How To Transition Your Home Into Spring

Spring is here and that means it’s time to say goodbye to winter. From gathering friends in the back yard to opening the windows to enjoy the breeze, it’s time to ready your home to celebrate the season. Here are some subtle changes you can make that will help you transition your home into spring in style.

Living Spaces

Remove heavy draperies that keep you warm in winter, and replace them with linen or light sheers. You can also update your room with blinds or shades. Also, swap out thick wool rugs for flat weave versions or keep floors bare.

Bathrooms

Change out plush rugs for flat weave versions. Add a plant or a vase with fresh flowers. Then add hand towels in bright spring colors. You can also change your hand soap to one with a light scent.

Dining Room

Swap out heavy drapes for light sheers or consider keeping windows bare. Add greenery to your room. Invest in light colored dinnerware, adding punches of color with accent pieces or even edibles, such as oranges and apples.

Foyer

Freshen up your entryway by removing heavy coats from the closet and putting away boot trays. Hang a festive floral wreath on your front door, and replace tired doormats and throw rugs. If you have a table in your foyer, add a vase filled with greenery or fresh flowers.

Bedrooms

Clean and store heavy linens, and replace with fabric such as cotton or linen, and a light coverlet. Breathable fabrics will help you stay comfortable as temps heat up. Add a vase with flowers to your nightstand, and update spice-scented candles with fragrances such as spring flowers or beach.

It’s National Nap Day!

Mattress

Want to boost your productivity? Put your head down and take a nap. It sounds counterintuitive, but napping is the best cure for the post-lunch dip, sharpening your attention and boosting your creativity better than that vending machine candy bar or double shot latte.

Here are some details on napping from the National Sleep Foundation:

The best time to nap is early afternoon, between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.; napping later can be troublesome, impacting the quality of your nighttime sleep.

The length of your nap is key to getting its benefits. A brief 20-minute nap will sharpen your attention and motor skills, while a 60- to 90-minute nap will help you with problem solving and creativity.

The ideal spot for sleep is one that dark, quiet, cool and comfortable. Close the blinds to keep out the afternoon sun, and try to minimize noise. Using a sound machine or fan can help eliminate distracting sounds.

Get the best nap possible by setting up the right environment.

Mattress: If you’re able to nap at home in bed, having the right mattress is key. And the truth is, you can’t choose the right mattress by simply lying on it in a store. Take our exclusive 5-minute test and find your perfect sleep. Your personalized recommendation is based on more than 20 years of research by the Sleep to Live Institute, the industry’s leader in sleep science and innovation. The patented technology uses statistical measurements such as height range, weight distribution, age and pain criteria to determine the mattresses that offer the best postural support for you.

Pillow: A pillow has the important job of supporting your head and neck while you sleep. In fact, it accounts for 30% of the comfort and support of your sleep, and one-size-fits-all does not apply. People are different shapes and sizes, and we sleep in different positions. The best pillow for you will hold your head in neutral alignment based on your sleep style. By providing the right support for your neck and spine, the right pillow will alleviate neck and back pain, and promote good circulation and breathing.

Sleep Essentials: Protect your health and your mattress by choosing the right bedding essentials. Mattress protectorssheets, blankets, and duvets work together to create the perfect microclimate for sleep. The best bedding is made of breathable fabrics to wick moisture that can cause you to overheat or be chilled. And a waterproof mattress protector protects you from harmful bacteria.

You’re all set to snooze. Did you participate in National Nap Day?

How to Design Your She Shed

Whether it’s for reading, writing, sewing, surfing or just chatting on the phone, women crave a place to call their own. A kid-free zone. While a Man Cave can be easily assembled with a flat screen TV and a row of recliners, creating a She Shed or Mom Cave is a more personalized experience.

The first step is to grab an extra room, hidden corner or spare closet. Size doesn’t matter; this space is about cozy pampering. Everything you put in the space should be something you love. That starts with the wall color. From poppy to plum, tangerine to teal, the paint you choose for the walls should speak to you … and not to your resale value.

What you choose for furnishings will depend on how you wish to use the space. Here are some pieces to consider:

A Desk

Don’t worry; your She Shed is a place to relax, but adding a desk can provide a space to surf, dream and design. Choose a sleek shape with beautiful details, such as the Cersei Desk, which features decorative nailhead trim. Then add an upholstered chair and a beautiful lamp to complete the look. A desk can double as a vanity by simply adding a mirror above.

A Reading Chair

You’ll need a place to sit. Dad has his recliner, but mom has a “refiner.” No one will suspect that hiding inside this gorgeous wing back chair is a recliner. The Hearth Press Back Recliner features a beautifully patterned neutral fabric that would coordinate with any style. Simply press back and grab your favorite magazine or novel.

Seating

You may not wish to invite anyone else in to your space, but if you do, the Beatrix Settee with soft dove finish is gorgeous. With a small scale, it can fit in tight spaces. It also works for mommy’s naptime. Shhh…we won’t tell!

A Rug

Your Mom Cave is the place to kick off your shoes and a nice rug underfoot is a must have. Our Carter Shag Rug will make your feet happy with its plush texture and luxurious ivory color. Remember, this is a kid-free zone, so light colors don’t need to be scary!

Let’s Dish! How to Buy Dinnerware

 

Whether you’re a gourmet chef or take-out aficionado, you’re going to need some plates and bowls. You can simply pick the color or pattern you like, but it’s better to bring home a set that will last.

