Thursday, January 22, 2009

Fireplace Pleasures: Nesting in Style

"Nesting" gains popularity in a weakened economy.
People look to improve what they already have.

No, we’re not talking about chimney swifts. We’re talking about one of the biggest trends in American life at the moment: the return to a more domestic lifestyle after searching fruitlessly for entertainment and comfort outside the home.

Experts say that as the economy tightens, people naturally look to the home front as an alternative to going out. Rather than dine at expensive restaurants night after night, or enslave themselves to the bar scene, Americans are taking a greater interest in cooking, and meanwhile turning their living rooms back into the social gathering places they were decades ago. Rather than blow forty bucks at the local Cineplex, people now subscribe to Netflix and invite friends over for a movie, then follow that up with a round of Scrabble or one of the popular new board games currently reshaping our idea of home entertainment.

Not surprisingly, this sort of cultural shift has also been accompanied by an increased emphasis on making the home a place you and your family would want to hang out, night after night—and someplace suitable for entertaining. Papers like the Boston Globe and Newsday have already picked up on this trend, and recommend efforts to improve what you already have, which is music to the ears here at the Fireplace Decorating blogspot. We already had our stocking feet by the crackling fire, of course, but we’re delighted for the company.

How you fix up your nest, of course, is a matter of personal choice, not to mention practical concerns like budget and what needs the most fixing. That said, there probably aren’t many areas of the home better suited to a quick home makeover than the fireplace. A quick application of fireplace paint, after all, is not only easy and affordable, it also does more than just about any other home improvement project to make your nest the cozy place you’re after. Throw on some new fireplace doors and a new set of fireplace tools, and people will start inviting themselves over. Of course, those chimney swifts might show up, too, but that’s a discussion for another day. Until then, keep the home fires burning!

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