New Year, New Memories in the Making: Rework Your Home to Delight Your Family

Changing the color of any item can stimulate the senses to create lasting memories.
Changing the color of any item can stimulate the senses to create lasting memories.
Mark Weiss/Getty Images

With the New Year comes the perfect time to update your surroundings. Everything from paint color to lighting affect your daily mood and even the slightest change can offer a major makeover in your space and even change the way you use it. A few low-cost and easy-to-do-yourself projects will make you feel like you’ve moved into a new home, and lay the foundation for new memories -- without the headache of actually moving!


Choose a space to paint even if it is a small space such as a hallway or powder room. Powder rooms are a great space to try bolder colors because they aren’t big and you don’t spend a lot of time in them, but it’s nice to have a fresh pop of color somewhere in your home. Not big on color? Try adding it to even one wall in a room for a new look in just a few hours. And don’t forget that painting furniture can have just as big of an effect as painting walls.

Pillow Swap

Something as simple as changing the accent pillows on your couch or bed has a huge impact on the look of a room. Pick a color that complements the room but is totally different from what’s already there. Or switch from a solid pillow to a fun pattern to make the room come alive. If possible, look for pillow covers that will work with your existing insert pillows to lower cost.

Change a Light Fixture

No matter how much is spent on a room’s design, if it doesn’t have the right lighting it’s not going to look as good as it should. Take a look at whether there should be more ambient lighting for curling up with a book and cozy conversations or if the room is really lacking in overhead lighting and needs to be brightened up. Sometimes it’s simply the light fixtures that are weighing a space down. Simply swapping out the shades on a lamp, painting the fixture, or replacing it completely will totally change the space. For overhead lighting, consider adding a dimmer to the switch so that you have more control over the light in the room.

Style Bookshelves

If all you see when you look at your bookshelves is a cluttered mess or rows and rows of books crammed into the space, consider actually styling them more carefully. Arrange books by binding color, rotate their direction so some are on their sides and some are on their ends, and add objects, pictures, and cherished souvenirs to break up the endless sea of book bindings. Before long you’ll go from cluttered mess to elegant space.

Rearrange Furniture

Moving furniture around the house is one of the easiest ways to create a totally new space without spending a dime. Can that bureau be moved into the entryway as a catchall for keys and purses? What if the living room chair was moved to the other side of the couch or into a bedroom? Consider using furniture pieces for something other than original intention and a whole new world of options will open up. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that all furniture needs to be up against a wall. Pull it together to create cozy seating areas and reading nooks. Add a table to the top of the stairs to hold an extra lamp and favorite family photo. Creating these vignettes is what makes a house feel more like a home.