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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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Cozy Fall Pillows

One of the easiest ways to get your home in a fall mood is by swapping out summery cushions for fall pillows in rich hues and interesting textures, and layering on plush throws. For 2018 I’m noticing a softer, more elegant take on fall coziness: think plum, cocoa, shimmering copper, and a bit of super-fluffy faux fur or sheepskin

Ave Styles
Ave Styles

Make a cozy first impression: Kick off the fall vibes as soon as you step through the door with a textured throw, pillow, and rug in warm, neutral hues. Pair up natural wood pieces plus a shiny accent for a can’t-miss look.

Lindsay Letters
Lindsay Letters

Consider color: When you’re planning your fall decor, it can be helpful to gather a few items on a table first, to see how they go together. Pick a soft blanket and layer on artwork, items from nature, and any decor you would like to use. Use your phone to snap a photo of your items together and refer to it while you’re out shopping to find pieces that coordinate.

Glitter Guide
Lujo Living
via Glitter Guide

Play up texture: If you’re going for a neutral or low-key color palette, but it’s looking a bit flat, you could probably use more texture. Aim for a mix of at least three different textures for a rich fall look. A few of my favorite textures for fall decorating include velvet, faux sheepskin, faux fur, nubby linen, woven items, copper, brass, and sisal.

Julie Banner
Julie Blanner

It’s not all pumpkin and spice: Not a fan of pumpkin orange and maple leaf red? No worries. Try a rich plum as your main hue instead, and pair it with linen and cream. It’s elegant, current, and classic.

Fall Pillows

Fall pillow shopping guide: 1. Jaipur Rugs En Casa by Luli Sanchez pillow 2. Surya Beth Lacefield Kilim pillow 3. Surya Southwest Pillows Charming Cut Out 4. Jaipur Rugs Shimmer Pillow 5. Surya Southwest Dip Dyed Pillow 6. Jaipur Rugs Cosmic Pillow by Nikki Chu 7. Surya Southwest Pillows Trail 8. Surya Southwest Pillows Zig Zag Delight.

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

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6 Impactful Weekend Warrior Projects For The Home

A Beautiful Mess
A Beautiful Mess

I saw SO MANY people out in their yards taking care of business this past weekend! Trimming, sprucing, planting, and generally tidying up and adding a little extra appeal to their homes for the summer months. My own game is slightly behind schedule, but I did manage to pot a bunch of plants so I’m calling that a small win. The end of May and early June always kicks my desire to complete manageable home projects into overdrive, so I’ve gathered up a few that are completely manageable for my fellow weekend warriors.

Add some house numbers.
Let’s start with a little curb appeal! The house numbers on my place are in the most ridiculous spot – below the front door frame. I have a plan to add some incredible stickers to the transom above the front door, but there are so many great options to call out your address. I love this DIY planter box that not only adds some mid-century personality but also provides a place for more plants to thrive.

Repaint the front door.
While we’re discussing curb appeal, let’s talk about arguably one of the fastest, easiest, most impactful projects you can tackle – repainting your front door. While bright pops of color are the current trend, there’s nothing wrong with staying tried and true with a bold red or deep rich black. Check out a color wheel and choose a hue that complements the rest of your home. Most times there’s no need to remove the door from the hinges, and it’s your prerogative to paint only the exterior or both sides. And hey, maybe there’s an opportunity to add some of the aforementioned house numbers on your newly updated entrance.

Frame something unexpected.
If you’re after something unique don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and turn the unexpected into some fresh wall art. Some ideas: a deck of cards, a favorite photo blown up as a black and white engineering print, a swath of your favorite fabric pattern. The possibilities really are endless – above you’ll see a couple’s handwritten wedding vows perched above their bed. (Swoon.)

Paint your window frames. 
A weekend project currently sitting on my own list is painting my home’s window frames. When paired with white or light grey colored walls they just about take on the feeling of art! While I’m leaning more towards black in my own space, I love the bright personality this cobalt adds to the kitchen seen above and may even pop something unexpected into the guest bathroom if I’m brave! (Maybe some light pink?)

Rethink small corners.
The foot of the bed makes a fantastic space for extra book storage when a bench is added. That little nook at the end of the hallway has endless potential for either a cozy reading chair or small desk. You get the idea – use all of your space to its full potential with a few creative solutions. A trip to a big box store or simply repurposing other storage devices will make you feel like you’ve retaken control of your home in no time.

House & Fig

Give the backyard a little upgrade.
I have yet to tackle my deck this spring, which needs power washed to within an inch of its life and repainted. But you can bet as soon as that happens I’ll be bringing in a new fire pit, circling it with my Adirondack chairs, adding a few light blankets and pillows, and settling in for plenty of relaxing late summer nights. The DIY project above was actually made from the laundry drum of a defunct washing machine – people’s creativity will never cease to amaze me.

Put a rug on it.
I change out several of my floor rugs seasonally, it’s a texture thing. Soft and cozy when it’s chilly and flat and fibrous when it’s not. The impact it makes when I swap them out every six months or so continuously surprises me, and with so many affordable options available this is one of the easiest – and fastest! – weekend projects you can take on.

For more inspiration from Kelly, follow along with her at Design Crush!

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5 Outdoor Bars to Hangout at All Summer

via Sunset
via Sunset

As the seasons shift and we begin to spend more time outdoors than in, let’s talk about outdoor living spaces. In particular, outdoor bars. I really like the idea of having an outdoor bar because it manages to bring any of the entertaining hotspots of the home – the kitchen – into the light of day in a fresh way.

The extent you go to with design depends upon what type of climate you live in and just how much use you might get out of such a feature. If you’re in, say Southern California, you’d probably want to go all out like this design above because you can use your outdoor bar year round. This one even has a television to help achieve its full level of entertainment!

Sarah Sherman Samuel

An outdoor bar doesn’t even have to be a freestanding statement, you can opt to just add it on to an outside wall of your home the way Sarah Sherman Samuels did in this design. I really like how it blends in to the existing structure. She even took things a step further by adding a dining table and chairs rather than barstools. I’d be enjoying my meals al fresco here as often as possible, wouldn’t you?!

via Domino
via Domino

If you live in a climate that only has one or two favorable outdoor seasons, consider an outdoor bar that can be closed up when not in use. This design repurposes old windows as doors that can be closed during the offseason with the use of a simple pulley system. So smart and a great look aesthetically if you’re partial to farmhouse or industrial decor.

via Wedding Chicks

If you’re looking to build your own outdoor bar realize that it doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor. This one was created from some simple cinderblocks and lengths of wood! Plants make the perfect accessories, while the bar top gives you additional space for growing. Bring in a portable umbrella and stand for especially hot, sunny days and you’ve got a spot both you and your guests will gravitate towards.

Wedding Chicks

If outdoor space is scarce, think portable rather than permanent. A cart like the one above holds all the necessities and can be brought out for entertaining and stored in a corner when not in use. Thanks to its wheels you can turn any space you do have into an outdoor bar at the ready – patio, fire pit, or balcony.

Make your outdoor bar even more of a styled living space by adding a chic indoor/outdoor rug. Here are a few I’d love to add to my own deck area.

Rugs-Direct-Collage

For more inspiration from Kelly, follow along with her at Design Crush!

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