Sunday, December 16, 2012

Holiday Houseguests Checklist - Charlotte NC

Make a List and Check it at Least Twice to Help Prepare for Holiday Houseguests
By Guest Contributor Brad Little

Hosting houseguests for the holidays can be hectic to say the least. Houseguests can create undue stress during the busiest time of year. But there are some things you can do in advance to help get a head start on your holiday task list so you can enjoy time with your friends and family while they’re in your home for the holidays

If you’re preparing for overnight guests in your home. . .

You've got your work cut out for you, but you can pull it off with the help of some holiday magic. Put your little elves to work baking cookies and cleaning the house, and work on these five things in advance of your guests’ arrival.

    1.   Hang holiday décor. This one may require a separate checklist, depending on how far out your household goes when it comes to holiday décor. Trees, wreaths, lights, arrangements, and other decorations are best accomplished first because they add festivity to the air, plus you can enjoy them longer.

Image courtesy of Meg Spaeth and Elsie Marley

      2.    Make up the beds and baths. Deep clean your guest rooms and baths and put fresh linens on the beds and new bars of soap in the showers. The day before guests arrive you can do a light cleaning and add fresh towels. Voila!      

Image courtesy of Case Remodeling Charlotte

3.    Declutter the house. You may have to check this item off before you prepare your guest rooms, if they’re a place where you hastily store miscellaneous household items, as is common practice in many homes. Whether your clutter collects in unused rooms or simply anywhere there’s room, this is another task that’s better accomplished sooner than later to help make room for the holiday madness.

     4.     Create a meal plan. The most difficult part of houseguests for many holiday hosts is feeding everyone three meals a day plus snacks. You need a meal plan not only for a holiday dinner, but also for each day and each meal you’ll be serving your guests. Try to order takeout or go out to eat with your houseguests at least once while they’re in town, to give yourself a well-earned break. 

5.    Buy and wrap guest gifts. Perhaps you plan to do some last-minute holiday shopping with your guests while they’re in town, something nearly everyone needs to do. Make sure you buy and wrap gifts for house guests in advance, if you want to keep things a surprise.

If you’re hosting a holiday dinner. . .

Timing is everything. You’ll need help from little elves for this one as the meal comes together at the last minute. A word of advice: let your houseguests help you. It’s physically impossible to cook, heat, and serve dozens of dishes to twice as many people, so don’t even try to go it alone. As the clock ticks down, let extra hands take on odd jobs to help expedite the meal. Follow these tips to help minimize last minute hassles. For additional ideas, check out this Charlotte Case Remodeling blog checklist 25 tips to prepare your home for the holidays

1.  Set your holiday table now. The holiday dinner table takes time and should be prepared in advance. Prepare your centerpiece first. Polish silver and wine glasses ahead of time. Run stored china through the dishwasher and return to the china cabinet. Try integrating your place settings into your holiday table décor.

         2.    Plan the menu and assign dishes. Plan your menu and make a list of ingredients that you can stock up on now. If your holiday dinner is pot-luck style, have guests sign up for the dishes they want to bring so you don’t end up with three green bean casseroles. If you’re preparing the main course, order your meat in advance from your local market.

     3.      Create a cooking calendar. If you’re cooking a main course and several side dishes for the holiday meal, you’ll need to spread the work out over the course of one or more days. Make a list of the items you will cook in the order that you’ll cook them. Then assign each dish a day and time when you’ll prepare it. Write down a way to store and reheat the dish if you have to make it more than a few hours before the holiday meal. 

       4.   Clean out the fridge. Dig back there and remove any wayward leftovers or items past the expiration date. You’re going to need all the room you can get. You may be able to store some items on ice inside coolers in a garage or mudroom if you run out of room in your fridge. 

Image courtesy of Case Remodeling - Charlotte 

5.   Recruit elves. If you have children in the house, put them to work before the dinner, setting the table and carrying dishes and other items from the kitchen to the table. If the kids will be eating at a separate table, have them set and decorate their own table as a pre-dinner activity by giving them arts and crafts supplies for creating holiday placeholders and centerpieces.

