Very often people flip through magazines, browse through home stores or hire professional design firms to come up with a suitable look for their built space. But interior design doesn’t exist in isolation.

The aesthetics of interior design is driven by the sole purpose of creating a harmonious look. It is this look that is greatly influenced by factors ranging from geographical surroundings, popular materials available, personal choice, current design trends, and even nature.

Interior design isn’t about choosing pretty drapes and pairing the right cushions, instead it is a deep science, with an often neglected psychological impact. The interior of any space has a considerable impact on your subconscious. The choices that you make when deciding how your home will look have a documented effect on your emotions and perceptions.

The colour of the walls in your bedroom could be contributing to your anxiety, while your choice in the sitting room couch could lead visitors to feel comfortable and make them feel at home. It’s a good idea to look behind the scenes, so to speak, regarding your various design choices and understand what there deeper impact can be.

The colour component

It is a fact that colour is a main component of design and plays a pivotal role in how we experience the world around us and has a definitive effect on our moods. As you begin to conceptualise your home’s interior design, make sure to use colours in ways that fit with the tone you want to create in the space.

For instance, red symbolises power and passion. It can be used to warm up spaces and make them feel more intimate; orange offers a jolt of energy and innovation. But too much can leave people feeling overwhelmed. Yellow is associated with happiness, creation, and creativity. Blue perpetuates feelings of calm and freshness, while brown’s natural roots give it a relaxing touch.

White helps impart a sense of cleanliness and purity. It is great for defining a space, but use it along with other colours since too much can make a space sterile.

Often grounding and stabilising neutral hues such as cream and grey can also swing into boring territory if they’re not accented with other cheerful colours. A simple and soothing beige living room can be given a rich feel with the help of upholstery in varying shades of purple or electric blue.

Another good tip is play with a combination of three colours, with the least intrusive shade reserved for walls, the second complimentary colour for the overall furnishings, and the third most dramatic hue used sparingly to highlight and add accents.

Objects of desire

People often make the mistake of choosing objects to fill space, from furniture to paintings and other decorative arty bric-a-brac. But it is important to understand that every object chosen to fill a space also serves to form a function, even if purely aesthetic. But, beyond that, these items also act as an expression of your personality.

People visiting your home tend to instinctively evaluate the interiors on these criteria — how functional is the home; value of the items in terms of is it worth the price; are the objects of emotional and sentimental or heritage value. And, of course, the aesthetics of it all.

When it comes to aesthetics, the proper furniture placement can make you feel calmer and even happier. It all boils down to symmetry, which can change the atmosphere of your home, because as far as interiors are concerned we see rooms as a whole before we can focus on the individual design elements themselves.

It is in our nature to instinctively love balanced designs because they keep the amount of information that our brains need to process to a minimum. By picking up on a repeating a pattern, we are able to process the individual elements faster. Since we are easily able to understand symmetrical spaces, we often think of them as more aesthetically pleasing.

Perception of space

In the world of interior design, space is an actuality as well as perception, and while it is easy to gauge and perceive physical space, creating the illusion of one is far trickier. Interior designers use a concept called perception of space to make home’s appear more spacious and to make sure that rooms are as user-friendly as possible.

This involves choosing furniture that is scaled to size and slimmer, placing a large mirror on the back wall, and creating depth with wall hangings.

The biggest space creator is a clutter-free room, with high ceilings and the absence of walls that restrict the eye movement. Another way to create the illusion of space is to bring the outdoors in, by either creating French windows or having a glass fronted balcony that again does not restrict the outdoor view.

Thick curtains or blackout shades also tend to make the room look smaller, go for lighter window treatments such as sheers and lace.

The writer is Managing Director of Rectangle Interiors.