Let’s get your home ready for the new year! It’s worth taking a day or two in December to clear out what’s not working from 2019 and give your home a freshening up for 2020. Here’s how I do it.
You had to know this one was coming, right? It’s time to KonMari the crap out of your home. While I love Marie Kondo’s concept of deciding if an item in your home “sparks joy”, if you’re not getting a clear answer on that (or if EVERYTHING sparks joy and you can’t let go of anything!), ask yourself this:
“Do I use this item, or do I love it?”
Those are the criteria I use as a filter to make decisions as to whether or not I’m keeping something. I have to either use it (like my boring but functional spatulas), love it (like the antique wooden bookends I inherited from my grandmother), or both (like my favorite cropped leather jacket).
If you use it and/or love it, it stays. If not…buh-bye. Go through your closets, drawers, and shelves. Don’t forget about your furniture too. If there’s something you’ve been living with that you just can’t stand, it might be time to invest in replacing it.
If the item is worth over $50, sell it! If it’s still in great shape but less valuable, consider donating it to a local shelter, mission, or Christmas gift drive.
Got rid of all the stuff that’s been weighing you down? Bust out the all-purpose cleaner and scrub scrub scrub. Baseboards? Check. Ceiling fans? Check. Replace the air filter? Check.
Whether you deep-clean your home yourself or hire it out (a very, very worthy investment in my books!), you’ll be stunned with how much better, fresher, and lighter your house feels.
Alright, the hard stuff is over. You’ve done the emotional work of letting go of things you no longer use or love, and you’ve deep-cleaned your house like a madwoman.
Now, let’s have some fun! Here’s your chance to start busting out of boring. Getting your home ready for the new year isn’t just about buying some pretty new things (although that’s coming, so hang tight), but it’s about taking a look at what you already have with fresh eyes and giving it a new life.
Gather up allllll the decorative accessories in your home. Think: bowls, hardcover books, houseplants, candles, bookends, knicknacks. Spread them out in one room where you can see everything at once.
At first glance, you’ll probably notice some things that you’re tired of, that are outdated, or just no longer reflect your style. Give them a little love, and then GET THEM OUT OF THERE. (See: #1 Purge, above.)
Use what’s left and restyle your home.
Have you had that white ceramic bowl on your kitchen counter for years? See how it looks perched on a stack of hardcover books in your living room. Has that potted plant been in your living room forever? See if you like it on your kitchen counter.
The idea is to take a look at what you already have and shop your own home before going out and buying new things. Sometimes a fresh perspective and moving things around can give a room a whole new look.
You’ve worked with what you have (congrats, you!) and hopefully most of your rooms are feeling pretty fresh and peppy after your awesome restyle. But mayyyybe there are a couple of things missing. Like, wouldn’t your coffee table look great with a large brass tray on it? And wouldn’t your bookshelf look totally pulled-together with a framed piece of art sitting on that empty shelf?
This is the time to make a list –
– a very specific list – and go shopping. (Or, hire your favorite designer – me – to do a Design Strategy Session with you where we can shop and style your home in a day! Contact me for deets).
Stick with your list, and don’t get seduced by cool things that don’t have a place. You have so much great stuff already – this shopping trip is just to fill-in-the-blanks with a few key accessories.
Girl, you’ve earned it. You’ve worked your buns off to bust out of boring and your home is organized, tidy, cleaned, and super styled. Go get some afternoon shut-eye.
Start the new year in a kickass home you love with these 5 tips to get your home ready for the new year: Purge, Clean, Restyle, Accessorize, and Nap.
PS. Lesley Myrick Art + Design is taking a break for the Christmas holidays. We’ll be back in January 2020 (after some serious holiday accessorizing and napping!) with the big reveal of Lesley’s Texas home tour. See you next year!
What is a Design Jumpstart?
You hear me talking about these two-hour power design sessions all the time.
what exactly happens at a Design Jumpstart?
