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Home & Garden

Tips for holiday home projects

Painting the exterior of your front door and adding a wreath can add a welcoming touch to your home this holiday season.

We are coming in full-speed ahead to the holiday season! With family and friends starting to gather this time of year, holiday hosts want a warm, welcoming home atmosphere. Aside from simply fluffing the pillows, consider a small refresh project instead of undertaking a major painting job during this busy time of year.

Here are few ideas and tips to tackle a last-minute holiday paint project.

PAINT THE EXTERIOR FRONT DOOR

This is one of the first things a guest will see when arriving. A statement color will welcome guests and add an exciting pop to the look of your home. Placing a bold wreath or accent piece on the door can also give the entrance a whole new look.

PAINT AN ACCENT WALL

Tackling a full room makeover is a ton of work. Moving the furniture and everything out of the room is a daunting task of its own. By focusing on an accent wall, you can just pull the furniture and wall hangings off of a single wall, put up a fresh coat of paint, and move everything back without having to dishevel the entire room.

FOCUS ON A COMMON GATHERING AREA

If you’re looking to refresh the look of your home for guests, focus on the rooms that people will be spending the most time in, such as the dining room, bathroom, or guest room if they will be staying. Sure, you might have been wanting to repaint your bedroom closet for a year now, but this isn’t realistically the best time to tackle that project. Focus on common areas.

USE A ZERO-VOC PRODUCT

The last thing you want is to have your dining room smell like new paint when it’s supposed to be filled with the aromas of roasted turkey and homemade pumpkin pie. There are many zero-VOC paints with very little odor in the marketplace today.

REFRESH FURNITURE INSTEAD OF WALLS

Maybe there are end tables in the main gathering area that are outdated and looking drab? Chalk paint can easily update old furniture with a fresh look and transform a room. And with chalk paint, there’s no need to sand or prime the furniture, simply paint right onto the piece.

CLEAN YOUR CARPETS

Another task to get company-ready is to steam clean your carpet, couch, or any upholstered furniture. If your carpeted area sees a lot of traffic or you have pets, a freshly cleaned carpet will make a big difference. Rental machines allow you to deep clean carpets and upholstery with professional-quality results.

The EPA states indoor air quality improves when carpets are thoroughly cleaned. Regular deep cleaning not only removes allergens, dirt, and grime, but can add years of life to a carpet by removing the abrasive grit that harms its fibers. Having your carpet professionally cleaned can be costly, but you can get a top-quality cleaning job by renting an easy-to-operate steam cleaning machine.

Rent your rug cleaner. There are a number of rental sites available in San Francisco. They are generally available the same day, but when demand is heavy (weekends and the beginning or end of the month), you might want to call to first. Most of the newer rug cleaners are compact and lightweight; they fit easily in most cars.

Move furniture and vacuum. Clearing the area of furniture will make the job much easier. It will also insure that your carpet is evenly clean in case you choose to rearrange your furniture. Thoroughly vacuum the area with your household vacuum cleaner before steam cleaning.

Put the rug cleaner to work. The machines are easy to operate and and maneuver, and most come with easy-to-understand directions.

Let dry. Allow two to four hours (typically) for drying. To reduce drying time, ventilate the room or turn up the heat. To take up excess moisture left in the carpet from the steam-cleaning process, go over it again using only the machine’s vacuum function.
Rental units are generally well-maintained by the manufacturers to deliver top performance. A variety of soaps are available, including special blends for pet homes and nontoxic, environmentally friendly formulas, too. If you’ll be cleaning upholstered furniture, you’ll also want to make sure to rent an upholstery tool.

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Julia Strzesieski is the marketing coordinator for Cole Hardware and can be reached at julia@colehardware.com.