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How to Prepare Your Home for the New Year

Winter is the most magical time of year. The cozy nights and crisp days offer the perfect opportunity to check that your home is in tip-top shape and ready for the colder months. Take a look at these winter home tips to find out how you can maintain and prepare your home for the winter season.

Home Maintenance Winter Checklist

When we think about preparing our homes for the winter, we often focus on the exterior of the house. We cover the pool, turn off the sprinklers, and put away the patio furniture. These outdoor activities are essential to keeping our homes safe and sound during the colder months, but don’t forget to follow winter home tips indoors as well.

This winter checklist will help you identify the key parts of your home to watch in the winter.

Reverse Ceiling Fans

You may not know this, but you can run your ceiling fan clockwise or counterclockwise. In winter, you should turn your fan clockwise to help keep the warm air from rising too high in your home. This is especially important if you have high ceilings and lose a lot of warmth.

How do you get started with this winter home tip? Most fans have a small switch on the outside of the fan. If you can’t find it there, it may be inside the cover. Change the direction and feel the difference!

Add Floor Mats to Entryways

Winter is well underway, which means the entrance to your home is covered in piles of thick coats and wet shoes. As well as giving you more mess to clean up, mud, ice, and salt from your winter clothes is bad news for your floors. Instead of letting your floors get damaged, invest in floor mats for your entryway. 

Place one mat inside and one mat outside for the best results. As people enter your home, they can rub the mud and ice off their shoes on the outside mat and then leave their shoes on the inside mat. The mats will also catch any rain or snow that falls off their coats. The fun part about this winter home tip is that you can pick out beautiful mats that will reinforce your decor!

Plus: Check out our Favorite Winter Interior Design Trends here

Look for Air Leaks

If you’re feeling a draft, a key part of your winter checklist should be finding and fixing any air leaks in your home. Drafts can make your home feel less comfortable and they’ll also make your heating less efficient, costing you extra money.

Pay close attention to windows and doors. You can fill these gaps with caulk and weather-stripping. Got a crack in a foundational wall or around faucets and air vents? Be sure to seal these cracks, as they may be letting in air. If you’re still feeling cold, you can also look into improving the insulation in your home.

Keep Your Heating in Check

Heating is a non-negotiable in the winter. It keeps you warm and prevents frozen pipes, which can bring your home to a standstill. Make sure your thermostat is set so that the heat does not fall below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. While it may seem like a luxury to always have the heat on, this winter home tip can save you money. That’s because your heating system has to work much harder to bring your house back up to a warm temperature after being turned off.

No matter how you heat your home, your winter checklist should include the maintenance of your heating system. Gas heating systems can be checked every three years, but oil heating systems should be cleaned and maintained annually. If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace in your home, be sure to get it checked by a professional, too. That goes for coal-burning fireplaces and gas fireplaces!

Plus: Check out our Modern Fireplace Decorating Ideas here

Check Smoke Alarms

During the winter months, heating equipment is the leading cause of fires in the home. It’s critical that your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order at this time of year.

Follow this winter home tip by making sure you have a smoke detector in every room of your house. Check the batteries and functionality of each detector. You should do this every month, but especially during the cold months when you’re more reliant on heating equipment, such as space heaters, central heating, and fireplaces.

Preparing home for winter by donating clothes

What to Purge and Update This Winter 

Some items in the home need to be maintained over the winter months, but other things should go all together! The beginning of the year is a great time to reflect on what you really need in life and cut down on the clutter. Prepare your home for winter by refreshing these commonly forgotten items.

Plus: Check out our Ultimate Living Room Decluttering List here

Old Winter Clothes

We’ve all got that drawer of odd gloves and ragged scarfs we’ve kept over the years. You may even have a box or closet filled with moth-eaten jackets. This winter, if you’re not wearing these items, ask yourself why you’re keeping them!

Our winter tip is to go through all your old winter clothes. You may find some great items that you’d simply forgotten about and can start wearing again. You will probably also find a lot of items you no longer want. These clothes should go to charity and not back in the attic where they aren’t keeping anyone warm.

Tired Linens

Bed sheets and towels can start to look their age after they’ve been washed and used week after week. If you’ve had your linens for more than a few years and they’re looking gray and worn, it’s time to update them. Check with local animal rescue charities to see if they can make use of these items or use them as rags for cleaning or garage work.

The same goes for your comforters and pillows. Pillows should be replaced after one to two years. After that they lose their structural integrity and become less hygienic. If your comforter is old and stained, a wash cycle won’t be enough. Invest in new bed essentials and be sure to find the right items to keep you warm and comfortable this winter.

Outdated Furniture

Nothing prepares a home for winter like a fresh new interior. We spend more time indoors during these months, so why not create a space where you can relax and unwind? If your furniture is sagging, stained, and out of style, you might want to consider updating it for something more comfortable.

Donating furniture that no longer fits your lifestyle is a great way to support the less fortunate. Check with your chosen organization to make sure your furniture is in an acceptable condition, although oftentimes the pieces can be reused in some way.

Once you’ve made space for a new furniture group, look for new pieces that will work with your needs and preferences. Southern Motion offers a wide range of sofas, sectionals, recliners, and accent chairs with the most innovative features. What’s more, the Smart Solutions fabrics prevent stains, wear, and tear, so your stylish pieces last for many more winters. Take a look at all the collections now.

Having a small living room doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy style and functionality in the heart of your home. With the right approach to small living room layouts and furnishings, you can create a space where you love spending time with friends and family. Here’s how to maximize space in a small house so you can start working on your dream living room setup.

