The first time I came face to face with my mother’s cluttered life was when I moved out of her apartment after graduation. It had been a place I called “mine” for years — a cozy little haven tucked away on West 27th Street between Tenth Avenue and Eleventh Avenue in Chelsea, Manhattan.
I loved everything about this tiny studio except its utter lack of storage space and general disorganization. In short, it wasn’t mine. And because it wasn’t mine, I couldn’t be happy there. That same year, a friend asked me what kind of books she should get for Christmas. My response was simply: “I don’t read.” The truth was, I didn’t have any friends over either.
Fast forward five years later to 2013. By then, I’d become an interior designer, and I found myself helping clients who were looking to transform their spaces so they could live happier lives. One day while working with one such client, I noticed something interesting. She kept complaining about how messy her living room was getting and told me she wanted things to look nicer.
When I went through her belongings, however, I realized that although she did own nice pieces — including some vintage chandeliers — most of them weren’t worn or being used. Instead, they just sat on top of a pile of papers, and underneath, all those objects were piling upon piles of other stuff. Her entire living room was covered in clutter, preventing her from seeing her collection’s beautiful details. To say that her environment lacked energy would be an understatement.
It turns out that our homes can affect us at every level. A recent study by researchers at Harvard University revealed that people are happier when surrounded by certain types of objects (and fewer others). For example, having pictures of family members makes you feel good about yourself, whereas a vase full of flowers doesn’t necessarily add much to your mood.
According to the research, too many plants surrounding you may lower your overall sense of well-being. So, why does this happen? Scientists believe it has something to do with the brain’s dopamine release caused by visual stimulation. Your surroundings play a big part in determining whether you’ll end up feeling great or miserable, sad or joyful.
Here’s another reason why the state of your house matters:
According to a 2014 survey conducted by Priceonomics, 50 percent of Americans said their houses made them unhappy. The reasons ranged widely, but the main culprit behind unhappiness was clutter.
Before throwing all your junk onto Twitter or Tiktok (if that’s your thing, too), remember that many of these respondents also admitted to hoarding items as decoration. But regardless of motivation, clutter isn’t conducive to creating a comfortable atmosphere. As a result, we tend to avoid entering rooms unless we need them, ultimately leading to feelings of isolation.
What’s worse, though, is that clutter can keep us stuck inside our mindsets.
Research published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology suggests that clutter makes people less likely to take action toward goals like losing weight or saving money. We put off cleaning until tomorrow, thinking that will help alleviate stress, yet the act of decluttering itself releases levels of serotonin, which helps calm anxiety.
Clutter thus becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we stay overwhelmed by messiness, we won’t be able to reap the benefits associated with organizing.
So, how can we begin to enjoy ourselves again in our own living rooms?
Here are three ways to improve your mental health and create a better experience within your walls.
No 1. How to re-touch the living room’s wall and boring living room furniture
First things first: You’ve got to start somewhere. Once you clear out all the clutter, it might seem overwhelming to tackle your biggest problem areas first. Don’t worry! Start small.
- Begin with removing large posters, framed artwork, knickknacks, and anything else that takes up lots of valuable floor space.
- Next, throw pillows, cushions, rugs, and curtains aside. Then, remove decorative elements like coffee tables, sideboards, and entertainment centers.
- Finally, organize shelves, shelving units, cabinets, and drawers. This process requires patience and organization skills since you’re only going to truly understand what works best once you start making choices.
When deciding where to store each item, think about the rest of your home, especially your bedroom. Wherever possible, try to group similar items. Having different categories makes it easier to see what you already possess rather than trying to figure out what comes next. Also, consider keeping surfaces free of accessories and decorations. Keep your eye on the prize here: the ability to walk around without tripping over shoes, bags, and coats.
If you’re still struggling to shed your old habits, don’t fret. There are plenty of options available to spice up your space. Look no further than the internet. Sites like Craigslist, Roomi, and Aptdecor offer curated lists of affordable furniture, lighting fixtures, mirrors, and bedding sets. Plus, Pinterest offers countless ideas for DIY projects, ranging from simple slipcovers to complex window treatments.
