I've begun gathering my inspiration stuff. 
Although I don't have plans to sell my home, I'm always in the middle of three or four home improvement projects. Okay, more like ten or twelve.

This is the year I'm going to create the home that reflects what I really love, and I'll do it unabashedly. How's that for positive thinking? Step one, check!

To be more specific, I'm moving towards a coastal decor scheme, with clean, cool, crisp colors -- seascapes, beach glass, white furniture. I'll warm it up with touches of vintage -- old leather, sepia photos, and gently used bamboo furnishings.

The challenge: to keep the house from looking trite and schmaltzy, like an out-of-the box beach rental. The way to do that: make it personal and unique. I can do this because my home is not on the market. If you're prepping your home for sale, you can't follow today's advice.

I'll incorporate items we love -- my father's old binoculars, my childhood swim trophies, Mr. Lucky's collection of sharks teeth, framed nautical charts of places we've cruised in our boat. These are items I might not not display in a staged home.

The oil painting of a ship Mr. Lucky's grandfather captained will get prominent placement.

My inspiration comes from pins I've begun to add to my Pinterest board. And, I'm a regular reader of Completely Coastal, a tidal wave of almost daily ideas! My best inspiration comes from our own family histories, since both Mr. Lucky and I both grew up by the water. Our happiest memories are from time spent in the water or on the water. We both had grandfathers who were captains on ocean-going vessels. We live near the coast, having moved here from the mountains to enjoy a lifestyle centered around appreciation for all that the sea, rivers, and marshes offer.

My new old bamboo chairs. Be glad you can't see the black plastic seats.  
Here is the to-do list I've begun, and will no doubt add to as the year progresses.
  • Replace dark wood ceiling fans in living room and bedrooms with white ones.
  • Add white plantation shutters to my office.  
  • Convert all painted furniture to white or pastel colors. 
  • Recover red cushions in living room with blue denim.
  • Replace garden-style glass-topped table, and chairs in dining area, with wooden table and bamboo chairs. Add killer seats, maybe in a coral color for drama!
  • Construct a driftwood-framed, sunburst mirror from the 25 x 30-inch ugly mirror I own. Wish me luck. If I succeed, you'll see the tutorial here.
  • Slipcovers, slipcovers, slipcovers! 
  • And cushions!
Works in progress: the driftwood framed mirror, and some high-water draperies makeover
What are your home plans for the year ahead? Dream big, and dream in technicolor.