Five Ways to Make Your Living Room Cozy

Whether you’re working with a small or large layout it’s important for your living room to be a comfortable space. After all, the living room area serves many different functions. It’s where you entertain your guests, spend time with the family and watch all your favorite flicks.

Here are some tips to turn any sized living room and style into a cozy space. 

  1. Trade your bland coffee tables for stuffed oversized ottomans. Yes, plush ottomans will instantly add a sense of comfort to your living room. In addition, ottomans can serve multiple functions. An ottoman can serve as a coffee table, you can store extra items inside them and let’s not forget they are great for resting your feet on.
  2. If you’re working with a large space, then consider filling in your space with a large sectional. Sectionals are super inviting and it creates a sense of warmth. The best part of having a sectional sofa is that you’ll have sufficient seating options which will allow the family and your guests to sit comfortably.
  3. Lighting is often overlooked when designing a room to be comfortable. Lighting drastically affects the mood of the room. A living room that is dark and doesn’t use sufficient lighting can feel depressing. Therefore, be sure to leave your drapes open so that natural lighting can flow in the room. If necessary, consider increasing the wattage of light bulbs or adding in extra light fixtures.
  4. Don’t forget the throw blankets. Who doesn’t like to curl up in a plush blanket during movie night? Throw blankets don’t have to be tacky. To stylishly pull off this look use a blanket that is rich in color and texture. A throw blanket will make your living room feel more comfortable while also adding a bit of style to the area.
  5. Throwing a soft area rug in the mix is another great way to add some comfort to the living room.  An area rug will add some warmth to your contemporary tile or wood floors.

 

Hostess with the Mostess

You have been invited over one of your coworker’s houses for a summer get-together. You know that you need to bring a gift for the hostess, but you are stumped on what to get them. You are racking your brain trying to avoid the typical gifts like flowers or wine. There is no need to frantically wonder anymore because we have the perfect list of gifts for your summer hostess. They will become the hostess with the “mostess” from your amazing gift. 

 

Hostess Gift Ideas: 

Idea No. One: Ice Cream Sandwich Maker

What says “summer party” more than an ice cream sandwich? This gift is unique and will be well-loved by guests and the hostess. The best part is that you can find these for an inexpensive price at a home goods store.  

Idea No. Two: Fresh Tea. 

You have probably noticed tea stores located in the mall or shopping plazas. Buy and brew some fresh tea for the hostess’ party. Everyone will be able to sip and enjoy your delicious gift which is an added bonus. 

Idea No. Three: Coasters. 

A hostess can never own too many coasters because people need a place to sit their drinks during the party. If you live near a big city, buy city-themed coasters. Homeowners typically love the city that they live in and will enjoy the themed coasters. 

Idea No. Four: A Good Book. 

People can really appreciate the gift of a good book. If you are a book lover yourself, buy them one of your favorite books to read. If you do not read many books, visit a local bookstore and ask for advice from one of the workers. Ask them what people are reading this summer and look up some reviews online about the book that the worker suggests. Plus, if you are trying to build a relationship with the hostess, it will give you a topic to discuss in the future. 

Idea No. Five: Scented Candle. 

Summer scented candles have officially been released and yes, they smell amazing. Gift the hostess with a nice smelling candle. 

Idea No. Six: Infused Olive Oil. 

If you are located near an olive oil shop, buy your hostess a good bottle of olive oil. Odds are that they never treat themselves to a nice brand of olive oil and your gift could brighten up a cook out. 

 

We hope you enjoyed these tips and the summer party! 


Affordable Party Ideas

You have a love for hosting parties, but do not want to spend an entire paycheck on throwing your event. We have all been there! Why do parties have to cost so much money? The answer, they don’t! Here are some tips for a low-budget party with high-budget results: 


Do not be afraid of the 99 cent or dollar stores. 

The name scares people away sometimes, but dollar stores can be filled with great finds. The things you need to pick anyways are available at an affordable price. 

    • Get a pack of black napkins from the store. Black napkins are simple yet stylish. You do not necessarily need fancy napkins for it to be a tasteful party. Think about it, they are going to be thrown away anyways. 

 

Decorate with items from around your house. 

Most people buy matching decorations from the store, but you can use common household items to decorate for the party. 

    • Grab your holiday lights and use them around the house to brighten the space. 
    • Light some candles to make the area warm and cozy. 

 

Consider serving only appetizers.

Finger food is a great food option for a social gathering. People can snack on their appetizers while they get to know each other. This is a less formal option, but it makes the party-goers more comfortable. 

