How do you view the transition from the holidays into the new year once the decorations and lights are tucked back into boxes in the attic or garage? Is it a letdown, or do you welcome the streamlined look?
Whatever your thoughts, the fact is that we tend to spend a lot more time indoors during the cold and often dreary “dead of winter.” Though the calendar shows the days are gradually lengthening, January and February feel like the darkest, coldest parts of the winter (no wonder some New Englanders leave their holiday lights up so long while others flee to Florida and Arizona).
With limited daylight hours, freezing and even subzero temps outdoors, no wonder we get cabin fever! The more you look at your walls or stare at your décor, the more you feel restless. Maybe it’s time for a change and this can be a simple, inside job.
Use this post-holiday tidying-up time as an excuse to pare down holiday décor. Let adult kids take what’s special to them and keep what’s precious. As you do this annual exercise, start to think about what’s important to you. What do you want your home environment to say about you?
Once the tree and decorative tableaux have been taken down and the last of the needles swept up, things may look spare and or like a blank slate and this is a good thing. But you may also suddenly become aware of things like dingy walls and threadbare or stained carpets or rugs.
First, find ways to conquer clutter. Clear surfaces of paperwork, let subscriptions run out if you don’t read the publications, ditch catalogs, refresh your tabletops and other surfaces.
Then consult an interior designer you can trust and feel a rapport with, lest your cabin fever get the best of you and you make expensive mistakes. Do you want your interior change to be subtle and sophisticated or do you feel like making a dramatic overhaul?
Working with a professional designer such as 3W here in Concord opens your eyes to new possibilities (what happens if you remove this wall, or orientate the entry in a different direction?), while at the same time keeping a realistic look at your home improvement budget.
Plan to avoid “scope creep”
Painting is an easy, low risk and fairly inexpensive way to update a room. If you choose the wrong color, you can simply do it over.
But this choice has ramifications you may not think about. If you have an open floor plan, for example, how will you handle transitions between rooms, trim, etc.? How different do you want individual rooms and hallways to be from each other, or will you “flow” variations of the chosen color from room to room? Will the color work with the furnishings in the room?
If moving or downsizing is on the horizon, stick with a neutral palette to appeal to potential buyers. Molding or millwork trim painted in a contrasting color makes a room “pop” and adds an elegant touch.
If you have fairly high ceilings, painting the ceiling a color can be a refreshing change—for high drama, consider a high-gloss or textured finish.
Working with the professionals at 3W design can also help you avoid the dreaded “scope creep.” You know, it’s when you paint one wall and then the others look drab so you begin another area, get busy with life and before you know it, things are out of hand with no room actually finished. A designer can help you create a plan, with reasonable goals, budget, and even a strict timeline.
Set the stage
A designer can also help you with staging: adding or subtracting and rearranging one or two strategic pieces to change the feel of a room, even swapping out furniture, lighting and accessories from other rooms. An objective eye can present a new arrangement for a fresh perspective that will make you wonder, “Why didn’t we think of that?” (Try unexpected arrangements yourself—it just takes a little muscle.)
Place a mirror opposite windows or doors, or position them to reflect a crystal chandelier. (Don’t be afraid to go big—magazines are showing mirrors from floor to three-quarters up the wall—not for a home with little kids.)
Fresh window treatments and shiny accessories can brighten a room also. From top to bottom: how about a new rug, a seasonal one you can switch out, or a statement piece. Or strip out old carpet for hardwood or easy-care laminate.
Ever notice how different things look when seen in a reflection, through a window or in a photo? Take a photo of your room for a new perspective. And don’t forget before, during and after pictures.
From a new look for walls to floors and ceilings, the design/build professionals at 3W design, inc. can help you design the home you’ll want to stay in, whether you need a full remodel or a single room makeover. So if skiing or snowshoeing isn’t your thing, just enjoy being at home and think about spring!