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14 Simple and Inexpensive Backyard Ideas

As the weather warms up, it’s time to take the DIY home improvement projects outside into the backyard. There are so many simple and inexpensive backyard ideas to make it the perfect place to spend spring and summer. You can spruce up your patio, plant a garden, invest in some backyard furniture, and much more. These outdoor decorating ideas on a budget will make sure you spend every beautiful day outside this summer.

Build DIY Planters

A great way to save money while beautifying your backyard is to build your own planters. They are relatively easy to put together and then you get to decide what you plant inside them! Choose flowers for some color in your backyard or fruits and vegetables for delicious summer produce. No matter what you opt for, you can’t go wrong with this fun yet simple DIY backyard idea.

Cozy Up Your Patio

Whether you have a simple bench, basic lawn chair, or outdoor sofas, adding some pillows to your patio furniture can make your backyard feel like an extension of your home. You can also experiment with colors and patterns in your backyard space. To cushion up your patio, purchase some pillow inserts and covers. Make sure to use outdoor fabric, which is usually water resistant and sun resistant. That means the colors won’t fade and you won’t ever have to sit down on a sopping wet pillow! 

Build a Fire Pit

A fire pit is an impressive centerpiece in any backyard, not just on summer evenings but also on crisp winter days. It’s also one of the best outdoor decorating ideas on a budget.  With some cinder blocks and stones, you’re good to go. Of course, you might want to grab some s’mores ingredients while you’re at it. 

Garden Vertically

Got a green thumb but less backyard space? A great way to incorporate more plants into your backyard is to garden vertically! You only need a few simple gardening supplies, lots of dirt, and vine-type plants and you’re ready to grow! Choose a wall or space in your backyard that needs extra love and you’ll be amazed at the impact of your vertical garden within a few months. 

 Southern Motion recliner in well covered patio

Install Patio Furniture

Patio furniture is a fantastic way to make your backyard look and feel like an outdoor living room. If your patio is covered, you can get even more adventurous with the furniture you put outside. Consider adding a comfortable recliner or accent chair to your covered patio area. It will become everyone’s favorite spot! 

Backyard Lighting

There are so many ways to incorporate lighting into your simple DIY backyard ideas. From string lights to rope lights, they can really add some sparkle to your yard. Buy some outdoor string lights to hang over a seating area and string rope lighting to illuminate your walkways. Lights will make the backyard enjoyable even into the later hours of the night. 

Build a DIY Outdoor Bar

With some concrete blocks, wood planks, and simple chairs or stools, you can have an outdoor bar! This bar will elevate any outdoor barbeque area so you can easily enjoy a drink and a snack in your backyard.

 Backyard concrete paving patio

Install Paving

Breaking up your backyard into different sections can help you make better use of the space and create more visual intrigues. One way to do this is to install paving on the ground. Add some concrete pavers or gravel and tiles to create a patio in the backyard. This can help you build out a lounging area, barbeque space, or even walkways. Pavers and gravel can be very cost effective, making this a fantastic outdoor decorating idea for budgets

Buy Bird Feeders

Hanging bird feeders can help you bring some extra life to your backyard. Hang the feeders by flower bushes or from your favorite tree. You’ll be able to watch the visitors all day long. 

Hang a Tree Swing

Hanging a tree swing is a fun addition to your backyard that your little ones will love. Once you’re sure it’s safe to swing from, it will be a backyard favorite all summer long. The best part? A tree swing is a budget friendly and simple DIY backyard idea.

Use an Outdoor Rug

An outdoor rug can be an effective way to spruce up any patio space. You can experiment with colors, patterns, and textures and make the rug a focal point on your patio. The feeling of a rug outside will make your outdoor space even more comfortable, although this idea works best on covered spaces. 

Outdoor herb garden

Plant an Herb Garden

Plant an herb garden in one of your DIY planters for a summer-long supply of fresh herbs for your meals and cocktails! Classics like basil, mint, and oregano make for an excellent starting point. Grab some potting soil and some herb seeds for this simple DIY backyard idea that you will enjoy all summer long. 