Author Bio: Brad Little, owner of Case Design/Remodeling of Charlotte NC, writes about redesigning homes and interior decorating ideas as a guest blogger and for his home improvement company. He recently added a  holiday checklist to his own company blog at Case Design / Remodeling Charlotte NC  

 Holiday Houseguests Checklist - Charlotte NC

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Fall Holiday Seasonal Decorating - Charlotte NC

Easy - Fall Holiday Seasonal Decorating 

These fall seasonal holiday decorating - ideas include several no-hassle projects that are full of fall textures and colors. We love to share wonderful - seasonal holiday decorating ideas from Better Homes & Gardens.

Twist on - Traditional Holiday Seasonal Decorating
Festive tablescape sets the scene for fall holiday entertaining. Give your typical tableaux a twist by incorporating a non-fall color. Here, the bright sky blue plate breaks up the rich reds and vibrant oranges typically used in fall decorating.Try pairing plum or Bordeaux hues with golden yellows or sage or olive greens with chocolate browns.

  Seasonal Tablescape Decorating

Fall Tablescapes
Embrace the bounty of beautiful fall colors with a seasonal tablescape. The star of this table is a stunning arrangement of late-blooming flowers mixed with bold red-orange leaves. Small gourds and pumpkins are also randomly placed around the table, creating a laid-back vibe perfect for fall entertaining.

       Holiday Event Decorators 

Festive Holiday Seasonal Dishware
One of the easiest ways to bring a touch of fall character into your home is through dishware and table linens. This pretty table setting features fall favorite hues, including pumpkin oranges, maple reds, and straw yellows. A tiny gourd topped with an oversize bow functions as a festive place card. The gingham-print bow and napkin tie together all of the colors and add a splash of seasonal pattern.

     Fall - Holiday Entertaining

For the Holidays Use a Leafy Table Runner
Easily transform an ordinary table runner into playful fall decor using nothing more than felt and hot glue. Purchase felt in autumn-inspired colors from your local crafts store. Trace different sizes of leaves and twigs onto the felt, cut them out, and place the pieces in a pleasing pattern onto the table runner. Adhere the twigs onto the surface first using a hot-glue gun to ensure correct placement of the leaves. Then glue down each leaf onto the top of one of the tiny twigs. The result is a festive table runner perfectly suited to fall entertaining holiday events.

Natural Beauty
Creating a bold centerpiece can be done on a dime. In fact, you can re-create this fall seasonal - arrangement by just stepping outside. Simply comb your backyard for fallen leafy twigs and place the collection in a wide vase filled with water. Natural imperfections in the leaves, such as tiny holes or rumpled edges, add texture and create an authentic natural look.

       Seasonal Holiday Decorating

Festive Furniture
Dress up your furniture with cozy items in seasonal colors. Here, a wicker chair is draped with a warm orange throw, and a maple leaf pillow sits comfortably on top. Perk up a plain pillow by enlarging a leaf using a copier to make a pattern. Cut the pattern out of wool felt and attach it to the pillow cover using iron-on fusible backing. Blanket-stitch around the edges.

Holiday Decorating Services- Charlotte NC

Seasonal Shelf Display
Fill old jars with fall berries to bring the colors of fall to any shelf in your home. Comb your lawn for fallen branches or snip a collection of twigs off of a nearby tree and place a couple in each jar, scattering a few berry sprays along the surface of the mantel. Tiny white gourds add another dimension of seasonal decorating - textures.

Bookcase Beauty
Transform your everyday bookshelf into a fall display with a few simple tweaks. First, to create a consistent and graphic look, cover books with festive paper we love these tree- and floral-inspired prints. Then incorporate natural elements and accessories in fall hues.

Bookshelf Scenario
Artfully arrange fall decorating - items on a bookshelf or in an open cabinet. Put platters on their sides, fill vases with colorful flowers, and pile bowls with mini gourds to create a diverse display. Try heaping small items, such as acorns, bright berries, and sweet gum seedpods, into glass bowls. Adhere a dried fern frond to a platter with spray adhesive to embellish a simple plate.

