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The new year opens a parade of resolutions we apply to improving our home life. So, we make lists of intentional commitments only to be overwhelmed a few weeks later. You can avoid disappointment by focusing on just a few simple tasks that require little or no budget. Here’s my top five!

Resolution #1: De Clutter

Approach each space with a critical eye, and remove things that are neither useful or beautiful. Get rid of outdated decorative accessories and extraneous furniture like ottomans, small rugs, occasional tables. Discard unused TV remotes, magazines and papers. This simple exercise visually expands your space, and brings focus back to the essential furnishings that are attractive and high functioning. You'll be amazed by how calming this is.

Declutter further by clearing closets, kitchen cabinets, the pantry, linen closet and medicine cabinets. Reset your mind about stuff, and commit to throwing out everything you’ve not used in the past 12 months. Perhaps toss things you've not used since before covid. Covid. This can be emotionally painful, but be reminded that clearing space clears your mind.

Decluttering goes beyond making your home pretty, it literally pays you back with the ease and grace to live with decidedly less stress and anxiety.

Resolution #2: Take a Color Adventure

You’ve lived with those museum white walls long enough. Hit your space with some bold color. Pick your favorite--fuschia, cobalt, chartreuse, lilac or orange. A punchy color wakes up your space and reflects your design confidence. Though, if painting a whole room feels too risky, consider doing just one feature wall with boldness or apply your color to the ceiling, the back of your bookcase or an architectural feature like moldings or recessed walls. Consider painting stripes (vertical or horizontal) or large shapes like a circle to emphasize a part of a room.

Resolution #3: Paper The Walls

Wallpaper is another option for introducing color, it also potentially brings in pattern and texture. Many of today's wallpapers areA striking wallpaper in the foyer or dining room can set the mood and provide visual interest where you welcome and entertain guests. You might also consider a wallpaper mural or art decal. This puts a largescale painting on your wall which truly offers design impact!

Resolution #4: Bring the Green

Plants literally bring life to your space and contribute to improved health. They recycle carbon dioxide into oxygen during photosynthesis, and lower levels of harmful chemicals like carbon monoxide and formaldehyde. Plants also draw your attention with natural green color and textures foliage. Place a tall tree near a window or hang a trailing plant from the ceiling. As they grow, plants change the shape of your space creating spatial reference and interaction.

Enhance your plants with attractive planters that complement your décor. There are beautiful stone vessels, ceramic pots, ethnic containers and wall mounted glass plant holders.

No worries if you don’t have a green thumb. Get some basic advice from a professional at your local garden center, and start with a few low maintenance plants.

Resolution #5: Embrace Vintage

Vintage furniture and antiques have the power to reveal your story and drive the design direction of your space. One great piece of old furniture can really spark up a contemporary design scheme. It creates intriguing conversation among newer pieces, and that makes your space uniquely interesting.

So raid your parents attic to uncover furniture or accessories you recall from childhood. Discover collectables at tag sales, flea markets or antique shops. Look for worn surfaces and imperfections make a space feel comfortably lived-in. You're looking for texture and patina to offset the shiny and new.

I recently bought an old Secretary Desk from a neighbor's yard sale. though it was little beat up, it boasts a fascinating carved lion's face on the front and the most charming walnut interior. I spruced it up with new brass chains and a good cleaning. By day, it serves as a comfy work space. At night, it makes a charming cocktail bar when I entertain friends.

Happy New Year

Welcoming a new year is the perfect time to implement a home décor refresh. Design tasks you implement now will bring pleasure throughout this year and beyond. Go for it!

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