It’s that time of year when the snow has begun to fall, and all we want is to cozy up our homes for the holiday season and the winter ahead. Here are seven simple things you can do to make your home feel beautiful and reflect your style. Whether you are in a temporary apartment or in your dream home, give some of these a try and see what a difference they make.
1. Print your photos.
Use a service like Shutterfly and print a few of your favorite photos from your hard drive or mobile phone. Go to Michael’s and pick up a handful of frames and mats, and hang a nice collection of photos on your wall. Use a mat to give your photos some white space between the photo and the frame for more of a gallery look. You will enjoy them every time you come into the room. It doesn’t matter if they aren’t professional photos; in fact, they probably will convey more of your natural style than if you took them in a studio. Change them out often.
2. Get fresh flowers.
You can often get a simple bouquet of fresh flowers for less than $5! Go big time and get the roses – just for the fun of it. They look great, smell great, and will make you feel great. Not just for special occasions… how about once a week or so? If you need a cheap and easy vase, a mason jar with some glass marbles works great.
3. Hire a pro to pick your colors.
If you’re not a color expert (most of us are not!), hire an interior designer or color specialist for an in-home consultation. A three hour consultation should do it! There are many talented colorist that will be able to help you pick paint colors that match your style, and that coordinate with your natural colors and the colors of the treasures you have around you in your home. Have them put together a color palette for you to use to shop for pillows, draperies, rugs and couch throws. I cannot think of one thing that will make a more profound difference in the way your home feels and how it projects your style. Check out the Benjamin Moore 2017 color trends.
4. Add lighting.
Rooms are often under-lit or lit with the wrong kinds of light. There are three basic types of lighting that work together in your home: ambient (general lighting), task, and accent. It is best when the lighting types match the function of the room. One way to really improve your lighting and the warmth of a room is by adding lamps. If you are on a budget, simple desk lamps can do the job. Express your style- find and re-purpose old lamps by shopping garage sales or check out architectural antiques in Ypsilanti, where you will find all kinds of unique sconces, chandelier, floor lamps. Another easy way to improve the coziness in a room is to add dimmers. If you don’t know what you are doing hire a handyman or an electrician to install them (ask us for our list of preferred vendors!).
5. Deep clean and de-clutter.
Clear those stacks on your counters and desktops. Chances are you can throw out most of it! Expired coupons, fliers and magazines – throw it out. Maybe now is the time to stop those statements from coming in the mail and get e-statements (its 2017!). Overwhelmed? Splurge and hire a cleaning service to do it once in awhile. That might give you the jump start you need to get things going.
6. Get some good smells going.
Find a cleaning liquid with a scent that you like – I like Meyer’s products – clean those counters good. Then bring home some candles or other scents that you enjoy. My suggestion is to avoid the plug in air fresheners, they are overpowering! People are very sensitive to smells, so be considerate to your house mates that may have strong reactions to certain smells. Avoid lower quality candles and soaps, instead Invest in pure essential oils, handmade soaps with fresh herbs and essential oils and aroma misters. One of the best sources is Creation Farms. Also check out Agrilicious. These are not cheap, but a little goes a long way. Or check out Lavender Hill Farm. Established in 2003, Lavender Hill Farm is the largest commercial lavender farm in Michigan. Quality natural materials make the difference.
7. Do something special for you and your loved ones.
Be deliberate and set up a special place in your home for you and your loved ones. That place where conversation flows, interruptions are minimized and time spent with a significant other feels rewarding. Find that special place in your home, what makes it special, what would make it more cozy and relaxing, better for conversation, less distracting. For me, this is my breakfast room. We have glass on two sides that overlooks a wooded yard. The light is great. Birds zoom back and forth from trees to feeders, lots of action just outside the window. Its pleasant at all time of the year and all times of the day. Its the best place in the house for conversation.
When I have a friend over for coffee, they choose their favorite mug from my collection and I make strong fresh ground coffee from Hyperion Coffee. It’s a thought-out, deliberate, and delicious gift. They know they are special.
Want to find out more about how to make your house feel homey this winter? Give us a call at (734) 845-9700. We’d love to talk.