10 Cozy Ways to Stay Warm All Winter Long

cozy winter indoors

Just when you think that winter has loosened its grip (remember that glorious January thaw we had last week?), it’s snatched us up once more in its clutches. With below-freezing temperatures and gloomy gray days, you may feel like you’ll never be warm again.

While spring is slowly but surely making its way back, we have some tips to help you stay warm and snug for the rest of the brutal winter season. Check them out below!

Light a Fire – If you have a fireplace, then it’s time to put it to good use! Keep your fire tools and supplies close by to make starting a blaze a breeze. Bedeck your mantel with your favorite decorations, snuggle up in a comfortable chair, put your feet up, and bask in the warmth that a fireplace gives!

Bake Something Delicious – Want to stay warm and enjoy something delicious? It’s time to break out the cookbook, turn on the oven, and bake your favorite food! Whether you’re making the perfect chocolate chip cookie or a cozy comfort food like mac ‘n’ cheese, you can’t go wrong with baking in the wintertime!

Sip and Savor Your Favorite Hot Drink – What better way to warm up than enjoying your freshly-baked treats with your favorite hot beverage? Sip your favorite tea, wake up to a hot cup of coffee, or a mug of hot chocolate with the works as you lounge in your favorite chair.

Dress Up Your Windows Properly – You’re probably not running around in a tank top and shorts. Just like you, your windows should be properly outfitted for the weather, too! Stay warm by replacing thin curtains with heavier drapery made of wool or fleece. Don’t forget to open them up on sunny days to soak up some free heat!

Throw Some Throws Around the House – Don’t get us wrong – throws and blankets are perfect for snuggling in as the snow tumbles to the ground, but they can come in handy in other ways! Try laying a throw over your headboard or over a railing to create more texture. Remember, additional texture means upping the coziness factor!

Add a Rug or Two – Bare floors during the winter can be a bit of a shock to the system underfoot. Keep your feet feeling fine by adding a rug on your bare floors. Rugs, especially those with greater texture, will feel warm and cozy underfoot, so opt for a shaggy rug to pad across on cold mornings!

Enjoy a Warm Bath – Instead of turning up the thermostat, draw a warm, relaxing bath! Wash away the stresses of the day by adding some Epsom Salt or lavender oil. Don’t want a bath? A nice hot shower can do the trick, too!

Stash Extra Blankets Wherever You Lounge – Here’s an easy life-hack for you: make sure to keep a few extra blankets in the rooms you to tend to hang out in the most. Fill up a basket, an ottoman, or a trunk with your favorite throws and blankets. This is especially handy if you want to keep your thermostat lower to save on energy.

Block Drafts Like a Pro – Drafty homes can make you feel cold and uncomfortable. Block the winter air with weather-stripping, caulk, and door sweeps. To see if you have any air leaks, walk by the windows and doors with your hand and a small candle. If the flame moves at all while you’re standing still, then you probably have an air leak!

Make a Comfy Reading Nook – Who doesn’t love curling up in a cozy space to read a good book during the winter? Wherever you choose to create your perfect reading corner, keep plenty of pillows and a quilt or blanket nearby. Complete your space with some great lighting to read by and a spot to place your favorite beverage in between page turning!

Warming up to the idea of finding your dream home? Don’t be left out in the cold! Just call the experts at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 to get started today! Don’t forget to check out our listings online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com!

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10 Clever Ways to Incorporate Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2018 in Your Home

ultraviolet decorNew year, new you, new look for your home! Pantone has announced that their Color of the Year for 2018 is the regal, cosmic, and mysterious ultraviolet. A bold and beautiful hue, ultraviolet evokes fantasy, mindfulness, creativity, spirituality, and non-conformity, making it an irresistible addition to your home this year!

One of our favorite things about this gorgeous color is its versatility. Because it has both warm and cool elements, ultraviolet can go with just about anything, giving you an original color palette for you to enjoy all year long. Whether you want to create a dramatic or intriguing color scheme, evoke the imagery of an eternal spring or a desert sunset, or want to give your space a timeless yet edgy look, there are so many ways you can use ultraviolet to your advantage in your home.

Here are 10 easy ways you can breathe new life in your home with this vibrant color!

Liven It Up With Accents – Brighten up a drab space with a few bold ultraviolet accents! From adding a few ultraviolet pillows and throws to laying down a stunning rug, this hue will make your space feel cozy in an instant.

