Real-mom life hacks for an imperfectly perfect life from Busy Philipps

Your house is spotless, your children are well behaved, and every night there’s a beautiful home-cooked meal on the table. Just how do you do it? The answer: You don’t. From 1960s how-to guides portraying the perfect mother to today’s Pinterest-crazed super moms, there’s always been pressure on women to do it all. But in reality, it’s unrealistic, and moms today are saying: “That’s OK.” “Being a mom, you quickly learn to let go of trying to perfect every aspect of your life,” says actress and mom Busy Philipps. “So rather than trying to perfect things, I rely on tools …

Save energy and money this holiday season

The holidays are a wonderful time of year to gather and celebrate with family and friends. This time of year is also when expenses can soar, especially your utility bills. Thankfully, Chip Wade, HGTV(R) expert, has some advice on how you can save energy, and, ultimately, money, this holiday season: * Holiday lighting: By choosing ENERGY STAR certified decorative light strings, you will be using 75 percent less energy than conventional incandescent light strands. Want to save more energy? Use a timer for your lights to control when they will turn on and off. * Prevent heat loss: Find and seal air leaks in …

That ’70s home: 5 trends making a comeback today

Disco may be dead, but the spirit of the 1970s is not. In homes all across the country, people are adding their own splash of ‘70s style in updated, modern ways. Here are five current top decorating trends that have an unmistakable ‘70s flair. * More macramé, please. From dip dyed wall hangings to simple plant hangers, macramé is coming back in a big way. Whether you purchase these items already made or you enroll in a class to make them yourself, macramé offers an easy way to add texture and an artistic touch to your home. * Groovy colors. The blazing …

Throw a holiday party like a professional

As much as holidays are about tradition, many have an insatiable drive to outdo the festivities of years past and make this holiday season the most memorable yet. How can you outshine yourself this holiday season? The answer is simple: Think big. Don’t be confined to the party supplies you have around your house; stretch out and rent equipment like professional party planners use. Here are some ideas to jump-start your holiday party planning. 1. Serve your food the right way. Preparing a holiday meal is a labor of love, but even for small gatherings, it can be a real challenge …

8 gifts to enjoy all year long

With the holiday season in full swing, many people are heading to a local department store, or their favorite website, to tick off their holiday shopping lists. While some gifts are fun for the instant gratification they provide, it is nice to give goods that can be enjoyed for months, and years, to come. If you’re looking to impress this year, here are eight gift ideas your loved ones will be able to enjoy all year long. Whole-home connectivity: Do you have a friend who is always complaining about their home internet? Tired of playing tech support for your family? …

Coasting while hosting: 5 ways to keep your holiday spirit at your next party

5 ways to keep your holiday spirit at your next party Many of us are already looking forward to hosting holiday gatherings this year — decorating our homes, whipping up festive foods, planning fun activities and surrounding ourselves with the warmth of family and friends. In fact, one recent survey found 67 percent of U.S. consumers host and prepare food for holiday events, while another predicts we’ll be spending an average $172 on such entertaining this season. As enjoyable as hosting is, however, the preparations can be time-consuming. In a survey by Wakefield Research for BJ’s Wholesale Club this year, 26 percent of U.S. …

Stress-busting speed-cleaning tips for the holidays

It’s no secret the holiday season can be one of the busiest and most stressful times of the year. What is one of the biggest sources of stress? It’s cleaning on a deadline, especially while guests are on their way. But with the right plan in place, even last-minute pre-entertainment cleaning can be efficient and stress-free, says Debra Johnson, Merry Maids home cleaning expert. In an online survey conducted this spring by Toluna, more than half of respondents admitted that most of their cleaning takes place just before guests arrive. With a bit more focus, this preparation can be quick …

Parade of Homes at Witherspoon

Witherspoon development in Brentwood was the site of the  2017 Pinnacle Financial Partners Parade of Homes™.           Sponsored by the Home Builders Association of Middle Tennessee (HBAMT), the event featured an impressive cast of local construction professionals and interior designers.         The houses ranged from Castle Homes’ 6,748 square foot contemporary English Country house to Ford Custom Classic Homes’ 9,000 square foot home, which the builder describes as Rustic Elegance.         The six builders included Barlow Builders, Castle Homes, Ford Custom Classic Homes, Legend Homes, and Schumacher Homes, and Stonegate …

November/December

About the Cover
Castle Homes’ English Country house, recently seen in the Parade of Homes, is transformed into a magical Christmas setting by designer Richard Edwards, of Maxi B. Home with Summer Classics furniture. Photo by Reed Brown Photography.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

One of the basic tenets of sustainable design is reduce, reuse, recycle. Yet, we often see residential projects, both new construction, and renovations, that ignore this basic principle. The U.S Green Building Council estimates nearly 30 percent of the waste generated in the United States is from the construction industry with half of the nearly 325 millions tons of waste coming directly from residential construction. These figures are staggering and, sadly, are only one side of the puzzle. We haven’t even quantified the emissions or energy needed to power these homes after they are built nor have we looked at …