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Writing a letter to your confirmation candidate

It seems that one of the biggest events in confirmation preparation in this country is the letters of support to be given to the confirmation candidates during their mandatory retreats.

I have three such letters saved on this blog:

Confirmation letter to my daughterConfirmation letter to my fourth sonConfirmation letter to to my third son
I've asked my children what they remember about the letter they got from me and their dad, and also what they remembered about the letters they received. 
The answer was not much, or at least nothing specific. In general they were happy to have gotten a bag full of letters and there was a sense of feeling loved and supported. I guess that's the main thing - for them to have a sense that this is an important step in their spiritual growth, and that people they know, love and respect have taken the time out of their lives to let them know that! So here are some tips on procuring and writing letters for young confirmation candidates. Start thinkin…

A Guide to Decorating a Small House or Living Space.

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The Springhouse at the Sustainable Arts Center (and Goat Farm) in Dial, Georgia

Over the years, I have been blessed to know a number of large Catholic homeschooling families. Most of those lived simply yet comfortably in very small or average-sized houses, yet their homes were always open to visitors with gracious hospitality. 

Small house decorating is a challenging job. It turns real tough when you are on a budget. But, if you plan right, you can do that easily. My friends at CSI SoundGuide have written the following suggestions: 


Avoid overcrowding

Overcrowding causes a cramped feeling. Since de-cluttering is the key to successful decoration, purge ruthlessly what you do not require. This makes organization and decorating the house most effective.




Rolling Fork - Muddy Water's Birthplace
Driss and Marrionn via flickr, licensed cc

Create separate zones in the rooms

Living in a small house means you have to use a room for different purposes. Combining the functions together makes the room clumsy. Create separate zones for different functions. This will let you stay organized. In my own home, I have one corner of the dining room dedicated to my granddaughter's school books and art supplies. Having a space to put her things keeps the rest of the dining area cleaner and cuts down on clutter. 

If you have to make dining space in the living room, separate these zones with area rugs. Choose something colorful to add charm to the room. Maybe you have to accommodate the toys in the room as well. Arrange shelves in one corner for the same. This will distinctly mark it as the kid’s playing zone.

Use glass walls

Making a room multifunctional is an essential requirement of small house decoration. You can do that easily using a glass wall. When you use glass walls in the middle of a big room you can see through it. Thus, you get separate spaces without visual division.

Look vertically for space maximization

You cannot have unutilized spaces in a small house.  Thinking vertically is the most obvious solution for maximizing space. Building bunk beds in the kid’s room is a nice way to provide more sleeping option.

You can also create floating shelves. These will solve your storage problem in the kitchen. You can use these floating shelves for displaying collectibles and art pieces in the living space. This will add to the décor of the room. Building bookcases on the wall are also great for creating a home library.

Ensure privacy with curtains

Multifunctional space is unavoidable in a small house. Maybe you have to combine the home office and guest room together. The curtains can be great to keep these two areas separate and ensure privacy.

The great thing about curtains is that they do not waste any space.  Moreover, available in vibrant colors they deliver an elegant look.

Utilize the space beneath the stairs

When living in a small house, you have to utilize every inch. The space under the stairs can be turned into a nice storage. If you like, you can install a mini bar there.

You can also hide the washing machine or can build a pet corner there. Alternatively, you may build your library, or have sliding drawers for extra storage.

Play with lights

Dark corners are common in small houses due to small or no windows. Make up the deficiency of natural light by well-executed lighting. Illuminate each and every room with sufficient ambient lighting.


Hang chandeliers and pendants depending on the ceiling height. You can also use string lights as an alternative. Also, add scones to create an elegant atmosphere in the rooms. There should also be provisions for the task and accent lighting wherever needed.

Small house



Improve with mirrors
Mirrors can make your rooms look brighter and spacious. Consider including a large mirror in the bedroom.  Surround it with designer curtains. When you close the curtains it will deliver a more intimate and cozy feeling.
Alternatively, you may use mirrors of different sizes and shapes to adorn the wall. This will help create a nice pattern. Using a sunburst mirror is also a great option. This creates a nice focal point and elevates the room.


Fake height with curtains
High ceiling delivers a feeling of comfort in the room. In case the ceiling of your small house is low, it will deliver a cave-like feeling. Hang curtains as high on the wall as possible. This will help you fake the height. Use curtains that complement the overall décor of the room.

Make it cohesive
Use a limited color palette. Chose few eye-catching pieces and make sure that they fit into the place. If possible, leave some gap between the furniture and the walls. This will make them floating and create a feeling of more space in the room. You can also opt for folding and dual-purpose furniture. This will save more space.

Go green with artificial palm trees
Including greeneries makes a house lively. But, it is unlikely to have a garden in your small house. So, you have no choice than including live plants indoor. The artificial interior trees have nice aesthetic appeal. These are durable and can withstand all weather conditions. Being loaded with UV blocking chemicals, these never fade. Since they do not require any light and air, you may install them anywhere you like.


Smaller Building
Daniel Imfield via Flickr, licensed cc. 


Coming in customized sizes with standard bases, these are easy to install. They beautify the place from day one. Moreover, these do not attract insects and deliver a safe environment.

Conclusion

Decorating a small house is like playing a 3D chase game. You should utilize the horizontal & vertical space as well. The above tips are very easy to implement. They will make your small house stylish and elegant with the most bangs for the buck spent. 








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