Too beige. Too blah. Outdated. Builder-grade. Not you. If any of these phrases describe the interior of your home, you clearly aren’t very proud of or inspired by the space around you. And, for many homeowners, it might be daunting to even try and fix these problems. The payoff, however, is worth the effort: changing your home’s interior design aesthetic can make you happier. If you really think about it, it all makes sense, considering how much time you spend at home — it should make you happy and relaxed, rather than unhappy and stressed.
That’s why it’s important to put a personal touch on the design of any space in which you live, whether it’s this semester’s dorm room or the home in which you’ve just invested your life’s savings. Here are seven ways to make your home your own and make yourself happier in the process.
1. Show Your Face
There’s nothing more personal than a photo of yourself. Find the ones that make you happiest — wedding, travel and baby photos all come to mind — and frame them. Then, place them on bookshelves or on walls to give your room a cozier feel instantly.
2. Let the Light In
Natural light has many positive effects such as making us happier, more productive and deeper sleepers. This is why it is a vital part of your make-me-happy design scheme. Most of us can’t give up our blinds or curtains, since neighbors live close enough to see right into our private lives; however, you can pull back your window treatments during the day in order to let smile-inducing light into your life. Furthermore, you can enhance the natural light by placing light-reflecting mirrors throughout the space. And, hey, if you find that having personal photos around makes you happier, then having a mirror to reflect your grin might just have the same effect.
3. Show Off Your Collections
Whether its saltshakers or coffee mugs, stamps or vintage posters, your collection is a reflection of your interests and personality… which is why they make a great addition to any personalized interior design. Rather than stacking all of, say, your coffee mugs next to the Keurig, use them throughout your home as organizing cups, cupboard displays and shelf-filling knick-knacks. If you don’t have a collection, you can still store your most prized belongings in the open air. Take a set of copper pots, for example. Interior designers have been using copper everywhere to enhance the beauty of homes for quite a while now. In fact, this trick has been around since the 17th century, so it clearly works. The fire-colored metal makes these a warm addition to your kitchen, and a centerpiece and talking point when guests come over.
4. Add Flowers
On its own, a bouquet of flowers will make you feel cheery as soon as you bring it into your place. If it’s used to bring the look and feel of your design together, though, it’s even more powerful. Expert designers say that a bouquet has this power, especially when it’s thoughtfully purchased in order to match with the room’s preexisting theme. Place it in a vase and watch as it pulls the entire look of your room together, no sweat required.
5. Plush It Up With Pillows
A couch without pillows is a pretty sad — and boring — sight. Many sofas come with a set of matching throw pillows, but those just add to the neutrality, especially if they’re the same fabric as the rest of the furniture. To make your space more you, go out and find a trio of fun throw pillows to toss onto your sofa. It’s really that simple: all you need are three pillows in varying sizes to make your couch look put-together without being overloaded or otherwise overthought.
6. Make It Social
We’re not suggesting that you throw a party, although that’s a great way to fall in love with your space again; however, it is a good idea to keep social engagement in mind as you set up the furniture in your home. In other words, you’ll need to picture how your guests will have to sit in order to interact with one another and rearrange your belongings accordingly.
7. Let Go of the Past
It’s hard to believe, but a physical item can cause you to have a flashback. It can pull you right back into a time or place that wasn’t your happiest just by falling into your line of vision. Perhaps it’s a piece of furniture, piece of art or even an accessory that was in the room at the time of the event that you’d rather forget. No matter what triggers the trip down memory lane, it’s time to get rid of it. This should be a standard throughout your home: get rid of anything with negative or over-the-top emotional attachments. Ultimately, this type of item won’t make you feel good or happy in your space, and that’s what you’re trying to achieve. With this or these item(s) in the trashcan, you can truly move forward and enjoy the space you’ve called home for some time. Now, get in there and live.