Happiness Starts at Home: How to Create an Uplifting Interior
When I say that happiness starts at home, I am not making some grand philosophical statement – I’m talking about cold, hard facts. There are many psychological studies to suggest that a few small tweaks to your interior can engineer some very positive changes in terms of how you feel in your own home. After all a home without happiness is like a human without a soul; without character, love and passion radiating through each crevice, nook and cranny, your home would be devoid of all the things that make a home, a home. Everything from colour to light quality to layout can subconsciously affect your emotions and outlook, which is why it’s important to craft your home aesthetic with the greatest of care. In fact according to Gretchen Rubin, New York Times best-selling author of The Happiness Project, even something as simple as ‘daily bed making’ can positively impact your happiness in the home. This in my opinion is because despite our ‘spontaneous natures’ we also crave routine, structure and familiarity, whereby the act of making your bed each day allows you to kickstart the rest of your time with energy, vigor and purpose. And it’s not just simple three minute rituals that can create happiness in the home, a great way to de-stress is by creating uplifting, minimalist interiors that are not only ‘simple’ but also allow you to de-clutter your home, to ‘bring each ‘room to ready’, as the wise Marilyn Paul once said in her book ‘It’s Hard to Make a Difference When You Can’t Find Your Keys’. And it’s true, what could be less uplifting than a cluttered home which practically cultivates stress?
With this in mind, let’s take a look at just a few of the ways you can support your wellbeing and give yourself the feel-good boost you deserve by simply changing your interior style. From ‘improving your view’ to creating an ‘ideal sleeping environment’ read on below to find out how happiness starts at home.
Create A Positive View Or Associate Your View With Something That You Love
Did you know that natural landscapes like meadows, beaches, and parkland are associated with increased productivity and a marked improvement in focus? This makes them the perfect spot for houses, but not everyone is lucky enough to live in such scenic paradises. I grew up in the countryside surrounded by beautiful open green fields, lush woodlands, and large farms, which meant that the environment that I grew up in was permeated by fresh air, and beautiful vistas. Even my own bedroom was infused with natural light, that was gently guided in from the medium sized garden below, where we frolicked among the flowers, and jumped high on the trampoline. I was fortunate enough to live in a beautiful area, so when I moved out of my foster mum’s house aged 17, my surroundings changed from there on, moving nine times in four years with university, life changes and eventually moving to London two and a half years ago, which was somewhat of a culture shock . I had entered the concrete jungle phase of my life and as much as I loved and still love London, the view from outside my window was less than inspiring. And I am not the only one.
Lots of us are constrained by either financial considerations, the need to be close to amenities, or simple preference to settle for inner city or suburban locations instead, but this doesn’t mean you must forego the many positive benefits of being at one with the outdoors. Although you can’t simply up and move your home, what you can do is add some greenery – not only to your garden or outside areas, but to your interior spaces too. Invest in some house plants, brighten your rooms with colourful flowers and vibrant bouquets, and enjoy the many benefits that the beauty of Mother Nature can provide. In fact, while I love my room in East London,to retain my countryside roots, I have placed beautiful plants in my room to give me happiness even when I am at home. Because let’s face it, in my job, while many aspects of it are social, I can also spend a lot of time on my own, in my room so it makes sense that so many of us freelancers look for ways to brighten up our surroundings to induce mood boosting properties. Another way to ‘change’ your environment, especially if you live in the city is to ‘associate’ your view with something positive. For example while my bedroom window leads to a view of the street and the houses opposite it, I associate my ‘view’ with something more ‘positive’, as I look at it as a reminder of the ‘freedom, the passion and the creativity’ that I love about London and how there has been nowhere else that has felt more like home. Positive associations are a great way of ‘creating a better,more mindful view’.
Ensure That You Get A Good Night’s Sleep
As someone who has insomnia and struggles getting to sleep at night, I can honestly say without a shadow of a doubt that tiredness and sleep deprivation can go a long way towards destroying a good mood, making it difficult to not ‘procrastinate’, feel low or simply feel lackluster because of your low energy and mood. Of course the best method to combat this is by getting some high quality sleep, but that is easier said than done, for insomniacs like myself.Ideally you should be getting around eight hours a night, although for many of us 3-6 hours sleep can become the norm, meaning that we feel tired and exhausted on a daily basis. That being said creating a better sleeping environment or introducing more effective sleeping routines can help you get to sleep faster, and is one of the most effective ways to offset grumpiness and a lack of focus.
