Apple to the Core

Simple Decorating Tips

A Few Low-Cost Decorating Tips

  • Dry apple and lemon slices in the oven and put them in bowls or use them in garlands. They make a house smell wonderful.

  • A hand-woven rug brightens a lot of wall space and makes a warm statement.

  • Mismatched plates and glasses can look really cool. You get a riot of color and it's easy to pick up more when you need them.

  • Candles are magical, for special occasions, do as the Danish do and line up votives by the dozen in every street-facing window.

  • Use hollowed-out fruits and vegetables as serving vessels on a buffet table.

  • Keep your kitchen from looking cluttered by clustering things like condiments, pasta or coffee mugs on decorative trays.

  • Wrap bamboo placemats around old jars or vases and tie with raffia.

  • Use garage sale jewelry to add sparkle to pillows, lampshades and tiebacks.

Savvy Decorating Shortcuts

  • Arranging Dried Flowers - When working with dried flowers, spray with hair spray to keep brittle leaves and pets from shedding.

  • Quick Pillow Covers - Large napkins or handkerchiefs can be stitched together for inexpensive and good-looking throw pillow covers.

  • Plate Display - Do you have plates too pretty to store out of sight? Display them on narrow shelves. First attach slim wood slats across the bottom edge of the shelves to keep the plates from slipping.

  • Silk Sensations - Turn pretty silk scarves into decorative throw pillows. Choose brightly colored, big floral patterns. Stitch two together and you've got elegant pizzazz for a sofa or bed.

  • Quick Ties - Tie back curtains with silk braided tassels sold in fabric or upholstery shops. There are many beautiful varieties to choose from.

  • Jazz up the bathroom - Pay attention to the bathroom by adding a fresh plant, lace curtains and a pretty tray full of bath oils and magazines with easy reach of the tub. Fluffy new towels will give the room a lift for the least amount of effort and cost. Use a sheet in a matching color to make a new shower curtain.

  • Rice on - Rice-paper shades let in the light but afford privacy. They're easy to install and are carefree. This will give a bathroom or bedroom a clean fresh look.

  • Table cover-up - If you've been using placemats on you dining table, switch to a floor-length tablecloth or cover the table with a quilt. It will make your mealtimes more interesting.

  • Natural Tiebacks - Dress up your curtains with small wreath tiebacks. Make or buy vine wreaths and add your own decorations.

  • Fall arrangement - For a quick country arrangements, fill a basket with fresh vegetables and herbs.

  • Mirrors - Group mirrors of various sizes and shapes into a pattern as you would with paintings. if you have interesting antique frames, you can easily have mirrors cut to fit them. This creates a fascinating effect in a room.

  • Quick Candleholders - For a quick, free centerpiece on the patio table, use empty glass baby food jars to hold votive candles. Decorate them with grape leaves tied with twine and group them together.

Are you looking for that special touch? Country Home Decor & Gifts


Plants You Can't Kill

Don't have a green thumb? Here's a list of tough customers that can survive on less light and the dry, artificial heated air of a long winter indoors. Nothing is as comforting as green, living plants all over the house. Hopefully, even those of us without a green thumb will have some luck with these:

  • Bamboo palm

  • Cast-iron plant

  • Chinese evergreen

  • Dracaena (Janet Craig or striped)

  • golden pothos

  • English ivy
  • kangaroo vine
  • nephthytis
  • parlor palm
  • peace plant
  • sentry palm
  • snake plant
  • philodendron

Pretty & Easy Table Tips

  • For a hint of spring, fasten a posy or sunflower to a napkin and tie with a pretty length of ribbon.

  • Cinch a napkin with style by bending a silk flower's stem around it.

  • Drop a round candle into a desert cup (that matches your table) for a fun and unexpected accent at each setting.

  • Group forks and knives together with an elegant strip of ribbon.

  • Invest in a set of shapely salad plates to transform ordinary dinnerware into eye-catchers.

  • Make a charming napkin ring by making a bow with raffia and 

  • tucking in a fresh flower.

A Bedroom That Helps You Unwind

  • Did you know that light triggers the production of the brain chemical, serotonin? Serotonin relieves tension and promotes relaxation and better sleep. To maximize light in the bedroom, choose light or white lamp shades and incandescent soft white light bulbs.
  • The best colors: The most soothing colors are blue (due to our emotional response to a beautiful blue sky), green (reminiscent of green grass, trees and spring) and yellow (warm and comforting as the sun).
  • Scent: The basis or aromatherapy is that scents-orange blossoms, lavender, vanilla, chamomile-have sedative effects. By including scents in the bedroom, relaxation is ensured. 
  • Instead of on dust ruffle, pair two different lengths for a petticoat effect.
  • Fold a beautiful quilt or throw and drape it across the foot of the bed to add visually and break up and add interest to to top coverlet.
  • Besides the pillow you sleep on, pile on several special pillows that compliment your sheet pattern but don't match it exactly.

Clean the air-naturally

Did you know that houseplants remove pollutants from the air that can make you feel tired and give back clean, fresh oxygen? Studies show that houseplants clear the air of common household pollutants-formaldehyde, zylene, toluene and ammonia--substances that can affect you and your family negatively.

Some of the best plants for cleaning the air are: Areca palm, English ivy, dracaena, Boston fern and spider plants.

A Boston fern is one of the easiest ferns to grow and is very good at neutralizing alcohol in the air, which can be emitted by adhesives, carpeting, caulking and paint.

Ivy placed by your bedside, is especially good at removing formaldehyde emitted by fabric and paint.


Bringing in the Right Plants

Create a calm oasis by bringing the outdoors in. Filling a bathroom  with green plants is  a great way to make this room's smooth, sterile surfaces seem softer and warmer. Plus, the the warm, humid environment of the bathroom is a great place to start your own little rainforest. For best results, choose tropical plants like ferns, philodendron, ficus and pothos. 


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