10 Holiday Decor Storage Hacks You Need to Know

holiday decor storage hacks

Here are a few holiday decor storage hacks to take the pain out of packing up the season. Image: Joanna Kosinska

The holiday season is one of the most fun and beautiful times of the year. We gather with friends and family, we share meals and gifts and we can all feel the cheer in the air. When it comes time to pack up the tree, take down the stockings and unstring the lights, it can feel a little sad – and a little overwhelming. After the busyness of the season, you’re looking at a fair amount of work to get your house back to normal. Fortunately, these holiday decor storage hacks can make things a little easier for you.

Rather than just shoving things back into boxes, only to find broken ornaments and missing bulbs when you start to decorate next year, employ these tips. With these holiday decor storage hacks in your arsenal, packing up – and packing neatly – is a snap.

holiday decor storage hacks - labels

Label your decor as you put it away to make decorating easier next year. Image: Squared Away

Get on board with organization

Here are two tips to help you store everything in a logical way so decorating next year is a breeze.

  • As you’re packing things up, set yourself up for success next year. Rather than shoving things into random boxes, label each one (e.g. the “Living Room” box would get filled with all the decorations you use in the living room). You can also place individual labels on items of which you have multiple (e.g. “Banister Garland” and “Mantle Garland”). Those leftover gift tags are perfect for labeling as you pack up.
  • When you buy new strings of lights, write critical information like where you bought them (so you know where to go for replacement bulbs) and length on the plug. Then, as you take strands down at the end of the season, wrap them around an old Pringles can or cardboard tubes that held paper towels. Cut a slit in the lip to hold the plug in place so you can neatly wrap the entire strand and easily access the info you’ve written. You can also tape spare bulbs in the tube’s center.
holiday decor storage hacks - reuse

Reusing items you already have can help you protect your holiday decor. Image: Make Life Lovely

Reuse to reduce

The holiday season creates a lot of waste. But you can use that to your advantage with these tips.

  • Shred old wrapping paper, including those random scraps that get left over when wrapping oddly shaped gifts. Use this stuffing to pad fragile items as you pack your holiday decor into storage.
  • Hold on to the packaging for your ornaments. This the ideal way to store them so they don’t get broken. If you’ve already tossed the boxes, however, you’ve got some other options. Save egg cartons to store smaller ornaments. Larger ornaments can get a similar upcycle treatment if you save two cardboard drink holders. Nestle four ornaments – one in each cupholder – in the first one, then use the second as a lid. Plastic carryout containers can be equally useful when padded with a little leftover tissue paper.
  • Corral garlands and little holiday tchotchkes in old tennis ball containers.
holiday decor storage hacks - moisture

Your holiday decorations are precious – so protecting them from moisture is key. Image: Piccadilly Design

Minimize the effects of moisture

There’s a reason you dedicate precious storage space to your holiday decor. Treasured heirlooms, handmade items and memory-filled objects make up the bulk of your decorations. Here are a few ways to protect them.

  • Are you storing your decor in the basement? If so, make sure you safeguard it from the effects of a damp space. Pack everything in plastic bins to keep it dry.
  • Put homemade, food-based ornaments (like those precious macaroni stars) in sandwich bags to keep the food in better shape and prevent them from falling apart. Store everything in cookie tins to keep away pests who would want a nibble.
holiday decor storage hacks - fresh

Opt for fresh greenery that you can toss (or compost!) at the end of the year to free up storage space. Image: Julie Ranee Photography

Get fresh and free

How much space do you dedicate the other eleven months of the year to storing your decorations? Here are a few holiday decor storage hacks to help you free up some of that square footage.

  • Fresh decor – like garlands, pinecones and cranberries – adds festive cheer to any space but can be tossed in the trash guilt-free at the end of the season. Plus, you just can’t beat that evergreen smell!
  • Tired of trying to stack rolls of wrapping paper? Use a plastic garment bag to corral them. Thread a hanger through the top to make it easy to hang them up and out of the way.
  • Similarly, wreaths will stay in better shape if they’re hung vertically, plus will take up less space that way. Twist tie a wreath to a hanger. Cut a hole in the bottom of a trash bag and thread the hanger through to protect the wreath from dust.

Good luck packing up the season! We hope these holiday decor storage hacks make life a little bit easier for you. And if you want to keep the home hacks rolling, here are 5 New Year’s Resolutions to help you get your house in top shape.

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Decorate With Red to Give Your Space a High-Design Vibe

Red never goes out of style, although different tones of the color will be more popular for a while. A deep, rich red is the “it” color of the moment and we’ve got some great ideas on how you can decorate with this rich, sumptuous hue.

Also known as brick, merlot, spice, chili, ruby or deep red, this red is spicy, exotic and vibrant. It’s fairly neutral so you can pair the newest red with greys, chocolates, tans or warmer colors. Here are 24 ideas on how you can decorate with red for a high-design look that’s both inviting and intimate.

How to decorate with red furnishings and accessories

The fastest way to infuse red into your environment is by adding a few accessories like new bedding, throw pillows, a throw blanket, rugs, vases and wall art. Feeling a bit bolder? Nothing is sexier than a deep red velvet sofa.

decorating with red

If you’re on a limited budget and don’t want to make permanent color changes, go with small but bold red accessories like throw pillows or a rug. Image: Radform

decorating with red

Red velvet dining chairs as well as two clear acrylic red wall panels add a striking splash of color to this contemporary dining room. Image: Philippe Le Berre

how to decorate with red

Liven up neutrals like greys and tans by adding accessories like this cubist rug and deep red throw pillows. Image: In Unison Design

decorating with red ideas

The designer of this room wanted to add symmetry with the red accessories. The red accents were placed in pairs, while the single pillow and red Venetian glass lamp were centered in the room. Image: Luce Vetro

decorating with red

For a fresh new way to decorate with red, pair the sexy color with deep chocolate brown. Image: House Beautiful

decorating with red

A white understated room feels anchored and exotic, thanks to the vibrant ruby red tribal rug. Image: Photo by Pixy

decorate with red

A small loft space’s main attraction is the oversized deep red velvet tufted sofa. Image: Domus Nova

decorating with red

A deep ruby red is a fresh and sophisticated color for holiday decorating. Image: Andrea Schumacher Interiors

