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!

Patio Redirect!

It’s that time of year when the need to clear your porch off and get it ready for the summer gatherings you have planned. After the winter and spring months your patio may be a mess though, and it is hard to know where to begin when planning on redesigning and sprucing up your outdoor space. A few quick and easy ideas may be of some help to you as you prepare your outside area of entertaining and enjoying warm, comfortable nights.

 

One of the most important aspects of your outdoor space will be lighting. Of course, barbecues begin when the sun is still up, but they are sure to stretch into the dusk and evening hours as your guests and family relax and enjoy each other’s’ company. Stringing lights to provide your outdoor space with adequate lighting is a must. Don’t rely on your backyard floodlights either, this lighting will be too harsh for entertaining. The soft glow of strung up lights or patio lanterns is sure to set the mood.

 

The next most important aspect of your patio is going to be making sure that you have a sitting area for your guests and your family. The amount of seating will depend largely on the size of your space so consider what you have to work with and plan accordingly. Don’t forget to be sure and provide some type of table that the seating is congregated around so that guests have a place to set their food and drinks as well. You could even double the table as storage and get a table that’s top is removable and allows for storage within it.

 

Finally, no patio area would be complete without planters to set the mood outside. Get creative and come up with ways to make decorative planters. If you already have a bunch of pots ready to go, purchase some paint in some fun colors and paint the planters yourself. Or you could come up with something a bit different and repurpose an old battered antique such as an tire you might have laying around, or and old wooden basket.

 

Once your patio is clean and decorated enjoy having your friends and family over on warm summer nights outside. With the right seating, lighting, and decoration your space will feel relaxed and ready to go.

Repot Your Plants

Spring cleaning does not just involve cleaning your home, but it requires crucial maintenance for your plants. When springtime rolls around, it is important to take a look at your plants’ health. Plants should be transferred to larger pots to help their growth. The larger pot will assist your plants in getting its key nutrients and bring back any color it may have lost. You will need to take a look at your plant’s health and decide if it needs repotting. Some plants can go a couple years without repotting, but others may need more attention and up-keeping. 

 

Your Supply List: 

  • A plant
  • Large Pot (should be approximately 2 inches larger than your original pot)
  • Soil 
  • Water 

 

How to repot your plant:

  1. Consider your work environment. 

Repotting a plant can get messy quickly, consider taking your plant outdoors to work on repotting it. 

  • ONLY take your plant outside if it is warm enough because indoor plants can go into “shock” if exposed to low temperatures. 
  • Never place your indoor plants outdoors during cold months. 

2.  Remove your plant. 

In order to properly remove your plant, you will need to flip the pot upside and lightly take hold the plant’s stem. Once you have the plant’s stem in your hand, pull the plant out by its stem. 

3. Begin to add soil to the new pot. 

Cover the bottom of your larger pot with potting soil, but leave room for your plant.

4. Place your plant in the larger pot. 

5. Sprinkle more soil into the pot.

6. Water your repotted plant often.

7. Keep an eye on your plant for about a week. 

Your plant just changed homes, let it recuperate. Keep an eye out to make sure it handles the move well. 

 

Ultimately, repotting your plants is great for the plant as well as you. Dull plants can be a bit of an eyesore. Always keep an eye on your plants to see how they are growing in their new home. Your newly repotted plants should avoid direct sunlight for about a week and a half. 


Home Office Tricks

Your office is so much more than just a room with a desk, it adds the essence of your home. A home office is where your work can be brought home, paperwork is organized, and internet browsing is done. The office, wherever it may be in your home, can be practical as well as stylish. The two concepts go hand-in-hand when organizing your home office. We have the perfect list of tricks for you to organize your office space. 

 

Home Office Tricks:

  • Find it in the files. Organize your home office by separating bills and necessary paperwork into a filing drawer. Mark each file with a label to ensure the papers go in their rightful home. Investing in a label maker will help guarantee you know what belongs where and you will have quick, easy access to your files.  
  • The ultimate tidy up. Electronic cords can become easily tangled and look messy in an office. You can velcro your cords together to hide the overwhelming bulkiness of the cords. Label each plug with your new label marker to ensure you are unplugging and plugging in the right electronic. 
  • Computerize your life. If you have a lot of paperwork, invest in a desktop scanner to go paperless. A lot of your paperwork can be put on the computer and stored digitally for later use. 
  • Incorporate a Grommet Hole. Some desks have grommet holes already installed in them, but if your desk does not, it is an easy fix. Installing a grommet hole will help collect all your cords into one area of the desk to encourage tidiness. 
  • Space Jam. Unfortunately, it is extremely easy to run out of space to put your things. Think of ways you can keep your all items without taking up valuable desk space. If you have a desktop computer, consider mounting the monitor on the wall to provide more room on the desk. 
  • Buy more cordless features. We are in the age where cordless electronics can be found everywhere. Buying cordless will give it a cleaner appearance and eliminate clutter. 

 

Now you can get some work done in your stylish yet functional home office space.

