Monthly Archives: December 2017

Think Outside the Box: 5 Ways to Celebrate New Year’s Eve 2017

Looking for a way to shake things up for New Year’s Eve 2017? Consider throwing an outdoor winter party instead of holding a huge to-do indoors. Here are 5 New Year’s party ideas that are sure to make this New Year’s Eve a night your guests will never forget.

1. Take the Plunge

The Polar Plunge, that is. Unfamiliar with this popular international tradition? Since the early 1900s, groups of people in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and the Netherlands, among other places, ring in the new year by jumping into an icy body of water, whether a pool, the ocean, or something else. Want to give it a try this year?

2. Private Fireworks Show

What’s the worst part about a fireworks show? The crowds! Why not offer guests a front-row seat to a fireworks show in your backyard? Set up some loungers, comfortable chairs, and outdoor sofas. Bring out a pile of blankets for guests to cuddle up beneath, and celebrate the hope and promise of the coming year.

3. Stargazing and S’mores

S’mores are typically more of a warm-weather treat, so why not shake things up and treat guests to a night of s’more-making around the backyard fire table along with some casual stargazing? Pull out all of your outdoor furniture and snuggle up with your favorite people.

4. Snowman Building Contest

Is your yard full of snow? Want a party idea that’s inexpensive, unique, and will remind guests of those simpler childhood days? Invite guests over to show off their snowman building skills and host a snowman building contest. Once the competition is over, treat guests to hot chocolate and cookies on the patio.

5. Go International

Whether you don’t have the money to travel internationally this year, or would rather stay close to home, why not bring the party to your own backyard and host an international soirée? Try out some new year traditions from around the world. In Spain it is a tradition to attempt to fit 12 grapes in your mouth at midnight in the name of earning good luck. In Bolivia, coins are baked into sweets and anyone who finds a coin is promised good fortune. Estonians eat 7 meals on New Year’s Day to guarantee abundance for them in the new year. Do some research and take your guests on an adventure to anywhere in the world.

Get Party Planning!

With the right theme and a properly decorated winter patio, you can create a New Years party your guests will love.

Helpful Tips for Preparing Your Home for a Holiday Cocktail Party

With long-awaited work parties, fun gift exchanges, delectable meals, and annual friendly gatherings, the holiday season around Christmas and New Years can be a wonderful, joyous time of year. While attending these events is typically easy and pressure-free, planning to host a party of your own can be stressful- even for the most seasoned entertainers. By keeping in mind these helpful tips, both you and your home can be ready to host a cocktail party for the books.

Flow Comes First

While things like music, games, lighting, and good company are important when it comes to throwing a festive holiday party, ensuring your home’s layout aids in a good flow is critical. By strategically positioning tables, chairs, sofas, and other pieces, you can be certain that your space has good flow and feels welcoming to your guests. Here are some ideas of how to utilize your furniture to aid with flow:

  • Sofas: Big bulky couches can pose a problem when hosting a party for a lot of people. They don’t provide much seating, and take up a lot of room. If you have a bulky couch position it so that it will take up the least amount of room possible and will leave plenty of rooms for guests. If you own a sofa sectional there are many options to create a spacious area for your guests. Use the sectional pieces to create multiple different gathering and mingling areas.
  • Bookshelves: Bookshelves are good for much more than just holding books. This functional piece can easily double as a snack bar, drink station, or entertainment area during holiday cocktail parties.
  • Coffee tables: Though useful and functional for daily use, coffee tables can pose a bit of a problem when it comes to transforming your home into a flow-friendly party space. With large groups of people a coffee table can feel in the way and can be a tripping hazard. Try moving the table against a wall or against the back of the sofa. This way it is out of the way, but could still be used to feature seasonal snacks and Christmas cocktails.
  • Fire tables: Having a fire table out on the patio can help with flow inside your home. Ideal for entertaining, fire tables create the perfect gathering space for friends and family to enjoy warm, fireside fun. With clean design features and dual-functionality, fire tables make an ideal addition to any backyard Christmas area.

