Apartment Therapy Editors Share: Small Items in a Home That Spark Happiness

published Apr 7, 2016
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(Image credit: Heather Keeling)

Never sure quite how or where to spend your time and money in your home? You might be surprised to learn it’s not always the most expensive purchases or the largest furniture pieces that make the biggest impact. In fact, it’s often the small, quirky, unexpected items that spark the most joy in our homes. In this post, Apartment Therapy editors share the small items in their home that make them smile day after day. They could be inspiring items to include in your home, as well!

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(Image credit: Dabney Frake)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Dabney: Tiny furniture

I have a weakness for both miniature and hugely oversized everyday items, so my home is filled with small objects that make me irrationally happy. The top of the list is probably the random tiny chairs I have peppered everywhere throughout the house. (You can see a director’s chair above on my desk.) I am a confessed chair hoarder, so these smaller ones let me collect many styles without them overtaking my home.

(Image credit: Adrienne Breaux)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Adrienne: A travel photo & a tiny house sculpture

The two small things in my home that spark joy for me every time I look at them are the small framed photograph of the Lower Antelope Canyon and a little piece of local art I bought. Last year I took a road trip to the Grand Canyon with my 70-year-old dad. While in that area, we also toured the Antelope canyon, and it was a really beautiful, surreal experience. Looking up at this photo on my mantel always reminds me of looking up while in this canyon and I can recapture some of that magic and awe I felt while there. The other small little thing is a piece of local art I found at an arts market last year. I made a big move (to me) from Austin to New Orleans last year, and this serves as a tiny reminder of how big changes are good for the soul.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Tara: Vintage barware scores

Not-so-spoiler alert: I’m addicted to thrift shopping. Hardly a week goes by without making the rounds at my fave spots, and you better believe I’m at Brimfield on opening day. It’s also among the first places I scope out when I travel. I say all that to say, I’ve found some pretty cool stuff— especially barware— that brings me endless joy every day. My most notable scores include the above Georges Briard ice bucket I used at my friend’s bridal shower, the brass bottle opener I snagged during the Philadelphia stop of Makeover America, and something that gets daily use— my ’70s rainbow glassware that’s selling for much much more than I paid for it on Etsy. It’s also why I love donating things to Goodwill— surely my former stuff will spark joy for others!

(Image credit: Taryn Williford)
(Image credit: Taryn Williford)

Taryn: The right glass for every drink

My husband and I love to entertain. We have (by Atlanta standards) a small apartment, but the one thing we’ve always made room for is glassware, including copper mugs and mint julep cups (the latter make for great flower vases, too). I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone’s home, but I get a big jolt of joy when I’m able to whip up someone’s favorite drink in just the right glass.