Deep red paint ideas

Red is an intense color. Painting an entire room in the shade may feel a bit too much, but a carefully chosen wall or architecture detail in a deep rich red tone can work. Here are some beautiful red paint ideas.

decorating with red

Brick red canvas panels frame the homeowner’s Buddha collection and also pull the room together by adding an exotic feeling to what was a simple neutral space. Image: Taylor Howes

decorate with red

Only the window wall was painted in this deep chili red. Image: Gruppo Castaldi

decorate with red

Painting the headboard wall of this large, open bedroom in a matte red finish creates a warmer and more intimate space. Image: Armazem Design

decorate with red

This guest bedroom/home office is painted in a welcoming chili red tone. The bright white molding breaks up the deep color. Image: Capital Closets

red paint ideas

To create an intimate setting for dinner parties, the dining room received a rich brick red tone on the walls. Image: Ascher Davis Architects

decorating with red

Red is also a complementary tone to black and white room settings. Image: Gruppo Castaldi

decorate with red paint ideas

Paint your headboard wall in a deep, earthy red tone to add a warm, inviting feel to your bedroom. Image: Swank Design

Rich red tiles

If you want to add rich texture to a space or accent wall, a red tile is the perfect addition. If the foundation of your room is white, red tiles can also add a modern feel to the space.

decorating with red

Tile the area around your fireplace in a red tile to add drama to your living room. Image: Arto

decorating with red

This contemporary white bathroom felt a little cold and stark before adding this stunning red glass mosaic tile. Image: Famosa Tile

Decorating with red in the kitchen

Red in the kitchen may be the most natural place for the color. That’s because some say the color red can increase your appetite. You can decorate with red by adding a red backsplash, adding red barstools or painting your cabinets or kitchen island in red.

decorating with red in the kitchen

A high gloss red kitchen backsplash flows beautifully with the walnut brown and white color theme of this modern kitchen. Image: Architrix Studio

decorating with red cabinets

High gloss red cabinets highlight the rich hue well and also reflect light to maintain a bright and airy kitchen. Image: Roselind Wilson Design

decorate with red

When decorating with red, add the color in at least 2 or 3 ways throughout the kitchen. Image: Nicholas Anthony

decorate with red

Low maintenance industrial bar stools in red add a vibrant and family-friendly feeling to a minimalist white kitchen. Notice how the red is sprinkled throughout the kitchen as well as out into the sunroom. Image: Lynsey Jane Designs

decorate with red

While the kitchen backsplash is a good place to add red, the side panels of the island are an original way to include the color. Image: Baldridge Architects

decorate with red

Grey, black, white and brown are natural mates for a deep, rich red, like this kitchen shows. Image: Area

Red should be part of your home in one form or another. The invigorating color adds a feeling of good energy to any room. Depending on how much you like the color, you can add a few small touches or create full rooms featuring red. Where would you add red in your home? Let us know in the comments.

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20 Ways to Plan Room Designs with Seasonal Decorating

If you’re planning to redecorate a room, you might want to stop and think about how that year-round design will fit in with your seasonal decorating. It sounds counterintuitive. After all, it’s common to just throw any seasonal decor into the room style you already have. Why should holiday decorating dominate the home all year?

But if you were to stop and think about how your overall room colors work in relation to your seasonal decorating, you could take your home to a new level around the holidays. For instance, you might choose a warm color scheme if you prefer gold holiday decorations so that the bright gold shade doesn’t clash with too many other colors in the space. Or you might have pops of red around the room to go with a variety of holiday items.

Another option is to find holiday decorating color schemes that work with the room styles you already have. That way, you don’t have to completely redesign rooms, if that’s not something you want to tackle. Take a look below to see how different holiday color schemes work with different overall room designs.

Seasonal decorating in red

Red is, of course, a mainstay for seasonal decorating. Along with green and white, the three make up the traditional colors associated with Christmas. Red is a favorite because it just pops, making it a good option for an accent color during the holiday season. Plus, red shows up in many seasonal decor items, from Santa’s red suit to Rudolf’s nose.

Think about either subtle or bold ways to have red in your space all year. That way, it will be easy to fit into a variety of seasonal decor items. You could paint an accent piece, have a bright red chair or go for a bold all-red color scheme. Take a look below for some holiday color schemes that accent the red colors already in the space.

Seasonal Decorating Red Kitchen Island

Paint a kitchen island red to match a traditional green and red Christmas color scheme. Image: M&S

Seasonal Decorating Red Door Design

A red accent door looks bold year-round and is a natural look around the holidays. Image: Your Space by Design

Seasonal Decorating Distressed Wood Red

You’re not restricted to color scheme; try going for distressed wood to go with a red classic country Christmas theme. Image: Cosa Belle Interiors

Seasonal Decorating Red Wood Style

Warm cherry wood also pairs well with lush, red Christmas displays. Image: Rikki Snyder

Seasonal Decorating Red Color Scheme

This bold all-red color scheme works well around the holidays. Image: Farrow&Ball

Seasonal decorating in green

And then there’s the other main color of the holidays: green. Green is easy to incorporate into a space around the holidays, as it makes a natural addition in the form of evergreen trees and garland. Many holiday items also have red and green on them, like Christmas throw pillows.

So, naturally, a good option to give your home a cohesive look around the holidays is to have some permanent green fixtures. You might have green furniture, green topiaries or even green accent walls. Take a look below to see how green holiday color schemes work with the overall design of the room.

