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    7 amazing remodels that came out of 2020.

    December 30, 2020 12:00 PM by emily.bailey

    Wednesday, December 30, 2020

    2020 remodels| Schlage

    Here are some home renovation projects from 2020 you’ll want to remember.

     

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    Who really wants to look back at 2020? What are the highlights for those typical year-end top-10 lists? While things have been difficult to say the least, some of us were able to make lemonade out of some pretty sour lemons. We used our extra stay-at-home time to learn new DIY skills and finally tackle some of the projects on our list. The best part, we transformed our homes to make them work for us better than ever. Here are some home renovation projects from 2020 you’ll actually want to remember.

    Better kitchens for more homemade meals

    When restaurant dining areas closed, homecooked meals became the norm rather than the exception. We took to the kitchen like never before, but unfortunately, many homeowners came to realize that their kitchens just didn’t work for them. The layout was bad, they didn’t have the right tools or the space was just plain uninspiring. That’s why kitchen remodels top our list of favorite 2020 upgrades.

    Pretty Handy Girl

    Brittany of Pretty Handy Girl had her work cut out for her with this tiny, closed-off 1950s kitchen, but we love how she brought the best of Mid-Century Modern style to this space. One of the biggest tasks was knocking out some walls, which made the newly remodeled kitchen feel larger and brighter with more natural light. Brittany then relied on light fixtures, graphic wall décor and cabinets to capture that popular mid-century vibe.

    After she knocked out that wall, there was only one door to contend with and Brittany installed a Schlage Latitude lever with Century trim on it. The straight lines of the hardware fit right in with the overall style, and the Matte Black finish was the perfect complement to the dark finishes of the open shelving and granite countertop. If ever there was a transformation that was both modern and classic, this is it.

    I Spy DIY

    Jenni’s original kitchen was one tone – ugh. The gorgeous remodel, on the other hand, hit all the right notes. It’s a beautiful mix between soft and bright with dark and bold. The porcelain tile backsplash over the stove and natural wood complement the black cabinets better than you might expect. Even Jenni said the black cabinetry was a bit of leap of faith for her. To make them look even more high-end, she added brass cabinet pulls.

    Which brings us to another highlight. Mixing metals was done to perfection here. Those brass pulls play well with the brass in the light fixture over the butcher block and the undertones in the natural wood. Meanwhile, the stainless steel faucet complements the appliances and grays in the flooring. And finally, black. We already mentioned the black cabinets, so it makes perfect sense to pull that in again with the lighting over the door, pot racks and a Matte Black Schlage Custom™ Dempsey lever with Rosewood trim.

    Reworked space for business and pleasure

    Like kitchens, home offices were in high demand this year. In many homes, that meant carving out workspace where there wasn’t one before. Working from home and e-learning required dedicated areas for focus and productivity instead of open floor plans and new levels of privacy. To find those, we renovated creatively.

    Homemade by Carmona

    Ursula of Homemade by Carmona took a deep closet that wasn’t being used to its fullest potential and turned it into the perfect nook office. There’s so much to love about this remodel. The shelves were handmade, and the desk drawers are actually repurposed cabinet bases. On top of it all, it’s the fine details that make this look like an intentional space, not just somewhere you randomly stuck a table. The brass on the lighting fixture, chair legs and door knob trim help tie it all together.

    If you’re wondering about those doors, Ursula used bifold doors, which are great for spaces where you don’t have much swing clearance. She then added non-turning Schlage Custom™ Hobson glass knobs with a Satin Brass Collins trim. Learn more about non-turning door knobs with this guide.

    Anthony Carrino

    We so often choose older homes for their character. Anthony Carrino did exactly that with this 100-year-old firehouse and then ramped up the character with his own flair. Your eye is probably drawn to the eclectic décor, especially the antlers and gold-print wallpaper, that has a more modern feel. But a closer look reveals he’s kept many vintage touches. An original firepole remains in the corner, the brass bar cart is definitely a nod to the 1920s and that door hardware? The Schlage Custom™ Alexandria knob with Collins trim is almost as classic as they come.

    Before

    With such a collection of styles in one room, what’s to keep it from looking chaotic? For starters, all those warm finishes tie it together. The gold of the fireman’s pole is mirrored in the wallpaper, bar cart and door hardware. And those tones play nicely with the warm browns in Anthony’s comfy chairs.

     

    That this is an office space is almost lost, although that’s not necessarily a bad thing. We’ve all grown used to making a home office out of nothing or, now that we’re spending more time there, personalizing our office to be more comfortable and enjoyable. Quite simply, we love this example of a home office that captures the homeowner’s personality and style.

    DIY doors for a new welcoming statement

    Many of us found ways to make small projects pay off big this year. For some it was a garden project or upcycling old coffee tables, but for others, it was updating doors. We often forget about doors during interior remodels, but we bet you’ll remember these before-and-after transformations.

    Yellow Brick Home

    It’s hard to believe that this hallway started out as part of a dark, dank basement. Kim and Scott of Yellow Brick Home took this den area from an unfinished space with cinder block walls to a complete rental apartment with two bedrooms, a bathroom, laundry and kitchenette.

     

    To save money, they needed a way to hide their utilities instead of relocating them, too. All of those changes meant doors, doors and more doors. To brighten up the basement space, they chose these beautiful five-panel doors in an airy white. Dark door hardware adds a bit of drama and style without making the hall feel gloomy again.

     

    The transitional-style Schlage Custom™ Hobson knobs with Matte Black Century trims are the perfect complement to their 100-year-old house. They stay true to the home’s architecture without feeling outdated. In the end, it’s hard to even remember what this basement looked like before.

    Jenna Sue Design Co.

    When Jenna bought a 1940s fixer upper, the house came with what we’ll generously call a diverse mix of doors. In the course of updating the home, this DIYer recognized the importance of doors for overall sophistication and found new ones that not only created a more cohesive style but matched the era of the home as well. The finishing touch of this makeover is the glass Schlage Hobson knob with Century trim. Just like we saw in the Yellow Brick Home above, it’s a classic look that’s hard not to love.

    In areas where multiple doors can be seen, like in this hallway, Jenna chose matching hardware and door paint colors. But this home remodel also shows where you can branch out with your style. With each room designed uniquely, Jenna chose different looks for inside the rooms. Case in point: this Schlage Georgian knob with Brookshire trim on a dark door. Between the hardware style and Antique Brass finish, it’s the perfect fit for traditional homes.
    If you read Jenna’s blog to the end, you’ll even see how she updated an interior door with one of our smart locks, the Schlage Sense™ Smart Deadbolt. Because she plans to rent the house on Airbnb, the extra security is perfect for a supply closet where she can stash anything she doesn’t want guests to have access to. The keyless entry on this door will simplify their cleaning and turnover process, making the rental property easier to manage.

    Seeking Alexi

    Changing a closet door can’t really do that much, can it? DIYer Alexi shows it’s absolutely possible. The first before picture shows a dark, outdated hollow core door. We’ve all seen them and none of us loves them. Then she painted it a lighter color to match the walls and added the Schlage Latitude lever with Century trim.

     

    But Alexi wasn’t done yet. The final product is a sophisticated gray that works beautifully with other décor in the entryway. She also added some trim on the door, giving it architectural interest. It’s an ideal way to make hollow core doors look expensive even when you’re on a budget.

    After & Before

    With a whole new year ahead us, it’s time to stock up on inspiration. Get more ideas and how-to tips at the Schlage blog or follow us on Pinterest and Instagram. You can also check out our guide to accomplishing your DIY resolutions to make 2021 your best year yet.

     

    How to upgrade your curb appeal and make it accessible for aging parents.

