For the past two years, people across the world have been staying inside their homes more than ever due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, mental health issues such as stress, anxiety, and depression have significantly increased as the pandemic brought high levels of uncertainty. Thus, the pandemic lifestyle has forced people to realize what interior designers have known for a long time: the importance of surrounding yourself with what makes you feel good. We sat down with Beth and Jon, full-time interior designers, partners, and parents, to talk about their work and how interior design is crucial in improving mental health and productivity.
Q: What made you want to pursue interior design as your career?
A: We’ve been interested in interior design ever since we moved into our first property together in 2005. It all started with designing and creating our own homes that worked better for us and that also reflected our personality. We’ve since turned that passion into our career.
Q: What is your favorite part about designing?
A: The best thing about our work is seeing the client’s reaction to the end result. Most of our clients work with us because they can’t visualize how their space will come together or don’t have time to think about what would work best in their homes. So, to see the joy our clients feel when their homes work better for them on a practical level as well as reflect their personalities and taste is the best feeling.
Q: Where do you go for inspiration when you’re stuck?
A: You’d probably expect us to say that looking at social media would help. But that often hinders us as it means we’re not thinking about our specific clients and thinking too much about what’s on-trend at the moment. The best inspiration often comes when we’re not thinking about design. In fact, larger commercial buildings can often be really inspiring as they have different textures and materials used in their design.
Q: How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected you?
A: The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that more people are thinking about making changes to their homes more than ever for those in financially stable situations. This has resulted in us being busier than we’ve ever been, which we feel very fortunate to say when so many people have been financially affected by the pandemic. Personally, we’ve also been fortunate to say that we’ve not been directly affected. But it’s not always been easy juggling work with two young children at home when the country was locked down.
Q: Do you think the design of our home affects our mental health?
A: Our environment definitely affects our mental health. If your home doesn’t work for you, practically or aesthetically, then it will affect how you feel. Having a layout and flow to your home that suits the way you live will make a huge impact on how you feel on a day-to-day basis. On the other hand, walking through the front door into a home where you don’t like the decor will eventually make you feel resentful. Making a really basic change like painting the walls of one room to a color that brings you joy will significantly affect your mental health. The better you feel about and within your home, the better you will feel overall.
Q: How has interior design affected your mental health?
A: We like being surrounded by color, rustic materials, and unique vintage or second-hand pieces of furniture. But that takes a different feel depending on which room we’re in. Our bedroom, for instance, is light and bright because we both struggle to get out of bed and need a space that helps wake us up for the day. Knowing how we want to feel in each of the different spaces in our home means we can design each space to make us feel good.
Q: What is your biggest tip for improving mental health through home decor?
A: If something isn’t working for you, then change it. You don’t always need to spend lots of money on a big build. Often, a smaller change can make all the difference. Find a color or a piece of artwork that makes you feel positive and incorporate it into your home.
Q: What is your favorite thing to do in your home to destress after a long workday?
During the autumn and winter months, a takeaway curry, beer, and bingeing a box set while we burn a nice smelling candle and turn the fairy lights on is our idea of a perfect night in.
When so much around us is out of our control, focus your energy on something you have authority over, like your home interior. If your space doesn’t generate good vibes and positive energy for you, consider making a change.
*Answers have been slightly edited for clarity and length. Keep up with Beth and Jon on their Instagram and Facebook!