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The beds you see in our showroom or magazines are beautiful settings for luxurious sleeping, with quilts, comforters, sheets, bed skirts and pillows. Cozy and inviting, they beg you to curl up and relax under the covers. If you want your own bed to look just as perfect, give some thought to the linens you choose and how you make it:
Start with fresh sheets. Launder them at least once a week to remove a buildup of debris, dust and sweat. Use hot water – 130 to 150 degrees – and put them in a hot dryer cycle to kill germs. Then either iron them or put them on the bed immediately upon removal from the dryer to eliminate creases and wrinkling.
Fit the bottom sheet over the mattress protector. Today’s sheets are often made for thick mattresses. If you bottom fitted sheet is deeper than your mattress, tuck the excess under the mattress to make sure it doesn’t wrinkle.
Spread the flat sheet over the fitted sheet. Place it face down, and pull the top all the way to the headboard. Then tuck the end under the mattress using hospital corners. Here’s a great video from Martha Stewart that walks you through the process.
Add a blanket or coverlet over the top sheet 9 to 12 inches from the headboard. Then tuck the end under the mattress just like you did with the flat sheet. Fold the top sheet over the top of the blanket or coverlet to expose the trim or pattern. Fold down the sheet and blanket to about a third of the length of the mattress from the headboard.
Place the comforter or duvet on the bed, with the edge reaching the top of your bed skirt or frame. You can fold it over twice, so it rests on the bottom third of the mattress, easily accessible at night.
Finally, add pillows to the top of the bed, leaning them up against the headboard. You can use decorative shams and accent pillows in addition to your pillows uses for sleeping to create layers softness.
Between the shopping, the baking, the parties and the decorating, the holidays are definitely the busiest season of the year. They’re also one of the most stressful. Minimize the anxiety by taking some preventative measures. Here are three tips from the Mayo Clinic:
Be realistic. The holidays don’t have to be perfect or just like last year. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change as well. Choose a few to hold on to, and be open to creating new ones. For example, if your adult children can’t come to your house, find new ways to celebrate together, such as sharing pictures, emails or videos.
Stick to a budget. Before you go gift and food shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend. Then stick to your budget. Don’t try to buy happiness with an avalanche of gifts.
Plan ahead. Set aside specific days for shopping, baking, visiting friends and other activities. Plan your menus and then make your shopping list. That’ll help prevent last-minute scrambling to buy forgotten ingredients. And make sure to line up help for party prep and cleanup.
The family room is one of the most important rooms in your home. It’s where everyone hangs out after dinner. It’s where movies, football games and favorite TV shows are watched. It’s where conversations happen. And it’s where memories are made.
Doesn’t this valuable space deserve a little design attention? Here are nine features to incorporate into your family room to turn it into the heart and soul of your home:
1. Comfortable seating
If you want people to linger, deep-cushioned furnishings will do the trick. This room isn’t the place for Grandma’s antique settee. Choose sofas, loveseats and chairs that are comfortable. Sectionals are a great choice because they can accommodate several, and those with reclining options are extra cozy. And consider pieces that are stain resistant or have washable slipcovers so you can relax and let loose.
2. Family photos
Decorate the family room with photos of the family. Whether you create a collage on your wall with a variety of frames or have favorite shots blown up onto canvas, you will set the tone by putting loved ones front and center.
3. Kids’ art
Another way to decorate is to use your kids’ artwork. Use gallery frames to make abstract pieces shine. Or paint a wall with magnetic paint and update it with the masterpiece du jour.
4. An area for games
Make games an important part of a fun family room by incorporating a game table or oversized cocktail table. Include storage in the room so you can keep board and card games handy. Or use a chess or checkers set as an accent piece in the room and it will always be ready for players.
5. Work station
Kids often like to do homework where they can get help from Mom and Dad. Create a nook in your family room where assignments or school projects can happen. This can be a desk or a sofa table that converts into a workspace.
6. Ottomans or floor cushions
Family rooms are for relaxing, so you’ll want a way to put up your feet. Using an ottoman instead of a cocktail table is a great idea for the family room. Or have pouf ottomans on hand that can double as seating for a crowd.
7. An entertainment center
Family entertainment often includes TV or movies. Outfit your room with a media center that holds your television as well as components such as a DVR, video games consoles and Blu-ray player.
8. A fireplace
If your family room already has a fireplace, make sure it’s a focal point. If not, you can add a portable model. The flicker of a fire creates ambiance and a cozy place to gather.