Choosing and Using Area Rugs

When choosing an area rug there are several factors to consider such as the shape, size, and design. 18

 The type of room you are decorating will help determine the shape and size of the area rug you want to choose. Round rugs work well in wide rooms; they are often placed under hanging light fixtures. Long rectangular rugs work great in hallways, and rectangular or square rugs work best for dividing spaces in large rooms.

The design and type of rug are also important features. For the environmentally conscious, a natural fiber rug is a good option. Not only are they environmentally and budget friendly, they are also incredibly versatile. There are many different fibers to choose from such as bamboo, hemp, seagrass, jute and sisal.  If your decorating style is more exotic, consider Turkish, Morrocan, Oriental, or Persian rugs. Each have their own unique styles and options. Do you prefer a classic style? Consider a French Aubusson rug. For a plush and luxurious rug, there are many options of textured wools and hide rugs. If durability is important, the Indian Dhurrie rug might be the one for you.

Knowing how to use your rug to accentuate your space is important. Here are a few tips.

In a room with multiple area rugs use matching colors. This creates harmony in the space when there are multiple area rugs. Another option is to choose different shapes or patterned area rugs that share the same color palette. This strategy helps to distinguish between different areas of a large open space such as a dining room, and a living room. There is still harmony, but the space is distinguished by the different rugs.

 It is easier to combine differing solid colors than patterned rugs. It is also easier when one of the colors is neutral. Rugs impact the way a space is viewed. In an open room, a “floating space” can be anchored down by a rectangular area rug. In smaller spaces or rooms, buy a rug that exceeds the furniture to make the space appear larger.

These are a few strategies and ideas as you embark on the journey of finding the best area rug for your home. Please contact us with any questions.

House Warming Party

At last, you have finished your house and it turned out to be everything you could have ever imagined. You decide to celebrate the accomplishment with a house warming dinner party. If you enjoy cooking, dinner parties are a great opportunity to show off your culinary skills while showing off your new place. 

 

Here is how to throw a killer dinner party:

 

Send out your invites.

Pick a date and a time for your housewarming party. After you have decided, send out your invitations at least two-three weeks in advance. The early, the better. Make sure to have a date to RSVP by because you will need the amount of people coming for grocery list. 

Properly set your table. 

Charger Plates: For a formal dinner table setting, you will place your dinner plate & soup/salad bowl on top of the “charger.” Your charger plate acts a base for your setting and will remain during the duration of the main meal. You will take away your guests’ charger plates once the dessert is served. 

Dessert: Bring the dessert fork and plate come out with the dessert. 

Cups: The coffee cups will sit in the right corner above the silverware. Your wine glasses and water glasses will sit to the left of the coffee cups. 

Forks: The forks will sit to the left of your dinner plate. The dinner fork will be placed on the inside, closest to the dinner plate and the dessert fork will be placed on the outside left hand side. 

Spoons: Place the soup spoon on the far right. Your beverage spoons will lay in between the soup spoon and your dinner knife.

Knife: The knife will be on the righthand side closest to the dinner plate. 

Personalize the table. 

Name cards: Place a name card on each of your guests place. This will help your guests find their seats and feel special. Also, this gives you a chance to have certain people sit next to one another. 

Menu: You can provide a menu of the food you will be serving that night. Adding a menu adds a touch of class to your dinner table. 

Dec(orate) to impress.

Engage your guests’ eyes with a gorgeous centerpiece. You could put out an arrangement of flowers, candles, vases, etc. 

Delight their taste buds. 

Be aware of any allergies or restrictions your guests may have towards food. It is important to be respectful of their restrictions without overcompensating the rest of your guests’ meals. You can always provide an alternative main course option for guests with allergies (keep it simple).  Guests will appreciate the thoughtfulness you showed when preparing your meal with them in mind. 

 

We hope you thoroughly enjoy your house warming party and that all of your friends love your new place! 


Don’t Waste an Entire Day Cleaning the House!

In today’s world, there aren’t enough hours in the day to complete our tasks. Who wants to spend an entire day cleaning the house, especially when time is a precious commodity? If you have an unexpected guest coming over, or you just procrastinate cleaning the house, we have some basic tips for cleaning the house fast!

