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Five Easy Ways to Make Your Home Feel More Festive for the Holidays

make your home feel festive
During the holidays, joy and warmth abound. The streets are filled with the glow of twinkling lights, and an atmosphere of love and peace fills the air. Of course, with all of the gift-giving and caroling, it can be difficult to remember to keep your house's interior looking just as festive as you feel. Fortunately, there are a few easy ways to keep that joyful feeling flowing through your house during the holiday season:

1. Hang a Wreath

You can welcome visitors to your home by hanging a cheerful, festive wreath on the front door. If you really want to capture the spirit of the season, you could even create your own wreath instead of buying one. The classic wreath is the most obvious symbol of the holidays, and the ones made with evergreen leaves generally represent growth and life within your home.

2. Light a Candle

Candles create a warm, cozy atmosphere wherever they're lit. During the holidays, when most waxes are Christmas-scented, a candle can also create a sense of comfort and well-being in your home. The smell of cinnamon or Christmas cookies will fill your house with festive spirit and cheery contentment, while the flickering candle wicks are guaranteed to create a joyous holiday ambiance.

3. String Some Lights

Christmas lights are a wonderful, merry way to keep your home festive during the holiday season. Add an element of warmth and glow to your living room or parlor by stringing lights along the ceiling and down the walls. When you switch them on at night, your house will instantly transform into a winter wonderland.

4. Accents and Decorations 
holiday accents

Why not invite your friends and family over to create entertaining and useful holiday decor? Your entire home will come to life with homemade decorations and fun displays of Christmas imagination. From gingerbread houses to popcorn strings, the whole family will love making their own festive trinkets just in time for the holiday season.

5. Rearrange the Furniture
decorations

Whether you are rearranging so you can get stockings hung over a crackling fireplace or you are just hoping the new look will put you in a Holiday spirit, rearranging your furniture and rooms is a great way to bring festive holiday cheer into your household. If you are feeling adventurous, you can opt to make the stocking yourself. However, store-bought ones will also work well.

In Conclusion

The holiday season is filled with all sorts of merriment and warm thoughts. As such, your home should capture the essence of the ongoing festivities. By implementing a few of the five home decor tips outlined above, you will be able to do just that.

16 Nov

Thanksgiving Host Checklist

It's never too early to prepare to host Thanksgiving. Whether you're hosting for the first time or have experience wrangling the turkey, use this checklist to stay on track and reduce stress heading into the Thanksgiving holiday.

Check Food Allergies and Dietary Restrictions

 These days, it seems like everyone is avoiding something. It's better to find out in advance, so you can make sure that there's at least one dish without gluten, dairy, nuts, or other allergens. Checking in with food allergies and dietary restrictions not only shows your guests that you care, it helps you plan the menu.

 It's never too early to ask, so check in with guests once you invite them to come for Thanksgiving. Keep a chart going of dietary preferences, then strive to make sure there will be at least one dish guests can eat.

 Get Organized in Advance

 Leading up to Thanksgiving, stores become crowded. Gather serving dishes, extra chairs, cocktail napkins, and other sundries in advance so you can pick up anything you need without fighting the holiday crowds.

 Anything you can do before Thanksgiving week to take the strain off the holiday is beneficial. So, whether it's picking out your outfit or arranging for a cleaner, knock things off your list in advance.

 Delegate Other Tasks

 Leading up to Thanksgiving, don't forget to delegate tasks to guests. People like helping out on holidays. Those who live nearby can bring a dish; those flying in from out of town could pick up wine, watch the children, or take dish duty. Don't be afraid to ask others for help because there's a lot that must come together.

 Create a Cooking Checklist

 There's less pressure with potluck Thanksgiving dinners where everyone contributes a dish. However, when you're in charge of the majority of cooking, you will need a checklist to stay on task. List out every item you plan to cook, including when you want to make, so you can stay on track and not miss a dish.

 Set the Table

 The night before Thanksgiving, set the table for the holiday. Consider adding a children's table if there are a lot of little ones at your gathering or assigning seats to ensure a pleasant experience for all. This is a perfect task to give visiting relatives who've arrived early; they will appreciate the chance to help and you will enjoy getting them out of your hair.

Set Up an Appetizer Station

Guests have a knack for hovering in the kitchen to see what they can do. On Thanksgiving, when you're trying to bring everything together for the meal, this can become vexing. Give them a place to go by creating an appetizer station with snacks and drinks. Set out small plates (disposable is fine) along with entertainment, whether it's board games or television. Assign one of your house guests the role of greeter; they can direct people to the snack area so you have time to finish cooking.

Relax

Last but not least, relax. Even if everything's not perfect, you're able to enjoy a holiday meal with friends and family and that deserves a moment of gratitude.