9. A rug
The family room is the place to lie on the floor to watch a movie or just hang out. Make sure it’s comfortable by using a plush rug underfoot. You’ll want to choose something low-maintenance; make sure it’s easily and has a color or pattern that hides stains.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. It’s also the time when malls are crowded, sales people are overworked, and hot items are out of stock. Before you head to the stores, set yourself up for success by being prepared.
- Set a time limit. With your list in hand, give yourself a reasonable amount of time to shop and then leave when time’s up. This will help you avoid idle browsing that can cause confusion and overspending.
- Pack a drink and snacks. Food courts will look enticing if you’re hungry. Unfortunately, they also offer a lot of goodies that are high in sugar and fat, causing you to crash later. Instead, pack healthy snacks, such as nuts or cheese, and bring a water bottle to keep you hydrated.
- Have a meeting plan. If you’re out with family and friends, decide where and when to meet after you’re done shopping or if you get separated. This is especially important if you’re shopping with children.
- Remember where you park. It’s easy to get lost in the overcrowded mall parking lot. Use your smartphone to take a picture of your parking area, and remember which door you enter when you go to the mall. Your feet will thank you.
When visitors come to your house, the front door is the first thing they see. Its design has a big impact on your curb appeal, and its color can set expectations for the rest of your home. Since most of us enter our homes through a garage or backdoor, it’s easy to overlook this all-important part of your house. So take a quick peek – what does your front door say about you?
Does it match the style of your home? Traditional construction often has a traditional-looking door in a rich color or stained wood. Contemporary homes often feature glass doors or those that painted in bold colors. Does your front door match your home’s overall style? Make sure it fits with the color and design of your exterior and that it represents what’s to come on the inside.
Does it flow with your exterior palette? The exterior of your home should have a limited color palette, with three colors or less. One color is usually the siding or brick, another color for trim and a third color for architectural accents, such as the door and shutters. Make sure you stick to the three-color rule to impact your curb appeal. Too many colors will make the exterior of your home look confusing and disjointed.
Does it provide some contrast? You want a door that stands out, instead of one that blends into the exterior materials. This is the time to go for contrast. If your exterior is white, for example, a black, navy or red door will stand out. If your siding is dark, consider a lighter door, such as white or taupe.
Does it feel inviting? In a survey, homebuyers prefer doors that are white, red, blue, green and brown. While unpopular colors are orange, purple, grey and yellow, that doesn’t mean you have to stay away from them; choose a shade that complements your design aesthetic and you will stand out. You might consider keeping the look timeless so you don’t have to update it.
Does it look fresh and clean? Cobwebs or peeling paint send a bad message to your guests that you don’t care. Make sure you put this area of your home on your cleaning schedule to keep it looking good. Make sure your storm door is in good repair. And use simple updates, such as a new Welcome mat and a potted plant, to create an eye-catching display. Then open the door, welcome your guests, and let that good first impression set the tone for the rest of your visit.
‘Tis the season of giving. Are you ready? It’s easy to become overwhelmed – and overextended – if you don’t take some time to prepare. Here are four steps for creating a holiday shopping plan:
- Set a realistic budget. Figure out how much money you can afford to spend, and don’t forget to add items like wrapping paper, cards and postage.
- Make a list. Before you head out, brainstorm gift ideas for everyone on your list. This will make shopping quicker, and you’ll be sure to not forget anyone.
- Comparison shop. Use your list to find the best deals on the gifts you plan to purchase. You can also call ahead to make sure the store has what you need, so you save time driving all over time.
- Don’t wait. Avoid stress and overspending by starting your shopping as soon as you can. If you procrastinate, you run the risk of making poor choices because you feel rushed.
Taylor Swift is definitely one of today’s hottest and most successful entertainers, with an army of fans called Swifties and a roster of number one hits. The Tennessee native purchased a home in Beverly Hills, Calif., and brought some of her Southern charm to its décor. Bright colors mix with classic neutrals to create a friendly, welcoming space.
If you like Taylor’s style, we’ve got the look:
Taylor anchors the room with a neutral, oversized sofa. We think the Evan Sofa, with its classic, contemporary lines, is a great match. Rolled arms and the pillow back give a casual, friendly vibe, and the neutral tone works well with any color.
