How to prepare (and decorate) for holiday guests!

The holidays are coming!  The relatives are coming!  Before the panic sets in…take a minute…and come up with a list!  Look around your house and decide what is realistic to get done before the busy holiday season begins.

Is the guest room ready?
This is the perfect time of year to do that painting that you have put off.  With lower humidity it’s a perfect time to update your guest room!  Click here to read a prior blog of mine on tips for picking a paint color.  You can update the look of a guest room by placing fall accessories in the room to complement the existing decorating style.  Use pillows, new photos for artwork, a fall colored throw to accent.  Be sure the room is comfortable for guests as you want them to feel as though there is a place for them to go and have some comfortable quiet space.  Here’s a check list to quickly update the guest room:

  1. Ensure that there is proper reading light and not a bright overhead light which is not soothing or “cozy” feeling.
  2. Add a winter colored flower bouquet or a decorated tree to the room.
  3. Be sure there are enough pillows.  I tend to like lots.
  4. Make sure there is room in the closet or drawers for your guests.

Is the guest bathroom ready?
If the bathroom is shared, be sure to clear out space for the guests.  Clean towels should be available, along with any necessary toiletries that the guest may need.  You may wish to stock up on new toothbrushes and toothpaste, make up removal wipes, disposable razors, a variety of soap/skin lotions, shampoo and conditioner. When my guests come I have a large wicker basket full of these items and I leave it in the guest room with the the towels I want them to use!

Is the house ready?

This is a good time of year to purge.  I know you did your spring purge, now it’s time for the fall purge!  All of the beach and summer items should be stored away!  In terms of cleaning, always start with the obvious first!  Here’s a list of  items to-do from HouseLogic.com:

  1. holiday guestScrub your entryway.  Wipe down your front door, give the doormat a good shake (or replace), and make sure dust and dirt haven’t collected on floors and furniture legs.
  2. Focus on the kitchen.  People tend to gather around the food during the holidays, so make sure your kitchen looks and smells nice.  Don’t forget to dust the light fixtures and replace burned out light bulbs!
  3. The Bathroom should sparkle.  Don’t just wipe surfaces; break out the stiff-bristled brush and scouring powder to really scrub things clean.
  4. Clean your windows!  For more information on sparkly streak-free windows, click here.

Do me a favor; I want you to change the first item on your holiday to-do list to HAVE SOME FUN!

For more information on how Redesign Right can help you with your decorating projects contact us at debbie@redesignright.com or 610.955.8202.

Decorating Your Table for Thanksgiving

I love this time of year!  A time for friends and family and very yummy food!  Let’s get started!  The first thing you need to determine for a beautiful table setting is to plan the menu, so you can determine what plates and flatware will be necessary.  I would actually set the table to see how much room you have on the table.  Will you be serving food from the table, or buffet style?  Determine how much available space you have on your table to decorate and the height of the center piece you will need.  Now, for the fun, let’s come up with some ideas!

thanksgiving tableFirst of all let’s review how to set a table properly.  Who better to consult than the expert on etiquette, Emily Post!  Fortunately, you can find instructions on setting a Basic, Informal and Formal table setting, click here to read those instructions.  To watch a video on how to set your dinner table, Emily Post Fashion, for Thanksgiving, click here.

If you don’t have a lot of space on your table consider three small arrangements.  I love the idea of incorporating natural elements into the setting.  Click here to find other lovely Thanksgiving center piece ideas from Better Homes & Garden.

For those of you that love sparkles, check out this great idea from BHG.com which can be created using adhesive decals in shimmering silver, bronze and gold tones in various patterns.

Here are some simple and clever ideas for place card holders, use any type of pear that stands upright and matches the color scheme that you are working with and use a fabric pin to attach a nicely printed card to it for the name.  Idea complements of Country Living.

Another idea is to roll up your napkin like a cornucopia, tie with some craft floral and ribbon or raffia and attach a name tag, complements of Martha Stewart.

Please be sure to include your kids in this process as it will help improve their table manners as well as teach them how to set their own table.  Happy Thanksgiving!

For more information on how Redesign Right can help you with your decorating projects contact us at debbie@redesignright.com or 610.955.8202.

Thanksgiving Decorating Traditions

I love Thanksgiving!  It’s the one holiday that involves three of my favorite things:  family, friends, and food!  Historically, Thanksgiving is a holiday started in North America to give thanks for a wonderful harvest.  There’s no gift giving or hype, just gratitude.  I love that!

