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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!

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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!

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Tips to Welcome Spring To Your Home

After what’s proving to be an exceptionally long winter, signs of spring can’t come soon enough! Fully embrace the change of season with pretty patio ideas, spring cleaning, and oodles of flowers.

The-Everygirl
The Everygirl

Above all, spring means longer days and more time spent outdoors. Perk up your outdoor nooks with potted flowers, a colorful indoor-outdoor rug, and fresh table linens. Even the tiniest patio or balcony can become a tranquil space to enjoy sipping a cup of morning coffee or tea when these details have been attended to.

FarmhouseOnBoone5
Farmhouse On Boone

Indoors, it’s time to talk bedding. Pack up those heavy duvets and thick flannel sheets, and trade them in for light, breezy linen and cotton bedding. A range of neutral hues — like the chambray, oyster, and white shown here — are effortless to mix and match. While you’re in the bedroom, clear off that bedside table and set out a pretty candle and a little cream pitcher with a few blooms snipped from the garden (or borrowed from a market bouquet). Woven accessories like a paint-dipped laundry basket and natural fiber rug are ideal for lightening up a spring bedroom.

Spring
Clockwise from top left: A Beautiful Mess; SF Girl By Bay; Tidbits; Magnolia

It wouldn’t be spring without eggs and flowers, right? Whether or not you have kids, it’s fun to dye a batch of eggs to use as table decor — and then eat, of course! And I can’t think of a space that isn’t made better with the addition of a vase of fresh flowers. Keep an eye out at the grocery store and farmer’s market for good deals on seasonal blooms, and aim to bring home a fresh bundle each week. Or, for a longer-lasting alternative, force spring bulbs in recycled jam jars as shown above.

CupcakesCashmere
Cupcakes and Cashmere

Of course, spring is also the time for spring cleaning — why not make it more fun by splurging on a set of really pretty (and good-smelling) cleaning products? A fresh new caddy and a new set of towels and scrub brushes will make chore time go more quickly. If you’re on a roll, collect clutter in bags or boxes while you clean, and make a trip to a local charity with your donations when you’re done. It will feel good!

Magnolia
Magnolia

Last but certainly not least, consider adding a set of cafe lights to your outdoor space. It’s amazing what a difference a strand or two can make in the ambiance, and you’ll enjoy them all season long. Need a little motivation to get all of this spring cleaning and decorating done? Set a date to host a spring brunch or patio dinner, and the deadline is sure to get you going.

Spring Rugs
Indoor-Outdoor Rug Shopping Guide (clockwise from top left): Momeni Baja in blue; Kaleen Yunque in blue, light teal and forest green; Liora Manne Sorrento Pinstripe in yellow; Momeni Baja in green.

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

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How to Simplify Your Life in 2018

Say goodbye to chaos, clutter, and overwhelm, and hello to breathing space, simplicity, and a wider margin to your days. Sounds delicious, right? If simplifying your life is at the top of your resolutions list for 2018, but you’re not sure where to begin, start here. Put these 5 tips into practice, and you’ll be on your way to a more spacious home and schedule before you know it.

Avenue Lifestyle
Avenue Lifestyle

Tip #1 — Decide how you want your home to feel

Instead of getting hung up on how your home looks, zero in on how you want to feel when you are spending time in your home. For example, would you like your home to feel peaceful, spacious, and clean? Or creative, welcoming, and warm? Aim to choose three keywords that capture the essence of how you want to feel (and how you hope others feel) when you enter your home. Once you have your words, use them to evaluate your space and everything in it. For each item in your home, consider whether it contributes to, or detracts from, the feeling you wish to create.

Avenue LifestyleHYGGE
Avenue Lifestyle

Tip #2 — Name your essentials

Once you’ve let go of some of the clutter that doesn’t mesh with how you want your home to feel, it’s time to move on to the experiences you want to have in your space. So consider this: What are your essentials? What activities, rituals, and routines bring you joy and peace? For me, this includes waking up early so I can sip coffee from my favorite mug in peace and quiet, reading great books, and having cozy game nights with my family. Perhaps for you it’s yoga, knitting, and playing the cello! There are no right or wrong answers here, but do keep your list short and sweet. And then make these items your top priority. To find extra time, pare back on non-essentials that don’t feed your soul, like aimless internet browsing and scrolling through social media feeds.

Shira Gill2
Vivian Johnson for Shira Gill

Tip #3 — Choose quality over quantity

Throughout the year, whenever you need to shop for something new, make ‘quality over quantity’ your new mantra. Making this one change means you’ll choose items that you really love, and stop filling your home with clutter. For example, pick the one lovely leather bag you love, rather than three so-so bags that you bought because they were on sale.

Tip #4 — Schedule regular clutter clearing dates

There are regular times throughout the year when we get new things: birthdays, holidays, back-to-school shopping, but we hardly ever make regularly scheduled times to clear out the old things. No wonder we end up with cluttered homes! So grab your calendar, and pencil in at least three dates when you can commit a day to clearing clutter from your home. With these in place, your space has a much better chance of staying clean and clutter-free throughout the year (and beyond).

Shira Gill1
Vivian Johnson for Shira Gill

Tip #5 — Make small choices that add up

The little things really do add up to big results, and this is definitely true when it comes to decluttering and simplifying your life! Aim to pick up just one tiny new habit at a time — for example, opening your mail immediately and recycling all the junk — and once it’s fully integrated into your routine, add another tiny habit, like doing a ten minute tidy up before bed each evening. To keep your awareness on simplifying, I highly recommend keeping a simplicity journal where you record your thoughts on new habits you’re trying, and the progress you are making. You can do it!

Rug Roundup
Rug Shopping Guide: 1. Surya Jill Rosenwald Orinocco Webs in black and cream; 2. Jaipur Rugs Naturals Lucia Mayen in white and tan; 3. Surya Contemporary Pillows Teori IX in ivory and light gray; 4. Loloi Rugs Justina Blakeney Kahelo in ivory and aqua; 5. Loloi Rugs Phoebe in white.

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

Copyright © Rugs Direct ®

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