Fight Disorganized Crime
Feather Your Nest
Magi's Bring it on Home
Gifts for Gardeners
Home Maintenance Tips
on a Shoestring
up for the Holidays
winter, our rooms should feel cozy, especially for those of us in
northern climates with the long, dark nights. Make your home
interesting and look and smell delicious.
you are a traditional "Currier-and-Ives" fan, or into
modern scaled down simplicity, or family friendly shabby chic,
there are lots of creative ways to rev up your decor!
a little advance planning and help from the family, decorating for
the holidays can be fun. Here are some ways to feather YOUR
One of the easiest ways to bring a
feeling of comfort is by layering accessories. Top beds,
sofas or chairs with a throw. For glamor and a glitzy
holiday feel, try metallic embroidered or beaded throws.
Chenille and velvet bring a sense of richness and warmth.
cushions are a close second, and are always visually
inviting. They are available in so many fabrics that are
winter cozy. They run the gamut from micro fiber, basket weaves,
faux suede, leather looks, fun furs, to beaded and tasseled
crushed velvet. Just pick your style and pile them on.
To make your living areas
engrossing, put decorating, gardening and travel books on your
tables, chairs and stools. Turn the dining room table into a
library space, layered with a tablecloth and an antique
quilt. Leave some of the books invitingly open to invite
Keep favorite multi-player games
like Scrabble, Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, etc. handy. Store
playing pieces in pretty fabric or leather covered boxes and make
them part of your decor.
Build a "scent wardrobe"
of candles and oils to banish those less-than-pleasant smells that
arise in our sealed-up homes. Put away your light florals,
go for heavier, warm fragrances like vanilla, mulled cider, and
other spicy scents.
Use simple decorating - take wide
ribbon and gift wrap throw pillows like a present. Or take
ready-made scarves and accent with greenery and berries to make
great indoor wreaths. Just wrap them loosely around a coat hanger
opened to a circular shape. Or lay these on your mantle,
television hutch, or top of a bookshelf draped around your family
photos and other knickknacks.
String metallic or jewel look
ornaments on a garland with invisible fishing line and drape it
over a curtain rod. Or try feathered bird ornaments on the
garland. For children's rooms or recreation rooms, try using
Santa's Toyland or angels or elves type ornaments for the curtain
Add swags of lace or dramatic
velvet in the same tone as your blinds and shades for a new take
Dress up your dining
room chairs - and protect them at the same time from those holiday
spills. Attach gold or jewel toned tassels to the four
corners of a Christmas hand towel and drape it over the
Hang ornaments from
the light fixture or chandelier. Try placing inexpensive
decorative candle rings around the base of the chandelier bulbs.
Make a festive
centerpiece with a crystal bowl filled with fresh
cranberries. Add one aspirin per bag of cranberries and fill
with water. Then add fresh flowers and evergreen
For place cards, use
old holiday greeting cards and/or photos of your guests in small
really are the focal point of every decorating scheme. So
draw attention to a beautiful view or the elegant window shape
itself. Line up your holiday treasures on the sill. At
night, reflect those window vignettes as well as your artwork with
mirrors on opposite walls. This creates a masterpiece effect
all of its own.
Replace tiebacks with
garlands and tassels. Use them as fringe on the bottom of
window shades, or twisted through the bottom rail of a window
blind. Use ribbons stapled with ornaments at various heights
and hang from the top of the window as well.