refreshing spaces for the new year project at a time

Right now I am totally inspired by this home below, beautifully styled by Pamela Makin (photos by Sharyn Cairns).  Oversize groups of plants and decorative elements with lots of different textures,  everything so big and bold, the end result so clean and strong.

It makes me want to give my space a shake up again.  Last year was all about adding texture to our home, moving things around, rethinking furniture we have had for years and adding a few new pieces (very few the budget has been tight).  It's never really going to be finished, and that's ok.  A home should be a progression just as life is.  

This year will be more of the same, refreshing spaces rather than redoing them.  So thought I would share my favourite projects from last year, as well as my top tips on how to give your space a refresh.

Top favourite change at home from 2014- the fireplace
Without a doubt the fireplace, built by my amazing husband takes out top spot.  It has totally changed our living space, finally making good sense of how the space works.  Lots and lots of planning went into this one, you can follow the whole process from here to the finished product below. Worth every penny and used every night from winter into spring.

Second favourite change from 2014 - the new couch
Again an agony of decision making went into this one, many hours visiting showrooms and sitting on sofas, measuring and drawing.  Love the final choice though.
Third favourite refresh from 2014 - adding succulents
Loving succulents around the home, and they seem to be ending up everywhere right now!!  These are a few of my favourite places they were used last year.  See how I updated my coffee table with succulents here, and the second photo is on my dining room table, very inspired by the images at the top of this post.

Top tips for refreshing your space in 2015
Start with one room, the one that will make the biggest difference
Choose the one room which will make the most difference to you if you pretty it up, the room where your efforts will be most rewarded.  The best way to keep motivated is to be able to see your past successes.

Start with a tidy, you need a fresh slate
Once you have decided which room you are going to tackle, pack away everything that has been left lying out, especially those dumping grounds where things accumulate (at the moment its the corner of my desk).  If things are not being put away because they don't have a home you need to plan extra storage and that might be a perfect first project. 

Choose inspiration and study the details
Pinterest is my favourite place to start these days.  Look back at pins you love, and search out new ones.  Look for similarities between the images you like, the details, fabrics and finishes that keep coming up.  Try and use these in your home.

Break down your tasks into achievable projects
Instead of one large daunting task, make a list and divide the project up into smaller decisions and more manageable projects.

Smaller and less costly, you may need a few new bits and pieces but not many
  • a few new cushions to add new colour and texture
  • a restyle of shelves and display areas, perhaps a few new decorative items
  • adding new or different lamps
  • a new vase and some flowers
Larger and more costly
  • new furniture and rugs
  • reframe or add new art work
  • refresh paint scheme
  • adding structural features or cabinetry
If you have no idea where to begin consider booking time with an interior designer to help you come up with a new scheme, and to help you choose what should stay and what should go.
Check out our lovely contributor Emma from Nest Designs services here.

Don't be put off because you can't do it all at once.
Every addition is a step towards the finished whole, few of us have the luxury of enough budget to change everything up at once.  Don't be daunted, decide where you are going and chip away at is as time and budget allows.

Shop in your own home
Walk around your home, poke around your cupboards, see what you can use to get that look you want without spending a cent.

Don't be afraid to move things around
This is often my biggest stumbling block.  I want to change things up but there is a lot of inertia against changing things, even little things.  Sometimes, I start by taking everything off the area I am trying to restyle, just to force myself to start again.  
All right, now its your turn, choose that first project, start pining some inspiration, and get started on making a change.

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