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10 Ways to Reboot Your Home for the New Year

The new year is a great time to make changes around the house. If you’re feeling a surge of get-it-done energy, kick off 2019 on a high note with these 10 tasks that will give your space that shiny new-home feeling.

Cup of Jo dining
A Cup of Jo

1. Have rugs professionally cleaned. Roll up those dirty area rugs and take them in for a professional cleaning — if you can’t remember the last time you’ve had them cleaned, you will be amazed at the difference clean, fresh area rugs can make in your home! For wall-to-wall carpeting, consider renting a steam cleaner or hiring a carpet cleaning service.

2. Schedule a get-it-done day. A get-it-done day is exactly what it sounds like: a whole day dedicated to taking care of a bunch of little tasks and errands that you’ve been putting off. Walk through your home with a notepad and jot down every little niggling task you think of that you’ve been meaning to get to. Then mark a day on your calendar to start ticking off those to-dos!

Simply Spaced Command Center
Simply Spaced

3.  Declutter the entryway. The drop zone around the front door is a magnet for clutter. Take a moment to gather up stray shoes, kids’ toys and other items that don’t belong, and put them away. Gather up those piles of papers and file what’s important, shredding the rest. Need to get organized? Create a command center like the one shown here by hanging an inbox and outbox for mail, wall calendar and message board.

4. Replace old, worn out rugs and doormats. Despite your best efforts to keep them in good shape, there comes a time when rugs are simply no longer at their best. Doormats and rugs placed in high traffic areas (like the entryway) are especially prone to becoming worn out. Why not pick out a fresh doormat to celebrate the new year?

domino fridge
Domino

5. Unclutter the fridge door. If your fridge door is barely visible anymore beneath the layers of kids’ artwork, mementos and notices, take it all down and see how it feels. Even if you end up gradually putting more items back up, savor that clean-fridge feeling for a while first.

6. Give your pantry and spices a fresh start. Most of us have some canned goods and spice jars that have been hanging around a little (or, let’s face it: a lot) too long. Go through the cupboards and toss anything past its expiration date.

7. Tackle your emergency kit. If you already have an emergency preparedness kit, bravo! Just do a quick check of your supplies to make sure that emergency foods and medications haven’t expired. Don’t have a kit yet? The American Red Cross has checklists of what to include, plus ready-made kits for sale.

cup of jo bedroom
A Cup of Jo

8. Upgrade linens and towels. January is a big month for white sales, so if you could use a fresh set of sheets or bath towels, this is a good time to restock. Just remember to donate your old set when you bring in a new one to avoid clutter build up.

9. Bring in a bit of nature. Healthy green plants are fantastic, but even a small vase of flowers or foliage will do the trick. Place a mini bouquet on your bedside table, in the powder room and anywhere else you could use a hit of nature. Nature-themed artwork also has a calming effect, especially in winter when the world outside is cold and gray.

Decor8
Decor8

10. Clear the sofa and coffee table. Put away unfolded laundry, old coffee cups and unopened mail. Your living space should be an area of your home that you can go to recharge, not a dumping station! When the space has been cleared, make yourself a big cup of something hot to drink, grab a good book or magazine, light a few candles and relax — you deserve it.

New Year Door Mats

Door Mat Shopping Guide (clockwise from top left): Nourison Elegant Entry personalized area rug; Nourison Waverly Greetings in navy; Erin Gates for Momeni Park Mats Pineapple area rug in navy; Nourison Waverly Greetings in blue bell.

On the hunt for more area rugs in your home? Click to shop all area rugs.

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at LauraGaskill.com!

Copyright © Rugs Direct ®

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Hygge Home for Winter

In Denmark, hygge is a concept that encompasses the warm, cozy feeling of togetherness — and winter is the perfect time to put this scandinavian idea of coziness to work around the house. From candles and twinkle lights to hot drinks and fluffy rugs, read on for some of the coziest ways give your home that signature hygge vibe.


Featherology on Etsy

When it comes to quickly adding a warm and cozy glow to your space, nothing beats twinkle lights. Opt for small lights on a white cord or thin copper wire for a delicate, magical look. Here are a few foolproof ways to use them:

- Draped over a full-length mirror in your bedroom.

