Making Merry in Modern Style

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Family, Holiday

Ready or not, the holidays are upon us.   Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, it’s time to get ready for the rest of the upcoming holiday celebrations!  Whether you love decorating for the holidays or are more humbug than happy about holiday décor, keeping to your style will make your decorations fit in better with your home’s décor.

If you are a modern design lover or just like the crisp, clean lines of contemporary style, traditional holiday decorating may not work with your style.  Red and green everything, snowmen, and elves are traditional holiday designs that added to a modern, minimalist room just don’t fit.  This doesn’t mean you have to forgo holiday decorations all together. You just need to think outside the box a bit. Luckily, today’s designers of holiday decorations take into account all the different styles and tastes.  As well as traditional decorations, retailers offer everything from vintage and retro to woodland forest and handcrafted.

This living room is a beautiful example of a festive holiday décor that works with the room’s style and furniture.  Keeping color to a simple winter palette of white with pops of red works with the clean white color on the walls, wood floors and winter white area rug.  A white tree works much better than a traditional pine to keep the palette simple.  Instead of using red accents, you could go with silver accents for a more monochrome palette.

In a modern or contemporary space a few styles of holiday decorating would work. Rustic or forest would be a nice contrast to the clean lines of a contemporary style.  Vintage and retro are good choices for a modern home.

Be true to your decorating style and you’ll be sure to have a festive home that reflects your personality!

While Your Away – Summer Vacation Tips

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Care and Maintenance, Family, Hints, Tips and Advice, Holiday

It’s summer time and that means that many of our clients will be leaving their homes and traveling to relaxing destinations for a summer vacation. Before you leave here is a list of “to dos” to keep your home safe while you are gone and to give you piece of mind.

Make a list. Keep priorities in sight when planning your next trip by tying a to-do list onto your luggage.

If you are leaving the country notify your credit card companies and your bank of your destination. They will be less likely to deny charges if they know where you are.

Visit the currency exchange. It’s helpful to have some cash on hand to pay for taxis and tips when you first arrive. It’s also likely that you will receive a better exchange rate.

Water your plants. If you are going to be gone for more than a few days, arrange for a neighbor to help you keep your living things alive.

Board your animals. Make reservations ahead of time. Check shot records to be sure they are up to date.

Stop your mail. Have your mail held at the post office especially if your mail box is not secure. Identity thieves are clever. Stop your newspaper as well.

Put name and destination phone number or destination address on your luggage. Don’t put the address of your vacant home.

Pack extra prescription medication, contacts, lens cases and solution. It’s a big pain to have to replace contact lenses away from home.

Photocopy your passport, credit cards and record the phone numbers for reporting lost or stolen credit or debit cards. Put this information in a location other than your purse or wallet.

Close and lock all windows.

Unplug all appliances. Decide if you would like your heating or AC on or off.

Turn off water to all external faucets. If a neighbor is watching your home, make sure they know how to turn off the water main to your home in case of a sprinkler leak.

Put timers on your lights. No need to advertise that you are gone.

Be sure to pack your phone, camera and computer chargers. If you are leaving the country make sure that you have the necessary adapters.

And finally, be careful what you post on Facebook or FourSquare. You might be having the time of your life, but no one needs to be reminded that your home is unattended.

Cooking for the Holidays

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hints, Tips and Advice, Holiday

When you plan for Thanksgiving, think beyond the menu. This year make it a real family event by involving everyone in the preparation.

From grocery shopping to bringing a side dish, including all of the guests in the planning and cooking helps to make everyone feel like part of the celebration even before Thanksgiving Day.

Start by developing a list of menu items and tasks. Good cooks may like to be asked to bring a side dish – have a chat with them to see if they’re more inclined to baking pies or making cranberries. Non-cooks may provide extra chairs if needed or bring drinks and ice.

At your home, include as many guests and family members as possible. Thishusband, for example, was more than willing to step away from sports on TV for a few minutes to give his wife a hand with the basting.

Children love to be part of the preparations for a holiday. Pre-plan some jobs they could do that are age-appropriate. Responsibilities such as setting the table or stirring stuffing are a way to help. Older children could read a recipe aloud or chop vegetables.

Then, when it’s time to sit down and eat, everyone at the table had a hand in the dinner, and you can be thankful that you’re not running like crazy and too tired to enjoy the meal!

How To Remove Easter Egg Dye From Carpet

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Care and Maintenance, Holiday

Happy almost Easter everyone! We thought we’d share a few cleaning tips with you regarding Easter egg dye and carpet. Hopefully you do not have to use this advice, but here it is just in case.

