7 Realistic Holiday Decorating Tips

Although the holiday season is a time for joy and happiness, it can be stressful preparing for this time of the year. From shopping for presents and decorating the Christmas tree, to getting the house ready for guests, it can seem like there is so much to do. Bringing the holiday spirit in your home should be as little stress as possible. Here are some realistic tips for decorating for the holidays:

Start Planning Ahead
1. 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.

  1. Throughout the house
    Speaking of the entryway, you don’t have to stop decorating here. While you don’t want to create a cheesy look by overdoing it with the Christmas decorations you can add small, simple touches in every room.

  2. Purchasing Ornaments
    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.

  3. Wrapping Your Gifts
    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.

  4. Light dimmers
    Purchase light dimmers for your lamps that can easily be plugged into an outlet. They are cheap and can be purchased at hardware stores. Light dimmers allow you to really set the mood providing the perfect ambiance for Christmas Eve.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

Happy Holidays!

Different Types of Lighting Fixtures

Are you searching for the appropriate type of lighting fixture for your home? Whether it’s the living room, your bedroom or the kitchen, it’s important to use the right type of lighting for a space. From integrated lighting solutions that are built into a homes structure, to simple decorative table lamps that can easily be plugged in, there are several options. Most lighting fixtures are versatile and can be incorporated into any room. Before you make the final decision on what type of lighting you’re going to use in a room, take a look at the list of lighting fixtures that we’ve compiled.

Architectural Lighting
Architectural light forms are built into the structure of the home. The most common types of structural lighting include cove, valance, and soffit. Cove lighting is installed in the ledges, ceilings valances, and high walls. This type of lighting fixture works to direct light upwards. Valance lighting is built in a wood, glass or metal valance and placed above a window or high up on the wall. This type of fixture offers indirect lighting since it bounces light off the ceiling. Soffit lighting directs lighting downward and is mounted in the soffit near the ceiling.

Other forms of architectural lighting include:

Recessed – Recessed lighting is installed approximately six inches above the ceiling. Recessed lighting is a narrow band of lighting that provides one directional lighting.

Track – Track lighting fixtures are suspended from the ceiling and consists of a linear track containing several lighting heads. The lighting heads are often adjustable.

Pendant lighting – Pendant lighting has become increasingly popular. Pendant light fixtures are suspended from the ceiling and can hang over a kitchen island or table.

Easy Set Up Lighting Fixtures
Many lighting fixtures don’t require professional installation. These fixtures include:

Lamps – Lamps are produced in a variety of colors, style, and designs. You can purchase floor, desk and table lamps. These lighting fixtures are versatile because they can be moved from room to room and plugged into an outlet. Floor lamps direct light upward while desktop lamps direct light downwards.

Scones – Scones are mounted on the wall and can direct light upwards or downwards. Their shades are stylish and offer great aesthetic value.

Ceiling – Ceiling light fixtures are installed into the ceiling. A shade or glass covering conceals the light bulb. Ceiling light fixtures can usually provide illumination for an entire room.

Chandelier – Chandelier light fixture are usually used in formal areas of the home. They are suspended from the ceiling usually over a table.

Happy Thanksgiving!

We hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your friends and family! Together, let’s give thanks for all that we have to be grateful for!

Five Types of Kitchen Styles

When searching for the right design for your kitchen, you’ll be surprised at what catches your eye! Here are five types of kitchen styles you can use as a guide to finding the one that is best suited for your home.

Rustic Style Kitchen

A rustic style kitchen has an outdoorsy feel. It embraces wood cabinetry, countertops, and floors in many varieties. In a rustic kitchen, you’ll find lots of natural elements like stone and timber. If you want to truly embody this theme you’ll stick to basic or vintage appliances. You can customize a rustic style kitchen according to your taste. By adding in area rugs and curtains you can create a feminine flair or you can add some modern touches like a crystal chandelier over the wood features.

Farmhouse Kitchen

Did you love eating in grandma’s kitchen when you were younger? Well, now you can create your own warm and inviting space. Yes, farmhouse kitchens offer great functionality and comfort. This style features a lot of open shelving, deep and wide sinks as well as traditional wood flooring. You also can’t forget the big kitchen table that can seat the entire family.

Modern Style Kitchen

While the definition of modern varies, generally a modern kitchen is sleek and simple. In a modern kitchen, you’ll see stainless steel and white appliances and surfaces. Many modern kitchens take a minimalist approach which means that it embraces strong horizontal lines and limited ornamentation.

