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5 ways to get your home ready for Fall

Hello Fall!  We love this season with its beautiful rich colors, cooler temperatures, leaves turning, and the beginning of the holiday season!  Here are 4 easy tips to transition your home into the new fall season.

1. Change up the colors. Add a touch of fall color to your home by painting your walls with fall-inspired hues or easily refreshing it with colorful accents. Orange, yellows, or dark reds can easily energize your space.  You can also repaint your room in a bold color such as vibrant marigold to add character and vibrance to your space. Make sure when you’re using such bold colors you decorate the space with simplicity, like using white bedding for your bedroom. 

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2. Decorate with rich fall tones. If painting is too permanent, try updating a room with decorative accents that utilize rich fall tones. Adding in forest green accents to a room with rich brown furniture enhances both colors and evokes the feeling of a forest. Utilize dark red accents in a room that has muted fabrics and finishes to balance out the richness of the color. In a white setting, chocolate brown or a dark charcoal gray can have the impact of black without the harshness that comes along with it. A collection of smoky colored accent pieces can lighten the mood of the space. 

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3. Mix textures. Accent pillows are the easiest accessory to change to transition your home into fall. You can mix textures, patterns, and colors to bring a room together.  Heavier fabrics with comfortable textures also can add richness to your home.  Add a quilt to the end of your bed to add a mix of color and texture into your duvet or bedding. It will give you added warmth on chilly autumn nights.  . 

4. Keep it simple. Don’t over-complicate your decor by going over the top with the changes in the season. Try to box up a few non-season decorative items to give your home space to breathe. The less clutter you have out the more your fall decor will stand out as important and special. Think about what inspires you for the fall and incorporate this feeling into your home rather than over-doing the obvious seasonal decor. A couple of changes to a room will go a long way, like changing throw pillows, adding a few books, or even a vase with branches. 

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5. Finishing touches. Consider what the scent of your home for fall will be. Popular fall scents are cinnamon, vanilla, pumpkin, and cloves. Adding the finishing touch of scented candles can add the final “feeling” of fall to a room. Add on a cozy throw to your living room or bedroom. It’s all about the ambiance of coziness for your home.

Bloggers We Love: A Fun and Candid Q&A with April of House by Hoff

Today we had the opportunity to catch up with the adorable April of the fun, inspiring, and wonderful home decor and lifestyle blog, House by Hoff, for a candid Q&A. Be sure to head over to her blog for some amazing decor ideas, fun projects, and even a laugh or two!

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We have so much fun reading your blog! How did you get into blogging? Why the namesake House by Hoff?

I began blogging as a creative outlet for myself in 2012.  In a span of 4 months I had my first child, quit my teaching job, and moved to a new town.  I had experienced a lot of change in a short amount of time, and I needed to give myself purpose and an outlet.  What started out as a fun little hobby, has turned into a full-blown passion and side-gig. I named my blog “House by Hoff” because it seems to sum up what I’m all about in a catchy title.  I’m all about creating a house that reflects my style on a budget.

What is a fun fact that’s currently not on your “about” page?

Oh geesh!  Anything that is remotely interesting about me is on my “about” page!  Ha!  No, I guess you might find it fun that read about 20 blogs fairly regularly.  I love blogging, blogs, and bloggers.  Some bloggers out there have inspired and motivated me in ways they will never know and in ways I could probably never explain.  

How did you get into DIY-ing? What has been your favorite project?

I think the DIY/repurposing gene kind of runs in the family.  My parents bought a total gut-job of a lake cottage when I was about 7 years old.  My dad completely renovated the whole thing over the course of a few years.My favorite project of my own has been my chalkboard calendar.  It is so cool! ;)  Oh!  And my split-photo wall art of my daughter walking in the snow is another sentimental favorite!

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What has been the most challenging thing about blogging?

Without question, the hardest part is balancing blogging with taking care of a 2-year old, being a wife, and working full-time.  People ask me all the time, “How do you do it all?”, and the simple answer to that is:  I just do.  I am extremely passionate about blogging and growing my blog.

What is one thing you wish you knew when you were new to the blogging world?

