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New Year Clutter Clearing Tips

The new year feels like a natural time to make a fresh start: and what better way than by finally letting go of some of the clutter that has been building up in your home over the past year? Read on for 5 ways to begin a new year’s purge. Out with the old, and in with the new!

Jersey-Ice-Cream-Co-Old-Chatham-House-Remodelista-eaves-bdrm
Photo: Beth Kirby of Local Milk for Remodelista

1. Create a peaceful bedroom haven. The bedroom is where we go to rest and recharge, so I find that this is the best place to begin. Remove everything here that distracts from the primary purpose of deep, restful sleep, and especially anything work-related! Get back to the basics with a nice set of bedding, a cozy rug underfoot, a good lamp, and perhaps a scented candle and vase of flowers at your bedside. Donate tired old bedding, and store the rest neatly by tucking each set of sheets inside one of the pillow cases.

Jersey-Ice-Cream-Co-Shower-caddy
Photo: Beth Kirby of Local Milk for Remodelista

2. Simplify the bath for a spa-like feel. A jumble of half-used products (most of which you don’t really like) makes the bathroom feel cramped, and makes it harder to keep things neat and clean. Toss (recycling if possible) any bath or beauty products you do not use or like, and give the space a thorough cleaning before placing only your favorite products back. In the long run, it’s actually less expensive (and far more pleasurable!) to treat yourself to a few high quality products you love, rather than a host of less expensive lotions and potions that don’t live up to their promise.

Reading my Tea Leaves
Photo: Reading My Tea Leaves

3. Reduce paper. Of all the pieces of the clutter clearing puzzle, handling paper tends to be our least favorite task, so brew yourself a big cup of coffee or a strong mug of tea, and put on some encouraging music as you tackle that paper pile! Take yourself off of catalog mailing lists, shred and recycle old documents you no longer need, and set up a simple system to keep up with incoming paper. And when it comes to bills and other paperwork, opt for the digital option whenever possible to cut down on physical papers to file.

Bookshelves
Photo: MMM Architects via Houzz

4. Edit your book collection. As a major book lover, I have come to the realization that the act of choosing and reading a new book is one of my life’s greatest pleasures. I’ve also come to realize that I do not need to keep every book I buy forever! Instead, I aim to keep up a personally curated library of favorites by regularly editing my book collection. If you are a big reader, doing a big book clear-out is a great way to start the new year. Take your boxes of no-longer wanted books to your local used bookshop to sell, or donate them to a local charity.

Jersey-Ice-Cream-Co.-Old-Chatham-house-kitchen-corner
Photo: Beth Kirby of Local Milk for Remodelista

5. Clear out the kitchen. As one of the most often used spaces in the home, it is important to keep the kitchen well organized and running smoothly. Unfortunately, because it’s one of the most-used spaces, that also tends to mean it gets out of hand the quickest! Open up all of those cupboards, and pare back to the essentials (whatever that word means for you and your family), removing the obvious junk (freebie plastic cups, Tupperware without lids) and bizarre kitchen tools you never use. If you like to have lots of extras on hand for entertaining, consider storing them neatly in a single bin, somewhere other than the kitchen. We keep a box of extra wine glasses and silverware (the things we always seem to run short on at parties) in the upstairs hall closet.

Once you’ve finished clearing clutter, you may feel the urge to bring in something new to refresh your space – but instead of getting something that will only re-clutter your home, aim to choose something that is beautiful, but also practical. After clearing your bedroom, for example, if you notice that your old bedside rug has seen better days, you might want to replace it with a new version (which won’t add to your home’s clutter as long as you remove the old rug first).

I have my eye on these beauties, made from sari silk, any of which would feel luxurious in a bedroom:Sari silk rugs
Rug shopping guide (Clockwise from top left): 1. Loloi Rugs Giselle in Fiesta 2. Feizy Rugs Sattika in Crimson 3. Feizy Rugs Sattika in Meadow 4. Feizy Rugs Arushi in Purple.

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at LauraGaskill.com!

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8 Ways to Update Your Kitchen on the Cheap

SS Life Style

If you’re anything like me, you spend more time in your kitchen during winter than any other season. So many cookies to bake, soups to simmer, and so on! And if your get togethers are anything like the ones at my place, the kitchen tends to be the epicenter, so why not give it a little spruce up? Check out these eight tips that are either completely free or inexpensive.

Update the hardware. Swap out that builder’s grade brushed nickel for something that pops! My favorites are blacks, brasses, and gold. This change out can give the entire room a fresh look.

Replace or refinish cabinet doors. Sand down and repaint your current ones or replace entirely for something new. Don’t forget about glass inserts, different finishes, or removing them all together for some open shelving.

The Gardener's Cottage

Keep it light. You’ll maybe notice that these four kitchens have one thing in common – white cabinets and walls or tile. That’s because white opens up a space immensely, making people wonder when did you renovate your kitchen?

Replace small decor. A new fruit bowl or basket, some new hooks on the wall to hang dish towels on, a few pots of herbs on the windowsill. Little things like this add up to make a world of difference, making your kitchen feel fresher than it has in years!

