Easy Thanksgiving decor ideas for your family get-together

Now that October is over and the spooky Halloween decor has been put away, it’s time to start thinking about the next big holiday: Thanksgiving! Every holiday is enjoyable for different reasons, but I particularly love Thanksgiving because it’s a day dedicated to giving thanks, spending time with family and eating a lot of food.

To get ready for the big day, I’ve compiled some easy Thanksgiving decor ideas that you and your guests will love.

1. Decide on a theme

Are you going to throw a modern Thanksgiving? A rustic one? Deciding on a theme first will help you narrow your options when buying or making decor for your home.

2. Think beyond traditional fall colors 
Photo credit: Decoist

Photo credit: Decoist

 

While you certainly can decorate with oranges, reds and browns, you don’t have to. If you want to try something new this year, think outside the box when it comes to colors. Dark purple, metallics, white, light blue and navy could all be used to create a Thanksgiving display.

3. Incorporate faux pumpkins into your decorating scheme
Photo credit: Better Homes and Gardens

Photo credit: Better Homes and Gardens

 

Pumpkins aren’t just for Halloween. Rather than carving real pumpkins though, you can use faux ones to create a sophisticated space. Consider using a white faux pumpkin as a flower vase or smaller pumpkin candle holders in your home.

4. Design a fun kid’s table
Photo credit: Frog Prince Paperie

Photo credit: Frog Prince Paperie

 

Leave the fancy, elegant decor for the big table on Thanksgiving day and try using kid-friendly decor for the children to enjoy. If you have kids of your own, this can be a great opportunity for them to get crafty and create fun table decor.

5. Display your food as decor

Thanksgiving day is all about the delicious food you’ll be serving, so it makes sense to arrange your food in a visually appealing way. Details matter, from the serving platters and bowls you choose to which foods you place next to each other.

6. Save elaborate centerpieces for the buffet table
Photo credit: Centsational Girl

Photo credit: Centsational Girl

 

Decorating the dining table is great, but you don’t want large decor getting in the way of conversation and eating. Instead, move your elaborate centerpieces and table decor to the buffet table, so guests can still admire your style.

 

By Wendy Weinert

Perk up your home’s style with these 10 easy pick-me-up ideas

We all need a pick-me-up now and then to feel energized, refreshed or to put us in a better mood. Some people turn to coffee, while others might prefer a sugary treat (I personally love both). You might not know it, but your home could probably use a pick-me-up, too. When your space is lacking in energy or just needs a small change to feel different, consider these 10 simple solutions.

1. Use a rug to add color or warmth. A rug is a simple way to prevent a room from feeling bare.ban3326-roomscene_001

2. If you already have a rug, try layering the look. Layered rugs can give your home a designer look, and it’s a great way to show off your unique style.

3. Hang up a large piece of art. This simple trick can do wonders for a room that could use more color or visual appeal.

4. Install a chandelier or eye-catching pendant. Statement fixtures can’t be ignored and work well in rooms lacking in excitement.

5. Design an accent wall. You can use a bold color paint or a funky wallpaper pattern to create an accent wall, and it’s easy to change up when you’re tired of the look.

Photo credit: Estilo Home

6. Replace a piece of furniture. It could be something as large as a new sofa or something as small as an end table. Either way, a new piece of furniture can freshen up your room’s overall appearance.

7. Cover your sofa with a throw or add some accent pillows. This is a great idea if you’re tired of your sofas or chairs and want to try something new. throw pillows from surya

8. Decorate with a plant. Plants will bring energy into your room and can enhance your interior design.

9. Update your photo frames. You can either add more photo frames or replace old pictures with more recent ones to give your room an instant pick-me-up.

Photo credit: Domestically Speaking

Photo credit: Domestically Speaking

10. Rearrange what you already have. If buying something new is out of the picture, work with what you have. Rearranging furniture and decor is a simple way to enjoy a fresh interior!

By Wendy Weinert

Fall DIY projects: Winterizing your home

As they say on the popular TV show Game of Thrones, winter is coming. Before the snow falls and the freezing temperatures begin, tackle these seven DIY projects to winterize your home and prepare for the colder season.

1. Clean the gutters
clean gutter

Photo credit: HGTV

In the fall, leaves and other debris often fill up gutters, causing them to become clogged. Prevent your home from becoming damaged by regularly inspecting and cleaning your gutters this season.

