Top 10 Tips for Planning a Remodel

Top 10 Tips for Planning a Remodel from NARI

In honor of National Home Improvement Month this May, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) advises homeowners of the top tips for planning a remodel project.

“The planning and researching phases of a project are the most critical steps in the remodeling process,” states Jay Cipriani of Cipriani Remodeling Solutions “The more knowledgeable and prepared a homeowner is, the more they can protect themselves.” For almost 40 years, the Cipriani team of award-winning professionals has been helping homeowners build dream additions, kitchens and bathrooms. Follow these top 10 tips for planning a remodel to ensure a successful project from start to finish.

What can a homeowner do to prepare for a remodel? NARI provides a top 10 list of steps homeowners should take before breaking ground on their next remodel.

  1. Research your project. Taking time to research projects on the Internet and NARI.org will provide a good sense of what is involved such as price, scope of work, return on investment and new product/material options. Also, research property values in your neighborhood to make sure your project is in line with other homes in the area.
  2. Plan project around the long-term. How long do you plan to stay in your home? How might your family structure change over time? Life can change quickly—these questions should be answered early on to ensure your project will fit your lifestyle long after it’s complete.
  3. Set your budget. Deciding on a realistic budget and arranging finances to support your project are essential. This number needs to include everything—the project, products, contingencies, etc. Don’t be afraid to share this with your remodeler; professionals are respectful of a client’s budget and will create a plan around it, not over it.
  4. Use advanced search for professionals. The online world makes it easy to gather information about strangers. Ask friends, family and neighbors for referrals and then spend time researching that person online. Professional remodelers take their reputation seriously and hold credentials beyond licensing, such as certifications, memberships in trade associations and additional training. Look for examples of press coverage or involvement in industry presentations or events. Check online reviews and social media to see how they interact with past clients and peers.
  5. Ask the right questions. Time and cost are important, but getting the right information requires the right questions. Ask your professional remodeler about his educational background, training, specialties or past issues with clients. Ask about how the remodeling process will work.
  6. Verify your remodeler. Don’t take their word for it. Check the information given to you such as references, license numbers, insurance information and certifications by calling providers to verify. Request a visit to an active client’s jobsite. Make it known that you are checking on him—a true professional considers that as a positive sign to working with a homeowner.
  7. Review contracts word-by-word. A remodeling contract protects you and your remodeler. Homeowners should review this carefully. Professional remodelers have done this before, and know what should go in a contract. Homeowners are not as familiar with remodeling and should ask about terms if they don’t understand. Pay attention to details about change orders, payment, additional fees, timeline and responsibilities. If it’s not in the contract, it doesn’t exist.
  8. Keep design in mind. Your design guides the entire project. Think about what you dislike about your current space and the intended use of the new space. Use Websites such as Pinterest.com and Houzz.com to gather design ideas. Make sure you can articulate specifically what you like about that design when talking to your designer. Professionals don’t recreate a photo—they incorporate accessibility, functionality, ease of modification, style and value into your design.
  9. Make your selections. Deciding on products and materials is a larger process than most imagine. With so many options to choose from, product selections are one of the primary reasons for project timelines to get extended. Base decisions on quality, function, price, style and availability. Include selections in the contract to lock down pricing and keep your budget intact.
  10. Create a communication plan. A common downfall in remodeling is lack of communication between homeowners and remodelers. Your remodeler should lay out a communication plan at the beginning of the project. If not, ask them to do so. This plan should clarify roles of everyone involved, communication methods, availability, and frequency of communication that is expected.

As an industry that struggles with a persistent negative perception of remodeling contractors, these tips serve both the industry and consumers in elevating real professionals from the pack.

For more information on preparing for a remodel on your home, contact Cipriani Remodeling Solutions company website or call 856.853.8398.

This article was written  by NARI: The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) is the medium for business development, a platform for advocacy and the principal source for industry intelligence. NARI connects homeowners with its professional members and provides tips and tricks so that the consumer has a positive remodeling experience. NARI is a nationwide network of nearly 6,000 member companies and their employees. Consumers may wish to search www.NARI.org to find a qualified NARI professional or call NARI National at (847) 298-9200.

