How to Transition a Bench from Summer to Fall



Alright, so maybe it isn’t quite Fall. After all, Starbucks hasn’t even released their pumpkin spice latte! As shameful as it may be to admit, we all know the release date of that blessed drink is our gauge for pulling out plaid and scarves. But just because our cup isn’t flowing with pumpkin lattes, it doesn’t mean that we can’t start the transition into a happy and beautiful fall season.

One of the best ways to do this is with your home décor. Light up the pumpkin candles, break out the zucchini bread, and get started on some DIY projects that will give your home the ultimate feeling of comfy and cozy fall.

Look no further than your living room or entry way for a DIY project that will prep you for cooler weather. See that bench in the corner? When’s the last time you really took a good look at it? Well, a piece as functional and versatile as a bench is deserving of a little more life, don’t you think?

Benches are like the little black dress of furniture; you can dress them up or dress them down based on how you make them over and they pretty much fit every occasion. And with an upholstered bench – well – fasten your seatbelts, because this ride may get a little crazy in the cool department. But don’t sweat it if you don’t have a bench covered in fabric. You can use throw pillows to get a little cushion for those tushes – and what’s more versatile than a throw pillow?

A bench is the perfect setting for putting on shoes on your way out the door or adding additional seating when you need room for more. If you have a bench that gets overlooked, it’s time to take notice and get it ready to turn some heads.

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

  • Bench
  • Fine-grain sandpaper
  • Small brushes
  • Clean cheesecloth
  • Paint brush
  • Chalk paint
  • Wax sealer or polyurethane
  • Staple gun (if reupholstering)
  • Scissors (if reupholstering)
  • Trendy new fabric and/or throw pillows

Step One: Sanding



Before you can do much in the way of making over or painting your bench, there is some prep work to be done. That beautiful piece of furniture is going to need a thorough sanding to get rid of any rough edges. Using either a sanding block or a sheet of sandpaper held just in your hands, gently rub your way through every crevice of the bench. Smooth the surface until you can rub your hand over it without anything catching (gloves may be helpful to prevent blisters).

Step Two: Wipe Down, Dust Off



Using clean cheesecloth, start to wipe down the bench to remove any dust particles left behind from sanding. For hard to reach crevices and decorative detailing, small brushes may be helpful. If you don’t have either, cut up an old tee shirt and use a toothbrush for the odd angles.

Step Three: Paint



Now comes the fun part. Hopefully, you didn’t rush through the other two steps. It can be incredibly tempting to skip the prep work, but if you want a piece to last, the prep work has to be done and done well. Once that’s all over, though, it’s time to break out the paint. The type of paint you use is totally up to you, but chalk paint is making its sweep in the world and for good reason.

Chalk paint is easy to use and can even be made at home with a few simple ingredients. For Fall, stick to warm hues or those with a golden tone. Apply a thin, even coat as a base. Wait for the first coat to dry and repeat until you’ve reached the desired finish.

Step Four: Apply Wax

That beautiful bench is now glistening with a fresh coat of paint. To keep it looking brand new for years to come, put a finishing coat of wax or polyurethane over the dried paint. If you think you’ll be painting your bench again soon (maybe Spring?), this step may be unnecessary. It’s most useful to apply the wax with a brush and wipe off the excess with a clean piece of cheesecloth. Allow the wax to dry before moving on to the next step.

Step Five: Reupholster the Cushion

If your bench has a cushion on it, you can easily swap out the fabric for something a little more reminiscent of the fall months. Golden hues go well with pumpkins, right? Take off the cushion and remove any layers of fabric from previous recovering’s. Leave the original. Use any layer scrap as a template for your new cushion.

Once the fabric has been cut, center the cushion over the new fabric rectangle. Cover the edges of the cushion by pulling the fabric tight on the underside of the cushion and stapling. Repeat until the fabric is no longer puckering and loose and is tightly adhered to the cushion. Turn upright and assemble your bench!

Step Six: Add Throw Pillows

The final touch is upon us: add throw pillows. Throw pillows are not only great for cushioning bums, but, by golly, they’re cute! Be inspired with seasonal throws to finish the look.

