2020-07-08

How Good Design Can Reduce Stress

It’s not quite business as usual, but despite nationwide concerns about health, society and economy, our architects in San Luis Obispo have found new ways to remain productive and meet deadlines from an assortment of homes, offices and creative workspaces. In doing so, we’ve observed first hand how our surroundings affect us.

Regardless of where you’re spending your days, there are a variety of ways your built environment can affect your moods. We can all use design principles to enhance our atmospheres. The next time you start pacing, take note of changes you can make to help create calm, and reduce stress.

Go Green

One reason biophilic design has been embraced is that connections with nature have a tendency to lower stress. Plants are one easy way to invite nature in. They not only improve indoor air quality and add visual interest, but they also boost moods naturally by lowering psychological and physiological stress.

Cool It with the Color

Certain colors, such as red or orange, can trigger innate alarms or be mentally stimulating. You can give your brain a rest by selecting quiet color schemes that reflect naturally calming environments. Think soft neutrals reminiscent of sand, rocks, clouds and forest floors. When adding color, steer toward tones that provide peaceful reflections of things such as trees, water, and sky.

Lighten Up

Feelings are affected by light. It can brighten, dampen or intensify our moods. Blue light stimulates, which can be helpful in some areas, while soft light helps us relax. Natural light is a great way to regulate circadian rhythms, improve sleep patterns, and heighten the sense of wellbeing.

Find Balance

Clutter and visual imbalance put people on edge. It’s one reason minimalism has been embraced. Yet, stark environments devoid of personal touches can feel cold or industrial. When deciding which items to include in your space, consider form, function, and feelings. Then arrange them in a way that adds visual interest while honoring natural inclinations. Our minds are soothed when our eyes let us know that our surroundings make sense. We can help encourage serenity by paying attention to balance, scale, and symmetry. Placing items in ways that offer natural paths for eye travel can provide placid escapes for busy minds.

We hope all our clients, friends, family and community members are finding ways to release stress and find peace, balance, and joy in these strange times.

Studio Design Group, Architects, LLC is dedicated to making environments that support wellbeing and improve lives. We can do the same for your next project. Reach us online or by calling (805) 541-3848.

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