What decorating projects and plans do you have in store for the new year? Are you renovating a key space like your kitchen or bath? Redecorating a well-used room, like your bedroom or family room? Hoping to add a bit more personality to an area that feels blah or unfinished, like a laundry room or rec room? I like to make decorating-related New Year’s resolutions every year to spark my creativity as I make my spaces more lovely. Want to join me? A few Nell Hill’s designers and I share resolutions for making your home more beautiful in 2015:
Resolution #1 from Mary Carol: Stop Hoarding
After many years living in our beloved old home in Atchison, Dan and I have officially moved to a bungalow near Kansas City. I loved my majestic fixer-upper and will always treasure the fabulous memories we made there, but I was more than ready to downsize, to have less home to take care of. As we got ready to move, I was blown away by how hard it was to go through all our stuff, deciding which things would go with us to our cottage, and which would have to find a new home.
I had no idea I was such a hoarder! Not to the point where someone was going to do a TV documentary on me, but still! As I stood in my basement and looked at the tubs and tubs of accents I had saved through the years, I wished I had undertaken this task earlier and purged on a regular basis. But when I was done emptying out my closets and garage and basement, I felt fabulous and free. You don’t have to move to begin to sift through your belongings and simplify.
During 2015, I’d encourage you to set aside some time to review the items in your home. If something is no longer of use to you, or no longer brings you joy, give it to someone who needs it. Then, when and if you ever move, you’ll be so thankful this big job is done.
Resolution #2 from Mary-Christine: Find and Embrace Your Own Style
As an interior designer, Mary-Christine has seen lots of trends come and go. While it’s fun to incorporate new looks you love into your décor, her advice is to always be true to yourself and embrace a style that suits you. In 2015, she encourages you to discover your signature style. It sounds really hard to do, but she says it’s actually super simple to pinpoint your decorating passion.
First, she says, figure out what you need from your home. For example, since she works with so much color and pattern every day as a designer, she needs her own home to be very simple and serene. You may be just the opposite. Next, fill your home with things you really love. You want to look forward to walking through your door every day and drinking in the furnishings and accents you’ve used to feather your nest. What do you gravitate toward? What colors or patterns or styles capture your eye over and again? It’s that simple to find your style.
Resolution #3 from Scott: When Decorating, Don’t Just Stop with the Furniture
Scott says he’s noticed that when people redo spaces in their homes or move to a new home, they usually start the decorating process by selecting the upholstered pieces they want to include in the room. The style and fabric they choose does a great job of setting the tone for the space. But that’s only the first step, Scott explains.
Too often, he sees people stop with their redesign once the new sofa is in place. Then, they aren’t quite satisfied with the results, and aren’t sure why. There’s an easy explanation, he says. The room isn’t “done.” A well-designed space includes much more than great furniture.
All the other elements in the room, like the artwork, accessories, rugs and lighting, are essential for completing the design. They work together to give the room its individuality and dramatic flair, to ensure the space is a reflection of you. If you’re redecorating a space this year, Scott advises, “Make sure to see the vision through to the end!”
Resolution #4 from Nicole: Add a Bit of Luxury to Your Home
Everyone loves indulging in a little luxury now and then. And Nicole says 2015 is the year to explore ways you can add some glitz to your everyday life through your home décor. Even if you like things casual and simple, a dot or two of glam will give your spaces a spark of new energy.
Nicole suggests picking one little space, maybe a corner of a room or one piece of furniture, and adding a touch of luxury there. Perhaps it’s tossing a pillow corded in a yummy velvet onto your bed, sofa or favorite chair.
Gold accents are super hot right now, so you will find lots of options for adding sparkle to your home. How about replacing a tired old lamp with one that features a gold base or a gold-line shade? Place a cluster of gold pottery on your mantel or weave gold picture frames into the display on a side table. You will be surprised by how much a dash of gold warms up your spaces and makes you feel pampered.
Resolution #5 from Kristen: Explore the Power of Stripes
Stripes are Kristen’s new decorating crush. She loves big, bold stripes. She loves little tiny stripes. She loves them turned vertically, horizontally, and everywhere in between. She loves them on bedding, furniture and accents. And in 2015, she invites you to play around with the power of stripes in your home, too.
