Putting up holiday lights is fun but can also become quite the hassle. Save yourself extra labor by installing industrial festival lights around your outdoor space in place of seasonal twinkle lights. These have a classic bistro look that will last year round.
Since holidays often attract more guests to the home than other times of the year, be sure to keep walkways brightly lit. An easy way to do this is to take advantage of any smaller trees or shrubs along or around the walkway and outfitting them with just a few strands of lights. Although they may be too small to properly read from the street, the subtle glow cast onto pavers, trails or concrete walkways will help guests make their way up to the house safely.
That cute inflatable snowman greeting neighbors from the front lawn can easily become a dangerous projectile if you don't follow the manufacturer's instructions for securing it, says Ken Katz, a property director for Travelers Insurance. It's best to shut off the fan blowers when it's windy, when you're not going to be home for long periods, or at bedtime, he says.
Don't use holiday lights unless they have cleared the strict safety tests conducted by Underwriters Lab or another established testing facility. Lights checked by this independent testing company are marked with a holographic UL label. A red label means lights can be used indoors and out, while green means indoor-use only.
Once your holiday amaryllis blooms, keep your plant in a room that’s on the cool side to help the flowers last longer, and give them bright light and evenly moist soil. When the flowers fade, cut back the stalks to just above the bulb, and let the leaves continue to grow. Water and fertilize throughout the next summer and,if you moved your amaryllis outdoors, bring it back in before frost. If your amaryllis dies back completely, it’s probably gone dormant; stop watering until new growth appears.
Anytime you're decorating a space for the holidays with bold colors like red or green, think of how the clean look of ultra-white helps keep the high energy hues balanced. Almost any color works well in this space for a seasonal look thanks to permanent white elements like the aluminum pendant above the table.
Try adding a few of these weatherproof lanterns to small crooks along the walkway. To make, coat the inside of a canning jelly jar with mod podge and cover with glitter. Allow it to dry. Add a small strand of battery powered lights, then tuck ribbon under the lid and screw the lid on tight.
Reinvent empty frames as illuminated sculptures with the addition of colored lights. For indoor use, standard vintage-style lights can be used to wrap wall-hung frames, placed near outlets. To help disguise extension cords, consider grouping several frames vertically, tucking the cord behind each frame, then into outlets near the bottom of the wall. For outdoor use, such as a repurposed wreath alternative placed on a front door, it's best to use battery-operated lights.