By being creative and innovative with the furniture pieces you put in your home, you can quickly and easily convert a comfortable, cozy living space into a bright, flow-friendly place for holiday entertaining.

You can also experiment with the games you want to play at the party. You can, for example, sit with your friends and play online casino games. People usually go to casinos to enjoy with their friends by playing betting games like poker, blackjack, roulette and so on, but if you’re having a house party, you certainly cannot go to the casinos to play them. In that case, you can recreate sports betting iowa games online and have a good time.

Decor Can Do Wonders

Whether you have an expansive home that’s built for a crowd or you are working with a smaller space for your holiday party, there are creative ways decorations can be implemented to help keep guests out of areas in your home you wish guests not to access. Consider hanging fabric or curtains to keep belongings out of sight or to separate places from the party area. Also if you have quite a long list of guests and need assistance with making the right arrangements so that everyone could have a gala time, you may take the help of party rental services near you. For instance, if you are someone from houston and for your party, you need extra chairs, decorative items, bar stations, or even cutlery, searching for ‘party rentals near me’ on the internet might do the job for you. Similarly, you can also get creative with how you arrange your furniture or where you situate drink stations, snack tables, and gathering spaces. Once the layout is complete, add fun party decor items like an Inflatable Disco Mirror Ball and lights to make the area look welcoming and festive.

Count is Key

Though it may sound rather obvious, one of the most critical components of throwing a memorable holiday party is to check and double check that you have all of your numbers right. If you are going to be getting exotic wines (that now come in a can too!) from somewhere like the McBride Sisters Wine Collection, then you need to have the count of guests who’ll be interested in it. Running out of drinks or food at a party is not something anyone would prefer.

  • Exactly how many people are you expecting to attend this event? Consider requesting a solidified RSVP to help you get a final headcount for the party.
  • Do you have enough food? While some say it’s better to have too much food than not enough, you don’t want to go overboard in the preparation, setup, and expense, nor do you want to make your guests feel overwhelmed. Remember that, unlike hosting a dinner party, hosting a cocktail party means you can easily get away with simply setting out a few favorite finger foods and light snacks for guests to snack on throughout the party.
  • Do you have enough seating? While one of the perks of a cocktail party is that you don’t have to have a seat for each and every guest, it’s smart to ensure you have enough for at least half of the people on your guest list.

Not only does having these numbers help planning and preparation go smoothly, but it can also help to take away some of the stress that can often accompany being a holiday party host. Furthermore, by heeding the advice of these holiday party tips, you can ensure your festive gathering goes off without a hitch.

4 Steps to Pulling Off an Eclectic Living Room

Your living room tends to be the center of your home. It’s where you entertain guests, relax after a long day, enjoy conversation with friends, and even watch a little TV. No matter the activity, you want to make sure that you feel comfortable with its design and that the space itself feels inviting.

A great way to embrace your creative side and add your personality to this important space is to go eclectic. Your living room furniture can still look organized and elegant without necessarily “matching.” In fact, a little mismatch here and there can add an element of interest-something that speaks to your family’s uniqueness (without being too distracting).

Here are four simple tips to create an original and effective look that doesn’t necessarily “match.”

1. Find a focal point

Mixing your furniture does not mean that your living room should not have focus. By finding the center, you can choose your furniture and your look much more effectively. Do you have a beautiful fireplace or a piece of art that will capture people’s attention? This focal point is a great place to start. Framed multi canvas art is a good way to draw attention, for example, helping to tie a room together and create a central eye-catcher. You could position your arm chairs and sofa using this central spot. That way, when guests sit on your furniture, their attention will be brought to the focal point, which can be a great conversation starter.

