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5 happiness tweaks you can make to your home right now

Minimalism, maximalism, English country style or industrial chic – does any of it really matter as long as you’re happy in your home? That’s right, happiness is the newly rediscovered key ingredient in interior design. Happy Inside, an Amazon bestseller by renowned magazine editor and all-round interiors guru Michelle Ogundehin, is the latest in a long line of books on the topic of how we can create a home that makes us feel good inside.

Sophie Robinson, another key figure on the UK interior design scene, recently headed up a UK wide survey about ‘Happiness in the Home’. The results showed that three quarters of participants who had invested in home improvements felt happy and content, and more likely to invite friends over for dinner or spend more time at home in the evenings.

So, how do you go about creating a haven of happiness at home? Read on for some top tips that are simple to implement and won’t break the bank. Spoiler alert – natural light, living plants and joyful colours all figure big time!

1.    Declutter your home

It is scientifically proven that too much mess in your living space can have a negative effect on your mental and physical health. Having a good old clear-out should be the first step to improving how your home feels. The effect of getting rid of ‘stuff’ can be truly liberating, while lavishing some attention on cleaning your home helps you to engage with the space and renew your appreciation for the surroundings in which you live.

Whether you make it a habit to give your home a seasonal detox or an annual spring clean, or you subscribe to the Marie Kondo method of tidying your home, the benefits are well documented and wide ranging. They include improved sleep, reduced stress and anxiety, greater productivity and creativity, fewer allergens.

Best of all, decluttering your home costs nothing. In fact, if you decide to sell some of your surplus items, you could even make a few quid.

2.    Bring the outside in

Houseplants are a simple and relatively cheap way to bring life and colour into your home without the need for new furniture or making expensive structural changes. In terms of physical health, indoor plants can improve the air quality of the room, reducing atmospheric pollution and even help to reduce blood pressure, increase productivity and lower stress levels.

But caring for houseplants also has a therapeutic effect. As one leading interiors expert puts it: “Surrounding yourself with plants you’ve helped grow and watched evolve is incredibly satisfying, helping to promote positive mental health and an increased sense of wellbeing.”

Bringing direct or indirect elements of nature into your home through biophilic design has been a huge trend in recent years. In addition to plants, look for earthy tones to bring a calming ambience to your living space, such as Brave Ground, Dulux Colour of the Year 2021.

3.    Create a cosy wellbeing zone

We all need a calm, cosy sanctuary that allows us to retreat from hectic work schedules and the busy world out there. Whether it is in your living room, bedroom or study, make space for a dedicated area where calmness and serenity rule supreme, and where you can truly recharge.

Creating some softness in your interiors scheme will really help to channel that cosy vibe. Team a squishy sofa with plenty of comfy cushions or a warm, welcoming blanket. On the floor, indulge yourself with super soft, luxurious and durable carpets – “kitten soft carpet for the ultimate in comfort and style that comes with a 20-year wear guarantee”, advises one established carpet supplier. Of course, there’s nothing to stop you from adding a shag pile rug on top!

Put the finishing touches to your home sanctuary with soft lighting, scented candles and a neutral colour palette in calming tones.

4.    Maximise natural light

Sunlight helps you ward off seasonal depression, improve sleep, boost vitamin D and focus on working from home – there are countless benefits to making the most of natural light in your home. If you are not lucky enough to live in a light-filled home, there are various tricks you can use.

Review your window treatments to ensure that they can be pulled clear of the window to let the light in. Use mirrors, gloss paint and other reflective surfaces to help the light bounce around the room. Decorate with lighter colours on ceilings, walls and floors to help reflect light back into the room.

Finally, plan a layered lighting scheme with light fixtures, lamps and dimmer switches to allow for maximum flexibility, both during daytime hours and in the evening.

5.    Add happy colours

Putting some fun into your interior design is guaranteed to lift your mood and make you smile. Which are your happy colours – orange, yellow and pink? Take some time to find a colour palette that resonates happiness to you and feel free to use it as little or as much as you feel comfortable around the home. 

Whether you paint the room in your favourite shade of green, make a statement with a bright pink velvet sofa or add accent colours with accessories and artwork, don’t worry too much about whether you are ‘on trend’ or what other people may think. The important thing is that your home reflects the personality of the people who live in it.

Artwork, family photos and decorative objects not only hold sentimental value, they can be used to great effect to add pops of colour and texture and personalise the space.

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