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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 March 13, 2019

        How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

        How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

        Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

        You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

        Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

        1. Work on the small tasks.

        When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

        Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

        2. Take a break from your work desk.

        Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

        Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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        3. Upgrade yourself

        Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

        The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

        4. Talk to a friend.

        Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

        Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

        5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

        If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

        Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

        Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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        6. Paint a vision to work towards.

        If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

        Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

        Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

        7. Read a book (or blog).

        The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

        Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

        Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

        8. Have a quick nap.

        If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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        9. Remember why you are doing this.

        Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

        What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

        10. Find some competition.

        Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

        Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

        11. Go exercise.

        Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

        Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

        As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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        Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

        12. Take a good break.

        Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

        Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

        Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

        Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

        More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

        Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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