Your home is your haven, and you deserve to be happy in it, no matter how much money you make, how big your space is, or how much you know or don’t know about decorating. The good news is there are tiny tweaks you can make to boost your mood in your house, and none of them cost a fortune. Some of them are scientific, so you might not even understand how or why the happy hits you. Just go with it—and the rest of these strategies for feeling your best in your nest.
Okay, maybe not everywhere, because there’s something to be said for serene neutrals and using a little bit of restraint when you decorate. But high energy shades like yellow and green have been shown to make people happier and more productive. These hues are tricky to get right as wall colors, but it’s definitely doable. Don’t discount the effect a new lemon-colored throw or emerald desk lamp could have either. Bigger isn’t always better when it comes to color.
Making your bed is the easiest way to start your day off on the right foot. You get something productive done right away that sets you up for success later that night. The last thing you see before hitting the hay shouldn’t be a disheveled mess of sheets and pillows. You’ll be happier for making it in the morning. Promise.
On the whole, you’re probably more smiley on sunny days as opposed to cloudy ones, right? Well, harness that happy by letting as much natural light into your home as possible. Trade out heavier drapery for sheers or go entirely without window treatments if privacy isn’t an issue. Open up your windows when you can. And if you don’t get a ton of sunlight in your space, fake it with an OttLite Wellness lamp, which features LED technology that’s as close to the sun’s output as possible. And try this trick—swap out your living room lights with pink bulbs, which make it seem like you’re looking at the world through rose-colored glasses, literally.
Studies suggest that surrounding yourself with greenery can boost your mood and decrease your stress levels. Can’t forest bathe in your neighborhood or turn your sunroom into a greenhouse? That’s okay. Buy a couple of succulents for your windowsill or a fern for your shower. And if you’re a total black thumb, bring in some crystals or shells. You can’t exactly nurture those guys, but even a tiny touch of nature may make you a little more zen.
Pieces with round edges are much more soothing to the eye than boxy, angular shapes. Just bought a squared-off sofa? No worries. Just add some cozy, cushy throw pillows to break up the hard lines. Texture is key. Anything chunky knit will do.
Smell is a very powerful tool and can often elicit memories from the depths of your mind. Think of something you have a positive association with—maybe it’s the ocean, where you first learned to swim. Or a pine scent that reminds you of summer camp. Whatever it may be, start layering it around your home. Candles are an obvious choice, but consider an ultrasonic diffuser as well, especially if you have kids or pets. Pilgrim’s Zoe model ($120) works with essential oils and even has a built-in meditation light, if you really want to let the good vibes flow.
File this one under “duh.” But really. Ever wonder why you feel so relaxed at a hotel? Nice linens and a big fluffy robe help, though I’m inclined to think the totally clear surfaces are a big part of that “ahhhh” feeling. When your stuff isn’t closing in on you, life just feels a little less overwhelming. Biggest takeaway here: “Everything in its place, and a place for everything.” So toss what you don’t need, and try to put things away when you’re done using them. That way, you won’t have a major organizing crisis on your hands at the end of the each week.
What are your other happy home tips? Music, a mandatory quick clean once a week? Let us know in the comments.