2020 has been an interesting year (to say the least). Our homes have become our refuge. They are places where we live, work and learn digitally. But they also are places where we can dream of the future. A time when hugs will be exchanged, entertaining our friends will become possible and travel will begin anew.
We have compiled a list of 15 ideas to help inspire you as you look forward to welcoming the new year and new possibilities.
- Think about where you would like to go next. Make a Pinterest board to gather inspiration for the trip.
- Visit your favorite U.S. National Parks on Google Earth.
- Consider an epic train trip and start plotting your route.
- Watch walking tours of place you haven’t been yet or want to revisit.
- Hone your photography skills or learn a new language.
- Enjoy some of the world’s greatest museums, symphonies and operas from your couch.
- Donate to your favorite non-profit organization.
- Crack open that bottle of wine you have been saving for a special occasion.
- Take a virtual cooking lesson.
- Order take-out from that restaurant you never managed to get a table at before.
- Look for shows filmed right in your home city or state, and remember how lucky you are to be where you are.
- Start planning your menu and guest list for your next big gathering.
- Prepare your home for winter weather. Start planning your spring garden.
- Keep in touch with your friends and family via phone, online or a quick note.
- Shop for new flooring during MODA Floors and Interiors “Farewell to 2020 Sale.”
From May 1-30, MODA Floors & Interiors will make a contribution from sales to the Agape Youth and Family Center’s COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund. Agape is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides academic-based after-school programming, day programming for seniors and disabled adults, family emergency assistance, ESOL in schools and athletic-based health and wellness enrichment camps for girls and boys during the summer. Agape serves a community that includes more than 2,000 school-age children who live in an impoverished area of northwest Atlanta.
MODA Floors & Interiors, an Atlanta-based flooring and window coverings resource, has worked closely with Agape for 10 years on its Extreme Bedroom Makeover and Great Backpack Giveaway projects.
“Agape does an excellent job empowering and supporting under-served families in its community,” said Dean Howell, president of MODA. “The COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund will be used to help struggling families pay their rent as well as utility and grocery bills.”
MODA will donate $50 for any sale of $1,000 – $4,999 or $100 for any sale of $5,000 or more. Tax deductible contributions also can be made on the Agape website, https://agapeatlanta.org/emergency-assistance-fund/
Has cabin fever set in yet for you? Are you struggling to find things to do for you and your family? Here are 20 suggestions.
- Take a virtual tour of five historic homes.
- Enjoy virtual tours of botanical gardens throughout the South.
- Catch up on your reading.
- FaceTime with family and friends.
- Change up your décor scheme.
- Take a power nap.
- Complete a crossword puzzle.
- Call an old friend.
- Teach your children how to cook.
- Plant an indoor herb garden.
- Make lists (work lists, home lists and even your life goals).
- Look through your old photos and share them digitally with family members.
- Learn a new language.
- Support your local restaurants by buying gift cards for future use.
- Organize your computer files.
- Clean out your closets.
- Go on a walk while practicing social distancing.
- Plan a future trip or party.
- Check out the exercise videos on YouTube.
- Sit back, relax and savor the feeling of having nothing to do.
What other ideas do you have?
ASO Designer Showhouse
Spring is a time for rebirth and a season for new beginnings. And what better place to start than a newly remodeled or freshly designed room in your home. Pick up some great ideas and have fun in the process when you attend some (or all) of the tours listed below.
The Junior League of Atlanta’s Tour of Kitchens is scheduled March 21-22, 2020. The tour will feature 14 of Atlanta’s finest residential kitchens by some of the city’s most celebrated kitchen designers. There also will be live culinary demonstrations in various homes on the self-guided tour. Tickets are $35.
The Inman Park Tour of Homes is part of the Inman Park Festival, scheduled April 24-26. The Tour of Homes showcases stunning Victorian homes of the late 1800s in Inman Park, one of the city’s oldest and prettiest neighborhoods. Although admission to the festival is free, the cost for home tour tickets is $20 in advance or $25 starting the Friday of the festival.
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Designer Showhouse will be open for touring Feb. 15-March 8. (Yes, it’s a little before the start of spring, but the house looks fabulous.) Many of the city’s top interior designers are bringing their visions to life to complement the house’s contemporary architecture. Tickets are $25. A portion of the proceeds from the showhouse will benefit the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s education and community engagement programs.
Where do you get your design inspiration when you’re making changes to your home?
Deck the halls with boughs of holly. Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la. No, you’re not hearing things! Decorations are up at the malls and Christmas music is wafting through the air. If you’re looking for unique gifts for family and friends or need some design inspiration for decking your halls, we’re here to help. Check out these places to go in metro Atlanta.
On Fridays and weekends from Dec. 1-15, Rhodes Hall will be transformed into a winter wonderland. Enjoy holiday entertainment, yummy refreshments from area caterers, and music and art activities. You also can schedule an appointment for a photo with Santa for $45.
Rhodes Hall, aka “The Castle on Peachtree,” was built in 1904 for furniture magnate Amos G. Rhodes. Proceeds will benefit the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation. For more information, visit https://www.georgiatrust.org/tours-events/santa/.
The Christmas at Callanwolde Designer Show House and Holiday Market has been an Atlanta holiday tradition for more than 40 years. The 27,000-square-foot historic mansion is elaborately decorated by some of Atlanta’s top interior and floral designers from Nov. 29-Dec. 7. It also includes an expansive artist and holiday market, and themed events for all ages.
Tickets are available for $10 online/at the door, and parking is free. Don’t forget to take a donation for Toys for Tots.
Learn more at https://callanwolde.org/events-calendar/christmas-at-callanwolde/.