    • Keep in mind: Appetizers have less meal preparation involved and they are usually less expensive. 
    • If you want to try something new: utilize those cookbooks you have stored away. There may be something in them that you have forgotten about or never had a chance to try. 

 

Make it a “Bring Your Own Beverage” event.  

Friends are usually more than willing to bring their own drinks because it guarantees that the party will have something they like. 

 

Music can set the party’s tone. 

Decorations set a theme, but music can definitely help set the tone. If you want your party to be more formal, music is your chance to set the mood without breaking the bank.

    • Use your personal music library or music streaming service. There is no need to go out and purchase all new music. Look through what you have and try to create a playlist for the event. 

 

Enjoy and have fun at your next party!

Decluttering Your Child’s Toys

Trying to clean a child’s bedroom can sometimes feel like a fool’s errand. The second you put something away, your child seems to zero in on it and remove it from its rightful place. This is not the only issue you end up dealing with though. Sometimes there are just too many toys and not enough spaces for them. It’s a wonderful thing to know that your child has these items to play with, but deep down you know that they’ve outgrown some of them and it’s time to get them out of your way and into the hands of another child who will love them just as much as your child originally did. You’re only a few steps away from getting your child’s room back in order. Read on to learn how to make their room manageable again.

 

Sort

Start the process by taking out all the items you want to organize so you can see them. This may not be too tough as children tend to leave things right where they are and move on to the next. It may be fun to ask them to help you with the messy part. They’ll love it!

 

Organize

We suggest color-coded bins to keep track of your organizational process. Designate one color for the Keep section, another for the Donate pile and a final color for Storage. Go through each item and decide if it’s going to stay in the room, be donated to a worthy organization or placed in storage as it is a seasonal item or may be used for a future child. Once separated, take the Donate pile to your designated charity and transfer your Storage items to an accessible space outside of your child’s room.

 

Implementation

Before putting everything from your Keep pile back in the room, take stock of what you were using to store all these items to begin with. Is there something that can be improved? Add a toy box or create more shelving if necessary so you can give yourself a little more time before you need to cleanse again. Providing the proper space for all your child’s items will make it easier to keep their room tidy daily as well.

 

As they grow, you will be repeating this process repeatedly.  Keeping it as organized as possible will help reduce the stress of decluttering and you’ll be a pro the next time you go through it. 

Your Personal Indoor Garden

No matter where you live, growing a garden outside is not an option for you. Personal gardens can have several health benefits. You will always know where your food is coming from and that they are always 100% organic. It is important for us to take health seriously, because there are many unknowns in our food nowadays. Let us eliminate those unknowns with your personal herb garden. 

 

How to plant an indoor herb garden: 

  1. Choose a space that gets at least six hours of sunlight. 

It is important to place your herbs in a spot that gets at least six hour of sunlight. The sunlight will ultimately increase the taste of your herbs and it helps your herbs to make their necessary oils. 

  1. Pick out your container. 

You will need to consider separating your herbs. Certain herbs will prefer dry soil whereas some will want a lot of water. You can place your herbs into different containers or pots and label them with a chalkboard sign. The chalkboard signs will help you to distinguish which herb is which. 

3.    Decide what herbs you want. 

Grow herbs that you know you will use. A lot of popular herbs are less expensive to grow than uncommon ones. Make sure to do research before deciding which herbs you want to plant. You may decide to plant some herbs during different seasons, because of sunlight restrictions. 

4.    Plant your herbs. 

Gather your pots, soil and chalkboard signs. As you begin to plant your herbs, be aware that herbs need room in your pot. Sprinkle soil at the bottom of your pot/container then put in your herb. After the herb is in place, fill the rest of the container with soil. Depending on your herb, water it as soon as you plant it. 

 

Note: Gifting your herbs can be an extremely thoughtful gift. Start the planting process for your family/friend then gift them with a beautiful potted herb. 

 

You can enjoy your new indoor herb garden by trying out some new food recipes! Invite family and friends over for a delicious meal that was seasoned with food grown by you. 


Avocado Plant

Avocados have become a recent trend in many people’s diets. This fruit has an immense amount of health benefits while tasting extra delicious (yes, we said fruit). This delectable superfood can be planted in your home. The avocado is known to produce a tree-like plant that currently decorates many homes across America. Most homeowners just enjoy to use tree produced by this fruit for decoration, but there is potential that one day the tree may bear fruit. Depending on your region, you may be able to plant this tree outside if you live in an area that does not have temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. 