Seasonal Decorating Green Chair Style

This Christmas tree matches the green chairs and greenery on the curtains. Image: Tobi Fairley

Seasonal Decorating Topiaries Style

Year-round green topiaries are a natural match for garland and a Christmas tree. Image: Leanne Michael

Seasonal Decorating Green Accents Chair

This photo shows how well a Christmas throw pillow goes with green floral accents on a chair. Image: Robeson Design

Seasonal Decorating Green Ottoman Design

A bright green armchair and ottoman go well with the Christmas tree. Image: Maria Killam

Seasonal Decorating Outdoors Table

The napkins in this unique Christmas table setting go with the surrounding lush greenery; it’s a good idea for climates that are warm in December. Image: Earthwork

Seasonal decorating in silver

Another color scheme favorite for seasonal decorating is silver. From silver bells to silvery snowflakes hanging from the ceiling, silver gives a cool, wintery ambiance. You have many more options with silver for your overall room design, as well. With silver, you’ll want to err on the side of light and neutral color schemes. That way, the silver doesn’t have to compete with bolder colors to stand out.

And because light and neutral color schemes are so popular, you might already have the perfect palette for decorating with silver this holiday season. Take a look below to see some amazing silver holiday color schemes and how they work with the rest of the space.

Seasonal Decorating Silver Style

The light blue walls and silver textures on the tree create a cool, icy effect for winter decorating. Image: Robeson Design

Seasonal Decorating Gray Room

Silver is a natural choice against a backdrop of neutral colors schemes, like this white and gray space. Image: Lux Interior Design

Seasonal Decorating White Wall and Reindeer

This silver-flecked reindeer stands well against a cool white and light blue color scheme. Image: Robeson Design

Seasonal Decorating Gray Wall Room

Here’s another example of how well silver works against a gray color scheme. Image: Houseology Design Group Limited

Seasonal Decorating Silver Snowflakes Design

The silver-flecked reindeer and silver snowflakes don’t have to compete against anything when placed in front of a large mirror and a light wall. Image: Robeson Design

Seasonal decorating in gold

Another holiday decorating favorite is gold. It gives a look of lush holiday riches, making it a favorite for holiday decor color schemes. Gold can be a little harder to just throw into any space, however. It tends to work best against warm color schemes that are already present in the room. That way, gold seasonal decorating elements look like they belong, rather than something you just threw in your home during the holidays. Below are several styles where gold naturally fits in with the surrounding room design.

Seasonal Decorating Gold Style

Gold holiday elements work well against warm wood designs and gold year-round elements, like the mirror frame. Image: Linly Designs

Seasonal Decorating Gold and Brown Walls

Gold can work well against light brown wall textures. Image: Regina Gust Luxe Seasonal and Floral Décor

Seasonal Decorating Yellow Stone Mantel

These golden angels pair well with the golden/yellow tones in the mantel stone. Image: Dawn Hearn Interior Design

Seasonal Decorating Art and Garland

Gold accents on a garland are a natural match with warm-toned art. Image: Robeson Design

Seasonal Decorating Gold Curtains

The gold decorations on this tree match the golden curtains well. Image: Regina Gust Luxe Seasonal and Floral Décor

The post 20 Ways to Plan Room Designs with Seasonal Decorating appeared first on Freshome.com.

Allswell Review: Is The Allswell The Best Bed-In-A-Box Budget Option?

This article is sponsored by Allswell. While our team received this product free of cost, the opinions and statements below are those of our writer’s experience. Freshome may collect a share of sales from the links on this page.

Did you know that we spend about a third of our lives sleeping? With numbers like those, it’s no surprise that most of us want to invest in a mattress that’s comfy-yet-supportive. However, affordability also has to be a concern. That’s where the bed-in-a-box mattress craze – and the Allswell – come into play.

I’ve had a bed-in-a-box before and, to be honest, I wasn’t impressed. So when Allswell contacted me about the opportunity to try out their namesake offering, I jumped at the chance. I wanted to see once and for all if these budget options are worth it or if it’s better to just save your pennies for the real thing.

Here’s how it went:


The Allswell is Walmart’s answer to the bed-in-a-box trend. Image: Allswell

What is Allswell?

Allswell is a design-centric home brand under the helm of Walmart. This online-only retailer is meant to be a one-stop shop for all your bedding needs. In addition to the mattresses that we’ll be discussing in this article, Allswell also offers several collections of bedding, all of which were designed by lifestyle experts like HGTV host Genevieve Gorder. Plus, they’re totally Instagram-worthy.

But aesthetics aside, Allswell is concentrated on bringing you quality sleep products at a fraction of the normal price. The brand’s mission statement says it all: “We believe that a luxurious sleep experience shouldn’t come at a luxury price.”

Right now, there are two distinct Allswell products. Image: Allswell

Your Allswell purchase options

The Allswell line has gone through a few changes since its inception in February 2018. As of right now, they offer two distinct options: the Allswell and the Allswell Luxe Hybrid. Here are some specs on each model:

The Allswell

  • $245 – $420, depending on size
  • 10″ thick
  • Hybrid foam and coil technology
  • High-performance memory foams
  • Individually wrapped coils
  • CertiPUR-US® certified foams

The Allswell Luxe Hybrid

  • $295 – $745, depending on size
  • 12″ thick
  • Hybrid foam and coil technology
  • High-performance memory foams
  • Individually wrapped coils
  • CertiPUR-US® certified foams
  • Built-in plush topper
  • Cool-to-the-touch top layer

It’s worth noting that both Allswell offerings come with a 100-night free trial period and a 10-year limited warranty, so if you’re skeptical about buying a bed-in-a-box, the company has your back.

The Allswell set-up process

For my review, I was given the basic Allswell option. But no matter which product you ultimately end up choosing, Allswell is committed to making the set-up process as easy as possible.

For $99, the company offers a “White Glove Service,” which means they will send someone to your home to set the mattress up for you. If you choose to waive your right to the 100-night trial period, they will also remove your old mattress for free. However, if you want to hang onto your trial period, they’ll still take care of your old mattress for an additional $49.

Normally, I’m all for convenience services like these, but this time, I wanted to give you an honest picture of what set-up might look like so I opted out and chose to set up my own mattress instead.

