Enhance Your Curb Appeal This Spring with These Trends

Spring is coming! You see all sorts of articles in magazines and blogs online about fashion and interior design trends for the season.

But what if you want to update the outside of your home? Below are 7 of the hottest trends in home exteriors for Spring 2017!

Enhance Your Curb Appeal This Spring with These Trends

1) Covered and Screened Decks and Patios

Take your outdoor living space up a notch by adding pergolas or covers to your deck or patio. Besides providing shade, it will beautify and define the space.

Screens are another way to make the exterior of your deck or patio look great for your neighbors and people driving by. But they also provide you with the privacy that makes your outdoor space actually feel like a retreat. You can buy ready-made screens or get creative and design your own. In any case, the neighbors will get a nice view and you will get your spa-like retreat.

2) Fancy Pools

There is nothing like a swimming pool to beat the summer heat and provide a fun gathering spot for friends and family. So, if you’re considering building one, why not follow the current trend of building a luxury pool?

If you have the space and budget, you can build a rooftop pool that looks out over your city. Or you can build one that combines indoor and outdoor living by installing a retractable wall of windows that lead to your pool. Or you can invest in an infinity pool that makes it look like you’re swimming in the sky.

Whether you use the contractor’s established designs, or come up with ideas of your own, a pool will add a splash of curb appeal.


3) Structured Gardens

Make your garden appear larger and more stylish with garden structures. First, design a layout for your space that includes where you want to place the pieces. The type of garden you want, whether it be cottage style, a Zen retreat, formal or an eclectic mix, will determine what type of structures you use.

You can go the traditional route and choose brick walls or concrete fountains. Or you can use sleek modern vine-climbing walls or garden sculpture. Buy your pieces or make your own. Either way, you can create your own enchanted garden that you and passers-by will enjoy.

4) Home Additions

Another growing trend is home remodeling. Porches are a popular exterior addition. Or, if you already have a porch, you can make it up-to-date by adding design details like those on Craftsman or Victorian homes. Cornice moldings, thick porch posts, finials, urns and much more can be added to your porch to make it stand out. Also, most of these porches display boho-chic furnishings.

Another popular remodel is replacing builder-grade garage doors with garage doors that match your home’s style. If you’re replacing an old door or adding a brand-new garage, don’t skimp on this item. Whether your garage is front-facing or not, the look of its door can have a major impact on the appearance of your home.


5) Limiting the Colors in Your Garden

Another trend for gardens is using a simple palette of only 2 or 3 shades. It’s a modern, almost minimalistic look. But for those new to gardening or don’t want to be bothered by too much planning, it’s any easy way to go.

So how do you keep your garden from looking boring? One way is to have 1 color be the feature color and have the other shade or shades be highlights. And choose a variety of plants of the predominant color or colors. For example, have white roses, white hydrangeas and a white dogwood tree in your landscape.

Limiting how many shades appear in your garden will make it look classy, modern and sophisticated.

6) Grand Entrances

Even if you don’t have or want a porch, fabulous entrances are all the rage. The recent trend of red doors is now being replaced more imaginative front entries.

Some doors that are growing in popularity are Dutch doors and doors made of glass encased in intricate iron work. The symmetrical look of matching topiaries or marble benches on either side of the front door is trending. As are wreaths made for each season, banners and wind chimes.

All of these elements will make people say “Wow!” when they are about to enter your home.

7) Stone and Brick Exteriors

This trend piggy-backs on the natural, sustainable materials movement. If your home is already built with brick or stone, you can use paint to give your home a new look. Just be sure to choose the right type of paint and that it is applied properly.

If you just want to add a stone or brick accent to your home, you can choose between the real thing or an artificial alternative. Man-made options can look just as good and are usually cheaper.

Out with the old and in with the freshness of the season! Follow these trends so your curb appeal will pop this spring!

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.




How to Decide Which Home Improvement Projects to Tackle First

Are you thinking of renovating your home but don’t know where to start? The process of home improvement can be overwhelming if you don’t know what exactly you should do first. It’s hard to imagine the finished look before you even begin. Here are a few home improvement projects for you to tackle that will help you envision the end result.


  1. Bathroom Boost

The best piece of advice someone can offer you for home renovating is to start with the bathroom first. Bathrooms are tucked back away from the main rooms you use in your home, and are the perfect place to start. Remember to keep a guest bathroom ready to use during this renovation period.

The first step is to decide what stays and what goes. Need a new tub, toilet or sink? Start with the bigger projects and work your way down to the small details.

Once you have the main appliances, consider DIY upgrades to make your bathroom beautiful. Now you can focus on painting the walls and bringing the room together with décor. Stick to cool or natural colors for a more relaxing feel to your bathroom. Picture blues, whites and grays to easily make you feel cleansed after every shower.

  1. Cabinet Re-Create

A big focal point in your kitchen are your cabinets. They attract the eye whether they’re gaudy or great. If you’re renovating your kitchen, start with a kitchen cabinet upgrade. Look at the design behind kitchen cabinets for inspiration. It will help you decide if you want stained wood, sheer glass or no doors on your cabinets at all.

