Freshen Up for the New Year...

With the beginning of a new year, we all want a new beginning and fresh start on something in our lives. Why not start by freshening up a space in your home? The question is - where to begin? Here are 5 easy steps that will help you on your way - Start collecting photos from magazines, books and blogs of spaces that you love. This doesn't have to be limited to interiors. Take into consideration fashion, art, movies, places you love to travel, anything that inspires you or makes you happy and captures who you are. Keep these photos in a file on your computer, in a binder or pinned on an inspiration board.

After you've collected all of your photos, take note of the things that are similar about them and start narrowing down your style. Take a look at our What's Your Style? section to give you some ideas.

Practical needs for the room should guide your design. Ask yourself questions about how the room will be used. How many people do you want to seat? Do you have children or pets? What activities will happen in here? What is the main purpose of this room? Will it be used for family or entertaining? What should be the focal point of the room? A fireplace? Television? All of these questions are important when designing the space.

Take note of the items that you have, what you want to keep, reupholster or refinish, and what you want to replace. This will help when you are setting your budget to know what to plan for. As you set your budget, take into consideration if you would want a designer to help you with your space or if you want to do everything yourself. Also think about, if you can do everything at once or if you need to spread this process out over time.

Whether you are going to hire a designer or do it yourself, now you have a direction and style! If you do hire a designer, start by setting up an appointment to meet with them and go over the things that you want accomplished, your style and budget. If you are doing everything yourself, make a list of the things that you need to shop for so that you don't get distracted while you are out.

Freshening up your room could be as simple as a few new throw pillows to a new coat of paint to redesigning your entire room. Regardless of how simple or complicated, these steps will help organize thoughts and send you in the right direction to creating a space that you will love.

[images from Nicole Hill, House & Home, Lonny, House Beautiful, Elle Decor, Mi Casa & Design Sponge]