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Incandescents. CFLs. Halogens. Watt? (Sorry, couldn’t help it!)

How to Choose the Right Light Bulb

If you’ve found yourself standing in the light bulb aisle, you might be staring at packages and feeling totally in the dark about what to buy (pun intended). The classic “I’ve got an idea” incandescent bulb has been totally reimagined, yielding an array of unfamiliar products and descriptors. Before you start missing old days, consider that the old bulbs burned 90% of their energy as heat, not light.  Sorry, Edison, but we’ve got more efficient bulbs now, it just takes a little knowledge to purchase the right ones.

Read on for a shopping primer.

YOUR GUIDE TO THE BEST LIGHT BULBS

Welcome to Spring Essentials, a Design Happens mini-series where we’ll highlight our favorite products to help you get your home ready for spring. The sixth installment: Functional outdoor furniture and fun accessories for outdoor entertaining. See our product picks, then enter for a chance to win some colorful accents for your backyard.

Hosting a backyard bash in the spring can be a blast, but if you’re constantly running inside for drink refills or stressing about your meager outdoor seating, that can take some of the fun out of it. Before you invite your friends and family over for an alfresco get-together, give your outdoor spaces a party-inspired makeover. The right furniture and accessories will keep your guests happy and your soiree running smoothly, so you can thoroughly enjoy the festivities, too. Check out our favorite products for a party-perfect backyard.

Products for a Party-Ready Outdoor Space

1. Six-Seat Sectional and Stool. Anchor your outdoor space with comfortable, versatile furniture – if you have enough room, a sectional will offer maximum seating and flexibility. This six-seater features a movable footstool for guests who want to prop their feet up, and a neutral fabric that can easily be dressed up with colorful accessories. ($840)

2. Cantilever Umbrella. Your fairer-skinned friends will appreciate this backyard addition. A substantial nine feet in diameter, this cantilever umbrella in soothing spa green tilts and turns 360 degrees to provide shade anywhere you need it. ($369.99)

3. Outdoor Wood Cooler. Ditch your standard plastic cooler and upgrade to this sophisticated wood version. It’ll look great on your deck or patio, and it’ll keep your beverages and snacks cool so you don’t have to keep running inside to fetch refreshments for your guests. ($149.99)

4. Elephant Garden Stool. Don’t forget a spot for party-goers to set their drinks. Add a small side table or – better yet – this adorable elephant garden stool, which can also serve as extra seating in a pinch. ($90.89)

5. Pizza Fire Pit. This is genius: This multifunctional fire pit comes with two pizza stones and a removable grill for whipping up homemade pizza, steak or veggies. Once you’re finished cooking, you can remove the accessories and keep the fire blazing for warmth and ambiance. ($78.99)

6. Medallion Outdoor Pillows. Jazz up solid-color furniture and add comfort with vibrant outdoor pillows. These stunners make a statement with a bold medallion design, and their ample size will encourage hours of outdoor lounging. (Warning: your guests may never leave.) ($49.50 each)

Ready to spice up your outdoor space? One lucky Design Happens reader will win two Pottery Barn Outdoor Malibu Medallion Pillows.

To enter for a chance to win, leave a comment below. This giveaway’s question: What’s your secret to an amazing outdoor soiree?

You may only comment once to be considered, and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited by law. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S., D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 years of age to win. All entries (comments) must be entered between 10:00 a.m. ET on April 10, 2015 and 12:00 p.m. ET on April 13, 2015. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of prizes: $99. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932.

Welcome to Spring Essentials, a Design Happens mini-series where we’ll highlight our favorite products to help you get your home ready for spring. The fifth installment: Spring-inspired bedding that will make your bedroom look bright and refreshed all season — and all summer! — long.

I’m one of those people with cold-weather bedding and warm-weather bedding. During the winter, there’s nothing better than wrapping up in my cozy flannel sheets. But from April to September, I like to keep it light and breezy in the bedding department. Right now, my bed is dressed in a classic navy prep strip duvet, mint polka-dot sheets, and mint and lime throw pillows. My bedding palette is cool and refreshing like the season.

Have you swapped out your winter bedding yet? Take a look at our seasonal bedroom picks in especially lively hues.

