Home Improvement

Building a Sustainable Household: Where to Start

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.)

Chicago is a buzzing environment for sustainable, green and eco-friendly projects. If you haven’t heard about it yet, there’s a five-bedroom house called the most sustainable home ever built in Chicago in the Roscoe Village. It’s been developed by Ryan Kolar and it has received a lot of media attention when it entered the real estate market.

The house, on sale for one and a half million dollars, has an outside made of recycled brick and wood, repurposed steel stairs and doors made of repurposed mahogany floors. Using strategically placed windows and a skylight, Kolar has reduced the energy consumption to an eighth of what other households current pay for similar properties. He’s also installed a water recycling system that uses shower and faucet water in the toilets.

Admittedly, it’s a high price for an environmentally-friendly house, but you may not need to buy new to create a sustainable home that looks after the planet – and after your savings too.

Energy saving technology

You might need to ensure that your home is prepped with the best energy-saving technology. Let’s clarify this statement: It doesn’t mean that you should install a solar panel on your roof. Instead, you can make sure that the property is set to limit energy waste. Consider the cost of creating hot and cold water and pumping it around the property, for instance.

If your building is set with a traditional pumping system that has constant flow water loops, this design requires a lot of unnecessary water flow and affects the energy cost. However, if the property uses an ultrasonic flow meter, it can monitor and vary the flow to match your needs in real time. In short, you don’t need to waste energy. Make sure also to consider your heating systems and your lightbulb equipment to save energy.

Planet-friendly habits

You don’t always need to change your energy systems to build a greenhouse. You can also modify your habits to reduce waste at home. Fridges, for example, are cost-hungry. The way you organize your shelves can save you a lot of money. For a start, keeping your fridge full consumes less energy than keeping an empty fridge cool. So pack your door shelves full of all the drinks and condiments. With a clever leftover system on the top shelf, you can avoid both food and energy waste. Apply a similar decluttering strategy to your pantry cupboard, to avoid wasting opened packs, buying the same items twice, and missing on the expiry date.

(Related post: How to Organize Your Fridge)

Alternative options to save costs and resources

With a little of DIY attention, you can create significant sustainable savings. For instance, if you’ve never considered growing your vegetables, it’s time to start now. With the right approach, you can save on your grocery shopping and keep your family healthy. Additionally, growing your vegs reduces the impact of product transport on the environment, so it’s a win-win for you and the planet! DIY can go a long way for your wallet and the environment, as you can also upcycle unused pieces of furniture or even make your clothes.

So what’s stopping you from creating your sustainable household?

Cleaning

Say Goodbye to Your Floordrobe

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.)

Even if you’re unfamiliar with the term “floordrobe”, chances are that you’ve encountered one in your very home at some point or another. A floordrobe is a hybrid of a floor and a wardrobe. It’s what happens when you don’t bother hanging or folding your clothes and placing them in their proper place. Sure, it may be tempting to fling your clothes on the floor after a long day or a night out. But there’s no excuse for leaving the items there for an extended period of time.

After all, it doesn’t take all that much effort to store your clothes properly. What’s more? You’ll actually save yourself time when it comes to washing clothes again or ironing. If you store things properly in the first place, these extra chores won’t be necessary! So, to help you along the way, here are a few different clothing storage options that will ensure everything you own has its own designated spot.

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General Clothing

For general items of clothing, it’s best that you have your own individual system of organization in place. This way, you will always know where everything is when you need it. Avoid hanging everything in your wardrobe with neither reason nor rhyme. Choose a theme and stick with it! Perhaps you’d like to ensure everything is color coordinated, hanging items in groups of similar colors. Perhaps you’d prefer similar items to be located together, for example, a section of tees, a section of trousers, a section of skirts, and a section of dresses. Whatever your code, stick with it!