Hang a Hammock

To enjoy the open air and summer breeze, hang a hammock in your backyard. Hammocks are ideal for lounging and resting in your backyard, and create another outdoor seating option. Don’t have any trees in your backyard? No problem. There are plenty of hammock solutions that don’t need a trunk to hang but use stands instead. 

Build a Garden Path

To break up the space in your backyard, create a garden path. You can do this by adding concrete pavers or tiles to lay out the walkway, then add rope lighting to illuminate the path. This is a simple outdoor decorating idea on a budget that will have a huge impact on the look of your backyard. 

Thanks to these outdoor decorating ideas for budgets, you’re well on your way to having the backyard of your dreams  without breaking the bank. For more ideas on how to update your home, both inside and outside, read our blog post on DIY home updates.

Choosing the perfect piece of furniture is about much more than what you like. If you want to find the best furniture for your home, it’s important to consider pieces that complement your interior design style, fit your space, and seamlessly blend into your lifestyle. No matter how messy life gets and how many stains you have to clean, your furniture needs to have the durability to withstand the test of time. 

Along with those factors, you should also consider the different types of furniture fabrics and decide which is the best fabric for your sofa or chair. From stain resistant furniture fabric like leather to soft and cozy options like microfiber, there are plenty of fabrics that combine style, comfort, and functionality.  

How to Choose Upholstery Fabrics for Furniture

So how do you know which recliner fabric is right for you? Follow our simple flowchart below to find out how to choose your upholstery fabric!

best fabric for your furniture infographic flowchart

Now you know the best fabric for your sofa, learn more about the best recliners for your lifestyle

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Since many of us are spending more time than ever in our homes and working on projects around the house, home improvement gifts for Mother’s Day are perfect for showing Mom just how much you care. These gifts can range from large-scale projects to easy DIY Mother’s Day gifts. Whichever you choose for Mother’s Day 2021, your Mom is sure to appreciate the extra effort and thoughtfulness behind these unique ideas. 

Large Home Improvement Gifts for Mom

There’s always work to be done around the house from laundry and dishes to vacuuming, which means we don’t get around to the bigger home improvement projects. These tasks take more time and money, but if you’re willing to put in the hours and hard work, you can offer something to your Mom that she may have been dreaming of getting fixed. 

Install a Backsplash 

Backsplash tiling can make a surprisingly large impact on the look and feel of your kitchen and with so many different styles of backsplash tile to choose from, you can make sure that it suits Mom and her kitchen perfectly. 

If you don’t have any tiling experience but you still want to do the work yourself, don’t worry. You can try peel-and-stick glass tiling for a cost-effective and time-efficient solution. Set aside a few hours one afternoon while your Mom is out and make her kitchen look like new with a simple yet professional-looking backsplash.

Remodel the Cabinets

If a backsplash isn’t your speed or it just doesn’t need replacing right now, another way to refresh your Mom’s kitchen is to remodel the cabinets. Since this is a larger project, chat with her about the colors and styles she likes before getting started. The results should make every day feel like Mother’s Day (at least, in the kitchen for a little while).

Painting home improvement gift for Mom

Repaint and Restore

A fresh coat of paint can have a huge impact on your home. If your Mom has been talking about wanting to repaint the kitchen with a new shade or refresh the living room with a new color, now is the perfect time to do it for her. Just make sure she likes the color first! You can take a look at our guide to choosing the right color palette for a living room to help you make some suggestions. Once you’re ready to start painting, be sure to check out these handy tips!

Invest in New Furniture 

Pitch in with your siblings and treat Mom to a new piece of furniture. A high-quality piece will last for years, making it a fantastic gift for Mother’s Day 2021 and beyond. No matter whether your Mom would enjoy a pretty accent chair to go with her interior design style or a recliner with massage and heat technology, you can find the perfect piece for her needs and preferences at Southern Motion. Since furniture demand is currently very high and special orders are taking longer than normal, use our retailer locator to find Southern Motion furniture near you.

