Thursday, November 20, 2014

Hey party people, it’s almost holiday-time.

You know what that means?

Whatever kind of funny business you have going on in your guest room, you best get on cleaning that up. It’s likely said room may actually need to house guests in the coming weeks. 

Just the motivation you need to get houseguest ready (in time for the holidays!)


- At the very least:

You need to clear obvious and cumbersome clutter from the room–objects obstructing the path to the bathroom, bags of retail you’ve been meaning to return for the past five months that are sitting on the bed, that scrapbooking project you started right around this time last year that’s still covering most of the guest room floor–all such items need to be removed and dealt with appropriately.

- Next level means:

Ensuring your guests have a modest amount of space to keep their clothing and other belongings. A vacant hanger or two would be lovely of you to provide. You might also consider(announcer voice): a dresser drawer! An empty wardrobe! A chair in the corner to prop up their suitcase! Etc!

For real hospitality points:

Provide your guests with a little courtesy pack, including things like cosmetics, an eye cover thingy (why am I blanking on the proper word here all of a sudden?), a loofah, fresh linens, and perchance even a bottle of water bed-side and a midnight snack or two. Be all cute and Stewart-y about it, go on, you’re allowed.

Want some undeniable inspiration? 

Scope this visitor pack put together by the supreme Victoria Mcginley:

Houseguest prep! Photo by Victoria Mcginley

Or this one (frankly any shot at all from this entire Style Me Pretty gallery) captured by the lens of Rustic White Photography:

Houseguest prep- photography by Rustic White

Or, dear, gracious, heaven above, this coffee and breakfast fixings tray for early risers presented by Carolyn Roehm:

Get houseguest ready! Photo by Carolyn Roehm

For further houseguesty pointers, peruse this post.

Plus, check out this idea for hosting visitors in a small space

Oh, and? Turns out houseguests are a really good source of motivation

 Image credit: (top) Alice Gao via Refinery 29

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Oh, this post is a touchy one. It’s a topic that I feel rawther badly broaching, not for fear of upsetting the politically correct police who are constantly on net-patrol (come at me!), but because the damning behavior coming under scrutiny is, in its essence, a really, really well-intentioned one.

when caring for the planet clashes with caring for your home. Super important read.

Common among the reasons why many people’s spaces end up in cluttered states is a concern for the environment.

I know! It feels rotten to squash that inclination, believe me.

Such people are aware of the fragile nature of our planet; aware, too, of the effects of excessive waste and pollution, and, knowing all that they know, they want to do their part to protect our world.

And so they are careful not to dispose of things. They pride themselves on how light their trash receptacle is come pick-up day. They recycle with a fervor and they save.

They save the materials that come into their possession for fear of what will happen to said items if they let them go. Where will all of those paper boxes end up, anyhow? And wouldn’t it be better just to keep those bags around since someone is bound to use them eventually?

They’re in the habit of conserving and re-using whatever possible: crumpled tissue paper, old notebooks, organizing and storage products.

They are as conscious about the planet’s wellbeing as we all ought to be.

The thing of it is, you can’t very well save the planet if you can’t save your house.

when caring for the planet clashes with caring for your home. Super important read.

If your looking out for the environment is to the detriment of you and your family’s environment, you need to check yourself because your priorities are out of whack. 

Like every other matter in life, this one comes down to the big B: Balance. And while that’s more instructionally vague than I’d like it to be, it really is the best I can offer.

You must continually strive to be and live in balance.

You need to do your part to care for the planet, yes. And equally, you need to do your part to provide yourself and your family with an orderly, calm living space.

when caring for the planet clashes with caring for your home. Super important read.

You are not expected to save the planet on your own. Yours will not be the trash bin that makes the eternal difference. And while you play a part like each of us, you are responsible for only your own. You do not have to work overtime to make up for what others aren’t doing.

I know that in other circumstances this logic would be negated. Pro-environmentalists would urge you that your part is critical, that it does make the difference. And neither one of us would be more right than the other in principle. There are merely many dimensions to the conversation, and if you’re finding yourself at the mercy of the stuff piling up around you due to your worry for the environment, then this is the side you need to heed now.

Find additional ways to live an environmentally-friendly life. Seek out companies that are producing sustainably sourced, fully recyclable products and shop only from them if you like. Buy a hybrid car or ditch the car for a bicycle. Look for organizations who collect exactly what you have a ton of whose sole purpose is to use those materials for the good of the planet. The Google is infinite and if you take to it with a mission you will find.

But just as you don’t view the earth as your personal waste bin, neither should you, your home.

Image credits: Minakani Lab, Lonny Magazine. Ferm Living

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

If you have a working fireplace you’ve probably started using it.

Mine has been a’blazing mostly non-stop since the temperatures went south, and while I won’t complain even for a toasty minute (since fireplace is better than no fireplace), there is an especial appeal to the authentic fireplace. You know, the kind that burns logs cut from a tree.

Those lucky folk get to enjoy the crackle. Oh, a good crackle. And pop! Don’t forget those. The pops are almost as good as the crackles. Another thing: wood.

Firewood; it should not be overlooked as an effective decorative element. You only need a bucket or two full for a really good roar-er that lasts all night and, as it turns out, you only need about that much placed fireside to inject your space with a certain rustic, structural, we-have-real-fires-and-are-thus-a-tad-bit-cooler-than-you element.

What can the rest of us do but to fan the flames, encourage the acquisition of a most attractive indoor firewood holder, and then hope for the most editorial outcome possible?

Love these 9 unique firewood holders! If you've got it (a working fireplace), flaunt it!

1. Metal Laser-Cut Fireside Firewood Tub

2. Shaker Log Bin

3. Pewter Log Holder

4. Wrought Iron Wood Hoop

5. Modern firewood holder

6. Gold Leaf Design Group Firewood Holder

7. Crosley Gunnison Firewood Storage Rack 

8. Iron Contemporary Log Bin

9. Copper-Plated Oval Tub