In total self disclosure I was a crazy lady on a mission yesterday! Well that is probably true of many days, but yesterday I was particularly crazed. If you happened to read my previous blogs like this one on hosting guests, you have probably already surmised I'm a little over the top when it comes to organizing. I realized long ago that my consistently inconsistent tendencies were cause to compensate, thus adapting OCD behaviors.
It's true, all those personality assessments I've done over the years prove it. I've learned to accept and LOVE that I have gained a talent for and a love of the saying "A place for everything and everything in it's place."
It's why Dave and I have made it our goal to create the biggest, bad ass pantries and closets in every one of our home renovations so homeowners can organize til their little hearts desire.
There....I'm glad I got that out on the table! Now.....back to the story.
Do you have a room that is your albatross and you don’t know where to start to make it feel like home? One of the things stymieing homeowners is getting hung up on defining the style they want. Whether it is industrial, farmhouse, mid-century modern, bohemian, shabby chic, or traditional design styles that inspire you, it’s easy to achieve the look while still keeping core pieces that fit into many categories of design.
Your style doesn’t need to be specific to one of the many out there. In fact, I’m giving you permission to break the rules. With one exception, when designing your room create a look that speaks to you. One that emulates a feeling you want to achieve when you walk in the door every night after work.
First, forget about following all the trends. For example, the farmhouse movement took the world by storm in 2018. This doesn’t mean that if you are drawn to one element that you need to run out and buy every piece of buffalo check, grab every galvanized container you can find or replace all your vases with vintage milk glass. Nor do you need to replace every core piece of furniture.
Instead as you begin to define or refine your design style take into consideration these questions we ask our clients when we renovate a home.
As always we love your comments and your insights. We love to learn from our readers!
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.
Angela and Dave Schrad
DIY to décor, get inspired by their ideas, resources and projects.