How to have a happy home (according to science)

Shelf styling

Good Housekeeping recently shared 9 scientific ways to make your home a happier place to be. The list including things like pets (which we’re desperate for but can’t have because we both work full-time) and yellow walls (which would definitely cheer me up but I’m not sure I’m brave enough for – yet). I’ve compiled my own list of things that I love to have around our flat. They’re renter-friendly too!

Natural light

A lack of light is the most depressing thing. We live on the top floor so we’re blessed with lots, but I still invested in energy-efficient daylight bulbs to combat SAD. Because we’re worth it.

Fresh air

Every day, the first thing I do is crack open the windows. Fresh air wakes me up and I love having it circulating throughout the flat.


Greenery looks nice, adds life to a space (literally) and cleans the air. Succulents and cacti are super cute and basically impossible to kill.

Kitchen window cacti


Photos, travel souvenirs, gifts, a memory box – that stuff makes my heart sing.

Bright colours

All our walls are painted white (or off-white, in the north-facing rooms) because it’s fresh, clean and easy to change the look of a room with a few colourful accessories…

Silly accessories

I love using fun stuff to add personality to our space. We have childhood toys as ornaments, display my camera collection and arrange our DVDs by colour (so we have a shelf rainbow!).

Fancy bedding

When we bought our flat I splashed out on the (now-defunct) Denver collection from the White Company. My sheets and plain pillowcases are always from TK Maxx, which sells quality bedding for bargain prices.

White and grey bed

Quality kitchenware

I invested in a Le Creuset casserole dish and sauté pan (both in Marseille Blue) and while they were pretty pricey I love them, especially the multi-purpose pot. Next up, the matching grillit and a proper knife.

Pretty prints

I love hanging art! Even if you rent, most landlords will let you hang a couple of things, so long as you use the appropriate hook for the wall and/or make good when you leave.


Being cold in your own home is the worst. Despite my love of fresh air I’m careful to close windows before things get too chilly and keep blankets in a wire basket by the sofa, in case we or our guests want to get cosy.

Becky x


4 thoughts on “How to have a happy home (according to science)”

  1. Ooh, I love this list! For me, it’s definitely good quality basics that make everyday feel a little bit more luxurious (White Company towels and sheets, nice crockery from M&S), flowers, art and little things that feel like me, and my cat, Coco (p.s. even if you work crazy hours, I definitely recommend a cat if you want a pet as they don’t mind sleeping all day but will bring so much love and happiness to your place).

    Briony xx


  2. I agree with all of your ideas. I particularly like having momentos on display as I really think they make a house a home. One addition I’d make to the list would be scents. White Company does a beautiful fig room spray and I love a Diptyque candle too. You might be interested in a book called Happiness at Home by Gretchen Rueben – she looked into this question in it too.
    Katie x


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