How to Throw an Amazing Party

You always host the best parties. What is your secret? Everyone is always captivated by your amazing grace and elegance while you never look stressed. The truth? You read this article and have no fears when it comes to hosting a celebration. The secret is out and you are ready to share it with all of your friends:

 

1. Have a plan. This seems obvious, but you know as well any host that the most important part is being prepared. 

a. Decide on a theme for the evening. Themes get your guests involved and even give them the opportunity to dress up. 

b. Make a list and check it twice:

    • Guest list. Who will you be inviting this year? 
    • Seating arrangement. Sometimes, a lot of thought needs to go into who will be sitting next to whom. Place an outgoing, talkative friend at each end of the table to keep your guests engaged. 
    • Decorations. Know what decorations you want to buy and keep to a reasonable budget.
    • Menu. Serve appetizers and finger food to keep conservation flowing.
    • Schedule. Make a plan of how you want the night to go, what time you want food to be brought out and what time you want things to begin wrapping up.

2. Clean the house. It is important to clean areas that guests will be and less important to focus on areas that they will not enter during the party. Decipher by making a list of areas you need to clean. For example, be sure to clean the bathrooms, living room, kitchen and dining room. Determine where you are putting guests’ belongings and make sure that room is tidy as well. 

3. Finalize food. Guests usually will have different food preferences from one another. Offering them a buffet of different types of food or appetizers allows them to choose for themselves. They will feel less obligated to take food they do not prefer and food will not go to waste on their plate. 

4. Be interactive. There may be a lull and things may get silent, but that is when you come in and interact. Make sure everyone is doing fine and that conversations are flowing. Introduce people who may have things in common with one another. 

 

Remember that you are the hostess! The party goes well if you feel relaxed and at ease. Do not sweat the small stuff, but be engaged.  


Posted in Entertaining | Comments closed

Give Our Virtual Room Designer a Try!

Are you still in the planning process for your home’s design? Maybe you’re wondering if there is something you’re missing or not visualizing. Let us help you fill in the empty spaces with our Virtual Room Designer. Sometimes when we are so closely invested with a project there may be special ideas and considerations which can be overlooked. Our room designer can help you take a step back and make sure that your are covering all the bases when creating the best possible layout for your home.

 

All you need is a photo of the room or rooms you are working with. Upload the necessary pictures into our software and in about three business days they will be available for use with this free service. We will notify you when they are ready through the email address you provide upon signing into the program. Once you receive our notification, get started on building your dream living space!

 

Since none of the changes are permanent and cost you nothing, play around with different colors and textures within the software. Try styles you would not normally gravitate towards since there is no risk to you. Then you will know for sure whether it is a good idea to move on to other choices. The room designer may go a long way in helping you realize that you like a certain style that would not have been on your radar previous to this process. Allow yourself to try as many new configurations as possible so you will be happy with your final choices.

 

It’s important to save your progress as you go along since this may not be a one day process. You want to be sure you are making the right decision and sleeping on it may help you come to the conclusion that you are doing the right thing for your space.  You want all your data to be there in the morning, so keep that in mind when you are done looking at it for the day.

 

When the process is finished and you have your final product, contact us to get started on your order. By taking this step before you start your project you can feel 100% confident in your choices and purchases. Try our Virtual Room Designer today!

Posted in Home Decor | Comments closed

Essential Elements to a Mudroom

The mudroom is your home’s first line of defense against the dirt and grime from the outdoors. This is a high traffic area that needs to withstand everyday wear and tear while still giving guests a good first impression upon entering your living space. Here are a few tips for keeping this essential area of your home clean and functional.

 

To be sure that you are creating a space that accommodates your needs, think about what happens when you enter the room. A mudroom must be able to handle dirt, moisture, salt, and even mud.  The best materials to handle this type of abuse are LVT, laminate, and tile.  Make sure to keep up with the required maintenance of these floor types!

The first piece that needs to be placed inside is an indoor/outdoor rug.  No matter what kind of footwear your floors encounter, you can protect them from the worst of it with the proper area rug.  Try one with a rubber backing that will prevent leaks onto the floor from melting snow, rain or dripping wet bathing suits.  It will also help absorb easily falling dirt and debris.

 

Be sure to place a shoe tray near the rug so anyone entering the mudroom can remove their footwear before they even step off the carpet.  A durable one made of tough plastic with a surrounding lip will keep messy shoes right where you want them. An umbrella stand nearby is also a good idea to prevent dangerous pools of water from developing in the middle of the floor. 

