How To Enjoy Your Garden During Winter Time

How To Enjoy Your Garden During Winter Time

Enjoy your home’s garden even in the cold winter months. Here are some easy and super affordable ideas on how on how to turn winter gardens into a reality.

Photo: AJF Design

When the cold winds come knocking, most of us take a step back from our outdoors and start to spend our leisure time on the inside instead. It’s easy to see why – the temperatures start dropping quickly and spending time outside comfortably gets increasingly more difficult – and even though it can leave you wishing for summer back, you don’t have to worry any longer – there are ways to fight the cold back. Out of the dozens of options out there, today we’ll be taking a look at only the very best steps you can take in order to enjoy our outdoors all year round! They’re simple to put into practice, inexpensive and mightily effective so without further ado, let’s begin.

Heat It Up

The most obvious and popular counter-measure – heat. By getting yourself a good looking and potent fire pit or a versatile patio heater, you’ll instantly be on the right track to beat the cold. While a simple patio heater is great and allows you to enjoy your outdoors more easily, a fire pit is another experience altogether. It combines the usefulness of a heat source with the comfortable look of real flames and packages it all up in a gorgeous looking decorative piece that’ll bring everyone together in a warm, cozy and happy atmosphere. Choosing the best fire pit is fairly easy and comes down to one major differentiating trait – is it a propane unit or a wood burning one? Depending on your personal preference and available space, the best choice will differ but you can rest assured that both of them will do the job extremely well. Heat sources like these are the pillar of any winter-proof garden or patio as it will be around them that every other piece such as chairs, sofas, tables and the likes, will stand in order to benefit from the blanket of warmth that is created.

Get Some Cover

Photo: Artemesia Landscape Architecture

Getting some sort of cover from the direct wind is a great upgrade to your garden and cold open-air and even some rain is essential in order to properly use your outdoors during autumn and winter. There are two ways to go about this – either go big or go small. Going small means setting up some windbreakers – either acrylic, glass or simply fabric – which generally is an inexpensive but effective way to protect yourself from the elements. Going big means setting up some large, permanent structures instead such as a pergola or a gazebo which effectively create a season-proof area, allowing you to comfortably use those spaces all year-round be it hot or cold. While windbreakers typically only cover you from the sides (even though you can pair them with a few sturdy wind-resistant umbrellas to get some top coverage), these larger structures give you protection from all sides which is much appreciated not only during the cold seasons to fight off wind and rain but also during the hot ones to get some cool shade. They’re also incredibly good looking, super impactful decorative pieces and last a lifetime but that’s just the cherry on top.

Get Nice and Comfy

Photo: Meridian Estate Greenhouses

With the other steps covering the structural basis, now you only need to take care of the details. When you’re sitting around the fire pit, joyously relaxing, having a nice conversation and sipping on some hot cocoa, there’s only one thing missing – a blanket. If you’re still feeling a little chilly despite all, a blanket will be the finishing touch of heat and comfort, making you impervious to the cold as well as feeling fantastic. There are other little steps that you can apply to create a warmer, more comfortable aura such as placing a couple of rugs outdoors, a set of comfy pillows and even a couple of warm lights as well, all of which work together to create a real sense of hearth and true comfort that not even the harsh elements can disturb.

Bonus tip

Drinking a hot beverage is a classic and surprisingly effective way to warm up. Keep a hot pot of coffee, tea or cocoa nearby and sip away while you relax! Enjoying your outdoors during the colder months is a bit trickier but just as fun, if not more, than during the hot ones. The comfy ambiance, warm flames and cozy conversations are quite unique and make for excellent, long lasting memories so don’t hesitate and let the cold win again this year – roll up your sleeves and fight back by following the 3 simple steps shown above!

DIY Tips to Improve Your Home’s Interior

DIY Tips to Improve Your Home’s Interior

When it comes to getting a house ready to sell, improvements don’t have to break the bank. Simple DIY improvements will help you sell your house for more money. In fact, sometimes they can save sellers money throughout the selling process. Below, you’ll find some of the best ways to increase home value without spending a lot of dough!

