Frank Lloyd Wright taught us that the way to a healthy, happy home was to bring the outdoors in. The sky, trees, water, sunlight–all the natural beauty that surrounds us–can give us inspiration for designing homes that meet our physical, psychological, and spiritual needs.
I love bringing the outdoors in, using nature to make our home feel more comfortable and nurturing. Adding plants and other natural elements to our home is a simple happiness-booster.
But I’ve found other ways to make home our happy place. By considering all of the areas of life that are important to us–spiritual and intellectual growth, health and fitness, and socialization–I’ve been able to add these elements to our home in ways that enhance our happiness and wellbeing even further.
If you’d like to create a happy home–a welcoming place that fosters togetherness, wellbeing, and creativity–following are a few simple ideas:
Your Happy Place: Tips for a Healthy Happy Home
- Create a Sacred Space. Create a place to retreat for prayer and reflection. This might be a quiet corner with a comfortable chair, like the one above, or a room designed specifically for this purpose. An ideal space might bring the outdoors in, through windows or plants, and include a water feature for acoustical privacy, special lighting, soothing colors, a comfortable place to sit, and a cozy throw blanket.
- Add an Area for Fitness. Having a dedicated space in your home for exercising is wonderful, since exercise improves not only our physical health, but our spiritual and emotional health, too. And, if you have kids at home, having an area for fitness is a great way to encourage them to stay active. I know I’d much rather work out at home than at a health club! My yoga mat and hand-held weights are all I really need. A home gym can include all of the latest equipment, but really the only necessity is enough room to move around. A dream fitness space might be similar to the sacred space listed above, with the addition of music, a TV with a DVD player, a mini fridge stocked with bottled water, and some favorite equipment.
- Make the Living Room a Socializing Spot. To me, a real living room is one without a TV so the family can interact and play games together. The living room should be an area where everyone naturally wants to gather. Comfy chairs and a big coffee table where the family can work on projects or schoolwork or play games will help maximize the feeling of togetherness.
- Don’t forget a Library. In a perfect world, every home would have a library to encourage learning. My ideal library would include an array of beautiful books to choose from when I need to retreat from the world, a computer with internet access to search for anything I wonder about, and a huge table to spread everything out on. In reality, though, a home library can be added anywhere in the home simply by adding a bookcase stocked with your favorite books (and maybe a Kindle), a comfy chair, and a table.
- Make the Kitchen the Heart of the Home. There are countless ways to make the kitchen the focal point of the home, a place to encourage joyful activities, togetherness, and healthy home cooking. You may want to include a large built-in or portable island with seating to promote conversation with the cook and/or casual dining. An island can also double as a way station and serving area for parties and get-togethers. If possible, try to design your kitchen with enough room for multiple cooks and helpers, including areas for prep, cooking, clean up, and storage.
- Craft a Creative Area. Creativity is so important for happiness, and I believe every home should have a place that nurtures and inspires our creative gifts. Dave and I recently added an area in our basement specifically for crafts, painting, sewing, and art projects. With paper, pens, markers, paints, and fabric at hand, it’s the perfect place to express our artsy side whenever the urge strikes!
I hope these tips helped spark some ideas for you to use in designing your own healthy happy home. Have a beautiful day!
If you’d like more inspiration for creating a happy home, check out these two great books!