20 Season-Inspired Home Scents to Welcome the Holidays

Can you smell the fresh scent of pine cones? Well, that only means Christmas is getting ready to knock just outside your door! With the holiday season just around the corner, your home definitely needs some preppin’ to kick off the long wintery nights and bright, joyful days. And the term preparation doesn’t only end in putting up eye-catching decorations, but also adding some scents in various corners of your home. 

Filling your abode with the scents of the season will give the holiday vibe a boost you might not even know you needed. And just like the ornaments, choosing a home fragrance isn’t done by guess and by gosh; you need to pick the perfect aromatics that will bring to life the mood you’re aiming to set. To help you out, we’ve laid out 20 season-inspired home scents that are sure to amp up your holidays!


20 Home Scents Perfect for the Holiday Season


1. Vanilla-Scented Candles 

Perhaps one of the most widely-used home fragrances, scented candles are perfect for setting an ambiance for relaxation. In fact, holidays often call for some glowing candles to brighten up the season. Nights falling won’t feel as dark and cold when your abode is illuminated by warm and cozy candles. 

You can choose from a plethora of scent notes, but among the top picks are vanilla-based scented candles. The velvety and creamy aroma of vanilla blends well with the warmth of melting wax, making it a luxe addition to your home this holiday. But aside from the rich and smooth vibe it elicits, a research found that a whiff of vanilla can also stimulate happy emotions. Its ability to lessen irritability is just the ideal scent you would want to spread on such a joyous season.

A great addition to the soothing smell of vanilla would be fragrances of grapefruit, lemon, or anything citrusy. If picking a single aromatic is a step you’d rather skip, you can also make a layered candle where each section gives a holiday scent variant.

Tip: In general, you should put candles in places where you spend a long time, like the living room and kitchen, since they require a bit of maintenance.    

2. Orange Pomander Balls

Fruits studded with cloves have long been used to cover up odors. In fact, during the time of the Black Death in Europe, the strong scents of pomanders of ambergris were used in attempts to combat the “bad air”. 

Orange pomander balls are probably one of the easiest home scents to make that this simple craft can be enjoyable even for children. What you’ll need is an orange (or other round citrus fruits) and just cover it with cloves. The fragrance can last for several weeks but if cured properly, they can last for months or even years. 

3. Cinnamon-Scented Pinecones

Although pinecones are considered as harbingers of fall, they also mark the transition from autumn to winter! They are often used as Christmas ornaments and items for display because of their wide availability. Level-up your decorating game this holiday with pinecones pinched with a sweet and sensuous scent of cinnamon! During Christmas, you can find premade cinnamon-scented pinecones in almost every store.  But if you want to take advantage of cones abundantly falling on the grounds of parks, neighboring properties, or even your own backyard, then it’s time to bring in the knack for some arts and crafts activity!

There’s not even a slight hint of lie if we say scented pinecones are pretty easy to make. You can search the Internet for a step-by-step DIY instructions. But if you want the quick yet on the mark guide, here’s what you should do. First, thoroughly clean and dry the pinecones. Afterward, treat them with oil-based scents. In terms of this, cinnamon oil essentials are commonly preferred. You can also use ground cinnamon if you don’t have the resources. 

The dreamy blend of sweet and spice can make any space cozy, and the inviting scent lingers through the fall and winter seasons. Not only that, a whiff of cinnamon can also boost the brain functions, as backed by studies from Wheeling Jesuit University. 

4. Fragrant Wreaths 

Who says decorations are only meant to please the eyes? Fragrant Christmas wreaths beg to disagree. This holiday, you can craft a customized wreath that looks and smells nice! What’s even better is that they are easy to hang in windows and doors so you can welcome guests with the holiday fragrance as soon as they step inside. 

If classics are your cup of tea, you can go for boughs of fresh evergreen added with artificial berries. Or you can also bring the calming effect of lavender perfect in your bathroom and dresser. Truth is, the list goes on! People are now becoming extra creative with their embellishments and you might want to check out these suggestions for your scented wreaths as well. 

