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Monday, December 29th, 2014

Five Good End-of-the-Year Cleanup Projects

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Well, it’s a cliche, but the end of the year brings a rush of organizing and swearing you’re going to abide by a few new systems. You probably won’t, but you should ride the wave of new year’s motivation and use it to get stuff done. Here are five ideas for putting that resolute energy to good use.

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1) Finally get those ornaments and other holiday decorations properly organized. This can mean designated ornament boxes (try the Container Store or use egg cartons), new labels, a better spot to store them and purging those popsicle stick God’s eyes your kid made thirty years ago that have completely unraveled. Along with this resolution is tossing the potentially hazardous Christmas lights. This is a great source for recycling them and benefiting a charity at the same time.

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2) While you’re in deep evergreen needle vacuuming mode, go to town with the attachments. Really get into those corners, clear the cobwebs from the moldings on the walls, flip up the sofa cushions and suck up that old piece of popcorn and pet hair.

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3) Clean up your finances. Hurry up and make those last minute write-off-able donations for 2014, and contribute to your Roth IRA and other savings if possible. If you have debt, make a plan for how you are going to take care of it in 2015. Research consolidation loans, take a long hard look at your budget and figure out what you need to cut to get the debt monkey off your back. Watch a few episodes of Extreme Couponing and get inspired. Every little bit will help.

While you’re at it, gather up your tax documents. While you’re doing that, figure out how to get rid of all this paper clutter and switch to digital bills and e-statements wherever you can.

Screen Shot 2014-12-29 at 12.19.27 PMpsssttt … shameless plug, follow us on Instagram

4) Speaking of a digital cleanup, here is one that is much more fun — sorting through your digital photos. Figure out what is a waste of space and ditch it. Upload photos you’d like your family to see to photo sharing services. Label your events so you can find things in the future, and be sure to use keywords. For example “soccer” or “Maine” or “costume” will help you find things in the future with ease. Send images to the cloud so you can save storage space on your devices.

4b2e1bbe6a68b9833ad7052ee040d921Illustration by George Hughes for The Saturday Evening Post

5) Clean a closet. This is a big one but I promise, it is SO satisfying. Take everything out and thoroughly clean from the cobwebs on the ceiling and light fixture to the corners of the floor. Do not let anything back in that 1) doesn’t fit 2) doesn’t look good 3) you cannot remember the last time your wore. There are people who need these items more than you do. Donate these things to them and give your newly cleaned closet some breathing room.

 

 

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Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

Winter Curb Appeal at the Front Door

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Yuletide season has just about reached its peak. It’s already got us thinking about taking everything down in a few days, which is always a bummer. No matter which holidays you celebrate, you can leave up welcoming winter decorations at your door until they wither and die. Or until the daffodils and tulips start to bloom, whichever comes first (then it’s time for pastels and brighter colors). Here are a few doors giving us the biggest winter curb appeal.1e557922bbf4202bb4857d6d8ec83bdb-1via acountryfarmhouse.blogspot.com

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The great thing about these window boxes is you can switch out the bows to change up the mood. The rest is just simple greens nestled in the box. 3ae018065da4e2c590caebf32c595d1c

A red berry wreath can be displayed from September to March and look perfectly suited to the season. Image via decorismo.com

18f552daee012ec92aea11e510384310Whether you’re covered in snow or live in a warmer climate, a citrus theme is a lovely winter decor alternative to the usual evergreens and berries. Wreath by Brandon Pruett, image via livinggreen.com.

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Lemon wreath image via foodista.com

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How do ya like them apples? We like them a lot. An apple and greens wreath is a great way to transition from holiday to the long months of winter ahead. Learn how to make this lovely wreath over at Brooklyn Limestone.

How’s your winter curb appeal working out? Please let us know how you’re making your home more inviting in the comments section; we’d love your tips and advice.

Are you on Pinterest? Be sure to check out all of our favorite holiday pins. And all of our favorite door pins.