Medium-Sized Home Improvement Gifts for Mom

Sometimes big projects can be daunting, but there are many other ways to do something nice for Mom! You can treat her to one of these more accessible home improvement gifts on Mother’s Day 2021.

Create a Coffee or Tea Cart 

If your Mom is a coffee or tea drinker, consider creating an at-home coffee cart for an easier DIY Mother’s Day gift. Simply put up some shelves or free up some counter and cabinet space for a new coffee maker and a mug. Stock up on Mom’s favorite coffee or tea and arrange everything so it’s cute and functional. Your Mom will be able to think of you every time she makes herself a delicious hot drink! 

Reorganize Closets

Ah the closets, a constant project. And a project that no one really wants to do, which makes doing it all that much more meaningful. Put aside a few hours to reorganize your Mom’s closets with helpful storage solutions that will make it easier for her to enjoy her clothes and accessories each and every day. Shelves, shoe racks, hangers, and in-closet dressers can make storing and finding clothes a breeze. 

Do a Deep Clean of the House

A deep cleaning can make a big difference to how a home feels, but getting in all the nooks and crannies of the house isn’t something we all have time to do each week. Powerwashing, dusting in the forgotten places, cleaning the oven and the stove, and going the extra mile with a deep clean will be a great gift for Mom that she will be grateful for. Take a look at our spring cleaning tips here!

Herb garden for Mother’s Day 2021

Plant a Garden 

Mother’s Day 2021 falls on May 9th, which is the perfect time to plant a garden for summer. With warmer weather and longer days, plants and flowers are something Mom can enjoy for months to come. Plant some of her favorite flowers outside in the backyard or in planting boxes on the patio. If backyard space is tight, a kitchen garden with cooking herbs offers a fun and useful form of plant decor

Easy DIY Mother’s Day Gifts

Even if you don’t have the time to invest in some serious home improvement, you can always try these easy DIY Mother’s Day gifts to show your Mom how much you care. 

Self-Care Package

There are so many ways to practice self care at home. Make Mom a self-care package with all the items she needs to truly pamper herself this Mother’s Day. You can fill a basket with face masks, bath salts, wine, chocolate, and anything else she likes to show her just how well you know her. 

Fingerprint Mugs 

If you’re coordinating a gift for Mom with your little ones, fingerprint mugs are an adorable way to decorate a white mug with a lasting memory. Using dishwasher-safe, permanent paint that you can wash off little hands, let your children’s creative side run wild. These mugs are a sweet and easy DIY Mother’s Day gift that would make a great addition to a homemade coffee cart!

 Jewelry organizer for Mother’s Day 2021

Jewelry Organizer

If your Mom is a jewelry fan, consider making a homemade jewelry organizer. A DIY jewelry organizer will declutter her dresser space, create a beautiful decor piece, and make for a thoughtful gift. There are many different ways to display jewelry, depending on the types of accessories your Mom wears. You can add small hooks to a space in the wall or in a closet for beads, create a hanging display for necklaces, or personalize a jewelry box for rings and earrings. 

No matter how you choose to celebrate Mom on Mother’s Day 2021, any of these gifts are sure to make this year’s celebration a special one. For more ideas for home improvements that you can work on as a family, take a look at these DIY home updates for making an older house look like new.

National Cleaning Week is almost here! Starting on March 28th, this is a great opportunity to do a spring cleaning of the house. As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, a clean home will feel even better. Here are some spring cleaning tips and tricks that are sure to refresh your home and make sure you have the ultimate spring cleaning experience. 