Aromatics to Jazz Up Your Christmas Wreaths

    • Seasonal Florals
    • Sage
    • Overflowing Rosemary
    • Fresh Eucalyptus
    • Dried Lemon

5. Apple-Scented Bird Ornaments

It’s already known fact that ornaments can bring beauty to every Christmas tree. But did you know that there are some decorations that can also enhance the fragrance of your home? For instance, the glittery gingerbread birds added with the aromas of apple or cinnamon doesn’t only jazz up the adorned tree but also appeals to the sense of smell.  

6. Fragrant Fire Starters

The holiday season is just around the corner and you’re probably expecting the chilly nights to come creeping inside your home. Setting up the fireplace doesn’t sound like a bad idea, does it? While you’re enjoying some good read or indulging in a hot sip in front of the fire, you might want to build up the ambiance and complement the room with aromatic fire starters. 

There are ready-made wax fire starters available for purchase but you can also choose to do-it-yourself! All you need is a wax (such as beeswax), cotton wicks, and your preferred scents. But if you want to take the quick and easy lane, you can simply wrap the fragrant essentials in the newspaper twined by a rope. 

What’s more important is the mood you wish to set. If you’re aiming for a feminine floral vibe, you can use bay leaves, flower buds, or cinnamon sticks. You can also opt for a citrus appeal filled with lemon slices, orange peels, and eucalyptus. 

7. Peppermint Room Sprays

Just a few spritzes of peppermint room sprays can already send echoes of wintery holidays. The cool and freshness that they bring is already a familiar scent of the season.  But apart from the energizing aromas of menthol, peppermint room sprays can also benefit your brain. One study found a positive correlation between smelling the hybrid mint and cognitive performance. And if you’re feeling a bit under the weather this cold season, these room sprays will also do wonders for your stuffy nasal. The scent of mint can trick your brain into thinking that it alleviates the clogged nose. 

You can use these room sprays to neutralize poor air quality in the bathrooms, kitchens, and closets. However, since they are easy fixes, the fragrance also dissipates quickly. 

8. Mulled Wine

Let the merry scents pour in every corner of your home with an easy-to-make mulled wine that never fails to spread the holiday cheer!. You can either boil the wine or use the slow Crock-Pot simmer method. Just don’t forget to add your favorite homey scent recipe to keep the joyful spirit burning. 

9. Holiday Incense

Derived from the Latin word “to burn”, incense is a material that releases fragrance when burned. Its origins can be traced in antiquity; back when Egyptians, Babylonians, and Greeks used it to perform religious rituals. Up until today, some cultures believe in the power of incense to cast away dark spirits, evils, and demons. 

Typically, incense has a plant-based aroma of barks, roots, seeds, and flowers. During the holidays, variants of incense can expand to fruity scents like cherry, strawberry, orange or even the vanilla sugar cookie smell of Christmas.  

10. Grapefruit Diffuser 

If you want the aroma to linger in your home, then diffusers are your best bet. Diffusers basically have a liquid fragrance that seeps up through sticks to dissipate a long-lasting scent. They have many variations when it comes to smell but if you want the sweet yet elegant notes to permeate through your space, grapefruit diffusers won’t disappoint. They can turn a dull area into a bright and airy place. With grapefruit diffusers, you can always count on sweet-smelling space round the clock.

Since diffusers are flameless, they are much safer than candles. Also available in the market are reed diffusers which do not require electricity. The ideal place for them would be near air conditioners or ventilating systems as they diffuse scented particles through moving air.

Did you know? The first versions of diffusers were discovered by Italians using uncooked pasta sticks and olive oil. This paved the way for the invention of modern-day diffusers. 

11. Sweetgrass Smudge Sticks

The act of smudging stems from sacred traditions and elemental roots. It is performed through burning herbs as these plants are believed to signify the ability of fire to transform the physical form into a smoke form or the spirit world form. Sweetgrass, also called holy grass, vanilla grass, bison grass or buffalo grass, is considered sacred and can cleanse spaces and objects. It has a vanilla-like aroma; although to some, the scent resembles more of a freshly mowed lawn. 