    December 28, 2020 12:00 PM by emily.bailey

    Monday, December 28, 2020

    Accessible curb appeal and outdoor living for aging parents | Schlage

    In this final installment of our series on adapting your home for when an aging parent moves in with you, we share our suggestions for making your outdoor space accessible without losing your personal style.

     

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    When an aging relative moves in with you – and it’s happening more and more often these days – one of the first challenges is making sure your home is ready for them. Older family often brings with them mobility and health concerns, and your house needs to be accessible so that they can feel welcome, comfortable and safe. In this final installment of our series on adapting your home for when an aging parent moves in with you, we share our suggestions for making your outdoor space accessible without losing your personal style.
    Woman sitting on deck outside in wheelchair while wrapped in blanket during winter.

    How to protect aging family with home security

    When we think about protecting our homes, we usually think about keeping thieves out with strong perimeter security. But sometimes we need help keeping an eye on our loved ones or making sure they’re where they need to be. Peace of mind comes in many shapes and sizes, so use this list to start thinking about what you need to protect your home’s exterior and outdoor spaces.

    In-home nurse entering access code on Schlage Encode smart lock.

    Smart locks

    Smart locks are the perfect fit for a multigenerational home for so many reasons. Not only do you not have to make extra keys and worry about them getting lost, but you can also create and monitor unique codes for everyone. That includes the kids, so you know when they got home from school; your parents, so you know if they got dropped off from their book club; and in-home caregivers, so you know if the nurse visited while you were at work. Schlage smart locks are designed to not only be secure and convenient, but stylish as well.

    Alarms

    Electronic locks and home alarm systems often allow you to receive notifications if the door is opened or an access code is used. If you’re caring for someone with dementia or other cognitive impairment, this can be hugely important if they try to leave the house unassisted. High-tech solutions are getting better looking, and in some cases, better able to blend with their surroundings, so you’re likely to find an alarm system that is effective without being an eyesore.

    Gates

    When adding or upgrading your locks, remember to secure more than just a front or garage entry door. Make sure you’re able to lock outdoor gates, whether it’s to keep your relative from straying away from the yard or to help keep them from falling in the pool. Choose a lock that matches the finish of other fixtures – porch lighting and metal handrails, for example – to add to your curb appeal.

    Hazardous items

    Particularly, if you’re caring for a loved one with a cognitive disease, it’s important to help protect them by keeping dangerous items out of reach. Consider adding locked storage to your garage for chemicals like antifreeze, propane or gasoline, or sharp tools like gardening sheers or saws. Also, cover and secure your grill. There is plenty of stylish outdoor storage available. If nothing else, you can use landscaping – bushes, ornamental grasses, tall wildflowers – to obscure more unsightly options.

    Vehicles

    AARP reminds us that aging relatives who no longer drive can sometimes get creative about recapturing that independence. For everyone’s safety, control access to bicycles, riding mowers and golf carts. Overhead storage for bikes , for example, is not only a good way to secure them. It also helps keep your garage organized and clean.

    Ways to create a perfect garden for older adults

    One of the greatest appeals of a garden is having somewhere to enjoy nature – the sun, the breeze, the fresh air – and reap all its healthy benefits. A few adjustments can help everyone get in on the action or retreat from it.

    Paths

    Paved paths are probably your best option. Their flat surface, as opposed to pea gravel, makes for easier walking if your relative loses balance frequently or if they use a walker or wheelchair. It doesn’t have to be boring concrete, though. Try tightly-laid pavers as an alternative. Remember that whatever material you decide on, make it wide enough for a wheelchair – ideally at least 42” – if necessary. Once you’ve chosen your surface, make sure it’s well-lit to reduce stumbling when coming and going at night. Plus, the extra lighting adds a touch of curb appeal, not to mention can deter thieves who don’t want to be seen.

    Raised garden beds

    Stooping and kneeling on the ground to garden can be tough on the joints. Raised beds make it easier for green thumbs of all ages. If your loved one is in a wheelchair or needs to sit while gardening, pay special attention to the bed’s height. You’ll want enough clearance underneath for their knees while still not be so high that they have to reach awkwardly overhead.

    Space for the kids

    You don’t have to pave your entire yard to make it easier for Grandma to get around. Think of ways you can create different zones in your yard that meet everyone’s needs. Include some soft greenspace for the kids, complete with sensory garden plants to explore and a place to stash their toys where they won’t get underfoot, alongside the more accessible adult zones.

    Backyard bonus room

    This suggestion might be more for you than for your parent. If indoor space is feeling a bit cramped with extra people, a “shed” can become a home office, art studio, playroom for the kids or meditation retreat for when you need some alone time. Accessory dwelling units, or ADUs, became increasingly popular thanks to coronavirus, but they’re perfect for accommodating all kinds of new living situations.

    Create an accessible deck or porch for older relatives

    Whether you love hosting backyard parties or like to have a place to sit and relax, you can turn your porch into a secure and comfortable place for everyone, aging parents included.

    Seating

    The type of seating you choose is just as important as where it is. Look for sturdy chairs with a good backrest and arms to help people push themselves up to standing. Low Adirondack-style chairs might be attractive, but they won’t do your loved one any favors if it’s hard getting in and out of the seat. Think about the kind of outdoor experience your family member wants, too. Active adults might love being in the midst of activity, sitting near where your kids play. Others who prefer a more low-key environment or who get easily stimulated (and confused) might prefer their seating at the back of the yard, for example, away from the hubbub.

    Shade

    Also consider how you can help protect your family from harsh sun. A DIY pergola or a trellis with climbing plants are two simple and gorgeous options. Or go even simpler with a nice patio umbrella or outdoor porch curtains.

    Slip-resistant surfaces

    Slips and stumbles will happen, but you can reduce the risk with the right non-slip surface. Concrete is one of the more obvious solutions and can be easy to maintain. Wood decking is another good option and, with a variety of woods and finishes, can be a stylish one as well. Composite wood, although made partially of plastic, can also be used. As long as it is cleaned regularly and maintained, it shouldn’t be too slick.

    Ramps

    Entryway stairs need special attention if the relative who’s moving in uses a wheelchair, walker or cane. If the grade isn’t too steep – no more than eight percent – consider installing a ramp. Weigh the pros and cons of a ramp for different entryways as well. If you don’t have room to add one at the front door, what about a side entrance? And if you spend a lot of time in the backyard, add one to your garden. Houzz shows how one homeowner made their garden more accessible, and it certainly doesn’t look cold and institutional.

    Handrails

    Railings are always a good safety feature. They’re practically imperative when you have an elderly individual using steps or when stairs are too steep to replace with a ramp. Make sure the handrail runs from the very first tread all the way to the top, not just something decorative in the middle. Pay attention to the material as well. Some metal railings, especially when they get wet, can be slick, defeating the purpose of having a railing in the first place. Like many décor elements, your handrail can be as stylish as your imagination allows.

    Tiers

    Rather than sticking to the two extremes for deck design – ground level and raised – think in tiers with mid-range landings. This will reduce the steepness of stairs and give loved ones a place to stop and rest if needed. It also gives them options. If climbing all the way to the top level of a deck is too much, they can still enjoy outdoor time.

    Maintenance

    The best-made ramps, handrails and decking surfaces can lose their accessibility benefits if not properly maintained. At least once a year, be sure to check that railings are still secure and not wobbly. If boards in the deck or porch are warped or splintering, replace them. Again, this is as much about safety as it is about curb appeal.

    Did you miss something? Check out the first two installments of our series about adapting your home when aging relatives move in. Part one shows you how to update bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens to make your multigenerational home safer and more convenient. And in part two, you’ll find how changes in flooring, lighting and décor can help transform your house into more comfortable home for everyone.

