Are you using these 15 tips to bring the Christmas spirit into your home?
1. Tie your throw pillows with holiday ribbon to resemble a gift for Christmas decor.
2. Hang up a string and clothespin your greeting cards along the line all month long.
3. Pile artificial snow on a silver platter, or mirrored tray with vintage glass ornaments and votives in to create a dramatic effect.
4. Place a bunch of candy canes in a clear vase for a cute and easy decoration.
5. Have any neat branches outside? Pick them and spray paint them silver and gold for elegant and vintage reminiscent decor.
6. Don’t have Christmas stockings? Buy some large sized holiday socks to hang from the mantel!
7. Fill a vase with cranberries and water for an elegant centerpiece.
8. Use wrapping paper as holiday art in simple frames.
9. Take a bunch of old wine bottle and spray paint them in holiday colors and fill them with twigs for a stunning mantel display.
10. Fill clear vases with water you tint with food coloring in holiday colors and float a votive! Great centerpiece!
11. Wrap your front door to look like a Christmas present!
12. For your dining table centerpiece, try a runner with round glass ornaments spread down the length. Quick & Easy!
13. Instead of name tags for guests at the table, create cookies and write their names in icing to place at their setting!
14. Add garland to your staircase with lights and ornaments!
15. Use candelabras and place decorative round ball ornaments on top in a cluster for a great centerpiece
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!!
The Toscano Family
It's November, and how fitting this next blog post is, which just so happens to be a guest article, from Jim Williams, with On-Site Property Management. For the month of October, my design topic was 'Planning For The Holidays'. Keeping along that theme, but incorporating November's topic, 'Christmas', Jim shares with all of you some great holiday decorating ideas...for renter's.
The holiday season is the time of the year when people are able to spend the most time with their family and friends. That’s when neighbors are friendliest, there are lots of gifts, plenty of food to share, and time away from the daily stress of life. And the buildup to the season is just as enjoyable as the holidays themselves; half the fun is the excitement of decorating your home. Many people relish the chance to go back to being children for just a few days of the year.
But when you live in a rented home, your experience may be a little different from the experience of someone living in their property. You are somewhat limited in the options you have for decorating the house, condo, or apartment.
You have to think about how your decorations could damage the landlord's property or affect other people in the building. Landlords are usually wary of tenants hanging ornaments on their property and often include this in the lease agreement.
From the point of view of a tenant, this clause could put a damper on your decorating ideas and make the holiday season a little less enjoyable. But from an owner's perspective, there are good reasons to do this.
Allowing tenants to put nails in the walls of a rental will damage and devalue their property. But just because your landlord has placed limitations on what you can do when decorating the home, he or she has not barred you from decorating altogether.
There are things you can do to get your home into the holiday season without violating the property owner's restrictions. Here are some important considerations and tips for when you are putting up holiday decorations in a rented apartment.
Keep your neighbors in mind
This is particularly important when you live in a multi-family rental or a condo. You have to think about how your decorations will affect other people in the building. But even if the rental is a single-family dwelling, considering neighbors' well-being is still important.
As a general rule, it is best to avoid decorations that obstruct pathways, disturb the peace, or anything that could fall on people. Be careful of motion-detecting ornaments that play music when someone passes, putting decorations on your balcony railing (they could fall and hurt someone), as well as low-hanging decorations that block the way.
Avoid fire and injury hazards
Decorative lights use electricity and that makes them a risk. There is a huge chance that your lights could start a fire or shock somebody. There is also a possibility that lights that are not firmly secured can get dislodged and become a tripping hazard.
The first step to ensuring that your holiday lights are safe is to buy quality lights; the cheap stuff may not have passed quality control. If the lights are going to be hung outside, make sure they are rated for outdoor use. Before you hang the lights and switch them on, make sure to test them first.
Do not damage the walls and doors
Many tenants take issue with their landlord's refusal to let them hang things on the walls using nails. They feel they are left with no way of placing their pictures, ornaments, or decals on the walls of the rental. But this is only because people assume that the only way to hang stuff on walls is by using nails. There are lots of options for placing decorations on the walls, doors, and, windows which do not involve making holes in the property. Here are a few of them.
We hope these tips will give you some holiday decorating ideas to enjoy your holidays in your rental. Have fun!
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Holy shit! I can’t believe it's only a month before Thanksgiving! Time is flying! Then Christmas will be here before we know it. However, I think it is safe to say we are all excited to get 2020 over and behind us.
For me personally, it has been a crazy couple weeks with design appointments, interviews for my new designer position, homeschooling 4 kids, and I still have several more weeks of design appointments before I can get excited about taking a few days to relax and spend time with family and close friends.
I'm thinking about hosting holidays at our home this year, so I wanted to spend my day today making my home cozy and beautiful. It's snowing today, so there's no reason for me to go outside, nor do I want to. You may be wondering why would I care about how my house looks and feels a month before the holiday season officially begins. If there is one thing I have learned from COVID, it is I DO have a little more time to plan things, where as before it would have been a very different scene….. most likely where I spend the whole day of, running around like a chicken with my head cut off, trying to find just the right napkins, plates, name tags, flowers, etc. for the perfect holiday dinner. The day would then conclude with me frantically screeching into the driveway, unloading bags of “stuff” I don’t need, feeling incredibly stressed and probably picking a fight with my husband because he is sitting on the couch with his feet up doing exactly what the holidays are all about… relaxing and enjoying himself!
Over the years I have had to learn about the “art” of being not only a happy host, but also a happy guest at my own party.
Something else I've learned from COVID is how quickly the things we once took for granted were taken away...quickly. No more birthday parties, weddings were cancelled, vacations (not us) cancelled, dinner parties and date nights forbidden, the list goes on and on. Once we were "allowed" to have those moments back (with limitations), I realized a great occasion is really about presence. Even if we’re surrounded by the very best and beautiful things, we can’t enjoy them if we don’t have the presence of mind to truly be in the moment.
Whether you are going to be the host or a guest the year (because WE WILL NOT LET THEM CANCEL OUR HOLIDAYS), the most important element for a Happy Holiday gathering is your presence, more so this year than any.
When we are present (instead of perfect), we have such a greater chance at enjoying everyone around us, dancing with unexpected twists ’n turns, and most importantly being grateful for what we have.
With all that being said though….
There are many tangible things we actually CAN do to help ourselves be more centered and grounded this holiday season.
Below are some of my favorite tips for being both a fabulous host and guest this holiday season! I hope you find these helpful and be sure to share any other tips and tricks you may have of your own in the comments below!
Wishing you a beautiful, peaceful and fun holiday season with your family and friends!
Holiday Planning Tips For Hosts
Look at lighting.
Beautiful lighting can create a sense of warmth, connectedness, and flow. Adorn your home with candles, soften those overhead lights, and make it cozy!
Think about who’s coming, and what would make them most comfortable.
Would your guests get squeamish if you asked them to take turns saying what they’re grateful for? Then don’t do it! Tailor your plans for your guests’ comfort: from the food to the activities to the seating arrangements.
Be a peaceful leader.
As the host, your presence truly ripples out to everyone there. If you’re stressed about the turkey or anxious about Uncle Jack, your guests will pick up on this, and be stressed, too. However, if you’re calm (and not just pretending to be calm!), everyone else will relax. Plan for everything to be ready and settled 20-30 minutes before your guests arrive, so you can put up your feet, read a magazine, and enjoy the calm.
Ask for and receive support.
(Disclosure- this is a struggle for me) Get creative with this! Can you have someone come clean your house the day before or after? Could you book a massage the day before? What about cooking the turkey in the morning, then watching a movie before everyone arrives? Accept support from others before, during, and after the event. (Often, tension as a host comes from a reluctance to receive support, believing we have to “do it all” ourselves. This is complete bullshit! When you ask for help (or receive it graciously when it’s offered), you’ll invite others to take care of themselves, too … which leads to more presence and peace … and that’s where the real magic of a gathering begins!
Shift your furniture to facilitate connection.
Create little areas for different-sized conversations. That lone chair you read in? Pull up a companion for it, so two people can have an intimate conversation. Create larger and smaller arrangements so different sized groupings of people can talk easily.
Adorn your home with intentions.
Every time I light a candle, I say a little intention (for joy, ease, love, etc). So when my guests arrive and there are lots of candles in my home, they’re actually walking into a meadow of meaning! This way, even if my guests aren’t the kind of people who’d love sharing appreciations or setting intentions out loud, I’ve already enjoyed this ritual, in my own way. I also suggest smudging your home beforehand too. Start at the front door of the home and light your smudge stick. Then, begin to move around the home. Move mindfully and with care, walking clockwise around the entire perimeter of the home. Be sure to allow the smoke to drift into even the hidden spaces, like inside closets, basements and dark corners. When you arrive back at the front door, chant your final mantra or prayer. Visualize the entire home is filled with bright white sunlight. Then speak your intention one last time to close the smudging ceremony.
Play soft music.
I think of music as the thread that weaves an event together. We want it to be soft enough so it doesn’t steal the show, but pleasant enough to set a beautiful mood.
Make time for your favorite parts.
For the reasons I mentioned above, you can imagine that Vince (my husband) used to hate it when I hostessed parties. I ran around like a crazy person, attending to all the details — and it wasn’t fun for anyone. When I finally realized that in order to create an enjoyable experience for my guests, I needed to enjoy myself too, everything changed! For me, this meant identifying my favorite parts of hostessing, and making time for them. Back then, I would spend so much time cooking (which I didn’t love), that I’d run out of time to do my favorite: make things beautiful! Now, I’ve learned to get support for the cooking, so I can spend more time doing what I do best and love: creating a beautiful environment for the gathering. Take a moment to identify what you love most about hosting, and find creative ways to make more time for it.
Holiday Planning Tips For Guests
Even if you aren’t the host, you can show up as a leader: model presence, love, and calm for everyone around you. You’ll have a better time — and so will they! Take a few minutes before you leave the house to breathe, relax, and set the intentions to have a wonderful time.
