I just read about a room psychologist’s recommendations on how to create rooms for HSPs. I had to google what that meant, and found out that HSP stands for highly sensitive person. There were two things I didn’t know about. First, I never knew that there is such a profession as room psychology. Second, I never heard of HSPs. Third…well, I said two things but the second thing led me to a third thing. So third, I thought: what happens to those who are not HSPs? I think EVERYONE has a right to have a feelgood home, don’t you?
What is Room Psychology?
According to Dr. Barbara Perfahl,
Room psychology is a field inside the so called environmental psychology. Psychologists often study the relationship between the person and the surrounding environment – and one [of] our most important environment are the rooms we stay in. People in modern world spend about 90% of their lifetime inside of buildings and rooms. Room psychology studies the influence rooms have on persons and how we can design rooms, that fit the person living or also working in it. Because the relationship between rooms and men is mutual, it is an interaction: rooms take influence on us and we at the same time design and change the rooms.
I know that architects and interior designers consider the influence of their designs on the people living in the spaces they created. I am sure there are overlaps because I can imagine design elements like colors, light, textures, patterns, to name some, which architects and interior designers take into account, do have an impact on the well-being of residents.
Room Design for HSPs
Two of the many characteristics of HSPs are, one, they are highly sensitive to other people which may cause them to feel emotional exhaustion if they absorb too much of other people’s feelings, and two, they do not like changes. Taking these into consideration, we can say that they will definitely be finding it extra difficult during these times of chaos and uncertainty.
Mental health issues are on the rise because of the pandemic. If you feel you’re on the edge even if you are not an HSP (no need for labels anyway), then do make time for yourself and if changing your room is going to help you find your balance, take time to do what needs to be done.
So what are Dr. Perfahl’s recommendations for the living spaces of HSPs then?
- A light and rather reduced furnishing regarding the number of furniture and decorational [sic] items
- No visible everyday objects: no clothes and shoes in the entry, no used towels on the tub, etc.
- A stringent color and design concept
- Sufficient, well placed light that has the right color.
Feelgood Room Design
You may have the kind of home that Dr. Perfahl recommends if you are a fan of the minimalist interior style. Everything is clean, orderly, and serene.
Or you can simply be someone who wants everything to look neat and tidy. You are the type who makes your bed before you begin the day. You put everything in its place before you leave your home—towel on the rack, dirty clothes in the laundry basket, breakfast dishes washed, dried and put away. There are not too many tchotchkes in your space, only those that you may have deep sentimental feelings for. If there were any knickknacks to begin with, they are long gone, especially if you kondo’d your home a while back.
The color palette is very restful. Hardly any decorations, unless you count the dog. But since he’s color-coordinated, he can stay as far as I’m concerned. Besides, he’s cute.
Here’s another room below that could get a nod of approval from Dr. Perfahl.
I am not really a stickler for too much order. For me, that book placed in that angle on the table is a welcome object in this otherwise pristine living room. I also like the blooms, the dots on the white rug, and that small black pillow. They elevate the space from looking too vanilla.
Paint Colors for a Feelgood Home
If you want to have a home that feels welcoming and restful, then light neutrals are good colors to have on your walls.
With light neutrals, you can make a space look bigger. Click on this link to learn more.
There is also a paint color palette called ENLIGHTEN in Boysen Color Trend 2019 that is one of my favorites. Although the colors are not light neutrals, they can make your home a happy, cozy and warm place.
Get a warm tint of the color you are choosing. In the above color palette, the paint Blue Icicle is a cool color because it has a hint of blue in it.
The warm colors are found in the upper semicircle, from yellow to red. The lower semicircle contain the cool colors, from green to purple.
If you want to know more about warm and cool colors, how to use them, and the rooms in the house they would look good in, then read this link.
Light and Order
Any room with natural light is preferred for that feelgood effect. If you want to maximize what you have though, think about the different kinds of light you can install in the room, from ambient to task lights.
Don’t put too many decorations in your space. In other words, keep a good amount of negative space (the empty space around objects) in your design so that your room can breathe.
Lastly, if happiness is homemade then don’t be messy. Messy space, messy mind. And that’s not what we want, especially in this time of pandemic.
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