What Makes a Good Interior Design?

Image: Maggie’s Leeds Centre / Heatherwick Studio. Image © Hufton+Crow In today's world, where wellness is a top priority, people are increasingly seeking healthier lifestyles that focus on both the body and the mind. It...

Maggie’s Leeds Centre / Heatherwick Studio Image: Maggie’s Leeds Centre / Heatherwick Studio. Image © Hufton+Crow

In today's world, where wellness is a top priority, people are increasingly seeking healthier lifestyles that focus on both the body and the mind. It has become evident that physical and mental health is not only determined by medical facilities and treatments, but also by the quality of the built environment. Architects have a unique opportunity to design spaces that not only look good but also promote wellness. So, what exactly makes a good interior design?

Designing for Functionality and Beyond

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Functionality is a crucial aspect of any successful interior design. While it may seem like a constraint, it is essential for designers to ensure that every spatial decision serves a purpose. However, as awareness grows about the importance of wellness, architects need to take a more holistic approach. Spaces should support human behaviors and contribute to the rehabilitation of the mind, body, and soul.

Physical Well-Being

To ensure the physical health of occupants, designers consider factors such as air quality, thermal comfort, lighting, and acoustic conditions. Comfort plays a significant role in a space's design, but it varies for different individuals. Good design should be flexible, adaptable, and cater to the needs of each user without compromising others. Materials should be chosen to prevent the growth of mold or harmful bacteria, ensuring a healthy environment for everyone.

Gastro Passage Foodcourt / Suchánek, Architectural Office Image: Gastro Passage Foodcourt / Suchánek, Architectural Office. Image © Bedrich Schreiber

Emotional Well-Being

Emotional well-being is closely intertwined with physical well-being. A good interior design should evoke happiness, positivity, curiosity, serenity, and engagement. Factors such as abundant natural sunlight, integration of nature, comfortable materials, and a balance between intimate and communal spaces contribute to creating an emotionally positive environment. Some designers even incorporate principles of Feng Shui to achieve a holistic and balanced interior space.

Around Fireplace / Ruetemple Image: Around Fireplace / Ruetemple. Image Courtesy of Ruetemple

Mental Well-Being and Productivity

A well-designed interior can positively impact mental health and productivity. Giving occupants control over their environment, whether it's through lighting, temperature, or spatial organization, allows them to create conditions that suit their preferences and behaviors. Acoustic comfort is crucial for productivity in commercial spaces, while the design of furniture and spatial layouts can influence creative thinking. Orientation of rooms and access to natural light also play a significant role in promoting mental well-being.

Wild Fi Offices / TIMB Arquitectura Image: Wild Fi Offices / TIMB Arquitectura. Image © Santiago Chaer

Environmental Well-Being

Given the urgency of the climate crisis, interior design can contribute to fighting climate change and promoting interaction with nature. Minimizing the carbon footprint and incorporating biophilic design elements are essential. Using local materials and allowing nature to take over interior spaces can create an enjoyable and sustainable environment.

TECLA Technology and Clay 3D Printed House / Mario Cucinella Architects Image: TECLA Technology and Clay 3D Printed House / Mario Cucinella Architects. Image © Iago Corazza

When it comes to interior design, it's not just about aesthetics. It's about creating spaces that promote well-being in all its dimensions. By considering physical, emotional, mental, and environmental factors, designers can create interiors that support a happier and healthier way of life.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on ArchDaily. This article is part of an ArchDaily series that explores interior architecture features. If you have any suggestions, please submit them to the ArchDaily team.

This article is part of the ArchDaily Topics: What is Good Architecture?, presented by our first book ever: The ArchDaily Guide to Good Architecture. Learn more about our ArchDaily topics and submit your articles or projects to us.

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