Tips For Maintaining Your Wooden Flooring

There aren’t many homes where wooden flooring would look out of place; they’re versatile, beautiful and can make even the smallest of rooms look larger. Keeping them in great condition, however, can be difficult if you don’t know what you’re doing. That’s where these tips come in, and if you follow them closely your wooden floors could double in life expectancy.

Pounce on spills as soon as they happen

wooden flooring

It’s impossible to just stop spillages from happening, so instead make sure you’re prepared for them and attack the spills as soon as they occur. Every second they go untreated, the wooden floor will absorb more and more of it and the finish will be dulled even further; if that spill dries up, then that will result in some long-term damage. A cloth or cotton mop is perfect for avoiding this.

Vacuum with care

Vacuuming is great to suck up deep resting dirt that brushes or cloths wouldn’t normally get, but if used incorrectly, they can do more bad than good. The beater bar (also known as a bristle bar) is the rotating brush section at the bottom of some vacuums that can rotate thousands of times per minute. This is ideal for a carpet, as it can be very effective at dragging up dirt.

However, for a wooden floor, it can rapidly dull the woods finish and take months off its life span. Instead, either use a vacuum without a beater bar or switch the mode to Hard Floor, if that is an option available to you.

Use mats at entrances

floor mat

Think about everything that could be on the pavement outside your home; glass, faeces, hard stones, so on. These can all get captured in the grooves of your shoes, and dragged into your home. Grass and mud might be a nuisance to clean up, but stones and glass could cause some serious damage to your wooden floor. To cut this down, tough mats at the entrances to your home and rooms are perfect for collecting this dirt and debris.

Better yet, you could take a page out of Asian culture and remove your shoes as you enter. While mats are effective, it doesn’t get more effective than taking your shoes off completely.

Follow the grain

To keep your wooden floors looking as good as possible for as long as possible, we also recommend following the grain of the wood when you clean. Sweeps and strokes going in the same direction of the wood means you won’t disrupt the grain too much, and the protective layer will be kept intact for longer.

Keep that mop (relatively) dry

A very common mistake when it comes to cleaning wood floors is using too much water. It might sound counter-intuitive, but your mop should be almost dry when you use it and only slightly damp at the touch. Similar to the first tip that mentioned how bad spills were for your wood, too much water means the wood will absorb some of it; which can lead to the warping of the wood or a ruined finish.

Let us know in the comments below if you have any other tips for looking after wooden floors!

Author bio: Criterion Flooring are wood flooring experts who specialize in the restoration and installation of wood floors. They also supply and install Oak, Bordeaux, Laminate and Alternative Floors.

Tips To Stay Comfortable If Your HVAC System Goes Down

With more than 80 percent of American homes having some kind of air conditioning or heating system installed, it’s easy to take that technology for granted. However, these systems don’t always function the way we expect. In those situations, we have to cope with the climate the way our ancestors did, in the days before these modern conveniences existed.

Coping without heating or air conditioning is an inconvenience no one wants to deal with, but it’s something everyone needs to be able to do. Fortunately, staying comfortable, even without your HVAC system, is a matter of following some relatively simple guidelines. With these tricks in mind, you can keep from feeling too hot or too cold, even if your HVAC system is on the blink for more than a day.

For example, keeping cool in the summer without air conditioning means dressing for the weather, drinking plenty of cold water, and avoiding the use of heat-generating appliances — unless necessary. For additional cooling, you can take a lukewarm bath or shower before bed, or stay in your basement during the hottest hours of the day.

Staying warm without your furnace is possible if you stick to only a few rooms and block the doors to the unused rooms with heavy curtains or blankets. Dressing in layers of warm wool clothing and blocking drafts under doors with rolled-up towels and blankets also helps you stay comfortable even when it’s cold inside your house.

Modern conveniences such as HVAC systems have certainly made life easier. However, knowing how to live without them will make life easier for those brief periods when they aren’t working. Or, you might want to live without them voluntarily to save a little money on your energy bills. Either way, these tips can help you stay comfortable without your HVAC system.

