After a long search for the right neighborhood and the perfect home, and the process of renting or buying your house, comes the exciting new challenge of making a house feel like home.
There are many factors that make a house feel like yours — from the people you share it with to the unique furnishings you choose. Ultimately, establishing a sense of security can play a huge part in the overall happiness with your home, so it’s important to ensure you're financially covered with home insurance.
While what makes a place feel like home is up to you, there are a few science-backed ways to create a home that is welcoming and supports your happiness and success. We break down the tips below, and included a checklist so you can incorporate them into your new place.
Tips to make your home a happier place
You might already know that natural light and photos of loved ones tend to make us happier, but if you’re stuck with a dim room, how can you turn it into an uplifting space? Here are just a few ways to incorporate our proven tips for making your home more positive:
More than other senses, your sense of smell has been shown to readily elicit memories and emotions. Use this to your advantage by introducing scents that remind you of your favorite times.
- Place light floral or vanilla-scented candles in the living room: these scents are proven to brighten your mood.
- Use aromatherapy soap in your kitchen to make dishes a breeze.
- Treat yourself to a scented bath bomb for a spa day at home.
- Use a scented plug-in in the bedroom to drift off with a relaxing scent.
Allow in more natural light
Getting sunlight isn’t just good for your mood — it’s necessary. People generally need 10 to 30 minutes a day to get enough vitamin D. Sunlight also helps regulate your circadian rhythm, keeping you energized when you need it, and sleepy at night.
- Open all the blinds you can during the day and your home will instantly feel more inviting.
- Install window filters to allow light in without compromising privacy.
- Use large mirrors in dim rooms to reflect more light.
- Opt for daylight-tinted light bulbs in offices and workspaces to boost productivity.
Houseplants not only add to the aesthetic appeal of your space, they also reduce dust in your home and increase concentration and productivity by 15 percent.
- Purchase low maintenance plants like Pothos Ivy and Aloe if you prefer a simple care routine.
- Keep herbs in your kitchen and incorporate fresh flavors in your meals.
- Hang eucalyptus from your showerhead to allow the steam to release a natural refreshing scent.
- For dark bedrooms, try a plant like the Chinese Evergreen or Bromeliad that need almost no sunlight.
There’s no wrong way to decorate your home. Surround yourself with objects that make you happy and remind you of your favorite memories and people.
- Hang pictures of green fields or forests for a simple and proven mood-booster.
- Share photos of loved ones and family members in your living room.
- On your next vacation, focus on taking pictures to hang on your walls so you can reminisce on the good memories.
- Display your favorite paintings or prints, as art has been known to increase happiness.
It can be all too tempting to go with neutral shades throughout your home to avoid mismatching. Incorporate pops of color in your walls or furniture to make your space feel more lively. If you aren’t sure which colors to use, studies have shown green and blue are most often associated with happiness.
- Incorporate green prints and patterns to promote happiness in your living space.
- Use sky blue in your office to reduce stress and promote productivity.
- Use yellow in a craft room or studio to stimulate creativity.
- Use a muted blue for a peaceful and relaxing color in the bedroom.
You likely already know that walking into a messy home can bring you down. That’s why it’s important to make it as easy as possible to keep your place in shape.
- Before you leave a room, take five minutes to restore it to how you left it so clutter doesn’t pile up.
- If you can’t throw the clutter out, use storage baskets to reduce the visual weight of clutter.
- When in doubt, sort by size. From your closet to your bathroom vanity, sorting by size goes the extra mile in reducing visual clutter.
- Utilize hooks. Add some hanging space to the inside of cabinets or the back of your closet door to double the storage space in your home.
Use organic shapes
Studies have shown that angular shapes and patterns trigger a stress response in the brain. This is likely due to our association of sharp things with danger. Choose items with curves and soft edges to promote a sense of peace and security.
- Opt for a curved headboard rather than a square one for a more calming effect.
- Use round couch pillows to promote even more relaxation.
- Hang round mirrors or picture frames.
- Instead of a traditional square area rug, try a circular one.
Be mindful of noise levels
Similar to how visual clutter's ability to make you feel stressed, overwhelming your senses with noise can relaxation difficult. Even things like a noisy air conditioner or refrigerator can wear on your nerves, so take time to eliminate unnecessary sources of noise.
- Invest in heavy curtains and window sealant to reduce outside street noise as much as possible.
- Change your air filter every 1–3 months to keep your system humming along quietly.
- Don’t leave a TV running for background noise — embrace the tranquility of silence.
- Play music that makes you happy or opt for a scientifically proven mood booster, like Clair de Lune.
Promote social spaces
At the end of the day, the things that bring us the most happiness aren’t possessions — they’re people. Make it easy and fun to have people over for a cookout, games or a craft night and soon your home will soon be filled with happy memories.
- Invest in a grill or large table to encourage hosting social events.
- Arrange living room furniture so seats face each other instead of a TV.
- If you live alone, consider getting a pet to keep you company.
- Next time you’re on a shopping spree, consider buying a group activity like a board game.
Remember setting your home up to your liking is a process and you won’t be able to perfect everything. Don’t stress about the small clutter when you’re busy or the impact of which photo you place on the mantle. At the end of the day, you decide what makes you happiest.
Whatever your home looks like, it’s important to protect all the time you’ve put into making it your own with quality home insurance.
NCBI (1, 2, 3) | Washington State University | Journal of General Psychology | The New York Times | HouseLogic| Psychology Today (1, 2) | MNN | Evolutionary Psychology Journal | UNL | Chemical Senses Journal | Journal of Positive Psychology | Environmental Health Perspectives | American Psychological Association | Kingfisher | INC |