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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Exterior Door {Front and Back} Ideas

When in doubt, tradition is a good guide to selecting a front door that endures and offers curb appeal. Here, stylish side lights mimic the central front door. If the exterior of your home is painted or stained a darker color, consider a lighter door for a pop of brightness. For neutral-theme exteriors, play with bright and light hues to supply visual variety. On this home, a secondary glass door offers an added layer of protection from outside variations in temperature, but its design allows the simple beauty of this exterior door to shine.

Friday, May 16, 2014

How To Maximize a Small Patio

Although small in square footage, this California backyard was renovated to beef up the space's function and style. Converting the yard into a patio created an ultimate outdoor gathering space for the homeowners. Take a cue from this ultimate patio on how to use your outdoor living space wisely.

Patio Space Planning
To eliminate wasted space behind furnishings, the patio seating was placed in a corner, along the perimeter. This also helps create the feel of a room between the house and the seating. Having a laid out space plan prior to starting work is always a great idea. Small patios rule out large gardens, but tall trees and lush greens provide privacy along the fence. The patio's designer, Chris Fenmore of Garden Studio Design, suggests placing taller plants behind smaller ones to create an illusion of depth and make the space seem grander.

Concrete Idea
This space-sufficient design creates the perfect easy living outdoor space through multipurpose furnishings, poured-in-place concrete seating to better frame the area, and a portable grill. With an overhanging umbrella, shade is never too far away on bright sunny days.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Pretty Porches Updates

Outdoor Living.....Porches, whether front porches, back porches, or of the wrap-around variety, add plenty of charm and function to a home's facade. Treat this outdoor room like you would an indoor living room: outfit it with comfy, yet weather-proof furniture and fun accessories.

Swing Set
A swing bed is a unique piece of furniture that adds character and seating to a porch. To ensure safety, these beds are best hung by a licensed contractor. Here, a normal twin-size mattress was used for the bed. Add lots of decorative pillows to bring color and pattern to the space.

Light It Up
Hang paper lanterns rather than the expected hanging basket for a touch of whimsy and the unexpected!

Screen Time
Screen a porch so pesky bugs stay out, and the cool summer breeze can still come in. A screened porch makes a great place to have dinner when the weather allows. The screens still let the sunshine pour in and don’t distract from great views. Add indoor touches, like a pendant, to an outdoor space to make it feel more homey and decorated.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Large Spring Container Gardens ~ Colorful Container Plantings Celebrate the Start of the Gardening Season

Two petite galvanized buckets connected by a crosspiece and simple handle are the perfect planting place for perennial Dianthus, or pinks. Spur Dianthus to send up a second flush of blooms by shearing off spent flowers. The plants will bloom well into summer when grown in part shade to full sun and watered regularly.

Plum-and-white Regal geraniums (Pelargonium spp.) are tucked in by cheery deep pink pansies (Viola x wittrockiana) in a doll-size planter. A coat of exterior wood sealant protects the cradle from moisture. For long-lasting plantings, drill drainage holes in watertight containers. If that isn't possible, water only to lightly moisten the soil and let the potting soil dry slightly between waterings.

An old metal container gets a new life when used for a pretty planting of spring daffodils.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Mother's Day is May 11.2014 ~ Try These Simple, Cheap, Last Minute Gift Ideas That Will Be Sure To Put A Smile On Her Face As Well As Yours!

Make Mom a breakfast she won't soon forget with SAY ANYTHING pancakes. Imagine mom's face when she wakes up to these sentiment pancakes made just for her!

The You and Me Book ~ Create a book on the computer, print the pages on paper or card stock, and cut out the pages. The kids can fill out each page however they like using crayons or markers, then they can stack the pages, punch holes, bind them with embroidery floss or ribbon as shown below, and knot the ends.

Make a "Mom" banner for Mother's Day. Mom will love being presented with a handmade paper banner that was made just for her by her children. Have the little ones' put handwritten messages on the back that will make this a keepsake to cherish.

Frame mom favorite recipe. Use either a vintage recipe card written in her grandmother's or great-grandmother's handwriting or using typography create a print that will serve as a meaningful gift she'll treasure each day.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Cool-Season Containers ~ Fill your landscape with spring color with these fresh and easy container gardens.

Go with Groups
One well-planted container looks great on its own, but a grouping can be stunning. Here, a colorful mix of pansies, violas, lobelia, stock, and kale creates lots of interest. Use them by a doorway, next to a path, or to add cheer to bare spots in your spring garden.
Hint: Use three different sizes of the same kind of container to give the arrangement a more put-together look.

