Who doesn’t love the idea of a fresh start on January first? I know it’s a little cheesy, but having a firm date to commit to the reinvention of yourself — or your home — excites me. I’m also obsessed with organization, list-making and scheduling, so it’s not surprising that a preselected date on the calendar totally gets my design mojo going. With this being the first month of a brand new year, it feels kismet to be joining the Wacoan as your new home columnist.
I was born in the Toronto, Canada, area and most recently lived in Los Angeles, California, so I’m clearly not a Waco native. One look at my edgy hairstyle, nose ring and tattoos, and you probably could have guessed. Baylor University brought me, my husband and 2-year-old son from sunny SoCal a mere six months ago, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how wonderful it is to now call Waco “home.” Looks like this big city designer is happily and humbly planting roots in Central Texas.
Every month in this space my aim is to provide you with design ideas, inspiration and the confidence to create a home that is a haven and a source of delight. If you’re not feeling heart flutters of happiness when you walk in the door, something’s missing. And I can help. Having a home you love can change your life. Really. Good design changes lives. This month I’ve got four simple ideas to refresh your residential space for 2016.
First, establish an orderly entryway. Hands up if your front entry is a jumbled mess of coats, shoes, keys and goodness knows what else. Your entryway is the last space you see when you leave and the first space you encounter when you arrive home, so it’s important that it set the tone. Tripping over a rogue high heel when you walk in the door after a tiring day creates a different internal response than entering a calm space where everything has a place.
While the entryway is used frequently, it’s not a space where a lot of time is spent, so it’s often overlooked when it comes to design. But you don’t need to spend a fortune.
Determine what your storage issues are and look to your favorite local stores for beautiful and unique pieces. In my own home we needed an easily accessible place to store mail, coats and keys. The totally rad rustic wall rack was the perfect piece to solve our organizing issues and bring a sense of peace to the chaos of coming and going multiple times per day with a toddler.
Second, clear your coffee table. The coffee table is the centerpiece of the living room and that clutter on display is not sexy. There, I said it! A simple ceramic bowl can hold remote controls, an oversize tray can corral magazines, and a stack of books can become a platform for a scented candle. The essentials you need on a daily basis are still within reach, but they’re arranged in an intentional way that makes you breathe a sigh of relief instead of a sigh of frustration.
Third, pimp out your pillows. Home splurges are usually reserved for the large pieces — your sofa and mattress, for instance. While those are absolutely great investments, there’s one other item I strongly recommend you splurge on, and that’s throw pillows. Sure, there are cheap, cheerful pillows at every bargain home store, but they’ll only last a couple of seasons before they start to show a lack of longevity. A gorgeous decorative pillow constructed of quality fabric with lush down and feather filling can elevate even a humble sofa into something spectacular. A patterned pillow can transform the look of your living room for years to come.
Finally, get confident with color. Those beige walls and that brown sofa you chose because they were “safe” are bumming you out — admit it. Beige and brown can be beautiful, but I have a suspicion that you’re secretly wishing for a home that feels more vibrant, more alive, more like you. While you may not be as down with mustard yellow wing chairs as I am (but if you are, let’s be friends), a healthy dose of color can invigorate a tired space. Introducing patterned curtains or a colorful area rug incorporates colors you love without feeling like an explosion of the unfamiliar. And of course, you know I’m all about throw pillows.
Always add throw pillows. They inject color, pattern, texture and personality. They’re like soft, squishy little bursts of awesome.
And since I already own too many throw pillows — seriously, if I come home with another throw pillow I just may get smothered by them — I’m going to need you to buy some beautiful ones and show me just how fun they look in your home. Post a photo and tag me on Instagram: @lesleymyrick.
It’s a new year, and it’s time for a fresh start. Those heart flutters of happiness you desire when you walk in the door will start with these four small steps. That place you call home? Let’s make it rock your world in 2016.