Once the bustle of the holidays is past, I often find myself indulging in a little dreaming about how I might make my home better. A new paint color for the laundry room? New tile in the sun porch?
Maybe I’ll resolve to finally paint over the Cleveland Indians colors in my son’s bedroom or update the guest bathroom with the awful cabbage-rose border.
How about you?
Your home-improvement resolutions don’t need to be big projects.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Edit. Most of us have too much stuff. We accumulate things little by little, and before you know it, our rooms are cluttered, physically or visually or both.
The cure is editing. Empty the room of everything except the big pieces of furniture, and then put back only the things you really like or need. You might be surprised at how many possessions you can easily do without, and how much better the room looks without them.
Explore. When you live in a home long enough, you stop seeing it the way visitors do. You no longer notice nicks in the woodwork or rust on the registers.
Walk around your house and look for all the little things that need to be painted, replaced or otherwise attended to. Take a notebook to write down what needs doing, then make a to-do list that you can tackle one chore at a time.
Pin. If you haven’t discovered Pinterest, check it out. The social media site (www.pinterest.com) is a virtual bulletin board where users “pin” ideas.
It’s not just about home decorating, but that’s what I like most. I love poring over the pictures, and I almost always come away inspired.
When you find something you like, you pin it to a board you’ve created. I have boards full of ideas for rooms in my house, fireplace mantel decorations, craft projects, organizing tips.
File. Creating a design file is sort of the manual version of Pinterest.
A design file is just a place to gather photos and information that inspire you. I use a plain old file folder, but a binder or shoebox would work just as well.
When you come across something you like – a picture in a magazine, a paint chip, a swatch of fabric – put it in the file. It doesn’t even have to relate to a project you have planned. It’s just a place for gathering stuff you like.
Periodically look through the file. You might discover something that’s just what you’re looking for at that moment.
Paint. A gallon or two of paint and a weekend’s worth of work can transform a room.
But painting the walls isn’t the only way to make a difference. A fresh coat of paint can turn an old chest of drawers into a focal point for an entryway. A new color on the front door boosts curb appeal. My niece recently put a coat of glossy black paint on the outdated but sturdy dining room set she inherited from my parents. I swear it looks better than it ever did new.
The best part about paint? If the project doesn’t turn out as you’d envisioned, you can always paint over it.
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