Home Addition Guide Final Steps

This post will wrap up our 2016 Home Addition Guide with a highlight of the final two steps. We hope you are enjoying the guide and the opportunity to take a closer look at some of our projects.

Cipriani Remodeling Solutions

Before- home addition in Pitman, NJ by Cipriani Remodeling Solutions

The fifth step in the Home Addition Guide is all about sitting back and letting everything come to life. You have done you’re planning and research. You have hired a great team to assist you with your home addition endeavor. The design and shopping are complete and you are getting excited! So now you are at step five. This step is the actual execution of the project.

Adding an addition can be a whole lot less stressful than you might expect as long as you are fully informed on the execution plans of your project. It’s about understanding how the renovation will be managed day-to-day, what the project’s blueprint entails, what kind of timeline will be implemented, what kind of unexpected delays could arise, and what kind of living environment is anticipated throughout the process. A constant open line of communication is vital to the success of such a large project. Ultimately, communication ensures your home addition is properly planned, budgeted and executed by your experienced professional.

Cipriani Remodeling Solutions

After-home addition in Pitman, NJ, by award winning designer Sue Faramelli

The final step in our Home Addition Guide is about how to wrap up all the details. As your project draws near completion it is important that you are completely satisfied and everything is to your liking. If you see a flaw or have a problem, be sure to speak up before it’s all wrapped up. Also, retain any receipts or warranty information, as well as your hired professionals contact information, just in case something unforeseen comes up in the future. It never hurts to be prepared for the what-ifs. The best part of this last phase is seeing your vision come to life. All the planning and effort have become a reality. All the effort finally pays off as you get to enjoy the added functionality, comfort and convenience of your new space. Something you can relish in for many years to come. You and your family will make many memories in your new space.

Stay tuned in the months to come for more information about the Cipriani Remodeling Solution’s Home Addition Guide and other great renovation resources. We will be introducing other useful home renovation guides throughout the year. For more information, info@ciprianibuidlers.com or visit our Home Addition Guide page. For more details, visit our Houzz profile. To see projects up close, visit this feature project.

Design Tips For a Chef-centered Kitchen

Many homeowners with a passion for cooking desire a kitchen that mirrors those of renowned chefs. To achieve this, various design elements and simple upgrades can be incorporated to create the ideal kitchen that combines ultimate functionality with sophisticated style.

Faucet makeover

Culinary enthusiasts spend a lot of time at the sink. A faucet that simplifies tasks is a necessity and the Brizo Solna Articulating Kitchen Faucet is a culinary-driven innovation offering flexibility and control in the kitchen. Boasting crisp, contemporary lines, the articulating arm can be adjusted to position the two-function spray wand at various heights and angles — extend the arm up or outward to fill large pots or lower into the sink to reduce splash during clean-up. Beyond function, its Scandinavian inspiration brings a streamlined architecture to any kitchen.

Storage space

Just as great recipes call for top-quality ingredients, great kitchens need excellent tools. Maximizing storage is key for those with an impressive collection of kitchen tools and culinary essentials. Avoid overwhelming renovations and make the most of storage options by thinking “outside the cabinet” to fully accommodate needs.

For a crisp, modernized look, arrange pots and pans in a line on the wall with a linear rack. Take organization a step further by incorporating a magnet bar for sharp utensils, ensuring tools are close at hand without getting in the way. Store culinary tools and flatware in expandable drawer dividers to ensure all cabinet space is utilized and the counter remains clutter-free.

Inside garden

Bring the outside in with a miniature herb garden for fresh flavor enhancements when you need them. Spaces in front of a kitchen window with natural light are ideal for an indoor garden.

Various herbs in 3- or 4-inch pots can be grouped together in stylish trays to keep humidity high. For an extra splash of color, add edible flowering plants to the garden, such as lavender, lemongrass and violet. These homegrown herbs can be used as garnishes, to layer flavor into a dish or even in cocktails for at-home entertaining.

Designated task stations

Commercial restaurants work well with cooking stations for seamless preparation and execution. Designate specific areas for every facet of meal preparation to aid in overall organization and evoke the look and feel of a five-star kitchen in your home.

