Posted on Feb 13, 2013

So we are a month into the new year and you still want some “resolution” to your new resolutions when it comes to your home? Increase your happiness at home with activities that will get you motivated to complete unfinished projects while adding a fresh feel to your space. Check out the following designer suggestions to make your house feel like home.

1.  Brush-up on your design education. If a home project has you feeling frustrated or simply uninspired, learning from the pros is a great way to get unstuck. Sign up for a design workshop such as those offered at the San Francisco Design Center or read more decorating books, such as our very own Home Décor: A Sunset Design Guide sold in our Design Lab.

2. Define the function of each room. If clutter is something you would like to tackle in the new year, this can be a useful way to approach the problem. Going room by room, think about what you really use each part of your home for — watching movies and reading in the den? Drinking and eating in the family room? Make sure that everything you need to do these things is at hand, and get rid of anything and everything unrelated.

3. Give your front door a facelift. When was the last time you gave your front door a second thought? It contributes a lot to the first impression people have of your home. Is it in good shape? Could it use new hardware? A new color? Consider adding something new, such as fresh potted plants in zinc urns to flank your entrance, a stately door knocker or modern house numbers.

4. Refresh your bathroom. The beauty of a bathroom makeover is that it takes so little to make a big impact. Splurge on nice hand soap and lotion, like the ones we offer at Kerrie Kelly Design Lab, and place them in a little tray on your sink (you can always refill the bottles with your usual stuff when they’re empty). Snip a fresh bloom and float it in a bowl or cup, give your sink and mirrors a good scrub, and pick out a stack of new, fluffy white bath towels.



5. Have something made just for you. Whether you live in your “forever home” or are renting your first apartment, having something made especially for you really makes the space your own. There are so many wonderfully creative options available these days for personalized items:

  • Order a custom calligraphy-style address stamp.
  • Commission a house or pet portrait.
  • Have your monogram put on pillow covers or hand towels.
  • Have your house numbers monogrammed onto cocktail napkins.
  • Create a DIY monogram using stencils or iron-on letters for a budget-friendly project.

6. Learn a new skill. If you haven’t yet hopped on the DIY bandwagon, let this be the year you give it a try. Choose an area that appeals to you and search for tutorials online, like the videos we offer on our very own website at KKTV as well as our DIY board on Pinterest to get started.

7. Set your table at every meal. This is one of those small habits that can end up making a huge difference in your daily life. The setup doesn’t need to be fancy, but commit to setting out real glasses, plates and silverware, and cloth napkins, along with something extra, such as a vase of flowers, placemats or a tablecloth — even if you are having takeout.

8. Tweak the lighting. Lighting can make an amazing difference in our experience of a room. For each room in your home, count the light sources — aim for at least three but preferably more. If you have overhead lighting, put the fixtures on dimmer switches and supplement with table and floor lamps.



9. Buy less but buy better quality. It’s not always possible to buy the things we have our hearts set on, but you can create a road map for the direction you want your home to go as a reminder to save up for what you really want. We have done the same for products we would like to specify or rooms we would like to emulate on Houzz and Pinterest.

So dig in and start with one suggestion to get the momentum going! And keep us in the loop as to your design outcome.


  1. Gina
    February 13, 2013

    As always, so inspiring!!! Thanks for the great recommendations 🙂

    • Lori Vaught
      February 20, 2013


      Thanks so much! We’ll have kitchen photos for you soon!


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