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10 Ways to Design a Home That Makes You Happy


When was the last time you felt joy? Was it while walking down a street filled with fragrant flowers in bloom, or maybe when a rainbow beamed across the sky? It could have been when the sunlight streamed into your bedroom one morning, or when you glanced at a special piece of art or a photograph of a loved one.

We all experience little moments of joy in our everyday lives, and together, these small sparks are powerful. When we incorporate them into our homes, they become the building blocks to true happiness.

Renters and homeowners alike can apply this idea to their homes, making just a few simple adjustments to unleash these feelings of joy. The trick is to identify what makes you happy and then translate that into your home. Read on for 10 inspiring, joy-inducing ideas that might appeal to you.

bright bedroom with light streaming through windoes

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

1. Brighten up.

The idea: There’s nothing more energizing and uplifting than the light and warmth of the sun.

Try this at home: Remove heavy curtains to let the light flood in, paint your walls white or a bright color to bring visual freshness and warmth, and position lamps around the home to create ambience.

2. Be whimsical.

The idea: Being playful reminds us to not take life too seriously.

Try this at home: Go bold with color, shape, or scale. You can do it in a sophisticated way with an unusual color palette. If color isn’t your thing, you could try an oversized pendant light or a provocative artwork — cheeky fashion photography prints are popular right now.

3. Encourage freedom.

The idea: Feeling unrestrained and free to pursue whatever you want brings happiness and optimism.

Try this at home: Recreate freedom in your home by decluttering and arranging your furniture so there’s space around each piece. This will create visual flow. Paint a mural, hang a large abstract artwork, or incorporate statement wallpaper that depicts a fabulous irregular pattern.

cozy living room couch with soft blankets and pillows

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

4. Get touchy-feely.

The idea: Touch makes us feel good, whether it’s a big hug or the feel of your favorite cashmere sweater.

Try this at home: Textiles that are soft or smooth are cocooning, so use them on furniture and accessories. Velvet and silk are no-brainers, but don’t discount the appeal of a nubby linen or knitted cotton. Even stone and timber are lovely to touch. Go with what you love.

5. Set up a surprise.

The idea: Unexpected gifts and celebrations always bring delight.

Try this at home: Paint the inside of drawers and cupboards, or used colored joinery inside kitchens and wardrobes. A decor surprise could also be an unexpected item brought into your scheme — for example, an antique piece in a contemporary room.

6. Be generous.

The idea: “The more the merrier” certainly applies here, especially when it comes to sharing with loved ones.

Try this at home: Lots of cushions on the sofa or bed, bowls full of fruit, groupings of candlesticks, vases of flowers — anything in abundance brings joy in an interior. It’s the design trick of repetition to create impact, and a great excuse to display all your treasured collections.

crystal chandlier

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

7. Add some sparkle.

The idea: From raindrops to diamonds, people are attracted to light-catchers.

Try this at home: Go large with a chandelier full of sparkling glass beads and pendants, or choose something smaller like a crystal decanter set, bowl, or trinket box. If you’re renovating, consider a shimmering composite stone counter, iridescent tiles, or Venetian plaster walls to add some twinkle to your home.

8. Create harmony.

The idea: We all know a balanced life leads to happiness.

Try this at home: Think pairs of lamps, side chairs, and bedside tables. But note, symmetry doesn’t have to mean matching. A square bedside table teamed with a round one of the same height provides equal measures of balance and interest. Similarly, work colors and materials harmoniously: light with dark and natural with man-made. One can be the leader, but never let it dominate.

9. Get sentimental.

The idea: Childhood keepsakes, family heirlooms, and travel mementos conjure up memories of happy times.

Try this at home: Choose one or two larger items that mean a lot to you and display them in a prominent place. Pull out smaller keepsakes to create vignettes or dot them around your bookshelf for visual interest.

10. Rediscover nature.

The idea: When life gets a bit much, we retreat to nature. It nourishes our souls.

Try this at home: The easiest at-home nature hack is to decorate with indoor plants or fill a vase with flowers. Instant joy! Some more evergreen solutions include floral or botanical-print upholstery, artworks, and wallpaper. 

Another simple idea: Remove curtains or swap to sheerer fabrics so you have a constant view outside — it’s a surefire way to bring happy vibes into your home.

This article was originally written by Elle Lovelock. For more, check out our sister site, Homes to Love.

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