It's a new year and also a new decade. When was the last time you refreshed the look of your home? Even if it was at the start of the millennium, you could be in need of a refresher. Last year may have been a year of caution - not too many home renovations were happening as in years past. But refreshing the look of your home need not require an entire overhaul. In 2011, take some time to rethink the design style of your home and re-energize your outlook by what you look at... with a little shift and shopping thrift.

• (RE) THINK your space: Over use of one space and under use of another? Bring balance to your home by re-thinking the way you use your space. For example: A home office littered with magazines and cluttered with books can be reorganized by relocating reading materials to an underused dining room to create a library, or create a reading corner in your great room. Taking the time now to plan how a space is used, will save you time later when you need it the most.

• (RE) PAINT your space inside and out: Even if you live in a development with restrictions (i.e. all the same color) chances are, your front door, garage door, or trim (esp. near the garden) could benefit from a fresh coat of paint to make your home look crisp (and even spark inspiration for your neighbors). Over time, no matter what quality of paint you use, it just doesn't look as fresh. Inside, why not try a new neutral (like a warm grey) and an accent wall in a grassy green or chocolate? If you’ve always lived with solid walls: try stripes: same color: 2 finishes. Even glossy white moldings can be refreshed in an afternoon. Freshen all doors in another afternoon with a new coat of semi gloss. If you have the freedom, paint your front door a new color. If you can't do outside because of a community association, at least paint the interior face of your door a new color like charcoal, chocolate, or black.

• (RE) VAMP your accessories: What you’ve had upstairs, bring down. What you’ve had downstairs, bring up. Check in the garage and closets for some forgotten treasures. Gather similar shapes into a collection. Inexpensive or old pieces can have new life with a simple coat of spray paint. This is the time to try a new color, like all white, grey, or red, but vary the finishes: two flat with one high gloss. If groupings aren’t getting enough variations in height, try a stack of books. Books stacked by color create impact, or turned in reverse create texture. Books can also be unified by covering them in white or tan craft paper.

• (RE) LAMP your space: Just like you change your accessories every time you change your outfit, change your lamps from room to room. You’ll be amazed how a space is transformed with new lighting (and only be new to the space, but at no cost) Minimal updates to refresh lamps can be a quick spritz of spray paint or add an updated shade in a new shape, color, or pattern.

• (RE) PLANT your entrance, terrace, or outdoor living space: What do you or your guests see when they come up to your home? Have trees or bushes overgrown? Is there a composition or rhythm in your garden? Try adding some containers. Even if you aren’t into flowers, visual interest can be added through contrasts of solid or variegated plants, pops of color through pots, or textures from leaves. Even coordinated decorative pillows on a back patio can expand the living space from inside your home out. Existing outdoor furniture, containers, and even your grill do tend to fade (especially down in South Florida!) so spruce it up with a fresh coat of spray paint. Even some left over Jacobean wood stain works on a terracotta pot: it will chip away and looked aged over time.

• (RE) PURPOSE (RE) USE (RE) CYCLE: Or in a word UPCYCLE! Whether it’s your own pieces stuck in the garage or tucked up in your attic, refinish and switch out some existing pieces in your spaces to refresh your home for the new year. Find a new use for something old (side tables together (but not bumped) become your new coffee table or relocate a ‘matchy’ bedroom bench into the dining room for new seating) While clearing through the clutter, let go of pieces you know you will not use. Donate undesirable items to your local Salvation Army or Vietnam Vets. Your trash could be someone else’s treasure and help them to refresh their home. An afternoon activity can be made by holding a garage sale. With a little time and effort organizing, the money you make from the sale you can treat yourself to a new addition or put it towards supplies to re-salute your home.

• (RE) TREAT and celebrate your refreshed home with gatherings of friends and family. Reconnect with those you’ve lost touch with, or make new connections by starting up a block party. Host a clothing, scrapbook, or accessories swap for the ladies, a tailgate grill out for the guys, or a cookie party for the kids. We’re all spending less money out and about. The past year was a reality check for us to realign our priorities. Now is the time to apply what we’ve learned (as well as what we’ve been putting off) and bring back true value to our haven called home.

WELCOME 2011 with the promise to (RE) SALUTE your home. Don't get overwhelmed ~ just do a little at a time throughout the year. Try a some thrift shopping this year. Try a little furniture refinishing project. Try a refreshed editing approach to your accessories. Try a new color - even white can be a refreshing new color in a space. Apply yourself and surprise yourself for 2011! And if you live in an already perfect home, then take the time to apply these resolutions to help a friend, a family member or neighbor. You’ll be glad you did.

WELCOME 2011 with a REFRESHED look!


  1. Beautiful Lynda! The perfect post to kick of 2011! Wish you much success for the coming year!! and keep the inspiration coming..


  2. Great post Lynda! Happy NEW YEAR to you! I'm so on board with all of these tips/hints/etc. I'm also in love with so many of the inspiration photos you chose! I wish we had a house with white woodwork. There's a big part of me that wants an all white room! LOL! I know!!!!

  3. Lynda this is a wonderful post with some really good advice and practical ways to spruce up our homes. Kudos to you for writing such a thoughtful post,Happy New Year, it is going to be a great one,Kathysue

  4. Perfect timing is all I can say. I tweeted a photo of inspiration to me earlier that lends to these photos in color scheme. Your amazing!

  5. Happy New Year Lynda! I love the post, it is very inspiring and encouraging, I myself am starting the new year off with making slipcovers for the 4 slipper chairs in my lounge area along with coordinating pillows for the sofa, and when I am done with that project I am going to tackle slipcovers for 6 dining chairs to tie the whole space together. I love the fact that am reinventing existing furniture with simple slipcovers that are so chic this year, and with your suggestions and inspirations, I also plan on looking at things around my house through the nozzle of a can of spray paint!

  6. So many great ideas and inspiration, Lynda! Thank you and let the re-newal begin!
    Sindy :)

  7. Great inspiration Lynda. Thanks for always keeping me inspired. I gave you a little award on my blog today. Congratulations.

  8. Just found you through Deb's award. I'll be following. I'm new and started the blog after a room in my home was featured on Nate Berkus. Please come by and view my "blog in progress".
    Link to Nate:

  9. wow - what a great post, one of the best i've read ever on design - thanx...!

  10. Wow amazing inspiration! Kisses from

  11. Where is the white sofa from? I've been searching for it forever and would really appreciate it if you could let me know. My email address is Thank you so much! Love your style.



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