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Is your kitchen design good for your mental health?

June 10, 2024

Studying the effects your living space can have on your mental well-being sounds like pseudo-science. But it’s not! Environmental Psychology, a social science that has been gaining ground in recent years, examines the relationship between human beings and our surroundings. It considers how we as people shape our natural world and built environments – and how those environments shape us in turn. It’s an ages-old concept that is finally gaining traction as a field of study in psychology. If you’re aware of certain environments or environmental factors having calming or anxiety-inducing effects on you, then it’s worth your while to carefully review your kitchen design. Considering it’s central to many homes, and the place where homeowners want everyone to feel welcome, you’ll want to make sure that you feel welcome there as well!

Keep it clean

Clutter in any space can make anyone anxious. With the kitchen being the centre of activity in most homes, a mess in this space can make the whole house feel untidy. As dishes accumulate in the sink, mail piles up on the kitchen table, and groceries take over the countertops, anxiety can rise accordingly among members of the household.

Making an effort to keep your kitchen tidy has a cumulative positive effect on your mental health. Cleaning up small amounts of clutter right away, before they become mountains of clutter, keeps your mind occupied and productive. Having plenty of storage options, including boxes on the table for your mail, or bins in your pantry for designated grocery items, will make organization a snap.

Design for the space you have

Do you notice kitchen designs on social media that you want to use in your own space, even though you’re seeing these spacious areas online, and your own kitchen has nowhere near the same footprint? It’s fine to be ambitious with your kitchen layout plans, but trying to bring an unrealistic design will only be frustrating and stressful. 

Start with a realistic perspective on the kitchen space you have available to you. Prioritize your must-haves, and consider what you’ll be sacrificing in order to get those. For instance, a nice big fridge will cost you some precious counter or cabinet space, when that’s already at a premium. 

Because clutter is the enemy of a positive headspace, you’ll want to keep your counter space clear and thus get creative with storage. Hang your cookware from a suspended pot rack, store your lesser-used appliances when not in use, and find some space-saving fixtures, such as a combination range-microwave. Being able to optimize your space so well gives a good sense of organization and accomplishment.

Pick your perfect palette

The study of psychological effects of various colour combinations is used virtually everywhere. Take advantage of this knowledge while planning out the colour scheme for your kitchen. We all may have our own specific emotional reactions to colours, but science has given us some general guidelines:

  • Warm colours like red and yellow can make you feel energized and cheery
  • Cooler colours like blue, green, and grey provide calming energy for your space
  • Lighter colours in your kitchen can make it feel more open, spacious, and welcoming

Whatever colour scheme you choose, it needs to suit the space as well as the kind of energy you want to create with your kitchen. Virtually everyone who enters your house, from family members to guests, will likely spend time in this space. The colours you choose will have an effect on their moods too!

Connect with nature

Many studies have documented the positive effects that a natural setting has on our mental well-being. As we mentioned above, green has a calming effect on our psyche. Incorporating greenery in your space, whether it’s houseplants or even some nature-inspired linens or wallpaper, can help you feel more relaxed and centered in your kitchen. Additionally, natural elements are remarkably versatile and can complement just about any decor!

Design a kitchen to keep your body and your mind healthy

The psychological links between elements of our environment and our mental health are too well-documented to be ignored. If you’re planning to renovate your kitchen, you have the perfect opportunity to elevate your emotional well-being while at the same time creating a beautiful living space. Take the opportunity to employ some science in your design, and craft a new kitchen that can greatly improve your well-being!

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