A Home Fit for a Party

 

The season of giving and get-togethers is around the corner. Add warmth to your celebrations by creating a comfortable and inviting aesthetic from the moment your guests step inside your home.

Welcome Guests with an Inviting Entryway

Your front entryway is the first impression you give to your guests; make it count with maximum curb appeal. The color you choose for your front door serves as a reflection of your personal style. Check out our post on front door upgrades to explore some of the latest trends. Simple additions such as potted plants or welcome mats go a long way toward creating a welcoming entrance for your guests. Strong lighting, a large awning, and seating by the door helps create a nicer environment for anyone who might need to wait for you—especially if it rains or happens to be very sunny and bright out.

 

Barn Doors for Flexibility and Open Space

Transform your space with sliding barn doors that dramatically open up the layout of your home. Barn doors offer the flexibility to create fluidity between rooms, creating larger open spaces for hosting big parties while still providing the option of a more intimate atmosphere for smaller gatherings.

Sometimes it’s nice to close off the kitchen from the rest of the house. Depending on the layout of your home, barn doors in the kitchen are a great solution to improve the flow. They allow hosts the option of keeping things calm for guests in the living room while managing busy activity in the kitchen as meals or drinks are prepared.  

 

Elevate Your Dining Room with an Elegant Centerpiece

Whether you’re hosting a massive holiday get-together or a simple dinner with friends, an elegant centerpiece will impress your guests before you even begin serving. Extravagance is not necessary to achieve a beautiful centerpiece. Simple greenery such as branches from a eucalyptus or olive tree, paired with candles, makes for a lovely table focal point. Here are more easy centerpiece ideas from Martha Stewart.

 

 

Small details make a big difference when it comes to your table settings. Bundles of rosemary or lavender delicately tied to cloth napkins look lovely and provide the added benefit of a subtle aroma to your dining room. Incorporating candles into your centerpiece also dramatically improves the room’s ambiance, but be mindful of candles with strong scents that could overpower the delicious smells of the meal you have prepared.

Upgrade an Outdoor Space

Depending on the season and climate, an outdoor area can be the perfect place for entertaining. Take it a step further and upgrade your grill for some serious outdoor cooking. An outdoor fireplace will further enhance your space as well as open the possibility of utilizing the space during colder months.

 

Blur Boundaries with Patio Doors

Much like barn doors inside the home, folding or sliding patio doors can significantly open up your space and blur the boundaries between inside and out. In addition to allowing guests to transition easily between environments, having an indoor/outdoor space in your home makes the house feel beautifully expansive.

Achieving Hygge in the Home

 

Hygge, pronounced hue-gah, is a Danish term that stems from the Norwegian word for “well-being.” There’s no direct English translation, but broadly speaking, the word hygge embodies the feelings of warmth and contentment that come from enjoying life’s simple pleasures. From sipping a warm cup of tea to a snuggling up with a good book, hygge is about slowing down and finding joy in the little things. It is not something that can be bought in stores; rather, it is a way of life.

While hygge is most often associated with cold weather and winter, the coziness of it can be felt year-round no matter the location or the weather. Thoughtful details in design and décor are an essential part of achieving hygge within the home, so we have rounded up some easy ideas for creating it in your home.

To learn more about the concept, check out Meik Wiking’s The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living.

Get Cozy with Candles

There are few things more hygge than relaxing by the light of a flickering candle. Candles create a warm and intimate setting that is impossible to replicate with artificial lighting.

Scented candles are especially great: aromatherapy has been empirically proven to enhance positive emotions and relaxation. Check out Apartment Therapy’s list of the best scented candles for achieving instant hygge on any budget.

 

Relax in a Spa-Like Bathroom

Your bathroom has so much more potential than a place for a quick shower. It should be the epicenter of self-care in the home. A few renovations and additions could transform your washroom into a hygge-worthy oasis perfect for at-home spa days and relaxation.

You might consider installing new tiles on the floor or in the shower, investing in a jetted tub or giving the room a serene new paint color. But in the bathroom, you don’t have to go big to go hygge: Small details such as soft towels, a new shower head, humidity-happy plants, scented candles and wall art can dramatically improve the atmosphere. For more inspiration on creating a luxurious spa-like bathroom, check out these 65 calming bathroom retreats from Southern Living.

 

Keep it Calm with Balanced Neutrals

While we are all for the occasional burst of color, overstimulation of the eyes can be tiring and get old quickly. The Danes typically avoid loud colors and stick with monochromatic color schemes with subtle tonal incorporation. You can’t go wrong with a neutral color palette when trying to achieve a serene environment at home. Soothing tones like creams, browns, pale blues and light grays promote relaxation. Pastel colors such as lavender or sage green are also great for achieving mellow hygge vibes.

 

This being said, if you are a big fan of vibrant colors in the home, don’t worry. You can still incorporate strong color while maintaining a relaxing feel, but balance is key. Posh Coloring Studio has some great hygge-inspired color schemes that will fit a variety of styles.

 

Bring Warmth Through Textures

Fill your home with things you like to touch. No matter what your climate, soft and plush blankets and pillows inspire feelings of comfort and warmth. Faux fur throws, pillows and rugs add a luxurious coziness to any space, especially during the colder winter months. Pairing a furry throw with the sleek, smooth surface of a leather couch or crisp cotton sheets will enliven your senses, providing feelings of essential comfort that we sometimes take for granted.

 

Energize with Fresh Flowers & Houseplants

Houseplants and fresh flower bouquets can instantly brighten and energize the home. Besides enhancing the atmosphere of your home, indoor plants offer a wide array of benefits. In general, plants release oxygen and absorb the carbon dioxide we exhale, working to enhance and purify the air we breathe. Many indoor plants take it a step further and actually remove harmful toxins from the air. Check out HGTV’s list of 10 plants that look great and purify your home’s air at the same time.

 

You don’t need a green thumb to feel hygge from greenery in the home. Fresh-cut flower bouquets are a great option for those not looking to take on the responsibility of caring for a houseplant. They’re equally beautiful and offer some unexpected benefits as well: One interesting study has shown that investing in fresh flowers throughout the home actually encouraged homeowners to keep a tidier home.

Feelings of hygge can be found not only from the appearance of lovely bouquets but also from the process of preparing and arranging the bouquets. The ancient Japanese art of flower arranging, Ikebana, offers some insights into why this activity can feel so replenishing.

 

Declutter the Danish Way

A clean and tidy home can do wonders for the soul. Visibly decluttering your home is a great way of achieving hygge, but we know that can be easier said than done. That’s where storage systems come in: The right interior door can help you beautifully conceal the trinkets and treasures you’re just not ready to part with, providing you with the best of both worlds. Stylish cabinetry and shelving are another great way of maintaining an orderly aesthetic.

If you haven’t already, check out our post on using interior doors to conceal the areas of organization in your home.

Spooky Style: Halloween Décor for a Haunting Entryway

Christmas is still tops for outdoor holiday decorating, but with so many amazing design options for every style, Halloween is becoming quite the contender on the seasonal décor stage. From glam and ghoulish to classic jack o’ lantern displays, upgrading your home’s Halloween look has never been easier or more fun!

 

Subtle & Spooky

Boasting a rich autumnal palette of burgundy, scarlet and orange leaves, Grandin Road’s Haunted Graveyard Greenery is elegant and spooky! Sculpted-foam skeleton heads and plastic bony fingers punctuate the garland and wreath and are certain to cause guests to do a double take, while faux tendrils of white Spanish moss add a little ghostly movement.

 

Scarecrow Chic

Looking for an understated Halloween addition to your otherwise fall harvest-inspired door décor? We love this set of powder-coated clip-on crows from Pottery Barn. Just affix them to your greenery, string lights, or even around the door, and voila! An instant haunted look.

 

Modern Sparkle

Covered in bright pumpkins, sparkly sugar skulls, matte-black bats, shiny orbs, and pretty purple tinsel, this shatterproof wreath is a fun, modern centerpiece for your Halloween door. Available at Amazon, the wreath is especially great for high-traffic entrances and safe for curious little hands!

