A home is more than a place to rest your head: it is the environment in which your family will experience the most formative developments in their individual and collective lives.
So many people prioritize aesthetics or practicality above all else when designing their home. What they fail to recognize is that qualities such as these are the means, not the end. So what is the deeper instinct that’s at play? Could it be the search for that indefinable quality called ‘happiness’?
A home that balances being pleasant, relaxing, stimulating, private, yet sociable in a way that works for all inhabitants is a house that’s geared towards happiness. Pretty things and fancy gadgets alone will not achieve this exalted state of affairs.
Happier By Design
This new guide to tweaking your house for happiness room-by-room holds some pretty good explanations as to what else is needed. Combining scientific research and age-old wisdom, the ideas it offers are best interpreted with your family’s unique spirit in mind.
For example, a Harvard study has shown that strong familial bonds promote happiness (as though those bonds weren’t reward enough in themselves!) You can work towards this in your kitchen by creating a focal point or social space that makes it more than just a room for cooking.
If your teenagers like to loiter, build them a breakfast bar. If your little one can’t get her head out of her books, pop a beanbag in the corner so she can read while you chop and dice.
Wellness expert Andrea Hayes reckons turning one wall into a blackboard to share messages of gratitude is a great way to maintain a positive outlook throughout your daily life. But it doesn’t have to be corny hashtag-gratitude messages that fill this wall: rather, you can mark family members’ achievements with drawings, slogans, gold stars, whatever suits. And of course, you shouldn’t keep that colored chalk all to yourself!
Already getting some good ideas?
From the appropriate use of color and plants to where you position your furniture, the infographic below showcases creative tips and techniques to help you design a home that will keep you rested, inspired, healthy and best of all, happy. Take a good look, one room at a time, to see where your quest for happiness may lead you.
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Have fun designing a home that brings you joy — room by room!
What are your favorite ways to make your home a happier place to live?
Share your suggestions, thoughts and comments with us.