candlesBy Tina Chadwick
There is nothing quite like the little self-indulgent thrill of sliding into new sheets. When you stand back and look at a fresh coat of a new color on the wall, you just feel good.
These small pleasures are part of the little things that can really change your mood about where you live – and your outlook in general. The colors, pictures, plants, pillows, and even just the arrangement of furniture in your house can have a profound affect on how you feel – instantly.
But if that affect is not so positive lately, here’s the good news. It’s a very easy thing to change. As Amy Spanier, interior design guru of S.N.O.B. Design says, “Changing one wall from beige to chocolate or yellow or red can alter how you and anyone else feels in the space.”
Before you break out the paint brush, here’s a smart first step from professional counselor, Stacie Smith of the Center for Mindfulness and Psychotherapy on pinpointing exactly what it is about your space that might not get your “mojo” working.
“Pause and notice how you feel the next time you enter your home. Use fresh eyes and pay attention to your space exactly as it is. Be aware of the thoughts that arise in your mind. When your eyes connect with color, for example, you are impacted on physical and emotional levels. Imagining how you want to feel can move you in the direction of consciously working with your surroundings to promote these feelings.”
It can be very therapeutic to change the cover of an old throw pillow or get a new, funky lamp. Here are a few other quick and cheap changes you can make that could transform your living space from feeling like a hovel to a home that makes you happy, literally.
Curb Appeal

  • Planting a few flowers leading to your door is nice coming or going $
  • A decorative welcome mat will make you, and guests, smile. $
  • Changing out your doorbell to a pleasant sound reduces stress $$$
  • Pressure washing your house brightens up the whole outside $$
  • Hang wind chimes and listen for them $


  • Simply change out your bath towels – and splurge on the yummy soft ones $$
  • Switch your shower curtain and liner to something bright, or just different $
  • Install a dimmer to make bathroom lights soft and flattering, after all, you’re naked in there $$$
  • Tidy up your counters with decorative organizers or nice trays $
  • Get a caddy or basket for the shower or bath to hold all your shampoos, soaps and other toiletries $

Living Areas

  • Find new wall art you like – it can be from stores or craft fairs or frame family art or, dare to make your own $$
  • Change out decorative pillows to make the whole room brighter-simple pillow covers do the trick $$
  • Open the windows, shutters and curtains because natural light is healing FREE
  • Put out new framed photos or change out the old ones to remind you of fun times and people you love – or at least like a lot FREE
  • Get some smelly good stuff so you get a nice waft of it every time you enter that room (candles, spray, incense, scent sticks) $


  • Change bed linens – another place to splurge on the good stuff $$$
  • Organizing your closet really tames feeling out of control FREE
  • Make up your bed you – and your mother – will feel better, too FREE
  • Get a sound machine for nighttime and see if your dreams change $$
  • Set your alarm to music instead of that infernal beep, beep, beep FREE

If you try most of these and still don’t feel like tapping the ruby slippers to go home, there’s always the professional route with experts like Spainer.
“If you don’t like where you live and want to feel better, there is an inexpensive way to find out lots of ways to make your living space yummy and your own. Hire a professional for an hour.”
Happy decorating and welcome home.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.