Make It Dreamy With Pinks and Blues – For a celestial feel that evokes a never-ending sunset, pair ultraviolet with shades in the same color family, specifically blues and pinks. Throw in a bit of soft silver or cool copper to add a metallic dimension to your color scheme for a dazzling color palette!

Add a Stunning Work of Art (or Two) – Bring in the Color of the Year with a beautiful painting that inspires you. Hang a large piece that features ultraviolet over your couch, display a series of smaller paintings on an accent wall, or create your own gallery of wall hangings in the same family color to create a heavenly effect!

Treat Your Windows Like Royalty – Want to update a room in a snap? Curtains are an easy way you can revitalize a room quickly. Try some curtains in a deep purple to keep you warm and cozy while giving your space a more regal feeling!

Make It Picture-Perfect With Purple Frames – Create an elegant gallery wall with ultraviolet frames! Don’t have any? Simply paint old mirror or picture frames ultraviolet for an instant and inexpensive pop!

Jazz It Up With Jewel Tones – Make a bold statement in your home by pairing up ultraviolet with a few jewel tones! While ultraviolet plays well with just about any color, the rich hues of ruby red add a sense of drama and elegance to any space. Balance it just right with a few golden accessories or a gold mirror frame.

Add Some Ultraviolet Furniture – Nothing is quite as inviting as a purple couch or ultraviolet chairs! Bedeck your living areas with these beautiful pieces of furniture, or refinish a few older chairs and paint them in ultraviolet to give your space a cozy yet polished look.

Pair It With Black – Ultraviolet and black work well together and can look absolutely stunning in any space! Add black furniture with ultraviolet accessories or paint the wall surrounding a black fireplace deep purple to give the room a bit of dramatic flair.

Spice Up Your Bedroom – Purple is often a good color choice for bedrooms. Imagine how beautiful ultraviolet would look in your bedroom against white linens and bedding, especially when you dim the lights to rest. Not ready to paint the walls purple? Try something smaller like an ultraviolet headboard or lamps to add a bit of character to your bedroom!

Paint the Front Door – Painting your front door instantly adds curb appeal. Create some intrigue with a pop of purple pizzazz! Ultraviolet will look especially stunning on homes in white, gray, and charcoal, along with brick homes. Just don’t be surprised if you notice a few of your neighbors copying your home’s look after a month or two!

Longing for a home that makes you feel like royalty? We can help! Call the experts at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298! Get started by checking out our listings at www.dianamasseyhomes.com!

10 Ways You Can Create the Perfect Winter Retreat for Guests

winter guest room

Are you expecting some guests to drop by and stay a while at your home this winter season? If so, you’ll want to give them a comfortable space to sleep in, not on a foldout couch in your home office or a futon in the basement. Give them a warm wintry retreat in your guest room by using these 10 tips!

Play with an Icy Palette – Winter’s color palettes – hues of white, light blues, creams, and metallic shades – can be welcoming and cozy in a guest room. These brighter colors can also help bounce light throughout the space, making the most of the short amount of sunlight we receive during the season.

Try Seasonal Scents – There’s really nothing like the smell of a delightful fire, but if you don’t have a fireplace, don’t worry – there are plenty of other wonderful wintertime scents for your guests to enjoy. We recommend something inviting like vanilla, cinnamon, or gingerbread during the winter. Want to help your guests relax when they wind down? Lavender and chamomile are great choices!

Add a Rug – Want to add extra warmth, color, and texture to your space all at once? Include an area rug! Whether the guest room has hardwood floors or wall-to-wall carpet, a rug ups the coziness factor and helps your guests feel snug and at ease.

Pamper Them with a Robe and Slippers – Speaking of being comfy, nothing says luxurious quite like a soft plush robe and slippers. Be sure to add a robe to a hook on the back of the door and place slippers near the bed. Your guests may forget that they’re staying at your home and not a relaxing resort!

Don’t Skimp on the Bedding – Remember the Golden Rule: Treat others the way you want to be treated. That means you should roll out some high-quality sheets and top them with a warm, comfortable duvet or comforter. Add the finishing touches with an array of pillows in different sizes and textures!

Throw in Additional Seating – If you find that your guest room has extra space, try adding a few pieces for extra seating. An inviting armchair, small love seat, or a little couch can work wonders in helping your guests settle in with a warm drink and a good book.

