What would your walls say if they could talk? I am sure they would tell tales of laughs and togetherness but they might also tell tales of boredom, frustrations and sadness. Our homes are a reflection of who we are. The way we build and nurture our places will directly influence our mood and behaviors.
They say that happiness begins inside ourselves and I add: we need to have a place that inspires happiness and I believe we can do it by changing little aspects of our places and habits.
Here are some ideas to add more joy and fun to any home!
- 1 ) Fix whatever is broken.
When the list of housework and improvements grows too much, your home starts representing a source of demands. This is when your home starts becoming a chore: a constant reminder of a problem that needs to be fixed instead of a haven from outside world. Tackling each problem as they appear can do wonders for your sanity.
- 2) Renovate, always.
A renovation here and there, or even making a few modifications, will always bring new energy and good vibes to your place. Sometimes it is all about a couple of accent pieces such as new pillows and fun art pieces. And sometimes it is a new color for a certain wall or new hardware for old cabinets. All those projects keep your home alive and can bring the family together.
Your home should be a work in progress, always.
- 3) Only keep and buy things that you love.
As time goes by, if you access your belongings you will find many things you don’t really like, let it be gifts, hand-me-downs or items you purchased when you had a different style. It seems harmless to keep them but in reality they can affect the way you feel on a subconscious level.
On the other hand, when you splurge on things that genuinely bring you joy, it changes the entire feeling of your home.
- 4) Decorate with items that have a sentimental value.
Every object that has a story in your life most probably will bring a smile to your face. Make sure to display them as much as you can hanging them in your walls and placing them on your countertops and bookcases.
- 5) Arrange furniture to promote socializing and bonding.
It never stops amazing me how many people sharing the same roof do not actually talk or connect much. Maybe we’ve had enough family time during the pandemic but maybe it is the layout of the space that is not inviting togetherness. Make sure you have seating space where people can face each other and not only face the screens.
- 6) Set the light, set the mood.
Adjustable lighting is essential. Let it be natural or artificial light.
Rooms with too much sunlight are actually stressful for office hours so make sure you have proper shades to reduce the glare. The bulbs matter too, they should be dimmable and they should have not only the right wattage/lumens but also the kelvins that tell you how yellow or blue a bulb appears to be. A bulb with 2,700 kelvins should be a cozy option for living and bedrooms and a bulb with 5,000 kelvins should be a good option for kitchen prep area and task lamps.
- 7) Be mindful with all your senses.
Cook a nice meal, play music, burn candles, diffuse essential oils or plug-in scent makers. Getting into the habit of having a special dinner in a regular day, bringing music and nice scents to your home can be amazing mood enhancers and you will be surprised by how much more relaxing and joyful any room can be with those things.
- 8) Don’t let dishes pile up, don’t let your bed undone.
Two things that can have immediate impact in your happiness. The sight of a mountain of dirty dishes in the sink can be a huge stressor. You don’t want that. All you need to do is rinse them as soon as you use and stick them in the dishwasher if you have one. Also, the sight of an unmade bed is just as bad and though you might not notice consciously, it sends you a subtle message of things that have not been achieved. It will take you literally 3 minutes to get the bed done and your head clean.
- 9) Address your sleep.
We all know that poor sleep has been linked with everything from bad mood, tiredness and fatigue all the way to shortened life expectancy in the longer term so, nothing more important than creating the perfect environment to promote healthy sleep. If the light is a problem, make sure to invest in good blackout curtains, if noise gets in the middle, use ear plugs and if you notice that you always sleep better in hotels, for the love of all there is holy, change your mattress!
- 10) Embrace curves.
Remember that while in architecture and construction everything is about clean lines, symmetry and scale, nature is all about curves, asymmetrical shapes and lines. Bring nature to your home in all forms, let it be through plants or objects and art that defies straight forms and shapes.
Finally, and above all, don’t worry, be happy. Just like Pharrell sings: Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof. It’s empowering to express yourself, and home decor is one of the best ways to do it.
Sometimes, we can easily get obsessed over the ‘shoulds’ and ‘shouldn’ts’ that are imposed on us and end up neglecting what we really want. But at the end of the day, a healthy, happy home is all about living in the here and now, and not worrying so much about the future or keeping up with the neighbors, friends and family expectations.
While these tips can help pretty much everybody, the answer to a better home can be different for each person. So start small and be faithful to your truth: find your own happy.