Spring Bedding 20151. Pottery Barn 2. Serena & Lily 3. Target 4. Macy’s 5. H&M 6. Serena & Lily

1. Spring-y Duvet Cover. Imagine walking into your bedroom and seeing an array of blooming florals and rich leafy foliage every single day. That’s the power of this gorgeous organic duvet cover. ($79-$103)

2. Embroidered Sheets. The folks at Serena & Lily said it best: “Our not-so-basic white sheets make a great foundation for layering color and pattern throughout the room — think of them as classics with a twist.” The colorful motif (available in eight bright hues) is both sophisticated and playful. ($148-$268)

3. Soft Throw. IMO, the Lilly Pulitzer for Target collab is one of the most exciting things to happen this season. Go ahead and bookmark this pink tasseled throw from the lookbook while we anxiously await the April 19th debut. (It’s technically called an “outdoor blanket” but I think it would look so adorable casually draped over the foot of a bed.) ($30)

4. Patterned Shams. Mixing patterns is the name of the game when it comes to putting together a beautifully-styled bed. This large-scale contemporary pattern is a nice match for the botanical duvet cover, while the navy and white pull out the bedding’s navy background. ($89.97 for the bed set)

5. & 6. Bold Throw Pillows. Here comes the fun part — throw pillows! This is where you can play with texture, pattern and color by pulling in accent colors from the duvet in fun ways. I say, you can never have too many throw pillows. Choose solids, neutrals and unexpected colors, like this green quilted pillow and this white canvas beauty with suede corner caps. ($12.95; $38.99)

Now tell us — how are you giving your bedroom a taste of spring? Swapping out your winter bedding? Tossing in some new throw pillows? Let us know!

Last year for Mother’s Day I made this wall shelf from reclaimed pallet wood and transformed it into a succulent planter. My mom loved it! So now that the warm weather is back in full swing here in Tennessee, it’s time to dig out that shelf from winter hibernation and give it some life again. Succulent arrangements make the best gifts because they’re beautiful, easy to maintain and they flourish indoors and out. So if you’re looking for a great gift idea or just want to bring some plant life to your home, follow the 5 easy steps below to make your own gorgeous pallet wood succulent planter.

Pallet Wood Succulent Planter

What You’ll Need

  • wood pallet shelf
  • small bag of potting soil
  • variety of 3.5″ succulents (amount depends on the size of your planter, I used 9)
  • plastic bag or other plastic liner (as needed)
  • pebbles or other small rocks (as needed)

Follow 5 Easy Steps to Make This Gorgeous Planter

In the latest High/Low Challenge we asked you to spot the price difference between these two fun outdoor seats. The correct answer was Left: high, Right: low. Were you right? The winner of our HGTV Magazine prize package for May will be chosen and notified by email.

high low may answer

Were you correct?

An outdoor-safe seat cushion makes this curvy chair on the left more comfy. The back of the chair on the right was inspired by the shape of a traditional Amish barn. Both great choices, both great buys. For shopping information on these powder-coated steel and iron chairs, check out the newest picks on our High/Low List in the May issue of HGTV Magazine — out Tuesday!

Congratulations to the giveaway winner, Ashley!

Welcome to Spring Essentials, a Design Happens mini-series where we’ll highlight our favorite products to help you get your home ready for spring. The fourth installment: Kitchen tools that will help you turn spring produce into a delicious feast. See our product picks, then enter for a chance to win one of these tools for your home.

Felicia has you digging in the garden in style, so you’re going to need to do something with all the fresh greens, asparagus, peas and other fresh spring produce that sprouts from your soil. Using the right kitchen tools makes a world of difference in making cooking with fruits and veggies easy and enjoyable. Grab these tools and get cooking so that you can take advantage of the beautiful spring bounty!

Spring Kitchen Tools 2015

1. Chef’n SpinCycle Salad Spinner: Give your greens and herbs a good wash to get them fully clean, and then rid them of excess water to keep them crisp with this handy salad spinner. The Chef’n SpinCycle comes in a cute spring green color and lays flat for handy storage. ($25)

2. KAI for Williams-Sonoma Chef’s Knife, 8-inch: Every good chef has a quality knife, and a chef’s knife is the perfect workhorse for slicing, chopping and dicing just about anything — especially spring produce. The 8-inch KAI for Williams-Sonoma Chef’s Knife comes in a bright, bold red that is perfect for spring. ($19.95)

3. Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Triple-Ply Stainless Universal Steamer With Lid: Steaming is one of the healthiest and easiest ways to cook fresh produce, and it’s a great way to make veggies easier to eat without losing their bright flavors. This universal steamer from Cuisinart fits inside 2-, 3- and 4-quart saucepans so that you can choose the cooking vessel that works best at any given time. ($34.99)

4. Full Circle Fresh Air Compost Collector: If you’re cooking with veggies and fruits, you’ll end up with scraps which you’ll want to compost and use to add nutrients back to your garden (circle of life!). The Full Circle Fresh Air Compost Collector allows oxygen to easily flow through your organic waste, reducing odor and preventing fruit flies. A win for everyone! ($29.95)

5. Kate Spade New York Melamine Collection: When you’re done preparing your meal, how about serve your delicious culinary creation to friends and family on the back patio? The cute dishes in the Kate Spade New York Melamine Collection come in fun colors with festive sayings and won’t shatter if dropped. ($14-$40)

Are you ready to start cooking? One lucky Design Happens reader will win a Full Circle Fresh Air Compost Collector, just in time for Earth Day. 

To enter for a chance to win, leave a comment below. This giveaway’s question: What spring vegetable or fruit have you been looking forward to eating the most?

You may only comment once to be considered, and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited by law. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S., D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 years of age to win. All entries (comments) must be entered between 4:00 p.m. ET on April 2, 2015 and 6:00 p.m. ET on April 3, 2015. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of prizes: $30. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932.

Congratulations to the giveaway winner, Stephanie G!

Welcome to Spring Essentials, a Design Happens mini-series where we’ll highlight our favorite products to help you get your home ready for spring. The third installment: Spring organization products that will make the most of your home’s storage space. See our product picks, then enter for a chance to win some supplies to organize your home.

We’ve shared our favorite cleaning products with you, so now it’s time to get organized. I absolutely do not like organizing, which is a little embarrassing for me to admit. I can never quite get a good grasp on how to be organized or what products to use to maximize storage and functionality. I corralled my most organized friends to help me come up with a list of products they can’t live without and that make organizing a fun less daunting task.

Fun Organizing Products

1. Mark Brothers Cable Labels: Identify your cords in the cutest, quirkiest way with these little clip-on guys. Each clip-on comes with a label sticker, so you won’t be left guessing which cord belongs to what electronic. ($14.00)

2. Jonathan Adler Collapsible BinsStore your clutter in style with these boldly-patterned storage bins by Jonathan Adler. The designs will transform your shelves into a statement piece, and you can collapse them when not in use. ($20)

3. Fox Paper Clip Holder: Made of solid mahogany wood, this adorable creature is a fun addition to your home office desk. Its magnetic body keeps paper clips easily accessible in one area, so you don’t take up an entire drawer. ($19.95)

4. Grocery Bag Dispenser: I’ll admit, I keep my grocery bags in a narrow cabinet in my kitchen. A grocery bag dispenser would be much more practical since it fits nicely in a pantry or storage closet, and only requires tape or screws to mount on the wall. It’s easy to use and saves storage space, not to mention, its sleek design works with any style home. ($10)

5. Rakku Shoe Wheel: It may not look like it, but this wheel can store up to 30 pairs of shoes without taking up too much precious floor space. I imagine myself spinning the wheel every morning, and picking a random pair of shoes to plan my outfit around. That’s one fun way to start the day! ($71)

6. Hair Accessories Organizer: By the time I get ready in the mornings, it looks like a tornado ripped through my bathroom. I need several hair products to tame my unruly waves, so this all-in-one hair accessories organizer would be perfect for those in the same boat. It even comes with an outlet, so you can directly plug-in your hot tools.

Are you ready to get organized? We’re offering one winner HGTV office supplies (includes notebooks, pens and push pins) to help organize your home office. 

To enter for a chance to win, leave a comment below. This giveaway’s question: What’s your favorite go-to product or tip that helps you stay organized?

You may only comment once to be considered, and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited by law. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S., D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 years of age to win. All entries (comments) must be entered between 10:00 a.m. ET on March 30, 2015 and 12:00 p.m. ET on March 31, 2015. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of prizes: $30. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932.

Welcome to Spring Essentials, a Design Happens mini-series where we’ll highlight our favorite products to help you get your home ready for spring. The second installment: Spring gardening products that will have you looking fresh while cultivating fresh produce. See our product picks, then enter for a chance to win your own garden gear!

