Monthly Archives: November 2012

How to Decorate your Home for Christmas

The following is a guest post

It is that time of the year which we all look forward to. Yes, Christmas is round the corner with its multitude of colors, twinkling stars and sound of jingles. And it is the time to Decorate your Home for Christmas as well as welcome Santa and the forth coming New Year. But are you having troubling deciding how and from where to start decorating? Don’t worry. Here are a few ideas to pep up your home for the forthcoming holiday season.

  • Outdoor: Christmas decoration should start from outdoors as this is the place that is quite visible to others. Electric bulbs and glowing stars can be used to beautify the trees outside the house. The entrance or hallway can be decorated with Christmas wreaths. New doormats with festive theme can be used. Autumn colored leaves; paper hangings etc would look good in hallway.

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  • Living Room: The must have for Christmas decoration is the Christmas tree. You can either make a mini tree using twigs and white spray or you can buy one from the shop. Once the tree is set the decoration part begins. Twinkling stars, Christmas balls, ribbon bows, mini Santa dolls etc are few of the items that are used for decorating Christmas tree. Once the tree is set, the room can be decorated with scented candles, Christmas wreath and natural flowers to bring in special aroma. Small dolls and teddies can be used to decorate, especially when you have kids in your house.

 

  • Dining: Next to living, dining room assumes great significance. After all Christmas is all about wine and dine! Christmas trees are welcome in dining area as well, provided you have space. Instead of using electric light, candle lights can be used to bring in the Christmas mood. If you are fortunate enough to have chandelier with candle holders, well and good. Fresh flowers and leaves can be used as centerpiece for dining table. White colored table cloth and placemat look best suited for the Christmas setting. Blank walls can be decorated with floral wreaths.

Christmas décor need not be expensive if one has little imagination and creativity. Here are a few DIY tricks one can follow to decorate the home for Christmas

· Buy few Christmas balls of different colors and make a bunch of it. Hang it from the ceiling. It can make a nice Christmas inspired chandelier

· Old wine bottles can be spray painted in gold and silver and used as décor pieces

· Get ball or cube shaped candles from the thrift shop (or if you can make one well and good). Draw some picture using glitter glue. It can be used as an ideal décor piece. Similarly old porcelain bowls or cups can be given a new form using porcelain paint marker. A touch of personalized note; and this can be used as an ideal return gift as well!

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· Homemade holiday wreaths are ideal for wall décor. For this use cardboard as a base and cut it out in the shape of a wreath. Make woolen pom-poms and stick to the cardboard wreath. Holiday wreath is ready.

Christmas decoration need not be an expensive affair. A little bit of creativity and imagination and time will go a long way in transforming your home into that perfect Christmas mood!

Author Bio: The author Susan Johns is a freelance content writer specializing in home décor/improvement niche. With over 5 years experience in the field of furniture and home decor, she has written numerous articles and blogs in this area. She is maintaining a deco review blog that reviews the latest products in home décor niche. Please visit her blog http://decoreview.com

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Christmas Creativity using Crystal Water Marbles

The following is a guest post

Christmas is a time when most people get excited about filling their homes with a lot of holiday decorations. This year, try getting a bit creative by adding crystal water marbles to your decor. These colorful marbles add an elegant flare to almost anything you use them with and are sure to stand out and please anyone who enters your home.

Having people over this holiday? Impress them by hanging clear crystal water marbles on the trees in front of your home.

What you will need:

· Clear crystal marbles

· Craft glue

Simply use craft glue to hold your water marbles together to make a long string, and drape them over the branches outside your home. There is no limit to the amount you make. The crystal water marbles will form the illusion of "Icicles" on the trees and be the first thing your guests see before entering your winter wonderland.

You can continue the winter wonderland effect inside your home as well. Instead of having a flower centerpiece on your table, why not jazz it up by adding some Christmas decorations and crystal water marbles to a vase?

What you will need:

· Clear crystal water marbles

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· A tall glass vase that will be used as the base of your centerpiece.

· Colored Christmas ornaments

· Flowers

· 2 or 3 tea lights

To make this festive centerpiece, you will first need to add ¼ of the crystal marbles into the vase. Then, insert about 4 or 5 flowers on top, positioning them to the sides of the glass. Next, you add a little more of the crystal water marbles to the vase. Follow this by adding about 4 of the Christmas ornaments. Layer more of the crystal water marbles until you get about a quarter from the top. Add a few more ornaments and more of the flowers. Then, fill the vase ¾ of the way with water and you will see that it will make the items inside look like they are floating! Add a few tea lights at the top, and the glistening of the lights will create an elegant touch to this festive centerpiece. Try getting creative by adding various holiday items to the vase.

