7 Home Resolutions to Start Off the New Year Right

New Year’s means New Year’s resolutions! As much as you may think you will go to the gym all year long, most of us won’t last beyond two weeks; However, some simple tasks at the start of 2015 can really set your home up for a good rest of the year! Today, we’re sharing how to accomplish this!

1. Clear Out the Clutter

Forget spring cleaning, do it in January! Start off the year right, with a clean home, and make sure that everything left over from the holidays is cleaned up and put away! Also, don’t forget to take the opportunity to pick up anything else around the house that you don’t need. This includes things in drawers and closets that you have been hoarding for years! Go find what you don’t need anymore and donate it to charity or give it to friends. Make sure all of the rooms of you house don’t have anything out in the open that doesn’t need to be there, including movies and remotes, and anything taking up counter space that you don’t use constantly.

2. Organize Your Belongings

While you’re busy cleaning out things you no longer need, organize all the things you do need so you can find them easier! At some point over the last year maybe you realized your clothes, your silverware, your notepads, your magazines, or your movie  collection had become unorganized. Well, this is the perfect time to organize your shirts by color or to alphabetically sort your movies! Even if it doesn’t last beyond the first month, organizing the things you use all the time can be satisfying to see and make you feel like your home is working in your favor!

3. Update Your Home’s Lighting

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Garrison Hullinger Interior Design

If you were noticing your home’s lighting fixtures were a bit outdated, the start of the new year is a great time to upgrade. This can range anywhere from updating an old lamp to adding convenient motion-sensor lights inside a dark cabinet. The best part about this project is that it is quick! Other than maybe shopping for the perfect fixture, installing new lights can be done in a day and completely change how your house looks! You can put in recessed lighting so guests can focus more on the rest of the features of the room, or add in a vibrant and elegant chandelier to be the new centerpiece. Either way, you may end up seeing your home in a “new light” in 2015!

4. Add a Fresh Coat of Paint

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Garrison Hullinger Interior Design

Maybe instead of new lighting you need to add a new coat of paint! You can always try the Pantone color of the year [REFERENCE PREVIOUS BLOG], or you can just try any new color to give any room in you house a new feel. Maybe you were feeling overwhelmed by a bright color and want to tone it down, or you think your room is too boring and needs to be livened up! Either way, the start of the year is the perfect time to get a fresh start with a fresh coat of paint. Alternatively you can paint accents such as your trim to make it really stand out against a more neutral wall.

5. Make Resolutions to Be Cleaner

You can save yourself the headache of cleaning in the new year by taking small steps to reduce the mess. If you and your family wear shoes inside, leave them at the door to avoid tracking in dirt. Set a schedule for cleaning and stick to it, so nothing gets messier than you want it to be and everything can be done in manageable workloads.

6. Remodel a Bathroom

Bathrooms can quickly get outdated and unfashionable, and the start of the new year is the perfect time to incorporate all of the latest styles and trends into this often ignored room of the house. While remodeling a bathroom may seem like a daunting task with way too many complicated elements, it may be worth it! Doing this can increase the value of your home, and give it a sense of continuity if the rest of your space is updated and stylish.

7. Treat Yourself to a New Piece of Decor

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Garrison Hullinger Interior Design

You don’t need to think of the most practical price here. Let yourself splurge on a new piece of art or other decoration that you have been eyeing for some time and put it in the spot of your home that you have been dreaming about it being in for months! As the new year begins, adding a new focal piece that you have been wanting can be exactly what your home needs to be refreshed and revitalized!


Let the new year be a fresh start for your home with these tips and tricks. These are some simple (and some more complex) things you can do at the beginning of the year to start off strong and rocket into 2015 with a fresh home filled with style and cleanliness!

Hottest Interior Design Trends to Keep Your Eyes Peeled For in 2015!

Whether you like it or not, you need to get used to writing a 5 on your checks instead of a 4. 2014 is behind us and 2015 is here to surprise us with its great new ideas and interior design trends. Hopefully your least favorite trends are going the way of the gramophone, and all of the new trends are just what you’ve been waiting for! Prepare your idea books and your wallets, because here comes the hottest 2015 trends to keep your eyes peeled for!

