November 20, 2020
Setting the Mood for a Happy Holiday Home
Have you ever noticed how your environment impacts how you feel?
Think back to a time where you were at a friends house, or a restaurant, or a coffee shop, and you felt so comfortable that you could speak openly for hours on end. Think about the objects that filled this room. Envision the color of the walls, the artwork, and the furniture that surrounded you. What made this space so pleasant? Contrastingly, think of a place where you felt anxious, uncomfortable, or uneasy. Picture the room layout and how the objects in the space were arranged. Think back to how the room smelled and the intensity of the lighting. What was it about this place that had you counting down the seconds until you could get out of there?
Although we may not realize it at the time, the design elements of a space can alter our moods, emotions, and viewpoints at any given time. Planning the interior of a room is about much more than just making it look pretty and trendy. It’s about working with the energy of the room and identifying the positive aspects of the space that you’d like to bring out. Most importantly, designing a space is about understanding its occupants and making sure their needs are being met while bringing out elements of joy.
Before you Jump in…
Make sure to get your ducks in a row! Before I start a project, I like to pause and take a moment determine exactly what I think the space should to be used for. At KBW Interiors we’ll ask or clients a variety of questions to better understand what their space needs. Our initial questions can range from, “do you have any furniture pieces or specific items that are essential for this room?” to more lifestyle-focused questions such as, “does your space need to be kid or pet-friendly?” Before we can create a happy space, we need to understand who it’s intended for! Our number one priority is creating a space that fits our clients needs, interests, and lifestyles.
What Does your Space Need to be Functional?
For many people, the holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year… unless you’re hosting. As if the cooking, shopping, baking, cleaning, and entertaining wasn’t enough… now we have Covid-19 thrown into the mix. Forget about seating charts that accommodate 6 people and start thinking about seating arrangements that place people 6-feet apart! That’s why I suggest you create a list of your needs before you do anything else. Think about your cooking schedule, how you operate, and what you need the most. Make sure everything you use often during the holidays is easily accessible instead of tucked away and hard to reach. Decluttering your space is a great idea and will bring you a sense of control of happiness.
Likewise, try to determine the needs of your guests by considering your own needs first. Think of things that are often overlooked or neglected by others when you’re outside of your home. Are you allergic to certain scents, florals or textures? Do you require special seating or space accommodations? Try to come up with a list of scenarios that you wish others paid more attention to. If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a designer, it’s that putting yourself in someone else’s shoes is the quickest way to figure out what they need!
Contrastingly, it’s important to note that each of your guests is going to have their own needs and interests. There is absolutely no way that you can personalize your home for each person that visits – nor should you! However, creating a space that considers the needs of multiple guests can create a general sense of ease & relaxation that circulates throughout the space. Something as minor as seating your elder guests in more comfortable dining chairs could change the ambiance of the entire room.
Personalize your Space
Once you’ve mastered the mindset of “necessity – first” room planning, you can begin to think about what makes your space unique to you. Simply taking the time to make sure your entertaining area satisfies your needs and the needs of those around you can definitely increase the positive energy in your home. However, the true energy of a space is generated by those who live in it. So, how do you figure out whether your home emits the warmth & joy you’d like it to? You can start by asking yourself a few simple questions:
- Does your home bring you a sense of peace, comfort, and coziness?
- Are you happy to invite your friends and family over?
- Are you proud to welcome others into to your space?
- When you think of your home, what words come in your mind? Are these words positive, negative, or neutral?
- If you live with multiple people, does everyone in your house feel good in their own space and the common areas?
Bring some Personality into the Holidays
Answering these questions can help you look at your space objectively and decide whether it’s time to do some re-arranging. While it is certainly important to make sure that your guests are comfortable and that their needs are being met, it’s equally important to remember that the joy of your home stems from you! The aura of a space is always reflective of those who inhibit it. So, in order to create a truly “happy holiday home,” you’ll need to focus on the unique elements in your space that makes it yours.
This is where your personality & interests play a key role in crafting your space. Think about what you like to do in your free time and how you like to unwind after a long stressful day. How do you center yourself when you’re feeling sad or overwhelmed? Take a moment to reflect on what you love, what’s sentimental to you, and what you want to express about yourself. Now take a look around your entertaining space. Does it represent any of the elements in your life that make you feel happy?
Envision Your “Happy Place”
Where do you envision yourself when you’re happiest? Do you picture yourself in Rockefeller Center watching the tree lighting? Maybe you envision yourself in a snow-covered cottage surrounded by nature? Everyone has their own definition of happiness – especially during the holidays! Make a list of what YOUR ideal happy place would look like and start implementing some of these ideas into your current home by aligning the colors and furniture to this vision.
Dedicate Space to Activities that Make You Happy
We know what makes us happy… unfortunately we don’t always set ourselves up for success. Sometimes we stop ourselves from doing things we’d like to do because the space isn’t prepared for it. So, think about activities you like to do in your free time & make some room for them! For example, if cooking for the holidays relaxes you, then spend more time decorating the kitchen and clearing counter space so you have more freedom to move around. Be honest with yourself and figure out what really contributes to your happiness.
Celebrate Happy Moments
The easiest way to create a happy space is by bringing positive memories to life in your home. Think about showcasing a picture that reminds you of a great trip, a portrait of your family, or a painting that brings you joy. Surrounding your guests with positive moments can create an environment of warmth and togetherness (which is what the holidays are all about!) Try to make some space for special decorative items that make you smile by just looking at them – you’ll be happy you did.
Embrace the Positive Elements in your Space
The secret ingredient behind creating a holiday space that’s welcoming and filled with a positive energy is you! The most essential component to any happy home is that it’s reflective of those who live in it. Although holiday decor trends are always fun to use for inspiration, remember that your space should always be representative of you. Think about ways you can incorporate your passions and interests into the holidays. This can be anything from selecting Christmas ornaments in your favorite colors to hanging artwork of your favorite holiday movies! Personalizing your space with things that represent your happiness is the most effective way to create a positive mood for everyone.
Your home tells a story of who you are, where you’ve been, and what you love. Furthermore, the holidays are a time that is meant for sharing joy and happiness with your loved ones, so embracing the things in your life that make you feel happy can set the tone for everyone around you.
The bottom line is that being happier at home doesn’t mean you have to spend thousands of dollars. Having a place where we feel at peace is even more important nowadays. By taking care of ourselves in our home, we are able to be better prepared to take on the rest of the world. People are looking for a way to feel close and connected to each other. Creating an entertaining space with ~good vibes~ is a perfect way to spread joy to others and share what makes you happy. Don’t be afraid of your quirks – embrace them! A truly happy holiday home is reflective of your happiness – and that can come in all shapes and forms.
Article written by Sydney Meister