Can you really tell a lot about a person just by what they’re wearing? By what colours they have chosen to collaborate? What about the motifs and prints on their attire? Of course, we see people every day walking the streets wearing a diverse range of apparel in an extensive variety of ‘styles’ - punks, preps, goths, hipsters, label lovers, urbanites, minimalists etc. Undoubtedly, we use our indicators of judgment to guess what other attributes these people may have. From someones’ choice of clothing, hair style, body modifications such as tattoos and piercings and cosmetics, we can usually hazard a guess at what music they like, what films they watch, what hobbies and activities they enjoy doing etc. (not all of this is obvious, but sometimes one aesthetic links the majority of the time to a key attribute). Well, it’s the same with interior design. There is a whole world of psychology out there that you may have never considered before; colours affecting moods, patterns and prints that distract your thoughts, the laws of Feng Shui, how product placement and lighting affect creativity… every decision you make, has a cause and effect whether you realise it or not. COLOUR PSYCHOLOGY Before our brain processes words, shapes and textures, it sees colour. The limbic system in our brain is in charge of controlling our emotional responses towards different stimuli, and in in colour psychology we see colour as emotion. Colour (as emotion) can therefore stimulate thoughts, feelings and reactions when used in a living environment that may affect your comfort, wellbeing and happiness. We all have our own tastes, some of us are attracted to vibrant, loud colours when others prefer muted nude shades. Why? Because colour can mean different things to different people, through our experiences, environments and cultures. In Africa for example, the southern tribal attire is abundant in rich colours and heavy embellishments, as for them, colour represents status and emotion: white stands for purity, gold stands for wealth and blue stands for harmony. Choosing a coloured cloth is decisive on what the person wants to represent, over what colour compliments them more. Whereas in the west, we tend to choose colours based on their fashionability - What is on trend? How can I style it effectively? What shade looks best on me? It’s reflective on comfort and self esteem. In your home, you can use colour to advocate certain relatable feelings in their appropriate room or space - for example, a bathroom is used for hygiene purposes so therefore is best reflecting cleanliness using whites, metallics and oceanic shades. A lot of people choose blue for their bathrooms to symbolically compliment the idea that it is a room for water. However, as the rules of Feng Shui insist, to create balance in a room, you must present a balance in elements. If you are drawing on the energies of the water, you should counteract it with energies of the earth by bringing in some earthy palettes and indoor plants! “Remember, when you choose which colors to include in your interior, three picks are better than one. Choose a neutral for the largest items like walls and flooring, a calmer color for furniture and other sturdy items. Then, pick a third more dramatic color to pop in your statement accessories and décor.” - Freshome You may not think you have a favourite colour - mine tends to change with the season - but you are usually naturally drawn to some colours more than others. Blue is a universally popular colour, whereas statistically, only 5% of people claim yellow is their favourite colour. Orange is a colour that children tend to favour as oppose to older adults, whereas red is seen as a bold statement - even exuding sexual or animalistic energy. “Colours act in three basic ways: active, passive and neutral. You can easily match every room’s colours to your personal desires, to your taste and to the room’s purpose. Light colours are expansive and airy, making rooms seem larger and brighter. Dark colours are sophisticated and warm; they give large rooms a more intimate appearance.” - Freshome’s Very Best WHAT YOU FILL YOUR HOME WITH, MATTERS. So now that we have established colour psychology, what about furniture? Layout? Accessories and accents? There is so much to choose from but only you know how you feel when you are drawn instinctively to that rustic wood furniture, or vintage armchair. We believe that you should fill your humble abode with artefacts of mystery - that will make your guests curious to question it’s presence, or items of great sentimental value, things that make you feel warm and fuzzy inside and materials that harness your creativity and inspire well being. Consider art, photographs, graphics, ornaments, reclaimed wood furniture, indoor plants, candles, lighting, carpets, French tablecloths and tapestries… Everything that you can squeeze into your home that will bring comfort and tranquility, happiness and calm. A pure balance of earth, water, air and fire. Just as nature intended. Sociologist Jean Baudrillard explains in his book, The System of Objects, that every item you use to fill a space, acts as an expression of our personalities, wants and needs. For instance, a person who decides on a very small art deco kitchen table that seats the minimum of two for dining, may be seen as more egotistical and concerned with aesthetics than that of a person who choose the long rustic wood table that will sit their four family members plus guests! Keeping your home clear, clean and clutter-free is vital for insinuating a welcoming space. A minimalist kitchen may appear untouched and intimidating due to its precision, but a hoarders kitchen will be uncomfortable and uninviting due to its excessive clutter. It’s all about finding the balance - have your home tidy, but with bursts of personality threaded into the woodwork! It’ll tell us of your eagerness to impress, your love for design, your ease for comfort and your desire to encapsulate happiness within your walls.