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Picking Art - Learn the Psychological Secrets & Affects

Interior design, like most things in life, has a set of rules to help guide you. The more you learn, the more you see that there is a logic to why one room may be more appealing to you than another; and you start to see a pattern. The interior design of a room has the ability to affect your emotions, it can instantly make you feel relaxed, at-home and calm, or quite as easily, it can make you feel claustrophobic, anxious and unsettled, so I wanted to let you in on a few design secrets to help you to create a room you and your family will love!

 Interior Design 101

Color Scheme

Contrast is the key! Rooms that contrast from the floor, walls and ceiling are rooms that make us humans feel most comfortable. We like rooms to emulate the real world, it makes us feel more relaxed, likewise, a monochromic room makes us feel stressed and anxious. The design evokes ancient instinctive feelings in us that we are not always able to understand and translate, but there is a logic. Firstly, ceilings that are darker than the walls give an impression of being lower, this can cause a claustrophobic effect, but can also be used to create a cosy space too. As you would imagine, ceilings which are lighter than the walls create an appearance of being higher, airier and lighter. It all depends on the room and what you want to achieve but good to bear in mind.

Feng Shui
It is all about the flow; placing furniture in a way that gives you the feeling of a clear exit route. Again, back to ancient instincts, such as fight and flight, in this case, no one likes to feel trapped; arranging your furniture with that in mind will instantly make you feel more comfortable.

Point of Convergence
When entering a room we like to find a focal point, something to make us feel grounded, that we can reference as we are walking around. A canvas painting or table centrepiece work well.

Wall Art & the Psychological Effects

The subconscious mind is a beautiful thing. We go about our daily lives mostly unaware of how much information our mind is absorbing and processing. Art is a perfect example of this, what you think is a quick glance and nothing more could, in fact, be having an impact on your emotions and your body. Anxiety can cause muscles to tighten or the heart rate to quicken – all day long these feelings are processed without us being aware, which is why taking the time to chose the right art is so important for you. Do not worry about art trends and fashion, chose what makes you feel good.

Points to consider...

Harmony with the surroundings
When choosing a piece of art you need to think about the room you will be placing it in; will the colors clash for example? That could give you a quiet disconcerting feeling whenever you are in the vicinity.  

Is a story being told?

This is of course not necessary, but it can be nice and have a calming effect. For example, you may like to have homely cooking and food-related images in your kitchen, this can give you a sense of purpose or a general feel-good factor. Maybe your bedroom could tell the tale of love and romance, something inspiring that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. (Yeah, yeah, each to their own!) but you get the picture (pardon the pun)  Or maybe you love crazy, graffiti-style cows.

Size and Space
Think about how big your room is and how much space you have, especially If there are other artworks on the wall. Overcrowded walls can look messy and just be too much to process and appreciate. Leaving lots of blank wall space will help combat this. 

Wall Color
Hopefully, this one goes without saying, and I’ve already touched on it above but it is so important that it is worth saying again. Please consider the color of the wall – a painting could be stunning but if it is hung on a wall with clashing colors then it is ruined – it will make you feel uneasy every time you enter the room - all of the above factors are important, but I believe this is by far the most critical aspect when choosing art for your home.