     

    Parents moving in? Choose stylish, accessible floors, doors and lighting.

    December 21, 2020 12:00 PM by emily.bailey

    Monday, December 21, 2020

    Stylish accessible homes | Schlage

    We're sharing four home features to update to help keep your older relatives safe without compromising your own style.

     

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    Whether for health, economic necessity or simply to be nearer to loved ones, it’s becoming more common for aging parents to move in with family. While that can solve many problems, it can also create new ones. Do you have the space for more people? Is your home set up to accommodate older relatives with health or mobility issues? If you do make changes for accessibility, will your house start to look like a hospital or nursing home?

     

    In the second installment of our three-part series on adapting your home for aging relatives, we share four home features to update to help keep your older relatives safe without compromising your own style.

    Daughter and elderly mother smiling.

    How to make flooring safer for aging parents

    What you do or don’t have on the floors is key when it comes to making your home accessible for older family members. The key is to reduce tripping hazards.

    Thresholds

    Transition points from tile to carpet or changes in elevation can be tricky for those with visual or mobility impairments. Some experts suggest adding orange tape at these spots, but if you’re looking for something more stylish, you might take the plunge into new flooring altogether. Aim for a consistent, slip-resistant material throughout the house, without bumps or steps. Vinyl, linoleum and cork rate among the top choices for seniors.

    Rugs

    Throw rugs are beautiful, but they can catch toes, canes and walkers, making them dangerous. People with dementia might also find them confusing. According to this Houzz expert, they may see them as holes and try to jump over them, walk around them or simply become too confused to move. Instead, replace or deep clean the carpet instead of covering it up with a throw rug, try an inlaid border on hardwood flooring or, if it’s just the tripping hazard you’re getting rid of, try painting the floor to keep a beautiful aesthetic.

    Stairs

    It’s no secret that stairs are a fall hazard, but you can reduce the danger. Make sure the surfaces are non-slip, either by changing the flooring material or adding treads for better traction. Lighting is also important, and we’ll talk more about that in a minute. Finally, remove clutter from around the stairs and handrails. Place a stylish table at the top and bottom of stairs to place belongings instead of putting them on the steps themselves.

    Ramps

    If the grade isn’t too steep – no more than eight percent is recommended for wheelchairs, walkers and canes – you might choose to install a ramp. Don’t think it has to be some kind of sterile, metallic setup either. You can find a ramp that is both ADA-compliant and good looking.

    How to use lighting to protect older relatives

    Proper lighting also helps reduce tripping hazards, but that’s not all. Those with visual impairments can often be more independent and our moods may improve. There are lots of solutions for healthy lighting.

    Motion-activated lights

    These plug-in sensors can be used just about anywhere, from the bedroom to the bathroom, the hallway to the kitchen pantry and anywhere else you might be passing through and need better visibility. And if you choose a battery-powered model, you don’t have to worry about rewiring or being able to reach a switch, making one of the easiest and most cost-effective changes on this list.

    Nightlights

    Whether you’ve built your relative an in-law suite with their own bathroom or they have to use the facilities down the hall, illuminate the path from the bedroom to the bath. No one likes being blinded by suddenly turning on a lamp, but older adults may become disoriented by the drastic change as well.

    Task lighting

    Especially in an area like the kitchen, task lighting can help them see what they’re doing and keep fingers safe while using knives. They might also appreciate it in the bathroom when they’re applying makeup or shaving. Look for undercabinet LEDs, closet lighting and vanity sconces.

    Near the stairs

    If they’re not there already, add light switches at both the top and bottom of the stairs. If that’s not possible, consider lamps on those tables we talked about earlier.

    On the stairs

    Most often seen outdoors, stairs with underlighting is a beautiful safety improvement. You can use treadlighting inside the home as well. Similar to the nightlight, it’s a nice feature when you’re trying to get to bed without turning on bright, glaring lights.

    Elbow-operated switch plates

    Push-button or plates that can be operated with an elbow are nice alternatives to the typical light switch. This can be helpful if your parents have arthritis or when fine motor skills start to deteriorate.

    Hands-free lighting

    The USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology recommends installing light switches near beds as well as bathtubs and showers. That can get expensive if you have to rewire your house. A nice alternative is to connect lighting to a smart home hub and voice assistant. That way, even if your relative can’t reach the switch, they can still ask Alexa to turn on the light.

    How upgrading doors and door hardware can protect your parents

    These solutions pull double-duty – they’ll help keep your family safe and make simple daily tasks that much easier.

    Levers

    If your older relative has arthritis or trouble gripping things, replace your door knobs with levers. They’re easier to operate and push or pull open.

    Door width

    Particularly in older homes, doorways may be quite narrow. If your parent uses a wheelchair or you anticipate needing to bring in large medical equipment, it might be worth the expense of widening doors. A Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) can help you figure out these modifications and, because they’re often also remodelers, help you execute them.

    French doors

    To enhance the style of your newly widened entryway, you might use this as the perfect excuse to install beautiful French doors. Depending on what you choose, you can decide whether both sides are always swinging or use a flush bolt to keep one side in place until you need the extra clearance.

    Sliding doors

    When you’re converting your house to accommodate new family members, you might not have the space for major changes. That’s why sliding doors, including pocket doors and barn doors, are ideal for your new situation. Use them to close off a room when you don’t want to disturb sleeping parents or if you simply need a bit of privacy for a phone call while working from home.

    Glass doors

    You might not think twice about it, but those with visual impairments or cognitive diseases like dementia can become confused by glass doors and run into them. AARP recommends placing stickers on the glass, but you might also opt for etched or frosted glass, window pane-like framing or blinds.

    Using décor to help them feel at home

    No matter how you choose to accommodate your loved one, keep in mind that it’s everyone’s home. Include photos and other décor around the house that inspire fond memories. You might also love to change up that décor and update photos as you continue to make new memories together.

     

    Looking for more? Check out the rest of our series on adapting your home for aging relatives without losing your sense of personal style. In part one, we talk about updating bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens to make your multigenerational home more accessible and comfortable. And in part three, you’ll find ideas for making your outdoor space and home security more elderly-friendly.

     

    Celebrate doors, dogs and more with Schlage’s 12 days of Christmas.

    December 17, 2020 6:30 AM by emily.bailey

    Thursday, December 17, 2020

    12 doors of Christmas | Schlage

    Tune up your vocal cords and prepare for the Twelve Doors … we mean, Days … of Christmas, Schlage-style.

     

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    Not sure what to get your true love for Christmas this year? Tune up your vocal cords and prepare for the Twelve Doors … we mean, Days … of Christmas, Schlage-style.

    On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me a sense of home security.

    There are lots of ways to give your loved ones peace of mind when it comes to protecting their home and everyone in it. Schlage, with our secure and durable deadbolts for exterior doors is a good place to start. There’s also video doorbells, shatter-proof window film, keyless locks and countless other ways to help keep the family and house safe.

    On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me two smart deadbolts.

    Smart locks are a safe and convenient way to give that gift of home security. Not only are Schlage electronic locks rated Best by the BHMA for Security, Durability and Finish, but they’re also easy to install. And when you connect them to your home wireless network, you can control them from anywhere using your smartphone. Schlage smart locks are great for more than just front doors, too. Consider them for a back door, garage entry or even a home office where higher security and privacy are needed.

    On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me three French doors.

    Three sets of French doors might sound a bit excessive, but once you see what they can do for the look and feel of your home, you’ll quickly change your mind. French doors add an extra touch of sophistication to both interior and exterior entryways. Plus, with their glass panes, you can enjoy the extra light they let in without the extra noise from the rest of the house.

