Cool deck time fun in the summer sun: 3 tips to beat the heat
May25

Cool deck time fun in the summer sun: 3 tips to beat the heat

During the winter months, many people eagerly anticipate the sunny days of summer. But, when summer rolls around, these same people are often busy looking for ways to cool off. Getting outside on the deck or porch is an ideal way to relax and escape stifling indoor heat for many Americans. To make sure your outdoor living retreat is a cool oasis, consider these three tips to beat the heat: 1. Create stylish shade While an umbrella or a roll-up sunshade provides a fast and easy way to block direct sun, they can quickly fade or become a dingy eyesore. A stylish alternative is to cast refreshing shade with a gazebo or arbor. With either option, you also can create a lush and fragrant grotto using climbing vines such as roses, clematis, wisteria or honeysuckle. For a weekend do-it-yourself project, look for gazebo and arbor plans on popular social media sites like Pinterest or Houzz. If you prefer to have someone else do the work, many deck builders will complete the project for you without breaking the bank. 2. Spritz yourself with a mister Sunbelt residents and visitors are familiar with outdoor cooling misters installed at popular outdoor cafes, theme parks and other places people gather on hot days. Now, homeowners throughout the U.S. are installing these systems on their decks or porches. The ultrafine droplets of water created by these systems can cool the air as much as 35 degrees. In addition to providing cool and refreshing moisture on hot summer days, some manufacturers report the systems help repel flying insects and clear the air of smoke and pollen. Easy-to-install misters are available online or from your local home improvement store, starting at under $100. 3. Don’t forget the deck surface Many deck surfaces become uncomfortably hot in direct sun. The problem is especially acute for dark-colored deck boards, which absorb heat throughout the day, as well as some dense composite boards that hold heat. As a result, rather than a comfortable stroll to your favorite chair, you might end up hot-footing it across a scorching deck. An overly hot deck is especially problematic for young children and pets, whose feet are more heat sensitive. “Many people tell us they love the beauty and durability of their composite deck, but not the heat,” says Brent Gwatney, vice president of MoistureShield decking. His company has developed a solution they call CoolDeck(R) technology. The boards are engineered to absorb up to 35 percent less heat than other composites in similar colors, for a noticeably lower surface temperature in direct sun. Whether you’re building a new deck or upgrading an existing...

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6 steps to grow a garden anywhere
May09

6 steps to grow a garden anywhere

The benefits from gardening are endless — relaxation, fitness, family fun, delicious food and beautifying your lawn. Across the country, millions of people live in townhomes, apartments or single-family homes that seem to lack the outdoor space needed for a conventional garden. But the good news is that no matter where you live you can still create a garden that reflects your goals and is uniquely personal to you. Raised bed gardens may be the perfect solution. This type of gardening is gaining popularity not only because it can be adjusted to fit any size requirements, but because it is prone to fewer weeds, reduced soil erosion and fewer soil challenges that can arise in areas where the ground is inherently sandy or clay-based. Raised bed gardens also offer you the opportunity to customize your garden bed with beautiful accents and decorations that will make it look as amazing as the food it produces. Steps for growing veggies and herbs in a raised garden bed Step 1: Prep your space. Raised garden beds can be bought or built to fill whatever space you have available. Select a bed that works well with your space and prepare accordingly. Step 2: Choose your soil. Once you have your empty bed ready, choose your soil. Nature’s Care Raised Bed Soil is ideal as this soil is specifically formulated with rich organic matter and high-quality nutrients that help give your plants the benefits they need with no mixing required. Once you add the soil, be sure to rake it so it is smooth and level. Step 3: Preparing your bed. Next, you can finalize what you want to plant. Spacing is essential here and you want to remember to place your plants close together for maximum yield. Bonnie Plants provides a number of delicious and colorful options, including basil, tomato, kale, hot peppers and more. Check out your local plant nurseries for a variety of Bonnie Plants to choose from. Step 4: Planting. Since plant spacing varies by plant type, read the back of the plant tag for proper plant spacing. Step 5: Feed your plants. Once your veggies and herbs are planted, apply a fertilizer such as Nature’s Care Organic & Natural Raised Bed Plant Food to add essential nutrients to the soil and help your plants grow big and strong. Simply sprinkle and work into the soil, then treat your plants to water. Just like us, plants get hungry, so make sure you follow the directions on the label to determine when to reapply. Step 6: Harvest. When your vegetables are ripe, it’s time to harvest. All you need to do...

