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5 Tips for a New Year Tidy Up

January brings with it the promise of fresh starts and new goals. If you’ve been wishing for a more organized space, why not take advantage of the energy a fresh new year brings, and get your space neat and tidy? Clearing the clutter from your home means less time spent looking for lost items, less time cleaning (because you’ll have less stuff to clean!), and perhaps most importantly, a more peaceful and relaxing feeling home. Ready to get started? Follow these 5 tips for a beautifully organized, clutter-free space in the new year and beyond.

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1. Get inspired. This is where all of those glossy magazines (and Pinterest!) come into play – browse through some inspiring sites + publications until you hit upon a few images with an aesthetic that really speaks to you. Cut out the images (or print them) and post them somewhere you can see them while you work on organizing your space. When you feel your motivation flagging, go back to your inspiration images for a quick perk-up.

2. Block out time. I like to think of clutter clearing and organizing as “me time”, because I find it helps to put a positive spin on the experience. Look at your calendar for the month ahead, and pencil in at least one block of time per week to dedicate to getting your house in order.

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3. Toss, keep, or replace. As you sort through your belongings, first consider whether you need the item at all. In order to really make a change in the way your home looks and feels, you will likely need to let a lot of things go, so don’t be shy about saying goodbye to stuff that you don’t use, or simply doesn’t feel like you. Anything you adore and use is a keeper. Some items you may use, but not love, and these should go on your “consider replacing” list. If you have any rugs that need replacing or upgrading, consider going with a flat-weave, like the ones shown above: their flat surface makes them easier to keep fresh and clean. If you must have your shaggy flokati or Moroccan beni ourain, keep it in the bedroom far from foot traffic!

4. Let one stand for many. Sometimes parting with things is really tough. When it comes to things like photographs and children’s artwork, it really helps to think of choosing the best example to stand in for the group. This allows you to honor your emotional attachment to the items, without needing to keep every single piece.

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Photo Credits: Domino Magazine

5.  Make a place for everything. Organizing should actually come after clearing clutter, because you don’t have to organize what you no longer own! So focus on clearing clutter first, and then once you have pared back (and only then) take some time to consider where to store each category of item in your home. There are tons of creative storing and organizing ideas out there, and I’ve shown a few of my favorites above: try hanging items (towels, magazines, clothing) on a ladder; file papers in pretty magazine files; stash things in numbered bins; or hang items on a pegboard. Whichever method you choose, make sure it’s easy to use, and a pleasure to look at.

Once your home is all freshened up, get in the habit of regularly taking a bag of items to a charity donation center or consignment shop. I keep an empty reusable grocery bag on the floor of my hall closet, and place items to donate inside – when it’s full, I know it’s time to make a trip!

Is getting organized one of your resolutions this year? What’s the biggest organization trouble spot in your home? Share your thoughts in the Comments!

Rug Shopping Guide: Surya Atrium Diamonds rugSurya Frontier rugJaipur Rugs Traditions Made Modern rug in blue & whiteJaipur Rugs Luli Sanchez En Casa Sawyer rug in dark gray & yellow.

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

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Fashion Translation: Back to Basics

First things first…happy 2016! Now, onto what feels really pressing this time of year: resolutions. I’m taking it easy on myself this year and just trying to slow down, especially after the glut of the holidays. I find myself craving calm, simplicity, and ease. Whether it’s in my home or wardrobe, I’m feelin’ for a pared down look that is casual, tailored, and neutral.

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The color palette is pretty easy on the eyes — washed out shades of ivory and clean white, softer shades of grey, maybe even a small touch of denim. I feel like for the past few months, we’ve been surrounded with richer, darker colors that are super-saturated. My eyes need a rest!

Photo Credit: Brock Spring 2016 Ready-To-Wear collection via Vogue.

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If you’re like me, it’s really tough to let go of the need for pattern, especially when embracing a more neutral, pared down color palette. If pattern is a must for you, I suggest keeping it simple with uncluttered geometrics, simple, striated stripes, maybe even a gorgeous grid pattern. This trend is also the perfect way to embrace texture, so try out a skeepskin rug or a modern take on the traditional braided rug!

Shopping Guide:

Loloi Rugs Phoebe rug

Surya Trail winter white rug

Surya Candice Olson Whisper ivory rug

Loloi Rugs Adler rug

Amer Rugs Blend rug

Dalyn Dover rug

Surya Anchorage ivory rug

Safavieh Barcelona shag rug

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

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Creating A Curated Space

Creating a well curated room is more than just decorating it. Yes, yes, yes. You could walk into one store and decorate your home with a snap of your fingers. Lickety split, you’re done. There are lots of pretty things to be found, but do those pretty things have meaning? Do they tell your story?

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Alvhem Makleri & Interior

Curating your house means purchasing home decor with intention, and purchasing with intention means having patience. Lots of it. Buying home decor with meaning cannot simply be done in a weekend, nor can it be done in one store. But how do you know when a piece is intentional? A rug is a rug, a vase is a vase, right? Wrongola.

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Sarah Sherman Samuel 

Let’s analyze this further. When it comes to intentional pieces, I like them to either be full of personal meaning or to be an investment piece. You don’t have purchase a lot of investment pieces; just one or two is fine. Nor do you have to spend tens of thousands of dollars on that investment piece. But whatever it is that you spend money one should make your face light up. Let me explain.

Do you remember that day in junior high when you saw that one cute boy in the hallway who stole your heart? Everything around him kinda faded away; a halo of light around his head. Your stomach did a little flip flop when he looked your way. This is the same feeling you should have with an investment piece. If you see a rug, dresser, chair, or piece of artwork that really makes your heart skip a beat, and it’s slightly more than what you wanted to spend, well, this might just be the splurge that makes your house a home. It might be the reason you walk through the door and smile even when you’re in the worst of moods.

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House of Hipsters

I’m big into buying vintage treasures. These unique goodies remind me of bits and pieces of my past and are all a bit quirky, much like myself. It’s kind of my personal wild card of home decor. So how do I curate these goodies without looking cluttered?

Rule 1: don’t cram everything onto a bookshelf. Spread it out, and give everything its own space.

Rule 2: layer, layer, layer. Stack a few books on a shelf and top with a decorative box, vase, candle, or even a rock if the rock has meaning. Maybe that rock was picked up on a beach excursion on your last family vacation. That rock is a perfect example of intentional home decor. Behind the books, frame your child’s last art project and lean it casually against the wall. You now have a beautifully styled shelfie that is intentional…personal…curated.

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It’s A House

Don’t forget to add in some texture. Maybe your grandmother made you a beautiful cable knit throw. Don’t hide it away in a linen closet. Pull that bad boy out and use it! Friends will ask where you found it, and now you can tell your story. BTW, she would love this! Grandma can’t knit? Well, my friend, maybe this is where you have your investment piece. A beautiful sisal or jute rug. Want something more traditional? Go for a more formal pattern.

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Shopping Guide:

1. Couristan Mesquite Bayou Rug

2. Safavieh Natural Fiber Rug

3. Surya Zahra Rug 

4. Loloi Journey Rug

Tailor the space to your personal and unique taste. Surround yourself with home decor that reflects your personality. It’s this thought that will transform your house into a home.

For more inspiration from Kyla, follow along with her at House of Hipsters!

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Decorating with Mud Cloth

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If there’s one standout patterned textile as of late, it’s mud cloth. Originally designed in Africa for use as as camouflage, ritual protection, and a sign of status, telling a story through the use of lines, dots, and geometric shapes. Traditionally mud cloth is handmade using Malian cotton and fermented mud to produce pigment for dye, hence the name. However now you find it in a variety of homewares stores as well as DIY it in a variety of ways.

St. Frank

As with any trend, there are varying levels of commitment–one of my favorites are kitchen and dining textiles. A pretty tablecloth or set of fabric napkins lend a dose of pretty pattern and texture to a dinner party or a simple date night meal.

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An accessory that has a touch more staying power, like a shower curtain, can be swapped out in a few minutes should you tire of it. Mud cloth’s traditional black and white color scheme happily partners with just about any color you might already have on your walls.

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Art is one of my go-to ways of introducing a trend to my space. It’s serendipitous that textile art is having a real moment right now because mud cloth looks mighty fine hanging up.

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Now if you’re really in love with the mud cloth trend, you might consider investing in a lifetime piece of furniture. Mud cloth stands the test of time.

Rugs Direct Mud Cloth
For more inspiration from Kelly, follow along with her at DesignCrush!

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