10 Ways to Make Your Home Happier

From a fresh coat of white paint to choosing comfortable, neutral furniture, here is some  advice on how happiness starts at home. 

Mix It Up

A mixture of culture and periods makes for the most interesting rooms, and juxtaposing high and low makes a room more casual and homey.  The living room of this New York apartment is decorated with a 1930s coffee table by Jean Dunand, '40s armchairs by Andre Arbus, '50s Swedish slipper chairs, and a '70s mirror by Neal Small.

Choose Colors That Flatter You

Decorate your rooms to show you off at your best.  This room was painted lavender to complement the homeowners green eyes. Michael Taylor chair.  Karl Springer dressing table.

Decorate With What You Love

This look was achieved by using layer upon layer of cherished items.  The homeowner states, "I bought things I knew I'd never tire of, and I've found out that if you love something, you'll find a place for it."  His living room is furnished with antiques and vintage pieces, including a faux fireplace added for its architectural interest.


Remember the Power of White Paint

Because white reflects light it sends off a wonderful energy and a prism of color that one may not necessarily be aware of.  In this 1820s New Orleans cottage, a white hue was used to transform the formerly dark dining room into a space that's light and cheery.  Walls are Frostine by Benjamin Moore.  Ligne Roset Tania chairs ring a table made of reclaimed cherrywood.


Choose Furniture With Curves

Round shapes, such as the living room's drum shade and coffee table, make this space feel inviting.  In this room they soften the space and make the house more lovable and livable.  Dessin Fournir skirted chairs.  Fambuena Dress pendant.   Minton-Spidell coffee table.


Keep Seating Neutral

Large pieces upholstered in a bold color or busy patterns can make a room feel heavier.  A white sofa feels lighter and is more conducive to conversation.  Bird's Nest Cocktail Table by HB Home; Campion chandelier, Urban Electric.


Make a Colorful Statement in the Entry

First impressions count, and a strong statement in the entry hall gives an indication of what you'll see in the rest of the house.  Custom bench in S. Harris's Calypso.  China Seas' San Marco wallpaper.


Include Some Whimsy

Use little surprises to keep a house from becoming too serious, and put fun items in unexpected places.  This homeowner put an inherited collection of Staffordshire figures at the foot of the stairs.


Go Bold in a Small Space

Small rooms need big drama.   In this East Hampton beach cottage, a graphic botanical pattern perks up the guest room by creating a little world within the bed alcove.  Svenskt Tenn Hawaii fabric by Josef Frank.   Frettebedding.


Create Beauty by Contrast

The juxtaposition of humble and fine materials creates intrigue and keeps a room feeling interesting and attractive.   Nero Marquina marble,  Corian island, Barstools by George Nakashima.  Pendant lights from Circa Lighting