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Here are the New Year’s design resolutions to make in 2022

Ditch the New Year’s resolution in 2022 and vow to make your home stunning instead, writes Anya Cooklin-Lofting

Sunday 19 December 2021 00:00
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<p>A nice set of dining chairs is more uplifting than any January fad diet </p>

A nice set of dining chairs is more uplifting than any January fad diet

Do you have any resolutions to keep in the New Year? Increasingly, my friends and I are stepping consciously away from fitness-related, unsustainable “resentolutions” that leave us feeling burnt out and frustrated. Instead, many of us are making more wholesome promises to ourselves, such as keeping diaries, eating in a more earth-conscious way or spending more time with loved ones.

After a year that has, once again, revolved so heavily around life at home, why not make some New Year’s resolutions that factor in its constancy and importance? From ethical considerations like buying pre-owned furniture to making sure you lay a beautiful table for dinner a few times a week, resolutions around the home can improve your sense of wellbeing far more than any January fad diet.

Buying pre-owned/vintage

Furniture waste is a pressing concern overlooked or misunderstood widely in the public domain. According to the British Heart Foundation, whose furniture recycling efforts prevented 53,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions from being released into the atmosphere in 2018, 45 per cent of Londoners alone claim to have thrown away good quality furniture, electrical items or homeware. The short lifecycles we associate with our furniture is incredibly damaging and wasteful, so buying the stuff second-hand plays a huge part in supporting initiatives like these.

REHAUS, for example, is a managed furniture marketplace that buys and sells pre-owned designer and vintage furniture online. Celebrating the authenticity and longevity of genuine vintage and designer pieces, the company aims to minimise waste and ensure its stock goes to deserving homes. Its buyers become part of a community by selling their investment pieces back through REHAUS, keeping great quality furniture in circulation and out of landfill.

Give pre-loved furniture a new home

Another new sourcebook for gorgeous pre-owned and vintage furniture and accessories is Our Shop, a new retail launch from the sought-after interior design studio, Albion Nord. The digital atelier will offer rare and beautiful antiques, art and commissioned furniture editions to both interior designers and private customers with a taste for the British classical aesthetic. With the aim of reducing furniture waste in the industry, Our Shop promotes and encourages the presence of pre-owned pieces in the modern home.

Keeping organised

Getting organised for the New Year is one thing, but maintaining it is something else entirely. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from working so consistently at home, it’s that keeping my professional and personal documents in order really does help the world go round. If everything has a specific place, no matter how much storage you have, locating the right file, notebook, charger, or set of headphones becomes a stress-free endeavour. Not only will you find yourself more prepared for last-minute Zoom calls, but having an organised home will give you an addictive hit of exquisite smugness as someone with their life in order.

Top shelves: go for a wall-mounted modular turn your possessions into a display

If you’ve the means and the square footage, a full wall of shelving in your home office or living space will open up a world of organisational possibilities. Scandinavian shelving company, String Furniture, offers what co-owner, Peter Erlandsson calls “creative storage for an organised lifestyle”. The wall-mounted shelves are modular, meaning you can add and take away various cabinets or shelf panels to suit your exact storage requirements, be it for your wardrobe, a kitchen pantry, a nursery or a home office.

For speedy clean-up jobs, keeping large trunks or ottomans dotted around living spaces or bedrooms can make all the difference. If you have young children, toys can be kept tucked away outside of playtime hours. For overflowing wardrobes, why not ditch the plastic tubs in favour of a large wooden coffer or antique marriage chest? Pamono, a vintage furniture website that has recently been acquired by its American equivalent, Chairish, has a few beautiful options available now.

Setting the table

Perhaps a favourite resolution I have heard bandied around this December is to make more of mealtimes with the family or loved ones at home. Laying the table with a pretty tablecloth, lovingly sourced crockery and glassware and some candles in interesting candlesticks is all it takes to encourage family and flatmates alike to linger a little while longer. This period of lingering, which the Spanish have deliciously termed sobremesa, a word that translates to “about table”, should be urged on and celebrated to delay the often immediate illumination of the TV screen.

Make family mealtimes a glamorous affair

For tablecloths, Summerill & Bishop is a great port of call. Its CEO is Seb Bishop, formerly of GOOP, has made it the company’s mission to change the way we eat, reinvigorating mealtimes by encouraging its customers to be truly present at the table. A favourite of mine is the celestial stars linen table cloth with its matching napkins – perfect for the festive season and beyond.

For plates, bowls and serveware to last a lifetime, Burleigh’s iconic patterns never go out of style. The company, which is the last in the world to decorate its ceramicware using tissue transfer printing, introduced its most popular pattern, Regal Peacock, in 1913 and since then, the pattern has never been out of production. New this season is a refreshed take on the storied pattern, which is now available in contemporary forest green.

Nothing makes a table look more fancy that a set of patterned crockery

Antique and vintage patterned tableware is also a great addition to an eclectic and personal table setting, combining two very worthy resolutions. Benedict Foley, an interior designer and antiques dealer who has recently worked with auctioneers, Cheffins, to shoot its recent fine sale lots, tells me “you can buy large services relatively inexpensively at auction in comparison to modern items.” He continues, “I take lots of pleasure in buying antique ceramics. Some things match, others don’t, but I love a varied table and the process of selecting what to use at mealtimes is a small joy I can’t recommend highly enough.” For Foley, laying the table with highly patterned tableware is about the narratives that emerge as you dine, revealing the patterns as the evening rolls on. He says, “a collection on a table used to serve delicious treats amongst friends slowly revealed as the dinner moves on through its courses - what could bring a more delightful sense of occasion!”

Green touch: Brighten up any room with some carefully placed house plants

Getting green

“Bringing greenery into your home and workplace is always a good idea,” says Chris Wood, the Head Florist at Waitrose and advocate for any green-fingered resolutions. “This not only because plants have been proven to reduce stress, increase productivity and even clean the air,” he says, “but also because they create a beautiful environment that you’ll be happy to enter each day.” Waitrose’s new Indoor House Plant Collection (available via http://www.waitroseflorist.com) serves as a starter pack to help you build your greenery collection in the New Year, so it’s really never been easier to jump on the bandwagon.

LSA International is also making plant-parenting even easier with its Canopy collection of sustainably manufactured glassware that includes traditionally mouth-blown, self-watering planters. Launched in collaboration with The Eden Project, the collection is made from recycled glass to demonstrate the true capabilities of the material. The self-watering planters are inspired by the now iconic biospheres at the Eden Project site in Cornwall, hydrating your houseplants with a mechanism of cork and cord that draws water into the soil.

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