Photo: Oh Beauty Interiors

Get started

One of the best things you can do to get the most out of a home’s value is hire a real estate agent. The National Association of Realtors found that the typical home sold by owners without an agent sold for $59,000 less than those sold using a professional.

A trained agent can help you correct any issues with your home that might raise eyebrows with potential buyers — before it goes on the market. He or she can also steer you away from any time-consuming projects that won’t get the desired return on investment. Agents also work closely with home inspectors, whose approval you’ll likely need to finalize the sale. They can help you figure out which improvements will absolutely have to be done.

There are seven major things that a home inspector will look for:

  1. Water damage — average cost: $2,588 to fix
  2. Structural issues — average cost: $4,005 to fix
  3. Roof damage — average cost: $775 to repair, or $6,725 to $9,000 to replace
  4. Damaged electrical system — average cost: $160-$500 to fix
  5. Plumbing problems — average cost: $1,038 to fix
  6. Insect and pest infestation — average cost: $172 to fix
  7. HVAC System issues — average cost: $163-$528 to replace

Staying proactive on these functional repairs can save you money in the long run. For example, hiring someone to look at and clean your crawl space might cost you somewhere between $500-$700, however, an inspection report-recommended cleanup might cost you more than $6,000.

Photo: Ponciano Design

Declutter, clean and stage

Declutter, clean and stage should be your mantra as you home prep room by room. The most important part of preparing a home for sale is removing the you from the home. You want potential homebuyers to be able to envision themselves living in your home, and having all your knick-knacks strewn about isn’t going to get the job done. So, remove all of the personal items you can. Then give your home a good deep clean. For a clearer picture of what that entails, including the supplies you’ll need, check out this home prep plan.

Photo: Ponciano Design

Focus on the kitchen

One of the biggest focal points for potential buyers is the kitchen. But don’t make plans for a full kitchen renovation just yet. Full kitchens renovations actually have some of the worst return on investment statistics. Remodeling Magazine’s 2017 Cost Vs. Value report found that a mid range kitchen remodel cost exceeds its resale value by more than $21,000, and that number more than doubles in an upscale remodel.

Instead of doing a full renovation, focus on these smaller updates:

  • Clean
  • Organize your pantry
  • Use Murphy Oil Soap and hot water to all your cabinets
  • Polish cabinets with Howard Feed-In-Wax
  • Tighten all hinges
  • Clean grout and tiles with an all-purpose cleaner like Soft Scrub
  • Make sinks and hardware shine
  • Deep clean your stove
  • Paint kitchen walls
  • Update light fixtures and bulbs
  • Get new hardware for cabinets and doors
  • Make the countertops look new
  • Switch out the appliances

Photo: Deane Inc

Make cheap upgrades

Two of the best (and cheapest) upgrades you can make to your home are painting and upgrading the flooring. An interior do-it-yourself paint job will cost you around $200-$300 per room. First, decide which rooms are in need of a new look. Ideally, you’d want to remove loud colors because they inhibit buyers from seeing themselves living in the home. Think blank canvas. Then, choose a nice neutral palate, as those hues bring coziness and minimalism to mind. Sherwin Williams’ Sincerity palette is pleasing to the eye. Then inspect your flooring. One of the best investments you can make is in high-grade carpet or hard-surface flooring. If reflooring the entire house isn’t possible, hardwood or laminate the living areas such as the living room and dining room. Stick to the same finish throughout the home.

There are plenty of DIY videos on YouTube to help you through the process, or if you decide to hire someone, the company you purchase the flooring from will likely offer installation services that will be cheaper than hiring a contractor. When it’s all said and done, these improvements will make your home pleasing to potential buyers and help you save money.

5 Quick and Easy Home Updates that Increase Home Value

5 Quick and Easy Home Updates that Increase Home Value

Increase your home’s value with these easy updates that look great and don’t break your budget! Keep reading!

Photo: Elmueble

Rarely do homeowners purchase a home that meets their every space and design needs. Thankfully there’s no shortage of renovation and upgrade projects that you can tackle in order to turn your abode into your dream home. Because some home projects can cost thousands of dollars, you want to ensure that you’re getting a good return on investment.

Want to upgrade your home but don’t know where to start? Here are 5 quick and easy home updates that will not only improve your home’s appearance but will also increase its value.

