There is nothing more meaningful than a show stopping wedding favor to have guests ooo'ing and ahhh'ing about your day. And we are especially fond of really cool gifts for groomsmen and your bridal party too. So, we've rallied some of our favorite recommendations together. If you are lacking in the idea department check out these cool finds.
Want something personalized? We are partial to these adorable OLIVE YOU favors by Emilia. But if that isn't your thing, check out her Etsy shop. She can do just about anything. And who doesn't like something personalized?
I found these awesome chalkboards online and decided I needed to create something fun for Christmas. I loved the idea of combining a wreath and some handwriting but dang pre-made wreaths are expensive. I had some garland lying around from another project and thought why not? As it turned out I got 3 wreaths out of one garland and a little extra left over for something else....I'm not sure what yet. Here is what you will need to create the entire project.
“You flip houses? I want to do that. How do I get started?” We are asked this many times over. The question is usually followed by a knowing smile between Dave and I. Our response begins with the word “flip". The definition of flip, meaning to turn over, upturn, or capsize is the most inaccurate definition of why we do what we do. People don’t buys sticks and bricks, they buy a feeling and we carefully choose houses that we can restore (not flip) into someone’s forever home. One they feel connected to. If you are considering investing in a real estate renovation, consider these 10 tips.
It's the time of year when I start combing through my “must read” list getting ready to curl up next to the fire with a great novel. As an avid reader and author I’m a bit addicted to books. I must credit my Grandma, Mo who bought me my first series of Little House on the Prairie books, and all the babysitting gigs allowing me to fund the purchase of the entire series of Sweet Valley High books. Mostly, the credit goes to my high school English teacher, Ms. Reidler for helping encourage my love for reading. She made me work hard to find the meaning behind the words. That was a priceless gift.
Its Back to School Time… Every year as summer comes to a close I hear rumblings from parents, myself included, uttering comments such as, “I think it is time for school to start” accompanied by the “you know what I’m talking about” look.
…And we are in full sweet corn mode. Sweet corn is an almost nightly summer treat at our house. We love trying sweet corn from around the state and decided WE WANT MORE and we want it all year long.
Canning wasn’t in the cards so we opted for a simpler approach at preserving those golden kernels and enlisted the pro I know, my mother in law, Donita. Freezing corn has been a long time family affair. An entire day with all hands on deck was spent “putting up” corn for their family of 8 each summer. Her simple recipe is a great way to reserve those yummy kernels to be used in any recipe you wish throughout the year. And as you can see, Dave is a pro. In full disclosure this day in the kitchen was all about my husband. I served as his sous chef and official gopher.
Airbnb has taught us a LOT. Explore some fantastic tips on how to save time and stress less when hosting your next guests.
The Iowa State Fair, Adel Sweet Corn Festival, our many bike trails, and RAGBRAI which means more summer guests looking for our hospitality. While the anticipation of connecting with friends and family is exciting, we can’t ignore the pressure we put on ourselves to make a guests stays memorable.
When we began to Airbnb our home, Harmony Retreat in Springfield, NE and later added Harmony Bungalow in Adel, IA and Harmony Hall also in Adel, (yep! That’s right, we even airbnb our event venue for overnight indoor “camping” or “glamping” nights) I realized a few time savers and tricks that eased the anxiety of turning our home in just a few short hours for new visitors. We went from aching backs and sometimes panic to creating a simple system that makes hosting fun and stress free.
RELAX! It doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s true, people notice certain things when they enter your home. It isn’t the shiny kitchen you painstakingly spent hours cleaning. It’s not the vacuum lines that look like you hired a professional. And I’m sorry it isn’t the dust-bunny free ceiling fans your guests’ anticipated arrival may, or may not have prompted. Although, if you’ve checked that box give your self a high-five!
Guests’ want a clean home and you expect to give that to them. But what they notice is the comfort of your home, the feeling that welcome’s them and says, “This is your home too. Snuggle in and relax” Invest your time adding little touches. Floral arrangements, extra throw pillows and varied light sources create a comfortable environment.
