Simple Home & Garden Decorating Ideas to Spruce Up Your Home

Home and garden decorating is a hot topic and growing … as evidenced by current television programming. Not only are there more and more home-related television shows on the air than there were 10 years ago, there are even entire channels dedicated to the home – HGTV and DIY Network, to name just two.

Television shows dedicated to beautifying the home are both interesting and helpful for people who are looking for ideas for their home and garden. These shows take everyday living spaces and transform them into attractive and inviting places. And because many of these programs work with a limited budget, they further help people realize that home and garden decorating can be accomplished without going to great expense. They also demonstrate that even small changes can make an enormous difference.

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Home and garden decorating usually involves many different materials – paint, fabric, wood, tile, furniture, accessories – and can often intimidate homeowners who don’t feel as though they are “creative” enough to pull it all together. However, with so many home and gardening programs, magazines, books and catalogs available, homeowners are starting to understand that they don’t need to have a lot of creative skill to pull off a room makeover. In fact, some of the best changes you can make to a room are the simple ones.

Here are a few simple home and garden decorating tips that produce big changes:

  • The home and garden should complement each other. If a beautiful garden exists outside, why not bring that beauty inside by displaying fresh-cut flowers from your garden throughout your home. Flowers provide a lovely, fresh scent and add color to any space.
  • Bring the warmth of your indoor living space outside using luminary candles, or string white lights around a decorative patio tree. The soft glow of light is always welcoming on a warm summer evening while you entertain your friends and family.
  • If you have a collection that you have spent years gathering, dedicate a place to tastefully arrange and display them – for all to enjoy. Conversely, if you have a lot of “clutter” in a room (such as hundreds of DVDs, CDs or magazines), you may want to find new homes for them). Something as simple as removing the unneeded items from a room can greatly improve the look of it.
  • Outside, if you have overgrown bushes or invasive trees, consider relocating them or cutting them down. You can also add window boxes to the front of your home for added charm.
  • Walls looking dingy? Brighten them up with a fresh coat of paint.
  • If you have a wooden deck, replace wooden planks that are warped or splintered. Give your deck a good power-wash to remove all the mold, dirt and mildew, and then finish up the job by giving it a new coat of stainand/or weatherproofing that complements the exterior color of your home.
  • Change out the accessories around your home – light switch plates and electrical socket covers, kitchen knobs, door handles and hinges.

Remember, there are many simple home and garden decorating ideas that you can do – in just a few hours. These simple changes will greatly transform the look of your yard and enhance the curb appeal of your home.

Recreating Outdoor Spaces: #3 More Accessorizing Your Space

Accessorizing doesn’t always mean things that sit on your Deck. Think about the space that you have and what you want your guests to experience while they are spending time at your home. Creating spaces that are interesting and inviting often means incorporating landscaping into the picture. Green spaces should always include living things, whether it is plants, shrubs, trees or the like. What you do with these components is really up to you and can go a long way in putting the finishing touches to your outdoor space. 

Plants

    1. Shrubbery – Using shrubbery as accent or focal points depends on your layout. There are literally thousands of types of shrubbery that can be incorporated into your design. What you are trying to accomplish will dictate the type of shrub you use. Here are a few usages:
        1. Privacy – Tall, well filled in shrubs provide a great barrier from the neighborhood
        2. Framing – Use various types and shapes of shrubs to frame your planting beds
        3. Accenting – A well placed shrub can be just the right thing to catch your eye
    2. Trees – Most of the time you will not be able to afford to purchase full grown trees to incorporate into your design. You can, however, take into consideration the existing mature trees that you have, as well as plant young trees in anticipation of what they will provide in the future. Trees can provide the following:
        1. Privacy – Different types of trees allow you to buffer your outdoor space from roads, driveways and neighboring properties
        2. Shade – Always look for ways to provide a place to escape the heat of the day. Remember, not all entertaining happens in the cool of the evening. Your guests will appreciate a well placed shade tree
        3. Height – If you are looking to build in different levels to your landscape, trees afford you the perfect tool to accomplish this. Low lying Japanese maples to the giant oaks and everything in between, are available as tools for you to use to create interesting and visually pleasing spaces
    3. Flowers – We hear about annuals and perennials and such, but what you need to know is that flowers can bring that special flare to your outdoor space. There are so many options in this category that you will just have to experiment and find what compliments your design the best. Don’t forget flowers can and should change with the seasons, and in doing so can drastically change the look of your design.
    4. Other – Don’t forget about vegetables and herbs. These plants not only can help create a beautiful and interesting design, they also can provide you with useful foodstuffs to serve to your family and friends.

