“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” — Oprah Winfrey
While Oprah probably said this in reference to self-improvement, why not take her quote and apply it to home improvement? We’ve put together five design resolutions to help you get your home’s design just right in 2016. Read on.
1. I resolve to declutter.
Have you ever wondered what it is that makes the homes we feature on Freshome look so good? Here’s a secret: It’s the lack of clutter and tchotchkes. If your home is more reminiscent of an antique mall, it’s time for a clutter intervention.
Go over every surface in every area. If the task is too overwhelming, ask your best buds to come over and help you make these tough choices. Depending on the level of clutter in your home, you may owe your friends for life, so choose who comes over wisely.
Make three boxes or piles: donate, discard or decorate. Decide quickly where each item should go so you don’t overthink it; be ruthless in your decisions. Your decorate pile should be the smallest. Discard and donate anything you don’t love (or have a good reason to keep).
Show no mercy to anything that is broken or has seen better days; if you really cared, you would have fixed it by now. Packrats, don’t start shopping for replacement items yet. Make it a rule of thumb to discard or donate one item for every new thing you bring home.
2. I resolve to add color.
Mocha, vanilla, cappuccino and latte are great coffee drinks, but boring furniture and design colors. For 2016, get into the mindset that beiges and off-whites are not colors; they are what’s on the wall when you’ve given up on life. Even bright white is more contemporary and bold.
One of the fastest and cheapest ways to transform your home is by adding color. Paint a wall (or several). Add some removable wallpaper somewhere. Or get a new sofa slipcover, bold throw pillows or a rug with an interesting color or pattern to update your space.
3. I resolve to make grown-up design choices.
When we say grown-up, we don’t mean Great-Aunt Thelma grown-up. It’s time to make more sophisticated choices, like getting rid of the tired leather sofa that has been a hand-me-down since the 1980s. And acknowledging that college banners are not considered wall art. (Ever.)
Some other ideas for making grown-up design choices include:
- Investing in quality furniture — or living with less until you can.
- Moving your Beanie Baby collection from the living room to a storage closet.
- Using lava lamps and other kitschy items for theme parties only.
- Taking a picture of the dried roses your ex gave you years ago, and then throwing them away. Hanging dead flowers is bad feng shui; plus, it just looks bad.
4. I resolve to think about the little details.
Details make your home special. Instead of thinking about a major (and expensive) overhaul, start with small, manageable habits, including:
- Making your bed every morning.
- Even better, making your bed using coordinated linens. This will require you to put some thought into matching your pillowcases to your duvet cover.
- Bringing home fresh flowers every now and then.
- Keeping surfaces clean and dust-free.
- Getting a good set of tableware.
Other ways to mind the details include fixing those little things that annoy you, like oiling the hinges on your squeaky door or adding felt pads to your kitchen cabinets to keep them from slamming shut. Tackle one detail at a time, and finish it before you start the next one. Speaking of which …
5. I resolve to tackle unfinished projects — or nix them.
If your home is starting to look like a showroom for home-improvement projects gone wrong, it’s time to be realistic. Trash that tile mosaic project you started last year, or vow to finish it this weekend.
Look around and admit defeat if you see too many unfinished projects. Decide which ones you’ll honestly be able to do; hire someone to finish the rest, or donate the materials to an organization such as Habitat for Humanity. Maybe someone in need will have the time to make their own concrete stepping stones with that kit you bought.
Don’t be afraid to share these design resolutions with your friends and loved ones who need it the most; maybe they’ll take the hint. (If someone shared this post with you, you probably need to think about making some design resolutions yourself.)
Will you resolve to make any design resolutions in 2016? Can you think of any that we missed?
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