A new approach to interior design is less about visual trends and more about how our rooms make us feel, from improving sleep to fostering a convivial mood. The “feel-good home” phenomenon is investigated by Daisy Woodward.

It’s no secret that our surroundings have an impact on how we feel. The concept of arranging the appearance and layout of your home to enhance your sense of well-being has a long history, from feng shui to the Scandinavian pursuit of hygge. However, environmental psychology, which is the study of how people interact with their environment, did not become an academic discipline until the late 1960s, making it even more modern when it comes to home interior design. The notion of enhancing wellness through our internal settings has gained popularity, according to Jean Whitehead, senior lecturer in interior design at Falmouth University and author of Creating Interior Atmosphere: Mise-en-scène and Interior Design. It was previously common in healthcare interiors, but it’s also influencing how we view our homes as well as hospitality and leisure places.

The pandemic has increased our society’s interest in well-being, according to Whitehead. Surprisingly, during the lockdown, “indoors” came to mean “at home,” and as a result, many of us started to worry less about how our homes looked, at least in terms of trends, and more about how they made us feel. As a result, an alternative, more environmentally friendly perspective on interior design has started to emerge, one that emphasizes uniqueness, awareness, and self-care.