Fancy Wrapping

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Holidays, Uncategorized

23430917_SYou’ve taken time to pick out the perfect present. Are you going to just stick it in a gift bag and rumple some tissue paper on top? Well, if you are busy getting ready for the holidays that’s just fine. If you have a few extra minutes wrapping a gift beautifully is a gift in itself. It’s another way of showing the recipient that they are special to you.

For your “green” friends use eco-friendly repurposed wrapping paper. Instead of using tissue paper, use tulle. You can find tulle in all kinds of fun and sparkly colors at your local fabric shop.

Use familiar materials like paper bags, cardboard boxes, crepe paper, and twine. These are easily made into sophisticated packaging for small gifts and favors with ribbon or decorative paper.

Use fabric. A scarf, a tea towel, or some quilting scraps are perfect. Fasten with safety pins instead of tape.

If you are giving someone multiple gifts, why not create a tower of presents? Stack gift boxes from smallest to largest and then tie with a super wide ribbon.

Instead of purchasing wrapping paper, use your children’s artwork instead. This is a charming and thoughtful way to dress up a present.

Attach sprigs of herbs, flowers or greens and holly to packages as an extra touch. Or add a small Christmas ornament on the outside of each gift.

Customize gift tags by making your own with playful stamps and colorful ink. Or find adhesive craft letters in the recipients initials and fasten them to the box.

And finally, instead of purchasing bows, you know – the kind that stick on, use tulle, wired ribbon or fabric flowers to adorn the top of your packages.

Plan Your Thanksgiving Meal

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Events and Happenings, Family Fun

15963609_SIn order to survive the last minute dash to the grocery store and the frantic meal planning, table setting, wine choosing moments that sometimes define our Thanksgiving holidays, why not sit down now and plan your meal. Then perhaps you can actually enjoy the cooking and still have time to talk to your friends and family.

Start with how many people you will have over for dinner. Are you going to have everyone bring a dish or are you going to cook everything yourself?

What time are you going to serve your meal? This will determine how early you have to get up, what time you need to start your turkey and how much you can possibly get done the night before.

Are you going to have turkey, ham or something untraditional? Order your ham and turkey now from your butcher. Possibly you have an old family recipe that you always use, but if not scour food magazines and online sites for different preparations. One note of caution, please don’t try anything too complicated. You don’t want to try out a new recipe only to have it flop.

Determine the number of sides you want to have. Do you want mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, stuffing, Brussels sprouts, green beans and rolls? Make your list and then plan your oven time. Your turkey or ham will take up the oven so be sure your sides can be done on the stovetop or made the night before and warmed in the microwave.

Make dessert the night before. If you are planning on making homemade pies, make your piecrust the day before you finish the pies. By splitting up the work you will avoid getting overwhelmed.

Set the table the night before as well. Clean your main floor paying particular attention to the guest bathroom. Set out extra tables for guests to rest their drinks on. Make sure your front porch looks inviting.

Now pour yourself a glass of wine and count your blessings.

Fall Entertaining

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Entertaining, Family Fun

22360248_SWhether you want to gather around the dining room table for a formal sit down dinner, eat one last time in the garden or huddle in front of the TV to watch a football game, entertaining in your home during this wonderful season should be a celebration of the bounty of the harvest and hard worker of the farmers who selflessly worked to bring all of those fabulous fall vegetables to your kitchen.

Sweet potatoes, apples, pears, fennel, garlic and cauliflower are all great seasonal choices. For a more formal dinner roast apples and onions with pork for a main dish. A cauliflower gratin is a great side. Poach pears in sweet wine for dessert.

For a more informal dinner for a tailgate make ham and pear sandwiches. Bake up some sweet potato fries for a side and make caramel apples for dessert. You can also make roasted pears with walnuts and blue cheese or a frisee salad with pears and hazelnuts.

To drink you can’t go wrong with spiced apple cider. Spike it with champagne for the adults.

Since weather during this season can be unpredictable, if you plan to eat outside make sure you have a backup plan if things go south.

To make your table fall perfect, choose a fall color and use it everywhere. Get grocery store flowers; add feathers and stalks of dried wheat for a themed centerpiece. Hurricane lanterns are another nice touch. Make the entrance to your home look ready for fall by adding gourds, pumpkins, corn stalks or wreaths of fall colored leaves.

But most of all enjoy your time with your friends and family as you entertain. There is nothing as satisfying as a good meal with good friends.

Using French Doors Indoors

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design Tips

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Used as an exterior door for years as a chic alternative to traditional sliding doors, French doors also work excellently indoors.  These glass paned doors allow light to flow between rooms while creating a division of space.  Great for use between a hall and den or family room, French doors can provide some sound break while not shutting off the room entirely.  French style pocket doors are even better because when slid into the wall, they disappear completely.

French doors can be used over wood floors, tile or carpet. Flooring can end at the doorway or continue throughout both spaces depending on how much of a space separation is desired.  There are curtain options to cover the glass for even more sense of privacy.  Curtains can be mounted on small rods at the top and bottom of the doors for a tailored look.  This option would not work on pocket doors where the door must slide into a narrow space, but would work on traditional French doors.

Transom windows, like seen in this picture, are another way to carry natural light throughout the home while providing something of a sound break.  Placed above doors and doorways, transom windows can either be stationary or tilt to open to allow additional air flow.

This home has a great flow between spaces with hardwood throughout, a transom window above the doorway to the dining room and the French doors into the living area.  Painting the French doors the same color as the molding and wall color allows them to blend into the space perfectly.

