Tag Archives: lighting

Make Your Home a Happier Place with These Design Tricks

blue color living room design

how to make your home a happier place

Can the state of your home make you feel happy, calm, and improve your mood?

We’ve written blog posts about how different paint colors make you feel. We’ve even written about the psychology of interior design. What we haven’t done yet is talk specifically about happiness.

Let’s look at a few design tricks you can use to make your home a place where you and your family love spending time!

We’ll dive into color theory, feng shui, the role of lighting, and easy fixes that have been scientifically proven to increase people’s happiness at home.

Let’s get started.

Colors

Does color affect how you feel? Absolutely! It might not have a huge affect on any given day, but it can over time, and you spend a lot of time in your home.

Do you find yourself feeling bored, depressed, or lethargic around the house? If so, warm, lively colors can lift your mood. If you tend to be anxious or frustrated, cool, peaceful colors might bring some much needed calmness to your home life.

At the end of the day, you should choose colors that make you happy, regardless of color theory, but let’s look at a few commonly used colors and the effect they may have on your emotions.

Calming Colors

Blue

  • Lowers blood pressure and heart rate
  • Helps you sleep when it’s a bedroom color

blue color living room design

Photo: Eoin Lyons Interiors

Green

  • Soothing and refreshing
  • Helps your brain avoid distractions, making it a great office color if you work from home
  • Makes you feel more rested and recuperated

Energizing Colors

Red

  • An exciting color that raises your heart rate
  • Stimulates conversation
  • Not great for the bathroom or bedroom, but perfect in any room where you need a pick-me-up

Yellow

  • A sunny, cheerful color
  • Great to wake up to in the morning

Purple

  • Stimulates your brain and increases creativity

White

  • Brightens rooms by reflecting light
  • Makes rooms feel bigger and more open, helping you feel more energized and less stressed

white open living space home design

Photo: Bonnie Forkner

Keep these colors in mind, but also know that it’s more about shade than the color itself. A color like green can be relaxing or invigorating depending on whether it’s warm or cool.

If it’s warm (has more yellow than blue) it can be cheerful and energizing. It’ll have a more calming effect if it’s cooler (has more blue than yellow).

Lighting

living room natural light

Photo: Melanie Coddington

According to the ancient Chinese practice of feng shui, the act of arranging your home so that environmental elements are in balance, lighting is very important.

Our brains know how much sunlight we’re getting. Too much or too little can affect your mood and disrupt your natural sleep rhythms, and it’s hard to feel happy when you’re not well-rested.

Try to let plenty of natural light into your home. Big windows and skylights will help keep your energy levels up. Good lighting can increase your concentration during the day and stop you from tossing and turning at night. If natural light isn’t an option, try halogen bulbs. They mimic natural light and can help keep your internal clock on schedule.

Other times, you don’t want natural light. When you’re taking a nap, suffering through a headache, or going to bed before sunset, darkness is preferred. Be prepared for those situations with heavy curtains in the bedroom.

Also consider light switches with a dimmer option. They’re great for the environment, too!

Plants

indoor plants

Photo: Matthew Millman

Not only have plants been proven to make people happier, they can also improve your health by purifying the air. Scientists recently identified English Ivy as one of the best air-filtering houseplants of all time. It’s extremely easy to care for. Plus it looks great in a pot, growing up an indoor trellis, or hanging in a basket.

Studies have also shown that flowers can boost creativity and productivity. That makes them perfect for a home office, living room, or kitchen.

Cleanliness

Some people thrive in chaos, but for most people, mess causes stress and guilt. A disorganized living space can make us feel overwhelmed, disorganized, and out of control. It’s a cycle that’s hard to get out of, but don’t give up.

Feng shui offers plenty of wisdom on this subject too. It’s all about eliminating clutter and keeping things that bring you joy. What could be happier than that?

Sometimes it’s not really the mess that’s stressing us out. We actually just have too much stuff and not enough space. Consider donating some of the things you don’t use if clutter is a problem for you.

Going through everything can feel like an impossible task. But it’s really not that hard! Get the entire family together and spend a weekend getting the house into shape. Save time with these 10 cleaning tips.

beautiful spotless home clean

Photo: Jennifer Pacca Interiors

Then create a plan for maintaining your newly clean home — whether it’s weekly chores or a big monthly clean-up, do whatever works for you. Here are some ideas:

Daily rules: Minimize huge, time-consuming clean-up efforts by setting simple rules, like “no food in the bedroom,” “empty the dishwasher every morning,” or “wipe down countertops every night.”

Weekly chores: It can help to take turns tackling weekly duties, like taking out the trash, cleaning the bathroom, and vacuuming rugs or carpets.

Monthly clean-up: The more the whole family keeps up with daily and weekly duties, the less you’ll need big clean-up efforts. Still, getting help can take a lot off your shoulders when it comes time to clean the microwave or make a Goodwill run.

