Archive

for January, 2014

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January 30, 2014 0 comments Design Tips, Home Decor, Interior Design

Be Inspired by India in Your Next Home Decor Adventure!

Indian art and design have a huge role to play in today’s creative world, with a vibrant and exotic appeal that simply cannot be denied. At the root of it all is the simplicity and inherent charm that is evident in everything from ancient carvings to modern paintings.

The use of colorful and eco-friendly Indian textiles for fashion and decor has become a huge trend, both within the country and internationally. Top designers everywhere are falling in love with the versatility and visual appeal of Indian fabrics. Interior design trends are also incorporating the incredible range of textiles that reflect ‘Incredible India’.

Let’s take a fresh look at these gorgeous materials, the way the world does!

1. Bandhini – Known to the world as tie-dye, this art form has roots in India, Japan and other South Asian countries. Tying off areas of the fabric before dyeing them creates unique and beautiful designs on the surface. Traditionally used for creating colorful scarves and clothing, bandhini can now be seen everywhere!

Bandhini is colorful, appealing and versatile, so you can use it anywhere in your home! (Image Courtesy: limeroad.com)

Bandhini is colorful, appealing and versatile, so you can use it anywhere in your home!
(Image Courtesy: limeroad.com)

The variety of colors and patterns that you can find with this beautiful textile is practically unbeatable. This makes it ideal for pretty curtains, cushions, clothing and many more fashion or home design accessories. Pick up a gorgeous tie die cloth and use it as a table runner, or ask the local framer to mount it on canvas for a new piece of art for your living room!

2. Ikat – Like tie-dying, ikat is a technique that uses resist dyeing to create patterns and designs on fabric. The difference is that the fabric for tie-dye or bandhini is treated to resist color after it is already woven, while ikat uses dye resist on the threads themselves, before they are woven into the desired pattern.

The elegant and colorful designs of ikat fabric can brighten up any space in your home! (Image Courtesy: zansaar.com)

The elegant and colorful designs of ikat fabric can brighten up any space in your home!
(Image Courtesy: zansaar.com)

This is an extremely precise art, since the thread needs to be colored and woven perfectly to ensure the final design emerges. The gorgeous textile can be used for bed sheets, pillow covers, clothing, bags and just about anything else you’d like. In fact, a colorful ikat table cover or lamp might be just the pretty accent your home needs!

3. Kantha – This embroidery and textile treatment is unique to West Bengal and Odisha, with layers of silk or cotton stitched together using a simple running stitch. The beauty of kantha-work lies in the fact that it is one of the oldest techniques of re-using old fabric like quilts, clothing or linen to create new ones.

Kantha is one of the most beautiful forms of recycling old fabric to create works of art! (Image Courtesy: houseproud.in)

Kantha is one of the most beautiful forms of recycling old fabric to create works of art!
(Image Courtesy: houseproud.in)

Repurposed clothing and home decor is a huge winner in today’s eco-friendly and carbon-footprint-conscious world, so kantha embroidery is definitely a winner. In fact, you can display a gorgeous kantha-work quilt on the wall for a really unique piece of art!

4. Batik – Created using a precise technique that uses wax to create ‘color-resist’ areas on fabric during the dyeing process, batik is one of the most popular Indian textiles in the world. Designs can be simple or intricate, but they all have one thing in common – it takes a lot of effort to bring them to life!

The allure of batik has made it incredibly popular for home and wall decor! (Image Courtesy: exoticindiaart.com)

The allure of batik has made it incredibly popular for home and wall decor!
(Image Courtesy: exoticindiaart.com)

Since the batik technique is usually performed on fine cotton, you can use this fabric on everything from pillow covers to wall hangings. Add a classy touch to your home with a large batik painting on the wall, or even a cluster of smaller ones in similar colors or styles!

5. Kilim – This gorgeous woven textile is usually created on a tapestry loom and features geometric designs in bold colors. Traditionally used to create rugs and tapestries, the revival of kilim has seen this material being used in a variety of products, from fashion accessories to upholstery.

