As the holiday decorations find their way back to storage, I find myself looking to simplify my home every year at this time. I think it’s the permission given to indulge and go over the top for the holidays that does it, but in January when resolutions are made this is the best time to really reevaluate your home and create your dream space. I have put together 3 major goals to help your home become a better designed space in the new year.
Simplify – In lay man’s terms: PURGE! I am a firm follower of the one in, one out rule. So many parents use it for toys because those items can over run your life, but it’s a great philosophy to use for everything to ensure our closets and drawers don’t become a graveyard of things we must keep but no longer remember why or even what we still have. It can be really easy to want to deal with things later when we come back from family holiday’s with overflowing arms of gifts and things other people thoughtfully thought we absolutely could not live without, but we know it’s better to not hold off. I have been helping people create and build their dream homes since 2007 and if there is one thing I have learned it’s this: You cannot build a home with enough storage. It is in our human nature to fill any given space so eventually you run out of storage. Adding more only affects the time it takes to fill it. Goal: Less is always more.
Here are a couple things to help simplify your home this next year.
- Let go. This can apply to just about anything, but it’s also aimed at all those trends that have come and gone. If you no longer love it, donate (please donate if you can) or throw it. Have a piece you inherited and can’t bear to leave it in your home or part with it? See if another family member is interested. We all know what holding onto emotional baggage can do to someone. Your home is no different and needs to reflect you. Not the past you’s
- Be ok with less. While we should all be good with what we have, I am referring to the difficultly of living in a space that is between design styles. After the holidays is a great time to live with emptier walls and surfaces and really reflect on what the space needs. This can be painful as we all want it “done” and feel that we have arrived to that place of complete. Remembering that your home will never be “complete” in the sense that you will always be adjusting it for the latest trend or living situation and that’s ok. We are always doing that with our education, our careers, even our wardrobes are never done. Really immerse yourself in each room and figure out how you feel and how you want to feel. Those feelings can help drive the pieces you choose to create a better designed space.
- Ignore trends. They can a lot of times make us spend money on things that don’t work for us or our home. I recommend getting in touch with your personal style because things you love never go out of style. I know oak is not a trendy design material at this time, but in Wisconsin, it’s still a staple and I have never talked a client into something else if they wanted oak because that made them happy and it was in line with their vision. Forcing a trend onto someone or yourself will never feel right. As much as I love seeing all white spaces on Instagram, that’s not me because I love color. Start a new trend and be true to yourself this year!
Plan and Prioritize – We all have a laundry list, usually in our head, of things we want to do to our home. Actually writing them down and getting a feel for costs, your budget and what your plan is can help you move from dream to reality. Some of the biggest things to consider are how long you plan to stay in your home and what can you afford? Knowing that you are selling in a year or two means that a complete remodel with all your dream finishes is probably not a good investment and knowing what your financial situation is can make dreaming of new appliances or furniture better, especially if you are paying attention to sales and floor model mark downs. Sometimes just having a bid for a space you are looking at redoing can put things into perspective. Most contractors, sub-contractors and even – ahem – designers! do free consultations/estimates. Take advantage especially if there are things that aren’t even on your radar. I had a couple interested in completing their basement and they were talking about adding a bath. All their research gave them some ideas about cost but a conversation with me brought up the fact that breaking up concrete to add in all the required plumbing wasn’t in their research and subsequently, their budget. I would rather spend some time for free to educate and explore your ideas so that a project is done right. Goal: Put together a plan for your dream house.
Step Outside the Box – A new year can have a new look and your home is no different. Pushing your comfort zone a little can be scary, but also very rewarding. Try out a new color whether it’s just in an accessory or go the whole way with paint. Interested in trying out a new trend? Incorporate elements of the trend into your existing décor without replacing everything to help transition to the new style. In love with something that’s outlived it’s life expectancy? Consider recovering or refinishing a piece you can’t bear to replace. A new stain color, coat of paint or even a new fabric pattern can refresh your current comforts. Even embracing something you hate about your home can be an exercise in creativity. My entire job is making things that don’t work function better or disappear. Sometimes you aren’t able to remove that eyesore but once you accept that you cannot take a sledgehammer to a load bearing wall, it may become your favorite focal point. Goal: Try something new!
Good luck with your goals and please remember we are always here for a free consultation and as much or as little design help as you need. Happy 2019!