By Taryn Tacher
Your home is your sanctuary, or at least, it should be. After a long and strenuous day, you should be able to retire in an atmosphere that exudes calmness and peace. Your home should be a place where you feel safe and comfortable, somewhere you go to unwind and relinquish yourself from the struggles and stressors of the outside world. Your home is the place where you can shut the door, both literally and figuratively, on anything that adds unnecessary work, stress or deliberation — and once you close that door, everything within its walls should contribute to your harmonious unwinding. Because your home is meant to serve this all-encompassing purpose, it is important that it be relaxing, inviting and clutter-free.
Every morning, before you head out to start your day, think about how you want your home to look and feel when you return in the evening. Make your bed, rinse the gobs of toothpaste from the sink and take those dirty clothes off your desk chair and place them in the hamper. A quick cleanse in the morning can mean the difference between a carefree night on the couch and a laundry list of must-dos for when you finally walk back through the door into your so-called safe haven. These tasks may seem frivolous, but when left unattended to, they build up — and so does your stress level. A cluttered home translates to a cluttered mind, just as a clean home translates to a clear mind. Do yourself a favor by dedicating a few minutes in the morning to prepare your home for the evening. This way, when the day’s work is done, so is your brain’s. You can mentally turn off, unplug and relax.
Awaken your senses
Walking into a happy home is a sensory experience. Make your home more inviting by acknowledging all five senses: sight, touch, sound, smell and taste. “I think the balance of all five senses creates a natural harmony needed to exemplify a happy home,” Amanda Carreon, owner of A Divine Closet, said.
Sight is the most obvious and the easiest to tend to. When furnishing and decorating your home, choose items that reflect your personal style, whether it be modern, traditional, full of color or neutral-based. Choose pieces that draw your attention in a positive way, either because of their color — cool tones like blues, grays, greens and purples tend to be the most calming — texture or shape. Select pillows, curtains, rugs and furniture with varying textures to satisfy both sight and touch. Fuzzy blankets and squishy pillows create coziness, while silky curtains and velvety upholstered couches and chairs allude to lushness and opulence, and a distressed wooden dining set feels sturdy yet lived in.
And while you may not associate sounds with your home, music has a powerful way of setting the atmosphere and regulating the mood of any environment. Soothing sounds and easy-listening music will give your home that feeling of serenity, while more upbeat tunes can foster your productivity — say, in the morning when you have much to do and minimal time to get it all done.
To satisfy your sense of smell, think of scents that arouse fond memories and ones that put you at ease. You can light candles, display fresh flowers or potpourri, or use those plug-in and stand-alone devices that sporadically spray your chosen scent throughout your home. Smells like lavender, jasmine, vanilla and rosemary are calming, while cinnamon, cloves and allspice evoke warmth and recollections of seasonal and holiday time with family and friends.
When we think about the fifth and final sense, we cannot help but head to the kitchen — the place where our taste buds awaken with as simple a gesture as displaying a bowl of fruit, a cookie jar or a domed cake stand on the counter. But if you do not like having your food on display, you can fulfill your sense of taste by way of your sense of smell. According to Live Science, 80 percent of what we taste is derived from what we smell, so delicious scents, like citrus and berries, will do the trick.
Your home, your haven
Perhaps what is most important to remember when aiming to make your home a happier place is to identify what makes YOU happy. “I believe what makes a happy home is the memories we create within it,” said Carreon. “To make those positive and memorable moments, it’s imperative to have a space that reflects your personality, rejuvenates your soul, and is something that you are proud of and want to share with others.” We are all different. We are all stimulated by different colors, comforted by different textures, annoyed by different sounds, aroused by different smells and disgusted by different tastes. Keep your likes, dislikes, wants and needs at the forefront of your mind as you work toward making your home a happier place because the happier your home is, the happier your mind, body and spirit will be, too.
Creating Your Happy Home
Try one of these four products to get started.
SpectrumTM Yumi 2-Tier Server
$20.99, available online only at Bedbathandbeyond.com
Berkshire Blanket Modern Comfort Throw
$19.99, Bed Bath & Beyond and Bedbathandbeyond.com
P.F. Candle Co. No. 10 Sweet Grapefruit Soy Candle
Xhilaration Jersey Ruffle Throw Pillow