Colorful and vibrant kilim home accessories are ideal for a touch of sophisticated style! (Image Courtesy: designemporia.in)

Colorful and vibrant kilim home accessories are ideal for a touch of sophisticated style!
(Image Courtesy: designemporia.in)

It can be difficult to find hand woven kilim in most areas, but you can usually get printed fabric with designs inspired by the art form or machine woven variants. Use the fabric for cushions or bolsters on your favorite couch, or even to add a pop of color to an indoor ‘jhoola’!

With the rest of the world being enamored by India’s colorful history and culture, it’s surprising that a lot of us automatically turn to the West for design inspiration. The variety of traditional design elements found in the country have served as a base for countless projects across the globe. It’s time we look at our motherland with fresh eyes!

(Header CC Image Courtesy - proxyindian on Flickr)

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January 26, 2014 0 comments Design Tips, Home Decor, Interior Design

Glam Up a Small Space with Smart Design Ideas!

Living in a big city can be a lot of fun, but finding a large space to live in can be super-challenging. Most of the time, small apartments are all we can manage to find, since large homes are either too pricey or just not available. The next challenge, after finding a home, is making it comfortable and beautiful.

A common misconception we all fall prey to is that a small apartment or home can’t be decorated well. This couldn’t be farther from the truth!

Design and Decor Ideas for Teeny-Tiny Spaces

When it comes to dressing up a small space, there is no shortage of great ideas. Your own creativity and sense of style can go a long way toward transforming your home, no matter its size. If you don’t let yourself be restricted by the thought of limitations (most of them are not as important as they seem), the sky really is the limit!

Here are some ideas to get you started on your creative journey:

1.  Create Magic with Mirrors – Since time immemorial, mirrors have been used to create the illusion of space and light in buildings all over the world. While ancient architects and designers may have used sheets of beaten metal to reflect light, today you can walk into the nearest store and pick up mirrors in any size, shape or design you like!

Mirrors can make your space seem larger than it is! (CC Image Courtesy: Kai Schreiber on Flickr)

Mirrors can make your space seem larger than it is!
(CC Image Courtesy: Kai Schreiber on Flickr)

Large mirrors on one wall of a room can reflect natural light from a window and amplify it, as well as the glow from lamps and indoor lighting. They also create a visual trick where the room seems like it’s larger than it really is. Other than walls, you could also use these beloved accessories on table surfaces or doors.

2. Define Separate Spaces – If you have a small studio apartment or one-room flat, it’s quite likely that you work, sleep and eat in the same area. Creating clearly defined spaces for each of these tasks can help improve the functionality and visual appeal of an itty bitty ‘all-in-one’, especially if you dress them up in similar colors!

Coordinating colors and patterns can bring separate pieces of furniture together (CC Image Courtesy: Greg Watt on Flickr)

Coordinating colors and patterns can bring separate pieces of furniture together
(CC Image Courtesy: Greg Watt on Flickr)

If your bed doubles as daytime seating and you only have enough room for a few chairs and a table, pick out coordinated pieces. A medium-sized table can serve as a coffee/side/dining table, as well a workspace during the day. Stackable chairs are perfect for times when you have friends over, since they can be taken out only when needed.

3. Furniture with Storage – These versatile pieces are perfect for tiny apartment dwellers. Tables with shelves underneath, couches or beds with box storage, window seats and banquettes are all ideal for storing stuff you can’t throw away but don’t use often, like spare linen, keepsakes and books.

Tables with storage spaces are perfect for multipurpose use, especially in small homes! (Image Courtesy: fabfurnish.com)

Tables with storage spaces are perfect for multipurpose use, especially in small homes!
(Image Courtesy: fabfurnish.com)

If you have the time, search for pieces of furniture that fit into awkward nooks and crannies. A window niche is the perfect space for a small settee, divan or storage box. In fact, here’s a trick many Army wives use when they live in small assigned quarters – fill a box trunk with extra possessions, then cover with a small mattress to create an adorable two-seater!