 

A place to hang up coats, towels and other outerwear is next on your list.  You may have an entryway closet which can immediately solve this issue, but if not, there are a few options for creating a hanging space.  You can install hooks at assorted heights on the wall, mount a tall shelf and attach hooks below it or you can install a coat rack/bench combination. This type of unit will allow you to hang things without damaging your walls and provide you with storage space below or beside the bench area. No matter which method you choose, it will keep everything organized where you and your guests can see it.

 

Finally, be sure you have proper lighting in the room. You and your guests may be coming in from a sunny day or in the dark of night. Be sure you can see what you’re doing to prevent falls from happening.

 

By implementing these tips, you will have the best chance at keeping a clean and functional mudroom. Now come inside and relax!

 

Posted in Flooring | Comments closed

Designing a Small Bedroom

When selecting the furnishings in a small bedroom, less is definitely more. However, when choosing a bed, compromising on your mattress size is not always an option. When you leave as much floor space available as possible, you can choose to utilize a headboard and leave out the footboard. Both a headboard and footboard can take up a large portion of your floor space. Consider setting your bed up on bed blocks that allow you to store large items under your bed. 

 

Do not quickly assume that a room is too small for two beds. Yes, even a small guest bedroom or the kid’s room can accommodate two beds. In this scenario, you may choose to opt out of the traditional bedside tables. Also, adding wall or ceiling lights can help save you space and are extremely functional for all rooms. 

 

Multifunctional furniture will be your best friend when decorating a small bedroom.  A bookcase can function as a headboard while providing more space to store some of your items. A storage ottoman or bench is a practical option when you are short on space. It can provide stylish seating and concealed storage that creates a neat look. 

 

The colors you choose for your small room can help open up your space. We recommend that you embrace a soft color palette. This will help your space look bigger and helps draw attention to your furniture and decor. If you are looking to add more color, think about incorporating an accent wall in a dark or bold color. 

 

Now that you have plenty of floor space available, you can upgrade your current flooring. If you are looking for coziness, consider looking into plush carpet. This carpet is perfect for sinking your toes into and add an essence of warmth to your space. If you are looking for a clean look, hardwood flooring or luxury vinyl planking provide a classic, stylish option for homeowners. The best part about these flooring options is that they are easy to clean and are available in a variety of colors and textures. 

 

Need help deciding on flooring for your home? Visit our site for more information and guidance in choosing the perfect flooring for your home. We are more than happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have. 


Posted in Bedroom Decor | Comments closed

BBQ Tips and Tricks

Spring has sprung and barbecue season is in full force. Barbecues are perfect for get-togethers and family dinner nights. Compliment your next barbecue this season with our delicious tips and tricks. 

 

Barbecue Tips & Tricks:

  • Spice it up. Literally, we mean add spices and herbs to your barbecued meals. This is a delicious take on any traditional barbecue meal from vegetable kebabs to grilled chicken. 
    • Pro-tip: Create your own herb brush to delicately marinate your meat and vegetables. The idea of a herb brush is that you are taking your herbs and tying the together to form a brush-like shape. In order to create an herb brush, you will need to take the stems (make sure that they have grown to at least six inches) and tie them together with a twine. The base of your herb brush can be a plant like rosemary, sage, oregano or bay. After you have created your base, you can add in other herbs that are more fragile like mint or cilantro. You will just take your herb brush and dip into your marinade to apply the sauce to your food. 
  • Think of all the possibilities. When you think of barbecues, your mind probably goes straight to the classics like steak, chicken, hot dogs or burgers, but barbecuing does not stop there! Try slicing up some sweet potatoes in a french fry shape and grilling them up or making your own cilantro fajita tacos on the grill. 
  • Go additive-free. If you use charcoal, it is important to buy additive-free lump charcoal rather than regular charcoal. Staying healthy is always important to us and choosing additive-free charcoal can any eliminate potential dangers posed by regular charcoal. 
  • Get saucy. Pairing your barbecued food with a delicious dipping sauce can really set the tone for your meal. Try making a zesty lemon or spicy mango sauce to add a flavorful kick to your next meal. We promise that the sauces you make can really complete your meal with the perfect finishing flavor. 
  • Get jamming. Throw on your favorite music while grilling to amplify your barbecue mood and set the tone for the evening. There is nothing like barbecuing on a warm night while listening to your favorite song, go ahead, just imagine it.

 

When in doubt, cook it out. Barbecuing can be a great stress reliever and guarantees a well-deserved treat at the end. 


Posted in Entertaining | Comments closed

Easy Kitchen Updates

The kitchen: the place where you eat, cook, entertain, laugh, and create. Kitchens are significant rooms in our households because so many things take place there. Updating your kitchen does not need to be an intimidating task. You can update your kitchen with less stress than you might imagine. 

 

What to update:

  1. Paint your cabinets.

Painting your cabinets will change the entire look of your kitchen and it can be inexpensive. 

    • Want to try something different? Paint the cabinet doors one color and the inside of the cabinet another. 
    • After you paint your cabinets, replace its handles/knobs. This will help complete the overall look.
    • If you have ever seen Monica and Rachel’s apartment on “Friends,” you have seen the popular look of removing cabinet doors. This trend has come back full-force. You can easily remove your cabinet doors and create an open feel in your kitchen. 

 

2.    Switch up your lighting. 

There are several energy efficient lights on the market and they tend to be very stylish. Consider changing your room’s lighting and electric bill with this simple update. 

 

3.    Incorporate extra counter space.

If your room allows, think about adding extra counter space. Take a look at your floor plan and determine what would be appropriate for your kitchen.

    • Islands are always a nice feature. You can buy yourself a tall table-like island from the store to keep the costs down.

 

4.     Invest in new flooring.

Bad flooring can be a bit of an eyesore. Updating your flooring will make a world of differences. The best part is that there is a variety of different flooring to choose from. You will never be left unimpressed. 

 

5.    Switch out your sink faucet. 

 

6.    Update your appliances. 

Take time to save your money and eventually update your kitchen’s appliances. Updating your appliances will add the finishing touch to your kitchen. 

 

7.    Change up the decor. 

Now is a great time to buy new decorations for your kitchen. For your decor, you can pull colors used in your cabinets, appliances, etc.  Decorating will be the final and most fun step. 

 

A kitchen can be one of the greatest investments you can make for your home. A kitchen will add value to your house which can be important if you are ever looking to resell. After this, your kitchen will be the talk around town just from these simple updates. Enjoy the updating process and make it your own. 


Posted in Kitchen | Comments closed

Bathroom Finishing Touches

After renovating a bathroom there are some finishing touches you should add. These finishing’s make your space feel lived in and welcoming. Find out what to add to your newly renovated space, to make it comfortable for guest use.

Purchase a thick pile bath mat. This way guest will feel comfortable when stepping out of the shower. Use all white for your mat and towels.

Good quality hand towels are a must! If the bathroom has a shower or a tub, buy extra-large towels, so that guests can completely wrap up after bathing. Egyptian cotton towels are the most luxurious kind. Guest will love the spa like feel.

It is a nice touch to add luxury hand soap. Spring for the liquid soap and avoid the bar. Soap bars show their age. A liquid pump looks nicer and is easy to use. Place mouthwash in a crystal decanter on the counter. Guest can easily freshen up and it looks fabulous!

Shower curtains look best when they have a liner. It gives it a fuller look and it is not as transparent. Always use a liner behind a shower curtain. If there are high ceilings, consider hanging drapery panels high to act as the shower curtain. Make sure to use a liner on the back of the curtains as well. If you decide to use drapery panels, it looks best to have them split down the middle. This will transform the bathroom. It will look like a dressing space, and not like a typical bathroom.

Make sure all toiletries are hidden from eyesight. They can be placed in a medicine cabinet or inside of decorative boxes. Keep them accessible, but find a way to keep them organized and hidden away. The only toiletries that should be visible are the luxurious hand soap and lotion.

Pleasant scents are important. Keep the pleasing smell constant by using a scented oil diffuser.

Finishing touches will make your space an enjoyable place to wash up. 

Posted in Home Decor | Comments closed

Cinco de Mayo Piñata

Cinco de Mayo is a holiday filled with heritage, bright colors, parades, and excitement. The fifth brings various festivities and traditions along with it. A common tradition is creating a piñata for the festivities and we have an easy DIY piñata for you to make this year. 

 

Supplies:

  • Cardboard Box
  • Piece of Chalk
  • Box cutter 
  • Toilet Paper Roll’s Tube
  • Glue 
  • Rope
  • Candy
  • Tape
  • Wrapping Paper
  • Scissors 

 

How to create a piñata

Preparation: Choose a character to make in piñata form. You can create a donkey piñata or one of your favorite animals.

Step One. Take a cardboard box and cut off the four folding flaps (set aside for later). Cut two identical sized rectangular pieces out of the cardboard box. 

Step Two. Cut out the character you just sketched with a box cutter. Attach with masking tape onto the second piece of cardboard and cut around the character’s shape. In doing so, you will have two identical cut-outs of the character. Gently pull the two pieces apart and remove the masking tape that you just used.

Step Three. To connect the two cardboard pieces you will use a toilet paper tube. Lie down your first character cutout and place a toilet paper tube standing upright in the center of the character and adhere with glue. Pick up the other side of the cut-out and line it up directly with the other shape and adhere it to the toilet paper tube with glue. Ideally, the tubes will be holding together the two sides of cardboard that form your character. Wait approximately fifteen to twenty minutes for the glue to dry. 