Calmly offer to help your host, in small, creative ways — like setting the table, pouring drinks, or cleaning up. Be sensitive to the fact that your host may not want to receive help, though; if taking care of everything is a source of pride for them, don’t deprive them of it.
Be responsible for your own comfort.
If you need a break, take one. If you get cold, put on a sweater. If you’re allergic to nuts, make sure you don’t eat any. If you feel more comfortable wearing a mask, wear it. If you feel more comfortable and free without a mask, then don't. It sounds simple, but taking responsibility for your own needs is actually one of the most helpful things you can do. Strive to care for yourself gracefully — and you just might inspire others to do the same. This will help everyone have a better time (including the host!).
Things probably won’t go exactly as you imagined. Go with the flow: embrace that new tradition, try that new recipe, have a talk with that new friend.
Hosting a big gathering takes a ton of work, so be sure to thank your host. Share specific things you enjoyed and appreciated. Let them know that you know how much work they put into things, and how grateful you are.
Whether you’re the host or the guest this holiday season (or staying solo!), take a few moments to set intentions for yourself, get grounded, and truly arrive.
Then let the magic and merriment begin!
#planningfortheholidays #octoberdesigntopic #interiorcoaching #lifecoaching #lifestylebydesign #interiorcoach #mindfullness #holisticdesign #holisticdesigner #coloradodesigner #livewithpurpose
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Yes, the holidays are drawing near which means casual gatherings and holiday dinners. Whether you entertain a lot or a little, having a well-stocked home can take a lot of the stress out of party planning. So I have done all the work for you. Being proactive rather than reactive (I say this to my kids a lot) is the key to making the most out of the upcoming Entertaining Season.
I also selected accessories that are versatile and can be used all year round. Tans, creams, and touches of metallics, making it easy to incorporate new themes throughout the year; whether adding touches of orange and yellow leaves in the bud vases, or incorporating berry sprigs in the tall vases- it will be easy to swap out the seasons with this shopping list (click on the images below to purchase)
My Must-Haves For Holiday Entertaining:
Did I miss anything? Share your own entertaining essentials in the Comments!
It is no surprise that workplace has changed significantly due to COVID-19. It crucial for companies during these times of change, to create workplace settings that encourage efficiency and improve productivity while abiding by social distancing preferences.
This week's blog topic is a great infographic courtesy of guest blog writer, Skylar Ross with Avanti Systems. Discover the details of how a workspace can improve productivity through architecture and design with the below infographic.
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Recently I was given the opportunity to design a small apartment at a local assisted/independent living facility. This little apartment is going to be used a model/virtual tour for future retirees. I was so honored to take the project because several months ago I staged one of the independent cottages affiliated with the same company, for a Realtor who was referred by another Realtor...talk about a long list of referrals!!! That was what made it such an honor and so exciting!
Anyhow, this cute one-bedroom apartment was so much fun to design, but there was just one issue...it was small. So how do I make the space look functional for future resident's? That was my biggest challenge going into this project.
Starting with the living and dining area, these two rooms share the space; that there wasn't a lot of. I wanted to use a regular sized sofa and oversized accent chair, but what about the small dining area? Well the good news is there is a restaurant inside the facility for it's residents- so the dining area wasn't something I really wanted to play up. I used these fun gold barstools and a small bistro table and chairs set, allowing for at least 4 guests to sit comfortably in the dining area. Without having to sacrifice the living area, I added the ottoman that functions as a coffee table and storage- because yes, the top comes off! This piece serves 3 functions!
SMALL SPACE PRO DESIGN TIP- Adding texture to the room helps create dimension in a small space
That oversized wall art above the sofa- one wouldn't think incorporating something really big in a small space would be right. Wrong! Texture gives the eye something to investigate, something to sink its teeth into, something that makes the whole space feel a lot bigger.
I think texture is something most people forget when designing a small space. They focus more on storage solutions, often it’s intentionally overlooked for fear of cluttering up an already small space.
You can add some small extra home décor pieces to add textures to your space. Focus on the finishes of your existing furniture pieces too. Like the faux fur rug I draped over the ottoman, the gold side table and gold hammered lamp. It could even be a simple fabric couch with wooden arms and legs. The key to achieving visual balance and to keep visual clutter at bay is to have one or two pieces of furniture in similar textures. The faux rug on the ottoman ties into a larger faux rug under the dining table.
Another way to work in texture in small spaces is through adding texture to walls. Textures on walls make a big impact and they don’t take up any floor space. You can do so through a variety of ways including wallpaper, textured paint like Dulux’s Ambiance Paints (the paints can offer up anything from a rustic linen feel to a luxurious marble finish), wall cladding or wall moulding. In the living room I added a hanging ladder to a decorative hook then folded some textured throw blankets. An easy and unique way to not only store extra blankets, but also adds texture!
FINAL SMALL SPACE PRO DESIGN TIP: When adding textures to your space, use juxtapositions e.g. metallic vs matte, weathered vs smooth, see-through vs opaque. Keep in mind that textures don’t have to be felt to be sensed; they can also be visual to make an impact
Author, Candance Toscano
"You can design the life of your dreams and acquire that luxurious, fulfilled and empowered lifestyle you know you have always wanted."