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Home Living : December 14th 2010
6 HLN - HOME LIVING: NORTH, Tuesday, December 14, 2010 A burning question As the year draws to a close and the festive season approaches, wouldn't this be the ideal opportunity to give your home a mini-makeover? Start by freshening the air. That means opening windows and cleaning them till they sparkle and then adding some fragrance. Bunches of fresh flowers are simple and stylish, and don't forget scented candles. Throwing a little light on the topic is another simple way to liven things up. Adding clusters of chunky candles to a table setting makes even a simple meal special. If you have a favourite lamp base with a shade that's seen better days, try making a new one in a fashion colour or adding a pretty ribbon or braided trim to freshen it up. When it comes to furniture, painting mismatched pieces in the same colour can turn a hodge-podge into a collection. There are some fantastic colours and finishes that will turn even the humblest of pieces into desirable additions to the decor. Even the outdoor entertaining areas can have a quick update when you repot a straggling combination of tired plants into a series of pots and planters in similar shapes and tones but different sizes -- don't forget to trim off dead leaves and add fresh potting mix while you're at it. Before you know it, your home will be ready to party. ...................................... HOMELIVING Don't let pets fret 'Tis the season to be jolly but for some of our four-legged friends, Christmas can be a daunting time of year. For many dog- and cat-owners, the decision of what to do with the family pet over the Christmas holidays can be complicated. Should you leave them with a friend? Or supervised at a kennel? Can you trust your neighbour to pop by and feed them while you're gone? Or is a pet-friendly hotel on the cards? ''Planning ahead is always a good thing, as often people forget to organise pet care until the last minute,'' said Marianne Zander, a spokeswoman for RSPCA NSW. ''There are a number of boarding facilities available, but they do fill up quickly in the busy holiday season.'' Contact your vet and ask them to recommend the best local boarding house for your pet -- some vet clinics also offer short- or long-stay accommodation for animals. We've all heard terrible stories about neighbours or friends losing the family pet. This can be a traumatic experience for all involved. Ensure that your pet is comfortable around its holiday carer and observe how they interact with each other. Make a list of emergency phone numbers in case your pet is sick, provide the carer with the food your pet eats and any medication they made need and be sure to tell them if your dog is used to a daily run around the block or your cat enjoys a belly-rub at night. ''You can always ask a responsible friend or family member to visit your animals while you're away, which can be more cost-effective,'' Ms Zander said. ''It also allows the animal to remain at home in a comfortable, familiar environment.'' If you can't bear the thought of your pampered pooch or classy kitty not being by your side, you can always bring them along on your holiday. Your accommodation choices may be limited, but do your research and book early, and you should have a pet-friendly, hassle-free holiday. 2108290i 30/11 CUSTOM MADE CURTAINS • SOFT FURNISHINGS • FABRICS • HOMEWARES • FURNITURE OPEN 6 DAYS Ph: 9651 2745 5/286 New Line Rd, Dural (behind McDonalds) Exquisite selection of homewares and furniture So much more than a homeware store... 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December 7th 2010
December 21st 2010