Summer Backyard Home Improvements

Home improvements are always fun tasks. Even though they take some of your time and money, you always know that you’re putting these resources to good use. The particularly fun activities are the ones that include improving your backyard. If you already like spending time in your backyard, but you want to make it even more enjoyable, there are a lot of things that you can do to achieve that. Namely, there is a long list of summer backyard improvements that will make your backyard look and feel much better.

Add a patio

A patio or a deck is always a good idea, especially if you plan on spending a lot of time in your backyard. Besides bringing the special appeal to your home, the patio also helps you extend the living area. If you live in s small house that usually feels cramped, the patio is the thing you need. The patio also makes a great space for the outdoor furniture and it makes your home seem larger.

With a brand new patio, you’ll create a space for endless entertainment during the whole summer. You’ll have a space for family get-togethers and both kids and adults will adore it. Finally, the best thing about a patio is that it requires zero maintenance. Besides occasional sweeping, you won’t have a lot to do when it comes to maintaining your patio.

Build an outdoor kitchen

Outdoor kitchens have been very popular over the recent years. They are the real game-changers and they make your backyard more enjoyable and luxurious. Even though an outdoor kitchen is a huge investment, it does pay off. If you like spending time outside with your friends and family, an outdoor kitchen will do a lot to make these gatherings even more interesting.

When building an outdoor kitchen, you should pay special attention to space. Since the kitchen will take up a lot of space, you should think well where and how you would build it. You should also consider the architectural style of your home. If you want the kitchen to fit in, you should build it in such a way that it looks well with the rest of the exterior.

Work on the lighting

One of the things that can transform any space in no time is the lighting. Lighting, besides being a rapid way to bring a change, is also an inexpensive way to do so. Since hot summer nights suggest that you are going to spend more and more time outside, you’ll want to have the backyard properly illuminated. With some decorative outdoor lighting, you can make a serious change.

You don’t have to host gatherings during the day only. If you choose to do it by night too, you’ll be amazed once you see what difference in the atmosphere the lighting can make. Having experts help you with the lighting is an even better idea. For instance, professional electrical services are irreplaceable when it comes to switching to LED lighting. Once you step up your lighting game, you’ll add a new touch of style to your backyard.

Install a pool

The pool is by far one of the best things you can invest in. Besides being a ton of fun, the pool is also a sign of class and style. Even though the pool requires high maintenance, it still is a great investment. If you can’t bear the hot summer days, a brand new pool might be very helpful.

The heat in the summer can become unbearable and having a chance to escape from it is priceless. That is why the pool is such an amazing investment. Having a pool means having an opportunity to relax, exercise, or just have fun. Besides all that, the pool increases the value of your home.

Hang a hammock

If you’re looking for a simpler and quicker change in your backyard, you can just hang a hammock. It’ll cost nothing and you’ll get a perfect spot for relaxing, reading a book, or napping in your backyard.

All you need for this to happen are a couple of trees. However, even you don’t have those, you shouldn’t despair. You can purchase a tree with a base, that will be the perfect setup for the hammock.

Plant trees

Finally, the easiest way to improve your backyard is to plant some trees. Trees and shrubs will make your backyard seem more natural, graceful, and harmonious.

To avoid overwhelming the yard, you should be careful about the amount of the trees and shrubbery you’re about to plant. You can choose your favourite trees and strategically place them all over the yard. Even though that’ll be a simple change, it’ll still be very important and it’ll shed new light on your backyard.

Conclusion

Making small improvements around the house helps you bring value to your home and make your home a more enjoyable space for you and your family. With these changes, you’ll treat your backyard as well and make the best possible space for the summer.

Design Tips To Impress Your Guests

One of the main reasons for decorating and redesigning your home is to impress your guests and visitors. It doesn’t only make you feel good and increase your standing if you impress your guests with your home designs, but it might also lead you to move up in your work and get into higher social circles. This article will guide you through some tips you can use to level up your designing game and learn how to effectively impress your guests.

#1 Tip: Add Some Interesting Lights

Interior designers study for months to learn how to get the lighting in rooms right – this is because getting the right amount of lighting, from the right angles, and with the right intensity can make your rooms look really amazing and well designed. If you personally don’t feel comfortable installing lights in your rooms and want expert advice, hiring an interior designer is definitely worth the money.

On the other hand, if you want to do it yourself, you need to keep some things in mind:

  • Make sure all the corners of your rooms are well-lit: you don’t want any corner of your room to be badly lit – this will create an imbalance and make your room come across badly. Hanging large lights in the middle of the room is a decent solution to this problem, and if you can find a design that fits your room, it isn’t a bad idea to go with it.
  • The shape and design of the lights matter a lot: while the intensity and the colour of lighting will reflect off your entire room and determine your design, the colour and the design of the lamps themselves are also important. Most of our rooms include anywhere from 2 to 10 lamps, and you need to ensure they look modern and attractive.

#2 Tip: Bring Your Design to Life with Home Plants

Home plants are all the rage these days – they are an excellent way of breaking the monotony of modernity and urbanism with a bit of nature. They will not only make your rooms look good and impress your visitors, but it will also ensure your rooms look fresh and be healthier. Putting plants in your home is a win-win decision.

You just need to ensure the plants don’t damage the foundation of your house or clutter the rooms too much. There are many creative ways of blending in the plants into the design of your house that makes it look even more spacious instead of making it look cluttered. You can even install an aquarium with plants and high-quality heaters for your aquarium if you want to have really special plants in your rooms.

#3 Tip: Art Pieces are Vital

Art pieces are a mainstay of most modern designs, and if you want your home to look really stylish, you can’t do without them. That’s why it is strongly recommended to add a few pieces of art to your living room that add some sentiment to modern designs and express something about your personality as well. You don’t really have to go all out and spend thousands of dollars on original art pieces (most people can’t tell the difference). You just need to have a few pieces of art that look original and well made. That’s a great way to impress your visitors.

6 Tips For Incorporating Pops Of Color Into Your Home

Neutral and monochromatic color schemes are all the rage in interior design, but that doesn’t mean that bright colors are off the table. In fact, a few subtle pops of color can instantly transform a simple modern space into something bold and evocative.

If you want to make the biggest splash with your colorful accents, it’s best–albeit not a requirement–to start with a neutral color scheme. White and neutral-hued walls not only create the illusion of space, but they also provide a clean canvas that complements colorful accessories and flourishes. This simple but profound concept has been a staple of mid-century modern design for generations, and it still holds up today.

  1. Accessorize With Bright Colors

Pastel colors like bright greens, yellows, and pinks can make an instant and lasting impression. The trick is to use them sparingly so they don’t overwhelm your space. Consider household items like lamps, coffee tables, or furniture essentials. These accessories are simple to incorporate into your home, but they have the power to turn a dull space into something bright, modern, and sophisticated.

Brightly colored artwork also works well and can even add a sense of class to your home. In fact, artwork has the power to modernize even a classic or Victorian estate. Choose pieces with bright color palettes that complement the design theme of the home.

  1. Strive for Symmetry

While we’re on the topic of accessorizing, it’s worth emphasizing that your colors–though intended to make a strong impression–should be arranged with symmetry in mind. Though mid-century modern homes tend to mix and match bright colors to great effect, this type of arrangement can be risky without an expert touch.

If you just want your colors to pop, choose a basic color scheme like yellow furniture against a white wall or turquoise decorative pillows complemented by blue- and green-hued artwork. You can always get a second opinion if you’re not sure whether your color scheme is working.

  1. Take Your Lighting from Monochrome to Color

Don’t overlook your lighting when considering ways to add color to your home. A simple colored lampshade, base, or cord can add an instant pop of color to any space, and best of all, it can be turned on and off as needed. You have total control over the effect.

When choosing colors for your lighting, consider the environment. As noted by Psychology Today, warm colors like reds and oranges can make the space seem warmer than it actually is, while cool colors like greens and blues can create the illusion of cooler temperatures. The optimal colors will largely depend on your own climate.

  1. Get Creative with Paints

A new coat of paint may not seem like the optimal way to promote a pop of color, but the secret is to use your paints sparingly. For example, rather than painting your entire kitchen, you might just add a splash of blue to your cabinets. When you have brightly colored cabinets against a neutral wall, your kitchen stands out without sacrificing its modern charm. Look for places around your home where you can paint in sections without overwhelming the entire room.