Use a trunk that doubles as seating, to save major space! (Image Courtesy: pepperfry.com)

Use a trunk that doubles as seating, to save major space!
(Image Courtesy: pepperfry.com)

4. Play with Size and Fit – Planning the size, style and amount of furniture for a small home can be a little tricky. Most interior design experts advise matching the size of the room and the furniture you plan to place in it. Compact and fuss-free items look best in smaller rooms, while larger items can make them seem cluttered.

A single eye-catching piece of oversized furniture can also do wonders! (CC Image Courtesy: PoshSurfside.com on Flickr)

A single eye-catching piece of oversized furniture can also do wonders!
(CC Image Courtesy: PoshSurfside.com on Flickr)

On the other hand, a large piece of furniture can work well, but only if it is the main focus in the space. Oversized beds in elegant neutrals can do double-duty, as super-comfy seating during the day and a soft cocoon for sleeping in at night. Similarly, a big sofa or divan could be the only furniture you need for a dual-purpose room!

Large, gorgeous wall art can become the center of attention!

Large, gorgeous wall art can become the center of attention!

There are many other ways to turn a small space into a comfy and gorgeous home, especially when you play with ideas and make them your own. Bare walls can instantly be brightened up with a large art print, which acts as a statement piece and fools the eye into believing the room is larger than it is. Long window curtains in light colors work exactly the same way. The next step? Look around your space and let your creative juices take over!

Header Image (CC Image) Courtesy - Charles & Hudson on Flickr

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January 21, 2014 0 comments Gift Ideas, Gifting

Wedding Gift Ideas for Your Favorite Couple!

A few weeks back, we shared two posts on holiday gift ideas for men and women we know (Part 1 and Part 2), based on their personality or style. It’s not just singles we worry about when we’re wondering what to gift someone, though. A lot of couples tend to take on similar quirks and styles when they are together, so let’s consider them too!

Picking the Perfect Wedding Gifts as Per the Couple

While there is no hard and fast rule deciding what category a newlywed couple falls into, chances are you will recognize at least one or two of them. Of course, when you’re buying a wedding gift for someone, you have to take into account what they would like to receive as a couple. You should get some ideas when you look at the five types of couples listed below:

1. The Lovey-Dovey Twosome – We’ve all seen these newlyweds, the ones who can’t take their hands or eyes off each other! They are romantic and thoroughly immersed in the first flush of love, so gifts for them should celebrate that attachment. Romantic lights, matching his-and-hers towels and eclectic ‘couple’ home accessories are perfect for them.

Pick unusual accessories and gifts that celebrate couples in love! (Image Courtesy: fabfurnish.com)

Pick unusual accessories and gifts that celebrate couples in love!
(Image Courtesy: fabfurnish.com)

2. The Art Lovers – These are the newlyweds who collect and display pop art, graphic prints and paintings. For the art-loving couple, you could pick out home linen in bright vibrant prints, coffee table art books and beautiful canvas wall prints. One thing you can be sure of is that whatever gift you present them with will be displayed with pride in their home!

A gorgeous wall art print for the home is perfect for art lovers!

A gorgeous wall art print for the home is perfect for art lovers!

3. The Consummate Hosts – When these twosomes set up their new home, they design it with the intent to cause a splash with guests. They are the ones who will throw a pre-wedding, post-wedding and weekly or bi-weekly bash at their place. Friends will always be welcome, so home decor accessories designed for parties will definitely bring a sparkle to their eyes!

Accessories for the home and bar are perfect for couples who love entertaining! (Image Courtesy: rooja.com)

Accessories for the home and bar are perfect for couples who love entertaining!
(Image Courtesy: rooja.com)

4. The Family Planners – Many newly married couples start planning their family well before they get married. They really want to become parents as soon as they possibly can and their future plans all revolve around the children they will bring into the world someday. For these incredibly family-oriented twosomes, you can’t go wrong with nursery furniture, stuffed toys and adorable decor for a baby’s room!