Creating the correct sleeping environment is one way to make this happen, which means it might be time to invest in a comfortable bed and a quality mattress! It’s time to check out Casper, the better sleep company, and their award-winning mattress, whose unique design ensures deep comfort without the disadvantages of memory foam, creating breathability and a better alignment of your body. Coming complete with a 100 day trial so that you can make certain it’s the right choice for you before committing, these mattresses have lots of different offers to ensure you get a better sleep than you’re used to, plus the company has a really useful mattress guide to help you select the perfect product for you. Beloved of celebrities like Kylie Jenner, Chloe Lewis, and Poppy Delevigne, they’ll offer the support and comfort you need for the ultimate slumber experience. And it’s not just a high quality mattress that will create better sleeping patterns either, from reducing your screen time when you are ‘ready to go to bed’ to ‘doing something’ such as reading that will make you feel relaxed, learning how to create happiness at home, starts with a good night’s sleep. After all is there anything more glorious than a night laced with sweet dreams?
Choose Your Colours With Care: Happy Colours Lead To Happiness In The Home
Another interesting little fact for you, did you know that colour can have a huge impact on your mood? This means that your interior palette can dramatically affect the ambiance of your home, shaping the way you feel to a greater degree than you might have realised. Indeed, so significant is its influence that ‘chromotherapy’ – or colour therapy – has long been used to treat both mental and physical problems. Red, for example, is believed to exude energy and passion, whilst green is associated with balance and harmony. Orange promotes enthusiasm, whilst yellow is cheering and blue is calming. Is it little wonder therefore that I count blue and red among my favourite colours, when their connotations are positively entwined with benefiting the mind, body and soul? To me red is a colour that is warm, romantic,fiery, passionate and energetic, which makes it a colour that I tend to wear a lot to make me feel ‘happier’ and ‘alive’, while I both wear and use blue in the home because it invokes tranquility, serenity and is a gorgeous vivid colour that reminds me of mermaids, the beach and all my ‘happy places’. And I am not alone: many of us ‘use colour’ as a ‘happiness crutch’ because we might associate those colours with wonderfully positive memories. For example the colour blue reminds me of Madeira which is the Portuguese island where my family are from whereas red reminds me of flowers, which remains my ‘go to print’ and is something that I find comforting.
So naturally using our ‘favourite colours’ in the home can help us create the mood boosting aesthetic of our dreams . Try doing some research into the science behind the theory to help you pick the perfect colours for your home. While I wouldn’t necessarily paint my walls red, and have a blue and white room instead, creating ‘colour accents in your room’ through accessories, cupboards and anything else that you might want to decorate your room with, will give your bedroom, kitchen, bathroom or anywhere else the pop of colour that it needs. Who knew that donning some old clothes and investing in a few tins of paint could make such a difference?
Take A Look At Your Lighting
Did you know that lighting can also affect the way we’re feeling? This is hardly surprising, given how ‘low lighting’ can create a romantic, sensuous atmosphere, while ‘light and bright’ lighting can make us feel ‘good, energetic and active’, so it all depends on the mood that you are trying to create. Take a moment to envisage a scenario that backs this assertion up: walk out into your garden on a cold but bright winter day, and you’ll instantly feel uplifted; step out into the same space on a dreary and overcast morning and you’re likely to feel miserable. That’s why it’s so important to get the illumination in your home just right. Your first consideration should be the natural lighting that’s entering your space, and how you can make the most of it. Where this is limited, for example, I suggest hanging mirrors opposite your windows to enhance its effect. Such an increase in our exposure to sunlight has been shown to immediately stimulate productivity and uplift our mood. Artificial lighting, on the other hand, should be soft-hued and yellowish in tone, to encourage relaxation and promote a sense of comfort come evening.
Our homes are the place where we spend the vast majority of our time, so it’s little surprise that they shape our mood and happiness to such a degree. The upside to this, of course, is that the power to create the healthiest and most uplifting of our interiors is in our hands. Use this knowledge to make the most of the opportunity. So choose the lighting that will best reflect the mood that you are trying to create.
How Do You Use Interior Design To Create Happiness In The Home?