Can you believe how quickly January disappeared?  I confess I feel like I just finished taking Christmas down...

Actually, the Christmas tree did barely make it to the street for the last pick up last month, leaving a trail of pine needles in its wake - but it made it.   Until a few weeks ago the garland was still on the fireplace (the Hubs wanted to keep it up - it really did look gorgeous this year), but it finally succumbed to the Christmas clean up.  I was just about to pat myself on the back for having all things tucked away before the end of January... (I know, you all feel so superior right now, right? ha!)  when I glanced at the large mirror on the landing - with its garland and ornaments...still there.

Then, coming home that night I realized I hadn't removed the wreath from the upstairs front window - [sigh] - at least it wasn't still lighted.

I went large with poinsettias this year - loving their festive pop of color throughout the house and although I do have a couple bedraggled poinsettias, the rest are still looking chipper.  What do you do with poinsettias after the holidays when they are still looking good?  Toss them anyway? Let them die a slow death on the patio? Help!


I took a little time after the holiday rush to think about my own goals for 2016.  Traditionally this is a time of reflection and goal setting and I think we almost automatically try to spruce things up a bit after taking down all the gorgeous holiday decor.  It feels a little bare, suddenly.

I have started making my list for home repairs and redecorating in the new year.  Its a really good time to take a look at your home and decide what changes you would like to make in the months to come.  Set some goals to freshen, update, repair, replace...or at least create a list that will help you stay on track to make those changes... in 2016 or beyond.

Here are a few suggestions for freshening up in 2016...

Freshening your space can be as simple as editing your accessories.  Try removing all the clutter and looking at things with a bright new eye (accessories have a tendency to accumulate over time).  Add back only the things you love, or those that really add to the decor. Take a look at picture frames - (do they need updating?), faux florals (are they still looking good or are they a little tired and dusty?).  Are your lamps outdated? Could they use new simpler shades - or how about a completely new look?  Bring in some garden influence to welcome Spring this year in the form of fresh green plants or succulents.  What does your coffee table look like - could it use a new tray to hold books, candles, the remote?  Don't have a clear picture of what to edit?  Send me a photo and I will help!

What is on your walls?  Have you been staring at the same artwork for years now?  How about a fresh new look!
via Pinterest

Nothing freshens a room more completely than a new coat of paint.  (Are your walls wearing the fashion of several years ago?)  Afraid of color - good news then, because whites are back!

Decorating trends are the same as fashion trends - just not as frequent. You wouldn't wear decades old fashion - why should your home?  If your room is sporting outdated colors or decor, some quick changes can help.

Simplify - clean lines are in.  Change out elaborate or curvy lampshades for a simple drum shade. Add a few contemporary lines - a simple table, desk or chair can change a look from tired to terrific.

Oak is dated - give those oak end tables or wooden chairs a quick coat of paint in a soft gray, a white or a bold color.


Quick change your decorative pillows with slipcovers you can pick up for a few dollars on Etsy - go for simple graphic designs and clean colors.

Make repairs before they start building up.  Missing knobs, leaky faucets, crumbling grout, peeling paint - make your list and tackle these jobs before they become too large to fix yourself!

Take a good look around with critical eyes.  Do you really love what you see, or would you really like to replace that worn chair, or the lamp that Aunt Myrtle gave you that you have never loved?  Is your area rug due for a change up?

How about a new chair or re-upholster?  Or change out those tired drapes?  Would a different furniture arrangement make a difference?

via Pinterest
Don't forget to include the outside of your home, too.  Take a good look at the front door - a fresh paint job can do wonders there...

If your list is a little overwhelming, (like mine) take a deep breath and realize that you have a whole year - just tackle it one little bite at a time....you'll be surprised how much you can accomplish!
NEED HELP?   Send me a picture and ask me to help you update your room.  I will provide some suggestions to refresh, update, or improve your room in a future post!


Hi Claudine.  I love your blog. Goal for 2016 is to decorate/update some of the rooms in my home: Office, living room, family room.  I need help!  What services do you provide long distance and what are your rates?  Thank you in advance.


Although I replied to Kate privately, this is a good opportunity to talk about what we can do long distance.  

Long Distance Decorating is definitely more for the "help me do it myself" mindset. From the photos you send me of your space, I get a feel for your style, the room itself, and the changes that need to be made.  To request long distance help, you have to be willing to tackle the job on your own or with hired help.  I can guide, suggest, recommend, but ultimately, you or your contractor will be doing the work.  So I'm basically providing a plan, a consultation on what I feel your space can become, based on what you tell me and the pictures you provide.  So keep that in mind as you snap photos - make sure I can get a good feel for the room, and tell me everything you can think of to help me know your personal style, your decorating desires, and how you want your room to function.  That communication is key.   Give me guidelines on color, too.  Show me other colors that you like - adjacent rooms I need to consider - etc., and don't be afraid to tell me what you do not like.   Some clients don't have a feel for what they want, but they definitely know what they don't want.  That can be nearly as helpful.  

Each long distance client gets a blog post - a private one - that outlines my recommendations and their reasons. I include illustrative photos and sketches where applicable, but I also ask questions, ask for your feedback, create a back and forth dialog until I know that you are pleased with your plan and can move forward on your own.  We update the blog post each time so we have a record of the changes and recommendations that you can refer to  and quite frankly, a picture is worth 1,000 words - so lots of photos to help you see what I see.  Often I create a Pinterest board that we can both post to and add comments.

I don't limit your contact - you can ask as many questions as you like for that space.  You can proceed at your own pace.  You can email me, call me, face-time me, text me.  I'm here to help, and I love to do it.  I love to see the progress, too.  I love photos!  

So far, long distance consulting has been a fun and successful endeavor for CBID Design.  I have clients all over the US and Canada, and a few even further overseas.  It's amazing how small our world is becoming!

Prices start at $99 for a single color consult or $199 for suggestions to update a room.  A complete room design or re-design is $250, and multiple rooms or an open floor plan is determined by the size and needs for that space - I will negotiate a fair cost. 

Contact me at:  claudinebarnett@hotmail.com

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