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How Interior Architecture and Design Affects Mental Health

We spend a significant amount of our lives within the walls of our workspaces. Some of us actually spend more time at work than at home, so it is only natural that we want our environment to inspire creativity and be conducive to a healthy lifestyle. Just imagine settling into your office, surrounded by the morning sun, comforted by soothing interior design that piques your curiosity and creativity.

Unfortunately, these types of offices rarely make their way into our daily lives, but the consequences of having drab and uninspiring interior architecture can affect much more than cubicle layouts. Studies across the world have shown that surroundings significantly contribute toward an individual’s well-being.

Knoll Houston

So what kinds of things does an office need to create a supportive and healthy environment? To start off, let’s talk about lighting.

Access to natural light is one of the most beneficial traits of a healthy workspace. There have been dozens of studies demonstrating the psychological and physiological benefits of natural light in the workspace. One study showed that office workers with access to natural light outperformed coworkers without natural light nearby. Not surprisingly, the workers under artificial light showed qualitative lack of vitality and demonstrated signs of poor sleep quality.

Color psychology also has a place in the well-being of office staff. As well as indicating part of a company’s culture and style, different colors give off different feelings to staff members. If an office color scheme contradicts the energy of the company, it can create a conflicting psyche for staff members.



Fortunately, architects and designers have teamed together to create a set of standards to encourage healthy practices and design for new construction. The WELL Building Standard is unique in its practice, focusing on individuals’ needs. Interior Architects commented that the certification “addresses elements humans need to survive and flourish, including clean air, clean water, healthy food, natural light, regular activity, physical and mental comfort, and nourishment.”

Modern interior architecture is headed in the right direction toward establishing consistent well-being in the workplace, and it is in the hands of skilled designers to implement healthy plans for a happier, more balanced workforce.


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