Encantada Sweet Home

“There’s no place like home.” – L. Frank Baum, The Wizard of Oz

Thankfully for most of us, finding home is a lot easier than it was for Dorothy Gale. There is no need for a trek along the yellow brick road, ruby slippers, or the clicking of heels. Even so, creating that feeling of home can be more elusive for some than for others.

Encantada Sweet Home

“Man wants a home, a place for warmth, or comfort, first of physical warmth, then the warmth of affections.” – Henry David Thoreau, Walden

When deciding to keep, remove, or purchase an item for your home, ask yourself why? Why should you keep it? Is it more beneficial to remove it? Are there compelling reasons to buy it? Home is all about what matters most to you.

 “Home is where my habits have a habitat.” – Fiona Apple

Home is a feeling. Decorating to achieve that feeling can seem like a daunting task, but it really does come down to finding what fits your life right now. That might mean that you’re removing pieces from your spaces rather than adding anything. To achieve that sensation of home, you want to put together pieces that look good and feel right, which might be something only you know. What is home for you may not be home for your neighbor or your friend. It is a feeling that you have to discover and define for yourself.

“Home is where the heart is.” – Pliny the Elder

When you’re renting, you want to concentrate on the heart of your home, the items you will take with you, the details that will furnish your life. For some that means adding comforting details with lush, soft, touchable fabrics. You can also focus on collecting and displaying timeless pieces you’ll keep forever, like candlesticks, holiday collectibles, or heirloom pieces.

 “Home isn’t where you’re from, it’s where you find light when all grows dark.” – Pierce Brown, Golden Sun

For smaller rooms, making it feel larger is key. This can be accomplished with mirrors, which reflect light and give rooms an open feel. Tall bookcases can also help a small room feel larger. Additionally, they can be used as functional room dividers to break up a space. Area rugs can also separate space in rooms.

 “Home is always the impossible subject, multilayered and maddening.” – Paul Theroux

When renting, make the most of your space with furniture that can serve several functions. For example, ottomans with storage space can also be used for extra seating or even as a table, with the addition of a tray. Further, choosing lightweight furniture means you can change the layout and feel of a room rather easily. Modular furniture is another great tool, allowing for quick changes to suit different needs and situations.

“Beauty and graciousness, joy of living, being used in every part, these are the things that make a house a home.” – Ellen Baker, Keeping the House

Personalizing your space with little hints of style, as well as convenience, will contribute to the feeling of home. High-quality ceramic pots for plants or silk flowers are a great way to bring personality and color into a room. Displaying collections or vibrant, interesting knickknacks can also accomplish this. Bookcases make a great showcase for clever pops of color which can break up the neutral color schemes of rental spaces. Adding bright knickknacks, vibrant vases or containers, and colorful plants can liven up the color palette of your apartment home and bring in some personality. Pillows and throws can add color and personality too, and they can be recovered or changed out rather easily to give your room a new feel.

“Sometimes memory is the only gift we give ourselves and the only hope we have of finding our way home.” – Harley King

Walls—even despite a neutral coat of paint—can be spruced up in a number of ways which won’t damage them. Transferrable wall decals are a great way to decorate without damage. Removable adhesive strips and hooks also fit that bill, allowing you to hang lightweight pieces. In place of a large art piece, which would require anchors and hooks to hang, perhaps try a gallery wall. This is a great way to show off your personality and feature memories in several smaller frames.

“Home is the nicest word there is.” – Laura Ingalls Wilder

Renting doesn’t mean you can’t get creative with your decorating details, either. If you’ve got the DIY spirit, you can make some pieces to inject your personality and brightness into your home.

Corkboards are a great way to display pictures, keepsakes, messages, and other items. Give them a little life with patterned contact paper or fabric and ribbons.

Thrift stores and garage sales are a great spot to find deals on furniture. Take a beat up end table or other piece and apply some blackboard paint, then all you need is some colored chalk to turn these pieces into a fun way to display your personality. Or, maybe for your guests to leave their mark on your home.

And one final tip that will always be in style—clear away the clutter. Whether you fight the pile up by regularly getting rid of items you don’t need or use (donating, garage sales, or craigslist are all great options for those things you don’t need or want anymore), or you just have enough storage to keep those possessions with untidy potential tucked out of sight and out of mind, keeping your home clutter-free is one way to keep your home feeling comfortable and even spacious.

Keeping Your Home Safe While You’re Away

Homeowners that go on vacation for even a week have a lot to worry about. Single-family homes are prime targets for burglars because they’re isolated with multiple, often secluded, entry points which criminals love. With over one million residential burglaries, how can homeowners have a relaxing vacation?

Staying Cool in the Summer Heat

Some people find Arizona’s summer temperatures to be shocking, especially newcomers who have relocated from northern climes. Occasionally, when the humidity is very low, it may not seem as hot as it really is, but the heat can be a danger whether one is aware of it or not. Dehydration and heat stroke occur slowly and the warning signs can easily be ignored.

Happy 4th of July from HSL

This Independence Day, celebrate in red, white, and blue with summertime cookouts and spectacular fireworks displays! Check out this list of festivities in your area:

Mouthwatering Ideas for Your Summer Cookouts

Kick off your shoes and trade your sweater for a bathing suit. It’s summertime—and the livin’ can be easy!

We can all agree summer is a time of leisure and good times. Still, that doesn’t always mean going on vacations and to resorts. Sometimes, the most fun can be had in your own backyard. What would summer be without refreshing beverages and non-stop barbecues with friends and family?

Take a Staycation!

Summer is a wonderful time in Arizona. The snowbirds have all returned home, and much of America goes elsewhere because vacationing in Arizona is extremely hot for those not familiar with our climate. But for residents, here’s the bonus: many of the finest hotels in Phoenix and Tucson become suddenly affordable. Take advantage of all Arizona has to offer with a truly stress-free, close-to-home staycation.

Road Trip! Summer Weekend Getaways

Summer is a good time to explore Arizona and adjacent states. Because there are fewer tourists in the summer, everything is less crowded; plus, there are nearby places where the temperature is actually below 110 degrees.

No Time to Spring Clean? Then Spring Organize!

Last month, we gave you tips on spring cleaning, but you didn’t actually do any spring cleaning, did you? Who has the time? That’s why, this month, we’re providing an easier option. Instead of spring cleaning, just do some spring organizing—no scrubbing required.

Help the Planet for Earth Day

For the first Earth Day, in 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets to raise awareness of environmental issues with such astonishing force that, by the end of 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Clean Air Act, and the Clean Water Act, all came into being, with the Endangered Species Act becoming law just three years later.

The Rite of Spring Cleaning

Spring is in the air, which means no more golfing, no more Netflix, because it’s time for spring cleaning. That may sound like a lot of work, but you can clean your Encantada home with minimal effort and probably won’t even have to buy cleaning products since, as anyone who has ever perused a cleaning website will attest, there are very few things on our planet that can’t be cleaned with either lemon juice, vinegar, or a combination of the two. If you do have to purchase a commercial product, most experts have two words of advice: Magic Eraser.