Archive for December, 2011
After moving, there are many fun ways you can spruce up your home. If you love to entertain and you love to drink, then you should think of investing in a great home improvement project like purchasing your own home bar. True, you can mix drinks in your kitchen or your dining table, but if you’re planning to serve more than vodka mixed with juice or soda, a bar will allow you to store and mix your own liquors, and keep you organized. It’s also a good centerpiece for any occasion, and it’s simple to organize and create your own bar nook.
First off, you’ll need the actual bar. If you want to save money, you can build your own, but you should also have some sort of building and crafting skills to make even a simple bar table. There is plenty of pre-built bars in stores and online, so you should do your research. It should be the right size to fit your designated bar nook, and should be able to fit all your bottles and accessories. Some bars have additional parts, like an overhead bottle holder or shelf, so you can display your bottles and have easy access to them as well.
Next, you’ll have to fill up your bar. If you have the cash to burn, then you can fill it up in one go. Of course, if you don’t have a lot of money, then you can slowly build it up over time. What sorts of things should you get? It’s hard to decide what to buy first, but a good way to choose is by buying things for your favorite drink or drinks and build it up from there. So if you like a good martini, then a bottle of gin, vermouth, and some olives should be your first buys. It’s also good to stock up on some basics, like vodka, rum, gin, tequila and soda water, but unless you’re having a party soon, you can always add these bottle by bottle. Later on, you can add some more mixers and liquers like Baileys, Khalua, Cointreau, Brandy, Pimm’s, Vermouth, Campari, Grenadine Syrup, etc.
Of course, a good bar will also have the right accessories. You can get full bartender gear in sets, but you can also build it up as you go along. Shakers and jiggers are essential for mixing, especially if you like your drinks “shaken, not stirred.” A strainer will help you get the drink into the glass without the ice you used to shake it in. If you do like your drinks mixed, then you’ll need a long bar spoon for maximum efficiency. There are other bar tools you may need as well, such as muddlers, zesters and ice crushers. Also, good glassware is important, as you don’t want to just serve your drinks in plastic cups. Shot glasses, short old-fashioned glasses and tall highball glasses are good to have around. Martini glasses or cocktail glasses are also some essentials you can’t live without.
Once you’re done with your preparations, you can now mix your own drinks, and invite a few over’s for a fun evening!
After you have settled in with moving you may be thinking about some ideas how how to decorate your room. A fun way to do so is with mirrors. A well-positioned mirror in a rooms can brighten it up, as well a giving it an illusion of space – perfect for diminutive spaces! So, if want to use mirrors for your home, check out these unique and creative mirror decorating ideas.
Create your own Design.
You can purchase mirrors cut out in different designs, but why not make your own? A sunburst mirror design will be perfect for any room, and you don’t have to break the bank (or a couple of mirrors) to do this. Take a large circular mirror, and several rectangular ones. Place your round mirror in the center, and then position the rectangular mirrors around it, making it the “rays” of your sun. You can also make other designs from pre-cut mirrors, just use your imagination!
Your bathroom should have at least a small mirror, usually over the sink. But, you’re not limited to that. If you have a small shower stall, you can install a full-length mirror inside to help create an illusion of space. You can also put a mirror on the walls or on the door, so you can give the bathroom a more open feel.
Light up Your Living Room.
If you have a small, cramped living room, placing mirrors inside will help you create that illusion of space. However, a more creative use would be help you light up the room. You’ll have to position the mirrors in such a way so that it catches and reflects light. One way is to take several full-length dressing mirrors and hang them horizontally in panels across your living room. This position catches the light and reflects them in interesting ways. Another would be to cover on side of the room with mirrors, and then place a couch in front of it. This creates a seating area and focal point for your living room.
A mirrored headboard is an interesting focal point for your bedroom. You can find several types in the stores or you can simply make your own. Of course, don’t just get a full-length mirror and turn it sideways. Do something unexpected, like taking small mirrors and positioning them to make a headboard. Or, you can take up the entire wall as the headboard and place mirrors all over. If you want something simple, a decorative round mirror placed above your bed can make an elegant statement.
By Maria Paulia Belgado
It’s December! Have you started decorating for Christmas? You probably already have some ideas on how your house will look like for this very special season. But if you haven’t thought of it yet, don’t worry! Here, you’ll learn the most exciting ways to decorate your home this 2011 Christmas celebration!
