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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 September 28, 2020

        The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

        The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

        At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

        Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

        One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

        When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

        So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

        Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

        This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

        Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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        When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

        Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

        One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

        Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

        An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

        When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

        Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

        Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

        We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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        By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

        Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

        While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

        I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

        You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

        Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

        When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

        Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

        Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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        Con #2: Less Human Interaction

        One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

        Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

        Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

        This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

        While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

        Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

        Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

        This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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        For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

        Con #4: Unique Distractions

        Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

        For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

        To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

        Final Thoughts

        Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

        We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

        More About Working From Home

        Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

        Reference

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