Step Into A Happy Home This January
January doesn't have to be miseable... Image by Tim Walker
So how was your first week of January? Did you go straight back to work or have you only just started this week? We only just took the tree and decorations down on January 6 (yes that's the official end of Christmas folks, not December 26!) so things have just got back to a bit of normality which is refreshing. Are you also in the decluttering mode at the moment? I am currently doing a 30-day Minimalism Game by The Minimalists which will see me getting rid of a total of 465 items in a month! Sounds like a real challenge for a maximalist/collector/hoarder like me...! You can see my progress on my Instagram Stories where I will have regular updates. And early next month I will post a round up and my experience so stay tuned.
Maybe it's the post-holiday blues, I couldn't help but feel my home losing a bit of energy and sparkle (was it to do with the fairy lights, or Dry January...?) Although January is a lean month for many of us, it doesn't mean our home should suffer! I have 10 simple and affordable ideas to refresh your home. Are you ready? Let's walk around the house!
PIN NOW & READ LATER
Background image via Desire to Inspire
1. Replace Tea Towels
Vintro dish towel set from Anthropologie
You might have done this already. Fresh linen, fresh start. Swap the old, tired tea towels for new ones. If you've always been using the traditional ones, try bold and colourful ones to add a bit of punch. While I can't guarantee they will give you the extra motivation to keep the kitchen clean and tidy for the rest of the year, but it's one quickest way to transport your kitchen from bore to score.
2. Cook Simple Healthy Meals
January is a great time to implement new eating habits and try different recipes. But it doesn't have to be complicated and messy. There are loads of easy to prepare one pan recipes that are both healthy and delicious. These days I am loving baked whole fish like sea bass that takes me no time to cook (great meal on a tight budget, by the way!). Keep things simple and save more time to yourself (oh and less washing up).
3. Upgrade Cabinet Handles
Still lusting for these sexy Buster + Punch knobs... Image via The Pink House
Tired of your kitchen and don't have the budget to revamp? Upgrade your cupboard handles and knobs. Gold is really on trend at the moment (for me it's a staple colour in almost any decor) and if you want to be more individual, use mismatching, whimsical ones to create an eclectic feel. Don't even have the budget for that? A can of spray paint is your new best friend. A couple of coats and you're ready to rock (always double check if the paint works on the material especially plastic, but metal is usually great)
4. Fresh Blooms and Foliage
LSA Bangle Vase (Blueberry) from Amara
I know we've just said goodbye to the tree and wreath... but it's time to fill the rooms with fresh blooms and foliage again. Who says fresh flowers are just for special occasions? In January I like to pick foliage and delicate flowers instead of large blooms just to calm things down a bit, but of course the choice is yours. Treat yourself with a modern vase like this gorgeous LSA number, or repurpose old bottles and jars that have been tucked away in the back of the cupboard.
5. Give Your Lampshades Some Oomph
Simple but effective way to update a plain lampshade. Image via 2LG Studio
There are many DIY ideas to update a plain lampshade and you don't need to be a skilled crafts maker to achieve that. Adding new fabric (ideally fire retardant ones as your lamp could get very hot), fringe (a big hit now) or simply a paint job can completely transform any boring, knackered lamps. On that note, if you haven't already, invest in a small but powerful tool - a glue gun. Trust me, your life will be transformed too...
6. DIY Linen & Room Spray
Create your very own scent library this January. Image via Homesong
I love my room spray and you'll likely find a bottle in every corner of my home. But let's face it, the good ones don't come cheap. Have you considered making your very own linen spray? The method is shockingly simple: essential oil + vodka! Perfect if you have some leftover vodka (not the expensive ones though) after the party season . Grab a small (2 oz) mist bottle, fill it with 1oz of vodka (some people like witch hazel but vodka is odourless) and around 10 drops of your chosen oil (lavender, pine, eucalyptus are my favourite for fresh linen) shake it up then you're good to go. I won't add water to a linen spray as moisture is no good for fabric and water tends to spoil the content in the bottle after a while (think stale water, eew). Just like mixing paint, you might want to mix the essential oils gradually until you're happy with the blend.
7. Swap Accessories & Art Around
Instead of replacing your existing home accessories and art, try rearranging them. Here's a great example by the Swedish designer Amelia Widell. She keeps the wall simple and minimalistic while the Christmas tree is up (left). When the wall is the main focus again, she layers the collection of art work and prints on top of the book cases, adds plants and the pendant lamp shade goes up again (right). Painting walls is optional, but you got the idea.
8. Repurpose Crockery and Glasses
Think outside the box when styling your home. Image via The Prop Dispensary
Apart from moving around your home accessories, why not repurposing the crockery and glasses? Turn an antique tea cup into a tea light holder, a saucer into a soap dish, empty gin bottles into hand wash dispenser, or use tumblers to display flowers (since you're NOT making your Old Fashions this month right...?) Any small changes can give you new perspectives, and the best thing? It's free.
9. Rearrange Your Furniture
Try experimenting with different layouts. You might be pleasantly surprised. Image by Mode & Motif
Instead of splashing out in the January sales (although as tempting as it might be), try moving around the furniture to see if a new layout is all you need. Take your new year goals into consideration. Want to make yoga a daily ritual? Clear up the spare room and make it zen-zone. Want to read more books? Create a reading corner by moving a comfortable chair and floor lamp near the bookcases. Want to watch less TV and be more sociable? Have the sofa and chairs facing each other to encourage conversation. But before you move anything, think about the traffic of the space and how much time you normally spend in a space. Draw it on a piece of paper to help visualise if your plan is going to work
10. Work on Ambience
Add a bit of glow to this gloomy month. Image via
The first thing I noticed after taking down the Christmas decor was how dark the room has become. You can keep their fairy lights on all year around if you wish. But if you would rather not, look around to see if you need to add or rearrange your lighting. Ornamental lamps are just as good as art. Invest in task lighting if you want to focus on an object or a specific activity such as reading. But don't ignore the soft, ambient lighting (low, soft lighting) as you'd want to keep the room welcoming and cosy. To add a finishing touch, lit some candles at the dinner or coffee table to help you through this long, gloomy month.
What are your go-to remedy or must-haves to inject new energy into your home? Let me know and share some thoughts below!