The first step to decorating for Christmas is finding a theme. This is important so you can limit your choice of décor. If you have a theme, you’ll find it easier to pick colors and decorative materials. If you love Santa Claus like many people do, you can focus your theme on him. Why not place a huge display of Santa Claus in your living room? This will totally amuse your guests. Decorate the windows, doors, and walls with some Christmas furnishings that have a touch of red. You can also add the color green as both of these colors represent Christmas. If you want diversity (because for sure, your neighbors will have the same colors and displays), you can make a white Christmas theme! Make use of shining white lanterns and cute decors. People would usually use a green Christmas tree. To be different, try using a white one or any color you want. The tree doesn’t have to be too extravagant unless you decide to have this as the only Christmas décor in your house. If you plan to install decorative items in every corner, make your Christmas tree simple. It’s not a good idea to become too hooked in decorating for Christmas. Make a focal point – a place or display where the attention of anyone entering your house will be centered. If your focal point is the Christmas tree, don’t forget the gifts!
Lights are vital in decorating for Christmas. Lights will establish the Christmas atmosphere in your house. While a combination of colors for the lighting décor can be very eye-catching, you may want to settle on one or two colors only. This will keep your home classy and elegant.
You don’t always have to buy Christmas décor every year. You probably stored some items you used last year. In these difficult times, it’s not a good idea to overspend on decorating for Christmas. If you’re buying decorative items, look for quality ones so you can use them for the coming Christmas celebrations.
Decorating for Christmas shouldn’t be tiring and exhilarating. It must be one of the most fun-filled and enjoyable experiences that happen only once a year!
By Maria Paulia Belgado
Moving during the winter is a unique moving situation. You have the weather to deal with but there is also the holiday season and decorating as well as the unpacking your moving boxes! One item to decorate is a Christmas tree. Before you decorate you will have to choose a special one to bring home.
Choosing a Christmas tree is very exciting, especially for those little ones who are awaiting Santa! Many people have certain ideas for what a good Christmas tree should look like – healthy and lots of branches for those decorations. However, what else should you look for? Check out these tips to help you pick a winner!
Variety really depends on your where you’re located. On the West Coast, you’ll see a lot of Fraser Firs and Monterey Pines, while if you’re sourcing your tree on the East Coast, you’ll have a choice of Cedar Red, Virginia Pine, Sand Pine, Leyland Cypress and Spruce. It’s a good idea to choose a tree with shorter needles, as it will be easier to hang your decorations.
Perhaps more importantly, what you need to consider is size and height. Figure out where you want to place your tree and measure the height and width of the space. Of course, make sure you make space for the base and any toppers. Take a tape measure with you just to make sure. When choosing a place, make sure it’s away from heat sources (like fireplaces or vents) or away from traffic, as too much movement will shake off the needles.
Once you get to the tree farm or wherever you get your Christmas tree, make sure you give your choices a thorough examination.
Make sure its fresh. Are you cutting fresh or choosing from pre-cut trees? If you cut your own, then you can be sure of the freshness. If you’re buying from a lot of pre-cut trees, make sure you check the needles. They should be strong – take a handful and gently tug on the branch. The needles should stay on the branch and not fall off. Try to pull a branch down to the ground to check if the needles stay on the branch. Usually, a couple should fall off, but not too many. Give it a good smell – it should have a fresh fragrance and have a good dark green color.
Consider the decor. You should be able to hang your decorations, so the branches should be strong and have spaces for you to place them in. Take one of two decorations with you when you go tree shopping. You can try them out and see if they look good or if the tree will be able to hold them.
Hopefully, you’ve brought a car or van that can fit your tree (you’ll be surprised at how many people forget the fact that they have to bring it home!). You can ask the tree farm if they deliver as well. Once you get it home, set it up, keep it fresh by keeping it watered and you can enjoy trimming the tree with your family.
Have your area setup. You should have a tree stand with some fresh water ready. It should be steady so it doesn’t tip over. Help young kids if they want to decorate – you don’t want then to hurt themselves on the needles or accidentally knock the tree over. When you’re done, you can enjoy how the tree looks and smells!