In most top-rated kitchens, food preparation is commonly performed between the sink and refrigerator to ensure all needs are met for retrieving, rinsing and chopping. Added elements like a deep sink and wide counter space make these tasks efficient and restaurant quality.

Transforming the kitchen into a chef-centered space is simple with clean, purposeful upgrades. For additional information on the Solna Articulating Faucet or to learn about other Brizo product offerings, visit www.brizo.com. –(BPT)

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Nate Berkus with Six Common Kitchen Design Dilemmas

Nate Berkus with tips and tricks for solving 6 common kitchen design dilemmas

Kitchen design is an art form, one where function and beauty harmoniously co-exist. Achieving that balance, however, isn’t always easy. When renovating a kitchen, homeowners can find themselves facing challenging design dilemmas. And they are not alone.
“When redesigning or refreshing a kitchen, the goal is to create a space that is hardworking, yet beautiful,” says Nate Berkus, renowned designer and artistic advisor to LG Studio. “Look for items that really represent who you are and your design personality, and you’ll create an area you and your family will love both now and 10 years from now.” Berkus points to six common kitchen design dilemmas and offers suggestions on how homeowners can create a space that is functional, and also beautiful.

1. Space challenges
When you don’t have enough room for the large table your family needs, get creative. Consider building an L-shaped bench around a farm table and adding extra chairs. It’s a clever use of space and will create a cozy nook where your family can gather for meals, or kids can do homework. Plus, the bench can double as storage space so it’s extra hardworking.

2. Last year’s — or last decade’s — cabinets
Cabinets are one of the first things you notice in any kitchen, and they’re also one of the most important in terms of functionality. If your cabinets provide ample space but look dated, Berkus suggests giving them a facelift. “I always appreciate a simple, clean style, but with cabinets I tell my clients they shouldn’t be afraid to mix it up,” he says. Use varying materials and finishes, like a wood or paint color that’s different from the rest of the kitchen. “I recommend sticking with a neutral palette for cabinets, whether you’re installing brand new ones or painting your existing cabinets,” Berkus says. “White, charcoal and gray will always be elegant, and you can’t go wrong with black — it’s absolutely one of my favorites. It makes a dramatic statement and looks fantastic paired with stainless steel appliances.”

3. Small budgets, big taste
When you long for that sleek, built-in look but don’t want to break the bank, counter-depth appliances are a great design choice. They seamlessly integrate with cabinetry no matter what the material, supporting that clean look you ultimately want your kitchen to reflect.
“I’m obsessed with LG Studio’s three-door counter-depth refrigerator,” Berkus says. “The door-in-door feature is one of my favorites.” The refrigerator also features a sophisticated, pro-style, flat-door design inspired by Berkus that gives it a premium look. LG Studio’s slide-in ranges, with designs also inspired by Berkus, are another great option to help homeowners achieve a custom, built-in aesthetic.

4. Unattractive, inefficient lighting
Lighting is one of the most important design elements in any room, and it’s the one thing people often overlook when re-designing their kitchens. “Lighting can instantly change the whole feel of a space,” Berkus says. “I believe it is one of the most important decisions you can make in any room, especially the kitchen, which, let’s be honest, is usually the hardest working room in your home.” To create lighting that is both useful and beautiful, remember to light the room in layers — from above, under cabinets to illuminate work areas and all-around accent lighting to create ambiance. It’s also such an easy way to add a whole lot of personality to your kitchen. Opt for vintage sconces and brass or metallic lighting fixtures. They will instantly up the design ante and make the space feel decidedly layered and interesting.

Nate Berkus5. Counter space confusion
Figuring out how much counter space you’ll need is always tricky. Start by considering all the ways you’ll be using your counters. You’ll need food prep areas, of course, but will you also want a breakfast bar where your family can sit for meals and snacks? Will you need extra room for countertop appliances? “My rule of thumb is, to always double the amount of counter space you think you’ll need,” Berkus says. “You can never have too much, especially if you like to cook and entertain.”

