Mood Swings? Might be caused by your home!

Emotionally speaking, our homes play a bigger part in how we feel than we may think. It doesn't matter how good each piece looks. If it isn't functioning properly as a whole, we're just not comfortable.
In this once gloomy living room/dining room, heavy draperies have been removed to admit more natural light; the sofa, chairs and coffee table have been regrouped to create a conversation area; lots of pillows were added to make the space more inviting; and a dark, patterned area rug was taken out to uncover the off-white carpeting, which reflects more light.
That became painfully obvious at our house last month, when all at once our toilets quit working due to septic problems; our microwave wouldn't heat anything up; and some of our lighting fixtures went on the blink.
Happening suddenly and simultaneously, those problems got me down. But now that these things have been fixed, my outlook is much better. The experience got me thinking: The mood we experience almost subliminally in our homes affects how we feel.
Here are some ideas about how to lighten the mood at your place -- after taking care of any major problems like the ones I had.
In the dining end of this combination living room/dining room, the table has been set at an angle to open up access to the kitchen; heavy draperies have been taken down to admit more daylight; a dark area rug has been removed to allow the off-white carpeting to reflect light; and the entire space has been de-cluttered.

1. Let there be light. If your space doesn't have optimal lighting, here are some small improvements you can make: Add mirrors, open blinds, use lighter material for curtains, put a light-colored area rug under the furniture and use brighter, more energy-efficient lamps on tables, in the ceiling or both.
2. Change up traffic patterns. Observe how traffic flows in your space. If the flow is poor, move your furniture. Place it at an angle; create a conversation nook; move your sofa away from the wall so you can move behind it.
3. Do a thorough cleaning. Sometimes what gets us down is a buildup of grime and gunk. Tackle one space at a time: Clean the top of just one table, then just one bookshelf, and so on. And don't forget carpets, linens, blinds and the tops of ceiling fans.
4. Weed things out. If you don't love something, use it often or attach sentimental value to it, get rid of it.
5. Create some DIY time. Contributing to your living space can give you a sense of pride and responsibility. The change needn't be huge. Fix a dripping faucet, recover a pillow or change a light fixture.
Remember, it's not just about decorating; it's the TLC we give our homes that makes us feel great!