Increase Your Happiness and Productivity with These 5 Design Tips

Alexandra’s Tips for Creating a Space that Increases Your Happiness & Productivity

happiness and productivity
By: Alexandra Muller

I’m a big fan of overall wellness (and Beyonce) and I’m a firm believer that an individual’s environment can greatly affect her happiness and level of productivity. I’m pretty certain this goes for everyone –the happier we are the more productive we are. Yes? Yes. I’m here to take you on my journey of moving out into the big bad world on my own and to share with you the decisions behind my interior designs. Read on for my top 5 tips for designing your space in a way that will boost your happiness and productivity.

1:  Self -Evaluate

Start by asking yourself two questions, who are you as a person and what do you need your home to function as? I know that I am a creative and extremely busy person. I work a full-time job, teach art and fitness at a local Boy’s and Girl’s Club on the side, and train with a power lifting coach four to five times a week. Of course that’s on top of having a personal life with friends and family. I NEED my space to be a retreat.  What about you? Do you work from home? Are you a student? Maybe you need to create an intellectual environment for yourself in one room to help keep your mind on track.

2:  Plan Your Space

Now that you know who you are, express it. You need your space to not only be functional but also inspirational. It’s easy to buy a desk that works but takes a little more thought to find one that will inspire you to sit behind it every day. Pick colors that fit the use and emotion of the room. You can search the web for “color psychology” to find your palette. I’ve known forever that I need my home to be filled with treasures and am not comfortable living in an IKEA showroom. Don’t get me wrong, IKEA is fantastic and I totally have things from there, just not everything. Think about it for a moment. You probably have at least one thing that you would prefer to be a specific way. Though you may have to compromise in other areas because of space or budget, prioritizing what’s important will ultimately put you at ease.

3:  Design with Your Gut

happiness and productivity

Pay attention to your instinctual reaction to where you are placing furniture and decor. If it doesn’t feel right, move it! Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. If that novel-inspiring desk needs to face the window then make it face the window! You might need to get creative when placing other pieces but just keep feeling it out. You’ll find your own personal Feng Shui eventually and it will make your home feel that much more comfortable to you.
4:  Make it Nirvana

Now that you’ve used your instincts to place the larger things, it’s time to hone in on the details. What makes you feel uniquely you and gives you peace? Is it organization? Art? Books? Photos of loved ones? Ask yourself what your passions are and find a place to include them. It’s important to make sure the spots you pick feel right but be careful that they don’t distract from the purpose of the room. For example, if it’s a study room, and you love video games, it’s probably not a good idea to put your games in there. Instead, you might consider hanging a poster from your favorite game as a way to strike a balance between incorporating your passion and encouraging productivity.

5. Treasure Hunt

Worried about your budget? Remember, there are fabulous finds all around you. The majority of my decor came from estate and garage sales, auctions, flea markets and treasures collected on my travels. Donations from family members were completely welcome too. Objects, like people can reinvent themselves, and you don’t necessarily have to use them for their original purpose. Here’s a list of some of my favorite sources:
  • Flea Markets: My local fave is the Long Beach Flea Market.
  • Local Estate Sales: You can find one near you at That’s where I found my two fabulous Hollywood Regency chairs for under $200. Yes, TOTAL!
  • Vintage/Antique Malls: My favorite local one is the Magnolia Vintage Home, located in La Habra. It’s sort of like an every day flea market– super affordable, you can haggle, and new things all the time!
  • Big Box Stores: Target, Living Spaces, and Ikea. Target as we all know has a little bit of everything and has gotten pretty stylish lately. Living Spaces (where I got my couch and bed frame) has extremely affordable and sturdy furniture and you can check out their clearance room for even better deals. IKEA is great for organizational things and all the basics.
  • Online Shopping: The world is your oyster but make sure you’re buying from reputable sources. My favorites have been Amazon (where I got my cow rug and mattress), Tempaper for temporary wallpaper, Etsy for handmade touches, and CafePress for items printed with pretty much anything you could want on them.

Happy nesting! Alexandra
happiness and productivity
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How do you make your space work for you? Share your design tips for increasing your happiness and productivity with us below!

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