Holilday LIghts!

Holilday LIghts!


Thank you for visiting my blog. I have a passion for decorating! And, as a decorator and home stager who's helped many people transform their homes, I wanted to share my ideas and tips with others. Enjoy! My company's motto is: "Get A Goode Start to Sell Your Home!"

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Decorating Tips for Your Christmas Tree

Happy Holidays to all!  Only 10 days until Christmas!  If you'd like some tips on decorating your tree this year, here are some of my (hopefully) useful tips:

Beginning the task: When decorating your tree, put lights on first, then the garland, and finally the ornaments. I think of my tree as a three-dimensional painting. Do you have a color scheme or theme that you want to follow? Sometimes having a plan for your tree makes it more fun to decorate – at least in my opinion. You can spend all year collecting items for your tree – but a good time of year to find bargains is, of course, the post-holiday sales.

Hanging Ornaments: Begin by hanging "filler ornaments" and evenly space them around the tree. They could be basic solid color balls that are easily found at discount stores in a wide range of colors to coordinate and enhance your decorating scheme. You'll need about 20 "filler ornaments" for every two feet of Christmas tree. Don't hang all your ornaments on the tips of the branches. Instead, hang ornaments and other decorations 'inside' your tree to add depth and interest.

Light it up! If you do not have a pre-lit tree, here’s a suggestion for adding lights: You can’t really have enough! Lights give a tree dimension and beauty so pile them on!! I have a 6.5 foot tree and it has 500 mini-white lights on it – it’s gorgeous! Start arranging Christmas tree lights on the branches near the base of the tree. Weave strings of lights along the branches "inside," then move to the outer edges of the branches.

Adding the extras: There are so many beautiful accessories to add to your tree – from pine cones to flowers to bows, just to name a few. Once your tree has lights, garland and ornaments, you can fill in the "holes" with your accessories. And VOILA! Your tree is a masterpiece. By the way, my 6.5 foot tree is embellished with 400 ornaments and accessories, and each year, I receive so many compliments. You can accumulate these over time so that you don’t break the budget!

Keep your live tree fresh! If you bought a live tree, cut the stump of the tree with a fresh cut and set it in water immediately. A fresh-cut tree will absorb several quarts of water right from the start. So it's important to check and refill the water level several times a day for the first week. You can cut down on frequency later. Be sure to place you Christmas tree in a stand that has a large water reservoir and keep it filled.You don’t want your tree to dry out!

If you have any questions, please email and check out my website at
www.AGoodeStartDecorating.com; or feel free to post a comment below!
Have a safe and wonderful holiday and Happy Decorating!!!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Staging Your Home During the Holidays

During the holidays, many sellers always ask me, “How much holiday decorating should I do if I’m trying to sell my house?” So, I wanted to share my home stager guidelines with you if you’re trying to sell your house during the holidays:

     -I always suggest putting a wreath on the door and little white candles in the windows since both are very warm and welcoming (the objective if you’re trying to sell your house).
      -Outdoor lights can be a bonus and can be pretty and attractive, especially at night.  But be careful not to go overboard like Clark Griswold in National Lampoon’s, ”Christmas Vacation.”
           -Don’t put out your blow up Santa and his reindeer in your yard! Put out your holiday “ornaments” next year. 
     -In my opinion, it’s OK to have one Christmas tree or a menorah out during the holiday season, but as soon as the holiday is over, everything should be put away (including the gifts!)
    -Try to keep your holiday decorating to a minimum.  Don’t deck out your house with lots of Santas, nativity scenes and other Christmas or Hanukkah d├ęcor.  Keep it simple  - they are very distracting to prospective buyers.  You want them to look at your house, not your decorations.
          -Holiday baking is a plus -- so if you have to bake six dozen chocolate chip cookies, it would be great to do it before the open house (and put a few out for prospective buyers and your realtor).

      Hope these suggestions have helped you if you’re trying to sell your house. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.  Best wishes for wonderful Holiday Season and Happy Decorating!!

Friday, December 6, 2013

"Green" Ways to Make Your Home Shine for the Holidays!

If you are hosting family and friends for the holidays, I'm sure you've been busy getting ready for the event. Whether you are getting your home ready for the holidays or ready for sale, here are 10 "green" tips using many household items that you may already have in your house.  They are much healthier for your family than using the alternative, chemical-based products.

1.  Clean your glass windows, doors or mirrors with a mixture of white vinegar and water and wipe with newspaper for a beautiful, streak-free shine.
2.  Freshen your garbage disposal by putting a lemon wedge in and running the disposal.  This will neutralize odors and crease a fresh, lemony scent.  Fresh lemon can also be used to scrub kitchen counters and salt can be added as an abrasive for stubborn stains (tip - be careful using any abrasives with granite and marble - they are porous and scratch easily).
3.  Remove crayon from the walls with toothpaste (not the gel type).  Simply put a small amount of toothpaste on a  damp sponge and wipe gently, then wipe away any residue with a clean sponge.
4.  Remove watermarks on wood surfaces by rubbing a little mayonnaise on the wood and then buffing out the mark.
5.  Remove candle wax from fabric by hardening it first with an ice cube and then chipping away the hardened wax.
6.  Repair small scratches on hardwood floors with wood stain magic markers, available at most hardware stores. Be sure to choose the color that most closely matches the wood, fill in the scratch with color and buff with a soft cloth to blend.
7.  Stainless steel appliances will shine if you rub a little olive oil on a soft cotton cloth and polish to a shine!
8.  Remove soap residue in your dishwasher by running a wash cycle with a couple of white vinegar instead of soap.
9.  Clean stains on upholstery with a small amount of club soda on a dry cloth.  Some stains may be more difficult to remove.  If the club soda does not work, make a paste of 3 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of club soda.  Rub a small amount on the stain with a soft cloth.  Gently rub the cleaner off with another clean soft cloth dipped in a little warm water.  Once dry, vacuum off any remaining residue
10. Remove oil and grease stains on concrete driveways and garage floor by sprinkling the stains with baking soda or an other absorbent substance such as cornmeal or sawdust.  If the stain is dry, be sure to wet it first to create a paste and then scrub with a stiff brush.  If this is unsuccessful, try using automatic dishwashing detergent, leave it on for a few minutes and then poor boiling water on it and scrub with a stiff brush.

I hope these tips will make your home shine for the holidays!  Happy Decorating!