We caught up with our housewares buyer Emily Faltesek to get expert advice on purchasing dinnerware. She shares three things to consider:

Your Budget

Dinnerware comes in four types of material, and each has a different price point and characteristic.

Earthenware is the oldest for of dinnerware and is made of unrefined clay fired at low temperatures to create a glass-like surface.

“This is the lowest end,” says Faltesek. “The problem is that it doesn’t hold up to repeated use in the dishwasher, and it chips and breaks easier. You may spend less up front but you’re not getting the best bang for your buck.”

Stoneware is more durable than earthenware and is chip resistant. It’s made of refined clay and is fired at a higher temperature.

“Stoneware holds a glaze better than earthenware, and so it comes in cool designs and patterns,” says Faltesek. “It doesn’t chip as easily and holds up to the microwave. If you’re just starting out, stoneware is a good option and a good value.”

Porcelain is more durable than earthenware and stoneware. It offers a glass-like surface, and is fired at higher temperatures.

“Porcelain is made of a material that’s thinner and lighter weight,” says Faltesek. “It’s made from a finer sand, and is sturdy and doesn’t chip easily.”

Bone china is considered to be the strongest and most durable form of dinnerware. It’s fired twice at a higher temperature than porcelain and is dishwasher and microwave safe.

“Bone china is high quality; the finest fine china,” says Faltesek. “It’s super lightweight, durable and chip resistant. Animal bone ash is added to clay which makes it stronger.”

Your Needs

How many pieces you need depends on the size of your family and how often you entertain. Faltesek says enough to serve 12 is a traditional amount to purchase, but this number can be adjusted based on your needs and available storage. Dinnerware is sold in one of three ways:

Boxed sets come in 16- or 20-piece sets and provide service for four. They usually come with a dinner plate, salad plate, soup bowl, teacup and saucer.

Place settings are the most common way porcelain and bone china is sold. A place setting comes with five pieces: dinner plate, salad plate, bread plate, teacup and saucer.

Open stock is dinnerware that is sold by the individual piece. This is a good option for someone who might not need separate salad and bread plates, or if you want to add to what you already have.

Faltesek recommends open stock. “I always buy open stock because if you break a plate or want to replace a scratched add bowl, it’s easy,” she says.

How many different sets to buy is another consideration. “Conventional wisdom says you need two sets: casual, for everyday use, and something more formal,” Faltesek says. “That’s not true anymore.”

Instead, determine if you’re frequently having big formal dinner parties. If you’re not, one set will do.

Your Style

Finally, you need to find dinnerware that represents your personal style. You’ll find options in every color imaginable, but you can never go wrong with white, says Faltesek. “White dinnerware is a big trend, especially in modern style,” she says. “You can use it for any occasion; it’s always appropriate.”

While you can use it alone, white dinnerware also serves as a foundation. “Layer fun colors or metallic with salad plates or bowls,” says Faltesek. “You can be trendy and fun for the season without spending tons of money replacing everything later.”

The best thing to know about dinnerware is to buy what you love. “Have fun,” says Faltesek. “Otherwise dinnerware is just taking up space in your cupboard.”

Transitioning Your Home into Fall

The air is crisp. The cider mills are fragrant with spice and doughnuts. And Halloween is on the horizon. The calendar and the weather say Fall, and that means it’s time to generate warmth inside your home.

One of the best ways to prepare for cooler temps is by adding layers to each room in your home. Here are some tips for feathering your nest:

candle-chandelier

Kitchen and Dining Room

Add warmth to your table by using placemats and table runners. Use centerpieces in the deep colors of nature, by bringing in flowers and leaves from your back yard. Add accents to the room, such as baskets, pottery and bowls of fruit.

Dress up your table with a new statement chandelier, such as this Candle Chandelier. Give the area a more intimate and cozy feel by hanging lighting lower; a good rule of thumb is that the bottom of the fixture should hang 30” to 36” from the tabletop.

 

Wood furniture visually warms up a room with the energy of its grain. If you’re in the market for a new kitchen set or dining room suit, consider cherry, pine or oak. Our Brownstone Dining Collection would be the perfect setting for Thanksgiving Dinner.

Shag-rug

Living Room and Family Room

Add throw pillows covered in textured fabrics such as tweed or faux fur to sofas and chairs. Drape blankets and throws over chair backs or on sofa arms. Functional, they make the room appear visually warmer, as well. Layer the room with plush rugs underfoot, choosing rich colors to both ground and insulate. Our Indochine Cream Shag Rug is a great choice.

sidney-road

When adding new furnishings, choose those covered in soft fabrics. Warm and welcoming in trendy charcoal gray, our Sidney Road Truffle Collection is a great choice for fall entertaining. Or choose leather, which adds visual warmth to a room and variety to the texture mix. Wooden coffee and end tables also add warmth. Layer them with lamps, pottery accents and trays to hold candles or mugs.

warm-bedroom

Bedroom

Dress your room for the season by adding drapes over existing shades or blinds. Cover the floor or carpet with an area rug to provide a warm entrance into your day. And always add a blanket to the bed; consider faux fur that will add visual and physical warmth, taking the chill out of the air.

Throw a tablecloth on the nightstand and use a dimmer on bedside lamps to create an intimate and cozy setting. Add more texture to the room with an upholstered headboard. Choose a plush fabric like velvet, microsuede or leather, coordinated with throw pillows.

The goal in getting ready for fall is to create a warm and inviting atmosphere … for guests, but especially for you and your family.