6. The slate is simply too clean
A large, open-concept kitchen can seem appealing, but it can also be daunting to design and decorate. “Don’t be afraid to do something unexpected in the kitchen to break up the space,” Berkus says. “I love the idea of creating an unexpected seating area in your kitchen. Shop your weekend flea markets or online stores for a vintage sofa, coffee table and rug to set up an area for your family to relax in.” Ultimately, Berkus says, keep in mind that the kitchen truly is the heart of the home. “Kitchen design is about creating a space in your home that brings the whole family together, and is the best place to reflect your sense of personal style.”– (BPT)

Finding the Home Addition Expert

This is the next post in our Home Addition Guide series. We have introduced the guide and reviewed the first two steps. In this post, we will talk about steps three and four of the guide. So far, you should have been able to ask yourself some good questions to help determine what you are looking for in a home addition. You should also have explored some potential ideas for your home addition.

At this point you are probably starting to feel a bit overwhelmed. Never fear, the third step in the Cipriani Remodeling Solution’s Home Addition Guide will help you take the next step. Step three will assist you in finding the addition expert for your project.

In order to bring your wants and needs into clearer focus its best to reach out to an expert who can help move you ahead in the process with confidence and ease. With so many unknowns and unanswered questions running through your head, do your research to nail down a professional home remodeling service in your area that can provide the architect and design services needed to move forward on your project. Be diligent in your search – ask for referrals, check reviews, look at credentials, interview candidates, check references, get estimates. Implementing these steps will ensure you are collaborating with the prefect partner. Once you complete step three, step four will begin the fun part of your renovation project. Shopping for the finishing touches will be a breeze with an expert in tow.

Additions Gallery1
Step four is all about the design and shopping. Working hand-in-hand with your design/build team, you’ll now develop a fully workable plan down to the smallest of details. Together, you’ll go shopping for products, pick colors, find the best deals, tweak the design and layout and create the final written plan. From the roof to the floors, you’ll be guided in choosing the right materials that fit your home and your budget. Often times you’ll even come across solutions you had never thought were possible, making it a fun and educational process along the way!

Stay tuned to learn more about the Cipriani Remodeling Solution’s Home Addition Guide. For more information, info@ciprianibuidlers.com or visit our Home Addition Guide Page.

To learn more about the featured additions shown in this post, visit the Addition Showcase page.
SPECIAL FEATURE—FREE Design Clinic March 10th, 2016 6:30-8:00pm. Join us and learn ways to gain space in your home. For more information, visit the Design Clinic page.

Get Started with the Home Addition Guide

In our last blog we told you about our new Home Addition Guide and how it can be a useful tool to help guide you in your home renovation process. This blog will tell you how to get started with the Home Addition Guide This time we will give you an insight into the first two steps.

The first step in the Cipriani Remodeling Solution’s Home Addition Guide is about exploring the home addition options. When it comes to adding on to your home it’s always a good idea to put a lot of thought behind it because after all, an addition is the single biggest home remodeling purchase you will ever make. The reasons to do an addition are numerous, but assess your needs and explore all options. Is this the smartest way to add space to the house? Have you constrained to fit features and functions into your existing space? How important is this added living space to you? You need to ask yourself some of these things because just remember, keeping your needs in mind helps you to keep costs down, no matter what choice you end up making.

Collingswood, NJ Addition exterior image

Collingswood, NJ Home Addition by Cipriani Remodeling Solutions

Step two deals with dreaming up the addition ideas. Think of design ideas that will complement your current floor plan and stay true to the architectural style of your home. When adding on, it is important to ensure that the natural look and flow of the home is considered so that it becomes a natural extension of it. Additions not only add space, they also add character and style to a home. It’s about creating the perfect addition for YOU and the options are plentiful when it comes to designing your new dream space. Whether you’re looking to add a single-room addition, bump-out, sunroom, in-law suite, family room, second-story add-on or expansion of your home, a well-planned addition will solve all your living space challenges.

Collingswood, NJ Home Addition Interior view

Collingswood, NJ Home Addition by Cipriani Remodeling Solutions

Stay tuned to learn more about the Cipriani Remodeling Solution’s Home Addition Guide. For more information, info@ciprianibuidlers.com or visit our Home Addition Guide Page.

