How to Design a Happier Home on a Budget
20th September 2022
Creating a happier home is something many of us aspire to do, however, it often ends up being either consigned to the bottom of the list of our things to do, below the urgency of bills to pay and mouths to feed.
Fortunately, however, you can actually create a happier, healthier home on a budget – and without too much effort, either. With just a few simple additions, design changes and not too much money, you can improve your home dramatically.
With that in mind, we’ve put together some of the most basic ways you can bring a little more ‘light’ into your home (both literally and figuratively).
What is a Happier Home?
The term ‘happier’ is quite broad so we’ve broken it down into three core tenets; better mental health improved relaxation and enhanced connectivity with family and/or friends. You’ll find that the simple home improvements we discuss here tend to help at least two of these core pillars simultaneously if not all three at the same time – that’s how interconnected they are with one another.
Quieten the Place Down
It’s known that prolonged exposure to elevated levels of noise can lead to health problems (both mental and physical), so any way that you can introduce more quiet into your home is definitely to be welcomed. Many people think you need fancy, expensive soundproofing materials in order to reduce noise at home, but this isn’t the case.
By increasing the number of plush, soft furnishings dotted about your home, you can reduce the decibel level. As a rule, the more hard surfaces you have exposed at home, the noisier your house will seem, and vice versa. Similarly, placing foliage outside of the home can help dampen external noise. Not only will a quieter space improve your ability to relax and wind down, but it also provides an opportunity for family activities like…
Knitting the Family Together
Knitting your own blankets and soft furnishings is a cost-effective way of increasing the number of soft furnishings at home, and is something that can be done with the help of your loved ones for a fun bonding experience. A happier home? Tick. A chance to connect with family? Tick. Able to be done on a budget? A resounding tick.
Incorporate Biophilic Design
What’s biophilic design, we hear you ask? It refers to the concept whereby our interior design choices integrate the natural world as well as the manmade. The term stems from the Greek ‘bio’, meaning life (or living) and ‘philia’ which means love. So, literally, it’s design that taps into a love of living things. But how does this work in practice?
Firstly, you can place houseplants throughout the home. Not only does this create a more natural-feeling space, but it also helps purify your home’s air, which is beneficial for your health.
Another facet of biophilic design is the use of more natural, earthy colours to bring about that more organic connectivity.
It might seem simple, too simple even, but a change in colours can also affect the overall ambience and mood of a home. There’s a link between natural colours and our own feelings and moods; greens, for instance, can inspire and energise us, whilst blues evoke the skies and seas, and relax us correspondingly.
Regularly Open Windows
Arguably the cheapest biophilic component you can introduce at home is regularly opening your windows. You heard us right, by simply opening your windows often you introduce a fresher airflow into the home that helps keep it feel light, fresh and altogether more natural. Get those curtains open, too, and make sure that as much natural light is entering your home as possible.
Strengthen Connections by Dining Together
This is one of the most cost-effective things you can do to create a happier home, because, in most instances, it doesn’t cost anything at all. Humans are by nature sociable creatures, and if you live with your family, then it might seem that, with the exponential rise of social media, gadgets and other technologies, that in-person sociability has gone out of the window.
By making sure you dine together, however, even if it’s just once or twice a week, you’re prescribing time to be spent reconnecting with other family members. We perhaps don’t realise just how little quality time we actually spend with our loved ones anymore, so switch off the phones, turn the TV off in the background, and have a good old natter with those nearest to you.
Use the Space you Have at your Disposal to your Advantage
If you don’t have a lot of space to work with, then prioritise cosiness. If you have a large, cavernous space, by contrast, then focus on bringing in light and flow. Any space can contribute to a healthier, happier home, you just need to know what to do with it.
You might already be familiar with the Scandic concept of Hygge which revolves around the idea of calm, well-being and relaxation. If you’ve got a smaller home space, then making it more Hygge is a great idea.
Purchase some candles, keep lighting warm and yellow rather than bright white with the bulbs you purchase, and drape throws and other soft furnishings about the place to maximise that sense of comfort and familiarity.
Consider Purchasing a Skylight
For those larger spaces we mentioned, consider bringing more light into the room by purchasing and installing a skylight. Whilst this might be amongst the more expensive home improvement options here, the transformational effect that a simple skylight can have on a home’s aura is unquestionable.
A happier home doesn’t have to be an expensive undertaking, and whilst you’ll probably have to spend a little bit, you can always get a home improvement loan to help you out. It’s a stressful, frenetic and often-angry world out there, and our homes are our escape from that, so they should feel like one, too.