Sweetgrass smudge sticks are said to promote happiness and positivity, which are the energies that the Christmas season creates. This claim is not only based on cultural beliefs but scent researchers have also discovered that a newly-mowed lawn releases chemicals that promotes joyful and relaxed feelings. 

12. Pine-Scented Sachet

Keep your living space smelling like fresh-cut pine trees with scented Christmas sachets! The process of making them isn’t burdensome and neither will you have trouble looking for materials since you can use recyclable materials as wrappers or sachets. Simply collect bags of your preferred size, place the scent essentials inside and close the sachet by sewing. Another good thing is, these pine-scented sachets can go beyond the purpose of spreading aroma around the room because you can also give them as Christmas presents! Awesome, isn’t it? 

Tip: You can use the fallen needles from Christmas trees in enclosing the bags.  

13. Olive Liquid Candle 

Want to give your candle some drops of personal touch? Make customized scented candles using an ingredient that’s readily available in your kitchen – olive oil. You might already be well-aware of the benefits that this oil can bring to your health. Including this crown jewel of the Mediterranean diet in the dishes is good for the heart and reduces the risks of stroke. But aside from that, The New York Times reported that the benefits of olive oil lies in its aroma. Its scent showed positive effects on blood sugar response and heightening of a person’s satiety after eating. 

To make the liquid candle, prepare a jar, lantern wick,  and olive oil. Depending on the ambiance that you wish to create, you can also include other aromatics like cinnamon, vanilla, lavender, or oranges. These delicious-smelling candles are way cheaper than wax versions and can also be used as decorative pieces. 

14. Vintage Tin Candles

Wanna cut down on decor costs and light up some home-made candles? You might want to try making some DIY vintage tin candles. All you need to do is scrounge up some beeswax, old tin cans, and some wicks. Add in your desired scents and you have yourself a more eco-friendly alternative for an aromatic household.

15. Stovetop Lemon and Rosemary

You are left with no reason to not enhance the fragrance of your home when you can refer to simple methods like this one. Also called as potpourri, stovetop home scents can be made through a no-sweat process called concoction. Just mix sliced lemons with rosemary in a stovetop to give your home that fresh holiday kick! 

Apart from their pleasing aroma, these two main ingredients also carry health and cognitive benefits. Perhaps you already know the not-so-secret antiviral and antibacterial properties of lemons. These boost your body’s immune system and help maintain good circulation. Lemon also has calming effects that can instantly lift the mood whenever you are feeling mad or a bit ho-hum. Meanwhile, rosemary can alleviate both mental and physical exhaustion. 

16. Floral Potpourri

If you want a more feminine aroma around your house, a floral potpourri could be what you’re looking for. A potpourri is a collection of dried plant matter that are naturally fragrant. In this case, you can opt to buy ones that are made up predominantly of flower petals. This is a more sustainable alternative to keeping freshly-cut flowers around as the scent from a potpourri can last from two months to a year, depending on how you keep it. It’s basically like having a walk at a lush garden filled with blossoms of lovely lavender and roses. The difference is, you don’t have to take a step aside to experience this since you can create the same scent journey inside your living space. 

17. Scented Wood

If simple-looking air fresheners don’t quite hit the spot, then maybe slices of scented wood are a bit more up your alley. These rustic pieces of perfumed decor are especially fitting during the colder months. You can choose from a variety of popular scents such as pine or cedar to make your abode smell and look like a winter getaway cabin.

18. Dried Fruits and Spices Potpourri

This holiday, achieving a fresh get-up-and-go energy in your home isn’t far-fetched with dried fruits and spices sitting around in a bowl. Just like any other potpourri, all you have to do is slice and dehydrate the desired spices, whether it be lemon, cinnamon or cloves. Mix them in a container and you’re on your way to embracing a zesty holiday around the home!

19. Seasonal Essential Oils

If you want to embrace the season’s spirit without having to break much sweat, then essential oils 

will work well for you. Simply choose your favorites, open the bottle and diffuse the aromatic oils in your home! A sweet and spicy blend is never a bad choice for a merry holiday. Cinnamon, coriander, peppermint, pure spice, nutmeg and ginger all belong to this fragrance family. You can even sprinkle the scents in your home decors. Imagine having to sit beside a Christmas tree that smells like peppermint or having to read a book with a fireplace that breathes smokes of cinnamon scents. Wouldn’t it be a heavenly holiday straight from the bottle?