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Types of gazebo for your garden
Dec27

Types of gazebo for your garden

Because of its practicality and design versatility, gazebo is one of the most widely used element for gardens. There are different types of gazebo which could fulfill any garden style, and augment the missing piece in your landscape. Having a gazebo in your garden or back yard is practical because of couple of things, these are: Augment the style of your garden with elegant design; Protect you from the sun during summer days by providing a garden-fresh shade; You can enjoy an outdoor dinner or lunch with your friends; You can just sit down or lay down and enjoy the beautiful fresh air in your garden; Gazebos can be found in vast number of designs, styles, shapes and materials. Thus, it is rather difficult to fail to find a gazebo which will be suitable for your landscape from the variety of types of gazebo available. Starting with the shapes, the commonly used shapes for gazebo are: six sided structure, round structure, square, rectangular, and oblong. Keep in mind that these are only the basic shapes, there are shapes which will be adequate for different types of garden styles. As it was the case with the shapes, gazebos can also be found in many different designs. The basic designs are:  folly gazebo, rotundas gazebo, Victorian gazebo, Asian gazebo, pavilion gazebo and pergola gazebo. Folly Gazebo This form of design is intended to be a decorative piece, because it doesn’t offer a roof over your head i.e. shelter. It can come in different sizes and can augment your landscape without obstructing the view. Rotundas Gazebo   Most common shape of the rotundas gazebo is rounded or circular shape. Because this design is primarily of European origin, it can augment the style of your garden. In addition, this gazebo has a spherical roof which augment the design style even more. Victorian Gazebo Victorian gazebo is the right gazebo design for you if you want to incorporate different decorative bits and piece. Pavilion Gazebo Most common shape of Pavilion gazebo is the octagonal shape, but can also be found in a rectangular shape. The attractive thing about this gazebo design is the flow of fresh air. The flow of fresh air is possible because the gazebo is open sided. Pergola Gazebo This gazebo design is practical if you want to have a stylish walkway and or a place to relax. It design is based on multiple vertical pillars that are supporting cross-beams creating an open lattice. This design doesn’t have a roof in the traditional style. Pergola gazebo can be combined with the surrounding plants and flowers and achieve irreplaceable decor in your...

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Street-View Melbourne: 5 Lesser-Known Suburbs on the Rise
Aug30

Street-View Melbourne: 5 Lesser-Known Suburbs on the Rise

Housing prices can be tricky things to navigate, as you can probably tell by the many, many articles popping up every few months proclaiming that X suburb is shooting ahead, or Y suburb is a contender for most growth. Suburbs like Yarrabend or Kew seem like easy choices for growth based on their proximity to the city, however housing is rarely that simple. Here we have compiled a list of suburbs that are on the rise in Melbourne for a variety of reasons, be it house pricing, rental pricing, or upcoming development. Mount Waverley Mount Waverley has seen a steady increase in desirability over the last few years, as it’s school districts allow for students to have a bit more of a choice with high schools and primary schools. It has several public transport options, it’s only a 20 minute journey from the CBD by car, and it lies on the doorstep of Chadstone Shopping Centre. These things combine to form strong house prices with steady growth, although with an average house price of $1.27 million, the sooner you get in the better – it shows no sign of slowing down. Sunshine Sunshine has seen a 5% growth in house prices in the last year, a distinct growth above many other suburbs. Situated in the outer western suburbs, Sunshine boasts it’s own Escape Room- a challenging physical game in which a participant has a set number of hours to solve a puzzle and escape a locked room- something many other suburbs can’t claim. As well as that, it is a short train ride from the city, and is just 2kms from Quang Minh Buddhist Temple. Chadstone Chadstone is divided into two sections. As far as housing goes, there is the upper-scale, more valuable houses located closer to Chadstone Shopping Centre, and there is the commission housing flats toward the Ashwood side of the suburb. There has been a growth in both sides of the housing divide, and this allows the smart investor the chance to purchase a house in a growing suburb for a substantial amount less than they would pay halfway across the exact same area. Chadstone’s biggest talking point is Chadstone Shopping Centre, one of the largest and busiest shopping centers in the southern hemisphere. As this shopping centre expands steadily, the housing around it is bought up to make room for more parking, and newer buildings. With a new wing set to open at the end of 2016, expect a steady increase in interest in the area. Box Hill Box Hill is located toward Doncaster and has a wide selection of things to do at any...

