The new year brings with it the hope for a fresh start! It is a time to make resolutions, change your lifestyle habits, and create the “you” you really want to be. Our homes are a reflection of what we love, what we believe, and who we are. They are the backdrop to the stage of our lives, and we have the power to design the entire stage! But where do we begin? Let’s explore 6 tips on how to transform your space for a new year and a new you!
Take Inventory: See what you have
When you have lived in a space for a long time, it is difficult to see it with fresh eyes. To recreate your space, you will need to start envisioning the rooms in your home in a fresh way in your mind’s eye. Allow yourself to dream about how you want your space to feel and what mood you want it to convey. Look over all of your possessions and determine what you love, what would look great with a makeover, what might look great in another room, and what you are ready to part with. Most of us are on tight budgets and have to be very practical when redecorating. If this describes you, consider what you can afford and what you can make the best of for the time being. For example, I wanted new couches in our living room but new furniture wasn’t in our budget. To make do, I bought slipcovers for the sofas, which gave them the look, feel, and color that I craved. Determine what you have to work with and get rid of everything else that is in the way! This brings us to our next tip…
Declutter: Get rid of everything you don’t love
Decluttering your home is a difficult and often messy and emotional process, but the rewards reaped are worth it! Think of how you feel when you walk through the front door and are greeted by shoes and coats spilling out into your path, books and toys all over the coffee table, and mail and dirty dishes in the kitchen. Now compound that feeling with too many tchotchkes and pieces of furniture in the room. Just thinking about it makes my chest tighten and my blood pressure go up! Keeping a tidy home is made much easier when we own less, and to own less, we have to declutter.
Many of us have a tendency to hang onto things even when deep down we know it is time to let them go. A good rule of thumb to follow for any object in your home is to get rid of it if you haven’t enjoyed it or used it in the last 2 years. Also, if you do not have the proper space to neatly store the items, chances are good they are weighing you down and creating a burden. Our possessions should serve us and bring us joy. If they are burdening us, then it is time to get rid of some!
Get focused: One space at a time
Transforming your entire home at once is not practical, and if tried, will leave you feeling frustrated and helpless. It is best to focus on one room at a time and ask yourself the difficult questions. For example, let’s say you have chosen to redesign your bedroom. Ask yourself:
- Does your bedroom make you feel restful?
- Does it reflect your personality?
- Is it in the color scheme that you like?
- Is there enough storage space for your dresser items?
- Do you have room to move around the bed comfortably?
- Does your bedroom serve you well for everything that you do in that space (i.e. read, watch television, work on the computer, etc.)?
Taking the time to think through the answers to these types of questions will get you on the right track to a successful space transformation.
Get Inspired: Dream big
Your home is not just a practical storage place for your possessions. It is your haven from the outside world and the place where you rejuvenate, unwind, create, and dream. It is the place for you to thrive and not just exist. Sure, our homes provide us with necessary shelter and provide a space for us to eat and sleep, but our homes also serve the higher needs of family, community, beauty, love, and creativity. Don’t be scared to dream big for yourself and what you would like your space to become. Seek out inspiration from magazine tears and begin developing a plan for your space.
Create: Take action
You have taken inventory, decluttered, focused, dreamed, and now you need to TAKE ACTION. This can be the hardest part most of the time! However, once you pick up that paint roller or move around that furniture, you will see a bit of progress and feel empowered to take on more. Commit to starting this weekend and follow your plan to a transformed space in 2014.
Enjoy & change as you grow
Your home is a reflection of who you are, who you have been, and who you are becoming. As the needs of you and your family change, your home is bound to change with it. Every room is a work in progress and there are bound to be many before and after moments in your space. I recently saw a designer’s portfolio where all of her pictures showed her client’s spaces “before” and “now.” She didn’t have any “afters,” and I thought it was brilliant. We are all transforming our space for who we are now, embracing the imperfections along the way. Enjoy the process of creating a new space this year and see how your new space helps aid in the creation of a new you!