Welcome to the next installment of “The Secret Series”, where where I partner with friends and fellow bloggers from across the web to share our hidden truths on topics ranging from love, business, parenting, and more. Have a topic that you’d like to have explored in the future? Shoot me an email and I’ll be sure to address it!
It’s official: I’ve become a homebody.
If you told my 20-year-old self this, I wouldn’t have believed you. Even up to a few years ago, I was guaranteed to say, “Let’s do it” when plans were presented. Now? Cozy dinners and relaxing, whether with just our little family or with friends, is my preferred way to spend time.
Don’t get me wrong, a fun outing is always embraced. But, there’s just something so wonderful about loving to be home, too. To feel content, comfortable and truly happy in the place where you spend the most time is the best feeling.
Now, I’m a firm believer in the saying, “It’s not where you are, but who you’re with, that matters most”, and with that in mind I also believe that to the core a happy home is centered around the people living in it. But, there are certainly ways to promote a pleasant environment for yourself and those who you share your home with. Which is why I’m so excited to partner with Kira of The Imperfectionist (She’s an interior designer in Chicago and has such a great eye) in today’s post to share our secrets to a happy home.
My secrets to a happy home are below; be sure to swing by Kira’s post and check hers out, too!
Secret #1: Decorate With Meaning
To me, the best way to evoke happiness in a living space is to surround myself with items that make me smile. From photos and maps to books and trinkets, there are countless little items in our home that have a story, no matter how small, behind them. They mean something.
When people come to our apartment, I always think it’s fun when they ask about particular items they see and are curious about. Our home is eclectic in that we’ve chosen to decorate less with trends or “filler”, and more with odd ball items that (we hope) work well together. Things like an old lantern uncovered in an antique store while in the mountains of Australia. Framed overgrown moss on the wall that my cousin made. Or even wedding gifts that make us smile for their thoughtfulness. (You can see some of those details in this post and this post, if you’re curious!) Those types of items are as unique as the individuals living in a home; they bring so much personality.
Secret #2: Incorporate Life
There’s nothing more refreshing or vibrant in a home than florals or greenery. They bring such a wonderful element, and that element is life. My preferred way of decorating is with plants, because even though they can be expensive to maintain (er…I don’t have the best green thumb) I just love what they add to a room. The more, the merrier! (Literally.)
Secret #3: De-clutter & Stay Clean
I have an awful habit of pile making. Clothes in our room, coats in the hall, hair ties on the couch arm; if there’s a pile collecting, I’m pretty much the guaranteed culprit. (Doug hates it, and as much as I try to get better, I tend to falter. Sorry, hun!) I say this because there’s really nothing worse than having those piles, well, pile up. It makes for an annoying living situation across the board, especially when you consider the fact that we have zero space to work with already.
On the opposing side, I’m really good at organizing and cleaning, so I have that to redeem myself. And there’s no better feeling than having those piles cleaned up and our stuff in its appropriate spots. Actually – I revise my statement. There’s no better feeling than maintaining a pile-free apartment. Somehow, we’re all able to think clearer when cleanliness is at the core of our living space.
All this is to get to one key point: Cleanliness is so important for happiness at home, which I’ve come to discover by tending to be a bit messy. Oh, the irony! Especially when living with others, having a “spot” for everything, and making sure that your space is free of clutter and piles, is not only considerate but so much more pleasant to live with.
Side note: If you haven’t already, do yourself a favor and read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It’s seriously a game changer! Secret #4: Pair Aesthetic With Functionality
This tip is likely most applicable to those who, like us, live in city apartments and may not have a lot of space. However, I think the notion could certainly apply to anyone!
It’s important to make sure that when you’re decorating, you’re also thinking about the space and its use as well. What good is an ottoman if you can’t put your feet up as you’re lounging? Or a table top where you can’t actually use the space since it’s being taken up by beautiful vases?
When decorating, I’ve found that looking at furniture first through the lens of, “What is the ideal use for this?” and then sprucing it up with accents or add-ons that compliment that use, is the best way to bring functional design into the home. It’s been a good lens for us, because we’ve been able to create a home that we love the look of but also are able to use with ease as well.
Secret #5: Embrace Togetherness
I’ll keep this tip short and sweet, because “togetherness” really encompasses it all. When I think of my happiest moments at home, every single one is paired with a memory of laughter or fun with our little family, game nights with friends, or things like sleepovers with Gracie and her grandparents. Like I said prior, it’s not where you are but who you’re with that matters most. Our home wouldn’t be nearly as happy without the people we share it with!
What are your secrets to a happy home? I’d love to hear your tips in the comments. Be sure to swing by Kira’s blog and check out her secrets, too!