Bright Ideas

Keep Architecture in Mind

Finally Light Bulbs July 22, 2018


Neuro-architecture. Say what? Don’t worry, this word is nothing to be frightened of. Neuro-architecture is simply how your brain responds to the environment built around you in your everyday life. Emily Anthes wrote an article called, Building Around the Mind, which discusses research conducted on the relationship between architecture/interior design and one’s mood. There are five areas in the brain that can be affected by architecture: perception, memory, decision-making, emotion and movement. Use the following five tips to create a home that is positive and productive. Let’s find out how!

1. Perception
Change your perception by shedding some light on your home. Light (or lack thereof) can significantly affect your mood. When decorating, try your best to reflect natural sunlight throughout your home. You can do so by painting your walls white, cleaning the windows, using mirrors, and countless other tips. Utilizing natural light in your home can help calibrate your sleep-wake cycle and ultimately help you sleep at night, therefore making you feel more refreshed and positive the next morning.

2. Memory
Believe it or not, the shapes in your environment can influence your mood. A study by Moshe Bar, of Harvard Medical School, found that sharp objects convey an innate sense of danger, like a distant memory, which made people react negatively toward these objects. Ever stub a toe against a sharp corner or run into a sharp table and immediately glare at it like it’s your enemy? Incorporate curves and soft geometry into your décor. Shapes with curves, such as a circle, encourage contentment and represent completion/wholeness. Curves spark brain activity due to their complexity compared to boxy furniture. Pick out round pillows for your bed or couch. Or find a round coffee table for your living room. Put your subconscious at ease with round, soft décor.

3. Decision-Making
Decision-making can be challenging, but making many decisions one after another is just plain exhausting. Decision fatigue often sets in without us realizing it. When your brain gets tired of making too many decisions, it reverts to the easiest (often suboptimal) choice. How many times have you reverted to ordering take out because you couldn’t make a decision on what to cook? Make life easy for your brain by getting rid of the clutter and chaos. Organize your home, minimize choices, and let the micro-decisions make themselves. Check out our blog, Trim the Fat, for tips on how to de-clutter.

4. Emotion
Ever walk into a room and be overwhelmed with emotion? The contents and design of a room can elicit an emotional response. Did you know that plants reduce stress and improve concentration levels? Humans instinctively bond with other living things. This is called Biophilia. Put small plants around your home to incorporate a sense of Zen. Keep your light conditions in mind for whatever plant you choose as well as the space and the time you have to take care of it. Don’t have a green thumb? Buy a Peace Lily, Snake Plant or Aloe Vera. These plants don’t need to be watered too often, and they are the most air purifying plants!

5. Movement
Rearranging furniture, colors and décor in your space will create a sense of new surroundings, which will activate the dopamine in your brain. Dopamine motivates you to explore your environments and be adventurous. A change in your environment can lift your mood by giving you a sense of satisfaction. Every few years, give your home a makeover. Switch things up once in a while, and keep moving.

Remember that decorating your home is a mixture of art and science. Your house will feel like a home when you add more personal touches. By implementing a couple of these tips, not only will your space clear, but so will your mind. Try it! You’ll see.