Think of it like this. You have two hours ahead of you. You could…
….binge-watch your favorite show for the zillionth time (mine is Sex and the City, by the way) and drool over the fantastic, way-too-expensive apartments.
…browse Pinterest and create a “Dream Home” board with all the interiors that you’d love to have one day. One day.
…have coffee at a friend’s house and end up feeling totally jealous of her effortlessly cool and stylish space.
…instead of wishing you lived somewhere else, you could do a Design Jumpstart session with me to take action and kickstart the transformation of your home in just two hours.
Kind of a no-brainer, right?
At Lesley Myrick Art + Design, we kickstart many design projects with a two-hour power session (done either in-person or virtually) called a Design Jumpstart where we walk you through our 3-step Design Jumpstart system.
Jam-packed with personalized design ideas, inspiration, and tactical resources, a Design Jumpstart sets a solid foundation to bust you out of your boring home.
The 3-Step Design Jumpstart System
Our 3-step Design Jumpstart system will make the most of our time together and leave you with an actionable to-do list that includes all the items we’re suggesting you purchase or improve; design and style ideas; as well as contractor and vendor resources (if available). We’ll use this master checklist as the foundation to launch your design project – or if DIY is more your speed, it’s all yours as a guide for navigating design changes on your own. In just 2 hours, you’ll go from stuck and overwhelmed to a freakin’ Interior Design Superhero, ready to bust out of a boring home.
Live in the Atlanta or Macon, Georgia area? We’ll meet in-person at your home. Live elsewhere in the US or Canada? We’ll get together virtually using video conferencing on your phone or computer (and don’t let the tech freak you out, we’ll walk you through getting set up for our session!).
Not sure if a Design Jumpstart session is right for you? Book a complimentary call where we can learn more about what you’re looking for and recommend the most kickass design package for you.
In the 4 years I’ve been in business with Lesley Myrick Art + Design,
I’ve worked with over 90 clients on everything from 2-hour Design Jumpstart sessions to full turnkey home renovations.
Most of our design projects turn out awesome, and my clients are thrilled with their new home (and gratefully, they say so publicly!) But occasionally, things don’t go quite as planned. The end result is less than stellar. And the client isn’t over the moon – they’re straight-up bummed out.
So what’s the difference between a successful interior design project, and one where the end result is a let-down?
I’ve learned a lot with 90+ design projects under my belt,
and I’m always seeking out opportunities to tweak and improve our process, our communication, and our design packages. There have certainly been moments where I’ve dropped the ball, and let me tell you – no one takes those to heart and learns from those mistakes faster than I do.
But, I’ve also noticed something clients sometimes do that can completely de-rail a design project. It’s a mistake that seems harmless – a good idea, even – but the end result is a major disappointment.
So what’s the one BIG mistake I’ve seen clients make?
Stopping short before their project is fully finished.
Interior design is an investment. And it’s a process. And the middle part is MESSY! You’ve spent a lot of money on design fees and furnishings, without much to show for it (yet). Your home might be completely torn up in the renovation process. And every day a new, unexpected expense seems to pop up.
And instead of gritting their teeth (or asking for support) through the messy middle to get to the uhhh-mazing results on the other side, I’ve seen clients stop short. Grind things to a halt right before the magic happens. Freeze up, and freeze the project at the worst possible time.
If you are in the middle of an interior design project, or are thinking about starting one, I want to encourage you: trust your designer to see the project through to completion.
There is no way you’re going to be happy with your home if you stop a project halfway.
So much of the magic of interior design happens at the end, when every pillow is fluffed and shelf is styled and you can walk into your newly transformed space and breathe.
I understand the fear that happens in the middle of a project, where it feels like things will never end and your wallet is taking a major hit. But stopping short means your investment will be for nothing, and a piecemeal home is hardly a place that will feel beautifully, authentically, you.
The middle is hard.