If you don’t have any Thanksgiving Day traditions, here are a few ideas that may spark an interest to start one or two in your family!

Create Thank You Chains to decorate your dining or banquet table.  Click here for instructions.

I love the idea of a gratitude bowl or blessing bowl.  You can use any bowl you’d like, or have a designated one that you pull out especially for Thanksgiving.  Place it in a prominent spot with a pad of paper and pen and ask all guests to write something in gratitude.  After dinner as you are enjoying your dessert, pass the bowl around and have everyone pick out a note at random and read aloud.  Watch as the smiles abound!

In writing this blog I came across a sweet article by Garrison Keillor, author and radio host that he likes to sing and encourages all to sing prior to the thanksgiving meal.  I love this little prayer that a friend’s family always sings prior to the meal, in harmony:

Evening has come
The board is spread
Thanks be to God
Who gives us bread
Amen

Whatever tradition you choose to incorporate into your Thanksgiving meals, the joy, love and gratitude felt by all is the best blessing.

“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” ~ Maya Angelou, Author

OliverOliver is waiting for relatives to come and drop turkey on the floor…

Happy Thanksgiving from the Correale Family to Yours!

For more information on how Redesign Right can help you with your decorating projects contact us at debbie@redesignright.com or 610.955.8202.

Thanksgiving Decorations for your Home

What comes to mind when you think of Thanksgiving decorations?  Let’s have some fun and come up with some interesting Thanksgiving Home Decorations.  There are many ideas for the crafty types; the goal is to add the decorations without going over board.

Decorating the Mantle
When researching ideas for this post, I came across a lovely “Give Thanks” display though you could use any phrase you would like to emphasize for this season.  To create this look click here.

Here is another idea for decorating your mantel that incorporates a “message” into your decorating scheme such as, Family, Thanks, or Blessings.  Click this link for wonderful step-by-step instructions on how to create this look.

Combine things that you love to make an interesting mantel display, this mantel featured on BHG.com combines rustic and vibrant elements.

Decorating the Side Table or Buffet
This is such a beautiful idea, it requires three store bought items and absolutely no glue or wire and looks stunning!  Click here to read the instructions, I’m sure you could go to any craft store of your choice and find a beautiful already made wreath to create this table top or buffet candle display!

Another classic Thanksgiving look is the cornucopia.  Martha Stewart offers instructions on how to achieve this look, click here to view.  They start with a purchased cornucopia which can be located at your local craft store.

Enjoy your time with friends and family, relax and be thankful for this beautiful life!  Happy Thanksgiving!

For more information on how Redesign Right can help you with your decorating projects contact us at debbie@redesignright.com or 610.955.8202.

Decorating Outdoors for Thanksgiving

I know Halloween is only a few days away but it is time to start thinking about decorating for Thanksgiving and the best place to start is with your front door.  Since Thanksgiving brings to mind, harvest, cornucopias, Indian corn, there are many materials to work with therefore many options.  If you would like to make a simple, but colorful statement, follow these directions on a lovely Indian Corn Hanging.  I found a website that lists 101 Fall Wreath ideas, click here to be visually amazed with the many wonderful ideas!   (I love the one with all the baby pumpkins on it!)

Decorate your front porch or deck using your planters with corn husks and pumpkins, it makes such a beautiful statement and very easy to put together.  This idea came from BHG.com, click here for instructions.  

Take your empty planter boxes and fill them with corn husks, and various pumpkins and gourds to create a fall harvest look (this idea is from MarthaStewart.com).

Click here for a great video on decorating the frame of your doorway with mesh, ribbon, and seasonal floral items.  I recently found this mesh in various colors at A.C. Moore.  To create a clever Indian corn garland for your front porch, Martha Stewart recommends stringing the corn together using wire and raffia to get an unusual look.  For those instructions, click here.

To incorporate some sparkle and light to your front porch, PotteryBarn.com offers many options.  Check out those beautiful lanterns!

thanksgiving decoratingEnjoy this lovely east coast weather and Happy Thanksgiving Decorating!

Planning a party? Decorate your table for Halloween!

Depending on your tastes there are many quick and easy options for decorating your table for a Halloween Dinner Party.  Here are some easy and original ideas I compiled that I thought you would enjoy.

Create inexpensive placemats – use Halloween or orange and black scrapbook paper!  If you go to your local scrapbook paper/arts and crafts store, such as Joann’s Fabric and Craft, you will find so many choices.  Be sure to look for the large 12”x12” paper.  Match the paper with paper plates or your own white plates.  Also, consider the background that you will choose if you are going to go with an all black table cloth, or you could pick white if you don’t wish to have such a “dark” look and accent with orange and black!