The packaging

Within a few days of ordering, a box arrived at my door that looked like this:


The Allswell comes packaged in one neat box.

In case you can’t read it from the picture above, the box comes with a warning.


The warning is true. It’s heavier than it looks.

It says, “BE CAREFUL: I’m heavier than I look.” The warning is true. This sucker is heavy.

I’m not very strong, and I had two people helping me move this mattress up a flight of stairs to my room and it wasn’t easy. I’d say you’d need at least two people to move it. Otherwise, it may be worth investing in the “White Glove” service.

The set-up

Once we got it upstairs, the next step was to check out what was in the box.


The mattress comes all wrapped up in a little tube.

The mattress comes wrapped up in a little vacuum-sealed tube like this.

One interesting thing about my experience was that the mattress was the only thing inside the box. There were no instructions or anything else.

In doing research for this article, I’ve gathered that other reviewers also received instructions and a cutting tool, aimed at helping you open the packaging without accidentally puncturing the mattress inside. I didn’t see anything like that in my box, but it could have been a fluke.

Luckily, I was able to cut through the packaging just fine with scissors and no puncture wounds were sustained. Once you unseal the packaging, this happens:


The mattress will begin to inflate as soon as you open it.

The mattress began to inflate pretty much as soon as it was unsealed.

When reading the instructions online later – again, there were no instructions in the box – I learned that I was supposed to have placed the tube in the middle of my bedframe before unsealing it. I imagine that this would have made positioning the mattress even easier, but we were able to lift it on without much of an issue.

When it’s all set, it looks like this:

out of the box

The Allswell, out of the box.

The waiting period

I’ve had bed-in-a-box mattresses before so I knew that they usually need some time to inflate fully before you can sleep on them. I suspected that the Allswell would be the same way, so I did a little digging online.

I was right. On the Allswell website, it says that the mattress should inflate fully within a few minutes of opening, but that the process could take up to 48 hours.

In the end, I chose to wait for the full 48 hours before sleeping on the mattress – and I was glad I did.


The Allswell, fully inflated.

Hopefully, you can see the difference between this picture and the one above, but I’d say the mattress inflated at least an inch over the two days that I left it to rise.

From there, it was just a matter of putting sheets on and getting ready for bed.


Ready for testing.

The Allswell sleep experience

For my review, I decided to break my mattress experience down into a few, frequently-tested categories. They are:

Firmness and feel

The Allswell is a hybrid memory foam mattress and it certainly sleeps like one. At 4’11” and 104 lbs, I’m smaller than average, but I still sank into the mattress just enough to feel cradled by it. To me, it’s on the softer end of the firmness scale, but I’ve never had a memory foam mattress before, so take that with a grain of salt. That said, I didn’t have any problems sleeping on the mattress and, after about a week, I got used to the feel of the foam topper.

I’m a chronic stomach sleeper, which is probably why I prefer a firmer mattress, but in an effort to give you a thorough review, I made a point of sleeping in a few different positions.

Side sleepers, whose positioning is particularly rough on the joints, will be happy to know that the Allswell provides more-than-sufficient support for your hips, knees and shoulders. I tend to have back pain when I spend all night on my side and, notably, I didn’t this time. Back sleepers, on the other hand, should know that while you do feel cradled by the mattress, I didn’t experience that stuck-in-the-mud feeling that sometimes occurs when sleeping on a super soft mattress.

Motion isolation

Motion isolation refers to how much you can feel your partner’s movements from the other side of the bed. Ideally, a mattress will isolate motion well and your sleep won’t be disturbed if your partner gets up in the middle of the night.

Luckily, the new person I’m dating was kind enough to come over and help me test the Allswell out. All in all, it performed very well. I couldn’t feel small movements like shifting weight at all and could only feel changes of position lightly. I was even able to get out of bed without stirring them.

Edge support

I feel like the edge support test was tailor-made for me. This is essentially an evaluation of how well the mattress springs back after you put your full weight on its edges. I mostly sleep on the very edge of my mattress and I sit on it to get dressed most mornings. Needless to say, my mattress’s edge support gets a workout.

Unfortunately, I did start to notice some slight sloping in the area where I tend to put most of my body weight. It may just be my mattress, but if your mattress edges also put in a lot of hard time, you may want to go with a mattress that has more reinforcement.

Heat retention

I’m one of those people who is always cold, so I’m probably not the best person to be speaking on heat retention. That said, I didn’t have any problems with feeling hot in the middle of the night. However, if you really prefer to feel cool while you sleep, you may want to look into the Luxe Hybrid model. That one comes with a cool-to-the-touch top layer that allows for better airflow.


Off-gassing, for those who don’t know, is an industry term for a certain odor that is sometimes an unpleasant side effect of bed-in-a-box mattresses. It comes from the way the foam is made, how long it’s left to cure and how long it is in the package. Fortunately, I didn’t have any issue with a smell, especially after I let the mattress sit for two days before using it. However, for those who do, the smell is supposed to disappear within a few days.


Since the Allswell has only been on the market for less than a year and I’ve only had my model for a few weeks, it’s hard to take a guess at how well the mattress will hold up in the long run. That being said, other than the one spot along the edge of the mattress, I haven’t seen or felt any beginning signs of sagging since I got my mattress.


The Allswell is an above average mattress option, especially for the price. Image: Allswell

The bottom line

All in all, the Allswell is an above average mattress option, especially when you take the price into account. It performed well in nearly all the areas that I tested. Though it is a little soft for me, personally, I’m going to keep it. It honestly did change my negative opinion on bed-in-a-box mattresses. I would recommend it to anyone who’s in the market.

The post Allswell Review: Is The Allswell The Best Bed-In-A-Box Budget Option? appeared first on Freshome.com.

7 Budget-Friendly Ways to Keep Your Home Warm This Winter

keep your home warm

Find out how to keep your home warm without spending any extra money this winter. Image: Anna Duval

Winter is coming, and you know what that means! Holiday cheer, festive gatherings and, unfortunately, higher utility bills. The colder season makes us all crank up the heat in our homes and apartments. But with the need to buy holiday gifts (and the want to go out and celebrate the season), this isn’t a great time of year to find your bills climbing. That’s why we’ve gathered seven ways to keep your home warm this winter that don’t include adjusting your thermostat, won’t cost a fortune and take just five minutes or less to implement.