Wrap ‘Em Up with a Throw or Blanket – Of course, nothing goes better with a hot beverage and page-turning piece of literature than a cozy blanket or throw, especially faux fur. Your guest room will absolutely ooze luxury and warmth when you add a soft faux fur throw on the bed, chair, or couch.

Let There Be Light – Whisk your guests away to their very own sanctuary by using a variety of lighting options! Create the perfect ambiance with candles, adjustable lighting, and even a strand or two of white Christmas lights.

Adorn the Walls with Art – Don’t forget about the walls! Make the guest room perfect by hanging artwork with complementary colors and theme to match the space’s comfy-cozy aesthetics.

Include Some Reading Material – Winding down with a good book or fun magazine is a great way for anyone to end the night. Give your guests the luxury of literature by adding your favorite books and a few popular magazines. Make them feel even more at home by placing a book or two next to a fresh vase of flowers on the nightstand!

Don’t have a guest room but warming up the idea of having one? Call on the experts at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties to help you find the perfect home for you and your needs! Just give us a call at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 or check out our listings at www.dianamasseyhomes.com and get started today!

8 Easy Ways You Can Kick the Winter Blues at Home This Year

a book, a pink mug, and a cozy-looking gray scarf

Like it or not, winter is slowly but surely approaching. If you find yourself beginning to dread the entrance of a new season, don’t fret. There are a few very easy things that you can do at home to help you have a happier winter!

Here are 8 clever tips to help you keep your mood elevated all winter long:

Bring in Some Nice Scents – Did you know that your sense of smell is directly connected to your emotions? You can thank your limbic system for that! Beat the winter blues with some happy or relaxing scents. We like orange, lemon, or lime for a mood-boost or chamomile and lavender to help you kick back and relax.

Keep Your Home Tidy and Clean – Piles of clutter can make you feel more anxious and unmotivated. Combat this by keeping your home tidy and neat. Make your bed in the morning, do small tasks when they come up (say, doing the dishes after making a meal), and clean regularly. You’ll find that your mood is more elevated when your home is picked up!

Let in Natural Light – Speaking of a mood boost, light is a natural way to make you happier! Even 15 minutes of sunshine can help! Open the blinds and curtains, trim back obtrusive tree branches, and clean the windows to let the sunlight pour in more easily. Craving more daylight? Sitting next to an artificial light such as a light box can work wonders!

Stock the Fridge and Pantry with Healthy Food – It can be so tempting to reach into the pantry for a bag of chips or grab a carton of ice cream out of your freezer to munch on, but it will more than likely leave you feeling not so great (and not so happy). Eat well-balanced meals to help give your body the nutrients it needs to feel and function well. Your diet should consist of lean proteins, fruits, veggies, and complex carbs. Want to treat yourself? Indulge in rich dark chocolate moderately!

Get Out and Exercise – We know that one of the last things you want to do in the winter is to go outside and work out, but you’ll feel so much better once you do! Sticking to a regular exercise regimen can help you combat the winter blues, improve your focus, and lower stress levels. Too cold or snowy to go outside? There are plenty of exercises you can do inside to help give you that boost of endorphins!

Play Some Upbeat Music – Music can affect us in so many ways. It’s no wonder that upbeat tunes have been shown over and over to improve our moods significantly, both in the short- and long-term! If you haven’t done so already, create a playlist of your favorite cheerful songs and blare them shamelessly in your abode!

Invite Some Friends Over – Sometimes during the winter season, we feel like hibernating. While a little bit of solitude is healthy, be sure to reach out and spend time with your friends and family! Have the gang over for a fun game night, ask the fam to drop by and check out that new comedy you just found, or hold a holiday potluck with your closest pals!

Get Comfy – Maybe you’re not a fan of all that winter brings with it – the longer nights, the cold weather, the icy precipitation. While you can’t do much about the weather, you can definitely treat yourself to some comfort during this time of year! Wrap yourself in your softest blankets, cozy up with your favorite hot beverage, and read a good book by the fireplace as you watch the snow drift lazily to the ground. Who knows – you might actually come to love winter if you do this enough!

What are some things you do to combat the winter blues in your home? Be sure to tell us in the comments below or on our Facebook page!

