Spring To-Do's

It's Tax Time!

Spruce Up Your Home for Fall

7 Tips and Secrets for a Fresh Fall Look
living room

Tip No. 1: Rethink "Balance"
There are many ways to have balance in a room; you don't need to balance a window with another window, or wall space with more wall space. For example, a bright, striking painting or a big, nicely framed mirror hung on the new "extra" wall space will draw the eye away from the bay window and give the room more balance.

Tip No. 2: Replace Your Fixtures
If you want to spruce up the bathroom this fall, think about replacing the fixtures; that may be all it will take to give the room a new look. Take your time browsing for faucets, towel racks and toilet tissue holders, making sure they're in a style that goes well together. And don't be shy about using your creativity. Wrought-iron hooks for towels or a series of towel racks placed in a ladder pattern on the wall will save space and add interest to the room. Or, if you have a large enough bathroom, try rolling towels and storing in an open cabinet for the look of a spa.

Tip No. 3: Mix Modern & Traditional
While plum is entirely at home in a formal environment, it also springs to life in a more modern room. A frequently used technique for designers is to combine the modern and the traditional in ways that are surprising, and plum can provide the traditional note.

Tip No. 4: Buy New Drinking Glasses
Consider just how much drinking glasses can add to the aesthetics of a kitchen. A complete set of glasses that complement the color scheme of the kitchen can help create a distinct mood. Using similar styles, colors or patterns will bring harmony to the room's design. As a result, the entire space will look infinitely more pleasing to the eye. Not only can a beautiful set of glasses brighten up a table setting, but they can also serve as display pieces even when they're not being used.

Tip No. 5: Organize!
Fall can be a great time to get organized. Take a look around the living room or home study, and chances are there is a clutter problem interfering with the look you want. Most home design catalogs and stores have a variety of ways of containing the clutter, from sea-grass baskets to brushed-metal shelves. Find the look that harmonizes with your room's look, invest in some matching containers and then sit back and enjoy the newly neat look.

Tip No. 6: Switch Your Entrance
When planning a "Haunted House" for the kids, have the visitors come to the house, but don't let them come in the usual entrance, or it will be obvious even to the tiniest tots that they're just going to the Anderson's. Instead, have them enter through the garage, or the back door or, even better, the bulkhead to the basement.

Tip No. 7: Don't Over-Clip Your Leaves
Be judicious in your autumn clipping back of leaves and stems. Some really won't look bad in the winter and will provide seeds for winter birds; seeing the birds in your winter garden will only cheer you up in January, so you want to encourage them to come around. The stems will also provide added insulation for the plants. Purple coneflower, black-eyed Susans, sedums and grasses should be left as they are; if they look particularly messy, plant a few stakes and tie the leaves up.

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