Shoe Storage

Shoes tend to take up a lot more space than any other item of clothing. Why? Well, their shape can’t generally be altered. They can’t be folded and are generally bulky. So where should you keep them? Well, luckily there are various storage solutions out there. If you have a divan bed with under bed storage, why not keep them there? If you have space under your bed, you could opt for roll-out racks with wheels for easy access. Alternatively, there are shoe racks for sale which can be hung in your wardrobe alongside your general items of clothing or on the inside of your wardrobe or cupboard doors.

Casual Clothing

You don’t have to worry about hanging up casual clothing, such as pajamas or loungewear. Why? Well, it doesn’t matter all too much if there are small creases in the fabric. Instead, you can save significant amounts of space by folding these types of clothing and storing them in drawers. Try to find a set that has a few different drawers with available space. This will help you to organize thing. As an example, you could have one drawer for underwear, one drawer for socks and tights, and another for pajamas. If you have space, you could also use an extra drawer for gym wear!

Having these different types of storage available at all times will make organizing your clothing much more simple. So, it’s time to say goodbye to your floordrobe!

Family, General, Home Improvement, Self-Care

How To Adapt To A New Home

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.) 

Living in a new home isn’t going to be for everyone. Whether you love the idea of buying a character home, or you’d prefer to renovate something old to the standard you’d like, perhaps buying a newly built home isn’t in the cards for you? But, for a lot of people, a new home will be the perfect way to buy a property. Not only is it brand new, so everything in it should be in perfect condition, it can often be a more affordable option for a lot of people. However, when you’re not all that used to living in a new home, or you feel as if the place seems impersonal, you may need to figure out a way of adapting to your new digs.

(Related post: Where in the World Should You Live?)

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First Things First

To get yourself started, you’re going to want to make sure that you’re buying somewhere safe. Of course, you’re likely to get a survey done, but you may want to do with something a bit more specialist.

With something such as the Solex Group professional home inspection, you should find that it’s an efficient way of ensuring your new place is safe. When a house has just been built, it’s going to be essential for you to check that it’s what it says it should be and that you’re not at risk in any way by living there.

Add Some Color

Now, you’re next going to want to think about adding some color. Because if there’s one thing about new homes, it’s that they tend to be quite neutral. Of course, sometimes, you actually get to pick of the colors yourself.

But if you don’t you’re going to want to add in some color so that the home comes to life a little more. Doing so is also a great way of making the home more you’re own.

Inject Some Personality

Next, you need to think about working with some personality. Because, again, a lot of cookie cutter homes are very standard – and yours may be identical to your neighbors. But by working in a few personal choices, from the flooring to your home furnishings, you’re going to be able to feel more comfortable there.

 

Create Some Character

And from here, you’re then also going to need

a bit of character

. It’s not always easy to work in character to new places, but you can do it with some personalization. From trimming the windows to working in a fireplace, you’re going to find that these tips can completely transform the space and make it feel a bit more unique.

 

Adapt The Outside

Finally, you’re going to want to turn your attention to the outside. Because you may be able to create something custom inside, but your home may look identical to all others as soon as you walk outside. So why not spruce up the garden or even completely redo it? You may also want to change the front door or entryway, or even repaint the house exterior to ensure that it is one of a kind now.

Cleaning, General, Self-Care

Space-Saving Solutions!

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.)

While we all may dream of the perfect house, with the perfect amount of space, for many of us that dream is some years from becoming a reality. In the meantime, we have to fit our family into a space that might not be quite adequate for our needs.

The inconvenience that this poses is fairly overwhelming. Not only do you have to deal with the simple reality of living in too-close quarters with other people, you also have to find a place for all of your stuff. All houses have stuff; not junk, not clutter, just necessities that have to be in a room, but completely dominate the space therein.

So how can you make the most of the small space you have available, without sacrificing the things that you can’t go without? What you need are a few clever solutions that can help remove the need for space-stealing items; here are some suggestions to get you started…

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You need… an electronic pressure cooker

Pressure cookers may seem a little old-fashioned, but the technique has definitely come right up to date in the past few years. Electronic pressure cookers are the perfect gadget for your kitchen, purely because they offer so many different functions in one. They can boil, steam, cook rice, and even make yogurt– so you can eliminate four space-stealing gadgets and replace them with a single device, and many electronic pressure cookers will have even more options. Especially the InstaPot that every single one of my friends seems to want/have.

