Making Holiday Decorating a Breeze


Holiday decorating has such a warm, cozy, and festive allure to it. Think: Wearing your favorite sweater and fuzzy socks with a hot cocoa in hand while playfully hanging up decorations with the kids. Of course, there’s also that perfect holiday playlist in the background and heck, why not hope for gently falling snow outside, as well.  Continue reading

Tackle Winter DIY Projects Now


With winter just a few months away, it’s time vital to prioritize any lingering home improvement do-it-yourself projects owners have been meaning to get around to. Colder weather often means that outdoor jobs, in particular, become difficult or even impossible to start, let alone complete. Moreover, many of the DIY jobs homeowners may want to get around to have to do with winterizing their houses or properties in some way, so getting those efforts underway as soon as possible is crucial.  Continue reading

The Pros and Cons of Smart Home Technology


Smart home technology has been something that we as a population have longed for; science fiction shows and movies have wowed audiences with ideas for home automation that most of us would really like to enjoy in our day-to-day lives.

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Packing Tips for a Smooth Move


Moving into a new home is an exciting time, but can be a complicated process. You may be done with the paperwork and have your keys in hand, but if you’re not organized and efficient in your packing and unpacking, your move may not be as smooth as you hoped. Use these tips to be sure the move to your new home is headache free!
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Summer is a Great Time for a Kid’s Room Re-Do


Now that kids are home for the summer, getting their ideas – and help – with a bedroom remodel can be a great family activity. All it takes is a little elbow grease and a few hours to make any kid’s room look completely different, and better match their ever-evolving tastes. Read More

2017 Decor Trends

If you are looking for new ways to improve your home this year, take note of what is IN this year. The 2017 home design trends have a lot to do with color, texture, shapes, simplified living spaces, and taking traditional designs and putting a modern spin on them.

Textured Furniture


Textured furniture is different and unique and is making its way into 2017 because of the way designers want their customers to be more in touch with textures. Anything from pleats, foldings, cotton, velvet, and wool will be making it’s way in homes this year. This is coming from a larger macro trend of comfort according to Patti Carpenter, the Global Trend Ambassador and Creative Director from Carpenter Co. She adds “you will continue to see faux fur, mohair, and other luxuriously soft materials in 2017.”


Hanging Pendant Lights



Table lamps are out, and hanging lights are in! This trend is important for small spaces that do not have the space for a nightstand for lamps to still be able to bring light into a room. Recently, geometrical lighting shapes have made their appearance in homes and are here to stay. Hexagonal, cylindrical, and spherical shapes have been common in bedrooms, entryways and living rooms. You will also see large pendant lighting in kitchens making a comeback in 2017.

White and Wood Kitchens



If all of the bright colors and geometric shapes are not your cup of tea, then consider going simple with a modern twist on country chic with a white and wood kitchen. Butcher block countertops are the way to go. They are affordable, durable (if maintained properly), add warmth and natural coloring, and wood has natural antibacterial properties. Paired with white cabinets and accessories, a white and wood kitchen is IN this year.


Tech Nooks



This year, “docking stations” have become all the rage for homeowners. Now that Wi-Fi gives many people to have the luxury to work from anywhere in their home, there is less need for an office space. So now “tech nooks” have become the necessity for quick and easy access. As long as there are charging stations, and small equipment for drop-down or pull out desk surfaces, you can have ability to tackle quick projects.




As grey became the hottest neutral color in 2016, beige is making it’s comeback in 2017. Even though beige has a reputation of being boring, there are ways to incorporate this color to give it the pizazz it deserves. Try pairing it with bold color accessories, or even pastels to see how easily it can compliment other colors. Also try pairing it with textures (Also a 2017 design trend!) such as velvet, metallics and natural linens.


Mixed Patterns


If you love patterns, then this 2017 design trend is the one for you! As spotted in the Fall of 2016 New York Fashion Week, the use of mixed patterns were very common (It has been said that many decor trends stem from New York Fashion Week.) You will find anything from mixed pattern bedding, like the comforter above, to patterned tiles, to wallpaper patterns. “Expect geometric patterns, vintage feel patterns, colours, and random patterns that can be used in a variety of applications. A punch of patterned tile is the perfect way to add interest and depth to any new space or renovation!” said Jennifer Woch from House of J Interior Design.



How to Repurpose Everyday Household Items


In general, most people have become more aware of the importance of recycling materials that are accepted by recycling companies. Taking a few moments to learn about the ever-expanding size of the landfills in the United States is all it takes to get more serious about recycling plastics, paper, glass and more.

Sometimes, rather than tossing used containers and other items into the recycling bin after you’ve used them, you can potentially repurpose them to use them again in a different way! Doing so means you don’t have to purchase a new item (because you can make it from materials you already own). Getting more than one use out of a single item is even more environmentally friendly than traditional recycling. The more uses you can get out of an item before sending it off to the recycling plant, the better.
You might think of some of the following tips as ‘life hacks,’ but we simply see them as fantastic and creative ways to get more bang for your buck:

  • Mesh fruit and vegetable bags – You typically tote home a bunch of oranges in a nylon mesh bag. These types of bags are extremely dangerous to wildlife – especially sea life – because animals can become entangled in the bags. Keep yours and use them as scrubbers to clean your kitchens and bathrooms!

  • Old disposable razors – If your disposable razor has reached the end of its life, don’t toss it in the trash or recycling bin just yet. Use it to easily remove sweater pills that form when certain materials are laundered. You should be able to get several more uses out of your razor this way before you actually need to throw it away.

  • Disposable plastic powdered coffee creamer containers – Because of the way these particular plastic containers close (with a flip down flap), they make the perfect sugar dispensers. They close tightly, keeping sugar dry and protected, and they were made for pouring powdered creamer, so they’ll pour sugar just as easily!