Are there other holiday-themed events you enjoy attending each year?
Many of us associate the Fourth of July with picnics, barbecues, parades and fireworks. But it also commemorates the day in 1776 when the Continental Congress declared the 13 American colonies were no longer subject to the monarch of Britain and were now united, free and independent states.
There are no shortage of Independence Day celebrations around metro Atlanta. Here are a few.
Enjoy the massive fireworks display at Centennial Olympic Park at 7 p.m. Now in its 22nd year, the celebration will include food trucks and a set by DJ Yvonne Monet.
Salute to the Red, White and Blue is back with live music, a carnival, food vendors and fireworks.The event runs from 3-11 p.m. at the East Point Commons.
The Dunwoody 4th of July Parade includes marching bands, floats, clowns, animal units and local celebrities. This year’s theme is “Happy Birthday Dunwoody.”
The 20th Annual Roswell Fireworks Extravaganza will be held on the front lawn of Roswell High School. The family-friendly event will include live stage performances, a ninja climbing wall and food trucks. The activities run from 5:30-10:30 p.m.
The 2nd Annual Fireworks in Fourth Ward will include live music from local band Sucker Punch before DJ Q-Tip spins a soundtrack coordinated with the fireworks show.
Whether you’re planning to go to the beach, searching for cooler weather in the mountains or relaxing in your backyard, stay safe and enjoy the holiday!
Don’t you love spring? Trees are blooming, perennials are pushing their heads up from winter sleep, and home tours are bursting out all over Atlanta. One of our favorites is the Druid Hills Tour of Homes and Gardens, which is scheduled April 12-14, 2019. The six homes and one garden showcase the work of master architects, interior designers, general contractors, and landscape designers.
The homes include a 1918 traditional home with a small goat farm in the back, a 1923 bungalow whose owners are avid folk art collectors, a 1919 house with its own ghosts, a 1924 replica of an Italian villa, and a contemporary home with moldings, fireplaces, and herringbone floors that give a nod to the historic neighborhood.
Sponsored by the Druid Hills Civic Association, the tour will benefit historic preservation and green space restoration. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 on tour weekend. Go here to learn more.
What design ideas have you picked up from previous home tours?
We all know that the kitchen is the heart and soul of the home. It’s the spot for cooking, socializing and keeping an eye on the kids while they’re completing their homework. But it also can be one of the most difficult remodeling projects to undertake due to the number of decisions that must be made. From choosing the best countertop material to selecting your preferred flooring to picking out a fabulous backsplash, it can be a time-consuming (but enjoyable) part of the remodeling process.
The next Junior League of Atlanta Tour of Kitchens can offer you design inspiration for your new kitchen. Scheduled Saturday, March 23 (10 a.m.-4 p.m.) and Sunday, March 25 (11 a.m.-5 p.m.), the self-guided tour features 14 of Atlanta’s finest residential kitchens as well as culinary demonstrations in some of the homes.
Tickets are available for $35 online until March 22. Tour tickets can be purchased for $40 at the homes on tour days. To download the program, go to https://www.jlatlanta.org/tour-of-kitchens/.
Although we are a big fan of many of the televised home improvement programs, there is something special about seeing homes up close to view all the details and really appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into them. That’s why spring is one of our favorite seasons.
The Inman Park Tour of Homes, taking place in Atlanta’s first planned suburb, can serve as a stepping-off point for your next decorating or remodeling project. Advance tickets for the self-conducted tour are $20.
Which beautiful homes and buildings can you see? Constructed of Stone Mountain granite by Willis Franklin Denny II, the Inman Park Methodist Church features a large stained glass window commissioned by Asa Candler of Coca-Cola fame as a tribute to his mother. There is a lovingly restored 1890 Queen Anne Victorian home, a three-story Carriage House, an 1896 English-cottage style house, and a classic Sears mail-order bungalow constructed in 1914. Also included on the tour is a craftsman bungalow built in 1909 from a plan by Leila Ross Wilburn, one of the first women architects in Georgia.
The Inman Park Festival and Tour of Homes will take place April 26-28, 2019. For more information, go to InmanParkFestival.org.
What is your favorite home tour?
Are you ready to blow the dust off those holiday decorations stored in your attic or basement? Cooler weather reminds us that Thanksgiving and other holiday gatherings are just around the corner. How will you gain inspiration for decorating your home this year? Here are a few events around the metro Atlanta area to check out.
Located on a 1.5-acre lot in Buckhead, this year’s showcase is a new English country home with a locally sourced limestone and brick exterior, five bedrooms and an expansive loggia with a fireplace and separate grilling terrace that overlooks the pool. Tour proceeds benefit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
This holiday-themed event includes five beautiful homes in Roswell. Tickets are $35.
Grant Park 38th Annual Candlelight Tour of Homes (Dec. 8-9, 2018)
Imagine being greeted with the warm glow of candles and holiday lights at every stop. Founded in 1885, the neighborhood consists largely of original Victorian, Queen Anne and Craftsman homes that were constructed between 1885–1910. The Grant Park neighborhood became Atlanta’s largest historic district in 2000. Since its conception, the tour has grown and evolved into a fundraiser for three community organizations: St. Paul United Methodist Church, the Grant Park Cooperative Preschool and the Grant Park Parent’s Network.
Georgia Governor’s Mansion Holiday Tours (Various dates)
The holiday season kicks off with a Tree Lighting Ceremony on Sunday, Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. Holidays tours are scheduled Dec. 3-8 (9:30-11 a.m.); Dec. 9 (2-4 p.m.); and Dec. 10-14 (9:30-11 a.m.). Admission and parking are free.
What other holiday events do you hope to attend?