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Your All-White Color Scheme Is Adding To Your Stress

Soft and peaceful bathroom design with white fixtures, blue and white marble and a pale blue color scheme.  Your All-White Color Scheme Is Adding To Your Stress

Home sales across the country have seen a lovely little spike in the past few years. This means you likely have a new abode or maybe a circled, highlighted, and affirmation-scribbled house goal on your vision board. My job is to create that peaceful dream home you dreamed of.

QuianaRose of Design A Rose Interiors in Chicago smiling on a large cream colored sectional sofa

I’m QuianaRose, owner and CEO of Design A Rose Interiors. I offer full-service tranquil luxe interior design options for the Chicagoland area, and my focus is interiors for introverts, empaths, and highly sensitive people.

If you're seeking the soft life, quiet luxury feel in your environment, you're probably a great fit for my services. The first thing my clients say when I get to their home is, “I want everything white.” Or gray… or cream… or for the daredevils, white and cream. It’s then my job to ask them why they want everything white. I usually get a response that sounds like, “I want it to be clean and peaceful. I just want to come home and relax.”

Let's Break Down This Aesthetic

Here’s what’s going on inside my head as your interior designer.

· When you say you want peace, I know that means you are stressed. (who isn’t?).

· When you say you want a pale monochromatic design scheme (all white), I know that means you want to escape your stress.

· When you say you want a clean look, that may mean you like a bit of modern and contemporary design styles and that you work really hard and wonder why can’t life just be easier already.

The human brain desires a visual anchor

Your White Color Scheme Is Adding To Your Stress 😬

I hate to break it to you, but that all-white color palette is going to increase your stress in ways you never expected. And I don’t mean the typical sofa spills. (Designer tip, if you insist on a white sofa, please get some fancy blanket throws, and make everyone sit on them to avoid future family feuds.)

Your all-white or all-gray color scheme is causing you mental stress. Remember those design concepts of a focal point or a pop of color; These exist because the human brain desires a visual anchor and a mental point of safety. A room that is all one pale color actually causes your eyes to frequently move and bounce around the room searching for that visual anchor. Without one, your brain kicks into survival mode because it has not found a safe point to hide, or a safe reference for future recognition.

This is what I mean when I tell you that Design is not pretty:

A sunny room with large windows and a fire place. Before and after with original decor and then all white decor for compare and contrast. A short critique by Design A Rose Interiors Chicago. Your All-White Color Scheme Is Adding To Your Stress

Here is an example of this concept. Notice how the white room has no focal point. The contrast is too minimal to give depth. Even though the room is quite beautiful, there are sneaky issues here.

The furniture is floating in the white space. Nothing is heavy enough in color and size contrast to provide a visual anchor. This causes your eyes to bounce around the room seeking that anchor. That activity will continue as long as you are in that room. This will cause you anxiety, discomfort, and possibly eye strain and/or headaches, even though you are not consciously aware of the activity.

These all-white rooms are actually a mental health hazard. White can be a large part of your color scheme, but you need contrast and you need a real anchor.

Now notice that most of the original space is brown. However, your eye is drawn straight to that fireplace, and you could not unanchor it if you tried. You can see elsewhere, but it remains as a concentrated element in your field of vision.

This gives your brain a sense of safety, a place to rest, a location for retreat. (darn our lizard brain)

Design basics are not willy-nilly cute decisions. They are actually based on health and wellness. Design is not pretty; it's purpose.

But It's So Clean and Light, So It Must Be Peaceful, Right?

There have been many studies about the psychological effects of color in university interior settings like those by SAGE publications (The Effects of Color on the Moods of College Students) and Frontiers in Psychology (Interior Color and Psychological Functioning in a University Residence Hall).

On average, 50% of respondents select blue or green as their favorite color. And we’re all very familiar with blues and greens being used as relaxing colors for medical offices and the like. But did you know that the likely cause for the love of blue, green or violet isn’t just the nature relationship, but because they have the shortest wavelengths of light, meaning our eyes require less adjustment to perceive those colors and are therefore physically more relaxing to look at. Even eyeball cardio sucks.

Other ways our brains are perceiving that all grey or all white décor?

Our primal minds associate an expanse of this color with things like dangerous climates of snow and ice or a lack of barriers that leave us vulnerable to prey. And in some of those color studies I referenced, students were bored instead of relaxed when visiting the interior spaces that were achromatic, meaning no hue.

I say all this to say, put some color in that family room! Your all-white color scheme is adding to your stress. Although your white boucle furniture looks divine, it’s stressing you out. You need some contrast. Your brain is just trying to save you from falling through the ice, being consumed by a saber-toothed tiger, or worse—being bored stiff. …silly brain.

There's So Much More

I’m a personal interior designer for introverts, empaths and those who’ve worked hard to create a unique understanding of their lifestyle and want to enjoy all of who they are to the fullest.

Reach out to me as your professional interior designer. I will help you design a beautiful home that encourages wellbeing. I understand the importance of designing with intention, and I am excited to help you create a healthy home environment with balance and harmony in every room that focuses on the PEACE and luxury you deserve.

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