Electronic Devices at Night

Here’s something you might find surprising. Using your smartphone too close to your bedtime can actually interfere with your sleep.

bedroom dog

Photo: Helen Norman

Looking at a phone screen, computer, iPad, or TV increases electrical activity in your brain. That’s the opposite of what you want when you’re winding down and getting ready for bed.

For a better night’s sleep, keep electronic devices out of the bedroom if you can. If that’s not an option for you, at least try to stop using them about half an hour before bedtime.

Listen to Your Instincts

I hope these tips help make your house — and most importantly YOU — happier! Just remember that everyone’s different. The things that make your neighbor happy might not work quite as well for you.

Even a home that’s technically “perfect” won’t make you happy if it doesn’t reflect your lifestyle, personality, and the things you love.

The happiest home is one that you love spending time in!

If your home needs more than a few quick fixes, we’re happy to help! Get in touch today and we’ll set up a time to chat about your options!

More Resources

Featured in Good Housekeeping

7 Big Mistakes You Make Lighting Your Home

Screenshot 2015-03-26 15.15.15

3. You forget about where shadows might fall.
Place a light in the wrong spot, and you could create more of a problem than a solution.

“In bathroom, try sconces on either side of the mirror, instead of a single light above.” says Erin Davis, of Mosaik Design & Remodeling. “Overhead lighting can cast shadows on your face.” If you must go with an overhead light, choose a longer, horizontal fixture (instead of one with one single bulb) to help fully illuminate your face.

Read entire article here.

Your Home & You: The Psychology of Interior Design

Good interior design relies on the same principles that saved your ancestors from saber tooth tigers. It caters to your primal instincts.

Taste, curation, and art may appeal to your higher brain, but when I begin to design a kitchen or bathroom I focus first on your amygdala.

What is the amygdala? It’s your “lizard brain”, the part responsible for triggering emotional responses.

When I design a room, I’m trying to create a specific emotional response. Having the kitchen of your dreams or a bathroom you could take bubble baths in for hours depends on my ability to provoke the right response in your brain.

Here are some of the factors I consider when laying out a room to stimulate or appease your amygdala. Consider this a crash course in the psychology of interior design.

Read more ...

Everyone’s In the Kitchen… again!

mosaik portland kitchen remodel

It happens in nearly every American home. Gathering spaces are available throughout the house, yet everyone wants to hang out in the kitchen! It’s called the “heart of the home” for a reason. Comfort and connection can always be found there.

 

Does your kitchen need some love in return?

Even the slightest cosmetic change can uplift the space drastically and build significant equity in your home. Here are a few inspiring suggestions to spark your imagination…

 

Paint:  This is by far the best bang for your buck. One of our design teachers once said that a gallon of paint is worth $500 in the value it brings to a space. Not only can it dramatically alter the look and feel of a room, but if you do it yourself, it will cost virtually nothing.

Another small change that packs a punch is to paint your existing cabinetry. This process is quite involved. What’s required for lasting quality is beyond most homeowners’ skill set. Unfortunately, many of our clients replace their cabinets because of a poor paint job done by the previous homeowner. So, if you’re called to do this, hire a professional.

WHAT COLOR TO CHOOSE: Lighter tones make a space feel fresh and new. Darker colors work best for accent walls or in powder baths to add drama.

 

Hardware:  This is jewelry for your cabinets, so have fun with it. You will be surprised at how different your cabinetry looks with updated hardware.

QUICK TIP: If you have pulls on your cabinets, make sure that you measure the existing hardware so your new hardware will fit into the existing holes. Better yet, just take one off a drawer and take it with you!

 

mosaik design kitchen remodel

Countertops:  This can be as simple as installing new laminate over top of an existing countertop (yes, you can do that). Most people tend to want a higher-end countertop like granite or solid quartz in the kitchen and master bath.

HOW TO DECIDE: Let the value of your home and the room you are working on guide you on this decision.

 

Lighting:  Swapping out new fixtures in the existing locations is the most affordable way to go. Think about putting a small chandelier in your powder bath or adding colorful pendants above an island or sink in your kitchen. These can often be done with minimal drywall repair.

ANOTHER IDEA: Add recessed lights to a kitchen to improve the general lighting.  You will be amazed at how much the look and feel of a space improves with good lighting.

 

Plumbing Fixtures:  There are so many wonderful fixtures out there for under $200. Depending on how handy you are, this fairly simple DIY project can add both style and function. In a bathroom, just changing out a tired vanity faucet or toilet can change the whole feel of the room without the need for a complete remodel.

WHAT’S POPULAR NOW: Think about installing a pull-out faucet in your kitchen if you don’t have one. There are tons of style options that are super functional.