It’s that time again — out with the old and in with the new. Time to set some priorities that will just go down the tubes in a few weeks. Just kidding! Not all New Year’s resolutions end up that way. It’s all about setting smart, achievable goals. If you are looking to make some home improvement changes, this is the right time to do so. This week, we’re talking achievable interior design New Year Resolutions!
We all know those resolutions that people make at the start of a year — maybe you’ve made a few yourself in years past. Just as the need to make improvements in our personal lives is important, it’s important and even necessary to make improvements to our homes and living spaces as well. Let’s face it, we’ve all had things that needed fixing or lived with someone else’s design disaster until we had the time or budget to fix it, or maybe it’s just a matter of changing your space to reflect a change in your personal life. Whatever your situation, making goals for home improvement is a great way to focus your efforts and make sure that things get done. I’ve taken a few typical resolutions and given them a makeover, design-style!
1. Lose Dead Weight (It’s time to clean house!)
How do we help our homes lose weight? By throwing out the extra stuff that accumulates and clutters our lives and our spaces. Go from room to room and evaluate what’s there. Do you love it? Do you use it regularly? Does it make you feel good about yourself and your home? If the answers are no, then gather them up and donate them to charity. That can help you save money too, so make sure to take the deduction on your taxes for those items you donate. As you go through your home, look for ways to clear your counters and tame all the small items that are necessary but not very attractive. Baskets, storage options and trays are your friends!
2. Get in Shape (Hire an Expert In Interior Design)
Sometimes accomplishing our goals requires a little help from outside. If your goals for your home go beyond a little sprucing here and there, call in an expert interior designer to help you accomplish your goal. Kitchen and bath renovations can add a lot of value to your home, and no one wants the headache of trying to struggle through decisions of what to do and then find out later that they got it wrong. A designer can educate you on all the options available to you and what will work best for your situation, thus saving you a lot of time and effort.
3. Manage Stress and Enjoy Life More
Most of us put in plenty of hours working and probably wish we had more time to enjoy life. When you come home from work, is your home a sanctuary where you can truly relax? Do you feel comfortable having friends and family over? If you answer either of these questions with a “no,” then it’s time to evaluate your space. Perhaps a big remodel isn’t in your budget this year, but small steps can have a big impact. Try rearranging or changing out some furniture to create conversational areas rather than just having everything facing the TV. Refresh a room by giving it a fresh coat of paint in a more contemporary color or by adding plants or fresh flower arrangements. Update custom window treatments, rugs, or throw pillows to breathe new life into your space without breaking the bank.
4. Save More Money/Get Out of Debt
Let’s face it – most of us would love to have more money! And somehow it seems that the electric company keeps getting to raise its prices, but the money on the paycheck never goes up as much. Thankfully, there are little things you can do to cut your energy usage in your home and keep a little more of the money you bring in. And if you use a few of these tips for cutting your energy usage, you can also feel good about doing something that helps the environment.
- Turn off lights you aren’t using. Consider changing to CFLs or LEDs. LEDs, while more expensive upfront, behave more like incandescent bulbs (without the warm-up time of a CFL), and will lost a long time.
- Unplug electrical devices that don’t get used regularly. Did you know that devices that are plugged in but turned off are still drawing power? Set your computer to go to sleep after set periods of time.
- Turn back the A/C or heat when you leave the house or over night. There are great “smart” thermostats available that will keep your house comfortable while maintaining a schedule of temperatures that minimize your energy usage.
- Run the dishwasher, washing machine or dryer when full.
- For the outside, give composting a try (minimize your trash and benefit your yard at the same time!), or add a rain barrel for lawn watering.
5. Spend More Time with Friends and Family
If nothing else, remember to invest time in the people that are important to you. A home isn’t just place to keep us out of the rain; it should provide a safe space to share our lives with others and enrich ours in return! But if you’d like to spruce your home up before your next big family gathering, AAI would love to help you do it!
Thanks to all of you for enriching my life, and I look forward to sharing a great interior design New Year with you!
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