Restock on Cleaning Supplies

Cleaning can be a hassle, especially if you want to do a deep cleaning. So first things first, make yourself a spring cleaning supply list. Hopefully you’ve already got a stockpile of some essential cleaning products lying around, but if not, make sure you have these essentials: 

  • Vacuum
  • Mop
  • Toilet brush 
  • Towels
  • Scrubbing brush
  • Duster
  • All-purpose surface cleaner
  • Toilet bowl cleaner
  • Wood and/or tile cleaner
  • Mirror and window spray

For eco-friendly cleaning supplies, castile soap, vinegar, and baking soda will be your best friends during your spring cleaning of the house. You can also take advantage of reusable spray bottles and washable towels instead of paper towels. Some other essentials are toilet bowl cleaner, an all-purpose cleaner, mirror and window spray, wood cleaner, and anything specially made for the surfaces in your home. 

Set Yourself Up for Cleaning Success

Once you’ve gathered everything on your spring cleaning supply list, you’re ready to start cleaning! For a smooth spring cleaning of the house, there are a few things you can do to make the rest of your cleaning even easier. 

Dust

From dangerous particles of chemicals to pesky allergens, dust isn’t just a bad look — it can also affect your health. Dusting is one of the quickest and healthiest ways to refresh your home, so grab a duster and go over your house. Make sure you’re reaching up into shelves, on top of books, and lamps as dust will accumulate more than you realize. The difference will feel great and create an ideal foundation for additional cleaning.

Vacuuming carpet

Vacuum

For a clean home and even cleaner floors, plug in your vacuum and do a once over of your entire house. Vacuuming will make the rest of your cleaning even easier (especially the mopping) by getting rid of dust, crumbs, and everything else that accumulates on the floor. You can even take it a step further and deep clean your carpet and rugs.

Clean Your Windows Inside and Out

Using a window cleaner, wipe down every window in your home from inside and outside. Clean windows will let in all of the beautiful spring light and make your home feel fresh and bright. 

Clean kitchen space

Take a Close Look at the Kitchen

Your kitchen is probably in need of a deep cleaning — especially if you started cooking as a quarantine hobby. Follow these spring cleaning tips and tricks for a kitchen that feels brand new.

Stove Top

When cooking on your stove top, grease, food, and grime can build up, which makes your cooking space less hygienic. For safe food preparation and to prevent contamination, it’s important to clean your stove top regularly and to do a seriously deep clean from time to time. Depending on what type of stove top your kitchen has, you might have to clean it a little bit differently. Read the directions on your cleaning products and get scrubbing! 

Oven

Chances are, your oven could use a deep cleaning as well. Tackle this job when you’re spring cleaning the house. Take out the oven racks and wipe those down, then scrub away any grease or drippings from cooking that accumulates at the bottom of your oven. 

Floors

After cleaning your kitchen and deep cleaning your stove top and oven, be sure to mop the floor. With all the action your kitchen sees, there are sure to have been some spills that wiping and vacuuming alone won’t fix. Use a cleaning solution made for your floors so they really sparkle.

Bathroom sink area

Brighten Up the Bathroom

Your bathroom, like the kitchen, is another space that needs regular cleaning. But every once in a while, a deep cleaning can really refresh the space and make it feel like new. Here are the best spring cleaning tips and tricks for your bathroom.

Sink Area 

Wipe down your sink, the basin and any counter space you might have. Lots of bacteria can accumulate here, so use a heavy-duty cleaner from your spring cleaning supplies list. Polish any faucet and knobs for a clean shine and wipe down the mirror. Water spots accumulate very easily in the bathroom, but you can use a soft towel and a surface spray to get rid of all of those marks. 

Shower and Tub 

Using a gentle (but sturdy enough) brush, scrub the floors and walls of your bath and shower space. If you have tiles in your shower, make sure you’re getting into the grout to clean even the little spaces. Rinse off cleaning products with water or a wet towel to avoid residue. If you have a shower curtain, check the cleaning instructions to see if you can throw it in the washing machine. If not, you may want to replace it as you’re spring cleaning the house.

Toilet 

Using a toilet brush and toilet bowl cleaner, scrub your toilet bowl. The toilet should see regular cleaning, but a good scrub can really do a world of difference. Make sure you also wipe down the seat, lid, and the rest of the toilet for a deep clean.