When she’s designing our gorgeous custom beds at Nell Hill’s, Kristen blends a variety of fabrics and patterns to add dimension to the grouping and give it visual interest. Stripes are always a part of the mix. Want to freshen up your bedding this winter? Bring in a stripe, she advises, whether it’s a large, bold stripe duvet or just an accent pillow that features a ticking ruffle.
Stripes belong all over the house, Kristen maintains. Drapes done in a striped fabric add height to a room. Want the window to look larger? Include a striped fabric going horizontally at the base of the drape. It will bring added weight to the space. Have you avoided using a bold stripe on a larger piece of furniture, like a sofa or chair, because you’re afraid it will be too much pattern? Don’t be, she says. It will add lots of drama to the room, and, when accessorized correctly, will recede into the background. Still not convinced? Then cover a piece of furniture in ticking, like I did for my new lake house!
Next Week … The perfect chair can change your life. Come see my new top pick for style and comfort.
Pamela Krugman saysDecember 29, 2014 at 4:35 pm
I love the expression on your dog’s face in the 2nd photo! He looks so secure in contentment and love! God bless you in your new home and have a healthy, happy New Year!
Linda saysDecember 29, 2014 at 4:40 pm
WOW what a powerhouse of suggestions to start off the new year . perfect timing,as we are considering a move to NC. That is 3000 miles and much purging for a hoarder.
It’s all your fault. I love all of your “stuff” and suggestions. Now it is time to edit.
But alas I will be closer to your stores, Can’t wait!!!
Have a blessed 2015
franki saysDecember 29, 2014 at 5:00 pm
This is just the BEST BLOG EVER!! Validation!! I’ve done MOST of the very ideas mentioned…except…maybe…tossing out more “things” that I “might” use 🙂 I really am enjoying the new b/w striped rug that is a “stretch” for me and my gold/burnished brass accessories and my NEW tartan pillows and…. franki
Carla Schock saysDecember 29, 2014 at 5:05 pm
Just yesterday, I had decided to take a room and month, and start to pitch/donate and restore! I’m saving all of this great information and taking it to heart! Thank you for answering questions I didn’t know I had!
Lisa Fernandez saysDecember 29, 2014 at 5:49 pm
I love all the ideas but am sad that you sold your home. It was so beatuiful. But I understand whe it’s time to move on. Still it was literally my favorite house on the planet. I have a rule too for help with hoarding. If you haven’t seen it, used it or missed it in a year then you don’t need to keep it.Happy New Year dear Mary Carol!
Margie saysDecember 29, 2014 at 6:01 pm
I love, love all your ideas for the new year! Your new home is lovely and your thoughts on purging on a regular basis should inspire me. What is the beautiful color in the main area of your new home? Very pleasing to the eye.
Julie @ Creating This Life saysDecember 29, 2014 at 6:17 pm
I love these suggestions. #1 and #2 are my favorite. And when you find your style, it’s easier to let go of things that don’t quite make the cut. “Have nothing in your house that you don’t know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” – William Morris. That’s the quote I try to live by. Happy New Year!
Mary Carol saysDecember 29, 2014 at 6:20 pm
Isn’t it great to have a fresh year, and a fresh start! Plus, it’s a lot more fun to have decorating resolutions than those ones that have to do with diet and exercise 🙂 I can’t wait to hear more about what you all do in your homes in 2015! Happy New Year!
Shirley@Housepitality Designs saysDecember 29, 2014 at 7:51 pm
Such great tips to start off the New Year. Definitely the theme for the year for me is to “Let It Go”…to really determine what I really need. At one point in the future my hubby and I want to downsize too…and embrace my own style…Happy New Year!
Mary from Virginia saysDecember 29, 2014 at 8:43 pm
Thank you for the advice about letting go of things not needed. A good friend of mine just went through downsizing and I helped her, what a job! I vowed that 2015 I was getting things straight and cleaned out.
I hope you show pictures of your new home! Cannot wait to see it!
BARBARA saysDecember 29, 2014 at 8:53 pm
Happy New Year to yo too Mary Carol .