    On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me four glass door knobs.

    Speaking of sophistication, glass door knobs are a prime example of how a little extra shine can elevate any room. The Schlage Custom™ Alexandria is a classic glass knob inspired by Victorian architecture but with modern functionality. There’s also the Schlage Custom™ Hobson glass knob, which with its smooth finish and subtle details, looks just as stunning on transitional homes as it does on traditional ones.

     

    On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me five cans of paint.

    Your hardest decision will be where to use all that paint. Will you paint a room? Give your trims and doors an update? Upcycle some old furniture to give it new life and your personal stamp? Let your kids show off their artistic skills?

    On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me six gorgeous levers.

    No matter what style your or your true love’s home is, Schlage probably has a lever to suit. With countless designs ranging from traditional to contemporary and somewhere in between, you’ll be able to find the gorgeous lever that puts the finishing touch on any room.

    On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me seven hacks for hosting.

    Even pros who host frequent get-togethers love a good hack that makes their job easier. And when you’re hosting at holiday time, those shortcuts become even more important. Get inspired by these holiday hosting hacks at the Schlage blog.

    On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me eight homemade dog treats.

    Pets are family, too. There are plenty of homemade treats that are both tasty and healthy for your furry true love, not to mention a number of other gifts perfect for porch puppies of all sizes.

     

    On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me nine hygge blankets.

    Winter calls for snuggling into the comfort of your home with the ones you love most. A cozy throw blanket that gently whispers hygge – you don’t want to ruin the relaxing vibe with loud décor, after all – will help you enjoy that quality time.

    On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me ten tools for gardening.

    Because gardening tools are out of season in the winter in most regions, you might find some great deals as opposed to stocking up in the spring. The right tools make all the difference, and don’t limit yourself to just spades and rakes. Think high-tech like smart irrigation or low-tech like a flower pouch. Find more on these gardening tools and similar ideas with our Curb Appeal Gift Guide.

    On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me eleven mini door wreaths.

    A beautiful wreath for the front door is a showstopper, but small wreaths for interior doors are an unexpected twist that is at once gorgeous, festive and easy to DIY.

     

    On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me twelve cabinet pulls.

    When a major renovation isn’t in the plans but your true love wants to give a room a facelift, new cabinet pulls can help. Instead of replacing an entire bathroom vanity, ripping out all the cabinets in the kitchen or trashing the tired-looking dresser, replace the pulls and see how it transforms the overall look. You can even choose pulls that complement your door hardware or other fixtures for some top style.

    Now everyone sing along …

     

    On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
    Twelve cabinet pulls, eleven mini door wreaths
    Ten tools for gardening, nine hygge blankets, eight homemade dog treats
    Seven hacks for hosting, six gorgeous levers, five cans of paaaiiint
    Four glass door knobs, three French doors
    Two smart deadbolts and a sense of home security.

     

    You can catch our Twelve Doors of Christmas special on social media this year by following us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. And if you’re still not sure what to get your true love this holiday season, try the gift guides at Schalge.com.

     

    How to prepare your home for aging parents without sacrificing style.

    December 14, 2020 12:00 PM by emily.bailey

    Monday, December 14, 2020

    Prepare your home for aging parents | Schlage

    In the first installment of our three-part series on adapting your home for aging relatives, we share suggestions for making the most of your existing space so that everyone stays happy and healthy.

     

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    The elderly population is expected to more than double to 80 million by 2050, and most of that growth is happening right now. While some of those people will age in place in their own homes, others may require extra care or rely on family to help reduce their housing expenses. In other words, your parents might move in with you.

     

    Even if you’re looking forward to having your parents or an older relative join your household, you might still have questions and anxiety about the change. For example, how do you make your home accessible for someone with limited mobility or illness? And can you do that without making your house look like a hospital? In the first installment of our three-part series on adapting your home for aging relatives, we share suggestions for making the most of your existing space so that everyone stays happy and healthy.

    Grandmother and grandson sitting in kitchen drawing pictures.

    Finding space for everyone when your parents move in

    Before you even move your older relative into your own home, Houzz suggests making sure you have enough room to begin with. There are a number of ways to create the space to provide proper care, help them maintain some independence and enjoy privacy now and again.

    Second master suite

    The most modest and budget-friendly solution on this list is to upgrade a guest room with master suite features. Add a small sofa or seating area, a television, or a workspace for writing, crafting or puzzles. Think of the things you enjoy about your own master suite – a relaxing retreat with smart speakers, sound proofing from the rest of the house, luxurious bedding – and try to replicate that sense of comfort here. If possible, locate this space on the ground floor where steps won’t be a concern. Even if your parents are healthy now, you may be glad of this decision down the road.

    In-law suite or studio

    An in-law suite, if zoning regulations allow it, adds even more privacy for all parties, especially if it has a separate entrance. This might mean converting your basement or an attic space into something that feels like an apartment. If you renovate a space, consider adding a bathroom and kitchenette, even if it’s just a small bar sink and microwave.

    In-law cottage

    Again, depending on your area’s zoning regulations, you might be able to build a tiny home or convert a shed into a stand-alone apartment for your relative.

    Remember that you can also upgrade your own space when inviting your parents into your home. Being a caregiver is hard work. Create a master retreat for you and your spouse to enjoy some privacy, recharge and breathe. It’s hard to care for others if you don’t also practice self-care.

     

    The same goes for other family members. Make sure kids have their own space, too. This isn’t just about privacy and granting alone time. As annoying as it is when you trip on your kids’ toys, think about the added risk if your mother with a walker has to navigate through the clutter.

     

    Pets, either yours or your parents’, need to be accounted for, too. Will everyone’s pets get along? Does someone have allergies? Are you prepared to handle an increase in pet hair and messes? Do you have a safe space in the house to put cats and dogs in case they don’t thrive in the new household or get underfoot?

    Ways to update a bedroom for aging parents

    Even an active older adult will likely spend a lot of time in their bedroom, relaxing from a busy day or retreating for a bit of privacy. Those who require more rest or are bedridden will appreciate comfortable accommodations even more.

    Bedside lighting

    Whether you provide a lamp on a nightstand or move a light switch so it’s right by the bed, being able to illuminate the room before your loved one tries to walk around will help reduce the risk of falls. It’s also not uncommon for older adults to become disoriented in the dark, something that might be a greater concern when they first move in and are unfamiliar with the layout. A final feature to keep in mind is that some of those small turning switches on lamps might be difficult for arthritic hands. Look for switches that are buttons or that can be connected to smart controls instead. In terms of style, you’re only limited by your imagination when it comes to choosing a lamp for the space. Consider a DIY lampshade to make it unique.

    Nightlights

    For much the same reason that you want lamps or switches near the bed – to reduce potential falls – you want to light the path from the bedroom to the bathroom. No one likes being blinded by sudden, harsh light at night. A nightlight, whether it’s a simple plug-in or a lightstrip like this one from Phillips Hue lining the hallway, can help them move about more safely and independently.

    Closet lights

    If you have 20/20 vision, you probably don’t think twice when looking for a particular shirt in the closet. Those with visual impairments might need more light to see what’s there. Simple stick-on, battery-powered puck lights under a shelf or this Lithonia motion sensor LED light are good solutions.

    Clear paths

    Your converted guest room might have a chest at the end of the bed, throw rugs to protect the carpet, large potted plants to spruce up a corner and any other number of accessories and décor. While they might look great, if it impedes movement, you’ll want to rehome them. Even if you are able to move about freely, walkers or wheelchairs that need extra clearance might find it a tight fit. Focus on a few statement pieces that won’t impede movement. Or better yet, let your loved one help decorate to their taste and needs.

