Lessons of the Season: Finding the Perfect Gift

Rug and Home has an array of items to choose from.  Any of these fun finds would make great gifts!Shopping for children is relatively easy. Find a plush toy or the latest game, and you’ll get the wide smile and excited hug you were expecting. Shopping for adults, however, can be a challenge. How many striped ties, golf clubs, or jogging pants does Dad really need? How many gallons of perfume, buckets of lotion, or leather gloves does Mom really need? Is that combination fingernail clipper-letter opener really the best you could do?Bright yellow birdcages make for a fun, whimsical gift.

And what about the adult children in your circle whose electronic gadgets change monthly? Buy them a new phone or music player, and it will be obsolete by the time New Year’s Day rolls around. Forget it if you want to buy them something that will make a lasting impression.Gifts can get stale. Finding the right one can be almost impossible in this day and age. Do you go to a store? Do you shop online? Do you browse a catalog? Remember when department stores had everything you could possibly want?

The best advice we got this year was to think outside the gift box. Instead of clothes that may not fit, consider an exotic, over-the-top, or creative home accessory for a different kind of present. Unlike a vacuum cleaner or toaster, a kitschy home accent piece is both personal and practical. Find a fun framed print you know they’d like or a set of throw pillows with a Warhol print in different (but matching) colors.

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finding the perfect gift image3Lamps are another great gift idea. They aren’t just for practical lighting anymore. There are so many new sleek, colorful, whimsical, and ornate lamps on the shelves that there’s a lamp for every kind of taste. Get Dad a new floor lamp to set beside his reading chair. Give Mom a set of lamps with silk shades for her sitting room. Grab a mismatched pair of art deco lamps for your young adult’s new living room.

Of course, you can always splurge on a new recliner, especially if you know the old one has seen better days. If you want to make the chair a surprise, bring the recipient’s measurements to the store when you shop so the salesperson can help you find just the right recliner to support his or her frame.

Whatever you buy, make sure it complements the person’s current theme. You’re always safe with brown leather and wood, which matches most every kind of space, but don’t be afraid to take chances. The better you know someone, the more outrageous you can safely venture. Just remember: you want your gift to be appreciated, not taken as a hint that they should change the entire room.

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Home furnishing gifts don’t have to be obvious either. Rug & Home stocks unusual items such as the latest collection of recycled wood benches, ottomans that turn into video game seats, or solid wood, hand-painted boxes that can hold all the other same-old, same-old gifts they got for Christmas this year. Your thoughtfulness will surprise them.

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A Home for the Seasons

Bring out your winter accessories to decorate for the season.

Autumn. It’s the time to go through your wardrobe and pack away those halter tops and shorts until next summer. Out come the wool sweaters and corduroy pants. If you’re like many fashion-loving men and women, you probably have a jacket for cool fall evenings and a heavy down coat for winter days.

So while you’re spending the day airing, washing, and preparing your fall and winter wardrobe, why not consider switching out your room’s décor to reflect the changing of the seasons? Not many homeowners take advantage of the changing seasons. Sure, you put out the ceramic turkey salt-and-pepper shakers at Thanksgiving and the red-and-green tablecloth for Christmas, but there are so many more decorating options for your home. Consider completing your home’s wardrobe with four separate sets of accessories to complement each season.

How many times have you passed up a beautiful piece of art or a blown glass vase because you knew you didn’t have any place to showcase it? How many of your family heirlooms are packed away in the attic because you’ve had to make room for new pictures and knick-knacks? There is no reason that you can’t enjoy all your fun furnishings. Just spread them out throughout the year.

A bright, floral rug is perfect for colorful spring and summer decorating!

Start with your area rugs. Use a bright floral rug for spring and summer, and then switch it out for the deep, rich heirloom Oriental in the fall and winter. Use jute or sisal rugs in your main living areas during the warm, sunny days and replace them with warm wool rugs when you begin to light fires in the fireplace.

Drapes and window treatments are another aspect of a room that can change the ambiance from one that says, “Open me up and let the sun shine in” to “Keep me closed and snuggle up beside the fire.” Replace the light, airy sheers that pick up the pastels in your summer rugs with those lovely velvet curtains that keep in the heat during the winter. And when you switch drapes, send out the ones you’ve taken down for cleaning so they’ll be ready when you need them again.

Decorative baskets with colorful, fresh fruits and vegetables make fall decorating a cinch!

You can replace your knick-knacks more often. Bring out your favorite vases in the spring to hold cut flowers. Then in the autumn, replace them with baskets to hold fresh fruit and vegetables. Fill your wall space with dried twigs and flowers in the fall and create centerpieces from the last of your herb garden. During the winter, bring out your scented candles and holiday accessories to enjoy for the entire season.

When you make accessory changes an integral part of your seasonal wardrobe switch, you can enjoy each special purchase as if it’s brand new. You know that feeling you get when you pull out your favorite pair of leggings each fall? Expect to experience the same renewed jolt of wonder with each statuette, blown-glass bird, and wooden carving as you bring them out from storage. Have a home for the seasons!