Tips For Designing A Home That Makes You Happy

The pursuit of happiness should be a simple one, but it can be hard to know exactly what you need to do to give yourself a right chance to be happy. 

A perfect example of this is in our own homes. We spend so much time there, but do we do enough to make it a place that is a positive environment for us and our families and friends?. 

Luckily, there are simple steps you can take to make each room of your house a happier place. Starting at the very top, in the attic, you can create a bright and welcoming living space by just installing skylights, while painting the ceiling and walls white will add to this feeling. 

According to one survey, 78% of people feel more positive in a light and bright environment, so why miss an opportunity to create one?

One room that you don’t want to be light and bright all of the time is the bedroom, which needs to be dark and peaceful to enable you to get the right amount of sleep. 

To achieve this, you need heavy curtains that will block out the daylight when you should be sleeping peacefully. 

Another easy way to have a happy bedroom is to make your bed every morning, which might feel like a chore, but a study showed that people who make their beds tend to be happier and more successful than those that don’t.

The bathroom is a room with various functional purposes that aren’t necessarily what you think of when it comes to happiness, but you can still do important things to make it a nice place to be. 

One of those is something to think about in terms of layout, with interior designers suggesting that you’ll feel better about your bathroom when guests come around if the toilet can’t be seen when the door is open.

Another room that might not be the place you feel the happiest is the office. Whether you work from home or use it to store paperwork and get homework done, it’s important to make sure it is a functional and pleasing space. 

So keep it free from clutter, as a Princeton study has shown that it can negatively affect our brain’s ability to focus. 

Getting a standing desk can also reduce clutter (saving the space you’d need for a chair) as well as making you healthier and happier.

One of the most important rooms for your family and friends in the kitchen, as it’s the heart of the home, where so much of the social interactions take place. 

So why not provide a focal point for the people you love by adding a breakfast bar or island in your kitchen, where they can gather around and share stories and good times. 

It’s also a place to share things to be thankful for, so some chalkboard paint can give you space to remember these things.

Design For A Calm And Happy Home

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For anyone who craves a little more serenity in the day-to-day (so, all of us?), these simple decorating tweaks will make your space more relaxing — without causing you a lick of home renovation-type stress. This is what peace looks like.

Find The Right Spot For Your Stuff

Organizing should be about convenience, not where you think things “should” go. Keep what you need where you really need it, says pro organizer Marissa Hagmeyer of Neat Method. If you’re in the habit of sorting mail while watching TV, for instance, keep a couple of baskets for “in” and “out” nearby.

Embrace Soothing Shades

A fresh coat of paint can be the biggest mood-changer in a room. For a timeless neutral that’s more comforting than stark white, try creamy ivory or greige (a warm, grey-tinted beige), says Dee Schlotter, colour expert for PPG Paints.

Tap Into Scent

In case you needed an excuse to buy even more candles: An aroma that evokes a happy memory is a shortcut to feeling happy right now. 

Pine can transport you to the cozy holidays, while coconut can bring you back to that calm feeling of your last (kid-free) vacation. Place a scented candle or diffuser next to your bed or by the front door. Ahhh, isn’t it great to be home?

Get Your Best Rest

A great night’s sleep doesn’t happen all on its own—you’ve got to create the ideal setting. Where do you start? 

The thermostat. Keep the room at a cool yet comfy temperature (60 to 67 degrees), and don’t underestimate the power of a good sheet set! When it comes to thread count, a bigger number isn’t always better, says Anna Brakefield, bedding designer and owner of Red Land Cotton. Lower thread counts can let more air through, which may keep you from getting hot and stuffy in the middle of the night.

Pop A Plant In Every Room

Believe this: Caring for plants is an act of compassion, and the more compassion we have in our lives, the better off we are. 

Think beyond the windowsill and sneak in greenery wherever you can, from the dining room to the bathroom. 

Plant pro-Tyler Davis points to snake plants, Chinese evergreen, and aloe vera as easy-to-care-for varieties that any wannabe green thumb can keep alive.

Let The Light In

Sun-filled rooms make us feel invigorated even when we’re stuck doing chores. To maximize the natural light in a room, skip curtains and drapes altogether if privacy isn’t an issue. 

Then steal designer Justina Blakeney’s trick: Hang a mirror opposite a window to reflect the rays around the room. So smart!

Surround Yourself With Things You Love

Sure, purging household clutter is necessary (if you don’t want to turn into that one neighbour), but at the end of the day, if tchotchkes and keepsakes make you smile, then, by all means, decorate with your favourites. 

Try tucking them into an open cabinet or arranging them on a shelf, so they stay organized while on display. This trick saves other surfaces from an overload of objects, and corralling similar items together makes dusting a heck of a lot easier too.

Pick Upbeat Colors

Just as some shades bring a sense of Zen to a room, certain hues can boost our morale. Schlotter says red helps energize, yellow inspires optimism and blue sparks creativity. 

So next time you’re choosing paint samples, keep these colours in mind and let your walls do the uplifting around the house.

