As designers, we know that a happy home means a happy life. And as we start a new year, a little bit of happiness can go a long way. So taking small steps to improve your home isn’t just about creating a more stylish and functional space – it’s also a way to bring some much-needed positivity for 2021.
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. What you do in your home makes an impact on your daily life. And now that fall is here and outdoor activities become limited, we’ll all be indoors (and at home) even more. So now is the time to take advantage of 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, and let the positivity start flowing through your space.! And for you skeptics out there, we encourage you to at least give these 5 tips a chance. You never know what small change can bring big impact.
Keep scrolling to see all our tips to help your home function (and feel) better.
KEEP IT Clean
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 a clean mindset.
- Make your bed in the morning. It’s a great way to start your day and really only takes a few minutes. 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 sight, out of mind.
- Get rid of objects that are no longer meaningful and are just taking up space. (KonMari style!)
- Organize your workspace at the end of each day by filling away paperwork and tidying up. Getting into this habit means you will start each day with a fresh and clear mindset (and everyone else in your home will appreciate less clutter).
For more tips on staying organized, check out our post: Small Space Living: 5 Affordable Solutions To Help You Live Smarter.
ADD SOME Color
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, see our posts Proud to Be Colorful and Finding The Right White: Bobby’s 5 Favorite White Paints
Shop Bobby’s Favorite Paint Colors
MAKE IT Personal
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!) They will also bring back fond memories of friends and family that you may not be able to see in person. Here are 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 or photographs to a corkboard. (You know, Pinterest IRL)
BRING IN Nature
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. Adding greenery to your workspace at home is definitely a great way to lift your mood during a long zoom call!
- 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 hydrangeas, tulips, and roses.
- 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 posts How to Bring Nature into Your Space and The 9 Easiest House Plants To Take Care Of (That We Use All The Time).
Shop Bobby’s Favorite Natural Elements
THE RIGHT KIND OF Lighting
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 bodies. 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 the 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 posts Lighting Upgrades: 36 Ways to Brighten Up a Rental.
Great idea as! Thanks!
Thanks love! xx -B
I am so in love with your work! I wish you could come to my life and transform my house. I need Queer Eye (Fab5) in my life right now so badly! Please you are all Welcome to Canada!!!
We would love to visit Canada!! Hoping one day we will xx -B
Thanks so much for these uplifting tips- I needed some positive energy and this post gave me lots of little ideas that can make me feel empowered right now 🙂 Loved the new season in Philly! Thanks for bringing so much joy to the world!
Susan Carolonza Chanin
Thanks so much for your comment and sharing your inspiration from the story! Sending lots of love xx -B
This was super helpful! Provided some creative and realistic inspo for my rookie homeowner projects!
I love this! I’m thinking of ways that I can help my parents change our family room and my bedroom before I move back to university in September. So many amazing ideas – thank you!x
Good roundup of ideas and reminders. ??
Thanks for reading! xx -B
Love, love.. your inspirational messages each day—amazing ideas!!
Thank you love! Stay inspired xx -B
You and your posts make me so happy! We just moved thousands of miles away from home and are always looking for ways to make our new home feel cozy. You’ve helped us in so many ways! Thank you!
This is SO helpful and needed for this moment in time when so many of us are working from home. Thank you!
Happy to help! We can all use a little help staying positive. xx-B
These are so perfect! I just recently moved back home into my childhood bedroom and was looking for way to spruce it up, change my purple walls and kiddy bedding into something more adult! Can wait to use these tips!
Love your style and these helpful tips! Thanks Bobby!
Wonderful tips- especially appreciate the ones about different types of lighting. I was wondering why it wouldn’t get “quite right” in my new home office- it’s because I only have task lighting!!! Thanks.
Thanks for sharing & hope you can find some beautiful lighting to brighten your home office! xx -B
Love these idea, and I 100% agree that your home is where you should feel best, hopefully! If not, time for some changes. These are great tips. Thanks for all of the inspiration in these hard times. xo
Thanks for your comment! Our homes have become the most important space for self care right now xx -B
I enjoy watching your show. You are very good at what you do! This article has provided me with great tips and
inspiration ❤️ -Margo
Thank you Margo. xx -B
Nailed it as always!!! Thank you for sharing your knowledge and empowering us to shift! Big love to you.
Sending you big love! Thanks for reading xx -B
Even tho I thought I know a thing or two a about that topic, there are many tips I didn’t know yet. Thanks for your help. Will change some things in my home immediately. All the love from Germany to you!