To learn more about the Collingswood, NJ home addition featured in this post, visit the Addition Showcase.
SPECIAL FEATURE—FREE Design Clinic March 10th, 2016 6:30-8:00pm. Join us and learn ways to gain space in your home. For more information, visit the Design Clinic page.

New Home Addition Guide

A new Home Addition Guide is being introduced by Cipriani Remodeling Solutions. With the start of another new year, Cipriani Remodeling Solutions is introducing a new guide for homeowners who wish to find space in their existing home. Remodeling is a big decision and we want you to make an informed decision about what your next step is in the home renovation process. We help you learn how to make the right choice for your family.

Additions Gallery3

The six step Home Addition Guide will walk you through some basic steps and get you asking yourself the right questions about your project. The early phases of a renovation project should be focused on exploring your family’s wants and needs of the home. Can your home accommodate your needs? Is there a way to efficiently make changes?

Additional Services2

 

Our Home Addition Guide will point you in the right direction. Over the next few months, we will focus on highlighting this guide. You can also look forward to a closer look at some of our home addition projects. You will be able to get a close look at the process of finding space in a home, how it comes to life and the final outcome of a home addition project.

Stay tuned to learn more about the Cipriani Remodeling Solution’s Home Addition Guide. For more information, info@ciprianibuidlers.com or visit our Home Addition Guide Page.

To learn more about the featured additions shown in this post, visit the Addition Showcase page.
SPECIAL FEATURE—FREE Design Clinic March 10th, 2016 6:30-8:00pm. Join us and learn ways to gain space in your home. For more information, visit the Design Clinic page.

Empty Nesters Boost Home Value

Above image- Balanced natural light and passive ventilation come with decorating flair when skylights are added to a room. Operated by touchpad remote control, Energy Star-qualified solar powered fresh air skylights and blinds, along with installation costs, are eligible for a 30 percent federal tax credit. Get details at www.whyskylights.com.

Empty nesters, boost home value and your spirits with savvy, appealing improvements.

Whether they’re heading off to college or they’ve finally finished their education and are starting their careers in a distant city, the departure of kids from your nest makes for a bittersweet time. If you’ve committed much of your energy-and most of your home-to raising kids for a couple of decades, you may be at loose ends when they move out. Home improvement is just the ticket to make yourself feel better!

Updating your home after the kids move out is good for you on multiple levels. In addition to the emotional boost, improvements can enhance your home’s resale value if you’re planning to down-size down the road. Or, you can focus on home improvements that will facilitate aging in place, like improving the lighting and usability of key rooms, such as bathrooms and the kitchen.

Here are a handful of renovation ideas for baby boomers looking to reclaim their home spaces after the kids have left the nest:

Emphasize natural lighting and ventilation

Vision changes as you age, so the artificial lighting that worked for you when you were in your 30s or 40s may not be adequate when you enter your 50s and 60s. Lighting is an important upgrade if you plan to remain in your home into your Golden Years. Look for improvements that will help aging eyes see better, like increased natural lighting and task lighting in work areas.

Modern, energy efficient fresh air skylights are a cost-effective and beautiful way to improve a home’s natural lighting and passive ventilation. Especially effective for ventilation in kitchens and for ventilation and privacy in bathrooms, skylights like those made by Velux America can work in virtually any room – even those with no direct roof access. Have a ground-floor laundry room, closet, hallway or other area that could use more light? Sun Tunnel Tubular skylights can deliver natural light from the roof into all areas of the home and electric light kits are available for 24/7 functionality.

Energy Star-qualified, solar-powered fresh-air skylights can also improve a home’s energy efficiency and improve indoor air quality through passive ventilation. Solar-powered blinds, available in designer colors and patterns, further boost the efficiency and beauty of skylights. Plus, the skylight, blinds and installation costs are eligible for a 30 percent federal tax credit for energy-efficient home improvements. Visit www.whyskylights.com to learn more.

Create a “me space”

You already have a guest bedroom, so there’s no need to leave Junior’s old room set up as a bedroom. Turn it into a space that works for you, like a home office, exercise room, music studio, craft room, workshop or home theater.

