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Update 10/15/12:  Congratulations to this month’s winner, Donna, who says she likes to make her Halloween decorations “as scary as skeletons, but my 4-year-old twins have always been around those at Halloween time so they don’t see them as scary.” Congratulations, Donna! Check back next month for another great freebie.

There are two types of Halloween folk: The ones who deck their yard out in fake blood, life-sized zombies and motion-activated vampires and the ones who stick to jolly pumpkins and mildly creepy ghosts.

Since I can’t watch a horror movie without developing a new irrational fear, you can probably guess which camp I fall into. But whether you go for the blood and guts or would rather keep it PG, you’ll love this month’s giveaway: a collection of outdoor Halloween decorations from Grandin Road.

Halloween Reversible Pumpkin - Grandin Road
First on the giveaway list: This creepy animated pumpkin. Sure, it looks innocent enough, but flip on the switch and it turns “evil” — complete with a diabolical laugh — when unsuspecting folks walk by.

See the Rest of the Prizes + Enter to Win

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Hey, Freebie Friday fans! We’re smack-dab in the middle of outdoor party season, and one of you is about to get a party setup upgrade courtesy of our June giveaway. Ready to see who won this copper fire pit, plus a stainless steel beverage tub and pineapple hurricane lanterns, all from

Copper Firepit From

Copper Fire Pit

This month’s random winner is Pamela B., who kindly answered my fill-in-the-blank question with, “I can’t have an outdoor party without you!” Congratulations, Pamela — I’d love to come celebrate with you!

Pamela has two weeks to respond to our messages — then we’ll choose another random winner.

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It’s finally spring, or as I like to call it, spend-every-waking-hour-its-not-raining-outdoors season. Spring, as you may have guessed, is my favorite time of the year: everything comes alive, new flower pop up every day, and it’s warm enough to read a book or eat a meal outdoors.

One lucky winner will be able to do both those things in their yard with today’s prize: Two outdoor benches from outdoor furniture and outdoor shed retailer Lifetime. Made of engineered wood, these sturdy benches won’t fade, warp or rot, so they’ll look good for years to come. But wait, there’s more! When you’re ready to eat dinner, turn the bench back upwards….

Lifetime Convertible Bench Upright
…and the bench also becomes a table! Push two together and you have a space large enough for family dining. Cool, huh? And since the bench-slash-table does double-duty, it will work just as well for an itsy-bitsy backyard as it will for a spacious one.

Lifetime Convertible Bench Table
To enter for a chance to win two Lifetime convertible benches, just leave a comment below. This week’s question: What’s your favorite spring activity? What do you wait all winter for? Tell us now!

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 9:00 a.m. ET on April 6, 2012 and 12:00 p.m. ET on April 9, 2012. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of prize: $459.98. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932.

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For this month’s Freebie Friday, we asked you to tell us your Valentine’s Day plans in exchange for a chance to win two luxurious cotton and linen robes from organic fabric retailer Coyuchi.  Many of you are headed out for dinner with your sweethearts, while others will be calling,texting and mailing care packages to long-distance loves. Others are staying in with family and friends — reader Sarah is hosting a craft night for her mom and twin sister.

And one Freebie Friday fan, Trish, is even getting married this February 14. Congratulations, Trish!

So, who can add some time in these bathrobes to their Valentine’s Day itinerary?

Coyuchi Organic His and Hers Robes

This month’s lucky random winner is Sue, who plans to have a double Valentine’s Day: spaghetti and meatballs with the kids, then a trip out on town for after-dinner cocktails with her husband.  Congratulations, Sue!  She has two weeks to reply to our messages and claim the prize before we choose another random winner.

Have a Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

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For last Friday’s freebie giveaway, we asked you what holiday music you’d blast on your brand-spanking-new, wireless home music set from Sonos. You got in the holiday spirit, shouting out everything from classics like “The Christmas Song” by Nat King Cole and “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby to more recent favorites like Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas”  and “Joseph, Better You Than Me” by The Killers.

Sonos Play:3 Wireless Speakers

Now that you’re in the holiday mood (I may just start my Christmas playlist a little early this year), I’ll reveal this week’s lucky winner. Congratulations to Stacie M., who prefers Nat King Cole and Gene Autry when December roll around. Stacie has two weeks to respond before we choose another random winner.

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For last Friday’s freebie giveaway, we asked you to tell us your best holiday entertaining ideas to be entered for a random chance to win this chic faux-shagreen tray from SkateModerne.  You had some great tips — here are some of our favorites.

Skate Moderne Logo Tray

Delegate, Delegate, Delegate
Most friends don’t mind helping out a little, especially if they’re among the first to arrive. “I like to have a friend or family member in charge of welcoming people when they arrive, helping them with their coats, purses, food set up and getting them settled in with a drink…even leading them to mix and mingle if necessary,” says Jan T.  Or ask guests to bring a homemade dish, like reader cnpeyton does.

Get Together Ahead of Time
December too busy? Celebrate with friends in the summer, like two of our commenters do. “Since the holidays are so busy with family, we have a garden party in August with decorations and Christmas carols and many courses of food under a tent in my friend’s lovely yard. It’s less stressful for everyone, and there’s better weather,” says Andrea.  And Sylvie R. looks forward to her Christmas in July party every year: “We all dress up in thick, tacky sweaters, reindeer headbands, etc., and enjoy making gingerbread, peppermint schapps-infused hot cocoa and a white elephant gift exchange. Who says holidays only come once a year?”

