Each year, Americans festoon their homes and businesses with holiday decorations of varying sizes, shapes and colors. But for some people, all that festive fluff is overwhelming.
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Home and Garden
What happens to a home when it is not properly maintained? After a while, things tend to start falling apart, don’t they?
In the 1980s, dhurrie rugs from India, with their bright colors, geometric designs and sturdy flat weaves, were all the rage. In 1983, one of the first things my husband and I selected for our new apartment in Washington was a $499 red and white 9-by-12-foot dhurrie rug from the Kellogg Collection. I wish I still owned it.
I think it’s likely safe to say we don’t usually think about mistletoe except during the holidays (unless you live in Oklahoma, where it is their state plant). In the 18th century, mistletoe was hung during holiday festivals and men would steal kisses from women under it. One berry was removed for every kiss received. When the berries were gone, so were the kisses. Yet beyond this timeless tradition, I suspect most of us take for granted the backstory to this fascinating and very real plant.
Tradition claims that it was the bubonic plague in the 14th century that inspired the creation of beer steins. Many people had noticed that there were more deaths in filthy places in town than in clean sections, and that there were clouds of insects along with the illness in Central Europe.
Dear Heloise: I was going to toss out an old 18-bottle wine rack. My husband took it to the garage and filled the rack with old golf shoes and tennis shoes. It’s nice to have all those shoes in a neat place and easy to locate. Guess wine racks can hold more than just wine! — Mary Anderson in Las Vegas
The busiest room in the house in the coming weeks is going to be the kitchen. And no matter if it’s a roast turkey or a glazed ham that’s about to go in the oven, anything that can make the effort a little easier and less time consuming is welcome.
Say “wreath,” and the beloved evergreen standard comes to mind — unadorned or dressed for the holiday season with lights, bows, fruit or ornaments.
People seem to have two perspectives on decorating fireplace mantels for the holidays. Some see this long piece of wood as a stage for their masterpiece. To others, it seems more like a gangplank — decorating this key focal point feels intimidating.
Q: Will my eggplant plant continue to produce through the fall and winter?
They just don’t make holiday decorations like they used to.
I’m not sure where the term “laundry day blues” came from, but maybe it’s because most laundry rooms are depressing. They don’t excite our fun side.
Postmodernist is one of the newest styles in the United States. Walt Disney World’s Swan Hotel, with a 47-foot swan on each side of the roof, and its Dolphin Hotel with two 56-foot dolphins on the roof, are examples.
Q: Should I cut my grapes back now or wait until spring?
There’s no doubt that a majority of the fun and joy of the holidays comes from decorating your abode. Picking the right Christmas tree, pulling out your grade-school ornaments that still leave traces of glitter everywhere, hanging lights that make your electric bill skyrocket … it’s all in the name of the holiday spirit. But how do you push, shove and stuff all of that good cheer into a 300-square-foot studio or teeny-tiny one-bedroom apartment?
Decorating my Christmas tree is the most magical moment of the holiday season for me. There is something so exciting about taking a plain pine and turning it into a shining star, the visual and emotional epicenter of your home’s hymn to the holidays.
Q: I have vinyl-sheet flooring in my bathroom. It’s curling up in several places and looks terrible. Is there a way to make it stay down?
Holiday decorations in the U.S. are often symmetrical: Two candles on either side of the mantel, a round wreath in the center of the door, a centerpiece with matching sprigs of holly and pine on each side.
The holiday season is truly about entertaining and going all out. So why not add a little bit of sparkle and bling while still being true to the traditional spirit often associated with the holiday decor? When it comes to being creative, I suggest experimenting with some new materials this holiday season such as materials that have high sheen, tactile materials, reflective surfaces and nontraditional color palettes such as black and white.
It’s that time of year again. Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah or nothing at all, you can’t help but get a little bit of spirit. And if for some genetic reason you don’t, the rest of us must be really annoying.
For designer Betsy Stires, accent chairs are a decorating treat. They’re mobile pieces, easy to move from room to room, and a quick way to spruce up a dull space and express personal style. They add flair.
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