Archive for October, 2014
The simplicity of these DIY decorations makes them elegant while still festive. Rather than simply setting plain pumpkins around the house, give them a purpose. Your guests will be impressed by how lovely pumpkins are for holding candles and serving food.
Pumpkin Candles: Wash and polish the pumpkin. Saw off the stem. This project works best using short pillar candles. Set the pillar candle on top of the pumpkin and use a white manicure/sewing pencil to draw a tight circle around it. (These pencils are soft and the line can be easily wiped off when you’re done.) Using the trace line, carve around the circle. The candle should fit snugly so don’t cut the hole too big. Gut the pumpkin. You might need a long handled spoon because of the small opening. Insert the pillar candle in hole and be careful not to let it fall in. Apply hot glue where candle and pumpkin meet. Arrange twigs, berries and leaves around candle and hot glue them in place.
Pumpkin Dip Dish: Select a small, wide, short pumpkin. Wash and polish it. Using a serrated knife cut the top off. Gut it and clean it well on the inside. Use a paring knife to clean up the edges of the opening. Fill it with dip, hummus or salsa. Place it on a serving platter and surround it with chips, crackers or veggies.
Pumpkin Ice Bucket: This is great for adult parties. Use a tall, long pumpkin with one side that is flat so it will sit evenly on a table. Wash it and polish it. Set it on its side and cut a large oval opening. It should be big enough to allow ice and a wine bottle fit inside. Gut the pumpkin, clean it well, and use a paring knife to clean up the edges Fill it halfway with ice, and then lay a cold bottle of wine or champagne in it. Fill it the rest of the way with ice.
For many people Halloween night means a candy free-for-all that has many small children taking in too much sugar. For some children, though, all that sugar isn’t an option. These children don’t need to miss out on the fun. There are several ways you can introduce some fun Halloween treats to a party or a treat bag that contain little to no sugar at all.
Many stores offer seasonal toys and games that are perfect for kids on Halloween. Paint kits in seasonal colors with shapes like ghosts and witches are available. Other ideas include stamps, stickers, and small stuffed animals.
Never underestimate the power of a glow stick on Halloween night. These can be found in most stores. Glow sticks are quite festive when formed into shapes. Necklaces, bracelets, and hair ornaments are all more fun when they glow!
While caramel corn is usually seen around this time of year, another delicious treat is a simple bag of popcorn. Small bags of popcorn, popped or unpopped are available in individual sizes. These make a wonderful Halloween night handout to combat the other sugary treats.
Glow in the Dark Vampire Teeth
While kids will always try to eat wax lips, there are many companies that make glow in the dark vampire teeth meant to be worn again and again. This is a treat for kids of all ages since all they have to do to give someone a surprise is open their mouths!
Sugar Free Candy
Many sugar-free candies are available. These are a healthier alternative to the sugar received by trick-or-treaters throughout the evening.
Swap out the regular sugar-laden candy for a handful of these treats instead to skip the sugar and keep all the fun of Halloween.
Guests are something that many people look forward to around the autumn and winter holidays. Of course you enjoy the company, but getting your house ready can feel like a major chore. Keep in mind that your visitors are coming to see you and remember a few tips to help relieve the rush before arrival. Don’t panic — we’ve got ideas for you to ensure that your guests feel welcome and at ease when they arrive.
Spruce Up the Guest Bathroom
Make sure you have clean hand towels, soap, and wash cloths set out and ready to use in the bathroom. Set out a few pillar candles and bottles of scented oil for ambience.
Make a Focal Point in the Entryway
Set up a decorative table with a seasonal centerpiece on it and light some scented candles. Make sure you have a place set up for guests to hang their coats and place their shoes as soon as they walk through the door.
Clear Your Front Walk
Make sure to sweep the front walkway to your home clear of fallen leaves or snow, and that you set down some ice melt if necessary.
Bring Out the Fireplace
Have a fire going to welcome your guests, and spruce up the mantel with fresh greenery and some lit candles to set the scene.
Have the Carpets Cleaned
Nothing brightens up your house faster than a professionally cleaned carpets.
Invest in Air Beds
If you have guests coming to stay overnight and don’t have room, invest in air beds for them to sleep on.
Anticipate Their Needs
Try to learn the items that your guests will need or want during their stay. Extra towels, a box of tissues, or spare toothbrushes are always appreciated — have them at the ready.
Stock Your Kitchen
Make sure you have plenty of drinks, snacks, and guest favorites. A few items that remind your guests of home will go a long way towards making their visit relaxing and comforting.
Make Things Accessible
Move your coffee station to the family room. Set things like breakfast items and silverware on the counter so guests can find them easily.
You know that mirrors make great home accents. They create focal points while making the room look bigger and brighter than it actually is. What you may not know is that there are several different ways you can use mirrors to enhance and highlight your interior design. If you’re stuck in a mirror rut, feeling like your current mirrors are boring or clashing with the rest of your design, consider trying one of these ideas on for size.
Create a Mirror Grouping
Rather than hanging a single mirror on a wall, why not create a mirror gallery wall instead? Group together several mirrors of different sizes and shapes on one wall to make a statement in your living room, dining room, or bedroom. The many mirrors will not only become a focal point in the room, they will also make the room feel much larger than it really is.
