The woman responsible for IKEA’s great interior design success—Ilse Crawford says, “We spend 87 percent of our lives inside buildings, how they are designed really affects how we feel, how we behave.”
She has a deep wisdom about spaces, a knowing that pulls from many years of observing human behavior. Her conclusion (and I tend to agree), is we spend most of our time indoors, thus we should think about how our environment looks and feels.
It’s no secret that a nicely designed space, full of light and beautiful artistic elements helps us feel happy. Ilse loves to make spaces feel like home, even office environments because that type of interior supports us throughout our days.
I travel a lot and with that comes sleeping in many different hotel rooms and beds. Some are better than others and before I even begin, I research exhaustively to be sure I am staying in a hotel that will support my mental health while I am there.
I am sensitive to noise, low-light, and poorly designed layouts where I easily bump into sharp corners. I prefer a hotel that offers breakfast, so I don’t have to go looking for food in an area I do not know first thing in the morning and a gym helps keep me sane while I am off my regular exercise schedule. The better hotels conduct extensive research to be sure their spaces offer everything a guest might want or need and I think many of us need similar things, whether we are aware of it or not when we travel and when we are home.
When it comes to your own space, the one you spend most of your time in, it is best to surround yourself with furniture and decor you love. Going cheap isn’t always good for living however there is a middle ground for purchasing a beautiful couch that you enjoy looking at and sitting on.
Art matters too. Consider how art makes you feel. Is it heavy, sad or light and inspired? Art may be intricately created, but it may not always help us in our homes. A poorly designed home environment can lower our morale and productivity—it is good to think twice about how you design a space for your own well-being.
Andrea works as an artist and art consultant for home, hotel and office spaces. Contact her to discuss your next project.