The science of well-being in the home

This year we celebrate twenty years in business. We created Cimmermann back in 2004 with a clear purpose.

To encourage more people to buy less but buy better for their homes. A purpose that is unchanged today.

Over this series, A Happier Home, we want to explore what home factors contribute to our happiness and specifically how we can live and feel happier through the choices we make about our home and environment design.

According to Chloe Taylor in Psychology Tomorrow magazine,

“Although the bond between interior design and our emotions has gained much attention in the last decade, this form of environmental psychology exists for thousands of years now – the Indian Vastu Shastra, the Chinese Feng Shui, etc.

Because of the rise of neuroscience, scientists are doing plenty of research on this topic and finding the most incredible results. They have shown the ability of interior design elements to evoke a positive or negative emotional response in people. These findings open the door to design spaces that consciously manipulate decorative elements with the goal of encouraging creativity, peace, and happiness.”


A container for our dreams

The impact of good design on our well-being has long been recognised. At its very simplest, a house is a safe sanctuary from the perils of the outside world. Like birds flee to their nests, we retreat inside our homes.

On a pyschological level, our home is a place we can express ourselves too. Not just who we are now, but where we came from (our heritage) and also who we might become in the future.

“We need a home in the psychological sense as much as we need one in the physical: to compensate for a vulnerability. We need a refuge to shore up our states of mind, because so much of the world is opposed to our allegiances. We need our rooms to align us to desirable versions of ourselves and to keep alive the important, evanescent sides of us.”

- Alain de Botton, The Architecture of Happiness

Home. What does it mean to you? It might mean that feeling when you walk in the door, in from the cold, to hear children’s laughter reverberating off the corridor. Or, the smells from the kitchen of a favourite meal, or the feeling of sinking into your favourite lounge chair at the weekend. Perhaps the first Spring morning that’s warm enough to have your coffee outside?

The founders of The Modern House, Matt Gibberd and Albert Hill in their‘Manifesto for Modern Living’ say:

“Given that our living environment is the very bedrock of our existence, it makes sense that we should apply the same level of careful consideration to how it makes us feel. For it to be successful, a modern home must surely make us healthier, happier and more fulfilled. It should be a container for our dreams.”



Adeline and Florent Maillet left the city to build their ideal home in touch with nature. As they shared with Vitra:

“When we took over our family farm about 15 years ago, we had lived in the city for about ten years and thought: ‘If we move out of the city, we have to build the house we always dreamt of.’ We wanted a house that fits into the landscape, that does not distort its surroundings – nature, the fields. We wanted it to be on a human scale. To us an ideal house is a simple house. No frills. Who needs six bedrooms, four floors? We have a wood stove that warms the body and the heart. A home is a place where we feel free, inside and out. We have space, we have light, we have peace”.



Alain de Botton believes that our homes trigger a neurological response; called Neuroaesthetics.

Neuroaesthetics is a recent area of study that looks at the impact of design and art have on our well-being. Both on our limbic systems (emotions) and the prefrontal cortex (the way we think). Design that awakens our senses and makes us feel something.

The materials we choose stimulate our senses. If you’ve ever run your hand on the back of a Wishbone Chair, or been enveloped in the soft bouclé fabric of an &Tradition Little Petra chair, or pulled a Vitra Eames Wool Blanketaround you, you will know what we mean.

Shop the Sensory Collection


Happiness indicators

According to a recent study of over 4,000 UK homeowners by Resi, the UK’s leading architecture practice for everyday home owners, there are six key qualities to focus on when designing a home for optimum happiness: Secure, Nourishing, Adaptable, Relaxed, Connected and Mirrors.

Similarly The Modern House: A Modern Way To Live by Matt Gibberd, outlines five key factors that define how we live better now. They are Space, Light, Materials, Nature, and Decoration. We believe that creating a happier home depends on three three things, and we’ll be covering all of these throughout this series.

- a connection to ourselves (reflect who we are and what we believe)

- a connection to others (creating happier spaces for everyone, community spaces and adaptability, thoughtful use of guest spaces)

- a connection to the pieces we collect and buy for our homes (spending thoughtfully, investing in quality, buying furniture with a story behind it)


A green feeling

Biophilia, from the Greek meaning of “a love of living things” is known to be a way to increase happiness. The Human Spaces study: The Global Impact of Biophilic Design in the Workplace’ shows that greenery and sunlight make us 6% more productive, report a 15% higher level of well-being and 15% more creative.

Read more: How to create a greener, curvier home inspired by the Eames House


A space to relax

According to the Resi survey, 90% of British householders who say they are happy at home say it is relaxed. Getting that cocooning feeling in our living spaces and bedrooms can promote sleep (good for our well-being), help us feel safe (a primal need) and awaken one or more of our senses; all of which stimulate happiness.

The most comfortable pieces we’ve found include the Hay Quilton sofa (cloud-like), the SCP Puffer sofa, Grand Repos and Lamino chair.


Clearing the mental load

According to Houzz, homeowners are happiest in rooms that are clean and organised (72%). Whether you live alone or in a multi-generational family, clearing clutter and having a home for everything releases positive mental energy. it also helps free up space to focus on your well-being and happiness.

String, the absolute Swedish classic, is as modern now as when it was first invented in 1949. Always a favourite choice to organise your home. Shop String collection

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