Photo: Elmueble

1. Kitchen Makeover

The kitchen is the most popular room in any home. It’s where you make dinner, enjoy meals, and entertain guests. Over time kitchens can quickly become outdated. While a full kitchen makeover can cost thousands of dollars and take weeks to complete, there are some simple updates you can make that will breathe new life into this space. Give old cabinets a quick facelift with a fresh coat of paint or a new stain color. This project will cover up scratches, nicks, and discoloration. Complete the look with new hardware. Installing new flooring is another way to spruce up the kitchen. Laminate flooring is an affordable option that can completely transform the space.

Photo: Elmueble

2. Bathroom Makeover

The bathroom is another important room in a home. No one wants to buy or live in a home that has dated and old-fashioned looking bathrooms. A total makeover costs thousands, but you can make some quick and easy updates that will bring your bathrooms into the modern day. Replacing old fixtures to include the faucets, cabinet hardware, and even lighting can make a huge difference. These upgrades also improve functionality. Another option is to repaint the walls and introduce new decor. Printed towels or a big mirror can quickly transform and perk up a bathroom without breaking the bank.

Photo: Elmueble

3. New Doors

Doors are one of those things that we use each day but rarely think about. Chances are the various doors throughout your home could use an upgrade. White doors can easily become dinged and dirtied. Wood doors can start to warp. Glass doors can become discolored and hard to close. By swapping out the doors in your home, you can give the interior and exterior a fresh look. The most important door to start with is the front door. Depending on the age of the door, you may want to replace it or give it a fresh coat of paint. Eye-catching doors that are painted with a bright hue give your home a unique look. Interior doors can also be replaced. For a cheap upgrade, swap out the existing hardware, including the hinges and knobs, to add a modern look. Replacing wooden doors with glass doors will open up your home, giving it an airy feel.

Photo: Elmueble

4. Fresh Coat of Paint

Wall color is one of those things that homeowners change on a whim. If your home is full of colored accent walls, textured paint, or even wallpaper, now is a good time to settle on a color that can be used throughout. Using the same color throughout the home is a simple and quick way to make the space feel bigger.

Neutral colors are in these days, including grays, beiges, and even lighter shades of blue and sage greens. With a fresh coat of paint you can hide discoloration, mold damage, scuff marks, and other common flaws.

Photo: Elmueble

5. The Exterior

While the interior of your home may look top notch, many homeowners forget about the exterior. You can only make one first impression and if you want to make a good one, the outside of your home has to be well-kept. Your home’s landscaping should look maintained. No one likes to see overgrown shrubs, dead patches of grass, and dying flower beds. Improve your curb side appeal by giving your home’s landscaping a boost.

Instead of paying thousands for a landscaping makeover, tackle some simple projects such as:

  • Cutting and edging the grass
  • Pulling weeds
  • Trimming shrubs and hedges
  • Laying a fresh layer of mulch

If your home has a porch, place a few potted plants along with a cute porch chair for a homey and comfortable outdoor living area. The more you improve the outside of your home, the more appealing it will be to you and potential buyers in the future.

Photo: Elmueble


Giving your home an updated look doesn’t have to be costly or time consuming. Keep these 5 quick and easy home updates in mind if you want to give your home a fresh look. What’s even better is that not only will your home look new, you’ll be increasing its value!

Makeover Your Home with a Kitchen Renovation

Makeover Your Home with a Kitchen Renovation

Renovating and remodeling a kitchen is a big job with a potentially big payoff. The addition of more space, improved lighting, and better appliances can breathe new life into the entire home. It is a process that requires careful pre-planning and expert execution, so it is important to find the right designers and contractors for the job.

Photo: Luxe Pros

It is just as important that the designers and contractors follow your lead even as they offer their own suggestions. After all, they don’t know your home or family as well as you do. If you want your kitchen renovation, before and after, to be a huge improvement, then continue reading.