2. Put away your outdoor furniture

You can still enjoy your outdoor patio in the fall, but pay attention to the changes in temperature and the weather forecast. Storing your furniture and outdoor decor before winter will keep them protected from the elements.

3. Replace your linens

Rather than turning up the heat, use thicker blankets to keep you warm. You can also replace thin curtains with insulated options to keep the warm air in and the cold air out of your home.

4. Install storm doors and windows

Storm doors and windows are another way to cut down on utility costs, as they are designed to seal drafts and keep your home warm.

5. Set up a fireplace

If you love the idea of snuggling up next to a fireplace in the winter, create a cozy home now with an electric fireplace in the living room or bedroom.

6. Update insulation

Some insulation projects like weather stripping and covering windows with plastic are very simple. Determine areas in your home where insulation can be improved (such as windows, floors, attics, etc.) and start this project earlier to reduce utility costs in the winter.

7. Run your ceiling fan in reverse Akira_RoomShot

This isn’t exactly a project, but I think it’s a good tip to keep in mind during colder seasons. Running your ceiling fan in reverse helps to create a warm breeze, allowing you to turn down the heat and save money.

Is your home ready for winter? Start preparing your home for the upcoming season now by tackling these DIY projects.

By Wendy Weinert

5 easy and budget-friendly halloween DIY craft ideas

Halloween is just around the corner. If you haven’t started decorating, now is the perfect time! These five DIY ideas are budget-friendly, easy to do (even if you’re not very crafty) and a great way to bring the fun spirit of Halloween into your home.

1. Tin can luminaries tin can trick or treat

Put your tin cans to good use by turning them into luminaries! Simply use a hammer and nail to poke holes into the can, paint it and place a candle inside. You can choose to create any Halloween design or phrase you wish. (via jollymom)

2. Web-covered wreath

You don’t have to spend hours crafting to have cool Halloween decor. Give your fall wreath a spookier look by covering it with fake cobwebs and spiders. Then, hang it up on your front door or in your entryway to greet trick-or-treaters on the big night!

3. Glow-in-the-dark eyes glow eyes

Don’t throw away your paper towel and toilet paper rolls. Use them to create Halloween decor! Cut out different creepy eyes into your rolls, put glow sticks inside and then cover the ends with duct tape or something similar. These spooky glow-in-the-dark eyes go great in outdoor bushes, where the cardboard roll will stay hidden. (via rustandsunshine)

4. Halloween lamp shade bat lamp

Transform your everyday decor for Halloween. Using black paper, cut out shapes of bats, spiders, black cats or other Halloween images. Then place them inside your lamp shades for a cool effect. Just be careful not to place any paper too close to your bulbs for safety purposes.

5. Pumpkin flower vase pumpkin flower vase

If scary Halloween decor isn’t your style, decorate for the holiday and for fall by turning a pumpkin into a flower vase. All you have to do is cut a hole in the pumpkin (as big or small as you would like) and use it as a vase for your faux flowers. If you want, you can paint the pumpkin white first so that colors don’t clash.

With these simple DIY decorating ideas, you can celebrate Halloween in style. Let the crafting begin!

(Not a crafter? Make it easy on yourself and check out our favorite Halloween trinkets: Happy Halloween wall decals, Spider Web Carpet Runner, Spooky Welcome Mat, Witch Hat, and the too-cute-to-resist Pumpkin Salt and Pepper Shakers.)

By Wendy Weinert

6 essentials for craft room creativity

Craft room

Having an entire room or area dedicated to crafts might seem unnecessary to some, but those people probably aren’t spending their afternoons or evenings working on Pinterest DIY projects. Crafting can get messy and often requires using many supplies that, when put away, occupy a lot of space. Consider setting up a craft space in your home and keep these essentials in mind when putting it together.

Surface space
Large crafting table

Photo credit: Everything Etsy

Almost every project you take on will require a table for surface space. Make sure the table you choose is large enough to accommodate you and your project – a small side table isn’t going to cut it.

Storage space
Craft room storage

Photo credit: 44th Street Fabric

Like I said before, crafting can get messy. You can make the process a little more organized, however, by keeping the supplies you don’t need for a certain project stored away. Storage space will also ensure that your craft room will be tidy when it’s not in use. Shelves, drawers and boxes can all come in handy.

