4 easy ways to transform your house into a home

Private Property South Africa
Lea Jacobs

Creating the right mood in your home could impact on your happiness and the good news is you can do it without spending a fortune.

According to a number of studies, creating the right mood in your home could have an impact on your happiness and the good news is you won't necessarily have to pay a fortune in order to lift your spirits. We take a look at the easiest ways to turn your house into a home.

On the scent

Our sense of smell plays an important role in our lives. One of the reasons for this is because it's the sense most closely linked to memory. Think about it - how often have you smelt something that immediately transports you back to your childhood or reminds you of a loved one? Interestingly, studies have shown that people can remember a scent with 65 percent accuracy after one year while visual memory drops to 50 percent after only a few months.

The right smells have the power to lift our mood and calm our nerves. Lighting a couple of scented candles (experts maintain vanilla candles are particularly good for this) won't only increase your happiness, but will also have a positive impact on those who visit your home.

Fresh flowers

Yes, we know flowers seem like a waste of money (particularly to husbands and partners) but blooms not only brighten up a home, they also evoke feelings of satisfaction as well as triggering a wealth of happy emotions.

Photos on the walls

A study by Dr Alice Good from the University of Portsmouth in the UK found that those who looked at old photographs on Facebook ‘self soothed’ which was beneficial to the user's mood. Good noted: “The pictures we often post are reminders of a positive past event. When in the grips of a negative mood, it is too easy to forget how good we often feel. Our positive posts can remind us of this.”

If a picture on a computer can lift your spirits, imagine what it could do if it was framed and hung on your wall. Why not go through your digital photos and old photograph albums and immortalise your memories by displaying your most treasured photos around your home. This won't only help improve your mood but will give visitors an insight to the real you.

Colour your world

As Vincent van Gogh once proclaimed, “yellow is capable of charming God”. Indeed, colour has a profound effect on the way we feel. A University of British Columbia study revealed that the rate of people committing suicide by jumping off the Blackfriars bridge in Canada dropped by a staggering 30 percent when the wrought iron structure was repainted green.

Advertisers use colour to influence our buying choices and in case you were wondering, there's a reason so many fast food outlets use red, orange or yellow in their logos and packaging – these colours have been found to increase our appetites.

Likewise, the colour pink is often used in prison cells in the US because it has been proven to have a calming effect on inmates.

The colour of the walls in your home is going to influence your mood. Red for example has been shown to raise blood pressure, draw people together and stimulate conversation. Yellow, perhaps the happiest of colours, is both energising and welcoming although it needs to be noted that too much invokes negative feelings and may cause tempers to flare.

Certain shades of blue bring down blood pressure and slow the heart rate. Considered to be a relaxing colour it's often recommended for bathrooms and bedrooms. Dark blue on the other hand may invoke feelings of sadness and should therefore be avoided as a main colour scheme.

Thanks to its reputation for being the most restful colour for our eyes, green is suitable for any room in the house. Green has a calming effect and, if the experts are to be believed, could boost fertility, making it an ideal colour to use in the bedroom if you are planning to start - or add to - your family.

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