  • Empty tissue boxes – When you reach the end of the tissues in a box, don’t throw it away so fast! These empty boxes have a multitude of interesting uses. They’re great for keeping all of your plastic grocery bags that you can also reuse as trash can liners around the house. In fact, an empty tissue box also makes a good mini trash can for use in your car or at your desk, if you have limited space.

  • Empty toilet paper and paper towel tubes – These cardboard rolls come in handy when organizing your extension cords, charging cords, holiday lights and any other cords or wires that you want to keep untangled while they’re being stored.

  • Old suntan or other lotion containers – Once empty and cleaned out, you can use these sturdy plastic lotion bottles as a great place to store your cell phone, keys, money and other small valuable items when you go to the beach or pool. You can also use an empty lotion bottle to make a very creative holder for your cell phone while it charges.

How to Make Your Home “Shabby Chic”

shabby chic
The home décor style known as ‘shabby chic’ has been embraced by homeowners and renters alike all around the world. Because of its focus on imperfection, shabby chic design appeals to those who prefer a home that feels and looks lived-in and comfortable rather than perfect and austere.
If you’re interested in incorporating the shabby chic design style into either your home’s interior, exterior (or both), you’ll want to try to find the right balance of rustic, weathered pieces combined with new décor items so that your home feels eclectic and welcoming.
Try adding some of the below listed components and elements to your existing home design to give your living space a simple, elegant shabby chic makeover:


  • Texture variety: By utilizing a number of different natural textures in pieces like lampshades, baskets, wall hangings, rugs, window coverings, throw pillows and more, you’ll help bring in a feeling of variety that is fundamentally shabby chic.

  • Mix and match colors: Another important element in shabby chic design is including several different color palettes in a single room. Think unmatched couch pillows and throws or a mismatched pastel set of plates and bowls in your kitchen cabinets. Keep in mind that colors are always less important than textures and materials when it comes to shabby chic style. Shabby chic colors are typically muted, but you can include some vibrant pops of color as well.

  • Bring in the light: While much of shabby chic style involves mixing up colors, patterns and textures – you can also go with a light and bright shabby chic design. An all-white living room that incorporates a variety of different textures and a few soft touches of color can be extremely inviting.

  • Go vintage: The foundation of any shabby chic living space is reclaimed design elements that include distressed pieces that you can find at your local thrift shop or flea market. Although many shabby chic lovers have treated new furniture pieces with antique-looking finishes, authentically vintage items are even more desirable if you can find them.

  • Do It Yourself (DIY) – A popular way to add the perfectly weathered item in any room is to create it yourself. By using old materials like vintage doors and milk crates to build a new shabby chic table or nightstand, you’ll get the perfect look at a low price.

  • Celebrate originals – If your home has wood flooring underneath carpeting, peel back that carpet and celebrate the natural state of your wooden floors. A distressed wood floor will give any room an instant shabby chic feel. If your wood floors are in great shape, consider painting them using a distressing technique to give them a ‘worn-in’ look.


When taking your home toward a shabby chic design, remember that you mustn’t go overboard. To decorate every room in your house with distressed or reclaimed items can look simply shabby without the chic. By pairing worn or antique elements with some pieces that look and feel new, your result will be cozy, comforting and welcoming to everyone who visits.

How to Make Your Home Feel More Welcoming

welcoming home

Have you ever walked into a friend’s home and felt an immediate sense of comfort? It might not be immediately obvious why a particular abode feels so cozy and comforting, but there are a multitude of little things you can do to make your home feel just as welcoming.


Take a look around the rooms in your home where you most often welcome guests. If these areas feel like “something’s missing,” you can try adding a few items to turn up the ambience-meter. Some homes have more of a welcoming ambience than others just on their own, but if your house or apartment lacks built-in charm, don’t despair! By answering the following questions, you’ll know better how to make your home more inviting.


Is your own personal style evident?

In order to add the right ‘joie de vivre’ to your home, you simply must get in touch with your own personal style. Decorating your home in such a way that your personality shines through will give it a uniqueness that can’t be duplicated.


What is the first thing visitors see?

First impressions are very important when it comes to your home. Give your porch, front door, walkway or entryway some love! These areas are easy to ignore because we breeze through them but don’t spend any actual time living in them. Keep your home’s entryway clean and tidy. You might add a vibrant throw rug, a colorful welcome mat or a cute wooden sign that welcomes guests. Consider a colorful wreath to hang from your front door. A bench or potted plants just inside are easy ways to add character to what might otherwise be a rather drab area of the house.


Does your home get a lot of natural light?

Lighting accounts for a lot of the ambience in any location. If your home has little or no natural light, put some effort into choosing quality lighting features. Be sure to select some bright lights and some dimmer, warm-toned lamps for different occasions.


Are there a lot of sharp angles in your home?

If your home has a lot of straight lines and modern angles, you can soften up the overall look with round accents like rugs, pillows, artwork, and other décor items.


How much color appears throughout your home’s décor?

A home that is starkly painted one neutral tone can feel cold and less inviting than one with splashes of vibrant, bold, warm colors. Add color through wall colors, rugs, paintings, colored lighting fixtures, pillows, throws and more.

Do you have comfortable seating?

One aspect of any welcoming home is whether or not there is adequate seating for all of the guests that you may entertain at one time. Pulling out uncomfortable folding chairs when you have visitors will not make your space feel cozy.


Is your home easy to navigate?

Be sure that your main entertaining/living area is set up to allow for people to walk through easily. Cozy doesn’t have to mean cluttered, and in fact a space that is overfilled with too much furniture can feel claustrophobic, which can make your guests uncomfortable.