Vail Design at Altitude column: Make a design resolution
A new year is galloping, and I wonder where the time has gone. At the end of each year, I take a few minutes to reflect on what I accomplished in the past year and what I hope to tackle in the new year. It’s so important to have fresh design to welcome the year.
I like to go through my house at the start of the year and make a list of items that need to get done. We have high standards for ourselves; we should be just as exacting with plans for our homes. Making a home is a process. Committing to a budget and a plan at the start of the year is a great idea to accomplish what you want updated in your house. Luckily, we have all year to make changes to our homes.
Here are a few ideas to make changes to your home — some are small and easy, and others take more time and effort but are definitely worth the investment.
It’s impossible to feel at home and peaceful if you’re living in a house with clutter. Piles of paper, stacks of stuff and even disorganized closets can lead to stress and anxiety. Step 1 to a design resolution: de-clutter.
Create a system for organizing, and stick with it. The hardest part is starting the organizing process. Get rid of stuff you don’t use, whether it’s winter hats, old jackets, energy bills or electronics. Recycle, reuse, donate and pitch. Don’t feel bound to old things — being organized can change your life.
Clutter often hides out of sight — think of the space under your sink, the laundry room shelves or even the spare room closet. Tackle the spaces and it will set you free. Obviously, keep everything you use but organize it: Use bins, storage units and baskets.
Once the piles are gone, move on to the next step. Repair shabby furnishings. The table that has one too-short leg? Fix it or get rid of it. Oil your heirloom furnishings, steam clean rugs, wash pillowcases. Fix the wonky lampshade; make sure all of the light bulbs work in the fixtures. It’s small fixes in general that make a home feel sleeker and just all around better.
Now it’s time to move on to the fun stuff. Add color into your home. Not everyone is ready to paint an entire room a bright, beautiful hue (I recommend you do!), but you can make small, bold changes throughout your house in other ways. Use brightly colored pillows or throws, add in area rugs in fun patterns and colors and punch up your accessories. Not ready to invest in new furniture? Go for new slipcovers. Let grays and beiges sit back and your colors take center stage.
Invest in art
Have a few extra bucks? Invest in art. Art doesn’t have to cost a lot. It simply needs to be something you love. A framed print of a snowy day in Vail is perfect over the sofa; look for folk-art or arts-and-craft types of art that are unique. A beautiful frame elevates a print. Who knows? You might even find something special at a consignment store.
Lastly, make sure your home is ready for entertaining. Take some time to rearrange your furniture so it is oriented in conversation groups and not just facing the television. That just might up your chances for more conversation and connection this year.
Ring in the New Year with cheer and design resolutions. Your home will thank you.
Yvonne Jacobs is the president of Slifer Designs. She creates an annual to-do list to make her home designer worthy.