Does the color of your bedroom walls keep you up at night — literally? Why does seeing a picture askew annoy you to no end?

Design can have a big impact on how you feel. Understanding how design impacts calmness, productivity, hunger, and more is crucial to achieving the desired vibe and purpose of a space. Here are three ways design impacts your mood.


Remember learning the color wheel in elementary school? Even if you’re no Leonardo da Vinci, understanding how colors interact with one another and with emotions can help you fuse purpose with design for a room that achieves both function and style.

Color can impact your sense of calm and your productivity. One study found that workers placed in offices with three different color schemes reported notable differences in perceived productivity and job satisfaction. Workers in predominantly white and blue-green offices reported greater overall satisfaction and quality of work compared to workers in a red-based room. Blue light has also been shown to lower crime and suicide rates in places ranging from Scotland to Japan.


Lines guide the eye to certain points and connections. In nature, you may feel small in the presence of tall, towering trees, which present a feeling of power and endurance. In interior design, vertical lines also draw the eyes upward. For this reason, many cathedrals, including the famous Sacré Coeur in Paris, France, use vertical lines to convey a sense of serenity as you look heavenward.

In the East, horizontal lines are used in spiritual spaces. The architecture of many Shinto shrines features long horizontal lines along gently curving roofs. The popular trail of red Torii gates at the Hie Shinto shrine in Tokyo balances horizontal and vertical lines to form a passage from the secular to the sacred. The lines of the stairs parallel the lines that top the many red gates, connected by strong vertical posts called hashira.


Since ancient times, the Chinese art of Feng Shui has been used to direct the energy of a space, but spatial arrangement is rooted in more than Chinese tradition — it’s based on common sense! If you like to unwind in the living room by watching television on your sofa, you’re not going to enjoy twisting your neck to the view the screen. Place furniture in such a way that you can move about easily, engage in conversation, and avoid clutter. Observe your handiwork from a distance and from different angles to ensure your space looks great from all sides.

To learn more about mastering the many moods of design, check out Skillshare’s design classes and other great posts from our blog.

To learn more about mastering the many moods of design, check out Skillshare’s design classes today!

Written by:

Lauren Ellis