New Year, new goals, and freshly sparked inspiration to get things done! We know the usuals– new gym memberships, budgets, clothes, and career aspirations. But before you overwhelm yourself with long-term projects and self-improvement hacks, let’s start small. Let’s refresh the spaces we call home.

Y’all, please DON’T put your spaces on the backburner.

This is one of the most important ways to boost your feel-good hormones and get your New Year off to a good start.

For all of us, our environment affects our mood and productivity levels — especially now — so many of us are working from home. Let’s give it some TLC! And give ourselves a to-do list we can actually accomplish RIGHT now. How good does that sound?

Want to know what home decor trends to embrace in 2021?

Here are some do’s (and don’ts) to think about as you refresh your home for the New Year!

DO Paint Your Cabinets

Sometimes people avoid any design TLC because they feel like it’s just too complicated or expensive. Not always! Sometimes a simple paint upgrade can transform a whole space. Kitchen cabinets are a great place to start.

If you’re on a budget and can’t replace your cabinetry– repaint them. AND then, either repurpose or change out your hardware. Voilah! Instant gratification and a kitchen that looks brand new.

And unless you or your husband are contractors, NOT just handy– we recommend hiring a pro for this one. Painting is not as easy as it seems, especially when you want a nice, streak-free finish in every nook and cranny of your cabinet drawers. Trust me. A sloppy or less-than-perfect cabinet paint job WILL show.

Top Tip: If you decide to change out your cabinets, do install soft-close ones. If you stick with your existing cabinets, DO clean out the top of the cabinets (you won’t believe the number of dust mites that can accumulate up there).

What are the decorating trends for 2021?

Do paint an accent wall

If cabinet painting feels like too much, try updating just your wall color. BUT don’t paint without swatching first! Each paint color has an LRV value.

AKA the Light Reflectance Value.

A fancy way to refer to how light or dark a paint color will look. YES, lighting can change color. So can undertones. A grey paint color can look BLUE in one space and creamy grey in another. It’s all about the undertones y’all!

color accent fireplace wall

If paint options overwhelm you, check out my favorite paint color guide here. This guide will make your life easier if you’re thinking about painting any spaces in your home.

What is the next trend in home decor 2021?

Don’t believe wallpaper is a 1980’s trend

The same concept applies to wallpaper. DO hire a contractor for wallpaper updates. And try not to choose an outdated wallpaper. Some classic patterns include floral, stripes, and geometric shapes.

AND, wallpaper used to be a classic sign of dated decor.  Or a reminder you’re sitting in your grandmother’s kitchen. BUT, today’s wallpaper goes beyond dingy florals and teapots for the kitchen.

You can either use wallpaper in an entire space or just for one accent wall. Either way, the right wallpaper can amp up a space’s design factor x10!

If you’re still not convinced, get the full scoop on the best ways to decorate with wallpaper in your home over here!

Don’t replace lighting without an electrician

There are a lot of things that CAN be DIY.  But one thing that I don’t mess with is electrical work!!

You know why? Because its dangerous!! Leave it to the experts. (Need a referral? I have a great one coming…)

If most of your spaces have the basic ceiling fan light, it’s time for an upgrade! Lighting is such a fun (and functional) way to spruce up your spaces.

It’s also very budget-friendly.

If you have a bathroom that needs some love, try adding a semi-flush pendant light or matching sconces on each side of your vanity mirror.

Or try vintage pendant lighting for your kitchen island. Go for something bold that has character! It will give your kitchen some much-needed personality. We love our rustic creamy wooden candle lights with an iron black finish.

Top Tip: I have recently worked with Milestone Home Services on a few projects and have been impressed!! Here is why they have passed the trust test: (Courtney Warren Home only hires the best, ya know!)

  • Fully qualified, trusted, bonded, and approved- they know their stuff–there are so many factors to take into consideration for the safety of your home – GFCI, surge protection, electrical panels, and more! I don’t mess around with tradesmen that aren’t informed when my client’s safety is at risk!
  • Background check and drug testing–before entering the home of people I care deeply about, I don’t want my hired subs to be sketchy!! I feel good that they have been tested and approved.
  • Local  company- I love supporting local businesses!! (No matter where you are in the world, do not risk replacing lighting without a certified electrician!)

Do update gallery walls with current photos

Photo updates are such a meaningful way to refresh your home for the New Year too! I remove any Christmas or Holiday inspired photos the first week of January. Then, I use a black and white filter for my display photos. These have a nice classy feel to them.


Do buy fun throw pillows

Another easy way to update your space? Hunt for some cozy throw pillows. I like to change mine out with the season. The right pillows can transform an entire space.

Don’t believe me?

Next time you look through decor magazines or Instagram feeds, imagine those very spaces without the pillows. Dull and lifeless!

  • Christmas, I’ll get some classics — plaid or something North Pole-ish.
  • New Years’, I go for fresh neutrals or something with a little sparkle!
  • Spring, I brighten my spaces with florals and pastels.

And for fall, I’ll use black and white gingham or dark, moody earth colors! I also like pairing geometric patterns with vintage accent chairs.

Top Tip: Try buying your inserts and pillow covers from the same place. Many times, insert sizes can vary depending on where you shop.

It’s also better to stock up on inserts and buy removable + machine washable covers. Some polyester pillows do not come with removable covers, so you’re stuck with that design. You’ll either choose to store it away (and pillows do take up space) or give it away.

Inserts come in down (feather filled) or polyester. Need a polyester option that holds up well and doesn’t shed feathers?  Try this Pillowflex brand on Amazon. I’ve also found this brand’s sizing does stay true to cover sizes from most retail stores!

And yes, you can karate chop them for a perfect point — most other polyester pillows won’t do this!

Don’t forget to share Your New Year updates with us- What 2021 home decor trends are you embracing?

We hope these tips helped you start your New Year off right.

Happy 2021 from all of us here at Courtney Warren Home!

In a design rut? Let’s find ways to help you love your home!

I’m all about helping you quiet the design chaos and create a space that feels authentic to you. If you’re tired of coming home to bare walls and uncomfortable spaces, let’s bring excitement to your home!

I offer a complimentary, no-strings-attached phone call consultation. We can also consult by video conference. If you’d like to meet at your home, please know we will use all current safety protocols.