By: Morgan Goldwich
Whether you live in a communal dorm room, a luxury apartment or one of Gainesville’s many rustic houses, your home should be a place of solitude after a long day. University of Kentucky gerontology professor Graham Rowles notes the strong evidence for people’s mood being influenced by their environment. He said that, among other things, one’s home is “…a place that provides us with a centering—a place from which we leave each morning and to which we return each evening.” Read the tips below to maximize your home’s happy potential and create a soothing space for yourself.
- The colors a space is filled with have been found to affect one’s well-being. If you want to feel calm and at peace, try painting your walls a warm blue. For a boost of brightness, add pops of yellow or orange décor in a room such as the kitchen. If you’re looking to make your work space more productive, green shades are an excellent way to enhance creativity and reduce feelings of anxiety.
- Shapes can also influence our emotions. Designer and author Ingrid Fetell Lee has explored how round or symmetrical shapes can evoke positive feelings. Consider going with circular pillows, dotted wallpaper or round wall art the next time you redecorate to make your home even happier.
- Mirrors are a great design element, particularly in small spaces such as a dorm room, as they create an elongation effect. These reflectors will not only make you feel less cramped in a tight space, but they can serve as an extra source of natural light if you have limited windows.
- Research has shown how adding plants or flowers into your home can reduce stress and create a healing effect. Peace lilies thrive well indoors and can remove toxins from the air. Other greenery that is suitable for any room includes snake plants, golden pothos and aloe plants.
- Essential oil diffusers offer a range of scent options to freshen the air in your home. Try adding drops of calming lavender or spearmint, and feel your worries drift away with the aromatic water vapor.
- If you have trouble sleeping, a weighted blanket might be a good addition to your bedroom. Research shows this added pressure can reduce anxiety and stimulate the release of oxytocin, similarly to a hug’s effect. It is recommended to use one that is 10 percent of one’s body weight.
- Find the best storage options for you. Known for her Netflix show “Tidying Up,” professional organizer Marie Kondo said, “A cluttered room is much more likely to produce and contribute to a cluttered mind.” Whether it be aesthetically pleasing floating shelves or strategically placed square containers to maximize space, there are endless selections that will help you cut down on clutter and, in turn, clear your mind.
Bonus: make your bed every day. Charles Duhigg’s “The Power of Habit” shows starting your day with this task is correlated with increased productivity, happiness and even a stronger adherence to one’s budget. Plus, after a stress-filled day, it’s nice to come home to a clean and organized space—especially when it’s bursting with décor and design tricks to give you the happy home of your dreams.