Design for Living: Finding Your Joy


Long ago, before quarantine times required us to live, work and learn in our homes, our first client meetings would begin with the most important question: What brings you joy?

Many were surprised that this was the first question at a design planning meeting, but once clients were living joyfully in their new spaces, they understood perfectly.

To get an idea of how the pursuit of joy is showing up with buyers in the Hamptons, we reached out to Evan Kulman of Compass Realty. He told us buyers are looking for “happy houses,” a perfect description of the desire for their homes to be places of joy and comfort to family members (two and four legged) and close friends.

When asked what brings him joy in his own home, Kulman spoke of the choice of windows when designing his home to invite natural light, as well as a recent color change of his floors from dark to light that uplifted the entire space.

Here are some ideas for maximizing the joy factor in any home:


Shades of yellow evoke the joy of spring and summer. In fact, the 2021 Pantone color of the year is aptly named Illuminating.

Yellows, from intense golden sunshine to daffodil, and delicious creams give us the feeling of warmth and wellness. They can be found in design elements for every room in the house, from faucets to furnishings, luxe throws and pillows to wall coverings and accessories.


Ceilings and windows are two of the most important architectural design elements in creating the feeling of joy. Rooms bathed in natural light and air evoke a feeling of soaring, pairing that with luscious and comfortable furnishings and carpets gives us a soft landing.

Double height ceilings, beams, painted frescoes and skylights also add to the feeling of expansive positivity.


Having a sense of gratitude and appreciation for our loved ones, for the unique natural beauty of our surroundings, and for our health is the key to increasing joy in our hearts as well as our homes.

Dee Ann Federico is an interior designer, artist, entrepreneur and prayer chaplain. She is the creative force behind the multi-coastal design firm, Dee Ann Design, LLC specializing in creating beautiful and soulful spaces for residential and commercial clients in person and virtually.