When you think of Christmas today, it is associated with holiday cheer, warmth, and bonhomie. But there is a cold secret lurking behind the scenes – and it is a very interesting study in the psychology of interior design.

December and January are some of the coldest winter months in the northern hemisphere. So, as the temperature falls, sunlight becomes bleak and a blanket of snow covers everything, our minds react – we feel a sense of isolation, and sometimes even fear.

The trick? bring in an evergreen Christmas tree. As we shut the cold out and stay warm in our homes, seeing a little bit of green on the tree has a significant impact on our mind. It is indeed incredible that we know this subconsciously and adapts our environment to influence how we feel – every year.

This is not the only instance of subconscious interior design that we accomplish. Let us look at a few other examples:

  1. Access to light: Psychological studies have shown that sunlight has a positive impact on depression. That is why Scandinavian countries insist on office spaces giving everyone access to a window. That’s right, the long winter months actually saw an increase in suicides before this law was implemented. Read more here.
  2. Facing the door: Did you know that it is almost impossible to sleep in any room facing away from the door? That is why most bedrooms are designed in such a way that the headboard faces the door. This is based on an evolutionary imperative –you need to be able to face anyone who enters the cave. Read more here.
  3. Planning cities: It is not just our homes and office spaces that we influence with a design. Even cities are planned to achieve certain goals – through design. While old cities tended to evolve as clusters, modern cities follow two basic forms. They are either laid out as a grid, with roads running north-south and east-west or as circles – with the economic and cultural space in the center – the ‘CBD’. Read more here.