Fresh looks for a new year

The Christmas decorations are down and packed away. The house looks…drab. Normal, back to the way things always are, but just in need of a little perking up.

Who’s with me? (To my very best friend, who texted me last weekend to say that it’s time for a refresh and therefore, she started “spring cleaning”- in JANUARY, with a ten-month-old daughter in tow, days before leaving for vacation…this one’s for you, sister!).

A few weeks ago, I posted pictures on my social media of all the 2020 magazines and catalogs that have been rolling in lately. Ballard Designs, Pottery Barn , Williams Sonoma, Crate & Barrel, Crate & Barrel Kids, even Better Homes and Gardens are featuring fabulous spreads in cheery shades of pink and blue. Pinks in every shade ranging from pale, petal pink to blush to lipstick pink to coral, contrasted with bold, masculine blues in shades of navy to electric blue to soothing baby blue. Pink is my all-time favorite color, and it makes me happy to see it presented in such updated ways, and the blue shades with it tone down the femininity just a touch, and add a bit of calm to the cheery. It’s a perfect balance

Now, I’m not telling you to go out and paint every wall in your house pink…that is, unless you really want to . You do you! Likewise, you don’t have to go out and buy gallons of blue paint. While paint companies advertise their “Color of the Year” every year around this time, you don’t have to repaint your entire house in order to keep up.

If you love painting and want to refresh your walls every year or so, go for it! But there are so many ways to keep up with trends without going through the mess and stress of emptying rooms, taping, patching, and painting when you don’t really need to.The first way to update your decor in current colors is to introduce some throw pillows and blankets in the color you’re looking to include. Bonus points if you want to change up your wall art to tie in the old and new. For example, if you’ve fallen into the grey movement and your walls are moody and neutral like the sample below, try introducing some pink pillows (have fun with it! Mix and match shades and patterns and textures- stripes with florals, solids with geometric, velvet with leather with fur), throw blankets to drape over the sofa, bring in some wall art with shades of pink and blue together, some pretty pink flowers (peonies, roses, tulips, Gerbera daisies- pick your favorite from the silk flower selection at Hobby Lobby or Michael’s, or pick up some fresh ones from the market or the florist until you can pick them from your own garden!) or a bowl of pink fruit: dragon fruit, pomegranates, or pink lady apples. Edible accessories are the best, amiright?

Here are some neutral color schemes with ideas on how to incorporate trendy colors while still keeping it subtle. You can be as bold as you want to be, or keep it dialed back, too. It’s your home, it’s your call. Decorate with what feels right to you, with items that fit into your story– Pottery Barn doesn’t live here, you do. Use meaningful articles- the quilt your mom made, the sip’n’paint picture you made on girls’ night, that souvenir beer glass from your first date- whatever surrounds you with love and happy memories- and incorporate it into your space, to help tell your story.

Another budget-friendly way to introduce trend colors is to collect objects in the colors you’re looking to add and set up a vignette. This could mean a grouping of pink glassware set up on a bar cart or buffet- or even on the kitchen counter- on a nice tray; it could be a collection of blue pottery displayed on shelves in the living room. Perhaps you’ve inherited some vintage glassware in these colors, or found a great deal at a thrift store or flea market. This is another opportunity for one of my favorite pastimes: shopping your home! You could even spray paint some dollar store or thrift shop knick-knacks in a shade of pink or blue coordinating with your space: picture frames, candle sticks, a vase, a platter (as long as you’re not planning to serve food directly from it). A collection of different sized pink candles in mercury glass or brass holders could be warm and inviting on a mantel or console table (think pillars, tapers, votive candles, down to tealights.) Or pull a stack of hardback books from your shelf to stack on a coffee or end table in shades of blue or pink, and accent with a jar candle and a small succulent. Your imagination is the limit here; have fun with it!

Of course, if you want to go on a shopping spree, who am I to stop you? Go for it! You could find some decorative spheres in shades of blue or pink to display in a bowl on your coffee table, dining table, or kitchen island. A pretty pink rug in front of the kitchen sink, in the bedroom, or in a hallway adds a pop of color AND a soft treat for your feet.

You could also line the back of a bookshelf or built-in with a great patterned peel-and-stick wallpaper: a bold stripe, floral , chevron, or geometric pattern would be a great choice to use in a small dose. Maybe you’ve been thinking of doing an accent wall; this is a great opportunity to add interest, color, pattern, and texture as well. Check out this one for a modern and neutral yet fun pattern. Don’t want to commit to a whole wall? Buy a roll or two of paper and a couple of prepped canvases from an arts and crafts supply store. Stick the paper to the canvases (wrap around the back like a present) and, BAM! Custom art! This is a great option if you don’t own your home, and don’t have permission to make changes to walls.

You can even spruce up a bedroom or bathroom easily. I love duvet covers from IKEA; they’re inexpensive, they’re durable, and they come in awesome colors and patterns like this one, this one, and this one. These are only examples; there are so many options. If you’re really crafty, you could even sew together two flat sheets (they can match to be the same on both sides, or coordinating to be reversible) in a color or pattern that speaks to you. For the bathroom, change out your shower curtain and add a stack of colorful new towels to freshen things up.

What I want to show you, through all of this, is that trends will come and go, but the important thing is to follow them in a way that allows your personal style (and your family’s lifestyle) to shine through…if that’s your thing. Just have fun with it. Do what works for you.