It’s 2018 and my house looks like %$!@

With the close of another year, I thought it was the perfect time to come up with my list of must-dos for you to decorate your home in 2018. Now, I know a lot of you want livable, comfortable homes; I do too! But, let’s look at our homes under the lens of refinement. Which rooms look just “fine” (this is my “F” word, by the way) but need to be elevated a bit? Look and see how you can apply my list of must haves to make your rooms better for your family in 2018.

  1. Wallpaper, Wallpaper, Wallpaper!

This was the foyer in our last house where we papered the walls in a showstopping Lee Jofa chinoiserie printed grasscloth

I have been an advocate of wallpaper forever, even when I had to strong-arm clients 10 years ago when minimalism came in strong. Sure, you can’t beat the durability, but more importantly, the layering it creates cannot be achieved with paint. And if you’ve been reading my blogs, you can see how layering helps achieve a more dynamic environment. Painted rooms can look flat and devoid of personality. What rooms could you amp up with just the addition of a well-chosen paper?

  1. Boldly Banish Shiplap

    Please, just make it stop

This is controversial, I know. But, hey, even Joanna Gaines knows it’s time to exit stage left. Don’t send me a lot of hate mail (actually please do, hate mail means I’ve made it!) but everyone needs to get out of group think and find ways you can inject more personality into your rooms. What to do with your shiplap? Well, the quick fix would be to paint it a dark color. But, ultimately, you could actual elevate it by applying panel molding over the top of it to create more architecture and paint it a pretty color.

  1. Add Sludgy Green Somewhere

This is a shot from our living room at our current home, Boxwood Hill. The sludgy green walls and trim add so much richness to a room.

This dark, moody green color some call Pond Scum or Drab Olive, but I call it Old Money. It’s the color of the moment in design. I love to mix it up by pairing it with pastels, like coral or lavender. This gives it an unexpected jolt while tempering an otherwise dark palette that could be oppressive. Consider painting the walls and trim all the same shade, but change the sheen on either to create another layer of interest.

  1. When all else fails, put a bird on it!

A clients powder bath wallpaper by Schumacher – Miles Redd Brighton Pavilion

Chinoiserie couldn’t be any hotter in design than it is right now. The hottest trend is hand-painted wallpapers with flora and fauna in colorful combinations. A lot of the scenes are bamboo or palms with birds and flowers nestled in the branches. These papers are extravagant, but you can find some manufacturers who can digitally print the same scenes at a fraction of the cost. Another idea is to frame the hand-painted panels and use as art, rather than papering an entire room in it. Both are good options.

  1. Create a Collection

We incorporated my client’s creamware collection, the perfect compliment for the decor of this sunroom.

If you don’t have collections now, you need to start collecting. Ruthann and I have been collecting since we married 22 years ago, so we have a lot of collections. This is the one thing most of my interior design clients are lacking when I redecorate their homes. They have been busy with work and kids and travel, but they haven’t focused on collecting. (No, your ceramic keepsakes from foreign street vendors do not apply.) So, I typically have to curate an entire collection of dishes, books, porcelain figures, silver. Why collections? Because they give a backstory to a room. They inject the personalities of the people who occupy the home. To me, this can be the ingredient missing from rooms that have just lamps, art and candles and a few toss pillows. You can collect anything, just make sure it is general enough to create a large collection. Items displayed en masse are more impactful.

So, which room are you going to focus on for your new years makeover? Hopefully, I’ve given you some direction on what you can do to refine your rooms for the next year.

Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, and Happy Decorating!