You’ve got options beyond  spiking your energy bill, sweating your home’s insulation or layering on sweater after sweater. With these tips, you can keep your home cozy and comfortable all winter long.

keep your home warm - drapes

Your window coverings are an extra layer of insulation you can use this winter. Image: Hege in France

Draw the drapes

Did you know you have a heat source you can tap into throughout the day that’s completely free? It’s the sun! During daylight hours, pull all of your window coverings open so that big radiant heat source can do its thing. Then, as the sun sets, draw everything closed. This serves two purposes. The extra layer of insulation over you’re homes glass – which can transfer heat and cold too easily – keeps the chilly evening temps outside while trapping the day’s warmth inside. The thicker your curtains, the bigger difference they’ll make during the cold months.

Don’t let heat vanish through vents

When you run your vents, you open your home’s interior up to the cold, dry air outside. If you’re in the habit of leaving your bathroom vents open after your shower, change it up during the colder months to keep your home warm. Once you’re done in the bathroom, switch them off and leave the bathroom door open instead. The warm, damp air will help your house stay comfortable – and can give you some reprieve from the dryness of winter.

keep your home warm - fan

Using fans in the winter seems counterintuitive, but your ceiling fan could be an ally against the chill. Image: J.Fisher Interiors

Flip your fans

Did you know that the direction ceiling fans rotate affects their performance? In the summer, you want the blades moving forward to push cool air into the room. In the winter, however, you want to reverse the direction of your fans (there should be a little switch on the side). Swapping the fan direction helps your fans take the warm air that accumulates at your ceiling and distribute it through the room.

Rearrange around your radiator

If you have a radiator, keep the area around it clear. If, for example, you have a couch sitting right in front of it, that couch will absorb the bulk of the heat it puts out. Opening up the area around your radiator helps the heat distribute throughout your house.

Similarly, check the areas around all of your vents. Furniture on top of floor vents isn’t doing you any favors when you’re trying to get warm air into your home this winter.

keep your home warm - oven

After baking, a cracked oven can make your kitchen delightfully warm. Image: John Maniscalco Architecture

Open your oven

During the holiday season, you’ll probably be doing some baking. That sheet of cookies won’t just warm your families’ hearts; it can also keep your home warm during the chilly season. After you’ve finished baking and turned off your oven, leave the door cracked. The hot air will seep out and keep your kitchen warm and toasty.

Close up for coziness

If you have a guest room, study or den that sits relatively unused, why waste your money trying to heat it? Keep the doors to any unoccupied rooms closed. This makes it easier for your home or apartment’s heating system to circulate the warm air through the areas that are being used, helping you keep your utility bills lower without compromising your comfort this winter.

keep your home warm - rug

Insulate your floors – and keep your toes toasty – by adding a rug to open floors. Image: Introspecs

Roll out a rug

If you want your home to feel cozy, cold feet aren’t going to do you any favors. Wherever you have large spaces of exposed, non-carpeted flooring, consider adding a rug this winter. Your floors can actually account for as much as ten percent of your home’s heat loss. Throwing down a run provides an extra layer of insulation that can help your home feel warmer and prevent bare floors from absorbing heat that they’ll quickly lose. Plus, it’s a great excuse to get a living room rug that will transform your space.

These seven tips can help you keep your home warm  keep your utility bills stable even as the weather gets colder. In addition to these tips it’s always a smart idea to have your hvac system and furnace checked to make sure your system is operating at its top condition. Do you have any other tips for keeping your home heated during the winter?

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Holiday Decorating for Busy People

You love the holidays, but let’s face it: you have neither the time, nor the desire to actually decorate your home for the holiday season. At the same time, you don’t want to be mistaken for Ebenezer Scrooge. Is there a middle ground? Yep. Here are some holiday decorating tips for busy people.

Use everyday items

homemade tree

A homemade Christmas tree in Sydney, AU. Image: Red Agape Blog

“For quick and easy ways to decorate for the holidays I recommend using what you may already have in your décor and layering holiday items in,” advises Karen Otto at Home Star Staging in Dallas, TX.  “For example, you can adorn pottery, bowls, boxes, shelves and vases with fresh or faux-real looking evergreens.” In the photo above, homeowners gathered sticks on their property, and decorated with white clay tags and lights.

Otto also recommends using holiday cards (past and present) in holiday decorating to create super easy and stylish scenes for your Christmas setting.

red pillows

Red pillows add holiday cheer. Image: Lance Selgo, Unique Exposure Photography

Another idea for easy holiday decorating is to simply add holiday colors, such as pillows and throws that are red, green, silver and/or gold, Otto says. These items not only add holiday cheer, but also warmth.


This Edmonton home found a simple and fun way to decorate. Image: AMR Interior Design and Drafting

You’d be surprised what types of items may be laying around your house that can be used for holiday decorating. “I’ll stack my vintage coolers in the back entry for a welcoming holiday look,” Otto adds. “Don’t over think things – just adding a few simple touches in key rooms may be all you need to feel festive and in the spirit,” Otto says.

Decorate once for the season

Christmas tree

The tree provides decorations inside and outside. Image: Houseology Design Group Limited

You can also kill two birds with one stone. “Go double duty with your Christmas tree: by positioning your tree in the front window of the house, it can act as a decoration for both the inside and the outside,” according to Brandon Stephens, president of Christmas Decor.” Nothing looks more festive than a beautiful tree dressed in lights, and this one trick can make your house look full decorated and cozy from inside and out.”


Classic fireplace wreath. Image: DeGraffenreid Photography

He also recommends using garlands and wreaths to decorate simply. “Most grocery stores and garden centers have fresh garland and wreaths ready to hang,” Stephens says. “For an even simpler option, head to your local retail store and buy the imitation version—these are sure to brighten up your home.” He says you can add a couple of Christmas bows and your home will be ready for the season.

