At Home: Get a better look in less time with these 7 holiday decorating tips | Lifestyle

I have this vision of how holiday decorating is supposed to be, probably because I’ve watched too many Hallmark movies. It features a happy family putting up the tree, while the good dog sleeps by the fire. The room smells of hot cider and popcorn and Nat King Cole croons carols in the background as everyone takes joyful turns hanging ornaments and stockings.

In reality, the kids are in their rooms plugged into their devices, a fight has ensued over tangled strands of half-dead Christmas lights, the dog is lifting its leg on the tree, and the family room looks

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Home design ideas: A carefully considered shade of blue helps turn a staid den into an all-day haven

The objectives for the den in this Newton Colonial were contradictory: It needed to feel fresh and invigorating in the morning, but warm and cozy at night. Sarah Henley’s solution? Painting the room in Farrow & Ball’s Stiffkey Blue. “This intensely saturated blue is both bright and rich,” the designer says. “The room is luminous in the daytime, but moody after dark.” Painting the walls and woodwork the same color also made the space feel cohesive. “Before, navy walls and white trim made the room look choppy and disjointed,” Henley says. “Now it’s a beautiful jewel box.”

1 The clean-lined,

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With all this freedom, my creativity has been dying

Here’s a word problem for all the math whizzes out there: What does a growing to-do list, plus less free time, multiplied by a strong urge to continue home improvements equal?

Insanity. It equals absolute insanity.

This insanity, for me, has manifested as an inability to make any decision that doesn’t involve caring for my 4-month-old infant. That sure doesn’t stop me from trying, though. I feel like I’m riding a carousel of madness as I cycle through my to-do project list, take a week or two researching options I have to carry out said project, get exhausted by my

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