8 Bright Ideas to Help You Bring More Sunshine Into a Dark Room

a bright room with white brick walls, shades of white, and pops of color

It’s that time of the year again when we turn back the clocks one extra hour and begin seeing less and less daylight in our days. If you’re dreading the lack of light and want to have more sunshine in your life (and home), don’t fret! We won’t leave you in the dark. Just follow these 8 tips to help you brighten up a dark space:

Choose a Light or Neutral Color Scheme – It almost goes without saying that rooms painted in dark hues will reflect less light. Create the illusion of light by painting your rooms a white or light neutral color. The lighter the color is on your walls, the more light they’ll reflect. Think shades of white, cream, light neutrals, and pastels for a happy and bright room!

Keep the Contrast – While a light color scheme can definitely brighten up a space, a room bedecked in nothing but one bright color can feel pretty dull and uninspired. To make the room pop, add accessories, decorations, and other objects in your favorite color. Items in navy, crimson, hunter, or royal purple can really tie a light room together without overpowering it. Darker furniture or picture frames can also do the trick!

Hang Mirrors Strategically – Want to double the amount of sunlight you get in a room? Hang a large mirror or an assortment of smaller mirrors directly across from the largest window in your room! While mirrors won’t do much to brighten up dim hallways and small bathrooms, they can work true wonders in larger rooms.

Cut the Glare – While you’ll want plenty of light in your room, the quality of lighting you use can create a negative effect. Eliminate harsh glare by avoiding glossy paint and choosing a matte paint, which will reflect light in every direction. Additionally, we suggest situating lights near your walls and placing LED strips underneath cabinets to create a soft glow.

Reflect Light with Shiny Surfaces – As we mentioned earlier, it’s wise to avoid going glossy on the walls; however, reflective surfaces can come in handy when it comes to bouncing light around the room. Choose accessories such as acrylic accents, mirrored surface, and objects in metallic finishes to amplify the sunlight in your space.

Reconsider Your Window Treatments – To maximize the amount of sunshine you receive, we suggest saying good-bye to dark, heavy curtains and switching them for translucent shades instead. Sheer and semi-sheer window treatments are great for letting light into the room while still providing plenty of privacy throughout the day. Want to block the light at night? Invest in blackout curtains that can be pulled all the way back during the day and closed completely at night!

Trim Up the Trees – Sometimes our outdoor view can block light from entering our home. If that’s the case, it’s time to break out the shears and trim back the bushes and trees before winter arrives! You may find that, once you cut back some persnickety branches, your home may be infused with more sunlight than you’ve seen in months or years!

Clean the Windows – We know this sort of goes without saying, but say it we shall! Cleaning your windows inside and out can have a huge effect on how much sunshine streams into your home! Simply wash the windows with a sponge and mild soapy water like dish soap, wipe them dry with a squeegee, and finish the job with the help of a soft chamois cleaning cloth.

Looking for a new home? Let us help shed some light on your search! Call The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 or visit us online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com for more information!

9 Quick and Easy Last-Minute Halloween Decoration Ideas

Halloween jack o' lantern background

Halloween is less than two weeks away, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to decorate. In fact, there are plenty of things you can do to celebrate the holiday in time with the perfect frightening flair!

If you’ve waited till the last minute this year and need some ideas stat, here are 9 quick and easy Halloween decorating ideas to help turn your home into a spooky setting (in a good way)!

Paint Some Pumpkins – Don’t feel like carving a jack-o’-lantern? You don’t have to! Just grab some pumpkins of various sizes and paint them instead. Go with classic looks like black and white polka dots or stripes, or get a bit more creative and paint something scary, funny, or meaningful on them. Set them on your front porch or throughout your home to give your abode a spooky vibe!

Create Your Own Candy Corn Pots – Remember those cheap terra cotta pots you’d find all summer long? Score a few of those pots at your local hardware store, grab some white, orange, and yellow acrylic paint, and create your own candy corn pots! These fun pots are perfect for displaying frightening foliage or filling with your favorite Halloween goodies.

Decorate with Black Flowers – Speaking of scary foliage, find some fake black flowers at a crafts store and arrange them in a few vases around your home! You can add a few fake maroon and dark purple flowers to give your arrangements more depth or ramp up the creepy factor with fake spider webs and spiders, ravens, or other spooky items!

