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New Year’s Resolutions

Well folks, it’s here. 2010 has arrived and the first decade of the millennium is over. We’ve certainly undergone a great many changes in the past 10 years, culturally, politically — stylistically!! In design, we’ve seen the classic sober taste of the late ’90s overshadowed by an unabashed glitzy cacophony called ‘Glam’ and the more-is-more-is-more look that smacked of the ’80s. Then our bubble was burst and the party came to a screeching halt leaving us pinching our pennies and looking for deals again. It’s time to turn a new page.

90’s restraint:

Photo Blog January 4 Martha Stewart

The past five years:

Photo Blog January 4 Jonathan Adler

It’s a combination of these trends, as well as changes in my own life and perspective that have left me scratching my head and wanting to start afresh. It’s time to reevaluate, examine and edit what we have. I think it’s time to start remembering why we decorate in the first place. We all want to create a home that is warm and inviting and for many, our homes are a distillation of who we are and who we’d like to be. For lots of us, home is a place of family and friends, of nurturing relationships, where life happens.

Photo Blog January 4 Tom Scheerer Living Room

With this in mind I think it’s time we start remembering that we’re decorating our homes to create that backdrop for life, to reflect who we are, and to find comfort in nesting rather than keeping up with the Joneses. To that end, here are some of the fresh starts I’ll be making in 2010.

1. Restore rather than replace.

This year I want to get out my tools, bust out a can of elbow grease and roll up my sleeves. When I need more storage, I want to comb thrift shops and Craigslist.org for other peoples’ castaways. I want to breathe new life into them with a coat of paint, new hardware, and a repair here and there. I will be informed by trends in design when choosing my makeover candidates, but I will not slavishly chase after the new hottest thing.

Photo Blog January 4 Cabinet Before John Ross

Photo Blog January 4 Cabinet After John Ross

2. Reduce, edit, pare down.

This one is hard for me to live out, but I have GOT to get rid of some of my junk! It comes with being a style editor and stylist, but stuff just seems to follow me home. I always think I will need that particular vase for a story someday, but alas it just leaves my place feeling cluttered. I want to work on editing down my collections so that I can appreciate the good things I do have and leave some breathing room around them.

Photo Blog January 4 Table Flowers

3. Create.

Aren’t you tired of relying on retailers and shopping for everything in your home? I think it’s time to brush up on those DIY skills and carefully and sensibly delve into making things again. This is a skill our grandparents mastered and it helped them to create lovely and charming homes on a shoestring. Necessity is the mother of invention and I’d say a little invention is necessary in 2010. For me, it will be finally learning to sew and getting back to my childhood love of gardening. Besides, Michelle Obama has already made gardening popular again! Like her, I want to produce something myself and connect with the soil (and a needle and thread!).

Photo Blog January 4 White House Garden

Photo Blog January 4 Michelle Obama Garden

Photo Blog January 4 Quilt

Maybe these are lofty goals and I’m sure there will be snags along the way. But I plan to let these changes happen organically with equal measures of determination and lightheartedness. As Dorothy Draper said, “Decorating is fun!” I hope 2010 will be filled with restored castaways, a lot less clutter, and fresh dirt under my fingernails.

Photo credits:
1. Marthastewart.com
2. Jonathan Adler, Barbie Malibu Dream House
3. Tom Scheerer, Nantucket Residence
4-5. Eddie Ross, Before & After January 4, 2009
6. Flickr.com
7. Isiria blog, March 24, 2009
8. Telegraph.co.uk, April 10, 2009
9. The Purl Bee, December 28, 2008