Clean, fresh bedroom

Freshen Up Your Bedroom

Don’t forget your bedroom when you’re spring cleaning your house! Waking up in a fresh, clean space is the perfect way to welcome spring.

Bedding

The rest of your bedding needs cleaning too, not just your sheets. Tackle the bulkier items we all like to avoid: the pillows, comforter, and duvet. A good clean will do wonders for your health and wellness. Just make sure to check the tags on your bedding before throwing them in the washer. 

Closet

Your closet can always use some good organizing. Go through what you’ve got hanging and folded in drawers, and reorganize if need be. If you have clothes you no longer wear or need, consider donating them or recycling them. Decluttering is a great practice for your entire home, not just your closet, so be sure to read our tips on decluttering your living room space, too!

Curtains and Drapes

Many window treatments, like curtains and drapes, are machine washable. If they are, toss them in the wash. The fresh laundry smell will fill up any room where they hang. As with the spring cleaning tips and tricks for bedding, take some time to check the label on your curtains before throwing them in the washer as they may need to be professionally cleaned.

A spring cleaning of your house will be sure to make spring feel even warmer and brighter. Don’t forget to keep your furniture clean too! Check out our guide to removing stains from every type of furniture for more spring cleaning tips and tricks.

Noticed a dirty mark on your favorite piece of furniture? Never fear. This furniture stain removal guide will help you take the correct course of action when you spot a stain, no matter what type of fabric you have in your home. Let’s get started!

What to Do Before Removing Stains from Furniture

When you see a stain on your furniture, it’s easy to panic and attack the area with every stain removal product you can find. Avoid scrubbing stains at all costs, as this can cause stubborn spills, such as red wine and ink, to spread. You should also hold off from using any stain removal products until you’ve checked the fabric tags or manufacturer’s cleaning instructions.

These are the cleaning codes and what they mean:

  • X: Vacuum or light brushing only. Must be professionally cleaned.
  • S: Dry cleaner detergent only. Do not saturate. Do not overwet.
  • WS: Use mild detergent with a steam vacuum or a dry-cleaning detergent. Do not saturate with liquid.
  • W: Clean only with water-based shampoo or foam upholstery cleaner. Do not overwet.

Woman checking stain removal product

Stain Removal Guide for Each Type of Upholstery

Once you know what you can and cannot use to remove the stains from your furniture, try the following tips to help you clean the specific fabric of your furniture.

Microfiber

Microfiber is known for being durable. Of course, that doesn’t mean you won’t end up with some stains on your favorite pieces over the years. This type of upholstery is relatively easy to clean but microfiber blends vary, so double-check the fabric tag to ensure the correct cleaning approach. Generally speaking, the most effective way to remove stains from your microfiber furniture is with a few items you probably have around your home.

Stain Removal Products You’ll Need:

  • Clean cloth
  • Spray bottle
  • Light-colored sponge
  • Distilled water
  • Dry brush

Stain Removal Techniques:

  1. Use a clean cloth to blot the area and lift out any loose dirt.
  2. Spray the stain with distilled water and scrub with a light-colored sponge until dry.
  3. Brush the area in a circular motion with a dry brush to re-fluff the microfibers in that spot.

Using vacuum cleaner to clean couch

Synthetic Fiber

Synthetic upholstery includes polyester, olefin, acetate, acrylic, and nylon. These materials are often used to imitate the qualities of natural fibers for a more cost-effective piece of furniture. Given the variety of synthetic fibers, you should always check the fabric tag and care labels on your furniture. Your cleaning method should be safe and simple.

Stain Removal Products You’ll Need:

  • Vacuum cleaner upholstery attachment
  • Dry brush
  • Clean cloth
  • Warm water
  • Mild detergent

Stain Removal Techniques:

  1. Use a vacuum cleaner upholstery attachment to remove debris from the area.
  2. Brush the stain with a dry brush to remove more stubborn debris.
  3. Add mild detergent to warm water and spot test the solution on an unseen part of the furniture.
  4. If the detergent does not damage the material, use it to wet a clean cloth and dab the stain.

