4 Ways To Turn Your Home On Its Ear In The New Year

Feeling emboldened this time of year? You're not alone. The New Year has a way of bringing changes, and perhaps none are as satisfying as the ones you make to your home.

The start of a new year - or a new month or a new season for that matter - is a great time to change things up, try something new and make bold choices to breathe some life into your decor.

Small changes can make a big difference. Paint something. Introduce a new piece of art. Low on funds? Rearrange!

Or rearrange your whole house. Dining room not being used? How about turning it into a meditation room, a craft space, a man zone, or a dance hall. It's all about making it your own and throwing the traditional rules to create a space that speaks to you. "The rules of decorating are so deeply ingrained in our consciousness that we rarely consider challenging them," saidShine. "Keep colors complementary. Follow the architecture. Don't mix periods or pedigrees. All the furniture should coordinate. But as Ralph Waldo Emerson said, 'A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.'

Here are 4 ways to turn your home on its ear in the new year.

Try a new style

Getting a little tired of all the traditional décor in your home? Why not throw in a few pieces from different styles and create a more eclectic look. Or maybe you went a little too modern and your space is starting to feel stark. Start weaving in a few antique pieces and watch how your home takes on a whole new energy. As long as you know how and where (and how much!) to mix, you'll be good to go.

It's called "the 80/20 rule, and it works like this: as long as 80 per cent of your interior is unified by the same style, same period or same philosophy, you can deviate with the other 20 per cent. In other words, a fine antique can absolutely work in an ultramodern space," said Style at Home.

Not all styles will provide the ideal mix, they said. "For example, Victorian decor is all about ornate excess, while Arts and Crafts favors simplicity. Therefore, Victorian decor marries well with Edwardian, Asian, formal English, and French furniture, while Arts and Crafts is better with contemporary pieces or country styles, like Shaker. But with the 80/20 rule you can mix almost anything. Say you have a loft filled with modern classic furniture -- add a superb antique settee, et voilà. It works."

Check out some great eclectic décor examples on Houzz.

Try a new color


Photo credit: High Street Culture.

Beige beige beige can get boring boring boring. The good thing about paint is: it's cheap, easy, and temporary. If you go super bold with bright yellow and decide you hate it, paint over it with something new!

"Fear of color is no reason to remain stuck in neutral," said Shine. "The trick is to keep contrasting shades all in the family. The key to enlivening a neutral room is to brighten it with several shades of the same color."

Or, throw out the rules and go as bold as you want. "People tend to get scared or nervous when it comes to decorating their homes with bold colors," said Decoholic. "However, once you have done it, you realize it was worth all your effort." Among their 10 reasons to decorate your home using bold colors: "It helps define small spaces (and) bold colors hide flaws and imperfections."

Try a new arrangement

Arranging furniture comes down to a few important factors: space available, features of the room, and scale. "Where you place your furniture in a room will instantly set the tone for how you'll live in that room," said HGTV.

If you are buying new furniture, "The first step in arranging a space is determining its size. Use a tape measure to get the dimensions of a room. Then, check the dimensions of the hallways, stairs and door widths leading to the space. This is the eternal challenge for a homeowner, being sure the entrance and egress of the room are large enough for potential purchases."

Then, examine the scale of your pieces. "To add visual interest to any space, incorporate a variety of furniture with different characteristics. If you're going for a serene, unchallenging area for rest or recovery, keep the furnishing volume in a room similar. Similarly scaled pieces are more serene when used together, but a nice balance of pieces creates a harmonious atmosphere, utilizing the differing physical qualities of height, depth, and width throughout a room. When furnishings are out of scale, you'll notice that it just won't feel comfortable or right."

Looking for the perfect way to rearrange your room? Check out this how-to videofrom Better Homes and Gardens.

Try mixing it up

Layering patterns has been all over the fashion runways over the past few years. The same idea can give your home a fresh, fun look. "It's often the elements you don't think will go together that bring real style to a room, adding a jolt of personality and the freshness of the unexpected," said Shine. "Several vivid patterns can coexist happily, as long as they are paired with big doses of equally strong solids.

In addition, "White and beige aren't the only suitable backgrounds for pattern play," they said. Keep in mind you can combine neutrals, bolds, brights, and any number of patterns for a look that is unique, fun, refined, luxurious, eclectic--or any combination.


Photo credit: Belle Maiso.

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Bob Young

Bob Young

Real Estate for Sale in West Michigan
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