How to Make Your Backyard Ready for Next Summer

Did you miss out on all kinds of fun summer activities because your backyard is one big mess? Don’t let next summer catch you off guard as well, it’s high time you started planning your backyard remodel.


Photo: Home BNC

There are a lot of ways to make your patio or deck a perfect place to spend your hot summer days at. To figure out which design will work best for you, first consider what you will be using the space for. Do you want to host Sunday barbecues, make a playground for your children or just relax with a good book?

If your backyard needs a serious upgrade, here are five ideas to create a perfect outdoor living area:

Define the Purpose

Like we previously mentioned, first you have to consider what kinds of activities you will be hosting in your backyard once it’s remodelled. Do you want to use it for recreation, entertainment, relaxation or make it fit any purpose?

For example, if you are going to be hosting night-time parties or spending your nights in the backyard you should consider lighting options. There are numerous ways to light up your yard, but by far the most popular one is LED lights. They are much more economical, give off more natural light and are a perfect fit for any backyard. You can learn more about them here: http://blog.streetlights-solar.com/index.php/led-101/.

Photo: House Beautiful Magazine

If you want to have several separate areas, you should consider how you can divide your backyard into different sections. Plants can be a great, natural way to create different areas. Or, if you are planning on adding a pool, perhaps you should consider decorating around your swimming pool and even adding a shed where you can keep all of the pool cleaning equipment.

Refresh Your Patio

If like in most American homes your patio is made of concrete, the easiest way to refresh it is to paint it. There are several different painting techniques to choose from including staining, stamping or etching. You can even add a thin layer of stone to give it a more modern look. However, if there are too many cracks in your patio, perhaps you should consider replacing the concrete completely.


Photo: Style By Emily Henderson

Polish the Look

If you want your backyard to feel more coherent, consider plants of similar styles or colours. Plan out a theme and invest in decorations accordingly. These improvements are going to pay off if you plan on selling your home down the road and will make you feel extremely comfortable there. However, if you do plan on selling your home you should stay away from exotic plants and those that are difficult to take care of.

Change the Furniture

Finally, you can’t have a pleasant outdoor space with worn-out folding tables and plastic chairs. It pays off to invest in a contemporary outdoor furniture set. You don’t have to spend too much either. You can play around with materials and get affordable, yet incredibly stylish outdoor furniture. Or, you can consider sprucing up your old furniture and removing stubborn the rust from those iron chairs!


Photo: Design Love Fest

Patio furniture can be the great focal point of your backyard and a chance to add more colour and flair. However, make sure that the furniture matches the style of your garden and your home.

Once you have everything else pieced together, give your backyard a unique look by adding decorative elements such as rugs and pillows to truly make it your own.

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When Home Décor Goes Green – Here’s How to Do it!

Going green is not just a trend; for many people, it’s an important part of their daily life. One of the greatest things to happen in the green movement is how home décor can now do double duty and help us go green in every aspect of our lives. Read on to learn more about items that are green and a big benefit for your home!

 


Photo: Living Room Ideas EU

Solar Panels Save You Money

Solar panels are all the rage this year and are likely to continue being popular in the future. Why? Because solar panels can reduce your power bill by hundreds of dollars! While solar panels have been expensive in the past, we are seeing the panels become more affordable each year. Additionally, some insurance companies are offering discounts for adding solar panels to your home and you can certainly earn some tax breaks for the cost of the panels on your home. Before you run out and order your solar panels, we suggest you check out reviews. ION Solar reviews are a great example of what you should look for when purchasing your solar panels.

Greening the Garden

It seems a little odd to consider how to make your garden green. After all, a garden in itself is an act of greening your little chunk of land. However, lots of décor that we use in our gardens aren’t exactly the most earth-friendly. For starters, avoid using any pesticides or products like Miracle-Gro. They have chemicals that damage the earth and stay in the land for years to come. Secondly, avoid using wood in your garden. Yes, wood is a natural product of the earth but so much of it comes from rainforests that we are causing more damage when we use them. Instead, opt for décor that is made from recycled plastic so as to keep the trees providing our oxygen and plastics out of the landfills.


Photo: Etsy

Change Up Your Furniture

Believe it or not, your furniture isn’t exactly the greenest of options. Most of it goes through a heavily chemical process that has to be disposed of somehow. Often in our rivers! And with new wood furniture available every day, we are tearing down more trees that we should be just for furniture. First and foremost, use thrift stores to obtain your furniture so that those items don’t end up in a landfill. Beyond that, you can also shop for home furniture that is made of reclaimed materials. Desks made from recycled plastic and glass is a wonderful way to keep those items out of our earth.

Photo: Domino Magazine

Before You Paint, Read the Label

Believe it or not, you can now paint your home with eco-friendly paints. It’s important to really understand what it is you are looking for since not all paints are created equal. If you are needing external paint, look for ones that use zinc oxide as it’s fungicide. If you are unable to find those, then look for paints with low or very low VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Avoid oil based paints since their VOCs are typically high.

For internal paints, look for milk or natural paints. Natural paints come from substances such as citrus, balsam, and various minerals. Milk based paints are often made with casein (milk protein) and lime. If neither are available and you are left to latex paints, do look for low VOCs and very low biocide. Yes, you still want to avoid oil based paints!

It’s getting easier to incorporate a green lifestyle with our home décor. We are excited to see how these things will change in the years to come. We may see a major reversal to the rainforests that have been unnecessarily stripped for our housing pleasures.

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