View on Design

Renew and Refresh for the New Year

by  Helen Houston


Every year when you take down your holiday decorations, does your house seem a little cold and empty? Stripped bare of all those festive greens, ribbons, and shining objects, you may see everything you are not so crazy about in your home’s décor, from the nicks and scratches on the walls to the cat and dog hair.


While we don’t always like what we see when faced with the naked truth, you may come to look forward to this eyes-wide-open time of year because it spurs us to make much-needed changes in our homes. The quieter winter months are the perfect time for many of us to re-evaluate our home’s interior and make some changes.


But where do you start? Here are some ideas for refreshing your home for the New Year.


Approach your home with fresh eyes. We get emotionally attached to the way our homes look, from the floorplan to the furnishings, so it’s often hard for us to see it through new eyes and imagine changes. So, start with clearing out a room you want to rework. Declutter. Move furniture out of the space. Do whatever it takes to clear your mind and see the room as a blank slate.


Create a palette you can build upon. Does your home’s current palette allow you enough flexibility to make changes when you want? Or, are you locked in to a color scheme that you no longer love? Start your home with a neutral palette, which acts like a blank canvas. When you go more neutral in your flooring and walls, for example, it allows you the freedom to go many different directions with your furniture, fabrics, and accents.


Freshen up your paint. Paint has the power to completely transform the look of a space. Every January, do a touch up. You will be amazed by how much brighter and cleaner your home looks with a fresh coat. Your home is the same, whether you are repainting with the same colors or going in a brand-new direction. Consider selecting a color you like, then have it mixed in a light, medium, and darker version. You will like how using variations in one tone helps the rooms flow one into the other.


Update your furnishings. Take an honest look at your furniture. Do you love it? Is it in good shape? How well does each piece work in your newly freshened space? Maybe this is the time to replace a piece or two. Adding an upholstered ottoman is a great way to give a room a B12 shot. If you have a favorite comfy but worn-out chair, get it reupholstered in a fresh new fabric. Or perhaps all you need is a new set of accent pillows on your sofa and chairs.


Create drama. We all need a little drama in our lives, don’t we? Always makes sure each room has a little “shock and awe.”  When you bring in height, drama follows. Varying texture with big decorative pieces such as urns with organic elements always fits the bill.


Make your room sing with artwork, area rugs, and accents. Art and rugs can make or break your home design. You can have all the best furniture in the world, but if you have the wrong art and rugs, you can ruin it. Great art sets off a room. The art and rugs you pick need to speak to you, because they are at the heart of the space you are creating. You have to be passionate about them. Never, ever buy a piece of art you aren’t crazy about just because the colors work over your sofa. Similarly, select accents that reflect your personality and interests, that tell your family’s story. Remember, use a light hand when working with a theme. If you overdo, you spoil the effect. So, edit yourself mercilessly.


Don’t be in a rush. When you get in a hurry to redo a room, you make mistakes. Take your time determining your vision for your entire home and the space you’re focusing on. Instead of picking up pieces for the room here and there, create a master plan, then be purposeful about finding the individual elements that will bring it to life. Work with swatches and select the window treatments, upholstered furniture, pillows, trim, and bedding so the fabrics work well together throughout the entire house.
For more information, contact Helen at Hues & Vues located at: 350 Falcon Ridge Parkway Bldg. 100, or call (702) 346-0246.

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