They (and don’t ask me who “they” are because I have no earthly idea) say that there’s no place like home. For the most part, they are right. While sitting at the pediatrician’s with a healthy toddler for her yearly check-up and fighting off all the sick little kids whose mothers are not watching them try and spread their nasty germs to healthy children, home seems like the best place on earth. While lying on the beach in gorgeous Hawaii enjoying fruity cocktails with your handsome husband and not a care in the world and someone else is cleaning your bathroom, home seems a bit overrated. Read on to see how you can make your home your own personal oasis.
Spend Money on Experiences Rather than Things
Sure, that expensive painting you saw at the local gallery would look fabulous hanging in your hallway, but other than a few occasional compliments, what’s it really bringing to your home in terms of happiness? Nothing. Instead, spend your money on that gorgeous new patio seating area and deck. These things inspire you to invite your loved ones over to enjoy time outside, and that’s where memories (and happiness) are made. Unless, of course, your loved ones are awful. Then go with the painting.
Treat Your Bathroom Like Your Own Personal Spa
No dirty underwear on this floor, thank-you-very-much. Even if you aren’t spiritual or religious, a bathroom decorated in the same natural, relaxing tones as a spa will make you feel relaxed, happy and at peace with the world. Light a few subtly scented candles and get lost in the relaxing scenery that is your bathroom (never thought you’d hear that sentence, did you?).
Make the Bed
Nothing makes the master bedroom feel more pulled together than a crisply made bed. It takes less than two minutes a day, so just do it. You’ll immediately feel happier, calmer and more at ease when your bed is made. Not to mention, you won’t have to worry about making it and cleaning up everything else in less than 30 seconds when your mom calls to say, “She’s in the neighborhood,” and is stopping by in one minute.
Go Sentimental Rather than Sophisticated
Sure, a designer vase might look amazing on your mantel, but you’ll be happier when you look up there and see the smiling faces of your little ones beaming at you in your last family photo (or screaming bloody murder while hitting one another over the head with props, but it’s about memories, right?). Displaying sentimental items around your house can make you feel more connected to your loved ones, which makes you happier at home.
Get Into Whatever You’re Doing
Even if all you’re doing is the dishes, make it happen in a good way. Crank up the volume of your favorite song and sing loudly while you make the kitchen spotless yet again. You’ll take that much more pleasure in your home and belongings when you enjoy the entire process of living there.
Clean Before You Go
Nothing will make you happier than leaving your home to go out and have a good time at work, with your family or with friends than knowing you’ll be coming home to a clean house. All you have to do is put away toys, straighten the pillows and load the dishwasher to make home a happier place.
Open the Windows
What makes you happier than watching the sun rise or set while enjoying your morning coffee or your dinner (or end of the day glass of wine)? Open your windows or at least your curtains or blinds and let in the natural light. Your house will look airier and bigger when you do this, and you get to enjoy the view. There, your home is happier.
Pick colors that are light and airy to make your home feel happier. A red accent wall might seem uber-cool, but it’s going to cause you stress, shrink your space, and make you feel a little overwhelmed when you walk into the room.
Hide the Computer
We’re not talking about super-stealth hiding here, just put all laptops and computers in a designated room, such as your home office, to eliminate the feeling of work and responsibility when you’re supposed to be enjoying your home. You don’t want to think about the emails you have to answer and the work you have to do if you can see your computer from the kitchen when you’re making dinner as a family.
Dining is Important
Make sure you have a big dining room table that is functional and something you love. Home is a happier place when you spend time in it with people you love, and the table is one of the most important gathering places around. Make your dining room inviting and the family will feel at ease over meals.
Display Amateur Art Work
If you’re a mom or you just have special kids in your life that belong to someone else, display their finest art work. The happiest homes are the ones in which you see a finger paint picture of a flower or a lopsided and grossly misspelled love message. How can you not smile when you see something like that?
Use Big Storage Baskets
When your mother-in-law calls and informs you she’s “in the neighborhood” and wants to see those sweet grandbabies of hers and your house looks like hurricane worst-one-ever just went through, you’ll be glad you have these. With five minutes to clean up, tossing toys and odds and ends into pretty storage ottomans or baskets can be done in less than one minute and the overall effect of your house is clean and organized. Who says honesty is the best policy?
Grow a Green Thumb
Even if your thumb is black as night, you can still grow something. Live flowers and plants give good energy and make your home feel more home-like, whether they are indoors or out. Find one that grows no matter how much you ignore it, and you’ll not only spruce up your space, you’ll feel accomplished.
Nothing makes your house smell quite as good as vanilla or sandalwood or honeydew. Place a few candles around your house in strategic locations and light them. The calming effect of the fragrance will have you feeling like you are at the spa rather than surrounded by your crazy kids and your yapping dog.
Make it Your Own
The best way to love your space is to make it your own. What that means is; don’t decorate it a certain way just because some designer told you to or some article recommended it. Fill your home with things you love, reminders of your blessings and people who make you happy and you’ll always feel happy.