It drags on. It’s overwhelming. But that’s exactly why you’ve hired an interior designer! This is what we do best – manage the messy middle so you don’t have to. You guys, we LOVE this stuff. We live and breathe it. And we’ve developed systems and strategies to handle it.
Instead of hitting the brakes while your project is humming along at a million miles per hour, reach out to your designer for help. Talk about the process, the timeline, the budget, and the results. A simple conversation that keeps your project on track may be the one thing that makes the difference between a designer that lets you down – and one that totally rocks your world.
I’m so excited to share the big reveal of our Atlanta interior design office! Let me tell you, I looooove working in this space. It’s not a huge room, but I’ve maximized it with plenty of storage and space to spread out and work.
Here’s what the office space looked like before.
When the home was on the market and we did our first walk-through, here’s what we saw. Trust me, it took a lot of imagination to envision this as the new headquarters for Lesley Myrick Art + Design. If you’ve ever thought that “bust out of boring” was just a cute catchphrase, think again – busting out of boring is what I live for. And this room was boring, baby.
And here’s the office, after.
I’m obsessed with the dark teal ceiling – it’s Sherwin-William Cascades, if you’re curious. I love teal – obviously – but in a north-facing room with its only window obscured by our wraparound porch, my office doesn’t get a lot of natural light. I wanted the punch of dark teal, but I knew it would be too gloomy in there (and terrible for choosing colors for clients!) so instead I opted for a teal ceiling that wraps down onto the walls. The lower portion of the walls are painted in my favorite crisp white, Sherwin-Williams Extra White.
Since I work with so much color every day (think: wallpaper, fabric, tile, paint swatches…) I prefer my workspace to be mainly neutral. But – when you’ve got a fabulous vintage yellow Chinoiserie bookcase you’ve gotta find a kickass home for it. And FINALLY, I GET TO ORGANIZE MY BOOKS IN RAINBOW ORDER AGAIN! My husband’s books have moved to his new office and I get to embrace all the rainbow goodness.
This is my favorite little corner of the office where I pin up inspiring interiors, art, and notes from my 5-year-old son. I’d love to tell you that I sit here and actually use this chair, but let’s be real – it’s mostly used by my cat.
I know you’re curious…
…about what’s in those cabinets. Since this room was just a blank rectangle with no closets, I built in a ton of storage. The cabinets on the window side (pictured below) are home to fabric books and hard samples (like tile, countertops, and flooring), as well as drawing and drafting supplies.
The opposite cabinets store office supplies and files, with a lot of open space for receiving small packages and fabrics for clients. I hate clutter, and nothing bothered me more in my former office than the boxes that would occasionally pile up beside my desk on the floor.
Thanks for taking a peek at our Atlanta interior design office after the makeover! I don’t just talk about busting out of boring, I live and breathe it. If you’d like help busting out of your boring home, here’s how to get started.
While moving across the country brings plenty of logistical challenges (including moving a business, two young kids, and one brand new kitten!) it also brings A NEW ATLANTA INTERIOR DESIGN OFFICE for Lesley Myrick Art + Design. Cue alllll the angels singing.
You probably remember our office in Waco, Texas. It was a great space for me and my small team, but given that almost everything was built-in, there was nothing I could take with me to Atlanta.
I know, I know…how terrible for an interior designer to have to re-design a room! I can’t tell you how excited I was for a fresh start and a blank canvas.
My home office is just off of the main entry, with a pair of French doors dividing it from the rest of the house. I love the flexibility of working from home in a space that is connected but truly feels like a separate office space. I can shut the doors at night have clear boundaries between work and family.
Here’s the (underwhelming) space before:
Yup, a total snooze. It’s basically a rectangular box with dirty grey carpet and a boob light on the ceiling. But thankfully, those barely-visible windows are almost 7′ tall and let in so much light, and a fresh coat of paint does wonders!
