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5 secrets to creating a beautiful and happy home

"Happy at home, happy in life." Sounds similar to "Happy wife, happy life", doesn't it? I really think people should create homes that make them feel beautiful and happy. Start feeling beautiful and happy at home, and you’ll bring that with you all day long. And, by beautiful home I don't mean home décor. A beautiful home is one that makes you feel fully alive, is full of inspiration and creates a deeper, more connected environment for you to live in. With this in mind, I’ve come up with a five "secrets" on how to begin your beautiful life at home.

1. Make your home a reflection of you

Your home should be filled with things you love and only those you love. Things that tell your story, that inspire you, and that refresh your soul. These may include photos, mementos, artwork that you love, or your favorite chair to read in. The kitchen tools you picked up because they were on sale but that you never use because they don't work well and the throw pillows you're not crazy about but 'live' on the couch because they go with the paint color in your family room - these are things that will not elicit happiness at home. If you love to cook make sure you have the right kitchen tools that are functional and make life easier for you. I'm still excited about all my small kitchen appliances , like the electric griddle to make quick and delicious grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch.

2. Create the right space for you

A beautiful home should contain spaces and furniture that are functional for your needs. If watching sports or movies is one of your favorite things to do at home, then a cozy entertainment area with comfy seating is a must. You may desire a trendy and beautiful dining room, but if it's not used then how is it making you happy? If a bright and inviting home office will encourage creativity, then turn the barely-used guest room or attic into your own work area, filled with light, your favorite colors as well as a chair and workspace that beckons each morning. We created the right space in our home by converting an unused attic into a gorgeous sun filled room. It serves several of our family needs: R&R room, small gym area to workout from home, home theater for family movie nights, and now with everyone working and learning from home we were able to create an additional workspace area. This room makes me happy every time I walk in!

3. Make it beautiful to your liking

It's so easy to become paralyzed with the many decisions and choices available to make our home beautiful. If you spend any time at all on Pinterest or Houzz you've experienced the overwhelm of gorgeous trendy kitchens, bathrooms, tiles, sectionals, and on and on and on. These details certainly make for a beautiful space, but to make a happy home they need to come together in a way that works for how you want to live and feel in your home. As a designer, I love to create beautiful spaces, but styling for the camera and styling for real life is not the same thing. Good design needs to incorporate function and purpose for a home to feel welcoming and peaceful. It must enable practical, meaningful living. The beauty comes second. Practical means that your home functions well and makes your life easier. By meaningful living I mean simply enjoying the experiences and people that make life wonderful: family time, entertaining, making and creating, or quiet time in your favorite comfy chair. Whatever makes you happy.

4. The magic of keeping your home organized

Declutter, organize, and give away freely. Physical clutter leads to mental clutter. First of all, clutter bombards the mind with excessive stimuli, which forces the brain to work overtime. Secondly, physical clutter signals to the brain that there’s always something else that needs to be done, which is mentally exhausting. As you declutter your home, you will notice that your mind is also decluttering. I can't stand clutter in my home and make it a point to regularly declutter and get organized. It makes me so happy and frees up my mind too when doing this exercise. Give it a try! I love this book written by Marie Kondo "The life-changing magic of tidying up" Great tips for de-cluttering your home and getting organized.

5. Develop habits that make you happy

What I noticed, especially over the last year since we were all homebound for so long, is that I developed habits at home that make me happy. I wasn't really planning for it, it just happened. I learned that being happy at home and having a beautiful life is not determined by any outside factors but rather from within and your attitude towards life.

Making memories in your home helps build happiness. Holiday traditions or just a fun tradition that makes your family unique can make life-long memories to revisit or pass along. Our family loves to make Raclette or Fondue in the winter months. It's a nice tradition, and 'yummy' too. :-)

If you find that your family spends a lot of time apart, you may need to find ways to reconnect during the week. Plan a weekly or daily family meal together, have a regular movie night, or game night in your happy home. We all love our 'Friday Family Movie Night' with popcorn of course.

Making the time and space to do the things that you truly enjoy is a great way to build beautiful and happy home. Your home shouldn’t just be a place to sleep and eat, but to create, build, and have fun. Your very own happy place.

Think about hiring a local designer to help you, or take advantage of my 'Remodeling Coach on Call' services, to learn how to slow down and create a home that's beautiful, functional, and makes you really, really happy. Your investment will pay off in time and money not spent over and over again to get your space functioning and feeling "right."

I truly believe that a happy home leads to a happy life. I hope that knowing these "secrets" gets you thinking about simple ways you can refresh your home to make it more functional and meaningful for you.

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