5 Ways Your Home Can Make You Feel Better Right Now

Photo: Veeral Patel

Today is National Positive Thinking Day (yes, it’s a real day). And as designers we know that a happy home means a happy life, so why not share a few of our secrets?! It is a holiday after all…

In many ways, caring for your space is caring for yourself, and by having a well-designed home, your personal outlook on life can shift. As is the case with what you put on your body (a good outfit always makes you happy), or the food you put in your body ( good food means good energy), what you do in your home makes an impact on your daily life. Even small things can have an impact on your day to day mood; from keeping things clean to displaying meaningful items to adding the right color and lighting.

So banish those negative thoughts (at least for today) and let the positivity start flowing.  And for you skeptics out there, we encourage you to at least give these 5 tips a chance. You never know what might bring something positive to your day (it is Friday the 13th after all, so a little positivity couldn’t hurt!)


It may seem obvious, but a clean and organized space is the easiest quick change you can make to help bring about positivity. It’s actually been scientifically proven that having too much clutter around can overwhelm the brain. (Can’t argue with science now can you?) Here are a few tips to help achieve a clean home and clean mindset.

  • Make your bed in the morning. It’s a great way to start your day and really only takes a few minutes. Coming home and getting into a made bed at the end of the day is one of the best feelings in the world. (or is that just us?)
  • Don’t let piles of mail and paperwork stack up. Instead use a file or bin to store them immediately. Out of site out of mind.
  • Get rid of objects that are no longer meaningful and are just taking up space. (KonMari style!)
  • Use decorative storage boxes on shelves to hide unattractive items you need but don’t necessarily want to see.

For more tips on staying organized, check out our post on Small Spaces, Big Problems.

Design: Jotun


Color has long been determined to have a deep connection to our mood and thoughts. Different colors can relax us, energize us or make us feel better. Here are a few tips for how to harness color to create a positive feel, no matter what color you gravitate towards.

  • Colors like greens, blues and earth tones are more calming and suited to bedrooms, bathrooms and family rooms.
  • Colors like red, orange and yellow are more energetic and stimulating and suited for rooms you wish to be productive in.
  • The color white helps clear the mind and evokes freshness, and simplicity.

Don’t think that this requires you to paint your walls either. Just having a few pops of these colors around your space can bring you an instant jolt of joy. For more tips on adding color and what all the colors mean, see our post Proud to Be Colorful.

Photo: Janne Olander
Design: Grey Deco


Adding personal items to your space is a great visual reminder of the happy moments in life (not to mention making your space uniquely you!) Here are a some ideas for incorporating personal touches for a positive effect.

  • Display souvenirs and objects from meaningful trips: a handmade blanket, pottery, a small trinket from a trip or a natural object.
  • Frame photographs from special times with family and friends.
  • Place special items in prominent places, like artwork that belonged to a relative.
  • Pin inspiring and motivational images to a corkboard. (You know, Pinterest IRL)
Design: Muuto


Plants have a way of brightening even the worst of days, simply by sitting on a windowsill. They also have the added benefit of helping to refresh the air in a room, and thus make you healthier ( A real win-win situation if you ask us.) So here are some tips on how to harness nature’s positive vibes.

  • Place a potted plant on your desk or a fern in your bathroom or another unexpected place to give you a cheery boost. Trust us it works, almost every person in the office has a plant on their desk and it’s not just because they look good.
  • Buy fresh flowers. They don’t even need to be anything fancy, just a grocery store bouquet in your favorite vase once a week can totally change your mood. Our favorites from the grocery store are hydrangas, greenery or tulips.
  • Bring in natural elements, like wood, woven items (jute, rattan, bamboo) and botanical art.

Whether you’ve got a green thumb or not, a little life in the form of plants can do a lot to bring a smile to your face. For a few more ideas you can see our post on How to Bring Nature into Your Space.


Like color, lighting can have a powerful impact on our mood (Again, proven by science.)  Being in a space with bright fluorescent bulbs all day can actually elicit stress in our body. Natural light is always best, but here are a number of ways lighting can be used to actually make us feel better.

  • Make sure you have a mix of the 3 types of lighting:  Ambient, Task and Accent
    • Ambient lighting is intended to provide overall light to a room. (ceiling light fixtures, recessed lights and lamps)
    • Task lighting is specific lighting for doing something. (desk lamp and pendant lighting over a kitchen counter)
    • Accent lighting is used to highlight an object or wall. (picture lighting or sconces)
  • Open your blinds or draperies to let natural light in during the day. It will help you sleep better and improve your mood. If you don’t have great natural light in your space, add some mirrors to help reflect and bounce light.
  • Light candles at dinner, even if it’s just a casual meal. The warm glow of candlelight is soothing and mood-enhancing. (Romance not guaranteed, but hey, you never know)
  • Replace your lightbulbs in more relaxing spaces, like a family room or bedroom, with warm white dimmable LED bulbs. They are more pleasing to the eye and relaxing (not to mention they’re energy-efficient.)
  • Purchase a smart lamp (like this one for $35) that has different options for levels of light tailored to different activities and times of day. It sounds gimmicky, but it actually does work and makes a big difference. After all it’s got a ton of positive reviews… positive reviews = positive people.

For more options on lighting, check out our post on Mid-Century Modern: Lighting


Photo: Jonas Berg
Design: Grey Deco