Create Wine Glass Accents – using little spiders, which you can purchase online very inexpensively from Oriental Trading, click here to view black spiders or here for jeweled spiders.  Or take a trip to your local party store, they should have many options like skulls, ghosts, whatever your preference.

Make festive place tag holders – I love this idea – they are so cute – from Martha Stewart, who else!?  Click here to view the training video on how to make these very simple and cute tags.

Add a pumpkin table center piece – Hollow out the bottom of small pumpkins and use a battery operated votive for a flickering light.  Tier your display with a cake stand or candle holders until you have the desired height.  For those who like a little sparkle in their decorations, Martha Stewart offers a training video on how to create glittered pumpkins, click here to view that video.  Use a pumpkin as the vase for flowers, click here to view instructions.

Another inexpensive decorative idea is to use Halloween stamps and ink on clear glass hurricanes or votives.  Add an orange or black candle, with some candy corn, or black jelly beans at the base and you have completed a great Halloween Candle display.  After you’re done, glass cleaner will completely remove the stamped ink and it will be ready to be used for another season!

Be sure to create a great digital invitation to your party, check out PunchBowl.com to view the free digital options available.  After you’ve picked the date, be sure to let me know, I’ll bring the wine!

Enjoy your Halloween and have a wonderful party!

Decorate the Outside of your home for Halloween

Decorate your front door
This is such a fun time of year as you can be as crazy with your decorations as your heart desires!  In writing this blog I came across a blog from Lil’ Luna, 50 Halloween Wreath Ideas that will get your creative juices going!  If making a wreath doesn’t interest you, there are many options available at all home and craft stores in your area.  Let me share some fun ideas I found…

Do you want your front porch to have a “spooky” look, how about this?  HGTV offers step by step instructions to achieve this look, click here to view.  I like the idea of using your garden planter urns and transforming them for the Halloween holiday.  You can also easily “spookify” anything by adding spider webbing, which can be purchased at many stores, such as Target, Home Depot or your local party store.

Stack pumpkins to achieve the desired heightuse paint and decorative ribbon to create a look, for other ideas from Better Homes and Garden, click here.  You can incorporate natural elements such as interesting twigs, pine cones, moss, or burlap around the base of your planter/urn.

If you are unsure as to how to properly carve a pumpkin, click here to view instructions from Martha Stewart.  For those of you that need a little help with carving your pumpkins, Better Homes and Gardens offers stencils that you can download, click here to view them.

halloween decoratingOptional lighting ideas for pumpkins are strings of lights, battery operated candles, or you can purchase pumpkins where the lights are integrated into the pumpkin, such as these pre-lit grapevine pumpkins from GrandinRoad.com.

Decorate around light or mailbox
You can use outdoor leaf garland, faux pumpkins (weather resistant items), and your choice of ribbon to achieve a nice Halloween to fall look.

Halloween Yard Decorations
If you really want to have the whole scary-yard-look, create and hang ghosts in your trees, to create this look click here for instructions.  Or, create spooky tombstones that can be lit up by battery operated lights (I would not recommend using any candles in your yard.)  For instructions on how to create these tombstones, click here.

Have a Happy Halloween and I would love to see some of your creations!  Please Share!!

Decorating your home for Halloween

There are so many wonderful choices for Halloween decorations!  For those who are really crafty to those who simply want to purchase everything – there’s a plethora of choices!

If you’re looking at making your house extra creepy, Martha Stewart has a fabulous idea for making an entrance look frightening (play scary music) by using cheese cloth!  Click here for instructions on how to create this look.  If you want ideas on decorating your mantle, click here to view some options that range from seriously creepy to pleasant!

Decorate with Pumpkins
There are many fun pumpkin decorating ideas that I found in writing this blog that I wanted to share with you as I thought they were unique.

The crafty folks from HGTV offer a very cute Pumpkin Family idea that I love!  This is clever and easy, create a pumpkin for everyone in the family and place around your hearth!  Don’t forget to make one of the family pet!  Click here to view instructions on this inspiration.  

Better Homes and Garden offer many great ideas that are simple, from spray paint to stencils to using ribbon, check those ideas out by clicking here.  I love the idea of using different patterned black net stockings to cover white, orange or spray painted pumpkins.  With a simple fall ribbon you’re all set!

