We should embrace the New Year’s ethos throughout the year: Seek ways to simplify our lives.
If you’re talking about how to do that inside your own home, maybe start small. Take time to improve the key, smaller areas of your house to get you started. Addressing spaces that don’t always get attention, could spur you to appreciate more deeply what home means to you.
Changing one’s life through interior design? Yes, it’s a new thing. We’re calling it here.
Start with THE ENTRY
Feng shui that business. Your main entrance should feel welcoming and be free of anything—think walls that obstruct or clutter under foot—that blocks the flow to the rest of the house.
This article does a far better job explaining how to use this sacred Chinese philosophy to create a space that welcomes habitants and guests alike. Just know that the entryway to your home sets the tone for all of the events that happen there. Take care with it.
Continue with THE LAUNDRY ROOM
The first time I had an actual laundry room in a living space, I swear I thought it was a gift acknowledging that I had managed to please all of the deities at once. It felt magical to own a dedicated laundry area that I could also hide behind a door when I was done with it.
That doesn’t mean it’s OK to let it fall into disarray. Giving some thought to what you store there and how you use it. Does It need more bars to hang clothes on, shelves for supplies and detergents, or a super high shelf to stow boxes of holiday decorations?
Now is the time to give it some thought and add and subtract as needed. Treat it like a place that will always pay dividends if you take care of it.
Move on to THE GUEST BEDROOM
Since I have mostly lived away from family and friends, I am often the guest wherever I go so I have opinions on guest bedrooms. I know what makes a good guest bedroom: A comfortable bed. Yes, seriously. The bed is the thing.
You, along with every homeowner in the world, will be tempted to use the guest bedroom as a dumping ground for stuff that doesn’t fit elsewhere and the mattress no one likes to sleep on. But if you like having guests, you should take a little more care with that space. You want them to come back, don’t you.
You can provide a good mattress without breaking anyone’s bank or back. As far as trying to accommodate different types of guests, keep in mind that the most common sleeping position is on the side. Choose a mattress accordingly. Side sleepers need support around the neck area and then softer more forgiving support where the body curves, like at the hips, knees and shoulders.
Also, I think a bedside table box filled with essentials is a nice touch to welcome family and friends into their sleep space for a night or two. I keep the one in my own guest bedroom filled with travel-sized aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprophen, antacids, mints, gum, band aids, hand sanitizer, rubber bands, nail file and clipper, tissue, cotton swabs and chocolates.
Then take a hard look at THE PANTRY
If you’re rocking a can of jellied cranberry sauce dating back to 1999, you have waited far too long to crack the whip on your pantry.
First, toss the cranberry sauce. Then get serious. Clear everything out. Clean all surfaces. Have some fun and paint the interior walls a bright color! Replace the paper lining in any drawers. Add hanging shelves on the back of the door if space allows.
Then designate areas for canned goods, boxed goods, all baking supplies and equipment that needs a place to live other than your countertop. And then start putting things back.
Finally, be brave and ADDRESS YOUR LINEN CLOSET.
Pare down the towels, sheets, pillowcases and blankets. Donate anything you don’t need and replace anything that is worn out, stained or past repair. Then place things in groups according to items. Sheets, towels, blankets, tablecloths.
Happy designing, everyone. If you take this list space by space, revamping your house won’t be such an expensive or daunting task. It can be done room by room when you have the time to handle it.
Just remember that little changes in small spaces can yield big results.
Image from here.