Tips to stay comfortable if your HVAC system goes down from Randazzo Heating & Cooling

How To Clean Your Retractable Shade Awnings

Many people forget to care for their retractable awning once it’s installed and keep using it every day and for months and years till one day they realize that multiple problems have developed with the uncared for awning. The awning may stop rolling in or out smoothly, or may develop mildew and fungi, or may have too coarse and thick covering of dust on it to make it frizzy, etc. Most of these problems can be avoided easily with a little maintenance and periodic cleaning. A clean and well-maintained outdoor retractable awning would last for many years. Here are some expert tips and steps to clean your outdoor awnings.

awning
Retractable Shade Awnings

  • Steps for general cleaning

A general cleaning is advised every month to keep the awning in good health. This just needs a broom and a water hose.

  1. Clean the awning fabric outside and inside with a broom
  2. Now clean the awning with a jet of water and use only cold water
  3. Allow the fabric to air dry completely before you retract it

This cleaning is required once a month, and without any serious steps, the awning will keep looking nice and shining with this much care. However, you need to clean the retractable shade awning once in 2 to 3 years with soap water.

  • Soap water cleaning steps

To clean the awning with soap water, use only mild soaps, and avoid the use of harsh chemical and detergents. Also, use only cold water for this.

  1. Use a broom to clean the fabric outside and inside very well.
  2. Now with a hose of cold water, wet the fabric.
  3. Make soap water solution, and then sprinkle the solution on fabric and gentle rinse in patches with a soft brush. Start from the bottom and move upwards.
  4. Now leave the soap water and give some time for the soap to work, as it loosens the dirt.
  5. Now rinse off the soap with cold water.
  6. Allow the fabric to air dry completely
  7. Retract it

All types of dirt and stains can be removed from outdoor awnings when you use the right cleaner for the problem. Oil stains, paint stains, bird droppings, mold and mildew, rust stains, and everything will be gone with the right cleaner.

  • Facts you must know to keep the awning good

Besides cleaning the awning periodically, there are some words of caution, which you must know and follow. They are:

  1. Shrubs and vines, which twine around the awning or touch it, may contain chemicals and acids, which will slowly corrode the fabric and the metal bar. Hence, you should try to keep such elements away from the awning and prune shrubs and vines nearby.
  2. Never retract an awning while the fabric is still wet. This way the fabric will develop molds and mildew on it, and eventually smell awfully bad, and freeze while rolling on or out.
  3. The awning frame is made of aluminum like metal, which does not demand much cleaning etc. Hence, you may loosely broom it in a month and forget.
  4. Never wet the motor part of the awning. Wetting the framework or the motor will bring trouble.
  • Outdoor retractable awnings need little and general care mostly

Generally, retractable shade awnings are made of stain and mold resistant fabrics, which are treated accordingly to show such characteristic. However, when too much of dirt builds up, then molds may grow not directly on the fabric, but on the dirt clumps. Hence, a periodic cleaning ensues that you won’t face challenge while retracting the awning or rolling it out. It will look fresh and stay as it is for longer period of time.

7 Simple and Affordable Additions for Your Home

7 Simple and Affordable Additions for Your Home

Whether you’re trying to sell your home or simply upgrade it for your own enjoyment, additions do not have to be that pricey. OK, OK, so as you haven’t been born yesterday you do know that any high-quality improvements to your house – the only type worth doing – won’t be as cheap as your daily shop. But the following additions have been selected for their relative low cost and high impact.

The seven recommended additions are applicable to you especially if you feel like modernizing your house, have guests to stay with specific needs, are buying or selling your home and are aware of updates needed.

Garden

It’s always easy to forget the outside area and palm it off as a “dad-job” for a Sunday in the far far distance! Sometimes those days arrive sooner than you think and a good job too because taking care of your outside area is as important as your house.

Built-in seating can be a great alternative to expensive garden furniture and one way to make your outside space guest-friendly and welcoming in a matter of days. Recycling concrete blocks and stacking to make a rectangular bench can be transformative. Top with an upholstered foam mattress and pillows and you’re good to go!