20. Cranberry Air-Fresheners

Ofcourse, who would forget the go-to home scent that needs no season to stay trendy? Air-fresheners are never a bad idea if you’re on the lookout for widely-available yet low maintenance fragrance! You’ll never run out of options as there are a plethora of scent flavors that you can choose from. But for this particular season, we must say the crown belongs to cranberry air-fresheners! Nothing beats the sweet holiday aroma of cranberry, just enough to complement the Christmas tree ornaments as you take a lazy afternoon chill in the living room couch. 

Tip: If DIY projects are your thing, you can also create your own air fresheners at home


Find the Perfect Scent for Every Room


Kitchen and Dining Area

Places where food preparations and serving happen only calls for fragrant notes of citrus. Instead of strong scents that might overpower the food aroma, go for fruit-based touches like orange, lemon, bergamot, and lime. Not only do they create a refreshing atmosphere, but they also cut through the savory smells brought by cooking. 


If there’s a place where you should put fragrances that promote a relaxing and calming feeling, that should definitely be your bedroom. After all, this is where you spend the time to sleep and rest after a long tiring day. You might want to foster a laid-back environment by incorporating the smell of lavender, jasmine, rose, chamomile, cypress or sandalwood to the room. These types of scents are proven to help with anxieties and relieve stress. The floral-based notes also amplify the romantic vibe and the woody fragrances give freshness to your bedroom.


Want some productivity boost in your office? Spicy-based fragrances do the trick! Research reveals that perky scents like peppermints, eucalyptus, or even citrus can make you more alert and focused. In fact, a study at Northumbria University showed that cognitive performance can be improved through exposure to lemon balm.

Other scents ideal for the office includes cardamon, spice, patchouli or vetiver notes. They all reduce anxiety and fatigue, all the while holding distractions at bay. 


The bathroom always needs some refreshing touches. Hints of fruit scents like apricot, peach, apple, and fig are your best bet in bringing the spa-like environment in your bathroom.  

Living Room 

If you want to make your living room a comfortable space where your guests or the whole family can spend a relaxing afternoon, you should opt for soft and sweet fragrances. The punch of floral and woody scents are perfect for unwinding moments. You might also want to try adding the creamy appeal of vanilla along with cedarwood or sandalwood. 

Tip: Use strong scents for bigger living rooms so to make the fragrant particles reach every corner of the room. 


You probably can’t deny, holidays won’t be complete without the scents of the season filling the corners of your home. Try out these home scents that are sure to create a cozy atmosphere, perfect in spreading the merry spirit of Christmas! But keeping your home fresh and sweet-smelling shouldn’t only be done during the holidays, your living space needs its regular home maintenance all year-round and part of that is making sure it’s always fragrant and odor-free. 

Want to customize your home design to make it cozy throughout all the seasons? Check out our services to learn more!

7 Advantages of Living in a Smart Home


You might have watched video tours of smart homes or read about them in magazines, but have you imagined living in a smart home yourself? 

The idea might seem like it’s out of your league at first, since smart lifestyle technology isn’t exactly cheap. However, the benefits can greatly outweigh the upfront costs in the long run! From savings to security to peace of mind, here are 7 advantages that’ll make you want to start the switch to a smarter home.


7 Benefits of Living in a Smart Home


1. Convenience

Imagine waking up and being able to start the coffee pot all the way from your cozy bedroom. Or programming a bathtub faucet to shut itself off right before the tub overflows. Then at the end of your day, it can be a real treat to relax in a pre-cooled living room thanks to smart technology. This level of convenience alone is one of the biggest reasons that people go for smart homes in the first place. 

2. Accessibility and Programmable Assistance

The functionality of a smart home is especially promising for families who have either young children or aging parents. You can program the cooling systems to achieve the right temperature for Mom and Pop, set the stove to turn off if a forgetful chef wanders off, or remotely lock doors to rooms which are off-limits to the kids. Some smart homes can even notify the hospital should someone take a fall! 

