2016 New Year

The Holidays are over…  You’ve taken down all the finery of the Season only to be left with blah!  While it’s nice to get back into the routine of everyday living, it probably feels like something is missing.  And now there’s nothing to disguise those decorating updates you just didn’t have time to get around to before the holidays.

It’s traditional to start the New Year off with a few resolutions for improvement.  These can go way beyond losing weight or reading more or keeping in touch with friends.  Why not make a few decorating resolutions for 2016 as well?

Resolutions, like other goals in life, are what keep us moving forward.  And the key to reaching any goal, in my opinion, is to make sure it is actually attainable.  The same goes for decorating resolutions.  While remodeling your kitchen might be a dream goal this year, it might not be a realistic or feasible one whether it’s for lack of time, money or other factors.

Making and actually keeping your New Year’s decorating resolutions is simple if they themselves are simple.  Here are a few of my favorites:

1-  CLUTTER… I’m guessing this resolution might be on your list every single year.   It makes the list repeatedly because we all know how important it is.  And we know how good it makes us feel when we actually do it!  Don’t let the prospect overwhelm you.  Start with something small like the “junk” drawer in the kitchen.  Don’t lie…You know you have one!  If you haven’t used it or needed it in the last year, chances are you won’t.  Get rid of it!   Move on to your kitchen and vanity cabinets.  I recently purged an entire trash bag full of stuff that had been pushed to the back of my bathroom vanity cabinets.  Even if you stop here, you’re going to feel better.  But don’t stop yet.  The best decorative bang comes from decluttering more visible areas.  Chances are those bookcases could use a little attention.  And curio cabinets are a great place to purge accumulated need-nots!  Closets come next.  And if you’re really brave, the attic or basement is waiting.  If you tackle one catch-all at a time, before you know it, you’ll have decluttered all those trouble spots in your entire house and you’ll feel a weight lifted.  The unintentional benefit of decluttering is that it makes your space feel fresh, clean and more decorative!  While you might not have really changed a thing, you’re still going to appreciate the fresh, new look of your space.  Who knew decorating could be that simple?

2-  PAINT…  Now that you have finished decluttering and have fewer things to move around, there really is no excuse for putting off a fresh coat of paint.  In fact, this resolution pairs very well with Resolution #1, Decluttering!  While you have everything torn apart, why not take a few hours and throw a new coat of paint on the walls or freshen up the trim?  Changing the color of a space with paint is easily the fastest and least expensive way to update the entire look and feel of a room.  One or two rooms a year and before you know it, your entire home is updated and on trend.  It puts those scuff marks and blemishes in the past and gives you a fresh, new look for the new year and beyond.

3-  WINDOWS… Let’s assume you’ve had the same window coverings for years.  It’s easy to do.  Many people struggle with this element of decorating.  It’s easy to overlook tired, dated window treatments because they just kind of hang there and do nothing.  However, few things date a space faster than window treatments.  Whether it’s the style or fabric, they actually draw more attention than you realize.  Vertical surfaces and their decorations draw the most attention in a space.  Since windows are usually one of the largest “vertical” elements in a space, making sure the way their treated is clean, fresh and updated is always a great resolution.  Can’t replace them right now?  No worries… give them a thorough dusting and/or cleaning.  Blinds accumulate an amazing amount of dust and dirt.  Make them shine with a quick wipe down.  Same goes for soft treatments.  Have them dry cleaned or remove them for a good beating.  Adding inexpensive panels or sheers to existing treatments can give you an entirely new look.  If your color palette is fairly consistent consider switching window treatments between rooms for an instant, new look.

4- ART…  Another item on your vertical surfaces that can look stale is artwork.  If you’ve had the same piece of art in the same spot over the sofa for years, it’s time to move it.  Just like window treatments, these items are easily transported and repurposed from one room to the next.  Try it over the bed in the master bedroom or perhaps over the sideboard in the dining room.  Create groupings with smaller pieces of art rather than having them scattered around the room.  Groupings ressemble “large” art when appreciated as a single unit.  Collage walls are all the rage in decorating magazines right now.

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5-  FAMILY PHOTOS…  A favorite decorating safety net for many are the venerable family photos.  They take the guesswork out of committing to art or accessories and who doesn’t love their family… right???  Well, no one loves your family more than you do!  That goes for friends and other guests to your home.  Limit the use of family photos to places where the faces can be seen up close and appreciated (think hallways or end tables).  Avoid  large focal walls with family photos unless they are very large prints where the faces can be seen from across the room.  More importantly, make a resolution to update framed family photos regularly.  It’s time for Betsy’s 1985 graduation picture to go.  Wedding photos are another offender, especially if you or someone you love has been married for 30 years or even divorced.


6-  LIGHTING… Lighting is an often overlooked but important element in any space.  Having the right amount of lamps provides wonderful task and ambient light throughout your home.  Simply adding more lighting can give a fresh new look to your existing decor.  And if you already have numerous lamps, double check those shades.  It’s easy to let lamps fall into a funk if you don’t regularly clean and freshen the shades.  Few things can detract from your decor more than dented, yellowed or dirty lampshades.

The list could go on and on.  If you’re going to be stuck indoors for a few months because of the cold weather, take advantage of the time and add a few “decorating” resolutions to your list of “wanna dos” this year.  Keeping them simple and attainable will ensure success.  Who knows?  You might just get inspired to tackle that kitchen remodel after all?

Happy New Year and Happy Decorating from Decor Designs!  www.decordesignsinc.com or 815-245-2433