It's January. The halls have all been "un-decked". The pine needles have all been swept away. The ball has dropped on Time Square and we are faced with a bright, shiny New Year. Now what? For those of us who find it nearly impossible to abide temperatures below 50 degrees, it's time to spend a lot of time indoors. This is the perfect opportunity to compose and execute on an interior "to do" list that will give your home the same sparkle as the Times Square Waterford crystal ball.
In the flurry of activity that happens between Thanksgiving and January 2nd, it is easy to let things go. Piles get bigger, new piles compete with existing piles and we compose mental piles in our minds of the things we need to get done "after the holidays". It can be overwhelming which only makes the whole process seem more daunting. So first...breathe! Sit down with paper and pen and bring your mental list to life. First things first, deal with the piles! Empower yourself to be ruthless, then arm yourself with a box of trash bags, a box for donation, a storage bin, and a box of file folders. Systematically going through the piles will give you a sense of accomplishment and the visual impact will help you to decide what to do next.
After holiday sales are a great time to take advantage of deals on things that, while decorative, are also functional and as such, show wear with use. Do your once fluffy bath towels now resemble sand paper? Has your comforter gone all lumpy? Look at all of your home textiles with a critical eye and decide what should best retire. Add those to your donation box and hit the sales. Consider whether you might like to take advantage of this change to modify your color palette and design scheme and have some fun with the possibilities. Home decor colors follow trends just like fashion and this is a great opportunity for you to not only replace tired linens but to update the look of your home as well.
Next on the list...plants! As we are spending so much time inside, windows closed off to the elements, the air we breathe is affected which can actually affect the way we feel. If you already have a good assortment of living plants in your home give them a spa day. Do they need to be transplanted? If so, decorative planters can add a lot of textural interest to your home. Give the plants a bath either by spraying them in your sink or shower and get all of the dust off of their leaves. They will shine for you with gratitude. And for those of you, who say you do not have a "green thumb", consider some starter plants that are easy to care for. Philodendron, jade plants, ivy and fern all have great eye appeal and don't require special care. With minimal effort they will literally and figuratively breathe new life into your home with their decorative attributes and oxygen production.
Finally, this is a great time of year for paint touch-up. When working with clients to specify paint color I always encourage them to select one trim color that can work throughout the house. Trim takes a beating throughout the year and really benefits from periodic touch-ups in high traffic areas such as entry ways, kitchens and stairways. Having one trim color makes maintenance quite manageable. Take your leftover trim paint and a small brush, travel from room to room looking for scuffs and chips, and give them the help they need. You will be amazed what a difference it makes.
Over the course of a weekend, with some commitment and a positive attitude, you can give your home a dramatic lift. Then plan a dinner party, go to your local bookstore to pick up a great new read or light a fire and open a nice bottle of wine...enjoy!