cozy

 

Apple cider, leaves turning, warm fires and cozy sweaters. All of the staples of fall. And no city welcomes fall with such delight as Phoenix, Arizona. The end of a hot summer is here fellow Phoenicians, and the best way to celebrate cooler weather just might be a casual, cozy backyard party.

Whether you love the bohemian look with tossed pillows and blankets or an evening outdoors watching the football game, we have some ideas to help you throw a backyard fall party to remember.

Let’s start with necessities. Regardless of your style or extent of your guest list, every fall bash needs the following:

1. Warm Drinks… Nothing says fall like a big pot of hot chocolate or spiced apple cider. Get the timeless recipes here:

2. Warm Fire… Well, I suppose a warm fire might help those warm drinks along. It is getting below 70 degrees these days. Here are some ideas for building a cute fire pit in your backyard. Or just pop by your local home improvement store for a pre-built option!


3. Warm Desserts… Are you sensing a theme here? But seriously, is there anything better than a big pan of apple crisp or brownies to make it a true fall party? Your mother will be proud and your friends will thank you (unless you eat the whole pan like we wanted to) after you try one of these easy recipes:

4. Grab a few blankets and pile on the pillows to give your backyard a warm (yep, there it is again) and inviting appeal. We love these unique ideas.

If you want to get creative and bring in some extra ambiance, try a few of these comfy additions:

5. Bring out some sweet sparkles with stringed lights. Every yard is different, so take a look at these creative ideas and see what might work for you.

6. Or go for more of a garden glow with some of these lighting ideas.

For a little extra fun or an added theme:

7. Turn it into a movie night with a DIY projector and yes, you guessed it… even more blankets and pillows.

8. Or liven things up with a host of backyard DIY games. There are lots of adult and kid friendly options depending on your crowd.

And if you’re feeling artsy:

9. Here are some lovely chalkboard ideas. (If you can do them by hand, we’re inviting you to come and decorate for our upcoming fall party.)

10. Finally, if you do make those brownies, be sure to invite your good friends at Shea Homes, or maybe just a new neighbor or two. Brownies and fire pits have been known to start a few good friendships.

Check out the ideas above and more on our Backyard Fall Party Pinterest Board!

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Winterize your home to stay comfortable and warm this season

by Shea Homes Arizona on December 11, 2014

“The more the merrier” is one of our favorite phrases this time of year as your home fills up with relatives, friends and holiday cheer. To keep you and your loved ones comfortable this year we would love to share some of our favorite tips and tricks for keeping your home cozy and warm all winter long.

The best way to keep your guests cozy this holiday season is to make sure that your home is warm and that you keep the cold out. It is so easy to lose heat throughout your home in places like under the doors, this can be prevented by rolling up a towel to place under each of your doors to keep the heat in. Replacing central air and heating filters and removing sediment from your hot water heater by flushing water through the drain valve are also simple, yet, efficient ways to save money on utilities and to keep your guests comfortable.

Next, if it’s been a while, service your heating system! Call in a professional to overhaul your heating system; this will ensure you can keep your home warm. To avoid pipes bursting, this, believe it or not can happen in Arizona, purchase pipe jackets.

After you have tackled the logistical side of comfort, the time comes for making your guests feel at home. Nothing says “we’re glad you’re here” quite like having a place to sit and a space that is your own. When preparing for extra guests, walk the space of your home and count the number of seats that are available a week before your guests arrive. Make sure that the number of guests you are expecting matches the number of seating spaces available in your home. Tip, account for a few extra seats, as well you know… “The more the merrier”. This will allow you plenty of time to go shopping or borrow seating from a neighbor to ensure that each of your guests has a place to sit and share in holiday memories with you.

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photo credit: www.realsimple.com]

In order to make room for all of that extra seating, you may need to find inspiration from this year’s spring cleaning endeavors and begin the tradition of a winter clean. Declutter the main living areas your guests will be in, and even donate many of your items that really haven’t served much purpose in your life anymore. Hate cleaning? Make it a fun occasion by baking those cookies you have been craving, sipping on your favorite hot apple cider and listening to some holiday music!

packed-ornaments

photo credit: www.realsimple.com]

After your home is toasty, clean and has plenty of room to fit all of your beloved guests, you can begin to add the finishing touches to your winter wonderland. One easy way to make your home feel like the holidays have arrived is to change the curtains. A heavier curtain acts as another way to help to keep the heat in and can be found in a variety of colors such as rich berry hues that bring the holiday spirit indoors. Also, installing a sound system will keep the holiday vibes alive with classic Christmas tunes, and it will fill the dead space! Finally, one of the most impactful and simple ways to bring cheer to your home during the holidays is to change the lighting. As it gets colder outside, it is important to bring the feeling of warmth that light emanates inside. This can be done by moving around lamps, replacing burnt out bulbs and/or adding new light fixtures.

home-lighting

photo credit: www.freshouse.net]

At the end of the day, with a little bit of effort and a few small changes your home can be transformed into a haven for the holidays that warmly welcomes you and all of your loved ones.

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10 Cozy Home Decorating Ideas for Fall

by Shea Homes Arizona on November 7, 2014

With the return of cooler temperatures, there’s no better time to feather your nest. These home decor ideas make it easy to bring a dash of “cozy” to your home for Fall. Check out our Pinterest Board for several Fall Home Décor ideas http://www.pinterest.com/sheahomesaz/home-decor-for-the-fall-season/.

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Door

First impressions matter. Add a Fall wreath to your front door to set the tone for what awaits inside, or go all out and paint your door with a Fall-inspired hue.

Texture

Add some texture to your home décor by bringing a touch of nature indoors. Branches, acorns and pumpkins are all fun ways to display a little Fall texture.

Vintage quilts

Layer your bed (and keep your toes warm) with extra blankets and quilts. Flea markets are a great place to pick up quilts that will add a vintage touch to your bedroom.

Chunky knits

Take a cue from the runway and deck out your home with chunky knits. Pillows and throw blankets are an easy (and super cozy) way to add a touch of Fall.

Faux fur

Add a little luxury to your home this season with a sumptuous faux fur throw, pouf or rug. The more the better.

Plaid

Pull out the plaid and add some highland flair. Choose a traditional tartan or go for a modern update on plaid, with new color combinations or plaids that play with scale.

Reading nook

Designate an area of your home as a reading (or napping) nook, and stack it up with plenty of pillows, blankets, books and reading lights. Want to go the extra mile? Set up a nearby tea station complete with electric tea kettle and a selection of teas.

Fireplace

You may have a fireplace, but do you use it? Stock a basket with firewood, treat yourself to a set of extra-long fireplace matches, and get that blaze going.

Metallics

Metallics add drama and warmth to a home. Treat yourself to a metallic lamp, mirror or picture frame – or better yet, go ahead and get all three!

Seasonal rugs

Pull some seasonal color into your home with updated rugs in the entry, hallway or living area. Try Ikea or Target for high style at a low price.

Candles

Scatter an assortment of candles around your home and enjoy a cozy evening in with flickering candlelight.

For more information on Shea Homes and what we’re up to at the Arizona division, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, get inspired with us on Pinterest, and learn all things homebuilding on our YouTube channel.

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