A Fresh Start For You, A Fresh Start For Your Interiors

“We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise we harden.”
                                      – Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
I feel inspired by surroundings that reflect who I am and who I strive to be. For me and for many people, the start of a new year encourages healthy choices and trying new things, but it also motivates me to get organized and clean out all the nooks and crannies of my home, making crisp again those places that might be feeling stale. Every few years I am motivated to truly take inventory of how my furnishings are serving me, and consider whether or not my home would benefit from some changes. I don’t advocate being a slave to trends; I think it’s true that good taste is timeless, but this does not mean that we should live in a time capsule. Keeping things beautifully fresh and interesting cannot be underestimated for the powerful effect it has on our psyche.  
Life is a balance of holding on and letting go. The changes to my space that I find the most beneficial come not only from an aesthetic assessment, but also from an appraisal of function.  Our spaces should serve and support our lifestyle at all stages, but our needs can change more quickly than we might imagine, as children grow and we grow older. Making sure that a child’s room continues to evolve to suit his changing needs, or repurposing a room to serve a new hobby ensures that each fulfills its highest potential. I constantly remind myself that our things are here to serve us, and not the other way around.  This notion helps me keep my spaces efficient, clean and vibrant.
Small changes like swapping a dated area rug for one that feels up-to-the-minute, reupholstering an old chair in a wonderful new fabric, or refinishing a favorite piece of furniture, can have a potent impact on updating a space. Simply shifting things around- putting some things away or bringing a piece from one space to another can give us that change that keeps things feeling healthy and vital. Sometimes saying goodbye to a few pieces that have served us well to make room for others that speak to us now can breathe fresh energy into a space and press it into a new term of service.
My favorite approach when I begin this process is to take photographs of the pieces that will be living together in a room- either my own or a vendor’s photograph, if an item is still current-  and lay them out together on a digital page. This way I can see it all at a glance, and add or subtract until I come up with just the right combination.   When something is holding a space back, but I can’t tell exactly which piece it is, this is a great way to unmask the culprit. This process also highlights how changing just a few pieces can make everything feel new. Seeing the  images on a page helps me to view things with detachment and clearly navigate a new path.  This enables me to never second-guess my decisions and feel confident moving forward with a plan.
This collage is one I created to help me refresh my master bedroom furnishings this year. I was surprised to discover, with the help of this visual aid, that a few of the pieces I thought I would never part with were holding my bedroom back from the space I wanted it to be.  Trading out a carpet, purchasing new bedside chests and lamps, and reframing of a favorite painting were all that was needed to give me a completely reinvented space that I adore once again.
And what to do with the things you would like to recycle? Assuming that friends or family are not the lucky recipients, here is a list of great options:

●    letgo is a free digital app, self-described as “a fun way to help you buy and sell second hand stuff within your neighborhood.”
●    For things of moderate value, Craigslist is the tried and true way to sell your stuff without the hassle of shipping. craigslist.org
●    For your items that are a little more on the collectable side, Ebay is a great resource – shipping by the seller is usually required.  ebay.com
●    We are lucky to have several brick and mortar Consignment Shops that have recently opened in our area. They usually take a 50% split to sell your items.
●    They call themselves a “designer marketplace of nearly new furniture finds” where you can consign your designer pieces online, or find almost new pieces for yourself.  Viyet just began servicing the Los Angeles area last year. viyet.com
●    A great option for your gently used furniture and accessories is donation to Habitat ReStore or Goodwill. The donation may be tax-deductible, and these stores often offer free pick-up of large items.
The start of a new year encourages us to assess the status quo and invites improvement. My mantra is, ”Keep it clean, keep it beautiful and keep it working for you.” 
Wishing you a joyous New Year, and as always - Here’s to creating your own Noble Spaces!