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Gardens are an important part of our homes. It is where we pass our time for relaxation and spend our bonding time with our family after a long tiring day from work. Therefore, providing it a vibrant and refreshing look should be among our home improvement priorities for us to make these moments more comfortable and memorable.
When looking for furniture, homeowners should keep the size and layout of the garden in mind. If you have a large, open garden, the furniture you need should differ from that of a smaller garden area. Also, you need to remember that garden furniture has three-fold purposes: comfort, style, and function.
It can be tempting to buy furniture right away because it’s 50% off or it looks chic, but buying the right one is not merely focusing on those qualities. You also need to take heed of the quality. Knowing how outdoor furniture was constructed and from what materials they come from, will surely deliver a value-for-money purchase.
Here are some tips for you to buy the right furniture for your garden.
Measure Your Garden Space
The type of furniture you want to display depends on the outdoor space available. For example, a 2-seater bistro set might be ideal for a smaller patio, while a cube set is a better fit for a bigger outdoor area.
Think of What Pieces of Furniture You Need
If you want to get purchase outdoor furniture, you must base it on how you will use your outdoor space. For example, if you want your garden to be an area of relaxation, comfort should be topmost in your furniture consideration. Furniture with cushions is perfect to cater this need.
Storage and Easy Care
Most garden furniture nowadays has ‘all-weather’ as its label. While cast aluminum pieces are specially designed to withstand harsh weather conditions, you still need a spot where you can protect them from the sun, wind, rain, and hail.
So, before buying an outdoor furniture, consider first if you have enough storage space for the winter season. If you lack space for storage, go for smaller furniture pieces that are easy to move indoors, or you can consider buying a suitable cover in the budget.
Quality is Key
Buying furniture should be thought of as an investment. When choosing furniture for the garden, test its smoothness by rubbing your hands over its surface. For metal furniture, check if any welding has cracked and if the coated finish is correctly applied. Also, check if joints are not glued but screwed.
Consider the Different Materials of a Furniture
Wood Garden Furniture
Wood furniture is a perfect choice if you want to provide your garden a casual and natural style. Besides, the look of wood is ideal for an outdoor setting. Woods are sturdy, non-heat-absorbing, and long-lasting if cared properly.
Wood material comes in many varieties. There is eucalyptus, teak, cedar, pine, and oak.
- Eucalyptus is a versatile hardwood and is resistant to moisture damage and insects. It is also ideal if you are tight on budget.
- Teak is a dense-grained tropical hardwood. If you are looking for a piece of furniture that is resistant to rotting and shrinkage, teak is the best choice. The only disadvantage of teak is that it is an expensive option.
- Cedar is a soft wood that has a distinctive scent that is insect resistant. It needs a regular maintenance because its color will turn to gray if left unsealed or unpainted.
- Pine, like cedar, is also a soft wood. It is used extensively as a material for modern furniture and has color varieties that range from cream to yellow brown with its typical marked growth rings.
- Oak is hardwood widely valued for its strength and attractive grain. It is used as solid furniture and in modern furniture as veneers. Oaks are moderately expensive and come in two variants of colors: grayish brown and reddish.
Wicker/Rattan Garden Furniture
Wicker and rattan are great as both an indoor and outdoor furniture. If you display it in your outdoor area, it makes a perfect complement to your porches and decks. They are available in a variety of colors that will give your garden a natural and rustic look. Its benefits include comfortable, movable, and flexible.
Plastic Garden Furniture
Plastic furniture is polyethylene-made. It comes from recycled plastic materials such as shampoo bottles and milk cartons.
The best thing with plastics is that it does not require painting or sealing. It can also be made to resemble the materials mentioned above such as wood and wicker. They are resistant to moisture, insects, stains, and mildew. Its weight is perfect if you need to move it around in other spaces.
Aluminum Garden Furniture
Aluminum furniture is good to go when you want to provide your garden a contemporary and modern design. Powder-coated aluminum is durable and only requires low-maintenance. The only catch is that aluminum becomes hot when exposed to the heat of the sun for too long.
Steel Garden Furniture
Steel furniture is heavier than aluminum and can give you a hard time moving it around. It is, however, an ideal complement to contemporary and modern gardens. For comfort, it is advisable that you provide it with cushions.
Choosing the right furniture is essential if you want to provide your garden a comfortable and functional purpose. In achieving this, it is important to know the needs of your outdoor area first, then learn the different materials of the furniture for you to have an insight on how you will complement it to the look of your outdoor area. In this way, you won’t need to waste money and worry that is typical in any furniture mistakes.