As a frequent traveler & early riser panic sets in when I’m trying to get my first coffee fix of the day on the road. Followed closely by internet access. As a welcome gift to our guests’ we created a hospitality cart complete with a Keurig and all the fixings, bottled water, a few favorite snacks, reading material, and Wi-Fi instructions. This one by Craftaholics Anonymous is totes adorbs…just add some coffee!!
Create a cute display of extra toiletries in the bathroom. Restock as they are used.
Cut down on laundry by using disposable wipes like Clorox Clean Ups, to clean counters and baths.
The goal is to create efficiencies in hosting so that you are in a mindset to relax and enjoy the special people in your lives! Happy Hosting!
We would love to hear your ideas. Please share them here or on our Facebook page @harmonyhomes14.
“And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me”. Ahhh! The words of Lee Greenwood get me every time. The 4th of July is one of our favorite holidays at Restoration Harmony and decorating for the holiday gives us the chance to show our patriotism and how much we LOVE AMERICA and all of those heroes who have fought for our country and each of us. It is also time for us to gather with family, host a grill out, eat, drink and enjoy fireworks and all things SUMMER…think watermelon, corn on the cob and a big ol burger! YUM! If you are planning a 4th of July bash I’m SERIOUSLY going to make it easy for you with these simple DIY décor ideas, and red, white and blue themed apps and drinks. Enjoy!
Okay so how adorable are these? Our girls LOVE to dip chocolate strawberries, add a touch of sugar sprinkles and voila! You look like a pro and your guests will gobble them up.
You don’t have to be a professional to restyle your home. Jump start your summer refresh without breaking the bank with these helpful hints.
As spring turns to summer we get the itch to refresh our homes. And, we know you get all itchy too, as requests for us to redesign and restyle your homes increase in May and June. It goes something like this.
Shop your home. It’s free! Pilfer from other rooms in your home. If you have a lot of energy, completely empty the room, leaving only foundational pieces. Then slowly gather furnishings and décor that work with your master plan. Repurpose with what you already have. That serving tray taking up space in your pantry, placed atop your coffee table with a few vases filled with greenery, is a great example.
Set a budget and shop for pieces that will create a layered look. Varied textures and textiles create warmth and help ground a room. Don’t be afraid to mix metals, woods, plants, and fabrics. Hanging macramé planters, along with wall art and pillows seems to be popping up everywhere. Who knew they would make a comeback? Add galvanized photo frames, a favorite heirloom coffee table, cream accent lamps and accessories next to a well-used leather sofa tricks the eye into focusing on the contrasting hues instead of that sofa you used to loathe. Image by Birch Lane
Lighten your bedding. Buy a duvet cover in a light color to replace your current comforter. Add pops of color with throw pillows for a crisp look.
Speaking of pillows, don’t ditch your old throw pillows. Search for vibrant pillow covers instead.
Add an accent wall. Contrasting hues draw the eye to a focal point. Accents walls distract from imperfections and highlight your home’s best features. Paint is always an easy solution. But what about shiplap and barn wood on the wall? Both are hot trends right now. LVT (luxury vinyl tile) found in most box stores, comes in thousands of styles, is inexpensive and relatively easy to install, even on a wall! Check out this example from Wayfair.
Consider updating cabinet hardware & outdated fixtures in your kitchen and bathrooms.
As you embark on your summer edits, consider the words of Salvador Dali: “Have no fear of perfection. You’ll never reach it”. Instead, have fun and resist overthinking. Shop yard sales, thrift shops, auctions, and local retailers for fun and unique finds. The hunt for that perfect finds can be just as enjoyable as the end results.
Need some more inspiration? Check out some of our work.
A Dream Design Challenge
In every home we do, we fall in love with certain aspects of our renovations. Our entire family agreed this beauty was one we could all just snuggle into and be perfectly happy. All four kiddos even claimed their own room! It was a design dream come true. We hope you stop back and check out our Devonshire story on one of our next blogs.
Go ahead, take a peek at one of our most fav home designs. And stay tuned for some great blog posts featuring before photos of this and other renovations.
Angela and Dave Schrad
DIY to décor, get inspired by their ideas, resources and projects.