Published on May 26, 2020

When you are at home practically 24-7, it’s easy to imagine how much better your space would look if you just rearranged that bookshelf or finally painted those walls. Or what if you finally got that peel-and-stick wallpaper? A new study—which was conducted before the global spread of COVID-19—shows that a change in scenery is a major factor in staying happy. It’s no wonder why we’re all so keen on finding new ways to make ourselves at home.

Published by researchers at New York University and reported on by Fast Company, the study used GPS technology to track participants in both New York and Miami and regularly gauged their moods via text alerts. The more places people went in a day, the happier and more relaxed they felt. But when you’re newly working from home and limiting your trips outside to some degree, regularly changing your surroundings can be a challenge.

Good thing you can accomplish that without leaving your house—all you have to do is rearrange your furniture. The study notes that even subtle variations (taking a different route through the grocery store than usual, for instance) can help improve your mood, so it might be time to reconfigure your space’s layout. Get started with these ideas.

Switch Out Your Rug

Once you lay them out, floor coverings can feel like permanent fixtures—which is why changing them up can make a room look so vastly different. Designer Crystal Sinclair recommends swapping one area rug with another. It can be as simple as just doing a trade between two spaces in your home.

Eliminate Single-Use Furniture

Especially if you’re working with small square footage, getting rid of a single piece of furniture can help open up your interior. Dan Mazzarini of BHDM Design advises cutting out items that aren’t totally necessary—like a dining table if you aren’t one to host dinner parties.

Find Your Best Angle

If your furniture isn’t quite fitting how you hoped it would, the fix can be fairly simple, according to Jo Sampson: Just align it at an angle. In her bedroom, a diagonally placed nightstand (and curtain) make the most of a tiny corner.

It’s hammer time: Follow @reno_notebook for easy rental updates, clever DIYs, and tips to nail your next project.

Discussion