2. Think form and function

Before you set out to invest in accessories, such as TV bench (check out for reference), floor lighting or an area rug, you can visualize the layout (the form of your living room). You may find that after you add arm chairs and sofas you don’t have enough room. Think about how many people will normally use the living room and what you will normally use it for (it’s function). More doesn’t mean better. You don’t need to add a large number of pieces to the living room to give it personality; let the decor do that. If your living room is a small space choose furniture styles that are best for small spaces.

3. Choose your color scheme

Once you’ve found your focus and visualized your layout, you need to consider living room color schemes. One option is to work with your favorite color and add furniture in its different tones. For example, you could pair up a sky blue arm chair with an elegant teal blue sofa. Another option is to choose a bold color and mix and match your eclectic furniture with neutral colors. Either way, make sure that you choose colors that mix well together.

4. Eclectic does not mean “anything goes”

Just because you have decided to use a broad and diverse type of style, it doesn’t mean that you can just choose any furniture or accessory. Eclectic does not mean unorganized. In fact, it can look structured if planned well.

Make sure that you include a balanced mix. Visual balance is achieved by evening out visual weight and creating continuity where possible. For example, if you pair a tall legged mid-century modern sofa and a tall legged Victorian arm chair these pieces have visual continuity. You can pair thick and heavy styles of furniture with lighter pieces by balancing visual weight. For example a thick and heavy sofa could be balanced with one dense arm chair, or two armchairs in a less-dense style.

Your living room furniture does not always have to “match” to look elegant and stylish. Choosing different styles of furniture and opting for an eclectic look is one way to ensure that your living room is unique and visually interesting. Don’t forget to find a focal point, visualize the layout, choose a color scheme and plan carefully. If you follow these simple rules, your living room will soon become your favorite space in your house.

Living Room or Great Room – What’s the Difference?

Mid-century modern living room set

A major difference between a great room and a living room is the size. However, it’s hard to list the average size of a great room because that depends on the size of the house. The square footage of a great room should be in proportion with the rest of the home while still providing plenty of room for friends and family to convene and enjoy each other’s company.

Although a living room should also be sized to the rest of the house, when it comes to great room vs. living room, the great room will always be larger.

Whether you’re building or buying, the type of “primary living space” you choose for the interior of your new home is a major decision. The basic structure of western homes hasn’t changed much over the years – walls attached to a roof and floors make an effective shelter – but the layout of the rooms inside is constantly changing styles.

In the past, one of the main reasons for partitioning houses into separate rooms was to help with temperature regulation. Smaller rooms heat up more quickly because the walls contain the heat, and when a room was no longer being used, the source of heat would be removed or shut off to focus on occupied areas of the house. But with today’s more efficient and effective heating and cooling systems, dividing a house up is no longer necessary, which frees up our options when it comes to home floor plans. Nonetheless, it is necessary to contact a company such as Alaskan Air Conditioning and Heating services or similar others on a regular basis to ensure that the HVAC systems are working efficiently.

With all of these options, how do you decide what you want your living space to look like? Many prefer the open floor plan that allows for a great room, but others enjoy having a more formal room to use when company is visiting – a living room.

First of all, what’s the difference between the two? And what kind of furniture is best for either option? Whether you’re thinking about adding a great room to your house, or just needing design ideas for a living room, here’s a quick guide to get you started.

Living Room Vs. Great Room

As mentioned before, the primary difference between the two is the level of casualness. Living rooms tend to be more formal and separate, with nicer, more stylish furniture and decor. They are generally for hosting important or less familiar guests. They’re considered a luxury because they’re meant to be a space that is always clean and ready for company – many times homeowners don’t allow kids or pets in them.

In contrast, great rooms are part of an open floor plan by design. They are generally more casual and meant to be used every day. The furniture is comfortable and inviting, the TV is often located here. A lot of times a great room flows off of the kitchen or dining room, allowing people to be in either “room” and still be part of the same space.

What is the Difference Between a Den and Family Room?

