Coming home and walking through the front door after a long day, should make you feel relaxed, satisfied, and happy to be home. But not all homes give us that sense of contentment. We’ve all heard of de-cluttering, and Marie Kondo has taken the world by storm, but there are a few other changes out there which will make us feel much happier at home.

Display your favourite things somewhere you can enjoy them every day. Photos, pieces of art that make you feel good, books that you love … no matter what they are, you will feel more connected to your home when your design includes special pieces and knick-knacks that speak to who you are. A living space with no personal mementos can really impact our deeper sense of wellbeing. Don’t be tempted to hide these things away. It’s possible to create a timeless and personal home filled with memories that seamlessly combines older pieces with the new.

Introduce more curved objects. If interiors are made up of pieces that are predominantly straight lined and lacking curves, the room can feel uninviting and not somewhere you want to curl up with a good book. The softness of curves balances the straight lines, creating a much more homely and relaxing space. You might consider adding rounded forms such as mirrors, pots and candles, as well as soft er curved items or cushions with curved patterns – each will make a difference to how inviting your space feels.

Choose paint colours that inspire. Colour significantly affects how you feel in your space, so use colours that inspire you. Don’t be tempted to play it safe or to follow trend – your response to colour is personal to you. I kicked myself for playing it safe with colour when I renovated my home a few years ago. After several months I finally introduced a deeper green in my lounge – which feels so much more me – it’s personal and I love it. If your home lacks personality in its colour scheme, try choosing three or four colours that you love and sit well alongside some of your favourite and most loved items. Maybe start small? Find a colour you LOVE that you could use to paint even just a small office or hallway. Changing colours is one sure way to improve the way your home looks and feels.

Arrange furniture effectively. A well-designed living area is a great place to spend time relaxing, as well as connecting with family and friends. If your spaces aren’t working in a way that supports your lifestyle, don’t be afraid to experiment with furniture placement. Using the middle of the room will feel much more inviting than having everything pushed to the outside. This doesn’t mean blocking the flow of people from one area to the other, but give yourself permission to experiment. See what other confi gurations might be possible. If your spaces still feel a bit “off ” they may be lacking balance which can significantly affect how you feel within the space. For example, a heavy piece of furniture on one side of the room should be balanced by pieces on the other side – whether that be another piece of furniture, or a cluster of smaller pieces to provide visual balance.

Add greenery to make a space feel more alive and inviting. Plants not only add an additional layer of visual interest and softness but bringing the outdoors inside improves our overall sense of wellbeing. Now I know we’re not all born gardeners, but there are some house plants that are very easy to care for. Fresh flowers also make a space feel lovely. Do you have anything in your garden that could be displayed indoors? It doesn’t have to be flowers. Ferns and other greenery (even twigs) can make a real impact.

You don’t have to start from scratch to create a personal and inspiring home you love. By following these tips you’ll start to see and feel the difference at your place.

For more tips and tricks to turn your home into one you love, check out my blog at www.homeswithsoul.co.nz  Article Contributed by Nicci Tong | Interior Designer for  Homes with Soul. Check them out on Facebook here.

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