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Every year over the winter holidays I do a major purge and winter cleaning while I’m off from work. Knowing I’ll be trapped inside for much of the next few months makes me want to organize and create a more cozy, inviting home. I hit all the major areas: the living room, bedrooms, kitchen and bathroom. An intense scrub-down does wonders, but there are lots of other ideas for creating order and a freshened-up look that really help, too.

If you’ve made New Year’s resolutions to organize your home I thought I’d share some of what I do and more of HGTV’s tips and tricks.

sabrina soto cleaning

Sabrina Soto shows us how it’s done.

1. Clean

First off: take advantage of any cleaning urges you get! I tackle one room at a time so a whole-house cleaning doesn’t seem too overwhelming. If for some reason you lose initiative, tackle the next room the next day. Gather everything you’ll need for cleaning in a bucket or cart. I’ve got a little cleaning caddy that holds all the sprays, cloths and sponges so I can carry it from room to room. It’s a huge help.

2. Purge!

As you’re picking up clothes, putting away all those odds and ends that pile, and stacking magazines and books, set aside the things that you haven’t used over the past few months. For me, if I didn’t (or my kids didn’t) wear a piece of clothing the previous season, out it goes! Donate any books that you know you’ll never read again. Cut out and file away the pictures from magazines that you want to keep (or find that article you love online and bookmark it) and recycle the rest. File away any bills and see if there are any old ones that can now be shredded.

3. Everything in Its Place

Once you’ve made space in your closet and cabinets and drawers, you should have some more room for what you’re going to keep. I worked in clothing stores when I was younger and still love the look of a well-folded stack of clothes. (Perfectionists can even steal the store’s trick: folding boards.) You’ll be surprised to find out how much more likely you are to keep up a nice looking closet than a messy one. I found that I am probably going to need more storage, so I’m looking at something like this media console for my bedroom. I love that it has doors to hide messier necessities.

4. Update Accessories

If you haven’t done so already, swap out some of your lighter accessories for cozy winter ones. Thick blankets, fluffy pillows, shag rugs: this is the stuff winter design is made of, so take advantage! If you want to be very of-the-moment, add Pantone’s Color of the Year to your home with a throw pillow or flower vase. Even something as simple as installing an additional towel rack in the bathroom made the difference for me. Winter white sales can also give you a chance to update your bedding to give your whole room a fresh feel.

5. Lighting

Winter blues are no joke, but you can combat them with good lighting. If you’ve got overhead lighting, adding a table lamp makes a huge difference. Believe it or not, spring lines are coming out now. While the snow falling outside may contradict the timing, brand new lighting is good any time of year. Faceted bases and metallics are still going strong. If you go for a classic shape, it’ll look good all year long.

While I’m not big on resolutions that I can’t keep, organizing my home is one that I love to have. What about you? Do you have any resolutions for your home this year? Let me know in the comments.

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Jan Feb 2015 cover

Make this the year that you finally redecorate the living room, remodel the kitchen, or just spruce things up a bit. The January/February issue of HGTV Magazine can help you get started—it hits newsstands this Tuesday, January 6. Here’s a look at some of what you’ll find.

Four savvy design bloggers share how they style a space while still staying on budget. Plus we share online-only how-tos for DIY projects from each of their rooms.

purple room

Update idea: Remake a hand-me-down piece of furniture or snag an item from a local yard sale. Our clever editors took a used china cabinet and turn it into a display piece you’ll be excited to show off. We see many dinner parties coming your way in 2015!

china cabinet

To be among the first to know of new HGTV Magazine content, follow us on Twitter @HGTVMag, or become a subscriber and receive every new issue right to your door.

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happy new year!
We’re bidding farewell to 2014 and welcoming a bright, hopeful 2015 with open arms. Happy to New Year to all of you, our Design Happens friends and family. Tell us what it is you’re hoping this brand new year will bring for your home or what you’re resolving to do in the comments!

