I don’t know about you but I love fall, the jewel tone colors that nature brings to us, the pleasant mild temperature, comfort food again and the holidays approaching. Today, while I was preparing my garden for fall, I was thinking of all of you and what kind of tips to bring you to prepare your home for this beautiful season and the coming winter. (BH&G photos)
As an interior designer I could compile a long list of so many quick and easy fixes to get your home in order. Not to overwhelm you, I will give you just a few suggestions and if you carry them out, your home will be working for you just fine during the winter.
1. Clear the gutters of falling leaves and evergreen needles to keep all downspout clear and allow rainwater to fall freely.
2. Clean lawn equipment. Adding fuel stabilizer to the gas tank will keep the gas from oxidizing and causing corrosion.
3. Caulk the cracks where masonry meets siding, where pipes or wires enter the house and around window and door frames.
4. Clean up the exterior with a pressure washer and wash windows to prevent the growth of mold and mildew.
5. Change outdoor light bulbs with high-efficiency compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL).
6. Protect your plumbing from freezing by applying ready-made pipe jackets.
7. Check the fireplace safety to avoid chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure both chimney system and venting systems are working properly. Burn only well-seasoned hardwoods to reduce buildup of creosote, a flammable compound. Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms is a must.
8. Seal air leaks to keep your house warmer and ventilate the attic.
This is the pumpkins season, let’s turn our attention to the front door. If the color of the door is a bit tired, a coat of fresh paint (or stain depending on how your door was treated) will change the entry into a welcoming statement. Accent the door with a beautiful wreath, display potted plants and plenty pumpkins.
Now let’s go to the kitchen. The food lover in me would not want to leave you without any food talk.
In my first published book Come Mia Nonna – A Return To Simplicity, I included a perfect recipe for the Fall: Autumn Style pasta with butternut squash and prosciutto. The earthy flavor of the butternut squash blends so well with the Italian prosciutto, a type of cured pork meat, preserved under salt for a couple of years. I prepared this dish for myself last night. Bacon fits with this recipe too, but the taste is not quite the same. My recipe calls for a short pasta, but this specialty is also a vegetable dish to accompany a roast.
At the end of the same book, I included a delicate recipe for Marmalade Of Rose Petals, a real surprise.
In Sins Of A Queen, my second published book, I thought of autumn too. I want everybody’s table to be cheerful and filled with so many earthy foods.
I wrote about some fun liqueur made with fruits that anybody can make at home without any difficulty. The strawberries liqueur, limoncello (made with lemons) and the chocolate liqueur are proving so successful. These types of cordial liqueurs need a couple of months for maceration process, thus September-October is the right time to start and make them ready for the holidays.
Now go around the house, find all the empty containers, vases, bowls, or any vessel with an interesting look and fill them with roses, fall flowers and pumpkins. Be creative, take inspiration from my photos or make your own arrangement.
Turn your fireplace on and scatter scented candles in rooms most lived.
Let the flavor of the holidays begin and give the gift of love by preparing good earthy autumn food for yourself and your family. I really love the warmth of this season!
Copyright © 2011 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved
Robert Taitano, a friend and business associate of http://www.wine-fi.com says:
“Valentina – an International Professional Interior Designer is now giving you an opportunity to redesign your palate”.
Valentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior Designer with a passion for kitchens and cooking. She operates in the USA and Europe. She loves to remodel homes and loves to turn ugly spaces into castles, but especially loves to design kitchens and wine grottos, outdoor kitchens and outdoor rooms, great rooms and entertainment rooms. She is the author of two published books on Italian regional cuisine, available in this site on the Books page and in various locations: