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Nesting in the New Year!

by Jessica Locke

Doesn't your house feel a bit "sad" after all of the holiday decorations are put away? Mine sure does! As much as I'm ready to get that tree out of my house - once it's gone and all the accompanying lights and decorations are put neatly away (yes, I said neatly - it's NOT fun but it's worth the effort to organize and store properly) - the house seems sort of glum. And for many of you gals - the continuing chilly weather only adds to that gloomy feeling.

Add Some Cheer

In an effort to put some happiness back into the household - we thought we'd share some of our fav tips for perking up our nests. These are the easy and inexpensive tricks we employ to put some life back into our surroundings.

1.Speaking of holiday lights - consider leaving some out.
Who says that gold, twinkle lights are only for the Holidays? We leave a small strand wrapped around our upstairs railing and it adds such a pretty ambiance and a warm glow at night.

2. Pillows are also an easy way to totally change the look of a room.
You can pick up some super cute (and inexpensive) options at Target, Homegoods or Overstock.com. Adding a couple of new prints to your couch, and maybe you master bed, will provide a pop of color and fun. And if rotating pillows is a trick you use frequently - consider buying just the pillow cover instead of a whole new pillow. That way you simply change the pillow cover and don't have to keep paying for the insert.

3. New Scents - You guys know how much we are affected by smells and we've mentioned our love of Scentsy waxes and warmers many times.
But new, fresh scents are a great way to enliven your house AND your mood. Although we love warmers we also like candles - and you can easily get either or both for not a lot of money. Coming home to an inviting scent seems to infuse any decor with love.

4. Rotating linens and blankets is another way to change the look of a room.
You don't have to go and buy all new - simply try switching with something else you currently have on hand. Even moving the throw blanket from your couch to your bed will give it a new look. If you don't have multiple (extra) sheet sets you can just switch existing sets from bed to bed. And if your bedspread/quilt/coverlet is reversible - do it! The same goes for rotating towels if you have multiples, or even buying just new wash-clothes or hand towels to coordinate with your current ones will make everything seem new and bright.

5. Doormats and area rugs will cost a bit of money - but if found on sale we like to freshen these up, too.
If you can only buy one make it a new mat for your front door. Set a new tone with a clean and fresh doormat and everyone who walks in your home will see and feel a fresh new start!

6. Cleaning!
Simply cleaning and decluttering will give your house a new vibe. And it will give you an amazing lift as well. When you get those junk drawers in the kitchen cleaned and organized - it's like high school graduation all over again. You feel so accomplished! And everything just feels lighter and filled with promise!

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7. Speaking of lighter - consider changing out some light bulbs for a new look.
There are a TON of new options on the market and they can totally transform the look of a room. Try the new vintage bulbs, long lasting LED's or maybe a switch from warm light to clear white.. Check out this guide from Lowes to get your started.

8. Another virtually free way to "decorate" is to put new photos into your frames.
For most of us the holidays offer a time for lots of photographs! Hopefully you captured a few frame-able moments? Get some pics printed out (the kiosks at CVS are a breeze) and switch up some of your older picture frames. This little trick will give your nest a current and updated look in just a few minutes!

9. New dishtowels are relatively inexpensive and they too will give your kitchen a whole new, clean look.Cute tea-towels are our JAM! Even switching out the hand soaps at your sinks is another way to spice up your surroundings. Who doesn't yearn for an excuse to hit up Bath and Body Works?

10. New greenery.
Adding some living and breathing plants will instantly add life and vibrancy to your home. Even if your thumb isn't known for being green - there are a ton of easy-care houseplants you can choose from and then virtually ignore. We are loving succulents - they are super low maintenance, inexpensive and just darn cute! Bathrooms tend to be moist (sorry those of you who HATE that wordsucculents!) and therefore a great spot for some foliage.

Check out this Easy-Care Houseplant guide below for more options...

Small Tricks - Big Change!

There are so many options for affordable and worthwhile ways to perk up your surroundings. Think about the areas in your home that you spend the most time in and look for small ways to change up the visuals in that room. For most of us thats the family room, kitchen and bedroom/bath. If you can pick one or two of these ideas for each of those rooms you'll find the whole house feels fresher and brighter.

And if you have other ideas and tricks you use to update your nest in the new year - please share! We'd love to add to our list.

Having a home we love and enjoy is paramount to supporting our mood and spirit. So go spend some time pampering yours and report back as to how your efforts made you feel.

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