As you’re planning the improvement, keep in mind your long-term plans. If you’ll be selling the home at some point, consider a room that will have broader appeal, like a home office. If you plan to age in place, remember to incorporate features that will facilitate your use of the room even if you experience mobility issues down the road. For example, you may want to take the opportunity to widen doorways, replace doorknobs with door handles, replace loose carpet or slippery tiles with slip-resistant flooring, and improve natural lighting and ventilation throughout the room.

Renovate (or create) a master bathroom

Bathrooms sell homes, and if you’ve had to share your bathroom with the kids or live with an outdated master bathroom – or none at all – now’s the time to renovate your bathroom. In addition to all the luxurious features you’ve been dreaming of, like a rainfall shower head and heated floor, keep in mind the practical improvements that will make the room safe and usable as you grow older.

Look for slip-resistant flooring, improve natural and task lighting and replace faucet knobs with easy-to-maneuver levers. Install grab bars around tubs and toilets, as well as in the shower. Bath product designers are now making grab bars that offer the look of design elements coupled with the security of sturdy support.

The departure of your children creates an opportunity to accomplish some home improvements you’ve been dreaming of for a while. As you’re reclaiming spaces once devoted to kids, look for improvements that can increase your home’s value and help you stay in your house as long as you wish.

For more information about universal design and how empty nesters boost home value , contact CiprianiRemodelingSolutions.com. One of our award-winning Certified Aging in Place Specialists would love to have a conversation with you about adding value and making lifestyle renovations.

Cipriani Remodeling Solutions Aging in Place Specialist

Aging eyes require more light for safety and for performing everyday tasks around the home. Energy Star-qualified solar powered fresh air skylights provide balanced natural light and passive ventilation to make the home brighter and more pleasant. Solar powered blinds are available for light control and increased energy efficiency. The skylights and blinds, as well as installation costs, are eligible for a 30 percent federal tax credit. Get details at www.whyskylights.com.

 

(BPT)

Affordable Big Impact Home Winterization Tips

Affordable Big Impact Home Winterization Tips

Although you may prefer to forget, last winter’s subfreezing temperatures may not be an isolated occurrence. Weather experts are already discussing if El Nino and arctic air from a polar vortex will cause colder than normal winter weather throughout the country. Is your home ready to withstand the chill?

Smart homeowners are taking time now to prepare their homes for the harsh weather. Winterizing not only helps maintain comfortable temperatures inside, but also helps lower your energy bill. Fortunately, some of the improvements that have the biggest impact are also easy to do and surprisingly affordable.

1. Seal gaps and cracks

The average midsize U.S. home has a half mile of gaps and cracks according to www.energystar.gov. Cold air infiltrates through those spaces causing your furnace to work overtime. An easy way to combat the problem is to use Great Stuff(TM) Gaps & Cracks to fill openings around electrical outlets, plumbing pipes, doors, dryer vents and more. Sealing your home takes just a few hours whether you do it yourself or work with a contractor. Visit dowgreatstuff.com/winterize to learn more.

2. Reverse fan blades

Your ceiling fans aren’t just valuable during summer – they can help reduce energy costs by circulating warm air that rises to the top of rooms. To ensure your fan is circulating the air correctly, you need to reverse the blades. Most modern ceiling fans have a handy switch that controls the blade direction. During the winter, set the blades to spin clockwise to help warm rooms and set to counterclockwise during summer for cooling breezes.

3. Eliminate drafty windows

Have you ever felt a draft as you walked by your window? Gaps around windows are a major source of heat loss. Seal out those drafts with Great Stuff(TM) Window & Door Insulating Foam Sealant. This specially formulated low-pressure sealant is easy to apply and insulates the window without bending the frame when properly applied. Another great tip is to open the curtains during the daylight hours on south-facing windows so the sun can help heat your home naturally. Close curtains when the sun sets to reduce the chill.

4. Install an adjustable thermostat

An adjustable thermostat is an effective tool for maintaining a comfortably warm home and cutting heating costs. If you have one but don’t have it set, now is the time to learn how. By adjusting the temperature down while you’re sleeping or away, you can save plenty of money. In fact, by turning your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees for 8 hours, you can save 5 to 15 percent a year on your heating bill, according to energy.gov.

