5 Ways to “Decorate Happy”

There’s a rush that comes with redecorating a room, or just adding a new piece of décor. But why?

We sent Studio 5 Design Contributor Lauren Oviatt on a mission to find the connection between home and happiness.

The theme for this year on Studio 5 is “Live Happy” – and what better way to resolve to live happier than making our homes and living spaces a more personal and uplifting place to be. I firmly believe that what we surround ourselves with greatly affects our mood from the moment we wake up. Let’s talk about a few simple ways we can enliven our spaces… you’ll be happier before you know it!

Better yet, embrace your favorite color! When asking viewers how they ‘decorate happy’, the top response was “with color”! Color has an emotional and subliminal response for each of us. Choose colors that soothe like soft greens, blues and yellows or go for the brights! Cheerful colors like grass green, coral and electric blue instantly pop and add that ‘wow’ factor to your space. This is as simple as picking up a few new throw pillows, placing ceramic pieces on your favorite bookcase or your mantle, or picking up a set of salad plates that don’t necessarily dictate your decor, but become a fun part of entertaining.

If you are overwhelmed by the idea of redecorating multiple rooms in your home or your budget simply won’t permit it, focus on your entry. This space is much easier to tackle based on it’s size. Many say it is the most important space in the home as it is the first place your guests see and sometimes the only space they see! Think of re-painting your console table or chest to enliven the space or add a rug with a geometric pattern. Other simple fixes are wall decor in bright colors, fresh plants or flowers in your favorite vase or even a new colorful lamp or lampshade. These things will instantly refresh the space and make you glad to welcome friends into your home.

In our quest to find out how you “decorate happy” and how you know when you’ve found the perfect piece, so many of you said, “I am happy when I surround myself with things that mean something to me.” I love that. Making our homes feel personalized enhances and enriches EVERYTHING about the experience of being at home. Your guests will feel it too. If you are crafty, begin personalizing pieces of furniture with decorative paint or knobs, sew pillows for your sofa or bedroom, or create your own custom wall art. If you are a collector, make sure that your collections have a space where they can be showcased! Even hanging a gallery wall of family pictures (old or new) instantly says something about you and what is important to you. These personal touches are special and become conversation pieces for you and your guests.


I’ll say it again and again, lighting can make an amazing difference in our experience of a room. Personally, I can’t “live happy” in my home if I am forced to sit under a glaring overhead light. To each her own! Before you do ANYTHING else to decorate your home, consider the lighting. Simple dimmer switches can make a world of difference in your rooms. Incorporate table and floor lamps around the room for a soft, ambient glow that not only soothes but is a very flattering light. For each room in your home, count the light sources — aim for at least three but preferably more.

It’s fun to keep track of what is current in the design world, but when it comes to your own home, follow your heart and set your own trends! Just because emerald green is the color of the year doesn’t mean you should shun your favorite muted pastels. Stay true to yourself. Again, it’s about making your own home a place where you feel happy. It will only feel right if you are comfortable there.

Lauren Oviatt is a designer with Oviatt Design, 826 West Shepard Lane, Farmington.

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