    Seating area

    A chair and small table can go a long way toward giving your aging relative the feel that they’re living independently in an apartment. It’s also functional in that it can be the perfect place for them to sit while they dress or put on shoes. Like lamps, a chair can be nearly any style. Just try to avoid those with wheels. The chair should also ideally have a back and sturdy arms so your family member can push themselves up easily.

    Accessible drawer pulls

    Here’s another one for those who have trouble with hand grip or dexterity. Replace the drawer pulls on cabinets and dressers with a lever, handle or something with a U-shaped design. You can match them to other fixtures in the room to keep it looking sharp, while your loved one will appreciate being able to access drawers without a daily struggle.

    Storage

    Consider your family member’s needs when choosing storage solutions. If reaching overhead is difficult, either because of balance or arm strength, they might like some attractive under-the-bed bins better. If bending and stooping is a concern, a bookcase with pretty baskets at waist level works, too.

    How to update your bathroom for safety

    Between humidity and smooth surfaces, bathrooms require a bit of extra attention. Some solutions are quick fixes while others require a bit more time and money. You might decide they’re worth the effort, though, depending on your family’s needs.

    No-threshold shower or tub

    Stepping up and over into a deep, wet bathtub can leave you feeling unsteady. Consider adding a curbless shower or walk-in tub to reduce the risk of falls.

    Non-slip treads

    These don’t need to be duck-shaped kiddy stick-ons or ugly black stripes. Look for textures or treads that blend with the color of your tub. Or go the opposite direction and choose a teak or bamboo mat that stands out in all the right ways.

    Rubber-backed bathmat

    So simple, you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of it immediately.

    High-profile toilet

    Standing and sitting will be much easier and safer with a raised or high-profile toilet. Plus, you probably won’t even see a difference just by looking at it.

    Stylish grab bar

    Grab bars might be the top-recommended bathroom modification for older adults. But we don’t want our homes to look like hospitals, right? You can find grab bars that are disguised as towel bars and toilet paper holders as well as dual purpose assist bars that are also shelves.

    Seating

    There are two key places for bathroom seating – the shower and the vanity – that will help loved ones keep their balance and take breaks when they need to. If you’re worried about one of those plastic benches looking ugly in the shower, consider a non-slip built-in seat or a classic teak stool.

    How to remodel your kitchen for convenience

    In our opinion, giving your relative the opportunity to cook or simply make their own morning coffee is a huge step toward helping them feel independent. Even for the most spry and healthy, however, this room comes with hazards. These are just a few remodeling ideas, but The Lifetime Home from USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, has even more.

    Pull-out shelving

    Bending over, stooping and reaching to the back of a cabinet can be tough, especially when balance is an issue. Install pull-out shelving so they don’t have to reach so much. You could also convert the cabinets to drawers.

    Adjustable-height countertops

    Lifting groceries onto a high counter can be difficult as we get older. Being able to prepare dinner from a wheelchair is next to impossible at standard countertop height. Also, some of us do get shorter or more stooped with age. While you might appreciate higher counters, they might enjoy one at a lower height. Consider two-tiered countertops so people at any height can cook comfortably, or a kitchen island that raises and lowers with the push of a button.

    Countertops with rounded corners

    We always protect toddlers from sharp corners, but rounded corners can be a blessing for seniors, too.

    Appliances

    Look for ovens with side-swinging doors, which reduce the need for the chef to bend and reach. Induction ranges are also safer for everyone since there are no open flames. Think about the height of your appliances, as well. Over-the-range microwaves will be next to impossible to reach if your loved one is in a wheelchair, so look for a countertop or microwave drawer instead. Dishwashers can be raised to reduce bending or to accommodate the toe kick on a wheelchair. And refrigerators with a bottom freezer drawer are more accessible, too.

    Organize with them in mind

    We love Dutch ovens for making soup, but that cast iron has some heft. Place heavy or frequently used items within easy reach. If they’re the only ones in the house who enjoy a certain food, you might also give them their own snack basket in a convenient spot in the pantry to make it easy to find.

    Looking for more? Check out the rest of our series on adapting your home for aging relatives without losing your sense of personal style. In part two, we talk about updating flooring, lighting and décor to make your multigenerational home more accessible and comfortable. And in part three, you’ll find ideas for making your outdoor space and home security more elderly-friendly.

     

    Welcome home for the holidays with cheerful entryway décor.

    December 9, 2020 10:55 AM by emily.bailey

    Wednesday, December 9, 2020

    Welcome Home for the Holidays with Cheerful Entryway Decor | Schlage

    Don't miss a chance to give your guests the best first impression this season. Here are 9 holiday entryway décor ideas that sure to bring good cheer.

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    If you’re not decking your entryway halls, so to speak, you’re missing an opportunity to greet your guests with holiday cheer. Here are a few ways your entryway décor can wow them with a festive first impression.

    1. Simply glam » House & Home

    If your front door opens up to a grand staircase, you can have guests at “hello” by wrapping your railing with holiday garland. This garland from House & Home is made of magnolia leaves, a holiday foliage that is quickly gaining in popularity. It doesn’t need a lot of glam or extra sparkle to become the focal point of the foyer.

    2. Cozy and rustic » HGTV

    A grand foyer isn’t necessary to create an impactful welcoming space. Simply throw together a few functional pieces with some holiday décor to jolly up an empty corner. This perfectly faked mudroom from HGTV has all the elements to get you through a snowy winter, and with just a few rustic decorations, it feels cozy and ready for the holidays.

    3. Modern and clean » Houzz

    Consider adding a Christmas tree to your foyer as the perfect way to set the holiday mood and also provide a great spot for guests with gifts to lay their presents. We love how this homeowner's personal style doesn't get lost in the holiday noise. See more from this home at Houzz.

    4. A casual touch » BETTER HOMES & GARDENS

    Like many families, you may find it difficult to set aside the time to fully decorate for the holidays. The good news is, you can still create a festive feeling while keeping it casual. All you need is a few accessories. This entryway, shared by Better Homes & Gardens, does just that with some holiday throw pillows, a string of Christmas cards and simple greenery on the railing and faux mantlepiece to tie it all together.

    5. A coastal Christmas » Sand & Sisal

    Maybe you live in a coastal area or are spending the holidays at your beach vacation home. Or maybe you just love the oceanside vibe. You can stay true to coastal design and still decorate for the holidays at the same time.. Color is key. Sand & Sisal focused on blue and white, reminiscent of both the beach’s water and sky as well as winter’s ice and snow. That December wind suddenly feels a bit more like a sea breeze.

    5. Boho-ho-ho » @studioninetythree

    When you’re into Bohemian Modern, it’s super easy to get the natural holiday décor look. A few small strings of lights, including one on the hanging plant, and a couple of small Christmas trees helped @studioninetythree add a bit of festive fun to their entryway table.

     

    7. Christmas console table » Little House of Four

    There’s a lot going on with these Christmas decorations for the entryway table. Little House of Four used plenty of red to tie it all together and avoid a messy, cluttered look. The rustic, farmhouse theme helps, too. When you have a console table like this, don’t forget to use all the real estate – top, bottom, above on the wall and off to the side where we spy a pair of Santa’s boots.

    8. Simple Sightlines » @cedarlanehomeco

    Here’s a little Christmas décor secret. When decorating your entryway to make a good first impression, don’t forget sightlines to other rooms. This @cedarlanehomeco living room coffee table is simply yet beautifully dressed up to welcome holiday guests as they make their way into the rest of the home. Tips like this are especially important if you have an open floorplan.

