Updating Your Christmas Decorations

Just because you change your tree lights or ornaments this year doesn’t mean you have to buy new accent pieces. Tying in your other decorations with your tree can be fun and inexpensive.

Tired of the white lights on your tree? Want a little color in your life? Changing to multi colored lights and ornaments can richen a room, especially when you carry it to other areas. The wonderful jewel-like colors of the bulb in stores now can be fun to work with. The rich purples, greens and bright blues are festive and beautiful. Large containers of assorted colored bulbs can be found in most store for a reasonable price. Buying an extra tub to updated those wreaths and garland can give your room a designer look with little effort. Here are some ideas to update those tired looking decorations with sparkle and flare.

Wreaths

Start with a clean slate. Clip off any berries, apples, pics, or pine cones. Get your glue gun ready. Select some of the bright colored bulbs from your tub that you see on your tree, using at least 3 or 4 different colors. Plan your pattern before you start to glue. Mix large and small. Even tiny ones can make a shiny cluster of berries when grouped in threes together, and thats our goal. MAKE IT SHINE! A star or two here and there can tie it all together. A curly hanging bow from your gift wrappings can replace the more traditional bow for a fun look. Glue everything on. Make sure to turn your bulbs down so the hook side doesn’t show. When you’re through you will have a wreath as unique as you are.

Centerpieces

A tray sprinkled with snow or potpourri can make a simple and elegant statement on your table. Adding candles, a statue of Santa or Frosty can be the perfect touch. Don’t overload the tray. A SPRINKLE of snow rather than a foot of it will do the trick. Filling the tray with big chunks of potpourri is always nice and will send the smells of the holidays throughout your home. Add a couple of those bulbs again to tie in with your new look.Your home will have the magical feel of the holidays. Have fun with it.

May Your Season Be Bright!

Home is Where Your Heart Smiles

Most of us spend more time at home than anywhere else. It should feel like our sanctuary – a place to unwind, rejuvenate and be ourselves. No matter if your home is owned, rented, a rancher, townhouse or studio apartment, it is yours and should make you smile. It should contain the things you love, the things you need and show off your favorite colors and belongings. It should also smell fresh, be free of dust, clutter-free and organized.

Our homes should be a reflection of our personality and lifestyle too. What is your style? Are you quirky, natural, beachy, adventurous, romantic, casual, country, shabby chic, formal, eclectic or a minimalist? Look around at your favorite belongings (take a peek in your closest too) to see if themes emerge- colors, textures, prints. If you are unsure, look through magazines and pull out pics that are appealing.

How do you need your home to function? Will there be small children, lots of animals, frequent parties or a wheelchair to move about? Consider an open floor plan, easy-clean flooring, and scotch- guarding your furniture.

Think about your values. Do you value lots of time with friends and family? Peace of mind? Eating au natural? Time alone? Plan a comfortable guest room, a space for yoga or meditation, a garden and a quiet reading nook or deep soaking tub to get away.

Go room by room and decide if the room is functional for you. Do you really need three bedrooms and a formal dining room when you could really use an office and an exercise room? If you are an artist, designate space to create. Same if you are a writer or caterer or gardener. Look at every object small and large. Ask yourself if you love it, need it, if it makes you happy/peaceful and if it reflects the current you. Don’t feel obligated to keep every item gifted to you.

How do you want your home to feel? Darker colors will make it feel cozy, lighter colors will open it up. Stand in front of the paint swatch section at Lowe’s and select colors you are attracted to. There are no wrong color choices. If you are afraid of color, paint just one wall instead. If you are renting and painting is not an option, choose art to bring color to your walls.

Art comes in many forms such as pricey signature pieces but you can make your own. Purchase a canvas (or make your own) and use paint left over from other home projects. Splatter it and finger paint and call it “modern art”. Frame the kids’ artwork too.

Display the things you love. No matter what you love, seeing them will put a smile on your face. Treasured family photos, maps from exotic vacations, concert stubs and your grandmother’s collection of antique jewelry will give your home that “homey” touch. Don’t forget the importance of pleasing all of your senses. Add a soft throw to the couch for those chilly evenings, a water fountain for soothing background music and fresh smells in the form of potpourri or candles.

You need not hire a professional to decorate for you. Your home does not need to look like it came out of a magazine. If you compare your rooms to the professionally staged, you will cause yourself undue stress. Keep it simple and clean and surround yourself with fabulous things and you’ll be on your way to living the good life.