3. Flexibility

Concerned that the smart home you’re about to purchase now could become obsolete tomorrow? No worries! Smart homes are designed for seamless integration with more advanced appliances. This lets you make necessary upgrades or add new devices to expand your smart home’s range of functions.

4. Resource Efficiency

You might be surprised by how much energy, water, and time you can save with a smart home. Control heating and cooling systems with precision, program lights to dim at sundown, or have the shower turn on only when you’re already in the stall. When there are guests around, your oven can cook meals to perfection to prevent wastage, and your home entertainment systems can help you find all the right songs with ease. 

5. Upgraded Security

A smart home can give you fine-tuned control over motion detectors and surveillance cameras throughout the property. You can quietly keep an eye on guests who enter and leave the house, or get instant alerts on suspicious activity to protect your loved ones. It’s even possible for you to lock doors and arm your smart home’s security systems in critical situations. And again, you can do this whether you’re inside the house or on the other side of the world!

DID YOU KNOW? In an incident in New Mexico, a smart home speaker dialed 911 after detecting certain statements during a domestic dispute. The obedient speaker may have prevented a woman and her child from being shot to death.

6. Smart Household Management

Did you know that your smart home can give you an interesting picture of how your family goes about a normal day? Get a peek at your family’s TV viewing habits, the kinds of meals you prepare the most, and the amount of electricity and water you use up on a daily basis. You can then adjust your lifestyle according to this data for a lifestyle that’s both comfortable and eco-conscious.

7. Peace of Mind

You’re probably all too familiar with the stress of doors left unlocked, appliances and faucets left running, meals that wound up overcooked, or children who keep popping in and out of your line of sight. It’s also easy to get a headache from unexplainably high utility bills. But you won’t have to worry about any of that with a smart home! You can breathe a sigh of relief with all the control you need at your fingertips.


ALSO READ: 17 Tips to Make Your Home Energy-Efficient


Wouldn’t you want your family to enjoy these 7 advantages? It’s a good thing that it’s never too late to transition into a smarter home. You can simply invest in smart home appliances one by one, matching your new purchases with eco-friendly lifestyle changes along the way!

Visit our blog regularly for more articles about stylish interiors and smart, sustainable living

Air Fresheners You Can Make at Home

Wouldn’t it be lovely to come home at the end of a long day and breathe in a light, calming fragrance? An air freshener can give your house a comforting scent in an instant. You can easily pick up a commercial freshener at a nearby store, but a homemade recipe grants the additional security of having all natural and non-toxic ingredients. Several DIY air fresheners are easy on the wallet, too! If you’re thinking of making your own air freshener at home, here are 10 recipes for you to try out.

10 All-Natural DIY Air Fresheners

1. Scented Wood Blocks

They’re easy to make, they’re reusable, and they’re an ornament on their own if you arrange them in a glass bowl. What more can you ask for?


  1. Coat several small wood blocks in the scented oil or perfume of your choice. You may do this with paint brushes, a spray bottle, or a closed container where you can shake the blocks in more oil.
  2. Leave the blocks overnight to absorb everything, and then set them out.
  3. Simply repeat the above steps if the fragrance begins to fade.

2. Baking Soda Air Freshener

Here’s one quick solution to those unpleasant smells in your bathroom. The baking soda in this DIY air freshener absorbs any odd scents while the essential oil gives off a constant light fragrance. Simply shake the mixture if you need the scent to be a bit stronger.


  1. Combine ½ cup baking soda and 15-20 drops of your favorite essential oil.
  2. Pour the mixture into a glass jar and cover it with a piece of cloth or paper.
  3. You can embellish the jar with a ribbon matching your bathroom decor.

3. Floral Potpourri

The sight of a glass jar filled with dried petals might seem outdated. However, there’s a reason potpourri remains a common sight in offices and homes: it’s actually effective at making ambient air smell fresh. You can also put together your own jar of potpourri easily.


