Home Decor Choices That Could Be Sabotaging Your Mood

Home Decor Choices That Could Be Sabotaging Your Mood

Your home should be your sanctuary, a space where you unwind, recharge, and feel your best. But sometimes, even those well-intentioned decor choices can subtly sabotage your mood. The wrong colors, jarring patterns, or even sentimental clutter can create an undercurrent of stress you might not even realize is there. Ready to turn your home into a true mood-boosting haven? Here are some surprising ways your decor might be affecting your energy levels, focus, and overall well-being.

1. Your walls are painted in super bright colors.

We all love a splash of color, but neon yellow walls in your bedroom might not be the best choice for peaceful vibes. Intense, saturated colors can be overstimulating, especially in rooms where you relax. Opt for softer, more muted shades like calming blues, warm neutrals, or nature-inspired greens to create a sense of tranquility, Elle suggests.

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2. Every surface is covered in clutter.

A crowded countertop or messy desk isn’t just visually chaotic, it can make you feel stressed and overwhelmed. Research cited by The New York Times shows that clutter actually raises cortisol levels (that’s the stress hormone!). Set aside some time to declutter, get rid of things you don’t need, and create designated spots for everyday items. A clean space leads to a clearer mind.

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3. You’re obsessed with matching everything perfectly.

Everything matching just right is super satisfying for some, but for others, overly coordinated decor can feel stiff and uninviting. Let go of the need for perfection and allow yourself to mix and match patterns, textures, and styles. Your home should reflect your personality and feel welcoming and lived-in, not like a staged showroom.

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4. Your furniture is all harsh lines and angles.

While sharp, geometric furniture looks sleek, too much of it can feel cold and unwelcoming. Balance it out with pieces that have softer curves or round shapes to create a more inviting and comfortable space. Think cozy rounded armchairs or a circular coffee table to soften the overall feel of the room.

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5. You’ve gone overboard with trendy pieces.

It’s tempting to jump on every home decor trend, but filling your space with pieces that’ll be outdated next year can leave you feeling unsettled. Incorporate trends in small doses with easily changeable accents like throw pillows or decorative objects. Invest in timeless, quality pieces for the bigger items in your home for a sense of stability and longevity.

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6. Your lighting is way too harsh.

Fluorescent overhead lights in your bathroom might be practical, but they’re not exactly mood-boosters. Layer your lighting with table lamps, floor lamps, and dimmers for more control over the ambiance. The ability to create a softer, warmer glow, especially in the evenings, helps your body unwind and prepare for a restful sleep.

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7. There’s no room for plants or natural elements.

The Washington Post highlights research which found that bringing a bit of nature indoors improves your mood and reduces stress. A few houseplants, fresh flowers, or even artwork featuring natural scenes can uplift the energy of your space. Even if you don’t have a green thumb, opt for some low-maintenance succulents or a pretty vase with dried branches to bring that natural touch inside.

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8. You’re missing personal touches.

A gallery wall of family photos, souvenirs from travels, or your favorite artwork makes all the difference. Surround yourself with things that make you happy and tell your story to feel truly at home and happy in your space. Your home should be a reflection of YOU, not just the latest Pinterest trends.

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9. You’re always trying to keep it Instagram-perfect.

Constantly worrying about having a magazine-worthy home is stressful! Allow for a bit of organized chaos and embrace the reality of everyday living. Focus on creating a space that makes you feel happy and relaxed, not some imaginary followers who will never set foot in your home.

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10. Your bedroom is doubling as your office.

Seeing work stuff scattered about when you’re trying to unwind is a recipe for bad sleep and lingering stress. Try to physically separate your workspace from your relaxation space, even if it’s just tucking your desk behind a room divider or screen. If space is tight, get creative with a fold-away desk or a designated work tote that lets you stash everything away when work hours are over.

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11. Your scent choices are too intense.

Overly sweet, artificial-smelling candles and diffusers can be headache-inducing and even irritate allergies. Opt for light, natural scents with essential oils for a subtly calming effect, or go fragrance-free altogether. Sometimes the simple smell of fresh air or clean sheets is the most refreshing of all.

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12. You never open your curtains.

Natural light is a major mood booster! Make it a habit to open your blinds or curtains each morning, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Soaking in the sunshine sends a signal to your brain that it’s time to start the day, reducing grogginess and leaving you feeling more alert and energized.

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13. Everything is cold, hard surfaces.

Shiny marble kitchen counters, slick leather chairs, and nothing soft in sight can make your space feel sterile and uninviting. Incorporate plush textures like cozy throws, soft rugs, and comfy pillows to up the warmth and inviting vibes. A touchably soft blanket and some cushions on your sofa make movie nights way more enjoyable.

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14. You ignore your most used spaces.

A bathroom with chipped paint or that dripping faucet you never fix can drag down your mood without you even fully realizing it. Take care of those minor annoyances in heavily used spaces and it will positively influence your overall sense of well-being. Sometimes the smallest fixes have the biggest feel-good impact!

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15. You don’t have a designated cozy spot.

Where do you truly unwind at the end of a long day? Create a comfy reading nook nestled in a corner, a plush armchair by a window, or any spot dedicated to just relaxing. Having a designated “zen zone” invites you to take those moments of peace and recharge your mental batteries.

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16. There’s nowhere to put your feet up.

An ottoman or footstool is a small investment with a big feel-good payoff. Kicking back and elevating your feet after a long day is pure bliss and also helps with circulation! Opt for a stylish one that doubles as storage to really maximize its usefulness.

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17. Your favorite colors are nowhere to be found.

Don’t be afraid to express your personality through color! If you love calming blues, but your whole home is decked out in beige, chances are you won’t feel fully uplifted in the space. Incorporate your favorite hues through accent pieces, pillows, or even a fun piece of art – those pops of the colors you love can make a major mood-boosting difference.

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18. You prioritize style over comfort.

A super-minimalist room might look picture-perfect, but if it’s not comfortable for actually living in, it’s missing the point. Choose furniture and decor that are both aesthetically pleasing AND feel good to use. Remember, your home is meant to be enjoyed, not just admired from a distance!

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Gail is Bolde's social media and partnership manager, as well as an all-around behind-the-scenes renaissance woman. She worked for more than 25 years in her city's local government before making the switch to women's lifestyle and relationship sites, initially at HelloGiggles before making the switch to Bolde.