Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Christmas Help.. really

With Christmas just around the corner - the  shelf-stocking elves are hard at work at Canadian Tire already-  we often find that the projects we planned to finish this past summer are still on the ‘list’.  But with the economy, or rather lack of it, being a huge part of our lives at the moment, we want to make sure our money is being spent wisely. With decorating, you want to remember to  put your money where you can see it.  If you need new curtains in the kitchen or drapes in the living room this is the time to do them. Fabrics are on sale- both in the stores and through this decorator and if you act soon, you can still have the new look in time for Christmas.  So - spend a bit of money on fabric and use the following tips to get the rest of the house spiffed up.

1. De-clutter your public spaces.   You may not realize how disconcerting your clutter is to your guests. You are used to it, they are not. We all want our home to be calming and inviting;  especially at the holidays  so get rid of the old magazines and nick-nacks. Don’t just put stuff in baskets on shelves - get rid of it - because once the baskets are full - where will the  new stuff end up? Right-  on the coffee table or the floor. 

2.Get your carpets cleaned. This accomplishes two things. First, you get clean carpets and second it forces you to move everything and perhaps take the opportunity to really look at what  is adding to the ambience of the room and what is not.

3.Paint is one of the least expensive ways to change the appearance of a room. The smaller your budget, the more you need to hire a decorator to help you choose colors.   - You can’t afford to make mistakes and a one hour consultation will cost about the same as a gallon of good quality paint.  

4.Consider an area rug for the living room - yes even if you have carpet on the floor. Area rugs help define spaces, set the mood for the space and, if chosen carefully, can help tie mismatched pieces together.  Find several you like and take them home and try them out. 

5.Make sure the lighting in your rooms is adequate. Lighting can add dimension where there was none before and take a room from typical to dramatic with very little expense. Decorators trick: light the objects and tasks in the room, not the room.  Get educated about the different types of light bulbs. Most of us are careful to use energy efficient  bulbs but you need to be aware of what they do to the color of your wall paint, your sofa fabric  and your face. In some areas  you may opt for a natural spectrum light bulb.

6.Choose accessories for a room with the same care as you choose ear-rings to coordinate with your dress. Get rid of the old, tired cushions no matter  how sentimental you feel towards them.  The optimum size for sofa cushions is 20-22 inches and you can customize pre-mades  with trim or buttons. Get down fillers - (check out Jysk or Ikea).  Imagine one good down cushion on each end of the sofa in a beautiful fabric. Huge impact. 

 I believe  that Christmas is about quality: your  family and friends and not about  quantity: the number of presents under the tree.  So, give yourself a break and  don’t try to do everything.  Pick a few chores, get them done  soon - with the help of a professional if  need be - and focus on keeping your heart happy.  You, and everyone around you, will thank you for it

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