The checklist covers the Thanksgiving essentials, from setting the guest list through to the big day. All that's left to do is determine what to do with all that leftover turkey when the meal is over!

10 Nov

Family of a Fallen Hero Receives Donation From Exclusive Furniture

As Houston continues to mourn the loss of a cherished member of the community, a local furniture store has stepped up to provide a generous donation to the family Deputy Dhaliwal left behind. 

Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal was a true trailblazer. As the first Sikh deputy in the state of Texas, Dhaliwal bridged a divide between cultures. Never before in American history has a law enforcement officer been permitted to display a beard and turban during work hours. In 2015, the Harris County Sherriff's Department changed the rules to allow for religious attire.

The turban is an important part of the Sikh religion, and Deputy Dhaliwal showed that it was possible to be committed to one’s faith as well as the American way of life. Rather than allowing his appearance to become controversial, Dhaliwal used his turban as a conversation starter. He worked hard to provide education on the true nature of Sikhs, a people with a long history of serving their communities through law enforcement.

“He represented his community with integrity, respect, and pride,” Harris County Sherriff Ed Gonzalez told reporters in a recent press conference.

In a tragic turn of events, the beloved deputy, a 42-year-old married father of three, was shot and killed during a routine traffic stop in September. His killer has since been arrested and charged.

This incident has devastated the local community. Everyone in the area saw Dhaliwal as a hero and admired his generous commitment to public service. He was known for his volunteer work, which included helping with rescue efforts after Hurricane Harvey caused major destruction in Texas. He had also traveled to Puerto Rico to assist with hurricane relief efforts there.

Like so many other community members, Sam Zavary, CEO of Exclusive Furniture, was shocked and upset by Dhaliwal’s loss. After receiving so much support for his furniture business from Houston residents throughout the years, Zavary felt that giving something back was the right thing to do. The furniture store donated 10 percent of sales profits from a three-day span in October to the family of Deputy Dhaliwal.

“I want to take this time to thank all our customers for supporting us, which allowed us to help out in this effort,” Zavary said in a recent video interview.

Exclusive Furniture ended up donating well over $31,000 to the family of the fallen deputy. The deputy’s father, Pyara Singh Dhaliwal, was on hand to accept the check.

“Thank you very much for supporting the family in this difficult time,” he said.

If you’d like to make a donation in honor of Dhaliwal, you can do so here. The funds will go toward education expenses for the deputy’s children.

For more information about Exclusive Furniture, you can visit their website.
23 Oct

3 Trendy (and inexpensive) Office Ideas Your Employees Will Love

Your work environment is a crucial component to staying focused, maintaining productivity and staying positive on a day-to-day basis. A vibrant, colorful color scheme can even invoke creativity for those who have to be creative for a living.
03 Oct

Creating A Space for Outdoor Entertaining



The city of Houston is no stranger to the heat. However, the end of summer means cooler climate approaches. With temperatures averaging from the high 80s throughout September into October. This usually translates as lounging outside to enjoy the nicer weather. Whether you have a tiny patio or a big backyard creating a beautiful outside area will help you take full advantage when entertaining friends and family. With any great outdoor space, hosting is a must. Here are some great design styles and ideas that can turn your outdoor space from plain old ordinary to extraordinary, that will have your guests wanting to come back for more.  

1. Comfy and Cozy Create an inviting place for guests to relax while you’re grilling burgers. Buy comfortable, outdoor-friendly furniture with oversize comfy cushions for lounging around the fireplace. Adding colorful pillows and placing candle lanterns around that can be lit during evening outdoor entertaining can give a fun cozy touch.
 
2. Happy Hour Add an outdoor bar with your patio set for a more stylish way to entertain outdoors. A great place to have a cool cocktail, favorite brew or a hot cup of cocoa with your fabulous outdoor parties. Consider using colorful cushions, coasters, and strings of lights to give your happy hour a truly happy feel and to create a festive year-round outdoor entertaining area. 

3. Southern Charm Go with a more southern porch style design, with our mild winters and steamy summers, covered patios and porches are a must. For a smaller porch, a great wicker set can add just the touch while colorful blooming containers truly give your outdoor space that southern charm. Create a sitting area that doubles as an eating area too for entertaining. Bring out a stylish wheeled cooler for those patio parties with friends. They can add style to your cocktail party or barbeque.    

4. Mix and Match A mix and match style can really create a fun decorative feel to your outdoor area. Have your seating area mixed by combining a modern table matched with traditional wicker chairs to really create a more elevated look. Having other chairs around that aren’t the perfect match allows for more seating for those bigger parties around the table but also allows for extra seating by the grill or pool. Adding colorful garden stools matched with metal wall décor can mix it up. This wonderful mix creates a great eclectic style that all of your guests can enjoy.
 