Step Four. Pick up the four folding flaps that we previously removed from the cardboard box. We are going to use these for the space left between piñata character. Measure how much space is between the two sides (approximately 5 – 6 inches) and cut the flaps accordingly. After you have cut and measured the folding flaps, you will place them between the sides of the piñata and lock it down with masking tape. 

Step Five. Leave a small section open at the top of the piñata to attach the rope and fill with your items. Loop your rope underneath the flap of the section left open and you will have two ends of the rope sticking out. Tie the two ends together. 

Step Six. Fill your piñata and tape the opening closed.

Step Seven. Cover your piñata with wrapping paper. Start from the bottom and work your way to the top of your piñata. Trim any straggling pieces with scissors. 

 

Now that your piñata is complete, you can fill it with whatever you desire. Some people fill it with candy and others fill it fun items like toys or plastic jewelry. Grab a bat and get swinging! This is an activity for all ages. 

 

 

 

Posted in Entertaining | Comments closed

Ocean Inspired Interiors

Most people love the being near the water simply for the calming effect it creates. The stress of the day can melt away when you let go and allow yourself to listen to the natural water sounds around you. While some people are lucky enough to live near a body of water, others need to create a little ambiance to achieve the same effect.

 

When envisioning coastal living, think about what you would enjoy the most about it. This is how you get started on creating your dream living space. Life can feel cluttered and heavy from the weight of daily responsibilities. Coastal locations inspire thoughts of a relaxing getaway and a vacation. So use that for your inspiration when decorating.

 

Keep colors neutral and relaxing. Soft blues and khakis, clean whites and natural woods. Textures should be kept light and airy. A little thickness provides warmth without becoming too heavy. Natural light will also be a huge factor as you recreate a coastal look. Allowing light to reflect on your interior will give it a refreshing feeling but keep window treatments light and easy to keep open with tie-backs during the day.

 

Keep furniture style simple to maintain the theme of removing the weight of your day when you arrive home. Let the lake, sea or ocean provide you with inspiration in your decor. Touches of nautical theme or artwork depicting a beautiful pier or traveling sailboat can carry you away. Wicker pieces can give any space that quaint cottage look you may enjoy. If you have souvenirs from a vacation you enjoyed on the water, feel free to sprinkle them in where appropriate.

 

No matter where you reside, creating a coastal paradise in your home is possible. Take your time and choose pieces thoughtfully. This process is meant to create a relaxing environment, not more stress. In no time, it will all come together and you will be able to relax and turn on an ocean sounds soundtrack to set the mood. Now close your eyes, and it’s like you’re right there on the shore!

Posted in Home Decor | Comments closed

Eggs for Easter

Decorating Easter eggs has become a long lasting family tradition for many households across America. Traditions can become the essence of your family and maybe you would like to begin a new tradition of decorating Easter eggs. If you have never decorated any eggs before, you may need to know how to hard boil the eggs. The best part about decorating hard boil eggs is that they do not need to go to waste! You can include your hard boiled eggs into your favorite recipe. 

 

How to hard boil eggs:

  1. Place the eggs inside a kitchen pot on your stovetop. Let the eggs lay flat on the bottom of the pot. 
  2. Next, completely cover the eggs with cold water. 
  3. Turn your stovetop on high and bring the water to a boil. As soon as the water begins to boil, remove the pot from the heat. 
  4. You will need to cover the kitchen pot with a lid and set your timer for approximately fifteen minutes.
  5. After the fifteen minutes, drain the water from the pot using a strainer and rinse the eggs in cold water.
  6. By now, your eggs should be cool enough for you to touch. 
  7. Dry them off and begin decorating or place them in the fridge until you can decorate them. 
    • Keep in mind that hard boiled are only safe at room temperature for less than two hours and you will have one week to eat them safely as recommended by The United States Department of Agriculture. 

 

Here is a delicious recipe to make with your hard boiled eggs: 

 

Egg Salad Sandwich Recipe:

Ingredients: 

  • Eight Hard Boiled Eggs
  • Mayonnaise
  • Mustard
  • Garlic Powder
  • Salt
  • Hot Sauce
  • Pepper
  • Croissant

 

Peel the shell off your hard boiled eggs and chop up the egg. Place the eggs into a large mixing bowl and add in 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise and 2 tablespoons of dijon mustard. While stirring, add a dash of garlic powder, hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Place your mixture on a warmed croissant and top it off with chopped chives. Enjoy!

 

Do you have any recipes your family loves to make with hard boiled eggs? We would love to hear in the comment section below!

Posted in Holidays | Comments closed