I wish I had known to start with Wordpress instead of Blogger.  I made the switch last summer, and have seen tremendous growth already.  If I had only known to just start with Wordpress from the beginning, I could have saved myself a lot of work later!

What is your favorite thing about Fall? How are you getting your home ready for the season?

I love how cozy and rustic fall decor feels.  I am actually taking a “less is more” approach this season, and am just adding simple touches here and there.  I always change out my chalkboards for the seasons, and I’m really liking my fall chalkboards!

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What is one thing you never leave your house without?

I never leave my house without my cell phone.  I feel completely lost without it.

And of course, what’s your favorite Crane & Canopy bedding?

Oh geesh!  I could go on forever, but I’ll pick my top 3:

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GET THE LOOK: A Calming Bedroom Roundup by Jessica of Coco and Mingo

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We love this fresh room roundup put together by Jessica of the beautiful and inspiring blog Coco and Mingo.  Jessica started her blog as a means to express her creativity, as well as a place to collect, curate, and share everything she finds beautiful. She currently works on hand lettering and design projects from her small yet cozy Brooklyn apartment.

Jessica chose the Linden White duvet, gray embroidered sheets, and gray cable knit throw blanket because she loves a neutral color palette in her bedroom, and has been obsessed with grey and white lately. She loves this mix of white sheets, pillowcases, and duvet, and would mix in a throw blanket and some decorative throw pillows. We love how calming and fresh this bedroom feels. It is a serene escape from anyone’s hectic lifestyle.

Get the look: bordered duvet cover/ wallpaper/ throw blanket/ bed frame/ wall art/ planter/ grey scalloped sheets/ table lamp

Sleep Like the Scandinavians: One Bed Two Duvets

If you find yourself constantly playing tug-of-war with your sleeping-partner other during the night, then you might need to completely reassess your sleeping style. Whether you are the blanket-hog or you sleep with a blanket-hog, consider sleeping like the Europeans do. From Scandinavia to central Europe, you will find many homes and hotels provide two duvets and duvet covers together on one bed.

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That’s right, two duvets on one bed. It sounds strange, but it really makes a lot of sense. Aside from ending your long game of tug-of-war, sleeping with two duvets instead of one allows you to wash and dress your bed much easier and even allows you to customize the level of warmth for each person by using a heavier or lighter insert with each duvet cover.  

Julia, editor of Pawley Island Posh also advocates this way of sleeping:

My husband and I sleep with separate sheets. That includes duvet covers. You can eye-roll all you want but for two restless light sleeper cover-hogs this is a genius strategy.  As far as making the bed with two duvets, one gets laid out underneath the top blanket and the other folded at the end of the bed.

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We know this sleeping style sounds a bit foreign, however, it can make for a very chic and cozy looking bed that is sure to provide a better night’s sleep for all.

To get the look, here is what you need:

  1. Two twin comforters (or duvets).
  2. Two twin duvet covers. Try this fun blue patterned duvet cover or something with lots of texture, like this white pintuck duvet cover.
  3. Matching shams and sleeping pillows.
  4. A fitted sheet only (go ahead and ditch that top sheet).
  5. A blanket or throw to fold at the foot of the bed. This brings the  bed together and unites the two duvet covers.
  6. And for the finishing touch, chic throw pillows!

Our Top 10 Tricks to Waking Up on the Right Side of the Bed

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The National Institute of Health estimates that 1 in 3 adults suffer from occasional bouts of insomnia and 1 in 10 suffer from chronic insomnia.  For many here in the US, falling and staying asleep is very difficult.  Before turning to prescription sleep aids, here is what we recommend trying in order to sleep better and wake up on the right side of the bed every morning.

1. Evaluate what you’re sleeping on.

Your insomnia could be due to you not sleeping with correct bedding, mattress and pillows. First, learn how to make the perfect bed by watching our video on How To Make a Bed. When it comes to sheets and duvet covers, cotton is king. It’s breathable and easy to care for.  Ensure you have the correct mattress and pillow for your sleeping position. Believe it or not, your sleeping pillow should be replaced every 12 to 18 months.

