3 Easy Ways to Illuminate Your Home for the Holidays

holiday(StatePoint) ‘Tis the season of friends, family and entertaining! If you’re planning on hosting guests — whether for an entire week of family fun or a one-night celebration — now’s the time to get your home in the holiday spirit.

“Preparing a home for the holidays doesn’t have to require adding extensive decorations or undergoing a total remodel to update favorite spaces,” says Jennifer Kis, director of marketing communications for Progress Lighting. “Small changes through lighting can create a festive and comfortable environment with minimal effort and investment.”

Here are three easy tips to try:

Update Entryways and Foyers. Your entryway is your opportunity to make an exceptional first impression and set the tone for the rest of the interior. Add drama to your foyer with a grouping of striking, oversized pendant lights in lieu of a traditional chandelier.

Pay Attention to Shared Spaces. Popular spaces where friends and family are likely to gather most during the holidays include great rooms, living rooms and dining areas. A large statement chandelier in a common living space creates a focal point and also ensures there is enough illumination for card games, movies and coffee and cocoa by the fireside.

Illuminate Walkways to Enhance Curb Appeal. Simple outdoor lighting techniques can improve a home’s appearance and also offer functional features during the holidays and beyond. Added illumination will improve safety and enhance security, while bringing a new bold look to the front of your home. To create instant curb appeal, hang a large lantern on either side of your front door, or install a post lantern at the front of your walkway.

For more design inspiration and to view on-trend lighting collections, visit progresslighting.com.

In a few easy steps, you can light up your home for a warm and welcoming holiday season.  If you would like more holiday ideas or you are looking for  homes in the West Essex area,  contact me and I will be happy to help you find the home of your dreams.

5 Rules for a More Organized Home in the New Year

(StatePoint) After the hectic holidays, it’s no surprise that many people commit to getting better organized in the new year. eb166683

There are plenty of reasons why people obsess over organization and resolve to master it year after year. Household items become easier to find. Rooms all of a sudden seem bigger and more welcoming. Each walk past a tidy linen closet — where there was once an avalanche waiting to spill forward — comes with a small sense of accomplishment. Whether you’re after smarter storage or looking to cut clutter, successful resolutions begin with a thoughtful approach.

 

Think Small

While it’s fun to dream about a large-scale routine reset, smaller sustainable actions are key to lasting change. Take it one room or even one drawer at a time to keep momentum positive and to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Doing so also allows you to focus, leading to more creative solutions for taking advantage of under-utilized areas. For example, you may find using over-the door organizers a great way to free up space in home offices and craft rooms.

Say “No” to Clutter

Everyone has items they keep around for no real reason that aren’t particularly meaningful and don’t serve a purpose. Being able to objectively identify these items makes everything easier.

Paring down possessions doesn’t have to be painful. That cardinal shaped cookie jar that you’ve always been on the fence about? It would make an incredibly thoughtful “just because” gift for an ornithology-obsessed aunt. Often, less can literally be more: Consignment shops and eBay make it easy to turn four or five pieces of furniture you “kind of like” into one piece you absolutely love.

Store Décor Wisely

Everyone loves holiday decorating. Taking down decorations afterward… not so much. It’s difficult to preserve items in a haphazard collection of cardboard boxes, plastic bags and mismatched bins, all crammed into the corner of a garage or basement. Stepping up storage containers can make a big difference. For a wide selection of storage solutions specifically designed for holiday décor, check out Improvements, which offers everything from ornament and gift wrap organizers to wreath and garland storage bags.

Keep a Place for Everything

Nobody likes wasting time gathering or searching. Make storage more convenient and efficient by streamlining. Items frequently used together should be kept together, from coffee supplies to vehicle maintenance tools.

Make a Plan

Create a schedule so nothing is overlooked. Knowing which project is next gives you time to prepare and purchase any storage items you might need. When scheduling, designate specific rooms and spaces for certain seasons. For example, the first warm days of spring are made for cleaning out the shed or garage.

More organizational inspiration can be found by visiting improvementscatalog.com.

Successful resolutions are essentially new habits that become part of a lifestyle. Deliberately choosing to incorporate small acts of organization on a daily basis will pay off tremendously throughout the year.

 

Entertaining at Home

The holidays are here and holiday-holidays-brown-christmas-6300entertaining at home is a great way to get together with friends and family. Going out to dinner or events is fun, but there is something special about hosting at home.

Try these five simple tips from Century 21 to set your home up for entertaining.

1. Put appetizers on the coffee table: When the party starts you’ll be busy greeting guests. Put appetizers like a cheese plate, crackers, and olives out on your coffee table so guests can munch and mingle.

2. Set up a buffet table: Serving people adds an extra task to your entertaining to-do list. Push a side table against a wall or use your kitchen island to set up a buffet table so people can serve themselves. People may enjoy being able to set their portion sizes and food choices, plus it will leave you with more time with your guests — and less time in the kitchen.

3. Set up a beverage bar: If you have a bar cart, set up all your beverages in one place. If you don’t have a bar cart, assemble everything on a large side table.

4. Rearrange the furniture: Rearrange your living room couches and chairs so they are conducive for chatting. If you’re short on furniture, bring chairs from the dining room or kitchen into the living room while people enjoy hors d’oeuvres.

5. Delight in the details: Little details like fresh flowers, candles, and place settings can make the evening even more special. Have fun designing the table aesthetic by curating your cutlery, china, serving ware, and napkin choices.

 

These tips may make entertaining at home more enjoyable! Call some friends and invite them over to your place.

Selling your Home over the Holidays

The winter holidays are here and  you might be wondering if it is worth the trouble to put your house on the market or to keep your house on the market during this busy time of year. There are both pros and cons to selling now and here are a  few to think about.

Let’s start with the pros:

  1. Buyers who are looking now are serious buyers.  Most people are very busy this month and you will not have as many people just looking.  You will have fewer showings which  means fewer disruptions for you.
  2. There is less inventory on the market.  Buyers will have fewer homes to choose from which means your home will have more of a spotlight.
  3. Your home decked out with a few tasteful  holiday decorations is  looking it’s best.  As you are decorating, keep in mind the goal is to help buyers envision their families living there. Remember please to  store everything as soon as the holidays are over!  

Now on to the cons:

  1. It’s difficult  during the holidays to have your home always ready for a home showing.
  2. One of the first things you were told to do when you decided to put your house on the market was  to minimize clutter so a buyer could see themselves living there.  Your holiday decorations, including all of those crafts your children made long ago, have a great sentimental meaning to you but buyers might see them as clutter and not be able to focus on your great house. How do you feel about not displaying all your holiday items?
  3. Buyers might think you are desperate to sell your home which might bring some very low offers.
  4. The holidays are a time to relax and spend time with family and friends.  Do you really want to worry about  showing your house?

I hope I have given you some ideas to think about  before you  put your house on the market  at this time of year.  Remember the decision to sell is entirely up to you.  If you would like to discuss your home selling or buying needs please email me at kim.fiore@century21.com or give me a call.  I would be happy to help.

Happy Holidays!