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Spread Love

Can you believe Easter is only a few short weeks away?

Holidays are my favorite. It doesn’t matter what holiday it is, for my family it’s a reason to gather. A reason to be together, to disconnect from our daily grind, to unwind and enjoy each other’s company, and to just be, even for a short amount of time. Holidays allow us to reflect on what’s important and be grateful in the things we have been given.

Holidays fill me up (I am a quality time girl after all). They fill my emotional, and of course, physical tank (wouldn’t be a holiday without great food), but they also allow me to fill up, almost selfishly, by serving. I love to host at my house. I love to prepare a meal, to have a clean house where people can feel welcome and comfortable, and I love designing a beautiful table setting and adding personal touches that make my guests feel valued and loved. I love to serve.

We can’t really talk about the Easter holiday without talking about serving, as the weekend itself is marked by the biggest act of service man has ever known. Now, whatever your beliefs, I think we can all agree that serving others is a good thing. It shows humility and kindness, and in acts of love, selflessness seems to be at the heart of them all. Selfishness, on the other hand, is the antithesis of love itself and you physically cannot commit an act of love out of selfishness. I truly believe the world would be so much better if we could all be a little less selfish, and a little more loving.

That being said, this holiday season, as the days are getting longer and the weather warmer, why don’t we all aim to love each other a little more. Use these weeks leading up to the holiday to prepare for guests, or if you don’t plan on having guests, brainstorm some ways to go out into the community and spread a little love. Here is a list of just some small acts of service that can really go a long way,Prepare a meal – this can be for family or guests during a get together, or even for a stranger. I often times like to try and think of families/someone in need of a break, just for one night. Bringing a simple casserole in a disposable pan can really make all the difference to someone who is struggling or really busy.

  • Prepare a beautiful place setting for guests – add personalized touches like name cards, flowers/plants, or even small gifts as a way of saying I love you.
  • If you are invited to spend the holiday at someone else’s home, bring a hostess gift – anything from a potted plant to nicely wrapped personalized item, letting the host/hostess know that you are appreciative of their efforts is so important.
  • Offer to volunteer at a kitchen or shelter for the holiday – if you don’t have plans with loved ones or want a change of pace, try serving in a local shelter for the holiday.
  • In the week leading up to Easter, collect canned goods to donate – local schools often send kids home with canned items to help feed their families during the days the kids don’t attend school. Donate a bag of your favorite non-perishable items to your local middle school to allow students to take home a little extra for the holiday weekend.
  • Host an Easter egg hunt for your neighborhood or local church – this can be a fun way to not only let some kids experience Easter in a way they never have before, but also make friends! Hand out fliers or post them in local stores or mailboxes and gather eggs from friends/neighbors to fill and hide at a local park, church, or even your home.
  • Simply invite friends over for coffee or dessert – host your friends at your house for ANY reason. Grab a box of Oreos at the store and put up a pot of coffee and enjoy each other’s company.

Bring on the Romance

With Valentine’s Day only a few short days away, I thought I would bring you some simple tips and tricks to create a more romantic space. Typically, you want to keep the romance in the most personal rooms of the house (the bedroom, master bathroom, an office, etc.) but, you can also apply these tips and tricks in any space to create a subtle romance that will leave guests feeling welcome and loved.

1. LIGHTING

This is, quite possibly, the smallest change you can make for the most dramatic results in several different areas. Creating a specific mood can be solely determined by lighting. Have you ever been to a place that you’ve almost hated being in, and couldn’t figure out why? Most likely, it was the lighting. Have you ever been dining in a restaurant and felt as though the atmosphere was just right? Again, most likely lighting.

Much of our body chemistry is centered around the day/night cycle, creating what is called a circadian rhythm. When our bodies are not exposed to a healthy amount of natural light, or when they are exposed to a certain amount light giving off a limited spectrum, such as fluorescent lights, it can mess with your circadian rhythm, your hormones, and even your anxiety levels. Fluorescent lights are not only bad for your health, but they can also KILL the mood. Most people associate fluorescent lighting with places like, doctors offices, large warehouse style shopping centers, and office spaces. Not very romantic. So, all of that being said, if you have fluorescent lighting in a space in your home…GET RID OF IT! That change will make a huge difference in the feel of the entire space. Without moving a single piece of furniture or adding any other type of finishes, you can create romance in the style of lighting.

