Home Resolutions

Five easy ways to “re-appreciate” your abode in ’09.

If you’re like me, you greet each New Year with the typical to-do list: exercise more, write thank you notes, and complete those never-ending home projects. But instead of stressing over spending money to redecorate or renovate, focus this year on what you love about your home. Below are some simple and affordable things you can do to rediscover what your home offers:

• Rearrange: Making some simple changes to the furniture layout of a room can give it an entirely new look using what you already have. Need to make a room look larger? Remove any unnecessary furniture pieces, such as tray tables, storage bins and extra chairs. Place your bed on an angle to add drama and make a small room feel wider. Want to give your room a cozier look? Create separate seating areas and anchor each with an area rug to create more intimate conversation zones.

• Repurpose: Oftentimes, clients will tell me they want to add onto their homes because they need more space. What they don’t realize is that there are a lot of rooms they’re not using that can be given a new purpose. Have a guest room that’s never used? Turn it into a home office by adding a desk, chair and bookcase, and turn the bed against the wall to make a daybed for seating and sleeping when guests do visit. Have a living room that’s rarely used? Instead of finishing your lower level, make it a game room or music room for your young family. Get creative and remember there are no rules for how you have to use each space. Make each room work for what your family needs.

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• Repaint: Color is one of the most affordable ways you can give your home a new look. If you don’t want to commit to painting an entire room, consider painting an accent wall behind a bed or the seating area in the living room. This will create an instant, dramatic focal point. Reveal your home’s architectural details by painting the back of a built-in bookcase to give it more pop, painting your trim a semi-gloss white, or making your stair risers and railing a new color to give your foyer a welcoming new look.

• Recycle: Go green and reuse items in your home to give it a new look. Need a new headboard? An old door painted a funky color will add a cottage chic look to a child’s bedroom. Add a glass tabletop to an oversized garden urn for a one-of-a-kind coffee table. Make it a conversation piece by adding seasonal items on display under the glass, such as pine cones from your yard, shells collected at the Shore, or mock birds’ nests.

• Relax: One of the best ways you can “re-appreciate” your home this year is to enjoy your home for the comforts and amenities it offers. Rather than going out to eat, break out your china and linens, light a few candles, and savor a meal in your dining room. Take some “me time” and spend a Sunday morning in a sunny chair in your bedroom reading the paper or doing a crossword puzzle. Enforce a no-TV rule in your living room and spend a Saturday night by the fire playing board games.

What are some of your home resolutions for 2009? Do you have any tips for how to re-appreciate your space? Post a comment below or feel free to contact me at kate@hartstaging.com.

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