Sunday, January 1, 2023

Make a Fresh Start for the New Year

Auer Design powder room. Photo by Roger Paperno

Something about the start of a whole new year makes anything seem possible. It’s the perfect time to evaluate what is working – and what needs work – so you can start dreaming of the home projects you’ll tackle in 2023. Whether you are looking for a big change, or just want to refresh a few spaces, it’s time to get inspired!

James Douglas Interiors living room and bath

Photos: Annie Meisel

With former occupants like Elizabeth Montgomery and Barry Manilow, the impressive provenance of this Beverly Hills, CA, home prompted the homeowners to renovate rather than raze. Birmingham-based designer Jimmy Angell of James Douglas Interiors created a more usable space plan for the rooms, installed neutral flooring throughout the home, and he coated the home’s interior in a warm white to maximize the natural light that floods in from all sides. Crisp black brackets accent the exposed beams and draw they eye upward to the cathedral ceiling. New window treatment panels further emphasize the airy height of the space. Carefully-edited furnishings feel composed and cohesive. Jimmy’s advice when starting a home project is simple: Planning is crucial. “Think through each detail and how it will affect everything else. And if you just need a fresh look, you can create a meaningful change by adding wainscoting or wallpaper to a room that feels too plain,” he advises.

Stalburg Design kitchen

Photo: Martin Vechhio

Barbi Stalburg of Stalburg Design likes to start the new year by getting organized. Barbi says, “Designate a space in your home that you can easily access as a ‘command center’. It does not have to be a desk, like in this image, but create a specialty space that can be a staging area to help you prep as you leave the home, as well as a place that serves to hold paperwork, appointment reminders, and invitations. Getting organized is a great way to start the new year!”

AMW Design Studio bedroom

Photo: Martin Vechhio

Furnishing a large room in a way that feels purposeful takes some thought and planning. Amy Miller Weinstein of AMW Design Studio believes the best first step in any project is to purge any items that no longer work for you. Box them up! Identify those things you really love to look at every day, and start there. “It is hard to picture what a space can be when it is packed with old stuff you no longer need or want,” she advises. She created this cozy reading nook in an under-used corner of her client’s primary bedroom. “This is what you see when you walk into the room, so I wanted to create a place that feels cozy and has a function,” says Amy. One dramatic piece of art, tall branches that reach for the room’s high ceiling, along with  simple drapery panels and a monochromatic color scheme add to the room’s uncluttered appeal.

Jane Synnestvedt Interior Design living room

Photo: George Dzahristos

Jane Synnestvedt of Jane Synnestvedt Interior Design asks clients to consider how they really want to use a space, and then determine what the space lacks when planning a new project. “With careful planning, you may find adding square footage is not always necessary to create better functionality,” she explains. In the living room above, where her clients often entertain, she chose a neutral color palette and added lots of texture for a welcoming space that feels pulled together.

Katie Rodriguez Design bathroom

Photo: Martin Vechhio

This primary bath in a historic, 100-year-old home was completely renovated with all new surfaces and fixtures that look fresh and current while respecting the age of the home. Katie Rodriguez of Katie Rodriguez Design removed a jumble of previous “improvements” while preserving the room’s original moldings. New cabinets operate smoothly, but the vintage profiles of the doors and drawers feel timeless. Soft, tactile accessories make this sunny bath the perfect place to start the day.

Dan Davis Design bedroom

Photo: Laura McCaffery

A client who loves mid-century architecture enlisted Dan Davis of Dan Davis Design to renovate her bungalow home in that spirit. Dan carefully edited the space and added the ceiling detail and lighting. The client is an artist who wished to display her own work along with items from her impressive folk art collection, so Dan designed the wall treatment behind the bed to allow storage and display space for the prized pieces. His advice when starting a new project? Take notes! Dan says, “Make a list of all the functions for each room. Notes are a cost-free way to organize your thoughts and keep track of all the elements you want to include in your project.”

Auer Design powder room

Photo: Roger Paperno

“If you are looking for a fresh, new change that is fairly easy to accomplish, why not try adding some drama to your powder room?” asks Debbie Auer of Auer Design. She selected distinctive porcelain tiles as the focal point behind the floating vanity. Gold fixtures add Hollywood glamour, and she chose a pair of her favorite pendant lights for an element of sparkle.

Jones-Keena bedroom

Photo: Beth Singer

Tracey Brugioni of Jones-Keena created this primary bedroom for clients who wanted a serene retreat where they can lock out the outside world. Her selection of soft, neutral fabrics with blue accents that reflect the home’s lakeside views create the comfortable cocoon her clients love to come home to. If the day comes when they crave something new, a few small changes would completely transform the look and feel of the room. “New pillows, or adding more color or pattern would completely change this space without starting from scratch,” Tracey says. “Consider making changes in layers. Start with the art, rug, or pillows. If you want a bigger impact, try a new light fixture! It’s easier to manage the process if you keep the end goal in mind.”