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20 Interior Design Tips That Will Make You Happier at Home

20 Interior Design Tips That Will Make You Happier at Home

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.

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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.

tea pot

    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.

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    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_b
      Photo 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.

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      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.

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        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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        Last Updated on January 17, 2019

        8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

        8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

        In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

        Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

        Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

        Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

        Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

        The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

        There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

        How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

        According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

        Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

        Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

        The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

        Listen carefully:

        We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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        The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

        Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

        8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

        There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

        Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

        1. Pray Daily

        You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

        When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

        Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

        Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

        2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

        A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

        By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

        Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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        If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

        This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

        How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

        3. Smile Often

        Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

        Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

        Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

        The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

        4. Organize Your Working Desk

        A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

        When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

        Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

        Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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        5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

        I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

        Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

        What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

        6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

        God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

        I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

        I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

        7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

        You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

        How do you do that? This is my formula:

        First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

        If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

        If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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        If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

        Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

        8. Go Exercise

        Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

        The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

        You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

        12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

        The Bottom Line

        It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

        It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

        Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

        More Resources About Mindfulness

        Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

        Reference

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