Traditional Kitchen

A traditional kitchen is identified by its details. Such details can include; decorative molding, doorway arches, and antique finishes. This kitchen style utilizes lots of muted colors such as dark yellow, white, cream, and green.

Contemporary Kitchen

Contemporary kitchen styles much like a modern kitchen are super sleek. It also blends functionality and style. A contemporary style takes a more fun and light approach. You can play around with bold colors, chrome fixtures, and other unique elements.

Adding a Backsplash to your Contemporary Kitchen

Ready to take your kitchen’s decor to the next level? Then you might want to consider installing a backsplash. Gone are the days when the typical backsplash were boring tile pieces or a thin piece of silver behind the stove area. Intricately designed backsplashes featuring all kinds of colors and patterns have become increasing popular in the contemporary kitchen. How can you get on the wave of this trend?

While a backsplash can add interest to any style of kitchen, it can really benefit a contemporary kitchen. With it’s stark lines and clean contours, this style of kitchen can feel impersonal and lack feeling. Therefore, adding a backsplash will bring some character to area. Once you’ve decided to incorporate this into your design scheme, here’s how you can successfully execute it.

Keep the Backsplash Cohesive With Your Design
If you’re simply interested in adding just a bit of style and not making a bold statement than you want to be sure that your backsplash blends in with the decor of your kitchen while adding a bit of pizzazz. The key is to choose the appropriate material and give consideration to how your backsplash tiles are installed.

Elaborate Design Scheme
If you really want to make your kitchen pop and make a bold statement than you should select an elaborate backsplash design scheme. For instance, if your kitchen features a lot of neutral colors such as white or black, you can install a red backsplash. The way the field tiles are placed can also create emphasis.

When selecting a backsplash be sure to think outside the box. Yes, your unique ideas can lead to a super stylish kitchen.

Feng Shui Home Design Principals – Color

When using Feng Shui principles to design the interior of your home you’ll also to give thought to what type of colors you’re going to paint each room. Yes, using colors based on how they mesh with your energy is crucial to creating a home that promotes well being and balanced energy. Just think. If you were to use all fiery colors within one space it would no doubt be draining and overwhelming.

The key to effectively using colors that harmonize with Feng Shui principles is to balance out the color scheme. Too much of a dominant color will have your energy in disarray. Here is a guide to finding the right Feng Shui colors for your home.

Yellow: In Feng Shui yellow is associated with sunlight and energy from Mother Earth. It infuses energy, hope and it increases mental clarity. The great thing about using yellow as part of your color scheme is that it creates a sense of stability. Try using yellow in area of the home such as the office area, living room or your bedroom.

Red: Red is a fiery color which is why it is associated with fire. This color has the power to increase the heart rate and blood pressure. Red also helps alleviate depressions and stimulates activity. You can use this color in areas of the home such as the living room and bedroom.

White: White is a pure color that’s often associated with serenity. White and metallic colors are also associated with metal which is one of the five elements of Feng Shui. White can be used in any area of the home.

Green: In Feng Shui, green under the wood element. It is a color that promotes growth, action and inspires internal change. Use this color in rooms where the whole family gathers to promote positive energy.

Black and Blue : Black and blue represents the element; water. Black can increase mental activity and inspire creativity. On the other hand, blue is good for the body because it decreases accelerated heart and breathing rates while lowering the blood pressure. These colors are ideal for private areas in the home where you retreat to for privacy and solace.

Different Types of Backsplashes

Many homeowners include backsplashes in their kitchen and bathrooms as a decorative layer. But backsplashes can be known for providing a protective layer to your walls. A backsplash behind your stovetop can serve as a shield to your walls during greasy, saucy, or messy meals. Although many homeowners would like to focus solely on the aesthetic appeal, backsplashes have earned their place as a protective shield. Well, at least in our books.

There are thousands of different types, styles and textures that homeowners can choose from for their kitchen or bathroom. To help you rein in all of the choices, we have created a list of the different types of backsplashes. Keep in mind, there will probably be other options that we did not list just because there are so many. The items we do list are some of the most popular backsplash choices. We hope you enjoy!

Different Types of Backsplash:
Tile: Color Glass Tile, Porcelain Tile, Textured Tile, Penny Tile, Mosaic Tile, Handmade Tile, Etched Glass Tile and Tumbled Stone & Glass Tile.
Metals: Stainless Steel, Copper Tile, and Bronze.
Stones: Natural Stone, Marble, Quartzite Sandstone, River Rock.
Other: Embossed Concrete, Tin Sheets, Brick, Patterned Wallpaper, Chalkboard Paint, and Reclaimed Wood.