If you’re tempted, start with a cheaper device and see how well it works for you. There are plenty of pressure-cooker-friendly recipes to try, and you’ll delight in the sudden space you experience in your kitchen.

You need… Baseboard heaters

Central heating is all well and good, but it’s also expensive, and many households rely more on space heaters than an overall system. Space heaters are useful in the colder months of the year, but they have a significant downside; they take up a huge amount of space. They’re large, clunky items that have to be located near a power outlet, making them both inconvenient and unattractive.

The solution to this problem is baseboard heaters, which use the baseboard space in your home to provide warmth throughout the year. This frees up much-needed floor space and will make any room look larger; if you’re intrigued, then visit Stelpro for more information on how these clever devices might work for you.

You need… a stepladder

Okay, so a bit of a cheat here: a stepladder in and of itself is not going to resolve your space issues. However, what you can do with that step ladder is.

When you’re dealing with a confined space, the goal is to use as little of the floor and/or surfaces as possible. To achieve this, you’re going to need that stepladder so you can put up shelves, display units, even brand new cupboards– all of which can be used to house items that may have once lived on the floor. Don’t overlook the vertical storage options available to you if space is at a premium.

Hopefully, the ideas above will help you save space in your home– good luck!

(Related post: 5 Great Tips For Bringing Your Home Back To Life)

Cleaning, General, Home Improvement

5 Tips for Freshening Up Your Home

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.)

There’s nothing more disappointing that feeling as though you’ve lost some of the passion and excitement that you once had for your home. However, it is a pretty natural thing. After all, you’re never going to be able to live in one place for years at a time without becoming so familiar with it that it loses some of its excitement. Of course, that’s not the way that things have to be!

Before you decide that your only option is to pack your bags and move somewhere else, why not try a few of these simple ideas to help bring you home back to life?

(Related post: Thinking of Moving to a New Country?)

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A new coat of paint

You would be shocked at how much of a difference a simple coat of paint can make the way that your home feels. Without even having to change a single structural element of it, you’re able to create a new and fresh atmosphere all throughout your home.

The kinds of colors that you choose are going to be down to you, but it’s worth taking some time to consider which ones you want. A lot of people tend to avoid using too much color on their walls for fear of it turning out garish and ugly. And while that’s a sensible idea, in theory, people often take it much too far. Having every single wall in your home be either white or magnolia is going to make the place feel dull and uninspired. Why not embrace color and go for some splashes of vibrancy throughout the house?

Of course, painting your entire home can be something of a chore, like there are companies like this painting company who you can hire to handle that side of things for you. You get to be in charge of the creative stuff while leaving the legwork to the professionals.

Rearrange the rooms

Sometimes the issue that a lot of people have in their homes is that the way the rooms are arranged are either inconvenient or uninspired. Moving things around can make a room feel like a new space. A lot of people make the assumption that there’s a single “right” way to arrange any given room and it’s usually the most obvious and boring way possible.

Why not break out of that mode of thinking and try something a little bit different? Be a little bit creative with how you arrange the rooms in your home; you might end up finding something that’s unusual, but incredibly effective.

Of course, if you do decide that you actually preferred things the way that they were, you can just move things back to the way they were. And that kind of change in your home isn’t going to cost you anything more than the time it takes to move some pieces of furniture around!

Refurnish

Speaking of furniture, it can often have an even bigger impact on the way a room feels than the room itself. After all, most homes are little more than blank canvases for people to use things like furniture to decorate upon.

Now, you might be thinking that the idea of refurnishing rooms in your home is going to be expensive but that’s not the case. For one thing, if you’re willing to look around places like thrift shops and second-hand stores, you can often find some incredible deals on beautiful pieces of furniture.

Not only that but you don’t have to replace every single piece of furniture in your house. Sometimes finding a couple of attractive statement pieces for your home can create a much greater degree of visual interest in the rooms that there had been before.