Small Living Room Layout Tips

When it comes to evaluating your living room, it’s all about understanding and appreciating the available space. These ideas can help you adjust your mindset to effectively organize your room.

Create a Floorplan

By creating an accurate floorplan, you get a better feel for exactly how much space you have and how the shape and features of the room can support your lifestyle. For example, if your living room has a large window, this area could be perfect for setting up your desk or crafting table. Have a difficult corner to work with? Sounds like the ideal reading nook or music spot!

Try breaking your living room floorplan into different sections for each of the ways you like to use the space. To make these distinctions even clearer, you can paint the walls of each area in your living room a different color or shade. This will help maximize the space in your small house both visually and functionally.

Couple measuring small living room layout

Make Use of All the Space

Once you’ve made a floorplan and decided how you want to use your living room, you can put the entire space to work. There are a few small living room layout ideas to keep in mind when organizing the space, starting with the furnishings. Don’t push furniture up against the walls, which can emphasize the limited space. Even with a small living room layout, you should have a few inches to spare so you can float your furniture away from the walls.

As well as keeping furniture from in front of any windows, you can simplify window treatments to let in as much light as possible. Getting plenty of natural light in the room can give the impression of more space. While the square footage of your living room floor may be limited, you may be lucky enough to have high ceilings. Use lots of shelves to remove storage and organizational items from the floor and show off the unique space!

Embrace Your Small Living Room!

Having a small living room can feel like a disadvantage, especially if you love to entertain at home. However, a small space gives you an effortlessly intimate environment. Position your small living room furniture sets in a cozy huddle and see how it brings people closer together and encourages conversation in your home. 

You can also celebrate your living room with a statement piece. While a larger decor item may seem counterintuitive for a small space, a gallery wall or eye-catching light fitting can actually make your room feel larger by adding more visual intrigue. In fact, with the right interior design, you can really maximize the living space in your small house. Take a look at our effective decor tips for limited spaces to get even more inspiration. 

Small Living Room Furniture Sets

Now you’ve got your small living room layout, it’s time to think about the right furniture for your space. There are several routes you can take to really get the most out of your living room.

Opt for Multi-Purpose Furniture

Multi-purpose furniture can help you get everything you need into a small living room layout without cluttering the room. You can choose pieces with built-in storage, such as ottomans. Ottomans can also be used as coffee tables, extra seating, and foot rests quickly, easily, and stylishly. If your living room doubles as your spare room when your relatives are in town, you can even consider adding a daybed to the space for a practical and playful addition. 

Switch Out a Furniture Set for a Sectional

A sectional may be a large piece of furniture, but with just that one piece, you can seat all your friends and family in a small living space. A stylish sectional can also work as a statement piece while offering a cozy seating option.

Southern Motion’s Gigi Recliner for small living room layouts

Choose Furniture with Small Dimensions

You can also choose small living room furniture sets. Antiques are a great option for small living room layouts, as they come from time periods when rooms were typically smaller. Swap one large coffee table for a few small antique coffee tables or choose lower furniture to create the illusion of higher ceilings — and more space —in your home.

If you’re looking for something more modern to maximize space in a small house, you can consider floating furniture. Hanging seats and Lucite tables create a sense of spaciousness and style while fulfilling the main needs in your living room. Similarly, backless furniture doesn’t cover up focal points in the room but does provide handy additional seating.

You can also find specially designed furniture for smaller living rooms. Southern Motion’s Gigi Recliner has a functional swivel base, small dimensions, and wall hugger technology, making it ideal for a small living room layout. To get the perfect furniture to maximize the living space in your small house, find your nearest Southern Motion retailer here.

Even during the festivities of the holiday season, music can take any event to the next level. Whether you’re trying to choose the best pop holiday music or traditional Christmas songs, you need to take guests, activities, and setting into consideration to create the perfect playlist. With so many fun songs to choose from, we’ve put together some of the best tunes for every part of your holiday celebrations.

Sophisticated Dinner Parties

If you’re hosting a dinner party for your friends around Christmas and New Year, the main focus of the evening will be delicious food and great conversation. Still, the right playlist can help reinforce the holiday theme, especially as you welcome guests into your home! Choose traditional Christmas songs with a soft jazz feel to avoid overpowering your evening.

Holiday Tip: Smart Home devices can help you keep everything in check at your dinner party — including the music. That means you can enjoy the celebrations alongside your guests instead of having to DJ, cook, and serve at the same time!

Suggested Playlist:

  • Michael Bublé – It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
  • Ella Fitzgerald – Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
  • Dean Martin – I’ll Be Home for Christmas
  • Andy Williams – Happy Holidays
  • Frank Sinatra – Jingle Bells
  • Harry Connick Jr. – Sleigh Ride
  • Bing Crosby – White Christmas
  • Billie Holiday – I’ve Got Love to Keep Me Warm
  • Norah Jones – It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
  • Etta James – Merry Christmas Baby

Holiday dinner party

Relaxed Family Gatherings

An intimate celebration with several generations of your family deserves a calming Christmas songs playlist. As you snuggle up together in front of the fireplace and share your stories from the year, try playing classic carols and traditional Christmas songs.

Holiday Tip: If you’re celebrating with older relatives who may be hard of hearing, choose instrumental versions of your favorite holiday songs and play them at a low level. This will help keep the conversation flowing and everyone feeling relaxed.

