Monday , 20 May 2019

#130: Can Science Help Us Make Our Homes Happier?

Can the colors, furnishings, and accessories that we choose for our home actually make us feel quantifiably happier? Today we dive into the science of joy and learn how some tried-and-true design tricks might actually be affecting our daily moods (and how to make tasks that we don’t love a little more enjoyable). We also pin down a few ways that we’ve unknowingly added joy to our house, and a few others that could still use some work. Plus, the lesson we learned from waiting too long to give up on a piece of furniture, and a big dollhouse fail.

You can download this episode from Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn Radio, and Spotify – or listen to it below! Note: If you’re reading in a feed reader, you may have to click through to the post to see the player.

What’s New

chairs | marble side table | end tables | sofa | similar poufs | rug & table: secondhand

That’s the Instagram photo above where many of you noticed that we had a new coffee table. Here’s a better shot from the other side of the room, where you can see the X-base a little better (with those nice little nooks on each end to slide two white poufs from upstairs).

And here’s a closer photo where you can also see that the finish isn’t totally perfect, but it’s functioning just fine for our family (much better than our ottoman in those final days). And we’ll share all the details if we tile the top or refinish it in some other way.

For reference, here’s a shot from a couple of years ago that showed the big leather storage ottoman that it replaced. It served us well for around 8 or 9 years, so we’re not mad at it.

I tried to dig up some photos of its deterioration (and the “dandruff” it left all over the house) but we apparently avoided capturing it – or at least vacuumed it up before taking photos. But here’s a random iPhone shot we took last year where you can kind of see the bare spots forming along the top where the faux leather had started to peel. And those white dots on the floor are all ottoman confetti.

Sherry also mentioned that headboard in our guest room, which is actually the BACK of a wicker headboard that we got on craigslist. Here’s a shot of it below, and you can read more about it in our second book, Lovable Livable Home 😉

That’s Embarrassing

Here’s a photo of the Sweet Shop in progress, and the dozens and dozens of little pieces we were tasked with turning into some semblance of a dollhouse-sized candy store. (Note the paper fan blades in the foreground that were meant to become a ceiling fan. Spoiler – that did not happen).

Like I said in the episode, I think Sherry did it a great job getting something together just in time for Christmas, and our daughter LOVES IT. As Sherry pointed out, it doesn’t look much like the picture on the box, though.

And if you missed the previous discussions about our family’s recent foray into dollhousing, you can catch Episode #124, Episode #125, and this post about the first dollhouse makeover.

“Joyful” Decor Discussion

First things first, here is a link to the book Sherry loved (she finally finished it so I get to read it next): “Joyful: The Surprising Power Of Ordinary Things To Create Extraordinary Happiness.”

And here are a couple of the spaces we referenced in the discussion, like the “surprise” DIY fabric covered wall in our daughter’s closet…

…and the removable wallpaper murals that we recently installed at the duplex.

You can also scroll up to see all of the “circles” and round objects we didn’t realize we have in our living room. When you start to look around, they’re EVERYWHERE. And if you want to add some “celebration” to your house in the form of string lights, these are the patio lights we have in our backyard (and the outdoor smart plug we use to control them).And here are the salt lamp nightlights that Sherry turns on every single day to add some glow around the house (we have three in the kitchen and one in each bedroom upstairs).

We’re Digging

You can see Sherry’s big gleaming “brasshopper” (brass grasshopper figurine) in the photo below (and you can kinda see the little one that lives on our mantel at home in the second photo of this post).

Below is the Paymaster painting we bought from listener Vita who painted it while listening. And check out all of the round objects in our office too!

Sherry did a little hunting for some other unexpected or whimsical things that might make you smile: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13

Lastly, here’s the podcast episode where we first talked about getting our driveway paved. It was especially used last week when we had a random bought of 70-degree weather!

And if you’re curious, this is the portable basketball hoop my parents got the kids during Christmas sales. It too felt like it had a thousand pieces, but I managed to put it together all by myself!

If you’re looking for something we’ve dug in a past episode, but don’t remember which show notes to click into, here’s a master list of everything we’ve been digging from all of our past episodes. You can also see all the books we’ve recommended on our Book Club page.

And lastly, a big thank you to Annie Selke for sponsoring this episode. Their big Presidents’ Day sale kicks off this week on Thursday (Feb 14th, aka Valentine’s Day) and you can get 20% off basically the whole site! Check it out at annieselke.com/YHL.

Thanks for listening, guys!

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