Create more space

One of the biggest complaints that many people have about their homes is that they don’t have as much space as they would like. The thing that a lot of people fail to realize is that creating space in their home is much easier than you might think. Many people assume that you need to fully renovate and extend your home in order to make more space but in reality, a few subtle changes can make all the difference.

For one thing, the arrangement of the rooms can help you to create a much better sense of space. If you’ve got things sitting in the middle of the room, then you’re not using the floor space as well as you could be.

Not only that but if your home is cluttered, then it’s never going to feel especially spacious. Make sure to use your storage areas effectively so that you don’t end up with things spilling out and taking up areas that you’re actually trying to use.

Don’t forget the outdoor spaces

People have a tendency to exclusively focus on the interiors of their home since that’s the part of it where they spend most of their time, but if you want your home to feel as full of life as possible, you can’t neglect the outdoor spaces.

For one thing, the front of your property is the first thing you’ll see when you come home every day, by making sure that it’s well presented you’ve always got something pleasant to look at the moment you arrive home.

Not only that but an overgrown garden is enough to make anyone feel stressed so many sure that you put garden maintenance on your list of regular chores so that it’s not something that’s  hanging over your head.

A lot of people assume that the kinds of changes that you need to make in order to improve and revitalize their home are going to be expensive and therefore not worth the effort. Hopefully looking at these simple tips has shown you that that’s not the case. The reality is that if you want to improve your home, there are plenty of options out there that are effective but that aren’t going to cost you the earth.

Cleaning, Family, General

4 Ways to Make Your Kid’s Clothes Last Longer

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.)

One of the biggest struggles for parents is clothing. You’ll need a lot of it to cover different occasions and weather, but kids grow so quick that many items are unwearable after a short period of time.
Add in the fact that children will play, get dirty and fall over, leaving clothes ruined.Kid’s clothes are expensive, so if you’re looking for ways to get more for your buck – take a look at these top tips for helping your kids’ clothes last longer.

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Stock up on the basics

Just like you have a closet full of basics, it makes sense to have the same for your children. Items like plain t-shirts, socks, and underwear are worth buying in bulk so that you always have a good supply at home that can be washed. You can get some great multi-buy deals that offer good values on kids clothing to help you save some money. Try to put them in basics most of the time so that nicer clothes are kept clean.

Buy a size bigger kids

Clothing comes in many different sizes, usually by age until they reach adulthood. If you’re investing in clothes that you want to last, it makes sense to buy clothes a size bigger that you can alter at the beginning, leaving slack to pull back out. If you’re not great with sewing, there are some excellent no-sew DIY clothing hacks out there that could save you a ton of problems.

Buy quality clothing

Investing in quality clothes can make a real difference to how long they last. While you might hate spending more on a coat or sweater, buying from a quality brand will mean that the items last longer, resulting in less frequent shopping trips for you. Take a look at the latest collection from Stone Island Kids – there are some great items there made from premium materials for looks that last. Quality clothing can easily be handed down as well, so it’s certainly a great idea to invest in items that can either be passed on to younger siblings, given to other kids or donated to Goodwill.

Learn how to tackle different stains

Kids can spill all sorts of things over themselves, get muddy or fall in the grass that leaves their clothes looking a state. As a parent, you’re going to need to become a whizz with the washer and learn how to remove stains from kids’ clothes.

Granted, it’s not always easy – but being able to remove the majority of stains will help your money stretch further and keep your child happy with their favorite sweater or dress gets dirty.

We all know that kids are messy, and if they aren’t getting their clothes dirty, they’re ruining your floors. Learn to prevent spills from staining so that you can protect your carpet and other surfaces from getting spoiled. A good arsenal of cleaning tools is a great thing to have around the house, ready to tackle whatever mess your kids get into next!

(Related post: Tips to Prevent Spills From Staining)

General, Home Improvement, Self-Care

Creating a Home Office

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.)

There is nothing more precious than your family, but when it’s difficult to get any work done at home because your precious family are climbing all over the place, and threatening to delete your work, it can feel a bit overwhelming, to say the least.

