A Residence Blog

Travel and adventure taking, memory and home making, parenting and play shaking, never faking, tales of family life.

A Residence Blog

Travel and adventure taking, memory and home making, parenting and play shaking, never faking, tales of family life.

Happy Home: 10 easy ways to change your space for an instant happiness boost

Happy Home: 10 easy ways to change your space for an instant happiness boost

We’ve all fallen out of love with our homes, leafed through interior magazines and felt inadequate or wished our home looked like someone else’s social media posts. We may know in our heart that our homes should be about what makes us happy, not someone else, but if your surroundings don’t make you feel at home, it’s time to act.

Home should be our sanctuary, our place to retreat from the world, to rest, have fun with our loved ones and to relax. It’s easy to put off building a happier home until we have more time or money, but it doesn’t need to take much of either to create a happy space, and many of today’s suggestions are completely free, or cheap.

Play music

It takes no time at all and it’s free to build a playlist on Spotify. Upbeat music has a positive effect on our wellbeing. In 2009 Bradt & Dileo reviewed 23 studies into music involving almost 1,500 people, they found music helped to reduce blood pressure, heart rate and anxiety.

Light a scented candle

Light a scented candle, or burn some oil and with a little research you can even tune them into your mood. Rosemary has been shown to boost brain power, Lavender calms, freshly cut grass is even to prevent mental decline with age, citrus is a great stress buster, jasmine combats sadness and vanilla relaxes.


Print out an inspiring mantra

Positive words make a real difference to our daily lives and can really lift us. Mantras are the repetition of words and phrases of special significance, and can be said either out loud or internally. The bathroom mirror, bedside table, fridge, hallway are great places to send nurturing messages to yourself.

My Office Makeover - 1 (1)

Print some photos

Looking back at our holidays has been proven to make us happier – limit yourself to maybe just picking 10 at first so the task doesn’t feel overwhelming. Choose a multi aperture frame, to make hanging them a breeze.

Put the timer on and declutter

Clutter doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Use a timer and tackle an area that is holding you back, just 20 minutes could really make an impact. Is the washing pile overflowing? Is your office paperwork piling up? Do the kids need a space to do homework? Do you need a space to relax without looking at clutter? Is the hallway table disappearing? It never takes as long as you think and you will get the time back over and over in increased productivity and happiness.

Charity Challenge

Set yourself the challenge of finding 10 things that need to go to charity and bagging them up. giving makes us happier and clutter makes us unhappy. Just don’t bring too many things back from the charity shop, my weakness, but 10 out, one in is a good rule!

Change the routine

Get the whole household involved and create a routine that helps you all keep on top of cleaning, tidying, washing.

Brainstorm the solution

Once you’ve tackled a tricky area, think about what would make it work better, do you need something to store items that accumulate? A new office system? A homework station? A blackboard for daily reminders? I am on the hunt for the perfect chalkboard for daily family life reminders.

Cheap and Cheerful fixes

A quick fire and inexpensive way to inject some large scale but affordable happiness is to invest in a new throw, cushions, shower curtain or duvet cover. I love this shower curtain, it gets me thinking!


Inject some colour

Colour is very personal, and we are drawn to our favourites, but it is worth questioning whether colours are meeting our emotional needs too! On a very basic level green brings all round balance, blue calms but can be cold and depressing to some, yellow brings wisdom and intellectual stimulation, red and orange are more powerful stimulants and bring warmth, purple brings calm and relaxation.

Posters, wall art and decorations are a quick way to inject a new colour and mood to a room. Check out Pinterest for some creative ideas to make your own, or use cheap frames to frame kids’ art work.

Image credits: Unsplash, Shutterstock Wellness Setting, Balcony with flowers, I need more space

6 thoughts on “Happy Home: 10 easy ways to change your space for an instant happiness boost

    • A Residence Post author

      It really does make a massive difference doesn’t it, we have a halloween liquorice one I love at the moment.

  • mummybarrow

    This is such a lovely post and SO true. I definitely feel better when my house is tidier. I have been writing lists for each room and am now systematically working through doing all the jobs that need doing. I love the idea of printing off some holiday photos though. And that photo you have with you and Jane Garvey brings back really happy memories for me of you being amazing on Radio 4.

    • A Residence Post author

      Aw they were amazing times weren’t they? Go you, sounds like you are on fire at the Barrow Residence! x

  • natalie shepherd

    Fab article thanks Penny. Have tried most of these but sporadically! It helps to read about them all in one place. Makes me feel I am on the right track : ) adding colour and changing routines are the ones for me right now xx

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