Interior Design and Happiness: Can interior design make you happier?

Last Updated on May 30, 2024 by SampleBoard

How important is happiness in architecture and design?

Recently in Sydney the design critic of the International Herald Alice Rawsthorn stated “Design and Happiness have always been interlinked – and bad design leads to unhappiness”. It reminded me of a book I read a few years ago. The book by Alain De Botton: ‘The Architecture of Happiness’. Alan believes the buildings and objects we live with affect us more profoundly than we think. I love the fact he suggests that it is architecture’s task to render vivid to us who we might ideally be.

Sample Board created by Rosena on featuring Polder Sofa

Rawsthorn points out many designers of the past focused on practicality with the form must follow function as the catch cry. But did the modern minimalist styles of recent years make us happy? Alice suggests we require more from design as well as being practical and functional it should call to our sensual side.

Successful design needs to be functional, be created with a conscience, be beautiful and have integrity according to Rathsthorn. She goes on to explain; a design is useless if it does not meet the function for which it was designed. Ethical and environmental issues need to be considered throughout the design project.

Hella Jongeriu a Dutch designer is considered one of the most important designers of the last few decades. Her designs feature imperfection and are individualistic. For example her Polder Sofa has mismatched buttons and fabrics. Hella believes this sort of design adds a real human element and sense of happiness.

Sophie and Dale's Kitchen image via

I have been watching some of the episodes of The Block 2012. The young newlyweds Sophie and Dale have created some nifty retro rooms with a real sense of fun. Have they captured the essence of design to create happiness? They have selected unusual items for example pressed metal (used originally for ceilings in the 1800s) for a splash back in the kitchen. In the guest bedroom Sophie found old suitcases, she removed the lids and used the body of the cases for storage.

Sophie and Dale's Guest Bedroom image via

The rooms Sophie and Dale have created are quirky, individualistic and make you smile and sometimes laugh out loud. Creating interior spaces to make people happy is not a simple task. If you have an understanding of the different personality styles you realize different people require different environments to make them feel happy.

Sophie and Dale's Kitchen image via

My favorite kitchen design on the block is Mike and Andrew’s. It is smart, sophisticated and harmonious. I must admit I’m not too fond of Dani so this may influence my critique of the rooms she and her partner Dan have created. Dan and Dani’s rooms are beautifully trendy but do they lack personality?

Mike and Andrew's Kitchen image via

Could the key to designing spaces and objects to create happiness be more connected to personality than trend following? Being aware of current trends and design developments is vital for designers but it could be unhealthy to be totally dictated to by what is fashionable and popular. Are successful designers able to interpret new ideas in a way to suit their clients and in so doing make them happier?

To quote Rawsthron once again “However playful, joyful and stylish projects are, unless they work and are efficient, organized and environmentally responsible, they can lead to unhappiness”

Author: Rosena MacFadzean for – concept creation online