Rosh Hashanah is the holiday we wish each other happiness, health and peace, and I wish you, “Happy home!” to help you have a healthy and peaceful home.

Have you given any thought to what brings you personal happiness in your home?

Well, this is the time. Right here and now. 

Home is where you spend so much of your time, and especially now with COVID-19. For many of us, it has become our place of work, too. It’s also our gym, restaurant, movie theater, vacation place and so much more.

Since our home is our most personal space, and the only place we can truly express ourselves in every way, it is critical that we create it with a sense of what makes us happy.

All our design and decorating decisions must start with pleasing ourselves — no one else. We must choose comfort, size, colors, styles, textures, woods, metals and so much more to please our senses and feelings of well-being.

Begin by looking around and identify what no longer pleases you in your home. Many people believe that if they get rid of something, they have to replace it with something else. That is not the case. 

When you remove something, leave the space empty and see how it feels to you after a few days. You may choose to leave it empty or replace it with something new that you would never have thought of. I call that “undesign.” Undesign is making space for something new to come in — something that will make you happy.

As a new year’s gift to yourself, start small — make a few simple adjustments to your home surroundings. I want to offer a few Bajaro Method, feng shui and science-backed decorating tips combined that will bring in positive energy and happiness. 

These principles focus on the balance in your environment and how living spaces can affect mood and well-being. Supportive, nurturing and energizing spaces make us feel good, and when we feel better, we can be more productive and take actions that make our lives even better.

Here’s how to get started:

Let the light in. Natural light brings happiness into a room. For rooms that are darker, there are many artificial light solutions to bring the feeling of light in. These can be controlled in order to change the mood in each room. Keep in mind that bedrooms require less light than a living room or kitchen.

Color your mood. Paint your walls in colors that make you happy. Here is the best news — the colors you look good in, are also the colors you feel good in. So look in your clothing closet to help you choose the colors that make you happy.

Spruce up your space with greenery. Plants bring life and energy into the home. It is about bringing outside nature inside. There are people who thrive on surrounding themselves with nature. They are called biophiles. Think about your needs for nature in your home. Be sure the plants are healthy and thriving and are in containers to match the décor. 

De-clutter everywhere. It begins at the doorway when you enter your home — possibly the garage, too — and as you move through your home. Only have things that bring you happiness and put a smile on your face. Whimsy is great, too. Peace and serenity thrive in places of order. Health and healing need space and calm

Happiness is something you can give to yourself this year by starting with your surroundings. JN

Barbara Kaplan, interior designer, works with clients to enhance their video conferencing messages and designs homes for work and play. Visit or for more information.

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