These Home Projects Will Turn Your Space Into a Hygge Haven This Winter

Baby, this (becomes) cold outside. But if you look around your house and find that the interior is not very pleasant, could we suggest using the winter months for ttackling a few home projects that will refresh your space and turn it into a hygge haven?

Whether you’re restoring an old piece of furniture or playing around with removable stick-on wallpaper (yes, that’s a thing), there are plenty of low-stress updates you can make during those dull winter months that you’ll enjoy. all year.

√ ORGANIZATION IS KEY

Once your creative juices are flowing, you’ll want to get started on your projects right away. But experts say that’s putting the cart before the horse.

“People tend to jump straight into redecorating because it’s fun, but organizing has to happen first,” advises Cindy Bernstein, who runs the Pikesville-based organizing business. Objective 4 Order. “Clutter creates feelings of stress and being overwhelmed, while organization makes you feel like you’re in control of things in your life,” she shares. Part of the anxiety stems from the cognitive dissonance many of us experience when we know we need to get organized but delay doing so. “It’s a nagging stressor, making us feel guilty for not doing something we know we need to do,” she says.

As tempting as it may be, Bernstein tells his clients not to start an organizing project by just running around and buying bins at Target. Containers have their place, but the first step should involve sorting, that is, bringing together similar items, then storing or getting rid of what you no longer need. People often find they have an abundance of cups piled up in a kitchen or unworn jewelry clouding the top of a bedroom dresser.

To determine what to remove, ask yourself: Am I using it? Would I buy it again? If you feel remorse about getting rid of something, put it away, but don’t keep it indefinitely.

“Think of your basement or storage area as a ‘marinade box’ or a place to store your things while you decide to keep them,” Bernstein says. “In a year, if you haven’t touched the items and they have no sentimental value, purge them.”

√ REDUCE, REUSE, REUSE

Also think outside the box with organizational systems. You can buy and install a ready-made system for your closet or entryway, but you can also reuse items found at home or bought second-hand.

Mark Foster, president and CEO of the nonprofit Second chance, an architectural salvage warehouse in south Baltimore, says it’s continually amazed by the creativity of people reusing salvaged materials for practical and decorative purposes. “Social media is full of repurposing ideas, and people are doing all kinds of cool things that ultimately add character to their homes,” Foster says. “Due to the patina of age, these items cannot be replicated and are made with bygone craftsmanship that buyers are hard pressed to find these days.”

Bob Baxter, owner Clifton upholstery and design in Lauraville, testifies to a renewed interest also in the repurposing of old furniture.

“People are starting to realize that older furniture lasts longer and is made with higher quality materials, like hardwood, instead of a composite, and springs, instead of foam rubber,” says Baxter. “They buy used furniture or inherit it from the family, and they bring it in to be reupholstered in a fresh, modern look.”

Much like organization, reupholstering a chair or sofa is a great project to tackle this winter and can add vitality to an older room or even an entire room. When you bring in a piece to be upholstered, you need to select a fabric. Options abound, but thinking about your needs can help you narrow down the selection. For example, if you have pets or children, consider a durable fabric with a higher thread count.

“Furniture fashion has a lifespan of about five years which is basically dictated by color,” says Baxter, whose family has run the upholstery business since 1915. “Certain fabrics, like velvet and chenille, were in 100 years ago and will be in style 100 years from now,” says Baxter, who admits to encouraging his customers to choose timeless over fashion. But he offers the full gamut of options, from textured linens to printed geometric patterns, and recognizes the pleasure of using fabric to express his personal style.

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