  1. Fill a container with dried flower petals. Put a few drops of essential oil.
  2. Close the container and let the petals sit in the oil for a few weeks. This allows the petals to soak up the oil.
  3. Transfer the petals to a bowl or jar and arrange them. You may further customize your potpourri with extra oils or scented ingredients.

4. Lemon-Rosemary Simmering Potpourri

It’s one thing to have a house filled with the savory smell of dinner, but it’s something else to have that smell last until the next morning. Get rid of overstaying cooking odors with some stovetop potpourri. This DIY air freshener gives off a scent that reaches from the kitchen to the corners of your home!


  1. Fill a small stock pot with water until it is about ⅔ full.
  2. Add a sliced lemon, some sprigs of rosemary, and ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract.
  3. Allow the mixture to simmer throughout the day.
  4. Change the mixture every 2 days if you want to maintain the scent for longer.

5. Orange Candles

A scented candle can set you back around $20. Meanwhile, a pound of oranges generally costs less than $2. With some careful carving, you can turn a few extra oranges into bright, round candles of your own!


  1. Cut an orange in half.
  2. Run a knife around the edges of the orange to loosen the fruit, and then scrape the fruit out with a fork. Take care to leave the inside stem intact–this white piece in the middle of the orange will be your wick.
  3. Fill the orange with oil until it’s ¾ full (any kind of oil will do). Leave it to sit for about 45 minutes so that the stem can absorb the oil.
  4. Try lighting the candle. Hold a flame to the stem for 2-3 minutes until the stem turns brown or black. You’ll need a candle lighter for this, as a match or a cigarette lighter flickers out too quickly. Once the wick has turned black, let it rest for a moment.
  5. Relight the stem. This may also take a few seconds, and there might be some crackling sounds before the candle begins to burn steadily.

6. Cinnamon Stick Candles

Ever wanted to fill the whole house with the warm, spicy smell of cinnamon? You’ll adore these cinnamon stick candles, which are as beautiful as they are easy to make. Try handing them out as gifts to friends and family.


  1. Take a pillar candle at least 3 inches in diameter. Measure its height and cut around 20 sticks of cinnamon to size.
  2. Use a hot glue gun to attach the sticks vertically to the side of the candle. Make sure that the sticks lie snugly beside each other.
  3. Tie some twine or ribbon around the candle. Not only does it complete the candle’s look, but this will keep the cinnamon sticks in place even as the candle and the hot glue melt away.

7. Long-Lasting Gel Air Freshener

You might not be all right with the thought of having an open flame in the house, especially if there are children or pets around. A DIY gel air freshener is a great alternative to scented candles. One 8-oz jar of this freshener can last you up to a month!


  1. In a heatproof jar, combine around 30 drops of fragrance and a few drops of food coloring.
  2. Boil 1 cup of water and mix in 4 packages of unflavored gelatin. Keep stirring to prevent the gelatin from clumping up.
  3. Add a cup of cold water and a tablespoon of salt. Continue stirring.
  4. Pour the gelatin into the jars and mix it with the fragrance and food coloring.
  5. Let the freshener set overnight.
  6. Decorate the jars as you wish! If the jar has a lid, punch a few holes in it before screwing it on. This will help the freshener last longer.

8. Reed Diffusers

Another flame-free DIY air freshener, reed diffusers make for a quick, simple project and an eye-catching decoration. Plus, you can also use them over and over as long as you have scented oil in stock.


  1. Fill a small vase or jar with essential oil, and then fill it to the brim with baby oil.
  2. Place bamboo skewers or rattan reeds in the vase. You can decorate the sticks beforehand with washi tape, tiny flags, or paper flowers.
  3. Tie a ribbon around the vase as a final detail.

9. Lemon and Basil-Scented Spray

Worried that commercial air freshening sprays might contain harmful chemicals? You can easily whip up your own non-toxic alternative!


  1. Pour ½ cup of water into a water and bring it to a boil.
  2. Add 4 tablespoons of dried basil and allow it to steep for a few minutes.
  3. Line a funnel with coffee filter paper and place it in the opening of a clean spray bottle. Pour the basil mixture into the funnel.
  4. Remove the filter and then add ¾ cup of boiling water, 1 tablespoon of vodka, and 5 drops of lemon essential oil to the mixture.
  5. Cap and shake the spray bottle.