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Saturday, December 20th, 2014

Simplifying the Decorating This Christmas

Becky

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How on Earth is it the last weekend before Christmas already? If you’re like me, you’ve barely begun to decorate, much less wrap your gifts or get cards out. Don’t fret. If you’re getting your home ready for relatives and friends, you can whip a little something into shape like you’re Martha Stewart with minimal effort. Here are a few ideas.

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Use your beautifully wrapped gifts as decor. This kills two birds with one stone. Brown paper packages tied up with string, accentuated with something simple — pom-poms, a colorful ball ornament or just a cute tag will show your giftee you put the effort in, and before they rip it open, it can serve as a decoration. If you are consistent with how you wrap, a grouping of coordinating packages makes a nice vignette.

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When the bough breaks … put it in a jar of water. Whether you forage in your yard or for scraps at the Christmas tree lot, small branches from spruces, pines, cedars, firs or other evergreens make a simple and modern holiday accent.

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Adding one of these small accents to the powder room will make it look like you’ve put a lot of effort into decorating the whole house, even when you haven’t.

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Speaking of branches, a bundle of bare ones will do. Look at how lovely this little bucket looks. Hang ornaments, snowflakes, red pom-poms or anything else that fits. While these are spray-painted silver, you don’t have to get that schmancy. Plain old sticks will do.

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Yards of ribbon. Whatever you’re hanging, make it stand out more by hanging it from a long length of lovely ribbon. We suggest red, gold, silver or green.

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Use your existing glassware. This simple tablescape is beautiful and modern, thanks to limiting the centerpiece to clear glass flutes and votive holders and a few simple evergreen accents.

Photo credits: 1) via rurrococo.com 2) via lottaagaton.blogspot.com 3) via design-crisis.com 4) via celebrations.com 5) coloramaboligdromme.com 6) by Thomas J. Story via sunset.com

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Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

Last Minute Gift Ideas: Order Today to Make It in Time!

Becky

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It’s getting down to the wire for holiday gifts. Hanukkah starts today, and Christmas is just nine days away. If you’re as behind as we are with the shopping, you need some great gifts that seem tailored to your giftee and thoughtful, but in truth only take a few keystrokes to order. Here are some highlights from our Quick Ship selection. You must order by the end of the day today in order for these gifts (from the Quick Ship selection)  to arrive before December 25th!

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Sempli Vaso Aqua ($50). This cool carafe is tipsy! Made of handblown lead-free crystal, it will throw your wine-swilling friends for a loop. It also makes a great hostess gift. (There’s more Sempli glassware available for quick ship, including flat-bottomed champagne flutes and beer glasses).

00799_ae2973a5f9_1 Read the rest of this entry »

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Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

Don’t Miss Our Great Giveaways!

Becky

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We’re giving away great prizes here at Design Public, so don’t miss your chance. You can still enter through midnight, December 15, 2014 to win any of the following carefully curated items from our site.

All you need to do is post the corresponding tag to Twitter, to the Design Public Facebook page or pinning one of the images on Pinterest along with the corresponding hashtag. You may enter each contest once per day on all three venues if you’ve got the time! No purchase necessary. Winners will be drawn at random.

Miller Goodman Mini Facemaker Block Set

Tag: #DESIGNPUBLICGIVEAWAY1

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Offi My Pet Dachshund Lamp in Orange

Tag: #DESIGNPUBLICGIVEAWAY2

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The Principals Liquid Body Flask

Tag: #DESIGNPUBLICGIVEAWAY3

 

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Fatboy Edison the Petit Lamp

Tag: #DESIGNPUBLICGIVEAWAY4

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Sprout Modern Play Kitchen

Tag: #DESIGNPUBLICGIVEAWAY5

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twig+nest Triangle Pillow and one set of Triangle decals in Black

Tag: #DESIGNPUBLICGIVEAWAY6

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DESU DESIGNS Lithos Platter

Tag: #DESIGNPUBLICGIVEAWAY7

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Steelcase Turnstone Buoy Chair

Tag: #DESIGNPUBLICGIVEAWAY8

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Area Backgammon Duvet Cover

Tag: #DESIGNPUBLICGIVEAWAY9

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Loll Designs Lago Chair in Gray

Tag: #DESIGNPUBLICGIVEAWAY10

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Good luck everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

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