Health

Does renovating make you happy?

Change is good right? So they say, although truthfully oftentimes change is quite scary (think sudden job loss or moving to a new city) or sad and depressing (splitting from a long-time partner or the death of a loved one).

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Change is good right? So they say, although truthfully oftentimes change is quite scary (think sudden job loss or moving to a new city) or sad and depressing (splitting from a long-time partner or the death of a loved one).

There’s a lot of change going on in my house lately, in the form of renovations. First up was my living room, which warranted a full neutral repaint and the introduction of a bright orange wall. We’ve lived in the house for eight years now and as pictures got hung and rehung around our main floor, and furniture got thrown up on (literally — a child at my son’s last birthday party, then my son last month), it was more than time for a fresh start. So new furniture followed in the form of a swank silver couch and funky TV bench, plus a lovely and bright hanging light over our dining table. Redecorating came next (including this cool idea from Chatelaine to show off your books — I did #4) plus some rearranging, and it leaves me happy in what feels like a fresh new (and toy-free!) living space again.  

And now as I write this I’m hearing a lot of drilling, banging, knocking, hammering and clanking in the upper level of my house. And my old, ugly bathroom lies mostly in a dumpster in my driveway. We are finally embarking on a much-needed bathroom reno, one really we should have done when we moved in and had no kids and more money. But it’s long overdue, so we’re jumping in and ordering tile, shower systems…the whole works. And while it’s stressful organizing yours and your family’s life around a major home renovation, I’m more thrilled than tense about the whole endeavour.

So is there happiness, then, in a renovation? Aside from the surprises that come up along the way in the renovating process, I’m inclined to think so. I’m also judging by the number of friends and family members eager to show off their own renovation plans or recently renovated rooms, including my dad who’s currently overhauling a bedroom, or a few of my friends kicking off major home expansions. And while I’ve been writing about happiness lately on a deeper level — such as enjoying the experience of looking for happiness rather than just constantly chasing it — this kind of change, which seems superficial, ultimately has us enjoying our home more I think. And it definitely puts a smile on my face.

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