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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 July 10, 2020

        How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

        How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

        We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

        We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

        So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

        Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

        What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

        Boundaries are limits

        —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

        Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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        Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

        Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

        Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

        How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

        Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

        1. Self-Awareness Comes First

        Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

        You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

        To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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        You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

        • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
        • When do you feel disrespected?
        • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
        • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
        • When do you want to be alone?
        • How much space do you need?

        You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

        2. Clear Communication Is Essential

        Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

        Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

        3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

        Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

        That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

        Sample language:

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        • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
        • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
        • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
        • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
        • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
        • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
        • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

        Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

        4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

        Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

        Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

        Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

        We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

        It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

        It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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        Final Thoughts

        Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

        Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

        Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

        The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

        Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

        Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

        They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

        Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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