with family members, because surrounding yourself with images of loved ones will make you feel happy and less alone,” says interior designer Michal Rubin. “Or, on the contrary, perhaps frames with family members will negatively affect your mental health. In that case, opt for botanicals and decorative objects.”

3. Choose colors based on your ideal energy level in a room.

“Consider the energy level you wish to achieve in a space before committing to a color scheme,” says Amber Dunford, a design psychologist and style director at Overstock.com. “When contrasting colors are used — especially those with more warmth and saturation — the more energizing [a room] feels. Colors with less variation will give you the opposite effect, creating a more serene and quiet atmosphere — which is especially true for cooler colors.”

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