A new leaf, a clean slate, a fresh start: however you choose to spin it, January is the month of renewal. After a season of indulgence, we find ourselves reaching for something different, both in our lifestyles and, more often than not, in our surroundings too. Whether you’re joining the calls of “new year, new home” or seeking a more subtle interiors switch-up, we’re here to help. We consulted one of our expert interior designers in the UK, Sarina Hawkins, about her home refresh ideas—from budget-friendly tweaks to decluttering tips, follow her lead for a look that feels fresh for 2024.

A sitting room with a boucle sofa, soft pink rug and green velvet storage ottoman.
A display cabinet with glass doors, behind which are blue-and-white Kraak china and patterned glassware

Get Organized

Decluttering and organizing are de rigueur in January, and it’s little wonder—after the excess of the holiday season, it makes sense that we’d want to enter the new year in a more pared-back, and tidy, fashion. If you’re tight on space, “you have to be very savvy about storage,” says Sarina. “In sitting rooms, I would definitely recommend using trunks and upholstered ottomans. They can act as a coffee table but also as storage.” Indeed, the designer’s resounding advice for storage is to seek pieces that are primarily aesthetically pleasing and secondly offer practical advantages. For example, for those odds and ends that don’t have a specific place in the home, Sarina recommends looking to decorative box files; these can be easily slipped onto a shelf or desk, adding color and print to your home while also keeping mess at bay. “They’re brilliant for storing paper and pens, and they’re beautifully decorative,” she explains. “You could also add a sideboard or console table with drawers to your entryway; then you’ve got something that acts as a beautiful piece of furniture, but has the facility of a storage unit too.”

Rearrange Your Rooms

If you’re wondering how to refresh your home without buying anything, Sarina has the solution. There’s no need to invest in a completely new sofa or dining table; simply look to your existing pieces for a fresh start. “A lot of people rearrange their rooms during the holidays to accommodate decorations and family, and when those are gone it’s easy to feel a bit despondent,” the designer says. “To make your home feel fresh and different, play around with your layout. You could move your occasional chair to a new part of the room or turn a rectangular dining table to face a different direction.” These are quick ways to refresh your home on a budget, and can make your space feel brand new with minimal effort.

Keep it Cozy

Too early to speak to spring and too late to nod to the holidays, January and February have a reputation for being the bleaker months of the year. But while you may be packing away your festive decorations, a New Year’s home makeover doesn’t have to mean stark style. We’d encourage you to embrace a cozy, inviting and eclectic look instead. “It’s a new winter feel. You still want the ambience and warmth that the season calls for, just without nodding to the holidays,” says Sarina. “I’d recommend adding lots of cozy throws to sofas and armchairs for extra warmth and bringing in candles at different heights for a layered look.” If you have a working fireplace, why not create a snug set-up by placing an armchair and side table close by? “We all use our homes differently in winter,” the designer adds. “It’s about creating cozy spaces that feel really inviting.”

A cream lamp base and neutral lamp sit on a bedside table, in front of gold vintage panels.
A velvet orange sofa decorated with patterned pillows sits on top of a red patterned rug

Introduce a New Source of Light

Just as the days continue to feel cold, so too do they feel dark—and with your string lights safely packed away for the next festive season, your home may seem a little moodier than usual. As an interior designer, Sarina knows better than most the power that lighting can have on a room, and so naturally her simple home refresh ideas involve seeking new ways to let your home shine. “Ambient lighting is so important at this time of year, when it does feel so much darker,” Sarina says. “A new source of light is a great way to give a space a fresh lease on life; you could add a new table lamp to your sitting room, or introduce one of our wireless lamps to your coffee table for an extra glow.” Ensure you mix your light sources to create a layered effect—from table lamps to floor lamps to candles, the more, the better.

Bring in Seasonal Flowers and Foliage

If you’re festive poinsettia is looking a little tired as we begin the new year, perhaps it’s time to finesse your florals and foliage? With wreaths, garlands and mistletoe removed, turn your attention to wintry stems that feel more appropriate to the time of year. “We’re not surging into spring just yet, but it’s always nice to have some greenery around the house,” Sarina says. “Look for some lovely berries, eucalyptus and pussy willow to reference the winter season without feeling overly festive.”  

Rethink Your Artwork

Sick of the same four walls? Change it up—a coat of paint can work wonders, but if you want to know how to refresh your space without decorating, look to artwork. “Artwork is so transformative,” says Sarina. “Introducing a new piece to your wall will completely change how your room looks and feels. If you don’t want to invest in something new, why not move your existing artwork to new spots, or change their frames?” If you can’t find the perfect piece, look to photographs, postcards or textiles—the more personal, the better. “It could even be a mirror,” the designer says. “A really sculptural frame with a bit of movement can look great hanging from a wall or propped on a mantel or console table.”

A beige linen corner sofa decorated with three pillows in brown and navy tones.
Six floral prints hang on a wall above a console table decorated with a sunshine yellow ceramic lamp

Swap Your Textiles

From breezy summer linens to rich winter velvets, texture can be transformative. Forget seasonal color palettes and instead think about the more tactile pieces that you can introduce to make your space feel different. “Color palettes are so subjective,” says Sarina. “If you wanted to create a wintrier feel with your textiles, I’d switch out linen pillow covers for wool or velvet instead. Making those small swaps of texture can make your space feel warmer and more inviting.” Faux fur or wool throws can also bring a cozier feel to your interiors; drape them over the back of sofas or armchairs for a tactile contrast.  

Restyle Your Décor

If you’re wondering how to refresh your home with minimal fuss, turn to your décor for inspiration. These smaller items are easy to move around your home and introduce to new spaces or surfaces. “Try something different on your mantel or coffee table,” says Sarina. “Have a beautiful candle in your entryway or move an ornament from your shelf to your side table. Just because something has a place doesn’t mean it’s glued on.” It may sound simple, but when you’re so used to seeing pieces in specific places, moving them around will give your home a whole new feel—even if the pieces themselves have, in fact, been old favorites for many years before.