- Criss-crossed on a wall (as shown here).

- Clustered inside a wide-mouth clear glass vase or jar.

- Running over a door frame or window.

- Draped across the mantel.


Decor8

Candlelight and hot drinks ought to be a daily ritual in a hygge home, especially in the short, dark days of midwinter. Light a candle with your breakfast, enjoy an afternoon tea by candlelight or end your day with a peaceful candlelit moment before turning off the lights. Why not treat yourself to a pretty teapot or new mug and a selection of fancy teas?


Handmade by Chris & Kris on Etsy

A toasty throw is another must-have when it comes to creating a warm and cozy hygge home. Chunky knits, warm woolens and ultra-plush faux fur are all good choices. Drape one wherever you or a guest will be sitting. Or, for a fun touch at a winter dinner party, drape a throw or small sheepskin across every seat at the table.


My Scandinavian Home

If you have a working fireplace or woodstove — and it’s been recently cleaned and maintained by a pro (safety first!) — winter is the perfect time to enjoy a crackling fire. But if you don’t have a fireplace, or if you live in an area with spare-the-air days, you can still enjoy the satisfaction of a freshly cut pile of firewood, a fluffy wool rug or sheepskin and toasty slippers. Just substitute extra candles or twinkle lights in place of the flames.


Mode and the City

A fresh pair of fuzzy socks and a good book are simple pleasures that are oh-so-hygge. In Iceland, there is a very hygge tradition called the “Christmas Book Flood” where people gift books to one another on Christmas eve, and then everyone reads in bed. Why not take the time to relax and read a book by candlelight in your fuzzy socks with a cup of tea? You can’t get much more hygge than that, whether it’s on Christmas eve or just another Tuesday!


The House That Lars Built

Of course, hygge is not all about solo coziness — once your home is feeling cozy, why not invite some of your closest friends over to enjoy a festive little gathering? Winter gatherings can be as simple as hosting a game night, getting together to wrap gifts, sing carols, watch your favorite holiday movie or exchange cookies. Keep the gathering as warm and cozy as possible by lighting candles, turning on the twinkle lights, playing soft music and pouring plenty of hot drinks.

Rug Shopping Guide (clockwise from top left): Surya Sheep in pearl; Grand Tapis Deco Lines by Orian Rugs in ivory; Milan by Surya in ivory; Hygge by Loloi Rugs in grey and mist.

To shop more hygge-inspired rugs, click here.

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at LauraGaskill.com!

Copyright © Rugs Direct ®

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Sweet Holiday Decorating Ideas for Kids

Want to give your favorite kiddos an extra helping of holiday cheer? Add one or more of these sweet seasonal touches to a child’s bedroom or play space and make little spirits bright. Pour yourself a mug of hot cocoa and read on for all six ideas…

Ave Styles - holiday kids room
Ave Styles

1. Tiny tabletop tree. Itty bitty and totally touchable, a tiny tabletop tree (either real or fake) makes a fun addition to a young child’s room. Pick out a small selection of soft, non-breakable felt and fabric ornaments, and top the tree off with a mini stuffed animal or finger puppet.

Christmas 365 - chalkboard christmas tree
Christmas Around the World

2. Chalk wall tree. Do you already have a chalkboard wall in the bedroom or playroom? If so, you’re potentially mere moments away from one of the most cheerful holiday decorations around: the chalkboard tree! Sketch out a simple Christmas tree shape on the chalk wall and decorate with a taped-on garland. Or, for an even quicker setup, add ornaments drawn on in colorful chalk. Pile up pretend wrapped gifts (try wrapping wooden blocks from a set) and cute stuffed animals to create a festive scene.

Young House Love
Young House Love

3. Petite tree. For children a bit older, nothing beats having their very own kid-size Christmas tree right in their own room! Complete the setup with strands of twinkle lights, soft ornaments and a swath of pretty fabric wrapped around the base to conceal the Christmas tree stand.

Modern Mrs Darcy
Modern Mrs Darcy

4. Book “tree”. You can make this purely decorative or (and I think this is more fun!) you can let your book tree do double-duty as a literary advent calendar. Wrap up books — they can be from your home collection, the local library or new books — and pile them up with the largest on the bottom and smallest on top. With each layer, turn the book a quarter turn to create the spiral effect shown here. When your book tree is complete, decorate it with a few shiny ornaments or a tiny strand of battery-powered twinkle lights.

