Interior Decor As Therapy
It should come as no surprise that our surroundings affect our mood. If we are in a place that suits us, a clean environment full of things we find beautiful, it makes the daily struggles of life a bit easier to accept. But how far does this go? Some experts are betting that the aesthetics of our home have a direct effect on our health, and they are betting with real money.
Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore recently underwent new construction focused on this gamble, to the tune of $ 1.1 billion. The effort culminated with the construction of two 12-story towers connected with a base building, totaling more than a million square feet and 560 private rooms for patients. Those rooms, and every corridor, hallway, nook and stairwell, were designed to accelerate healing through art and design.
The project was recently detailed in an article in Interior Design magazine. All told, 500 pieces of art were purchased or created for the project, a combined effort from 70 artists.
The hospital industry is not the only one taking notice of this healing effect of aesthetics. Products offered by interior design companies focus on the colors and decor that enhance mood. And DuPont has launched a line of paint aimed at healing. The Healing Colors Collection is blending science with art to achieve harmony for those who need to heal.
While billion dollar hospitals and multinational companies are recognizing the therapeutic nature of art, others at the grassroots level are championing the cause and working to bring some relief to those possessing very little.
The people at The Living Room in North Carolina use volunteer efforts and charity to bring decor to those suffering from illness and unable to afford the makeover that will improve their ability to "feel and heal," according to the Living Room mission statement.
"We believe the environment plays an important part in how you feel and how you heal. The Living Room will re-use, re-invent and re-design to affordably create a peaceful, calm sanctuary. .. the treatment starts at home. "
All of these efforts remind us of the healing power of art, of the fact that our surroundings affect not only our mood, but our state of mind and our health. Interior Design is always focused on aesthetics, and those not in the industry might think that to be a wonderful thing. But when we remind ourselves why we choose to put great effort into bringing beauty into our homes, we realize it is not a wonderful endeavor. Far from it. In fact, it may be the most human of all endeavors, because it gives us good health, and when we have that we are ready to face the other struggles life presents to us.