How to throw a fun themed holiday party

(BPT) – This year, why not choose a fun theme for your holiday party? You can create a great atmosphere while providing entertainment for all ages with a little creativity — and local resources. You could do the usual “white elephant” gift swap, or hold an ugly sweater competition, but that’s so last year — why not brainstorm a few new ideas? Silver screen soiree How about designing your party around a favorite movie? Choose a film or movie franchise that means a lot to you and your crew. Is it something you all grew up on? Or a current …

3 things that may go wrong if you don’t winterize your house

(BPT) – Fall is here, which means, like it or not, cold weather is just around the corner. While most of us would prefer not to think about turning on our heat just yet, this is actually the best time to check your heating to ensure everything is operating as it should. Neglecting to winterize your home and letting small issues pile up can have big repercussions. Ahead of the winter season, HomeServe, a leading provider of service plans, repair and installation services for the home, wants to make sure you’re aware of three major things that may go wrong …

Mother Nature inspires ‘new neutral’ home design trends

(BPT) – Many interior designers gravitate toward grays or whites as a starting point when building a home’s look and feel, but a new trend is emerging. Homeowners are getting back to basics and finding ways to bring the outdoors in by using neutral earth tones as their blank slate. These wood tones have become the “new neutral” for those beginning their brand-new home design. No matter your style — modern, eclectic or anything in between — the toned-down hues of natural-looking wood surfaces are the perfect starting point for building a versatile, relaxing and high-end look in your home. …

Simple and Fresh Ways to Bring Color to Your Home

There’s something so fun about redecorating your home. Next time you revamp, check out these ways to bring color to your home—you won’t regret it! Decorating the rooms in your home adds such an intimate personality to a house that would otherwise feel dull. The power of decoration, of color, and of personal style play a huge role in making a house feel more like a home. If drab neutrals no longer hold any appeal, or you just generally want to add a pop of color to your space, check out these different ways to bring color to your home. …

The Most Necessary Steps for Finishing a Basement

Have an unfinished basement? It may be time to finally complete and utilize it. We outline a few of the most important steps for finishing a basement. So, you want to transform the lowest level of your home into a space you can finally utilize. Before undertaking this project, you must understand the entire process first. Below, we cover a few of the most important steps for finishing a basement. Step 1: Obtain Local Building Permits If you choose to finish your basement, we recommend acquiring a permit through your city to prove you constructed it safely. Having a permit …

Common House Problems to Keep an Eye Out For

Your home should be a relaxing haven, not a place riddled with problems. Don’t let those get the best of you: watch out for these common household problems. No place is quite as relaxing as your home. If problems strike, however, they can cause quite the headache—not to mention a money drain. Be wary of these common house problems, and deal with them as soon as they arise. Faulty heating or air conditioning Nothing is more uncomfortable than a house that’s too hot or too cold. All too often, though, people have issues with their heating or air conditioning. Worst …

7 Ideas to Improve Curb Appeal

(Family Features) Whether you’re hoping to sell in the near future or simply looking to touch up outdated areas, there’s one aspect of home maintenance most homeowners agree is important: curb appeal. It’s a broad term that may reference any number of visible features, meaning there are plenty of ways to enhance the appearance of your house. Consider these ideas – some big, some small – for bringing new life to your home’s look from the experts at the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. Swap Out Your Front Door As one of the first things a guest, passerby or …

A Creative Twist on Halloween Carving

(Family Features) When it comes to Halloween, carving the same pumpkin designs each year can become routine. This year, save a pumpkin and carve your spooky masterpiece into a watermelon instead. Nutrient-rich watermelon can be a healthy alternative to other sweet treats full of added sugar during Halloween festivities as it’s a source of vitamins A and C as well as the antioxidant lycopene and the amino acid citrulline. Because they are made up of 92% water, watermelons can be an effective way to stay hydrated during trick-or-treating, and creations like a Mummy or Jack O’Melon can help satisfy sweet …

4 Ways to Treat and Trick Your Pet this Fall

(Family Features) The autumn season offers plenty of reasons to celebrate: nostalgic flavors, pretty leaves and a seasonal wardrobe change. Fall also typically features event calendars full of festivals, trips to pumpkin patches and hikes to take in the crisp air. While taking advantage of all the season has to offer, there are also ways to incorporate your furry friend into your favorite fall activities. Consider these tips for making the most out of the season, and visit temptationstreats.com and greenies.com for more information on treating your pet. Get Cozy with Your Pet If the sound of a good book …

An Easy, Stylish Decorating Upgrade

A wall-mount door makes more room for fun (Family Features) Fall is the perfect time to make space-saving upgrades to your house. For example, consider swapping out a traditional swinging door for a smooth-gliding, wall-mounted sliding door. A sliding door can add up to 14 square feet of floor space, which allows for more room to spread out toys and games, and give a more spacious feel to nearly any room. They also allow for more flexibility in furniture arrangements, which can turn even the smallest nook in your house into a cozy space. It’s easy to do with an …