Cotton and Linen

Cotton and linen are both natural fabrics that you may be able to treat in the same way. Check the cleaning instructions, especially for linen furniture covers, as they may require professional cleaning or even be machine-washable. If there are no specific instructions, try this suggestion for removing stains from your cotton or linen furniture.

Stain Removal Products You’ll Need:

  • Vacuum cleaner upholstery attachment
  • Mild detergent
  • Soft cloth

Stain Removal Techniques:

  1. Use a vacuum cleaner upholstery attachment to remove dust and debris.
  2. Add a small amount of mild detergent to warm water and spot test on your furniture.
  3. If the solution doesn’t damage the fabric, wet a soft cloth and dab the stain.

Stain removal technique for leather couch

Leather and Vinyl

The fact that leather and vinyl are stylish and easy to clean makes these upholsteries even more popular. Whether your furniture is genuine leather or a fabulous faux, the key to removing stains from this kind of furniture is to keep it natural. Harsh chemical products that aren’t specially designed for these fabrics can leave the material stiff, dry, and less comfortable. 

Stain Removal Products You’ll Need:

  • Warm water
  • Non-detergent soap
  • 3 clean cloths

Stain Removal Techniques:

  1. Add 2 tablespoons of non-detergent soap per 1 gallon of warm water.
  2. Wet a cloth with this solution and wipe the stained area.
  3. Wet a second cloth with water only and re-wipe the area.
  4. Use a dry, clean cloth to remove any residue from the furniture.

Wool

Wool is waterproof and long-lasting, but that doesn’t make it stain-resistant. You may be able to remove stains from your furniture by taking off the covers, turning them inside out, and throwing them in the washing machine—but only if this is specified in the cleaning instructions. If this isn’t an option, try these tips.

Stain Removal Products You’ll Need:

  • Vacuum cleaner upholstery attachment
  • Water-based detergent for wool
  • 2 clean cloths

Stain Removal Techniques:

  1. Use the vacuum cleaner upholstery attachment to remove debris from within the fabric.
  2. Add the detergent to warm water and wet a cloth with the solution.
  3. Dab the stain with the damp cloth. Avoid scrubbing.
  4. Wet the second cloth with water only and dab the area to remove the cleaning residue.

Family relaxing on couch

How to Keep Your Furniture Stain-Free

Do you have young children, pets, or a love of entertaining

If you answered yes to any or all parts of the question, then your upholstery may be at a greater risk of stains. While we’ve offered plenty of tips on how to remove stains from furniture, you can also take measures to stop paint, muddy feet, or food spills from wreaking havoc on your furnishings. Of course you should always check with your retailer for more warranty and cleaning details before using any stain-resistant solutions.

For complete peace of mind, you need furniture fabrics that have been designed to resist stains, right from the start. Southern Motion’s Smart Solutions fabrics provide long-lasting protection without sacrificing style or comfort. These strong and stain-resistant fabrics are available for all motion groups and recliners, so you can relax in your living room for many years to come. Take a look at the Southern Motion collections to find the right furniture for your lifestyle.

More of us are working from home than ever before, which means it’s essential to have a dedicated space where we can do our jobs effectively and comfortably. Whether you’re working in your spare room or in the corner of your living room, you can create your perfect setup without spending too much money. From getting the most out of your space to getting your essentials for less, read on for our top home office ideas on a budget.

1. Define Your Office Space

When setting up a home office on a budget, the first step is to figure out how much you have to spend. A budget will help you make decisions about what your home office needs to narrow down the search for furniture and office essentials. The main items to prioritize are a desk, a chair, and a lamp. 

