Today’s post comes courtesy of Emily Huddleston at RedFin: 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 rigors 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.
Color your mood
Marketing companies study color psychology for a reason: color affects your mood. Take a page out of a psychology book and surround yourself with colors that help you relax and put you in a happy mood. Every color can be expressed as either warm or cold, with a different effect on the way you feel. In general, cool colors have a calming effect, while warm colors 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 colors 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
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 favor 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 overtime. 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 (from reSPACED!) 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 colored glass can bring in the psychological effects of color 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, in 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.
If your home falls short of improving your state of relaxation and happiness, think through how these interior design ideas might enhance your surroundings. You may find that one or two will do the trick to improve your mood and make you happier at home.
Originally published by Redfin
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