Some other ideas might include,

  • Getting rid of single overhead  lighting

Removing impersonal ceiling fan lighting and adding personalized lamps or fixtures to the bedside can create that homey, romantic feel.

  • Use linear lighting and put them on a dimmer

Using recessed lighting or track lighting offers the intimacy of string lights (or strand lights) with a little added sophistication. Putting those lights on a dimmer can also really increase the functionality of the lights to the space.

  • Candles

Candlelight can make ANY space more romantic, even a hallway. This is an inexpensive way to quickly romanticize any room of the house. Tip: Use several different candles in all sizes in the same display to add dimension and levels.

2. TEXTURES

While you might have gotten lost in my lighting tirade and forgotten what this post was about, I’m getting back to the simple ways to add romance to a room. Adding texture is going to make a huge impact on a space, whether you’re trying to add drama, romance, or fun! There are so many simple ways to add textures and it can be an instant change. Textures can be added in,

  • Furniture
  • Bed Linens
  • Decor
  • Window Treatments

or even in lighting and fixtures.

Simple, subtle textures that work with the rooms color palette and ambiance will create romance with ease. Adding layers and creating dimension can create texture as well, without adding clutter or too much “stuff” to a space.

3. BRING THE INSIDE OUT AND THE OUTSIDE IN

This is probably one of my favorite ways to evoke feeling in a space, but can get quite costly if you let it. Obviously, it is easy to bring the outside in by adding plants to any space. This creates a natural romance by bringing us back to our primal connection with the outdoors. Bringing the inside out, or adding more natural light with larger doors and windows can be a bit more difficult. Sometimes though, the big changes are worth every penny when you see how it can transform a space.

Bringing nature into a space can make it feel more spacious and definitely create personality.  It can be a big statement, or a more indirect relationship, but either way, creates a feeling of connectedness and being whole.

4. MAKE IT PERSONAL

Clearly one of the easier ways to create romance in a space is by personalizing it! Add memorabilia that represents significant times or events in your life. Have important documents or letters framed, hang handmade items, add monogramming to linens and other decor, add a photo wall. The possibilities are endless!

This is where you can really get creative. This simple step can transform a space by making it your own with just a few small details.
Just be sure the details all have meaning. It is easy to get caught up in “cute” decor and lose sight of the personal touch the items were originally intended to have. Adding clutter with too much and not having a good balance of positive and negative space will move the feel from peaceful and romantic, to busy and hectic.

5. COLOR PALETTE

Another simple way to create romance in a space is by keeping your color palette simple and sweet. This does not, by any means, limit you to only using neutrals or dull, dreary colors. As they say, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and I would dare to say the same about romance. Everyone’s vision of romance is different, so creating a space that is uniquely yours is important.

When choosing a wall color, keep in mind any decor you already own or are planning on putting in the space. Keeping a consistent color palette throughout will easily create a romantic, peaceful atmosphere.
Consistency in a color palette can bring a space to life and help declutter by determining what should and should not be on display.
These are just a few of the ways we have successfully been able to create a more personal, romantic ambiance in a space. For more ideas and pictures, check out the link below!

Dining Room Glory

 

Holidays are a great excuse to be able to use your formal dining room. This easter, as your family is gathered around the dining room of your dreams, take a moment to reflect and give thanks.

Decorate With Class

 

This photo, posted by Classy Clutter on Pinterest, is a great example of how we can decorate with love while remaining classy. Often, Valentine’s Day is full of cheesy hearts and a flurry of red and pink. Keep the romance of this season while being sassy and sophisticated. As we all are still recovering from a chocolate over-load, we can breathe a sigh of relief that this decor is a year round staple.

Time for romance

While neutral tones will be popular for living rooms, kitchens and bathrooms, warm, romantic colors will rule bedrooms.

bedroomsAccording to Houzz, colors like raspberry pink, deep ruby red, caramel and even black are the perfect shades to make a room that Cupid will want to stay in all year long.