For the couple who wants to start a family, nursery decor is ideal!

For the couple who wants to start a family, nursery decor is ideal!

5. The Best Friends – When people look at these two, it’s quite common for them to mistake the newlyweds for a pair of close friends rather than a couple. They share similar interests and are passionate about displaying their ‘team’ status, so unique and themed wedding gifts would strike their fancy. They could both be into a common sport, movies or videogames, among other things, so get them something that matches their passion.

Honor shared interests, like gifting a two-person tent to a couple who loves camping! (Image Courtesy: flipkart.com)

Honor shared interests, like gifting a two-person tent to a couple who loves camping!
(Image Courtesy: flipkart.com)

When it comes to figuring out the perfect wedding gift, look beyond the ordinary. There will be enough well-meaning relatives, colleagues and friends presenting them with useful and practical items. Your job is to ensure you get them something they would love to own, but wouldn’t splurge on themselves!

January 18, 2014 0 comments Design Tips, Home Decor, Interior Design

Wall Decoration Ideas that can Brighten Up any House in a Day!

Wall decoration is the easiest way to brighten up your home (Image Courtesy: Melissa Girard on Pinterest)

Wall decoration is the easiest way to brighten up your home
(Image Courtesy: Melissa Girard on Pinterest)

Most people think that adding a touch of style to their home is a long-term process, one that will take them days, weeks or even months to accomplish. The fact is, a bit of creativity and effort can help you turn around your home in just one day. All you need to do is let your inner artist out to play, and each of us has one of those, even if we don’t think so!

Walls are the easiest part of the house to start decorating, since they are essentially blank canvases just begging for some attention. When you’ve been staring at the same walls for even a few days, you get used to the way they look and it becomes a little difficult to come up with ideas, doesn’t it?

Easy and Quick Ideas for Wall Decoration

Luckily, you don’t have to strain yourself too much! We’ve collected some great wall decoration ideas here, with the intent to start you off on your creative journey. Use these as they are, or let them inspire you to revamp your home:

1. Display Jewelry on Them – Cheap beaded jewelry, single earrings (for which you’ve lost the partner), old pendants and chains – these don’t need to be hidden away in a box under your cupboard! Instead, install a few hooks at a strategic height and hang these little baubles from them. You can place them in a straight line across the wall, inside an empty frame or pick a random display, whatever you prefer.

Who says only museums can display jewelry on their walls? (Image Courtesy: itsaluvthing.typepad.com)

Who says only museums can display jewelry on their walls?
(Image Courtesy: itsaluvthing.typepad.com)

2. Books as Shelves – No, we don’t mean bookshelves, but old books use as interesting alternatives to traditional display shelves. Head to your nearest used book store and pick up a bunch of large and sturdy hardcovers (if you don’t have any lying around at home). Install the same wall brackets that you would use for regular shelves and screw on a single book, spine facing out. Then, use it to store more books, collectibles or anything else you would place on a regular shelf! Detailed instructions here and a simpler version here.

Create a shelf made from books, instead of just for books! (Image Courtesy: utterlysmitten.com)

Create a shelf made from books, instead of just for books!
(Image Courtesy: utterlysmitten.com)

3. Empty Picture Frames – These are literally the most versatile bits of wall decor you could imagine. You can paint them all the same color and hang them up as is, add a picture, painting or even a mirror inside. Here’s an unusual way to use picture frames – Mount them on the wall and install a hook in the center of each one. Then, use these hooks to display jewelry, pretty plates, dreamcatchers, crochet doilies or just about any other knick-knacks!

Picture frames are versatile and affordable, so you can keep playing with them! (Image Courtesy: handmadeology.com)

Picture frames are versatile and affordable, so you can keep playing with them!
(Image Courtesy: handmadeology.com)

4. Art Prints and Paintings – When you don’t have time to DIY your wall decoration, just pick out a gorgeous print and display it in a prominent space. There is a huge range of amazing prints available online, so you can choose one that fits your sense of style and aesthetics. You could also get a painting to fill out a blank space, if you can find one that fits your budget (they tend to be a bit on the pricey side).

