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January Decorating Tips by Barbara Jennings

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One Important Decorating Color
How to Mix Patterns
Make House Plants Your Friends
A Fire's Best Friend
Cautions About Your Pillows
Using Quilts to Warm Up Your Home
The "Must-Have" Ugly Accessory

Setting New Year's Decorating Resolutions

My first resolution is to invest more time and effort into blessing the lives of my family members, friends and associates. In the wake of the terrible events caused by the tsunami in Indonesia, India, Sumatra, Thailand and surrounding islands and countries, one is reminded of how precious life is and how easily it can be suddenly taken from us. My prayers go out to all the families devastated in this massive natural disaster.

For now, as we enter a brand new year, I thought some tips on setting Decorating Resolutions would be in order. Hopefully this will help you keep your plans and dreams throughout the year.

Focus on the Future, Not the Past

Dwell on what you have planned to do and not what you have failed to accomplish. 

Release yourself from guilt. Concentrate on the present and your goals. Work on interior decorating projects during the cold months. In the spring, switch to exterior projects for a change of pace, then in the hot months move back inside.

Make large and small decorating resolutions.

Dream about what you want your home to become overall but also about each room individually. Then set a budget and a realistic date to begin and end. Remember that it doesn’t have to be accomplished all at once, but you need a clear picture of where you want to end up or you’ll wind up somewhere else – usually nowhere.

Get rid of the “should” goals.

“Should goals” are those that you put on the list out of guilt or pressure from others. Concentrate on the “must do” items, like repairs that grow more expensive the longer they are left undone or ones that could be dangerous if not handled immediately. Stick with them until they are finished.

Divide up your goals into 3-month segments.

Make a list of the repair or replacement items you want to accomplish; of the purely decorative projects you want to start and complete. Write down the goals for each. Stick these in a 3-month planner or write on a wall calendar. You’ll be surprised at how this will help you achieve twice as much in half the time.

Keep track of your progress.

It’s much easier to stay on task if you can see and measure your progress.

Align yourself with a mentor/supporter.

We all need affirmation, especially if we are being creative. Be sure you have someone around you at all times who genuinely appreciates you and your creativity. Get feedback from those kinds of people. It will nourish you and sustain you.

Reward yourself.

Take time to unwind and relieve any pressures building up. Go buy that new chair or work of art or fine accessory you saw recently. Treat yourself. You’re worth it.

May you all have a safe and prosperous 2005.


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(2004-05 Copyright Barbara Jennings)

Barbara Jennings
is the West Coast Pioneer in Redesign, author of 7 decorating books, a published artist, corporate art consultant, and furniture arrangement consultant. For training in professional furniture and accessory arrangement, or to start your own redesign or art consulting business, please visit: