Decorating With Holiday Lights All Year: Steal These 10 Ideas Now!

Decorating With Holiday Lights All Year Steal These 10 Ideas Now 13Holiday string lights are universally adored. We hang them up indoors and outdoors to dazzle our homes during the holiday season and then sit in the attic gathering dust for the rest of the year. Christmas lights instantly make any setting feel warm and magical, so here are 10 creative ways to keep your Christmas lights up all year long!

 

1. Twinkling Nook for the Kids

 

Give the kids a new place of their own with a bit of fabric and some twinkle lights. Check out these images to see which ones inspire you! Your kids will speed through their summer reading with this Christmas-light lined reading nook. Another option is to transform a boring bed into a showstopper with a sheer curtain and some string lights. Use two curtain rods to attach the tulle or hang floor-length streams of fabric and lights from the four corners of the mattress.

 

2. Porch Party Lighting

 

LIght up your outdoor summer party with lots of lights! Wrap fairy lights around tree trunks to create a special seating area in your garden. Or even light up your outdoor summer party with twine Christmas light “lanterns.” If you have a pool, hang them directly above the pool for a cool mirrored effect at night. Now you have a nice soft light to relax and enjoy your evenings.

 

3. Light Up Your Mirror

 

Illuminate your special room mirror with extra lighting around. Adding string lights around a wall or vanity mirror adds extra light while getting ready. An oversized mirror especially makes an instantly glam dressing room with the addition of a string of basic white twinkle lights.

 

4. Shape Into an Inspirational Word

 

Need a pick-me-up? Hang a well-lit quote or inspirational word in your room using fairy LED lights. This makes a fun art installation in your home. Change it up to match your seasonal decor.

 

5. Flameless Fire Pit

 

Add extra “warmth” to your living space by creating a faux fire pit that’s maintenance-free. Assemble a few small logs in a fireplace grate or basket, and weave some string lights throughout. When the weather heats up and you no longer need the warmth of a fire, you don’t have to completely neglect your fireplace. Try wrapping logs with string lights for a glow you can enjoy year round.

 

6. Fairy Light Jars

 

Want to add a bit of sparkle to your mantel, dresser, or entry table? This is the perfect way to use holiday lights as year-round decor. If you have battery or solar-powered string lights, fill up a glass lantern, oversize bowl, wine bottle or some Mason jars. Simply fill a Mason jar with a bunch of string lights, then cluster them on a mantel or entryway table. They’d also look perfect on a patio or on an end table. Have a strand that needs to be plugged in? Try a birdcage – no matter the vessel, you’ll enjoy the glittering lights all year long.

 

Decorating With Holiday Lights All Year Steal These 10 Ideas Now 137. Fairy Light Wall

 

If you have a barren white wall in need of some Christmas sparkle, try adorning it with fairy lights, then hang photos from the strand. We use some nice looking clothes pins to attach cards or drawings from our kids. It’s a fabulous way to highlight their art.

 

8. Lighted Chandelier

 

Wrap your dining room chandelier with a generous amount of Christmas lights for an illuminating holiday update. This add layers of lighting and a bit of whimsy and charm.

 

9. Picture Perfect Window

 

Give the kids a new place of their own with a bit of fabric and some twinkle lights. Check out these images to see which ones inspire you! Another option is to transform a boring bed into a showstopper with a sheer curtain and some string lights. Use two curtain rods to attach the tulle or hang floor-length streams of fabric and lights from the four corners of the mattress.

 

10. Lighted Mirror Garland

 

Create an incredible mirror garland using twinkle lights for a dramatically glamorous look! You can easily create your own garland with small mirror squares from the crafts store, fishing line, and a hot glue gun. Drape the mirrored strands and some string lights over a curtain rod or dowel, and enjoy the dazzling scattered reflections. It’s the perfect piece to brighten your space and warm up your walls.

Ready To Get Started on Your New Kitchen?

Kitchens Unlimited in Walnut Creek and Brentwood, California has been professionally transforming spaces for clients all over the San Francisco East Bay since 2003. Designing high-end quality kitchens and bathrooms is in our blood! (Here’s a convenient map to our Brentwood interior design showroom.)

 

We take designing a beautiful kitchen for our clients very seriously, focusing on creating a kitchen space that is both functional & beautiful. We love to provide insight and education to our clients while empowering them to create the kitchens and spaces that they can thrive in.  Have a project in mind but just can’t decide? Need an expert interior designer who’s easy to work with? Want a stress-free & pain-free remodel?  Contact Kitchens Unlimited to schedule your free consultation today.



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8 Painting Mistakes Everyone Makes – And How to Avoid Them

8 Painting Mistakes Everyone Makes - And How to Avoid ThemPainting the walls of an interior space is a quick and easy way to have a major impact with a little amount of trouble or expense. Before you decide on a paint color for the room you’re decorating, take a step back and make sure to avoid these 8 common painting mistakes!

1. Using the Wrong Paint

If you’ve chosen the wrong paint for the job, no matter how good your application technique is, the project isn’t going to turn out well. When painting surfaces that aren’t perfect, don’t choose paint with a high sheen. The glossiness will only accentuate the problems on the surface. If you want to paint with a semi-gloss or gloss sheen, make sure the surface you’re painting is carefully prepared and perfectly smooth. Personally I prefer a lower sheen anyway. Ask your paint store about some scrub-able low sheen options. When covering a light-colored wall with dark paint, start with a tinted primer. Ask at the paint store for specific recommendations but I always prefer a paint with a built in primer too. Gray primer is a great choice under most dark colors. This little bit of expense upfront will save you house or redcoats later! If you’re painting with two sheens of the same color, be sure to label the cans. It’s really easy to get the two mixed up, and you won’t realize your mistake until the paint dries. You’ll be sorry if you accidentally touch up flat walls with semigloss paint!

2. Painting Without Primer

Using primer is a long step in the painting process, but a necessary one to get a long-lasting finish. This step preps the wall surface so the paint sticks more easily and ensures that the true color of the paint shines through. When you are changing your wall color from dark to light, primer is especially important to make sure the old color doesn’t bleed through. Wood naturally contains tannins, which can migrate to the surface when wet, causing staining and discoloration. You can fix this problem by sealing the wood with a tannin-blocking primer before painting. If you are working with new drywall or wood, concrete, or plaster, it is best to use traditional primer first and then paint over it.

3. Leaving Painter’s Tape Up Too Long

For clean lines and crisp edges, painter’s tape is a must. Taping ensures professional-looking results, but when left on for an extended amount of time, can cause peeling paint upon removal. Ideally, tape should be removed about an hour after you’ve finished painting. But if you’ve let it sit for too long, the paint will start coming up. Use a razor blade to gently score along the edge of the tape as you peel it back. You can also try using a blow dryer to heat up and loosen the adhesive, using your fingers to roll it away from the wall.

4. Lack of Preparation

Skipping the prep work is a common paint mistake, but if you take the time to prepare, it will save you a lot of hassle later. Before you start painting, make sure that the surface is clean, so the paint goes on smoothly. After you wash your walls, make sure they are dry and free of debris before getting started. You also want to make sure to cover everything in sight with drop cloths, remove outlets and switch covers and tape up doorknobs. I know it’s tedious but well worth it in the end.

5. Overbrushing

For the smoothest possible finish when you’re painting woodwork, doors or cabinets, avoid too much brushwork. Load the brush and quickly cover an area with paint. Then use a stroke or two to level it off. Brushing over the same area, especially after the paint has started to dry, will cause unsightly brush marks and ridges. Sometimes in striving for protection we make it worse! Don’t be afraid to walk away and do a second coat later. Better two light coats than a thick overbrushed coat.

6. Forgetting the Ceiling

To maximize your ceiling’s impact on a room, you might choose a pale shade that complements the walls, a high-gloss white, or a bold hue that acts as a room’s main source of color. I once painted a bathroom for my mom pink. It helped correct the odd lighting in the room giving it a warmer happier feel. (No one even noticed the pink, but they looked better in the mirror!)

7. Using the Wrong Brushes

Investing in quality tools can help you avoid disaster. Cheap brushes can shed bristles during use, and cheap foam rollers can make painting more difficult than it needs to be. Quality bristles and rollers that are dense will apply paint evenly and quickly. The same thing goes for cheap paint sprayers, which can spray unevenly and quit working before your paint project is finished. It may seem like you are saving money, but in the long run, it can cost you.

8. Comparing Samples in the Wrong Light

People often make the mistake of picking out a color at the store in fluorescent lighting and then ordering a gallon of it immediately. But, if you don’t take a sample home first and test it in the actual room’s light, it could be a disastrous move. To get the best idea of how that paint color will look in the room you are renovating, select a few colors that you like, and bring samples home to see what works best. Make sure to have the light on in the room that you use the most, then swatch the color on the wall to make sure the color works how you want it to.

Ready To Get Started on Your New Kitchen?

Kitchens Unlimited in Walnut Creek and Brentwood, California has been professionally transforming spaces for clients all over the San Francisco East Bay since 2003. Designing high-end quality kitchens and bathrooms is in our blood! (Here’s a convenient map to our Brentwood interior design showroom.)

We take designing a beautiful kitchen for our clients very seriously, focusing on creating a kitchen space that is both functional & beautiful. We love to provide insight and education to our clients while empowering them to create the kitchens and spaces that they can thrive in.  Have a project in mind but just can’t decide? Need an expert interior designer who’s easy to work with? Want a stress-free & pain-free remodel?  Contact Kitchens Unlimited to schedule your free consultation today.

Sources

  1. https://www.familyhandyman.com/painting/tips/house-painting-mistakes-almost-everyone-makes-and-how-to-avoid-them/view-all/
  2. https://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/painting-tips
  3. https://www.oola.com/life-at-home/2456491/painting-mistakes-everyone-makes/
  4. https://www.bobvila.com/slideshow/10-color-mistakes-everyone-makes-48868#navy-blue-dining-room
  5. https://www.bobvila.com/slideshow/the-8-painting-mistakes-almost-everyone-makes-48420

 

10 Easy Steps for Prepping Your Kitchen for the Holidays

It’s soon to be THAT time of year, prepping your house for the onslaught of holiday entertaining is something of a necessity! It’s officially holiday party time where you have holiday potlucks, gingerbread house building parties, and extravagant dinner parties. It’s also a time that can get pretty stressful if you’ve decided to host a festive get-together for friends, family or both! Here are ten easy steps to help avoid the stress and making sure your kitchen is in top shape before the holidays hit.
 

1. Purge Old Food

Set an afternoon aside to clear out all old food items in your pantry, fridge, and freezer. You will not only be getting rid of expired and unwanted items you’ve forgotten about, but you’ll also be creating more room for all those holiday culinary creations. Make more room in a crowded freezer by taking things out of their bulky boxed packaging and storing food in resealable plastic bags. Discard foods that show signs of freezer burn, and place food items that you’ll need up front and center. While your at it, take a quick moment to give your fridge shelves a good wipe down. The quick clean will make your fridge feel fresh thru out the holidays.
 

2. Check Your Spices and Oils

Check the “best by” dates on all the spices and oils you plan on using. When in doubt, throw out all spices or oils over a year old as well as any that don’t have an obvious aroma when opened. Did you know that spices and oils can go rancid or lose their flavor and scent entirely?  Some spices that you might need this holiday season are poultry seasoning, thyme, rosemary, sage, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla extract, and sage. Making sure you have those in stock before the holidays is a good item to put on your to-do list.

3. Clean Your Appliances

Cleaning your appliances is one of those chores that is easy to put off. A simple cleaning tool for any of your household appliances is ammonia. Inexpensive ammonia, baking soda, or plain white vinegar can help to loosen and dissolve those tough messes when dealing with your appliances. Never mix ammonia with other strong cleaning agents, such as bleach or commercial oven cleaners. If you have a gas oven, make sure the pilot light is out and the gas has been turned off before you start cleaning. Also make sure you check each appliance you plan to use – microwave oven, stovetop, oven, refrigerator, freezer, dishwasher, crockpots, food processor, mixer and blender. Nothing better than the smell of turkey and pumpkin pie! A clean oven insures that is all you smell…
 

4. Wash Dishes, Flatware, Glasses, and Linens

A few days before the bustle of preparations, pull out any special dishes, glassware, flatware and serving pieces and give them a good wash. It’s one preparation that can be done easily ahead of time before the kitchen gets super busy with the hustle and bustle of food prep.
 

5. Check For Restocking

Save yourself some time and be sure you have the supplies you need food and supply-wise. You may think your pantry is well-stocked but double-check just in case. Do any of your guests have food allergies?  Are they vegetarian, vegan, etc.? Take these into account and prepare accordingly. No one wants to be spending their time on a holiday hunting down a can of French’s fried onions.

6. Start Meal Planning

Prep what you can ahead of time. Most casseroles and potato dishes can be put in a baking pan ahead of time, and vegetables can be chopped and stored, too. Cookie dough is another easy one to prep and freeze. Having a schedule will keep things organized and allow your guests to know when and how to help. Bake one thing for your freezer once a week starting now for your busy time later.

10 Easy Steps for Prepping Your Kitchen for the Holidays

7. Sharpen Knives

Start the season off right with sharp knives. To use a sharpening steel, hold the steel in your left hand and the knife in your right hand, with the cutting edge toward you. Lay the blade on top of the steel and raise the back of the knife 20 degrees. Place the heel of the blade at the tip of the steel and using light pressure draw the edge across the steel in a sweeping, curved motion. When in doubt take them to a professional to be sharpened. No one wants to have to hack away at their honey-baked ham!

8. De-Clutter Your Pantry

You want to start off your holiday plans with spending time organizing your pantry, cabinets, and fridge. Just like cleaning your fridge in step 1, throw away any expired or rancid food. If you find there are things you just don’t use, it’s the perfect time of year to give to a food drive. Another great way to organize is to pour your flour, sugar, chocolate chips, etc. into canisters or old jelly jars and label them. This gives a cute and organized look to your kitchen.

9. Child-Proof Your Kitchen

First make sure any young children can’t get a hold of any potentially harmful objects, such as matches, lighters, sharp utensils and household cleaners, by storing them in upper cabinets or by using child-safety latches. When cooking, unplug appliances not in use and wind up all cords and try to use the back burners of the stove as much as possible. Make sure all electrical outlets are covered when not in use.
 

10. Keep Kitchen Decorations Minimal

Here at Kitchens Unlimited we love our holiday decorations. But, decorations can often get in the way if you do a lot of cooking or baking. If you want to spruce up your kitchen for the holidays, add some fern garland to your windowsill or hang mistletoe from an arch. Keep decorations off the counters and away from the pantry. Another great and fun way to decorate this holiday is to show off what you made! Display the pies and cookies on a cute glass cake plate.

Ready To Get Started on Your New Kitchen?

All that time in your kitchen make you realize a remodel is on your wish list? It’s never too early to start planing. Kitchens Unlimited in Walnut Creek and Brentwood, California has been professionally transforming spaces for clients all over the San Francisco East Bay since 2003. Designing high-end quality kitchens and bathrooms is in our blood!

 

We take designing a beautiful kitchen for our clients very seriously, focusing on creating a kitchen space that is both functional & beautiful. We love to provide insight and education to our clients while empowering them to create the kitchens and spaces that they can thrive in.  Have a project in mind but just can’t decide? Need an expert interior designer who’s easy to work with? Want a stress-free & pain-free remodel?  Contact Kitchens Unlimited to schedule your free consultation today.



Sources