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It’s hard to believe, but the holidays are nearly upon us. If you’ve got family and holiday guests coming, here are some quick and easy home spruce-up ideas that don’t cost much in terms of time or money, but make a big impression in your home.
 
A Fresh Coat of Paint – is a quick, easy and inexpensive project that freshens up an entire room, or an entire house. Today’s premium latex paints offer one-coat coverage through formulas that feature both primer and paint in one can!
 
Here’s an important tip – if your trim is looking tired, painting just the wall will make it look even more tired. Pick up a can of trim paint as well, and go over baseboards, casings and window trim – then roll over your interior door – and you’ll have a room that looks brand new with just a few hours of effort.
 
lightingAdd New Lighting (or new light bulbs!) – Are areas of your home dark and unwelcoming? Replace old, inefficient light fixtures with one of today’s stylish new fixtures – and make sure you use a next generation LED bulb for beautiful warm light that mirrors natural sunlight.
 
Consider using a gleaming chrome fixture in a dark space, the reflected sparkle of the metal will add even more brilliance and illumination!
 
One caution: This is not a DIY project, unless you’re familiar with electrical wiring. If you’re not, it’s better (and safer) to have a professional do the work.
 
If your lighting is fine, but your bulbs are low-watt incandescent, upgrade to CFL or LED bulbs for more efficient and brighter light that will also save you money on your electrical bill!
 
Update Wall Art & Area Rugs - Adding a bold new print to a feature wall in any room makes a big statement! Today’s unframed, stretched canvas prints are striking, and available for relatively little money in a huge variety of sizes and subjects.
 
Likewise, adding a vibrant new area rug to hardwood, laminate or tile floors (or even over existing broadloom – but make sure you purchase a special underpad that keeps it from shifting and creasing) not only creates a visual anchor in your space, but makes a great impression as you enter the room.
 
handlesNew Knobs and Pulls in your Kitchen – Such a small thing that makes such a BIG difference. Knobs and pulls are stocked in dozens of metal finishes and styles in most home improvement stores.
 
Whether you match yours to your appliance and lighting metals, or create contrast by going in the opposite direction – you’ll be amazed at the impact new knobs and pulls make.
 
Add a festive new table runner and a holiday centerpiece – and your kitchen will welcome holiday guests in style!
 
Take a look around your home while you’re decorating for the holidays. Pick one or two projects that refresh the rooms that will get the most use through Christmas – and choose simple and affordable spruce-ups that will leave you proud to welcome guests this season!

 


Originally Published by The Chronicle Herald

 

Alexandra Kelter

 
Alexandra Kelter is a social media specialist with Central Home Improvements. Her column covers many aspects of home improvement, both indoor and outdoor, and will combine trending styles with practical applications all within realistic budgets. Kelter is also passionate about fashion, travel, living by the ocean and her bulldog.
 

 
seasonalstylebanner2
It’s hard not to feel that thrill of excitement when you start hearing Christmas music in the shops and the shelves begin to be lined with gift ideas and decorations for the holiday season.
 
Sure it can be easy to be cynical about the holidays, but isn’t there something wonderful about a time of year where so many of us will be with loved ones, enjoying the company of those we care about and remembering what Christmas is really about?
 
reddiningroomdecorationsA nice way to get into the festive spirit is by decorating your home. Adding those little (or major) seasonal touches is a chance to change your decor a little, and it marks the occasion, creating a warm and inviting place for holiday gatherings.
 
Lighting
 
One of the more common ways to get your home looking festive is outdoor lighting. You have the fun of choosing a colour palette — will you opt for the ever-elegant white lights, the funky multi-coloured, or maybe you’ll use one or two colours for all of your lights?
 
There’s a huge selection of lighting options, from icicle lights to your standard bulbs, and it’s a chance to add some really unique curb appeal to your house.
 
Lawn decorations
 
Not a fan of going up a ladder to string lights? There are some great options available that you can place on your lawn, such as reindeer and snowmen. These great light-up decorations look so pretty on those December nights as the snow quietly falls.
 
Wreaths
 
What is Christmas without a wreath or two? A growing trend we’re seeing by designers is purchasing a standard wreath then adding your own personal touches to it, with unique little decor items.
 
Fun
 
Some people even opt to make their own, using unexpected components, such as strings of Christmas light or candy canes. Instead of taking your outdoor lanterns from the summer inside, leave them out and add some garland or some holly berries to give them a holiday touch.
 
The tree
 
MomandChildwithChristmasTreeA tradition that is always a clear sign that the festivities have commenced in your home is the Christmas tree. More and more, consumers are foregoing real Christmas trees (those pine needles can be such a mess) and making a more long-term investment in an artificial tree.
 
They’re now made to look so real, and you have your choice of different sizes, colours, finishes and even pre-lit ones (anyone who has wrestled with that tangled ball of last year’s Christmas tree lights will appreciate the benefit of being able to just put up your tree, plug it in, and start adding decorations).
 
Many of us don’t see the Christmas tree as a design element in our space, but it definitely is, and we have so many choices about how to decorate it. It’s a really festive way to let your personal taste shine throughout your home.
 
With so many choices for what to put on your tree (ornaments, ribbon, bows, tinsel, and more), you can really personalize your tree — and it’s such a fun activity to do with children and other loved ones.
 
Fireplaces
 
With fireplaces being made so accessible for homes of every size and style to suit every budget, almost everyone is going to have a mantle to hang their stockings from this year, and that presents a perfect stage for setting the festive tone in your home. Whether you set up a Christmas scene on it, or create an interesting vignette using candles and decorations, make your mantle a focal point in your home — it will really add that festive warmth.
 
Ambience
 
Little touches go a long way in establishing ambience. Garlands on your stair banners, swapping some of your hanging art with Christmas-themed pieces, and adding decorations here and there will go a long way in making your space merry.
 
Whether you like to decorate for Christmas a little or a lot, it’s about incorporating the care, love, and warmth of the holiday spirit, and celebrating the things we truly love about home, which are not actually things at all!

 


Originally Published by The Chronicle Herald - November 13, 2014

 

Alexandra Kelter

 
Alexandra Kelter is a social media specialist with Central Home Improvements. Her column covers many aspects of home improvement, both indoor and outdoor, and will combine trending styles with practical applications all within realistic budgets. Kelter is also passionate about fashion, travel, living by the ocean and her bulldog.