Use Some Mirror Tiles
If you want to add a large mirror to a room for its reflective properties, but don’t really want a solid wall of mirror in the space, consider using some mirror tiles. Mirror tiles are small decorative mirrors often with beveled edges and unique shapes that you can piece together like mosaics. The final effect has all the benefits of putting a large mirror in a space, but with the addition of also being a decorative and unique focal point.
Mirror Table Display
Get your mirror off the wall and place it on a table instead. Used as a tray to hold decorative or seasonal items, your mirror can become a unique and interesting centerpiece for your coffee table, dining table, or hall table. The mirror will reflect whatever is placed on top of it, giving it a little extra emphasis.
Make a statement with your mirror by hanging an oversized piece where you previously had a more moderately sized display. Oversized mirrors make dramatic accents in any room you place them. Look for decorative and ornate frames that pick up some of the accents elsewhere in the room to truly catch everyone’s eye.
Small living rooms can sometimes feel cramped, dark, and suffocating, rather than the cozy warm room that you may have in mind for the space. There are several tricks you can use to help make it appear bigger, so you can feel more comfortable in the room.
Lighten and brighten the room whenever possible to help make it appear to be larger. A lighter colored floor will help a small room feel larger by opening the space. Include extra light sources and mirrors in the room to reflect whatever light there is. Consider going bright, light, or bold with your paint color choices and avoid anything dark in the space, which could make it appear even smaller.
Enlarge Your Furnishings
You may think that you need to shrink your furniture to fit the room, but actually the opposite is true. Whenever possible use the largest size pieces that comfortably fit inside the room. This will actually make the room feel much larger than it really is, while also making it more comfortable for those that are using it.
Float Your Furniture
Many people feel that they need to push all their furnishings against the walls in small rooms to open up the space. This isn’t always necessary, though. As long as you leave enough space to navigate the room easily, you can create conversation areas in the centers of the room by floating your furniture and pulling it away from the walls. This trick makes the room seem larger because of the extra space surrounding the furnishings, rather than leaving it all in the center of the room.
Go Big with Wall Art
Whenever possible, try to go big with your wall art as well as your furniture. Hang some large statement pieces on the walls to become a focal point, or arrange a lot of smaller pieces together to form a gallery wall. You can also do this with mirrors to help capture and bring a little extra light into the space as well.
Seating is very important no matter what size the room is. Be sure to create separate conversation areas or reading nooks in the room to give people choices of where to sit. Doing so will make the room feel larger and cozier at the same time.
#3 T-shirts & Jerseys and #4 Record Albums
As mentioned in Part 1, it’s important for a ‘man cave’ to have personality. It should remind you of the man who uses the room, and it should be decorated with things he loves. So that when he walks in he feels happy and relaxed.
3. COLLECTABLE JERSEYS OR T-SHIRTS – These make for great visual interest in a man cave. You can purchase display cases similar to shadow boxes from your local craft store. The shirts look neat and well organized when displayed in a glass case. If you want to do something a little more unusual, cut the jersey or t-shirt to size and make throw pillows for the couch or chair. Just make sure to check with the ‘man of the cave’ first. He might not be keen on your desire to cut up the jerseys. If, however, he doesn’t care, the pillows will look fantastic in his room.
4. RECORD COLLECTION – The days when turn-tables ruled the realm of music may be long gone, but many music lovers still own their cherished record collection. When it comes to decorating a man cave, old albums are a wellspring of inspiration. One of the simplest ways to go about it is to purchase display cases at the local craft store. They come in various sizes. You can display just one, or you can buy a case that allows room for both the record and the jacket. If you also have a photo or autograph of the artist or band, use it to personalize the display. Another less expensive option is to hang the records using nails that have large heads. Use a tape measure to mark off a line by which then can be aligned. It can go straight across horizontally or vertically, or you can create a unique configuration. Hang two nails equidistant from each other, and don’t hammer them all the way in. Leave a space between the nail and the wall wide enough for the record to slip in between. Another option is to use plate stands if you have a lot of shelving. Buy the little stands that are intended to display decorative plates. Prop the record album on the stand, and arrange them side by side along shelves until the shelves are full, or display just the favorites.
#1 Keys and #2 License Plates
Decorating a “man cave” is very unique project. Perhaps more than any other room in the house, it should be representative of the person who occupies it. It should be decorated according to his interests as well as his preferences. This can be accomplished with a few creative display projects.
- KEYS – Display various keys in a shadow box. It’s not uncommon for defunct keys to be lying around the house long after they’re needed. Some of them might have sentimental value and would thus make for a great display. Arrange them in a shadow box, and then label them according to what makes them interesting. They might go to different cars, the various places you’ve lived, or the varying locations of your business as it’s grown and moved. Place a caption near the key that indicates why it’s significant. If you don’t have several keys, but you do have one that is special, display it alone with a few telling details and/or a photo.
- LICENSE PLATES – Men typically hang onto old license plates. Old plates nearly always have sentimental value, or at least a fantastic story that happened while they were on the vehicle to which they belonged. Further, each state has a unique design and each design is special because over time they are removed from rotation. These combined qualities make license plates a great choice for a man cave. To make them an interesting element in the room, opt for an unusual display pattern. For example, if the collection is rather large, hang them end to end around the room. They can replace crown molding or a chair rail. Or, if you have just a few, create a small group by hanging them symmetrically on each side of a center line with no border between them. Now, that’s a cool way to show off license plates!
Next read ideas #3 and #4 about how to decorate the man cave using collectables!