Monique Valeris is the founder of Decor Musings, which houses roundups of the most stylish home products out now, highlights of her flea market shopping adventures, interviews with interior design experts, and tons more. Happy decorating!
It's that time of year again when everyone's making their list of resolutions for 2010. Here are some of mine--all home decor-focused, of course:
1. Clear out the paper clutter once and for all. No more batches of junk mail, unnecessary papers on my desk and old magazines that are no longer needed.
2. Have more dinners at the dining table, rather than in front of the television in the living room.
3. Finally find the right pillows for my bed--not too soft, not too firm. Neck and back pains be gone!
4. Maintain order in my closet. Isn't this an issue for many of us? Clothes folded nicely, shoes exactly where they belong, no chaos on top of the dresser.
5. Experiment with more home fragrances. I love when you first enter a home just to be greeted by a delicious scent. I'm not big on potpourri, so I may have to resort to air diffusers of some sort.
6. Track down the side tables I've been seeking for my living room, preferably a set with with a gold tone and glass tops. Sometimes it's just the small tweaks that are needed to change the feel of a room.
7. More outdoor meals on my little patio during the summer. It's such a waste to never take advantage of outdoor space, no matter how small it may be.
8. Figure out the plants that work best in my home. I can't tell you how many different plants I've purchased throughout the year only to have them wither away on me in a few months. Very tragic, I know. My living room could get a bit more light, but I'm still convinced that there's a plant out there that can thrive in my apartment. :) I just can't stand the thought of living without any greenery at home.
9. Wouldn't it be nice to finally use both of my tea sets instead of rotating the same old set of mugs throughout the year? I'm looking forward to many sit-downs with the paper, my favorite blend, biscuits and all. I'm relaxed just thinking about it.
10. Take another interior design class. It's always fun to learn more about a subject you love following.
Most New Yorkers understand just how stressful it can be to make a small living space comfortable and stylish. That's why it's always refreshing to come across people who've figured out how to make their compact space the best it can possibly be. Take Anthony Gianacakos, a design consultant whose East Harlem apartment is featured in the December issue of Lonny.
Everything about his design style screams maturity-how can you not love the dark gray paint against the white accessories and furniture? It's also nice to see great decorating work from a guy's perspective for a change.
Turned Fluted Farm Leg Table in Puritan Pine Stain (Available at CountryHome.com)
If I was asked to describe my decorating style, rustic would not be a word that comes to mind, although it's a style I appreciate. This got me thinking about farm tables for some reason and how much I adore seeing them as the foundation of a dining room. I especially like the rectangular-shaped tables because they work perfectly for seating a rather larger group. And they also have more of that cozy, country feel. I found this pretty version in a pine stain on Country Home. I just live for anything made by hand.
I can't get enough of the new book, TheComfortable Home: How to Invest in Your Nest and Live Well for Less, from accomplished design duo Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams. Sometimes it feels impossible to recreate the spaces you see in many interior design books. We've all been there. But this guidebook is practical and makes the design process seem so manageable. There are solutions for every area of your home, from the entry to the bedroom.
The spaces featured are all stylish, have a clean feel, and really are inviting. Best of all--they are about comfort, which is key for me. I also appreciate their smart use of color in spaces. Nothing's worse than going overboard with any one color in a room.
I especially love that it endorses a decorating approach that involves making good use of pieces you already own. How can you not love that? It can be overwhelming to think that your furniture just doesn't add up to what's featured in these kind of design books, so I found this refreshing. The Comfortable Home truly is all about design for the times. Thanks to publisher Clarkson-Potter for sending it my way.