Deck the Halls: Holiday Decorating Tips

Halloween is just around the corner, which means it will be Thanksgiving, and Christmas before we know it. Already, department stores are sewn with the warming scent of cinnamon and decorations for this holiday season are adorning window displays. By now, most of you know if you are traveling for the holidays or staying home to host. If you’re planning on hosting the family for Christmas, there are some preparations that you can make for a comfortable, magical nook that could tempt even Santa Claus to linger for a mulled wine. It’s time to make your winter wonderland. Here are simple steps to create that perfect holiday feel while staying stress-free and keeping spirits bright.

Clear out the clutter

Before hanging the decorations and sending out the invites for the mulled wine mixer, you need to make sure your living space is as inviting as a house made of gingerbread. Christmas is a great excuse to round on all those outstanding chores. Give away surplus ornaments; they’re just gathering dust. Hire a carpet cleaner to revitalize your rugs. Paint that flaking door frame, and have the chimney swept in preparation for gathering around the fireplace.

Nail the tree

It’s the centerpiece decoration of the festive season, so don’t neglect to start the search or your perfect tree as early as possible. Real fir trees do smell divine, but their needles shed everywhere. If you don’t want to be vacuuming daily, consider going for high quality pre-decorated Christmas trees, available at stores like Tesco, which offers a wide range of pre-decorated Christmas trees.

Become a Christmas elf

There’s nothing like filling the long, cold, wintry evenings with a sense of purpose, and Christmas is the perfect goal to set. Make a simple, beautiful wreath with little more than wire, fir branches and a pair of pliers. Trace delicate silver snowflakes onto an organza runner to drape over the Christmas table.  Knit some thick, woolly stockings to hang from the fireplace, or make the ultimate Christmas pudding and stash it in the freezer.

A little extra

If your guests are leaving their homes behind to visit over Christmas, make their stay a delight with a few extra comforts to make them feel welcome. Stock the bathroom with fluffy towels, luxurious hand moisturizer and spare toiletries. Leave a scented candle and a stack of reading materials by the bedside. And the golden rule? Make more than one TV available to avoid disagreements on what holiday show/movies to watch are resolved easily and without frowny faces. Of course, at the most wonderful time of the year all that really matters is being with loved-ones. While getting everything spick, span and sparkly is a fun diversion, if your garlands wilt or the turkey gets cremated, remember not to take things too seriously. Stock up on ingredients for your fav holiday beverages to keep eggnogs flowing.
 
 

Small Space Kitchens Dos

mochatini-kitchen-breakfast-bar_3x4_lg

Essential tips to maximizing storage in a very small kitchen.

– Base units play a particularly important part in organizing storage space.
– Additional space by installing a peninsula on end one of the kitchen counter or below the built-in kitchen island.

– Cabinets to the ceiling allow for more storage

– Create an inventory of items and plan storage and function-space for everything in the kitchen.

– Pull-through slides are ideal for islands because they allow drawers to be opened from either side. Some specialty slides allow drawers to extend beyond a full extension.

HPBRS409H_modern-kitchen-breakfast-bar_3x4_lg

CI_Rachael-Franceschina__sally-7913-orange-kitchen_s4x3_lg

 

DP_Andreas-Charalambous-neutral-contemporary-kitchen-blue-light_h_lg DP_Christopher-Grubb-contemporary-white-kitchen-countertops_3x4_lg DP_Design-Development-white-contemporary-kitchen-appliances_v_lg HHBN107_view-of-kitchen-eclectic-retro_s4x3_lg  HPBRS412H_modern-kitchen-breakfast-bar_3x4_lg original_atl-decorators-show-house-family-retreat-kitchen_4x3_lg

Studio dwelling

swing-interiors-mochatini2

Less than ten days away from moving into my teeny studio condo and more than three-quarters of my current one-bedroom still to pack, I am slowly coming to terms with the reality of it all.

mochatinihome2

smallspaces-mochatini-apartmenttherapy

I have toooo much stuff that I don’t organize properly so I end up never finding things when I need them and then end never hardly using them. I often fantasize about a clutter-free, super-organized, everything-is-where-it-should-be living space but, truth be told, I wish someone else would do it for me.

52cde94fdbfa3f2efa003143._w.540_s.fit_

Inspired by strategies to de-clutter over on AT, I hope to change this as I move into my new digs. Determined to live large in a small studio that feels uncluttered, efficient, and inspiring, my plan is to divide the space into little functional zones.

apartmenttherapy-smallspaces-mochatini-coffebar

For instance, I love the idea of having a coffee bar. Coffee is such a big part of my daily routine and it would save so much time (and $$) to make my own espresso drinks  everyday. Give my coffee sets, espresso maker, and specialty coffee beans the love they deserve.

 library-diningroom-dark

Another must-do is to give my bookcases a makeover and style them better. I also really like the idea of having in this setting instead of the living area or bedroom.

swing-interiors-mochatini2

I am also toying with the idea of a pendant swing for additional seating. It seems like a great way to reduce the number of furniture pieces competing for floor space and adds a fun visual element to the layout. Havent dug deep into styles and costs yet, but my initial searches I came across this handwoven swingchair made using bamboo and recycled cotton.

swing-in-livingroom

You guys, I am bursting with ideas for my place. Just need to stop procrastinating packing and the actual move…wish me luck!

xo

via: AT