Thank you once more for this tips to start a New year rearranging our homes, taking out what does not serve us and we have accumulated without looking back. I also love the ideas of the designers, golden accents and stripes to have in mind in our new decisions to fix our homes for the coming year.
I love your picture with your dog too.
Thank you again, be always happy.
Charlotte Acock saysDecember 30, 2014 at 5:56 am
Oh my, the accents I have saved over the years. But, downsizing is in need. Thanks for the encouragement. I have suits that as I will never never now that I have retired. I’ll keep one or two, just in case, as needed. With planner opened, I am carving out time each week to purge. One thing I will be doing more of is giving our children items that belonged to our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents and us. Why wait until you are gone, give away to who you want to have it, knowing they will treasure it.
sandy mccune saysDecember 30, 2014 at 6:46 am
Happy New Year in your new home. Do you have a boat? I want to see what you have done as far as downsizing there. This was a great article to start the new year with. I have started culling the things I haven’t seen or used for years. What a job. I have so many collections and will have trouble parting with them. You are such an inspiration to me. Hope to see you soon at Briarcliff.
Mary Carol saysDecember 31, 2014 at 9:32 am
Sounds like lots of us are in the same boat – so many wonderful things that have given us joy through the years, that now we are ready to pass on to others. I love the idea, Charlotte, of putting a regular appointment on your schedule to go through stuff – it makes sure you have time but limits the time into chunks so you don’t feel overwhelmed by having to do it all at once. Great tip!
Thanks for all your well wishes. We are very happy in our new abode, but, like any change, we also miss things from our old home and neighborhood.
Marilyn McKenzie saysDecember 31, 2014 at 12:31 pm
I am sad to realize you are not living in Aitchison any more. I also know downsizing happens to everyone. I did it in 1988 & again in 2002, moving from Iowa (where we raised our 4 children) back to my home state of Kansas. I even shared my collection of home made quilts & Santa Claus collection with my 4 last year. Many, many emotions but a good move. Now I’m accumulating “stuff” again. I’ll always have “things” to share. Thanks, Thanks for sharing your beautiful home with all of us in the past years.
Jean Solomonson saysDecember 31, 2014 at 6:00 pm
Thanks for your thoughts on “hoarding”! This Christmas break, my husband and I have been purging. One fun thing was finding a box with my grandmother’s dishes –Virginia Rose pattern. We were able to save a service for four — some pieces had never been used. We carried them around for 45 years and my grandmother probably bought them in the 1930’s or early 1940’s. Of course they won’t go in the dishwasher or microwave, but will bring many lovely memories of our grandparents.
Robin Frank saysJanuary 1, 2015 at 12:36 am
Thank You dear friend …. Loved the picture of you and you PuP …..happy New Year
bobbi duncan saysJanuary 3, 2015 at 3:09 am
Mary Carol, CONGRATULATIONS on your new home! Saw pics of it on BNOTP blog and it is beautiful. Life will be so much easier with less to care for—I know because I once lived in a 7,800 sq. ft. home that was a full-time 7 day a week headache! I felt like life was just passing me by while I was a slave to the house. I am still purging–it feels soooooo freeing!! Wishing you much joy in your lovely new home
Betsy saysJanuary 3, 2015 at 2:43 pm
Mary Carol….I have two Nell Hill books from years ago and I pulled the Christmas one out as part of my decor this Christmas season. I was just cleaning up the holiday things and thought I’d sit down and look through your book before putting it back on the shelf. The thought occurred to me that you might have a page on Pinterest or something similar so was delighted when a web search directed me here! I’ll add you to my own blog’s sidebar! How fun!
Karen saysJanuary 4, 2015 at 7:51 pm
Mary Carol and creative designers: Thanks for the inspiration!
With the snow today and frigid temperatures, I started in and continued all day; cleaning and organizing. I have a growing pile of nice things to pass on to others. As I looked at some of my treasures, I realize it’s the memories that go along with them that are most important and not the “object”. This thought makes it easier for me to let it go for someone else to create their own memory. I feel refreshed. And, while ready for a break, will continue one closet and room at a time. Happy 2015!
Bonnie saysJanuary 7, 2015 at 5:53 pm
I just found your blog and I’m pouring over old and new posts. Love it !!!