  • Back and stomach sleepers: your mattress should be on the firmer side and your pillow should be thin.
  • Side sleepers: you will want a softer mattress and a pillow with more volume to appropriately support your spine.

2. Keep it cool.

You don’t want your bedroom too hot, nor do you want it too cold.  The ideal bedroom temperature for sleeping is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. While your room should be cool, you should keep warm and cozy under the sheets to fall asleep quickly. Having warm extremities (hands and feet) seems to predict how quickly you will fall asleep, so slip on some socks if you tend to run cold.

3. Power off all screens.

We live in the digital age and are surrounded by screens from sun up to sun down. Bright lights trigger the brain into thinking it is time to be awake and alert. First, all screens (smartphones, TVs, laptops, tablets, et c) belong outside the bedroom. Dim lights and power down your devices 60-90mins before you head to bed. You will thank yourself coming morning.

4. Create a wind-down routine.

We all have a few things we do before we go to bed. Create a routine that will prepare you mentally for sleep. Maybe start with a warm cup of caffeine-free tea or emptying your mind by writing out thoughts and to do’s for the following day and end with brushing your teeth and washing your face.

5. Resist the urge to snooze.

We are all guilty of it. Sleep caught between alarm soundings is not high-quality sleep. Many snoozers tend to feel groggier or more tired than when the initial alarm sounded because their REM sleep has been disrupted.  Skip the snooze cycle by setting your alarm a bit later and do your best to rise shortly after.

6. Cut the caffeine when the clock strikes noon.

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That post lunch-afternoon wake-up caffeine stays in your system longer than you might think. Try laying off all PM caffeine. When you do, you might notice yourself falling asleep with ease.

7.  Exercise regularly.

You all knew this one was coming! In 2013, the National Sleep Foundation found that regular, vigorous exercisers reported getting better sleep. Even a quick 15 minute workout or walk can make a big difference. Be warned: exercising a couple hours before bedtime should be avoided. It will actually wake you up more than it will tire you out.

8. Animals should sleep in their own beds, not yours.

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Here at Crane & Canopy, we love snuggling up with our Snuggly Pug, Gus.  However, every purr, movement or growl can disturb your sleep. Stop fighting over bed space with your furry friends at night. We do definitely believe in sweet morning cuddles.

9. Go easy on the alcohol and big meals before bed.

While that last drink of the night will make it easier to fall asleep, drinking too much will actually cause you to wake up during the night once the buzz wears off and your body processes the alcohol. Additionally, your body is not meant to digest while you sleep. Try finishing dinner 2-3 hours before you rest your head.

10. If you really cannot sleep, get out of bed.

If you can’t stop tossing and turning, get out of bed to do something relaxing. Simply laying there and stressing about not sleeping might make you sleep even less and you might develop a bigger insomnia issue if you begin to disassociate your bedroom with sleep.

Good luck and sweet dreams!

Images sources: 1 / 2 / 3 

To Top Sheet or Not to Top Sheet?

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Have you ever questioned why you are sleeping with a top sheet when you also have a soft comforter or duvet cover over you, keeping you warm? If so, you are certainly not alone. In a Crane & Canopy survey, almost 40% of women in America prefer NOT to sleep with a top or flat sheet.

We love that sleep styles are changing in America and evolving similarly to how the Europeans sleeping now - without the top sheet. While people still love using the top sheet because they like the feel of it and they can just wash the top sheet vs. their duvet cover or blankets, there are also many reasons why a top sheet may no longer be necessary:  

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  • The top sheet normally ends up bunched up as a messy ball towards the end of the bed in the mornings.
  • With a top sheet, it takes longer to make your bed every morning.
  • With the popularization and wide use of sleeping under a duvet cover cover (which goes over the comforter), the duvet cover (vs. the top sheet) now protects the more expensive comforter.
  • It is one less thing to wash in the laundry and one less thing to fold. Hurrah!
  • Washing a duvet cover is less frustrating with the innovative Nova duvet cover as now it is much easier to stuff your comforter in your duvet.  
  • Many retailers are now allowing you to buy the sheets individually.  For those who never use a top sheet, it may be time to rejoice since you can now just purchase a fitted sheet and/or the pillowcases vs. the entire set.