Blow up Santa’s, snowmen and reindeer are a fun and quick one and done decoration,” says Sephens. “These festive light-up lawn ornaments are sure to be a hit among the neighborhood and are low maintenance.”

spray paint

Grouped objects in spray-painted baskets. Image: Rustoleum

Don’t overthink holiday decorating

Kymberlyn Lacy, principal designer at International Flair Designs, has some additional tips. “Place holiday ornaments in a decorative bowl or vases,” she recommends. “Fresh fruit such as cranberries, oranges, and nuts can also be used.” The baskets above were sprayed red and then filled with ornaments and birch wood logs.

“Create an ambiance to your room by adding holiday candles,” Lacy says. “Some of my personal favorite fragrances are Pomegranate Noir, Cranberry, and Festive Fir, to name a few.

She also says you can put an oversized Poinsettia on your coffee table, dining room table, or cluster them around your fireplace.

holiday decorating everyday items

Another example of every day items grouped together. Image: AMR Interior Design and Drafting

The holidays are often a stressful time of year, but don’t let decorations be the source of your frustration. “Have fun and don’t feel pressured by what anyone else is doing,” says Otto. “Whether going all out or deciding to keep it light, only you know what makes your holidays merry and bright.”

Also, don’t forget that you can always hired a professional.Hanging outdoor lights isn’t the easiest of tasks, especially if the temperature has already dropped,” says Stephens. “Skip the struggling and hire a professional—you can talk through design, color, and style without having to lift a finger.”

Looking for more easy holiday decorating ideas? Here are fun DIY decorations you can add to your home.

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Chestnuts Roasting: Decorate with Holiday Nuts

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Nuts are a popular part of traditional Christmas decorations. It was common to have nuts out during the holidays for guests in many traditional Christmas homes, and still remains a tradition in many homes today. Nuts also pop up in the lyrics of Christmas songs, like “Chestnuts Roasting Over an Open Fire.” If you want a traditional holiday vibe, you can’t go wrong incorporating nuts into your holiday decorations. Below are several creative ways to decorate with holiday nuts this season. The wonderful thing about using nuts in holiday decorations is how versatile and easy they are to work with, as you’ll see below.

Decorate with Holiday Nuts Gold Garland

It’s easy to make a garland by gluing some string to some nuts. Image: Etsy

A garland of holiday nuts

One of the most fun parts of holiday decorating is stringing together a garland. It’s relaxing and meditative. And you can make a garland out of just about anything: cranberries, popcorn, pinecones and, of course, nuts.

An example is the golden walnut garland in the photo above. You can make your own by hot gluing some nuts to twine. The one in the photo above is featured on Etsy, so you can also purchase one, if you’re not feeling too crafty. The metallic paint on the walnuts is a nice touch for the holidays. Silver, green or red paint would look good for a seasonal theme, too.

Decorate with Holiday Nuts and Fruit Wreath

Nuts make great additions to holiday wreaths. Image: Etsy

A fruit and nuts wreath

Another idea to decorate with holiday nuts is to add some to a wreath. The wreath above has a fruit and nut theme and is also featured on Etsy.

However, it’s easy to make your own. You can add nuts to just about any holiday wreath. Some additional hazelnuts, chestnuts or walnuts added as accents fit right in with any seasonal theme. You might also consider painting the nuts in seasonal colors like gold, silver, red, white or green before adding them to a wreath. Metallic shades especially will help the nuts pop as part of the wreath design. You can also add seasonal items to a regular green wreath, like nuts, cranberries, pinecones and holiday ribbon.

Decorate with Holiday Nuts Candle Display

Place some nuts around candles as an easy holiday decorating idea. Image: My Sweet Savannah

Walnuts and candles

Nuts also pair well with holiday candles. A seasonal scented candle  looks even more festive surrounded by walnuts, like in the photo above. It’s a simple matter of placing the candle in a glass display vase and surrounding it with the nuts. This idea couldn’t get any easier.

Another idea to decorate with holiday nuts is to get a deep, wide glass vase. Then fill the vase with a combination of nuts, cranberries, pinecones or other favorite seasonal items. Then you can place an LED candle on top of the items to reduce the fire hazard. These could work well as table centerpieces, accents on end tables or as part of a holiday mantel display.

Decorate with Holiday Nut Bowl

Bowls of nuts can fit in with just about any holiday display. Image: Traumzuhause

Going simple with a bowl of nuts

And then there’s going as easy as possible: a simple bowl of nuts. These combine well with other seasonal items, like in the photo above. By placing the bowl of nuts with other seasonal items, you create a grouping that acts as its own cohesive display.

Create this idea in variety of ways to decorate with different holiday nuts in different areas of your home. You might have the bowl of nuts between two seasonal nutcracker dolls. The bowl of nuts could be next to some seasonal candles and placed on a seasonal table runner. It’s a good way to make use of different seasonal decorations you’ve collected through the years.

Decorate with Holiday Nuts Loose Display

Loose nuts work well in a variety of holidays displays. Image: Miss Mustard Seed

Creative displays using loose nuts

Nuts that still have the shells on them look great even when placed loosely around other holiday items. For instance, this advent candle display looks great with some added surrounding nuts.

You can take this idea and apply it to other decorating ideas, as well. For instance, you could place some loose nuts around seasonal displays with Christmas figures. They can make great small accents in seasonal mantel displays. You could place nuts at the base of seasonal candleholders. Ideas like these show how easy it is to add some nuts to any seasonal display for an instant traditional Christmas tone.

What are your favorite ways to decorate with holiday nuts? Let us know in the comments.

The post Chestnuts Roasting: Decorate with Holiday Nuts appeared first on Freshome.com.