     

    9. Lasting Impression » Bower Power

    With a large foyer, you can totally get away with oversized holiday décor. Bower Power perfectly balanced big with simple using just a pair of white-light trees on either side of their double doors. And the touch of greenery above the doors will leave a final impression as strong as the first as guests head home.

    Entryway décor should always look great. If you’re also in need of some organization ideas or tips for making your mudroom work perfectly all through winter, Schlage can help with that, too. Get inspired at our blog.

     

    8 easy steps to the perfect holiday mantel.

    December 8, 2020 12:00 PM by emily.bailey

    Tuesday, December 8, 2020

    Holiday mantel | Schlage

    With some help from Sara at Simply Southern Cottage, we’ll break down the finer points of her gorgeous holiday mantel so you can re-create a picture-perfect look in your own home.

     

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    Is your holiday mantel on the naughty or nice list? What you see in magazines is beautiful, but you can’t always put your finger on what makes it so appealing. With some help from Sara at Simply Southern Cottage, we’ll break down the finer points of her gorgeous holiday mantel so you can re-create a picture-perfect look in your own home.

    1. Clean and classic canvas

    If you follow @simplysoutherncottage, you know that she often uses white and neutral walls as a backdrop for more colorful home décor. We saw that with her vibrant yellow door when she showed us how to create perfect fall porch décor. We see it again here with her holiday mantel. White bookcases, fireplace surround and sofa are the perfect canvas to start with to make everything else pop. So while there isn’t an overwhelming variety of color – green and red rule the day – it’s anything but bland.

    2. Wreath trio

    One wreath is nice, but especially in this case, three is definitely better. We think it’s the simplicity of the preserved boxwood wreaths themselves that makes it special. Without ribbons and berries and baubles, a single wreath could end up looking incomplete. Grouping them, however, shows sophisticated style.

    3. Light and bright candles

    For some, it’s hard to imagine Christmastime without an abundance of candles and light. White tapers between the miniature topiaries are a nod to that tradition without crowding the rest of the décor. Perhaps the best part is how versatile those candles are from season to season. Check out Sara’s pumpkin-filled mantel to see the flawless transition.

     

    Holidays are also a great time to capture nostalgia with family heirlooms … even if they didn’t come from your family. “All of these candlesticks are from garage sales or thrift shops,” says Sara. “One thing I pride myself on is creating spaces on a budget. You can find so many unique and one-of-a-kind, secondhand items that truly make your home a stunning space.” But those candlesticks aren’t the only unique piece. “The vintage ceramic tree belonged to my Granny and is probably at least 50 years old.”

    4. Savvy use of stockings

    Is it Christmas if there aren’t stockings hung by the chimney with care? “I love the nostalgic, timeless look of these,” says Sara. “They truly look like stockings from the early- or mid-1900s when times were much more simple.” And what better way to pay homage to the home’s original 1926 mantelpiece than with décor that fits the time period?

     

    We also love how the stockings are off to the side so they don’t crowd the sofa. Guests entering the room will see a beautifully balanced look without being able to pinpoint exactly why it works so well. It can be our little secret.

    5. Rug refresh

    Here’s another subtle observation you might have caught if you keep up with Sara’s seasonal stylings. She’s switched up her rug. This one has more of a wintery vibe compared to what we see in front of her fall and spring fireplace. A refreshed area rug is a great way to add warmth to the room, especially if you’re tight on space. Sara chose this silver rug to match the silver in the stockings and pillows.

    6. Blanket basket

    When decorating for Christmas, don’t be afraid to use décor that’s as useful as it is beautiful. That blanket isn’t just for show. When you store/display it in a nearby basket – and baskets almost never look out of place in farmhouse living rooms – you’ll always be able to enjoy a cozy snuggle when the mood strikes. And like the candlesticks above, this basket was a $4 find at Sara’s local Goodwill.

    7. Present pillows

    It’s the simplest of additions that gets the sofa in the holiday game. Present-themed pillows add that color and whimsy needed to feel like December.

     

    Remember that if you don’t have holiday-specific pillows or don’t want to store them – we know they can be bulky – pillow and slip covers make updating your look quick to accomplish and easy to store.

    8. Less is more

    Sometimes it’s what you don’t see that makes the look. For this mantel, there’s not a bauble in sight. No strings of lights, snowmen or dancing Santas. And yet, there’s still an obvious festive feel. When you’re going for sophisticated, even in a more rustic or farmhouse-style home, remember that less is more sometimes. By departing from some of the typical icons of the season, you’ll likely create a look that is uniquely you.

    Sara’s gorgeous mantel is a collaboration with Garnet Hill and Apartment Therapy. The wreaths, garland and greenery, as well as the stockings, blanket and pillows mentioned in this post are by Garnet Hill. The rug is by Orian Rugs.

     

    Now are you inspired to take your holiday décor to the next level? Find more tips of the trade at the Schlage blog or follow us on Pinterest.

     

    You can also follow Sara on Instagram @simplysoutherncottage or at the Simply Southern Cottage blog where she offers her tips on simple living, affordable décor solutions, DIYs and just plain old love for life. She’s worked with everyone from Martha Stewart and Macy’s to Home Chef and Sleep Number. Currently Sara’s home can be seen on the cover of the holiday issue of Cottages and Bungalows as well as the cover of Better Homes and Gardens Cottage Style. Sara’s home has also been featured in Southern Lady, Where Women Create, Better Homes and Gardens and Country Sampler Farmhouse Style.

     

    Hanukkah in 2020: New traditions and non-Jewish friends.

    December 4, 2020 12:00 PM by emily.bailey

    Friday, December 4, 2020

    Hannukah traditions | Schlage

    One of the best ways to beat the disappointment of the “It’s just not the same!” syndrome is to release any expectations and embrace differences.

     

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    The one thing we know about 2020 holidays is that they are unlike any holiday we’ve ever celebrated before. For many of us, it’s testing us to find new traditions, at least for this year, when we can’t get together with the family or host a party like usual. One of the best ways to beat the disappointment of the “It’s just not the same!” syndrome is to release any expectations and embrace differences. And that’s what makes hosting an interfaith Hanukkah celebration so exciting.
    Flat lay of traditional Hanukkah foods.

    Traditionally, Hanukkah is celebrated at home with family. However, many of us are limiting our social circles and protecting older, at-risk family members this season. You might choose to invite a friend or two to help you celebrate, but what if they aren’t Jewish? We say this is the perfect opportunity to share your traditions with everyone. Education, empathy and compassion are always in season. Here are some tips we’ve found are helpful for hosting – and attending – a Hanukkah celebration.

     

    The first tip is for everyone: No matter your faith, stay safe. Use the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention holiday guidelines for staying healthy during the coronavirus pandemic. You can also find more ideas for holiday hosting during quarantine on the Schlage blog. Consider taking your party online. But if you’re determined to get together in person, social distance when possible, don’t be afraid to ask guests to wear masks if it makes you more comfortable and wash your hands frequently, especially if you’re serving food. And let’s be honest. Your Hanukkah celebration will probably have plenty of delicious food.

    Tips for hosting a 2020 Hanukkah celebration

    • Try a new food tradition. We aren’t suggesting you get rid of latkes, sufganiyot or anything else with religious or personal meaning. We do, however, like the suggestion made by Lauren Manaker of POPSUGAR. Manaker no longer lives near her Jewish family, so she’s created new traditions with friends, including making a special Hanukkah martini rimmed with blue and white sugar. “Because my non-Jewish friends have embraced my traditions and observe the holiday with us, my daughter will grow up with memories of love and acceptance, and her non-Jewish friends will grow up with a strong knowledge of a different faith,” she writes. “It may not be exactly like what I did growing up, but it's just as special.”