Kitchen Renovation Planning

Before you start your kitchen renovation, you should complete the following checklist to ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible:

  1. Create a budget – you should create a budget prioritizing your needs, followed by your wants. You should also have a 10-20 percent cushion in case something goes wrong, or you encounter a problem that you need to address.
  2. Find the right designers and contractors – when looking for the people to help you, you should look at their previous work and find out whether they have a good reputation or not. They should be able to offer advice based on your suggestions. Be communicative and anticipate any problems before they happen.
  3. Check up on building codes and permits – every district has its own rules and regulations regarding structural, electrical, mechanical, and plumbing alterations. You should find out if you need a permit for any aspect of the renovation, or if it is allowed at all.
  4. Create a temporary kitchen – you will not be able to use the majority of the kitchen during the renovation, so you should establish an area with a microwave, mini-fridge, and temporary versions of the things you need, but won’t have access to, during the remodel.

Photo: Bruan Wark Designs

The Next Step in Your Kitchen Renovation

Once the renovation has begun, it is necessary for you to check in regularly to make sure that all is going to plan. You should not pester the builders, and they should not be too bothered that you want to see how the work is going. It is your kitchen after all.

You should also try to stay calm during this period. It can be stressful but you need to stay focused in order to make sure that you don’t miss anything that can come back to haunt you later. This is also where unexpected problems might crop up and where the extra money you put into your budget will become useful.

Photo: Simon Adamczyk

The Final Step in Your Kitchen Renovation

The final step is the renovation itself. Once the kitchen is complete, you should do a thorough inspection to make sure that everything meets your requirements. This punch list can include small things like slight scratches to bigger things like a light switch not working. Make a detailed list and send it to the responsible party so that they can make the necessary corrections.

Once all of that is done, the only thing left to do is relax and enjoy your new kitchen. It is a long journey but one that is worth taking since the kitchen is the heart and soul of the home.

6 Different Types of Blinds and the Right Décor for Them

6 Different Types of Blinds and the Right Décor for Them

Are you considering including some privacy in your home with blinds? Here are 6 different types and how you can decorate with them the right way!

Photo: De Rosee Sa

While the purpose is essentially the same, there is a significant difference between blinds and shades that people often forget about. Depending on the décor of your home, shades might be a better fit, but there’s hardly any décor for which there isn’t an appropriate blind. You can always visit Next Day Blinds to get the consultation right from your home, but it maybe isn’t a bad idea to first get acquainted with a few general types of blinds on your own first.

Vertical Blinds

Vertical blinds either open from the middle or each of the individual slats on the track separate from side to side to let air and light in. These are a better fit for particularly large windows that run from floor-to-ceiling or for patio doors.

Venetian Blinds

In perfect contrast to the vertical blinds, the Venetian blinds are more suited for smaller windows. These horizontal blinds also happen to be the most common choice for blinds all across the US. They are generally not particularly fancy, but a lot depends on the product’s design and customizations as well.

Photo: Maurizio Pellizzoni Ltd

Micro and Mini Blinds

Micro blinds are essentially the same as Venetian blinds, but the slats are a lot less wide at roughly one-inch, while mini blinds have even less width at only half-an-inch. The smaller slats make these a better fit in homes with a contemporary décor.


Panels are one of the common choices for people looking to put blinds on their patio doors or huge windows. The slats move on a track, just like vertical blinds, but they are usually much wider than verticals and provide better privacy. They feel at home in bedrooms that are themed in a somewhat classy, but reserved manner.

Photo: Hartmann Designs Limited

Metal Blinds

The usual choice of metal in blinds is aluminum, but stainless steel is also an option, albeit a costlier one. Nevertheless, the extra durability is probably going to be worth the additional cost in the long run. Whatever your choice of metal may be, know that metal blinds are not for everyone. The seamless design looks shiny and allows perfect control over light, but in a house made completely of wood, it may look out of place. A minimalist décor, on the other hand, might go pretty well with metal blinds.

Bamboo Roller Blinds

There are no slats in bamboo roller designs and they can be easily rolled up like shades because of that. Opting for roller blinds made out of bamboo is perfect when you are trying to give your home a natural look. Place a houseplant or two beside the window to perfectly match the blinds.

Do keep in mind that most of what you just read is not binding and there is no set rule. Feel free to improvise if you think it works with your décor, as these are only meant to introduce you to the basic idea of using blinds in interior decoration.