Another idea is to create a snowman centerpiece using white flowers and clear crystal water marbles.

What you will need:

· 3 round clear glass bowls (small, medium and large)

· Clear crystal marbles

· Assorted white flowers

Fill each glass bowl 1/4 of the way with the crystal water beads. Then, add flowers, without stems, to each bowl. Stack the bowls on top of each other, largest to smallest, and you will see that it creates a beautiful snowman centerpiece! Get creative by substituting flowers for ornaments, candy canes, etc.

There are many crafty ways to decorate your home during the Christmas holiday. Crystal water marbles are a fun, crafty way to get creative during the holiday season. By adding them to your decor, you are sure to impress your friends and family the next Christmas holiday. Crystal water marbles adds a unique touch to just about anything you add them to. So, the next time you want to get crafty at Christmas time, think about using crystal water marbles. You never know, you just may "wow" your friends as well as yourself.

This article is brought to you by Crystal Waterbeads, an online store where you can get your supply of water marbles that can help add elegance to any holiday decor.

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Unusual Christmas Lights

While the shops might start decorating for Christmas in September most of us will leave it till late November or December. However, sometimes people have an unfortunate surprise going through the decoration box when we’re faced with the prospect of untangling dated Christmas lights that have lost their charm and have started to look a little dull.

ny_christmas_lights_at_time_warner_center_28_322With the advances in technology there has never been a wider range of beautiful Christmas lights available at affordable prices. So this year why not start a little earlier to give you time to throw out the old lights and give your house some real Christmas sparkle?

You could start with something for the mantelpiece: candle bridges create a wonderful centerpiece for the holiday season. If you’re looking for a fun design you could opt for a bridge featuring popular Christmas characters such as snowmen and Father Christmas. If you want something a little more elegant you could try a more understated design – an arched wooden effect bridge for example.

People looking for a very elegant way of using lights in their home during the Christmas period could try putting LED lights in a clear glass bowl or vase. Whether you buy a bowl specifically for this purpose or just use a vase that you have lying around at home, it creates a simple yet striking effect with very little effort.

Free-shipping-10M-Colorful-100-LED-Bulbs-Party-String-Fairy-LED-Christmas-LightsIf you want some Christmas lights that have been specially designed to appeal to children you also have plenty of options. For example, there are strings of lights available that are surrounded by fairies, hearts, dinosaurs, cars and other decorative figures that might not necessarily be Christmas-themed but can still be brought out for a special occasion and are loved by little ones.

While Christmas lights are great for brightening up your house they can also be a great way or adding a bit of dazzle to your garden. If you want a classic yet ambitious way of lighting your garden you could have a reindeer silhouette. Such lighting will allow the whole neighbourhood to enjoy the festive spirit, but children particularly will love seeing your own light-up Rudolph in your front garden.

If you like the idea of illuminated figures in your front garden but want something more colourful, there are plenty of other options to consider. Father Christmas is always a popular option and the flashy red lights are certainly eye-catching. While some people might think that such a light installation is garish, other people will love the sense of fun created by these bright and colourful figures.

For a simple (and cheaper) way of bringing some light into your garden you could buy a chain of LED solar lights that can be safely draped along paths, windowsills and even plants. For a classy look stick to a single colour such as white or pale blue, while if you want something more kitsch you can choose LEDs that have all colours of the rainbow.
With the days of simple
Christmas lights being over, why not try experimenting with lights and bring back a little bit of Christmas magic?

Written by Sam Luther, an experienced blogger and homemaker, passionate about celebrating the festive season

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Making Your Own Tinsel Wreath Made Easy

tinsel-wreath-pink-and-green3While you can’t always count on snow at Christmas, there are a number of things you can come to rely on. Presents, cards, quality family time, a well decorated tree, and miles and miles of fairy lights and tinsel.

And while all these features really make your home shine during the festive season, it can be expensive to buy everything you need. If you’re looking for ways to cut costs – without cutting corners – this Christmas, you’re in luck.

Here is a really quick and effective DIY for decorating your home. Here, we will look at how simple it is to make your own tinsel wreath:

What You’ll Need:

· Metallic ribbon in a colour of your choice (available from all good craft shops)

· Ribbon shredder

· Floral wire

· Wire cutters

· Styrofoam wreath frame (again, available from most craft shops)

· Spray paint

Step 1:

You first need to decide what colour you want your tinsel decoration to be. Metallic ribbon is available in a whole host of colours so you can be as creative as you like. Opt for a traditional tinsel wreath using red, silver or gold. Alternatively, create a real stand out piece using metallic pinks, purples, or greens.