    • Embrace Hanukkah-inspired curb appeal. We both know Hanukkah is not Jewish Christmas. You can still have a wreath, if you want, though. This design showcased on Houzz shows how some sprigs of greenery with blue, white and silver accents are both seasonal and appropriate for your home.
    • Go for the gold. We’ve mentioned them a few times – blue, white, silver – but that doesn’t mean you can only use those colors in your décor. Take a cue from gelt wrappers and add gold accents to your tablescape and other decorations. Extra glitz and shine will make any space feel more like a celebration.

    • DIY some décor. Nearly all of us have extra time at home these days, and that means more opportunity for handmade gifts and décor. Better Homes & Gardens shows us how to make a modern marbled menorah from concrete. You could also make a gelt garland with some string, plastic gelt and hot glue like Design Megillah. And this photo menorah from The Modern Savvy might be especially perfect when you’re missing family.
    • Communicate. Perhaps more than ever, this year it’s important to tell your guests what you expect from them. If you want them to wear masks or quarantine before coming to your home, tell them. And if you’re worried your guests will be anxious because of the difference in religion and traditions, you can give them a pre-event primer. Share a brief explanation of your history and traditions, either before the party starts or as part of the evening’s festivities.

    Tips for non-Jewish guests at a Hanukkah celebration

    • Learn the lingo. You’ll have a better idea of what’s going on and your host will appreciate your effort. A menorah is a candelabra while a hanukkiah is one with nine-branches, used specifically at home during Hanukkah. Gelt is Yiddish for money or, for many American Jews, chocolate coins. Latkes and sufganiyot are two common foods served during Hanukkah. Latkes are fried potato pancakes, and sufganiyot are jelly doughnuts. That everything is fried is significant, symbolic of the Miracle of the Oil.
    Traditional Hanukkah sufganiyot
    • Keep an open mind. As Mash-Up Americans writes, “Jews come in all shapes, sizes and colors. We are Persian, Spanish, Chinese, Arab, Ethiopian, and more. We are not all from Eastern Europe and we do not all think like Woody Allen.” There might or might not be a Hanukkah bush. People might or might not be wearing yarmulkes. Leave your preconceptions at the door.

    • Hanukkah isn’t Jewish Christmas. But Christmas isn’t necessarily offensive, either. “Don’t get me wrong, though it seems like I am not full of Christmas cheer, I actually enjoy the Christmas season because, just as much as most of the world, I view it as a fun holiday full of parties, ugly sweaters and candy canes,” writes Rachel Kurland in Jewish Exponent. “So you can talk about Christmas around me, include me in Secret Santa office gift exchanges or wish me a happy holiday. It’s OK. Being overly sensitive about it is just as bad as being ignorant. I won’t spontaneously combust when I hear the word Christmas. That doesn’t offend me. But what does is assuming that Chanukah is some distant cousin of Christmas, when really they have no relation.”

    • Don’t blow out the candles. Hanukkah is rooted in a miracle of a tiny amount of oil that should have lasted long enough to provide light for only one night. Instead, it lasted eight. Hence, Hanukkah is sometimes known as the Festival of Lights. It’s also why foods tend to be fried, like we mentioned early. The light and flame are important, so don’t blow out the candles of the menorah. (Our apologies for that super simple explanation of the miracle. Get a more complete account at History.com.)
    Family lighting the Hanukkah Menorah
    • Don’t expect gifts. American Hanukkah celebrations often include a small gift on each of the eight nights, but that practice can be unique from family to family. Giving gelt – or money – is the original custom and you might still see chocolate coins as gifts today. If you feel the need to bring a hostess gift, a bottle of wine, chocolate or board games would be appropriate. So would applesauce since it’s often served with latkes.

    Including diverse friends and family in our traditions is the perfect way to build stronger connections and communities. Melissa Henriquez wrote for Kveller about her experience celebrating Hanukkah with her non-Jewish friends, “If only more of us could experience multicultural/interfaith experiences like ours, I truly think the world would be a better place. We have so much to learn from one another.

     

    “People say, ‘Be the light you wish to see’—and in uncertain times like the ones we are in, it feels good to be able to be a source of light. And it feels even better to have friends who reflect that light, embrace it, and then emit it themselves in their willingness to learn and share with their own children.”

     

    Find more hosting and holiday décor ideas for all year-long at the Schlage blog or follow us on Pinterest and Instagram.

     

    What is the meaning of home? Hint: It’s not just a place.

    November 17, 2020 12:00 PM by emily.bailey

    Tuesday, November 17, 2020

    Family sitting in living room talking | Schlage

    We have spent an unprecedented amount of time sheltering in place this year, which makes us wonder: What is the true meaning of home? Keep reading to hear from people from all walks of life.

     

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    If you’re reading this, you probably have a home as defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary – one’s place of residence; domicile; house. But there’s another kind of home, the one we at Schlage spend a lot of time helping you achieve. It’s the intangible feeling you get in a location, a sense of peace, joy from loved ones or an environment where everyone knows they’re welcome. “Home” isn’t easy to define, but you know when you’re there.

     

    We have spent an unprecedented amount of time sheltering in place this year, which makes us wonder: What is the true meaning of home? Keep reading to hear from people from all walks of life – sages, celebrities and everyday people – on what home means to them.

    Family sitting in living room talking.

    Where we find comfort and safety

    Feeling secure at home often goes beyond just having good deadbolts. It’s where we retreat when times are tough and where we depend on family and the familiar to restore our sense of peace.

     

    “Home is where the heart can laugh without shyness. Home is where the heart’s tears can dry at their own pace.” – Vernon Baker, First Lieutenant in U.S. Army who earned the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Distinguished Service Cross and is the only living Black WWII veteran to earn the Medal of Honor

     

    “Home to me is where I feel safe, secure, loved and accepted. It's a place I don't have to define my strengths or explain my responses. Home is where I can be me 24/7, where I can be the champion or be insecure and still be cherished. Home to me is a place of refuge. Home is happy and full of laughter. Home is a place where the hugs abound and peace is found.” – Victoria Cowen, Corporate Compliance Manager at Allegion (parent company of Schlage)

     

    “Home is the place where I go to feel safe and comfortable. If something negative happens, where do I retreat and regroup? It's not even my entire house, it is specifically my living room, kitchen, and bedroom; that is my 'home.' (The garage, bathrooms, den, and office don't feel like part of my home, they are just other places that happen to be adjacent to my home.) And if my house were to burn down, my home would be the next place in line that I go to in order to be safe: my bedroom in my childhood/parents' house.” – Matthew Stonebraker, Senior Mechanical Engineer at Allegion

     

    “Home isn’t where you’re from, it’s where you find light when all grows dark.” – Pierce Brown, science fiction author

    Dad dancing in living room with his two kids.

    Where we are always welcome

    No matter where life takes us, many of us see home as the place where we are always wanted. It is where we can be true to ourselves and others.

     

    “I want my home to be that kind of place–a place of sustenance, a place of invitation, a place of welcome.” – Mary DeMuth, author and speaker

     

    “I think that when you invite people to your home, you invite them to yourself.” – Oprah Winfrey

     

    “May you always have walls for the winds, a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire, laughter to cheer you, those you love near you and all your heart may desire. May joy and peace surround you, contentment latch your door, and happiness be with you now and bless you evermore.” – Irish proverb

    Mom holding sleeping baby on her chest.

    Where we put down our roots

    Home is not static. It could be where we grew up, but it can just as easily be where we feel settled and begin a new life full of possibilities.