Inspiration
Wall art as craft room inspiration

Photo credit: Blog de decoração Perfeita Ordem

A creative environment is important. After all, this is a craft room! Hang up artwork that inspires you and will help you get in touch with your inner artist. A little creative touch can be just what you need to produce your best work.

Music

Music can also help boost your creative mood. Create a playlist with music that helps you feel most inspired, whether it’s jazz, pop, rock or classical music. Not only will you feel more creative, but music also makes crafting more fun!

Great lighting

Any work space, whether it’s a craft room or a home office, requires excellent lighting. Along with general overhead lighting, try wall sconces, a pendant or a lamp next to your table for task lighting.

A comfortable chair
Comfortable craft chair

Photo credit: Pinterest

You might not be sitting down for eight hours like you do at work, but it’s still important that your craft chair is comfortable. Look for chairs with padded seats and a supportive frame so you can craft without feeling sore.

There are many ways to create a craft room. As long as you have a table surface, storage space, a comfy seat and some inspiration, you can easily get in touch with your creative side and get to work!

By Wendy Weinert

 

10 ways to hide the eyesores in your home

No matter how hard we try to make our homes stylish and beautiful, there are many little details, like cords or scratched wood, that diminish its visual appeal. Try hiding those eyesores in the home with these 10 creative strategies and it’ll make your interior design shine.

1. Seek out stylish storage solutions, like a decorative box or vintage suitcases that can also be used as decor. After all, who says you have to use ugly plastic tubs to keep your home organized?

Photo credit: 17 Apart

Photo credit: 17 Apart

 

2. Cover up clutter or lackluster space with a beautiful screen. It will instantly lend your room a more elegant look.

screen

3. Cut holes in a decorative box to hide your cords and outlet strip. Or, place your furniture strategically so that cords fall behind it.

Photo credit: Sweet Sanity

Photo credit: Sweet Sanity

 

4. Freshen up your weathered wooden furniture with a fresh coat of paint in a bold color. Paint can also be used to cover up unattractive flooring and walls.

Photo Credit: My Cotton Creations

Photo Credit: My Cotton Creations

 

5. Install a pull-out trash and recycling bin in your kitchen. This will also help to reduce bad odors!

Photo credit: DO or DIY

Photo credit: DO or DIY

 

6. Use a stylish bed skirt to hide your box spring, as well as storage underneath the bed.bed skirt

 

7. Build pull-out drawers for your pet’s food and water dishes. When guests come over, you can simply close the drawer.

Photo credit: The San Francisco Glose

Photo credit: The San Francisco Globe

 

8. Cover up an unattractive view with beautiful curtains. If you still want to let in natural light, opt for a more sheer fabric.

curtains

9. Design an attractive bathroom by filling stylish, reusable bottles with your soaps and lotions.

Soap Dispenser

10. Hide a dirty spot on the carpet by placing a colorful rug on top. Rugs aren’t just for covering hardwood floors, after all!

colorful rug
By Wendy Weinert

The Best Home Improvement Projects to Tackle This Summer

The Best Home Improvement Projects to Tackle This Summer

Every year you add another home improvement project to your list. Pretty soon the list will feel almost impossible to complete! Start tackling some of those projects this summer with these five home improvement ideas. With warmer weather and longer days, summer is the perfect season for making your home a more enjoyable place to live.

1. Replace light bulbs and fixtures

Are you still using old-style incandescent light bulbs? Replace them with newer versions that are more energy-efficient.You’ll save money on bills and won’t have to replace them as often in the future. While replacing your bulbs, see if you have any outdated fixtures that don’t really fit in with your home’s style anymore. Now is the time to update those, too.

The Best Home Improvement Projects to Tackle This Summer

2. Repair or replace window screens

In the summer, you’re going to want to enjoy fresh air by opening your windows. But, if you’re missing a screen or it is torn, bugs could get into your home. You certainly don’t want to spend your time swatting at flies, so replace or repair your window screens right away and start enjoying the outdoor breeze inside your house.

The Best Home Improvement Projects to Tackle This Summer

Photo credit: Designsponge

3. Remove old wallpaper

Does your home still have that old 70s wallpaper in the living room? Open the windows, turn on some tunes and update that ugly print with contemporary wallpaper or a fresh coat of paint. This simple change will refresh your room and bring it to the present.

