4 years ago we had our kitchen redone. We were and are very pleased with it. However, I find that two small jobs we’ve done have given a surprisingly large amount of pleasure, delivered in small doses every time we use them. Our drawers have anti-slam buffers that ensure they shut slowly and smoothly, but the cupboards didn’t. We found that we could get small hydraulic buffers for the purpose from Screwfix (here). It took only about 30 minutes to fit them to all the cupboard doors, and ever since they have closed quietly and gently, and for the first year or so it pleased me a little bit every time. More recently we created the same ‘small pleasures’ feeling by finally putting some proper wooden drawer organizers into two of the drawers that had kitchen utensils and cutlery in, to replace a couple of plastic organisers that we had lobbed in there when we first had the kitchen. We got them from Ikea, but had to reduce the length a bit to fit the keller units we have. With that done, they fit beautifully, and everything is much more accessible and neat.
Another example is a feature of the new boiler that we put in last year. We wanted the outlet for the new boiler to be through the roof, so that we did not have a condensate plume drifting across the front of the house. When we asked British Gas for a quote, they just said that they wouldn’t put a flue through the roof at all – all too much like hard work, or risky, I guess. But, we were pretty sure what we wanted, so persevered (not with BG), and put in a roof flue exit. Now, every slightly cold or damp morning I see the edge of the condensate plume if I look up, and each time it reminds me of how we persisted, and pleases me.
These changes were relatively small, and are things that we had to do ourselves, and are seen daily. The combination gives little pleasing reminders for a long period, and I think it lifts the spirit as much as some larger stuff does, and possibly for a longer period.