June Pinteresting Picks

We can’t believe July is here! It’s been a fabulous summer so-far and our Pinterest followers are taking advantage of the nice weather! They’re staying organized, having plenty of parties and soaking up the sun — and you can tell by what they were pinning in June. Here are our June Pinteresting Picks.shot-glass-display

Party’s Past Shot Glass Display Shelf organizes your collection with ease. It holds up to 36 shot glasses for all to see. Some simple assembly required; assembly hardware included. window-tie

Let the Sun Shine In A Set of 2 Window Tie-Backs creates a different look for your existing curtains. The design features a circle with a coordinating stick. Gather the curtain in one hand, lay the circle over the front, then push the stick in on one side, behind the curtain and out the other side. Works with any type of fabric without damaging it.

raised-garden-bedGreener Pastures An attractive Raised Garden Bed is an easy way to grow vegetables or flowers. It’s lightweight and weather resistant. The Solar choice features 4 solar-powered lanterns that fasten into the corners. It glows with white light for up to 8 hours on a full charge. On/off switch. Solar, 49-1/4″ sq. x 5-7/8″H. Solar lanterns, 2″ dia. x 3-5/8″H, including 5/8″H stem, each. The Frog choice has decorative corner accents. The Brick choice features a red painted brick look.decorative-metal-coffee-collection

Pick-Me-Up Caffeinate your home with the mocha tones of the Decorative Metal Coffee Collection. The Set of 3 Coffee Cups  are labeled Mocha, Latte and Java.  All pieces come ready to hang.

address-stakeLight Up the Night Make sure that your house number is visible from the street with this 24″ Solar Address Stake. Powered by the sun, the bright LED light shines from the inside, drawing attention to your address. Use the included 5 sets of numerals from 0-9 to put your house number of up to 5 spaces in the stake.

Shop The Lakeside Collection for all your home decor needs. Indoors and outdoors, Lakeside has what you need to make your house beautiful!

“Clue” In to Your Attic Style

Board-game-piecesThe attic—that dusty, creepy room that lurks at the top of your house. It may be a little spooky now, but with a little renovation it could be your next favorite place. To get some ideas for your attic redo, read about the characters from Clue and decide who you identify with most.

Ms. Scarlet

Ms. Scarlet is…well, sexy and she knows it. Young and attractive, she knows how to turn heads. And of course she knows how to dress well.

To tap into your inner Scarlet, transform you attic into an extra master closet. A refurnished attic is an ideal space for anyone to house an expanding collection of clothes, shoes, accessories, and makeup. Hang rods at an angle from the sloped ceilings for clothes. Leave plenty of floor space for shoes and plush benches to try them on. Hang a large mirror at one end of the room for applying makeup and making sure you always look glamorous.

Mrs. White

Mrs. White is usually portrayed as the frazzled servant. Cleaning all those rooms and dealing with difficult guests would wear anyone out. If you relate to Mrs. White, your best bet for reinventing your attic is to turn it into a relaxing escape. Build a workout room, a yoga room, or simply an extra bedroom where you can escape for some down time.

Mrs. White is typically shown as an older woman, old enough to have grandchildren. If you are aging gracefully and have grandchildren yourself, a playroom is another excellent option for your attic. After refinishing the room, cover the floors with rugs or carpet (since kids spend a lot of time on the floor) and be sure there are plenty of cubbies and shelves for toys.

Colonel Mustard

Colonel Mustard is an adventurer. He has a military background and loves hunting. Naturally, he has a great deal of military memorabilia and hunting trophies to store. A strong (some would say stubborn) personality, Colonel Mustard would never consider putting his treasures in cramped, dusty boxes where they could not be viewed.

If the Colonel Mustard in you has collected a lot of items that you love but don’t have room for, consider turning your attic into a combination storage-and-display room. When you refinish your attic, incorporate shelves, tables, hooks, and cubbies into the plan so that you can arrange your treasures and collections without cluttering up the rest of your home.

Miss Peacock

Miss Peacock is a supremely aristocratic lady who is sometimes cast as a busybody. A wealthy widow, she had several husbands who died mysteriously.

If you have some valuables that you want to keep safe, the attic could be the perfect place. Most burglars head for the bedroom first, as this is where most valuables are kept. The attic is out of the way enough that a burglar would be unlikely to search there. (Just be sure your attic has sufficient insulation or your Burlington painting and other paper-based treasures could be warped by weather.) Add a touch of secrecy by creating a secret space in a floorboard, in a wall, or in a fake book. You can never be too careful!