  1. Let Your Tiles Do the Talking

While we’re talking about isolated patches of color, we should also take some time to mention your flooring and also opportunities for backsplash color. Floors and walls are most often simple and neutral, but they beg to be spruced up. One of the simplest ways to do this for your floors is with a brightly colored area rug. Rather than going for a traditional Persian rug with its dark shades and intricate patterns, look for pastel colors that can brighten up a room. Whereas, on your walls, you can always add artwork, but for kitchens, bathrooms and even fireplaces and pools, you might consider colorful tile accents as a wonderful way to incorporate new colors, patterns, and designs.

  1. Colorize Your Exterior Space

Finally, we’d be remiss if we didn’t discuss the value of adding color to your outdoor patio or yard. The exterior space is often neglected when it comes to color arrangement, but it’s remarkably simple to brighten up your outdoor oasis and make it more modern and inviting. It may be as easy as replacing your patio seat colors with neon solid colors or even adding a new garden or potted plants to your space. As with the interior, it’s all about accessorizing with the right hues. Swap out those fading floral designs for something that instantly catches the eye.

Author Bio: Katie Tejada is a writer, editor, and former HR professional. She enjoys writing about events, travel, decorating trends, and innovations for the home, but also covers developments in HR, business communication, recruiting, real estate, and finance.

How to Transform Your Outdoor Space for Entertaining

Image Source: Unsplash

Make the most of the great outdoors and turn your outdoor space into a retreat. Create the ultimate space for relaxing, entertaining and occupying the kids with these great ideas.

Make a fire pit

What’s not to love about roasting marshmallows by the fire? Enjoy this ultimate family-bonding activity by spending nights by the fire. You’ll be able to enjoy the fire and keep warm – even during the wintertime.

Spruce up your space with a fire pit centrepiece. Buy one ready-made or make your own in a few hours with pavers and concrete. Build a bench around the fire pit piled with cushions for that campfire feel or surround the fire with outdoor deck chairs.

Create a play area

Keep the kids entertained for hours on end with a dedicated play area. A swing set, slide and trampoline are popular ideas to turn your garden into a kid’s paradise. On the creative side, you could set up an outdoor crafts area. Or bring the beach to you in Summer by creating a sandpit alongside a kids paddle pool. Continue the beach feel with a hammock strung between two palm trees.

Plant a vegetable garden

Growing your own edible garden is incredibly rewarding. It’s also a great hobby for the kids and a great way to teach them about sustainability.

Rhubarb, rosemary and tomatoes are amongst the easiest plants to grow. They are great options to start with if you’re not already a gardening guru.

Consider a net to keep the birds from eating your hard-earned produce.

Image Source: Unsplash

Install a pool or a spa pool

Take the plunge and add a swimming pool to your house. Not only will it add value to your home, but the number of summer memories will be priceless.

If space is a problem or you’d prefer a place to relax, consider a spa pool. This is a cheaper option compared to the pool, and you could use it year-round, even when it’s sub-zero outside.

Provide comfortable seating

Create a comfortable outdoor area you actually want to spend time in. There are endless options for comfortable seating, including sofas, loungers and dining sets.

If you love to entertain but are pushed for space, consider a colourful set of stacking chairs. This lets you add a pop of colour to your backyard but still have the freedom to store them away easily when needed.

Set up an outdoor kitchen

The outdoor kitchen is an up-and-coming trend perfect for entertainers and socialites.

Clear a patio area for a BBQ and ample bench space for preparation. Set up an outdoor fridge for a mini-bar and even consider a wood-fired pizza oven. Don’t miss out on enjoying the outdoors when you’re cooking. Instead, be in the centre of the action in your outdoor kitchen.

Image Source: Pxhere

 Fix large doors

Great indoor-outdoor flow is a must-have for many homeowners. Treat your garden area as an extension of your living area.

The easiest way to create this indoor-outdoor flow is through large doors. Choose from the many options including folding, bi-folding, French, retractable and sliding doors. To completely open up your home to the great outdoors, consider fitting sliding doors on two perpendicular walls.

Put up outdoor lighting

String lights will transform your outdoor space into an enchanted garden. Drive out the darkness with this elegant touch. Hang them near your outdoor dining area for late-night dinner parties or near your lounging area where you can curl up with a blanket and a good book.