Suggested Playlist:

  • O Tannenbaum
  • Oh Holy Night
  • Silent Night
  • The First Noel
  • Ding Dong Merrily on High
  • The Holly and the Ivy
  • God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
  • Good King Wenceslas
  • Joy to the World
  • In Dulci Jubilo

Holiday Activities with the Kids

No matter whether you’re decorating your home or unwrapping presents on the big day, you can build the holiday excitement with a playlist full of good cheer. Try pop holiday music to create a festive mood in your home from the moment your little ones wake up.

Holiday Tip: Food, drinks, and crafting with the kids can result in more stains around the house. Have your emergency cleaning products somewhere handy, or better yet, make sure your furniture is prepared! Smart Solutions from Southern Motion is a stain-resistant furniture fabric that can help relieve the stress of holiday activities at home.

Suggested Playlist:

  • Bobby Helms – Jingle Bell Rock
  • Bobby Day – Rockin’ Robin
  • The Ronettes – Frosty the Snowman
  • Stevie Wonder – What Christmas Means to Me
  • Gene Autry – Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  • Slade – Merry Xmas Everybody
  • Wizzard – I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday
  • Pentatonix – Little Drummer Boy
  • Jackson 5 – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
  • Elton John – Step into Christmas

Family decorating Christmas tree

Ringing in the New Year

A New Year’s get-together is the perfect time to reflect on what we’re grateful for and what we have planned for the future. Even if you’re having a small celebration with your nearest and dearest, a playlist of pop holiday music can get everyone feeling more excited about the next calendar year.

Holiday Tip: If you struggle to stay awake until midnight, start your playlist in the hour leading up to the countdown to help energize you and your guests!

Suggested Playlist:

  • Pink –  Raise Your Glass
  • Rihanna – We Found Love
  • Bruno Mars – 24K Magic
  • Journey – Don’t Stop Believing
  • Europe – Final Countdown
  • Ariana Grande – Break Free
  • Beyoncé – Countdown
  • Katy Perry – Firework
  • Black Eyed Peas – I Gotta Feeling
  • Pitbull – Give Me Everything

The Big Cleanup

The holiday cleanup includes everything from vacuuming up the pines needles, throwing out the wrapping paper, and washing up all the pots and pans from your delicious feast. It’s a lot to do, so why not make the most of the time with a fun playlist?

Upbeat music can help get you motivated, improve your motor coordination, and reduce the fatigue of doing chores. So turn up these tunes and dance your way through the cleaning!

Holiday Tip: Get the whole family involved in the cleanup with a crowd-pleasing music mix. It’s sure to make the chores go quicker and easier. You can even make a competition out of the tasks, do a dance-off, or have a karaoke session as you tidy up the home.

Suggested Playlist:

  • Whitney Houston – Wanna Dance With Somebody
  • Lady Gaga/Ariana Grande – Rain on Me
  • Pharrell Williams – Happy
  • ABBA – Dancing Queen
  • Living on a Prayer – Bon Jovi
  • Carly Rae Jepsen – Call Me Maybe
  • Survivor – Eye of the Tiger
  • Michael Jackson – Billie Jean
  • Miley Cyrus – Party in the USA
  • Queen – I Want to Break Free

Father and son singing as they clean living room

Great entertainers play just the right music for any occasion. To discover your entertaining style, take our quiz!

Whether you’re having a dinner party, Christmas celebration, or game night, you’ll often find yourself relaxing in the living room at the end of the night. Long conversations and sweet memories are made in this room, so it only makes sense that you’d want to have plenty of seating for family and friends — and sometimes, one sofa just doesn’t cut it. 

Before you bust out your spare dining chairs, consider incorporating two sofas in your living room and follow this guide for tips on how to arrange couches!

It’s All About Arrangement

The first step to creating a stylish and functional living room with two sofas is deciding on the best arrangement. For this, you need to assess the size of your space and what you most commonly use your living room for. If you find yourself enjoying lots of movie nights, you may want to arrange your sofas differently than a living room used for formal conversation and entertaining. To give you a better idea of what layout works best for your space, check out the three main couch arrangements used in interior design.

Two Sofas Facing Each Other

A more intimate layout for two different sofas in a living room is having them face each other. This is a great arrangement option if you entertain frequently and intend on using your living room for socializing and conversation. 

As for space, this layout works wonderfully for large open floor plans and rooms with a square or rectangular shape. The sofas help to divide the space naturally in a very symmetrical manner. It can also work well for narrow rooms because you can easily squeeze the couches closer to each other to save space.

Arrangement Highlights:

  • Best for entertaining and formal conversation
  • Works well in large open floor plans, narrow rooms, and square or rectangular spaces
  • Creates a symmetrical design

Two sofas in living room

Two Sofas at a Right Angle 

For a cozier and casual design, you might want to opt for arranging your two sofas at a right angle. Because this layout brings the two couches together, it helps to create a homey and inviting atmosphere. If you love nights cuddled up in front of the fireplace or TV, this is the best option for you. 

Keep in mind that this L-shaped arrangement does require more space and can make your room look cramped if there’s not enough square footage.

Arrangement Highlights:

  • Best for casual lounging and media rooms
  • Works well in larger living rooms with plenty of space
  • Creates a cozy and inviting atmosphere  

Two Sofas at a Wide Angle

If you have lots of space to work with in your home, the wide angle approach may be the layout for you. This arrangement for two sofas in a living room works just as the name suggests. Separate your couches relatively far apart from each other at varying angles and adjust as you see fit. 