Photo and Article Courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens

Professional Holiday Decorating Services -  Affordable Holiday Decorating - Commercial Holiday Decorating - Seasonal Christmas Decorating - Event Decorating Services - Charlotte NC - including Weddington -Concord - Davidson - Belmont - Mt. Holly - Lake Norman- Statesville- Mooresville - Hickory - Winston Salem North Carolina and South Carolina. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Fall Home Decorating

Can you believe the Fall season is almost here?  There’s something truly rejuvenating about Falls arrival. In Charlotte North Carolina Fall is the perfect time to get your home organized and redesigned for the winter ahead.  Its time to freshen your homes interior and start thinking about a new fall decorating plan that feels warm, welcoming and cozy.  Are you Ready to update and decorateyour home for fall?

                                                Photo Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

1.  Picture Perfect Fall Decorating
If you’re a closet shutterbug, Redesign + More can help you take photographs of pretty fall foliage or other scenes that say “fall” to you.  The idea is to blow the photos up and display them on tables or, create a feature wall in your home using picture rails. It’s fun to display photographs in frames of varying shapes, sizes and finishes for amped-up visual appeal. You can change up photos each season for a continually refreshed look and feel.

2.  Fall Welcome Wreaths
Wreaths are traditionally associated with Christmas but more and more, wreaths are becoming a fall decorating essential as well. Adorn your front door with a wreath made out of wheat, berries, pinecones or acorns for a simple but elegant way to welcome guests to your home. A simple pinecone wreath, for example, can be updated for the holidays with the easy addition of red berries, green leaves and ribbon.

                                                                    Photo Courtesy of Etsy

3.  Simple Slipcovers and Toss Pillows
Updating your home doesn’t have to mean buying all new furniture. Your existing furniture can get an instant makeover by using slipcovers and toss pillows. Replace cotton slipcovers and toss pillows in warm fall colors like chocolate brown, green, red and rust.
                                                             Photo Courtesy of Etsy
4.  Clusters of Candles during the Fall Season
Candles add a warm glow to any room in the home. Place scented candles in large hurricane vases. Nestle the vases in individual bases made from pinecones or fauxfall berries. Candles with woodsy fragrances like pine or balsam or sweet scents like vanilla or cranberry will send a delightful aroma throughout your home.

5.  Mad for Plaid My Fall Favorite
Plaid is a fall favorite.  Replace cotton throws and cushions with ones graced with plaid, this is an easy way to transition your home from summer to fall. Grays, reds, greens and navy blues are traditional plaid colors and perfectly suit a fall-themed home.

6.  Pretty Pumpkins for Fall
Traditionally on display during Thanksgiving and Halloween, pumpkins make a lovely all-season fall addition. But how do you use them as decorative items, rather than jack-o-lanterns? Simply place a group of three pumpkins on your front porch on top of a welcome mat. Or, carve the insides out of a medium-sized pumpkin and fill the shell with flowers for a beautiful and natural floral display. Try painting a large pumpkin white, and then paint an interesting pattern on top in a different color. Display on a cake stand for a veritably unique centerpiece!

 Beautiful Photo By JustJoLynn
7.  A Bounty of Books & Hot Tea, Ready for Fall?
Fall is the perfect time to curl up with a hot cup of tea and a good book. Instead of leaving your books perfectly lined up on your bookcase, pick out the ones you plan to read for the season. Display them in neat stacks on tables around the house. It won’t cost you anything and will also motivate you to read those books that have been collecting dust on your bookshelf! (I prefer a cup of hot tea with a flavored creamer its absolutely delicious) 

8.  Gorgeous Garlands will bring the Fall Indoors
Pinecones can easily be strung together on a piece of twine to make a long and lovely garland. Beautiful and natural, a pinecone garland looks stunning strung along a staircase banister or a mantelpiece. Try this in your home.

