Thanksgiving preparations come early to home staging and decor bloggers, and this week’s Best-of-the-Web roundup reflects that attention to making every detail perfect for the holidays. It’s easy to cook in an organized kitchen, so you’ll find tips for keeping your refrigerator neat and getting your kitchen ready for a holiday feast.Thanksgiving also means welcoming more guests, and this week’s blogs have some fantastic suggestions on how to make room for them.
Melissa at The Inspired Room has a beautiful guest bedroom makeover just in time for Thanksgiving weekend. Her step-by-step photos and informative captions tell the story of how a small spare room became the perfect space for her daughter when she returns from college, weekend guests or just a quiet day at home. Small rooms are sometimes big design challenges, but Melissa proves that keeping scale and color in mind when decorating can give even a tiny space an expansive feel. By adding plenty of shelving and transforming bookcases into a design feature, she doesn’t need to overwhelm the room with decorative elements.
Speaking of inspiration, Shaunna of Perfectly Imperfect has a useful meditation on finding your inspiration even when it seems difficult to spot. If you’re scrambling to prepare your house for a move or have recently moved into a new home, you might feel too busy for inspiration, but as Shaunna discovered, inspiration often strikes when you’re busy doing something else. She found that even Pablo Picasso kept himself busy instead of waiting idly for inspiration to find him, so if you find yourself at a loss for how to arrange your living room furniture or what to write on your holiday shopping list, keep moving; it will come to you, says Shaunna.
What do you do with your older furniture when your style has changed? If you’re Sharon of Lilikoi Joy, you roll up your sleeves and give it a makeover. She saw a magnificent mirror-fronted cabinet in a Nieman Marcus spread and decided it was time to update the rustic, knotty pine computer cabinet she already owned. With paint and mirrors, you can follow her clear, well-illustrated instructions and go from country warmth to city chic in an afternoon or two. Sharon’s computer armoire is only one possibility; the same technique could enliven a dining room credenza, a guest bedroom wardrobe or the living room television cabinet.
Everyone wants to be home for the holidays, but home means many things. For some, being at home means finding the right apartment for rent, and Janet with MovinGal has an excellent blog post about finding the perfect one for you. She recommends creating a checklist detailing your wants and needs before you go hunting for your next apartment. Are you looking for something spacious enough for a large family, or do you prefer a compact studio apartment? Do you want a place close to downtown, or are you more comfortable in the suburbs? How important is commute time for you? These questions and others Janet suggests could help you find the right place in time to roast the turkey or trim the tree. Her list ideas are also useful for prospective landlords who want to see their properties from a tenant’s standpoint.
Depending on where you rent or how you build, your home might have a mezzanine, that in-between space that can be so tough to decorate. The folks at Freshome have a whole month’s worth of stunning mezzanine images that can help you turn a challenge into a triumph of design. Their collection of pictures is proof that you don’t need to have a huge converted warehouse or soaring ceilings to make the most of a mezzanine addition; one of the featured spaces has fewer than 35-square-yards of living space but is as functional as a much larger home. Find inspiration in these artful compositions and see how going halfway can occasionally be a brilliant design idea.
Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick is already looking beyond Thanksgiving to Christmas with a selection of cute and clever countdown calendars. Some of them come from shops while others are do-it-yourself projects, but they all make the Christmas countdown more fun. The advent calendars she features range from creative projects that cost almost nothing to beautiful displays worthy of framing on a mantel. Most projects take just part of an afternoon to assemble. Add candy or small surprises to each window of the calendar, and you have another sweet reason to anticipate the season.
Frugal homeowners and do-it-yourself aficionados love tips from Lifehacker, but Whitson Gordon has a top 10 list everyone can appreciate. Learn how to pay less than full price on everything from home furnishings to appliances by buying at the right time and looking for dent discounts. Buying items for pennies on the dollar opens a world of designer brands to you if you know when and how to shop. For those who are handy with a paintbrush, buying at a deep discount and staining or painting furniture yourself can be a tremendous money-saver and give you a one-of-a-kind item for your home. Read the comments section for more advice on how to get more with less.
Dining rooms and dens get plenty of attention for the holidays, but house guests also see one of the most neglected areas in most homes: the stairs. John Petersik at Young House Love offers a wonderfully detailed explanation of how he and his wife Sherry painted, stained and carpeted their staircase. From painting the risers to lining up the striped carpet runner perfectly, John photographed it all and explains everything in detail. Their project took only a weekend, and that included drying times for paints and stains, so if you follow their lead, you’ll have plenty of time to get it done before the holidays.
Dana of A Slob Comes Clean invites readers to join her as she cleans her refrigerator. With Thanksgiving dinner coming up, making room in the refrigerator is important for everyone, but Dana has another reason to clean: She’s expecting a visit from Paula Faris of ABC World News as part of a segment on how to use technology to save at the grocery store. If you have a few aging leftover containers in your refrigerator, you’ll feel better after seeing how easily Dana parted with her departed tortilla soup and expired salad dressing. This blogger’s blend of humor and helpfulness make even a challenging chore more fun.
Whether it’s your refrigerator or your guest bedroom that needs a little straightening before Thanksgiving guests arrive, this week is the perfect time to begin home projects. With these bloggers’ suggestions, you have plenty of ways to get your house holiday-ready.
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