This layout creates a wide open space that’s perfect for casual lounging and entertaining large parties. As far as room size and shape, the wide angle approach is great for large and open-concept living spaces. It’s especially fitting for rooms with an irregular shape.

Because of the openness of this arrangement, the wide angle layout is ideal if you want to include extra furnishings in your living space. Throw in a couple stylish recliners or accent chairs to fill the space and maximize seating for guests.

Arrangement Highlights:

  • Best for casual lounging and entertaining large parties
  • Works well in large, open-concept living rooms, especially those with an irregular shape
  • Creates a comfortable, wide open space

Two different sofas in living room

Keep Sofa Design in Mind

After you’ve established which arrangement is best for two sofas in your living room, it’s time to decide which sofa designs you love most. Do you want two identical sofas or two different sofas in your living room? If you choose to go the more complex route with two different couches, you need to keep in mind color and fabric. Here a couple tips to ensure your sofa combination is cohesive not clashing.

Fabric Choices for Two Sofas

When choosing two different sofas for your living space, it’s a good idea to mix fabrics rather than try to match them. For example, if you’ve chosen a microfiber sofa, complement it with a leather sofa. Incorporating various fabrics gives contrast to your space and achieves the unique look you were striving for from the start.

Our Re-Fueler and Essex sofas are great examples of contrasting fabrics that blend well together in any living space.

Color Combinations for Two Sofas

Perhaps even more important than fabric is color when it comes to decorating with two different sofas in your living room. While it’s important you choose whatever color combinations suit your style, recommended color palettes can be a helpful guide. Take a look at this list to see which colors stand out the most to you.

  1. Brown & Tan
  2. Light Blue & Aqua
  3. White & Dark Brown
  4. Brown & Teal
  5. Dark Blue & Gray
  6. Blue & Yellow
  7. Brown, White, & Red
  8. Green & Charcoal Gray
  9. Mushroom, Tan, & Red

Southern Motion Sofa Combinations

Southern Motion carries a large collection of sofas in varying colors and fabrics that can easily blend into your living space. From rich, dark leather to light and airy microfiber, the choices are endless. As you decide which two sofas will look amazing in your home, consider these Southern Motion sofa combinations that combine style and comfort all in one.

Cresent Sofa

Key Largo Sofa

Crescent and Key Largo sofas from Southern Motion

Metro Sofa

Inspire Sofa

Metro and Inspire sofas from Southern Motion

Velocity Sofa

Mt. Vernon Sofa

Velocity and Mt. Vernon sofas from Southern Motion

Fandango Sofa

Cagney Sofa

Fandango and Cagney sofas from Southern Motion

Whether you’re looking for more seating for entertaining or comfy spots for cozy nights in front of the fireplace, having two sofas can do just the trick. Use these design tips and arrangement ideas to create the perfect living room for your needs! If you plan on including recliners as well, discover how to design your living room with your recliner style in mind.

While the holidays are a wonderful time of year full of festive cheer, family, and fun, it can be easy to get overwhelmed with the hecticness of the season. From buying presents and hosting parties to prepping your home for guests, the to-do list can seem endless. 

Even though some stress is unavoidable, there are simple ways to make your holidays more joyous and a lot less chaotic — and it all starts right at home. Incorporate these Feng Shui tips into your holiday decorating to create a harmonious and welcoming space for both you and your guests.

Why Feng Shui During the Holidays?

The usual cleaning and decorating are a good start to creating an inviting home for the holidays, but practicing Feng Shui design enhances those rituals even further to make your house a serene getaway. It helps to bring the healing energy of the outdoors inside your home, which lessens the stress and chaos of the season. 

If you follow simple holiday decorating ideas with Feng Shui in mind, your holiday parties will flow more smoothly, decorations will fit together better, and your home will be a beautiful place of harmony.

Feng Shui Tips for the Holidays

Step Up Your Cleaning and Organizing

As you start cleaning your home in preparation for guests, keep in mind that your efforts aren’t just geared toward a presentable space. A polished home can help improve your mood and the mood of your visitors. Focus on key areas where you’ll be spending the most time like your dining room, kitchen, and living room. Organize these spaces and clear them of any clutter.

This Feng Shui tip can be extended after the parties are over too. Once you have cleaned your space, take it a step further by cleansing your rooms. Rituals involving Palo Santo, essential oils, and natural incense can refresh your home and restore its positive energy.

Holiday home with Feng Shui entryway

Prioritize Your Entryway

The entryway of your home is very important when it comes to Feng Shui home decorating. As the gateway of energy, it sets the tone for the whole house, which is why you should make it a welcoming space. Give your guests a great first impression and set them at ease by including fresh herbs like rosemary and vibrant colors in your entryway.

Choose Festive, Feng Shui Colors

Colors symbolize different elements within Feng Shui design, so you definitely want to keep these in mind when choosing your holiday color scheme. Red represents the Fire element which channels passion and emotion, while green represents the Wood element of growth and expansion. These traditional holiday colors are energy-heavy, which may not be the best if you’re trying to reduce anxiety and stress in your home. However, there are a couple Feng Shui home decorating tricks to balance out their fiery energy. 

One idea is to decorate with mirrors or mirror-like surfaces that introduce the calming energy of the Water element. Another helpful tip is to use essential oils like mint or chamomile to diffuse hectic energy.

Silver, gold, and blue are beautiful seasonal colors from the Water element that are a great substitute for red and green. These Water shades bring a soothing and calming energy to your home just like mirrors do. Even though these are tranquil colors, you can still have too much of them which creates an overly calm environment. Either moderate or compensate with essential oils like cinnamon, eucalyptus, fir, or pine.

