Every New Year brings an opportunity to make changes in our personal and professional lives. We may make our goals public or keep them private, but we all make them to some degree or another. Traditionally January is a month of new promises, often in personal improvement which may include gaining some ground on the organizational front. Decorating is more fun when you can see the results and enjoy them, and that fun usually begins with rethinking your needs and goals.
Even experienced decorators and designers need to revisit their own spaces; what once worked well, may not function as well now as it once did; everything changes. I try to keep my thinking in a more mobile state than a lot of people do; in other words, even when a task is done, it is not permanent, there is always room to change.
This is a good time to reassess a room in your home that has worked well enough until now, but might function better. Remember, the hallmark of good design is form follows function. A table, desk or chair that has been in another place in the home, might be more interesting, functional and attractive elsewhere; give it a try.
Do not be afraid to rethink the use of a piece of furniture. Reupholstery, painting and cutting down are all ways to re-use a piece of furniture that has been hanging around the house-- too good to toss out or give away, but not quite living up to its potential. Old trunks can become coffee tables and end tables; old fashioned tea carts make great drink trollies. Don’t be afraid to use something from another era that can add character and interest to a room, can give the room a sense of history or at least a story. The same is true about artwork; move it from room to room and see if it doesn’t give another space a lift.
One of my biggest problem pieces is a large roll top desk, a nice piece, but too large for the small office it currently occupies. It is not really old, or lacking in character, but it is a difficult piece to pass along to someone else who might have the same space problems. What to do? My first suggestion-- if you cannot use it in another part of the house-- is to donate it. I don’t mean just turn it over to a consignment store or thrift shop.
Check out restaurants; they often need to create an entry or waiting area before patrons enter the dining area. A large desks with character can function well in a restaurant, holding menus, pens, flashlights, or items that may have been left behind by patrons. Churches are another place where these large pieces could find a good home. Think outside the usual channels to find a good home for a piece that is still quite functional, but not for you.
Small changes can make a big difference. I always recommend starting projects that will end in success, so start small. In the weeks to come, I plan on sharing the transformation of a child’s small wardrobe into a more adult storage piece. Give your home a little boost for the new year and change something for a new look, even if it just a small change.