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We always start the New Year with great intentions for the coming months. A common resolution is to take more care and attention over your home and garden. But it’s usually around now, a couple of weeks into the New Year that these good intentions can start to slide. However, when it comes to your home and garden, there are some simple changes you can make to help keep everything looking and feeling fresh for 2013.

Color schemes: Be Bold
2013’s color of the year is Emerald Green – not necessarily an easy color to fit in with your current decor (unless you’ve already jumped on this trend!) However, this is a great opportunity to be bold with your home interior and add a little something different. Experimenting with colors is a perfect way to inject some excitement, especially at the start of a new year.

Home and Garden: 2013 Resolutions
Photo Credit: Simplified Bee

This doesn’t mean a complete overhaul is required; a touch of green can come from a variety of objects and ideas. Potted plants such as the Homalomeno ‘Emerald Gem’ provide a burst of color and are ideal for interior settings. If plants aren’t your thing, depending on your existing color scheme, you could add emerald green throws to your couches. For a more subtle touch a couple of green cushions will help to create a similar effect. Whichever way you incorporate the color into your home, making a resolution to try something different with your color scheme is something that is simple yet effective.

Home and Garden: 2013 Resolutions
Photo Credit: Simplified Bee

Gardening: Be Eco-friendly
Making a resolution to keep your gardening eco-friendly will not only have wider benefits for your local environment, it will help to keep your garden in tip top shape.

One aspect of your garden that may not spring to mind when it comes to the environment is your soil. Most commercial potting soil contains peat which is a non-renewable resource, and it can only be found in certain parts of the world. However, it is used as a form of energy, so it would be beneficial if gardeners looked to other sources of material for their soil. One popular alternative is to use coconut coir. This is a natural by-product of the coconut industry, and it helps to promote plant health.

Home and Garden: 2013 Resolutions
Photo Credit: Gotta Shop It

Reducing the amount of pesticides and insecticides you use is another way of helping the environment – instead of using whatever is lurking in your garden shed, go to local garden centers and ask for advice or any alternative methods to pest management. One method is to frequently check plants and remove any bigger pests that are visible by hand. Another way of helping is to try and encourage insects like ladybirds and spiders as these types of insects will naturally help to reduce the number of pests in the garden. These may not seem like revolutionary ideas, but will help your garden to look great, alongside the achievement of helping the environment.

­­Upcycle: Be Unique
Upcycling is the perfect way to save money and make use of items that may have been long forgotten, but it can sometimes seem like a lot of effort for little gain. However, there are simple ideas and inspiration everywhere you look.

For example, a great method for accessorizing old t-shirts only takes some newspaper, chalk, bleach, a paint brush and some imagination. Use on darker-colored t-shirts to get the most effective look. Put some newspaper inside your t-shirt to prevent any bleach from soaking straight through the material.

Draw a design on your shirt with chalk – staying simple is usually more effective; however you can experiment and see what you prefer. When your design is complete, dip your paintbrush into some bleach and trace over the chalk design. Once you’re happy with the color and the bleach has soaked in, wash your t-shirt. The bleach will have stained the shirt in the shape of your design, and the chalk will be rinsed off. You can use this method for other items of clothing or any other material you may have around your home.

Home and Garden: 2013 Resolutions
Photo Credit: The Berry

This is just one simple example of upcycling – there are plenty of methods you can find online and in craft shops, depending on what items you want to upcycle. So before throwing anything anyway, take a second and think about what you could do with it!

These ideas can help you to keep up with your home and garden over 2013, without breaking the bank and that even a novice could attempt. What home and garden resolutions do you have for 2013?

{Danielle is a guest author working on behalf of Tiger Sheds. She is an enthusiast of home improvement and gardening, and loves to keep on top of the latest design trends and inspiration.}