Marita Tasse - CRS, ABR, SRES, GRI, LMC - RE/MAX Prof Associates |


When we decorate and organize our homes, few of us give more than a passing thought to the way our choices will affect our mood and behavior in our home. Most of us simply organize and decorate based on what we like on a whim.

There are, however, entire fields of study devoted to the way our environment affects us (environmental psychology), and ways we can engineer and design our environments to change our moods and behaviors.

If you’ve ever visited a big city like New York you will likely have noticed an example of this firsthand in city parks.

When you sit down on a park bench, you’ll likely find that it isn’t the most comfortable place to sit. There’s more than just a tight budget at play here. Many engineers who plan parks use the idea of “unpleasant design.” They create benches with the intention of dissuading people from lying down  the benches by making them curved or putting arm rests in the middle of them.

In the same way that a city park can be designed to affect your behavior, your home can as well. In this article, we’ll give you some tips on how you can better arrange and decorate your home to have a positive impact on both your mood and behavior.

Organize to your advantage

Many of us think of our homes as the opposite of work--it’s a place we relax after a long day. However, there are a number of chores and tasks you’ll complete at home that can be optimally engineered to save you time.

One simple example is to think about the placement of the items you use in the kitchen. Is your trash can far from the countertop, requiring you to constantly walk away to toss out scraps?

A good way to find out the needless extra work you’re doing around the house is to take note of how you go about your daily routine. This will give you insight into areas where you might better use your time.

Declutter for productivity

Whether you work from home frequently or you just need a quiet place to do taxes or pay bills, a home office can be a good way to avoid distraction. That is, until you fill your home office with distractions.

When organizing your office, think about the content of it. For most people, a decluttered minimalist environment is most conducive to work. Leave out the television, keep your cell phone at bay, and don’t cover your desk in papers that you’ll constantly be rearranging.

Similarly, your computer needs to be tailored to productivity as well. We all know how tempting it is to head over to Facebook or Reddit when we should be focusing on work. A good way to help break this habit is to utilize a time tracking app that lets you know when it’s time for a break. Alternatively, you can use an extension or add-on for your browser that blocks sites like Facebook during the time you specify.

Colors matter more than you think

Each room in your home serves a different purpose. The kitchen is a place of activity and conversation, the bedroom is one of relaxation, and the home office one of focus.

Studies have shown that there is a correlation between the colors and brightness of the room we are in and our moods.

So, when you’re decorating a room in your home, think about the type of colors that fit how you would like to feel in that room.


Anyone who’s ever been in an outdated house or hotel room can tell you that the way we decorate can have an effect on our mood. Certain colors, lack of lighting, and cluttered rooms are all things that, whether we realize it or not, can have a negative effect on our mood and productivity.

These concepts aren’t recent realizations. In ancient China and India, concepts of architecture and decorating have been teaching proper design techniques for thousands of years. Today, these schools of thought are often lumped into the field of environmental psychology.

In today’s post, I’m going to talk about a few design techniques that will help you and your houseguests feel more welcome in your home and create a tone that matches your desires, whether that’s relaxed or energized.

The effects of color

With a quick Google search, you’ll find hundreds of articles discussing the psychological effects of colors. What many fail to mention is the way these effects are based on things like the culture and time period we grow up in.

However, you may find that guests to your home will feel more comfortable in light, neutral- colored rooms than they will in a room that’s painted bold colors.

On a room-by-room basis, there tend to be certain colors that Americans associate with the “right” colors for the occasion.

However, this is often influenced by the architectural style of the house more than an internalized idea about specific colors.

How much is too much?

It’s easy to accumulate home decor and find your walls and surface becoming a little too cluttered. However, bare walls and sparsely decorated rooms can feel a bit too sterile and unlivable. Is there a balance between the two?

Oftentimes the best solution is to follow one simple decorating principle:

Rather than using several small items to decorate a room, choose just a few larger items. This will prevent the room from appearing cluttered but still give it a sense of character.

Taking advantage of the full area of a room

So far, we’ve been talking about how colors and decor can make a room feel more spacious and welcoming. But, even if you have a small room, you can still often achieve this effect.

One solution is to add brighter lighting to the room. Increasing the light makes to room feel more open. And, if possible, natural lighting is the best option, as it can reduce any feelings of claustrophobia.

If better lighting or windows aren’t an option, many homeowners turn to mirrors to make a room feel larger. Larger, wall-hanging mirrors are an excellent way to give the illusion of spaciousness in a small room.


Using the psychology behind these three decorating principles, you’ll be able to make you and your houseguests feel more at ease within your home.