Detergent Solution – Mix one fourth (1/4) teaspoon of a liquid dishwashing detergent per one (1) cup of lukewarm water. NEVER USE A STRONGER CONCENTRATION! Thorough rinsing is necessary to remove detergent residues that may cause rapid soiling. It may be necessary to rinse with warm water several times to completely remove residues. (See Residue Precautions.) Care should be used in selecting a detergent. Never use a laundry detergent of any type, because laundry detergents may contain optical brighteners (fluorescent dyes) that dye the fiber. Do not select an automatic dishwashing detergent because many contain bleaching agents that destroy dyes and some fibers.

Warm Water – Lukewarm tap water should be used in most cases to rinse the cleaning solutions from the fiber. Failure to completely rinse the solutions from the fiber may cause accelerated soiling.

Ammonia Solution – Mix one (1) tablespoon of household ammonia per cup of water. Please note: Be aware that ammonia, if used improperly, can cause a color change. Be sure to test a hidden area.

Call a Professional – Professional cleaners have the ability and the equipment to use more aggressive cleaning solutions to remove stubborn spills. Always consider consulting a professional cleaner regarding any spot removal question. CRI – 1-800-882-8846.

New Year’s Resolutions – Make Your Home Safer

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Holiday

What are your New Year’s resolutions this year? Do you want to lose 20 pounds or commit to walking several miles three times a week? Well, when you’re making your personal resolutions, how about throwing in a couple of resolves to make your home safer for you and your family?

Here are a few areas to get you started.

Lighting: Are your stairs and hallways well lit? Whether you’re talking about inside or outside the house, good lighting can help your family and guests avoid falls. This becomes particularly critical with winter weather. Check all of your home’s entrances after dark, as well as any risk areas inside your home.

Flooring: Are your floor transitions smooth? If your homes moves from tile to carpet or wood, are the thresholds easy to traverse without tripping? Do you have any slippery rugs in the bathrooms or kitchens? Non-slip pads will keep those rugs in place.

Bathroom safety: Choose flooring for bathrooms that will not get slippery when wet. Put bathmats with suction cups in baths or showers to keep them secure. You may want to add safety bars at the entrance to each bath or shower to keep children and older adults secure. Today’s bars can be quite attractive. Just make sure you attach them to a stud to keep them in place safely.

HDTV installation: Wall-mounted televisions must be installed properly or they create a safety hazard. If you select a wall-mounting system that is designed to handle the size and weight of your television, and have that system professionally-installed, along with proper electrical installation, you have what you need to enjoy your system for years.

Read the instructions: Every new product you brought into your home this holiday season has detailed installation, use and safety instructions. Read them and pay attention. Products are constantly changing, and the rules that applied to your last curling iron or laptop may not be right for your new one. Pay attention and help ensure that you have a safe and happy 2011.

Holiday Home Décor

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Holiday

The holiday season is filled with different activities that only come around once a year. Decorating for the holidays should be fun, not a chore. Keep the following tips in mind when decorating your home for the festive season!

1. Don’t procrastinate: The longer you wait to get your decorating complete, the less time you have to enjoy your hard work. Don’t spend more time planning and shopping than you actually do decorating. An abundance of planning and shopping makes you tired before the real work even starts. Don’t over think your decorating plan, this type of decorating is temporary. Make your life easy, don’t take it too seriously and have fun! Make putting up and taking down holiday decorations a family affair tradition. Things will get done faster. When families accomplish tasks as a team, it brings them closer.

2. Focus: When decorating, start with a focal point. Rooms naturally have an area that is seen first by viewers due to architectural details and their locations. Larger rooms can have more than one focal point. When you begin, start with decorating the room’s natural focal point (for example: the fire place, windows, and built in bookcases with decorative moldings). Keep in mind that the whole room does not need to be decorated. Focus on what people notice and spend your time on those areas. Don’t create too much work for yourself!

3. Get inspired: Holiday color schemes are not restricted to the typical red, white and green. Use creative color schemes using bright colors in combination with a metallic color such as silver and/or gold (for example: green, purple and silver). Fresh new looks are exciting and notice-worthy. Have some fun and take some risks!

Holiday Home Décor

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Holiday

The holidays should be an enjoyable time for you and your family. Avoid becoming overwhelmed with holiday decorating. Below are hints to keep you excited, inspired and maintain sanity.

Qualify Rooms: There is no need to decorate every inch of your home for the holidays. Only decorate rooms that entertain guests. There is really no need to decorate bathrooms or bedrooms. Save your self some time and money by only decorating rooms where family and guests gather.

Tasteful Not Tacky: It is easy to go overboard with holiday decorations. Avoid looking tacky by using white lights that do not blink. Large decorations (like large blow up lawn ornaments) should be used in moderation. Greenery with contrasting, intertwined ribbon looks very tasteful when combined with white strands of lights.

It’s “HOLIDAY” Season: Don’t get caught up with perfecting your holiday décor; remember it’s only temporary. Spend less time decorating and spend more time on holiday activities with family and friends. Take some time to holiday and relax a bit. You will remember joyous memories with loved ones; not what the house looks like. Keep in mind what is really important and what the holiday season represents.