As we start the new year, our minds drift to our homes and how we can make them work harder. From kitchen cabinet updates to a fresh lick of paint in a bedroom, we are constantly thinking of new ways to give our living spaces an upgrade.
January is the perfect time to start planning your home updates for the year, so you can schedule time to fit them all in and budget accordingly, depending on the scale of your plans. Complete makeovers will require more planning, but smaller changes are easy to achieve at much shorter notice.
Here, we ask interior design experts which home updates you should prioritize for the year ahead.
5 easy home updates to consider for 2024
Our homes are ever-evolving, and as new interior design trends emerge, it can be tricky to decide which updates we should be making. Instead of attempting them all, pick a few that would have the most impact on your space, and that will bring you the most joy. Here's which ones some of our favorite designers recommend.
1.Try bolder shades in the kitchen
Step out of your comfort zone and introduce bolder color schemes to your home over the coming year. 'Clients are increasingly moving away from the timeless, crisp white kitchen, for example, and are bravely embracing adding color to cabinets instead' says Patricia Knight, Founder & Principal Designer of Zinnia Design Studio.
'This truly personalizes the space, adds an unexpected visual dimension and allows it to come to life in a way that dynamically reflects an individual's personality. Jewel tones such as deep burgundy and aubergine are increasingly popular, which is so whimsical and refreshing!'
'With the amount of time people spend in the heart of their homes, why not have your personal stamp on the space? This is also a wonderful way to refresh without completely renovating.'
2. Only invest in quality furniture to update your rooms
'This year, my biggest recommendation to update your home is to really invest in high-quality furniture pieces that are going to stand the test of time. If you're looking to make updates, take the time to research materials and craftsmanship and invest in spending a little more for items that are artisan-quality and sustainably crafted' recommends Kathy Kuo, CEO of Kathy Kuo Home.
'You'll end up with a look that is more versatile and enduring, and it's also a smart choice in terms of sustainability and in terms of the money you save in the long run by not needing to replace furniture every few years.'
Kathy Kuo is a celebrated interior designer and international guru within the home and lifestyle space. She has 20+ years of experience in the design industry.
3. Focus on light fixtures to bring a new look
Lighting has a bigger impact on a room than you might expect, so consider your existing fittings before making any bigger changes. Add a warm ambiance with additional bedroom lighting, or make a kitchen feel larger and spacious with fixtures that let out more light.
'When looking to refresh and update a home, one of the most impactful and least invasive changes is to update your light fixtures' says Marie Flanigan, of Marie Flanigan Interiors.
'Lighting can easily date a home, but when timeless pieces are chosen, they work to add character and charm to any space. From simple table and floor lamp switches to chandeliers, pendants, and sconces, I’ve seen firsthand how new fixtures can completely transform a space.'
Marie Flanigan is an award-winning interior designer whose passion and achievements in design have positioned her as one of the nation’s best. She is classically trained and practiced architect, and her trademark style is evident through the sophisticated use of color, texture, and light. Every home she designs receives her personal signature of timeless elegance and innovative simplicity.
4. Experiment with interesting textures to add dimension
Blending different materials and finishes is a great way to add depth and interest to your interiors this year, especially in more utilitarian spaces like the kitchen, bathroom or utility room. It can be a simple update too, you needn't totally remodel the space - focus on smaller areas like backsplashes, countertops and wall finishes.
'Never underestimate the power of textural dimension, which can be achieved using organic elements such as wood and natural stones. Fluted wood or slat woodwork is being added to entire walls as wainscoting or ceilings to dress up a room' says Patricia Knight.
'In addition, natural stones such as marble, done in bold colors and patterns can add dramatic yet organic interest. Or, you can combine the two.'
Based in Philadelphia, Patricia Knight is the Founder and Principal Designer behind Zinnia Design Studio. She has worked in interior design for over 8 years on projects ranging from studio apartments in NYC to historic farmhouses in Virginia.
5. Pay attention to neglected areas
'The new year is a great time to tackle spaces that can easily be neglected, like a bathroom. Start by having your current tiles cleaned and regrouted. Crisp, clean grout lines can instantly refresh the look of your shower and make it appear well-maintained' suggests Victoria Holly, Principal and Founder of Victoria Holly Interiors.
'Swap out old, dated fixtures with more modern and stylish alternatives. This can include replacing the showerhead, faucets, and handles with sleek, contemporary options. Polished nickel or brass finishes can add a touch of luxury. For a larger change, opt for a high-quality, frameless shower door which can totally transform the look of your shower.'
There are so many ways to update your home this year. Small changes can make all the difference with a few carefully chosen, timeless pieces. But if you are planning full makeovers and renovations in some spaces, consider the colors and textures recommended by the experts for an elevated scheme.
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Molly joined the Homes & Gardens interiors team at the start of 2024 as a content editor. Her undergraduate degree was in Magazine Journalism and Production, which she studied at the University of Gloucestershire. Before joining Homes & Gardens, she worked for two interiors titles across both print and digital channels, writing about a range of topics from room design ideas and decorating trends to the best places to source pre-loved homeware.
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