 

Pumpkins Galore

Is there a more recognizable grin than the classic jack o’ lantern? Put away the carving knife and line your porch or pathway with these cute iron pumpkin lanterns from Crate & Barrel.

 

These stitched burlap pumpkin lights from Pottery Barn are absolutely charming, and we think they would look perfect in a Halloween window display.

For a rustic Halloween welcome, Pottery Barn’s galvanized metal pumpkin candleholders are a beautiful addition to a cozy, farmhouse-style porch.

Say hello to the Imax Worldwide Jack O’Lantern Greeter! Crafted of iron and standing tall at just over four feet, the winged, gilded pumpkin is intended for indoor use but would be more than welcome on a covered porch.

 

Tricks, Treats & Freaky Figurines 

Handcrafted using an ancient sand-cast method and finished in faux antique bronze, the cast-iron Knock-Jaw Skull Greeter from Lowe’s is a fun touch for Halloween and substantial enough for scary welcomes all year long!

 

Wondering what kind of candy to hand out this year? The Mystic Eye animated doorbell from Lowe’s could hold the answers you seek! The battery-operated doorbell says several spooky and silly phrases, and the lighted, coloring-changing eye moves side to side.

 

Fourteen inches tall and poised to pounce on unsuspecting guests, this classic black skeleton cat boasts a bendable tail and moveable head and jaw, and is made of glossy, all-weather plastic.

If you’re looking for a real scare, clowns can do the trick. These creepy clown-head pathway markers deliver spooky lighting for the Halloween season.

New Look: Exterior Door Trends for Every Style

As we head into fall, the changes all around us can inspire us to make changes around our home, too. A new front door, for example, can transform the entire look of a home. From elegant custom wood entries and bold paint colors to the latest ways to use decorative glass and windows, here are some of our favorite ways to update an entry.

 

Go Bold

 

The trend of bright, bold front doors is here to stay, and Modern Masters® front door paint guarantees an eye-catching welcome. The company created their color palette by utilizing the emotional color wheel and the latest in color and home design trends from around the world. Take advantage of the lovely fall weather with this project. If you’re repainting an existing door, keep in mind you’ll need to have that door open for a few hours, so start in the morning and enjoy the weather while you work. And if you’re planning to paint a replacement door, JELD-WEN Smooth-Pro Fiberglass doors arrive primed and ready to paint—with dozens of different designs to choose from.

 

The Look of Rich, Rustic Wood: From Fiberglass to Wood

Whether you have a quaint cottage, a contemporary condo, or a palatial Mediterranean-inspired estate, a beautiful wood entry door will never go out of style. Your selection of woodgrain, stain, glass, hardware, and more from a large variety of options can create an almost custom look that complements your architectural style. If you like the look of wood for your front door, you actually have a choice of material: wood or fiberglass.

 

Our IWP® Aurora® fiberglass doors are made by hand. Through a special process, they replicate the woodgrain of the species chosen; artisans then add knots and character marks to achieve an authentic appearance. Custom touches, like the iron speakeasy grille shown here, are also available. Aurora doors offer the rich beauty and warmth of wood with the durability and low maintenance of fiberglass.

 

For a contemporary entrance, our Architectural™ Collection is a premium line of fiberglass doors and matching fiberglass components—like the sidelites shown here— featuring an authentic woodgrain replication made possible by smart, modern technology. Each door begins by hand selecting the most beautiful pieces of wood to build a real wood door. A silicone casting then picks up the woodgrain, and with MasterGrain’s NVD technology, the finest details are transferred into a door mold, atom-by-atom. The result is a fiberglass door that replicates natural woodgrain characteristics and is virtually indistinguishable from real wood.

 

 

If wood is the best choice for you, make your decision based on the grain pattern, not the color. Each wood species has a different grain and accents and a unique appearance. A Custom™ Wood door is handmade. Our craftsmen touch every detail and spend weeks creating just one door. The four most popular woods used are oak, mahogany, knotty alder (shown here), and Douglas fir. After choosing the type of wood for your door, you can then select its color from a variety of stains.

