2 Hacks For Turning Your Home Into A Haven

If your house doesn't feel like a home, these 'home hacks' are a sure-fire way to breathe life into your living space.

Mark Travers, Ph.D.

By Mark Travers, Ph.D. | February 07, 2024

Ever entered a room and sensed something was missing? That feeling when home, instead of reflecting your mood, seems more like an empty canvas? After a day of rigamarole, returning to a lackluster space can feel uninspiring.

If you've felt this way about your living space, new psychological research highlights the link between interior design and well-being—and it might hold the secret of crafting a home that breathes life into your mood.

1. Color And Light Set Your Home's Tone

Each of us has a different way to recharge once we arrive back home after a draining day. Some might choose an evening of rest, relaxation and enjoy a low-energy wind down. Others may opt to boost their mood through energetic, exciting and stimulating pursuits.

Just as color is used to describe and depict these different feelings in film, literature and art, color can be used to set these moods in your home too. A study from the journal of Perceptual and Motor Skills delved into the intriguing realm of color psychology to assess whether various colors across room interiors indeed evoke different moods. To explore this, digital images of two imaginary living rooms served as experimental settings.

With the rooms' spatial characteristics fixed, the only variable was color–featuring warm, cool or achromatic tones. The researchers found that:

  1. Warm colors tended to elicit stronger participant responses when scenes were rated as "high arousal," "exciting" and "stimulating."
  2. On the other end of the spectrum, cool colors were associated with "not very arousing," but scored higher on "spacious" and "restful."

So, if you're craving a vibrant burst of energy, or perhaps a more serene setting, your home's color palette might just be the key to setting the perfect mood for your recharge routine.

However, research shows that the impact of tones in the home doesn't end with overall color palettes; it extends to lighting too. The study found warm (orange-white) lighting to be great for improving moods, whereas cool (blue-white) lighting was a potent productivity booster. These benefits were enhanced when implemented with consideration of the warmness and coolness of the environment's existing color palette. If you want to curate a space with the combined benefits of light and color, consider these research-backed tips:

  • Mood enhancement. If you're looking for a space that's calm yet uplifting, opt for a cool color palette with a dash of warm lighting. The coolness of a tranquil azure, soothing green or serene gray background with the warm glow of an orange-white light can create an inviting and harmonious space.
  • Productivity enhancement. For a focus- or work-heavy space, let warm color schemes and cool lighting join forces. The warmth of an earthy terracotta, taupe or a deep burgundy with cool-white lighting or natural daylight balance perfectly for a productive yet inspiring environment.

The choice between warm and cool hues in your living space–or the combination of both–can serve as a personalized mood booster. Warm tones can inject vitality and excitement, cool tones bring forth a sense of calm and tranquility–and their combination allows for an intentional space that meets your particular needs.

2. Cultivate Bliss With Botanicals

If you often find yourself needing a green get-away from your own home, craving a stroll in the great outdoors, one of the best things you can do to refresh your living space is to bring the outdoors indoors.

Houseplants, as revealed by a study from the journal of Environmental Science and Pollution Research, can provide the same rejuvenating feeling as a walk outside—all from the comfort of your own home.

Indoor plants wield a subtle yet powerful influence on our mental well-being. The research suggests their mere presence can have an indirect, unconscious effect on our task performance, stress levels and overall health. Playing the role of unsung heroes, houseplants can also act as natural air purifiers, reducing indoor pollutants and creating a healthier (and beautiful) space.


By embracing the synergy of color, light and greenery, your living space transcends mere functionality. It becomes a curated haven, where the intentional selection of warm and cool hues, coupled with strategic lighting, crafts a personalized mood booster. Simultaneously, the inclusion of houseplants adds a touch of nature's vitality, fostering both aesthetic appeal and a holistic sense of well-being. The intentional combination of these elements can create an environment that reflects your style while elevating your spirit, turning your home into a sanctuary that rejuvenates both mind and soul.

A similar version of this article can also be found on, here.

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