How to Decorate a Bathroom for the Holidays

decorate a bathroom for the holidays

Don’t leave your bathroom behind when setting up for the season! Here are a few ways to decorate a bathroom for the holidays. Image: Julie Ranee Photography

Nothing helps you get in the holiday spirit quite like decking your own halls with all of your seasonal decor. Whether you do the full-blown tree and garland on every mantel and railing or just set out a few cherished items, getting your home ready for the holidays is part of the fun of the season. Don’t miss your opportunity to expand that experience to every room in your house. When you decorate a bathroom for the holidays, you make sure each corner of your living space is filled with cheer.

But how do you decorate what is usually a smaller, very established space? You most likely can’t move around furniture to make room and, between a shower and mirrors, your walls are probably already fairly full. That doesn’t mean you should give up this festive opportunity, though. We’ve gathered up a few quick and easy ways to decorate a bathroom for the holidays.

bathroom holiday decor 2

Seasonal bath mats are an easy way to get your bathroom holiday-ready in minutes. Image: Dirt, Stains, and Paint

Use the whole space

As we’ve already discussed, bathrooms are more compact than most other rooms you’ll be decorating. This is where making use of every square inch is critical – including the ones under your toes. Some holiday-themed bath mats are a great way to get your bathroom ready for the season in seconds. Plus, because they’re made to stand up to wear and moisture, they pack well when they’re not in use.

bathroom holiday decor 8

It’s important to work with your existing color palette when you decorate a bathroom for the holidays. Image: Robeson Design

Embrace what you’ve got

If your bathroom is already red, white or green, setting it up for the holidays is probably going to be a snap. But what if it’s black or blue? You could try to shoehorn the traditional holiday colors in, but you’ll probably just make yourself crazy trying to get the colors to meld in such a small space.


Holiday decor can work with even the most minimal aesthetic. Image: Jeff Karskens Designer

Instead, work with what you already have in place. A beachy, blue bathroom works well with snow-inspired accents in white and silver. A minimalist, dark bathroom can get a holiday update with a gathering of evergreen branches on the counter or some simple black and white holiday decor. If you let your current space inform your design choices when you decorate a bathroom for the holidays, getting your house holiday-ready becomes much easier.

holiday bathroom decorations

A mantel isn’t the only place a stocking can hang this December. Image: Farmhouse 5540

Use your leftovers

Do you have extra holiday decor that just doesn’t seem to fit anywhere else in the home? Find it a space in the bathroom! Even seemingly unconventional bathroom decor can work with a little creativity. Say you have an extra stocking. Left on its own, it might look out of place. But if you stuff it with some seasonal greenery, it becomes a perfect addition.

bathroom holiday decor 3

Choosing a single holiday color – like cherry red – and running with it makes decorating a small space a breeze. Image: Lowe’s Home Improvement

Keep a clean palette

Bright, cheerful colors are a signature of the season. That doesn’t mean you should try to incorporate them all in your bathroom, though. Because it’s a relatively confined space, saturated color can quickly feel like too much of a good thing. It’s a good idea to pick one accent color that melds with the elements already existing in the space and build from there.

bathroom holiday decor

Mixed metals are an easy way to make a bathroom feel holiday-ready and glam. Image: Wilson Lighting

Mix your metals

Most bathrooms have their fair share of hardware. Your faucet, drawer pulls and shower curtain rod are all design opportunities. Integrate metal holiday accessories on your countertop to quickly and easily create a cohesive look. The hard textures of metal decor work well in a space where you don’t want things to trap moisture. And mixed metals give your holiday bathroom decor a glam feel.

bathroom holiday decor 7

Garland is a quick and easy way to make a bathroom feel festive. Image: Traditional Home

Keep it simple

Decorating a bathroom for the holidays should be fun. If it feels like a burden, you’re probably doing too much. Simply draping some garland over the bathroom counter, adding a small vase of evergreen branches or hanging an ornament from a wall sconce is plenty. This is a small space so you don’t need to do much. If you’re still looking for inspiration, we’ve got 10 easy holiday decorating tips that should help.

Happy holidays from our family at Freshome to yours!

The post How to Decorate a Bathroom for the Holidays appeared first on Freshome.com.

4 Ways to Ensure a Large Room Doesn’t End up Feeling Too Stark

Normally at Freshome, we spend a lot of time talking about how to design around small spaces. However, the reality is that those with the opposite problem also deserve our time and attention. Today, we’re revealing our best tricks for how to design a large room. Read on to learn how to put together an expansive space without it feeling too stark.

large room

Break the room up into distinct functional areas. Image: Lindye Galloway Interiors

Visually divide the space

Here’s one of the biggest secrets in dealing with expansive spaces: You can break the space up however you choose. In this case, each large room in your home doesn’t have to have one, singular purpose. Instead, you can divide the space up into distinctly different areas in order to increase functionality while using up square footage at the same time.

Take the photo above as an example. Yes, the main purpose of the room is to serve as a bedroom. However, if the room was just a bed and some dresser drawers, it would be swimming in empty space. That’s why the owner included two additional seating areas. The room still offers plenty of room to sleep, yet you now also have a place to curl up with a good book or your morning coffee.

If you decide to go this route, you’ll design the room the same way that you would an open concept space. Go in with a plan of attack for what purpose you want each of the distinct areas to serve. Then, include visual clues like area rugs, lighting fixtures and designated pathways to help signify to the viewer that each section of the room has its own unique purpose.


Use a rug to ground the room. Image: Blue Ocean Design

Anchor the room with a rug

If you’re looking to visually tie a large room together, there’s no better way to do so than with a great area rug. An area rug will help ground a seating area, dining table or bedframe. It helps by making the placement of the furniture look purposeful rather than like all of your pieces are just floating out in space.

When buying an area rug, the correct sizing is key. In general, you can follow these guidelines:

  • If you’re choosing a full room rug, remember to leave room for a border of flooring around all sides. 18 inches is considered the standard border measurement.
  • If your rug will be grounding a seating areameasure the length and width of the seating area in its current layout and buy the next size up.
  • If the rug is meant to highlight a piece of furniture like a dining table, make sure it’s big enough to extend beyond the piece with room on all sides. For a dining table, 24 inches is standard. However, it should be less if you’re working with a smaller piece like a coffee table.

