Your Happy Habitat

Author has some tips on how to decorate and furnish your home to make it just feel good.

Font
  • A
  • A
  • A

E-mail This Page to Your Friends

x

All fields are required.

Separate multiple e-mail addresses with a comma; Maximum 20 email addresses.

Refresh

Sending E-mail

Sending E-mail

Or Do Not E-mail

Success!

A link to %this page% was e-mailed

Think about it: How does your house make you feel? We’re not talking "proud of my granite countertops" here; instead, think about the emotions you experience when you walk through the door. Happy? Calm? Tired? Overwhelmed?

The answer to that question could also be the answer to decorating dilemmas for most homeowners, says Winifred Gallagher, author of House Thinking: A Room-by-Room Look at How We Live (HarperCollins, 2006). "For many people there’s a big gap between our obsession with home and furnishings, and the much more basic concept of thinking about what you and your family need from your house," says Gallagher. "It boils down to: ‘Is this space, this closet, this window, this patio, improving my life or not?’" In her own living room, for example, Gallagher has a group of four Morris chairs set in conversational circle. One day she pulled one of the chairs away from the social group and set it next to a sunny window in another part of the room. She spends time now using that space to read or to enjoy the view. "My living room is working for me in a way it didn’t before," she says. "I’m getting more for my money."

Often a "psychological renovation" will go much further than an expensive remodel in really affecting the way you feel about living in your home, Gallagher says. And a psychological renovation is much easier, not to mention much less expensive, than a physical one. Here, some of Gallagher’s ideas for re-thinking key rooms in your home:

The entry: This is the space that should welcome you after a hard day. "Your entry should say, ‘You’ve left the wild and woolly world behind and you’re entering a refuge,’" says Gallagher. All too often, though, we enter our homes from the garage into a laundry room, or through a back door cluttered with shoes, sports equipment and the week’s recycling. If you typically enter your house from the garage, organize the garage so you’re not walking through an obstacle course to get to the door. If your garage has a window, add a plant to the space. For any entry, even a small one, put a table against a wall with a mirror or plant, "something that says, you’re in a special place. Now things are going to look up."

« Previous123

We Recommend...

Create a Faux Window for Your Backyard Shed

Create a Faux Window for Your Backyard Shed

Homeowners Heather and Andy Gersh are looking for an inexpensive way to revive their backyard — they'd like to update the...

Technology Tricks for Your TV and Radio

Technology Tricks for Your TV and Radio

A new device lets you beam television signals to your home computers. Also, a new portable reciever brings satellite radio down...

Dress Up Your Kitchen for Fall

Dress Up Your Kitchen for Fall

Design expert Joan Steffend brings autumnal style to a kitchen and dining room.

Advertisement

HGTV Inspiration Newsletter

Create your unique, personal style with advice and inspiration from HGTV.