Design Maze

Add art. I’m always surprised at how many people think art in the kitchen isn’t necessary. Hang one large piece on an empty wall at the very least, or opt for a grouping of smaller frames. In my last home I didn’t have a lot of wall space to dedicate, so I hung smaller pieces on my backsplash.

Hide small appliances. Clutter can make a space feel messy, which is the opposite of what most people are going for aesthetically. If you have the space tuck away small appliances like your toaster and coffee pot and only pull them out to use.

Glitter Guide

Change up the window treatments. If your kitchen is dark go with white sheers to let in as much light as possible. Prying neighbors? Maybe consider a Roman blind that can be raised and lowered when need be.

Update the lighting. Change the look and mood of a space in an instant with lighting, and it doesn’t have to be expensive. Visit thrift stores or Ikea to find something unexpected and unique.

One other way to update your kitchen is to add or swap any floor rugs. Add a new pattern or color to the mix!

Rugs-Direct-Collage

For more inspiration from Kelly, follow along with her at Design Crush!

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Home Resolutions for a New Year

With the New Year’s Day coming right around the corner, this seems like the perfect time to consider a few resolutions for making a fresh start around the house in the new year. Read on for my top 5 home resolution ideas for 2017…

SFGirlByBay
Sfgirlbybay

1. Create a cozy reading nook. I love nothing more than to curl up with a good book, but all too often, I don’t make the time to do this. A solution? Creating a lovely, cozy, soft spot to curl up with a great read. Positioning an overstuffed armchair or chaise beside a sunny window, with shelves of books within reach, should make taking that reading break utterly irresistible.

Urban OutfittersUrban Outfitters via Apartment 34

2. Declutter + simplify wardrobe. There has been a lot written online lately about capsule and minimalist wardrobes. I say, it doesn’t matter so much what you call it (or how ‘minimalist’ you are); what really matters is winnowing down your wardrobe until you only have pieces in your closet that fit your body, your lifestyle, and make you feel filled with joy when you wear them.

Life CapturedLife: Captured

3. Organize and print digital photos. This is such a big one, and I’m committing to make it happen in 2017! With so many of us using digital photos these days, it can be really easy to let precious photographs languish on the laptop. Use an online service to make creating + ordering photo books a breeze, and get caught up. It will feel so good when you’re done! Tip: order all of your albums or photo books from one source, so they look cohesive on your shelf.

BlissBlisshaus

4. Reorganize the pantry. Toss out old, expired, and unloved products, and organize what’s left with matching containers and neat labels. This year, I’m making it a goal to bake with my son after school more often, so a set of nice jars to store ingredients close at hand would make a lovely (and helpful) addition to our kitchen.

Gillian StevensGillian Stevens via Anne Sage

5. Update household linens. Swapping out old, threadbare, and faded towels for fresh versions is a quick and easy way to make your whole house feel a bit fresher and updated. I love the thin (yet very absorbent) Turkish fouta towels in various sizes for all different purposes – we use smaller ones as tea towels in the kitchen and hand towels in the bath, and larger ones as guest bath towels. The largest ones can even stand in for a tablecloth or beach blanket in a pinch! And of course, classic, fluffy white bath towels are a perennial favorite – who doesn’t love wrapping up in one after a bath?

Rugs Direct Rugs

Rug shopping guide (clockwise from top left): Capel Genevieve Gorder Elsinore in Blueberry; Capel Genevieve Gorder Jagges Stripe in Steel Grey; Capel Genevieve Gorder Elsinore Mandala in Blueberry; Jaipur Rugs Luli Sanchez Chalay in Whitecap Gray and Blue.

 

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at LauraGaskill.com!

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Neutral Rugs To Keep Your Home Cozy

Owning a fixer upper is a big undertaking, especially when every room will eventually need to be renovated! My upcoming project will be the bedroom. I want the room to feel comfy and cozy, with a spa-like feel. I’ve decided to keep the color palette neutral and subdued to help achieve this look. The room also tends to get pretty chilly during the winter, so I’ve been researching ways to keep the room cozy without adding an unsightly space heater. One great way is to add a well-constructed rug to help insulate the room. There are some truly great options like a wool area rug or a silk area rug — here are my favorite styles in each category!

Cozy Neutral Rugs

Wool is a natural fibre that is fantastic for keeping your feet warm, especially in a bedroom. I love that a wool rug is traditional, but comes in a multitude of modern, updated formats as well. This fabrication also works especially well when it comes to embracing a neutral color palette. The wool fibers have a matte look, which helps the rug look more elevated.

A few of my favorite options:

Couristan Bromley Jakarta rug

Surya Anchorage rug

Surya Berkley rug

Surya Papyrus rug

Cozy Neutral Rugs 2

Not many people realize this, but silk is another amazing material with insulation properties. Believe it or not, silk can keep you quite warm! I even have a silk-filled duvet for those cold winter nights. A silk rug will definitely be a higher price point, but the gorgeous, elevated sheen of the fiber cannot be ignored. The look is also a little bit more traditional, which encourages a fun mix-and-match look for styles.

A few of my favorite options:

Nourison beige rug

Nourison silk elements rug

Nourison silk elements rug

Capel Williamsburg Linc rug

 

Which option is your favorite? Tell us in the comments!

 

For more inspiration from Joanna, follow along with her at Jojotastic!

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