expert advice: How To Style Your Home Happy


With all of us spending more time than ever at home, it’s interesting to consider the impact our interior has on our wellbeing and how it makes us feel. The subtleties of interior design often impact our happiness in ways we don’t understand. From colour combinations to squeaky floorboards, interior design and decorating company, The Design Paddock, shares with us five interior design elements that influence our happiness…


“It is generally accepted that Australians spend 90 per cent of their time indoors. This is an enormous portion of time so it’s imperative to consider the impact the built environment can have on our wellbeing,” said Millie Alison, Co-Founder of The Design Paddock.

Given the home is defined by a variety of purposes and needs – cooking, eating, washing, relaxing, entertaining, sleeping and now for a significant portion working, it is important to create spaces that evoke positivity and comfortability.

Here, The Design Paddock shares with CRE five design elements that can be impacting your home’s happiness and how to positively change them.

1 – Lighting
“Don’t underestimate the impact that lighting can have on your mood, emotions and wellbeing,” says Katrina Garrett, Co-Founder of The Design Paddock. “Lighting in a room can either provide illumination for the entirety of a space or it can highlight specific elements. Having different lighting styles such as ceiling lights, wall lights and table lamps allow you to be able to alter the lighting to shift the mood,” said Katrina.

“Flooding a room with natural light can instantly lift the mood, allowing a connection to the outside. During the evening, however, we also need darkness to create a cosy environment with softer light – candles and dimmable lights are a great way to create this calming ambience,” added Katrina.

2 – Colour psychology
“The colour palette you select for your home should have a positive psychological and emotional effect upon you,” said Millie. “Colour choices in soft, neutral, warm tones are not only timeless but also calming and relaxing, particularly when used in living or bedroom spaces. White is such a popular choice for people as it often feels ‘safe’, but people need to be mindful of how much white they use as it has the potential to make a space feel cold and clinical,” Millie added.

“Colour palettes for homes have the ability to energise or make you anxious. It can soothe or motivate – depending on the colours and combinations. Red and oranges can stimulate, while blue hues are calming. We suggest using the same colours, tones and textures in connecting areas, such as hallways and stairways to give the home a sense of continuity,” said Millie.

3 – Sound
Katrina says “Is there anything more annoying than squeaky doors and cupboards, or creaky floorboards? These sounds can agitate, and a simple spray of a lubricant can fix this daily annoyance. If footsteps on the hardwood floor are disruptive at night, put down a runner with an underlay.”

“On the other hand, music in the home can have a positive impact on those in the space. Music can be incorporated throughout the home discreetly by installing speakers in the ceiling of your living areas both inside and out. This can create a lovely ambience when entertaining,” said Katrina.

4 – Textures
Textures and finishes can offer both tangible and visual experiences which can be associated with a variety of feelings and it is important to create a balance between the two. “Mixing up patterns in loose furnishings such as cushions, throws and rugs in the same colour palette, varying textures and layering with different shapes to make the space interesting but not visually overwhelming. The best rooms are those that are retrained and not too over-decorated,” said Millie.

“Incorporating texture can elevate the overall spatial experience and ignite the senses without you even knowing it. Texture works in a similar way to colour, rough textures are more likely to make a space feel intimate and grounded whilst the smoother bring a sleek and more luxurious vibe. We like to balance the two by incorporating different materials, different weaves and different levels of softness such as leather to create a more seamless space,” suggests Millie.

5 – Express your personality
Katrina says “Ultimately the interior of your home should be a reflection of your story and the people living within it. Following trends won’t necessarily bring you happiness in your home and sometimes the things we think we want don’t actually make us feel at home. When you create spaces in your home with things you love, that’s a gateway towards a happy home.”

About The Design Paddock
Launched in 2015, The Design Paddock was co-founded by Katrina Garrett and Millie Alison; two creative friends turned business partners that have together created a unique interior design and decorating company revamping the interior landscape for people in the bush and beyond.

The Design Paddock have established a captive audience by filling a gap in the market to transform homes, restaurants, pubs, wineries and accommodation in rural and remote areas into spaces people love.
The Design Paddock offers a range of interior design and decorating services that can be found on their website www.thedesignpaddock.com.au

{Photos: Sheri McMahon Photography}