Bring in drama. In this contemporary bedroom, a panel of dark purple curtains blends with a feature wall of polished lime plaster in a similar hue. The ceiling-hung track means that the curtains line up with the top of the wall for a dramatic, streamlined effect that neatly frames the bed.Tell us: How has a ceiling-mounted curtain track worked for you? Share your experience in the Comments.MoreHow to Hang Your Curtains Just RightYour Guide to Window TreatmentsFind a window treatment professionalSee more window coverings
“A mix of styles is what feels like home to me rather than subscribing to one [style] and sticking with it,” Lindy says. “I like to choose natural furnishings. What I mean by that is, pieces with an organic, raw vibe: linen, wood, leather. Then I build upon that vibe with accessories, using global textiles and textures, all in the same easy, neutral color palette with blues and stripes thrown in here and there.”The linen sofa seen here was a secondhand orange vinyl couch Lindy bought for $10 and reupholstered in linen. She also made the accent pillows.Striped throw: Pehr Designs
4. Move plants away from heaters. As we turn up the heat in winter, it can be easy to forget the effects increased temperature has on houseplants, particularly those in close proximity to heating units. To eliminate any risk of toasting leaves or roots, move all houseplants well away from radiators. If you keep your home on the warm side, check to make sure the soil in pots never gets bone-dry (the pot will be very lightweight when lifted).
8. Promise yourself treats. You deserve them! Little things, like fresh flowers, a fancy bar of soap, a cup of tea or a fresh baguette from your favorite bakery can be a bright spot in an ordinary day. But consider working bigger treats into your life, too — if you love art, for example, you could start a special savings account to save up for a painting you’ve had your eye on. Planning ahead and saving up for the things you really want is a good way to create a home that reflects your tastes.Take action: Make a list of 10 of your favorite treats, small and large. Make a second list of free treats, for when you need a pick-me-up but don’t want to spend any cash. Make a plan to treat yourself to one of these things this weekend.Tell us: Are you making any resolutions or goals for this year?More: Simple Pleasures: Savoring the Season of Fire and Light
If your budget is around $1,500: Paint, art, new lighting, open shelves, a new sink and then a makeover for your cabinets. Brand-new cabinetry is one of the higher-cost items in a kitchen remodel, so if you can avoid it, do! If your cabinets are in pretty good shape, repaint them, following the necessary steps to preparing them for their new finish. Then replace the old cabinet knobs and pulls. Know that if your cabinets need to be refaced — which involves replacing rather than just repainting the doors — the cost will be significantly more.See more of this kitchen makeoverCabinet color: Wedgewood Gray, Benjamin MooreGet started:How to paint kitchen cabinets How to reface your cabinets How to choose cabinet knobs and pulls
Establish your vision. Designers often get to know their clients before they start a renovation project, finding out as much as they can about their clients’ lifestyles, likes and dislikes, and goals and dreams for the home. So it is a good idea to do the same when decorating your own space. Track how you use your home over the course of a week, paying attention to what’s working and what’s not. Are you constantly searching for your car keys in the morning? Do you have to move your table every time you sit down to dinner? If you plan solutions for these issues, you’ll dramatically improve your day-to-day life. Be willing to let go of the way things are currently set out, and design a home that focuses on present priorities while leaving room for future growth. You may not be able to have everything you want, but you can often get exactly what you need from a thoughtfully designed home.
Coordinate your finishes. When you are selecting small elements like switch plates, door handles and faucets, it is wise to keep them in the same finish. For example, if you decide to buy chrome switch plates, don’t go for brass door handles. The same goes for wood — try not to mix shades. For instance, if you have an oak floor, it may be a good idea to choose furniture made of oak or a wood with similar tones. Also try to coordinate the floor tiles and countertops in your kitchen; again, they don’t have to match exactly, but the hues should complement one another.