Decorate with Candles
There are so many candle ideas from simple to extravagant.  Here are just a few that I enjoyed.  This is the easiest – purchase a bag of candy corn or the fall colored corn and use your favorite glass hurricane and instantly create a Halloween Candle arrangement!

The DIY Network offers great instructions on how to create this look – which can be changed to meet your design concept of Halloween!  Click here to enjoy those instructions.

oliverEnjoy yourself this Halloween, find some whimsy in your decorations, and embrace that inner kid in you!  

Happy Halloween from Redesign Right and Oliver!

Need a quick change? Decorate with area rugs!

Whether you are doing a complete redesign in a room, or simply want a quick decorating redo, a new area rug is a good option!  Area rugs are an economical way to change the look and feel of any room.  Consider the following before you make a purchase:

  • Is this a high traffic area?
  • Are there pets and kids in the house?
  • What style would best reflect my personality and ambiance in the room?

Here is an excerpt from RugsToMyDoor.com on how to deal with high traffic areas and types of rugs to select:

“If you are looking for a luxuriously soft and silky elegance underfoot; look no further than wool.  This fiber is resilient, flame resistant, and renewable.  Wool rugs do have a few pitfalls.  They include a greater likelihood of staining, and a duration of fuzzing for the first several months after purchase.

An ideal balance of form and function is found with advanced Nylon area rugs.  They oftentimes look like wool – but have a stain resistance that is beat only by one fiber.

Polypropylene rugs are by far and away the most stain resistant on the market.  A polypropylene rug can take red wine, grape juice, even ink and see it eliminated in minutes.  So what is the drawback with a fiber such as polypropylene?  It does not retain its texture as long as its counterparts – and it responds very badly to an oil spill (i.e., olive oil, etc.)”

The advantages of an area rug:

  • Converts a plain wood floor and makes it a warm and inviting room.
  • Cuts down on noise on wood floors.
  • Not a big investment easily changed with tastes and seasons.
  • You can completely change the décor of a carpeted teen or child’s room with an area rug.

Home Decorator Collection offers a fun online tool to help you find the rug to match your shape, color, style specifications, click here to view. The hardest part is choosing which rug would fulfill the look you are trying to accomplish.  To help you with your search, here’s another website that allows you to find a rug based on a specific designer, click here to view.

One last tip, be sure any store or online site has an agreeable return policy in case the rug you choose does not complete your vision!  Happy decorating!

For more information on how Redesign Right can help you with your decorating projects contact us at debbie@redesignright.com or 610.955.8202.

Decorating with Wall Decals and Paper

Gone are the days of your mom’s roses on vinyl wallpaper!  The new trends in wall design are very interesting and allow you to think of using them as art instead of simply wall coverings.

The new peel-n-stick decals are amazing!  Check out these fabulous designs from WallPops.com.  The benefit of these options are no mess, easy to apply and easy to remove.  For those of you living in a dorm or a rented space where you have limited options this is a wonderful and affordable idea.  Or if you’re like me and tire of things quickly, you can add as your tastes or need for change occurs.  Designer and famous potter, Jonathan Adler has transformed his fun patterns into decals – look at what a difference you can make in this simple step!  Click here to learn more about this Jonathan Adler, “Hollywood” pattern in this photo.

In a recent interview with Wallpaper and Interior Designer, Carey Jacobs of York Wallcoverings stated, “Nothing’s hotter than textured and tactile options right now.  We’ve been infusing our designs with glass beads, mica chips and grass cloth.”  Instead of thinking of covering all of your walls, think about accenting one wall with a lovely textured pattern.  This beautiful paper has a mother-of-pearl disc in the center of a hand-textured medallion, click here to read more about the Soleil pattern from York Wallcoverings.

The industry has come a long way with designs in murals from cityscapes to floral designs.  Click here to check out the many beautiful designs from EazyWallz.com available in murals.  Handmade papers can be used as custom made artwork.  By simply applying the sheet to a piece of plywood and framing – you have created a custom feature that is unique to you!  There are websites that sell handmade paper by the sheet; I came across a fun site while writing this blog GrowHouseGrow.com, to view their designs click here.  Another idea is to feature paper on the ceiling of a room; this can be used to cover problem areas in your ceiling as described in this This Old House article.

Have some fun and think of decorating with wall coverings in a new way!

For more information on how Redesign Right can help you with your interior decorating needs contact us at debbie@redesignright.com or 610.955.8202.