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5 Quick & Easy Fall Centerpieces

Fall is officially in full swing, and that means hosting dinner parties, having people over, and entertaining guests. Make sure your table looks as good as those fresh baked muffins with these five quick and easy Fall centerpiece ideas.

1. Throw some of those apples you have laying around into a large glass vase and add water for a whimsical look. 

2.Grab a small tin bucket and collect some fallen leaves from outside for a beautiful earthy feel.

3. Pick up sticks from around the yard and trim to a similar size, tie together, and place in a glass vase. Voila! A very Fall-inspired centerpiece. 

4. Float small candles in mason jars to light up your table. Add some ribbon to the top as an extra finishing touch. 

5. Stop by the store and pick up a couple of gourds, mini pumpkins, and an acorn squash and simply group them together as a long lasting no fuss centerpiece. 

Sources: 1/2/3/4/5

A Safe Night’s Sleep: Our interview with non-profit Project Night Night

We feel very lucky to have been introduced to some of the nation’s largest non-profits supporting victims of domestic violence through our A Safe Night’s Sleep Initiative. The support these organizations provide is incredible and their impact is great. Every minute, 24 people are physically abused, raped or stalked by their partners in the United States.  That’s 12.7 Million people every year, approximately the population of Los Angeles and New York City combined.

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Crane & Canopy donates bedding to Project Night Night

Like us, SF-based Project Night Night, believes that everyone deserves a safe and comfortable place to sleep. The emotional and mental hurt a person goes through when living with violence often lasts much longer than the physical pain he or she endured, especially among children. We sat down with Executive Director and Deputy Director, Kendra Stitt Robins and Jessica Silverman Bryans to learn more about how Project Night Night reduces the stress children face when they’ve experienced a traumatic event.

Q: Can you describe what Project Night Night does and the types of services you provide?

We provide homeless children with the bedtime essentials they need to feel safe, ready to learn and valued.  We do this through the distribution of ‘Night Night Packages’ which include a new security blanket, an age-appropriate children’s book and a stuffed animal - all nestled inside a canvas tote.

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A Night Night Package complete with books, a blanket & stuffed animal

Q: Kendra, why did you start Project Night Night?

In 2005 and as a mother of a two-year-old, I quickly learned just how important it is for children to to have a full, comfortable night’s sleep.  I became increasingly concerned for the many homeless and transient children who lived in my neighborhood that lacked the basic bedtime essentials.  I knew there was something I could do to help.  

Like many parents, my son had more books and blankets than he could ever use, so I used those supplies to create the first few Night Night Packages and delivered them to a local domestic violence shelter.  Soon after, my phone began to ring for more donations and we’ve continued to grow every year since.  Today, we are one of the largest providers of nighttime comforts to homeless children in the country.

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Founder, Kendra Robins, donating to a local shelter

Q: Your story is such a great example of how a small idea can a huge impact.  How many children do you work with every year?

With the help of 10,000 volunteers, we are able to provide Night Night Packages to over 25,000 homeless children every year.  Since 2005, we have helped more than 150,000 children in the United States to feel safe, comfortable and important.

Q: We feel very lucky to be working with you and the Project Night Night team to donate bedding to shelters across the U.S.  Can you share how you think the gift of new bedding will help those affected by domestic violence?

Being able to provide bedtime essentials for children as well as their parent(s) is a gift that goes a long, long way.  Often fleeing from a dangerous situation, many families come to a shelter with nothing but a few change of clothes.  They have to completely start over and this gift provides comfort and reminds families that they are not insignificant and certainly not alone.

Q: For fun, let’s say you were shopping for new bedding.  Which Crane & Canopy bedding set would you choose? :-)

I am a sucker for classics.  My bedroom would look divine with a bed decked-out in the Linden Monaco Blue.  I just love the blue border!

Learn more about Project Night Night as well as Crane & Canopy’s A Safe Night’s Sleep initiative.  

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