1. Brass and other Natural Metallic Elements

Gaining traction in 2014, an elegant brushed brass will remain popular in 2015. Adding this warm, soft metal to your home through accessories and furnishings, like lamp stands and tabletop decor, can add a comfortable and elegant feel to your home. Other warm metallics such as brushed gold and copper will also be big, as will be mixing these different colors in a space or single piece.

2. Blue, Blue, and More Blue!

Another trend that has been building already is the popularity of blue colors. We are seeing an emergence of elegantly designed navy blue rooms, and even some more daring turquoise spaces! These are strong colors that need to be used wisely, but they are being implemented beautifully in plenty of places to great success, and will continue to do so throughout 2015! We like to think we were into this trend before it was cool, with our Seahound Ranch project! In Pantone’s announcement of Marsala as their color of the year, they also mention that “blue is the new black” and that shades of blue are the perfect complements to Marsala.

3. Bringing the Outdoors In

There is a big trend toward bringing elements of nature and the outdoors into the home. This can come in the form of more natural shaped pieces in the midst of more rigid modern furniture, or can involve bringing indoor plants or terrariums into your home. It also can pertain to the color of paint you use. Bringing the colors of nature into the home where they fit can make a space seem clean and one with nature.

4. Tribal, Ethnic, and Animal Prints

2015 sees a surge of ethnic patterns and symbols being incorporated into art, as well as fabric on pillows and seats. These designs can add an exotic feel to your home that can break up a modern look or add a splash of pizzazz to a boring room. In addition to that, they can be excellent conversation pieces, with guests asking “Where did you get that fantastic pillow?” and “What sort of pattern is that on that chair?” This also extends to

5. Window Sheers That Brighten the Room

Window sheers are a lighter form of drapes or curtains that allow light to filter into a room and add a nice level of brightness. They allow you to be private as well as let in enough light. They are the best compromise between drapes and bare windows! They are making a push into popularity this year and for good reason! They really go well in any wide open and airy space that needs a lot of light to just shine.

6. The Pantone Color of the Year

Whatever your opinions on Marsala are, Pantone’s 2015 color of the year is here to stay for the next 12 months and undoubtedly many designers of interiors and decor pieces will incorporate Marsala into their designs. We covered our’s and other’s opinions on Marsala in last week’s blog, but despite the doubts many hold, it will definitely make it’s way into many homes, in the form of accent pieces. Bring some richness and earthiness into your home with this trendy color!

7. Wallpaper Makes a Comeback

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Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, photography by Blackstone Edge

Creative designs of wallpaper are making a return in 2015, with great patterns to mix up a room and fill a plain colored wall with something a bit more interesting. As long as the wallpaper features a classy pattern and not something old and ugly like we often associate wallpaper with, it can add a touch of pizzazz and elegant style to any room! Some designers even predict wallpaper will be used in unexpected places like the ceiling.

8. Remodeling a Streamlined Bathroom

The National Kitchen and Bath Association predicts that bathroom remodels are going to be bigger than Kitchen remodels in 2015. They also see a movement toward remodels into a more simplistic or minimalist look. This will be accompanied by one standout piece (maybe a brass faucet fixture or tub!) They stress that bathrooms will not lose their cozy or rustic charm, but will simply be moving toward a more contemporary look.

9. The Next Frontier: Healthy Homes

There is a new surge in design that focuses on the homeowner living in a healthy space. This can be achieved in a variety of ways, whether it be paints that don’t let off toxic gases, better air filtration systems, or even no-touch flushing systems for toilets. Homeowners are demanding a space that is better for them. Some of the burden will fall on the designer or remodeler to start offering these options, which will help them differentiate themselves and their homes (especially new builds) from all the rest.

 10. Be Yourself!

Remember as you hear about these trends that they are just that; trends! Trends change year-to-year, and this is not to say that you should paint your walls a new color and replace your furniture every time the latest thing is announced. If everyone did that, every home would look the same! Instead, embrace your own personal style, and if you want to spice up your look with something that is trendy, go for it as long as it fits with your design!

Pantone Color of the Year 2015: Favorite New Interior Design Hue, Or A Flop?

