We spend a good amount of time and money on our homes, so why not make each space within them feel a little bit more like, well, home? Making your house a place that reflects your tastes, speaks to your inner being, and makes you feel happier can be a challenge, but taking the time to do it can be well worth the effort in the end. Here are 20 interior design tips that will make your house what it was always meant to be: your happy home.

Mix new and old pieces.

Create an inviting mix of furniture and décor with pieces you already have, and then add a few new elements to make the space feel refreshed and eclectic.

Fill your space with items that tell your story. 

If you have a great painting that you bought 10 years ago that you still love, don’t give it away. Keep it in the space you use most so you can look at it and remember why you love it.

Use neutral tones on larger furniture pieces.

Save yourself money by investing in quality, neutral pieces that will stand the test of time.

Jump on board with new trends and colors by adding elements of the trend to your neutral base. Take advantage of pillows, throws, lampshades, or dining chair seats, all of which can be easily changed out.

Pay attention to lighting.

Use lighting to highlight areas you most want to see. Consider spotlighting a picture you love or creating a cozy reading nook with a dimming light.

Use white.

White is refreshing and inviting. As it reflects light well, it can make your space feel brighter, which will do wonders to brighten your mood.

Consider new ways of displaying your favorite items, like hanging your favorite plates in unusual arrangements, like these from Better Homes and Gardens, so they become a point of visual interest.

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Photo By: Vee-O

Add items that speak to what you value.

If you’re an avid reader, let your space reflect it by using books in your décor. Use what you love to decorate, and your mood is sure to improve when you walk in the door.

Display your collections in ways that surprise.

If you have an unusual collection of salt and pepper shakers, don’t be afraid to display them throughout the home in places that will be seen but aren’t necessarily where one would expect.

Use mirrors to elongate and brighten a space.

Mirrors do wonders to make a space feel larger and brighter. Try allowing light to reflect off them to create a brighter space.

14683939275_2babeb5db0_bPhoto By: torbakhoppe

Be okay with a space that looks “lived in.”

If you’d like your family and visitors to feel comfortable in your home, allow them to be comfortable. This means that plastic on your couch is a no-no.

Let in the sunlight.

Use natural light whenever possible, but take care when exposing fabrics or wood furniture to the elements. To properly care for your wood furniture, you’ll want to make sure that shade is available for times when the sun is high.

Customize the look.

You know those curtains you got on clearance? Make them your own by adding a little detail, like piping or trim, so you get a look that is unique to your home.

Don’t just buy “the set.”

Furniture stores are always trying to get you to buy the set. Keep your house from looking like a sterile showroom by getting the pieces you need and really like, not the ones the store wants you to need and forces you to like.

Create spaces that are conducive to conversation.

Pay attention to seating arrangements. Place furniture in a way that allows people to see one another, so they’re more likely to open up and communicate.

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Photo by: Boken Burger

Bring the outdoors in.

Add greenery and planters, like the ones suggested by the Huffington Post, to improve air supply and de-stress your home.

Choose colors that say how you want to feel when you’re at home.

If, for example, you want to feel calm, consider bringing in more blues, which are naturally calming.

Purge items that bring up bad memories or feelings.

You want to feel happier, so do yourself a favor and get rid of anything that does just the opposite.

Invest in an organizational system.

You don’t have to buy the whole closet system, but when pieces have a place, they’re less likely to clutter up a space.

Mix patterns and textures.

Velvet with burlap? Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box when it comes to putting fabrics together.

Try any or all of these 20 tips to create your own personal oasis. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and have fun with your interior design!

Featured photo credit: Christopher Barson Interior Associates Project: PN Hoffman’s via flickr.com

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