Design Resolutions

As we get ready to ring in the New Year, it's time for some honest decor reflection.

As we get ready to ring in the New Year, it’s time for some honest decor reflection. Here are my top ten design resolutions to help us all live more beautifully.


  1. Mix it up. Spaces are much more interesting when they capture influences from a variety of eras and aren’t carefully curated exhibits featuring one stylistic approach. Too much of a good thing gives you a tummy ache – whether that’s modern, art deco or traditional. Be bold and try some chintz on that Eames chair – I dare you.
    Popham Design. Photo: Simon Upton via Elle Decor
  2. Clean out your closet. We may not all have swoon-worthy master walk-ins, but a little bit of clothes editing and reorganizing will make your closet seem luxuriously large. We just did it and feel oh so liberated. Now we have to keep it that way for 365 days.
    Photo: Mechant Design
  3. Always have flowers. Florals lift a space immediately. An everyday, inexpensive way to make you and your space feel special.
    Photo: Pink Lemonade
  4. Entertain more often. So I get it, we’re all too busy. But make 2014 the year to spend more time together with loved ones. You’ve got this gorgeous space, share it with others. Order in pizza and serve it with Processco. The time together in a warm, welcoming environment is what matters most.
    Photo: @laerkesophie's photo
    Photo: @laerkesophie’s 
  5. Wait for it. If you are investing in a serious foundation piece for your home, don’t be tempted into settling for something that can be shipped today. Instant gratification can be fleeting – so be patient for what you really love. Like this sofa, which is going to take at least 10 weeks to arrive in our living room – but will be so worth the wait.
    Photo: Hayden Deluxe Sofa, Elte
    Photo: Hayden Deluxe Sofa, Elte
  6.  Use the good stuff. You know all those lovely serving pieces, the heirloom china set and the stemware wedding gifts that get dusted off for special occasions? Well, keep them out and set a pretty table more often. Make each day memorable and have grilled cheese off of that Royal Doulton. What are you waiting for?
    Photo: Norske Interior
  7. Reinvent something. I challenge you to find one curb-side treasure, one castaway from your Granny, or one Value Village score and paint it, refinish it, or reupholster it. Empower your inner DIY diva. You’ll feel so proud and have bragging rights for something fabulous you’ve created that was destined for the trash.
    Our DIY. Photo Per Kristiansen via HGTV Canada
  8. Trend sparingly. We all do it. We get excited about the freshest design trends and want to test them out in our homes. Remember ultra suede? Those long subway stop posters? Mirrored dressers? So trend carefully decorating darlings and keep it solid. If you must, dapple with a Union Jack pillow, not an 8 x 10 rug.
    Libertine design. Photo: via Design Public, originally from Domino
  9. Add some colour. Despite No. 8 above, try something different and current. Especially if you lean to the monochrome, this year, make it your design imperative to draw inspiration from Pantone’s colour of the year (Radiant Orchid 18-3224) and tint it pinky-purple. A little goes a long way.
    Photo: Recently
    Photo: Recently
  10. Adopt a  starving artist. Go on, this year stretch and find some real art to express yourself and help the creative types earn a living. Find something you adore, save your pennies and keep it real.
    Our living room. Painting by Ric Santon from the Parts Gallery. Photo: Per Kristiansen via HGTV Canada


Live beautifully,



Note: Feature image is of Candace Bushnell’s Manhattan apartment. Photo: William Waldron for Elle Decor


  • Love, love the list. Here’s my 2 additions, slightly related to each other. You know those beauty pics of yer kids, black and white in the huge black frames? Time to remove them from the dining room wall and consign them to the basement crawl space where they can really shine. And while we’re at it, if you are tempted to make a holiday card of that of an oh so charming pic of you and yer brood of crotch fruit in some scenic spot, think again. The reason you can pick a pack of 20 xmas cards up at Winners for 12 bucks is so your friends can be spared the personalized greeting card — unless of course you actually are a real estate agent.

  • Love the resolutions! Ry and I are tackling the living room in 2014 and will definitely be following some of your advice. Happy new year to you, Graham, and the kids. Have been thinking of you guys this holiday season.

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