“Happiness is the new energy created by mixing things we love: art, objects, prints, nature, collections!” — Wendy Wurtburger Bentley
I stumbled upon this little quote today in the book by Rebecca Atwood — Living With Pattern: Color, Texture, and Print at Home.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the gift of interior design. My husband said once “for someone as artistic and visual as you are, I don’t see that pouring over into our home.” Mostly true. There’s only so much I can do with furniture in the ever so popular late 90’s “dark green-cranberry red-and leather” look. But I do give it an effort. Why? Happiness.
It’s important for your home to feel happy. At least at a minimum, a home should have things on the walls and in a few places that evoke happiness. It’s one small measure we can take to keep our mood on the upside.
One thing I have found that evokes some sense of “home” is making sure that I can see and touch most things that bring me happiness. (Screwdrivers and home repair stuff excluded, obviously. Unless screwdrivers totally make you happy, in which case they best be on display on a pegboard or something!) Example: in my closet, I have a few tasseled beaded pom pom things hanging from my clothes bar so I see them when I open the closet. Tiny dose of happy. My child’s handprints hang on the wall in the kitchen. Happy. Go-to reading material is kept on my night stand. Happy. Collections from nature or neighborhood walks get rotated on a platter on a bookshelf. Happy.
Even though I personally do not own a lot of “stuff” (I recently downsized and am still downsizing due to inspiration from Marie Kondo and Joshua Becker), I do find that keeping things around that mean a lot to me really does help to keep the blues at bay. It may not totally eliminate depressions, but it certainly helps with the severity.
Some tips to try/things to ponder/ideas to kick around to up the happiness factor a tick:
1. Bring the outdoors in. Get a potted plant; collect nature bits on a walk, and put them front and center where you see them everyday. Have fun replacing nature bits when they’ve expired.
2. If you have a small collection of something that inspires you, (such as Galoob Micro Machines) find a way to display it, perhaps on a shelf or dresser top. Don’t hide that stuff . Get it out where you can see it.
3. Say you found a swatch of fabric, a magazine ad, or some cheap art that you just love, but you can’t imagine what you’d do with it. Stick it in a frame and hang it up. Or add it to a collage wall. No rules here people. Hang it up wherever.
4. Same goes for art. Stop comparing yourself to Pinterest. If you like it, display it and enjoy it.
5. Don’t fear mixing it all up. Nothing has to really go together. If you want to hang your most treasured pair of pajama pants above the bookshelf that holds your ten favorite reads of all time, topped with a collection of your grandmother’s thimbles and the first box of macaroni and cheese you shared with your kid, so be it.
Remember, if it means something special to you, don’t keep it in a box or drawer. Put it where you can see it, and let it breathe and be happy. Then, when you look at it, it will make you happy, too.
Any growth we can take toward making our lives a bit more enjoyable is worth the small steps. Appreciate the tiny happinesses. When you add them up, they can grow into an even bigger happiness.
May you have a joyful day!