Reflections, Intentions, and Recommendations for the New Year

Welcome to Abby Manchesky Interiors!

What is better than a new year? The possibilities and opportunities feel endless. 

Many choose a word or mantra for the year. A theme if you will. My word for 2016 was "Hospitality". Welcoming guests without striving to entertain or impress. 

Our home, although not huge, is set up well for entertaining and I truly love hosting guests. Originally I had a lofty goal of hosting either overnight guests or simply a neighbor for coffee at least once a month. I don't think that quite happened. If I'm honest, 2016 was more of a survival year than a hosting year. I didn't blog. I basically pressed pause on my business. I didn't host as much as I originally thought I might. 
But here are a few highlights that went well from setting the intention of hospitality:

1) I started a neighborhood book club. I sent out invitations via Facebook, and only neighbors are allowed to join. This has been wonderful! The best part is that I only knew a handful of neighbors when we started, and now we have real community. I consider a handful of neighbors some of my dearest and closest friends. If you have ever thought of starting a book club I highly recommend you make the jump! 

2) I hosted a wreathe making party for a small group of friends. I'm not usually crafty, but I knew I wanted to try my hand at making my own wreath this year. I bought a few fake greens from Micheal's, fresh greens from Trader Joe's, and different wreathe forms. I had all the pieces laid out on the table, and then a separate table for assembling your wreathe with a hot glue gun. As inspiration, I printed off DIY wreathe photos from Pinterest. You can see them here. I really enjoyed this night. It was casual, everyone arrived at different times when it worked for them, and I had just decorated the house for Christmas. Although everyone has a busy schedule, it's good to take a few hours to be together and create. 

3) I started a hospitality journal to track menus, who came over, what worked well, and what I would want to change for next time. This was especially helpful this Christmas reading through what I prepared last year, because I had totally forgotten. It was also awesome to look back at what I did for the boys birthday parties last year. It's amazing what I didn't remember! Whether you host guests once a year or once a week, a hospitality journal has made my life easier. 


Looking toward 2017 I'm still not entirely sure on my word. 
One that continues to come to mind & heart is OPEN

Open to new experiences
Open to change
 Open to trying through fear of failure
 Open to saying NO
 Open to transformation in myself and my family
Open to asking for help

Rising Tide Society

My Intentions for 2017

*Use the The Chalkboard Method. This is a theory or practice of making room in your life for clients. It works magically when you stick with it. I may do an entire blog post on how this
 has improved my client experience. 

*Just keep going. Even when life outside of work seems to take over. The best season of this for me was after reading The One Thing by Gary Keller. He encourages you to decide on the one thing that would make everything else easier or not needed, and do that for a chunk of time daily. No matter what. Basically setting office hours and scheduling everything else around that time, and it works.

*Blog. Blog. Blog. I've missed blogging. I always have something to share, whether it's client work, business related, or food related, I want to get back to my blogging roots. 

*Participate in the One Room Challenge. I'm not sure if it will be fall or spring, but the ORC was one of the most rewarding professional experiences and I need to do it again. 

*Revise my services and what I offer to clients. My services page has remained the same for quite some time, and I am looking into ways to improve my client intake process, what I offer each client, and how to make it a more seamless experience. 

Recommendations for your 2017

Although last year was more of a pause than a productivity win, I did continue to learn and put some energy toward my business. Here are a few recommendations of what I've loved.

*A paper planner. This planner has functioned best for me. My requirements are that it needs to be beautiful, or I won't want to use it. It must fit in my purse. I need to see both the month at a glance and the week at a glance, with space for notes. I also need a pocket for any loose papers or receipts that may come my way throughout the day. I've been using this planner since August and I am still loving it, which says a lot.

*Read Getting Things Done, or simply start with their podcast. I had never heard of the book but stumbled on the podcast, and I'm so glad I did. The book reads almost like a textbook and is a classic in the productivity field. The content is quite dense, so I actually recommend starting with the podcast and listening from the beginning. This method was crucial in my selection of the paper planner above.

*Go to bed. No, really. I know for me it's tempting to stay up late just to get 20 minutes of time alone without noise. (introvert much?) But so much good happens to our brain, body, and mood, if we can just get a little more sleep. Try going to bed even an hour earlier than normal and see what happens!

Thank you for reading! Do you have a word or phrase for 2017? Any books or podcasts you think I should read? I'd love to hear from you. xo


  1. Thanks for sharing Abby! I just ordered a Hospitality Journal for myself a week ago after throwing a brunch for 50 over the holidays. I can't hardly remember what I did yesterday, nevermind the details for a party I threw 3 years ago. Wish I had started one years ago!

  2. glad to see you back - hope there is more from you in 2017!
    *Love the table cloth!

    1. Thank you! The table cloth is simply a piece of taffeta from JoAnn's that I bought and left unfinished to drape across the table for the holidays.

  3. Really enjoyed reading this, Abby! My blogging has totally fallen away as my client work picked up. I feel constantly torn about how much work to take on as I have 4 boys who still need me. I love to hear what is working for others. My word is "present." I want to live in the present and be in the moment, because time goes so quickly! Happy New Year!!

  4. happy new year!!! Loved this and agreed with so much of it! I'm going to try and blog more too. Look forward to reading more of your posts. Stay warm!!!

  5. Abby, I'm glad you're back. I've missed your inspiration!


Abby Manchesky Interiors is a boutique design firm based in Grand Rapids, MI. Combining the new traditional, vintage and a dash of the unexpected is her ideal. Contact Abby Manchesky Interiors for more information on available interior design services for clients near and far. abbyminteriors@gmail.com | 616.719.9400


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