A gorgeous art print can take your wall from drab to fab right away!

A gorgeous art print can take your wall from drab to fab right away!

5. Newspaper Art – Even if you’ve never tried making paper collages before, a newspaper collage is simple to make and super-elegant too. The best part is that you can find all the materials you need lying around your house, so just get some friends together or ask your family to join in and create some eye-catching pieces of art in no time! Instructions here.

Newspaper art is easy to make and looks amazing when it’s complete! (Image Courtesy: craftedlove.com)

Newspaper art is easy to make and looks amazing when it’s complete!
(Image Courtesy: craftedlove.com)

You could also decorate your walls with colorful tiles (as a collage or single pieces), create paper collages and frame them, or even hang unusual objects like kites from them. If you have some spare time, try painting one wall in a room with a vibrant and eye-catching color, letting that form the center of interest!

January 15, 2014 0 comments Home Decor, Interior Design, uncategorized

Hey, Spruce up That Boring Old Kitchen Now!

When we think of an Indian kitchen, the first image that comes to mind is of a cluttered room, with a lingering smell of soap or the last ‘tadka’ that was cooked in it. Even with the modern modular kitchens that are designed to offer a space for everything that is part of the cooking process, most kitchens are still treated as purely utilitarian spaces.

This is what most kitchens end up looking like - drab, boring and messy!

This is what most kitchens end up looking like – drab, boring and messy!

It doesn’t need to be this way! The kitchen can be as awesome as the rest of your home, with a bit of sprucing up and adornment. In fact, a beautiful kitchen will make you want to spend more time in there, cooking up delectable meals for yourself or your family.

Simple Ideas for Creating a Brighter and Prettier Kitchen

Use some of these tips to create a more fun and vibrant space that will give your kitchen a boost, and make everyone’s jaw drop with awe!

Tip #1 – Replace Your Old Kitchen Linen

One of the worst culprits in a boring kitchen is old and shabby linen, which makes you cringe when you look at it. Invest in some bright and cheerful printed or embroidered aprons, napkins and towels. You’ll actually find yourself wanting to hang them up on display rather than hiding them away in a drawer or cupboard.

Display and use adorable kitchen linen instead of old rags! (Image Courtesy: jabong.com)

Display and use adorable kitchen linen instead of old rags!
(Image Courtesy: jabong.com)

Tip #2 – Give Your Walls Some Love

When you decorate the rest of your home, you put in an effort to make the walls look appealing, with paintings or photographs, don’t you? Do the same thing with your kitchen, hanging delightful art prints, family photographs and even colorful pots and pans. You could also consider changing the color of the walls with a fresh coat of paint.

Treat your kitchen walls the same as the rest of your home!

Treat your kitchen walls the same as the rest of your home!

Tip #3 – Add Some Interest to Shelves

Shelves are the most versatile storage solutions for any room, but they can get cluttered in no time at all. Use open shelves to display and store pretty crockery that you don’t use too often, and give them a lick of bright paint or metallic gloss. If you can’t paint the whole shelf, spruce up the edges or cover them in pretty paper!

Use colorful shelves for display and storage! (Image Courtesy: zansaar.com)

Use colorful shelves for display and storage!
(Image Courtesy: zansaar.com)

Tip #4 – Add Glam to Ordinary Items

Shelves, walls and linen are not the only things that you should look at, since there are quite a few everyday items that can also act as decor. Install coat hooks on the wall or door to hang your ladles, pots and pans, or use a peg board to organize them. Cover large bottles (the ones we use with dispensers) with a pretty cover to create a tiny but eye-catching area of interest!