Host a Traveling Party
Don’t want to play host all night? Try a progressive party like reader SweetLiz and her family members: “We go from house to house so we can see each other’s decorated homes and share a drink, snack or dessert. Sometimes we start with a brunch, sometimes with a late lunch. We try to do this a week before Christmas.”

Don’t Forget the Details
Little touches will put your party over the top — like simple homemade appetizers instead of store-bought or fresh greenery from the yard. And Felipe33 reminds us that “a must for entertaining is a clean and fresh-smelling half bath. This can be a deal breaker.”

Relax and Have Fun
So, you didn’t have a chance to make letterpress place cards or get out your fondue set. It’s okay! Once the party starts, go with what you’ve got and don’t sweat the unfinished details.  As wise reader Pat D says, “If you are enjoying yourself, most likely your guests will too.”  And as this week’s random winner, vintageviolet, reminds us, “Holidays are for spending time with friends and family, so don’t get so stressed that you forget that part!”

Congratulations to this week’s winner! She will have 2 weeks to respond to our emails before we pick another random winner.


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Have you ever wished that HGTV would show up on your doorstep to give your home a makeover? Who hasn’t, right? We here at Design Happens are happy to say — that opportunity is knocking! Our new show HGTV’d was created to give you the opportunity to upload photos and videos of your space for a chance at a dream makeover from your favorite HGTV stars. The show premieres June 6th, but while you wait for the HGTV’d truck to roll down your street, we’re going to hook you up with a bedroom decked out in all things HGTV.

HGTV HOME bedding

Design Happens is proud to present the new HGTV HOME bedding line. We’re giving away three complete bedroom sets for an HGTV-approved bedroom mini-makeover. Each winner will get to pick any size bedding from the cool, blue Lucas set or the warm Lagare set. Each set includes a comforter, bed skirt, two shams, two decorative pillows, two window panels and one window valance.

For a chance to win, leave us a comment before 9am/8c Friday, May 27, telling us the next product HGTV HOME should come out with. HGTV furniture? HGTV art work? HGTV bathroom towel sets? What about life-size Jamie Durie cutouts?

Click for official rules.

Don’t forget to check out the premiere of HGTV’d Monday, June 6, 9pm/8c.

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My work-in-progress kitchen is designed in a black, white and yellow color palette with splashes of red. (I read somewhere that red and yellow illicit feelings of hunger, which if you like to cook, make them excellent choices for a kitchen.) We all know black and white appliances are soooo easy to come by, but yellow—and I don’t mean that 70′s yellowish color that just looking at it makes me feel queasy—I mean cheerful, beautiful yellow. That’s a design challenge.

Abt Electronics KitchenAid Mixers

That’s why I’m super stoked to give two, that’s right…two Design Happens readers the opportunity to win a KitchenAid stand mixer from Abt Electronics in any shade they so desire. This appliance is a must for any stylish cook. Tangerine? Onyx? Caviar? They’ve got it all. Plus, Majestic Yellow, the perfect shade for my Mickey D’s inspired kitchen. Can’t decide what color you like, call the Abt award-winning support team to coach you through this all-important decision—and just about anything else. (Seriously…ask for Kevin R., and while you’ve got him on the phone, grill him about his competitive sneaker design hobby.)

Answer this week’s question before 12/11c Monday, March 28, to be entered for a chance to win.

This week’s question: What’s your dream kitchen color scheme? Classic black-and-white? Energizing blue and orange? Totally green?

Click for official rules.

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Can cookware and utensils serve as the center of style in your kitchen? Yes, with help from celebrity-chef Rachel Ray. Rachael’s line of cooking tools pulls double duty — as sanity-saving gadgets and as gorgeous pieces you’d won’t need to shove in the cabinet as soon as the doorbell rings. (We’re looking at you rusty, dented cookie sheet.)

Rachael Ray Products

We’ve partnered with the Food Network Store to bring Rachael’s super-smart (and super-stylish) kitchenware to Freebie Fridays. We’re giving away two of the most-wanted Rachael Ray products. First, there’s her Chocolate Casseroval (4.25 qt.), perfect for serving yummy goodness right out of the dish. (Breakfast casserole, tater tot casserole, chicken casserole, tuna casserole — well, maybe not tuna casserole.) It’s accompanied by one of Rachel’s Blue Stripe Moppine Oven Mitts, an uber-absorbent mitt/kitchen towel combo. Cool, yes? Answer this week’s question before 12/11c Monday, February 28, for a chance to win this stylish duo.

This week’s question: What’s the handiest, good-looking kitchen gadget you’ve ever owned?

Click for official rules.

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The always delectable Crabtree & Evelyn has a secret to share with Design Happens readers. Their new Citron, Honey & Coriander body care collection comes out this week and ten of you get to be among the first to try it. A botanical blend of thyme, rosemary, eucalyptus, tea tree and willow bark is paired with the refreshing scent of fresh-squeezed lemon, honey and coriander in this soothing and luxurious line. And as always, the packaging is so pretty! Perfect for the master bathroom and guest bath.

Ten readers will take home a Citron Skin Indulging Body Soufflé and a Citron Skin Smoothing Body Scrub for simply answering this week’s question before 12/11c Monday, January 24.

This week’s question: Do you trade out everyday products for special soaps and lotions when you have overnight guests?

Click for official rules.

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