Archive for June, 2014

Decorating Ideas for the Fourth of July

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Holiday

The fourth day of July and the accompanying weekend is for many people the epitome of summer.  A fun holiday filled with food and friends, drinks and family and plenty of sun. Whether you are throwing a large barbeque party with your friends or having an intimate get together of close family members, These decorating ideas are sure to get everyone in the holiday spirit!

 

Flower Pots

Painted flowerpots are a great decoration for your 4th of July table, countertops and entryway. Take any size of flowerpot – terracotta is a wonderful neutral surface to use – and ensure that all surfaces of the pot are clean and dry. Paint red and white stripes with blue stars or white paint with red and blue stars, using a high gloss latex paint.  Allow the pots to dry and plant festive flowers in each. Smaller pots can be given to guests as a take-home gift.

 

Sidewalk Chalk Adornments

Before the celebration, cut various sizes of star shapes from a stiff material such as poster board or cardboard. Get the kids involved and helping by handing out these stencils along with red, white and blue chalk.  The sidewalk will add to the celebratory feel and the kids will love the activity!

 

Pennant Banner

Once the kids have started helping with this activity, they can be further involved by decorating banners.  Help them to cut out large triangles of red, white and blue poster board. These can be further decorated using glitter, stars, stickers, etc. Or create a large hanging sign with “Happy 4th of July” in large letters. These items can then be taped or glued to a wire or thin twine. Place this in an area near your celebration or the entrance to your home.  

 

Stars on Mason Jars

Select any size of Mason jar.  These are available in a wide number of stores. Begin by painting a clear glue-sealer product on the outside of the jar, then roll the jar in red, white or blue glitter. These festive jars can be used to hold cutlery, napkins, candy, sparklers or anything else for you party!

 

Creating your own Fourth of July decorations can be fun – for you and the whole family!  Get everyone involved and the celebration will be better for it!

Fourth of July Appetizers

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Holiday

July 4th is just around the corner, and many busy families may already feel that summer is rushing by too quickly.  Take the long holiday weekend to relax with your kids.  Enjoy being outdoors watching fireworks. Invite some friends and family over to your home for plenty of good eats and fun games together.  Even though it’s a major holiday weekend, you can plan and execute a barbecue or cocktail party with little stress.  Try these appetizer recipes for easy entertaining this 4th of July weekend.

 

Grilled veggie skewers with ranch yogurt dip: These healthy apps are simple to make and easy to eat.  If you are grilling already for a crowd, throw these on first to serve as a first course.  Start by soaking mini wood skewers in water for at least 30 minutes.  Cut large 1-inch cubes of summer squash, zucchini, bell peppers and red onion.  Also, clean and half cremini mushrooms and wash a pint of cherry or grape tomatoes.  In a large bowl, combine the cut up vegetables with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and a heavy pinch of salt and pepper.  Skewer the veggies 3-4 pieces per stick and then grill on medium-high heat for 6-8 minutes, turning once.  For the dip, combine a 16 ounce container of non-fat Greek yogurt with one packet of powdered ranch dressing.

 

Garlicky white bean dip: Rinse and drain two of cannellini beans and add to a food processor.  Add 3 cloves of lightly chopped garlic and 1 tablespoon each of fresh minced basil and flat leaf parsley.  Pulse until chunky and then add in 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt, pepper and red chili flakes.  Serve with veggies, chips or crackers.

 

Mango tomato salsa: Dice 2 ripe mangoes, 3 roma tomatoes, ½ small red onion and a seeded jalapeno. Add 1 tablespoon of minced cilantro or basil and a heavy pinch of salt and pepper.  Mix well with 1 tablespoon of any oil you have.  Serve with tortilla chips.

 

Prosciutto-wrapped chicken tenders: These bites are decadent and will not disappoint the foodies at your party.  Cut a pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts in 1-inch wide strips or small tender size.  Season with salt and pepper.  Wrap each chicken tender in a piece of prosciutto.  Heat a non-stick skillet to high heat and coat pan with olive oil.  Place the tenders seam-side down and cool for 3-4 minutes per side until the internal temperature of the chicken is 170 degrees and the prosciutto is crispy on the outside.  Serve with honey mustard.

 

We hope these inspire you to have a fun and full Fourth of July!

What to Plant For First-time Vegetable Gardeners

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tips and Advice

Are you new to gardening? If you have not tried gardening at home, even a few vegetables will have their harvest perks with regular watering and care. Or, try an easy container herb garden with some starter herbs like basil, parsley, thyme or chives. A garden can fill an empty corner in your yard or bring freshness to a couple of windowsills indoors. Your home will feel welcoming and you will be proud of your harvests throughout the season.