Decorate everyday items that you would never look twice at otherwise! (Image Courtesy: fabfurnish.com)

Decorate everyday items that you would never look twice at otherwise!
(Image Courtesy: fabfurnish.com)

Tip #5 – Bring the Garden Indoors

Growing your own herbs and vegetables is a great way to ensure you are eating fresh all the time. Even in a small area, you could get some hanging planters and grow coriander, chilies or salad veggies that don’t need much care or room. If you can’t grow stuff indoors, a few vases filled with fresh flowers or greens will instantly brighten the space too.

Brighten up the kitchen with live plants like lettuce or herbs, and use them too! (Image Courtesy: 9gardens.com)

Brighten up the kitchen with live plants like lettuce or herbs, and use them too!
(Image Courtesy: 9gardens.com)

If you need to de-clutter your kitchen and make it more visually appealing, it’s a lot easier than you’d think. A few small changes are pretty much all you need, and the effects are enough to make you want to keep the space clean and pretty. Once you get used to your new kitchen, you’ll never go back to treating it as ‘just’ the kitchen!

January 10, 2014 0 comments Design Tips, Home Decor, Interior Design

Home Decor Styles 101 to Create Your Happy Pad!

When it comes to design ideas for the home, most people tend to look for inspiration in interior design or lifestyle magazines, blogs and websites. There are literally thousands of home design ideas that can be found online or offline, but finding one that strikes the right note is the key to a successful design scheme!

Design your home to be welcoming and comfortable, rather than just ‘beautiful’!

Design your home to be welcoming and comfortable, rather than just ‘beautiful’!

The trouble with most decor styles, contemporary or classic, is that they tend to look artificial and contrived. Most interior designs don’t seem to be created with the intent to live in them, while they look gorgeous in photographs or even in person. What’s the use of a beautiful house that no one would be comfortable lounging in?

Make Your Home More Welcoming and Comfortable

Try out some of these awesome design and decor styles for your home and create a space that is both visually appealing and hospitable.

1.  Shabby Chic – When shabby chic was first introduced as a design style in the late 80’s, it became an instant hit with the glitterati and everyone else. The appeal of this form lies in the fact that it treats well-worn furniture and vintage accessories as items to be displayed, not hidden or thrown away. The use of textured pastels and whites plays a predominant role in upholstery, cushions and throws, while shiny gilt accents and crystal add visual interest.

Think classy refurbished vintage – That’s what shabby chic is really about! (CC Image Courtesy: Faylyne on Flickr)

Think classy refurbished vintage – That’s what shabby chic is really about!
(CC Image Courtesy: Faylyne on Flickr)

2. Boho Charm – With its roots in the European gypsy culture, bohemian decor has been a popular choice for interior design through the ages. The use of bright colors and patterns in upholstery, rugs and even on the walls defines the essence of ‘boho’ glam, so you could start by hanging a vibrant art print on the wall. Beaded accessories and decor accents also play a huge role, as do hand-woven macramé curtains, vibrant vases and tinkling bells. Bohemian design schemes create a warm and welcoming effect, since everything is colorful but well-used.

Colorful accessories and wall art combine with well-worn furniture for the boho look

Colorful accessories and wall art combine with well-worn furniture for the boho look

3. Rustic Appeal – There is no denying the appeal of a lodge or cabin in the mountains, or a farmhouse in the plains. Old-school wooden homes were created for comfort, with limited access to traditional decorative accents. Today, many top designers and home owners alike try to bring the cozy atmosphere of a cottage or farm into apartments and city homes too. If the rugged and lived-in look of a cottage strikes your fancy, use old wooden furniture accented with classic floral or checkered prints in cushions and linen, hand-embroidered samplers, and colorful patchwork quilts.

The rugged and rustic appeal of cottage-style interiors is undeniable!

The rugged and rustic appeal of cottage-style interiors is undeniable!

