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A quiet place to read a book is a luxury with today’s busy lifestyles. Finding space in your home to create a library can mean turning a spare bedroom into a library and/or den. Perhaps you don’t have a spare room. A library can be in a shared space like a dining room, hallway or living room. All you really need to make a home library is a place for books, a good light and a comfortable reading chair.
This photo shows how you can create a library with unused space under the stairs. The warm wood floors and cozy red chair set the tone for an afternoon of escape into a good book!
A library nook can be carved out of a larger room like a family room or living room. A formal dining room that isn’t used all that often can be turned into a library that is also a dining room. Built-in shelves along one or more walls can instantly give a room the feeling of a library. Even a pair of bookshelves or glass front bookcases can make a space feel like a library.
Having a good reading light is a must for a library. Floor lamps are a great choice next to a comfortable reading chair. Lighting along the bookshelves can make it easier to find your favorite book. Next to lighting, the reading chair is a must. Find a chair that works for your taste and style. Leather club chairs and wingback chairs are classic choices for a library, but any comfortable chair will do. Continue the traditional library style with a warm, textured or patterned area rug. An area rug, antique, vintage, or new, can provide a place to sprawl out with your books. Great for family reading time too.
Kitchen remodels are a big commitment. Be careful of trends that will go out of style, or are too buyer specific. A helpful tip is to look at trends that increase the value of your life and home. The following tips have staying power, but also address convenience, lifestyle needs and enjoyment!
- Transitional design – Contemporary designs can often be cold while keeping a busy kitchen clean and uncluttered is sometimes a challenge. You can overcome this challenge by using transitional design, which combines both traditional and contemporary elements while allowing you to use the old and new and eliminate kitschy fads!
- You can’t go wrong with white. Try layering white by using white walls, white cabinets and white tile backsplashes. White never goes out of style!
- Want some color? Try neutral grays with pops of color – gray is close enough to white that you can use in all areas of the country by adding warmth with wood floors, or light and airy touches with pops of color. Just don’t overdo the color, a little goes a long way!
- Flooring has come a long way since your last remodel! Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) and luxury vinyl plank (LVP) flooring is waterproof, looks like the real thing and is easy to maintain.
- Quartz countertops – Quartz has been rated the toughest material for countertops, it resists burns, cracking and scratches. Quartz comes in a variety of solid colors and the look of real granite. Quartz beats natural stone in toughness, ease of cleaning and does NOT have to be sealed every year like granite.
- Refrigeration – With today’s busy schedules, rethink your refrigeration needs. Add a wine cooler for the adults, add a juice/water fridge for the children. If you love to cook and take it seriously, add a counter-height produce fridge to your island. Add refrigeration where you need it!
- LED lighting – Kitchen LED lighting is a wonderful way to add lighting to your prep area while providing esthetically pleasing touches to your kitchen. Add rope or cove lights to cabinets, under cabinets, and recessed canned lighting. LED lighting creates ambiance, and comes in soft to bright white, and a multitude of colors. LED’s are extremely efficient, lasting five times longer than standard bulbs. They emit very little heat, so you can keep the lights on forever!
Are you ready to convert a room to a home office but not sure where to start? Taking a minute to plan your space allows you to create an environment that combines the best of commercial space and a residential environment.
LVP or laminate floors provide one of the best options for a home office. The top-quality LVP and laminates look much like traditional wood floors, but with the stamina to handle the depredations of wheeled office chairs. If you would rather have carpet or wood, be sure to pick up a mat for under the chair – either plastic from any office supply store or one of the new bamboo mats available in a number of catalogs.
Home office walls give you the opportunity to bring in a color you love that wasn’t a fit with any other space in your home. Sky blue sets a tone of relaxation, or maybe a peach works for you to echo the orange of energy. This home office photo shows an art wall that really sets the tone for the space. Do you need a bulletin board? How about creating one in a bright tone that coordinates with your walls? Most office furniture is pretty neutral, so take advantage of this chance to bring in color.
