Decorations and Staging

Get Your Home Ready For Guests This Holiday Season

Hosting a holiday gathering can be a lot of fun, but perhaps a bit intimidating, too. You want your house to look its best, but now isn’t the time to undertake any major updates.

Chances are, you’re busy enough get ready for the event. So, focus on just the areas of your house where your guests will spend time.

Whether you’re a first-time party host with a few jitters or an old pro looking for some new ideas, these tips will help you ensure that your home is ready for any gathering.

Light the way

The sun sets early this time of year, so it’s important to make sure the entrance to your home is clean and well-lit.

If you have a large front yard, focus on the entryway and the path leading up to it. Install porch lights or replace the bulbs if needed. Cut back any shrubbery that is obstructing the walkway.

On the day of your party, open the blinds on the front windows so your guests can see into your warm, festive-looking home as they approach. It’s a great way to create a sense of welcoming anticipation.

Pro tip: The easiest way to create instant lighting for walkways and paths is with the solar lights that you just stick into the ground. The sun does the rest of the work!

Take care of the bottom line

Our mothers used to say this, and it’s true: If your floors are spotless, they make your whole house look cleaner.

Even if you’re unable to do an in-depth house cleaning before your gathering, make sure your floors have been cleaned before that first guest steps over the threshold.

Pro tip: If you have carpeting, clean the carpets a minimum of three days ahead of your affair so they have time to dry fully.

Brighten up your bathroom

If you’re bothered by grimy-looking grout in your bathroom,...

3 Ideas for Turning Your Home Into a Winter Haven

What better time to turn your home into a warm and welcoming den than during the chilly winter months? With just a little investment and some ingenuity, you can bring a distinctive winter-friendly look into your home. Here are three concepts to inspire you and some tips to get you started.

Look 1: The British study

The vibe: This look is a perfect fit for a snowy winter day. Filled with shelves of leather-bound tomes, tufted chesterfield sofas and focused lighting from brass sconces, the study is the perfect spot to curl up with a favorite novel, enjoy a cup of tea or nap away the afternoon.

Get the look

Built-in bookcases can get expensive, but two or three flat-pack units arranged tightly in a row can nearly fill a wall without breaking the budget. Fill the shelves with as many books as you can find — the fuller the better. Check out garage sales, thrift shops, and library clearance sales for additional hardback books if you’re short.

While you may not have a tufted leather sofa on hand, any love seat positioned in front of the bookcases will look dramatic. Instead of square throw pillows, try round bolsters in the corners for a more formal style. A vintage-style rug is perfect underneath.

For the coziest of lighting in the evenings, add sconces to your bookcases. Inexpensive clip-on downlights work perfectly in a pinch. Floor reading lamps placed behind the sofa are another great option to pull this room together. 

Look 2: The Scandinavian chalet

The vibe: Crisp white paint, whitewashed wood, and neutral furnishings make even the gloomiest of days feel bright.

This aesthetic is definitely modern, yet it’s touched with woodsy rusticity and directly connected to nature. Winter-friendly accessories bring in a bit more comfort and prevent the space from feeling cold.

Get the look

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Fall and Holiday Décor Listing Tips

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If you have your home on the market, it’s natural to want to create the perfect environment for potential homebuyers. This includes not only professional staging services but also time-honored tips like freshly baked treats and seasonal décor. As we transition from summer to the holiday season, however, it’s interesting to note that fall decorating is the least appreciated by home visitors.

The cinnamon scents and pumpkin-everything that greets the senses in stores and coffee shops can be overwhelming in a home environment. You may enjoy a nice cookie-dough candle, but many people don’t agree. A tasteful, welcoming fall wreath on the front door is fine, but in general, fall is a time best ignored by home sellers.

The holiday season can bring family challenges as well. When your house is on the market, this is not the time to continue the tradition of the neighborhood Haunted House with cobwebs hanging from every gutter. Far better to place a strategic jack-o-lantern or tasteful pumpkin pile. Talk about these kinds of changes in advance with younger children who may not understand the need to keep the house fully accessible and de-personalized.

Having your home listed for sale is a special time and requires some sacrifice. The holiday season can bring more emotional challenges as well. A sense of nostalgia is only accentuated by the lack of family traditional décor. Consider carefully what to include and exclude. Scale back the unnecessary decorating extras and concentrate on the special few items. In this way, you can still celebrate your family traditions while appealing to homebuyers looking for their own place to call home.

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Brightening Your Space This Winter

Lightening up your space isn’t just for visual appeal. As winter continues, that means that the days will continue to be shorter. Brightening your space will help maximize the light you get every day, no matter how much daylight you have. Having a bright space not only looks better, but it can help you feel better too. Here are some ways to brighten your space.

Paint it!

You don’t need white walls to have a bright space. If you pick paint colors that are saturated but still light, your walls will still reflect light. Consider using a bright, soft sage  or similar colors that can bring new life and extra light to your space. 

Use Mirrors

If you have a room that gets natural light but just not enough, add mirrors! Strategically placing mirrors to reflect natural light will make that room come alive.

Keep Contrast

Don’t just paint every wall white. If every surface in your kitchen is white, it will get a little dull - and hard to maintain. Add a colorful backsplash or update your kitchen accessories to complement your white cabinets or walls.

Update Window Treatments

Your curtains may be stopping that natural light from entering your home. Consider replacing your window treatments with something sheer or semi-sheer, that will still provide privacy while allowing light in.

Replace Doors

If you house isn’t full of windows and you aren’t ready to install new windows in your home, consider a door...