(Related Post: 3 Ways You Can Do More To Make Your Family Happy)

This is why you should get a home office, and especially if you are one of those parents that have to work at home on occasion, that idea of separating your work from home life can be difficult when you to work at home. So, a home office is the solution, because you can go in there, do your work, and shut the door once you’re done, not to go back in until the next working day. But, what are the best ways to make a perfect home office?

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Getting The Fastest Equipment

If you’ve got children who are prone to clogging up the router with endless Netflix watching, this could impact your Skype calls so you would be better off getting your own internet connection. There are suppliers like Suddenlink and their wireless internet that actually include Netflix packages as part of the deal! Speed and efficiency are vital to your internet when you are working from home because you can’t afford to have any technical mishaps, so the best approach is to get your own connection for your office.

Keeping Yourself Motivated

You can easily fall into the trap of complacency when you’re working at home because everything you need is in the next room or downstairs. Keeping yourself motivated as one of those difficult things to get right when you are working from home. The way to do it is to minimize all distractions in your home office, and pepper the room with everything that inspires you and keeps you focused. You may need industrial headphones to keep you focused and to drown out the background noise, but if it works, then why not?!

Designing It For Productivity

Creating a home office isn’t just about getting the essentials in there, but it’s also about making sure every aspect works so you can work! It’s pointless if you aren’t able to fit everything into the home office, so you are cramped and unable to work properly. This means figuring out where everything is going to go beforehand. So you may want to think about the size of the desk, in relation to the resources you need to hand. It’s a delicate balance to get everything that you need in the office so you can accomplish the tasks effectively because if you have resources scattered all over the house, this will slow you down.

Working from home in many ways is a blessing, but it can also be a very difficult thing to get right. So this means that you’ve got to have a plan of attack before you start laying out the office. And remember, the benefit of a home office is so you can get work done. This means implementing a barrier between the office and the rest of your family. If this is the way for you to get things done, then by all means, do it.

General, Home Improvement, Self-Care

7 Checks Every Gardener Should be Making to Prepare for Spring

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.)

Over the winter time, our gardens become neglected because it’s simply too cold and wet to venture out and keep things at bay. If you’re not careful you could find yourself in a sticky mess when it comes to the springtime if you neglect everything in your garden.

(Related Post: Are you Prepared for Winter?)

While mowing the lawn isn’t a great idea, there are other things that you could be doing to make your life easier for when spring rolls around and we begin to plan our gardens for the enjoyment of summer time. Here are some garden checks you should be making ready for the spring.

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Tools

Now is as good a time as any to get you into your garden shed and check all your tools. While it might not have been that long since you’ve used some of them in your garden, it’s likely that you have some which haven’t been used since last spring. Things like your rake and trowel should be checked for any breakages or weakness, and if you’re able to fix any broken tools it might be an idea to do it now rather than later.

You might find that some of your tools are now rendered useless, and now is a great time to go and buy some because the winter is an off-peak season for gardeners; therefore they are likely to be cheaper in the shops than they would be during the summer months. If possible you should look into sharpening any blades for cutting hedges and grass so that your job will be as easy as possible when it comes to the first mowing of the spring.

You should also take the time to arrange your tools and have a clearout of any bits and bobs that have been sat in your shed for years with no purpose. Getting things neat and tidy will help you no end for when spring rolls around.

Pests

Pests are a problem all year round, and while it’s unlikely that in the colder weather you will encounter hornets or wasps, you’re very likely to encounter rats and mice looking for refuge somewhere warm and dry. Be sure to look out for any signs that you’ve got a pest around your garden. Signs will include:

Droppings that are too small to be from a cat.

Chewed bits of debris around your garden.

Holes in your shed.

Food being found in odd places around your garden.

The sounds of scurrying.

If you’re not sure if you’ve got a pest problem, or you’re not sure how to deal with it, then you should head to Natura pest control and speak with one of their qualified technicians. They will be able to come and assess the situation and remove any pests you have around your home and garden efficiently and effectively. Don’t attempt to get rid of rats or mice yourself as they are renowned for harboring diseases on their bodies, and could be harmful if contracted by humans.