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Original Ideas for Outdoor Garden Decoration
Apr24

Original Ideas for Outdoor Garden Decoration

There is nothing better than to have a good time in a beautiful garden. That is why it is important to have an outdoor garden with beautiful and original decoration. The outdoor garden is like a corner of paradise that calm the soul and inspires creativity. The public gardens are a real source of inspiration for the design from our own garden. Garden design possibilities are really endless. You can plant your plants in interesting and original pots. Fountains or ponds are very interesting too. Watch our photos with outdoor garden decorating ideas and be creative! image via ideas.stickboykitchen.com image via www.minimalisti.com image via www.ventgarden.com image via www.ventgarden.com image via www.homedit.com image via dndon.info image via interiorarch.pw image via interiorarch.pw image via www.hillsidehouseplans.com image...

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The homeowner’s guide to choosing the right blinds
Oct19

The homeowner’s guide to choosing the right blinds

Redesigning a room (or if you’re very daring/crazy, your entire home) can be a mammoth task. Deciding on how to dress your windows is often a final consideration for many people, as they are more concerned with other factors like what kind of carpet to choose, or what kind of furniture to get. The truth is that no one factor is more or less important than another in putting a room together, because all of the different elements are going to be working together to create a look that is made of all the parts. As an interior designer, I am often called on to create a look for my clients that adheres to a particular style, and sometimes people just want to emulate something that they’ve seen in a magazine. No matter what, I always tell that they need to inject their own personal style and that we’ll go from there. I wanted to take some time to help out homeowners who are looking to choose some new blinds. Choosing New Blinds The most important thing when you’re choosing new blinds is to ensure that you’re striking the right balance between privacy, light, and an attractive aesthetic for your home. It’s no good if your blinds are beautiful but let in too much light, or if they’re the perfect black-out blinds but they’re ugly as sin. Heinous blinds are a definite no-no in my book. As I’m based in Victoria, I’m always working with clients who need a good set of blinds that are able to block the summer sun, but keep in the heat in winter. Recently, I was shopping for some Ziptrak blinds in Melbourne (and I have to say I’m a little bit obsessed with these lately) and installed some in the bedroom for a client who was looking for a light blocking blind that was child safe (she has three young children). The Ziptrak blinds are very easy to use and have done away with cables and cords that can pose a potential risk and hazard to young children. They also block the light completely if required and are attractive too – so it’s a big plus in my book. image via allweatherblinds.com.au Choosing Blinds For Each Room In Your Home Kitchen – When you’re choosing blinds for your kitchen, you need to think about the fact that you potentially spend a fair bit of time in the kitchen, either preparing and eating food or socialising with friends and family. As such, you need an easy-to-clean blind that is pleasant to look at but that can also block out light when needed. Bedroom –...

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Is your Backyard High-Maintenance?
Sep21

Is your Backyard High-Maintenance?

Our backyard is the place that we can go to hang out – a sanctuary away from the constraints of indoors and the place where we grow plants and enjoy nature. The backyard is a beautiful spot for any family or group of friends in a sharehouse to go and barbecue, play, sunbathe and relax, and where we’re safe. The only problem here is if your backyard has fallen into disrepair, and if you cannot be bothered to start the often-arduous and difficult task of cleaning up the backyard. If your lawn has grown long and scraggly, and if your plants and vines are threatening to overtake your entire house, then you might say that your backyard is a little too high-maintenance. If this is the case, you’ll find that instead of being a sanctuary to relax in, your backyard is a source of stress and displeasure, and is a place to avoid at all costs – lest you be reminded of the huge amount of work that needs to be done in order to make it livable. The good news is that there are some things you can do to ensure that your backyard is a low-maintenance joy and pleasure, and by following these handy tips, you’re going to ensure that your backyard is a hot-spot no matter what. Image Courtesy: https://www.facebook.com/BonitaStonePavingProducts/ Step One: Ditch the dirt and go for pavers Something a friend of mine did recently was dig up the ratty old bit of grass that he had adorning his backyard. It had been bugging him for months (if not years) and he put down some stunning pavers – I think he got them from Bonita Stone. Once he had done that, he had a new lease on his outdoor area – he was out there all the time barbecuing and enjoying the space, whereas before he was just frustrated about the fact that it was dusty and dirty out there. If you’re a low-maintenance kind of person, you’re going to love the flexibility and ease that comes with having pavers. It also makes for a cleaner look to the backyard if your space is just a bit too small to mow often. Image Courtesy: https://www.facebook.com/BonitaStonePavingProducts/ Step Two: Think about your plants Got some creepers crawling up your walls and sick to death of them? You have a choice here – either learn to love the ragged jungle look or chop the greenery away and replace them with some plants that are easier to contain. There’s probably nothing I hate more than going out and doing what I consider to be a lot of gardening work,...

