December 28, 2010

Refreshen Your Home for the New Year

Today I visited one of my favorite places for design inspiration online, Williams Sonoma Home.  In their Design Series Center, Monelle Totah, shares new ideas to refreshen your home for the new year.  I absolutely loved everything she shared about simple touches that make a big difference in the months of January and February, and I'm looking forward to following her advice.  Get inspired!

Read her full Bio at Williams Sonoma Home.

Monelle on Refreshing Your Home

"You don't have to completely redecorate to reinvigorate your space...Flowers can totally change the feel of a space, and they really help enliven your home in the dead of winter."

Play with accessories. You don't have to completely redecorate to reinvigorate your space. Buying new accent pillows can have major impact on a room. Hanging a light-reflecting mirror has a brightening effect, which is especially important when it's cold and dreary outside. A new piece of art can also be transformative. Another easy trick: create a tableau for a mantle or side table. Pick a color scheme–lately, blue and white is one of our favorites–and gather objects in that palette to group together and form a little display. It's a great way to utilize what you already have, and see things in a fresh way.

Pare it down. There's no better time to edit and de-clutter. Push yourself to tackle any scarily messy drawers and closets. When it comes to clothes, take everything out of your closet to hang on a rolling rack for evaluation. Follow this old adage: If you haven't worn something in a year, donate it. Clear out your desk, streamlining any lingering piles of mail or bills, shredding what you don't need, and organizing the rest in handsome file boxes. Check your stock of stationery. Write any outstanding thank yous from the holidays, and if needed, replenish your supply of notecards to use throughout the year.

Make your bed. Give your linen closet a makeover. Fold sheets in sets, forming neat piles and tying each bundle with pretty ribbon. Tucking sprigs of fresh lavender between the layers is such a nice touch. Storing scented candles in the same closet also imparts a subtle fragrance. Separate sets by size and label them accordingly. Look for old-fashioned metal brackets–the kind that you might find on a vintage filing cabinet–at the hardware store that screw onto your shelves. It's a lot more chic and upmarket than using a labelmaker. Throw down pillows in the dryer to fluff up the feathers. As a reward for all your work, take advantage of all the fabulous white sales that occur at the beginning of each year. Fitted sheets wear out so much faster than flat ones, and now's the time to stock up on extras.

Mix in some greens. Flowers can totally change the feel of a space, and they really help enliven your home in the dead of winter. Any kind of flowering branch or seasonal flower will do. Bay leaf wreaths are perfectly suitable for year-round use, not only adding a nice bit of greenery but an amazing fragrance too. Force-planting bulbs like paperwhites in ginger jars or clear glass vessels is a lovely wintertime ritual–it's so fun to watch as the buds start to sprout, and they're a welcome, optimistic reminder that spring is coming.

Play host. January and February are great months for entertaining. There's nothing like having company over to push you to spruce up your home. We love the idea of serving a big pot of gumbo or cracked crabs for a casual, cozy dinner party. Even if you're cooking something simple, having guests is a wonderful excuse to take out your china and silver and set a beautiful table.


  1. I love all those ideas. Just finished putting away all the wrapping mess and bought fresh flowers and plants!
    Mary Ann

  2. LOVE all of that advice. Funny . . .trying to figure out what to do with my throw pillows. I have such a hard time with picking out new ones. And I love the idea of fresh flowers and entertaining! happy new year

  3. This is truly some great advice. Thanks for posting! I hope you have a wonderful New Year!!!

  4. Thanks so sharing those fabulous ideas! I need to put those in action.


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