Re-doing your kitchen cabinets is an easy process for a kitchen renovation because you can get the big project out of the way. If you have to tear down cabinets and re-install them, you’ll want to do this first so if the walls are damaged, or something breaks, you don’t have to fix it twice. You can simply finish all the other details of the kitchen after the cabinets are done.


  1. Kitchen Backsplash Spruce

The backsplash of your kitchen is a detail that comes after you’ve finished your cabinets or changed the counter tops. This is an easy DIY project to give your kitchen the amazing upgrade it needs. To give yourself inspiration, check out gorgeous kitchen backsplashes and see if any catch your eye.

Take a stroll through your local hardware store to see what tiles they offer for a backsplash. You can even bring samples home with you to help you decide and get a better idea of what it will look like when it’s all finished.

Make sure your tile design goes with the look of your home. If you have a rustic home, keep the backsplash simple and chic. For a more modern look, go with a marble-like tile to give your kitchen fancy detail.

  1. Garage Door Upgrade

Get some fresh air and give the outside of your home a little sprucing up. A new garage door will give the outside of your home a nice upgrade in just a little change. If you’re not sure what type of garage door will go with your home, look into a garage door imagination system. You can upload a picture of your garage and virtually see what different doors will look like.

Home improvements aren’t just about the inside. Upgrading your garage door will add to the curb appeal of your home. It may even help you decide if you want to upgrade other features of your home such as landscape, the siding, or even a new roof.

  1. Paint Party

Painting any wall in your home should come after upgrading appliances and remodeling the details of the room, but before you upgrade your floors. If you know that you’re going to install new hardwood floors or brand new carpet, leave the old floors the way they are while you paint. You won’t have to worry about dripping paint and ruining your nice new floors.

Hard question. How do you pick the perfect paint color? There are a lot of things to consider when picking the paint for your room. How do you want the room to look and feel? The color of a room can actually create a mood. Soft colors such as blues and neutral colors create a relaxing feel. Bright colors like reds or yellows will give a room more energy.


  1. Flip Floors

The last project you want to tackle in any room are the floors. Once you have everything finished such as paint, new cabinets, or even a new tub depending upon the room, then you can take on a flooring project.

There are so many options for hardwood flooring for your home that it can be hard to choose. Think about what type of wood you want, how durable you need it to be and what the installation process would be. A durable hardwood floor is easy to keep clean and looks great in any home.

Don’t let home renovation projects overwhelm you. Start with the big details and work your way down. Start with a vision and go from there. You’ll have a nice, newly renovated home in no time.

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.






Mini Renovation: 4 Small Repairs That Will Make a Difference in Your Home

Mini Renovation 4 Small Repairs That Will Make a Difference in Your Home

Every homeowner wants his or her home to look better and be more comfortable, but not everyone has the resources to go through a full renovation. Luckily, there are several small home projects that almost anyone can do to improve a home’s appearance and feel. Here are four of the easiest repairs and upgrades you can make to improve your living environment.

Install a Fireplace

One of the easiest ways to add class and beauty to your home is to install a fireplace in a major living space. Believe it or not, this job isn’t nearly as difficult as you probably think. Many modern fireplaces, especially electric ones, can be installed very easily by any weekend handyman. If you want something that’s very easy to install, a wall mounted electric fireplace is a great option.

Consider New Lighting

Though most people don’t think of it, it’s remarkable what a difference updated lighting can make in a home. New lighting fixtures and bulbs can give your living areas a more modern appearance and provide better light for the rest of your decor. At the moment, recessed lighting is very popular among homeowners and designers.

Give Your Home a New Look with a Fresh Coat of Paint

If you’re working on a tight budget and can’t afford professional contractors, a fresh coat of paint may be the ideal solution to help your home look better. Almost anyone can paint a room, and the materials needed are relatively inexpensive. Pick out some fresh colors, set aside a weekend to paint and you’ll be amazed at how different your home looks when you’ve finished.

Update Your Plumbing Fixtures

Like anything else, trends in plumbing fixtures come and go. If you want to give your bathrooms and kitchen a new look without the expense of full renovation, consider getting new sinks and updating your bathroom vanities. Simple changes like this can make a large difference, especially if your current fixtures are decades out of style. Plumbing work is fairly specialized, so be sure to contact a professional plumber, such as one from Young Plumbing Corporation, to help you with changing out your sinks and other fixtures.

Even though all of these renovation ideas are small, they can add up to a substantial change in your home environment. Try a few simple updates and enjoy the satisfaction of having added both beauty and value to your house.

Things That You Should Avoid When Cleaning Grout and Tiles

Cleaning Grout and Tiles

Having a flooring that is nicely tiled and grouted is a great sight to see. However, not everyone is fond of cleaning it on a regular basis. Nonetheless, if you know what you should and should not do, you will be able to clean your grout and tiles with ease. Here are some of the things that you should avoid when cleaning your grout lines and tiles.

Grout cleaning and tile cleaning is a good idea, especially if you do so on a regular basis as this can actually prolong the life of your flooring and your tiles. Cleaning can maintain the flooring looking best all the time. You can find more about grout cleaning process here.

