Tips on creating a happier, healthier home

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We spend about 90% of our lives indoors, working, sleeping, and relaxing at home.

Bonnie Casamassima, a Professor of Interior Design at SCAD Atlanta, believes our homes have

a direct impact on how we feel, both physically and psychologically. Lots of clutter or crowding, Casamassima says, can leave us stressed, even feeling trapped. But daylight, windows, and a connection to the outside world, she says, can help us feel better.

"What it's doing is it's supporting our circadian rhythms, in our bodies," Casamassima says. "What it's also doing is helping our bodies feel more in tune. So, it's causing us to reduce our stress."

If you feel best outdoors, she says, bring as much nature as you can into your home. Choosing colors that match the outdoors, likes blues and greens, she says, can also be calming.

"Texture is going to a huge, too," Casamassima says. "So, you're looking at your natural materials, your woodgrains. That is so important in our current environment, where we spend so much time touching glass screens. We're really hungry, biologically and psychologically, for texture."

Casamassima says decorate with objects that spark your appreciation. That can stimulate brain waves, making you feel calmer and less stressed. 

Decorate for you, not the neighbors, or anyone else.

"If you are really interested in learning how to play guitar, don't put that guitar in a back storage area, because that's what you're neighbor does," she says. "Put that guitar out front and center, and maybe it's in the area when you first walk in, and it makes you really appreciative."

Casamassima says the best home is one that reflects how you want to live. And "how one person lives is very different from how another person lives," she says. "So, respecting that diversity, and honoring how you live best is going to be important."