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Can you believe that the new year is just one day away? Start 2015 on a high note by spending day one with all your HGTV favorites. You bring the mimosas, we’ll bring a day full of premieres and a live Twitter party featuring Jonathan, Drew and lots more stars. Here are 6 reasons to spend the day with us this January 1.

The Property Brothers - HGTV All Premiere New Year - #HGTVNewYear

1: Live Coverage of the Rose Parade
The fun starts at 11 am/10c with the Rose Parade, live and commercial free, hosted by Jonathan and Drew Scott and Josh Temple.

2: Escape to Paradise
It’s a little cold and gray outside, right? HGTV has the cure — all-new episodes of your favorite getaway shows, from Beachfront Bargain Hunt to Half-Price Paradise to Caribbean Life. Check out the TV Schedule for a full rundown.

3: Have a (Twitter) Party With Your Favorite Stars
From Chip and Joanna Gaines to HGTV’s Cousins Anthony and John to Flip or Flop‘s Tarek and Christina, all your favorite hosts will be tweeting along with the day’s premieres. Join in the fun by following and using #HGTVNewYear on Twitter. See the full guest list here.

4: See Your Tweets on HGTV!
Remember that #HGTVNewYear hashtag? Use it while you watch and you could see your tweet on the air. We’ll be sharing favorites from HGTV fans all day long.

5: See Exclusive Photos on Instagram
Follow HGTV on Instagram to see exclusive behind-the-scenes photos from the Rose Parade, HGTV stars’ New Year’s Day traditions and more.

6: Step Inside HGTV Dream Home 2015
After a day full of dreamy premieres, it all culminates with the HGTV Dream Home 2015 tour. Tour every inch of the Cape Cod-style home on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts with host Matt Muenster, then visit HGTV.com to take a photo tour and enter for a chance to win it.

Get more information at HGTV.com/New Year. See you there!

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The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day tends to be a week of recovery from the hectic holiday season. But if you’re hosting a New Year’s Eve dinner party or New Year’s Day brunch, it’s a time for one final push. That’s why these geometric plate chargers are the perfect decorating solution: They’re a snap to make while you catch up on the best shows of 2014, and they make a huge visual impact.

Make Your Own Painted Geometric Chargers

To make these simple table accents, just tape off different sizes of triangles on a wooden charger plate (available at your local craft store.) We used bright hues of acrylic paint to create this fun design, but black and gold would be an elegant twist for New Year’s Eve. Add two coats of paint, then peel off the tape. Place under dishes at each place setting or underneath plain appetizer plates for a more casual party.

Geometric Chargers on Table

GET FULL HOW-TO INSTRUCTIONS HERE >>

How do you keep it simple when decorating for New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day? Tell us your tips in the comments below.

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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

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New Year’s Eve is the last of the winter holidays, so it may take the back burner to Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah. The holiday season may have sucked your wallet dry, but you can still throw a dazzling New Year’s Eve party. I have one word for you: upcycling. Save all your glittery Christmas decor to spruce up your NYE party with our easy tips below. It’s all in the details!

Wrapping Paper Tablecloth

Wrapping Paper Tablecloth

Skip the fancy tablecloth this year, and use leftover Christmas wrapping paper instead. If you don’t have any wrapping paper left, stores have big discounts on Christmas items this time of year.

Learn More Ways to Upcycle

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The wait is over. Today marks the first day you can enter the HGTV Dream Home 2015 sweepstakes. You’ve probably already seen gorgeous photos of the Martha’s Vineyard home, but if you haven’t, you must take a look. Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up in this Cape Cod-style getaway? Enter twice daily — once on HGTV.com and FrontDoor.com — for a chance to win.

HGTV Dream Home 2015

Haven’t seen the house yet? Take the tour:

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As you prep for New Year’s Eve festivities, don’t forget a fizzy signature cocktail for midnight toasting. Here are a few of our favorites that are more exciting than just wine or champagne but can still be made in minutes.