The great part about furniture is how versatile it is. Seasons change, trends change, and alongside it, furniture does, as well. Give your bench a new look for fall with a few, small modifications. A new coat of paint and a few new throw pillows can give your furniture that cozy feeling everyone loves in the fall months.

Author Bio:

Kacey MyaKacey is a lifestyle blogger for “The Drifter Collective.”  Throughout her life, she has found excitement in the world around her.  Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations, cultures, and styles, while communicating these endeavors through her passion for writing and expression. Her love for the world around her is portrayed through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.

The Drifter Collective: An eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us.


Does Your Porch Truly Reflect Your Lifestyle?


In the past, the porch had quite a prominent place in every home. It was a place of gathering, family reunions, friendly neighbor visits and small talk. It was a sort of a summer living room, where homeowners and their guests could catch the refreshing breeze in the shade while the rest of the garden basked in buzzing sunlight. The porch brings memories of a creaking rocking chair and grandpa reading his daily papers. Don’t deny your children these memories when they grow up. A splendid porch should be the elemental to every suburban home.

Where to Start?

The porch should first and foremost be an extension of your house, and as such comfortable as any living room or study. A well-designed and functional porch on the other hand requires careful planning, and a lot of inspiration and creativity. For the beginning, in order for people to feel comfortable, the porch should be spacious. Which can be achieved in two ways, either you make it bigger, or you smartly outline and draw the arrangement of the furniture. You can find different ideas online that can inspire you and let you see what works for you. Whichever option you choose, remember that the porch is a relaxing and soothing space, which shouldn’t break your budget.

How Big is Enough?

back-porchIt goes without saying that the size of your porch will be determined by the thickness of your wallet. You should know that there are several types of porches, like rooftop integrated, wraparound porch, sunroom porch and front porch. Every type comes with its own set of pros and cons, and with a different price. The most common type, however, is the roof integrated, but be warned that this is also one of the most expensive, as it follows the roofline and requires more calculation and complex construction. If you’re looking for a more available option, there you have the front porch, which can be added any time later.

Decorating the Porch

The only rule in decorating your newly built porch is that there are no rules. Everything you do will be directed by your budget and creativity. The safest and the most effective way is to decorate it in a way that reflects your lifestyle and the home interior décor.  In a recent chat with reputed Sydney-based outdoor furniture retailers , I found out that another approach is to decorate the porch according to its purpose. If you want a nap spot, involve a daybed, a swing, a hammock or just a softly cushioned rocking chair with a wool blanket. It is often said that what makes a good porch is a good nap. The best strategy is to have several more chairs on reserve for guests.

Accessories and Embellishment

screened-porchThe extra stylish look of the porch is achieved by decorative wall hangings, while potted plants bring it close to the garden. Match the blankets and pillows to the rug, creating a serene and peaceful color effect. The key is to use as few metal objects as you can and to consider taking the pillows, blankets and even rolling the carpet up indoors, as they tend to absorb moisture if left unattended in rainy weather.

Eventually, you should try to envisage the porch as a sanctuary, a place where you can escape from the stress of your work or house chores. So, however much you invest in it, it will pay back tenfold, providing you with countless hours of pleasure and joy.


Grilling in the Great Outdoors – Essential Ideas for Your Outdoor Kitchen

outdoor kitchen


Building an outdoor kitchen isn’t easy, and there are a great many things to consider when you’re planning your next outdoor improvement. Designing from the ground up isn’t easy, but you’re in luck – part by part, we’ll cover some of the basic elements of the outdoor kitchen and give you a solid base for the work to come.

Outdoor cooking is more popular than ever before, so there’s a lot of inspiration to go around. Let’s have a look at some of the best ideas to build around.

