Design Psychology

Have you ever returned from holiday at a luxury resort desperate to capture the same feelings of comfort, relaxation and opulence in your own home?

If you’re a do-it-yourself decorator, knowing how the exact the perfect design balance in your home can be hit and miss.

The luxurious and decadent design elements featured in many modern New Zealand luxury hotels and resorts is at the forefront of intelligent interior design. The professional design strategies to convey feelings of comfort, lavishness and escape are part of what makes your stay at a luxury hotel so enjoyable.

The good news is, the design psychology behind the delectable décor of a luxury resort suite can easily be applied to your own home, albeit on a smaller scale.

The power of our surroundings
It is well known that our surroundings can have a significant impact on our mood and feelings, with certain colours, textures, shapes and patterns having the power to relax and revitalise us subconsciously.

While interior design can be described at its most basic level as the process of shaping the experience of interior space, the design psychology guiding the décor plays a large role in shaping the way we feel when we enter that space.

Resort rooms offer the optimum in style, sophistication and elegance. Well appointed and spacious areas in their grand suites can offer feelings of rest and relaxation, and of capturing a slice of the good life with their sumptuous furnishing and décor.

Why design psychology?
While the reality of being on holiday is enough to instantly relax any New Zealander seeking a little pampering, the intelligent interior design elements featured in modern New Zealand hotels and resorts goes a long way in enhancing these feelings and maximising your holiday enjoyment.

So what can you do in your own home to capture those delicious feelings of rest, revitalisation and luxury in your own home?

Though your budget is probably going to be a great deal more limited than that of a designer creating a gorgeous luxury accommodation retreat with all the exquisite trimmings, utilising the right design psychology can assist you in creating your own lavish sanctuary at home.

Your goal through this process will be to design your décor to be attractive, functional, and to provide a certain ‘feel’ for each room in the home.

The right design elements can encompass changing wallpaper, painting walls and other surfaces, choosing the right furniture and fittings, and providing other decorations for the area such as paintings and ambient lighting.

Let’s look at the psychology of successful design so eloquently executed in luxury suites and retreats.

Creating a sanctuary
Whether it’s your home or a grand suite to make your own while on holiday, any sanctuary is most comfortable when it caters to our subconscious desires of what a safe haven is. This includes much more than just the basic elements of protection from the elements and security from the outside world.

We want our inner sanctums to make us to feel happy, peaceful, comfortable and healthy. So how do we turn a simple set of walls, ceilings and floors into an inviting, lavish space that can nurture our bodies and minds?

Studies in environmental psychology show that what makes us feel comfortable and happy in our homes may be connected to survival instincts that we’ve carried within our DNA for millennia.

Firstly, design psychology suggests that we want to be able to think of our homes as places of refuge. Our earliest ancestors were more likely to survive if they knew how to find secure places that provided shelter from the elements and protection from predators, and this might explain our modern preference for cozy corners.

The best interior designers understand how even the right placement of furniture and the selection of materials can enhance feelings of comfort and security in luxury hotel rooms and modern homes.

Declutter, destress
The second most influential psychological design element often evident in luxury hotels is a focus on simplicity. Though a room’s furnishings and fittings may be lavish, you’ll often find the most stylish and sophisticated luxury suites centre on a simple elegance in their design.

Clean lines, simple yet bold focal points, and surroundings that are clear and uncluttered provide an inviting environment in which to holiday.

Clutter and mess can contribute to stress and feelings of unrest, so take a page from the design principals employed in luxury suites and declutter your spaces. Not only will your sanctuary be tidier, but you’ll be able to bring the airy feeling of simple or even minimalist elegance to your own home.

Unwind, then design
There’s no denying the decadent pleasure of taking time out to holiday, unwind and relax at a resort. Their suites are of course spaces where you can completely check your worries at the front desk and indulge in the highest quality, luxurious surroundings and facilities.

But by understanding some of the key elements of design psychology, we can see how subtle changes in materials, designs, lighting, and placement of furniture can help us bring those feelings of relaxation into your own elegant retreat at home.


This article was kindly supplied by NZS.