Decor & Styling

7 Easy Decorating Tips to Instantly Boost Your Mental Health

Source: @amybartlam | Design by
Source: @amybartlam | Design by

Have you ever looked around your home during a week when you aren’t feeling your best? Chances are you have dishes stacked up in your kitchen sink, an unmade bed, and a pile of laundry in the corner. On the flip side, when you’re feeling good, your home is much more likely to look well-organized and clean. Moral of the story? The state of your home can reflect the state of your mental health for better or worse. And similarly, your home can also influence your mental health. If your space is messy, you may feel stressed or anxious, or if your home doesn’t get a lot of natural light, you might feel sad or gloomy.

With most people spending the majority of their time at home (especially those of us who work from home), it makes sense that our spaces can have such a big impact on our mental health. Luckily, there are tons of easy ways to update your home that can positively affect your mental health. Ahead: expert-backed decorating ideas to try whenever you or your home needs a little pick-me-up.

1. Choose colors carefully

“Color can have a huge effect on the human senses, playing a big role in how we think and feel,” said Sofia Vyshnevska, housing expert and co-founder of NewHomesMate. “Different colors produce different emotions.” For your home, she recommended decorating with earthy tones and hues that mimic the color of foliage, such as sage green, deep yellow, or brown. These nature-inspired colors have been shown to help calm the body and mind.

2. Decorate with natural woods

Research has found that bringing elements of nature indoors can help lower stress, and decorating with wood furniture or decor is one of the easiest ways to do that. Consider this your sign to buy the new wood coffee or desk you’ve been eyeing. Or, if you have wood floors, you could even let the natural wood grain shine by using fewer area rugs in your space.

Source: @studiomcgee

3. Hang engaging artwork

According to Vyshnevska, admiring art is one of the easiest ways to relieve stress. Create a calming atmosphere in your home by decorating with artwork that draws your eye and makes you feel at ease. Whether it’s a painting, photograph, or sculpture, all that matters is that you feel emotionally connected to the piece so you can enjoy the stress-relieving benefits and good vibes.

4. Embrace natural light

It’s no secret that sunlight is linked to happiness (hence why so many people experience seasonal affective disorder in the fall and winter). So if your home is feeling gloomy, a lack of natural light may be to blame. Raise window shades and pull back curtains during the day to let some sunlight in for an instant mood boost. Want to take things a step further? Vyshnevska suggested adding mirrors throughout your home to reflect the light coming in and make a room feel even brighter—this is especially helpful in smaller spaces or those without a lot of windows.

Source: @nataliemyers

5. Bring in live plants

Much like painting walls in earthy colors can bring a sense of serenity to a space, adding in plants can have the same effect. Studies show that exposure to nature leads to an increase in positive emotions. If you have a green thumb, fill your home with pots of your favorite houseplants. If you’re worried about watering or just don’t have good luck with anything green, reach for faux alternatives to get the same calming benefits without the hassle.

6. Get organized

Have you ever heard the phrase “a tidy home equals a tidy mind”? This might sound like a saying your mom came up with to get you to clean your room as a teenager, but it’s true. Research shows that cluttered spaces may lead to a depressed mood and higher levels of cortisol, AKA the stress hormone. If this sounds familiar, it may be time to declutter and reorganize your space. This can seem like a daunting task, so consider starting with the spaces you use most often—your closet, desk, bathroom cabinets, etc.—and go from there.

7. Use aromatherapy

Although not technically a decorating idea, aromatherapy can make a big difference in your mood and the vibe of your home. Invest in an oil diffuser and select essential oils based on their treatment properties. For example, if you’re feeling stressed, add a few drops of lavender into your diffuser, or reach for chamomile to improve your mood and reduce anxiety. To fully reap the benefits, Vyshnevska recommended setting up an aromatherapy corner with a diffuser and a cozy chair or cushions where you can sit back and unwind.