For home sellers, it is important to take a close look at every room in your house, including your living room.

Although your living room has served as a great place to relax and hang out with family members and friends, you'll want to invest time and resources to ensure this space offers a warm, inviting vibe. By doing so, you may be able to enhance your living room's appearance and boost your chances of a quick home sale.

What does it take to revamp a living room? Here are three tips to help home sellers transform an ordinary living room into a comfortable space:

1. Establish a Color Scheme.

Your living room colors ultimately could make or break a homebuyer's impression of your home.

For example, if your living room includes calm, relaxing hues, it may help homebuyers feel at ease the moment they enter. Or, if your living room features bold, vibrant colors, it may add energy to the setting's décor.

Determine a color scheme that offers the ideal mix of style and sophistication. This color scheme should make your living room pop; at the same time, try not to use colors that are overly dramatic or take away from the setting's ambiance.

When in doubt, use warm or cool hues to bolster your living room's appearance. These hues likely will complement any home's décor and will improve your chances of making an unforgettable first impression on homebuyers.

2. Select Stylish Flooring.

Flooring may make a world of difference in how homebuyers view your living room, and for good reason. With the right flooring in place, you'll be able to make your living room a comfortable and enjoyable space, one that will generate plenty of interest from homebuyers.

A solid wood floor may prove to be a great choice in your living room and could give the space a natural look and feel. Comparatively, carpets are soft and durable and come in a wide range of patterns to help you take your living room décor to new heights.

3. Rearrange Your Furniture.

What good is a living room if visitors cannot easily converse with one another? Show homebuyers the true potential of your living room by arranging furniture in a way that promotes conversation.

Pull your living room couch, loveseat and other furniture away from the walls and have them face one another. This will help give your living room an intimate appearance, one that may enable your living space to leave homebuyers with a distinct impression of your residence.

Discovering the best ways to enhance your living room could prove to be time-consuming. Fortunately, hiring a real estate agent may help you streamline the process of transforming your living room's appearance from drab to fab.

A real estate agent will conduct an in-depth home assessment so you can better understand your residence's strengths and weaknesses. Plus, this professional will offer tips to help you improve your living room's appearance in no time at all.

Dedicate the time and resources to bolster your living room's appearance, and you may be able to reap the benefits of a quick home sale.


Although an exciting time in your life, moving out of the home you grew up in or your college/first apartment can seem scary and daunting. The thought of packing and unpacking is intimidating. And let’s not forget about the cost. Making such a large investment for the first time and really, truly living on your own is a whole new experience. It’s important that when you visit a house for sale you can feel yourself living there and turning it into your home. Here are a few tips for making a house a home: Photos & Artwork: What better way to bring personality and familiarity into a home than photos of family and friends or artwork from a favorite artist. Often frames can become a thing of clutter and even dust collectors. However, adding photos and artwork can be done tastefully. A popular approach is a grid-like arrangement created on large, open walls. This is one way to display many beloved photos without creating clutter on tables or other pieces of furniture. Have a long wall that’s runs along a hallway? This would be a great place to display larger photos or artwork that would run horizontally. This is especially nice for sequenced pieces such as change of season photos or artwork. DIY projects: Add your personality and blood, sweat, and tears to your home with DIY projects. Ok, maybe ‘blood, sweat and tears’ is a little dramatic but get ready to get your hands dirty. Mason jars, glass vases, and empty wine bottles can be turned into beautiful home décor with only a few materials and a couple hours. Items like rope, artificial flowers, ribbon, and craft glue are just a couple examples of supplies that can be used to turn those boring items into a homemade masterpiece. To make this idea even more appealing invite friends or family over for a craft day and work on multiple DIY projects. Keepsakes: Have a family heirloom that has been passed down from generation to generation? An heirloom could range from a quilt or afghan that a great-grandparent or grandparent had knit, family photos that span over many generations, clocks, diaries and recipes. Recipes could simply be displayed on a kitchen counter or you can get creative and design custom wallpaper from the recipe cards. Wall clocks can be displayed in family or dining rooms and grandfather clocks fit the atmosphere of dens. There are tasteful ways to add each one of these into your home and preserve the memory of these mementos. Fresh flowers: Nothing adds life to a home like fresh-cut flowers. The colors and the scents just fill a room. Add a pop of color to a room with dyed carnations, tulips, roses or hydrangeas. Add elegance to a room with white or cream colored flowers such as roses, daisies or lilies. Small, horizontal arrangements look lovely on a rectangle or square dining room table. Taller arrangements are perfect for a bay window or small table. Fresh-cut flowers would also pair well with a DIY vase.



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