Good interior design relies on the same principles that saved your ancestors from saber tooth tigers. It caters to your primal instincts.

Taste, curation, and art may appeal to your higher brain, but when I begin to design a kitchen or bathroom I focus first on your amygdala.

What is the amygdala? It’s your “lizard brain”, the part responsible for triggering emotional responses.

When I design a room, I’m trying to create a specific emotional response. Having the kitchen of your dreams or a bathroom you could take bubble baths in for hours depends on my ability to provoke the right response in your brain.

Here are some of the factors I consider when laying out a room to stimulate or appease your amygdala. Consider this a crash course in the psychology of interior design.