5. Tune up your furnace

If meteorologists’ predictions are correct, your furnace will be working hard this winter. Make sure it is working effectively and efficiently by scheduling a tune-up now. A qualified technician will check the coils and clean and lubricate important mechanical parts. Some utility companies offer free checkups to customers, so be sure to ask about your options. In addition to a tune-up, remember to change your furnace filter once a month during the heating season to maintain proper air flow.

For more great home winterization tips, visit CiprianiRemodelingSolutions.com. One of our award-winning designers would love to have a conversation about conservation. (BPT) 

Editor’s note:
®™ Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or an affiliated company of Dow.

3 Simple Ways to Add Nostalgia During the Holidays

3 simple ways to add nostalgia during the holidays.

Fond memories of holidays past are one of the many gifts of the seasons, and it turns out a bit of nostalgia is good for you. It can make you feel less lonely, bored or anxious, and more generous, tolerant and happy, according to a New York Times report on nostalgia research.

You don’t need research to know that remembering good times makes you feel good. This holiday season, why not foster a sense of nostalgia? Here are three ways to bring some of the best things about bygone holidays back into modern holiday celebrations.

Decorating with a touch of yesteryear

It’s easy to evoke a sense of nostalgia with holiday decor. Retail and specialty stores carry a variety of decorations that evoke the look of past decades, from the roaring ’20s to the sparkly ’70s and beyond.

Choose light strands with larger bulbs to mimic the look your grandparents enjoyed in the 1950s, or candolier bubble lights for a ’60s or ’70s flare. Glass ornaments in intricate shapes also recall an older era, as do tabletop ceramic trees with mini lights.

A simple online search will yield many nostalgic decorating options, or you can often find vintage pieces at yard sales and flea markets. The important thing is to look for items that remind you of a favorite holiday memory.

Finding nostalgia in favorite holiday foods

Everyone has that time-honored family recipe that is the showpiece of holiday feasting. Certain foods and flavors, like peppermint candy canes, turkey with all the trimmings, pineapple-topped ham, and frosted sugar cookies are delicious musts for holiday celebrations. If it’s been a while since you made your family favorite, dust off the recipe this year. Or, you can try something that’s both new and nostalgic at the same time, like this recipe for Goji Ginger Popcorn Balls from Frontier Co-op:

Goji Ginger Popcorn Balls

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1/3 cup organic popcorn kernels

1/2 cup Frontier Organic Crystalized Ginger, diced into small pieces

1/2 cup Frontier Goji Berries

1/2 cup brown rice syrup

1/2 cup sunflower seed butter

Directions:

In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, heat coconut oil until melted. Add popcorn kernels and cover pot with lid. Heat popcorn, shaking the pot occasionally, for about 3-5 minutes, until popping slows and the majority of the kernels are popped. Remove from heat.

Pour popcorn into a large bowl, removing un-popped kernels. Add crystallized ginger and Goji berries. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine brown rice syrup and sunflower seed butter, stirring occasionally. Continue to heat mixture for about 3-4 minutes, until contents are well combined and easily pourable. Pour mixture over popcorn and, using a wooden spoon or your hands, coat popcorn. Lightly wet your hands and form popcorn into 18 3-inch balls. Serve as soon as possible.

If desired, substitute non-sweetened or sweetened sunflower seed butter for the unmodified sunflower seed butter, but expect a slightly different consistency and taste.

Reliving memories with music

What holiday party would be complete without festive music playing in the background? While you may love modern holiday tunes, vintage music is a great way to create nostalgia during the holidays. Whether you’re a fan of traditional carols or favor rock reinventions of traditional tunes, music is a great way to create nostalgia at the holidays.

Technology has made it easier than ever to find and enjoy music from every era. Why not put together a play list of holiday music that was popular during some of the happiest holiday seasons you remember? Can’t recall what was playing the year you finally got that skateboard you dreamed of? Check with your parents – your mom probably remembers! And even if she doesn’t, you’ll have a good time reminiscing together. (BPT)