Patio

Patios are pretty self-maintaining year round aside from the odd weeding but if you want them to be extra special you could consider putting in a little more care. More and more folks have opted for patio walls over the last few years to create a homelier space. Adding in a custom-built fireplace to the area will make your regular patio every home-owner’s hosting dream. If you need to start from scratch you certainly can build your own patio yourself and save on the tiresome labor costs!

Railings

Injuries do unfortunately happen regardless of your capabilities and a railing to help you get around the bathroom and in and out of the bath itself is a must. These guys are quite literally a life-saver. Whether in or outside the house – preferably both depending on the terrain – railings give much needed support as well as detail. Protect you, your family and your guests with railings where you need them the most – they can be beautifully designed to match your preferences, too!

Smart Appliances

Smart appliances are the quickest way to add value to your kitchen, your house and to your life! We all know a good real estate agent will make the most out of these centerpieces of our kitchen – dishwasher, fridge-freezer, oven and microwave. If yours could do with some updating it may be time to take the plunge. They can instantly modernize your kitchen into a chic and sleek operating room – stainless steel appliances are still a la mode – and raise your house-cred immeasurably.

Connectivity, intelligent communication and full-on integration is what people want in their new appliances to the point where your fridge will text you when you run out of an ingredient! If you don’t have that much to spend on a major appliance, try revolutionizing your kitchen routines with some of these portable options, however you might want to check second hand options before giving up!

7 Simple and Affordable Additions for Your Home

Lighting

Much like your smart appliances, improving your lighting game is a quick and easy addition to your household that will bring admirers wide and far! Looking at spotlights for example bring a welcome minimalist feel to a home whilst not massively interfering with your interior décor. Lighting is also an easy way to bring balance to a room through adding or taking away warmth depending on the style of fitting and the glow emitted.

Lighting should be uniform throughout your house to some degree to give continuity, therefore if you aren’t careful this can rack up a bill. However, simply moving to energy efficient lights in the meantime will be a fantastic addition to your household.

Upholstery

The DIY and home improvement community has talked about up-cycling a lot for good reason – you have unpolished treasures in your room as you read this and you’re considering buying replacements?! A perfect and easy-going initiation into the up-cycling club is re-upholstering a chair, sofa or headboard. It is guaranteed to be far cheaper than buying new furniture, allows you to pick out exactly the material you want and adds to the atmosphere of your room in a relatively low-effort way!

windows

Windows

I won’t start with a quote about windows and eyes and souls, but windows are very important. Seasonal Affective Disorder sufferers are particularly sensitive to amount of light in their living areas and frankly the majority of us are too. So let’s get as much light as possible into your houses! The easiest way to do this without complete overhaul of your existing windows is adding in a sky light where possible.

So, this may be in the same cost ballpark as smart appliances, however adding in a skylight will entirely transform your space and your mood, and add major value if done properly to your property.

Additions do not need to be time consuming, complicated or massively expensive, however they do need to be well thought out. Positioning, overall design and feel and appropriateness all come into play when making changes to your house regardless of how small they might be. But one thing is for sure, simple home additions can bring major positives to your life whether practical and adding convenience or aesthetic and adding comfort!

Author Bio:

Kacey MyaKacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. 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 and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.

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How to Maintain Metal Surfaces in Your Yard

Since the early times, people have praised metal for properties they couldn’t get from natural materials. But actually, metal is much closer to nature than many people think. The iron ore comes from the depths of the earth, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that metal feels in our gardens like at home. Still, as a man-made material, metal is more susceptible to elements than other materials used in landscaping. Its arch-nemesis is rust – so homeowners need to intervene from time to time to keep metal features like fences, furniture, posts, taps, gates, rails, and grates in a mint condition.

How to Maintain Metal Surfaces in Your Yard

Coating vs. painting

Rainfall and unsteady temperature always conspire to chip away the metal coating. Once the protective layer is damaged, rust is never far behind. One way to avoid it is to choose the most suitable metal for the intended use. Products with baked-on enamel or powder-coated surfaces will last long, without any special maintenance. On the other hand, varnished metal or surfaces protected with regular paint are prone to peeling, flaking, and chipping. Metals with superior coatings are expensive, but their longevity definitely justifies the initial cost.