For a small wreath, approximately 12 inches in diameter, you’ll need about 20 yards of metallic ribbon. For a larger 24 inch wreath, you’ll need around 40 yards of ribbon. As with any craft, it is better to be safe than sorry so always get more than you think you’ll need.

Step 2:

Next, cut your floral wire into lengths of around 4 inches. Again, you can go longer if you need to as this can be trimmed to size at a later date. This is what will give your wreath its shape so make sure you get sturdy but flexible wire.

You then need to spray paint the Styrofoam wreath frame. It is best to use the same colour as your ribbon. This will help hide any gaps, and keep the colour as consistent as possible. Speak to the staff in the craft shop about getting the closest possible colour matches.

Step 3:

Next you need to create the individual tinsel strips. Cut your ribbon into 5 to 7 inch strips – no smaller, or larger. If the strips are too small, the pompom can end up far too tight and scrunched up. If the strips are too long, the wreath will be too large with the frame and look haphazard.

Step 4:

Now for the fun (and messy) part, so get your little ones involved here! Shred your ribbon, starting ¾ inches above the end of the ribbon strip. You can use a ribbon shredder for this, though a standard paper shredder should work just the same.

Stop shredding about ¾ of an inch from the other end of the ribbon.

Use a combination of coarse and fine shredding to give a different and varied effect with your pompoms. You can choose to keep a consistent texture all around the wreath, or mix it up as you go along.

Step 5:

It’s now time to make your tinsel pompoms! This step can be a little tricky, so your kids may need a helping hand to master the technique.

Carefully fold your shredded strips in half, gathering up the ends as you go. Using the floral wire we cut up in step 2, tie the individual pompoms up at the ends. You should now have a great shape, just fluff them up to add some volume and texture.

Continue this process until you’ve used all your ribbon strips, and have enough pompoms to fit all the way around your wreath.

Step 6:

Finally, using the sharp end of the wire, push your tinsel decorations into the Styrofoam board. To create the best effect, and get the best fit, start on the outside edge of the frame. Work your way round in a circular direction until the whole board is covered with tinsel.

Once this stage is completed, you can decorate the wreath. Get your kids to add features such as miniature baubles and ornaments. You can also decorate the wreath with flowers or berries to add a touch of traditional.

This is a simple but effective way to decorate your home with your children this Christmas. Who says you need to spend a fortune decorating your home? Get down to your local craft shop today, and see what other festive touches you can make by hand.

This guest post has been written by Ruth Williams. To read more of her DIYs, How-Tos, and general gift guide posts, check out her blog here.

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Welcome Chalkboards to Your Home for Funky and Creative Decor

The following is a guest post

As far as decorating your home goes, the sky is indeed the limit with a bit of imagination and skill in your hands. Think of a chalkboard for instance. It would probably conjure up images of school and some nostalgia. And one thing most people would universally agree upon is that teachers tend to run a race with their chalks over the board leaving their students to stagger their hands towards the end of the writing exercise. But now change this perception by turning the humble chalkboard into funky wall, door and even headboard décor. And to further turn the tables, it’s you who get to write and decide how much to write as well.

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A Bathroom Door to Remember

With all the focus the bathroom has had this year, it would be foolish to leave it out in your chalkboard plans. Paint its door with chalkboard paint and that’s it, you won’t have to buy a new door or a new type of door as there is some seriously interesting decor work right there. You can have quotes or funny anecdotes written on the door which will make your bathroom door by itself, a thing worth remembering.

Heated elegance

With fireplaces taking on designer touches, don’t let yours go neglected especially as all you need is a quick paint job. Add chalkboard decals around your fireplace and draw brick chalk patterns for a really quaint and stylish look.

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Keep the old fridge with new tricks

Bored of your old fridge but not wanting to replace it? A simple chalkboard paint job can give it a new look, make tongues waggle and also get it to mount new levels of functionality. Before painting don’t forget to clean and sand it. Once the paint is dry, use the upper half for grocery lists or reminders while the lower can feature your child’s latest drawings. Since kids love drawing on walls, give them a chance to showcase their talent on the fridge instead.

More than just a backsplash

Kitchen backsplashes are getting trendier and if you want to hit a note of difference and have fun, then make it a chalkboard paint one. This will easily allow for a bold and fully functional look. You can write notes or make drawings, have a guess what’s for dinner or use some space for a calendar or menu.