Choosing a paint for your walls is one of the most important things you will have to do when you’re decorating your home. If you’re torn between a few colors, you can always decide to use a couple of them on the same wall. Still, if you opt for multicolored walls, there are some things you will have to keep in mind. Make sure you check all of them out.
Be Careful About Lighting
Without proper lighting, colors will not be much to look at. That is why it is important to make sure the colors on your walls look great both under natural and artificial light. In case your walls look too dark during the day, you can consider installing a couple of new windows. If you do this, make sure you choose the window frames that will go great with the colors on your walls. In case you don’t like the way your walls look like during the night, you can try switching to LED or colored light bulbs.
When you use more than one color for the same wall, you are going to create a couple of different zones in the room. For example, let’s imagine you have painted the walls in your kid’s room into blue and yellow. You can create a study zone in the blue area and a sleeping zone in the yellow area. If you do this, make sure you choose furniture and other items that will perfectly fit into the zone they are supposed to be a part of. You should always choose wallpapers first and only then look for furniture and other items for the room.
Do not Go Too Matchy-Matchy
One of the mistakes many people make when it comes to multicolored walls is that they get too matchy-matchy when it comes to furniture. So if your walls are red and white, do not feel obligated to get only red and white furniture. Being excessively color-coordinated can make your home look dull weary. Make sure there is some contrast in all the zones you create with the wall colors. There are many three color combinations that might just be what you are looking for.
Do not Mix Too Many Colors
Just like you should not stick to only two colors, you also should not include too many colors into your home. Of course, there is no official limit you will have to stick to, but the saying “the more the merrier” does not always have to apply when it comes to colors. You will know that there are too many colors when a room feels opposite from peaceful. If you opt for more than a few colors in the same room, make sure you spread them around evenly, so they carry your eye through the room.
Give Your Eyes a Place to Rest
Another thing you should definitely consider is giving your eyes a place to rest. No matter how cool your colorful space looks like, you will have to find a spot that will let your eyes take a break. First of all, this means you will have to incorporate some empty space in all of your rooms. Some empty space may also be just the thing that was missing from your home. Another thing you can do is get some large elements in neutral colors that will help you achieve balance.
Coordinating with walls that are more than one color can be quite difficult. Make sure you have all of these things in mind when decorating if you want to make your home as stylish as possible.
June has just begun, and the hot weather of July and August will soon be upon us. It feels like this winter lasted forever and spring never really got started. So you might only just be starting to come out of hibernation mode! Don’t worry if you think you are slightly behind with getting your home all ready for summer. This guide is here to help you remember everything you need to do.
Test Your Air Conditioning
Before the summer heat really kicks in, you will need to check your air conditioning system. If you wait until it gets too hot and find that it doesn’t work, you could be in for a sweaty few days until a repairman can make it! You don’t have to do anything too complicated to test it. Simply switch it on and leave it for an hour or two. If it seems to be doing the job, then everything should be just fine. However, if there are any unexplained noises or it does not cool down your home sufficiently, you may need to install a new air conditioner. If the problem is small, you might be ok fixing it yourself. You will also need to remember that some air conditioning units will need servicing every couple of years. This will keep them free from many common issues. Do you think it is time to upgrade to a new unit or system? Check on consumer websites before you buy one to see their excellent product reviews.
Pest-Proof Your Home
Summer will see an increase in the pest and creepy crawly population outside. Under no circumstance should they make it into your home! There are a few ways you can make your home pest-proof. Before the weather turns for the better, check your doors, windows, and any other entry ways into your house. If you notice any gaps or cracks, they will need to be filled in. Otherwise, they are the perfect opening for little insects to crawl through. Cracks in the wall can be blocked up with some filler. If you notice a gap in a door or window, you may have to replace the frames so that everything fits tightly. Another way to prevent any insects squatting your property is to double check your plumbing. Leaky pipes can create a water source that pests can use to survive. Fix leaks and clean up puddles and pools of water so that there is nothing in your home keeping pests alive. Remember to clean up straight away after cooking and baking. If you need to leave food out to cool down, don’t leave it out long enough to attract vermin.
Air Out The House
You probably won’t have opened your windows at all through the winter. That means your home will be full of a lot of stale air. If it stays in your house while the weather gets hotter, it can create quite an unpleasant atmosphere. It can increase the temperature of your home too. To make your home fresh in time for summer, air it out. Check the weather forecast and see when the next bright day will be. When it comes, open all your windows to get a load of fresh air into your rooms. It’s not only great for your home, but it can help your health as fresh air isn’t so full of dust and particles!