Debris attracts moisture

With its intricate details, metal patio furniture is particularly exposed to a risk of decay. However, a few simple routines can make it last many years. The first defence against rust is cleanliness. At least twice a year, let’s say in spring and autumn, give your patio set a good scrub. Stir some liquid detergent in a bucket of warm water and use a sponge to remove dust and debris that attract moisture. Use an old toothbrush to reach hidden areas. When you are done, rinse away the detergent with a garden hose and leave the pieces to air-dry in the sun.

Physical protection

As mentioned above, it is the coating that safeguards metal from rusting. Careless handling can make two metal surfaces clink and cause chipping on one or both pieces. Whenever you need to move metal furniture, lift the pieces from the ground instead of dragging them. When the time comes to pack your outdoor furniture inside, make sure you protect the pieces with old towels or bed sheets to prevent them from scraping against each other.

How to Maintain Metal Surfaces in Your Yard

Quick and effective solution

Still, even if you take all precautions, no one can guarantee that rust won’t develop over time. Although seemingly a small problem at first, it can get more serious if left unattended. Once you spot a small patch of rust, clean the area as described above and stop the corrosion in its tracks by using a quality rust converter. These products interact with iron oxide, converting it into an adherent black layer that is moisture-resistant and provides an excellent surface for latex and enamel paints.

Highly damaged surfaces

In cases of more extensive damage and negligence, you may need to refinish the metal – a task that demands more time and effort. Before you can start refinishing, you need to get to the bare metal surface. Using a wire brush or a special wire wheel drill attachment, scrape away the old coating. Take care not to damage crevices and folds that may be a part of the design. After you have removed the coating, wipe down the dust with a damp cloth and let everything dry before you apply the primer and metal paint.

The majority of homeowners regularly tend to their lawns and shrubs, trimming and clipping to add appeal to their gardens, but only a few pay the same attention to metal elements in their yards. With rust, prevention is the best protection, but when the surface layer is already damaged, quality anti-corrosion products can save the day.

 

 

 

Tips for a More Organized Bathroom

Tips for a More Organized Bathroom

Your bathroom is the place where you and your family clean and groom. It’s also usually the first room you head to in the morning and the last room you hit before bed.  It contains a lot of products: everything from your laundry to your make up, your hair products, shower products, and sometimes even your cleaning supplies.  Some of us store interesting reading material, and those that like a touch of luxury will make their bathroom the backdrop for gorgeous towels and candles, along with wonderful bath salts or bubbles. Unless you have a huge bathroom with tons of storage, this can become a bit overwhelming, and it pays to stay organized so your bathroom doesn’t become a haven for clutter.

One way in which to get great storage out of your bathroom is to keep like products together.  This helps to eliminate a frustrating treasure hunt every time you want something specific, and it might help eliminate excess shopping since you can easily identify exactly what you’ve got already.  Your vanity cabinets are a great way to hide products from view, and generally contain enough space for tubs or containers to keep things neat and tidy.  If you’ve got open shelving, it’s nice to get a set of matching or complimenting boxes or baskets to keep things tucked out of sight.  As a bonus you can often get containers like this in a variety of styles, patterns and colours to match your existing bathroom decor.  In fact the organizers can become a cute feature in your bathroom, drawing the admiration of guests.  If you’ve got cupboard doors on your vanity, you can try adding standing shelves to tuck even more supplies away, or use the same baskets or bins as you would with open shelves.  You can also try to increase more space by adding baskets or hangers to the backs of your vanity doors.  Hair dryers and flat irons can handily tuck into these, ready when you need them.

bathroom

If you’ve got available wall space, it’s a great idea to add some shelves.  Once again, the shelves can hold decorative organization bins and create a great look in the room.  Some baskets even come with tiny chalkboard panels so that you can list exactly what each of them holds.  One could be for makeup, while another holds shaving essentials or your favourite supply of soaps or lotions.  Shelves can also hold your baths reading material, or dishes of bath salts or candles if you’re a fan of adding romantic flair to the space.

