Start 2024 by Transforming Your Decor!

There’s always such excitement and hopefulness about the New Year and all the possibilities it can bring.  Therefore, start your 2024 with a new look and feel of your décor by reusing existing items, adding Goodwill-found pieces and rethinking your current design.   

Tap into the newness of the year to look at your place and spaces with fresh eyes and ideas.  

Transforming your home doesn’t have to break your yearly budget because you’ll shop for treasures at Goodwill and reconsider what you already have on hand.  Simple steps offer a big impact for little cost, so what’s not to love? And following this week’s blog, you’ll be ensuring you keep your New Year’s resolution of being smart with your money, creating a space you love, and honoring Mother Earth! (Check, check, and check!)

1.      Begin by asking yourself a couple of questions (no cost here!)

When you look at your current space (in my case, it was my front living area), what are the look and feel you would like it to have?  Does it reflect who you are and what is happening in your life today?  Inspired by Maria Kondo and her book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” do the items you have in it bring you joy?  Take time to reflect on these questions.  Share your thoughts and get input from family and friends, if helpful. 

For me, when I looked at my front living area, I realized it no longer reflected my current journey of creativity and desire to have less.  Living in a Victorian house, I have many items from deceased relatives that are full of sentimental value.  My sofa was overstuffed and over-fussy with its fringed bottom and tapestry-like fabric.  Rugs were showing wear and tear.  Too many of my own upcycled pieces took up too much room.  It felt much more Granny-like, cramped, and overlooked than contemporary, vibrant, and creative. Yes, it was time to give this space a new look for a new year and a new chapter!

What does your space say to you?  How do you feel when you see, sit, or walk through it?

2.      Assess what you already have

Take a tour of your home/room/apartment/condo to see what furniture you have in other rooms that might be reused elsewhere.  Often, we don’t even notice what we own if we’ve had it for a while.  In my family room, which I don’t use often, I had a handsome, contemporary, and comfortable gray sofa that would be perfect as an anchor for the transformation.  It was bought at Goodwill a while ago and was still in excellent shape so no need to hide it in a room I don’t use or see daily.  

“Shop” in your own place for side chairs, end tables, lamps, and other items that could be brought together to give your room a fresh feel. 

3.      Add to your collection with Goodwill-found pieces, items, accessories

Where are the gaps in what you need to make your space feel vibrant, alive, and reflective of you in 2024?  If you are a regular Goodwill shopper, then you already know they always have great and interesting items at prices that bring smiles and thumbs up.  

A suggestion when you look for your good at Goodwill?  If you see any item you like, grab it and take it home with you, even if you aren’t sure where it will go or how you might use it.  As I assessed what I had on hand, the only missing item was a big area rug with colors and a look I liked.  Before I started my room makeover, I had seen the perfect one at Goodwill but talked myself out of buying it!  When I decided to update my space, I thought about that rug and hustled back over to Goodwill—and it was long gone!   No surprise—and I know better after giving advice to others to buy things you like when you see them or you might miss the opportunity.

My less-than-ideal solution was to hit a big box store to see what it had on hand.  It was painful, given my love of thrifting and helping to keep items out of landfills by reusing, repurposing, and rethinking things.  The saving grace was that it was marked down dramatically, given it was unwrapped and had been returned by a previous customer.  The deal helped to ease the pain!

4.      Create a blank canvas by clearing out your space

Move out all furniture, lamps, tables, accessories, artwork, wall décor, and rugs, so you have an open, blank space on which to build your transformed, refreshed room.  Begin your Spring cleaning by giving it a good scrubbing, dusting, sweeping, and/or vacuuming so it truly is a fresh start.  

If you are like me, you don’t move your current furniture but rather clean around it.  It is amazing how much “stuff” gets collected under and behind things. 

5.      Start with your rug as a foundation for flair

Most interior designers or DIY experts encourage you to get as big a rug as possible and as your budget permits (hence the importance of hitting Goodwill first and seeing what great options it has waiting for you for much lower prices than regular retail).   

You will want all your furniture items to be on the rug or at least have the sofa’s front legs and the side chair’s front legs on the rug.  The one featured here is eight by ten and instantly made the living space look larger than previously with two smaller rugs.  With all the furniture moved out, place your rug in the center of the space to make it look bigger and wider. 