Make Your Own Chalkboard Tombstones – Come up with your own clever chalkboard tombstones for less than $20! All it takes is a tombstone template, plywood, saw, chalkboard paint, and a bit of determination. When you get ready to paint, make sure that you apply three coats of paint to your creation. Once it dries completely, grab some chalk and get creative!

Scare Up a Ghost Lollipop Bouquet – This decoration is easy and, once the holiday is over, edible! Just find some lollipops, drape white cotton over them, tie each of them with twine, and paint black eyes on each ghost. Place these so-cute-it’s-scary creations in a mason jar (bonus if you spray-paint your mason jar black!) and use them as a fun centerpiece!

Invest in Some Tall Black Candles – Make your very own creepy candelabra with the help of a few black candles! After you place the candles in the candelabra, lightly drape some fake spider webs over it for a more eerie feel.

Hang Out With Some Ghosts – Dangle some spooky spirits from the ceiling! Just snag a few small Styrofoam balls, cover them with cheesecloth, paint eyes on them, and hang them from the light fixtures in your home. It’s as easy as that!

Create Creepy Creatures of the Night – Got some old plastic or ceramic animals hanging around the house? Take them to the dark side by spray-painting them black and adding red glitter (or better yet, glow-in-the-dark red paint) to their eyes! This will really give your home a devilish vibe in time for Halloween!

Group Together Some Scary Drac-o’-Lanterns – What’s orange, small, and has big fangs and red eyes? Drac-o’-lanterns! If regular ol’ pumpkins won’t quite cut it for you, find a few pumpkins, print out a mouth template, cut out the “mouth,” and wedge some plastic vampire teeth into the hole. Finish your creation off by sticking in red pin map tacks into the pumpkins for eyes. Group them together on your mantel, a side table, or on the coffee table to give guests a real fright!

You know what’s really scary? Living in a home you don’t love! If you’re on the hunt for your dream home, be sure to contact the experts at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties! Just call us at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 or check out our current listings at www.dianamasseyhomes.com.

10 Hot Ideas for a Great Fire Pit Party This Fall

marshmallows roasting over a fire

It’s time to embrace the season of fall and the wonderful things it brings us – crisp, cool nights, pumpkins galore, colorful leaves, and plenty of warm drinks to cozy up with. As the mercury drops and the weather becomes more temperate, we should take the opportunity to celebrate this beautiful weather around a fire pit. And what good’s a fire pit without friends and family around to enjoy it with us?

Here are 10 tips to help you put together a fun and memorable fire pit party in no time!

Break Out the S’mores – Fall just isn’t complete without a heaping helping of S’mores and plenty of friends to share them with! Gather the necessary ingredients – graham crackers, chocolate bars, and marshmallows – and you’re halfway there. Now grab some long sticks from the yard or some store-bought skewers or roasting sticks to help you and your friends toast some marshmallows, sandwich it between two pieces of graham crackers and chocolate, and enjoy! Bonus points for trying different types of chocolate or using colorful marshmallows!

Celebrate With Cider – If you and your friends are fans of apple cider, now is the perfect time to enjoy some warm cider by the fire! Hook up a slow cooker, pour in a gallon of apple cider, and keep it warm for a few hours. Keep up the fall theme by setting up hale bays for extra seating and pumpkins for a decorative touch.

Get Your Game Face On – Break out some fun games and keep warm by the fire pit! Try to keep the games on the easier side – we’re thinking games like Farkle, Uno, and Phase Ten, for example. Make it interesting by giving the winning team a bottle of wine or a box of hot chocolate mixes!

Start Star Gazing – Fall is a great time to look up and drink in the starlight. If you’re blessed with a clear night, check out the stars with your friends. See how many constellations you can find while you enjoy solar-based treats like Moon Pies, Cosmic Brownies, or Starbursts!

Sip and Savor Some Wine – Do you and your friends love wine? Now is the perfect time to enjoy some great wine around the fire! Prepare your favorite to serve and ask your friends to bring their favorite kind or a local wine no one has tried. Pair the wines with a tantalizing cheese plate to complete the evening!

Serve Warm Seasonal Drinks – We mentioned hot cider earlier, but don’t forget about the other warm drinks that the season brings! Hot chocolate is always a favorite. For an older crowd, try serving hot buttered rum in enamel mugs. You can also set up a coffee station complete with sugar and sweetener for your coffee-loving friends!

