Spring is in the air. While the coronavirus is limiting our ability to get together with large groups, our design team fully embraces the concept of refreshing our homes for the spring season. In fact, people are craving bright, sunny colors and feel-good vibes more than ever. We’ve got a full list of ways to update your home décor and outdoor dining spaces to boost those “Ahhhh…. moments” as Danna Smith on my team calls them. Prepare for a dose of natural serotonin to help beat the doldrums of isolation and uncertainty, and instead bolster your happiness while working, playing or discovering new hobbies at home.

Our design team suggests incorporating something pretty and that makes you smile each time you see it. Weave in comfort and easy maintenance for a definite way to relax, soak in beauty and remember the things, times and people that contribute to your happiness. Now that is happy design. So, what are some interior design must-haves to give you a good boost of happiness?

Fleur de Glee writing desk from Cynthia Rowley for Hooker Furniture

Even if you’re not a floral person as a recent client told us, this Fleur de Glee writing desk from Cynthia Rowley for Hooker Furniture is sure to lighten your spirits. The ebony finish with floral-print overlay along with the clean lines brings the best of spring flowers indoors. It not only looks good, it’s great for a real working desk with a center drawer that folds down for your keyboard. The two side drawers are ideal for your mouse pad or storage. A felt-lined pencil tray also keeps your tools tidy. The glass top protects this gorgeous work surface with the curved inner edge.

Fleur de Glee desktopTHIS is happiness personified in a desk! I just makes me smile. Imagine how happy you’d feel working with a desktop view of this fabulous desk!

The beautiful and happy designs didn’t stop there. Building on the client’s wishes for bright colors, our design team needed a wall paint that pulled from the colors in the desk’s flowers. As seen in these in-process photos, we chose Magical Sherwin-Williams 6829 since it picked up the light purple hues in the desk. The color was also repeated in an area rug. The mock-up below on the left shows the walls and ceiling structure painted, but it looked a bit choppy without the entire ceiling in one color. Instead, we’ll have all of the ceiling painted in Magical Sherwin-Williams 6829.

Paint colors for home office walls and ceilings Sherwin-Wiilliams 6829 Magical paint swatchFor the nearby bathroom, we initially considered a few intense colors for the walls. I’ll point out that it’s important to see paint swatches in the actual room’s lighting since the amount and type of lighting in a room impacts how a color is perceived. We also wanted to see how these paint choices looked with the hardware finish. Sherwin-Williams 6572 Ruby Shade is seen on the far right in the bathroom photo below and was the final winner since it looked the best with the tile, countertop and cabinet. The Ruby Shade color also transitions well with the Magical paint in the office. A satin finish will be used for the bathroom paint, while the office paint will be an eggshell finish.

Look at paint swatches in the room to be painted Sherwin-Williams 6572 Ruby Shade





As you can see from this example, a home office can certainly use fun colors to brighten your spirits. Work does not have to be dull.


Interior Design Favorites that Extend Outdoors
I love my view from my kitchen and living room that overlooks the backyard. The ivy-covered fence and new leaves signal growth and prosperity—always a positive feeling, but especially important in the COVID-19 world of social distancing.

outdoor view of happinessThere’s not a day that I look out on this setting without a smile. It’s so refreshing. Instead of solely focusing the outdoors on landscaping, I opted for a unique eye-catcher with this lightly distressed mantle, placed against the green ivy. Atop the mantle are vases with interesting shapes and materials. A floral arrangement and two topiaries give the vignette a finished look while embracing its outdoor setting.

As an interior designer, I’m especially drawn to well-curated scenes that inspire me in my work. I encourage our clients to choose favorite elements that have personal meaning and incorporate those into their home or office design for environments that reward time and again.

Outside or indoors, homeowners can start by selecting a few accessories that they really like but haven’t displayed at home. Periodically refreshing bookshelves or tabletops with seasonal or simply treasured accents keeps you responding positively to accessories’ renewed placement. This is also an easy way to curb boredom.

What are some favorite mementos that you can incorporate into your home interiors this month to increase your happiness factor? Let us know by adding a comment to this blog post.

Colors that Brighten Moods
Bright, happy colors tend to lift moods, so whether you’re redecorating a living room or finally getting around to designing a home office, use colors that motivate. Pink has long been described as a color that makes you happy and feel reassured. Orange’s vibrance creates enthusiasm and sparks creativity.

pink room decorated by Suzanne Kasler at Kips Bay Palm Beach

Above, a recent example by Suzanne Kasler that I saw at Kips Bay Palm Beach used the pink and coral tones on the bookshelves, wall and accents for a refreshing living room. It’s hard to feel anything but cheerful when looking at this sunny room.  (Photo Credit: Sargent Architectural Photograph)

Don’t think orange is only used for a feminine look though. As you’ll see below, orange has been used in this guestroom, published in Luxe Interiors + Design magazine (photo courtesy: Venjhamin Reyes), for a coastal vibe that welcomes all its visitors. Coupled with soft blues, the room has a relaxing beach vibe with the bold orange tones injecting the room with energy. The article explains that the interior designer “employed additional thoughtful elements that speak to who the couple (homeowners) are.” The wife loves quilting as did her own grandmother, so she created two custom quilts for the guest beds, incorporating the blues and oranges set for the room décor. This personal touch brings the owners such joy as their own grandchildren now sleep tight among their grandmother’s handmade quilts and a shared, family tradition. I’ve found that many times our clients have similar stories that our design team can use as a springboard to create truly unique interiors.

Pelican art and quilts in guest room

Sherwin-Williams’ experts agree with orange lifting moods: “Orange is a youthful paint color that is playful and spirited and very contemporary. Like red, orange is the perfect paint for spaces where you want to create a mood that is lively and interactive. Game rooms, kitchens or accent walls in a modern space are perfect for an orange color.” The broad array of orange hues does not disappoint.

Sherwin-Williams orange color palette

Above photo courtesy of Sherwin-Williams

Quality Time in Well-Designed Spaces Brings Happiness Home
As people worldwide continue practicing social distancing due to COVID-19, our design team is further committed to helping our clients bring happy designs to your interiors. Look at how your rooms are being used now and make a list of changes you’d like to make to maximize your space and good times. Do you need more seats in a particular room to huddle around a board game or watch a movie? Would a good-looking recliner bring more comfort to your living room? Do you need to re-work your kitchen’s layout to be more fluid and work easily when people are cooking and eating there? Our team can help with all these interior design needs and many more. Remember: so much of our efforts can be done virtually so contact us to jumpstart your next home renovation.

I’ll close this blog post with some suggestions on family activities to do during this quarantine at home. I hope you enjoy these and discover greater happiness in your home.

  • Work on projects around the house that you can do as a family and that are also fun activities such as planting flowers, herbs or vegetables.
  • Clean the outdoor furniture. (It gets REALLY dirty!) Enjoy a few meals outside, while the weather is pleasant.
  • Organize a game and media closet.
  • Watch old movies together.Halibut Olympia dinner dish
  • Do some crafts or cooking together. If you make extra, you can mail a gift to a friend or family member, or share food with your neighbors.

Speaking of, my husband Jon and I did a porch drop-off of some fresh fish to our friends last week and then shared photos and recipes of how we cooked it. Since we visit family and friends in Alaska a few times each year, we had Alaskan halibut in the freezer. We decided it was the perfect time to try a new recipe. The Halibut Olympia was amazing and pretty easy. Try the Simple Halibut Olympia recipe from the Living Alaska Project. I even add a touch of happiness to dinner with colorful plates. How’s that for happy living?


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