Courtney Warren is a Texas-based interior designer whose work has been featured in Real Simple, Better Homes & Gardens, Good Housekeeping, Apartment Therapy, and Today.com. She is a frequent consultant on Fox 4 TV’s Good Day program in Dallas, was ranked in the top 3 percent of interior designers in the US by Houzz.com, and starred in the Dallas episode of TLC’sFour Houses. She delights in helping overwhelmed clients create beautiful spaces—and will never turn down a warm chocolate chip cookie or Diet Dr Pepper.
We’ve made it to 2021, y’all! A new year and a fresh start–especially when it comes to our homes. And it’s time to create a home that makes you happy! Because life is too short to spend years living in a space that you don’t adore. Plus, if your spaces feel cheerful and bright, chances are, it will turn up your positivity levels too.
Designing also doesn’t have to be a burden or a mystery this year. I’m focused on soothing your design anxiety and giving you simple tips to make your spaces feel authentic to who you are. And how you live.
When I talk about designing spaces that feel authentic, what I mean is…
Design should be all about what you love.
But before I get into the best tips for creating a home that makes you feel good, there’s one crucial step to tackle first.
And that is — getting clear on your interior design style. Knowing your tastes in furniture, color palettes, and textures are the first step to achieving your design vision. If you know where to start, you won’t feel overwhelmed. Or need costly redos.
And trust me, design decision fatigue is a real thing. So many of my clients come to me with the same concern.
“Courtney, I feel overwhelmed by all the design choices out there. I don’t know where to start.”
I get it!
This is why I want to share a quick overview of interior design styles. There are many categories of style out there, but here are the main ones:
Keep in mind that some interior design styles are simply a mixture of each other.
For example: Transitional = contemporary + traditional
By the way! There’s no rule in the book that says you’ve got to fit into a specific design mold or criteria. You can choose something super vintage and pair it with another very modern piece. Putting them together, however, is an art all by itself.
Top Tip: If you’re stumped on this, look online for interior design quizzes. Use Pinterest and create a board with pins of colors, textures, artwork, and interiors that you admire. HGTV has a nice, simple quiz on how you can find your interior design style here.
Even if you get clear on your design style, you’ll never reach your design vision if your space is full of clutter. If you can’t part way with things you no longer use (or love), it’s impossible to make that space beautiful or comfortable.
And you’re not alone. Clutter creeps up on all of us.
But, think it through– how many paring knives do you REALLY need? Hmm.
For the items you do need, I always recommend setting up organizational systems that fit your lifestyle. Check out more of my decluttering tips over here!
Interior design style? Check.
Decluttering session? Check.
Now, let’s focus on refreshing your spaces.
Top Tip: Here are a few budget and time-friendly refreshers you can do right now:
-Change out old photos from the holidays, or hire a pro and get new family photos taken for this year.
-Invest in new throw pillows for your living room seating and bedrooms.
-If you have a green thumb, bring in some plants for a fresh, clean feel.
-If you’re a savvy DIYer, consider repainting or refinishing outdated furniture.
-Change any rugs or runners in your spaces that are either dingy or outdated. It’s always surprising to see just how big an impact changing out one rug can have on the whole space.
-Consider repainting your spaces, either a new color or a fresh coat of the same color for a space with stained or marked walls.
Once you get a general idea of spaces and or decor pieces you want to refresh, make a schedule. Even if you’re not a savvy planner or super keen on having to-do lists, this will help you.
Draw up a list of all the updates you’d like to make in your home. Be specific, i.e., order a sofa, hire a painter for the living room.
Also, try creating a room-specific list and organize each task by space.
This will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed and allow you to get things done on time.
Top Tip: Don’t forget to set a budget and go slow. You don’t need to finish every design task right away.
Updating your living spaces also means changing out your light fixtures. Even if you’re handy, I recommend hiring an electrician. If there’s a space that doesn’t feel so charming, invest in a new light fixture. Instant transformation!
Sconces are great too because they free up surface area. Perfect for a small foyer. Or bathrooms.
Even changing out your bedroom lamps on your nightstands in a master suite or guest bedroom can have a HUGE impact.
So which updates will you make first?
Happy decorating and Happy New Year from all of us here at Courtney Warren Home! We’re excited to hear from you. Share your New Year design projects with us here:
I offer a complimentary, no-strings-attached phone call consultation. We can also consult by video conference. If you’d like to meet at your home, please know we will use all current safety protocols.
I also offer custom E-Design packages. You can find all the nitty-gritty details here.
Curious? Watch our processes and explore our YouTube Channel to see what else Courtney Warren Home can do for you!