10 Simple Ways to Refresh Your Home in the New Year

10 Simple Ways to Refresh Your Home in the New Year

We all like to feel different in the new year. New beginnings. New chances. New inspiration. So it’s no wonder we want this concept to carry over to our homes. We are more profoundly impacted by our environments than anything else, so these spaces, perhaps more than any other, deserve our attention and refinement. If you want to make the case that an investment in your home is an investment in your well being, you’ve come to the right place.

But maybe splurging on a sofa or persian rug isn’t quite in your forecast yet. We hear you. The good news is there are more ways to change your space than simply investing in a new furnishing. If you would like to give your space a healthy and, perhaps, more affordable shake-up, here are 10 ways to refresh your home without buying a single piece of furniture.

1. Try a new wall treatment.

When you want to easily update your space, the first recommendation, and for good reason, is always a fresh coat of paint. It is the quickest, and perhaps simplest, way to transform the underlying feeling of a room. If you want more texture and interest, try the lime wash or roman clay finish in Portola Paints. Or if you want even more character, pull up your artistic sleeves and try out wallpaper. White walls to grasscloth can be a night and day difference.

2. Update what you interact with.

As you walk through your day, consider what you interact with most. What you touch and utilize on a daily basis. Some of these items are so functional and practical that we ignore the opportunity to also make them beautiful. Your key bowl, your door mat, your pen jar, your coffee mug, your hangers. Sometimes we neglect to invest in these pieces because they seem utilitarian, or we feel as though we can easily find a low-cost option that will do. But I see it quite the other way around. Instead, splurge on your daily living moments. Infuse a bit of beauty in the mundane. If you find something you love rather than something that simply works, each interaction each day is brightened. 

3. Tackle your top pain point.

If you’re like me, there is always something in your home that isn’t working quite right, and yet it never seems top priority to fix it. Instead of shuffling it to the bottom of the priority pile, take the time to consider your prime “pain point,” and make a goal to address it in January. 

For the longest time, I didn’t have dimmers in my bathroom. I’d wake up in the mornings, stretching my way to the sink, and instead of a light, slow rise, it was immediate brightness. What could be a slow, gentle part of the day was unnecessarily harsh. When I finally came around to getting it handled (thank you, handy husband), it made my mornings infinitely more pleasant.

If you find January works well for you, I encourage you to set a goal of addressing a paint point each month. By the end of the year, you will have tackled 12 items that improve your daily living.These don’t have to be large scale renovations or life hacks, they can be small meaningful adjustments that ease the flow and experience of your day. Invest in a quality door mat so you’re not always tracking mud through the house. Discover a coffee cup that stays warmer longer for cozier mornings. Replace the bath hardware for a more rejuvenating shower. Little by little, make it better and better. 

4. Reframe old art.

Sometimes what you need is just a new setting. Take old pieces of art you love and invest in high quality framing. It will immediately update your walls and make the old new again.

5. Circulate your throw pillows.

Perhaps second only to a fresh coat of paint is a new pop of pillows. From fall to spring, transition from moody tones to soft, fresh neutrals. Allow the colors and textures to match the emotion of the season. My preference: invest in high quality, down inserts. Source a large grouping of nice pillow covers you can mix and match throughout seasons, then swap as needed. High quality textiles elevate a room so storing these and rotating them in, like you might your holiday decor, allows you to invest in pieces you can use over and over again.

6. Update your sleeping experience.

 It’s often argued that nothing is more important to your health than a good night’s sleep. Look at where yours might be lacking, and fine tune that element for a more sound sleeping experience. Is your mattress a little soft and saggy? Do you need to invest in blackout shades? Would a speaker system help with white noise? Perhaps a bedside clock so you can finally put your phone away? Or is it as simple as treating yourself to some new, crisp bedding? You spend around 1/3rd of your day in slumber, so take the time (and money) to perfect it.

7. Add thoughtful storage.

The new year is famously the season for organization. Nothing quite makes you feel like you can tackle big goals like having all the right tools in all the right places. Take some time to consider what parts of your life feel a little clunky and how they can be smoothed over with more organization. A basket for your rogue throw pillows. A wicker trunk for your toddler’s building blocks. A letter tray for your inbound mail. Creating order out of “chaos” has a way of soothing the day and creating fewer frustration roadblocks.

8. Install window treatments.

If you want a room to truly feel more finished, install new window treatments. From roman shades to floor-to-ceiling drapes, window treatments allow you to add color, pattern, and texture in an intentional manner. And the ideal thing about window treatments is they can bend and mold to your preferred aesthetic. Add formality or coziness. Modern lines or organic softness. Whichever direction you lean, “dressing” your windows makes your room feel immediately more cohesive and complete. (Word of warning: this particular update might not be quite so gentle on the pocket book.)

9. Replace Your Door Hardware

We often underestimate the impression of a door. The hardware can be unnoticeable, blending into the background. Or it can be an unexpected moment of delight. The sturdiness and quality of the material. The shape of the knob. The ease of the lock. Upgrading your hardware can subtly provide a pervasive feeling of elegance and quality throughout your entire home.

10. Add Greenery

After the tree, garland, and wreaths come down, it’s easy for your home to feel bare and a little wanting. Fill in the holes with new plants and greenery that add color and life to your daily surroundings. Do you want something you can update seasonally? Find a large vase you love for your kitchen island or table. Throughout the year, fill with fresh blooms and branches for a constantly customized moment.