Monthly Archives: June 2014

Get Ready For Guests

Now that summer is here, people will be traveling more which means you may find yourself expecting guests. Whether you’re anticipating visits from close family members or distant friends, it’s easy to stress over the state of your home instead of enjoying their visit. Rather than spending days redecorating and cleaning, relax—there are only certain things your company will even notice. No one will mind if you haven’t painted the walls in awhile or you forget to dust every light fixture.

Follow this list for getting your home ready and then start planning your summer itinerary with your loved ones.

1. Organize your entryway. Your foyer or entryway is the first thing your guests will notice upon their arrival. It’s also where they’ll be dropping off jackets, shoes and umbrellas or any other gear. Make sure the area is clean and well-organized. If you’ve got the room, our Tropical Salvage Shagrila Bench gives guests a place to sit and take their shoes off (and some space to stash them underneath).

2. Declutter. Even if you don’t have time to deep clean your rooms, you can organize your clutter. Go through piles of papers, sort them, and decide what to toss and what to put away. Recycle old magazines and newspapers. Get a tray or basket for every room to stash odds and ends like remote controls and keys. Decluttering your space makes your home feel more relaxing.

3. Clean the bathroom your guests will use. If you only have time to deep clean one room, clean the guests’ bathroom. Just because it’s summertime doesn’t mean they may not want to take relaxing bubble baths. Keep freshly washed towels, toothpaste and other toiletries handy.

4. Replace shabby furniture. There’s no need to refurnish your entire home just because you may be expecting guests. At the same time, the thought of entertaining friends and family might motivate you to replace a piece or two that has seen better days. If your living room needs a decor boost, replace your old couch with an Ethan Allen sofa. Or add some extra seating with a comfortable chair or two.

5. Get your guest room ready. Whether you have a full spare bedroom or a quiet office alcove with a pullout sofa, get the space ready before your guests arrive. You don’t want to be awkwardly changing sheets or scrambling while they stand there with their suitcases.

6. Stock your bar. After greeting your guests and letting them get settled, you’ll want to offer them a drink. Make sure you have the basics covered for a few classic cocktails from the bar, and keep at least one non-alcoholic alternative handy.

7. Add some fresh flowers. There’s nothing like a beautiful bouquet of flowers to make any home look better. Add them to common areas like the living room coffee table and dining room table, and place a fresh bouquet in the guest room.


Posted In:design tips  /  DIY  /  home improvement projects  /  organization tips

How To Get Your Home Ready For Summer

Here in Seattle, we wait all year for summertime. While other parts of the country may be overwhelmed by sweltering heat, we enjoy moderate temperatures and perfectly warm, sunny days. This weekend, we’ll welcome the beginning of another great Northwest summer. Make sure your home is as ready for the warmer weather as you are.

1. Since you’ll be opening your windows more, keep a few houseplants in your home to filter the air. Snake plants, spider plants and English ivy are great picks.

2. Clean your screen doors and windows thoroughly to comfortably allow those warm summer breezes inside.

3. Clean out your closets, packing away or donating your winter items to make room for swimsuits, sandals, shorts and tees.

4. Freshen up your guestroom. No matter where you live, summer is a popular time for visitors. Replace any worn out furniture, spruce up the decor and make sure the bed linens are freshly washed.

5. Change the bedding on your own bed, too—that down comforter you enjoyed snuggling under in February won’t be so comfortable in July.

6. Make sure you’re prepared for scorching days by buying any fans or air conditioning units you may need. Check ceiling fans to make sure they’re functioning.

7. If you have the space, plant a garden. Tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce grow well in hot weather and will make great accompaniments to your barbecued meals.

8. Prepare your patio or backyard for outdoor entertainment. Get some gas for the grill (or get a new one if need be), make sure the outdoor furniture and common areas are clean, replace any pieces that have seen better days, hang some string lights or incorporate some decor. You’ll be hosting happy hour at your place before you know it.

We hope you have a great summer!


Posted In:design tips  /  home improvement projects  /  organization tips

How To Make A Rental Feel More Like Home

Home ownership is great, but it isn’t always possible. But even if you live in a rental house or apartment, there are plenty of ways to make your place feel like home. You may not be able to do major renovations, but you can always spruce up your living space. Check with your landlord or building manager before taking on any major project. Then get busy personalizing your new home:

1. Paint an accent wall. If you have a 12 month lease, most rentals will allow you to paint as long as you don’t leave any evidence when you move out. Paint can immediately transform a space. Paint your bedroom walls, or paint a single accent wall in the living room. Don’t be afraid to go bold with a deep, rich hue!

2. Add some area rugs. Whether your rooms are carpeted or not, area rugs are great for defining different areas in your home. Rooms that have several layers feel more sophisticated than one-dimensional rooms. Try adding one to your living room underneath the coffee table. If you have a place for a dining room table, placing an area rug underneath can help separate the space.

3. Try self-adhesive wallpaper. There are so many brands of temporary wallpaper now that peels off easily, you’ll have your pick of color and design. Try wallpapering your bathroom or your front hallway.

4. Add some new accent furniture. A quirky chair or a set of vintage end tables to enhance your couch will do wonders for your living room. Adding an ottoman to your bedroom will add instant sophistication. Accent furniture is great for rentals because it’s easy to move in and out.

5. Invest in quality curtains. Fabric curtains will add instant luxury to your rooms. And blackout drapes will provide you with sweet slumber in any season. Just because your rental provided blinds doesn’t mean you’re stuck with them! And while you’re at it, go through each room and replace any light bulbs that seem too bright or too dim with more appropriate options. You might be renting your place, but you deserve to be comfortable.

Posted In:design tips  /  DIY  /  home improvement projects  /  making a rental feel like home