Kathryn Terry Professor Mooney Eng105N 5 March, 2012 In the Mood for Interior Design There are many things that affect one’s mood in the world. Mood seems like something simple that people can change themselves. But, in fact, mood is affected by more than just the people around or how one is feeling. The way a room is designed and laid out and the colors that one picks for the room affect a person’s mood more than most realize. Many aspects of interior design affect people’s moods.
The Article, “Occupation Information,” states that interior designers prepare specifications for interior construction materials, space planning, lighting, finishes, equipment and furnishing. They also develop designs that are appropriate, functional and aesthetically pleasing for others. Reading blueprints, understanding building and fire codes and knowing how to make space accessible to people who are disabled are things interior designers must know. Traditionally, most interior designers focus on choosing a style, color, and pattern and then selecting appropriate lighting, furnishing, window covering and artwork for the home. Interior designers may work alone as consultants or with a design group” (Occupation Information”). They often visit clients in their homes and offices and they often work on weekends and long hours. Personal requirements for interior designers are being creative, having an artistic flair, being good at problem solving and lateral things and being good at technical drawing and illustration (“Occupation Information”). April Sanders states that interior designers have know for a long time that room decoration and color affects moods (Sanders). Every room in a house has the ability to affect one’s atmosphere and mood.
Anna Starmer says that, “…one’s home can become a haven of mood enhancing spaces to calm the soul and refresh the mind” (Starmer 19). Furnishing, accessories, paint colors, room arrangements and even scents in a room can affect the mood of the person in the room (Sanders). Shilpa Shah writes that colors are light waves that are reflected and absorbed by all things around a person. “Color is the language of the universe” (Shah). It can interconnect the heart, body and soul, soothe one’s emotions, spur energy into a person, and protect and raise one’s health and spirit (Shah).
Mary Nicholson says that color, without realizing it, can have a larger effect on how one feels both mentally and physically (Nicholson). Leslie Brown says that people cannot believe what their eyes are telling them when it comes to color, nor can they believe what they know to be true (Leslie Brown 12). In the article, “Feng Shui Colors,” it says that since the beginning of time, color therapy has been used by the ancient Egyptians and the Greeks who assigned specific colors to specific illnesses. One actually does not have to see a color to benefit from it. Blind people can feel the difference in colors by touch” (“Feng Shui Colors”). Too strong or too much of a color will do no one any favors, particularly if they want a relaxing atmosphere (Brown 12). Every color has a different effect on people’s moods. Red is a warm color that is great for grabbing attention and can increase brain activity and one’s pulse rate. It is great for adding a sense of drama to a space and is also great for creating a party atmosphere (“Feng Shui Colors”). Red can advance the eye to make a space seem cozier (Leslie Brown 12).
It is also associated with fire and passion and can be used to stimulate and intensify emotion. One does however, have to use red sparingly, because it can become overwhelming and make people feel aggressive or moody if they stay in the room too long. Red was preserved as being rough and warm when it was touched by the blind (“Feng Shui Colors”). Another warm color is orange. Orange is a stimulating color that is often associated with enthusiasm, optimism, and sociability. Orange is a great color when entertaining visitors, for example in a dining room.
One wants to avoid using a lot of orange in a bedroom because it can be over stimulating (“Feng Shui Colors”). When mixed with yellow, orange can have the ability to overcome clutter (Leslie Brown 104). Orange is a color that works well when mixed with other colors as long as the colors do not clash (Leslie Brown 106). Yellow is another color that is in the warm family. Yellow is great for lifting spirits, raising energy levels and decreasing negativity. It is particularly good for encouraging intellectual progress and focusing the mind. Yellow is ull of creative and intellectual energy (“Feng Shui Colors”). Yellow is one of the most approachable colors, because it is capable of extraordinary variations and because at its deepest and strongest, it never gets dark. Yellow is a perfect practical color because of its friendliness and versatility (Leslie Brown 99). One does have to be careful when mixing yellow with other colors though. Gray and white are two colors that work very well with yellow (Leslie Brown 97). Green is a cool color. Green is associated with calming and peace, and promotes feelings of safety.
It is the strongest of the secondary colors and it acts like a primary. The balancing, restful qualities in greens make for an obvious Feng Shui decorating color choice for living rooms, bedrooms and places of retreat. A soft green bathroom can also be very relaxing. “It is a very useful color for people who are experimenting wayward teenagers or people who seem out of balance on an emotional level” (“Feng Shui Colors”). Blue is also a cool color. Blue is one of the easiest and best colors to use because it comes in so many different shades.
It is the color of infinity because the sky is blue and the sky goes on forever (Leslie Brown 80). Blue can reduce tension and stress and is useful in calming negative emotions when tempers are running high. It is also associated with effective communication and clear thought and is great for focusing the mind. Blue was perceived as cool and smooth when the blind touched it. Too much blue can be cold and depressing, so one should avoid it if they are prone to moodiness and low mood swings (“Feng Shui Colors”). Another cool color is purple.
