Plants, pets and photos. I’ve read that many happy homes seem to have these in common. This makes sense to me. Taking care of a pet or even just a plant has been proven to help people improve their mental and physical health. Photos of loved ones and happy times, people we have loved and sometimes lost, beautiful scenes of nature, all can make a room come alive and feel warm.
Books in every room, literally every room of the house, this makes me feel comfortable. I’d add books to the list. No matter where I am, I can pick up a book and centre myself. Some people have “the breath” to come back to, I like to pair that breath with a read.
Sunny spots to snooze. This is good for us humans, and great for our cats, dogs and houseplants too! We are fortunate to have a bright sunny house with lots of natural light.
Calming neutral tones. I’ve tried painting with colours: pink, blue, green, yellow, teal, and it’s always a disaster. We’ve had flesh coloured walls, mustard kitchen walls, asylum vomit green in our bedroom, fluorescent green in the bathroom (so, so wrong–imagine having the stomach flu and being drenched in bright green), and a very cold light blue in the living room. All gone and replaced by forgiving, warm, neutral tones. Ah, like a tranquilizer for the walls. Lovely! No retinas get hurt.
Cozy places to cuddle. Soft and fluffy fabrics, lots of throws and comforters. A big cushy couch.
Good food smells like fresh coffee or homemade bread. Or the ultimate: fresh baked cookies!
One thing that is a total buzzkill is clutter. That is too big a topic to include here, but there is a saying: Outer order contributes to inner calm. Physical clutter leads to mental clutter. This is true for me.
You might notice that I didn’t mention people. I am focusing on things that are within our control, and sometimes living alone is the way it is. Alone, we can still have a happy, warm home to escape to at the end of the day. Family comes in many different sizes, and sometimes it’s living alone with a pet. In fact, I don’t consider living with a pet to be “alone”. Right now my dogs are at my feet whining incessantly for lunch, and I do not feel alone at all! (They find it offensive to see me on my laptop for some reason).