Reply To: Interior Design for Mental Health

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Carmen Nave

Hi! I just found this topic and I know it’s old, but I am building a design business that focuses on design for ADHD so I thought I’d drop in and share some of my findings. I clicked the notifications for replies, so if anyone is curious I can post more follow up.

What I’ve found online is mostly around decorating and organizing. So the idea about bookshelves is organizing, the paint colour theory is a decorating idea. There has been no research that I can find into design and ADHD in living spaces, which would include things like the layout of the space, the materials used to build, as well as more organizational and decorative elements. There is a small amount of research on design for classrooms, but it has pretty limited value for home environments.

I have been doing research into autism and design as a related field. I found ASPECTSS, which is a research based architectural guideline for developing designs for autism ( The attention to sensory experiences is quite useful for ADHD, but this is a guideline that is highly tuned to autism, so the usefulness to ADHD is somewhat limited.

I’m working on my own guideline to use with ADHD clients, so that we can work together on analyzing their relationship with the space, routines, and people they live with. Creating spaces that support memory, limit sensory distractions, and contain immediate, intrinsic rewards are some of the guidelines I’ve created.

From my own experience, I really think that two of the most important things a designer could help with is layout (creating functional and/or sensory zones) and acoustics. Being able to hear people’s voices well in conversation areas and not hear things from other zones when you need quiet are two huge things for me 😀

Anyway, if anyone wants to revive this thread and chat about design with me, I’d love it!!