     

    “Our homes are more than financial assets. They have deep emotional meaning. For those of us fortunate enough to have grown up in houses owned by our parents, they were the backdrop for our childhood memories — the places we played and argued and hung our artwork and marked the door jamb with pencil lines as we grew taller.” – Dr. Keith Ablow, Psych Central

     

    “[T]here’s a big psychological difference between feeling at home and being home. Feeling at home on the Tiwi Islands or in Bangalore or Vancouver (if you are not native) is simply a way of saying that the not-home-ness of those places has diminished since you first arrived. Some people, as they move through their lives, rediscover home again and again. Some people never find another after once leaving home. And, of course, some people never leave the one home they’ve always known.” – Verlyn Klinkenborg, Smithsonian Magazine

     

    “I think the house shows that I have true faith in myself to take on this task when I was just 27 and see it through … I also think the house says that I will forever remain solid in the place I was born.” – Rapper Drake in Architectural Digest talking about his 50,000-square-foot mansion in his hometown of Toronto

     

    “For me, home is my physical space, yes. A place I feel comfortable and safe. My retreat. ‘Home’ is also where I've planted roots. It's my friends and my community. Fun fact, in my 41 years on Earth, I haven't lived anywhere as long as I've lived in Fishers (a suburb of Indianapolis), and in this particular house where we live. So, I would say, Fishers is my ‘home’ now. We have talked about moving but I would have a really hard time leaving.” – Lauren Young, HR Global Compensation Manager at Allegion

     

    “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” – Robert Frost, author

    Boy with superhero cape flying over stuffed animals on couch.

    Where our dreams become reality

    When we are safe at home, we are free to imagine the possibilities that lay ahead. It is where our future begins.

     

    “Just like memories, home is also where your hopes and dreams are. Dreaming about when you grow up. Being a spaceman or a firefighter. Sinking beneath the sea as a scuba diver. I couldn’t imagine living without dreams. My home grounds them, and without a home, I wouldn’t have any.” – Wynn, Fifth grade. Read his full essay for Habitat for Humanity Canada

     

    “Home means a future. Once we had a stable home, we could think beyond where we were going to live from week to week, and we could begin to look ahead to where we wanted to go. Home is the base where everything begins.” — Kelly for Habitat for Humanity

     

    “Yes, your home is your castle, but it is also your identity and your possibility to be open to others.” – David Soul, actor

     

    What does home mean to you? Share with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

     

    How to safely host holiday guests during the pandemic.

    November 16, 2020 12:00 PM by emily.bailey

    Monday, November 16, 2020

    Holiday living room | Schlage

    With the uncertainty of 2020, many of us are still trying to decide how to celebrate the holidays. If we’re going to host guests, how do we do that safely?

     

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    With the uncertainty of 2020, many of us are still trying to decide how to celebrate the holidays. If we’re going to host guests, how do we do that safely? The best way to lower your risk of getting sick is to avoid large gatherings, wash your hands frequently and wear personal protective equipment. While this doesn’t sound particularly festive, you can incorporate that advice into your strategy for hosting holiday guests during the pandemic. Here’s how.
    Glamorous living room with Christmas decor.

    Keep your guest list short

    We know this will be tough for some, but it will be worth it to keep everyone healthy. If you need help deciding how to shorten your guest list, consider inviting only in-town guests who won’t need to stay overnight or at least out-of-town guests from areas with low infection rates. You might also skip high-risk individuals. This could be someone with pre-existing conditions that make them more prone to infection or those with jobs – nurses, bus drivers, teachers – that expose them to the virus more frequently. Be honest and upfront with anyone you leave off your list so that you don’t start a long-running feud.

    Set clear ground rules

    If you expect people to social distance and refrain from close personal contact, tell them that hugs and handshakes will have to wait and that the mistletoe is on hiatus. Share the seating situation and if there will be one big dining table, spaced out TV trays in the living room or picnic-style benches outside. This might be a good year to put a twist on the traditional kids’ table. If you’re worried about certain high-risk individuals, you might give them their own seating area. We’re not saying you have to make Grandma sit by herself, but do make sure you’re following your social distancing guidelines.

     

    And of course, tell them whether you’ll require them to wear masks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing masks as much as you can, even around trusted family and friends. If you expect your guests to take the precaution, have extra masks on hand in case they forget theirs. You can also turn it into a game or contest. See who can make the best themed mask or have the kids decorate new ones.

    Have a quarantine plan

    When you send your invites, be sure to include whether you want people to self-quarantine for the two weeks prior to their visit. You may want to quarantine as well, especially if you’re worried about passing something on to Great-Aunt Edna.

     

    If you’re hosting out-of-town guests during the pandemic, have an isolation strategy in case they get sick during their extended stay. Is the guest room private enough for them to quarantine? Will they have access to their own bathroom? Can you set up a mother-in-law suite to separate them if someone experiences symptoms?

    Shop at off times

    Whether guests are coming just for the day or staying overnight, you’ll need to stock up on food and other supplies. We know it’s a struggle at holiday time, but try shopping when and where there are fewer crowds.

    Help them stay clean

    Stock up on soap, hand sanitizer and other disinfectants, not just to keep people’s hands clean but to sanitize surfaces and anything else people might touch or sneeze on. If you’ve been eyeing a touchless soap dispenser, you now have the perfect excuse to get it.

     

    Making a welcome basket for overnight guests? Throw some hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes in with the snacks and backup toothbrush while you’re at it.

    Have a food strategy

    Making a food plan goes without saying for days like Thanksgiving, but holidays in 2020 call for a slightly different approach. The CDC says that the coronavirus isn’t generally transmitted through food or packaging. However, sharing serving utensils is higher risk. To reduce that risk, consider serving individual portions like a handheld pie instead of the traditional family-style dessert. You might also ask guests to bring food for their own household instead of serving a potluck. We know it won’t be the same, but at least you’ll be celebrating together.

     

    If you absolutely can’t give up your holiday food traditions, consider plating meals for your guests so that everyone won’t be touching the same serving spoons. And while you’re cooking all the delicious food, try to limit others’ access to the kitchen. They’ll think they’re being helpful and you might like an extra hand, but it increases the chances of contamination.

    Mark your glasses

    Whether you label plastic cups with a Sharpie or distribute charms for wine glasses, make it easy for guests to know which drink is theirs.

    Go disposable

    You’ve successfully hosted another delicious meal. Don’t let dirty dishes, especially those that might be points of virus transmission, lay around. Consider disposable items – tablecloths, utensils, plates – so can clean and disinfect the table more quickly.

    Entertain safely

    Figure out how you can make your favorite activities safer. If you usually go to a ballgame or parade, stay in and watch it on television this year. Instead of post-holiday shopping in person, stick to online purchases. Even small shops are more internet savvy these days, so you can often still shop local. Instead of board games where you might be sharing playing pieces or cards, try trivia or an online game you join via your phones. Sharp HealthCare says to “refrain from singing, loud talking and shouting,” so try not to get too boisterous.

    Be flexible

    Anything change on a dime. Try to roll with the punches. If you or a guest starts to feel sick, be prepared to cancel the visit.

     

    Let go of some rigid traditions and make this the year of trying something new. You might be pleasantly surprised. If not getting to do some of your favorite holiday activities leaves you sad and disappointed, volunteer with a local non-profit for the day. Serving others less fortunate often can help take us out of ourselves and improve our outlook simply by practicing charity, compassion and empathy.

     

    No matter what holiday you’re hosting, remember that part of the fun is coming up with creative new ways to help your guests feel welcome. Let Schlage inspire you with ideas for the perfect guest room, backyard winter parties and holiday décor.

     

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