Take the time in the design phase of your outdoor space to take inventory of your canvas. Filling the canvas of your landscape with items of diverse textures, colors and heights will engage your guest’s senses, allowing them to enjoy the environment that you created right in your own back yard.

Happy Remodeling!

Next Time…Moving into the Basement

Q&A&CQuestions and Answers and Comments are expected and welcomed.

YOUR STORY – Tell us about your remodeling experiences, good or bad. We all have had them and perhaps you can help someone else have a great remodeling experience or avoid the issues that you encountered. Remember…keep it clean and civil or we can’t publish it.

Recreating Outdoor Spaces: #2 Accessorizing Your Space

Now that you have your Deck all spruced up and clean, it is time to accessorize the space before all the family and friends show up!

I want to give you a shopping list of sorts. You can pick and choose the things that interest you, do more research and then head out and purchase the items that will complete the picture perfect environment that you are trying to create.

Lighting

    1. Path Lighting – make sure visitors can safely find their way to and from your outdoor space
    2. Landscape Lighting – this is the cat’s meow when it comes to creating a mood or an environment. Up-lighting trees, plants and shrubbery as well as wall washing the house and out buildings, gives the impression that you want people there.
    3. Deck Lighting
        1. Tread Lights – Light fixtures that are installed in or around the stairs leading to the Deck surfaces. Provides safe access.
        2. Under Railing Lights – These light fixtures, individual fixtures or rope lighting, can be installed at the bottom or top of the railing system to give a low laying glow to the Deck space
        3. Newel Post Lights – These fixtures can be hoisted atop a tall post or incorporated into the newel post at the railing height. Either location serves to shed accent lighting or flood the space with light.   

Seating

    1. Table and Chairs – This is where most time is spent on a deck, so choose wisely. Tables should be as large as the space allows and stable enough to handle food, drink and elbows. Chairs should be stable and comfy, nothing is worse than sitting down in a chair and having it collapse on you.
    2. Built-in Benches – These are very useful in providing a large number of seating choices, but sometimes they can be very utilitarian. Also, once they are installed that is what you have, so be careful. You may be restricting the use of your space if you have a lot of stationary, built-in benches.
    3. Varying Spaces and Uses – Remember you want to create spaces that are of interest to many different people. So providing seating of varying heights and styles around different tables and spaces will go a long way in creating an interesting and welcoming entertainment area.

 Music

    1. Speakers – This item can be as fun as it is useful. Speakers run the gamut when it comes to what they look like and how they function. If you are going to spend the money and try to provide your guests with ambiance, then don’t waste your money by going cheap. Remember, people live with enough noise. Sometimes it’s just nice to be able to sit and talk without anything else going on.
        1. Coverage – Think in triangles. Wherever you place a speaker, visualize a triangle going out from the face of it. Whether it is a basic square unit placed on the side of the house or a fun unit that looks like a rock placed in the garden next to the Deck, you need to make sure that there is not too much overlap or dead spaces. A good layout allows everyone to hear without working too hard.

One thing to keep in mind is that sometimes less is more. Don’t clutter your space with stuff. Don’t fill your space with things so much that your guests feel like they are in the way or can’t move around.

Happy Remodeling!

Next Time… Recreating Outdoor Spaces: #3 MORE Accessorizing Your Space

NOTE: Administrator is on vacation next week so the next installment will be during the first full week of July! Check back soon, check back often and tell your friends about our blog, we appreciate your blogship.

