These are the design goals our designers are setting for the coming year—from large-scale renovations to the delightfully cathartic task of decluttering.
As we enter the resolution-setting season, we can’t help but consider the ways our homes could be refreshed in the new year—from minuscule changes that will be a breeze to keep to loftier undertakings that’ll make our spaces feel brand-spanking new. To inspire our own interior ambitions, we asked ten designers to share the design resolutions they’ll be making next year, plus what they wish their clients would resolve to do more of in 2019.
Do you have any design resolutions? Anything you want to do more or less of with your projects?
: More full gut renovations! It’s primarily what I do now, but let’s keep them coming because they’re always the biggest challenge and the best outcome.
Cindy De Luzuriaga: I want to line up my clients’ ideas and my design approach. I don’t want to follow rules just because it’s what people think they are supposed to do—I want to have fun with my projects and do what makes sense for the project, not follow a guidebook.
Claire Hung: While black and white tend to find their way into many of my projects, I’m hoping for some projects where my clients and I can explore rich monochromatic color palettes in a modern and minimalist way. For example, the Secant Coffee table by Sara Wright Polmar is beautifully styled within the peach/pink monochromatic background. I find that monochromatic interiors can be very calming yet adventurous, and I hope to find that adventurous client or clients this year!
Amy Courtney: I love working with local makers, so I would like to take a mindful approach to involve them even more. Working locally makes customization and communication a breeze.
: My design resolution is to take more bold risks and to push my clients to do the same! I want to use more bold colors for paint and wild wallpapers.
: I want to help my clients find more one-of-a-kind pieces and curate furniture and accessories. To do so, I will need to manage clients’ expectations on lead times and quick turnarounds—quick turnarounds have always been my strong point in the past.
Any ambitious resolutions you’ll be making when it comes to your own home next year?
: I’ll be gutting and renovating the small master bathroom in our new home as well as doing a small renovation in my daughter’s bathroom. We’ll also be enlarging several windows. We’re going for a more organized and family-oriented home now that both hubby and myself will be working from home.
Mandy Cheng: We’re planning to start building a second house on our lot by fall of next year, while simultaneously living in and renovating the existing house. There’s a lot of planning, drawing, paperwork, and city building department visits to be done before then, but thankfully my significant other is an architect, so I’ll let him do most of the work while I pretend to look busy.
Gianna Marzella: 2019 will be about ruthless editing for me. I am getting rid of everything I feel lukewarm about to make room for pieces that I am completely in love with. I have no space in my life or home, literally and figuratively, for anything that doesn’t make me happy every time I use it, look at it, or touch it. This starts with the furniture and will extend right down to my flatware.
: I can never declutter enough. I do not want anything on display that is not either functional or beautiful.
Claire Hung: My husband and I have a gorgeous loft in Brooklyn, and we’ve been thinking of taking down all the walls, and just having a wide open space. We only have light on one wall, and we’re dying for the entire space to get washed in light. Our landlord will be installing more windows, and making other upgrades, so we hope to coordinate our changes within their renovations.
: Less is more! I resolve to only surround myself and my family with the things we use the most and the things that we love. If something does not match that criteria, I want it to find a new home.
Amy Courtney: Getting my home office organized—Container Store and IKEA, here I come! Also, I’d like to hire an assistant.
: We had to renovate and furnish our home very quickly because we got married at home and had to house lots of guests, so, unfortunately, I made some purchases that I do like but don’t absolutely love. Going forward I will slowly replace and make new purchases with items I adore and are thoughtful in design.
What do you wish your clients would resolve to do more of in 2019?
Crystal Sinclair: Listen and trust their professional designer. We know what we’re doing and like to push the boundaries a little bit while keeping true to their preferred aesthetic and home needs.
Mandy Cheng: Step away from the safety net of “all-white everything” and be open to introducing some color!
Cindy De Luzuriaga: No more gallery walls! Art selection should be about content and meaning over filling out a wall. Having meaningful objects also promotes less mindless purchases and less waste.
Claire Hung: I wish clients would resolve to invest in large art pieces more often. Grouping small pieces is not my thing. Instead of just one wall as a gallery, I’d like to see my client’s home become a gallery.
Kerry Vasquez: I would like to help my clients hone in on what their personal style is rather than what’s trending or popular.
Larisa Barton: I would like my clients to take more risks on wall coverings. The permanence of wallpaper can be frightening, but it is so worth it!
: I want my clients to embrace more thoughtful pieces and invest more in furniture. This means less big box stores, more curated pieces, locally made furniture, and customization.
What are some of the easiest resolutions people can make (and actually keep) in their homes?
Crystal Sinclair: Find a home for everything—once everything has a home, it’s so much easier to keep clean.
: People can and should resolve to invest in good lighting in their homes. It’s one change that has a dramatic impact. Resolve to have all lights on dimmers and multiple light sources in each room.
Mandy Cheng: Declutter the house one surface at a time. (You can read some of Mandy’s advice on that matter here.)
Larisa Barton: Changing out lighting throughout a house can be an inexpensive task that refreshes a space instantly.
Claire Hung: I’m mostly a minimalist, so I’m a huge fan of getting rid of trinkets and doodads, and instead focusing on a curation of art, sculpture, and artistic or sculptural functional home pieces. I think New Yorkers especially have to be aware of how they use space, because most of us are limited in that area. So instead of buying everything from one store, collect meaningful and beautiful pieces (possibly vintage) that can replace the clutter while still bringing life and visual appeal to your space.
Amy Courtney: Pick up small decorative objects when you travel to create a narrative in your space.
: Use organic cleaning products that are not tested on animals, plus recycle as much as you can with additional means such composting. We all need to our part to help the environment!
What design trend or idea are you most excited for in 2019?
Crystal Sinclair: I really try to keep away from trends. If it’s something you love, it’s always in style—trends come and go, but what you love you usually love forever!
Cindy De Luzuriaga: Supporting independent furniture makers and boutique stores over mass produced stores.
Kerry Vasquez: Color, color, and more color—especially more feminine inspired earthy hues like terracotta.
Larisa Barton: As an owner of a canopy bed, I love the idea of having a statement bed. I find myself saving a lot of paneled wall beds to take inspiration from.
Amy Courtney: Biomorphic and surrealist decor. I’m seeing a lot of this right now at Design Miami and couldn’t be more excited for the weirdness.
Gianna Marzella: Organic influences are everywhere in 2019. Expect to see more and more natural fibers and textures as well as an emphasis on sustainable design. This shift is also influencing trending colors. I am excited about the shift towards earthier and more grounded hues. I love blues, grays, and cool tones, but I am really excited to move towards the warmer and earthier colors for 2019, such as terracotta, hunter green, mustard, and burnt sienna.
: I love that design magazines are embracing more personal and thoughtful interior designs.
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