Home Reset: Interior Design Tips for Starting Fresh in the New Year

After the excess and indulgence of the December holidays, many of us approach January as a month of recovery and a chance to reset for the year ahead. And while the January reset typically focuses on personal health and well-being, with renewed commitments to wholesome eating and rigorous exercise, it can also apply to our personal spaces.

We reached out to the interior design experts at the award-winning studio Accouter for advice on ways we can breathe new life into our living spaces. (The London-based studio provides interiors for global real estate clients of Knight Frank Residential, the UK-based international partner of Douglas Elliman.)

Add color to enliven neutral spaces.

What are some of the signs or qualities of an interior space that indicate a reset is in order? 

1. Clutter — Whether a consequence of collecting too many objects or a symptom of too few storage options, clutter can quickly accumulate and lead to a feeling of being overwhelmed.

2. Color Blandness — If the room is neutral and free of any color or pattern, then it’s time to consider a glow up. Adding color and pattern can help to liven up a room and create a more inviting atmosphere.

3. Lackluster Lighting — Without ample natural daylight or well-calibrated artificial lighting, any space will look and feel dull and uninviting.

4. Dated Décor — If your space looks like a throwback to an earlier decorative era—but not so early as to be “retro”—you are likely overdue for an update.

What are some ways to make an interior space most conducive for a fresh start?

With so many setting resolutions for the new year, a home design can be a great way to reflect these. Whether you’re looking to create a more organized and clutter-free space, work out more, or make your home more energy efficient, a home design can help you achieve your goals.

If you’re looking to reduce clutter, think about using furniture and storage solutions that are designed to be multi-functional. This will help you make the most of the space you have while also creating a more organized home.

Creating a dedicated workout space is always going to help motivate you towards your fitness goals. Ensure it is filled with natural light or ample lighting, a large mirror (if that helps you), and plenty of floor space for performing a range of exercises.

Switching to LED lighting is another great way to reduce energy usage and create a more sustainable space. If you’re looking to be more mindful of your environmental impact, consider incorporating eco-friendly materials into your home design, with features like bamboo flooring, natural wool insulation, or cork countertops. These materials are not only more sustainable, but they can also add a unique and beautiful aesthetic to your home.

To freshen and improve air quality, consider incorporating air-purifying plants, such as aloe vera or spider plants. You can also add features like skylights and daylight-harvesting controls to maximize natural light and minimize the need for electric-powered lighting.

And don’t underestimate the power of home fragrance from a candle, diffuser, or spray. From invigorating citrus and mint to the sweet and soothing scent of vanilla, the right fragrance can get you motivated and ready to tackle the changes that come with a new year.

What is one change someone can make to their space that can have the greatest impact?

A home can sometimes feel forlorn once the holiday décor is gone, so adding a little something new can make a huge impact. Focus on easy and affordable changes if you don’t want to do a full redesign. Switch out your cushions and throws to uplift your interior; add greenery to purify the air and bring some life into your space. Decluttering and getting rid of items that are no longer used or needed can help to make a space feel more open and inviting. Additionally, reorganizing furniture and items can make a space feel more functional and comfortable.

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