Q&A&CQuestions and Answers and Comments are expected and welcomed.

YOUR STORY – Tell us about your remodeling experiences, good or bad. We all have had them and perhaps you can help someone else have a great remodeling experience or avoid the issues that you encountered. Remember…keep it clean and civil or we can’t publish it.

Recreating Outdoor Spaces: #1 Tired Old Decks/Patios

Many times we get so used to our surroundings that we don’t realize what we have or that things have fallen into disrepair. This state of affairs doesn’t necessarily demand the creation of new spaces. Often we can remedy the situation by “re-creating” our outdoor spaces.

Tired Old Decks/Patios

Pressure Washing. You would be surprised what a good pressure washing will do for old Deck/Patio surfaces. This can be a good DIY weekend project or there are good, reputable companies that specialize in Deck/Patio cleaning and renewal services. Be sure to use an eco-friendly detergent as some detergents, while very effective at cleaning your Deck/Patio surface, will be very harmful to your plants and grass. You also need to be very careful with the amount of pressure you use and how close you hold the hose nozzle to the Deck/Patio surface. Too much pressure at a close proximity to the Deck surface will destroy your Deck boards or Patio surface. A weekend Deck cleaning project could turn into a nightmare replacement project real quick if you are not careful.

It is a good idea to test on an inconspicuous area before going too wild with the cleaning. You want to make sure that the pressure you are using will not be chewing out bits and pieces of the Deck boards or the Patio bricks/pavers or concrete surface. Depending on the age and condition of the Deck/Patio material, it is a real possibility that there could be damage from the cleaning process. Work slowly across the area and adjust the level of pressure and closeness of the nozzle as you go; each area may vary in its tolerance for pressure.

If you do not own a pressure washing machine, you can easily rent one from your local tool rental store. Make sure you know how to operate the machine before leaving the store, especially how to regulate the pressure. Most places also will have the detergent available for you as well.

If you don’t feel that this is something you want to tackle alone, please don’t hesitate to contact a professional Deck renewal service. They have the tools and the experience to give your tired old Deck/Patio that new feel without the major investment of replacement.

Happy Remodeling!

Next Time… Recreating Outdoor Spaces: #2 Accessorizing Your Space

Q&A&CQuestions and Answers and Comments are expected and welcomed.

YOUR STORY – Tell us about your remodeling experiences, good or bad. We all have had them and perhaps you can help someone else have a great remodeling experience or avoid the issues that you encountered. Remember…keep it clean and civil or we can’t publish it.

Moving to the Outside

Living greener may be as easy as spending more time outside. And spending more time outside may be as easy installing a new patio or deck or remodeling an existing outdoor space.

Creating New Space

If you are looking out your back door and you cannot think of any possibilities for expanding your usable space…think again. Think of it this way; if your home is 2,500 SF and you add a 250 SF patio or deck, you have just expanded your usable space by 10%! 250 square feet is 10’x25’, 12’x21’, 14’x18’; these are very workable sizes for either a new deck or patio. Who could not use 10% more entertainment space or 10% more seating area at parties? This type of expansion is not out of the question.

Start your planning by making a list of essentials. What are the priorities? Seating, grilling, hot tub, access, socializing, these are some common areas of concern that drive the overall design of an outdoor space. I suggest that you write the important components down and then prioritize them so if you need to adjust because of size or budget you can start eliminating from the bottom up.

You do not have to limit yourself what your neighbors have done or what your Uncle Lewis said he could do for you on a month of Saturdays.

Look around, collect ideas and do your “home work”. The options are limitless when it comes to the configuration, the usage, the materials and the colors of your new outdoor space. 

Happy Remodeling!

Next Time…Recreating Outdoor Spaces

Q&A&CQuestions and Answers and Comments are expected and welcomed.

YOUR STORY – Tell us about your remodeling experiences, good or bad. We all have had them and perhaps you can help someone else have a great remodeling experience or avoid the issues that you encountered. Remember…keep it clean and civil or we can’t publish it.