Holiday home decorated with silver and gold

Pick Decor with Your Guest List in Mind

If you can’t quite decide on festive colors for your home, consider this Feng Shui tip. Different people bring different energies to your home, so it’s best to assess your holiday guest list when practicing Feng Shui home decorating. If holiday gatherings with friends and family are emotionally draining and overwhelming to you, it’s a good idea to incorporate Water and Metal decor elements with silver and gold or blue and white color schemes. 

For quiet, disconnected holiday gatherings, try emphasizing the Fire element with lots of candles and warm scents in the air. Light your fireplace during parties for an extra cozy touch. Red decor like vases, throw pillows, blankets, and artwork are other ways to bring more connection to your space.

For any home, it’s a good idea to include Earth elements as well because they bring nourishment and stability to your space. Potted plants are an easy way to incorporate this positive energy. Get festive with some gorgeous poinsettias perfect for the holidays! 

Find Balance with Your Decor

As with decorating your home during any season, it’s good practice to know when to stop. Don’t over do it with too many nutcrackers and ornaments because that disturbs the balance of energy in your home and makes it look cluttered. Keep it simple and genuine for a warm and intimate holiday season. This Feng Shui tip can also help to preserve your life energy during a season when it’s easily depleted.

Holiday home decorated with layers of lighting

Lighten the Atmosphere

One simple holiday decorating idea that works hand-in-hand with Feng Shui design is lighting. Lighting nurtures a calm, warm atmosphere within your home, so make sure you have several layers spread throughout your space. Lamps, wall sconces, overhead lights, and of course, holiday lights, are a few examples. 

Color counts as light too! Decorate with multiple colorful items that bring you joy and happiness, as well as photographs with pleasant memories of family and vacations.

Consider Your Furnishings

Your furniture is another big consideration when it comes to Feng Shui home decorating for the holidays. You want your space to be as comfortable as possible for both you and your visitors and furniture plays an important role in achieving that. Here are some ways you can include Feng Shui design in your furniture choices.

  • Provide plenty of seating in the form of sofas, chairs, recliners, ottomans, and stools
  • Choose rounded furniture that helps continue the flow of chi in a room
  • Opt for seating that’s comfortable, not just stylish

Don’t let the hecticness of the holiday season bring you down. Transform your home into a festive sanctuary of positive energy and harmony by following these Feng Shui tips! While you get into the holiday spirit, check out these Christmas craft ideas for gifts.

Self-care is an important practice throughout the year, but especially after summer is over and life feels a whole lot busier again. With so many items on your to-do list, you may start to forget about yourself and what you need to feel happy and healthy. 

A self-care routine can bring you back to center each day and help you avoid burnout — and all from the comfort of your own home. Read on for self-care tips to make your ideal self-care routine

How to Start a Self-Care Routine

As with any new habit, it can be difficult to start a daily self-care routine, especially if you already have a lot on your plate and it feels like just another chore. After you’ve experienced how regular self-care can improve your day, you’ll see that it’s worth making time for. Until then, there are a few self-care tips that can help you get started.

Schedule time for your self-care routine to establish it as an important part of your life. You can put an alarm on your phone and block out time on your calendar to remind yourself of your commitment. Once you’ve received the notification and started your self-care practice, try to avoid any technology that might distract you. By putting your phone on silent or leaving it in another room, you can concentrate on yourself. 

Decide what you need to recharge and communicate this to the people you share your home with. Self-care can be spent with your children, friends, and family, or even by yourself. Remember, there’s no need to feel guilty about looking after yourself. When you’ve enjoyed some hard-earned me-time, you have more energy to support everyone else in your life!

Self-Care Ideas for Stress

It’s essential to find the right kind of activity so that it’s easier to get started. Keep in mind, if it’s not enjoyable for you, it’s not self-care! No matter whether you like to stay active or put your feet up, there’s a self-care activity for everyone. Here are some of the best ways to unwind at home. Just ask yourself what appeals to you most.

Woman meditating at home

Relaxing Self-Care Tips

The classic route to a self-care routine, these activities can help you get some serious rest and relaxation.

  • Sleeping: Whether it’s a 20-minute nap, an early night, or a morning to sleep in, getting some extra Zs will help you feel rejuvenated.
  • Bath and Spa Time: You don’t need to hit the spa to unwind. Draw yourself a bubble bath, apply a face mask, and enjoy a long soak.
  • Yoga and Meditation: Find some inner peace with light stretches, breathing exercises, and mindfulness. Free yoga classes and guided meditations can be found on YouTube.

Creative Self-Care Tips

Need inspiration to boost your wellness? Try this self-care list for creative types.

  • Journaling: Spend a few minutes writing about the things you’re grateful for, what you love about yourself, or the highlights of your day.
  • Arts and Crafts: From sketching and painting to knitting and crocheting, one of your overlooked artistic hobbies can be just the ticket for self-care.
  • Music: Create a playlist of mood-boosting tunes, listen to your number one artist, or pick up the instrument you’ve been too busy to practice.
  • Reading: Make time to catch up with your book club’s selection, start that classic you’ve always wanted to read, or relive your favorite novel.
  • Visiting a Museum Online: Relax in your favorite armchair and enjoy the most incredible artwork and artifacts from around the world with Google’s Art & Culture Platform

Family dancing together in living room

Motivational Self-Care Tips

If you feel most connected to yourself when you’re productive, this self-care list is for you.

