Smart Design With Suzette: Year In Review – Designing Your Life

Take stock of 2018 and prepare for the new year. Courtesy image

Don’t underestimate the inviting power of great curb appeal. Courtesy image

Los Alamos

Happy New Year! No doubt, some wonderful things have happened in your life in the past year. And, you’ve likely had your fair share of struggles and setbacks too. The idea is to design your life — an overall outline of what matters and what you hope to achieve – professionally and personally. The process set forth below has helped me make 2018 a truly transformative year. Start with:

What Worked
This question is a keeper from year to year. Acknowledge all that worked out well: the goals you achieved, the events and circumstances you feel good about. We underestimate what can be done over the course of a year. Looking at a whole year in review, you may be surprised at everything you’ve accomplished.

What Didn’t Work
Take an honest look to acknowledge what didn’t work for you. This could reveal insights leading to more meaningful year ahead.

Next, look at the goals set last year. Were they achieved? Sometimes circumstances change and the goal is no longer relevant.

2019 – Crossing a Threshold
As you begin a new year you are crossing a threshold. Will there be some big changes happening at work (or elsewhere)? Or perhaps an intentional change you want to create.

Now it’s time to think about your goals, intentions and possibilities for the year ahead – for you personally, for your family, for your career, and for your home. Write your goals down and make them specific and concrete.

Action Plan
Of course, naming the goal is only the start. You also have to back that up with a plan, commitments, and action!

Habit of Reflection
Building a habit of reflection is critical for your personal and professional well being, that instills self-awareness, efficacy, and resiliency. In general, being mindful and practicing gratitude is a sure way to achieve your goals.

For me, I’m here to serve. My business is built on a foundation of education, a passion for eco-design and a commitment to my community to be an unstoppable force for good in design and as a realtor. I believe you must bring your whole self to the table if you want to make an impact and thrive in today’s world.

Home Sweet Home (You know I would go there)
When you set your goals for the year, think about what you want/need to do for your home. Is this the year you will have saved enough to remodel the kitchen, bathroom or put in new flooring? If so, meet with contractors earlier rather than later to get on their schedule.

If not, it’s okay; you can still make a lovely space without a lot of money. There are ways to make your home sweet for you, your family and guests. Follow these guidelines:

Keep It Clean
The act of cleaning has many benefits including physical, mental and emotional. Cleaning reduces allergies, kills viruses, reduces stress, burns calories, encourages cooking and improves mental state. Let’s face it – there’s nothing better than walking into a house that is clean and organized.

Small Pleasures
Splurge on that bouquet of flowers or fragrant candle. And don’t let your small treasures be stored waiting for a “special occasion.” Use your favorite things every day and you’ll find yourself enjoying your home more and more.

Create A Welcoming Atmosphere
Having a home that is inviting makes for both an enjoyable and memorable place. It’s the thing that differentiates a great home from just a good one, and it’s the thing that makes guests want to stay and linger in your home as long as possible. These are merely suggestions of areas and ways you might do some adjusting to tweak and find your home’s sweet spot.

• Front door and entryway
Don’t underestimate the inviting power of great curb appeal. Winter’s tough but a clean front stoop and a bright welcome mat does wonders.

• Soft textiles
Perhaps the most obvious suggestion on the list, but it’s still incredibly effective. Go for plush area rugs, deep furniture and big throw pillows. No one I know can resist soft textures to cuddle up with.

• Good smells
It’s easy to make your house smell great without any chemicals. Open a window. Boil cinnamon. Bake something like cookies, apple pie or bread. Grind coffee. Flower arrangements. Any of these natural remedies will keep your home smelling fresh.

• Lighting
One of the most important factors in how a room looks is something most people usually don’t even think about: light. Try to include multiple light sources in a room – natural lighting from windows, accent lighting, task lighting and general lighting.

Live With The things You Love
Above all, surround yourself with things that make your house feel like home because they remind you of people and things you love. Then when you’re at home, you will feel that it is a place where you truly belong.

Suzette Fox is a local interior designer and real estate broker at RE/MAX First. Visit her website Find her on Instagram and on Facebook at

Use your favorite things every day and you’ll find yourself enjoying your home more and more. Courtesy image