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Step into Christmas: Is Your Home Ready For Festive Guests?

One of the best things about being an adult, is having your own home that you can entertain your loved ones in and make memories. There’s nothing better than getting everyone together and enjoying good food, drink and conversation- and at Christmas you have every excuse to do so. When you know you’re going to have guests visiting, chances are you’ll want your home in order and looking its best, and so there are a few jobs you could tackle before the 1st December. Here are some ideas!

Finish any repairs and unfinished jobs

We’ve all got those little jobs around the home that we mean to get around to, but somehow never do. Scuffed paintwork that needs touching up, a wobbly toilet seat or a lightbulb that needs replacing. They’re not a huge deal but they are annoying, and most of the time don’t take a lot of effort to put right. Over Christmas you’ll have guests in your home, and will want to make sure everything is up to scratch. Write a list of everything that needs doing, and work your way through it ticking things off as you go. Hit the DIY store for any supplies you’ll need, and spend the day getting these annoying jobs out of the way. You’ll feel far better for it once it’s all done!

Have your heating system tested

The really cold weather has well and truly set in, and chances are you’ve been enjoying cranking up your heating and enjoying getting cozy in the evenings. So imagine what a nightmare it would be if something went wrong and you were stuck with no hot water or heat.  The best way to avoid this is by having an annual boiler service, where an engineer can check everything over and make sure it’s running the way it should. If you haven’t already, sign up for boiler insurance so you don’t end up out of pocket if something goes wrong. If your home is heated using another source, make sure you have enough fuel. Firewood for your wood burning stove for example can be stockpiled, and companies like Quarles propane and oil heat can refill your tank if you use either of these as your fuel source. Get organized so that you don’t run out unexpectedly.

Have a deep clean

Before putting up your Christmas decorations, it’s worth giving the house a good deep clean first. Again, it gets it looking nice in time for guests, but it’s also easier to do when you don’t have a Christmas tree and decorations dominating the room. You could refresh carpets and rugs by hiring a Rug Doctor and get the whole home feeling and smelling fresh. You could go through cupboards, drawers and wardrobes getting rid of things you don’t need. This clears space for new things coming into the house at Christmas, and if you donate to charity then you can help those in need too. Not only can those on a lower income buy the items, but the money made goes towards helping a charity too- everyone wins.

Kit out your guest room

If you’re having guests stay with you at Christmas (or there’s a chance people might stay over unexpectedly) then you’ll need a place for them to stay. If your spare room is usually full of boxes and junk, now would be a good time to work through it and get it all in order. Give it a clean, empty the wardrobe so guests have somewhere to hang their clothes and put fresh sheets and bedding on. You could go a step further and add a wireless phone charger (these are suitable for all newer models, regardless of the brand) and a card with the code to the wifi written on. You’ll want to make your guests stay as comfortable as possible!

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Put up the decorations and make it cozy

Once the house is in order, you can get busy putting up the decorations! If you want to keep it simple, go with a tree (that’s the right size for your room) and one or two smaller decorations. It’s tempting to want to go crazy, but you can always add festive ambience in other ways. Purchase some Christmas scented candles, and replace your cushion covers and bedding with festive variations. Invest in a couple of cozy blankets which are perfect for sitting together with loved ones and watching movies throughout December. Things like draught excluders can make all the difference, until you’re in a position to upgrade your windows and doors! If your heating system works with smart home, this can be a great way to keep your home cozy. You can easily adjust the temperature for different times of day, and can always turn it up or down if needed using your phone or voice activated speaker. For example, if you have it set to twenty one degrees during the evening, but you’re out one evening you’re not wasting fuel as you can turn it off from your phone even when you’re away from the house.

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Stock up on food and drinks

Having friends over means keeping them fed and watered, and so it’s worth having a few drinks and snacks on hand just in case. If you invest in a couple of bottles of spirits and mixers you can make a range of different cocktails. And then some wines, beers and cider will ensure that everyone has something to drink. You might already have a backlog of wines and prosecco, if you host regular dinner parties people tend to bring these over and they don’t always get used. You could bring them out and utilize them over the festive period. Having a tin of nice biscuits or chocolates that you can offer to guests is a smart move too, keep these for when visitors drop by. If they’re stored properly they’ll stay good for over the festive period.

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Maker’s Monday: Wildflower Parade

It’s Maker’s Monday! I hope you have enjoyed the blog series so far. It has been an amazing journey, meeting wonderful makers, sharing their passion and craft and highlighting their small businesses. I’ll be taking a holiday break from the series and will be picking back up after the New Year. Next week Monday is the launch of House Fenway’s 2nd Annual Holiday Small Maker’s Gift Guide. A guide highlighting 60+ makers, offering tons of promotions, and gift ideas for the holidays. I hope you check it out!

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Meet Wildflower Parade

This week’s maker is a busy lady with a wonderful talent. Meet Alicia from Wildflower Parade , a SAHM of four amazing kiddos with a knack for sewing. Alicia started the business with the motivation of reducing the use of “throw-away items” such as napkins, paper towel and grocery bags. This motivation was not only a step to become more eco-friendly but a smarter way to save money on dispensable products.

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Wildflower Parade offers an array of products and styles to help you become more eco-friendly without compromising style! Check out Alicia’s Etsy shop for the full selection of product: Wildflower Parade

IMG_1855Check out some of the other House Fenway Maker’s Monday Shops:

James + McLain

Say In In Burlap

Dandelion Wishes Candle Co.