As the style of the modern day home continues to change, certain rooms and their specific names or labels are being swapped with one another or being misused-making things a little confusing. Now that you know the difference between a living room vs. great room, why not learn what differentiates a den and a family room?

What is a Den?

A den is a term that is used to describe a room in the home where hobbies and interests can be pursued in private. The standard size of a den is usually pretty small and rarely exceeds more than about 14 x 16 feet. The reason for the compact size of this room is its solitary purpose, where individuals can go to study or engage in a hobby without myriad distractions that would otherwise surround them in a different part of the house.

A few popular examples of a den would be a home office, a small study or library, a craft room, an art studio, or any other type of space where interests can be enjoyed in a private setting. If you’re the type of person who likes to retire with a good book or spend time alone building models, creating art, or other indoor hobbies, then a den is for you.

What is a Family Room?

It’s easy to guess the purpose of a family room given its name. A family room is a more open, communal space where the family can spend time with one another. These areas are typically far less formal than a living room or even a great room, and are used to provide a place of relaxation and entertainment for the family members who live in the home. As a family room, it should be full of things unique to your family. A family photographer El Dorado Hills, or a similar photographer near you, can take family portraits for you which you can then use to bring that family feel to the room.

The furniture you choose to place in your family room should be comfortable and spacious. A deep-seated sectional and other furniture choices that provide ample seating are ideal for large families. The family room can provide a combination of entertainment and activities, such as a large TV or projector for movie marathons, a pool table, air hockey, or other indoor games and equipment, and shelves of DVDs and board games. A decent-sized coffee table, from somewhere like Lulu & Georgia can also make for a great addition, as it can provide plenty of room for snacks, drinks, and games. Not only that, but it can bring great aesthetic appeal too.

The objective of a family room is to create a space where the whole family can come together. So if you’re wondering what to put in your family room, focus on what your family enjoys doing with each other.

How Big is a Family Room?

The size of the family room also depends on the size of the family that lives in the home and the home itself. Because this area is intended to provide a communal place of enjoyment and relaxation where the whole family can feel comfortable, these rooms are usually designed to be quite spacious and large in proportion to the rest of the house.

To provide an open space, family rooms should have high ceilings and ample room for seating and entertainment. A good standard size for a family room is about 12 x 18 feet, which can comfortably fit a family of six to ten depending on furniture selections. While this is a good average to work with, feel free to customize your floor plan to your liking and your own family’s size and needs.If you feel that you’re working with limited space in your family room, there are a few affordable changes that you can make to help the area feel more open and comfortable. Brighten up a cramped, basement family room with sufficient lighting-and not the harsh artificial kind. If you haven’t given the basement a second glance for a while now, then it might be time to review the damages and start getting it ready. Contractors who are adept at basement remodeling in Boulder CO, or closer to where you live, can help you revamp an old, unused basement into a space you and your family can enjoy using. Once the remodeling is done, you can do a number of other things to bring life to the place too. Swap out that old, oversized, lumpy couch with high-legged furniture and limit the amount of end tables, coffee tables, ottomans, or other furniture pieces to reduce stuffiness. And lastly, you can make a huge difference by redesigning the room with a light and breezy color scheme.

Choosing the Right Furniture

It’s important to choose the right type of seating for your space. In a living room, you may want to steer clear of large items such as sectionals, as you are generally working with less square footage and a large sectional would shrink the room instantly. Instead, focus on small sofas and arm chairs. Furniture sets with high legs are great for helping the room feel more open and less stuffy. Use Google or Pinterest to get other design ideas for a living room.

When you’re choosing furniture for a great room, on the other hand, sectionals can actually come in handy for defining spatial boundaries. The back of a couch is a clear border between the kitchen and the family room, for example. A deep seated sectional tends to add to the coziness of a room, which is exactly what you want in a great room. Or if you have an open floor plan, but still a relatively small amount of square footage that you’re working with, look for a high-legged sectional to keep the room feeling open.

With complementary furniture, you can transform your great room or living room into an inviting space.