Mr. Green

Mr. Green is a shrewd businessman—and any clever businessman needs a smart office. To turn your attic into the perfect work space, take advantage of the angles of the room. Shelves built into walls and corners will hold books, papers, and office supplies. Ensure that your office has plenty of light and outlets, as well as access to the internet. To brainstorm all of your brilliantly cunning ideas, create a whiteboard on one wall.

Professor Plum

Don’t take offense if you feel that you identify best with Professor Plum. Though he is a bit absent-minded and klutzy, he is also widely regarded for his intellect. And what would an intellectual be without his library?

An attic provides an excellent retreat for a library. Build shelves directly into the walls as a charming way to save floor space. Cover the floor with rugs and pillows so readers can make their own reading nook wherever they like. Be sure there is plenty of natural light or reading lamps and add a fireplace to make the room even cozier.

After considering which Clue character you are most like, play around with different attic renovation ideas to suit your personality. Revamping your attic may be one of the best moves you ever make!

Edson Senna is a freelance writer who specializes in home improvement and business. He gets many of his home improvement tips from companies like Reitzel Insulation. In his spare time, Edson enjoys running, biking, and reinventing various spaces in his own home.

Tasteful All-winter Decor for Home Gardens

winter-2014It’s all very well and good to be the Clark Griswold of your neighborhood this Christmas—up until January 2. After that day, the electric St. Nicks and reindeer need to go back into storage; Christmas is over, let it go. You’ve had plenty of time to recover from all that partying, time to put the 200 feet of red and green rope lighting away.

However, if you are the type who likes to keep your home and garden decorated (if only to distract from the dismal winter chill) take heart. There are plenty of tasteful, non-Christmas-y ways to decorate your home this winter.

Celebrate Something Else
There are plenty of other holidays in winter besides “the holidays” (Christmas, Hanukah, Festivus, Kwanza, etc.).

Say what you will about Valentine’s Day being a massive commercial scam perpetrated by the candy companies, the idea of a holiday that celebrates love (platonic as well as romantic) is a nice one. You don’t have to go full Gilderoy Lockhart and deck the yard in cupids, hearts, and roses—a simple Valentine’s wreath suited to your taste (even if that means it’s covered in snarky conversation hearts) hung over the door will more than suffice.

Is your team headed to the NBA playoffs, the Super Bowl, or the World Series? Get some light ropes in their colors and show your support (there’s a family on my block who does this by supporting their alma mater with blue light ropes and a giant white “Y” light on the house every Christmas, not just afterward).

No matter what in winter you choose to celebrate, finding something to celebrate and showing it will make your spirits brighter (even if it’s not socially acceptable for you to be singing “Jingle Bells” anymore).

Winter Wonderland: Not Just a Christmas Song
Remember what I said about putting those rope lights away? Hold on a minute. Do you have a few, tasteful ropes of white lights along the basic lines of your home? Some light-up snowflakes? Icicle light strands? Keep those up until the snow won’t be coming again; snow is not exclusive to Christmas. Though if your white lights cover the house in Griswold fashion, you need to consider toning them down. Maybe just put most of them away.

Get the kids to make paper snowflakes and tape those up in the windows for décor that works indoors and out. And what’s more wintery and kid-friendly than littering a yard with snowmen? (Now just hope your child doesn’t favor Calvin and Hobbes’ snowman designs)

Plants that work (it) in Winter
This one takes some advance planning on your part. When planning your garden for the entire year, take a good look at how your plants will look year-round (rather than just at their prime). Not every plant needs to last and stay the same in each season (boring!), but you should have at least two to three plants that will stick with you and look good year-round.

Of course, what looks good to you year-round is purely a matter of taste, but here are a few suggestions that should work for every style:

  • Any well-pruned, shapely fruit, nut, or forest tree can look delicate in frozen, wintery, leafless beauty
  • Evergreen trees (if your climate can support them) are a favorite standby
  • Not an arboreal gardener? Not a problem! Fragrant, constant evergreens also come in bush form (especially the prized scent of a cedar bush)
  • Hedges
  •  Any plant that requires a trellis (mostly so you can have an icicle-covered, snow-dusted trellis, but even so)

If you like the way it looks in hibernation and covered in snow, go ahead and plant it early on in the year for a garden that keeps on giving when it’s no longer alive or in hibernation.

