The month of May always seems so
busy with events and occasons. May Day on the 1st, National Teacher's Day
on the 3rd, Cinco de Mayo and Derby Day both on the 7th.
important day for many this month is Mother's Day, May 8th. Wishing all
mothers and mothers-to-be a very Happy Mother's
If you've been easing your way into warmer weather and summer
living, now is the time to jump (or dive) in.
Having what you need
to enjoy the season is only part of the plan. Being prepared to take
advantage of opportunities to use what you have will make outdoor
breakfasts, relaxing on the patio with a good book or spur of the moment
entertaining possible and easy.
Make a list of the things you would
like to do this summer. What would it take to make these
Do you need more time in your life? Getting more
organized can give you more time. You'll spend less time searching for
things and less time shopping for things that you forgot that you had.
Having systems for dealing with your "things to do list" will make
projects less time consuming.
Paring down possessions can mean
less time cleaning and caring for things. You may be surprised at how
liberating this can be. Box up some of your "heavier" looking accessories
for the season. Consider sending your area rugs out to be cleaned and
enjoy your hardwood floors. If the look is too bare, consider using a
lighter textured cotton rug that will harmonize with your room's colors.
Summer-ize and Simplify! Think easy care, readily
available/accessible, comfortable and enjoyable!
Accents-Obelisks and Tuteurs|
Garden accents, like the iron tuteur shown, can be the perfect
addition to a garden, patio, deck or front entry when you need something
that is tall and interesting, but isn't bulky or heavy looking. It can be
used to support annual climbing vines or evergreens like ivy or used as a
sculptural accent in a planter with layers of plants. A series of planters
with obelisks can create a wind break on a patio or deck and provide a
sense of privacy without closing in a space.
The frames can be used
for seasonal displays or when entertaining, supporting decorations,
garlands, mini lights and ornaments both indoors and out.
finish on the piece before buying and make sure that the structure will
support the intended use. Some pieces are purely decorative and not meant
for extended outdoor use, meaning the piece will rust or the finish will
deteriorate if left outside. Other pieces are fine for protected use, such
as screened porches or covered entryways. (HomeGoods and other decor
stores may have both types.) Other pieces are created to be outdoor
Now is the time to look for these pieces in nurseries and
garden centers while they are well stocked. The style shown is the half
round version of the Essex. Click on the link below for more information
and to see other styles.
There are design principles that can be summed up in one word. This
month's buzzword is not about mental focus, but the grouping or massing of
elements. When you concentrate a display it increases its impact and
importance. It has the same effect in the use of color. Applied to
furnishings, it can create better use of space. Applied to organizing, it
can streamline and reduce.
Concentrating lighting can create pools
of illumination that can set the mood, designate work areas, highlight
walls and art, safely light walkways and amplify a
Concentrating lighting is particularly important when
planning for outdoor living. Creating smaller areas, rather than flooding
the entire space with light is less harsh and can save money. It also
contributes less to light pollution, a growing threat to the environment.
more about it here.)
When you concentrate your outdoor
lighting, you will have less to put out and less to store. That will save
you time and space in your home.
A cluster of lanterns
will concentrate lighting and will provide visual impact, indoors and out,
throughout the year. A cluster of candle holders, such as the one shown,
will do the same and take up less visual space outdoors on a table top or
later, indoors on a mantel. Both options can be incorporated into
arrangements to fit your decor or entertainment theme.
word, "Concentrate" when planning your outdoor room, particularly when
considering your lighting options. For more on the candleholder shown,
please click below.
Re-purposing Tip: Cheeseboard|
Outdoor living and entertaining call for easy care, easy to transport
and break resistant serving accessories. Need a a substantial stand in for
a trivet to diffuse heat from a sizzling platter of steaks or a chafing
dish? Try using a cheese board. It can reduce condensation on cold dishes
when they are placed on warm surfaces. It can even save space (and prevent
airborne napkins) by lifting a serving tray enough to tuck paper napkins
slightly under it.
The style shown cleverly stores its own cheese
knives. For more information, please click below.
This is a busy season for buying greeting cards. Along with any
birthday and aniversary cards you may have on your list to send, there are
those for Mother's Day, graduation, weddings, showers and Father's day
If you like to buy cards well in advance and keep them
handy through out the year, filing them in an organizer like the one shown
will allow you to store them on a bookshelf or on your desk (saving drawer
You may never miss sending the perfect greeting card
||New Uses for Old
If you dislike throwing away old things thinking that you may find a
use for them some day, this may be the book for you. If you thought that
you would never find a use for that odd item, this may be the book for
you, too. If you like the idea of re-purposing and appreciate innovative
thinking, well then, check this book out. It's from the editors of Real
Please click below to look inside the book.
Most people realize that bookcases and built-in shelving can contain
and display more than just books and the occasional figurine or
collectible. Often they are an overlooked opportunity to create attractive
"hide in plain sight storage". Who doesn't need more of that? With
planning and repurposing decorative accessories, you can have your display
space and storage space in one attractive unit.
It's a fact that no matter how sleek our media components may get, they
are not exactly decorative accessories. Keeping them hidden yet accessible
is possible using Infrared Repeater Systems that allow the signals from
your remote controls to work even behind closed cabinet doors.
Repeater systems can allow you to repurpose buffets, credenzas, dressers,
chests and other furniture into TV stands and media centers. It can also
allow you to locate equipment in closets!
Some equipment may not
work well with IR systems so check with the manufacturers and local
electronics stores for recommendations. To see examples, click here.
For more information about the systems, read the article on About.com