That said, the placement of your furniture is also important. When designing a large space, it can be tempting to place all of your furniture along the walls. However, doing so can leave an uncomfortable amount of dead space in the middle of the room. Instead, think about keeping your furniture – and by extension, area rug – centralized. At that point, any extra square footage will become a useful walkway.


Choose furniture that fits the scale of the room. Image: Mary Cook

Pay attention to scale

Another thing to think about is the scale of the items, and especially the furniture, that you put in the room. In interior design parlance, scale and proportion refer to how well an item’s size corresponds to the room itself. Here, it stands to reason that if you have to fill a larger room, you’d want to also have larger furniture to go with it.

You’ll want to focus on finding furniture that has a heavier visual weight. In general, upholstered items often look heavier than those without cushions. Furniture that sits low to the ground appears heavier than items on tapered legs. Keep in mind, this principle extends beyond furniture, too. You’ll also want to find lighting fixtures and wall art, for example, that are large enough to work within the space.


When in doubt, think in multiples. Image: JCD Custom Home Design

Think in multiples

The last tip we have to offer for larger rooms is to not be afraid to double up on furniture and accessories in order to take up more space. It may seem strange at first to try and wrap your head around the idea of having two couches and two ottomans, but as you can see from the picture above, you can use multiples to create a chic look.

If you decide to go this route, it’s important to give the large room a sense of balance. Not only has balance been shown to be psychologically pleasing, but it will also help your design to feel more cohesive. Focus on using your doubled design elements to create near mirror images.

The post 4 Ways to Ensure a Large Room Doesn’t End up Feeling Too Stark appeared first on Freshome.com.

Tiny House Christmas Ideas You Can Use in Your Home

Tiny House Christmas Decorations

A tiny house Christmas exterior decorated by Jenna Spesard of Tiny House Giant Journey. Jenna is a tiny house trailblazer and trendsetter. Image:  Tiny House Giant Journey

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We can’t resist the charm of a tiny house Christmas. These compact little gems have a way of making everything look cuter. There is more to their charm than just their sweet size, though. The tiny house movement is all about making the biggest impact in the smallest ways. Furniture is scaled down, and so is decor. The challenge and beauty of living in a small space is the simplicity.

Tiny house Christmas decorating is about much more than small or minimalist decorations. Understanding the basics of decorating a tiny house is a great place to start:

5 Tiny House Ideas You Can Use in Your Home

  • Declutter – No matter the size, most homes contain more clutter than necessary.
  • Use a Simple Color Palette – Decorating with just a few neutral colors can create a harmonious vibe in your home.
  • Storage is Key! – Tiny houses are famous for clever storage solutions. Look for storage space under staircases and in built-in seating.
  • Furnish Rooms According to Their Use – Tiny homes don’t have space to waste. Each space must be decorated for maximum functionality and, sometimes, dual use.
  • Create Spaces You Love – Owning and decorating a tiny house is a labor of love. Your home can be a source of comfort when you consciously choose each item you bring into it.

You can incorporate tiny house Christmas decorating ideas in your own home. Use these simple ideas and concepts that work at any time of the year.

Choose the Right Scale for Your Decorations

Tiny House Christmas Tree

A tall and slim Christmas tree is a clever choice for a small room. Image:  Treetopia

If you want to capture the simplicity of a tiny house Christmas, focusing on the size and scale of your decorations is key. Like choosing a sofa, your Christmas tree and other large decorations don’t have to fill the room. The extra space you create by sizing down your Christmas decor gives you more room for entertaining and just enjoying the holidays without clutter.

Use a Simple Christmas Decorating Color Scheme

White Christmas Tree

A simple color scheme makes small-space Christmas decorating a breeze. Image: Hayneedle

Color is one of the easiest ways to simplify your decor. Most tiny house owners use a small color palette of two to three colors to make the space feel larger and more open. Christmas decorating for a small space, or even just to create the illusion of more space in any size room, is not just about using less. The colors you choose can make a big (small) impact on your decorating space, too.

To achieve that tiny house design vibe at Christmas, choose one main color and one or two accent colors for your decorations. White, silver and gray are awesome colors for brightening up a small space and are perfect for Christmas decorating in a small home.

Steal This Tiny House Christmas Idea: Decorate in Unexpected Ways

Christmas Tree Wall Idea

Rethink your traditional Christmas tree if you’re short on space at home. Image: Shelterness

We love the cleverness of a tiny house Christmas when tackling the challenge of decorating without a lot of floor space. This challenge inspires novel ways to display Christmas decorations that can be used in any home. If you’d like to preserve floor space, think about how you can create displays using walls, tables and even your ceiling to decorate in new ways.

Go Beautifully Overboard With an Adorable She Shed Christmas

She Shed at Christmas

She shed decorating for Christmas can be as simple or extravagant as you like. It’s your personal retreat, after all. Image: Home Depot Sheds

You may not be ready to downsize to a tiny house right now, but the she shed is definitely high on the list of adorable trends. The she shed is all about creating a private space that serves as a retreat from your hectic life and is filled with decor you love. Christmas decorating style in a she shed, unlike a tiny house, can be more extravagant. Because this is your personal space, clutter and excess are not a consideration. You don’t have to have a dedicated she shed to enjoy this beautiful decorating style. A guest room or home office can be transformed at Christmas into a pretty retreat from holiday stress.

Choose a Theme to Maximize Your Decorating Budget

Small Home Christmas Decorations

Knowing your Christmas style before you shop can help you create a look you’ll love. Image: Hayneedle

Christmas decorating for a small space can be a challenge with so many tempting choices in stores this season. Impulse buys can be a big problem for a tiny house – or any home where you’ve maxed out your decorating space. Choosing a theme and color palette before the holiday decorations appear in stores can help you make good decisions when you shop. Keep a few photos of Christmas decor you love on your phone so that when you are out in the stores you can refer to them to keep yourself on track.

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