Interior Design for Better Habits: Less TV, More Life

What is the first thing you typically do when you walk into your living room? Chances are, you sit down on the couch. And once you’re on the couch, what’s the next likely action? Turning on the TV, right? These patterns, so embedded in our daily routines, demonstrate how our living spaces can subtly nudge us towards certain behaviors, even ones we might wish to limit like excessive TV watching.

Sounds counterintuitive, doesn’t it? We design spaces that encourage us to indulge in habits we’d rather avoid, then chastise ourselves for lacking self-control. But here’s an interesting concept: rather than relying on willpower alone, we can leverage the power of our environment to shape our habits.

If your goal is to reduce the amount of time spent watching TV, some simple changes to your living room layout could make a significant difference. The key lies in the principles of “choice architecture,” which suggests that the way choices are presented influences our behaviors.

Removing the TV might not be a practical option for everyone, but here are some alternatives: consider disguising the TV behind the doors of a wall cabinet or a curtain. This reduces its visual prominence and lessens the likelihood of it being the first thing you turn to when you enter the room.

Another approach could be to reposition your couch so that it faces a window or a visually engaging piece of art. This shift in focus can inspire different behaviors, such as reading, daydreaming, or simply enjoying the view.

At its core, the goal is to design an environment that encourages and reinforces the behaviors you want to foster. Rather than falling into unfavorable habits due to thoughtless design, become an active participant in shaping your living space.

In conclusion, remember that interior design isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s a powerful tool that can shape our habits and, by extension, our lives. So next time you walk into your living room, think about what behaviors your design is promoting and adjust accordingly.