6.      Position pieces with purpose

Place your couch first as the centerpiece of your living space.  Add a comfortable side chair on each side to make a conversation area.  Based on the size and dimensions of your room, you could place two side chairs next to each other, too.  I had two lower profile, sleek side chairs (again, picked up at Goodwill and used before in other rooms) that complemented the sofa’s lower profile.  To break up all the square edges, an oval-shaped, upholstered footstool was enlisted as a coffee table.   Its black legs even matched the sofa’s black legs! 

A round end table with a sleek black top (again matching the black parts of the other items) was added on one side of the sofa, and an old worktable from a local artist’s workshop (a piece I love, love, love) was added on the other side.   You will want places for your family, guests, and yourself to set up a cup of coffee, a glass of wine, or a good book.  (Did you know Goodwill always has great mugs, glassware, and books available every day at every store?  Yes, it’s true and sometimes for just a buck each!)

Placed thoughtfully together, these six pieces already made the space look new and transformed.  And all for nothing since I had them on hand!  Cha-ching!

7.      Work on your walls—add art, mirrors, decorative pieces

Your artwork will help to set a tone for your space as well as offer an opportunity to weave in pops of color.  A brightly toned painting I made with three women was placed above the sofa as a cheerful focal point.  With vibrant hues I love, and in a black frame that matched the sofa and chair legs as well as the round tabletop, it was the perfect addition.  

An octagon-shaped mirror was hung up, too, for folks to check their faces before they head out for the day or evening.  An arched mirror was added to the wall opposite the window to add depth and to reflect more light.  An original watercolor of a stream with nature in matching colors was a must-have to include in the space. 

Each item brings me joy when I see them, so Marie Kondo would be proud of me!

8.      Let there be light—and attractive lamps

On your end tables, add lamps to give light to your conversations, to shine on your book reading, and to add warmth to the space.  A mid-century modern lamp with rainbow-painted details (done as part of an earlier Finding Your Good blog) was placed on the artist’s worktable.  A shimmery, glass-based lamp was added to the other, and a smaller, matching one was placed on the desk.  All three shades were in a similar light-beige tone which complimented each other.  

Goodwill always has an interesting collection of lamps, as the ones featured here attest.  If you find a lamp base that has a shape you like but its color doesn’t match your space, consider spray painting it to change its look.  It will only cost you a few dollars and is so easy.  Also, if you want to give an existing lamp a new look, Goodwill also sells lampshades, so you might score, too, by finding one with the size and look you desire. 
Designer Tip:

In your living spaces, always try to have at least three sources of lighting.  Ceiling lighting can make things seem harsh, so lamps in various heights and positions around the room will make it feel much more inviting.

9.      Accessorize & make your space reflect your unique style

This last step in the room transformation and redesign process is always so much fun!  Now that you have all the needed components for a comfortable and welcoming space, and have made it reflect who you are as you start the New Year.   

What are your favorite colors?  Pick up accessories at Goodwill with those tones in them.  I love teal, purple, and bright green, so I collected items in those shades, such as throw pillows, a furry blanket, paperweights, vases, votives, and more.    Most of these items I already had on hand and were picked up at various excursions to Goodwill.   

As an artist, I was happy to add a bird cage art piece I created from an old outdoor lamp which matched a colorful ceramic plate with the vibrant colors I love (I would like to say I painted the plate too but can’t).  A lover of traveling, I added a globe and sparkling Eiffel Tower accessory.  Books on decorating with repurposed and salvaged items were stacked on the footstool/coffee table. 

What are your interests?  Music?  Add artwork with instruments or pillows with musical notes on them.  Into sports?  Easy to play up that theme with coffee table books on your favorite teams or coasters with athletic motifs on them.  Think about what you love and ensure those images, colors, and messages are in your newly transformed space. 

Now, it makes me so happy to be in this living area, and my sweet dog Tiptoe loves it too!

Thanks to Goodwill for providing the inspiration to transform my space using items found there over the years and adding to my existing items, seeing them in a new light. 

You, too, will be sure to find your good there all year long and in ways that allow you to show your unique self and style!

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Tim Kime

Artist, Motivational Speaker, Life Coach

Tim Kime is an artist, life coach, and connector. He is the President of Kime Leadership Associates, offering executive coaching, meeting facilitating, and motivational speaking. He is also the Chief Creative Force of Transformation Junkies which upcycles furniture and other household items into functional works of art. He combined his two passions—unleashing the potential in people and transforming items with the launch of the Art of Possibilities Workshops. These workshops are part upcycling, part dreaming, and part goal setting.