Purple was very expensive to create, therefore it is a color of majesty (Leslie Brown 129). Purple is a color linked with activities such as mediation and healing and is known as the psychic color. “Purple can have a calming and restorative effect in a bedroom as it encourages introspection which is key at night time when your energy needs to be focused inward” (Feng Shui Colors”). When one mixes purple with other colors, it can lose its daunting majesty to become a modern spice for stark spaces (Leslie Brown 130). Pink is the ultimate feminine color of love and nurturing.
It is a color often presented as a color that one paints a small girl’s room because it is so bold. Pink is not as ditzy as people make it out to be (Leslie Brown123). It is great for creating a sense of calmness and is great for hyperactive children. Someone with sleep difficulties and someone who has just gone through divorce might want to consider painting a room pink (“Feng Shui Colors”). Pink is a color that was not invented with a clear range (Leslie Brown 133). White and Cream are colors that refresh the mind. Cream is a warm, friendly and rich color (Leslie Brown 58).
White is associated with cleanliness and purity and can be useful when one’s senses are overloaded and they need to clear down the emotions (“Feng Shui Colors”). White’s textures and tones evoke a sense of calmness that people like in homes that are in cities or countries (Leslie Brown 50). One does have to be careful with white because it can be difficult to live with long term (“Feng Shui Colors”). Black is the total opposite of white and cream. Black can be preserved as being a bold, sexy and an independent color.
It can create a sense of magic because it has such great depth to it (“Feng Shui Colors”). Black can however be a depressing color and referred back to death. The best way to use black is to use on one wall and accent it with bright colors like violet or neutrals. Black combined with gray can make for a great room. It should be avoided in children’s bedrooms, dining rooms and kitchens (Leslie Brown 70). Brown/beige is a color that is as strong and powerful as black but a little more friendly. It is one of the more natural colors similar to green because it is a color common in nature.
Brown/beige is a color that is typically known as more of a masculine color, because it has less pink than a cream color. Brown/beige is a color that puts people at ease and relaxes them. It is often a color used but builders because it is pleasing to the buyers and will usually work well with any color. “Arts and Crafts houses generally have an affinity with beige and brown schemes because the style made full use of the colors of wood,” (Leslie Brown 64-66). Colors and the placement of furniture together can really affect someone’s mood.
Simon Brown writes that Feng Shui is the placement of furniture and the way in which people interact with there environment (Simon Brown). David Kennedy states that it is an ancient Chinese art of improving every aspect of people’s life by creating energy flow and harmony in their environment (Kennedy 1). Feng Shui is a term composed of two Chinese words. Feng is a word that means wind and Shui meaning water (Kennedy 13). Rizwana Mundewadi states that “Feng Shui works on the principle of balancing the five elements: fire, earth, metal, water and wood,” (Mundewadi).
Balancing those five elements can help lead to prosperity, peace, and harmony in all aspects of life (Mundewadi). The Chinese have known for a very long time that people’s physical surroundings affect every aspect of their inner and outer lives. By rearranging their living and working environments according to ancient Feng Shui principles, many successful individuals now create harmony and happiness in their relationships, increase their prosperity, and reduce patterns of difficulty, stress and failure in their everyday lives.
The Chinese have long recognized the distinct relationship between Feng Shui and having a success in life. Most individuals do not realize that their surroundings affect their health, wealth, family life, relationships and even ones destiny (Kennedy 1). “Feng Shui works on the basis that you have an emotional energy field running through and around your body,” (Simon Brown 8). Whether one is aware of it or not, Feng Shui affects them every moment of every day (Kennedy 11).
Everyone’s environment or energy surrounding them can help create an experience that can lead to greater success in life (Simon Brown 8). Although most people do understand that too much clutter can create a feeling of frustration or anxiety, most do not understand that the improper arrangement of the accessories and furniture can also create a stressful and anxiousness feeling. A small table crowded with accessories like photos can irritate someone who is trying to find a place to set their drink down.
The location of one’s bed can affect a marriage and the position of a desk can affect one’s attention and work performance, which can perhaps make the difference in someone getting a job promotion or demotion. “A room that has a couch with its back to a large window or opening can leave a person feeling subconsciously vulnerable as if someone could sneak up on them,” (Sanders). Following all the Feng Shui principles can help living and working environment that can help someone achieve the success and happiness that they deserve (Kennedy 1).
There so many things Interior Designers must know in order to create a mood friendly environment for themselves or their clients. All the colors and the Feng Shui technique affect moods in so many different ways. The more they are studied the more that will be discovered about all the affects they have on people’s moods. Knowing how all the different colors affect people’s moods can create a warm and friendly or cool and relaxing environment depending on which colors are chosen. It is a strategy that many people are unaware of that’s important and can be very rewarding.
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