Desk

Shopping for a desk can be daunting, so focus on desktop space, color and style. Always have measurements in mind before buying any large items. If you’re trying to figure out how to make a home office in a small space, choose a desk with shelving or drawers. This will help you get more bang for your buck and reduce the amount of other pieces you need. Of course, make sure you don’t already have a suitable table in your home that you could use as a desk!

Chair

Working from home means you spend a lot of your day in your desk chair. The right chair will make all the difference in your mood and productivity, but you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on a high-tech desk chair. The key is to find a comfortable seat with lumbar support so you can avoid back pain.

Lamp

Light is another important factor in a home office, especially for any early mornings or late nights. A good lamp will help you stay alert and avoid eye strain as you work. If you’re setting up a home office on a budget, you may already have a lamp in your home that’s available to use.

If you need to buy a new lamp, look for one that will support all your working activities without adding glare to your computer screen. Adjustable brightness is another handy feature that can help you transition throughout your workday.

Second-hand furniture

2. Decorate 

Decorating can bring your workspace to life. For some home office ideas on a budget, visit a local flea market. This is a great way to save money and repurpose artwork, all while getting to choose from a large collection of interesting and one-of-a-kind pieces. 

Another way to decorate your home office is to freshen up your space with plants. Indoor plants look inviting and they purify the indoor air, so move some of your favorite plants over to your desk area! If you’re wondering how to decorate an office in a small space, shelves can offer plenty of room for your plant decor. 

To find out which indoor plant is best for you and your office space, take this quiz

3. Keep It Warm and Comfortable

Work can get stressful, but having a comfortable space to spend your time in can make it all that much easier. Make your office cozier without spending too much money by using items you may already have around your home.

Add a rug underneath your desk and a cushion to your chair. Have a blanket nearby for early mornings and late nights. If your space is particularly drafty, you may have a space heater or an electric blanket to spare. For added coziness on a budget, you can buy a mug warmer, which doesn’t cost much but will keep your tea or coffee warm as you work! Take a look around your house for more inspiration for these home office ideas on a budget.

Organizing desk area

4. Organize

A key tip? Organize. Especially if you’re making a home office in a small space. Consider a desk with shelves or drawers or both. Having storage space in your desk lets you organize clutter while keeping everything you need in arm’s reach. Another way to organize and maximize a smaller space is to find a bookshelf that fits the space. A bookshelf can be a very versatile piece of furniture, and you can use any extra bookshelf space for decoration purposes. 

As for organizing your day-to-day tasks, a planner or desk calendar is a small investment. Writing down your tasks for the day can be very helpful for productivity and time management. A large calendar lets you keep track of meetings, deadlines, and appointments. Everyone has a different method to organize their tasks, so find what works best for you.

5. Purchase Furniture on Sale 

Buying furniture on sale is a great way of setting up a home office on a budget. You can also buy furniture second hand, which helps protect the environment. Visit a local flea market or Facebook Marketplace to find furniture at a discounted price. You can easily make secondhand furniture feel like new on a budget by refurbishing it. A new coat of paint can go a long way! 

We hope that with these home office ideas on a budget, you can set up the home office of  your dreams. Read our workplace wellness ideas to make sure you stay relaxed throughout the day at your new desk area!

The temperatures may have dropped, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a warm and fuzzy feeling as you think about the winter months. With the right winter home products, you can create a cozy safe haven you never want to leave. Read on for our top winter essentials that can transform the winter blues into a dreamy winter experience.

1. Fuzzy Slippers

Hardwood and tiled floors create a beautiful interior design aesthetic, but in the winter months they are extra cold underfoot. Instead of adding carpets or rugs to every room, invest in a snuggly pair of slippers. House shoes with a thick sole and fleece lining will keep your feet nice and warm. For added convenience, look out for slippers that are machine washable. This can help keep these winter essentials fresh and fluffy for a daily treat for your feet.

2. Sheepskin Rugs

Adding rugs to every room in your home can get expensive. What’s more, you probably won’t want to have your cool floors covered with thick textiles in the warmer months. Fortunately, if you’re the owner of a snuggly pair of slippers, you only need to add rugs to specific parts of your home. Place a cozy sheepskin rug on the floor next to your bed. As well as creating a charming winter vibe in your bedroom, this winter home product will prevent you from getting a shock in the morning as you step out of bed and onto the cold floor!

