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Design Inspo

8 Designer-Approved Tips on How to Reset in the New Year

The start of a new year can feel overwhelming, but it doesn't have to! We spoke to five interior designers about their tips on resetting for the new year. Get ready to be left feeling inspired and ready to tackle that to-do list.

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It's the beginning of a new year, which means everyone is setting resolutions, making new goals, and preparing for the months ahead. While New Year's resolutions can feel overrated to some people, I think of the start of a new year as more of a "reset" than a "let me set one lofty year-round resolution for myself."

Still, there's something undeniably satisfying about having a fresh perspective to set yourself up for success at the beginning of a new year. Whether you're finally tackling a DIY project on your to-do list or expanding your design business, finding ways to reground yourself before jumping headfirst into a new creative endeavor will only benefit you in the long run.

To jumpstart my creativity this year, I spoke to five designers about what they do to reset and stay inspired for the year ahead.

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1. Reflect on the previous year and think about what you'd like out of the year ahead.

"It's very hard for anyone to get back into the groove of things after the holidays, so figuring out what inspiration and motivation look like for each business owner is critical. I'm bringing on a new employee this month, so now I'm looking closely at my business, being critical of how the previous years went, and assessing what we want to get after this year." — Tiffany Thompson of Duett Interiors

2. Rearrange your furniture to get a fresh perspective and "new" feel in your space.

"I'm constantly rearranging furniture. I'm afraid interiors are becoming similar to fashion in the way that trends are coming and going faster and faster. This is not sustainable, neither environmentally nor economically. I avoid 'fast furniture' trends by constantly rearranging what I have and seeing it in a new light. This can be as easy as reupholstering a chair or swapping out art. Breathing new life into existing pieces will renew your appreciation for them!" Taylor Migliazzo Simon, Interior Designer

A warm living room refresh designed in Spoak by Haven Elise.

3. Instead of setting one big resolution for yourself, write down achievable short and long-term goals. 

"I'm a big fan of lists, so sitting down the first week of January and writing some short and long-term goals is really helpful. I don't put too much pressure on myself to hold every item, but a few key ones always stick. Simply writing them down sets the stage nicely for the year ahead and gets me excited to return to work! Pro tip: Buy yourself a nice notebook. The kind you'll get excited about using, maybe even a few cute pens, and take some time every week to brain dump your thoughts and stresses. Tackle the easiest, brainless tasks at night while watching Netflix and focus on the heavy work in the morning after your first cup of coffee." Diana Farberov, Interior Designer

4. Kick your new year off with some organization.

"I love to get financially organized and assess my firm's current project load and goals for the year. It helps me understand where we need to put more or less focus and aids in reducing potential stressors around overhead and staffing. Also, organizing past projects, creating lists of what needs to be photographed, archived, researched, and then adding timelines to ensure we meet our internal deadlines." Lisa Galano of Lisa Galano Design Consultancy

5. Create "mental" mood boards (and digital ones, too). 

"I love mood boarding, but not always in the traditional way. It could be an image I see on social media, an inspirational quote, a song, or an outfit. I'm always jotting down thoughts and inspiration throughout the day. You never know when it will come in handy! For example, once I saw someone wearing the chicest outfit with a deep burgundy red dress accessorized with a pale blue bag. I noted that I loved that color combination, and now I'm painting one of my client's bedrooms pale blue and using burgundy pillows!" Taylor Migliazzo Simon, Interior Designer

A colorful mood board designed in Spoak
A colorful mood board designed in Spoak by Brittany Zenner.

6. Get lost in your favorite interior design coffee table book or magazine.

"At the beginning of a new year, I really enjoy going back through old (and new) interior design books to look for inspiration. Every time I revisit a good design book, I am grabbed by something I may not have noticed before! It's a great way to get those creative juices flowing." Serena Finnerty, Interior Designer

"I picked up several international design, history, and travel books over the holiday and will dive into them over the next few weeks. I love seeing what is happening globally in design but also want to dive deep into the archives of interiors and see what references can be brought back for my firm."  — Tiffany Thompson of Duett Interiors

7. Remove things from your space that no longer serve you.

"I take stock of everything around me and ask: 'What no longer serves me?' If I own something I loved a couple of years ago but it's no longer a fit, I let it go (donate or resell). I don't think of this as waste because it fulfilled its purpose to me at that time, and now I can pass it on to another owner. Especially in New York, you only want to surround yourself (in our limited space) with pieces you love." Taylor Migliazzo Simon, Interior Designer

(Above) Taylor's apartment is adorned with vintage finds and second-hand treasures.

8. Prioritize quality over quantity.

Taylor says, "Quality over quantity in 2023. I'd rather splurge on a chair I love than buy five cheap chairs that don't last. This applies to all aspects of life. Don't waste time and money on things that you don't absolutely love and/or lose sleep over. And yes, I've lost sleep over a chair..." Us too.

If one of your New Year's goals was to get more creative with interior design, join Spoak for intuitive interior design tools, courses, and more.

Date Posted
January 13, 2023

"I'm obsessed with these planners from Ink+Volt; they help me to stay focused on tasks. I also love how they break it down into daily, weekly and annual goals." — Tiffany Thompson

"You will never catch me without my tape measure. You never know when you'll walk by a cool furniture shop, especially in NYC, and it's always good to have a tape measure handy!" — Taylor Migliazzo Simon

"I love a good purge. I'm always sending boxes of clothing, shoes, and accessories to ThredUp to donate or sell items. Clearing out my closet of things I don't use allows me to have more simplicity in decisions in the morning, which ultimately saves me time (and earns me money)!" – Lisa Galano

"I also love Monday.com to help me organize timelines, schedules, and priorities. It's very collaborative for my team and me, so this becomes a year-long maintenance once our key objectives are set!" – Lisa Galano

"While command hooks might feel simple and almost cliche, it's the best way to get organized. I spent an afternoon between Christmas and New Year's, finally hanging up my hat collection using command hooks (previously stacked on the floor). I was thoughtful about the layout and orientation, so now it feels organized and adds a nice design component to the space." — Diana Farberov

"For any items you can't hang on a wall using command hooks, I recommend arranging them in a chic basket. Deep and sturdy ones are my favorite so check materials and measurements before purchasing! I consider them almost a requirement in successful living rooms and bedrooms (especially kid's spaces)." — Diana Farberov


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