Small Changes BIG IMPACT
by Meaghan Branham
For most of us, January sets the stage for new beginnings. No matter how cold or cloudy it might be outside (those three days here in Florida where the temperature drops below 70 can be hard to get through), the first few weeks of the year are colored by a collective motivation to be our best selves. This often includes transforming our homes into the spaces of our dreams, and even if it doesn’t, there is no denying that freshening up a space can provide motivation for other projects on our lists. The kitchen where you can try all those new recipes, a backyard where you can entertain friends weekly, or a freshly organized desk where you can get a jump start on work play a huge role in the things we accomplish and the memories we make in these spaces. When your home makes you feel inspired, safe, and positive, realizing all your resolutions might just come a little easier, and luckily it can often be done simply, affordably and quickly. Take advantage of this energy and keep that sense of a fresh start going by doing these little things to make your home inspiring all year long:
I’ll start with the advice we’ve all heard a million times before: Clearing out the clutter in your home has a huge impact on your mindset. When your space is cluttered or messy, it’s difficult to concentrate on anything else, especially starting a new project. While it may seem daunting, breaking it down by room can make organizing these spaces much less intimidating. As you’ll know if you ever watched a TLC show in the early 2000s, simply set aside a bit of time every day to sort through the clutter and separate everything into categories like “give away,” “keep,” or “throw away,” and before you know it you’ll have what feels like a brand-new space. Knowing everything is in its place provides peace of mind that makes it easy to move on to the other things on your to-do list.
There is so much potential for expression when decorating your home, and the smallest details of a room can be the source of the most personality and color in your space. Fresh flowers or plants bring a sense of life and vibrancy, and offer tons of opportunity for creativity, whether through the arrangements, or in how you display them. Old mason jars, wine bottles, and candle jars make beautiful vases and cost almost nothing. Candles can immediately make any room a bit cozier, and add an extra element of ambience by appealing to more than one of our senses. Finally, use shelves and end tables to display things you love, such as family heirlooms or photographs, so that you see them every day. This is your chance to really make any room feel completely yours. My room, for instance, is full of stacks of books, anywhere and everywhere that I can fit them. To some this might feel like clutter, but it makes me feel right at home.
Nothing makes a space feel more like yours than hanging up your favorite artwork. Websites like Etsy and Society6 offer tons of options for unique, affordable pieces. For larger spaces, tapestries add vibrancy, while gallery walls with multiple prints allow for variety and plenty of visual interest. If you’re looking for even more cost-effective artwork, you can upload and print photos taken from your phone and find inexpensive frames to display them in at thrift stores. Being surrounded by images that inspire you or remind you of your favorite moments with your favorite people has the power to instantly lift
You don’t necessarily need to add anything to a space to make it feel new. Repurposing furniture through refinishing, antiquing, or adding patterned contact paper can make it look and feel like an entirely different piece. Even rearranging furniture can breathe new life into your space, so try a little feng shui if you feel like you’re in danger of entering a design rut, but are short on time
A fresh space isn’t just a beautiful place to dream up and plan out all the things this year might bring; it also might just turn out to be the springboard that gets you started on all those other goals. Even little changes like these provide enough of an interruption in your routine to keep you excited about how the smallest actions can bring about big changes.