Fast holiday fixes for your Home
December, 2013 - Issue #110
Countdown to
Holiday Guests

by Tami Smight
My mom wisely taught me that guests feel welcome in my home when I am relaxed and enjoy myself as the hostess. So true! However, in order to feel relaxed, I prepare. Preparation is the key to success! From making dinner for your family to hosting friends and family overnight, enjoy my design tips to make everyone who enters your home feel welcome.

Engage The Senses
From the moment a visitor sets foot in the front door, engage the sense of smell. Nothing says "holidays" more than the scent of fresh oranges. Cloves placed in a few will add a spicy balance to the sweet citrus smell. Place a bowl on a table near the front entry.

Offer Refreshments upon Arrival
Whether traveling from near or far, your guests will be hungry and thirsty when they arrive. We don't want our guests to have to ask for refreshments, so have a tray prepared and on the kitchen counter upon their arrival. For adults, consider a tray with wine, cheeses and nuts. For kids, set out lemonade, sandwiches and cookies.

Five Star Amenities
Make the guest room a boutique hotel suite. Key items to make your overnight guests feel welcome are freshly-washed, crisp bed linens including a warm throw, a proper reading lamp and a basket filled with thoughtful goodies: travel-size toiletries, water, snacks and new toothbrush. Your guests will really appreciate an iPod docking station, an outlet strip for extra plug-ins and directions on how to access the house wi-fi.
Feeling overwhelmed getting your home ready for the holidays? Call me! 430-0127

Show Guests the Door
First impressions are made before guests even enter your home. A sun-beaten front door, scuffed garage door or dull shutters can all detract from the ambience you may work so hard to create on the interior of your home. Accent front-door colors can add real flare to your house and a fresh coat of paint can bring these other elements back from the brink. A professional "painter for a day" service is an affordable way to correct all these style errors fast.
A. Allbright Painting, Inc. 294-1159

In-stock Carpet Means Instant Gratification
An incredibly-wide selection of in-stock carpets are waiting to wow your guests. Starting at only $2.78 a square foot (That price includes installation - and free installation offers are available on select carpets.), this family-owned and operated company will ensure a pleasant floor-buying experience from beginning to end. (No subcontractors. Yay!).
Boyles Flooring 284-1200

Installation in a Day
Some people think that changing out the carpet in your home is a difficult job that feels like moving. Well, they're kind of right. But what they don't consider is that with a professional installation company like Brent's Carpet One, in almost every case the carpet installation itself only takes one day. Moving knick knacks, disconnecting electronics and packing up the china may be slightly daunting, but if you want to wow your holiday crowds with a home that feels like new, get to Brent's. While they have a number of carpets in stock for immediate installation, most carpets take a week or so to arrive once ordered. You want to make sure you have time to set out all your favorite holiday decorations after your new carpet arrives, so don't delay.
Brent's Carpet One 255-3337

Custom Made before Christmas
It's common to presume that when you choose hand-hewn hardwood flooring, gratification is less than instant. After all, truly custom-made flooring takes time. That doesn't mean you can't have your dream flooring installed before Christmas, though! When you work with the direct manufacturer, you save more than a lot of money - you also save a lot of time. On average, your custom-made flooring order can be completed and ready for install in only three to five weeks. Call now and you'll really have the best present "under the tree!"
Acorn Hardwood Flooring, Inc. 255-9663, extension 215

Treat your House Guests to a Hotel-like Stay
Revamping your guest accommodations will undoubtedly enhance their stay. With a little planning, this can be a fast, easy fix. Start with the basics and envision your own stay at luxury hotel with all the in-room amenities.

Begin by upgrading the bedding and providing a choice of extra pillows and blankets. Make sure there's a luggage stand in the closet with lots of space and hangers for their clothing. Be sure to empty the top dresser drawers to provide more storage.

Installing a hook or two on a wall and the back of a door gives you a place to add clean bath robes on hangers and a place to store a jacket or handbag. Minimize the articles on the night stands to only the necessities: reading lamps, magazines, an alarm clock and tissues, plus a pen, paper and scissors in a drawer.

Dressers and chest tops are a great place to furnish other items organized in baskets, like a hair dryer, extra towels and miniature toiletries that may have been forgotten.

Other nice touches are to have a business-card-sized list of any codes needed for home security systems and access to gated communities, their own set of color-coded keys that they'll need for their visit and maps to local hotspots.

If you have the room, a chair and writing table is a nice addition, topped with paper and pen, plus a tray with bottled water, glasses and some snacks.
Decorating Den Interiors 310-3774

Set your Table in Style
When you stop and think about it, the allure of dining often has little to do with the food. In fact, the biggest difference between "eating" and "dining" has nothing to do with the food at all. It's about ambience and the table setting.

With the perfect table setting you can convey the romance of fine dining and hosting without even having a morsel on the plates. The picture shown is an example of the power and elegance of a well-designed and thought-out setting. The layered table runners, with high-end-yet-classy linens, provide a whimsical feel. The plates and chargers of varying materials (glass, basket weave, porcelain) and colors (neutral mixed with bold hues) provide a feast for the eyes.

Keep the serving plates and center pieces low profile but unique and they will truly become the center of attention. Finish by mixing in smooth music, wine and cocktails.
Rebecca Rollins Interiors 367-4394

Tis' the Season to Clean and Shine
The holidays are here and celebrations with loved ones have begun! You've got the meal planned and the decorations in order, but what about cleaning your floors and furniture? Now is also the time of year to make any necessary repairs to your flooring.

Torn seams and wavy, loose carpeting can be very hazardous for the young, elderly and disabled. Bleach spots are another unsightly error that need fixing. Luckily, these things can be repaired in the blink of an eye.

Carpets, tile/grout and upholstery can be professionally cleaned with a protectant applied to last through 2014's holiday season. Not only will your home have that pristine, "just cleaned" look, but the indoor air quality and freshness will improve significantly, too.

Make sure to call three to five days in advance of when you would like your appointment to ensure one will be available. Give yourself a holiday gift! Set up your cleaning today and may your holidays and your furnishings be a little brighter!
CBC Cleaning & Restoration 294-2221

Find Inspiration for Fast Fixes
With the holidays quickly approaching, our homes are about to be filled with our loved ones. The heart of the home quickly becomes the kitchen; you might be wondering if yours is up to par. No need to panic - help is available!

Take time to gather inspiration - a visit to Surfaces USA's well-appointed showroom is a fabulous place to start. Once you find the material of your dreams, whether it is granite, marble or Caesarstone, you can have it fabricated and installed in time for you to enjoy and celebrate before the holidays.

Another quick fix this holiday season is to update your existing fireplace. In any room, a fireplace stands out as a focal point, especially as winter creeps in. Taking that into account, it is important to make sure the fireplace complements the space. Choose the design and materials carefully so they command attention but don't look out of place. Travertine planks or large-scale marble tiles are a great way to cover the existing, dated brick. Granite or marble hearths make great additions to existing pre-cast fireplaces that have become the standard in new homes today.

Complimentary design services are available to help you navigate through the endless possibilities.
Surfaces USA 775-9404
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