Your drawers offer an opportunity for being wonderfully organized, or they can hold a mess of products that you have to scramble through on a daily basis.  There are some super options out there for keeping everything in order!  Drawer dividers are extremely flexible and come in all shapes and sizes so that you get a customized look for your space.  Divide each of your drawers so that your dental hygiene products, feminine products, grooming tools, makeup and hairbrushes all have their own individual areas.  Everything will be tidy, organized and easily accessible when you need it, cutting down on grooming time in the morning and maybe even allowing you a few more minutes in bed.

If you’re a parent you know how kid’s stuff can quickly clutter a bathroom.  There are so many fun bath toys and products for our kids from the time they arrive right through to the teenage years.  A very simple and cost efficient way to handle their mess of supplies is with a hanging net.  These can be very handy especially with regards to tub toys – which seem to multiply over night!  You can also get tub toy holders in cute animal faces that hold a lot of things at once and attach to your tub or shower wall with suction cups.  You can even tuck the kids shower gel or soap into the same bin to keep all of their supplies together.

bathroom

One really cute idea is to make your mason jars do double duty.  If you’re an enthusiastic canner, you probably have a bunch of these things sitting around collecting dust, and with a little time you can turn them into unique and beautiful holders for your Q-tips, tweezers, make up brushes, and a variety of other little easily lost bathroom products.  Simply take a nice piece of wood, and either paint or stain to match your decor or rough it up to add a rustic touch.  Use clamps to attach the jar neck to the wood, and mount into the studs in your wall, ideally over your bathroom sink for easy access.

If you’ve got the floor space, a cute cabinet or a cart is ideal for holding bathroom products, cleaning products, or even rolled up towels and face cloths.  The nice part about the cart is that you can quickly roll it around depending on where you most need it at the time.  It can be tucked into one corner with toilet paper rolls, or moved over to the tub where it can serve to hold all of the bath products you need for a luxurious soak.  This is great for renters too, where putting up shelves or making other alterations to the bathroom isn’t an option.

Home improvement doesn’t need to be extravagant. Starting with simple things such as this can ease your mind in the long run and help you remain motivated for bigger projects in the future.

This article was written by Martin from Poshh. He has over 10 years’ experience in writing health related topics and specializes in the health benefits of saunas and hydrotherapy.

 

The Ultimate Houseplant Cheat Sheet

The quality of the air we breathe every day is so important to our overall health. This infographic from Capital Garden Services takes you through the health implications of indoor air pollution and takes you through the best plants for each room. Research has shown that indoor air pollution can increase our risk of stroke by 34% so it really is worth taking the time to read through the infographic and finding the perfect plants for your home.

Sometimes, people buy plants and are a bit unsure of how to take care of them. They might put them in the wrong room or water them too much or too little. For example, many plants, such as the Chinese evergreen and the English ivy, require much less water in winter so it’s important to keep things like this in mind.

Also, some plants need less sun than others. For example, the Snake Plant is a great addition to the bedroom and it needs minimal direct sunlight. Find out more in the infographic.

The-Ultimate-Houseplant-Cheat-Sheet-Infographic

Simple Tips for Organizing Your Entire House

Decluttering your home doesn’t have to be a nightmare. You may feel anxious and discouraged when you see all those stuff scattered everywhere, but with some planning, you can get on top of that and restore your house. Try to picture your home clutter-free, where every single item has its place. This is not hard to achieve and the tips below will surely get you going. So stop procrastinating and start reorganizing your living space.

There’s no success without a plan

Before you start decluttering, you should sit down and make a comprehensive to-do list. Try to think of every single activity that has to be done daily in order to avoid making your home messy again. Make sure to hold onto that list, since it will come in handy for the next cleaning occasion.

Think of priorities
Simple Tips for Organizing Your Entire House

The best place to start reorganizing is where the most clutter is. That’s probably your living room. Go ahead and throw out piled mail, magazines, and papers laying around the room. After you’re done with the living room, you should continue with kitchen and bathroom. With those three rooms done, you’ll already feel some relief.

Prevent yourself from shopping excessively

One of the main reasons you found yourself in a cluttered house is because you have too much stuff. Make sure to think twice before you bring another item in your crowded home. You should look around and see which items you use on regular basis. Everything else is just collecting dust and should be removed.