Different Ways to Pattern Your Backsplash:
The Running Bond Tile Pattern. (Also known as Subway Tile)
The Herringbone Pattern. (One of our favorites!! – Ask us for more details)
The Mosaic Pattern.
The Straight Lay Pattern.
The Diagonal Pattern.
The Checkerboard Pattern.
The Basket Weaved Pattern.
The Windmill Pattern.
The Versailles Pattern.
The Pinwheel Pattern.

Different Areas to Put Backsplash in:
Above your countertops in your kitchen or bathroom
Behind your kitchen’s stovetop or sink
Lining the space above your bathtub
Wherever you want to get creative

What is your favorite type of backsplash listed above? We would love to hear from you in the comment section!

For assistance on the selection process, we would love to help you! Let our award-winning company assist you in the selection and installation of your backsplash. Just visit our showroom or call us at (602•258•7901) for more information and general pricing. We look forward to serving you.

Essential Oils

Essential Oils have become a popular trend amongst various households. Homeowners have begun to take a liking towards the natural movement because of its rejuvenation. You may be skeptical at first, but the natural remedies can be very beneficial to the body and your home. Essential oils are not only amazing for aromatherapy but they can help you while you are cleaning your home. You can add drops of some classic oils into your homemade cleaner and voila, it adds a refreshening scent.

Getting to know the oils.

There is a wide selection of essential oils available to consumers, but let us focus on the most common oils:

Bergamot. This oil derives from the Citrus Beragamia tree and is commonly used to help with stress, anxiety or depression. Also, the oil has been known to help treat skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.

How to use: It is recommended to use this in a diffuser or diluted bath water. Experts advise not to apply this oil directly to your skin in its pure form.

Eucalyptus. This oil is known to be very fragranced and consumers love how it can help with respiratory issues, migraines, and muscle aches. You will instantly notice its “cooling” property when you begin to use the oil.

How to use: You can use this oil in a diffuser or apply it to your skin with a carrier-oil. Experts encourage using Coconut Oil as your carrier oil to help reduce skin sensitivity.

Pro-tip: This oil is great to use as a disinfectant because it prevents the spread of germs and infections.

Jasmine. You will quickly find out that this oil is one of the more expensive oils you can buy. It is has a rich scent and strong properties that make it a top seller. Jasmine is used for depression, childbirth, respiratory issues, addiction problems, and serves as a stress reliever.

How to use: Jasmine can be added into your bath, diffuser or apply to your skin with a carrier-oil.

Lavender. This oil smells delectable while helping to fight colds, migraines and stress. Also, you can use lavender to help you have a better night’s rest.

How to use: You can add this oil into your bath, diffuser, or add a few drops on top of your pillow before you go to bed.

Lemon. Lemon tends to be homeowners’ favorite oil because of its clean, refreshing scent. Not only can you add this oil to your homemade cleaning products, but it can help boost your mood! How nice is that? The oil can also be used to help digestion and skin irritation issues.

How to use: You can add this oil into your diffuser, bath, homemade cleaning products, or onto your skin with a carrier oil.

Peppermint. If you frequently suffer from migraines, peppermint oil will become your best friend. Not only can it help with migraines, but peppermint can help digestion, your mood and increase your focus.

How to use: Peppermint oil is extremely versatile which is one of the reasons homeowners love it. You can use it in a diffuser, as a massage oil, in your bath, or as a mouthwash.

Tea Tree. Mothers love this product because it helps to boost their children’s immune system and fight infections. It can help with cold sores, respiratory issues, muscle aches and even the flu! The best part about this essential oil is that it works fast to help aid the user.

How to use: You can use a diffuser or apply it directly to your skin with a carrier-oil.

Note: It is important to understand that a little goes a long way with essential oils. You should only be using between 3 to 6 drops during each use. We encourage you to talk to your doctor before using any essential oils and understand that essential oils are not a replacement for your current medications.

Homemade Essential Oil Floor Cleaner:
Take a medium sized bucket and fill it with hot water. Then take 1/4 cup of white vinegar and add it into your bucket. Lastly, put in 15-20 drops of lemon, citrus, or grapefruit essential oil. The best part about this floor cleaner is that there is no rinsing required. You can just wash your floors and let it dry. This floor cleaner is okay use on any hard surface flooring.