10. Orange-Clove Pomander Balls

The fragrant orange-clove pomander ball has been making homes and closets fragrant since medieval times. Hang them up to spread their spiced scent or drive pests away from pantries and other storage spaces. These DIY air fresheners are also a wonderful craft project for kids!


  1. Poke the pointed ends of whole cloves into the rind of a fresh orange. You can arrange the cloves to form designs and patterns on the pomander.
  2. If you want to hang the pomander, simply thread some ribbon underneath the skin and tie the ribbon in a loop.
  3. For a richer aroma, you can roll the pomander balls around in other spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom.

Say goodbye to stale and unpleasant odors! Bring luxurious scents into your home with these 10 DIY air fresheners, and you’ll feel relaxed from the moment you walk through the front door.

For an even more comfortable atmosphere, try keeping a few pots of low-maintenance plants around the house as well.

Did you find this article interesting? Visit our blog regularly for more tips on home improvement and interior design.

Problems Painting Kitchen Walls

In this video, Erica Lugbill, the owner of Lugbill Designs, a high-end residential remodeling and interior design firm in Chicago, discusses some of the problems commonly faced when painting kitchen walls.

As kitchen walls are a prime spot for grease and grime to build up on, “you want to make sure that this surface is washable.” says Erica. Flat paints (enamel or ceramic-based) are a good solution. These types of paints are easy to clean, using a simple rag and dish soap.

Problems Painting Kitchen Walls — powered by ehow

In need of an expert advice for your interior design needs? Follow our blog to get more interior design tips and advice.

Things You Should Have in Your Interior Design Portfolio

In this post, Erica Lugbill, the owner of Lugbill Designs, a high-end residential remodeling and interior design firm in Chicago, shares some pointers on what to include in your interior design portfolio.

Showing her own portfolio as a young designer, Erica says that the resume should be on the first part of the portfolio. It has to be concise to provide an overview of your skills in writing. Be sure to put a compilation of technical skills such as CAD drawings and electrical drawings, as well. She noted that it is important to keep everything very sleek, crisp, sharp and clean to make it look professional. In a visual field like design, having pictures is highly, highly recommended.

She also advised to have a properly categorized portfolio, not forgetting to include correct categories displayed. Moreover, she also states that putting a miscellaneous category allows you to present more of your skills and talents. This category can really go to reflect your versatility as a designer.


Looking for some tips and guidance for interior design? Follow our blog to get the latest ideas and advice coming from the experts. 

[PART 2] Guide To Getting Permits In Chicago: Residential Remodeling

Guide To Getting Permits In Chicago

In the previous article, we covered the types of projects that require securing a building permit in Chicago. In general, things that do not involve electrical, plumbing or excavation work, are often waived from the permit requirement. That said, it is important to check the requirements, per your unique situation.

If you decide that you need a permit for your next home improvement project, this article from Lugbill Designs, a Chicago-based high-end residential remodeling and interior design firm, will help you identify the permit application process you have to apply for.

1. Easy Permit Process

As a rule of thumb, a home improvement project that does not need an architectural plan will fall under the Easy Permit Process. This is a streamlined process of securing building permit for small and simple improvement projects. It allows replacement or repair of some or existing features of the building.

You can use the Easy Permit Process for the following project types:

A. Interior Projects :

  • Replacement of drywall that measures more than 1,000 sq. ft.
  • Furnaces
  • Replacement of existing plumbing fixture
  • Electrical work from a licensed electrician
  • Replacement of cabinets and countertops
  • Scaffolding

B. For Projects Outside the Building:

  • Replacements of doors and windows in same location within buildings with 4 or more dwelling units
  • Non-masonry fences with a height of greater than 5 ft. or above
  • Sheds that have electrical permit and greater than 70 sq. ft.
  • Detached garages
  • Wood trash enclosures
  • Porches
  • Masonry work from mason contractors
  • Tuckpointing from mason contractors (may require a pollution prevention permit for masonry cleaning and grinding)
  • Roofs (For additional layer, hire a general contractor to perform the work. For total tear-off, employ an Illinois-licensed roofing contractor)
  • Fire damage to buildings with 24% damage or less
  • Repairs for lintel with a maximum opening of 6’-0” (may require mason contractor)