5. Warm It Up A relaxed seating area around a fire pit allows family and friends to linger outdoors on cool evenings after a great meal. It can be perfect for the poolside.  Add in a few potted plants and lanterns and you have now created a simple but relaxing area for your outdoor oasis.
 
6. Casual Dining Outdoor dining can be casual if that is your style. You will want to get the right type of wood furniture that is able to withstand the weather. You can easily dress up the table with pretty linens, custom coasters and colorful planters as centerpieces for those special parties. An outdoor rug will help ground the space and add extra style to the design.
 
Whatever style you prefer or type of space you have there is always room to add style and create that perfect outdoor space for entertaining. Are you in need of more inspiration? Check out our designer-curated Pinterest mood board below for the best furniture, accents, and accessories you can find right here in Houston. If you have no idea where to start, Exclusive Furniture has local design experts who are enthusiastic about lending advice. Drop by one of their 7 Houston-area locations for some inspiration, but if you want to keep on browsing just take a look at their Pinterest board here:  
20 Sep

The Boutique Look: What it is and How to Get it

Deciding on a look for your bedroom can be tough. After all, taking a pre-planned set up into your bedroom can make you feel unoriginal and uninspired, especially if you love the decadent look of boutique hotels. (Like the fantastic little place you LOVE that isn’t in your budget… That’s not just us, right?) So, in today’s post, we’re here to show you how to bring the look home affordably, make it your own and give your space that “boutique” look.

 

What is “boutique”?

 Simply put, a boutique look is an upscale look focusing on unique, statement pieces. For example:

  • Dramatic accent pieces paired with neutral bedding and/or furnishings
  • Funky or unusual lighting (think giant Edison bulb hanging lights or animal shaped lamps)
  • Framing
  • Unique textures and mixed patterns to add a custom effect

Now that we know what boutique style is, let’s move on to how to achieve the look. As with most things involving the bedroom, boutique style starts with the bed.


THE BED

The bed, especially the headboard, tends to be the focal point of the boutique bedroom look. To make this work for your space, there are 3 major rules:

Go Big or Go Home

  • Go for the largest bed that will fit your space while still being able to move around the room well

Get Centered


  • Center the bed against your focal wall making sure to leave ample room at the sides.

Symmetry Is Beauty

  • Work symmetrically around the area framing your bed to decorate. Note: This doesn’t mean you have to use two of each piece - though, you can if you want. Just be sure to mirror the heights and tones or your accessories on either side of the bed.

 

DON’T SIT THIS ONE OUT

Nothing says “boutique” quite like a designated seating area within a bedroom scheme. If you’re lucky enough to have the space for some occasional chairs and a little table – go for it! At the very least, an end-of-bed upholstered bench or storage ottoman is necessary.

At this point, you’re well on your way to having the boutique boudoir you’ve been dreaming of. Now it’s time to really dial up the drama a bit! Let’s begin accessorizing the space and really making it into something uniquely yours.

 

 

THE FUNK

Once the larger pieces are set in place and things are beginning to look sufficiently elegant, the true fun can begin. Fun décor is essential for a boutique bedroom space. This is where you have the opportunity to really let your personality show. Using elements such as fun frames, bold colors and patterns or even unexpected statement pieces will really bring your space to life.

 

Look for accents like these to liven up the look:

  • Upholstered chairs
  • Ottomans
  • Side tables and lamps (Bonus points if they’re uniquely shaped or vintage.)
  • Neutral accent rugs
  • Funky and fun colored storage pieces like trunks, credenzas, etc.

THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER

 

Though simple elegance is the name of the game when it comes to choosing furniture for this look, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a little fun with the wall décor. Wallpaper prints or even tapestries hung behind headboards allow you to add your own personal flair to the design. Pro Tip: Muted tones with eye-catching textures or statement colors give the eye somewhere to focus

 

 

TL;DR BOUTIQUE BEDROOM TIPS

Here’s what you need to remember if you’re trying to create a boutique look for your bedroom:

 

  • Comfort and elegance are key, but with as much personality that you can fit.
  • Don’t be afraid to splurge on big items (bed, chair/bench, dressers) These will be your biggest focal points.
  • Get creative with the accessories. Elegant does not have to equal boring.
  • Have fun - that will reflect in the design and you’ll love the space you created that much more.

 


 

Hopefully, you now have a better idea of how to create the beautiful, boutique bedroom you’ve been dreaming of! Of course, if you need help decorating your bedroom – or any other space in your home, visit one of our 7 locations and our knowledgeable staff (including in-house designers) will help you make your dreams into reality.

10 Sep


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