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Amazing Psychological Effects of Patterns in Pet-Friendly Interiors

psychological effects of patterns
Amazing Psychological Effects of Patterns in Pet-Friendly Interiors

Meet the Author and Your Future Designer: Julio Arco is a passionate architect with years of experience in architecture, interior design, urban design, and housing. He studied at prestigious universities across North America and Europe. 


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Amazing Psychological Effects of Patterns in Pet-Friendly Interiors

Psychological Effects of Patterns in Pet-Friendly Interiors – Introduction Video

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Patterns can be used in interior design to evoke a certain feeling or atmosphere. According to a study done by SAGE Journals, patterns can have “transformative effects” when used in interior spaces. Thus designers should consider using them thoughtfully and carefully for the best results.

Moreover, the book Patterns in Interior Environments: Perception, Psychology, and Practice explores and proves how people perceive patterns and how they can be used in interior design to create positive outcomes. It also looks at ways that designers can create effective pattern-based interiors with various designs, spaces, and users in mind.

Additionally, according to a recent article published by Frontierspatterns are important cues for conveying meaning within an interior environment; they can be used to convey an emotion or draw attention to certain elements of a space, or help evoke memories from past places or experiences that people have had before entering a space with particular visual pattern cues present. Therein Patterns are also versatile tools that can be employed to facilitate the transition between different areas within an interior space, as demonstrated by a study published in ScienceDirect.

1.- Why are Patterns Important in Evidence-Based Design for Pet-Friendly Interiors?

Interior designers, architects, and design professionals are always looking for ways to create beautiful and functional spaces. One way to achieve this is by incorporating patterns into the design process and design decisions. Patterns can have a powerful impact on the human mind and health. They can be used to create a variety of desired effects and the best positive outcomes in the health and well-being of both pets and humans.

For example, evidence suggests that repeating patterns can help to create a feeling of unity and harmony while contrasting patterns can add visual interest and energy. In addition, patterns can manipulate the perceived size of the built environment, making a room appear larger or smaller than it actually is.

Other pattern characteristics should also be considered, such as its size. Wallpapers that contain smaller patterns can create the effect of increasing the perception of the built environment. In contrast, when using bigger patterns, the effect will be the direct opposite (Augustin & Miller, 2012).

Moreover, credible research suggests that complex patterns and color combinations can become over-stimulating and produce adverse effects on health. Over-use of dot patterns can cause visual fatigue, distraction, and even feelings of nausea (Rodemann, 2009). Additionally, visual fatigue and migraines were reported after participants in a study were exposed to stripe pattern stimuli (Rodemann, 2009). 

Ultimately, patterns are a versatile tool that can be used to create both aesthetically pleasing and psychologically stimulating rooms. And when it comes to designing for our furry friends, patterns can be just as important. Pets are susceptible to their environment, and the wrong interior design can cause them a great deal of stress.

2.- Are the Psychological Effects of Patterns in Dogs similar to Humans?

Physiologically speaking, research has proven that, just as color can produce psychological effects, so can patterns. If we consider what nature provides us, plants or animals that have visually complex patterns are the ones that can be regarded as dangerous.

Therefore, considering all the years of the evolutionary process that humans and dogs have gone through, visually complex patterns tend to trigger a higher response than simpler ones (Rodemann, 2009).

It is interesting to note that dogs are still very much in tune with their natural instincts even though we have been domesticated for centuries. This means that they are likely to react to patterns in all built environments the same way they would to anything else in the wild.

As such, it is essential to be mindful of the types of patterns that are used in pet-friendly interiors. The wrong pattern can cause anxiety and stress in our furry friends, leading to a variety of behavioral problems and health-related issues. On the other hand, the correct pattern can have a calming and relaxing effect, making it the perfect choice for a pet-friendly space.

Amazing Psychological Effects of Patterns in Pet-Friendly Interiors

3.- What are the Effects of Patterns on Humans?

Most of us are familiar with the phenomenon of Optical Illusions, where our eyes can be tricked by patterns into seeing things that are not really there. What we may not realize is that these patterns can also affect our emotions.

For example, specific patterns can cause us to feel dizzy or nauseous. In contrast, others can create a sense of anxiety or unease. In some cases, these effects can be pretty intense, and it is vital to be aware of them when choosing patterns for our homes or workplaces.

While there is no need to avoid all patterns, it is essential to be mindful of their effects on our emotions and well-being.

In a recent study conducted by Meixuan Chen, 20 participants were shown different patterns while monitoring them with EEG and ECG monitors. The participants were also asked how they felt about each pattern to gauge their emotional responses. When Chen analyzed the results, she discerned two trends.

Participants took more pleasure from repeating patterns than non-repeating ones and were more excited by intense patterns than weak ones. This may be because repeating patterns are more visually stimulating and thus capture our attention more easily.

On the other hand, non-repeating patterns may be perceived as being more calming and relaxing. Either way, it’s essential to appreciate that pleasure and excitement are not necessarily the same thing.

Exciting things surprise us and make us sit up and take notice, but they may not necessarily be pleasant. Things can be both exciting and unpleasant, or just pleasant but not particularly exciting. Ultimately, it all comes down to personal.

It is essential to be mindful of the effects that patterns can have on our emotions and to choose patterns that will create the desired impact in our homes and workplaces and in our lives.

4.- What are the Effects of Patterns on Dogs?