Marsala is a style of wine that originated in the Marsala region of Sicily, in Italy. You may recognize it from delicious dishes such as chicken Marsala. Now, take that plate of food, and throw it on the wall, or the couch, or your clothes. This is what Pantone’s newest color of the year asks us to do! Their newly chosen color, Marsala, is a dark and muted red, bordering on brown, inspired by the wine of the same name.

In contrast to colors of the year from Pantone in previous years, there has been a lot of doubt about this color. There are many unsavory things that it is reminding people of, some of which we will not be repeating on this blog, but can be read in this scathing article by The Atlantic.

Pantone was aiming for a color that embodied a full, hearty meal, and also possessed a rich earthiness. Once you get past the previously mentioned unsavory connotations, it is definitely easy to see that this color invokes thoughts of rich food and fine wine that will fill you right up. I think that when most people think of chicken Marsala they think of a fairly nice Italian meal, so this color really embodies the elegance and rustic charm that Pantone seems to be going for.

They also claim that Marsala is a bold and exciting color. While bold is maybe a word used to describe wine, “exciting” is not something that comes to mind. Nor is it what comes to mind when one thinks of rust, brick, or anything else that various critics have pointed out the color of the year reminds them of.

In defense of the color, I do have to say there are some good uses for it. While painting an entire room or wall this color may be a little extreme, adding an accent pillow, flower pot, or drapes in Marsala could add a touch of subdued color and elegance to a space.

Even Pantone’s own promotional images for the announcement do not show anything as intense as an entire wall painted Marsala. The largest object of the color (unless you count the brick wall in the background) is a small sofa, layered with pillows of other colors. So, like Pantone subtly seems to suggest, we also recommend using Marsala as an accent color rather than the main color of a room.


However, taste in color is entirely subjective and there may even be someone out there who doesn’t like GHID’s orange and gray color scheme (but we have yet to find them!). Let us hear your thoughts on Marsala, now that you have heard about the good, the bad, and in some cases, the ugly.

Behind The Design: Winter-Only Pop-Up Restaurant Design

Every year for the last three years, a restaurant in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, has held an international competition to design a pop-up restaurant that only stays around for the winter. The restaurant is called RAW:almond, and UK design firm OS31 has designed a structure that will be the first ever restaurant situated on top ofa frozen body of water.

RAW:almond is a temporary contemporary restaurant where some of the top chefs of Winnipeg will be collaborating to celebrate the beauty of our wonderful winter city on the ice. Each night chefs will be paired with chef Mandel Hitzer to create the ‘coolest’ culinary experience. The iconic dining hall, located at the corner of the Assiniboine and Red River, leans into the North Wind to help buffer against the elements. From the first to the last course and each glass of wine, this will prove the dining experience of the year.

Award-Winning Restaurant Interior Design

The design that OS31 submitted was interesting for a variety of reasons. The actual shape of the structure is something like an X or cross shape, and is meant to represent where the Assiniboine and Red rivers cross. The structure itself is made from a metal frame that has a protective skin on the inside, rather than out, making the structure appear lined from the outside. No one seems to know yet what material is being used, but many are curious about what will be protecting the restaurant’s patrons from the elements. The four sections of the cross will also be for different uses. Two of them will house the dining area (which will seat about 60 people), one holds the bar (which is accessible via a terrace), and finally contains the kitchen.

Interiors That Help Elevate The Customer Experience On Chilly Nights

Despite the fact that it will be well below freezing when guests sit down for their food, RAW:almond promises that the food will arrive warm and fresh from the kitchen, which is impressive considering the fact that at each event, over 60 people will be served at one time! What makes this even more impressive? It’s a five course meal!

Behind The Shape Of The Building

Designed by UK architects OS31. The project team includes Tony Broomhead, Matt Pearson, and Ross Jordan.

The design creates an expressive frame that floats across the ice like a frozen jetty, whilst providing a dining experience that is clear from structure.

The exterior and interior are expressed as separate forms, one enclosed inside the other. The structure references the bridge with its repetitive rhythms. The skin that defines the interior space is more sculptural like drifts of snow.

The plan is made up of two clashing geometries inspired by the joining of the rivers. This grounds it in the context and defines dining, kitchen and entrance spaces.