  • Exercising: These days you can find any kind of workout class online. Clear some space in your home and get your heart pumping with a fun exercise video.
  • Cleaning: Even if it’s just making the bed or prepping next week’s meals, you’ll feel a huge sense of accomplishment with this self-care practice.
  • Getting Dressed Up: You don’t need to leave the home to look great. Put on your favorite outfit, do your hair and makeup, and paint your nails.
  • Marie Kondo Your Home: Decluttering your home can make you feel more in tune with who you are and what you need in life. Take on a small part of the house at a time. When it’s time to work on the living room, have a look at our decluttering guide!

Self-Care Tips for the Whole Family

Are you most content with life when you’re surrounded by family? Include your partner and children in your self-care routine so everyone can enjoy the benefits.

  • Movie Night: Make some popcorn, get cozy in your living room, and watch a movie! It can be a family favorite, a new release, or a theme night for extra fun!
  • Cooking and Baking: Try making delicious new recipes. Not only is this a tasty treat for the family, but you’ll get to learn a ton of new ideas too.
  • Going Through Old Photos: Remind yourselves of all the good things in life by looking at your vacation photos. You can choose the best ones, get them printed, and even make an album together.
  • Calling Friends and Relatives: If you’re favorite people aren’t around, make time to call them regularly. Catching up with your best friend or your mom is a great way to remember what matters to you.

Man relaxing in Southern Motion’s Next Level Collection

Find Your Perfect Self-Care Routine

Try different activities from these self-care lists and see what works for you. You may find that you enjoy something you haven’t done in years or you just like to unwind and do nothing! The important thing is to take the time to soothe your soul.

Looking for more ways to relax your body and mind? Learn how a Zero Gravity Recliner can help with your self-care routine at home.

As the evenings start to get longer and cooler, there’s nothing better than a movie night with friends and family. While a trip to the movie theater can be a lot of fun, a movie night at home can be tailored to your exact preferences — from the movie you watch to the snacks you eat. 

Read on to find out how to create your own DIY movie night in a space that is comfortable and functional, whether it’s in the living room or a dedicated spare room.

Home Movie Night Essentials

No matter who you invite, what you watch, and where you watch it, some elements of a movie night just can’t be overlooked. Here are the home movie night essentials to organize before every viewing.

A Comfortable Setting

First things first, where are you going to watch your movie? Balmy summer nights may have been ideal for an outdoor DIY movie night, but as the temperatures drop, you’ll probably want to pick a movie spot indoors.

If you’re a huge movie buff with a spare bedroom, consider turning this under-utilized space into your own home theater. Store your movie collection on shelves and put up posters from your favorite movies. You can add a couple of recliners or a sofa depending on the size of the room. Southern Motion’s Silver Screen Recliner includes power recline, a power-adjustable headrest, and a hidden cupholder for some serious cinematic luxury.

More likely you’ll be hosting your DIY movie night in the living room, which is a great place for setting the mood. The whole family can cozy up on a comfy sectional like Southern Motion’s Excel Sectional. Remember to dim the lights and draw the curtains to avoid any glare on the TV screen and to make a more authentic movie theater room.

Home movie night essentials

The Right Technology

A decent-sized TV screen is definitely a home movie night essential when you’re trying to create a movie theater experience. But what if you like to take the movies into your backyard during the summer months or up to your kids’ bedrooms for their sleepovers? In this case, a projector could be the ideal choice for you and your family as it’s more versatile and lightweight. It can even be stored away easily in a smaller home theater setup.

Sound can also make a huge difference to your DIY movie night experience. If you don’t have the budget for a surround sound system, a sound bar is a more affordable option that can give you that movie theater feel. 

Are DIY movie nights set to be a regular event at your house? Consider investing in a popcorn machine and a mini-fridge for your home theater space. For just a small investment, these appliances give you the look and excitement of a concession stand at home. That makes them home movie night essentials for the real cinephiles!

Memorable Movie Snacks

No DIY home movie night is complete without snacks. While popcorn is the go-to, that doesn’t mean you can’t spice it up a bit! Seasonings can add some variety to your bowl of popcorn and if you have a sweet tooth, you can even make your popcorn into a yummy marshmallow bar.

From red vines to milk duds, candy is also a classic choice at the movie theater. Stock up on your family’s favorite treats, but remember, not all your snacks need to be unhealthy! Look out for low-sugar candy, fruit and veggie mixes, and healthy dips made from spinach, avocado, and yogurt. Use coffee tables and stools to lay out all your snacks in front of the big screen and tuck in. 

Warning: You may want to put table cloths underneath your snack selections as it’s easy to make a mess in the dark!

A Great Movie!

A list of home movie night essentials would be incomplete without mentioning the movie itself. Unless you’re hosting a bad movie night on purpose, the key to any DIY movie night is something fun to watch.

If you have a wide collection of DVDs, part of the fun can be choosing a movie. There are also many streaming services that offer classic movies and new releases. Of course, the movie you choose all depends on who’s on your movie night guest list.

Movie night ideas for couples

Movie Night Ideas for Friends and Family

A DIY movie night with friends and family can be a fun way to get creative. Take it in turns to choose the theme of the evening. You can select a movie from a different decade or country and let that inspire your outfits and movie snacks! Watch Star Wars dressed as your favorite character, throw a Great Gatsby style movie night, or serve North African nibbles like hummus and baklava while you enjoy Aladdin. 

Kids will love the chance to make a DIY movie night more special. If you don’t have a themed evening, have some traditions for movie night instead. The whole family can wear matching pajamas or onesies and smaller kids can have their own bean bag chairs. 