The Best Home Improvement Projects to Tackle This Summer

4. Set up your patio with outdoor furniture

Outdoor entertaining is the perfect way to enjoy summer, but you can’t host guests without furniture. Determine how you want to use your patio – whether for dinner or drinks and conversation – and choose furniture to match.

The Best Home Improvement Projects to Tackle This Summer

5. Add a raised garden bed

Start growing all those plants and herbs you’ve been meaning to plant by installing a raised garden bed in your yard. The sooner you tackle this project, the sooner you can start enjoying fresh produce!

If the idea of tackling projects this summer sounds far from appealing, make each task more fun by enlisting help and working to your favorite songs. All of your hard work will pay off in the end!

By Wendy Weinert

How to Revamp Your Kitchen For Under 100 bucks

Photo by Sitka Projects (Flickr)

I love remodeling from the ground up, and kitchens make the biggest impact on a home when done right. With new cabinets, granite counters, updated appliances, heated floors, and a tile backsplash, your kitchen will be what all the neighbors are jealously talking about. The only problem is the price tag. Ugh! I don’t know about you, but I certainly can’t afford to do all of that! But don’t start sweating or crying angry tears — you can still update your kitchen with a little elbow grease and love. For only $100, you can revamp your kitchen in these ten ways.

Cover the Old With Freshly Painted Cabinets

Paint can do remarkable things, and with a gallon of primer and a gallon of paint, you can hide the old look to create new cabinets. It takes a lot of time, but when the project is complete, you will have yourself a brand-new kitchen.

Stain Cabinets a Darker, Richer Color

Stain is relatively inexpensive and goes a long way; you can buy it for as little as $10 a can. With one or two cans, you can stain lighter, out-of-date wood to create a striking, dark look.

Spice it Up With New Knobs

Many cabinets don’t come with knobs at all, and adding new knobs to a door can suddenly make your cabinets look brand new. It also makes them easier to open and keeps dirty hands directly off the cupboard doors.

Make a Bead Board Backsplash

If you love the cottage charm of the warm farmhouse look, you will adore a bead board backsplash. You can buy an entire sheet for $25 and easily cover 32 feet of backsplash area. Trim the edges with a small piece of molding.

Remove Cabinets and Add Shelves

Opening up a kitchen can be as easy as removing the cabinets from the wall. Add some simple shelves and your kitchen will not only look completely different, but it will feel new, too.

Add Glass to Cabinet Doors

I have seen it done before, and I am obsessed with it. With the right tools, you can cut out the fronts of the doors and have custom glass added inside. It not only brightens up a kitchen, but it adds dimension to a boring arrangement.

Splash Some Color on the Walls

If you are low on money and desperate for something new, grab your favorite paint color and add it to your wall. Whether it is blue, yellow, or mint green, paint is an easy and affordable way to freshen up a room with a new look.

Recycle an Old Door into Wooden Countertops

If your countertops are ugly, gross, and falling apart and your wallet is filled with single dollar bills, it is time to reach for an old wooden door. This project can give your kitchen a warm look that only wooden counters can provide. Take a solid, flat wood door and cut it, tracing the pattern of your old counters.

Sprinkle With Bright Décor

Sometimes remodeling is exhausting to even think about, let alone do. Take $100 and buy some new décor, plants, curtains, and rugs to add color and texture to your kitchen.

Hang a New Light Fixture

Light fixtures make a huge statement in a room, and adding a new one above the dining table can bring a touch of your personal style into the kitchen without making any drastic changes. Check out local donation centers to find old light fixtures that need nothing but a good spray-paint job. While you are there, look for other items to clean up and add to your kitchen. It can be fun and amazing to see what you can do with a few old but affordable things. In no time, your kitchen can have that new look you have been dying for.

 

By Wendy Weinert

How To Paint Old Chandeliers for a Modern Look

Light fixtures are that extra element in a room that pulls the entire theme together. When you are creating a modern look, it is important to have the lighting coordinate with the rest of the modern pieces in a space. This can quickly become frustrating, especially if you are looking for a specific color. Sometimes it seems like the lights I love the most are the ones with the highest price tag. It doesn’t have to be like that. By taking an old chandelier, you can create a new modern look in the colors you want with a few cans of spray paint. The steps in getting your desired look are incredibly easy, and if followed correctly you can have yourself a new modern light fixture in less than a couple of hours.

