It’s almost that time of year again. Holiday season is nigh. Time to head up to the attic – or down to the basement – to haul out the Christmas decorations for another year. Outdoor lights play a big part in most people’s seasonal decorating scheme but there are ways that you can make this year’s lighting display safer and cheaper than in years past.
Here are some suggestions…
LED holiday lights are every bit as beautiful as more traditional lights and use a whopping 95% less electricity.
Liven up the entrance to your home with seasonal red and green décor. String bright white LED lights all around the door frame and then add garlands and bows. Place a wreath in the center decorated with small baubles and voila – you now have a dreamy Christmas doorway instead of a bland and boring one. If you have a porch continue the theme to include it as well and you will have an elegant way to greet your holiday guests.
If the idea of spending hours stringing outdoor lights simply does not appeal to you there are alternatives. Wire trees that come with pre-strung lights are ready to be “planted” indoors or out. They come in many different shapes, sizes and colors and are usually available at your local hardware or home store at very reasonable prices. If you really want to go green and avoid electric lights altogether this season or at least decrease the number you use, outdoor votives are a viable alternative.
You can line pathways and driveways with them or place them around a porch, patio or deck. Outdoor votive candle holders are relatively inexpensive and can be used to great effect. The only thing you have to remember is to snuff all those candles out before everyone goes to bed and to keep children away from them when they are lit. You can hire the best painter in the world to help spruce up your home but the one thing he or she is not going to do is choose a color scheme for you. Painting contractors may offer advice but the choice is ultimately going to be yours to make.
Choosing the right combination of colors can seem like quite a tall order when there are literally thousands of different colors out there to choose from. Fortunately there are plenty of resources available out there to help you discover the perfect color scheme for your home before you spend hundreds of dollars on paint. Yes, there really is an app for everything, including choosing paint colors for your home while on the train home from work. This app offers dozens of different ways for homeowners to discover and experiment with color and, best of all, it is free!
One of the best functions of this particular app is that if you happen to be out and about and spot a color you like, even an amazing color found in a spectacular sunset, you can snap a picture of it with the camera of your iPhone or iPod and the app will help you match it to one of their 3,300 shades of paint.
Leatrice Eiseman is executive director of the Pantone Color Institute and probably knows more about color than most of the rest of the world. Her books and articles provide a wealth of color advice and are a cracking good read as well. This nifty little tool, offered free by the Sessions College of Design helps users select HTML, RGB or CMYK colors, and identifies color harmonies and schemes.
Even if you didn’t plan on repainting anytime soon, spend a few minutes with this tool and all the beautiful colors may have you reaching for the phone to find a good painting contractor right way!