Healing Design for the Senses

interior design for the senses

Healing Design for the Senses

Healing Design for the Senses

We experience the world around us through our five senses. Often, we take them for granted as they’re so much a part of us we don’t even realize we’re using them, just like breathing.  Our multiple senses help us to experience, understand, recognize, and sometimes even warn us. They also allow us to be healed by taking in our surroundings. Here are some tips on creating healing design that engages our senses. You can implement these tips when designing your office or home.

Sight

Sight is probably the easiest to appeal to when designing, since it’s the first sense we use once we enter a space. Our eyes take in multiple factors when we view things such as color and light play. These two elements are important in design; they influence mood, behavior, and set the overall atmosphere.

A surefire way of promoting healing in design is by using the color blue. In color psychology, blue is known to exude feelings of calmness and serenity – perfect for healing spaces. Simple ways to incorporate blue in your designs are to paint the walls or use paintings as accent pieces in various calming tones of the color.

Misted Shores by Karen Moehr, 2017

misted shores painting

Serene Horizons by Timothy Gent

blue painting

 Sound

Our sense of hearing can either relax or make us uncomfortable in a space. Promoting tranquility and peace for healing can be easily done through sound. You’ll usually notice the use of sound in spas and clinics wherein soft calming background music is played to promote relaxation and help us connect with our inner peace. However, we can also use other decorative options other than music to help create a positive sensorial interior design.

Incorporating sounds of trickling water adds a soothing element to any space. A tabletop fountain is a simple mechanism that brings auditory pleasure and a comforting sense of relief.

Faux Marble Bowl & Pillar 34 1/2″ H Indoor-Outdoor Fountain

stone water fountain with lights

4-Bowl 22″ High Gray Stone Indoor/Outdoor LED Fountain

 Smell

Research suggests that smell is connected to your memory. It automatically triggers nostalgia or familiarity which enhances the feeling of comfort. Often when designing, we’re so busy considering the aesthetic that we forget how important the aroma of the room is. Designing with this in mind will help in creating positive energy in spaces, promoting uplifting moods, and reducing anxiety.

Lavender’s light, calming aroma has made it one of the most popular scents available. It is used in many cultures to improve personal health and encourage a peaceful state of mind. Lavender is a staple in any aromatherapy routine with its clean, soft scent that deeply calms, soothes anxious thoughts, and encourages sleep and relaxation.

 

Valentia Lavender Essential Oil (4oz) 100% Pure & Unrefined

NOW Solutions Lavender Essential Oil, Floral, 4-Ounce

lavender essential oil

One of the most widely recognized aromas, lemon is a popular citrus essential oil known for its versatility and powerful antioxidant properties. It is a great option for cleaning surfaces and purifying the air because of its cleansing and deodorizing characteristics. Perfect for aromatherapy, lemon oil has a calming, uplifting scent known to promote a positive mood and help improve our focus.

Lemon Essential Oil – Highest Quality Therapeutic Grade Backed by Research –  100% Pure and Natural by Essential Oil Labs

lemon essential oil

NOW, Lemon Oil

lemon essential oil Taste

Unlike sight, the sense of taste is an elusive element to incorporate in interior design. You can help achieve healing for spaces with the sense of taste with something as simple as a cup of tea. Tea is an aromatic beverage made by steeping in freshly boiled water young leaves or leaf buds of the tea plant. Just by smelling the aroma a tea gives helps already in soothing and relaxing oneself. In addition to that, drinking tea has proven itself with a long list of benefits and has been linked to different cures for ailments for centuries.

Bigelow Green Tea with Lemon Tea Bags

bigelow green tea bags

Numi Organic Tea Jasmine Green, Full Leaf Green Tea

numi tea bags

Homegrown Tea: An Illustrated Guide to Planting, Harvesting, and Blending Teas and Tisanes

homegrown tea book cover

This is an essential book for anyone who loves to drink and make teas. An informative guide with illustrations showing the step by step procedure in harvesting tea and enjoying it.

Designing for the sense of taste can also be done in other indirect ways with the help of your other senses – such as using colors and lighting in restaurants or kitchens and pantries that could induce appetite; or by using the sense of smell to promote taste with fragrance oils in spices such as cinnamon or vanilla.

Cassia Cinnamon Essential Oil – 60ml

cinnamon essential oil

Fabulous Frannie Vanilla Essential Oil

vanilla essential oil

Touch

The sense of touch is our instinctive, fundamental way to relate to our surroundings as it’s associated with emotions of comfort and warmth. A sure way of designing for the sense of touch is by using textures throughout the space.

Often times, textures seem to be an afterthought when creating spaces, but nevertheless it plays a key factor in a design’s success. Certain textures perceive different emotions and vibes – wood and textiles like wool are associated with a warm and cozy feeling, while metal and stones are seen as stern and modern.

The key to textures is always to create balance. A successfully designed space uses varying textures that would complement each other’s distinction. It helps add visual interest and creates contrast on a monochromatic space.  

Here are ways on how you can easily add texture into any space:

  1. Wall treatment

Art3d Plastic 3D Wall Panel PVC Wave Wall Design, White, 19.7″ x 19.7″ (12 Pack)

Adding 3D textured wall panels as your accent gives a nice contrast from your painted walls.

  1. Decor

Home Brilliant Set of 2 Linen Cushion Cover Dots and Checkers Woven Textured

Throw pillows add a great feeling of warmth in any room whether it be in your living room or on top of your bed. You can pair textile printed pillows with heavily textured plain ones.

PHANTOSCOPE Decorative New Luxury Series Merino Style White Fur Throw Pillow Case Cushion Cover

Fur pillows are ideally best to be kept in white or neutral colors as to balance with the texture. (Not advised to be used if you have allergies)

Mitra Pakdaman Silva

Mitra Pakdaman Silva

Mitra Pakdaman is the founder of LA Healthcare Design Inc., a Los Angeles-based interior design studio. Utilizing over ten years of in-field experience, she brings her elegant and innovative design concepts to the healthcare industry.
Mitra Pakdaman Silva

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