Pomegranate Sparkler

Pom Sparkler Cocktail

Photo + recipe courtesy of VOGA Italia Wine

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon fresh pomegranate seeds
  • 3 ounces VOGA Prosecco
  • 1/2 ounce pomegranate juice

Scoop 1 teaspoon of fresh pomegranate seeds into a champagne glass. Pour in pomegranate juice, then top with VOGA Prosecco.

Grapefruit Mimosa

Sparking Grapefruit Cocktail

Get the recipe for this sparkling grapefruit cocktail >>

More Bubbly Recipes for New Year’s Eve

Featured
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Blustery temperatures and winter weather have me dreaming of one thing — a cozy cabin weekend. Driving to the mountains and shacking up with friends and family for a long weekend of good food and good movies — never a bad idea.

HGTV’s FrontDoor tried to tempt me into a winter vacation dream by showcasing this idyllic Aspen cabin. Check out this adorable getaway with flawless views of the Rocky mountains.

Aspen Cabin Front

Isn’t it cute? There is no need for a massive log mansion — I mean, I wouldn’t complain — but this quaint little cottage looks like it was built for full-of-nothing weekends.

Aspen Cabin Living Room

Aspen Cabin Fireplace

All you need is a working fireplace and dvd player for a great weekend retreat. I love this cabin’s rustic chandelier and the open concept really lets you soak up all the wood construction.

Aspen Cabin Window

Aspen Cabin Master

That comfy leather chair looks like a good spot to curl up and read, or maybe just watch the snow fall — if you’re lucky enough. The windows in the master bedroom also have wonderful woodsy views. But here is what really has me dreaming of this cabin…

Aspen Overhead

Aspen Mountain Views

Those incredible mountain views. You know the coffee commercial where the entirely too-happy morning couple is drinking in front of sprawling mountain views? Well, that couple wishes they were here. The way the sun makes the snow sparkle on the top of the mountain would make me a morning person.

I can’t wait for my first chance to see the mountains this season. Have plans for family retreats or full-of-nothing weekends? Share them with us here — we would love to see where you’re going!

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We pride ourselves in inspiring our viewers and readers with pretty, pretty pictures of gorgeous rooms and smart ideas here at HGTV. So it’s no surprise that our Pinterest fans eat up what we share.  Some of the pics rose to the top to be the clear leaders as this year’s fan favorites. Take a look, pin for yourself, and let us know if you think these are the best – or which HGTV shots you like even better.



So what do you think? Are these the best of the best?

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hgtv hosts at the holidays

We all love watching these guys do their magic on TV, but do you ever wonder what they’re like in “real” life? I don’t know about you, but I love getting to know more about our hosts’ lives off-camera. (Stars! They’re just like us.) You’ve got to watch this adorable video where everyone from the Property Brothers to Hilary and David tell us about their favorite part of the holidays. And most importantly, where they fall on the hot chocolate vs. eggnog divide.

>>>>WATCH THE VIDEO NOW>>>>

See Who’s an Eggnog Lover

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blue room tree
Have you ever wished you could sneak behind the curtain at the White House and snoop around? Wish granted! Genevieve Gorder was given exclusive access to tour the White House while it is all dressed up for Christmas. We took tons of pictures to share with you, but don’t ask us to pick a favorite! It’s too hard. Pour a cup of hot cocoa, lean back and have a look at these stunning shots of the president and first family’s home.

michelle obama decorating cookies

First Lady Michelle Obama decorating cookies with special guests.

red room

The Red Room

state dining room

State Dining Room decor

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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

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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

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Congratulations to this week’s winner, Cranberry!

Can you guess which holiday decor belongs in this foyer?

Decorate This Space

Type A, B or C in the comments section, and we’ll reveal the answer tomorrow. One lucky winner will win a ceramic travel mug with a fabric cozy from HGTV HOME. You don’t have to answer correctly for a chance to win.

Type A, B or C

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 December 17, 2014 and 12:00 p.m. ET on December 18, 2014. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of prize: $30. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932. 

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