Thanksgiving is almost here and while you’re planning that great turkey dinner, don’t forget about sprucing up your home as you welcome friends and family to celebrate the holiday with you.
Designer Robin Wilson, founder and CEO of Robin Wilson Home, who focuses on creating healthy and beautiful spaces for her clients and has products at national retailers, offers these eight tips to create a warm, inviting and healthy home this Thanksgiving:
Start with curb appeal: The exterior is the first impression your guests get of your home so you want it to look clean and inviting. Add fresh mulch, trim overgrown trees and shrubs and plant new flowers, and make sure the front door is freshly painted. Always wear a mask to prevent breathing in fumes and goggles to protect your eyes.
Make the windows sparkle with newspaper: Yes, you read that right. Spray your windows with non-toxic cleaner and wipe away with newspaper. The high absorbency of newsprint makes it so effective at cleaning windows because it absorbs the liquid instead of pushing it away. Be careful to stay on the glass and not dirty up moldings and trim.
Clean the chimney and stove: This isn’t just to help Santa when he descends into your home next month. A dirty chimney is a fire hazard and can release toxins into your home. On a related note, it’s also a good idea to clean your stove before you do any intensive holiday cooking. It’s also a good time to make sure smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working and have new batteries.
Switch to LED lighting – If you’re doing a lot of entertaining this holiday season, switching to LED lighting will keep your electric bills down. LED lighting is the most energy efficient lighting source available. And if you have young children, LED lights are cool to the touch.
Get your couches and rugs professionally cleaned: sofas and rugs can harbor all kinds of allergens, mold and bacteria. And if you have dogs or cats, removing the dander will help you and your guests prevent the “wheezes and sneezes.” Plus, a good looking couch will attract your company allowing time to catchup and reminisce, or just watch the parade or football games together.
Put on fresh bed linens: If out-of-town family and friends are staying with you, new linens are always a nice touch. Hypoallergenic comforters and pillows are a good choice especially if you don’t know if your guests have any allergy/asthma issues. For this reason, also use nylon shower curtains which don’t off-gas like vinyl does.
Non-toxic cleaners this time of year: With the cooler weather, most people keep their windows shut for the next five months, keeping everything sealed up and trapped inside. For this reason, it’s especially important in the winter to use non-toxic cleaners as you prepare your home for the holidays.
Make it smell like the holidays – To make it feel like the holidays it needs to smell like the holidays. Consider soy candles as a healthy alternative to regular candles, which not only add a visual element and warmth, but come in a variety of scents.