 

If you are considering planting a small vegetable garden, read on for tips and plants to try.

 

Tomatoes

Likely one of the most popular plants for first-time gardeners, tomatoes come in several varieties and sizes. The plants are quite prolific, so depending on the size of your plot, you may want to start with only one or two starter tomato plants. You could also grow a small plant in a hanging basket. Tomato plants need plenty of sunlight so be sure to plan strategically. One tip to keep pests away from the fruit is to place plastic bags of water near the plants. The reflection is supposed to deflect pesky bugs.

 

Zucchini

Another prolific plant that will take over your garden if you don’t plan correctly, you may only need one-two starter plants. They need plenty of water and ample sunlight. You can harvest the vegetable itself and the yellow and green blossoms. Both are delicious. Zucchinis will grow quickly, even overnight, so if one looks ready to pick, then grab it!

 

Green beans

Like tomatoes, there are several varieties of beans for the home gardener. Try a vine-growing bean variety if you have the space. Simply plant the seeds in fresh soil where the area will receive full sunlight.

 

Lettuce varieties

Lettuce may be one of the easiest plants to grow. Pick your favorite varieties of lettuce–baby romaine, arugula, red leaf or green leaf–they take up little room and only need a small amount (time) of sunlight. To harvest, simply snip or tear off the leaves. The more you pick the lettuce, the faster it will grow. It’s a very easy vegetable variety for first-time gardeners.

 

Regardless of the vegetables you select, the important part of gardening is to get started.  You will reap your reward later!

Mix and Match Patterns

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating

A room with a lack of layers of colors, textures and patterns can give off a feeling of bareness and even coldness. Prints and patterns can provide points that interest visitors. However, mixing and matching different patterns can be particularly tricky.

 

Choosing the Colors

 

A good color palette can coordinate very different designs so that the eyes are drawn to the hues instead of the patterns. Not all the patterns need to have the same colors. Different shades can evoke a sense of varying intensities without being too busy. Neutral colors such as cream, ecru and beige can also look elegant and dramatic despite being simple. Multi-colored fabrics of contrasting colors can also be used.

 

Varying the Size and Scale

 

The size of the patterns is also an important consideration. By varying the scale, a balance look can be achieved. When mixing the patterns, do not put different prints of the same size side by side. With similar sizes, the mind will have a hard time choosing where to focus. Large prints, for example, might work well with knitted fabrics with small patterns.

 

Aside from the size of the prints in relation to the other prints, taking into account the scale in relation to the furniture or item is also crucial. Large prints might be better appreciated on wallpapers or curtains, and small prints might suit throw pillows more.

 

Using Contrasting Shapes

 

Different shapes can provide contrast in the mix of prints. Patterns of similar movement and direction can overwhelm a space. Geometric shapes in a vertical pattern, for example, can work well with random natural patterns and with lines moving in a zigzag or a fluid manner.

 

Looking at the Texture

 

Texture may not be as noticeable as color, size or shape but it is also worth considering. Some textures can cause the patterns to be more visible.

 

Experimenting

 

If you are a bit hesitant to introduce bold patterns in your home, you can start with just small steps. The easiest way is to add some throw pillows that feature different patterns. Even with this simple step, a lot of drama can already be brought into the room. To help you design the whole room, going to the supply store and browsing magazines or the Internet to compare patterns can help.

Bring the Indoors Out

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Outdoor

A patio extends the interior of your home to the backyard. This is a unique space, which you may design using your own personality and flair. When deciding on the style you want, you might want to reflect the style inside the house or to complement the architecture of the exterior.

 

For a polished look, a monochromatic palette with lots of white, gray and black can work well. Wirework tables and chairs might be suitable. For a tropical look, lots of floral accents and maybe actual flowers can be used. Attractive and vibrant colors such as red, orange, pink and yellow, and other prints can make the space livelier. For those living near the beach, a nautical look might be preferred. White and blue of different shades, and shells and bottled sand as accent can be fitting.

 

A fire pit, a grill or a seating area can provide an interesting and useful focal point. To make the space more intimate, you can imagine the patio as a room just without its walls. The comfortable seats, coffee table, side tables and fire pit are appropriate for interacting and having conversations with family members, and entertaining guests. For a more relaxing space, a swinging seat bench can be placed by a corner or as a centerpiece. Large existing trees in the area can also be fitted with a hammock. If you desire for greater privacy, putting the patio against a tall wooden fence will work.

