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I’m a big fan of both spring and fall cleaning sprees in my home. There’s nothing more refreshing than moving into the harsher seasons (winter and summer) with a crisp, clean space. And doesn’t your mind feel clearer when everything is organized and in its spot? Before you crank on the heat, check out this quick and easy to-do list to improve your home’s design and your feeling of well-being from Susan G. Komen®. Plus, it’s just one more thing to tackle before company arrives for the holidays!

First: Unclutter

Organized Home Office

Organized Home Office

It’s easy to let paper clutter get out of control. Unclutter your home to unclutter your mind. Create a space to keep personal information organized, whether it’s a chic filing system or hidden closet storage.

Second: Add Color

Blue and Yellow Home Office

Green Living Room

Every color affects your mood to some degree; it’s called color psychology. Yellow is often associated with happiness, while a hue like sapphire blue packs a more dramatic and powerful punch. Try a burst of color in an unexpected place — like on an accent wall, bookshelf back or mirror frame — for an emotional lift.

Third: Inspire Conversation

Eclectic Living Room

Cottage Living Room

One of the most important things about a living room is the way the furniture is arranged, especially if you expect to host friends and family regularly or even during the upcoming holiday season. Creating a balanced setup will inspire conversation among guests.

We are Susan G. Komen® — a force united by a promise to end breast cancer. For over 30 years we’ve led the way funding groundbreaking research, community health initiatives and advocacy programs in local communities across the U.S. With your help, we’ll continue pushing for progress to end breast cancer, until it’s a thing of the past.

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Get ready to say “Aww.”  These are not your regular stuffed dogs. These Shelter Pups stuffed dogs are the handmade result of an inspiring story. These little wool friends came out of one young girl’s desire to raise money for real dogs in shelters. You can “adopt” a stuffed dog resembling one of the many shelter dogs your money will go to help, or you can send in a photo of your own furry friend to receive a custom plush pooch!

custom stuffed dog toys
Don’t you think my baby, Boone, deserves a miniature stuffed version of himself?

Boone Sanders

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This lovely bag from Better Life Bags is not only gorgeous, it also changes lives. The bags are customizable, and a portion of the proceeds goes to help low income entrepreneurs in developing countries around the world. The company also hires women who would otherwise not be able to get a job. Pretty cool, right? I’m loving this striped laptop sleeve bag.

Better Life Bags

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If you’re a Design Happens devotee then you know I’m a self-proclaimed cat lover. I don’t love them because they’re “cool and hip,” but because I just happen to have the two most lovable cats in the world. They can get moody at times, but most of the time, they’re right by my side like lost puppies. I must say, I love the affection. During the kitten phase, I wasn’t able to take advantage of I-missed-you-so-much hugs without escaping with a few battle scars. Now, they just sit there, sigh and accept my hugs like champs.

Hug Your Cat Day Print by Gemma Correll at HGTV's Design Happens Blog

So, pick up that feline furball of yours and celebrate Hug Your Cat Day! They may act like they hate it, but you know they wouldn’t rather be anywhere else.

HGTV Blogger Kayla Kitts and Her Cat D'Artagnan

Celebrating Hug Your Cat Day with my cat, D’Artagnan.

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We’re counting down to Christmas with a new holiday party tip, decorating idea or DIY project every day until December 25. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

The 1960s bar cart tradition has made a huge comeback, and it’s easy to see why: Not only do bar carts keep your liquors and glassware organized and ready to use, they can also be used as a display space for favorite dishes or objects.

How to Style a Bar Cart

Set up your own bar cart this season, just in time for holiday visitors and dinner guests. Look for a cart at your favorite vintage store, or use our pros’ styling tips to set up a bar tray on a buffet or side table.



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Last week Japan was hit with its largest recorded earthquake, followed by a ferocious tsunami that killed thousands of people and washed away ships, cars and homes. Like the rest of the world, we at HGTV are watching the devastating news continue to unfold.

We’re grateful for the heroes who have jumped in to help, including our friends at The Red Cross. The Japanese Red Cross, a highly-experienced disaster relief organization, has deployed mobile medical clinics, disaster management teams and relief workers with emergency supplies into those areas affected by this disaster. If you want to help, you can go to, call 1-800-RED-CROSS or make a $10 donation by texting REDCROSS to 90999. Gifts to the American Red Cross will support their disaster relief efforts to help those affected by the earthquake and tsunami throughout the Pacific. On those rare occasions when donations exceed American Red Cross expenses for a specific crisis, contributions are used to prepare for and service victims of other crises.

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In January, Anna highlighted the work of Blissful Bedrooms, a NYC non-profit that designs beautiful bedrooms for differently-abled kids. Well, thanks to ABC’s Secret Millionaire, I’ve learned about a similar non-profit literally in HGTV’s backyard. Here in Knoxville, Special Spaces has created more than 90 dream rooms for children struggling with serious illnesses like leukemia. Seeing the sincere gratitude of these local kids as they open the door to a frilly princess pad or a high-energy sports room is inspiring.

ABC's Secret Millionaire Special Spaces

Are there non-profits in your community using interior design or handmade crafts to make a positive change? Let us know about them.

BTW – if you have an aspiring designer age 12 or younger in your family, check out The Company Store’s Kids’ Design Contest that helps homeless children.

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Our hearts go out to the many people who lost their homes and more in the terrible floods in Tennessee and the surrounding areas. 

 Sunday night our sister network Great American Country will throw a live benefit concert on TV and at Music City Keep On Playin’ — A Benefit for Flood Relief will feature Brad Paisley, Lady Antebellum, Keith Urban and many more country music stars. We hope you will watch, enjoy and consider donating if you can.

  • Tell Your Friends

Sometimes going green can put a dent in the bank — a buggy full of organic groceries can cost almost as much as the monthly payment on a Prius. You don’t have to take out a loan to make your home, clothes and life more eco-friendly. I’ve found some eco-chic deals in honor of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.


An aggressively bookmarked copy of Eco-Chic Home currently resides on my desk. It’s full of some of the smartest and cheapest green home ideas I’ve ever seen. My favorite tip is to take homeless buttons and turn them into napkin rings (p117).

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Like the rest of the world, we at HGTV are watching the devastating news from Haiti.

We are grateful for the heroes who have jumped in to help, including our friends at UNICEF.

Executive director Anne Veneman said, “Expert estimates suggest that 46 per cent of Haiti’s nearly 10 million people are under 18 years of age. The special needs of children for food, shelter and protection, must be factored in at the very outset of relief efforts and UNICEF will do everything in its power to make sure these needs are met.”

If you would like to join us in supporting UNICEF’s work to provide shelter and safety to the earthquake’s many victims, you can donate to Haiti.

Jillian St. Charles, VP
Site Director,

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