9.  Change to a Fall Color Palette
A simple home redesign is to add fall colors to your home this will provide a fresh, updated feeling. Change out light-colored bathroom towels for ones in rich fall browns and oranges. Switch your bed linens from summer’s light, white cottons to coffee-colored flannels for warmth on cool nights.

                                                      Photo Courtesy of Potterybarn

10.  Area rugs for fall and winter
If you’ve got wood or tile flooring throughout your home, warm things up with area rugs during the fall and winter months. Hand-woven or hand-loomed rugs in spice colors like cinnamon, paprika and saffron will instantly give any room a pop ofcolor while also making things a bit more comfortable underfoot.


Professional Company providing Interior Design, Interior Room Redesign, Real Estate Home Staging Services, Holiday and Event Decorating Services, in Charlotte NC, including South Charlotte, Weddington, Concord, Mt. Holly, Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson, Belmont, Lake Norman, Mooresville, Statesville, Hickory, Winston Salem North Carolina & South Carolina. 

Fall Decorating Outdoor Event - Ideas

Soon the cooler crisp temperatures will arrive and the outdoor fall colors will surround us in all their glory. With fall season here this gives us reason todecorate our homes for the fall season. I found some great inspiring designideas from Pottery Barn this year. Enjoy a few interior & exterior decorating ideas plus a few upcoming outdoor fall events to check out.

                                                            Photo Pottery Barn

1.  In your homes foyer add artwork that displays beautiful fall themes. I love the warmth that oranges, browns, golden yellows and reds can bring to your homeduring the fall season.
                                                                 Photo HGTV                                                             

2.  Show off your fireplace mantel with fall seasonal decorations. Often you can find items right in your back yard, pinecones, acorns, magnolia branches, driedcolorful leaves and leaf vines. Try your local craft store like Michaels to gather gourds and small pumpkins then add in a few colorful fall scented candles. Viola your fireplace is ready for the fall season.

                                                                   Photo Furniture Fashion

3.  Add fall spark to your front porch you can find color inspiration from thefalling leaves. Add colored ribbon mixed with raffia to your front porch columns, position white and orange pumpkins with seasonal mums on the front porch. Place a grouping of outdoor lanterns and add battery operated pillar candles to give a warm flickering glow. Happy Fall Decorating.

                                                               Photos Pottery Barn
4.  Fall dining room table centerpieces are a great way to infuse the fall colors.Feel free to add to your table centerpiece this will add visual interest during theseason. I have discovered some great dining room table decorating accessories from Pier One and Pottery Barn

                                                             Photo Pottery Barn

5.   Oh I love what fall does to the senses and the smell of fall makes me think of warm, cozy, crisp days to come.  Yankee Candle Company offers a huge assortment of scented fall candles, one of my old time favorites is spiced pumpkin. I always enjoy the smells you get from boiling a pot of cinnamon sticks, cloves & nutmeg or baking an apple or pumpkin pie. Your home will have instant fallaroma.

                                                           Photo Pottery Barn

                                                            Photo Yankee Candle

6.  The fall is great time to plan fall outdoor family activities.  Plan a day at Brushy Mountain Apple Festivalfind some family fall fun at Patterson Farms and enjoy pumpkin patch hayride tours at Carrigan Farms Go watch the beautiful balloons at the Carolina Balloon Fest & the fall season balloon rides are awesome.

Professional Company providing Interior Design, Interior Room Redesign, Real Estate Home Staging Services, Holiday and Event Decorating Services, in Charlotte NC, including South Charlotte, Weddington, Concord, Mt. Holly, Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson, Belmont, Lake Norman, Mooresville, Statesville, Hickory, Winston Salem North Carolina & South Carolina. 

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Professional Company providing Interior Design, Interior Room Redesign, Real Estate Home Staging Services, Holiday and Event Decorating Services, in Charlotte NC, including South Charlotte, Weddington, Concord, Mt. Holly, Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson, Belmont, Lake Norman, Mooresville, Statesville, Hickory, Winston Salem North Carolina & South Carolina.