The restaurant is set to open to the public on January 22, 2015. Tickets can be bought on the RAW:almond website for $100, plus tax and tip.

Interior Design Trends In 2014: Trends That Are Here To Stay

2014 is giving way to 2015, and with the new year comes new interior design trends. But, before we delve into what’s going to be hot in 2015 – which will come in early 2015 – let’s take a look back at what trends have been popular in this last year and how the face of interior design has changed as a result!

Trends in Residential Design

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Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, photography by Blackstone Edge

In 2014, many were happy to see faux taxidermy go out the window, as well as chevron patterns. One residential design trend that came back even stronger were the usage of drapes or window coverings in your home. Covering up windows with fashionable window coverings is a popular and beautiful thing to do, but there has also been a movement toward window sheers, that offer privacy but are thin enough to let in plenty of natural light.

Brass Is Always Classy!

Brass components, home decor or even brass fixtures are enough to make most of us throw high fives around all day long! Brass is not a thing of the past, it’s a design element of today and tomorrow. If you have bold brushed brass anywhere in your house, keep it right there, whether it is on a lamp stand, bathroom faucets, or what have you! If it just isn’t your style, you may be able to sell it; otherwise, it’s going to remain relevant.

Make Way For Bolder And Brighter Hues

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Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, photography by Blackstone Edge

As timeless as it may be, neutral colors have been making way for bolder colors, such as turquoise or even Pantone’s Color of The Year, Marsala. Homes everywhere have been getting more colorful and there is a beautiful balance of sophistication when using bolder paint colors or home decor.

Go Big Or Go Green…Or Both!

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Garrison Hullinger Interior Design

And of course, how can we forget to mention the trend of green and energy-efficient homes? We can’t! More on the end of home design itself rather than interior design, it cannot be ignored that there has been growth in terms of green homes. New regulations and the promise of lower energy bills have helped the trend of building or including green elements increase the general awareness of how each person can make a large or small difference in their carbon footprint.

Hot Trends in Commercial Design

The simplest and most affordable way to inspire employees is to paint your office walls. That is just what commercial interior designers did this year; offered employees with a lot more vibrant color schemes so that the office spaces provided a sense of comfort and warmth, but also spur creativity. However, if you can’t go bright, grey was still a staple neutral tone for the year.

Commercial Office Spaces Wanted To Blur The Outdoors & Indoors

Another big demand in office spaces were to bring nature into the building. This was frequently done to great effect by installing walls of plants that liven up the entire atmosphere! Employees wanted a piece of nature to come into the office and green things up, and designers listened!

Multi-Family Housing Trends That Make Your Home Better

Trends in apartment building designs are ever-evolving, but one that has been changing – for the benefit of the residents - has been to create qualities of private home living. You will notice this within individual apartments, but also amenities like club rooms that can be rented out to allow residents to host several friends for that at-home entertaining feeling.

Trends in Hospitality Design

Hotels are gradually making a change-over to appeal more  to the millennial generation. This has involved incorporating open floorplans and integrating coffee shops and libraries to accommodate mobile workspaces. It has also led to designers selecting products that prioritize quality, sustainability, and flexibility of use.

Lobbies Are No Longer Only For Checking In and Out

Multi-purpose lobbies have become more popular, as people desire to use hotel entrances for more than just checking in and out. Guests expect to be able to have space for casual and formal conversation, informative TV screens, places to use their laptops, and more. Hotels have picked up on this and the face of lobbies have changed drastically!

Hotel Designers Are Using Local Artists In Their Design

In an effort to make hotels a more immersive experience with the local community, many hotels designers have taken to acquiring local art to decorate the guest rooms. The thought behind this design tactic is that even when guests leave the streets of the city, they still feel like they are actively involved in the local culture and not sealed up from their vacation or work destination. Often, this local artwork is seamlessly integrated into the design of the hotel room, making the entire place cohesive yet edgy.

I am sure there are plenty of things you are happy to see go and plenty of things that you have embraced with earnest! Keep an eye out in January for a blog all about the anticipated trends of 2015! Don’t worry, most of these great trends are not going out of style anytime soon!

Happy New Year!