|Holiday Organizing Tips|
After spending 20 minutes on Saturday night untangling our indoor and outdoor holiday lights, I promised myself I would figure out a way to ensure I don't find myself in the same position next year. Happily, I just stumbled on this idea from Martha Stewart:
What a simple, brilliant and affordable way to store holiday lights!
While this particular idea is going to keep me sane next year as we decorate the tree, her suggestion for displaying holiday cards is fantastic:
Yet another simple and affordable idea.
I'm going to sneak off for a few minutes this Saturday and search my dad's ranch for branches that I can use to make my own holiday card display. While I'm there, I'll grab a few handfuls of mistletoe as well. I love using elements of nature for seasonal decorating!
|Savvy and Stylish Home Décor|
By Pauline Wiles
Your first move should be to show your home some love by de-cluttering and cleaning it thoroughly. This goes a long way towards savvy style and will help you see where decorative improvements would have the most impact. Once you have a good blank canvas, try some or all of these low-cost options:
Paint Brush Magic
We've all heard before that paint is one of the cheapest ways to transform a room. And it is, but it's not a quick fix: you'll need time to clear the space, do preparation work, and apply a couple of careful coats. So that you don't waste both time and money, it's vital to test the color thoroughly at various times of day and on different walls. Since the cost of buying several tester pots of paint can really add up, try to borrow a few from friends to narrow down your initial choices.
Spray paint can be used on everything from light fixtures to furniture and often gives a faster, smoother finish than using a brush. Try a black or oil-rubbed bronze color on dated brass fixtures and you'll be thrilled with the results. Thrift stores are great places to look for items with beautiful shape but terrible color: these make ideal candidates for spray painting.
Hang It Up
Photo with permission
of Wit Behind the Ears (witbehind.com)
Once you put something in a frame it immediately gains style and significance, regardless of its original purpose. Greetings cards, calendar pages, old maps, gift wrap and scrapbook paper are all great candidates for framing and can be switched without guilt when you fancy a change. Buying a standard frame, but having a mat cut to size, will create a custom look very cheaply. These days the trend is to hang pictures fairly low, especially if they are directly over a sofa or console table. Experiment a little to find the height which relates best to the item beneath it: often, this will be lower than you expect and is a no-cost way of boosting the impact of your art.
Remember, three-dimensional items are art, too: almost anything can be hung on the wall as a statement piece. Old windows, gates, sports equipment and even garden tools look stunning when used as a large-scale focal point.
On the topic of larger items, the trend in recent years has been for accessories, lamps and rugs to grow in scale. You'll get a more impressive, designer look if you display fewer things, of bigger size. Next time you're considering the purchase of a small, low-cost accessory, try to resist. Save your money until you can afford one significant piece.
Gifts from Nature
Take a fresh look at your yard and see if you can bring any flowers or greenery inside. Most shrubs and trees benefit from a periodic haircut, and placing some of these branches in a tall vase is a beautiful choice for a free centerpiece. Keep your eyes open when you're further afield too: parks and beaches are great hunting grounds for pine cones, driftwood, interesting stones and more. Just be sure to check local regulations before you start filling your backpack!
With a borrowed sewing machine and a bit of practice, sewing projects are well within your grasp. I'm not suggesting you attempt to slipcover your sofa, but straight-line items like pillows and simple curtain panels can be made far more cheaply than you'd purchase them. Lower cost sources of fabric include using sheets, shower curtains and even vintage clothing from thrift stores. If you really hate to sew, fabric glue and curtain clips mean that no project is completely beyond you.
A wonderful benefit of savvy decorating is that your space will have an authenticity and personal feel that even the most highly paid designer would struggle to achieve. You'll also have the daily comfort of knowing that your home reflects your creativity and resourcefulness, without blowing the roof off your budget.
Pauline Wiles is a Professional Organizer and founder of The English Organizer, http://englishorganizer.com
Photo with permission of Wit Behind the Ears (witbehind.com)
|Grow Your Own Produce? How Not to Go Broke Saving Money|
I have to admit to a certain smugness, well no; it was an outright sense of superiority, as I savored the juice of that cherry as it went down. "You can't get produce like that at the grocery store!"