Movie Night Ideas for Couples

Will your DIY movie night double as your date night? There are some great ways to maximize the romance at home with a fun twist on dinner and a movie.

Create the right atmosphere with candles, snuggly blankets, and throw pillows. Instead of serving bowls of chips, dips, and candies, make your movie snacks delicious tapas dishes. When it comes to deciding what to watch, choose a romantic movie, share your all-time favorites with one another, or re-watch the first movie you ever saw together.

Get your friends and family together for a DIY movie night you won’t forget, right from the comfort of your home! Find the perfect reclining furniture group for your movie theater experience and style in this infographic

Every year brings us new interior design trends and this year has been no different. Of course, not all trends are created equal. Some concepts may offer timeless style to your home, while others only deserve their 15 minutes of fame. From 2020’s interior design color trends to furniture choices, we’ve rounded up the most fashionable ideas of the year. The question is, which ones are in and which ones are already out? We want you to be the judge.

Take a look at these top interior design trends from 2020 and let us know your favorites by casting your vote!

There’s nothing more magical than a home full of character. It’s the reason we choose to buy older properties or stay in the same house for decades. The problem is, the more history your house has, the more likely it will need some DIY home updates. The good news is that you can give your home a facelift no matter how much time, money, and effort you have to spare!

From smaller jobs like changing out light fittings to larger projects like redecorating, read on to find out how you can make your old house look modern.

How to Modernize a House on a Budget

If you bought an older house because it was a more affordable option, the last thing you want to do is to pour all your savings into costly home improvements. Similarly, if you’re in love with your home’s special charm, you may not want to give it a complete overhaul. No matter whether you’re trying to keep to a budget or stick to a subtle refresh, these are the DIY home updates for you.

Do a Deep Clean

Dirt can build up over the years without us really noticing — even when we clean on a regular basis. If you have an older home, one of the best ways to spruce it up is with a thorough cleaning. 

Rent a carpet or tile cleaner to give your floors a seriously good wash. You can take your curtains to the dry cleaners and use a professional service to get your furniture cleaned. The cleaning shouldn’t be limited to inside your home, either. If you have vinyl siding on the exterior of your house, use a power washer to remove any moss, mold, and mildew. This may not be the most glamorous of DIY home updates, but it’s certainly effective.

Buy New Linens

Updating your linens is a great way to modernize your home on a budget. Replace graying towels and shower curtains with designs that make your bathroom pop. Choose bed linens that bring your bedroom decor together. Buy a new tablecloth that makes you proud to host a dinner party in your home. 

Another way to make an old house more modern is to switch out heavy window treatments for light drapes. This will also allow more light into your home, which brings us to our next DIY home update.

DIY home update with modern light fixture

Let There Be Light

Nothing makes an old house look more modern than good lighting. You can easily tweak the lighting in your home by adding modern table and floor lamps to the darker areas of your home. Consider replacing old-fashioned fixtures and light shades or even installing recessed LED lighting for a truly modern feel.

You can also update the light switches and plates around your home for another simple DIY home update. The same goes for power outlets, door handles, and drawer pulls, as these can become damaged and outdated over time.

Prioritize Your Paint Jobs

Painting your entire home is a huge project that requires a lot of time and effort, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still use some paint to modernise your home on a budget

Select key items in and around your home that will really make an impact with a fresh coat of paint, such as cupboards and doors. You can also repaint the fence around your property and go bold with a new front door color to increase your curb-appeal.

Freshen Up Your Yard

Don’t forget about exterior projects when making your old house look more modern. If your yard has been left to do its own thing for a long period of time, it probably needs some TLC. 

Start by pulling out the weeds from your front and back yard as well as from the sidewalk in front of your home. You should also cut back hedges, trees, and creepers. Remove any dead plants or junk. To make your garden look extra fresh, replenish the mulch and keep your lawn in check. 

Couple making DIY home updates in yard

More Ambitious DIY Home Updates

Ready to invest more time and money into modernizing your home? Take a look at these tips for the ultimate makeover for your older home.

Create a Cohesive Decor

After years of being updated here and there, older homes can end up looking a little mis-matched. The best way to make an old house more modern is to opt for one simple decor style. That means you should remove the wallpaper that has become dated, damaged, and dirty, and choose a new color palette.

Not sure how you want to redecorate your home? Take our quiz to discover the right interior design style for you and your home!

Redo Your Floors

Just like your walls and decor, your flooring should also be consistent throughout your home if you want to make your old house more modern. Consider removing all of your carpets and updating your floors to match (with the exception of the bathroom, of course). Contemporary interior designs favor hardwood flooring for its sleek, natural look. 

To incorporate some cozy texture into your rooms, add patterned area rugs or luscious sheepskin rugs. If you’re lucky enough to have hardwood floors already, be sure to refinish them for a fresh look.

Take On the Big Ones: The Kitchen and the Bathroom

The two rooms that usually need the most DIY home updates are the bathroom and the kitchen. They’re subjected to heavy daily usage, grime, and humidity, which means that hardware and decor can quickly deteriorate. If you have a larger budget, plenty of DIY experience, or the chance to get some professional help, improving these rooms is the best way to make your old house more modern.

DIY home updates to prioritize in an older bathroom include:

  • Installing a modern one-piece toilet
  • Replacing the bathroom vanity
  • Retiling the floors and walls

In some cases, you may want to recreate your bathroom from scratch with a new and more modern tub, shower, and basin.

