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Adding the Finishing Touches

If you're a homeowner as I am, you probably have a pretty good idea of what projects need to be done before the onset of winter, especially if you live in a very cold climate. There's always more than enough things to do, such as putting up storm windows, exterior painting, weatherproofing, turning off the irrigation system, looking for better drainage and so forth. 

So as not to make life too tedious, here are some simple interior ideas that can make the long cold months and the thaw of spring more pleasant.  Make your home a more rewarding environment by improving the appearance inside as well as outside. The goal is to wind up with a comfortable haven for those cold days still to come, icy nights and brisk mornings.

Here are some fix-it ideas that you can do very easily:
1. Organizational Tasks: Gain more efficiency in your home by reorganizing and removing clutter from closets, drawers and cabinets. Start with your kitchen pantry (yuck). Buy clear storage containers and put labels on to rid the pantry of half-filled boxes or bags of snacks, grains and such.

2. Get yourself a label machine. They are easy to use and you can print with large letters for easy readability. The older I get the more I think about readability issues.  You can find good label machines at any office supply store.

3. Look for ways to create triangular lighting for every room in your home. Lamps don't always have to go on tables. Consider a free standing floor lamp. Place it behind a lounge chair and turn the area into a good place to read. Solar lights placed in strategic places outdoors add a great ambiance to your front and back yard which only enhances the mood when you throw a party outdoors. It's great for that curb appeal too.

4. By placing lights in a triangular placement around a room, you will balance out the lighting and eliminate most dark corners or spots.

5. When hanging artwork, look for ways to alternate walls. In other words, if you have art on one wall, leave the next wall alone. Don't turn the room into a museum arrangement with art on every wall.  Too much of a good thing is simply "too much".

6. Display accessories on alternating surfaces as well. Don't feel the need to cover every surface. The eye needs a place to rest within the room as well as on the walls.  Grouping "like kinds" together helps to eliminate clutter and each piece becomes more important with grouped with other pieces of a similar color or surface. For instance, group glassware together.  Group metal together. Group wood together. Don't group glassware, metal and wood together in one grouping.  Most of the time odd numbers in a grouping work best.  

7. Start adding in those scented candles to enhance the mood of a room. Consider hiding some scented air fresheners. Many have a built in night light that turns itself off in the daytime.

8. When you want to anchor a furniture arrangement, separate two sections of a room or simply add more color or pattern, the area rug is the perfect solution. Area rugs can be used successfully on hardwood floors, tile floors and even on wall to wall carpeting. Use a pad to eliminate shifting. You can buy padding that is suitable for the type of flooring under the area rug.  

Accessories are some of the most important additions to any room because they reflect the individual personality of the dweller. Don't skimp on them, either in quality or quantity.

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