Bedroom winter essentials

3. Bed Linens

While we’re on the topic of winter-worthy bedrooms, don’t forget to make your bed as warm and inviting as possible. The shorter days of the year offer the perfect time to rest and relax. Invest in a thick comforter and fleece throw blanket. These bedroom winter essentials won’t just keep you warm — they’ll also add some texture to your room. Be sure to choose bed linens in soothing colors, such as blue and gray, to help you get into the right mindset for sleep.

4. Electric Blanket

An electric blanket is a cost-effective way to warm up your space without turning up the heating or using a space heater. No matter whether you’re reading in bed or working at your desk, this winter essential can keep you warm and snuggly. This can be a real treat if you have any aches and pains that get worse in the winter. Look out for blankets with different heat settings. If you intend to keep your blanket on as you fall asleep, you can also find models with timers.

5. Living Room Throw

You might not feel the cold enough to buy an electric blanket, but that doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy a fuzzy blanket in your living room. Keep a faux fur or quilted throw on your sofa so you can snuggle up with your favorite people. These winter essentials make movie night even more fun and reinforce your interior design thanks to the wide variety of styles and colors of blankets available.

Candles as winter essentials for the home

6. Scented Candles

Candles are the ultimate winter essentials for your home. No matter what your favorite part of winter is, you can find a candle that embodies that experience. From evergreen trees to spiced apple cider, there’s a candle for every fragrance. Candles also provide low ambient lighting that gives your home a cozier and more relaxing feel. They’re just what you need for your own winter wonderland at home!

7. Tea Collection

It’s important to stay hydrated during the winter months, but with the cooler temperatures, you might not feel so thirsty. One way to get plenty of water and warm up at the same time is to prepare more tea. Choose tasty tea selections and make your tea break an enjoyable winter ritual. Blends with spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger can help boost blood circulation, while green, rooibos, and rosehip teas have antioxidants that can help you fight off winter colds. These natural ingredients are winter essentials that will delight your taste buds and improve your well-being.

8. Mug Warmer

After you go to the trouble of making a warming cup of tea, don’t let it go cold! A mug warmer doubles as a hot plate and a coaster for your drink. Simply place your mug on the warmer between each sip and you can take your time over your hot beverage. It’s the perfect winter home product for when you’re reading a book, enjoying a movie, chatting with friends, or even working at your desk.

Slow cooker winter home product

9. Slow Cooker

The winter pace is slower and more relaxed, so why not apply the same approach to your food during the colder months? A slow cooker makes it easier to prepare warming meals, like soup and melt-in-your-mouth meat dishes. Save some cooking time by letting this winter home product take on the hard work. All you have to do is add the ingredients in the morning and you’ll have a family-sized meal ready for dinnertime. Many slow cookers have non-stick coatings, which makes clean-up just as easy.

10. Dryer Balls

Gone are the days of hanging your laundry outside to dry. The winter months mean you’ll be using your dryer more than ever and your clothes are also thicker and heavier at this time of year. To make your dryer more efficient, add wool dryer balls to your load. Believe it or not, these inexpensive winter home products can help speed up the drying process and ensure fewer wrinkles in your clothes! You can also add your favorite essential oils to the dryer balls to make your laundry smell incredible. These winter essentials for the home are much more environmentally friendly and effective than your usual dryer sheets.

11. Heat Therapy Chair

At the end of a busy winter day, there’s nothing better than a relaxing massage or a comfortable, warm chair. With Southern Motion’s SoCozi™ Collection, you can enjoy both experiences, right in your living room! Relax, restore, and renew with a professional massage chair complete with reclining technology and heat therapy. This winter essential for the home helps you unwind and stimulates circulation so you can enjoy the colder months more than ever.

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!