Interior Design by Johnson Ribolla

Design tips for productivity and wellbeing

Both architects and interior designers agree that the space, aesthetics, colours and lighting in a home have a very real effect on its inhabitant’s well-being. These factors can influence our decisions, our emotional responses and also the way we feel about ourselves.

Recently, Sadie Morgan, Director at de Rijke Marsh Morgan Architects, and Dr Eve Edelstein, Director of the Human Experience Lab at Perkins+Will discussed how design can aid mental and physical well-being at the World Architecture Experience in Singapore.
Linking neurological research to environmental conditions, the speech entitled “The Psychology of Space”, addressed the importance of design for the senses and the impact that well – or even poorly – designed buildings have on the brain, body and behaviour of building users.
When it comes to students, the accommodation they choose will be used to live, socialise and study, so it’s important that they are provided with the right kind of environment to encourage both productivity and well-being.
We’ve taken a look at some simple and effective ways to utilise the space you can offer to students.

Lighting effects


Interior Design by Johnson Ribolla

In offices and other working environments, the recommended limit is increased to 300-500 lux. As attending university involves a lot of individual work, students spend lots of their time studying in their accommodation. Therefore, accommodation providers should look for easy ways to increase and decrease lighting to help with students productivity, from installing devices that allow students to vary the colour and type of lighting, to installing lighting outlets in desks, work areas, or even simply providing lamps.

Know your colours

It’s widely agreed, in not just interior design circles, but in marketing and branding as well, that colours can have  huge effects on a person’s mood and thoughts. Accommodation providers should consider how each colour will affect students in different rooms.

For example:

  • Blue is the most productive colour, so should be used in studies and environments where people will be working.
  • Green represents tranquillity and health, so is best used in the bedroom.
  • Lavender calms the nerves and allows for relaxation;it works well in living areas.
  • Yellow helps to increase metabolism, brightens a room and gives you energy, so is often recommended for the kitchen.
  • Red encourages appetite so is usually used in dining areas.

amenity-space-5Make use of the space on offer

Sometimes in student accommodations, there can be limited personal space on offer, which can lead to feelings of claustrophobia and general unhappiness. Although you might not be able to change the space, there are some smart tricks you can use to maximise the space on offer and ensure that your students feel comfortable.

Use design tricks

Create an impression of expansiveness by using decorative pieces like floor-to-ceiling curtains, see-through furnishings and strategically placed mirrors.

Make every piece work

Use pieces that offer maximum functionality and minimal square footage, i.e. use two small round tables instead of one large one.

631_studio-cityCustomise the space

Storage nooks, built-in work spaces and wall bookcases can all help a room look more spacious and offer students a choice on how they use their space.

There are plenty small ways to help increase the well-being and productivity of the students in your building. When you have happy students, they are more likely to succeed academically, recommend the accommodation to a friend and stay for longer than a year, so any small efforts will be more than worth it in the long run.

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