There’s no closet or storage of any kind in this room, and building in storage for material samples and catalogs, office supplies, and warehousing small items for clients was essential. Here’s my plan for the office layout:
Definitely bigger than it looks in the photo, right? The plan is to create two workspaces (one for me, one for an in-person assistant); a large island with a generous work surface for spreading out samples and working on client projects; and building in wardrobes with customized storage for fabric books, tile and flooring samples, catalogs, and all the other design-related collateral that’s essential to have on-hand.
And here’s the plan for after:
Aesthetically it’s all about black and white with a dramatic dose of teal on the ceiling and part of the walls. I fell in love with the inspiration image above by Jean Stoffer Design and wanted to re-create the vibe. The walls will mainly be my favorite crisp white, Sherwin-Williams Extra White, but the ceiling and a 2′ band at the top of the walls are gonna be Cascades, the prettiest dark teal. The tall marble-top desks, modern ceiling fan, and center island are what my podcast co-host and designer bestie Kate has in her home office, and I’ve been obsessed since I first saw her space.
The after photos are coming at ‘ya soon! (You can also sneak a peek of the completed Atlanta interior design office each Monday at 9amCT on the Bust Out Of Boring live show on Facebook and Instagram.)
Unless you’ve previously worked with an interior designer, you might not have any idea what the process looks like. So, here’s the complete beginner’s guide to working with an interior designer.
I totally understand when people are hesitant to invest in a design pro – after all, there’s so much work that goes on behind the scenes that it’s easy to be unsure of where your money is going. What does an interior designer do, anyway? How long does it take? And what does the process look like along the way?
Here’s what the 10-step process with Lesley Myrick Art + Design looks like from start to finish for a full-service project (we call this our “Design Comprehensive” package). Of course, each client and project is different and we’ve got different design packages for different needs and budgets; but this is generally what to expect.
The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Working with An Interior Designer
Step 0: Complimentary Phone Consultation
This is the pre-game: we want to get to know you and your project! This free 20-minute call with yours truly is a chance for you to make sure that Lesley Myrick Art + Design is an awesome fit for you. We’ll ask you to share a little about your project with us, we’ll recommend the best design package for you, and you’ll be able to get all of your questions answered. Working together should totally jive and feel great – the complimentary phone consultation is like our “first date”.
Step 1a: Design Jumpstart session
A 2-hour design consultation called a Design Jumpstart will kick off your project. We’ll review your existing floor plan, recommend a new plan (if needed), discuss what type of furniture to purchase, talk about window treatments and finishes, help create a livable budget, come up with a design direction and vision, and answer your design and project questions. The Design Jumpstart is the launching point for you to gather expert advice and resources to continue on your own, or it sets the foundation for our work together.
Step 1b: Signing of Agreement and Payment of Design Fees
At the end of our Design Jumpstart session, a signed Professional Services Agreement and payment for initial design fees will officially kick off your project. Huzzah!
Step 2: On-Site Measurements and Photos
Lesley Myrick Art + Design will take detailed measurements of your home, as well as thorough reference photos. This is also the time that we’ll invite your contractors into your space to take their own photos and measurements and discuss the scope of the project.
Step 3: Design Planning + Concept Meeting
We’ll take all the information discussed in the Design Jumpstart and use it to design your floor plan; choose furnishings, fabrics, and finishes; select appliances and light fixtures; and create cost estimates for every necessary aspect of your design. This is the part of the process where a TON is done behind the scenes, and the client sees very little immediate results. We know it sucks to wait, but it takes time to do this right and make sure every last detail is covered.
Once we have a design direction and some initial selections made, we’ll schedule a meeting to present our Design Concept and get your feedback on where things are headed before buttoning up all the details.
Step 4: Design Proposal Presentation and Collection of Payment
After all the behind the scenes planning is done, we’ll present your design plan and proposal. Payment for all the goods you approve is due and we’ll get busy procuring your items!
