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It’s time to say goodbye to those lazy summer Sundays, and fall into fall.
Life can be hectic — sure, your boss at work can be mean, and your commute can be nutty — so here’s something you can control: your environment. These easy, smart home hacks can make you happier, less stressed and even more productive. And all it takes, quite often, is choosing the right color scheme.
Without question, our home environment has a tremendous impact on our wellbeing. The hue of your comforter can lift your mood, and a throw pillow can make you smile. Our homes have the power to make us calmer, and even more productive — and adjusting even just a couple decor details can have a huge impact. Architectural Digest editor-in-chief Amy Astley is here to show us how to make small tweaks for big impact, with additional picks by TODAY editors.
Living room furniture
When buying new furniture, always look for pieces with soft or rounded edges. Sharp objects convey a sense of danger and tend to make people feel anxious or on edge while curves elicit feelings of contentment and comfort. While every item doesn't need to be rounded, key pieces such as the couch, side chair or table can make your body instantly relax. And if you don't want to buy all new furniture, you can counteract any sharp corners with rounded decorative items such as a vase or throw pillows.
Manila Hammered Barrel Coffee Table, $130, Target
TODAY editors, writers and experts take care to recommend items we really like and hope you’ll enjoy! Just so you know, TODAY does have affiliate relationships. So, while every product is independently selected, if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the revenue.
Daisy Side Table, $79, Urban Outfitters
Simple Designs Floor Lamp, $40, Amazon
Stone & Beam Throw Pillow, $40, Amazon
Sunbrella Throw Pillows, Set of 4, $80, Amazon
Chive Glass Flower Vase, $45, Amazon
Urban Shop Round Knit Pouf, $45, Walmart
Living room color
Yellow evokes happiness and is an instant mood-lifter, so painting your walls the cheery color will inspire positive feelings throughout your home. But if painting a whole room seems too much, try just an accent wall. And since bright colors tend to encourage social behavior, go with a bold yellow hue in a public space such as the living room or kitchen and aim for a more muted tone in calmer areas such as the bedroom.
And if you just want to tip your toes without getting fully immersed in color, try an accent.
Faux Lemon Tree, $78, Terrain
Prestige Paints Interior Paint and Primer In One, $39, Amazon
KILZ TRIBUTE Interior Semi-Gloss Paint and Primer in One, $52, Amazon
Living room textures
Being in a comfortable space will instantly help you feel at ease, which is why it’s so important to create a cozy atmosphere where you live. One of the easiest ways to create a relaxing room is with soft textures. Go for a comfy throw or blanket, cushy rug or ultra-soft fabrics on couches and chairs.
Riviera Denim Rug, $39-$499, Lulu and Georgia
ALPHA HOME Soft Throw Blanket , $21, Amazon
EGGREE Mid-Century Velvet Accent Living Room Chair, $120, Amazon
Tasseled Nadia Pillow, $58, Anthropologie
Home office color
Picking the right shade for your work space can either give you a leg up or take you a step down. Green is the best color since it's associated with creative thinking and instantly puts you in a positive mental and emotional state. Purple can help with productivity while red and orange can stimulate the mind.
Adorn your space with the color that most inspires you. Use personal photographs, magazine cutouts, even desk accessories and office supplies in that shade.
LED Desk Table Lamp with Rechargeable USB Cable,$15, Amazon
UnionBasic 4 Compartment Desk Organizer, $16, Amazon
Geller Modern Dining Chair, $100, Target
Novogratz Block Print Floral Removable Wallpaper, $40, Amazon
Timblin 4 Tier Etagere Bookcase, $227, Joss & Main
Home office lighting
This is the most important factor in feeling focused and productive yet most people tend to overlook (and not invest in) the standard feature. Bad lighting can produce a host of ailments such as fatigue, headaches, and an overall sense of irritability. So in a home office or study area, always use natural light bulbs (that mimic the sun) or even a blue light which has been known to increase alertness.
Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance LED Smart Bulb Starter Kit, $190, Amazon
TaoTronics Metal LED Desk Lamp, $65, Amazon
Home office textures
Feature wood furniture for instant warmth of the interior space. Dark colored wood can be used to add contrast, whereas light colored wood can be used to brighten up the room.
Quartet Cork Bulletin Board, $15, Amazon
Rivet Sisal Rug, $119, Amazon
Temperature has a huge effect on how productive you are and studies have shown that temps below 68 degrees lead to employees making more mistakes and lower productivity while temps above 68 degrees have the opposite effect. So be sure to keep your thermostat at the golden temp of 70-72 degrees.
Nest (T3007ES) Learning Thermostat, $212, Amazon
Scent: Scents can be powerful and since candles, oils, incense and room fresheners are relatively affordable, you can cater your smells to your specific needs. Choose lavender or vanilla for relaxation and better sleep, cinnamon to boost alertness, pine to increase productivity, citrus for more energy and jasmine to uplift a bad mood.
Aera Touch Home Diffuser, $150, Amazon
InnoGear Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser, $20, Amazon
LAFCO House and Home Diffuser, $115, Amazon
LAFCO Diffuser Refill, $48, Amazon
For a calming atmosphere in your bedroom, look for cooler hues — shades of blue, gray, or purple tend to have a relaxing effect and have been shown to decrease anxiety and stress.
Percale Top Sheet, $60, Parachute
Mellani Bed Sheet Set, $30, Amazon
Plants are one of the most important aspects of improving your well-being. They improve air quality, reduce stress and anxiety and breathe some life into your place, and plus, they look great. Add color with a vase of flowers on the nightstand or bring even more of Mother Nature indoors by displaying a small collection of seashells or rocks.
Safavieh Glazed Ceramic Garden Stool, $77, Amazon
Tumbler Home Polished Sea Shells, $17, Amazon