Weeds

Weeds are a pain all year round, but during the winter they are still able to pop up out of nowhere and spoil the look of your garden. On a dry day, take the time to pick out all of the weeds in your garden and treat any concrete or stoned areas with weed killer to prevent them from making another appearance. Be sure to read the instructions on your brand of weed killer as they might kill shrubbery, grass, and even be harmful to pets in your garden.

Clear any debris

Over the autumn time and the beginning of winter, it’s unlikely that your garden won’t accrue some sort of debris. This is normally dust and soil that has been carried by the wind, and also leaves falling from the trees around and in your garden.

Take the time to rake in all of the debris and get rid of it so that when it comes to the springtime you’re not wasting too much valuable time clearing away debris. Plus, it will keep your garden looking as nice as possible during the winter months.

Prepare your soil

With the cold and wet weather, it’s likely that your soil isn’t in great condition and without some TLC it probably won’t be ready for the spring. Take your trowel and turn the soil as often as possible to give it a chance to dry out a little and not be as soggy as it would be without turning it. Soggy soil isn’t good for plants and will quickly kill them off, so be sure to spend some time every week or so turning the soil.

Prune your dead flowers and trees

If you’ve got flowers in your garden which should grow back in the springtime, now would be a fantastic time to prune them so that they can grow fresh shoots and flowers when the weather is more suitable. This is also a good idea for any trees that you have that aren’t evergreen. Any trees that grow fruit will thrive from a good prune and grow back the following season as healthy as ever!

Plan your garden

Take a look around your garden and plan out where you’re going to be planting your plants in the spring, and whether or not you’re going to try your hand at growing vegetables in your garden in the spring. Sectioning off these areas now will allow you to get straight to work when the time is right; meaning your garden will be looking fantastic in no time!

If you’re planning a big build in your garden like decking or a pool, now would be the time to section off the area that you want to change so that you know you don’t have to worry too much about the condition of the grass or plant beds.

Put these checks into play with your garden and you will see how much easier gardening will be once the spring is upon us.

Cleaning

How to Organize Your Fridge

It’s so easy for our refrigerators to get messy! I’m pretty sure at some point, we stop paying attention. Until one day, we open it.. and get that dreaded smell that can only be described as ‘rot’.

It’s the leftovers! From.. a Tuesday many, many moons ago. Better throw them out. How does this keep happening??

Here are a few tips on organization to help make sure your food rotates when it’s supposed to!

The most important part of fridge storage is making sure your raw meat and eggs are as low as you can get them. This helps to avoid cross-contamination when one of those packages inevitably gets torn or leaks. Or an egg cracks and the yolk goes EVERYWHERE. (Is dried yolk not the hardest thing to get off of glass shelves??)

There is some leeway for that if your crisper drawers are underneath the lowest shelf. In this case, that bottom shelf should have a raised lip around the edges to protect spills.

I try to put as many of my drinks and condiments in the door shelves as possible. This keeps me from constantly knocking over bottles when reaching for things.

My middle shelf normally holds the milk and other gallon-sized drinks, and then to the left I have my dairy products (cheese, butters, creams, etc).

And finally, the top shelf. THIS is where those leftovers go! Keep them in sight, right at the front. You’ll see them when browsing for something to eat. Bonus points if you invest in clear Tupperware so that you actually remember what’s in them

The freezer isn’t as important. I store my frozen meats by animal and put most premade foods in the door.

What’s your number one fridge organization tip?

How to Organize Your Fridge - The Southern Smiths: A sanitary way of organizing the food in your fridge. No more rotten leftovers!
Family, General, Self-Care

7 Ways to Add Comfort to Your Home This Christmas

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.)

Christmas is a time of love and positivity. It’s a time to enjoy your family and your friends. It is a time that is often filled with many get-togethers. This is why it is important to make sure that your home is as comfortable as possible. After all, you want everyone to feel at ease when they come around to visit.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some top suggestions to help you out.

