The start of a new year is a perfect time to streamline your life and take stock of what’s important. Make your home into an organized, welcoming space with tips from these top Austin designers.
Sarah Wittenbraker: Create Designated Spaces for Each Category of Items
"The most important step to getting your home sorted: edit, edit, edit. Once the superfluous is tossed out, I recommend creating zones. For example: 'drop zone' for mail and keys (not the kitchen counter!); 'coffee zone' with mugs, filters, coffee and fixings; 'baking zone' with cookie cutters, birthday candles, flour, sugar, and vanilla extract. Grouping like items keeps you from wasting time searching or worse, overbuying. No one needs three cream of tartars!" —Sarah Wittenbraker, Sarah Wittenbraker Interiors
Petra Rupp: Get Rid of Things Don't Make You Happy
"Your home is a reflection of your life: if there’s clutter in your space, there’s bound to be clutter in your mind. Get rid of things that no longer serve you, and make sure each furniture piece not only serves its purpose, but brings you joy. I like to infuse a touch of whimsy in all my designs—life shouldn’t be so serious! There’s nothing like coming home after a long day to a bespoke space, a home that just gives you a little hug." —Petra Rupp, Petra Art + Interiors
Jennifer Greer Hartmann: Toss the Old & Broken for the New
"Refresh your everyday essentials. Make sure your have a nice set of towels, sheets, dishes, food storage containers, and kitchen linens on hand. Throw out the stained linens, the chipped dishes, the old tupperware; keeping old, worn items in case you need them, only clutters up your life. And upgrading these everyday items in our households is a small step that can really make a big difference in the day to day." —Jennifer Greer Hartmann, Greer Interior Design
Mary Korth: Give Your Rooms Some TLC with Fresh Flowers & Eye-Catching Art
"Give your utility room or butler's pantry a fresh look with labeled decorative containers for soap, detergent, paper goods, water bottles, linens, and matches. Add smart hidden tools that make life easier: pull out trash/recycling/drying racks, and a wall mounted ironing board that folds into a square on the wall and tucks out of sight. Treat yourself to a new piece of art after you have been successful at editing out non-essential pieces. Buy fresh flowers once a week to top off a room you love: [it's] instant gratification and very welcoming." —Mary Korth, Mary Ames & Co.
Brooke Wilbratte and Meredith Lamme: Organizing Your Bookshelf Is the First (Easy) Step to Decluttering
"We have found that organizing bookshelves can make a big impact with little effort. Bookshelves tend to be a place where people put random objects, books and clutter that don’t make any sense to the eye. We recommend to first get rid of the clutter, then add in pretty coffee table books. We also recommend using collections of objects that complement the books. In this particular bar, we styled it with pretty glasses, bar accessories, and liquor bottles creating an organized, functional, and beautiful bar." —Brooke Wilbratte & Meredith Lamme, The Décor House
Deborah Stachelski: Curate Your Home By Constantly Balancing between Things You Love & Don't Want
"Interior design is a lot like writing. A lot of times you start by putting all of your thoughts down on paper, but the magic happens when you start to edit. Editing down your designs will ensure that you only end up with the best parts you want to display to the world, and none of the clutter that adds nothing but noise and distraction from the main point. When you decorate a space, start by adding all of your favorite pieces, but don't stop there—take something away and step back, looking at the whole picture. Continue to do that until it feels balanced and just right." —Deborah Stachelski, Hotel & Interior Design Writer
Brooke Anderson: If You Can't Group Your Things in Practical Ways, You Don't Need It
"Steal an afternoon and start cleaning out all of your drawers, closets, and cabinets. Find a place for everything. If it doesn’t have a place, then get rid of it. Once everything has a place, you will be organized. The trick is to then not bring in more to your home than you have a designated neat place for." —Brooke Anderson, Bay Hill Design