 

Made from mahogany, these custom Craftsman doors each feature a trio of divided lites that complement the architectural style of the home. The rich stain accentuates the beauty of the woodgrain, upgrading this entryway from simple to stunning.

 

A grand home deserves an equally grand entrance, like these custom mahogany doors. The doors’ interlocking circles make a bold, graphic statement, while the dark stain stands out against the otherwise neutral home.

 

Pattern Meets Personality: Decorative Glass

Decorative glass creates an ornate entry. There are so many options from which to choose — texture, pattern, color, amount of transparency — to craft a distinct look for your door. You also have choices when it comes to the shape and placement of the glass within and around your door. (Think beyond squares and half circles.) You can opt for a door that’s mostly glass or choose a style that lets in only a hint of light.

 

After you choose your shape and layout, you have another decision to make: What kind of glass? Beveled glass creates a prism pattern when the sun hits. Textures such as a rippled or sanded effect give glass a dimensional look and reduce transparency (for increased privacy.) You can also add a tint to your glass. Many of our exterior doors are available with coordinating sidelites for a truly impactful presentation.

 

The design possibilities are endless with JELD-WEN® exterior doors. Start here to transform your entry.

Get Your Home Ready for the Holidays

The dropping temperatures and seasonal to-do lists of the holidays have a tendency to sneak up on us all. Stay one step ahead with these simple holiday renovation tips that will leave your home (and wallet) ready for the upcoming season.

Warm Up Your Living Room with a Fireplace Facelift

Winter often includes family making memories around a warm, crackling fireplace. Give your fireplace the holiday makeover it deserves with some easy upgrades, starting with your mantel: These installation instructions from This Old House will help you replace an outdated mantel with one that beautifully frames that glowing view.

 

Giving your mantel and hearth a fresh coat of paint is another fast and easy way to provide it with a budget-friendly update. Placing a mirror above your mantel mimics a window and provides a sense of open space and additional light.

 

It’s true that nothing beats the crackling of an authentic, wood-burning fireplace. However, replacing your wood fireplace with a gas, ethanol, or electric fireplace insert can save energy and reduce emissions from burning wood. Most of these installations are straightforward enough for a DIYer to achieve without outside help. To learn more about the different types, benefits, and installation requirements of wood fireplace alternatives, check out this detailed article from the guys at The Blazing Home.

 

Revamp Your Guest Room for Relaxation

Making sure loved ones are comfortable when visiting your home is essential, but it’s tough to take on a guest room makeover project during an already hectic season. That’s why early fall is a great time to start updating your guest room.

Rethinking the room’s color scheme is an excellent place to start. A fresh paint job and new bedding can do wonders for the ambiance of a room. For a relaxing feel, the experts at Houzz recommend decorating with cool and neutral tones — grays, icy blue, sage green, and muted lavender. For a moody, cozy vibe, Homedit recommends opting for rich browns, dark blues, and deep hunter greens. Accent decor in complementary colors and fun prints will add visual interest to your newly painted guest room.

The little things can go a long way in a guest room. Lightly scented candles or fresh flowers instantly improve the atmosphere of the room, while thoughtful amenities such as a bedside lamp, alarm clock, or television can help your guests feel more at home. Dark, heavy window dressings allow your guests ultimate control of the room’s lighting, giving them the option to sleep in comfortably. Small details such as these will make your guests’ stay that much nicer.

 

Give Your Kitchen a Fresh New Look

With family in town, your kitchen will be put to good use. A few simple tweaks will have your guests as impressed with your kitchen as they are with your cooking. If your budget allows, consider updating major appliances like your stove or refrigerator now so you can enjoy them throughout the holidays. Having the right tools in place can make a big difference in how smoothly your cooking plans go. If new appliances are not needed or within budget, think about what smaller and more affordable upgrades would truly enhance your kitchen.

 

The look of your cabinets has the potential to make or break your kitchen’s style, but replacing cabinet doors can be costly and usually requires outside help. Instead, work with what you have: Refinishing your cabinets is a fantastic way to give your kitchen a sweet new look while keeping costs low and outside help minimal.

