Bloggers' Design Tips for a Happier Home
Blow-Up and Frame Favorite Snapshots
"Personalize your home through photography. I love to use family photos in non-traditional ways to enhance a room's decor," says Naomi Stein of Design Manifest, who took a picture of a client's family dog, blew it up and put it in an ornate frame over their sofa. "Pictures that mean something to you will add personality and depth to the space. Plus, it's a great budget saver, and saving money makes you happy, right?"
Light Tea Lights
"One of my favorite ways to make my house feel like a home is to light a handful of small candles and place them throughout the room," says Rachel Ball, author of the blog Elephantine. "They look especially pretty on an empty windowsill. They don't even need to be scented; it's more about how the flickering light brings movement to the room and gives off a comforting glow."
"I'm surrounded by art in every room of my home (even the bathroom!), so when I glance up from my computer, or a tedious chore, there's always an image that provides joy," Marni Katz, author of Style Carrot, says. "Some pieces make me happy because I simply love the way they look. Others might remind me of a memorable summer vacation or a family member from whom we inherited it. My husband and I love going to galleries, auctions, and art sales together, so there's that fun, togetherness aspect of it, too."
Incorporate Indoor-Outdoor Living
"What makes our home happy and special is that every morning we open our windows and doors and turn on our latest playlist. You can hear the trickling water from the fountain in every room inside the house and you can hear the music when you're outside in the garden," decorator Mark D. Sikes, who blogs at Chic People, Stylish Places, Glamorous Things, tells us. "It's all about bringing the inside out and the outside in!"
Display a Collection
"What makes my house a home is having my favorite things on display," Ellie Ediger, of the blog Cheers to the Good Life, says. "I like to showcase my scarves in a beautiful, wooden antique box, but you can do this with any collection you love. Personal touches like this make you feel more at home."
Introduce Indoor Greenery
"Plants make my home a happier place. Try adding a few small flowering plants, but not too many," Coco of CocoCozy says. "I have a potted Phalaenopsis orchid in my living room and a large palm tree in the main room. When I come home after a long day, the elegant white flowers and the green palm tree make me smile."
Let Kids Help You Decorate
Designer and blogger Lauren Liess of Pure Style Home says she makes her home happy by going on walks with her husband and their three boys. "We hunt for things to put in our 'nature box' (an old printer's tray)," Liess says. "I love seeing the kids so excited to explore and display nature and they love seeing their finds on display for everyone to see! Each season and trip we take brings a new look."
Make Use of Family Heirlooms
"One of the best ways to make your house feel like home is to incorporate things that remind you of loved ones such as family photos," says Nicole Gibbons of So Haute. "The objects that are most special to me in my own home are pieces that I've inherited from my grandmother. In particular, I have a pair of reverse glass Chinese paintings next to my bedside that I am obsessed with."
Create a Cozy Nook
"I love creating small cozy spaces to curl up in," Apartment 34's Erin Hiemstra says. "Since we have limited square footage in San Francisco, I created an 'end table' out of my favorite design books and magazines. I can just grab one from the stack when I want to enjoy a quiet moment. That is the ultimate happiness."