Sending all my love back to you! Stay inspired xx -B
I have a small living room, would a pop of color in it make it look smaller? I have a lot of plants as well … suggestions on color? I LOVE everything you do BTW!
For a small space, I would suggest keeping the walls white and adding in color through accessories – pillows, art and objects. I love a bright cobalt blue, terracotta and shades of green. Thanks for commenting! xx-B
It’s so hard to know what colors to try, I’m going to start with some of those favourites of yours, a few pillows or throws are easy to try without a big commitment. Even some cheap fabric can be made into pillow covers etc. Thankyou for such nice inspiration as always xx
Thanks so much for this, especially the tips on plants and natural materials. You’re an inspiration. Much love from the UK ??
Thanks so much for reading! Stay safe and inspired xx -B
Thank you!! I love your newsletters and articles. I so appreciate how real and authentic they are and not full of advice that only the 1% could achieve.
Thanks so much for your support on our stories. It means so much to my team and I! xx -B
Thank you for your excellent tips! I admire you so much because you are very talented!
Hope you found some good ideas! Thanks so much xx -B
Thanks for all the great advice! My wife and I loved the new season — your decorating skills are truly genius!!!
So glad you and your wife enjoyed the new season! Thank you for reading our story xx -B
This is the first article I read in your site and I think I will read all the previous ones! Thanks for the simple and handy ideas. I loved you since QE, thanks for being an inspiration!
Thanks so much for reading. Hope you enjoy the other posts as well! xx -B
Although your website has lots of tips I’d really love to see a design book. The places you makeover on Fab Five are for the everyday home or rental apartment and requires no reconstruction. Please, seriously consider a book.
OMG yaaaaas, a book! ???? And not only photos of stunning interiors, but also your tips and tricks along side.
Hi Bobby! xx
In your episode of QE with the little 10 yr old ice skater, Lucy….her make over room (Lucy’s Lair) Where did you get the floor lamp in that room?! It looks like hanging lanterns (black) ? Absolutely gorg…..must have!!
Thank you dear! #FiveHugs xox
You can find a similar light here. Thanks for reading. xx-B
Hi Bobby, I loved this post so much! It’s beautifully written and made me feel better just reading it. I love you and Antoni, Jonathan, Karamo and Tan with all my heart, you’ve helped me change for the better in many ways. Love, Olivia
Thank you so much! That’s so kind of you to say. xx -B
What if we’re not exactly plant-friendly people? (Somehow we keep our pets alive but plants? Ha…)
Then faux plants are definitely the way to go! Check out my post: Faux Plants: How To Use Them For Real Impact for all the info you need. Thanks for your comment! xx -B
thanks for your nice and easy ideas! will definetly try some!
sending lots of love from switzerland,
xx – Laura
p.s: Obsessed with Queer Eye !
Thank you so much for reading & supporting all the way from Switzerland! Sending lots of love. xx -B
Thanks Bobby. Love you and your pretty face. I loved this!! I found the types of lighting very helpful because the lighting throughout my house sucks. My family and I are always saying” you can’t see anything, it’s too dark.” Or “that’s way too bright”; after input new bulbs in my ceiling fan in the family room. Total disaster. ? thanks again
Having the right lighting can really make or break your space! Glad you found our tips helpful. Thanks for reading! xx -B
We are building a house for retirement. My husband and I just moved from a 14acres where we lived for 25 yrs. It is quite a change but enjoying all your beautiful designs. Have watched your show and loved ever minute. I’d appreciate any ideas you have for building. It is overwhelming to make sure we add things to the house that would add to a smaller but cozy home.
First off, I would definitely advise a one-story layout to avoid going up and down stairs as you get older. You’ll also want to think about how you use spaces and put your focus into creating functional rooms that you will use and enjoy, with a good flow through the home. I think it’s also smart to create a larger main bedroom and bathroom and have a laundry area that is convenient and easy to access. All the best for your project! xx -B
Bobby you are unique, a total sunshine, THANK YOU for sharing this wonderful, easy and magical tips, I love them, its so important to take care outside (our house) as inside (heart and mind)!! Your generosity and kindness are inspiring and contagious, many blessings and love!! If you ever come to Colombia let me know!!
Thank you so much for the lovely comment! It means so much to me and I would love to visit Colombia in the future. Stay safe and inspired! xx -B
Thank you Bobby – All your stuff is fantastic! Lynda
Thank you for reading! xx -B
Love this post and all the practical and attainable steps and the links to reasonably priced items!
Great tips! Keep up the wonderful job, Bobby!
you’re amazing and your work is so beautiful!!
Lots of love
Thank you so much for your comment. Sending lots of love! xx -B