Imagine walking into a completely white room with no furnishings. It would be very hard to connect with that room. You wouldn’t really know what to think, or even the purpose of the room. This is where decor comes into play, it gives the viewer something to which the viewer can relate. People can connect to the decor in three ways: through memories, emotions, and style. Decor matters because it affects how the viewer perceives the environment around them especially when you’re decking out your home with Southwestern rugs.

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Past experiences affect how we perceive an environment. For example, banks may choose to go with neutral color schemes and simple furniture. No part of the decor would be outlandish or bizarre. A bank would want to make you feel comfortable, so you would trust and do business with them. People feel comfortable in a familiar environment. It’s likely you would have seen very similar furniture or carpeting in someone’s living room. Another type of business that would choose decor that plays off a person’s memories would be hotels. A hotel would want to make you feel at home. They do this by choosing decor you would see at home rather than a business. The decor may include lamps instead of overhead lighting, it could include beds with quilted covers, patterned drapes, and paintings generic landscapes. If it reminds the viewer of home, the hotel room would seem very inviting.

Decor can also be used to manipulate a person’s emotions. One way is the color of the decor can have an effect on people’s emotions. A warm color scheme gives off a very energetic and lively vibe, but a cool color scheme is very relaxing. Using black gives off a professional and serious look, while white makes things look sanitary or clean. The type of decor can have an emotional impact. Decor with soft materials can make a viewer feel cozy. For example, a room with a rug, a sofa, tapestry, and drapes with Aztec style are going to feel inviting. A room with hard materials like glass, metal or plastic is generally going to give off a serious or formal impression.

The style by either time period or culture the decor is inspired by can affect how we see the environment. A Chinese restaurant appears to be more authentic if there is decor in an oriental style with lots of red and gold. The time period the decor is from or based off of can change how we feel about an environment. Styles from different time periods are also associated with different emotions and values. The 80’s was a very energetic time period, and decor reflects that. A room with 80’s inspired decor, would likely use chrome and neon pinks and greens. The chrome and neon colors would make people feel more energetic and maybe even nostalgic. Another example, a business that sells smartphones currently use 21st century inspired decor. The viewer associates current design trends as up to date or cutting edge, which is important for a technology vendor.

Decor’s matters because it can influences how we perceive our environment through emotion, memories, and style. Whether subtle or dominant, the decor has the power to alter a person’s frame of mind and is always worthy of consideration when designing a space.