Happiness by Design December 23, 2008 08:00

One of the overlooked causes of both happiness and misery is the quality of our environment. The walls, chairs, buildings, and streets that surround us have a profound effect on the way we think, feel, and act.

Some places just feel good. The minute you walk through the door, you want to settle in and stay a while. You can’t help but curl up by the fireplace with a blanket and a good book. You want to throw a party, lounge on the deck, or have a conversation with a good friend in a cozy corner.

I was relaxing in the Pioneer Cabin the other day, and I was struck by how the Pioneer Cabin Rental is a particularly captivating example of this. Opening off the second floor study, and bedrooms in one of the cabin kits is an interior balcony that overlooks the living-dining area. I imagine that you might feel drawn to this lofty perch to watch what is going on in the “public” areas below. Depending on your mood you might savor the options of staying to survey the action below, retreating to the study with a good book, or descending to participate in whatever is going on.

If you choose to socialize or read in the big downstairs space, your experience will be enriched by the sight of the loft space, and thoughts of the intriguing private world just beyond your view.

Spaces like these have very little to do with prime real estate, or the latest trend in cabin décor. From the small lake house, or country cottage to the mountain cabin, or ski chalet, these special spaces come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and styles. What they have in common is an ability to create a rare engaged, yet relaxed state of mind.

A well designed space can balance our desire for shelter, with our innate curiosity while taking into account personal preferences and cultural influences. A space like that is designed for happiness.