Sing Your Heart Out – Go a little crazy and break out into song with your friends! Grab your karaoke machine (or find an app on your smartphone) and sing to your heart’s content! Just be sure to be courteous to your neighbors, of course, especially if you live in close proximity to one another.

Go Camping (Sort Of) – Like the idea of camping but don’t want to go far from the comforts of home? Host a camp-out around the old fire pit! Roast some wienies, munch on some corn dogs, and roast some marshmallows for that camping feeling. Get extra spooky by recounting some of your favorite ghost stories!

Paint and Sip the Night Away – For a more creative twist, try painting around the fire with your best buds as you sip some wine. You can buy inexpensive watercolor kits and watercolor pads at your local craft store. Let your imaginations run wild and paint something beautiful as you warm yourselves by the fire!

Enjoy Your Very Own Kabobs – Want to include a nice meal during your fire pit party? Try some shish kabobs! Prepare and precook each of the kabobs before your friends come over so they can choose their own and finish them off by cooking them a little longer over the fire pit. Mix it up some by offering veggie-only kabobs and some that feature tasty meat like chicken or beef!

As always, be safe around the fire pit. Keep the fire small and at least 10 feet away from any structure. Refrain from placing it under trees or your roofline, and keep a hose or a fire extinguisher nearby in case something happens. Never leave a fire unattended – when you’re done having fun, be sure to put the fire out.

How do you like to celebrate fall? Tell us in the comments below or on our Facebook page!

8 Super Thrifty Ways to Decorate for Fall

Fall Decoration.Pumpkins,Orange Candles,Cinnamon,Chestnuts and

It’s officially fall! That means it’s time to fill your home with warm colors, pumpkins, and the scents of the season. Even if you’re on a tight budget, there are still plenty of ways that you can welcome fall into your home and still make everything look stylish and chic!

Here are 8 super thrifty and clever ways you can decorate for the season:

Pick Up Some Fresh Produce – Now is the time to head to the grocery store and grab some great seasonal produce. We’re talking apples, pears, and, of course, pumpkins and gourds! Place some of your produce in a clear vase or a large wooden bowl for an inexpensive yet elegant centerpiece. Bonus points for adding in a few cinnamon sticks!

Bring in a Few Beautiful Branches – Pick a few pretty branches from the trees in your yard and have some fun decorating them inside! Whether these little branches have leaves on them still or not, you can arrange them in a tall vase, nest mini gourds and pumpkins among them, or strategically display them around the mantle. Just remember to spray them off with water, and allow them to dry in your garage before decorating with them!

Pumpkins, Pumpkins, Pumpkins! What better way to show that fall has arrived than by displaying these cute gourds inside and outside your home?! Whether you use them as they are, paint them, stripe them with tasteful Japanese washi tape, or mix and match colors, you’re sure to get that fall vibe you want with pumpkins, big and small alike!

Get Creative with Mother Nature – Remember all those pumpkins, gourds, and squash we mentioned earlier? Wouldn’t they look really neat on a tiered cake serving plate? You can also gather pinecones, nuts, acorns, leaves, and more and combine them in an enclosed vase to give a natural look to your home!

Light a Candle or Two – You know fall has arrived when you smell salty caramel, apple crumble, or S’mores in the air! Find a few fall-inspired candles, light one, snuggle up with a good book, hot tea, and a blanket, and enjoy!

(Potted) Mum’s the Word – Mums are everywhere right now, so bring one, two, or a few more into your home to evoke that fall feeling! Place potted mums in your flowerbeds, on your porch, near your fireplace, or on a mini straw bale. Whatever you do, you just can’t go wrong with mums!

Break Out the Blankets – It’s time to pull out your favorite, coziest blankets and throws and drape them over the backs of your chairs and sofas! Not only do they look stylish, but they’re also awfully nice to cuddle up in after a long day at work!

Check Out the Dollar Stores – Visit your local dollar store for some really great deals! You can find all sorts of fall goodies like wicker baskets, candles, fake flowers, and more. Use these gems to your advantage and start decorating!

How do you like to decorate for fall? Tell us on our Facebook page or leave us a comment below!

Unfinished Basement? Transform It Into One of These 8 Fun Spaces!

3681304126_70e75dc6b1_bIf your house is like most in the Midwest, it probably has an unfinished basement. This underground space is great for storing seasonal decorations, tools, extra buckets of paint, and more, but it can often be used in more efficient and fun ways!