 

Keeping in mind that the furniture would be exposed to harsh sunlight and water, choosing weather-resistant furniture is a must. If your patio is not covered with an awning, coverage for the sun may be necessary. A simple large umbrella and a fabric canopy can be used and even a pergola can be constructed.

 

Also, you may let out your creativity by creating decorative accessories or looking for found objects to use as furniture. By doing this, you may even save some money. An old trunk, for example, can be used as a coffee table, and a splash of color may easily be added by displaying potted flowers from your garden. An assortment of can or glass lanterns, which are easy to create, can also give the patio a festive atmosphere.

 

The outdoor space of your home can be transformed into a more valuable living area by installing a new patio or decorating an old one. The patio can easily become a functional, relaxing and attractive addition to your home.

Designing For Baby

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating

Are you expecting a new member of the family soon? Decorating the nursery is one of the most exciting parts of preparing for this new bundle! The dreams that expectant parents instill in a child’s nursery seem to add to the enjoyment and anticipation and can be expressed creatively through this design project.  Some of these tips may be helpful!

 

Functionality — Although aesthetics are important, a nursery is devoted to the functional needs of an infant.  The furniture is the place to start with functionality in mind. A safe and comfortable crib is a gift to both the parent and child. Middle-of-the-night changings, feedings  and everyday messes are easier on everyone if the surfaces and materials used for the room are easy to clean.  

 

Layout — The crib, which is usually the centerpiece of the room, should be strategically located near the door where parents can reach it without stumbling or bumping into other furniture, even in the dark. It should also be placed away from the windows where there might be drafts or where the sunlight might hit directly. Check with safety regulations to ensure the crib you select is in keeping with current safety standards.

 

Convenience — Near the crib, having a changing table or nursing station is ideal. Wet accidents are frequent, and having the changing table close to the crib will allow the parents to quickly clean up the mess and change the diapers.

 

Storage — Diapers are a never-ending part of a new parent’s life.  These along with other necessities should be present in the room and within easy reach. Articles and accessories for infants accumulate over time so it is important to plan for additional items.  

 

Comfort — To help make feeding and holding the baby as pleasant as possible, you can place a rocking chair or a recliner by the window. A night table or a side table can also be a nice addition to the room. As the baby grows, tables and other furniture should be secured to the wall or to the floor using nylon straps or L brackets.

 

Safety — Safety is another crucial concern when designing the room for such a young child. Electrical outlets should be covered and cables should be securely tucked away. Choking hazards and harmful products should be stored out of the baby’s reach.

 

Designing a nursery can be challenging, but when carefully considering not only the needs of the new baby but also the joy that the room will bring, it can also be an exciting part of getting ready for baby.

Room Accessories

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating

Have you ever been at a loss on redecorating in your home?  This process doesn’t need a large amount of money nor a large reconstruction in the home.  By paying close attention to the accessories in your home, you can give a lift to every room instantly! You can add many wonderful accents and accessories in a sensible and economical way using a little ingenuity.

Good Suggestions for Home Decor Accessories

Every room needs some sort of window coverings. Blinds and curtains are a very important addition, and can set the mood for the home. Accessories may be functional such as a stool, mirror or clock.Artwork is a great room changer and a wonderful way to display a different side of yourself. Lamps and side tables can also add to both the functionality and décor of your home.

  • Living Room: In addition to the above tips there are other accessories you should consider. Sculptures, paintings, and coffee tables add a definite statement as fantastic living room accessories.
  • Dining room: The dining room could have lighter shades and blinds or go a different route with rich drapes. Good accessories include a focal point of a major lighting piece, and possibly wall sconces. Be sure to keep in with your decorating scheme.
  • Den: The den should be more relaxed and laid back.  This room is the place to show hobbies, interests or the inner child!  It deserves fun accessories. Decide what your family would enjoy!  Novelty pieces can make a great statement here.
  • Kitchen: Again, accessories here can be functional or decorative.  Copper bottomed pots are beautiful when displayed in the kitchen.  Utensils or bowls can be displayed and stored in the same locations. Keep with in your decorating style and try not to create a cluttered look. Lighting plays a big role as an accessory in the kitchen, altering the mood, look of food and the ease of preparing meals.  Don’t make the mistake of placing low lighting in the kitchen – you’ll need to watch where you are cutting!
  • Bedroom: The bedroom is your special place, and deserves your special accessories. The main focus in a bedroom is typically the bed covering.  Start here and let your own personality shine.

Use your Imagination in Decorating

Let yourself be creative when you are adding your home decor accessories. These are the finishing touches on your home painting. You don’t need to be a decorator – just keep everything tastefully placed for a total decorating package.