When it comes to designing a literal comfort zone, the answer is in the five senses.
Designing our environment using science can have a profound effect on our behavior, Sally Agustin said. Sally Agustin, an environmental psychologist and owner of designwithscience.com utilizes the five senses every day when designing rooms for her clients.
“All our senses are working simultaneously when we enter a room,” Agustin said. “From the smells to feel of the rug under our feet.”
Agustin also said in Western culture we’re drawn to having visually appealing rooms, but that we should highlight all of the senses for the optimal comfort zone.
Creating a comfort zone doesn’t have to involve drastic changes. Subtle changes like the textiles we use on our bedding, to having lavender diffusers or candles in our rooms, can create ripples in effectively creating a calming area.
“Flannel sheets for instance remind us of the softer textures we experienced as a child,” Agustin said.
Changing the lighting from blue-toned to warm lighting, is another simple change that can have drastic results.
Many of our electronics emit blue light, which Agustin said our devices now have settings to alter that to warm light bedtime nears. She said exposure to blue or cooler lights, especially around bedtime, can make it more difficult for someone to fall asleep.
Discounting the soundscape of a room is a rookie mistake. Agustin said this depends on the occupant of the room. “When you’re curating this space, it’s important to reflect positive experiences,” she said. “Not just natural sounds, but natural sounds that are pleasant.”
Pleasant sounds are personal preference. White noise machines aren’t for everyone, try playing a audio of a slight breeze or nature sounds.
Visuals aren’t the main focal point, but are still key when trying to create a relaxing abode.
Agustin said that curvilinear and rounder objects and designs are naturally more pleasant to the eye. Whereas rectangular and hard-lines are harsher.
But if you’re really committed, changing the color of your wall to a cooler-toned, bright color like sage green can make your space more relaxing, according to Agustin.
Ultimately, crafting a comfort zone its all about making a space that you like through the use of the five senses. Factors like lighting and scents are important, but Agustin said you have to like the space that you’re in.