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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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10 Things to Do Now for a Cozier, Happier Fall Home

Fall is here! It’s time for crackling fires, good books and cozy gatherings around the table with friends. Check these 10 to-dos off your list to enjoy this glorious season to its fullest.

Fall Mantel
The Lily Pad Cottage

1. Decorate the mantel. A few simple touches are all it takes to bring your mantel into the current season. Place a cluster of pumpkins or gourds on one end, and balance the arrangement with a few candles on the other end. Odd numbered groupings look the most natural, so aim to include three, five, or seven items on each side.

2. Load up your to-be-read list with great titles. Fall is one of the best times of year to curl up with a good book, so be sure you’re stocked up on titles you can’t wait to dive into. Three home-related books I’m looking forward to reading this fall include Cozy Minimalist Home by Myquillyn Smith, Whiskey in a Teacup by Reese Witherspoon, and Homebody by Joanna Gaines.

3. Stock up on candles. What’s cozier than the warm flicker of real candlelight? Stock up on your favorite candles so you always have something on hand throughout the season. Choose one or two in a scent you love, but keep the rest unscented to avoid your home smelling like a Yankee Candle shop.

Get Ready for Fall
The Lily Pad Cottage | Domino | House & Home | House & Home

4. Make room in your coat closet. Fall and winter are seasons when you might find yourself entertaining more often than usual. Do yourself a favor and make some room in your coat closet now, so guests have a spot to hang their coats and bags.

5. Get your chimney cleaned. Creosote from old fires builds up over time inside chimneys, and can potentially cause a house fire if it’s not cleaned out. So if you have a wood-burning fireplace, getting a pro to clean and inspect it every year is essential — make the call and set up an appointment before you light that first crackling fire.

6. Choose a signature hot drink. Having something hot and delicious to offer party guests and drop-in visitors is a delight. Choose a favorite hot drink and make it your signature, simply by keeping the ingredients needed in stock in your fridge or pantry. A few favorites to consider for fall include chai tea lattes, hot spiced apple cider, mexican hot chocolate and mulled wine.

Fall Dining
House & Home

7. Set a pretty table. If you know you’ll be entertaining this fall, take some of the stress out of preparing by doing a table setting test-run now. Pull out all of your linens, silverware, and special glasses, and make note of anything you’re missing. For a special touch on the day of the party, consider adding one simple natural element to each place setting. Take a cue from the table shown here and set a pear on each plate and a sprig of greenery and berries in a shot glass. Then pile up foraged pine cones in a pretty bowl, light a few candles and let the complements roll in.

8. Make a master list of go-to fall recipes. If you find it challenging to get weeknight dinners on the table, you are not alone. Make things a bit easier by sitting down with a hot mug of tea on a weekend with all of your favorite cookbooks and recipe sites pulled up, and take the time to create a master list of favorite fall recipes. Beside the name of each recipe, simply note down where to find it (i.e., page number in cookbook or website url) and whether you’ve made it before. Then, when it’s time to plant the week’s menus, pull out your list and start picking.

9. Organize the spices. Are your spices a jumbled mess? If so, make organizing the spices a mini-project and commit to getting it done in one go. Check expiration dates and toss out spices that have been gathering dust for years, wipe bottles clean, and neatly place back on the shelf or spice rack. Your future holiday cooking self will thank you!

Fall Bedroom
House & Home

10. Swap out bedding + rugs for something cozier. Climbing into a cozy bed at the end of a long day is one of life’s great simple pleasures. Make sure your experience is as warm and comfy as can be by swapping out cooler summer bedding with soft, warm layers in rich, autumnal hues — think flannel sheets, sumptuous velvet pillows, and cozy wool and knit blankets.

Replace a tired old rug for something cozy and warm that you can sink your toes into; my vote goes for something soft in a fall-inspired color palette. My top four favs are below — any one of these beautiful rugs would look right at home in a cozy living room or dining room throughout fall and winter.

Cozy Rugs for Fall

Rug Shopping Guide (clockwise from top left): United Weavers Monaco St Martin in garnet; Oriental Weavers Andorra in blue; Oriental Weavers Andorra in red and gold; Kaleen Helena in paprika, linen, steel blue and mushroom.

For more fall-inspired rugs, shop all of our new fall rug arrivals.

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

Copyright © Rugs Direct ®

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Creative Entertaining Ideas for Mother’s Day

Whether you’re planning to spend Mother’s Day with your own mom, or are looking to honor another important mother in your life, spending quality time together is probably at the top of her wish list. Make her day extra-special with a small gathering at home, plus a themed gift to go with it. Will it be a backyard picnic, literary lunch, or champagne brunch? Get the party how-to’s and gift ideas for Mother’s Day straight ahead.

Sugar and Charm
Sugar and Charm

The backyard picnic is such a fun way to entertain — it’s simple, casual, and seems to put everyone in a good mood. Make your Mother’s Day picnic feel special by bringing some soft, comfortable items from home. Think fringed throws, striped outdoor rugs, and big cushions for leaning on. Keep the menu simple with baguette sandwiches, sparkling lemonade, and a few fresh veggie salads picked up from a local market. Plus something sweet for dessert, of course! And remember, if you don’t have a big backyard you can always meet at a nearby park.

Sugar and Charm
Sugar and Charm

Picnic-Themed Gift Ideas:

– Tasty treats and specialty ingredients from a local market

– Pretty tasseled blanket

– Wide-brim sun hat

– Garden-inspired jewelry or scarf

– Tickets to an outdoor theater or music event

– Digital projector for backyard movie nights

– Any of the above items, packed up in a picnic basket for mom to keep

weddingomania
Via Weddingomania

Does your mom love to read? Embrace her passion for all things literary with a book-themed party! Decorate the table with stacks of books with pretty covers, make bookmarks to use as the place cards, and serve up fare inspired by a favorite novel (Jane Austen tea party, anyone?). To make the party really special, coordinate ahead of time with the other guests to gift your mom a photo book including pictures from everyone involved.

persuasion_031
The Ardent Biblio

Gift Ideas:

– A pretty edition of one of mom’s all-time favorite books

– Gift certificate to a local, independent bookshop

– A cute new bookbag

– A new mug and delicious tea so she can sip while she reads

– Book-themed jewelry

– An art print with a quote from a favorite literary heroine

Sugar and Charm
Sugar and Charm

And finally, you can never go wrong with a classic Mother’s Day brunch. Hosting brunch at home is lovely because you can linger over the table as long as you like — and it doesn’t have to be a lot of effort. If you’d prefer not to cook ten different dishes, no problem! Pick up doughnuts and pastries (or bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon) from the best shop in town, pile up bowls with heaps of beautiful fresh fruit, and pop a bottle of champagne. Then spend some of the time you didn’t spend cooking to print out childhood photos of each guest, and use them as place cards. What mom wouldn’t love that?

Glitter Guide
The Glitter Guide

Brunch-Themed Gift Ideas:

– French press coffee set and a pound of really good coffee beans

– Passes for a sunrise yoga class that you can attend together

– A gorgeous new cookbook and recipe box

– Pretty tea towels and an apron

– French market basket and a date to walk to the farmer’s market together

– Bouquet of flowers in a lovely vase

– A bottle of bubbly

Mother’s Day Art Shopping Guide:

1.Timeless Endless Mother by Tara Moss;  2. Mother and Daughter by Cassandra Cushman; 3. Mother by Sherry DiPaolo Art; 4. Mother Nature’s Love by Sophia Rodionov; 5. You’re the Mom by American Flat;  6. Playing in the Water by Georgia Janisse.

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

Copyright © Rugs Direct ®

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