Sure you could wear your torn jeans and boyfriend’s shirt to attack garden weeds, but nothing makes gardening more fun than finding clothing and accessories that go the extra mile when it comes to playing in the dirt — while helping you look good doing it.

More and more companies are creating garden gear with special materials and features that can help you stay dry and cool, protect you from the sun and even keep bugs away, so you can be a true garden ninja. Check out our selections for next wave garden gear that will put some spring in your step.

Cool Garden Gear for Spring1. Duluth Trading Company / 2. Bogs /  3. L.L. Bean / 4. Duluth Trading Company /

1. Keep It Comfy: Nothing fancy here, just a flattering, 100-percent cotton tunic cute enough to wear in the garden or sport at a weekend barbecue. This absolute essential in the Duluth Trading Company garden gear line emphasizes ease of movement and comfort, two things every gardener needs. ($64.50)

2. Practicality Underfoot: You’re out in the garden getting gross but very happy, then the phone rings or nature calls and you don’t want to muck up the place with your dirt-filled shoe treads. Enter the Bogs Urban Farmer Clog, a vital ingredient in any gardener’s repertoire. Just slip them off, do what you need to do and head back into the muck. Done. These babies also have a steel shank for shovel protection and a DuraFresh odor guard, well, just because. ($70.00)

3. Get Your Head Together: Hats are essential protection, whether you’re a gardener aged 10 or 100. Trust us — sunscreen needs some help when you’re sweating to the oleander for hours. But garden hats often tend to skew huge and straw; we’re always grateful for clever design to switch things up a bit, and L.L. Bean’s San Diego Striped Bucket Hat offers 50+ SPF without making you feel like an extra in Steel Magnolias($24.95)

4. Cool Customer: These Dry on the Fly Capris are practical, yes. They will keep you cool and will forgive all manner of Twister-style gardening moves. But they’re also crazy-comfortable, easier to wear than even your most cherished, lived-in sweats. Plus, sweats don’t have pockets. ($54.50)

Spring Essentials Design Happens Blog HGTV1. Duluth Trading Company / 2. Target / 3. Duluth Trading Company / 4. Orvis / 5. Aigle

1. Close to the Vest: There are twelve, count ‘em, twelve pockets in this baby, making this Heirloom Gardening Vest from Duluth Trading Company a sort of briefcase you can wear to the garden. ($59.50)

2. Get in Gear: A great Mother’s Day gift idea, or just a way to treat yourself, this handy-dandy set from Target includes a bucket organizer for your tools (stick a plant inside, and you’ve just made Mom’s day), pruners and some durable jersey gloves. Another plus: this is a very inexpensive set to get a beginner gardener started. ($23.99)

3. Horticultural Hipster: Don’t think because you’re out in the garden that you’re required to sport a Nana-approved chapeau. This jaunty little Ripstop Military Cap comes in a punchy amethyst shade and a more subdued slate color to match your fashion and gardening mood. ($29.50)

4. Don’t Sweat It: Super-relevant for gardeners, Orvis’s ExOfficio Bugsaway Lumen Hoody wicks away moisture and keeps insects away with its built-in, long-lasting Insect Shield repellent that gives bugs the brush-off for up for 70 washes. The gelato colors (grenadine and tropez) and super-comfy, barely-there fit sweeten the deal. ($60.00)

5. These Boots Were Made for Weeding: The 162-year-old French company Aigle designs the sort of boots worn by earthy glamour girls like Natalie Portman and Eva Mendes. These ultra-adorable Miss Juliette boots are so cute your gardener friends will be jealous and wonder how you managed to turn gardening into a fashion-forward hobby. ($125.00)

Ready to upgrade your garden garb? One lucky Design Happens reader will win a $50 gift card to Duluth Trading Company — a perfect way to get started!  To enter the giveaway, leave a comment below. This giveaway’s question: What are your spring gardening essentials? Tell us about them!

You may only comment once to be considered, and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited by law. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S., D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 years of age to win. All entries (comments) must be entered between 10:00 a.m. ET on March 24, 2014 and 12:00 p.m. ET on March 25, 2014. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of prizes: $50. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932.

Vintage Furniture Sources

Thanks to the internet and TV, there are loads of ideas out there to help make our homes truly unique. But my favorite of them all is adding vintage furniture and decor. You can mix and match vintage items with new pieces you might have, or if you’re really a vintage lover, you can build your entire space around a particular style (like midcentury modern or Hollywood glam). I’m so obsessed with vintage, in fact, that I now have a line item in my monthly budget that says “flea market and thrifting.” Yep, it’s that serious for me.