Routines are good sometimes

Decluttering your home just once won’t be sufficient in the long run. If you’re not doing it constantly, you’ll have a new mess in no time. Make sure to develop a few healthy habits and stick to them in the future. Try to do simple stuff on daily basis. Hang your jacket the moment you enter the house, wash the dishes right after finishing the meal etc.

Share responsibilities

In case you’re sharing your home with other people, try to include them when the time for cleaning comes. Instruct them about their responsibilities on daily basis, and watch how your home is getting cleaner and decluttered in no time.

Get rid of unused stuff
organizing your house

Make sure to permanently dispose of all items that you’re not using anymore. There are few ways you can do this. In the first place, you may drop that stuff to a charity organization, and bring happiness to those in need. Another way is by organizing a yard sale. That will be a fun event, and you’ll make some extra cash instantly.

Avoid disturbance

You want to make sure you’re not disturbed while cleaning. If someone calls while cleaning, you can lose a lot of time before continuing. You should turn off your phone and other devices which can steal your attention. Put up your sleeves and concentrate on the work.

Everything should have its place
Everything should have its place

Try to avoid piling your mail and other stuff on every free surface in your house. Instead, you may try to make a system which you’ll follow in the future. Think of a specific place for every item and stick to that. A good way of achieving that is to use high shelves and closets. In case you lack space, you should consider renting an affordable self storage unit in your area.

Cut it with the excuses

The best way to get in the way of making excuses is to pick up the big black bag and start tossing stuff in it. After just ten minutes of doing that, you’ll see some changes, and that should keep you motivated to go through the rest of the house.

You can’t do it alone

Don’t hesitate to call friends or family members to help you with reorganizing your home. With all these people, you’ll be able to get the job done very fast. You can use the spare time to make a tasty dinner for your helpers. At the end of the day, you’ll have a clean house and a fun evening with your loved ones.

Final thoughts

The tips mentioned above should do the trick, and you’ll get your home decluttered for good. Just stick to your plan and newly acquired habits, and you won’t find yourself in the bad spot again. Don’t forget to give a favor back to everybody who helped you with reorganizing your home. Now you can relax and enjoy your spacious and clutter-free home once again.

Chloe Smith is a cycling enthusiast, business consultant and a part-time writer always willing to share tidbits of advice. She believes that passion, courage and, above all, knowledge breed success.

Common Interior Design Mistakes To Avoid

Common Interior Design Mistakes To Avoid

Let’s face it: Designing the interior of our homes can be challenging. And scary too, because we could commit mistakes and interior design mistakes tend to be on the costly side of things. Still, somebody has to do it. We all just need a little confidence. Hopefully, the following tips about common interior design mistakes to avoid would leave you a bit more confident about designing your place.

Not having a plan and a budget

Impulse buying is exciting, but that piece of furniture or mirror may not work with your overall interior design the way you thought it would. You could also be spending more than what is sensible, and you could end up with an interior design project that’s more expensive than the house itself. To avoid buyer’s remorse and an interior design fail, you should have a plan and a well-established budget before buying anything.

Buying furniture without measuring anything

Sometimes, homeowners get so excited about a large and lovely couch they saw in the store that they never give any thought about whether or not it will fit through the door in the first place. Oversized furniture is fine. Just make sure your place has enough space to accommodate it. Large furniture in small areas will make the room even smaller, and that’s one big interior design mistake.

Choosing paint before fabrics and textiles

Finding fabrics and textiles before deciding on a paint scheme is so much easier than doing it the other way around. If you do paint first, good luck finding rugs, curtains, pillows, and upholstery that you love that will perfectly match the color of your walls.

Common Interior Design Mistakes To Avoid

Inadequate lighting

It’s true that lighting often takes a backseat to other interior design elements, and that is a mistake. Any home should have adequate lighting, and a set of overhead lights are simply not enough. Lighting should always be layered within any given space. With multiple light sources, you’ll be able to add depth and dimension to your home.

You should also let plenty of natural light into your home. Place curtains and accessories smartly, and install mirrors directly across your natural light source so all that beneficial sunlight can bounce around the room.

