It’s the day to do some kind of recap post–right? Although 2020 feels like a wash in many ways, I was thinking about the things I actually did accomplish in all of my time at home and I made some small changes that made a big difference (to me). Big improvements don’t always mean knocking down a wall or even spending a large amount of money. A few thoughtful changes can improve the way you feel about your home. I’ve shared some of these quickly on Instagram but here are a few more thoughts on my 5 favorite decor changes of 2020.
One. This spot has been ever evolving but late last year, I purchased the leaner mirror and it had just the effect I was hoping it would. The size opens up our smallish space and I like that it brings a more classical look to the room. (I’m sure the rest of my family was thinking the same exact thing. . . ) I also changed out the art by bringing in prints I previously had in our kitchen. They’re pages from a coffee table book that I framed myself. The final change I made wasn’t to the wall but to the floor. I replaced our jute rug with a much better sisal that stays in place and makes the room feel lighter overall.
Wall color // Mirror // Rug // Pillows
Two. When my teenage daughter decided she wanted the bookcases out of her room earlier this year, I decided to try them in our living room instead of the heavier black ones I’d had there for a while. Turns out, this small change in color made the whole room feel brighter. They also have more shelves which means I can buy more books. . . I do love the look of crammed shelves. (These are the IKEA Hemnes, by the way.)
Three. I wasn’t necessarily unhappy with the lighting in our dining room/office, but I did feel like the scale could be better and had long been an admirer of this light. After much searching, I found the right size at a pretty good price. I did have a little anxiety that it would be way too large for our room once installed but it’s such a statement without being overpowering. Another benefit: I was able to use the other pendant in our living room and I love its reflection in the big mirror.
Light (similar) // Table // Vintage Rug // Jute Rug // Ottoman
Note: The exact light I ordered is now out of stock on Amazon but this one is almost identical.
Four. While not everyone (on the internet) agreed, I knew I wanted to get rid of the pattern in my kitchen breakfast nook for a while. I just didn’t know what to do instead. After trying to figure out if I should save up for another wallpaper or try to hand paint some kind of abstract pattern, it finally hit me that I could just paint the entire kitchen in the same emerald green as some of our cabinets. Why didn’t I think of this before? The kitchen feels more finished (and fun) now and getting rid of the pattern has given me more flexibility in adding pillows, art, etc. I also feels like it flows better into the adjacent rooms. (Walls are Deep Jungle by Benjamin Moore.)
Wall color // Mirror // Bamboo shades // Lamp (similar)
Five. Walls weren’t the only thing I painted in 2020. Something about our fireplace mantel arrangement felt “meh” to me so I grabbed a canvas from our attic, some leftover paint in our garage and a few craft sponge brushes. The best thing about making your own art (besides the cost!) is that you have the freeing opportunity to paint over it and start again anytime your heart desires. . .
Chair // Rug // Lamp (similar) // Wall color
What’s your favorite change you’ve made to your home in 2020?
You can share yours by using #2020FavoriteChange on Instagram.
It looks great! Where do you get your skinny frames?
Emily Clark says
I just buy the inexpensive plastic frames at Michael’s and spray them gold. I ordered custom mats from Etsy or maybe eBay…. It’s been a while :)
Gorgeous changes! Thank you for the ideas.
Love this. This type of post is very inspiring! Love your style.
Wow Emily, the art over the mantle is gorgeous. I’ve seen abstract like this in galleries selling for thousands. You’ve have a good vision and talent. Happy New Year to you and your family.
Emily Clark says
In that case, I’m going to sell it right away ;)
Beautiful job. Lots of good ideas. Great taste. Bravo!
Your home looks beautiful and so fresh!! My goal this year is a weird one but maybe you will understand: Edit then layer….have too many things but it doesn’t seem full in here….
I do understand what you mean! I have a lot of decor items I love but am taking everything away, grouping like items together, so I know my inventory and ‘shopping’ and layering again.
Franki Parde says
Just that tweak…luv that!! franki
Not to be negative nancy here, but I like all of your before photos much better than your after photos. It all came together much better. It actually appeared that you were simply trying to reuse what you had instead of staying with a consistent theme of decker. That’s not a bad thing just not impressive. I agree the living room needed more light, but the black mirror was prettier. I liked the green in the kitchen but not the door and the wall; the black walls are a big no for me.. a nightmare to paint over in the future. And I didn’t think the lighting fixtures fit the rooms at all. The black bookshelves were better as well. I think you did a great job relocating things and reusing. But I do think it chopped up what you were originally going for.. and that was more appealing .. to me. JMO
Emily Clark says
Whew!! Thank goodness you don’t have to live here!
Ha! Sounds like it’s a very good thing. :) Thank you for sharing your home with us!
As for Jeanie – nice positive note to start the new year on!! Quite the critic!
Anyway, Emily, I think your home was lovely before and even better now. Your abstract artwork is really impressive!!
Becky Parham says
So glad you are back blogging! You are one of my favorites to follow!
Sarah Watterson says
Lovely and fun changes, Emily. I hope you’ll share more soon!
I could not agree LESS with the previous comment. I am a huge believer in the power of paint, shopping your home, and inexpensive tweaks to make the home feel fresher and more functional! I love the changes you made and they can serve as inspiration for all of us who may not have the time/budget/desire for major renovations or redecorations.
I love all of these very doable changes and am so grateful you have a new post! We’ve made some small changes this year that may not be anything overly impressive, but they have brought me joy. Sometimes, it’s the little tweaks that makes our homes feel more like us. Thank you for sharing your home with us. Many of us truly appreciate your time and inspiration!
So happy you’re back. Your posts are always inspiring and this one shows the beautiful arc of progress over the past year. I love all your choices; they remind me that just one change can transform the look me feel of a room.
Here’s to a fresh start in 2021!!!
Love these tweaks! Happy New Year Emily!
I just love what you did!! The white bookshelves look amazing there and really brighten up the space. I love how they are taller as well, and fill the space better. And the green door! How brave you were! And it looks fantastic! Thanks for this post. :)
Hannah Beth says
I adore the green in the breakfast nook! Thanks for sharing these inspiring ideas!