Not convinced yet?  We also interviewed our co-founder, Karin to ask why sleeping with a top sheet may not be necessary:

The amount of time that goes in to adjusting and straightening the top sheet when making the bed is reason enough to just get rid of it. However, what I love most about not sleeping with a top sheet is the limb-moving-freedom and the coziness it creates.  

What do you think?  Do you sleep with a top sheet or not? 

6 Tips to Turn Making the Bed into a Daily Habit

Making your bed every morning is one of life’s small, but important tasks. We know not everyone out there is an obsessive “bed maker” like ourselves. Before you toss in the towel and accept a future full of messy, wrinkled linens, consider this:

  • Making your bed gives you a small feeling of accomplishment every day. 
  • Your bedroom just looks better and more inviting after a long day.
  • When you make the bed, you decrease the chances of crawling back inside, causing you to miss meetings, classes and other important obligations.
  • You will save yourself embarrassment when you have company.
  • Your productivity will increase. As Admiral Bill McRaven of the US Navy SEALs put it in his 2014 UT commencement speech “It will encourage you to do another task and another and another”.

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Are you convinced? Get ready. Quit being a bed hater… it’s time you became a bed maker! We have pulled together 6 easy tricks to turn making the bed a daily habit:

1. Make it the FIRST thing you do in the morning. Make your bed before you refresh your Instagram feed, take a shower or make coffee. 

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Photo Credits: Erika Brechtel featuring the Linden Grey Bedding.

2. Simplify your bedding by removing your top sheet. This extra layer adds complexity to the art of bed making and if you have the Nova Duvet Cover, you’ll never want to sleep with a top sheet again.

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3. Skip the décor. Throw pillows and throw blankets give your bedroom a finished look, however, the less that goes on the bed, the easier making it will be.

4. Share the load. For couples, especially sleeping in king beds, make your half of the bed every morning. Guaranteed your partner follows suit.

5. Time yourself. When you know just how little time this chore takes, it will be harder to use the “I was running late” excuse.

6. Do a double take. Take one last look at your beautifully made bed before rushing out the door and note how that makes you feel.  We’ve been there and know you will feel a pinch of satisfaction and happiness too.

For even more bed making information, view our video on how to make the perfect bed.

Why We Make Our Beds

Happy National Make Your Bed Week!  All week long, we will be celebrating with beautiful photos of our favorite well-made beds as well as tips and tricks on how to make a beautifully made bed. 

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Being obsessive bed-makers like ourselves, we believe there are a variety of reasons why you should make your bed every morning. A well-made shows discipline, pride, order and a sense of accomplishment and there’s also nothing like coming home to a well-made bed.  

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A few months ago, our co-founder Karin wrote a beautiful piece on why she makes her bed every morning. Indeed, studies have shown that bed-makers are happier and more successful. We decided to ask our favorite editors and influencers why they make their beds every morning. We loved their responses:

I definitely make my bed every morning. For me, having a neat bed makes me feel like my life is in order. When I come home and see that the house is tidy, I really feel like I can accomplish anything. Plus, there’s nothing like crawling into a crisply made bed at the end of the day. Jillian Quint, Managing Editor, PureWow.

There is nothing better than a perfectly made bed. In fact, we created an entire post centered around the very concept using what else but Crane & Canopy sheets. When your feet ache, your back is sore, your head is spinning from a day well spent, a bed topped with crisp, cool sheets, tucked neatly as they should be feels about as good as we imagine heaven might feel. In the Larson household, bed making isn’t an EVERY day occurence but it’s close. And we’re teaching our kids to love that feeling of slipping right into a perfectly made bed as well so that they grow up not only learning to make their own beds, but also feeling a sense of pride in their surroundings. To love their space from head to toe - or in this case, from sheets to socks. Abby Larson, Editor and Founder, Style Me Pretty.