Not letting go of heirlooms

So your grandmother left you this grandfather clock. It’s been in your living room for years and still works fine. You are, however, about to embark on a redecorating project and your family heirloom doesn’t have a place in it. But because of its sentimental value, you keep it, and it ends up sticking out like a sore thumb. It’s hard to get rid of heirlooms, but if they don’t fit the style of your home, you should have enough resolve to let them go.

Not asking for interior design advice

Sometimes, we get too close to our work that we fail to notice our mistakes. This applies to our attempts at interior design, especially when we have already spent so much time on the project. If we can ask somebody to take a look at our work and spot any mistakes, then we should go ahead and ask for that person’s opinion. A friend can tell you honestly if there’s something off with your choice of fabrics or colors.

The best source of opinion about interior design, of course, is a real interior designer. If you can’t hire one full-time, you can consult one who charges by the hour. With the many design tricks up their sleeve, interior designers can effectively transform your home the way you want it.

Bio: Karen Ashworth is a freelance writer and blogger who enjoys staying on top of trends in architecture and interior design.

 

6 Tips on How to Make Your Garden Stand Out

Everyone enjoys having their own piece of heaven, a place where they can relax, think, create… For most, nature is the inspiring one and this is why we all strive to have a garden, regardless of the size of the plot given, it could be a balcony, a rooftop or a proper backyard. The goal is to create an eye-catcher for the people passing by and a favorite place for your friends to hang out.

Start with a clean-up

Just the same as you do with your house, make your garden look as if everything is there because you intended it to be. Begin by removing all furniture, old clutter, trimming the bushes and the trees and of course mowing the lawn if you have one and clean paving stones.  If you enjoy having what in the words of Jane Austin is described as ‘a prettyish kind of a little wilderness’ you can keep your garden, or parts of it looking untouched. Please be careful with these, you still want it to look safe and inviting without having to worry if you will step on something or if something will fall from a tree.

Choose the flowers

Choose the flowers

The main role in your garden is played by the color-pattern. You can have a theme and combine purple and yellow, orange and red, blue, white and purple etc. or have all colors intertwining. You can have this done by planting flowers. You can plant them in the pots or in the ground directly. It is a good idea to choose perennials as when the season comes, they surprise you with a blossom. If you are not too keen on growing flowers, you can simply buy plants in bloom in little containers every season and put them in your colorful pots. Now all you need to do is to remember to water them.

Furniture

The style of your furniture may vary. Give your old furniture a new glow by painting them or looking up some of the new makeover ideas. You can even use this trick and make your furniture fluorescent. Make sure the size of your furniture fits the size of your garden. Also, in the untamed, wild-looking parts of your garden, you may want to have furniture that reassembles old park benches.

Garden art

Use garden art

You can buy these items in a store, or even better you can use your old clutter and transform it into beautiful garden pieces. Used car tires can be beautiful flower pots, an old wagon wheel, a bicycle or a lantern can make it seem like there is a story behind your garden. Even practical things like colorful hose reels can add to the beauty of your sanctuary. By adding pebbles, you can make your flower beds a little more interesting and make it a little harder for weed to grow.

Light it up

As a final touch, you may want to add some lights for when the night falls. There’s nothing prettier than pretty Christmas lights. Use them on your gazebo, a rose bush or simply hang them from the branches of the trees around your garden and you will spark a fairy tale. Find suitable lanterns or torches. You can even make your own lanterns if you feel creative.

Don’t clutter up

There is no such thing as good clutter. Don’t make your garden look too busy as it won’t allow you to relax. Organize your flowers into clusters. Don’t get every piece of furniture you may want to have as it might not fit the space. Same goes for garden art. If you discover you enjoy making garden art, don’t keep it all give some away, it will make a unique present. If you lack space for all the plants you would like to have in your garden, you can use suspended flowerpots, that way you will make room on the floor, and gain a sense of greater space.

A beautiful garden can help you endure the lack of time you have in your every-day life. It doesn’t matter if you don’t get to take your child to a park if your own backyard can give a sense of an outdoor heaven.

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