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Put up your Christmas decorations

If you have not put up your

Christmas decorations

yet, then there is only one place to begin. Your house is not going to feel very festive if you don’t have any Christmas decorations up, is it? If your decorations are a bit old and dated, or they don’t match together very well, consider buying some new ones. Or, you could even have some fun making your own!

Make sure your home smells amazing

 

If you are going to make your home comfortable, you need to ensure it is comfortable for all the scenes. Ensuring your home smells nice is an important part of this. You will have, no doubt, noticed that there are many Christmas scents on the market today. Cinnamon is a popular choice at this time of year. However, cinnamon can be a rather strong smell and it does not appeal to everyone.

If you are one of these people, there are plenty of other relaxing scents you can add to your home. Good examples include bergamot, vanilla, mandarin, lavender, and chamomile. My personal favorite is cranberry!

Needless to say, there are numerous ways to add these scents to your house. Burning essential oils in a diffuser is a good option to consider because it will have an aromatherapy effect as well. Of course, you could also opt for a scented spray or candles.

Focus on textures

Layers and a mix of textures are pivotal if you are trying to create a comfortable ambiance. Think about ways to add more textures to various rooms in your home. This shouldn’t be too difficult. You can invest in some new throws and cushions, or what about a plush and fluffy rug for your living room? Little touches like this can make a massive difference.

Get the temperature right

The chances are that you are going to be relying on your central heating a lot throughout the Christmas period. After all, it is cold during this time of year! It is important to make sure your home is a comfortable temperature if you are going to be having a lot of guests.

(Related post: My December Goals and November Update)

A lot of people don’t like too much artificial heat, so to speak, as it can make a property feel stuffy and some people also get sore throats when the central heating has been blasting all day. So, it is important to keep this in mind – what you find comfortable may not be comfortable for everyone else. If you do have a fireplace in your living room, now is definitely the time to make use of it. This will add warmth and comfort to your living area, which is exactly what you want when you are entertaining family and friends.

Light your house well

A lot of people don’t realize it, but lighting is actually one of the most important aspects when it comes to creating the right ambiance in a home. If your property suffers from a lack of natural daylight, you need to figure out different ways to maximise this. Of course, the most obvious solution would be to get new windows installed or skylights. Not everyone has the time or money for this, though.

Adding reflective pieces to your décor can work wonders. Mirrors and metallic surfaces will ensure the daylight bounces back into the room, which can make a massive difference. It is also important to consider the artificial lighting you have in each room as well. Ensure there are numerous lighting options – relying on a harsh overhead is not ideal. It can give you a headache! Instead, use a mixture of overhead lighting, lamps, and spotlights to create the perfect ambiance.

Add some plants around the house

Another way to make the house more comfortable and boost the atmosphere is to add some plants. My favorite for this season would be adding a pine wreath over the fireplace, and some potted poinsettas around. Of course, plants look stunning, but there are many other reasons to consider adding them to your home. Indoor plants will also boost the mood, and they will improve the airflow in the room in question too, which works to make the environment a much more comfortable one. Who knew plants could be so useful?

Make sure there are comfortable seating options for everyone

There is nothing more awkward than inviting people to your house but not having enough room for everyone to sit down. This is why you need to consider your seating options in advance and make sure you have plenty of backup solutions for when you do have visitors.

This does not mean that you should simply wheel in the office chair and take some dining chairs from the kitchen. After all, your guests aren’t going to be very comfortable sitting on these, are they? There are plenty of comfortable and affordable seating options that you should consider. A good example of this is a beanbag. Nowadays, you can get beanbags in all sizes, meaning they can accommodate more than one person. The Comfy Sack products are great examples of this. This is a great way to add some more seating solutions without losing the comfort you have achieved by following the other points that have been mentioned in this post.

You now have plenty of different ideas on how to add some more comfort to your home throughout Christmas! Use the suggestions above and you are guaranteed to have a welcoming, cozy and warm house. The only trouble is that your guests won’t want to leave.