I make my bed in order to create a sense of order. When you are an entrepreneur, you have to do concerted things to separate work and life. When the bed is made, I can move into the other part of the apartment and start working. Michelle Young, Editor and Founder, Untapped Cities

I don’t make my bed to impress or because I’m being told to (flashback to childhood!).  It gives me a sense of calm when I come home at night after a long day in busy NYC, and makes my apartment feel that much more like home. Stephen Tanenbaum, co-founder and President, UGallery.

Not sure how to properly make your bed? Watch how our co-founder Karin makes her bed look beautiful every day!

Do you make your bed every morning?  If so, we’d love to see photos.  Feel free to tag in comments @craneandcanopy and #makethebed.  We’ll be posting our favorites on Instagram and our blog all week long.

Five tips on getting your house ready for the Fall season

Fall is fast approaching and that means another round of cleaning.  While spring cleaning seemed to only happen yesterday, here are some things to keep in mind as you prepare your home for the Fall.

Turn over your mattress:  Any cleaning that you didn’t get to during your round of spring cleaning should be completed this fall.  We recommend doing the simple things such as turning over your mattress and washing all of your bedding, such as comforters and blankets. Mattresses should be turned over so both sleeping surfaces are used. Doing this allows the fillings to settle evenly and help reduce depressions in the mattress. Note that your mattress manufacturer instructions will indicate if you need to turn your mattress.

Time to pack and unpack from storage: With a new season approaching it’s a good time to go through your closet to declutter and organize. You can pack up all your summer dresses, tank tops, and shorts and put them in under bed storage. It’s time to unpack your winter clothes, coats, and boots. It’s a good idea to rotate your seasonal wardrobe to keep your closet clean and organized throughout the seasons. 

Deep clean your carpets:  If you didn’t get a chance to deep clean your carpets, now is the time. You can either have your carpets professionally cleaned or you can rent a carpet steamer to get all those sand and grass clippings you’ve accumulated over the summer. If you have wood floors, have scratched or dull wood panels professionally scuff-sanded and re-coated, or completely refinished. 

Splurge on one round of deep house cleaning:  For those who gently clean their rooms every week or do not have professional house cleaners, we recommend now is the time for a round of deep cleaning.  It’s okay to splurge once or twice a year to get to those difficult or time consuming spots!  For those who would rather do it yourself, get out the vacuum and start cleaning the public spaces, like the living room, entry way, family room, and guest rooms. Make sure to vacuum the drapes, window treatments, baseboards, and corners. Make sure you’re moving furniture and vacuuming beneath and behind it. Don’t let those dust bunnies that you’ve accumulated over the summer stay into the fall and winter season. 

Start the prep for Holiday: It’s never too early to prepare your kitchen for the upcoming fall season. Clean and organize your kitchen cabinets to prep for the holidays. Pay particular attention to baking supplies, pans, and equipment that you may need for any holiday cooking. Clear kitchen counters of all appliances not used within the last week for a cleaner look and to provide more room for your holiday cooking. 

How to keep cool in the Summer heat.

The Dog Days of Summer means summer heat is on! The temperatures have been hot, but we are staying nice and cool by following these 7 easy steps.

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  1. Hang curtains: By hanging curtains or drapes on all your windows you add an extra layer on insulation to keep the heat out and the cool air inside.
  2. Drink ice water: This one seems obvious, but a lot of people get extremely dehydrated during the hot Summer months. Why not kill two birds with one stone with a big glass of cold water! You’ll be making sure you don’t get dehydrated while cooling down your body.
  3. Place fans all around: Giving your home better circulation and airflow will help keep it feeling cool. Place fans near doorways and in high traffic areas to keep the air moving. 
  4. Use a spray bottle: Fill a spray bottle with water and keep it in the refrigerator. Spritz it on your face to feel refreshed after being outside in the heat.
  5. Turn off the lights: When it is extremely hot outside, keeping the lights off can help to keep your home cool. Not only will you be turning off unneccesary heat, you’ll also be giving your home a very soothing feel.
  6. Take a shower: If you can’t seem to escape the heat, go hop in the shower, and turn the knob to cold. You will instantly feel refreshed and revived.
  7. Use cotton sheets: To ensure that you keep cool at night, use cotton for your sheets, comforters and mattress pads.  Its breathable vs. the other materials like jersey, bamboo or polyester.