Happy Rooms

By Kate Riley August 19, 2013

Hello friends. We had a lovely dinner on Saturday and I finished painting and tiling the other half of the hall bathroom. I’ll post some pictures tomorrow. Today I wanted to share some inspiration I’ve collected for a few weeks: images gathered from family homes that pop out at me because they just feel warm and happy.

For those of us that love interior design, we look at hundreds of images a week perhaps even thousands if you’re on Pinterest and the style of the spaces vary greatly. The following rooms are happy rooms in my eyes because of the color, quirk, or personality present.

sara hicks entry via decor8

Sara Hicks Malone via Decor8


A rug can completely change the feel of a space. Soft and neutral would be pretty of course but the playful stripes in this rug bring this work space to life. Have you considered a brighter rug in your home?

bright striped rug bhg

Better Homes & Gardens


I’ve shared another version of this dining nook before, but I keep coming back to it because of the colorful chairs, the medley of fun fabrics, and the personal gallery of photographs on the wall, such a happy inviting place to sit.

happy home 2

The Design Files


A skateboard and brass birds and mod fabrics = happy.

happy home 1


A rainbow of dishes and a grouping of mismatched painted stools = happy.

colorful kitchen accents katie did

via Katie Did


Update the family piano with metallic cowhide and hang a peacock mirror above like Krista to make your living space happy.

piano kikis list

Kiki’s List


Why yes you should pair an antique chest with your quirky lamp and eclectic art.

chest and peacock blue wall

via Sisters Guild


Art that expresses emotion and a turquoise geometric on a reading chair = happy.

turquoise chair kerry hanson

Kerry Hanson


A brightly painted hall tree will guarantee your entry is happy.

painted hall tree bhg

Better Homes & Gardens


Sunshine yellow beds and a polka dot wall make a kids room happy.

yellow beds and polka dot wall



Bold & bright green trim = very happy.

green painted trim justina blakeney

Justina Blakeney


An eclectic play kitchen + family portrait = happy.

play space sarah sandige

Lovely Chaos


Colorful art + gumballs + markers = so very happy.

watercolor painting meg duerksen

Meg Duerksen


More than anything when decorating your home, let it reflect your personality because that’s what will make it happy. Fill it with color in small or large doses. Be daring and different. Paint your trim, swap your neutral rug for a brighter one, hang colorful art that you love just because. Throw out all the rules you’ve ever read on how a space “should” look at instead make it one that just makes you smile every time you see it.

What elements do you think make a room happy?



  1. These are all great choices. Typically anything well designed with bright colors makes me happy, huge windows (lots of natural light), but I love many types of design. Love what you said at the end about decorating like you. My advice has always been to others to design what you love and leave the rules behind. Dorothy Draper said it best, “if it looks right it is right.”

  2. It really is amazing how your surroundings can effect your mood, I find it fascinating. All of those rooms really (truly) did put a smile on my face. They are bold, beautiful and don’t take themselves too seriously. I love them all.

  3. Great inspiration here, Kate! I have always been a fan of color but feel like I have made a lot of mistakes when I made selections on my own. My current space is fairly neutral although I have some chartreuse mixed in so it is not totally boring.
    I clicked over to Meg Duerksen’s site – loved the colorful art! My college age daughter has bright colors. She may get a colorful surprise to hang on her wall!

  4. Lots of green plants. Everywhere I’ve lived, I’ve tried to find some way to make some kind of plant live in every room. It makes all the difference.

  5. I’m totally with you on using bright colors. They totally make me HAPPY :)
    The bright green trim had me at “hello” – thanks for sharing!


  6. A happy room for me contains something soft and warm, something old and comfortable, my favorite colors, books, and a cat.

  7. Happy to me is expressed in many of these rooms….family photos, mementos (ie those framed kids swimsuits) and kids artwork framed as a masterpiece and a little surprise like that metallic cowhide piano bench…love it all!

  8. I am tickled to see some banquette seating and the judicial use of happy colors for a change! Yay! Although I am such a “MY HOme Is Filled With Neutrals” sort of guy, this does my heart good!

    More banquette seating please. I need some inspiration for my breakfast room!

    Keep u the great work!

  9. I love the amethyst amore sheer curtains. Too bad I don’t have a purple room to put them in.

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