4. Folksy Ethnic – There is no dearth of kitschy style in the ethnic diversity of India, and designers have been taking inspiration from these areas for years! Think of the colorful rugs you find in the deserts of Rajasthan or the Portuguese influence on the architecture of Goa and Pondicherry. The wealth of mind-blowing beauty that our country offers leaves us with a huge variety of design choices that are ideal for home decor that is warm and inviting. If you need some ideas, just pick up a book on regional clothing or handcrafts, or search for them online, and then let yourself be inspired by the effect of each region’s unique style. Be warned, this can get extremely addictive!

Embellish with colorful and comfortable ethnic accessories like patchwork cushions!

Embellish with colorful and comfortable ethnic accessories like patchwork cushions!

Designing a beautiful home is something all of us dream of, but we might forget that fancy furniture and expensive fittings might not be the most comfortable to use. A home is meant to be lived in, so comfort should be your top priority. There doesn’t always need to be a ‘disconnect’ between beauty and functionality – the two can actually get along really well!

January 4, 2014 0 comments uncategorized

Start Planning for a Productive 2014!

Happy New Year everyone! We’ve bid adieu to 2013 and stepped into the new year with a fresh resolve to become more productive, healthy and happy, haven’t we?

New year resolutions are a great way to set forth a roadmap for changes we want to make in our lives, but most of us tend to lose track somewhere along the way. Taking on a challenge to completely turn over a new leaf is an inspired choice, but like any other major change, baby steps can make all the difference!

Tips to Help You Take Charge of Your Life in 2014

It’s easier to tackle the challenge of changing something in our lives when we can break it down into smaller, more manageable units. Here are some ideas and tips on how you can do just that:

  1. Inspire Yourself Every Day – Surround yourself with inspirational quotes, posters, photographs and more, in every area of your life. When you step into the kitchen, a collage of your favorite dishes will make you want to try cooking them, while a collection of travel magazines will remind you to take some time off every now and then. The daily grind can bring anyone down, but a bit of self-motivation goes a long way!

Surround yourself with the ultimate inspirational quotes!

  1. De-Clutter Your Life – It’s amazing how a few changes in the way you deal with your ‘stuff’ can help clear up your mind and make you feel more productive. Take care of clutter around your home, at the workplace and any other space you spend time in. This amazing post has some great ideas on how to organize everything around you, like using shower curtain hooks to hang up bags in your cupboard!
Well-organized spaces help clear up any clutter in your mind, too!

Well-organized spaces help clear up any clutter in your mind, too!

  1. Make Space for Creativity – No matter how busy your work or personal life may be, you need to take some time out to feed the creative bug in you. If you have a hobby or interest that makes you happy, set aside a space and even just an hour a week to pursue it. If you haven’t picked up a hobby yet, this is as good a time as any to begin!
A space set aside for creative pursuits will make you want to pursue them! (CC Image Courtesy: Jeff Warren on Flickr)

A space set aside for creative pursuits will make you want to pursue them!
(CC Image Courtesy: Jeff Warren on Flickr)

  1. Achieve a Better Balance – If you are juggling a family or busy social life with a hectic career, the start of the year is the time to work on a balance. Too many of us burn the candle at both ends, which gets mixed up sooner or later, so define your priorities and separate them. When you are at work, try to leave your personal life at home, and vice versa. Practice makes perfect!
This balanced life worksheet is a great example of how to separate your activities (CC Image Courtesy: Steven Handel on Flickr)

This balanced life worksheet is a great example of how to separate your activities
(CC Image Courtesy: Steven Handel on Flickr)

  1. Take Your Health in Hand – Yes, everyone keeps talking about healthier lifestyles, so we’ll make this one short. The fact is, even a tiny bit of exercise every day will improve your energy levels, which leads to being more productive. Also, you know all those times when you reach for a snack because you’re bored? Well, get up and complete a chore instead – your body will thank you for it!
Let the ‘Yeti taking a ride’ calendar remind you to get more active!

Let the ‘Yeti taking a ride’ calendar remind you to get more active!

Dealing with your New Year resolution to be more productive becomes much easier when you plan it out correctly. After all, 2014 is a fresh year, so treat it like a blank ‘to-do’ list. :)