Almost everyone knows about eBay and Craigslist (which are both fab places to start for vintage), but there are a few online destinations that have stayed slightly off the radar. Here are my top three:

1. Krrb.com. I like to think of Krrb as Craigslist’s big brother. You can search for items “everywhere” or fine-tune it by narrowing in on a particular city. Many items have a price and also include “or best offer” so you can try to negotiate. You can contact sellers right from the site, so there’s no worry about funky email spam. The site is laid out well, so it’s easy to scan through pics and zone in on your faves.

2. ShopGoodwill.com. So, everyone knows about Goodwill retail stores, but most people don’t know that you can also shop Goodwill goodies online. They have an online auction site similar to eBay but much smaller. The site is a bit difficult to navigate and shipping charges can be a little high, but the prices make it worth the hassle.

3. Chairish.com. Don’t be fooled by the name — Chairish isn’t just about chairs! This is an online resource for fab, high-quality vintage pieces. The items on the site are curated, which means there’s way less stuff to sort through. There are definitely some expensive pieces on there, but if you look around, there’s something for every budget. You can also search locally for items to pick up.

What are your favorite spots to find vintage treasures online? Let us in on your shopping secrets!

We’re always interested to learn what our fans love, which is why we wrap up each year with a gallery of HGTV’s most popular photos on Pinterest. Last year, you guys repinned the heck out of this eclectic green living room, and it’s easy to see why. Designer Brian Patrick Flynn created this space for a New York couple trying to make the most of a petite New York apartment. Though it’s small, the room is comfortable, functional and packed with personality. If you’d like to pull off a similar look to this pin-worthy space in your own home, here are some tips and products to inspire you:

Copy the Look of This Earthy Green Living Room

1. Pier 1 / 2. Sherwin-Williams / 3. Crate and Barrel / 4. Pottery Barn / 5. Target
6. Etsy: JenniferBarrineauArt (Tree Print), ClaireBCurley (Wall Hanging), CheeseBeforeBedtime (Hoop Art) / 7. Wayfair

Read More: 7 Tips for an Eclectic + Comfortable Living Room

If you diligently entered the HGTV Dream Home 2015 Giveaway twice a day for your chance to win our Martha’s Vineyard getaway, you know that the entry period wrapped up last week. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that a Design Happens reader snags the grand prize, but even if you don’t win, you can still incorporate the home’s updated coastal style in your home. Inspired by the guest bedroom, we went shopping for products that offer nautical flair with a modern twist. Here’s our formula for recreating this look:

Copy the Nautical Style From HGTV Dream Home 2015's Guest Bedroom

1. RugsUSA / 2. CB2 / 3. Dot & Bo / 4. Crate and Barrel
/ 5. Wayfair / 6. Target / 7. Pottery Barn

OUR FORMULA: RECREATE THIS LOOK

I recently returned from a trip to Las Vegas for the 2015 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS). As a newbie to both Design Happens (first post!) and homeownership (first house purchased last year!), I was doubly excited to check out the latest kitchen and bathroom products to hit the market. The sheer amount of beautiful fixtures and finishes on display was rather overwhelming, but a few particularly glitzy and colorful items caught my eye. (What can I say? I’m drawn to shiny things.) If you’re looking for an update with big impact for your kitchen or bath, consider these four striking ideas:

Dimensional Tile

Metallic Tile by Ann Sacks at KBIS 2015

Lux by Ann Sacks

Ann Sacks Tile at KBIS 2015

Left: Geode Gemstone by Ann Sacks; Right: Lux Relais by Ann Sacks

You know those people who have to touch every silky shirt or fluffy blanket while shopping? I’m one of those, which made it hard to tear myself away from the tile work on display at KBIS. While the colors were largely neutral – lots of grays, khakis and creams – the styles were anything but bland with tons of texture, intricate patterns and lustrous metallic finishes. Must. Touch. These looks would add instant drama to any kitchen or bath.

See More Statement-Making Kitchen + Bath Trends

Guys sometimes get a bad wrap for buying Valentine’s Day gifts at the last-minute, but hey, ladies are procrastinators, too. (Read: me.) If you’re scrambling for the perfect gift, we’ve got you covered! Here are 5 thoughtful gifts you can make or buy just in time.

Last-Minute Valentine's Day Gifts for Guys

01. Whiskey Stones. Perfect for the scotch or bourbon enthusiast in your life, these rocks let him chill his drink without watering it down. Bonus points if you throw in rocks glasses or a bottle of his favorite brand.

02. “Attracted to You” Printable Card. Maybe your dude is lovably nerdy. Appeal to his punny nature with this scientific explanation for your magnetic attraction. Buy the design online, then print the template on cardstock.

03. Framed Album Covers. For the audiophile, look no further than these framed vinyl album covers. Search vintage store shelves for quirky or classic album covers, then frame in a basic black craft-store frame. Or, scan one of his favorites and print on cardstock.

04. Top Hat & Mustache Cufflinks. Does your guy love wearing vintage three piece suits? Is there a monocle on his dresser? These vintage-inspired cuff links are for him.

05. Breakfast Pizza. Okay, really, what guy wouldn’t love pizza for breakfast? Use store-bought or homemade pizza dough, then top with sauce and his favorite toppings and a sunny-side up egg. Done and done. See how Marianne makes her own.

Have a go-to last minute gift? Tell us in the comments below.

For this edition of HGTV Magazine‘s High/Low Challenge, we asked you to correctly identify the low and higher-priced product from a pair of stunning blue chests. Was this an easy one, or were you officially stumped? Those of you who correctly answered Left: low, Right: high, must have a knack for spotting a great deal. The lucky winner of an HGTV Magazine prize package will be notified by email.

high low answer

Were you right this time?

Both of these beauties have a similar curved design, but the slightly darker blue version on the left has less ornate hardware, helping to bring down the cost. The more intricate design on the right has a surprise inside! The drawers are lined with wallpaper—no DIYing required. Find shopping information for these and many other pairs in the The New High/Low List.

The last year was a big one for HGTV Magazine! We ran special departments like the all-paint-everything section in June. We got to look inside the homes of more and more HGTV stars—Alison Victoria’s kitchen, Genevieve Gorder’s HUGE NYC remodel, not to mention Jonathan and Drew Scott’s family home in Las Vegas. We also debuted the first ever duel cover with the May issue, teaming up with sister publication Food Network Magazine. Whew—what a year!

HGTV Magazine 2014 Issues

A year with HGTV Magazine

We thought it would be fun to round up some of the most memorable content from each issue for a look back on a year of DIYs, house tours, star encounters, and brand new ways to make HGTV Magazine a part of your home.

As they all do, the year began with a brand-new calendar. In this case, the Jan/Feb issue shared a year’s worth of DIY wreaths, with a new project for every month.

The March issue held one of our most popular stories of the year by far: 7 Ways to Fill Up Your Walls. With ideas for the kitchen, living room, and office, no wall should be left bare.

By April, our jaws had hit the floor with a show-stopping house tour out of sunny Florida. Every room held something to awe, but we’re particularly fond of the giant chalkboard calendar. (Make one yourself with the online-exclusive instructions.)

hgtv magazine images

Wall art from March and XL chalkboard calendar from April

Spring cleaning kicked into high gear with the May issue. We found some items in the attic that deserved a second life.

Everyone fell in love with this beach house with new bones and old charm. The on-the-water back “yard” with three tiers of patios doesn’t hurt either.

In the July/August issue we visited another beach house. This time Vern Yip invited us to beat the summer heat at his Florida home, and we’re still dreaming about the rooftop pool.

beach house and Vern Yip

Two amazing beaches houses from the summer issues

Our creative editors came up with genius DIY art ideas for the kitchen to share in the September issue. The pineapple plate and teacups on canvas were big hits.

October delivered Genevieve’s big overhaul we mentioned above, but also the know-how to create a stylish space of your own. We narrowed down the list of the BEST online shopping sites for home goods. Happy decorating!

We spent some serious time flipping (flea market finds), updating (discarded paintings), and creating (projects with cloth napkins) in November, so it’s fair to say it was a major DIY issue.

Finally, how better to wrap up a fabulous 2014 than with a decked out holiday issue! One of our favorites stories takes you inside the Fixer Upper house loaded with charming seasonal touches. You can still pick up a copy on newsstands now (Jan/Feb 2015 is available 1/6), and in it you’ll find our ultimate gift guides to buy, make, or bake the perfect present this year. We also share helpful tips for holiday lights, ways to deck the halls all around the house, and a home that was born holiday-ready.