Finish up with art that makes you happy. Do you have any photos that remind you of your dreams and goals? Would a landscape draw you in when you need to escape from your work for a moment? How about a reproduction of the work of an artist that you find inspiring? Touches such as these make your office a personal and inviting place to work.
Have you transformed a room into a home office? We’d love to hear what tips and tricks you’ve used to make your space more comfortable for working from home!
The holidays can be a very stressful time trying to get the decorations up, rushing around buying presents for everyone, baking holiday cookies for your kids, preparing for family to come into town, getting ready for Christmas dinner. Not to mention all of the added complications that the pandemic has brought. The list is endless when it comes to this time of year and it can sometimes feel like you just want to throw your hands up in the air and run away from it all.
Finding ways to step back and de-stress might seem impossible but it’s not if you keep a few mental exercises in mind while preparing for the holidays.
Try to keep perspective throughout this stressful time. Don’t let your preconceived notions of what the holiday season should look like get in the way of your execution. Traditions can be hard to change, but think about the ones that matter most to you and your family. Do away with the tasks and traditions that are only holding you back and draining your time and energy. This season “shouldn’t” look any certain way so allow yourself to let go of those expectations and do what truly makes you and your family happy and holds true meaning.
Be sure to plan out your holiday season carefully. Keep in mind all that you will have to do yourself for the season and then take a hard look at the different holiday events you’ve been invited to. Choose the events that are worth your valuable time and energy.
There are no rules this holiday season! Leave your decorations up as long as they bring you joy! Be sure to be mindful of live greenery drying out after an extended period of time.
Make time for the hot chocolate and egg nog. Try to keep yourself from being so busy that you don’t make time for the simple pleasures.
These are just a few ways to help you mentally prepare yourself for the holiday seasons. Don’t let your anxiety and stress drain the meaning and happiness that this time of year is supposed to offer. Allow yourself to enjoy this holiday season!
Although the holiday season is a time for joy and happiness, it can be stressful preparing for this time of the year – especially in 2020! From shopping for presents and decorating the Christmas tree, to getting the house ready for family, it can seem like there is so much to do. Bringing the holiday spirit into your home should bring as little stress as possible. Here are some realistic tips for decorating for the holidays:
Start Planning Ahead
While you may be a superhero to your family, realistically you’re just human. Therefore, keep in mind that you can’t do everything. Being too overwhelmed prevents you from enjoying the holiday season with your family. Before you start decorating the house, decide what areas you want to focus on. The outdoor area, entryway, and perhaps the family room may be top on the list.
Throughout the house
Instead of potentially overdoing it with the Christmas decorations you can add small, simple touches in every room. Simple touches like mistletoe in the entry, holiday towels in the guest bathroom or a simple wreath on the front door can make the whole home feel decorated.
When decorating the Christmas tree don’t feel like you have to purchase expensive ornaments. Discount stores and outlets sell inexpensive ornaments that look just as festive and elegant. Look for things that bring you joy that you can simply add a hook to hang on the tree. A family project could include making ornaments for the tree.
Wrapping Your Gifts
Get creative! Repurpose newspapers, magazines and other types of unique papers to wrap Christmas presents. You can even create your very own wrapping with glitter, paper and drawing pencils. Top it off with a ribbon or an accent piece. You’ll be saving money and the environment. Craft paper with decorative ribbon can be a chic and elegant look. Try this look with colored pen messages on the gifts!
Purchase light dimmers for your lamps that can easily be plugged into an outlet. They are inexpensive and can be purchased at hardware stores. Light dimmers allow you to really set the mood providing the perfect ambiance for Christmas Eve.
Plan for hiccups
If you plan on having a lot of people over to the house, make a plan for the unexpected. Prepare extra food and purchase inexpensive gifts that can be held in a glass bowl for unexpected guests. Wrap extra gifts that you wouldn’t mind keeping if you end up without unexpected guests. Just remember to keep blank tags close by!
Get the family involved
Make sure you get the whole family involved. The kids can help you decorate the house. Allow them to decorate their rooms as they please. The family can help you design the Christmas tree and prepare food for the guests. Don’t be shy about asking for help!