The Pizza Oven

If you’ve never had a brick-oven pizza, you’re missing out on something special. With the right bricks and the perfect design, you can make better pies than anyone else in the neighborhood. The best part? You pick the ingredients. Whether it’s sausage or sardines, you can choose your own daily special.

pizza oven


The Grill

Your options are virtually endless when it comes to the outdoor kitchen’s mandatory grill. If your space is located near your indoor kitchen, you can easily choose to extend your electric or gas hookups to a gas grill. Prefer charcoal? Even that can be elegant.

outdoor kitchen grill


The Bar Cart

If your current version involves a Styrofoam cooler and a bag of ice from the gas station, it might be time for an upgrade. If you plan to host parties involving anyone you’d like to impress, a bar cart is a worthy investment.

bar cart


Remember the Basics

It’s easy to get caught up in the construction and the appliances, but storage is equally – if not more – important. The more thought you put into essentials like storage and garbage, the happier you’ll be when you’re cooking in your new kitchen.

outdoor storage solutions


Protect Your Kitchen

It’s important to consider the protection of your investment. Even if you live in a region that’s not concerned with rain or snow, you’ll still have to worry about wind, dust and sun damage. Be sure to keep your outdoor living space safe.

protect your outdoor kitchen


Don’t Neglect Ventilation

You may be outdoors, but that doesn’t keep you out of the woods when it comes to smoke. If your neighbors live downwind, there’s a good chance you’ll hear about the smoke produced by your cooktop or grill. Think ahead and save yourself some trouble by looking into some proper ventilation.

 outdoor kitchen ventilation


Don’t Forget the Kitchen Sink

Even if you’re just building a small outdoor BBQ, having a sink nearby can make your life easier every time you pick up the tongs. If an extension of your water source is in the budget, you certainly won’t regret the installation.

 outdoor kitchen sink


Rooftop Grilling

The backyard is the go-to standard when it comes to outdoor kitchens, but have you considered the roof? It can eliminate those smoke concerns we mentioned earlier, and it provides a better view besides. If your home is built in such a way as to sustain it, moving the backyard grill to the top of the roof might be the best thing you’ve done this year.

 rooftop grilling


Go Country

If you live in the right climate, the southwestern look is the standard for a reason. It fits in perfectly with the countryside, and it inherently reflects the natural surroundings.

 country outdoor kitchen


Winter is Coming

Outdoor kitchens aren’t limited to dry climates. There are appliances and building materials that can stand up to snow and rain season after season.

outdoor kitchens source:

A Garden is the Perfect Touch

Nothing goes with an outdoor kitchen like a garden. It offers more than just a vivid look and a fresh scent – you can harvest fresh herbs growing just steps away. If that doesn’t improve your culinary skills, nothing will.

outdoor kitchen garden


An outdoor kitchen can bring another dimension to your family’s life at home, and that’s not all – it can also increase the value of your home, improving the resale value when you’re ready for a change of scenery. Making the right choices during its design and construction will pay every type of dividend imaginable.


Summertime Home Improvement Projects

Summertime home improvements don’t have to be all work and no play

summertime home improvement projects

If this year’s summer vacation plans involve more hardware than beachwear, don’t fret. Just apply tried-and-true trip-planning principles to your “staycation” renovation plans and you can ensure both your time and money are well spent.

Set a budget

kitchen renovationYou would rarely take a vacation without setting a limit on the amount of money you can spend. That budget affects your destination and hotel choices, length of stay and more.

The same principle goes for your home improvement vacation. Set a budget for tools, supplies and new purchases as you decide whether you’re investing in big renovations, like installing new cabinets, or small touches, like a new area rug. Be sure to consider small, added perks as you’re building your budget. For instance, you likely won’t want to cook in the midst of a kitchen remodel, so don’t forget to include money in your budget for restaurant meals or take-out.

Splurge a little

Every vacation needs a guilt-free splurge item. If your time off will be spent working on your home, you’ll thank yourself later for selecting a high quality paint. Choose a premium paint. Not only will your home look beautiful, but because higher quality paint goes on smoother and often in fewer coats, you’ll save yourself time and avoid frustration during the application process. Plus, a superior paint will last longer, look new for years and be easier to maintain, so you can sit back and relax when your next vacation rolls around.

Plan ahead

You would never begin preparing for a trip the day you leave. In order to make the best use of your time, the same level of planning should be considered when using time off for home improvement projects.