Got an unfinished basement but not sure what to do with it? Here are 8 ideas to help your imagination cook up something fun to do with your home’s blank canvas!

Get Crafty – Tired of using your kitchen table or spare bedroom for all of your craft-making and artwork? Set up a space in the basement to decrease the mess upstairs and give yourself more square footage to break out the paints, scrapbooking material, and clay!

Set Up a Home Theater – While it might be nice to watch TV in the living room, there’s really nothing like having your own home theater in the basement. Whether you’re watching one of your favorite movies or the big game, your basement can be the perfect setting to watch it all on a big screen, complete with surround sound!

Give ‘Em a Playroom – If you have kids, then you know that playtime is critical (and pretty much unavoidable). Transform part of your basement into a playroom for your kids! Just lay down some soft carpet or rugs, bring in a few bins of toys, and watch them enjoy the ultimate playroom by themselves or with their friends!

Unwind with a Basement Bar – After a long day at work, it’s always nice to go somewhere cozy and unwind. A basement bar can help you do just that! You can also consider hosting fun wine and cheese parties for your friends (or apple cider and S’mores parties for the upcoming fall months!).

Get Fit With a Home Gym – Who needs a gym membership when you can get fit in your basement?! Whether you enjoy doing yoga, running on a treadmill, lifting weights, or some other fit activity, your basement can be the perfect place for getting tone and in shape. Best of all, you won’t have to worry about the weather or crowds!

Work Quietly in a Home Office – Working from home can be great, but it can also be distracting. Claim your own little space by turning your basement into a home office. Basements are surprisingly quiet and can help you zone in on your work, helping you check off your to-dos even more quickly!

Get Your Game On – Love board games or video games? Have you always wanted a space to shoot some pool when your friends come over? Turn your basement into a fun game room! With some couches, a table for game playing, or a billiards table, the basement can easily become the place where you entertain your guests and make awesome memories!

Live It Up in the Library – Are you a bookworm in need of a peaceful place to retreat? Create your very own library in the basement! Sunlight won’t damage your collection of books, and you can make the space as cozy as you want with soft carpet, good lighting, and, of course, comfortable spots to curl up with your favorite books!

Are you in search of your dream home with the perfect basement space? Call the experts at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 to begin your search today! Remember to check out our listings online, too, at www.dianamasseyhomes.com!

7 Ways to Make a Cozy, Creative and Kid-Sized Hideaway Spot!

1024px-Cotsen_Childrens_Library_PrincetonKids and hiding spots go together like nooks and crannies or peanut butter and jelly. They love exploring and finding tiny spaces to create little worlds of their own, read fun books in peace, or dabble with their artistic skills.

Give your kids their own little world with one of these 7 ideas for child-sized nooks, hideaways, and corners!

Put Tiny Nooks to Good Use – Got a small space like a closet or the space underneath the stairs that isn’t being used? Take advantage of this space and create a private little oasis for your child to enjoy!

Create a Top-Secret Tepee – Move over, blanket forts. Tepees are a way more awesome addition to any play space and give plenty of room for your child’s imagination to take wing! You can purchase one at a store or create your own version with some twine and bed sheets.

Don’t Forget Window Benches – Who doesn’t love a nice window bench with a beautiful view? Even if you don’t have the most beautiful settings outside, a window bench can easily act as a cozy place for your child to enjoy some “me time.”

Set Some Lofty Relaxation Goals – If you want to save space and give your child their own mini-paradise, loft beds are a good way to go. Your child can count sheep on the top bunk while playing, doing homework, or reading on the bottom bunk. It’s as easy as that!

Put Tiny Crawl Spaces to Good Use – Is there an awkward closet or crawl space (complete with a little door a la Coraline) in your home that you have no idea what to do with? This can be the perfect little getaway for your youngster!

Make a Cozy Corner – Corners can be the place that your child plays or reads without getting in the way of your main living space. All you need to do is angle furniture or bookshelves against a wall, add some floor cushions, pillows, or beanbags, and voila! You’ve created a fun space that can give your young one hours of fun!

Cover It With a Canopy – There’s something so private and cozy about a canopy. Drape one over your child’s bed, and you will create a sanctuary in an instant! Much like the tepee, you can buy a canopy at many stores or create your own by suspending fabric from curtain rods above his or her bed.

What were some of your favorite hideaways as a child? Tell us in the comments below!