Step 5: Procurement
We’ll place all of the orders for furniture, fabrics, appliances – you name it. We manage allllll the tedium of ordering, tracking, receiving, and inspecting your furniture and decor.
Step 6: Construction + Site Visits
It’s go time! This is when your contractors will get started with their work. We’ll pop in for site visits (usually weekly) and be available via phone and email to discuss the project with your contractors and answer their questions. This part of the design project can take a number of weeks – or months – depending on the scope of the project.
Step 7: Furniture Installation + Styling
Contractors are done doing their thing, and now the pretty stuff will arrive! Once everything has been delivered on-site, our team will arrange and style everything for the big reveal. Your home will go from construction zone to finished magazine-worthy space practically overnight.
Step 8: The Big Reveal + Walk-Through
TA-DA! At the end of the day you’ll walk in the door to see your home completely finished. (Cue angels singing.) All your patience will have paid off when you see the incredible transformation! Your home will feel totally amazing. And it’s all yours to enjoy. We’ll also do a detailed walk-through with you and create a punch-list of deficiencies that need to be addressed.
There are always going to be a few minor things to take care of – this is totally normal. Sometimes furniture arrives damaged, or an issue arises with work that’s been done. This is the time to fix those pesky problems and ensure you’re over the moon with your new home.
Step 9: Professional Photography
Your stunning space deserves a moment in the limelight! Right after the big reveal when your home is perfectly styled (usually the next day) we’ll bring in our rockstar photographer.
Step 10: Resolving Deficiencies + Project Wrap-Up
When all deficiencies and problems have been resolved, we’ll officially wrap. Clients will receive a project binder which includes fabric swatches, paint colors, and other useful information to have on hand. And of course, a little thank-you gift from us.
Do you have a question about working with a designer that wasn’t answered here?
This complete beginner’s guide to working with an interior designer is just scratching the surface. If you have a question or are you’re interested in starting a design project (no pressure to marry me, it’s just a first date!) you can book a complimentary consultation call right here.
How much does it cost to decorate a living room?
It seems like one of those well-guarded secrets: how much does it cost to decorate a living room? Whenever I have a consultation call with a potential new client, I always ask what they’ve set aside to invest in their design project.
And nine times out of ten, the answer is, “I have absolutely no idea.“
You know what? I don’t blame them! Unless you’ve sat down to make an itemized list of every single item that goes into a typical room, it’s such an abstract concept to come up with a budget. I mean, $10,000 sounds like a lot of money and you can probably decorate a living room for $10k, right?
Unless you’re shopping exclusively at IKEA and garage sales, a dreamy living room for $10,000 isn’t going to happen. Think about it: you likely need a sofa, and two accent chairs, and a coffee table, and two end tables, and an area rug, and a couple of table lamps, and a light fixture…oh, and did I mention window treatments, accent pillows, wall art, maybe a mirror, and accessories?
There’s some interior design #realtalk for you – it’s probably going to cost more than you think to furnish your living room.
While you probably haven’t made an itemized list of things you’ll need for your living room, I have! Here’s a quick breakdown of what you can expect to invest in a living room at a Good, Better, and Best price point.
One of the best indicators I’ve found for helping clients establish a project budget…
…is discovering what they’re comfortable spending on a sofa. For some people, $1000 is a lot; for others, $10,000 is starting to reach the end of their comfort zone. Having real numbers to work with – not just intangible language like affordable or expensive – means I can get a sense quickly of what vendors to source from and at what price point.
So, now what?
I’ve created a handy-dandy FREE guide for you called How Much Does It Cost to Decorate a House? In it you’ll find real room-by-room budgets to help you plan your design investment – at a price point you’re comfortable with – to take the guesswork and uncertainty out of the financial side of decorating.
Get ready to kickstart your interior design project and plan your budget like a boss! Download our super helpful guide with room-by-room furnishing budgets and printable worksheets right here.