 

How to plant an avocado tree

Supplies

  • 1 Avocado 
  • 4 Toothpicks 
  • 1 Glass for water
  • 1 Pot 
  • 1 Small bag soil 

 

How to plant an avocado tree

Step One. Take your avocado and cut it in half. You want to cut the avocado in the direction that the stem goes down.

Fun Fact: You can tell if an avocado is ripe from their stem. Press down on the stem with your finger and if the avocado gives in with little resistance than it is ripe! 

Step Two. Remove the pit. 

Step Three. Take your pit and rinse it off. Make sure it is completely cleaned off from any avocado residue. 

Step Four. Place your four toothpicks throughout the wide part of the pit. You want the pointed part of the seed to be facing upwards. Now, adjust the toothpicks to be positioned on top of the glass of water. The toothpicks should ideally hold the avocado’s pit up. Make sure only one inch of your seed is in the water and you should place it in a warm temperature area of your home. 

Step Five. You will need to keep the water at that level consistently. 

Step Six. Wait for the stem to grow from your avocado seed.  Once it grows about six inches, you will need to cut the stem in half. 

Step Seven. Give your seed time to grow leaves again. After the leaves grow, you will need to move the seed to a pot. 

Step Eight. Prepare your pot with loose, sand-like soil. You will fill some of the pot with soil then place your avocado pit inside of the pot. Cover the roots with soil and leave the leafy stems exposed. 

Step Nine. Care for your plant often. Place the avocado plant in an area that gets a lot of sun light and make sure to lightly water this plant. 

 

Always keep an eye out on your tree’s growth and do proper trimmings when necessary. We hope you thoroughly enjoy your avocado tree this spring! 


Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds have been a longtime favorite to many homeowners. They are quick, little beauties that show up around your yard seeking satisfaction from sweet nectar. Hummingbirds do not exclusively love the sweet nectar you provide in your feeder, but they enjoy an array of “nectar producing flowers.” Surprisingly, hummingbirds eat small insects as well. If you are ever struggling with bugs entering your hummingbird feeder, experts encourage you to leave them as a nice snack with their meal. 

 

Preparing your hummingbird feeder is quite simple. Just always remember the ratio 4 to 1 (sugar to water). You will need to heat your water until the sugar combines with the water, but be careful not to overheat your sweet nectar. You can store your nectar in the refrigerator for two weeks without complications. 

 

Note: The nectar you are providing the hummingbirds is a “supplement” to the birds. Experts say not to invest in sugars that have extra additives and vitamins. 

 

If you are looking to attract more hummingbirds to your yard, buy plants that produce a natural nectar and are the color red. In fact that is why the feeders are red, hummingbirds are attracted to this hue. You may have heard of putting red food coloring in your nectar to attract the birds. We encourage you not to use red dye, because it can be potentially dangerous to the hummingbirds. 

 

Cleaning your hummingbird feeder is essential to keep the birds happy. Hummingbirds are extremely picky with the cleanliness of homeowners’ feeders. Some say that the birds would rather not eat than consume your spoiled nectar. 

  • Never use soap when cleaning out your feeder.  Studies have shown that the birds do not like the taste and will choose not to eat your nectar. 
  • Completely remove any uneaten nectar from the feeder. Take into account how much you are throwing out between each cleaning. If the birds are not eating all the nectar you have provided, decrease the amount of nectar you put into the feeder. 
  • Your feeder will need a deep cleaning at last once a month with bleach. Make sure to fully rinse out all bleach before using. 

 

We want to make hummingbirds happy, because they tend to make us happy when they are around our yard. We encourage you to follow these tips provided. Have you had success with any different ideas than the ones listed above? If so, we encourage you to share below in the comment section. 


How to Hang Mason Jars

Have you ever desired more storage in your kitchen, but do not necessarily have the room to add more cabinets? Your solution is here. Hanging mason jars underneath your cabinets add style and function to any space. Plus, it is super simple to do! 

 

Supplies

  • Mason Jar 
  • Piece of Wood
  • Hammer 
  • Nail
  • Screw
  • Screw Driver

 

Depending on the amount of space you have available under your cabinets, you can choose the amount of mason jars you will use for this project. 

*You will need one screw and one nail per one mason jar you use. 

 

Want to add color? You can even paint the mason jars if you would like to add a pop of color. Remember to paint your mason jar prior to attaching them to your cabinets. If you want a distressed mason jar look, paint the mason jar with color chalkboard paint. After it is finished drying, you can run sandpaper over the areas you want to look distressed. 

 

Step One. Take the lid off of your mason jar. 

