Habitually Chic®'s Logo  

New Year, New Ideas

by habituallychic

01 . 05 . 09

I didn’t bother posting my New Year’s resolutions this year since they pretty much the same as they were last year but I was thinking about the little things I want to do this year that will make each day special. I call it treating myself well and from reading other blogs, it seems that many people are going to make that a priority in the new year.

A few people, including An Aesthete’s Lament and The Peak of Chic, would like to use more linen napkins. I actually already do this but I live alone and don’t have to wash and iron napkins for an entire family so it’s probably easier for me. I also wouldn’t use them if I were eating something messy but I think they make a regular weekday meal special.

The same can be said with using your good china and flatware. Hollister Hovey would like to not only make more coffee at home but drink it in her nice china. I already use my china everyday but I thought it would be nice to make myself more tea and drink it out of the nice tea cups. You could even take out the nice crystal just for a glass of water. If you have nice things, why not use them everyday.

The new issue of House Beautiful is full of quick changes that make a big difference. In his editor letter, Stephen Drucker mentioned a woman who “upgraded” every wastebasket in her house. For some people that’s not a priority but it made her feel good and she didn’t spend that much money. For others, it might be a new coat of paint.

Since I will be working from home now, I have been finishing up all my little projects, touching up the paint and replaced my old duvet and towels. I’ve also made a vow to brighten up my space with fresh flowers every week. In the dead of winter, I can smell hyacinths and dream of spring.

I don’t think as many people are going to be completely redecorating their homes this year but there are certainly a lot of little things you can do to make a change or treat yourself special. Anyone have any other suggestions?

Photo from Veere Grenney‘s London Apartment

Comments Closed

  1. Susan's Snippets January 5, 2009 | 10:36 pm

    Heather – “Since I will be working from home now”…..what have I missed???

    give me a list

  2. Habitually Chic January 5, 2009 | 10:42 pm

    Susan – Did you really miss the post where I mentioned getting laid off??? I’m shingle is officially out and I’m on my own. I will be designing, writing and blogging from home. If anyone wants to hire me, bring it on!

  3. Anonymous January 5, 2009 | 11:16 pm

    A good thing to know when drinking tea out of china cups – to clean the tea stains sprinkle some salt on a lemon rind and wipe the cup with it, spotless china!

  4. michelle January 6, 2009 | 12:19 pm

    Aparently, Taurus, Sagittarius, and one other sign I can’t recall are in for a banner year…best in 10 years. At least your talent will benefit you now 🙂

    And in a brightened up new space…nice.

    I love newly painted trim, and the smell of purple hyacinths! mmmmm…

  5. Renee Finberg January 6, 2009 | 1:03 pm


    when i lived in the city , i always had fresh flowers from my corner flower shop 57th and 1st.
    that is one of the things i miss most !!!

    xxx big hug

  6. Athenaeus January 6, 2009 | 1:29 pm

    I agree that it’s going to be the little things in 2009 that we need to find pleasure in. I bought my wife new lavender sachets for her drawers, new cedar blocks for my sweater and sock drawers, and have resumed, after a brief hiatus, using scented linen spray when I iron our pillowcases. New everyday table linens and bathroom towels are a must every January to help make it through the gray months ahead.

  7. Motor City Jeanne January 6, 2009 | 2:16 pm

    Upgrading wastebaskets is exactly what I am doing! haha. I can no longer hide the kitchen trash under the sink in my new home, so I need to find an aesthetically pleasing (probably stainless) wastebasket to leave out in the kitchen.

  8. Jill January 6, 2009 | 2:19 pm

    I’m ridiculously good to myself everyday…the perils/perks of being an only child, having no children of my own and having a husband who is 14 years older. Lame resolution, but I think I need to stop being so indulgent in the food/drink categories. I’m going to try, but I’m impulsive and lack in much self control…we will see. On another note…Wisteria has beautiful waste baskets as well as Jayson.

  9. Coffee with Cathy January 6, 2009 | 2:37 pm

    I love the ideas of making little changes instead of big and enjoying the good things you’ve got instead of buying more. It’s amazing what we take for granted that’s already in our drawers and cabinets and closets but we never use. A new perspective for a new year! Thanks for sharing.

  10. mary January 6, 2009 | 3:29 pm

    Oh Dear – there is the old saying “Youth is wasted on the young” and it is so true. You are at a beautiful time in your life when all you have to think about is “you”. So many people are sending good thoughts your way – enjoy these quiet times because they will soon be a luxury and a memory. We all know you are going to be SOMEBODY !

  11. Laura January 6, 2009 | 4:45 pm

    I think it’s always a nice thing to have a few of those mini champagne bottles in your fride if you’re in the mood for a quick glass at the end of a long day. Also, I love having fresh flowers in my bathroom for some reason. It feels a little more indulgent than just having them out on a table somewhere.

