I've just recently finished reading Happier at Home, by Gretchen Rubin. She's most well-known for writing The Happiness Project, which I'm going to have to go back and read now. Her writing is great - accessible but not dumbed down - and I really love some of the philosophies she's come to live by, such as being aware that not everything that will make you happier overall will do so in the short term. She's talking about things like making sure you're all set up with wills, etc, but I think cleaning is a prime example*, right? Obviously the focus of the book is on being happier in your home, but it's not a decorating or organising book or anything. In fact, she freely admits that she doesn't really care about decoration. She does, however, bring up a decor idea that captured my imagination - that of little shrines.
You'll almost certainly have seen these on Pinterest and countless interior design magazines and catalogues, where they tend to go by the more esoteric name of vignettes. To make you happy they don't have to be perfectly staged, though - they just have to have meaning to you.
I had a think about some 'shrines'** that I could set up in my own home, and quickly realised that I already have, without even being aware of what I'm doing. The area where I display my jewellery is one. My collection of recipe books is another.
On that same bookcase is a shelf where H1's interests commingle with mine, in a little shrine to what makes us us.
And because I love nothing better than delicious smells and blasts of bright colour, I have scented candles*** and small plants scattered all over the apartment. Resilient plants, that aren't too reliant on my intervention for their continued survival. Another important part of being happy is surely knowing your own strengths and weaknesses****, right?
What little shrines or vignettes do you have around your home?
*I just did a massive tidy-up in preparation for the cleaner coming. It wasn't how I wanted to spend an hour of my morning, but I'm so looking forward to relaxing in a clean and organised home tonight!
**That word always makes me think of a little corner with burning candles, and a photo, and maybe a little statue of Mary, or something. That wouldn't make me happy.
***Lemon, lavender, and neroli at the moment - light, fresh scents in honour of spring.
****One of my weaknesses is keeping things alive.