Create Happy Spaces | 3 Things You Can Do Right Now

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Does your home make you happy?

You drool over pretty images of beautifully decorated rooms. Visiting friends last week you felt happier in their home than your own. You love your mother-in-law’s home, it just so happens she’s decorated it herself. Sheesh, this doesn’t seem fair… why didn’t I get the decorating gene?

Enough with the negatives. Here are some positives you can use to up your game. You’ve got this!

Yeah right! You’ve read the decorating blogs, the sheer volume of advice engulfs you, leaving you feeling like you’re in the middle of a tidal wave. Working yourself into a frenzy trying to apply everything you’ve learned all at once. With so much useful decorating advice, how do you know where to start?

Here are 3 simple steps to take, the questions to ask yourself, and just a few words of advice.

A light and bright happy space with the blinds open, white walls, and stunning overhead light fixture.

3 Simple Steps for Happy Spaces

Step 1: Make it Lighter & Brighter

A dark unhappy room with closed blinds and noting interesting in the space but an old TV stand.
BEFORE | AFTER pictured above

Ask Yourself: Does my space look and feel too dark?

When a space is filled with light, and especially with daylight, we tend to feel happier and more balanced, while too little light on a regular basis can make us feel tired and irritable, even depressed.

If your answer is YES, here are 3 things you can do to create happy, light-filled spaces. Some might seem obvious, but you would be surprised at how many of us don’t think of the obvious. Combine all three tips and bingo you’ve got yourself a lighter and brighter space to be happy about!

1. Open the blinds or curtains and let the sunshine in!

2. Make sure to have overhead and task lighting. This means having an overhead light fixture (“ceiling jewelry”), and a lamp, maybe two if you have room, and it makes sense. Add a floor lamp next to a favorite chair you enjoy curling up in for a good read.

3. Paint the walls a light, neutral color. A favorite color of ours, and the wall color in the “After” photo above, is Snowbound (SW7004) by Sherwin Williams . We love white spaces, but all whites aren’t created equal. The same goes for the tricky grays that have been trending for a while now. Here’s a list of Most Popular Paint Colors from Benjamin Moore.

Advice: Stick with lighter, neutral paint colors for the most flexibility. You can always darken a space by closing the blinds/curtains and by turning down, or off, the lights. It’s more difficult to lighten a space, especially with dark walls and little natural light.

An inviting happy space starts with a good furniture layout that draws you in.

Step 2: Create an Inviting Furniture Layout

BEFORE | AFTER pictured above

Ask yourself: Am I happy in this space, or am I avoiding it at all costs?

There are benefits to rearranging your furniture. For one, you’re giving your space a free makeover that can actually make you feel happier. You might not think so, but if you’re bored with the layout of your space, over time it could really add up and make you feel depressed or tired all at the same time.

Here in the “Tweak” world, we refer to a space that has good flow  and draws you in as an inviting furniture layout . If you find yourself walking through a maze of furniture, an over-sized ottoman that came with your sofa (Do I need this?), a dog bed 3 times the size of your dog (Is there a better place for this?), or that rocking chair a family member said you needed because it’s from your childhood (Does this make me happy?), it’s time to move it/or loss it.

Advice: Set boundaries for yourself and your spaces. Exercise your right to say no when it comes to accepting something you don’t have room for or want. Being unable to say “no” is not only unfair to ourselves, but it can be unfair to the other person as well. The litmus test for creating happy spaces is your happiness!

A de-cluttered kitchen and family room made these clients happy.

Step 3: Declutter the Eye Clutter

Cluttered kitchen with small appliances, dish soap, spices, stacks of papers, paper towels etc. all over the counter tops.
BEFORE | AFTER pictured above

Ask yourself: Are you guilty of being a clutter bug?

It’s true! Decluttering and organizing feels so good and leads to happiness! Read 5 Scientific Reasons Decluttering Your Home Will Make You Happier. But, you’ve probably heard this before. For some It’s Hard To Declutter When You Have Trouble Letting Go Of Things. Clutter constantly signals to our brains that our work is never done. This makes it difficult to relax, both physically and mentally.

For a little help with the obvious, and sometimes not so obvious, here are some things to consider tucking away. Eye glass readers, tissue boxes, and small appliances. Get rid of the messy notebook, catalogs, and torn out pages from magazines. Don’t forget the dish-soap, sponge, paper towels, spices, and olive oil containers.  Store them away. Bring out the cute canisters, coffee table books, and perhaps a favorite tray. Do light candles and add a few plants!

Just when you thought you were out of the woods, in comes the new kid on the block called “Cord Clutter”! Look around, have they come to your home or office too?

Tweak Your Space office showing a desk with cords running under and over the desk. Cord clutter doesn't make us happy.

Do you have cords languishing and streaming from your outlets and playing musical chairs for the last spot in an already jam packed outlet adapter? Join the club!

Nowadays, just about every “can’t do without” device involves an electric cord! Play music, talk on the phone, deliver the news, tell you the weather, control your smart home, and even order products – everything involves a cord. Then, there’s the plug-in coffee maker, air fryer, blender, instant pot, etc.. Add to that a diffuser, humidifier, noise machine, household fans, autonomous vacuum cleaners… this could go on forever.

Advice: Think about your well being. Do you really need all those devices? Can you consolidate multiple “needs” into one device? Minimize your cord clutter by storing away unused devices (with their cords) when not in use, and consider going wireless whenever you can.

Make sure to have fun with whatever you do! There’s really no right or wrong. As long as you love it and it makes you happy, your spaces will always be timeless regardless of trends!



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