If the thought of self-improvement at the New Year makes you roll your eyes and sigh, consider a different approach. Instead of resolutions based on denial and struggle, opt for luxury by giving your home a fresh new look. The exercise will be easier than giving up chocolate and chardonnay.
A fresh start
If you thumb through decorating magazines and see stunning room designs that appear above your abilities, start with one feature, such as accessories. Experiment with those big glass vases that are so stylish now. You’ll see them filled with stalks of pussy willow, bare or painted branches, or even a single philodendron leaf. They’re easy to assemble and match any decor.
Maybe you’ve had heavy drapes on your windows for ages. Let 2015 be the year you lighten up and substitute light and breezy linen panels. If you’ve got lots of white tableware in the kitchen, try some open shelving. There’s no need to go overboard; just try a shelf or two. Then organize your plates, bowls and cups where you can see them – and give the room a bright new look.
Even small decorating changes can have a big impact.
Whether in the kitchen or bathroom, find ways to clear off the tops of your counters and make them look more accessorized and stylish instead of simply cluttered. A large rattan box can neatly corral bathroom bottles, jars, soaps, makeup and hairbands. Look for items like tall, lidded urns to hold hairbrushes or stylish trays for perfume or aftershave bottles.
In the kitchen, hide the big mixer in the pantry if you only use it twice a year. Replace it with a pretty urn or plant for a touch of elegance.
Have a plan
It may not seem like much fun, but if you plan your decorating projects, they’ll go more easily and turn out better. Create a project book using an 11-by-17 poster board folded in half. Fill it with inspirational photos, paint chips, fabric or wallpaper swatches. The standard paper size means you can easily carry it in a portfolio. Be sure to include measurements of floors, walls and windows and the location of doors in the book so you have everything in one spot.
Get an accent
We often have too many decorative accessories in some places and not enough in others. Do something about all the bare surfaces in your house. The top of refrigerators and armoires are often forgotten – or loaded with a mess – while coffee tables and bookshelves are chocked with tchotchkes.
Accent the top of the refrigerator with a collection of urns, figurines and oversized fruit. Do the same for dressers, side tables and bookcases.
Simple, quick changes will make you feel good about yourself and your home.