New Year's resolution: redecorate | Space | Chicago Reader

New Year's resolution: redecorate 

2012 is the perfect time to freshen up your dated decor

The yellow vinyl is peeled and the cushions are worn. My dog Bunny even prefers the rug over curling up in these chairs!

The yellow vinyl is peeled and the cushions are worn. My dog Bunny even prefers the rug over curling up in these chairs!

Dean Fisher

When we make resolutions, they're often to improve the way we look. But few of us resolve to work on the look of our home. A brand new year is the perfect time to begin a fresh take on your space. Really, how much longer can you put off the projects that have long lingered on your "to do . . . someday" list?

My list of resolutions includes a handful of home-improvement projects that have been looming since I moved 18 months ago into my apartment on the ground floor of a Logan Square two-flat. One thing I need to work on is my drinking, i.e. my bar, which is tucked into a corner of my living room. Notice the paint chip wedged under the light switch plate? Yeah, that's been there for over a year. I'm always quick to tell people that painting is the easiest and most inexpensive way to transform a room, but it can be a big job. Patching holes, sanding, priming, applying multiple coats, edging. But my renter's-white walls are crying out for my favorite gray: Benjamin Moore's Bunny Gray. And I can no longer ignore them.

Next up are these rad midcentury chairs that I scored for $100 on Craigslist. The aluminum frames are in great shape, but the banana-hued vinyl upholstery has seen better days. See those swatches of leather I've pinned to the corner of each chair? You guessed it—those have been languishing there for over a year. Oops. Reupholstering anything in leather is a pretty huge deal (and definitely not something I can do myself), but I'm finally going to give these chairs the makeover they deserve. I've heard great things about Covers Unlimited; with their help, I plan to turn these canary chairs into sexy seats with a gentlemanly vibe.

click to enlarge DEAN FISHER

Those are only two items on a home-improvement list a mile long, but I figure they'll inspire me to tackle the next pressing project. Remember, your resolutions don't have to be time-consuming or costly. They can be a simple as rearranging the living room furniture you've ignored since back when you partied like it was 1999. Starting out the year in a space that feels fresh and new will give you the motivation to stick to your other resolutions, whatever they may be.

I'm dying to know . . . what are your decorating resolutions? Are you finally going to invest in new bedding, retile your bathroom, or make curtains? Here's one thing you should definitely add: send photos of your handiwork to be considered for a feature in this space! We love anything thrifted, found, or DIYed, so if you have an interesting, unique, or even bizarre home (or room), send snapshots and a note to—and you just might see your resolution in the Reader!

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