When it comes to an older kitchen, focus on:

  • Updating old appliances
  • Installing a new sink (or even just the faucet)
  • Retiling the backsplash

These DIY home updates will give your kitchen a clean, fresh, and functional vibe that goes hand in hand with modern living.

Modern Southern Motion sectional

Invest in the Right Furniture

Once you’ve thoroughly updated your home, you’ll want to make sure your furniture fits with the new aesthetic. While you can give tables and wooden chairs a lick of stain, you may not be able to fix a lumpy, patterned couch so easily.

A new furniture group can make your old house look more modern and reinforce your interior design style. Top-quality furniture manufacturers combine the latest innovations and styles, which means a new sofa or recliner won’t just look better, it will also feel more comfortable. What’s more, if you choose furniture in stain-resistant and easy-to-clean fabrics, you can keep them looking like new for longer!

See how the right furniture can take your home to the next level in our infographic.

As moving season begins, you may find yourself downsizing — or rather, rightsizing — for a simpler home lifestyle. No matter whether you’re moving to a cozier house or downsizing from a house to an apartment, there are plenty of tips and tricks to maximize the size of your space. Read on to find out how you can celebrate the less-is-more-movement in your stylish new home.

Downsizing Home Checklist

As with any move, planning and preparation is key. This becomes even more important if you’re moving to a smaller space that cannot fit all your current belongings. Allow plenty of time to prepare for your move to keep stress to a minimum and use this downsizing home checklist to cover all your bases!

Step 1: Measure Your New Home and Large Belongings

If you’re downsizing from a house to an apartment, you likely won’t have the same number of rooms to work with. Remember, though, it’s not just about the room count. Even if you’re moving to a house, each area in your new home may be considerably smaller. Rightsizing is a great way to create a cozier space and prioritize what you love in life, but it may also mean that some of your furniture items won’t fit.

As well as knowing exactly how large each room in your new house or apartment is, you need to know exactly how much space your belongings take up, too. Furniture groups, sectionals, dining sets, dressers, and sideboards all require plenty of room, so measure everything well in advance. Understanding the amount of space you have to work with will be an important first step in a seamless move.

Step 2: Sort Through Your Stuff

While you can always use storage facilities to keep every item you own, why not use this opportunity to look through your home and keep only the items that spark joy

Rightsizing is all about less is more, so apply the same concept to your belongings in this next step on the downsizing home checklist. By keeping only what you love and use regularly, you can make sure your home stays tidier, more organized, and more enjoyable to live in. Go through each room and separate your items into three categories: Keep, Donate, and Trash. When it comes to large items that you love but can’t fit into your new home, take photographs that you can easily keep and treasure. 

Couple decorating new home

Step 3: Redecorate and Renovate Before You Move In

In an ideal world, your new home would be move-in ready and you would have narrowed down your belongings so that they all fit perfectly into the space. In the real world, your new home may need updating to look more modern, to match your tastes, or to better accommodate your personal items. 

While you’re probably excited to get moved in as quickly as possible, taking care of decorating and renovations before you move in will be much easier. Whether it’s repainting, changing the flooring, or adding built-in storage space, take advantage of your empty new home. Once all your belongings are lining every room, it will be more difficult to make any changes and that might put you off improving your home all together.

Step 4: Invest in Smart Furniture Pieces

You may have to say goodbye to a lot of your furniture as part of the home downsizing checklist. While it can be tough to give up items you’ve had for years, now you can invest in the kind of pieces that will support your new lifestyle! 

Instead of replacing your furniture with smaller versions, opt for multipurpose and smart pieces of high quality. Think coffee tables with drawers, ottomans that open to provide storage, and beds with compartments. You can get creative and use a dresser as a TV stand or choose a wall-hugging recliner that has been specifically designed for a small room. Southern Motion’s Metro Recliner allows you to combine functionality, style, and comfort to a cozy room without sacrificing space.

Couple following tips for downsizing

Tips for Downsizing

You’ve prepared your new dream home, reduced and refined your belongings, and made the move. How can you make sure you get the most out of your cozier space for the years to come? Follow these tips for downsizing that can help you enjoy a more minimalist lifestyle on a day-to-day basis!

Get into the Habit of Decluttering

You may have purged your belongings before your move, but to keep your smaller home at its best, you need to declutter on a regular basis. As well as keeping piles of mail in check and making sure items always go back in their place, consider going through your belongings every season to get rid of anything you’re not using or enjoying. 

Don’t Save Anything For Best

One of the best tips for downsizing is to stop saving items for special occasions. Whether it’s your wedding china, guest towels, or Sunday best, you need to get your fanciest belongings out in the open — and not just for show. Using your favorite items on a daily basis doesn’t just free up storage space and ensure that you don’t need to double up on items. You’ll also feel more excited about living in your smaller home and getting the most out of life. 

Find What Works For You

You’ve got rid of the items you don’t want or need, you’re decluttering on a regular basis, and you’ve stopped storing all your best belongings. Now the real fun begins. You get to experiment to find out how your new home will work for you and your family!

This tip for downsizing takes time. You need to adjust to your new home to discover your preferences for the space. You might try different layouts or hone in on your priorities and remove even more items. Whatever it is, stay flexible, open-minded, and enjoy the ride.

Downsizing from a house to an apartment or smaller home is a liberating move. With these tips for downsizing, you can focus on what really matters to you and create a more functional living environment. To find high-quality furniture that works with your lifestyle, take a look at Southern Motion’s stylish collections now.