December issue content

A Fixer Upper holiday kitchen and a log-stacked fireplace in a winter-ready home

I admit — I haven’t even started holiday shopping yet. I’m so bad, I know. But that’s what overnight shipping is for, right? With less than a week until the big day, you probably need some quick yet thoughtful gifts to pack up for your Christmas road trips. Crafty or not, we’ve got you covered.

For Anyone: Personalized Gift Baskets

Holiday Gift Baskets

Gourmet gift basket ideas >>

For Her: Vintage Hair Comb

Vintage Hair Clip

Get this plus even more handmade gift ideas >>

For the Chef: Rustic Bread Board

Rustic Bread Board

Make a bread board in six steps >>

Gifts for Him, the Pet + More

brown butter eggnog waffles

The big morning has almost arrived and between all of the shopping and wrapping of gifts, have you stopped to think about what you’ll be eating? A great way to begin the special day is with a tasty and filling breakfast (or brunch, depending on how early you awake) and serving Brown Butter and Eggnog Waffles will make it extra special. The golden brown squares have a crisp crust and moist fluffy interior with bits of brown butter streaked throughout. Also, the recipe helps put the last of the eggnog to good use. The batter is purposefully designed to be made the night before, saving you precious time. In the morning when you’re ready to make the waffles, simply heat and oil your waffle iron and cook until golden brown. Serve with a spoonful Strawberry and Orange Topping and a hefty dollop of whipped cream for extra decadence. Complete the meal by serving the waffles along side cooked thick cut bacon and plenty of orange juice. Happy Holidays!

Get the Irresistible Recipe

Are you attempting to design a room in your home? Getting started can be daunting. Should you start with an inspiration piece? Should you choose your color palette first? How do you avoid blowing your budget? If you don’t want to commit to an interior designer, turn to Decorist. The Decorist Makeover feature consists of a team of professional designers who will virtually decorate your room based on your budget and style. They create two different design boards with the same style and budget, but with different shopping lists (including links to buy!), so you have plenty of pieces to choose from. They also share top tips to help you decorate your room — all you have to do is send a photo of your current room. Easy peasy!

I thought I’d give their services a try, so I sent them a photo of a — let’s just say — bare master bedroom and nook. I gave a $5,000 budget and asked for a modern vintage vibe with a cozy feel.

Master Bedroom Before

Master Bedroom: Before

Master Bedroom Nook Before

Master Bedroom Nook Before

See the Virtual Makeover

These bright pendants are the stars of the show! (And of this month’s High/Low Challenge.)  In the end though, there can only be one winner in the spotlight. It could be you if you answered  “Left: high, Right: low”. The winner of this month’s HGTV Magazine prize package will be notified by email.

high-low-answer

Could you tell the difference?

Topping Sabrina Soto’s High/Low List in our December issue—on stands Tuesday!—these pendants are the perfect way to add sparkle to your home around the holidays. Hung above the table, the pendant on the left will be the show-stopper of your dining room. The fixture to the right, which is slightly smaller, would shine bright in a hallway. Click through to find shopping information for these pendants and other great finds in our High/Low Buys for Any Budget.

Time flies when you’re busy crafting, DIYing, decorating, and shopping! The holiday issue of HGTV Magazine is hitting newsstands Tuesday, and it’s full of great gift ideas, seasonal decorating inspiration, and of course, lots of handmade projects to keep the elves busy.

Take a look inside this month’s issue at these stories that come with a little bonus. In each piece below you’ll be directed to web-exclusive content that can ONLY be found at hgtv.com. Consider it a little gift from us @HGTVMag.

December 2014 cover

What do you get for the person on your list who has everything? A DIY gift that’s one-of-a-kind. We share six easy ideas to choose from.

picture frames

Embroidery hoop picture frames

To say metallics are on trend would be an understatement. And we can happily say they aren’t going anywhere soon. We gilded everything from pillows to pencils in these projects using gold paint. Online readers receive two extra ideas that didn’t make it in the issue.

ampersand pillow

Gold glitter paint was used on this ampersand pillow

When it’s time to decorate the mantel for Christmas, try one of these HGTV star-designed stockings. Each made from two online-only templates, the DIY designs let you make the holidays more creative.

christmas stockings

Made-from-scratch stockings

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