The architecture of happiness – can a house make you happy?

Recently I was reading a book on how architecture can affect mood, feelings and mental health in general (and hence also physical health). It was both fascinating and also makes perfect sense.

I see a huge number of houses of different styles, structure and age and I know how each house has its own personality and it is noticeable how different houses can make you feel a certain way. I also see this all the time with my clients when they are on viewings with me – a house can tick every box but, if they don’t get that good gut reaction, that ‘je ne sais quoi’ feeling, then the house is not right for them. Likewise, a house that does not seem to meet all their criteria but makes them smile as soon as they cross the threshold, renders everything else irrelevant if it is the one. It turns out that choosing a house is just as illogical on the surface as choosing a partner! But actually, the subconscious is powerful and often knows better than our analytical brain what will make us happy.

According to Alain de Botton, philosopher and author, “Space and architecture are really a division of mental health” He is talking about architecture on a grand scale but it follows that our home and everyday surroundings can influence our mood and hence our happiness. And while we cannot do much to change the public architecture around us, we can have some control over our personal space, our home and how we live in it.

Of course, there is no one ‘architecture of happiness’ and it would be wrong to say that in the right house, our lives would be perfect but, as Mr de Botton points out; “ for most of our lives, “we’re balanced between hope and despair … and it’s in that state when the built environment can have an influence on our mood.”

So, when starting out on your property search, by all means draw up a check list and I will make sure that those criteria are met when you come out on your viewing trip. But also make sure that you leave some space for your subconscious to have a say when you actually arrive at the property.

If you would like me to find a property that will tick those important boxes as well as hopefully make you happy, please get in touch:

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