Refreshing and updating your outdoor space can be tailored to suit all budgets. It can be as simple and effortless as adding string lights to the patio area or as extravagant as building a poolside slice of paradise. It’s up to you to choose what works best for your home.

Author bio:

Alex Cordier is a freelance writer from Auckland, New Zealand. When she’s not busy writing articles for various blogs, you can find her traveling or reading on the beach. To learn more about her, visit her personal blog.

Interior Design Tips: How to Make Your Home Welcoming and Cozy

Regardless of whether you are trying to make your guests feel welcome, or you wish to create space where you can curl up after a busy day, interior design is the key. Find out what you need to change and where you need to look for comfort and coziness.

First things first – start with the entrance

With an inviting entrance, you will set the mood for those coming to your home. An entryway clear of clutter and debris is a good start. Colorful door with a stylish knob, a handle, and a knocker will make a good start. Some of the most widespread colors, apart from natural wood color, are blue, green, and red. Floral wreath, flower planters, seasonal garden décor, or fun welcoming signs are a nice addition.

Meet expectations for your hallway

A nice entrance will raise the bar and set high expectations for the hallway. Even though it is often overlooked, the hallway deserves some of your attention. Carefully select the furniture, minding the size of the room. Narrow tall furniture is the best choice for smaller spaces. Perhaps shoe cabinets have some advantage over shoe racks as they look tidier. If you have a staircase in the hallway, utilize the space underneath it. Add a comfortable sitting area, an armchair or a bench. Accentuate one of the walls with a mural, colorful wallpaper, or selection of your family photos and paintings.

Select the right materials

Once you are in the house, your first impression is created by the materials, namely what walls and floors are made of. Wood is your best choice for creating a warm atmosphere. It is also favored by the current trends. Speaking of trends and warmth, all-natural materials are an excellent choice. Try using leather, fur, wool, and cotton. Choose soft fabrics for the upholstery and fluffy throws to make straight lines smooth.

Pay attention to the layout

The furniture in your home should be arranged in such manner to allow enough space for maneuvering. If your home is small, leave only essential pieces and create minimalistic space, rather than using every inch of it. Focus on curves and soft edges. If you prefer modern furniture with strict lines, use rugs, throws, cushions, and mats to soften them. While there should be traffic space, you still need to keep your furniture close enough to encourage conversation and the sense of togetherness.

Set up the lighting

Each time of the day requires specific lighting. Stay energized throughout the day by allowing as much natural light as possible. In addition to your windows, you can add light tubes, roof windows, and skylights. Use window treatments to change the color of the light coming in and make it look warm even on a gloomy day. Light orange curtains can create this effect for you. Nightfall calls for mood lights. Several lamps, candles, or a fire space can do wonders.

Don’t paint it black

Without a doubt, warm color pallets are the right choice for a snug home. This does not mean that you should paint your entire home yellow and orange. In fact, professionals from ASAP Sydney Painters will tell you to choose warm neutrals such as beige, light peach, light brown etc. You can use different hues of the neutral color of your choice throughout the entire house. Make it more exciting with accent colors used on certain architectural, as well as decorative pieces.

Little things that matter

Paying attention to detail will make all the difference. First of all, make sure you keep your home tidy and clutter-free. Indoor plants filter the air and evoke serenity. Add greenery and floral patterns to your home. Be careful with florals as they can get too much and be tacky. Perhaps, adding dried flowers and some pine cones can do the trick. Personalize space and use quirky accents and centerpieces. We will again emphasize the importance of using cushions, throws, and blankets on coziness.

Make sure that if you use these tips, you also incorporate yourself into them. Don’t follow design trends blindly but ask yourself how you feel about them. Essentially, you and the members of your family, are the ones creating the atmosphere in your home. No interior designer can change the effect you have on your home.

Trick Or Treaters Safety On Halloween Night

Tripping

Some giddy ghosts and ghouls will race excitedly to your door. Be prepared.

In the full light of day, inspect your lawn, driveway and front path for trip hazards like exposed tree roots, cracks in concrete or missing pavers. Make repairs where possible or, at the very least, cut off access to unsafe areas.

Meanwhile, if you’ve decorated the front yard with decorations like light-up pumpkins and animated figures, relocate the electrical cords so they’re not in anyone’s way.

Lighting

Make sure the path to your house is bright enough for trick-or-treaters to approach safely.