Photo courtesy of Mufti Hakiki (Flickr)

Photo courtesy of Mufti Hakiki (Flickr)

Step 1: Gather Painting Materials

Before starting any project, gather all the materials needed. I can’t tell you how many projects I started where I got half-way through before realizing I was missing an essential material. It is a pain to stop in the middle of a project, so come prepared. Start by finding an old chandelier at a donation center, local garage sale, or even on Craigslist. The more details, the prettier it will be when it is refinished.

You will need the following materials:

  • Old chandelier
  • Painters’ tape
  • 2-3 cans of spray paint
  • 1 can of spray primer
  • Large piece of plastic or cardboard
  • New bulbs

Step 2: Prepare the area

Chandeliers have areas where the bulbs screw in; these areas should never be painted. Grab your painters’ tape and protect any area that you don’t want painted. After the chandelier is prepared, start prepping your painting area. Working outside in the yard will prevent the air in your home from being filled with the chemicals in the spray paint; garages and sheds work just as well. Lay down sheets of plastic or cardboard beneath the chandelier.

Step 3: Spray Primer

Now comes the fun part. Primer will help the paint latch on and prevent it from pealing. A couple of years ago, I tried painting three glass jars and the paint kept running off because I failed to use primer first. I ended up throwing them all in the garbage. You don’t want that to happen. To get started, shake the can of primer for a minute before spraying. Hold it 6-12 inches away from the chandelier to keep it misting evenly. Moving in a forward and backward motion, slowly cover all the area of the chandelier. Keep it thin to prevent runs.

Step 4: Let it Dry

Spray paint dries incredibly fast, but it is better to allow it to dry an extra couple of minutes. When it is no longer sticky, and your finger slides easily across the surface, it is dry enough to paint.

Step 5: Spray Paint

If this is your first time spray painting, don’t stress out. It is easier than you think, but if you are worried about keeping an even pattern, practice spraying a piece of cardboard. Before spraying, shake the can for about a minute. Hold the bottle 6-12 inches away from the chandelier. Slowly go up and down to completely cover it. If there are still spots showing, let it dry and give it one light spray across the entire thing again.

Step 6: Twist in the Bulbs

My favorite bulbs for chandeliers are the globe bulbs. These give a modern look and add to the overall style of the chandelier. Twist them in, and get ready to show off your new light. Updating and refinishing a light is not only a great way to save money, but it is incredibly fulfilling when you create something new out of something old.

By Wendy Weinert

DIY projects: 3 creative uses for old household items

DIY projects: 4 creative uses for old household items

Photo credit: Design Sponge

When household items get old or are no longer needed, we have the habit of just throwing them out. But what if you could turn that old product into something better? Repurposing household items is a great way to save money and give your home some character. Get inspired with these four creative uses for old household items and let your crafty side take over!

DIY projects: 4 creative uses for old household items

Photo credit: Bob Vila

1. Turn a light bulb into a candle

Even a burned-out bulb can still be used as a light source. Simply upcycle the old bulb and make it into a unique-looking candle! All you have to do is fill the bulb with lamp oil, use hemp string as the wicker and glue a washer to the bottom to make the light bulb stand up straight.

DIY projects: 4 creative uses for old household items

Photo credit: Furnish Burnish

2. Hang up a small step ladder as a display shelf

Ladders can be used for more than just reaching that hard-to-reach shelf. If you have an old wooden ladder that you aren’t sure what to do with anymore, hang it on the wall and use the ladder to display decorative items like pictures. Depending on the style of your home, you can choose to paint the ladder or not.

DIY projects: 4 creative uses for old household items

Photo credit: Design Revolution

3. Create a medicine cabinet out of old luggage

Feeling really creative? Then make your own medicine cabinet out of old luggage. A vintage luggage medicine cabinet will give your bathroom space a unique look that will intrigue guests. All you have to do is add the mirror of your choice, insert a shelf, if necessary, and hang the suitcase above the sink.

Ready to get crafty? Start putting your old household items to better use with these easy-to-do projects.

By Wendy Weinert