Then Taylor infuses her signature color: red. We have added the Calypso Loveseat and Chair on opposite sides of the neutral sofa. The rolled arms and causal back mimic the style of the sofa, and the vivid upholstery color gives a vibrant punch of color. Plenty of seating gives the room a very inviting feel.
The cocktail table in Taylor’s living room has a weathered and rustic look, and so does our Hitchcock table. Its carved legs add interest, and the shelf base gives you room to store books or accessories. We’ve used the matching end table to give the room a uniform look. And the finish provide an updated urban style.
Taylor’s room has an assortment of lamps, providing task lighting to a variety of areas. Table lamps, like our Countryside Lamp, are on each end table. And slender Buffet Lamps are on a sofa table behind the loveseat. Create a similar look to Taylor’s by mixing lamps that have matching bronzed finishes.
Above Taylor’s fireplace is a classic gilded frame mirror. This piece not only provides artwork to the room, but it adds a reflective quality that comes alive when the fireplace is in use. Our black and antique gold Mirror gives a similar feel, and adds a sense of depth to the space.
Near Taylor’s fireplace is a bench, which provides extra seating or a place to put up your feet. Our Mirrored Vanity Stool is a great choice, giving the room another reflection of light. The black upholstered cushion grounds the piece, and its simple lines are transitional.
Finally, Taylor has a gorgeous Oriental rug with vibrant red tones and classic cream and gold accents. The rug not only provides warmth underfoot, but its pattern helps marry the colors used in the furnishings throughout the space. Our Adonia Rug offers a contemporary take on a classic style, with a mix of muted and vibrant tones. It’s a great match to Taylor’s style, and will quickly be a treasured piece for years to come.
Family and friends often gather at the holidays and that means it’s prime time for photo taking. Candid snapshots and posed portraits capture cherished memories and give you a chance to relive them again and again.
This Thanksgiving, get out the camera – or even your camera phone – and snap some shots with these great tips from Shutterfly:
Try different angles. Portraits can sometimes look flat, so sit, stand and kneel to energize the shot. Have parents sit and kids stand. Make a pyramid. Better yet, get the shot of the kids trying to make the pyramid. Or take a shot from a bird’s-eye view of your kids lying down.
Capture relationships not just people. Get candid shots of your family talking and smiling to really showcase your family’s relationship. This allows their personalities to shine through. And, make sure you take dozens of pictures to get the one shot where everyone is wide-eyed and happy.
Crop, crop, crop. Don’t be afraid to tighten the frame. Remove background objects using a crop tool to get a close-up shot of smiling faces. In addition, try cropping off-center for a more artistic look.
Keep it neutral. If you find that your clothes clash with the colors of the card, use the black-and-white or sepia editing tool. The result can be surprisingly modern and fresh.
Design forecaster are revealing the trends we’ll see in 2016, and you might be surprised at a color that’s popping up on the lists of four top-brand paint companies. It’s off-white – the basic shade that’s got a reputation for being boring – but designers say it’s not the color; it’s how you use it.
Off-white has a lot of advantages: it complements any color; it absorbs natural light and offers a reflective quality; it offers a calming sense of neutrality; and it showcases the details of moldings.
Benjamin Moore and Glidden have named their version of off-white their “color of the year” for 2016, while Behr and Sherwin-Williams include an off-white shade in their overall trend forecasts. Take a look at how it’s done:
Simply White by Benjamin Moore
Benjamin Moore suggests homeowners “surrender to the complexity of white. Coats of white refresh rustic boards and beams and take on a warm, soft glow. When used with a more vibrant color, white is the guide that directs the eye to multiple color encounters.”
Alabaster by Sherwin-Williams
Sherwin-Williams’ Alabaster uses marble hues, with grays turning to khaki and blushed neutrals. The look draws you to the colors of “nomadic sand baths and holistic massage rooms. We’re awakening from the recession, hungry for a new orderliness, ready to feed the spirit, make memories, and savor the moment.”
Cappuccino White by Glidden
Glidden introduces a soft white that offers “silence and creates a peaceful space away from the hectic landscape of everyday life. As legendary fashion designer Tom Ford said, ‘time and silence are the most luxurious things today.’ In an age of constant interruption and chatter, Cappuccino White offers a soft backdrop that helps defer distractions and creates a calm lightness in the home to encourage a relaxed mind.”
Ivory Keys by Behr
Behr’s off-white is called Ivory Keys and it provides classic styling and reflective elements. Not too white and not too cream, the perfect neutral works well on trim as well as walls.