You don’t need to install a full suite of year-round landscape lighting simply to accommodate visitors on Halloween night. There are plenty of temporary and affordable options for illumination, from glow sticks to tea lights.

And although it may seem more in keeping with the mood of this spooky night to switch off your porch light, it’s much safer — not to mention more inviting — to keep it on.

Flammable Decorations

Whether vandals or accidents are to blame, there are many more fires on Halloween than a typical October night, according to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Holiday decorations are often quite flammable, involving materials such as paper, hay and dried cornstalks.

If you can’t resist adorning your home and yard with such potentially dangerous items, then be sure to keep them away from candles and other heat sources. If jack-o’-lanterns or luminaries figure into your celebrations, illuminate them using LED tea lights, not open flames.

Put Doggie Up

Chances are yours is a friendly dog. But if some Halloween costumes are so convincing as to be frightening to small children, those same getups could be equally disturbing to your pooch — particularly on such a high-energy night.

It’s good sense to contain your dog in an indoor space that’s both comfortable and secure.

A festive parade of goblins and ghouls, princesses and superheroes will soon be marching to your house. Do your part by clearing the path and lighting the way. Be safe out there, and have a Happy Halloween!

7 Fast and Easy Makeover Tips to Give your Home a New Look By Jason Phillips

From time to time it is advised to change your home’s appeal and redecorate. This may be because it has not been done for a while and it is starting to look dated. It may be due to the fact that your needs and tastes have changed or simply because you want to keep up with the latest trends. Whatever the reason it can quickly become an expensive task. The following seven tips will assist you in transforming your home without breaking the bank:

01

  1. Focus on proper lighting

The right light can make a huge difference to your home. If you have a space which is used for working from home or studying you may wish to ad higher wattage light bulbs. Equally, a space which is used for relaxing, such as a sitting room, can have lower wattage bulbs. This will make them more relaxing or even romantic.

  1. Eco-friendly homes are more enticing

Plants can make a valuable addition to any room. Plants enrich the oxygen content of the room and their presence can make you feel more energized. The room will feel more natural and the plants can even be used to create a focal point. Green foliage will usually last much longer than a pretty flower display. To opt for a more modernistic design try having a single green grass or flower in a vase; it will have an amazing effect.

  1. Revamping the floor

It can be expensive and very inconvenient to completely change a floor. If this is not possible then you should consider sanding or staining a real wood floor. If you have lino or carpet which is looking dated it can be quickly lifted and relatively easily and cheaply replaced with tiles. If these options are not possible a good rug will draw the eye and remove the attention from the floor.

02

  1. Maintain order with adequate storage

It doesn’t seem to matter how large or how small your home is, storage is always a problem. The usual solution is to either build up or out. The easiest way to decide this will be based on the available space you have and how you currently use that space. Purchasing or adding to bookcases will make them taller and utilize space which is otherwise wasted. Alternatively there is always space under the bed or possibly the stairs. Choose the items that you do not need regularly and pack them away in storage boxes.

  1. Fake architecture

A room can be transformed by simply using some paint and masking tape. Mask straight lines onto the wall and paint them to create striped walls which will make the room look bigger. A simple box shape can be made on the wall with wood or paint to frame a picture or even a piece of furniture. By spending a few additional pennies it is possible to purchase mouldings which can be fitted to your walls to create an illusion of depth.

  1. Go green – fixing instead of replacing

It often seems easier to throw something broken away and replace it with a new item. However, it can be far cheaper and create a better statement if you repair or restore the item. A faded chair or table can be restored with some spray paint and fabric for the seats or a few tiles for the table top. Leather furniture can be restored by rubbing with olive oil and almonds can be rubbed across scratches in wood to remove them.

03

  1. Use the internet for guidance and tips

The internet is without doubt, the best place to find advice, tips and ideas on how to transform your home cheaply and effectively. There are many auction sites which will allow you to cheaply purchase items for your home. These can be restored or refurbished to create a completely different look to your home. There are also plenty of forums to seek advice in and thousands of pictures of what other people have done; these can be either copied or used for inspiration to complete your own projects.

Bottom line is you don’t need a lot of money to change your home’s allure. Use smart accessories and get inspired from the web; this is everything you need to bring your home back to life.

By Jason Phillips and VanessaArbuthnott.co.uk!