2. Standard Plan Review

This is for renovation projects that require drawings and plans. A standard plan review is needed when there is new construction, additions, alterations, rehabilitation, and repairs for all building types, with the exception for residential hi-rise and commercial buildings that are 80 ft high. It requires architects to prepare drawings and documents for the review process

Note: *Remember that all building permit applications require a Zoning approval.


All Standard Plan Review applications are submitted through the city’s Electronic Plan review system, E-Plan. To ensure compliance, each project is assigned a Project Manager, who serves as the applicant’s point-of-contact throughout the permit process.

For the steps in the Standard Plan Review, see the Standard Plan Review Flowchart.

These are the general projects that requires a Standard Plan Review:

  • Buildings that not exceed 80 feet high
  • 150,000 sq. ft. (maximum) business and mercantile projects
  • Residential projects with a maximum of 40 dwelling units
  • Foundations and excavations of up to 12 feet deep only
  • Removal of non-load bearing walls
  • Includes the Small Project Program and Self-Certification Permit Program
  • Green elements are required to use Green Permit Program
  • Green roof, wind turbines, solar panels, rainwater harvesting, geothermal heating and cooling are not allowed.

3. Developer Services

Moderate to complex construction projects require special needs, and Developer Services is designed to meet them. To manage the application process, a Project Administrator is assigned to serve as a single point of contact. The process also requires the plan to be reviewed by a third party plan review firm, the cost of which is additional to the building permit fee.


E-Permits is a faster means of processing applications. Use this portal to process any of the following.

  1. E-Permitting
  2. Online Intake
  3. Appointment Scheduling
  4. Creating a Permit Application

It requires an individual to establish login information, in order to access these files. It can be used by the homeowner, licensed contractors (i.e. architects, structural engineers, expeditors, electric companies, electricians, plumbing journeyman, etc.

Next up is filling out the necessary paperwork needed to obtain the needed permits for your Chicago remodeling project. This will be the topic of our final article in this 3-part series.

[PART 1] Guide To Getting Permits In Chicago: Residential Remodeling

Guide To Getting Permits In Chicago: Residential Remodeling

Are you planning to remodel or renovate your home? If so, you may have to secure a permit.

To get you around all the ins and outs of getting the necessary permit, Lugbill Designs, a high-end residential remodeling and interior design firm in Chicago, prepared this article to guide you on the different types of permits, the how to’s and the requirements before starting a residential remodeling project.

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Bigger and Better this 2016!

Mountain Climbing

Well this is awkward.. sorry it’s been awhile since I’ve posted. I feel like I have been in survival mode for 5 straight years. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined all of the work it would take to run a business before I started my Chicago Interior Design business.
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In Need of a Free Bathroom Remodel???

Is it time for an upgrade to the room where you do your most important business? Are you fantasizing about a bathroom with all the bells and whistles? Do chandeliers and heated seats sound like the perfect fit for your personal sanctuary?  If you have big ideas and a love of the luxurious or outlandish, you may be a fit for a bathroom remodel paid for by a major cable network.

West Loop bathroom remodel completed by Lugbill Designs.

West Loop bathroom remodel completed by Lugbill Designs.

To apply, please email the following information to

* Name * City & State * A short description of your
bathroom renovation vision * Approximate budget* * 3 -5
photos of your current bathroom * Recent photo of homeowners

*Please note that Lugbill Designs is not affiliated with the above request.  We simply received it, and thought some of our readers may want to apply.  After all, who wouldn’t want a free, professionally designed/remodeled bathroom!  Best of luck 🙂


@ 2019 Lugbill Designs   Downtown 211 W Wacker Dr, Suite 300, Chicago, IL 60606   North Side 7005 North Glenwood Avenue, Chicago, IL 60626-2812    (773) 572-9049