Search for “DIY,” “interior design,” and whatever type of transformation you want to complete.
Once you’ve achieved your goal, you should permit yourself to relax. After all, you deserve it.
No 2. How to refresh a living room and clean living room
Now that you’ve transformed your living area, it’s time to freshen your home with fresh air.
- First, open windows whenever possible to allow natural light to pour in. Open drapes, blinds, and shades to let sunlight hit your couch and floors.
- Consider replacing dark-colored carpets with lighter ones to brighten things up.
- Lastly, replace outdated appliances with newer models. They come equipped with updated features like Wi-Fi connectivity, touchscreens, and built-in smart technology. These upgrades can elevate your everyday routine and do cooking, washing dishes, and entertaining guests less frustrating and tiring.
- Next, dust your sofa and chairs thoroughly using a damp cloth. Vacuum hardwood floors, tile, stone, linoleum, and plastic. Wipe down glass counters and countertops with a soft towel dipped in warm water mixed with vinegar. Use paper towels to wipe down bathroom tiles.
- Rinse shower doors; tub surrounds, faucet handles, toilet bowls, sink basins, medicine cabinet fronts, mirror frames, doorframes, and entryway mats. If necessary, use a toothbrush to scrub grime and stains from baseboards and ceilings. Make sure to dry everything completely and hang drapes and clothespins along the edges of windows to prevent drapery fabric from blowing outside during windy weather.
- Lastly, finish off your workday by packing your supplies neatly in boxes and moving them to a new location.
You know what they say: Home is where happiness begins. Now that your sanctuary looks cleaner, brighter, and more organized, you’re ready to spread love throughout your abode.
No 3. How to upgrade the living room and make the home’s value more expensive
In addition to changing the aesthetics of your space, you can also increase its marketability by upgrading your property. Even minor changes can have major effects on resale value. For instance, adding new paint colors, updating hardware finishes, and installing upgraded kitchen appliances can boost your home’s perceived quality.
While these updates alone wouldn’t raise your selling price significantly, they enhance your home’s appearance. Adding stainless steel siding to exterior walls increases curb appeal while providing greater protection against harsh weather conditions.
Likewise, vinyl cladding adds modern functionality to older properties, elevates outdoor decks, and reduces maintenance costs. Upgrading kitchens and bathrooms give buyers bigger expectations regarding luxury amenities while improving plumbing systems saves them money on future repairs. However, building additions, remodeling interiors, and converting garages into lofts are usually pricier. Therefore, focus on completing smaller tasks that require less investment.
Regardless of your budget constraints, there’s always hope. Whether you hire professionals or tackle renovations, never underestimate creativity’s power. Remember that your house can transform into hundreds of unique environments depending on users’ preferences. With enough elbow grease, anyone can achieve the dream of homeownership.
Andrea Burchard is also a Simphome contributor and guest writer. Shout her on Youtube @slidehouse
10 Ways to Spark New Joy in Your Living Room
Does your living room look dull now? If it does, you need to spark new joy in it. But, the biggest question suddenly pops into your mind. What should you begin with?
You can begin by strolling around these impressive living room decorating ideas that will refurbish your space.
Here are 10 ways to spark new joy in your living room to create a modern, warm, and cozy space in which you’ll love to live. As always, Simphome presents you with the list. Check out the reference area to detail everything covered in the list.
10. Consider Two-tone Wall
Are you looking for an accessible room update? A real two-tone wall will create an eye-catching look and make your space look larger than it really is.
Pastel palettes like light grays and soft blues in this minimalist living room introduce an airy element and create a separate combination of effects that stimulates your living room.
The walls have been separated on a low level to create a stylish, relaxed atmosphere. Besides, it can help maximize the high ceilings and empty low-back sofa. The simple shape and comfortable, cushioned seating, and lush greenery create a very relaxing vibe for a stylish living room.
9. Spark it with Bold Colors
Working with a bold palette is a powerful way to give off a warm feel. The furniture’s bold blue and gradient colors look fantastic and work well together, especially when mixed with soft furnishings such as beige, cream, light grey, or dark brown. Wooden furniture is also a perfect match to a thick palette like this.
8. Or Add Golden Accessories
A brass works very well, especially when you put it on white walls. You can introduce a little shine with most color schemes if you opt for small highlights like feature walls, standing-lamp legs, and other accessories.
Another perfect use of brass is in the interior of a table lampshade since it will diffuse a warm glow around it. Even if you do not turn it on, it will still add charm and comfort to the design.
7. Make it smell nicer
Fragrance is one of the highest senses connected with emotional triggers. Still, when it happens to interiors, the advantage of fragrance and its ability to influence our moods is often ignored.
That’s why adding fragrance to your living room is something great. Refreshing fragrances are not a difficult way to bring a new vibe to your space. The environment of your living room is recognizable by its scent, and you can find one that suits not only the season but also your room décor.
6. Experiment with Colorful Furniture
Before applying the colors to your living room, ask yourself what you want it to look like. You will also learn about color combinations that may infuse a certain vibe into the space. This modern living room is a great idea to mix some colors. To get feels fresh and stylish, you can pack with bold colors and contemporary furnishings.
You can also bring colors through accessories to introduce personality and taste to your space.
5. The Feature Walls
Some people like to see pictures. You may have noticed this when someone visited your house.
They won’t be able to get away from the pictures hanging on your living room wall. Nothing can bring personality, taste, and color like a gallery wall. Display a collection of artwork or pictures, or add wall hangings and other photos in different size frames. Opt for a simple adhesive frame, or consider a variety of beautifications to get it all together!
Additional tip: make larger the gallery walls to the ceiling to create the illusion of a more expansive space.
4. Beautify it with Extra Pillows
The living room carries together the things that make your home a home; cozy, usefulness, and togetherness. It is a place for innumerable memories and peaceful moments. So, don’t be surprised if making your room feel comfortable is a must.
It is common knowledge to create a cozy and warm living room is layering. Nothing more alluring on a chilly night like a soft, warm texture to soak in and snuggle up to. Layering and accessorizing the sofa with extra throws and pillows is a must for inviting a cozy atmosphere with your family.
3. Add A New Rug or Tweak what you already have
There’s nothing worse than stepping your bare foot onto a nearly frozen floor in the morning. A cozy rug under your sofa or chair will not only keep out cold feet but also help reduce the sound and provide the room with an extra texture and color.
Area rugs can also conceal many sins – yellowed vinyl, stained carpet, tired-looking floorboards. Just cover them with a rug; nobody needs to know what’s underneath. From now on, start decorating your empty floor with a rug. Rugs also can bring warmth and texture to change your sitting space while enhancing its visual beauty.
Place your rug right under the front legs of the chairs. Stay neutral with plain colors or bright patterns like beige, white, and a little brown touch. You can also transform the whole space by selecting an unreal rug in bright colors.
2. Never Miss Indoor Plants
Research has shown that having plants indoors provides many advantages. Some of them are cleansing the air, aiding concentration and productivity, relieving stress, improving mood, and so on.
Taking nature into the living room is a great idea to increase the light feel of the room. Ornamental plants in a vase on a table add a connection to the outsides. You can also place other ornamental plants around the whole space.
You are not just increasing greenery when you organize interior spaces with houseplants. These living organisms communicate with your mind, body, and habitat in ways that improve your standard of living.
Lastly, number 1. Treat it with New Window Treatments
If you’re experimenting with freshening up your living room with a new appearance but don’t want to spend on furniture, repainting, or redecorating your space, changing curtains or blinds can introduce a breath of fresh air into the room then you should consider looking for affordable blinds and curtains.
For example, change light summer curtains and heavyweight curtains in winter. When it is rainy or dark outside, drawing curtains will create a living room that feels warmer and cozier. When it happens to decorate your living room to create a space, there is more to it than meets the eye. Uniting an area and linking its features to make it functional yet fashionable is often difficult.
Whether you’re repairing the whole space or just adding a little color to renew your living room, these 10 ways to spark new joy in your living room is something you must try.