 

Give your cabinets a thorough deep cleaning with soap and water. Once you have a tidy foundation, a fresh coat of paint and new hardware will bring life back to your kitchen. HGTV has some great tips for guiding you along a DIY cabinet refinishing project.

 

Winterize Your Pipes

Taking the necessary measures to protect your pipes now before temperatures drop can save you from major headaches and costs in the long run. Experts recommend that any preliminary steps be taken before Halloween. The cold weather that follows can cause the water in your pipes to freeze and expand, creating pressure within your pipes that can increase the risk of fracturing and bursting.

 

Piping in the home’s exterior, basement and attic are the most susceptible to freezing due to their exposure to cold air. Essentially any exposed area in the home is vulnerable to freezing, so it’s important to start by sealing any visible cracks around the exterior of the home. If your bathroom pipes extend to your home’s exterior, leave your bathroom cabinets and door open on the coldest days to encourage heat circulation. And don’t forget to leave both cold and hot taps dripping at a trickle throughout the coldest nights!

 

Insulating the pipes in your home can help avoid freezing, but unless you have plumbing experience, this task may be best left to the experts. If you’re planning to leave home for an extended period during the winter, taking these steps from The Balance will help prevent damage while you are away.

Check out our latest holiday Pinterest board for even more holiday renovation and decor inspiration.

Getting Organized in Style with Interior Doors: A Room-by-Room Guide

A place for everything and everything in its place, right?

From the kitchen pantry to the bedroom closet and every under-the-stairs storage nook in between, staying organized can be a battle, but thanks to a stylish selection of interior doors, we’ve got you covered.

Hallways & Staircases

We love old homes and all of their quirks, like this hallway with cleverly carved-out storage space. The Madison flat panel door offers simple, clean lines that let the home’s architectural details—like these arched passageways—take center stage, while keeping closet contents out of sight.

Available in 21 design styles that arrive primed and ready to paint, MODA® Collection interior doors are an ideal choice for updates of the DIY variety. The Craftsman-style door shown here complements its surroundings with clean lines and a contrasting hue. It’s also available as a ProCore® solid core door for noise reduction and increased durability in high-traffic areas such as hallways and stairway landings.

Create a new look for any space—including the cupboard under the stairs—with contemporary or classic style. Our Rockport™ interior door is offered with multiple configuration options and, like the rest of our molded interior doors, is available as a ProCore® solid core door. Its combination of style and durability will serve you for years to come.

Kitchen & Utility

DesignGlide™ soft-close barn door hardware transforms doors of any height into sliding barn doors. Available in a matte black or satin nickel finish, DesignGlide hardware is a versatile, DIY option for homeowners—no reframing or buying custom doors required. The soft-close technology keeps the door from slamming shut; instead, it closes just like your kitchen drawers—softly, quietly and smoothly. Shown here with an Authentic Wood 6-lite door, DesignGlide provides easy access to an adjacent pantry and prep area.


A bi-fold door is a space-saving finishing touch to a beautifully-organized kitchen! The Cambridge™ molded door boasts squared panels for a clean, classic look, while its ovolo sticking profile adds dimension. Its simplicity gives it versatility, making this a great choice for many home styles.

An elegant dining room deserves an equally eye-catching closet door. With router-carved panels and sticking profiles for detail and definition, each door in the TRIA™ Collection C-Series is built to order and arrives primed and ready to paint.

Inside this room, the Santa Fe™ two-panel molded interior door complements the laundry area’s chair rail and wainscoting. Outside this room, the ProCore® solid core door helps things sound calm and quiet no matter how hard your washer and dryer are working.

Bed & Bath

From the Studio™ Collection of interior doors, this pair of contemporary pocket doors disappear into the background, allowing this amazing spa-like retreat to shine and keep its sleek lines unobstructed and completely serene.

Bypass closet doors and put your favorite outfits within easy reach without obstructing storage space. From the TRIA™ Collection, these mirrored bypass doors are as aesthetically pleasing as they are functional.

Streamlined and modern, this MODA® Collection mirror-panel pocket door creates a seamless transition between spaces.

From bed and bath to kitchen and pantry, there’s a JELD-WEN® interior door ready to help you conceal and reveal the spaces that keep you organized.