In a recent study, animal biologists found that dogs showed distinct reactions to people wearing solid-colored shirts versus shirts with patterns. While none of the dogs had an adverse reaction to the solid-color shirt, many became agitated when the same person switched to a patterned shirt. (Psychology Today)

Stripes seemed to be the biggest trigger, but other patterns also caused some dogs to become upset. The dogs were most active and emotional toward the shirt’s person with a narrow, evenly striped pattern. This suggests that even subtle changes in patterns can significantly impact our furry friends.

This concept also applies to patterns that contain complex and sharp angles that energize instead of organic and curvy patterns that create the opposite effect. However, it is not only the shapes of patterns that influence our psychological state; colors within the pattern can also have an impact.

Therefore, when designing a space for both humans and pets, it is vital to consider the colors and shapes of the patterns being used.

Amazing Psychological Effects of Patterns in Pet-Friendly Interiors
Amazing Psychological Effects of Patterns in Pet-Friendly Interiors

5.- What are the Best ways to use Patterns in Pet-Friendly Interior Designs?

1.- Use Patterns to create a sense of order and calmness

Using patterns to create a sense of order and calmness is an excellent way to make any pet-friendly space feel more inviting. Layering rugs can bring warmth and visual interest, while colors and patterns can be used to tie the room together.

Choose pet-friendly rugs that are designed with pets in mind, or opt for hardwood flooring instead. Be sure to select the right size rug for your space; otherwise, it may not fit properly. Wool rugs look great but require regular cleaning as they tend to attract a lot of dirt from pets. With these tips, you can create a calming environment for both yourself and your pet!

2.- Use Patterns to reduce stress and anxiety

When it comes to curtains, there are a few different ways to use patterns to dress your windows and reduce stress and anxiety. The key is to choose a curtain rod color that complements the pattern you’re using.

Additionally, try alternating patterned and solid fabrics for layered curtains to draw attention away from any centered window. When layering, play with sizes, hems, and light and dark colors while still maintaining balance. Using patterns in your curtains can add texture and color to your room while also helping you maintain a feeling of calm.

3.- Use Patterns to stimulate the senses

Some patterns can stimulate the senses and provide a source of mental and visual stimulation for both humans and animals. While too much stimulation can be overwhelming, the right amount can provide a welcome break from the monotony of everyday life.

4.- Use Patterns to create a sense of comfort and safety

Familiar patterns can create a sense of comfort and safety for both humans and animals. Incorporating patterns inspired by nature, such as those found in the animal kingdom, can help create a calming and reassuring space.

5.- Use Patterns to create focal points

Incorporating patterns into the design of a pet-friendly space can help to create visual interest and focal points. The use of patterns can also help to highlight specific areas or features of a space that you want your pet to pay attention to.

6.- Use Patterns to disguise imperfections

Patterns can disguise imperfections in a space and create the illusion of a more cohesive design. If you are working with a limited budget, patterns can be an effective way to make a small space appear larger and more finished.

7.- Use Patterns to create the illusion of movement

Patterns can create the illusion of movement, which can help direct your pet’s attention to certain areas of space. Patterns can also help break up large expanses of blank walls or floors, making a room appear more exciting and inviting.

8.- Use Patterns to add personality to a space

Patterns can add personality to a space and make it feel more like home. Incorporating patterns is a great way to do so if you are looking to create a space that reflects your own personal style.

9.- Use Patterns to provide mental stimulation

Pets need stimulation just as much as people do. A lack of mental stimulation can lead to boredom and destructive behaviors. Incorporating patterns into the design of a pet-friendly space can help to provide the mental stimulation that pets need to stay happy and healthy.

10.- Use Patterns to create an ambiance

The use of patterns can help to set the mood and create an overall ambiance in a space. Suppose you are looking to create a relaxing and calming space; in that case, incorporating organic patterns can be an effective way to achieve that goal.


This article should provide designers with guidelines based on quality evidence to produce their own design strategies on a case-by-case basis and produce the best possible outcomes. Using patterns in interior design should be contemplated because every square centimeter counts in any high-quality design.

Designers should be mindful that the line of sight embraces all the areas in any room or built environment. Therefore, the user is constantly being influenced by patterns and textures that the design might have.

Therefore, when deciding to use patterns in any given design element and space, its selection must be made by considering what the effect may be.

Remembering that the right combination of pattern size, color combination, and edgy or curvy lines, can be beneficial to create and stimulate the kind of environment that a specific area requires.

When used correctly, patterns can profoundly impact the psychological well-being of both people and pets. If you are designing a pet-friendly space, be sure to keep the psychological effects of patterns in mind to create a beautiful and functional space.

This article is a part of a series called Evidence-Based Design Principles for Great Pet-Friendly Interiors, click this link if you want to learn more. 

Amazing Psychological Effects of Patterns in Pet-Friendly Interiors

Hire an Online Interior Designer at Havenly

There are several online interior design websites, but Havenly is your best option to hire from a robust list of interior designers that will help you in decorating and creating the perfect dog-friendly home. When you sign up for Havenly, you will take a short quiz about your design style and what you are looking for in a designer. Havenly will then match you with a designer who will help you select paint colors, furniture, and accessories that are both stylish and safe for your furry friend.

In addition, your Havenly designer will be able to provide tips on how to create a space that is both comfortable for your dog and inviting for guests. With Havenly, creating a beautiful and functional home that your dog will love is easy and stress-free.

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M.Arch. Julio Arco
M.Arch. Julio Arco

Bachelor of Architecture - ITESM University
Master of Architecture - McGill University
Architecture in Urban Context Certificate - LDM University
Interior Designer - Havenly
Architecture Professor - ITESM University

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