  12. hmstrjam January 6, 2009 | 4:48 pm

    Hello! We always make time for morning cafe au lait and croissants no matter where we’re at! Even pack up our porcelain cups and coffee to take to the park when we’re in the city- I remember sipping coffee in the warm autumn sunlight in the southwest corner of central park, definitely worth the effort for these memories!

  13. princedeligne January 6, 2009 | 6:20 pm

    Heather, for me it has to a scented candle by Claus Porto or Diptyque, maybe a bottle of Aqua Di Parma, though, this year it won’t be a large size bottle like I used to buy at Barneys or Bergdorf Goodman, and yes,although I work in a design center, I too have to put off ordering furniture.This year I just can’t afford it.

  14. Joanna Goddard January 6, 2009 | 6:32 pm

    i love the idea of upgrading waste baskets!

  15. pve design January 6, 2009 | 6:45 pm

    Using my good silver – even for cereal.

  16. Anonymous January 6, 2009 | 6:45 pm

    “little thing you can do to make a change”: i recently spent a few days at home (due to a cold and the weather) purging old magazines, paperwork, cutlery and spice drawers, fridge/freezer, closet…getting rid of anything I didn’t absolutaly need or love. i found this left me with so much lovely “new” space (in a very small apt) – both mentally and physically. it’s a way to create change without adding, just subtracting. another bonus, the objects you love will become more special as you actually have the space to notice and appreciate them. reminds me of the adage that says a designer’s job is not done with there is nothing left to add, but when there’s nothing left to take away. your life then feels like a curated piece of art!

  17. Anonymous January 6, 2009 | 7:10 pm

    OMG. Ironing napkins? Really. I just drape them over the shower curtain rod after washing and they dry pretty wrinkle free(ish). Is this something to feel shame over?

    I’m just so pleased we’re using them, rather than letting them moulder in a drawer. Use those old family things. Don’t save for special. We need nice things NOW. Especially now. Right?

    Happy New Year y’all.

  18. Epicurean Jax January 6, 2009 | 7:36 pm

    Buy little luxe shelves. I bought some from cb2.com, which I love. I haven’t been able to correctly put up the zed shelf yet though!

  19. Habitually Chic January 6, 2009 | 11:39 pm

    Anonymous – thanks for the great tip! I will keep that in mind if I get stains!

    Michelle – I’m an Aries and my horoscope for January and 2009 is amazing! I am very excited and using it to keep me motivated! So funny that you pictured purple hyacinths! They are my favorites and that’s what I bought!

    Renee – it is the best part of NYC! You can pick them up on practically every corner!

    Athenaeus – scented linen water is such a treat! I love the Clean Spray from Laundress!

    Motor City Jeanne – Make sure you get one that is big enough. My round one is tall but never seems to hold enough. I would look at the bigger square ones.

    Jill- I am an only child too so I know all about self indulgence! Good luck!

    Coffee with Cathy – I bet everyone has little treasures tucked away everywhere that they could pull out and use or display!

    Mary – I do think about others too but since I am home all day, I might as well enjoy it! You are too sweet!

    Laura – I never thought about mini champagne bottles! That sounds VERY chic! I always have flowers in the bathroom for a party but not as much at other times. Maybe it’s time for a change!

    Hmstrjam – porcelain cups in the park sounds like a great way to treat yourself and save the environment!

    Princedeligne – I feel your pain about downsizing. As much as I love my Diptyque candles, they are a little pricey so I am burning the Votivo a little more these days!

    Joanna – sounds silly but I bet they make a difference!

    Anonymous 1:45 – I LOVE that! I am still in the process of purging but I have a ways to go. There is that other saying, “the more you know, the less you need.”

    PVE – That is exactly the way to treat yourself! I’m sure cereal and ice cream tastes better with a real spoon!

    Anonymous – I like to iron but I know many people don’t so whatever works.

    Epicurean Jax – good luck!

  20. Decs January 8, 2009 | 4:47 am

    I loooooove ironing napkins. Seriously. Most of the time our busy house lives in squalor thanks to equal parts Hectic Schedules and Laziness, but man, do I love to have real napkins at the table and I love to spend a lazy Sunday ironing them. Seriously. Love it.

  21. Anonymous January 8, 2009 | 10:02 pm

    I am suitably chastised. I will try to love ironing.

    In the meantime, I am obsessed with doing early morning laundry. Does that count?

    anon in toronto

  22. Anonymous January 14, 2009 | 10:43 pm

    Happy New Year from one of your older, but still chic, readers. I, too, have been purging… taking the admonition of Frank Lloyd Wright to heart, “have nothing in your home that is not useful, beautiful, or both”. I am even thinking of parting with some of my cherished inspirational books… my 1st edition copy of Slim Aarons A Wonderful Life may soon go on Ebay.
    It warms my heart to know that so many of you appreciate scented, REAL linens!

  23. Anonymous February 3, 2009 | 3:58 am

    A nice touch I like is to put my mouthwash in a Waterford or other crystal decanter. Makes a twice-daily chore a bit more elegant!