4 Easy Home Spruce-Ups (That I Hadn’t Thought Of)

Totally lit a fire last night (and yes it is 65F in Cali but I couldn’t wait) 

You know how most people (or, rather “most people on Pinterest”; not “most real people”) do an annual spring cleaning? I always forget to do that because I’m so excited about actually doing spring-type things (like being outside as opposed to on my couch). Trying to get my house under control in preparation for the colder months simply makes more sense to me: winter – even in not-so-wintry California – is when we spend tons of time at home…so shouldn’t we make that home as cozy and pleasant-to-be-in as possible?

For me, making my home winter-ready is less about decor and more about “feel”: I want every inch of my place to feel warm and cozy and insulated from the world. And that actually isn’t the easiest thing to do in my house, because I decorated it to be very light and bright and airy…and what I want during this time of year is essentially cabin chic. Which is the opposite of light and bright and airy. (I also don’t want to spend any money doing this, because Christmas is coming and apparently the economy is falling into a black hole and et cetera; #holidaycheer.)

This afternoon, Indy has a playdate and Goldie will (theoretically) be napping, so I’ve decided to spend a couple of hours turning my house into the kind of place that lends itself to fireplace-lighting and movie-watching. Aaaaand I just so happen to have a friend who runs a fabulous interior design company – Sandra Funk of House of Funk – so before I get started, I thought I’d ask her for some ideas that I might not have thought of. Because she is lovely, she agreed, and yup: hadn’t thought of these.

chic and modern decor ideas to celebrate winter

House Of Funk’s Easy, Wintry Home Spruce-Ups

– Bring in dark, woodsy blooms. I tend to get stuck in a rut when it comes to flowers: mostly white and pink, with some green shrubbery mixed in. But Sandra suggested instead choosing florals that create a warm, wintry vibe, and specifically suggested black calla lilies. And now I need black calla lilies in my life. The drama!

– Move stuff around. Sandra’s next suggestion: to simply take things out of the spots where they’ve been sitting for months (or years)…and – wait for it – put them somewhere else. According to her, doing this both refreshes your space and helps you see your possessions in a new way. I love this idea so much that I am going to have to give it a whole separate post, because I’ve started applying this concept to my bookshelf and think it might just be a miracle.

use a tray to hold drinks and books on the couch

– Make sure every seat has somewhere near it to set down a drink and/or book. This isn’t always as simple as it sounds: my couch, for example, is precisely the worst possible shape for my living room, and were I to add side tables it would be impossible to walk. And the absence of side tables has been vexing me, because I very much enjoy reclining while drinking my wine rather than, you know, hunching over the coffee table like a gnome. Solution: keep a gorgeous tray nearby and just set it on the couch whenever you need an extra surface. (Oh, and for trays please go to HomeGoods – that’s where the one pictured above is from, and their selection is spectacular.)

– Pay attention to the bathroom, especially when entertaining. As Sandra put it: “Everyone who comes to your home is bound to have a moment alone in your powder room.” First, let’s just take a moment to appreciate that she just used the term “powder room.” Aw! And second, I’ve never thought of it precisely that way – I like making the bathroom pretty because it’s kind of a “bang for your buck” space – but it’s totally true: the bathroom is the only place where your guests are virtually guaranteed to have a moment completely to themselves. (Unless they have toddlers, in which case the bathroom is party central. But that’s besides the point.) Sandra’s tips on how to turn powder rooms into “little jewel boxes” are here, and they are excellent (and also include a discussion of the latest trend in toilets, which isn’t typically the most glamorous topic, but honestly: it’s pretty cool).

And before we go, I thought I’d show you a few of House of Funk’s interior design projects. (Try not to be depressed that your bathroom doesn’t look like that; mine doesn’t, either.)

bright modern bathroom with white tiling

Honestly, the part of this photo that makes me the jealous-est is the fact that there are 50,000 drawers. I have officially reached the point in my life where I covet drawer space.

Image credit: Peter Rymwid

media room with bar and sunken couch area

If you’re curious what lays beyond that bar-type area, let me clear it up for you: it’s a sunken movie theater/couch situation. Picturing having this in my house when my children are teenagers is both super cool (they could use the table area to…do homework…?) and utterly terrifying (parties!).

Image credit: Mark Weinberg 

how to make a hidden bar in a library

Ugh, now I want a hideaway bar.

Image credit: Laura Desantis-Olsson

tight bunch of orange roses on a coffee table

…And some orange roses stacked atop an aesthetically pleasing collection of books. Life goals.

Image credit: Lisa Kollberg

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