Wake up message

Turn your bedroom around with a funky headboard painted over with chalkboard paint. Place a stencil design on it too and use dustless chalk so that your pillows aren’t powdered. You can leave some funny or interesting good morning messages on your headboard or have some things jotted down which may not be otherwise remembered.

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A more studied air

Let your study have a more intellectual and cultured look with classy small framed chalkboards adorning your walls with quotes or appointment dates. Do the same for your child’s room by having some framed chalkboards over the study table so that points to remember can easily be jotted down.

 

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Revamping Your Bedroom on a Shoestring Budget

The following is a guest post

Your bedroom is a very personal space where you seek solace after a very challenging and tiring day. As much as possible, you want it to be clean, restful and beautiful. As seasons change, the temptation to upgrade your bedroom is irresistible, but you do not want to spend so much for this.

A shoestring budget is actually possible to give your bedroom that great makeover. Adopt the following steps and experience how you transform your bedroom into something that you would really love:

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“flickr/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/cedrouille/

1. Move Furniture Around

There’s no magic trick here as you only need some extra muscle power to reposition tables, chairs cabinets and your beloved bed. Choose your most favorite and useful furniture pieces that you want to retain in your bedroom and then come up with a layout plan.

Think where you want to place your bed – is it at the center, beside a wall or near a window if you have one? This is going to dictate on how many side tables, lamps and cabinets you want as well. If there are extra pieces that you don’t need anymore, consider placing them on other parts of your home first before totally getting rid of them.

2. Chic Pragmatism

If you need to buy some things like decorative cushions, curtains and new chairs to support your new design, always seek the best deals. Watch out for holiday and clearance sales that are sure to give you a great opportunity to buy what you need at very low prices. You can definitely achieve chic elegance for your bedroom within your budget reach.

3. DIY Designs

Tap into your creative self and let your imagination run wild. You will be surprised with what you can do when you let your natural instinct runs its course. Everything will come out easy as you bank on your personal style to rearrange your bedroom.

Also, creative people like you have a vast of knowledge to turn to as you look for DIY designs that is most practical and useful for you to use. It will just take resourcefulness on your end to choose how to mix and match the colors and various accessories to make your bedroom comfy and a place to revive your depleted energy.

4. Place Accent Pieces

Lastly, know how to play around with accent pieces. Choose carefully which blanket, clock, lamp, desk frame and a table can further enhance your bedroom’s beauty. Such accent pieces can lend the sophistication that would make your bedroom your inner sanctuary. Also, you would need sufficient finishing touches abilities to give your bedroom that modish makeover.

Maria Samuels loves to write about decorating ideas to help people make their homes more beautiful and comfortable. She works as a materials specialist at In Style Modern, a leading provider of high-end chairs, stylish noguchi table, starck ghost chairs and hanging egg chairs.

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DIY Kitchen Remodeling Tips

The following is a guest post

The kitchen is a popular place for friends and family to gather in the relaxed living style that is popular today. To make it enjoyable for everyone, a kitchen may need a little sprucing up or remodeling to let it retain its status as one of the favorite rooms in a home. Anyone who enjoys a do-it-yourself project can find many areas to improve. Plumbing is especially important in a kitchen for cooking, cleaning and for washing dishes, and it is usually a good idea to leave that part of a job to professionals like those at Tacoma plumbers.

867054_kitchenUntil it is time for the plumber to arrive, the preliminary steps include designing a plan for the changes that can make a difference in the way the kitchen is used. Going to a home improvement store can provide ideas for a new sink that makes washing large pots and pans easier. Faucets with a high arch are particularly good designs that allow excellent access to a sink.

A good do-it-yourself project is the installation of new countertops. Almost no other remodeling project provides the amount of improvement in a kitchen as a new countertop. The first steps involve taking precise measurements of the existing one to make sure that it is the same length and width. Another important dimension is to check whether the wall behind it is square. By placing a builder’s square in a corner, a do-it-yourself handyman is able to see whether a new countertop can fit properly. 
Removing the old sink requires shutting off the water at the valve and removing the supply lines. With the drain trap removed, the sink is ready for removal. Getting the carpentry work partially completed, including the removal of an old countertop, makes it possible for plumbers to get down to work on installing a new sink and fixtures.
While plumbing may seem fairly easy to a casual observer, the possibility of leaks is very important to consider. Pipes that bring water into a home are under a lot of pressure, and water finds a way to work through the smallest opening. A pvc pipe joint that is not prepared perfectly with cleaner and glue can make it possible for a leak to develop under the sink, completely out of sight. As water slowly accumulates, it creates a moist and damp condition where mold can thrive. Professional plumbers make sure that nothing leaks and an installation is perfect.