Layer Lighting

They call it mood lighting for a reason, folks! Most rooms have an overhead fixture, but sconces and lamps — and even dimmers — let you set the scene for different occasions

Create Good Flow

The furniture you have and how you arrange it can influence how well your family and guests connect. 

Place sofas and chairs across from each other to encourage chatting, then add a few ottomans, which double as extra movable seating and places to put down a drink. Furniture arranging for a happier home life: Who knew?

Interior Design Ideas

The outside world can be stressful and uncertain – especially right now. Additionally, our personal priorities pull us in many directions, from work calls and meetings to children’s activities, online schooling, and just the normal rigours of life. 

That’s why it’s more important than ever that our homes are havens for relaxation, rest, and happiness. 

The good news is there are plenty of simple design and styling tweaks you can make at home to instantly boost your mood. Check out these eight interior design ideas to get started.

Colour Your Mood

Marketing companies study colour psychology for a reason: colour affects your mood. Take a page out of the psychology book and surround yourself with colours that help you relax and put you in a happy mood. 

Every colour can be expressed as either warm or cold, with a different effect on the way you feel. In general, cool colours have a calming effect, while warm colours add comfort and can be invigorating.

For example, a cool blue or green is relaxing and rejuvenating – just the right feeling for a bedroom or bathroom. Warm reds and purples are energizing and exciting, stimulating brain activity and conversation. 

These colours make a good choice for painting an office or living room. White can help brighten rooms by reflecting light. It makes a small space feel larger and more open, which can help you feel more energized.

Look For Pieces Of Furniture With Round Edges.

Furniture with soft, round edges creates a feeling of relaxation and comfort. Your eye picks up the visual cues of a rounded-edge coffee table or a sofa, and your mind becomes happier and less stressed. 

Do you already have a boxier sofa? Don’t worry – just add a throw blanket and a few pillows to break up the hard lines. 

Add More Natural Materials.

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The use of natural materials in your home decor is called biophilic design. This type of design connects us with nature, even indoors. 

Studies show that biophilic design can directly correlate to improved sleep and stress reduction. Consider eliminating synthetic materials like fleece and polyester in favour of natural materials like cotton, silk, or wool.

Include other natural elements in the form of flowers and plants (more on this in idea #4) and welcome in sunlight and fresh air whenever possible. 

You will feel happier, calmer, and more rested, all proven beneficial to your psychological well-being.

Embrace The Power Of Plants

Plants are amazing gifts of nature. In both work and home environments, live plants can boost your mood, productivity, concentration, and creativity. Plants clean the indoor air by absorbing toxins and producing oxygen. 

They can also absorb noise, provide privacy, and reduce stress. For all of these reasons, incorporating plants throughout your home is one of our top interior design ideas for boosting happiness. 

Let The Light In 

The amount of light our eyes perceive during the day plays a significant role in our sleep cycles. On cloudy days it’s not uncommon for people to feel sad or drained of energy, but when the sun is shining, that solar power goes right to our inner beings. 

One of the most transformative interior design ideas is to welcome natural daylight inside. Large windows and skylights bring in sunlight at all hours of the day.

If you’re stuck with small windows or if you have a home in Portland or Seattle where the weather is often gloomy, add lamps that use full-spectrum or halogen lightbulbs to mimic natural light. 

The right light will keep your sleep cycle-accurate, providing an automatic boost to happiness. 

Conquer The Clutter

Clutter adds to stress. People turn to minimalist interior design options to reduce stress and believe in the power of the “less stuff, less stress” mantra. 

Think about how good you feel when you’ve cleaned the house and everything has been put back in its rightful place. Now, imagine the reality of “less stuff” altogether – less to clean and put away. Yep, that’s a real spike of happiness simply from conquering the clutter. 

Dealing with clutter can be a big job, especially if your clutter has crept in over time. Successful clutter busters set ground rules – they only buy items necessary for daily use, get rid of things used rarely or not at all, and stay on top of organizing what they do have to help reduce stress. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the process, bring in a professional organizer or declutter to help.

Expand Space With Mirrors

According to Feng Shui principles that seek to balance energy throughout your home, thoughtfully placed mirrors can create an illusion of more space and add a bright, airy feeling to an otherwise cramped space. This effect is perfect for smaller rooms and bathrooms. 

Taking it a step further, a mirror with coloured glass can bring in the psychological effects of colour while adding the illusion of light and space to a room. 

Tap Into Scent 

Our brains are miraculous processors of external data. Even a hint of a scent can transport us to another place, at a completely different time. 

Our mind can summon an image and feelings associated with that scent. Incorporating calming scents into your home can help fight off gloomy feelings and replace them with happy, relaxing ones. 

Look for candles or essential oils to diffuse in specific scents known to help reduce anxiety and boost happiness and productivity. 

Calming scents include lemon and lavender, while jasmine and rosemary are invigorating. Cinnamon and peppermint can support your clarity of thought and boost productivity. Find the right scents to promote the feelings you’d like to experience while you’re at home. 

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