It can be tempting to procrastinate putting away all your hard work after Christmas—it’s sad to see that “the holidays” are over. But, as anyone who sells real estate in Florida or apartments for rent in Mississauga will tell you, your house value goes down in the eyes of potential buyers (and your neighbors become resentful) when Christmas decorations overstay their welcome. Any or all of these options will make for a tastefully decorated home and yard even after the Candy Cane forest you so painstakingly set up has to be put away—and you can keep feeling (appropriately) festive until spring comes back!

Lucy Markham is an avid blogger and researches with companies like Metcap. Lucy, as a recent homeowner, considers herself a bit of an expert on all things home improvement, gardening, and home decoration.

5 Tips to Decorate Your Kitchen for Any Holiday

Decorating a kitchen for the holidays is a constant struggle between practicality and festivity. You want to add fun touches, but you also need to keep the space usable and clutter-free. Here are tips for holiday decorating that will help you spread the cheer while still spreading that mayo on sandwiches for school lunches. Try these 5 decorating tips that can be translated to any holiday décor, from the Fourth of July to New Year’s Day.

Go Above the Cabinets
Don’t waste that valuable space above your cabinets! This is a prime area for some festive fun that is out of the way of the kitchen’s day to day hubbub. If you are not already using the space for storage (which is completely understandable), start using it for decorations.

Here are some items you could add for various holidays:Holiday-kitchen
• Garlands
• Small collectibles
• Framed artwork
• Pottery
• Figurines
• Baskets

Think how cute a collection of nutcrackers would look. Or, imagine Easter baskets with eggs and a watchful Easter bunny. Just don’t fill the space too much, or else it will cluttered and tacky. Choose items wisely, and space them out across the cabinets for the best effect.

Dish It Up
Dishes aren’t just for eating off of—they are the perfect tools to spread holiday cheer. Try hanging a collection on a wall, and then switch some out for different season. Display beautiful pieces on open shelving or in glass-front cabinets. Or here’s a novel idea—actually use holiday dishes to eat. Any meal (even leftovers) becomes more exciting with fun dishes. Check out craft or department stores to buy them, or make your own with easy transfers or vinyl images.

A Little Linen Love
What kitchen isn’t laden with dish towels, tea towels, napkins, and tablecloths? The idea for this tip is to transform things you already need and use in your kitchen into festive additions. You already use towels in your kitchen, so why not make them a decoration, too? Spread out a tablecloth on your table or counter top. Hang some towels on your oven handle or a hook. You can add a lot of color with only little space, while adding high utility. You can even make your own holiday linens with some flour sack towels and simple embroidery (plus a few details like buttons or fabric scraps).

The Central Affair
Add an easy centerpiece to your dining or kitchen table. The best centerpiece is one that is easy to change between seasons and holidays. Have a few foundation pieces, like a tray, a monogram letter, and a few large apothecary jars. A tray is a good way to contain the space, and it’s easy to remove the centerpiece for meals. To change the scene for different times of year, fill the jars with different items. For Easter, fill the jars with plastic eggs and pastel candy. During Halloween, drape with spider webs and flying bats. At Christmas time, add ornaments or candy canes.

Don’t Forget the Food
Remember what the kitchen is about? Oh yeah, food! Use the function of the kitchen to inspire its décor. Food is a perfect reflection of seasonal changes. Strawberries call up thoughts of sunshine and summertime, apples remind us of autumn and new school years, and pomegranates and oranges bring Christmas and winter cheer. Simply display fresh fruit in a bowl on the counter. You can also add more holiday-inspired items like frosted sugar cookies for Valentine’s Day, dried corn and gourds for Thanksgiving, and gingerbread for Christmas.

Your kitchen doesn’t have to give up its functionality for festivity! Use these tips to decorate for any holiday in a few easy steps. You’ll wow your friends with your constantly changing (but super easy) décor throughout the year.

Melanie Hargrave is a wife and homemaker whose pride and joy is her family. In addition to spending time with her husband and daughters, she loves being outdoors, playing sports, and sharing her experiences with others. Melanie loves decorating her home (especially for the holidays) and renovating, and enjoys working with Always Plumbing & Heating to make sure her home is in tip-top shape.

Image Credit: homedit.com