The Happiness Of Home: Why Making Your Space Your Own Can Enrich Your Life
For me, there’s not a lot that can beat that feeling of joy when I walk through the front door and enter my own home. I’ve always felt this way, no matter what stage I’m at in my life or the size of the house. It’s the knowledge that I’m surrounded by my favourite things, items that I’ve carefully sourced and gathered, special memories of happy times. I always feel proud of what I’ve achieved within my home, whether it be a decorating challenge or a creative upcycling project, and this feeling of happiness in my surroundings means that my home is a special place to be.
I’m not alone in feeling that my home is an important factor when it comes to my overall wellbeing. This week, B&Q, in partnership with the Happiness Research Institute, have published the first GoodHome Report, with views gathered from over 13,000 people, including psychology and social science experts, and their findings show that our homes account for 15% of our overall happiness. This is a significant figure – more than the joy that we take from our careers or even how much money we earn. Creating a home that is special to us can boost our happiness levels and improve positivity. The Report comes as Kingfisher, parent company to B&Q, unveils a new international home improvement brand, GoodHome. The main focus of this new brand is to help people create a home that they feel good about.
So how can you ensure that your home brings you happiness? One of the key findings of the Report was that rearranging our homes to create more space made a significant difference to the way that we felt. In order for your rooms to make you happy, you need to ensure that you only have items within them that you love. Take a look at a room that you’re not feeling positive about and reassess the situation. Mentally strip the room of furniture, clear the shelves, return to the basics with a blank canvas. Then look at each item individually. Do you really like that print? Have you ever liked that side table or was it purchased simply to fill the space? Be ruthless – if you’ve lost the love, recycle it by sending it to the charity shop or sell it to fund something special to replace it. If you’re not sure, try it in another room to see if it ticks the box elsewhere.
Interestingly, the GoodHome Report also showed us that the size of your home isn’t necessarily that important. It was, in fact, the space around us and what it contained that added to our wellbeing. 20% of people say that they lack space, but often this isn’t actually the case. It’s simply that the room isn’t being allowed to ‘breathe’ and a good declutter is generally all that is needed. Restyle the space by adding your favourite elements back into the room. Shop your home by sourcing special pieces from other areas of your home to add to the mix. Don’t worry if you’re left with a few blank spaces, they don’t need to be filled immediately. Add a plant as a temporary fix – findings show that greenery is an excellent way to improve your overall wellbeing.
Putting your own stamp on your rooms is truly important when it comes to your home encouraging happiness. Research from the GoodHome Report confirms that your space reflects your own identity and therefore your personality; a creative project that is yours and yours alone. It’s easy to be influenced and sometimes hindered by the views of friends and trends, but have confidence in what you love and your home will reap the rewards. Think outside the box when it comes to pulling the look together. Use wallpaper in unexpected places, multi task your furniture and add art in abundance. Who says that a utility room has to be utilitarian? Or that kitchens should be purely functional? Treat your kitchen shelves the same way as you’d treat the ones in your living room. Scour the charity shops for vintage prints, find the prettiest crockery in your collection to display – just because they are ‘working’ rooms doesn’t mean that you can’t imprint your own personality on to the spaces.
Changing up your rooms can be truly satisfying. Findings from the GoodHome Report showed that people who work on their homes to improve them and make them their own take much joy from these projects; the huge sense of pride that we feel from making a difference only adds to the sense of wellbeing. There’s nothing more satisfying than transforming a room with a different paint colour, upcycling a piece of furniture that’s past its prime or creating a new corner of your garden. Don’t be put off by the idea of tackling interior projects. If your rooms don’t make you happy, then you won’t be and findings show that home improvers are happier people. Once you start making the changes and gain confidence in your interior decorating and styling abilities, it’s often hard to stop!
Finally, research from the GoodHome Report shows that if you are happy with your home, you are far more likely to be happy with your life. Therefore, creating a home that fits your needs is truly important to our wellbeing. Click here to read the Report and its findings in full. And remember, when you walk through the door, the home that you have created should make your heart sing and your spirits lift. If it doesn’t, make those changes.