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Can Home Decor Impact Happiness?

Does the decor in one's home contribute to happiness? Scientists at The University of Texas at Austin wanted to find out. They completed a study with 286 people over the age of 65. Researchers analyzed the participants' personalities and then took photos of the rooms where the study participants spent the majority of their time. They rated certain characteristics of the rooms, including brightness, cleanliness, and newness. After analyzing the data, researchers found that certain characteristics of a person’s personality were reflected in core elements of room decor. After analyzing the data, “'People who have a match between personality and living space report better well-being, and they feel better about their life and have a better mood,'” said Karen Fingerman, professor of human development and family sciences at The University of Texas at Austin and director of the Texas Aging and Longevity Center."

The researchers found that when a living space matches the personality and preferences of the person who lives there, older adults reported an increase in well-being. In addition, one exciting application for the research findings is the importance of making sure a room matches a person's personality when moving to assisted living, memory care, and more. This can make a huge impact in their adjustment and success in their new home.

Researchers even broke down certain personality traits and the type of room characteristics you might expect to see. For example, conscientiousness was associated with the newness of items and comfort. Extraversion was expressed with the newness of items and the cheerfulness of decor items. An interesting finding from researchers is that clutter was associated with less symptoms of depression for adults functional limitations. Exciting research that has the potential to improve the quality of life for many!


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