You’ll want to determine the projects you’d like to complete several weeks before your staycation begins. Start by creating a prioritized list so you focus time on the tasks that matter most to you, whether that is painting the kitchen, installing a new vanity in the bathroom or reorganizing the garage. Then, just as you wouldn’t shop for flip flops and bathing suits on your way to the beach, don’t shop for brushes, rollers, spackle and caulk on the day you want to start your home improvement projects.

Be sure to select paint colors ahead of time. Pick up color chips at your local hardware store or paint retailer or bring home tinted samples to try out and come to a color conclusion before your time off begins.

Eye your itinerary

You may not need to compile a minute-by-minute breakdown of your day’s activities, but it’s a good idea to develop an itinerary of to-dos and project milestones to garden-partyaccomplish each day.

Scheduling a “no work” day mid-week can help you maintain your sanity. Use this day to sit outside, go see a movie or do just about anything other than work on your home. It’s a nice break and prompts you to unwind and de-stress. Finally, end the week with a celebration to appreciate all you’ve accomplished.

Even though there is much to be done on a home improvement holiday, there are ways to be sure you enjoy that time. Approach the time off like any other vacation – with some planning, patience and prudent expectations – and you’re well on your way.

Need help with your home improvement project? Give us a call or contact us for a free estimate!

Top 3 Reasons Why You Need Professional Pool Maintenance

Whether you have a salty swimming pool or a fresh water one, doing regular maintenance and cleaning is crucial in maintaining the condition of both the water and the pool. However, with numerous parties on your schedule as well as other concerns to address, you may not have adequate time to maintain your swimming pool. For this reason, hiring pool maintenance professionals may be the way to go. This article explores the top 3 reasons why you should hire a professional swimming pool maintenance service company.

Water Balance of the Swimming Pool

swimming pool

Image Source: Flickr | KorayGokhan

The water balance of the swimming pool is very critical. One of the most important reasons why professional pool cleaning services are important is because the water chemistry is kept in check. Regular cleaning also ensures that the water remains always sanitized. Poor sanitation of your swimming pool may have disastrous health implications. Numerous cases of skin diseases among other contagious ailments have been reported in pools with poor water sanitation. According to the Pool Gear, the professional cleaning service you hire is going to check on the five pool water key components. These components are alkalinity, chlorine stabilizer, dissolved solids, pH levels, and calcium hardness. These five components are very essential in the maintenance of a healthy swimming pool. For example, removing all dissolved solids reduces mineral buildup on the tiles of the pool as well as the surrounding areas. This contributes a lot in the general outlook of your pool.

Pool Safety

Safety is also another reason why professional swimming pool maintenance services are important. Your home swimming pool has to be safe because you risk endangering the lives of your loved ones with an insecure swimming facility. When regular pool maintenance is ignored, hazardous pathogens as well as other dangerous microorganisms may thrive in a poorly kept pool which puts your family and friends at risk. According to, poorly maintained pool water can make important machinery and pumps at risk of poor function which can cost thousands of dollars in repair. Ignoring precautionary measures and failing to use professional maintenance services may affect your confidence in your swimming pool. On the other hand, hiring qualified services ensures that your pool is safe and an enjoyable environment for all.

Peace of Mind

After your swimming pool has been worked on by professionals, you are going to have a lot of peace of mind as well as free time to plan for your future gatherings and upcoming family get-togethers. This is because pool maintenance is time-consuming and it may take much of your time in case you were to do the cleaning yourself. As such, giving this task to professionals will save you much headache that comes with maintaining your swimming facility.

When scouting for swimming pool maintenance services, you should be keen to hire the very best! Check around your neighborhood for the most trusted pool maintenance services. If you have a neighbor whose swimming pool looks great, ask them which companies they hired. You also can search online for well-reviewed swimming pool service providers who have good ratings of customer satisfaction.

About the Author:

Max Kierstead is a blogger and writer for Big Splash Pool and Spa, a company that provides quality pool cleaning services, pool maintenance and Park City hot tubs repair.