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Creative Garden Decorating Ideas with Rocks and Stones
Jul27

Creative Garden Decorating Ideas with Rocks and Stones

For all of you who have big backyards and want to decorate it on a unique and interesting way, we found the most amazing and creative way of decoration. The best news is you don’t have to spend so much money to buy expensive and fancy decorations or to hire people to do that for you. We suggest you to use rocks and stones. They are pure, natural and you can find them everywhere in different shapes, sizes and colors for free. In the post below we chose some of the most interesting decorations and ideas. From stepping stones, mosaics, walls and other different shapes – the choice is all yours. You just have to adjust your ideas to the space you own and be creative using colors, trees, grass etc. to embellish your decoration. See the post below with all the tutorials and outcomes and start collecting stones and rocks today! image via www.zajenata.bg image via www.zajenata.bg image via designanddiymagazine.com image via www.fabartdiy.com image via archiengineering.com image via www.fabartdiy.com image via nohomedesign.com image via www.fanrto.com image via www.woohome.com image via www.woohome.com...

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Awesome Hanging Chairs for Ultimate Relaxation
Jul26

Awesome Hanging Chairs for Ultimate Relaxation

Do you like the sunny days? Do you enjoy them by sitting in your backyard or on the balcony reading a good book, drinking refreshing cocktails or enjoying your cup of coffee? These activities can be best done in a perfect chair – and not just any chair, but a perfect, relaxing hanging chair. You can have one of these on your balcony or in your backyard and enjoying the long hot summer days and fresh nights. This is the perfect way to kick off your shoes and relax. In the gallery below we chose some of the most amazing hanging chairs. If you are a book lover, then you can spend your free time reading in the yard. You can even fall asleep and you won’t notice it, because they are very comfortable and relaxing. There is a wide variety of these chairs, made of different materials, with different shapes and colors. Check the gallery that we have prepared for you and choose the one you like the most and that best suits your wishes and space. Enjoy! image via art.ekstrax.com image via tagloom.com image via casaoriginal.com image via www.decoratualma.com image via www.digsdigs.com image via www.digsdigs.com image via www.digsdigs.com image...

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Beautiful Outdoor Living Room Ideas
May29

Beautiful Outdoor Living Room Ideas

The beautiful spring weather has recently started and the hot summer days and nights are just around the corner. This is the time of the year when we spend most of the time outside, enjoying the fresh air, the sun and all the beauties of these seasons. Now is the time for you to consider about decorating an outdoor living space. Having an outdoor living room is a great idea of having a suitable space in your home for spending quality time with family and friends. All you need to do is to find the right spot, make it as comfortable as you can and decorate it to look like the most cosy and welcoming living space. Get some comfortable sofa, chairs, and the most important – a coffee table, so you spend beautiful moments drinking coffee outdoors, breathing fresh air. We advise you to be careful when it comes to protection of the items you put in your outdoor living room in terms of too much exposure to sun, and some rain showers. Also, you should put appropriate lightening system. Decorate your outdoor living room according to your taste and style, put there everything that you need and just relax and enjoy! image via southviewdesign.com image via enjoymyluxuryhome.com image via holicoffee.com image via holicoffee.com image via betterlivingpatios.com image via thewowstyle.com image via thewowstyle.com image via thewowstyle.com image via www.livenedup.com image via www.iompix.com image via newscentral.exsees.com...

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