• (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) 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 a REFRESHED look!