Another year has ended, and all interest seems to go toward setting new goals. New years make way for new beginnings, after all, and setting resolutions can be reliable way to start yours off on the right foot. But, while many resolutions tend to focus on self-improvement, one could argue that a “new year, new you” in fact begins with home-improvement. Studies show that where you live and what you surround with has a direct effect on health and happiness. So, this year, instead of focusing on fitness or food, why not adopt a set of intentions for the home? Here are seven ideas for design-related resolutions you'll be happy to keep.
Upgrade Your Window Coverings
Every year in winter, we spend an amazing amount of time indoors, yet very rarely do we
choose our window coverings with the same meticulousness that we would a car or cell phone. This year prioritize good vibes by investing in some seriously hibernation -worthy shades. You don't need to spend a fortune—good-quality shades can be scored for a great price—but you do need to find something that feels clean and cozy. Our recommendation? Stick with white and add colorful layers through drapery panels, throws and pillows. And if you only stick to one resolution in your morning routine, raise those room darkening shades.
Purchase Only What You Love
(And Know Where it's Going to go)
Sure, combing the aisles at Winners/Homesense is a worthwhile activity on a Saturday afternoon, so long as you don't succumb to red-tag temptation (i.e., buying things simply because they're a good deal). To avoid arriving home with heaps of eventual clutter, take a cue from Marie Kondo and consider taking home only things that spark immediate joy. If the item passes that test, think then about precisely where the piece would go in your home and how quick you can get it there. Buying things with a “one day” mentality means there's a good chance they'll inescapably wind up as stress-inducing clutter in a drawer or closet.
Follow the Goes In and Goes Out Law
In the spirit of keeping clutter to a minimum, if you do decide to buy something new for your home (or closet), get into the practice of getting rid of something at the same time. Ideally, the items would be related—for example, a pair of gorgeous new drapery panels should replace a tattered old blind—but, for those times when you don't have something in the same line, keep a designated bag somewhere in the home as a catch-all for things you want to donate and add to it on a regular basis. The contents can supply your one-for-one trade-offs consistently, and the method makes the daunting task of decluttering a lot more controllable.
Photo up your Pictures
There's no denying the brilliance and usefulness of the camera phone. But with photos no longer needing to be developed to see, it's easy to fall into the habit of keeping your warmest memories tucked away in a little handheld box. This year, why not make it your creative mission to sort through that backlog of photos and actually print some for display? Whether they're arranged on a gallery wall, framed on bookshelves, or tucked inside coffee table scrapbooks, photos add an important personalized touch to a home—and serve as a mood-boosting reminder of all the loved ones in your life.
Green is the Color (not the Riders This Time)
One of the easiest ways to make a huge difference in your home's design is with the addition of plants. Greenery brings both color and texture inside and comes with the added benefits of reducing stress and boosting concentration. While the real things are ideal (particularly for filtering air and improving humidity levels), good quality faux finds can do just as good a job of visually merrying up your home.
Outside Your Comfort Zone
If you've lived your life surrounded by nothing-but-beige while admiring, from afar, others' bold use of color, 2020 should be the year you make the leap to the bright side. Paint trends this year are pointing toward all things blue and green—both serene, nature-inspired hues that can make the transition away from neutrals a breeze. If you long for drama, a rich navy blue makes for a dynamic accent wall or basis for some killer two-tone kitchen cabinets. If earthy and subdued is more your speed, try Benjamin Moore's Revere Pewter.
Choose Meaningful Art
The cactus prints, the framed word art…are all well and good if they (once again) spark joy. Oftentimes, however, the limited wall space in your home calls for something a bit more meaningful. Instead of filling your home with generic pretty things, try selecting a few out-of-the-box artwork and décor items that elicit memories: a framed wedding invitation or a menu from a favorite restaurant, a painting scored on your travels, or a quirky find from a local artist.