Getting Ready for School

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Family Fun

10290847_SYou can feel the crispness in the air; fall is on the way and with it comes – back to school. Well, some parents anxiously anticipate getting back to a routine; others dread the end of long lazy summer days at home with no early morning alarm clocks and only driving to fun activities like the swimming pool or the amusement park. With the beginning of the school year, families are once again ruled by start and end times, sport schedules and homework.

There are a few things you can do to make the transition from summer fun to getting back in the classroom a bit easier on everyone.

First, create a family calendar. Keep this calendar in a central spot, like the kitchen. Older students can be responsible for posting their own events, but you’ll have to record things for your younger kiddos – like when it’s their turn to bring a snack, or when it’s pajama day.

Stock up on foods that your kids will actually eat. Do a grocery run each weekend. Cut up fruits and veggies. Stock the pantry with nutritious snacks. Then, teach your kids how to make their own lunches. If they make them the night before your mornings will go much smoother.

Set your alarm clock for 15 minutes earlier than you think you need to get up. This will allow you time for the little things that can go wrong in the morning.

Have your kids set out their clothes the night before. In fact, have them shower the night before.  And be sure that they have their backpacks and all their homework ready and waiting by the front door.

With a little advance planning you can make the transition easy on the entire family. And remember as you are driving them to school or to the bus stop, it’s a great time to talk about goals for the coming school year.

Trend Spotting: Fretwork

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design Tips

14371760_SFretwork is a pattern of interlocking lines that dates back hundreds of years.  Sometimes called lattice pattern, fretwork comes from Chinese metalwork designs.  Thomas Chippendale, known for the Chippendale chair as seen in the image above, first introduced fretwork to western furniture in the 18th century. Since then fretwork has experienced numerous revivals and interpretations.

Fretwork patterns can be extremely elaborate or have simpler geometric patterns.  The common thread between them is the repeating intersections of the lines to create an overall geometric pattern. Sometimes similar to the Greek key pattern, fretwork is beloved by modern and traditional design alike.

The current revival of fretwork in design can be found on traditional furniture pieces as well as contemporary interpretations. Variations of fretwork pattern can be found on textiles such as curtains and bed linens, area rugs, pillows and even upholstery.  Fretwork wallpaper and stencils are used to add design to walls and the interiors of cabinets and bookcases.

The limits to where fretwork can be incorporated into your design are only limited by your imagination. Traditional fretwork patterns in metals, as seen in the Victorian era, can be found on radiator covers as well as exterior stair balustrades. Cabinet doors in wood or metal can be decorated with fretwork patterns.

When using a large fretwork pattern, let this be the dominant pattern in the room. Other patterns can be introduced in smaller scales as to not compete with the complex fretwork design on walls, furniture, floors or curtains.

Do’s and Don’ts of Laminate

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Maintenance Tips

AmbassadorBruce Laminate Floors - Black Forest

  • Glides or floor protectors on the bottom of your furniture will prevent possible scratching or abrasions.
  • It’s important to lift heavy furniture instead of dragging or pulling them.
  • Use pieces of carpet face down under heavy objects when moving them across your floor.
  • Spot cleaning and occasional complete cleaning of your laminate floor can be done using the manufacturer’s recommended products.
  • Never use abrasive cleaners, steel wool or scouring powder.
  • Do not use soap-based detergents or “mop-and-shine” products.
  • Never flood your floor with water or cleaner.
  • Do not wax or polish your laminate floor.
  • Never try to refinish or sand your laminate floor.
  • Durable but not indestructible, your laminate floor can be damaged by stiletto heels.
  • But the good news is that the finish on your laminate floor can help protect the floor from sunlight and the typical fading you find with aging hardwood floors.
  • Keep in mind that if a repair is necessary in the future, the replacement product may be a slightly different dye lot and/or texture than the initial installation.
  • However, with time and usage, the repair will blend in with your original product.
  • For additional care procedures please refer to the manufacturer’s care and maintenance instructions and recommendations.

Product Spotlight: Natural Stone

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Bathroom, Kitchen

Adda Blend (Brick-Joint Polished Mosaic)

This brick jointed polished mosaic, Adda Blend by Daltile, is a wonderful decorative accent for a kitchen or bathroom backsplash. Marble is a natural stone that is a metamorphic rock of crystallized limestone that consists mainly of calcite or dolomite.  It is a fine  material to add elegance to your home.

Learn more about this product in Daltile’s Marble Collection here or visit our website to view more natural stone products here.
Adda Blend (Brick-Joint Polished Mosaic)

Decorating the French Provincial Kitchen

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design Tips, Kitchen

5119306_SWhen it comes to decorative terms, “French Provincial” is more or less “French Country”. This style of interior decoration from the French Provinces came to the fore during the 17th and 18th centuries. Decorating the French provincial kitchen entails rough and whitewashed walls or smooth walls that are covered in beautiful wallpaper.

Using painted furniture isn’t uncommon, and straw woven seats can be a great addition to the kitchen table. One thing that makes this pattern of decoration unique and popular is the adoption of bright fabrics, which could range from tiny floral designs to wide paisley designs.

To achieve that traditional kitchen look while decorating the French provincial kitchen, the walls of the kitchen are painted in warm and milky white. What if white is not your favorite color? No need to fret, you can alternatively go for violet blue, muddied sea green, washed out ocher yellow, or even light gray.

Remember, think of a bright kitchen with a light feeling.  Using a chandelier for lighting above the island is a great idea and will add another depth of design to the kitchen.

Backsplash Tile Pattern Preference

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Kitchen, Uncategorized

Out of these four patterns, which do you prefer the most?  Think of how you would want a backsplash in your kitchen or bathroom.  Leave your favorite pick in the comment box below!