You also have to keep in mind that there are some activities which can actually shorten the life span of your tiles as well as the grout lines and some activities may even be extremely dangerous. Here are some of the things that you should avoid when doing tile and grout cleaning:

  • Avoid using too much water.

Only use the exact amount of water that you need. Do not use excess water, as grout is tremendously porous. Aside from weakening the grout, it can seep into the grout and be trapped there. Once water gets trapped in the grout, mildew and molds may grow their causing issues in the future.

  • Avoid using harsh chemicals and use light ones instead.

Bleach and ammonia are never good together if you meant to use them in cleaning your tiles and grout lines, as these two can create a type of gas – chlorine gas to be exact – which is quite poisonous and hazardous to your health. Do not use any harsh chemicals when other light chemicals can do the same job. Over time, these harsh chemicals can contribute in damaging your grout and tiles. Harsh chemicals can also weaken or lower down the durability as well as lifespan of grout and tiles.

Avoid using bleaching agents when cleaning, especially if your grout is colored. Bleaching it will wash away the original color of the grout by lightening or dulling the color.

  • Your scrubber matters.

Avoid using scrubbers,which are coarse as these can damage the grout and the tiles. In many cases, it is suggested that a brush would be used instead. This will help in making sure that the tiles and grout will last longer.

Cleaning tiles and grouts is not really as hard as it seem. You just need to know the basic do’s and don’ts of cleaning so you will not go astray or cause damage to your tiles and grout.

Jason McCoy is an experienced contractor who enjoys working on DIY projects of all kinds. He maintains a Guru For Grout Sealing Blog, which contains all sorts of information related to grouting, cleaning and sealing tiles.

Concrete Backyard Design and Decor Ideas

Concrete Backyard Design and Decor Ideas

Living in a house with a backyard opens various interesting options making your home even more inviting and comfortable. Concrete patios and backyard designs provide you with a great place to relax after a long day, entertaining playground for your kids, as well as a perfect spot for some intimate parties and barbecues. Designing and decorating your backyard can truly transform the look of your home so if you find yourself interested in this kind of project, keep on reading.

1. Benefits of concrete

If you’re stuck with ideas when it comes to redesigning your backyard/patio, one of the most recommended options is to use the concrete. There are, of course, several reasons as to why concrete is considered to be one of the best options for this project. In general, concrete is highly durable, yet very easily maintained. What’s more, you can adapt your concrete outdoor design to any style you prefer, and shape it according to your own taste and ideas.

2. Touch of personality

You may think that concrete looks plain and boring, but thanks to various decorative concrete options you can still get a pretty unique look of your backyard. In general, stamping and staining are two widely used decorative approaches. For example, if you want to have freshly poured concrete, stamping technique allows you to transform the appearance of your backyard with any texture you want. It can even mimic other natural materials, such as stone and wood. On the other hand, if you already have concrete in your backyard, you can always make it more interesting with a staining technique that comes with warm earthy tones. In the end, using decorative concrete is cost-effective since it will create a high-end, luxurious appearance of your outdoor area without going over your budget.

3. Play with shapes

The best thing about using concrete in your backyard is the freedom to choose the shape and form of your patio. Of course, you can cover your entire backyard with concrete, but you can also use various molds and play with their position in order to create something truly special. You can focus on patio area only, or spice up the garden space as well. If you’d like to use some really nice and unusual molds for concrete pouring, you can easily make one yourself. In general, using styrofoam blue board to shape the molds the way you see fit is definitely one of the most fun, personal and rewarding ways to refresh and redesign your backyard.

4. Add nature to the mixture

One of the mentioned benefits of concrete backyard is its low maintenance. This doesn’t only mean that concrete is just easy to clean, but also you won’t have to deal with dirt and grass in your yard. Still, removing all the traces of nature from your backyard won’t do you any good either. In order to experience true bliss every time you step outside, you can leave enough room for your garden that will be surrounded with interesting paving blocks. Alternatively, you can leave grass openings in your concrete layout for pops of decorative flowers, bushes, and plants. If you don’t mind tending the grass from time to time, you can create a nice balance in your backyard with concrete patio, lovely garden path and grassy area that will occupy the rest of your yard.

5. The heart of your backyard

In order to make your backyard/patio livelier and unique, don’t forget the fire feature. Together with some matching outdoor furniture, this barbecue area will undoubtedly add the final touch to your efforts. There are also many cool ideas online when it comes to building your own backyard, so feel free to check those out.

There are things that you could do yourself when tackling the redesign of your backyard, but sometimes you will need a professional help to accomplish the wanted backyard style. Make sure to be realistic and practical in this project so that your backyard will end up with a clear-cut, modern and creative concrete design.

Guest Post By:

Chloe TaylorChloe is an art historian, recreational ballet dancer and a contributor at smoothdecorator.com. She is passionate about photography, dance and music. Her biggest dream is to travel the whole world with her husband and take stunning photographs of beautiful places. She also enjoys learning and writing about home design, since she is crazy about aesthetics. You can find Chloe on FB, Twitter, and G+.