Surprise is a feeling distinct from joy, and yet they so often come together. We can be surprised by the pop of a firecracker, the stripes of a new shop’s awning in the neighborhood, the particular size and shape of a “thank you” note amongst the junk mail. Joyful surprises help to break the monotony of routines and can prompt us to reexamine preconceived notions and stereotypes. We use this aesthetic when we wrap presents, line our drawers with colorful paper, or play with norms around the scale and proportions of the objects in our surroundings.

How envy can help you find more joy

How to dress for the joy you want

There’s no perfect home. But there are lots of joyful ones.

Why your home’s worst feature might be key to creating more joy

Text reading What's your design superpower on a neutral background with blue, yellow, pink, and orange shapes.

What’s your design superpower?

A yellow bench with blue blankets and throw pillow in the home of Ingrid Fetell Lee, photographed by Johnny Miller.

3 questions to ask when your house doesn’t feel like a home

12 essential books for home design inspiration

5 gifts to give your future self

Joymaker: Danielle Coke, illustrator and advocate

What's killing your joy? Take this 3-minute quiz and find out.
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