Note: Mason jar lids have two parts associated with them. You will have the physical “rim” and “the flat top.”

Step Two. Grab your piece of wood and set your lid onto of it. Have the lid facing up in a bowl-like resemblance. 

Step Three. Take your hammer and nail and create one small hole in your lid. 

Step Four. Remove the nail and lid from the piece of wood. 

Step Five. Take your lid over to the cabinet that you wish to hang it underneath. 

Step Six. Place your screw inside the hole you just created. Screw it into the bottom of your cabinet. 

Note: It is essential that you make sure your lid is on tight, because your jar will be hanging from the lid. 

 

Was not that easy? It is a quick and simple way to add style and function to your kitchen or any room in your house. Try this hack anywhere in your home to add extra storage to your space. Just remember to always make sure your lid is screwed into your cabinet tight!

Your Guest Bedroom

If you love to entertain, you understand the importance of having a spare bedroom. An extra bedroom gives guests a comfortable escape from the traditional “couch stay.” No matter the length of their stay, you want guests to feel at home when they stay with you. Guest bedrooms can take on an array of different styles, but there are some essential factors that contribute to an wonderful stay!

 

1. Keep it cozy. 

Stuffed animals and decorative pillows all over the bed can be cute, but it can also be a hassle to remove each night. Consider keeping the bed as simple as possible for the guests.  

Make sure that if you keep your AC low to provide your guests with extra blankets. There is nothing worse than being cold all night. 

 

2. Provide an extra phone charger. 

It becomes really difficult to remember to pack everything when you are sleeping at someone else’s home. Phone chargers can be easily forgotten, but they are essential for the next day. Guests will be pleasantly surprised by this feature and it will not go unnoticed. 

 

3. Dress it up with a mirror.

Mirrors are extremely versatile. They provide a useful feature as well as a stylish one.

If you have a smaller room, consider putting in a large mirror on one of the walls. This tends to make the room look larger than it actually might be. 

Everyone loves a full-length mirror. They are perfect for putting on the final touches to your outfit and making sure everything is in check. If you have room, add a full-length mirror in or near the guest bedroom. 

 

4. Incorporate a desk/vanity. 

A desk gives your guests somewhere to sit down and write, but it can also be a place filled with necessary items. 

Think about items you would like to have in or on your desk (note pad, pens, pencils, etc.) 

 

5. Add storage with a dresser.

Your guest will need somewhere to put all of their belongings. If you do not have a closet, make sure to provide them with a dresser. Guests tend to keep the room neater when they have somewhere to put all of their things. 

Trend alert: Try using the dresser as a night stand! 

 

6. Be Bold.

This is your chance to be bold in your design skills. If you were afraid to try something in your own room, try it out in the guest bedroom! Take a chance with that paint color you were always hesitant to try out; you may be pleasantly surprised.  

 

7. Light it up.

Lighting can be a very important feature in your guest bedroom. Look for areas of the room with low-lighting and add a lamp. 

If you have room, put a lamp/lighting near the bed for nighttime reading.

Use Antiques to Add Visual Interest to Your Home

Antiques tell a story, hold a bit of mystery to them and always add character to a space.  That’s why it can usually add to the beauty of your home to add a bit of decor to it from time’s past.  Whether large or small, commonplace or unusual, antiques can draw the eye and be a conversation starter.  Collecting items for your home can be very exciting and you may want to start incorporating things right away but your best bet is to do a little research first.  Find out what styles you prefer by visiting a few thrift shops, flea markets and antique stores.  A pattern may emerge and you might notice that you are drawn to a distinct time, styles originating from a certain country or pieces produced by a popular designer of the past. Once you know what you’re looking for, the process can begin!

 

When it is time to introduce older items into your home’s design, a gradual approach is always best. While you may be a big fan of certain pieces, you also want to be sure that they will look appropriate in your home once you’ve purchased them.  Sprinkle items throughout the space to create flow and allow their placement to look more natural.  Simple ideas can be an old-fashioned spice rack in the kitchen, a gilded mirror in the bathroom and matching antique lamps for your bedroom nightstands. Larger furniture pieces can be used in guest rooms in the form of a dresser or in the dining room with a buffet. 

 

While some of these suggestions are more functional in nature, it is still a good idea to add artistic pieces to your home. Miniature statues, delicate vases and beautiful artwork will only add charm to a living space.  When properly spaced, guests will be able to appreciate all the modern amenities in your home, while enjoying the old-world appeal of your decor. So, get out there and explore the antique world to find out which pieces best evoke your sense of style!