New Year, New Home: 11 Fresh Ideas to Try to Shake Things Up


by Nancy Mitchell
Senior Writer • Apartment Therapy • New York, NY
December 31, 2017


The beginning of the year is a time of new things, of fresh starts. If you're feeling the urge to try something a little different in your home, we've got 11 ideas to help you shake up your look.

1. Paint the inside of your bookshelves

An idea we're stealing from The Design Chaser. Would also work to paint a wall before putting up shelving.


2. Hang art in an unexpected spot

A Paris apartment spotted on AirBnB keeps things grounded, and though certainly not a look for most people, it's a surefire way to make your ceilings look extra high in comparison.


3. Paint your ceiling

Earlier this month, Pinterest reported that painted and statement ceilings are going to be all the rage in 2018. Be a step ahead by tackling this project before the new year (warning: this is only for those without popcorn texture).


4. Hang a collection on the wall

Spotted on Domino, here's a great way to display some of your beloved collections. Dust off that hoard of guitars/globes/paperweights and either hang them straight on the wall, or on a shelf.

Read this complete apartment therapy article and the remaining 7 fresh ideas here.

The #1 Reason People Finally Remodel Their Kitchens

                                                                                                                                                                                                      (Image credit:   Aimée Mazzenga  )

                                                                                                                                                                                                      (Image credit: Aimée Mazzenga)

(Image credit:  Aimée Mazzenga )

(Image credit: Aimée Mazzenga)

by Dabney Frake

There are so many reasons to remodel your kitchen. You just bought a house and you hate what's there now. Perhaps you finally saved up some money and can afford the change. Or, you plan to sell the home in a couple of years and think new cabinets will appeal to buyers. All good reasons, but do you want to know the most common thing that pushed people to finally take the plunge and redo their kitchens?

#1 Reason: Because homeowners just can't stand their current one anymore.

It's not just a rational decision apparently, or a well-executed strategy to upgrade. Day after day, for years perhaps, owners walk into a space and shudder at what they see, or are frustrated by the current layout. Eventually they just break down and give in to the want for something different. 43% of renovations in Houzz's Kitchen Trend study were attributed to this decidedly human motivation. In 2014-2015, that number was only 29%.

(Image credit:  Aimée Mazzenga )

Compare that to recent home buyers, who move in and want to renovate right away— either they can't live with the previous owner's taste, or everything is dreadfully outdated. Only a little over one quarter of kitchen renovations came about because new owners wanted to make the space more their own (28% each year for the past three years).

In fact, only 24% of projects happen when the kitchen is functionally broken down and busted: maybe appliances aren't working, cabinets are off their hinges, and the countertop is falling apart. It appears we don't drive our kitchens into the ground, so to speak, where they are beyond repair or unsafe.

Fewer people cited a change in family or lifestyle that would warrant a new kitchen (10%) or needing to upgrade in order to put their home on the market (8%).

The good news: 40% of kitchen projects came after homeowners had finally saved the money. Yes, they hated their kitchens too, and wanted to make the change, but waited instead until they had the funds for the project. We'll just have to hope that all the others aren't assuming a bunch of credit card debt to cover their remodeling expenses.

For more info, check out the 2017 Houzz Kitchen Trend Study.

Does this ring true for you and your motivation to renovate?

Read the complete article as it was published in apartment therapy

It's All About Texture: These 10 Materials Will Set Your Kitchen Apart

by Nancy Mitchell , Jan 26, 2017
Apartment Therapy

What direction will the design of the kitchen take in 2017? That's a question we've been asking ourselves for the past few weeks, and today we're taking a look specifically at materials — all the separate parts, from cabinets to countertops to floors, that come together to make up your space.

A general trend we've been seeing in kitchen design is a movement away from pure, stark modernism and towards a more layered look that mixes traditional and modern elements. Included on this list are lots of materials with a textured, variegated appearance — lovely, tactile elements that will give any kitchen a bit of warmth and history.



Not those heavily varnished dark cherry cabinets you remember from the early 2000s, but cabinets that celebrate the grain and texture of wood. If you're not sure about doing your whole kitchen in this style, mix it with white uppers, or use wood cabinets only for an island.

Shaker style

Shaker-style cabinets (especially painted in greys or dark colors, like navy or hunter green) add instant sophistication to a kitchen. They're a great fit for more traditional or country-style kitchens, but also a nice way to add detail to a modern space as well.

Naked Kitchens  ☆ (Image credit:  Naked Kitchens )

Naked Kitchens ☆ (Image credit: Naked Kitchens)

  • Countertops
    • Soapstone
    • Butcherblock
    • Marble
  • Floors
    • Terracotta
    • Cement Tile
    • Worn Wood
  • Backsplashes
    • Zellige Tiles
    • Cement Tile
    • Brass