  • Concentration and Focus – The first tip is lay down your phone! You must stay hyper focused on the task at hand, and not get distracted by other tasks. Clean one room at a time.
  • Start at the Top – Always start at the top and clean down. This way dirt and dust falls to the lower uncleaned surface. Dust ceiling fans first, then dust the furniture top to bottom.
  • Bedrooms – Strip bed linens and remake bed. Clear all visible clutter by placing in a basket to organize later. Dust ceiling fans and light fixtures. Dust window sills. Dust all furniture top to bottom with dusting spray and microfiber cloth.
  • Bathrooms – Cleaning all bathrooms at one time is key. Dust light fixtures and window sills. Clear counters and spray down counters, tubs and toilet with cleaner. Allow the cleaner to sit while you go to the next bathroom to clear and spray down. Go back to bathroom and clean counters, tub and toilets, then clean the mirrors. Come back and clean bathroom baseboards and floors after you have cleaned the kitchen floor.
  • Living & Dining Room –  Clear all clutter first. Start dusting in one corner of the room and work clockwise. Clean ceiling fans, light fixtures, dust window sills, and dust all furniture top to bottom. Use your vacuum cleaner’s attachment on upholstered furniture.
  • Kitchen – First, load dishwasher. Fill the sink with hot soapy water and a small amount of cleaner. If your stove has burner frames, remove and put in soapy water. Dust ceiling fans, light fixtures and window sills. Clear all counter tops and table/desk tops. Dip cleaning sponge in soapy water and wipe down cabinets and counters, top to bottom. Be sure to rinse sponge in hot water and you’ll be amazed at how much dirt rinses out. Wipe down all kitchen appliances, top to bottom. Wiping down appliances will help to eliminate finger prints.
  • Floors – Clean all hardwood floors at one time, clean tile floors together, and so on. When vacuuming carpeted floors, work your way backwards out of the room and try not to overlap with vacuum. Vacuum hardwood floors using the attachment for corners and baseboards. This eliminates dust in the air and settling again.
  • Steam Mop – Steam mops make cleaning floors much faster than using a basic mop. Plus, you are using water to steam away dirt and germs, instead of cleaners. Invest in a steam mop!

 We look forward to hearing your feedback and comments, and don’t forget to let us know your tips and tricks!

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. 

Distressing Your Dresser

Quality furniture can and should last you a lifetime. Your furniture is extremely versatile in looks. The entire look of a chair can change just by being reupholstered. Old mirrors can become art pieces. Dressers can become something you never thought you could own. Let us add character to that old dresser that you have always hated. The one that you cannot seem to find a spot for, yeah that one. Distressing the piece will make your dresser a chic, timeless piece.

 

Supply List:

  • An old dresser
  • Sandpaper
  • Tack Cloth
  • Paint Base Coat
  • Polyurethane (Finishing Coat)
  • Paint Brush 

 

1.  Prepare your workspace.

Distressing your dresser involves sanding and painting so consider moving the dresser to an area that can get a bit messy (your garage, backyard, etc).


2.   Begin sanding 

Grab your sandpaper and begin gently sanding the dresser. 


3.   Wipe down your piece

After you have sanded the dresser, take your “tack cloth” and wipe down the dresser.

  • Tack Cloth is a cloth that has been processed with a sticky adhesive in order to pick up any leftover particles, dust, etc. (This can be purchased at any home improvement store).


4. Apply the base coat

You will begin to paint your entire dresser with the base coat paint. You can choose whatever color you would like for this step. 

  • Make sure to buy a satin latex paint for your base coat.


5. Let the furniture dry


6. Grab your sandpaper

Once the dresser is completely dry, you can begin sanding areas that you would like to look distressed. 

  • Note: Distressed dressers are meant to look like they naturally became that way. Think about the places that would have become distressed over time and begin sanding those areas.


7. Wipe it down

Grab your tack cloth again and wipe down your dresser to get rid of the leftover particles. 


8. Apply a paint finish

You can use Polyurethane to finish off your dresser.


You have now created a timeless piece of furniture from an item you once hated. Remember, you can distress a wide variety of your furniture items and we hope you love your “new” old dresser.

The Influence of Dark and Light in Design

When formulating a design strategy for your home, it is important to consider how light and dark will influence your choices in flooring, furniture and wall color.  Keep in mind what direction your home faces, which rooms are cooler or warmer, and which areas of the house have minimal natural light available.  These are all pieces of useful information you will need to bring out the best parts of your home’s traits.  It will also help you provide solutions to some of its disadvantages.

 

Rooms that receive a lot of natural light can afford to be decorated with darker furniture and flooring.  The rich colors will come to life when the sun shines through.  Using a lighter but vivid wall color with your decor will also keep the focus on the room’s darker aspects and keep the design looking dramatic. If the light coming from the windows is insufficient in the next room on your list, try using a lighter color palette to help make the room appear larger and less dingy.   Bright earth tones will give the room a crisp, refreshing look. Pair it with glass decor and mirrors for artificial light sources to reflect in order to counteract the darkness.

 

Proper lighting coverage in each room of your home will help provide the best contrast from dark to light when transitioning from day to night. No matter how well some rooms may receive the sunshine, they will all be needing artificial sources of light by day’s end.  Do not underestimate the usefulness of a light dimmer. This will allow you to stage each room with the proper amount of light needed depending on the time of day, room design or even to please your houseguests.  Bedrooms can use softer yellow bulbs while high traffic areas can use a sharper white light to keep things bright and active.

 

Finally, consider how the use of cooler and warmer colors can be beneficial to the appearance of each room to help accentuate the light and dark to its best advantage.   Each space needs to feel comfortable and inviting. Mixing colors, textures and lines as your baseline in design will allow you to come up with the most flattering contrasts in your home.