Curious Timbers

Gam Gam Handcrafted

The Vintage Nest

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Maker’s Monday: Say It In Burlap

Say It In Burlap

The leaves are changing, the air is crisp and it’s Maker’s Monday! It’s hard to believe October is almost over and we will be soon switching gears for Christmas. Wait, WHAT! OMG….Where has the time gone? I’m not ready. Well, I guess with wonderful makers like this week’s Maker’s Monday feature, you can ease your way into each season with style.

Meet Say It In Burlap, owned by Allison Bressler from Pennsylvania. A busy mom of 3 and a wonderful creative talent who crafts in burlap. Her beautiful seasonal banners and prints add the perfect rustic touch to your home.

Here is a small selection of some of Say It In Burlap‘s products:

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Special promo

Enjoy an exclusive promo and stock up for the holidays. This week enjoy 15% off your purchase at Say It In Burlap with promo code FENWAY15 at checkout.

IMG_1855Check out some of the other House Fenway Maker’s Monday Shops:

Dandelion Wishes Candle Co.

Curious Timbers

Gam Gam Handcrafted

The Vintage Nest

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Cozy, Not Cramped: How To Make Small Space Feel Bigger

 

 

No matter how big our homes may be, they never quite seem big enough. Unfortunately, if you have a particularly small house, then this probably means that you wish it were a lot larger. Unless you plan to build extra rooms or extensions onto your property, there is no way to add any additional physical space, but that doesn’t mean that you should have to settle for a cramped and uncomfortable home. In fact, there are lots of ways you can make the most of your space and make it seem much bigger than it is. With that in mind, here are four clever tips for you to try.

Clear Away The Clutter

Cluttered spaces always look small and cramped, so your first step should be clearing out any unnecessary junk and moving it elsewhere. This might mean throwing it away, putting it into storage, or selling it on to someone else. You should also consider switching out some of your furniture for multipurpose alternatives, like an ottoman that can be used as a seat, table, and storage. This will instantly make the space feel roomier and means that you’ll have less to clean.

Design The Lighting Carefully

Lighting can truly make or break a room, so it’s vital that you get your design right. Instead of relying on a single overhead light, you should add multiple light sources throughout each of your rooms, including table lamps, floor lamps, wall lights, fairy lights, and candles. This allows you to light up the entire room, which will naturally make it appear larger. It also means that you can change your lighting depending on the time of day or situation.

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Switch Up The Windows

Natural light is and will always be the most important light source, so you need to make sure that you boost the natural light in your home as much as you can. You can do this by switching to light and airy fabrics for your window treatments. You might even consider replacement windows if your current ones fail to bring in enough sunlight. Dirt and grime on your windows can distract the eye and keep light from coming in, so you should clean the glass inside and out regularly.

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Opt For Cool Colors

White reflects light back into a space, making it appear much brighter and larger than darker colors do. For this reason, you should incorporate as much white into your home as you can. Of course, an entirely white property might look a little odd, so you can mix things up a little by adding cool tones like light greens and blues. Try to keep your window treatments the same color as your walls, as this gives the illusion that your rooms go even further.

Your home may be small, but that doesn’t mean that it should be cramped too. Instead of settling for an uncomfortable and unwelcoming space, you need to make a change. With the tips above, you should have no trouble turning your tiny home into a cozy paradise.

 

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Redecorating On A Budget

Every home needs a bit of revitalisation now and again. You see the same surroundings day after day, and so no matter how much you loved those floral curtains or that round dark wood coffee table when you first bought them, after time it is only natural that you grow tired of what you see. However, there is only one problem… we don’t all have endless pits of money. Most people don’t have the cash spare to turn their house upside down and completely change its image. But the good news is; you don’t have to. With the following tips, you can redecorate your home without breaking the bank…

Cushion crazy

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Replacing your sofa represents a large investment. However, by simply changing your cushions you can give your sofa an entirely new appearance. There are so many designs available nowadays. You can play around with different patterns, various textures and an array of colors. Don’t go for anything too matchy-matchy. Instead, buy a mixed selection to create your own unique style. A great place to start is Linens Direct. They have a wealth of diverse cushions for you to choose from.

Grab a paintbrush

You wouldn’t believe how much difference a lick of paint can make! It alters the entire mood and feel of a room. Swap your pastel shade for a bold and bright colour – it will give you an instant pick me up. Or, trade in that dark tone for a lighter shade – your space will feel refreshed and relaxed. Why not go for an accent wall? You will save even more money if you only have ¼ of the room to paint! Yet, the effect is still as big because you are creating a focal point which is really going to pop out and bring the room to life.

Recover and renew your current furniture

If you can’t afford new furniture, why not recover what you already had? Are you sick of that dull and boring brown armchair in the corner of the room? If so, why not buy a fun and funky fabric and recover it yourself? Not only will you save a lot of money, but you will end up with a unique piece which nobody else has. This is ideal for someone who likes to embark on a bit of DIY and let their creative side shine. Don’t only think about what you can see, but all of the senses, from how you feel in the room to your sense of smell. If you have been meaning to call for an AC repair for months now, do this before spending money on your sofas. You will never be comfortable in the room if the temperature is not right. Deal with all the small fixes first!

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Buy some new wall art

Last but not least, wall art can completely transform a space, but you need to think big if you want it to have a large impact on the overall vibe of the room. Thus, you can either purchase a large picture or you can opt to have loads of little ones together. The choice is of course yours. In fact, you don’t even have to go for a picture or a photograph. Wall letters i.e. the use of typography and wall stencils are really fashionable at the moment as well. All you need to do is search around on the internet and you will see that there are some really fantastic pieces available at unbelievable prices.