Christmas 365
Christmas Around the World

Yvestown - colorful striped stocking
Yvestown

5. Sweet stockings. In England and some other regions of the world, Christmas stockings are traditionally hung on the bedposts. But even if Santa will be filling the stockings hung by the chimney, it can be a cheerful touch to put a bonus stocking in your little one’s room as well. A small stuffed bunny rabbit peeking over the top makes an irresistible finishing touch.

Yvestown - red chair with presents
Yvestown

6. Something fluffy…and something red! Fluffy sheepskin, faux fur or even a super-soft knitted throw makes an inviting addition to a child’s room or play space. Try draping a fun throw over a chair or on the bed to provide a cozy spot to sit and read. And finally, consider adding something red. This undeniably bright and cheerful hue tends to be a big favorite with kids year-round and looks especially festive in midwinter. Perhaps a red rug would fit the bill? If so, keep scrolling to see 6 of my favorite cheery red rugs perfect for the holidays and beyond.

Christmas Rugs

Rug Shopping Guide: 1. Santino by Feizy Rugs in red; 2. Kilim by Safavieh in pink; 3. Kenwood by Kaleen in pink; 4. Awning Stripes by Couristan in red; 5. Montauk by Safavieh in red; 6. Montauk by Safavieh in red and ivory.

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at LauraGaskill.com!

Copyright © Rugs Direct ®

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Classic Home Color Combo: Blue and White

Like your favorite pair of blue jeans paired with a white tee, decorating with blue and white feels easy for most people. Today we’ll take a look at three ways to bring a blue and white color palette into your home: country, classic and coastal.

Country Living
Country Living

1. Country. The dining space shown here has that warm and inviting French country look perfected. Casual blue and white striped textiles pair up with cozy toile wallpaper and a farm table and chairs to create a room that would be a delight to spend time in. To get this look, use a mix of vintage or antique wood pieces with new blue and white textiles like slipcovers, table linens, wallpaper, and even ceramics for your tabletop. A country-take on the blue and white scheme can include shades of cream for a softer look.

domino2
Domino

HGTV
HGTV

2. Classic. Blue and white china is probably the quickest way to add this color palette to your classic or traditional space. And while less is sometimes more, in this case, more is more! Cluster a group of blue and white china vases together on the kitchen counter, or display a collection of pieces in varied sizes on wall-mounted brackets. Carry the blue and white theme throughout your space with blue linens in the bedroom and tea towels in the kitchen.

Bright Bazaar
Bright Bazaar

Roost Blog
Roost

3. Coastal. Nothing says coastal style more clearly than a crisp blue and white stripe. If you want to channel a beach vibe, don’t be shy with the stripes! Try a blue and white striped rug, roman shades, pillow covers, curtains, or all of the above. Mixing stripes is easier than it sounds, so don’t be afraid to pile them on — just remember that mixing and matching is easier with stripes of different widths. Try a wide stripe rug paired with narrow ticking stripe pillows, for example. Then round out your room with upholstered pieces in solid blue or white and crisp white walls.

Leslie Shewring Blues

Leslie Shewring for decor8

Putting it all together: Have an idea of what you would like in your blue and white room? Before you get started, consider pulling together a quick mood board with a few images that capture the particular shades of blue you love, textures you’re hoping to use, or even specific pieces you have your eye on. Then stand back and ask yourself if they all work together. Play around with adding and removing pictures until it pleases you, and then use your mood board as a reference when selecting products for your space. You can pin tear sheets from magazines and catalogs to a bulletin board, or create a digital inspiration board using an online tool like Pinterest.

Ready to shop for a blue and white rug for your space? These four favorites are a great place to begin your search:

blue and white rugs

Rug shopping guide (clockwise from top left): Safavieh Evoke in navy and ivory; Spicher and Company vintage vinyl floor cloths in blue and ivory; Company C ticking stripe in indigo; Nourison Somerset in light blue.

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at LauraGaskill.com!

Copyright © Rugs Direct ®

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