A Week of Spring - Kitchen

Bringing spring to the kitchen is an easy fix.  First, replace the "should'a done this long ago" hand towels, pot holders & dish cloths - I’m thinking of 2 potholders lurking in one of my kitchen drawers...  As with adding color elsewhere in the home, you can use the simple calm of a single color for new towels, potholders and accents or you can use a number of spring colors.  Consistency is one design rule I always apply to keep from creating visually cluttered spaces --  so continue the colors you’ve chosen throughout the kitchen and eating space.  Finally, add a vase of flowers, a new print for the wall or my favorite, a new rug at the sink that will be the foundation of your wake-up-to-spring makeover!  TIP:  declutter your kitchen counter tops by placing several of the things you use daily in a single tray as demonstrated in the photo.  This reduces visual clutter and instantly makes your kitchen feel cleaner!

 

A Week of Spring - Family Room

Family Rooms are the hub of the home where most family activity takes place and could use some sprucing up as the seasons change.  To go from winter drab to spring fresh, try switching out some accessories to add color.  If you want to keep it calm, choose a single color to accent your family room with pillows and accessories (a set of 3 vases of the same color in different shapes for the coffee table perhaps?).  The consistent use of a single accent color is a beautiful thing and keeps it mellow.

If you’re crazy for color, choose 3 of your favorite colors and with these in mind, choose throws, accessories, pillows (think different textures and patterns mixing in some solids) – even new lamps can continue your new colors in the room.  You’ll create a welcoming and cheery retreat for you and your family.  TIP:  If you have kiddos, choose fabrics for upholstery and pillows that’s durable.  Synthetic fabrics (no cotton or silk) wear like iron and clean up well.  They’ll even pass the test of teens!  Happy spring!

 

A Week of Spring!

 

A Week of Spring!

I can’t remember when we’ve had so much rain and to be honest, I’m really glad that the rainy season is behind us - bring on spring!

It happens every year – as winter turns to spring, the house looks as drab as the rainy skies.  How to deal with post winter blahs?  Try some of these ideas in your home.  This week we’ll focus on different rooms – today’s is the bedroom:

In your bedroom, remove heavy blankets and bedding - you won’t need those heavy layers now that the sun is shining.  Instead, opt for bright cheery colors! New bedding is a great and inexpensive way to transform a bedroom.  Find bedding that you LOVE and repeat the colors found in the bedding throughout the room in pillows, window treatments, lamps, accessories - even an updated piece of art!  Nothing's better than being surrounded by the colors you love!

 

Merry Christmas!

Oh how I love the glitter and shimmer of Christmas and it starts the day after Thanksgiving.  Away with the pumpkins - bring on the Santas! 

When switching out from Harvest to Christmas, keep it orderly so you don’t create more work for yourself.  Before you take down your Harvest décor, take photos of your vignettes and store them for easy reference. Next, bring in the harvest bins and take everything down, pack it all carefully using lots of tissue and bubble wrap.  Tip: I place all of the pieces in each vignette in separate bags and then place the bag in the bin.  Next year, I’ll know immediately what goes together and I simply refer to my stored photos for exact placement.

With Harvest safely tucked away, you can bring in the Christmas bins.  Unpack each bag with its various items for each vignette, refer to the photos you’ve taken and stored from the year prior and Voila!  Christmas!  Of course, I reserve the right to move things around, incorporate yet another Christmas goodie that I couldn’t resist and tweak each vignette until I’m satisfied.  This system has worked well for me, saved a lot of time and my feet are grateful at the end of a long day. 

When everything is place, I make a cup of tea, turn on the tree lights, light candles, play some favorite Christmas music and call my hubby.  We sit, relax and begin to enjoy yet another beautiful Christmas season and we are grateful, really grateful, for the blessings in our lives most especially for our sweet grand daughter Evynn….a precious bundle who arrived this Fall.  Christmas is even better because of her. 

I hope you’ll have lots of time to relax and enjoy your friends and family during this beautiful season. 

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Decorating for Autumn

 

Okay, I’ll confess, I’ve already put out my many pumpkins, pilgrims, candles, baskets - anything I have that speaks Fall. I’m nuts about pumpkins and anything pumpkin related - as soon as September hits, I’m hauling in bins from the garage!

It’s easy to decorate for Fall – purchase pumpkins in every shape, size, color and texture.  If you’re just starting your pumpkin stash, don’t forget to scour the after season sales – you’ll find treasures at deep discounts!  Combine your newly found pumpkins with anything Fall – straw, autumn leaves (faux and real), baskets, scented candles (think apple cinnamon!) and anything else that catches your eye that speaks harvest to you. 

Next, start combining – pumpkins + leaves + candles or pumpkins + leaves + pilgrims.  Just mix color/shape/texture and choose which combination you like best!

Combine all of your autumn colored throws and pillows to continue the look of harvest and you’ll bring the season to life in your home.  The best thing about Fall is that you get to keep your harvest decorations out until the day after Thanksgiving – then get ready to decorate for Christmas – more about that in my next blog - happy decorating! 

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Painless Decluttering!

Painless Decluttering 

Take an objective look.  The other day when walking through my home, I told myself to do just that and what I found made me think “Oh my, why do I still have that?”

Refreshing a space doesn’t have to cost money.  Often, you can update your home by simply moving or removing and recombining accessories or trading out artwork and with other rooms. 

If you’re like me, you’d like to declutter and lighten your spaces for a cleaner more streamlined look.  Editing (letting go of tired pieces that you no longer love) doesn’t have to be painful. Editing can be liberating and if you’re reluctant to get rid of things, here’s my easy 3-Box Formula.

Box 1 - Place items that you’re sure you want to get rid of – no attachment whatsoever – in this box.  Tape it up and deliver it to a charity.

Box 2 – You’re not so sure you want to part with Aunt Mildred’s hand painted plates.  Wrap the plates securely, place them in Box 2 and put the box in storage.  In 6 months, open the box and decide whether or not you’ve missed the plates.  If you have, you’ll be glad that you didn’t put them in Box 1.  If you didn’t miss them, place them in  Box 1 and off they go – this way you’ve given yourself time to consider and will have no regrets!

Box 3 – This box is a keeper -- you’re sure you want to keep these items but don’t necessarily want to see them in your home right now.  Box them up carefully, label and store them.  They’ll always be there for you when and if….

 

Create a Welcoming Front Entry

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I love summer…..flowers, tasty home-grown veggies and warm evenings by our pond help me remember what’s really important in life. While this isn’t interior design, I believe that we shouldn’t ignore our outdoor spaces. Let’s start with our front entry. Here are a few tips to ensure that your front door always says “Welcome!”

Dress up your front entry - whether you have a big front porch or a small landing at your front door, you can make it inviting….and you should. The first impression people have of our homes is the front door. Forget the small pots of flowers that dry out and die too quickly. Purchase a couple of large pots (there are lots of End-of-Summer sales going on now!) and fill one with green. The pots here on our porch have the ever-durable plant called Aspidistra or Cast Iron Plant. I chose it because it has lush green leaves year round in our mild climate and will tolerate shade. Surround the Aspidistra with something that has color and will tolerate the light conditions at your entry. I filled the smaller pots here with New Guinea Impatiens - they'll bloom continuously until frost. As the seasons change, replace spent plants with seasonal color. Don't forget whimsy - interesting artwork and garden statuary help brighten your entry.   Your home will say "Welcome" in every season!