Happy-fying your home

Guestpost by Sarah Von Bargen on Jun 11th

Remember when we featured Sarah's colorful and thrifty home tour? Let's talk about how and why she made that place so colorful!

color © by 3oheme, used under Creative Commons license.

A few months ago I went through A Very Bad Breakup. And though I have very much turned the corner on what was one of the hardest periods in my life, there is still the occasional moment when I stare into the middle distance, sigh discontentedly, and feel the need to eat a lot of fake bacon.

When my three-year relationship ended, I moved into an adorable little shoe box of an apartment and decided that this little place was going to be a bastion of joy and silliness and positivity, and that anyone who crossed the threshold would want to play Pictionary, talk to the cat, and feel happy and peaceful. So I've been slowly en-happy-ing my apartment, making it impossible to feel anything other than glee while hanging there. Here's what has worked for me:

Put up pictures of you and your friends being hilarious, adorable, amazing

This post originally appeared at yesandyes.org

Too often my walls are decorated with Etsy finds or tastefully abstract art. But isn't it much more fun to cover the fridge and cork board with the photos of you and your friends voguing at a party? Or climbing mountains together? Or with Jesus tape over your mouths?

Make it smell happy

Aromatherapy is for real, yo. The people who know about these things advocate for scents like tangerine, grapefruit, lemongrass and rosemary. Yummo!

Paint an accent wall a color you love

Colors make a huge difference in how you feel about a space. When I moved into my apartment, it featured awful flesh-toned satin-finish paint on every blessed wall. No one wants to live inside a skin ball. But! Now it's white with accent walls in a color best described as mermaid. And I feel so much better. It's enough to make a girl want to comb her hair with a fork and sing about being part of your world.

Stock your fridge and pantry with food that you lovelovelove

Things that are depressing: opening your fridge to discover you have a bag of moldy radishes, one Coors Light, and a slice of leftover pizza. Grocery shopping is the one avenue where I allow myself to spend indiscriminately and I love stocking my kitchen with food that thrills me: strawberries, wine, baguettes, fake bacon, tiny fingerling bananas. It's lovely to open those doors and feel happy about what you find.

Consider the Non-cheesy Inspirational Poster

Yes, such a thing exists. And no, I'm not talking about those awful black-edged numbers with someone standing on a mountain top. The Poster List has some excellent choices that will work with your decor and won't embarrass you in front of your friends.

Add a Bit O' Greenery

Plants are our friends. I am absolutely in love with my balcony garden of tiny vegetables and herbs and I hope to increase my herbiary family to include a Venus fly trap and one of those fantastic tiny pepper plants. Plants seem to make a space feel friendlier, don't you think?

Incorporate Favorite Things into Your Decor

This might not be an issue for non-Virgos, but I get very hung up on the matchy-matchy and Decor with a capitol D. But you guys? Imagonna get over that. Let's find a place for our high school dancing trophies. And our Pound Puppies from third grade. And that plaque in Swedish from our grandma.

Get a pet

If you're living alone or just going through a rough patch, few things make you feel better faster than an animal friend. I spend an embarrassing amount of time chatting with my cat, lecturing him on his attitude and attempting to give him a lion cut. Even if the most pet you can muster is a just a betta fish or Robo-dog, I promise you, it'll help.

Stock up on engaging, funny books and movies

If you're trying to get over a break up/lay off/grad school rejection, put away the Dostoevsky and Dancer in the Dark. I can never get enough of Bill Bryson, David Sedaris or, as of late, Harry Potter. And few things can lift my spirits like Babe, Billy Elliot or American Teen.

Paint the inside of your closets or cupboards a crazy color

Such a lovely surprise when you open those doors every morning! How cute is this? I'm pretty sure even your sweaters will be happier, nestled in a place that colorful.

Incorporate the whimsical and ridiculous into your space

I am all over this, friends. How about a door painted with chalkboard paint? Tiny animal cut outs peeking between your books? Crazy science posters? A fighter jet that your cat can hang out in? All valid options, all really fun.

What do you do to make your living space more happy?

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About Sarah Von Bargen

Sarah Von Bargen is a full-time writer/blogger/internet awesome-i-fier. She blogs daily at Yes and Yes about travel, design, life, and why cheese should be included in every meal. She also produces the The Post-College Survival Kit!