The primary reasons for remodeling a kitchen are to add attractiveness and convenience. A new sink, a tall faucet and a new countertop can go a long way toward accomplishing both goals. The clean appearance is appealing to family and friends, and the improved efficiency of a faucet that adds easy access to work tasks is a wonderful convenience. A do-it-yourself project that you can have full control over, and save some pennies, is bound to please everyone!

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Preparing Your Home For Holiday Guest

Having family and friends over for the holidays can either be a cherished or stressful for all parties involved.

You made sure the food will be perfect and that everyone has a place to stay. Even with all the planning and cooking you do; it can still get crowded, uncomfortable and even boring.

If you are hosting the events at your house this year, a few additional steps can make the holidays a lot more enjoyable.

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Extra Comforts

Between couches and blow up mattresses, you can probably give everyone a nice place to sleep. If you want to ensure everyone sleeps comfortably however, you should stock up on extra blankets and pillows.

Most of us sleep with multiple pillows and layers of blankets. If you have plenty of extras, you will ensure everyone sleeps well and is in a good mood for the holidays. Pillows will also help supplement sinking couches or bad backs throughout long days of sitting and talking.

If you are still low on places for people to sleep, look into a company like Aerobed, for air mattresses that will fit on the floor.

Keep Food and Drink Accessible

In our culture, it is polite when staying with someone to wait until you are offered food and drink to take any. Instead of constantly asking all of your guests if they would like something, maximize your kitchen so that everything is out in the open and looks like it is meant to be taken.

Leave snacks on trays, covered by a see through wrap and leave cups and ice buckets out and ready at all times. If your family usually has drinks, keep your drink cabinets open and consider buying a cooler for beer so it is obviously set out for them.

To keep a selection of wines close at hand, purchase an in-cabinet wine rack from a company like Wine Logic.

Keep them Entertained

Television is a blessing and a curse. It is almost impossible to find programming that will entertain everyone you have over. If you have a second TV, set it up in another room with seating and a video game system or DVD player and all of your movies.

TV is not the only way to keep your guests entertained though. Pull out all of your books and board games. One or two of each are sure to get some use. If you know everyone that is coming, you probably know the types of things that entertain them. If you don’t have everything you need to keep them entertained, borrow a gaming system or some books so that everyone can have a good time.

If the weather isn’t too bad, a fire pit or outdoor games can provide a way for them to get out of the house as well. The Driveway Games Company makes a selection of outdoor games.

Be Prepared for the Unexpected

cause-of-anger-unexpected-events.1Nothing would ruin a holiday like a power outage or a dropped main course for dinner. Being prepared with backup plans for food and outages can turn an unexpected event into nothing more than laughs and a good story.

It isn’t necessary to double up on all your food plans, but a frozen lasagna in your freezer won’t put you out very much money. Besides that, flashlights and candles added to the board games and extra blankets we spoke about before will all help.

If you have the extra money, buying a generator for a company like Briggs and Stratton, means you don’t have to worry about winter storms shutting down the power.

A few simple steps and purchases can go along way to ensure a happy holidays for everyone. Make sure to give everyone a tour when they arrive and a hug when they leave.

Author Bio: Dusty Kelley is experienced at hosting a large family for the holidays and organizing special events. His day job involves working with St Louis Weddings.

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Be Thankful with Your Decor

Here in the United States we will soon be celebrating Thanksgiving. This is a time filled with warmth, love and great décor! I have been searching the internet for some amazing thanksgiving decorating ideas and have decided to share a few of them with you. Today is a general decorating post, but check back soon for post on table centerpieces and other more specific Thanksgiving decorating ideas.

Thanksgiving pumkin decor

Create a warm glow with candles and fall accessories for your Thanksgiving table. Use pumpkins to create depth and fall colored candles to create warmth. Flower real or silk also help to add depth to your table centerpiece.

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Show that you remember why we celebrate Thanksgiving with this amazing and easy candle centerpiece.

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thanksgiving-decor

Light up more then just your table with these unique mantel decorations. Add lights to the bottles above to create the warm glow.

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I hope these few images inspire you to start decorating for Thanksgiving. If you have some crafts or ideas you would like to see featured on Home Style Tips please use the contact form to send them to me.

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