07 May, 2016

"How Often Does One Make Over . . . "

Photo: Paul Costello, courtesy of Rizzoli


I thought I'd share a few of my posts from my long-running advice column at House Beautiful . . . . this time casting my eyes towards Spring . . . .

Q: How often do you recommend painting and making over your home? —Donna T.

A: Donna, I think with Summer approaching, your question is very timely. Our homes reach their apex of "clutter" over the holiday season — with all the seasonal decorations, company, and numerous opportunities to entertain. But when the new year rolls around, I think we all begin to feel the need to freshen up our homes. Let's answer your question in the three different directions you could take.

The "Makeover"
This process always feels the most invasive. It brings to mind the removal of most of your furnishings, a kind of "back-to-square-one" mentality. Depending on your lifestyle, I like to see rooms updated every 5 to 10 years. Quite often your style evolves, and decisions that you made several years ago don't feel as "true" now as they did then. Repainting is clearly a part of this process, as well as cleaning, repairing, or replacing furniture and floor coverings that are beginning to show wear and tear.

The "Re-Style"
This one is a favorite of mine. So often in our homes, as new pieces come into the house they just get put in the best place available — and then tend to loiter there. A new piece of artwork will be hung on an open wall or a new decorative accessory gets placed on an open spot on the shelf. When I get in the mood to "re-style," I'll pull everything out of the room — all the accessories, lamps, sometimes I'll even take down all the artwork. Everything just gets stacked on the dining table. Then, with just the furniture in the room I'll double-check the space for traffic flow and adjust the furniture if needed. As each piece is returned to the room, it gives me a great chance to edit my belongings and remove items that are just taking up space. Sometimes items or artwork will be stored away, only to be discovered with delight at a later date! This is often what serves as "spring cleaning" at my house.

The "Refresh"
This process is much less involved and should happen with a fair amount of regularity. It can be as simple as fresh monogrammed bedding and pillows for your bedroom — like the marvelous bedding in the image above. Maybe the towels in the bath should be replaced. You know how your car always seems to drive better just after you've taken it to the car wash? This is kind of the same thing for your house!

For a complete archive of my HB.com advice columns - click here

Happy Spring and cheers,


Dean Farris said...


Great advice from a pro-


Scot Meacham Wood said...

Dean -

Thank you!


Liz Long said...

I love this article! Spring has always been a great time for me to declutter and air everything out. My favorite season will always be fall through Christmas but it does feel wonderful to go through spring cleaning and remove any visual clutter

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