Start the new year with a new room that inspires and uplifts you.
By Allison Jacobs
Photography by Stacy Goodman
If you’re ready for a fresh start in 2019, look no further than your four walls. Living spaces tend to come with many distractions, and creating the ideal spot to recharge can make a huge difference.
Your home environment also reflects how you feel, impacting your overall mental health. According to a study in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, women who described their homes as cluttered experienced higher levels of depressed mood and fatigue compared to women who felt their homes were more restorative.
“A cluttered environment can actually make your brain less efficient at processing information, which can increase frustration,” says clinical psychologist Samantha Lewis of Huntington Woods. “Taking even 10 minutes to organize your space may actually save you time by allowing you to work more efficiently.”
Whether your favorite spot is an office or bedroom, it can be helpful to take inventory of not only organizational factors, but also functionality and style.
Marilynn Silberman, a longtime Birmingham resident and owner of interior design company, Studio Loft, has over 40 years of experience helping clients make their design dreams a reality.
“I do anything from buying one simple thing to complete home renovations — no project is too big or too small,” Silberman says.
Silberman, 72, has a knack for eyeing great pieces and accessories, while also paying attention to important details like storage space and furniture sizing.
She also takes a hands-on approach with her clients, preferring to go directly to local stores, boutiques and galleries and peruse the merchandise herself. Her favorites include IKEA in Canton, Michigan Design Center in Troy and Italmoda Furniture in Royal Oak.
During an initial shopping trip, Silberman’s advice is to not hold back.
“The first couple times I go out with a client, I always tell them, ‘You’re a squirrel — you gather everything you like, and later figure out what you can use and can’t use.’ ”
She recently helped her daughter, Stacy Goodman, refresh several rooms in her Birmingham home.
“The house is very gray and white, so I wanted to bring out some pops of color,” Goodman says.
First on Goodman’s to-do list was converting an unused bedroom off her garage into an office. Rather than opting for built-ins, Silberman encouraged her to consider IKEA cabinets, which are aesthetically pleasing and affordable.
Goodman also made some online purchases, selecting colorful carpet tiles from flor.com and an artsy overhead lamp from kartell.com. She then popped into Italmoda for the perfect desk and set of chairs.
“On flor.com you can pick any color or pattern — I thought it was really fun because I could do what I wanted,” Goodman says. “I also have three dogs, so if anything happens, I can just replace one of the squares.”
Goodman also took a second look at her living room, which she felt needed a reboot. For this room, adding storage space was a major requirement. Once again, IKEA came in handy, allowing her to build a sleek wall unit with ample space for odds and ends, plus a bar for entertaining guests.
At Italmoda, she snatched up several couches and a sleek glass table. For a few art deco pieces, she visited one of her go-to local shops, Leon & Lulu in Clawson.
Once her new office and living room were looking spot on, Goodman revamped her daughter Annie’s bedroom.
She ventured to Restoration Hardware for a bed fit for a princess and HomeGoods for funky throw pillows. She wanted to incorporate Annie’s love for doughnuts and found an eye-catching print featuring stacks of Annie’s favorite baked treat at greatbigcanvas.com. For an extra glow, Goodman strung holiday lights along the border.
Goodman’s favorite room is now the office, where she spends hours editing photos for her business, Stacy G. Photography.
“The office inspires me with its bright and airy feel — it is a cheerful, organized room where I can work without feeling secluded from my family,” she says.
While a new project can be daunting, Silberman emphasizes starting with the little things — even a patterned rug or artwork can transform a room. Mixing both inexpensive and more high-end items is also key.
A final piece of advice from Silberman is to have an open mind, even when you already have a clear vision of your new space.
“I find when you’re not looking is the best time to find something,” she says.
Rejuvenating a room doesn’t have to be complicated — shopping locally for a few simple pieces or reorganizing can make all the difference.