Contrast Colors
Use yellow to wake up your landscape once winter passes. Here, a golden container holds yellow primroses and 'Lemon Symphony' osteospermum. All that yellow contrasts beautifully with purple from 'Berries & Cream Sachet' nemesia, 'Caitlin's Giant' ajuga, and columbine.
Hint: Echo the color of your house in your container garden, or use it to complement blooms from your yard for extra appeal.

Enjoy Edibles
While it's easy to focus on ornamental favorites, edibles work just as well. A mix of spring greens will provide salads while looking great in the landscape. Accent both the container and your salads with the cheerful and tasty viola blooms. Here, chives tossed in the middle of the pot create a fun textural contrast.
Hint: Try the full range of spring greens, including spinach, kale, and red, green, and bicolored lettuce.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Mothers Day Sunday May 11.2014 ~ Here are 15 Mother’s Day gifts that give back

other’s Day is fast approaching—do you have a perfect present picked out yet? This year, why not give Mom a gift that’s as charitable as it is beautiful? Click through the slideshow above to shop 16 Mother’s Day gifts that give back—without breaking the bank.

Says Sir Elton John, “I love the Woodside Garden candle because I feel that its delicate floral scents and vibrant colors symbolize hope, inspiration and renewal." To sweeten the deal, all proceeds go to benefit the musical superstar's AIDS foundation. candle, $38,

Perfect for those still-chilly spring evenings or as a beach coverup, this scarf is a great Mother's Day gift. Made using leftover raw silk in Assam, it is handspun and handwoven for a unique look and feel. Each purchase helps support rural and marginalized communities. scarf, $79,

Want to give flowers this year? Choose a more modern arrangement from Bloom 2 Bloom. Not only do they feature incredible, non-traditional options, but for every bouquet you purchase, a second will be given to charity. From hospitals to shelters to community organizations, your second bouquet will be delivered to a community-based organization to people in need of a smile. bouquet, $50,

TOMS' "One for One" campaign is an incredible initiative, but the fact that these shoes are both insanely comfortable and stylish? That's just a plus! Get these cute Jonathan Adler for TOMS slip-ons and they'll donate a pair of new shoes to a child in need. shoes, $59,

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Just In Time for Spring.Summer ~ A Watermelon Keg

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this "keg" and it's so simple to make! Just lop off one end of the melon to get it to stand upright, scoop out the flesh from the other, whiz that with any clear spirit in a blender, pour the liquid back into the rind, and top with ice. You can buy a spigot online for about $3.99.

What You Need:
1 medium oval watermelon
4 to 6 cups of water or alcohol
1. Cut off ½ inch from the bottom end of the watermelon so that it sits on a flat surface. Make sure that the surface that the watermelon will sit on isn’t cut too deep, just enough for it to sit evenly. Cut about 2 inches from top to end, cutting through the rind completely in order to get at the flesh.
2. Using a large spoon, scoop out watermelon flesh from the top of the watermelon and transfer it to a bowl, making sure to leave about 3 inches of flesh at the bottom of the watermelon for the spigot to nestle into.
3. Determine where to place the spigot in the surface of the watermelon, then press it firmly into the rind to make an indentation. Using a pointed paring knife, create a small opening, making sure to cut inside the line of the circular indentation.
4. Press the spigot gently into the hole. Scrape away the flesh on the inside of the watermelon to reveal the end of the spigot.
5. In a blender, combine 4 to 6 cups watermelon flesh with 4 to 6 cups water or alcohol. Fill watermelon with liquid and serve over ice.
Makes 8 to 12 cups, depending on the size of the watermelon.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Clever Decor Ideas For Small Patios

Even if your outdoor space is tiny, it's still possible to create a stylish, welcoming patio you'll love to spend time in. From creating privacy and adding mood lighting to choosing furniture you love, here are 11 ideas from our friends at Houzz to transform your patio.

Decked Out
You don't have to live with a crummy patio floor anymore: These easy-to-install wooden tiles can be snapped into place quickly and taken up if you move.

Chic Seats
If you can only fit a chair or two, make sure they make an impression. Here, mod white chairs mingle with ceramic garden stools and potted succulents for a fresh, fun look. Soften the edges of a tiny patio with curvaceous pots and tall greenery.

Secret Garden
An arched trellis can provide privacy, even if you live in a city with tall buildings. Sitting hidden beneath green vines, you'll hardly remember you have neighbors.