Defrost Your Freezer
The freezer needs to be ready to be filled with ice cream and popsicles! Take a look through all the food that is in there and see if there is anything that needs to be thrown out. If you have portions of leftover meals that have been in there more than a couple of months, they will be past their best. Check the use by dates on any packaged food. Generally speaking, nothing should be frozen for more than a few months. If you can remember putting something in there last summer, it needs to go in the bin, unfortunately. Once you have cleared out old food, defrost it to get rid of any excess ice. Once you have made some room in your freezer, you can fill it with lots of summer treats!
Smarten Your Garden
Not many people take care of their garden and other outdoor areas through the winter. So by the time summer rolls around, there is a chance your flowerbeds and lawns might be looking a bit tatty. So before you can invite anyone over for garden parties and outdoor playdates, you’ll need to smarten up your garden. Mow the lawn so that it looks neat and trim. Go around your flowerbeds and take out any weeds. If you have any patches of soil that are completely empty, dig them to turn the soil over. It can also be worth adding fresh compost to it before you sow any seeds. Once the soil is ready, plant seeds and bulbs. If you have any wooden garden furniture, give it a coating of wood stain so that it will be able to survive any rain showers.
Bring Your Garden Inside
Bringing some plants and flowers from your garden into your home will make it feel extremely summery indeed! You can keep it simple and just pick some flowers to arrange in a vase. This would make a fantastic centerpiece for your dining room table. If you feel very green-fingered, you can add pot-plants to all your rooms. Once you have the windows open, and a light breeze makes the plants’ leaves rustle, you’ll feel like you’re outside in a park! If you want something to do with your kids, have a go at drying flowers to make pretty decorations.
Use Light, Bright Colors And Fabrics
Take down heavy drapes from your windows as these can trap hot air in your rooms. This is great when you need to stay warm through winter, but it can quickly make your home turn stuffy through the summer months. Instead, replace them with some thin drapes made from soft cotton or silk. If they are in light pastel shades, they will look extra summery. Summer is also the perfect time to paint your home as the warm air will help the paint dry quickly. Think about the rooms you use most often in summer. For example, conservatories and summer rooms. Paint these in light colors to make them feel extra summery. Buy some bright tea and bath towels so you can add some color throughout your home. The brighter your home is, the more summery you’ll feel!
Buy Summer Necessities
Summer means lots of bees and wasps, so get stocked up on lots of anti-sting medication. Insect repellant will also come in very handy as well, especially if you are planning on lots of barbecues and outdoor dining. One of the most important products to stock up on is sunscreen. If you have young children in your family, make sure you have plenty of high SPF brands. Remember to also buy lots of aloe vera in case someone gets sunburnt. It’s not just medical stuff you need to stock up on, though! Buy some disposable plates and cutlery in case you decide to have a spontaneous picnic. Getting fresh towels and blankets ready now will also help if you decide to head to the beach for a day out. And kids will really appreciate a garage full of cricket sets, frisbees, and balls!
Now is the time to get your home ready for summer. Otherwise, it’ll already be time to start the winter preparations!
When a house, office, or room is small, there is a fine line between comfortable and cramped. While most people appreciate having the room to spread out, a larger space isn’t always possible or affordable in some areas. But this doesn’t mean that one has to settle for living in perpetual clutter. It is possible to make a smaller-than-average space feel roomy and neat. Accomplishing this feat often requires careful consideration and a few creative tricks.
Create a Clean and Clutter-Free Space
Creating extra space is a good time to clean up an area by removing any unwanted and unused items. Generally, these are the things that take up space but have no real purpose. Divide these items into piles that can be given away, sold online or in a garage sale, donated, or thrown out. For unused items that are difficult to part with, consider renting an outside storage unit.
Add the Right Colors
The idea of adding color to a small space may initially sound like the wrong thing to do; however, the right colors can make a room feel open, airy, and spacious. Generally, lighter colors have the ability to make a space look larger than it is. A monochromatic color scheme, using various shades of one color, is also helpful in adding depth and dimension to a space. If brighter colors are desired, use them sparingly and not on focal pieces.
Bring in Light
Whether artificial or natural, lighting is yet another way to open up a space. At night or in dim spaces, consider a torch lamp, which is often thin and spreads light up and out. Another, even less intrusive way to light a room is to use recessed lighting instead of a floor or desk lamp. Vertical or mini aluminum blinds are a nice alternative to heavy shades or drapes. During the day, open blinds completely to bring in the maximum amount of bright outdoor light.
Use Furniture to Your Advantage
The right type of furniture, and even certain accessorizes, can also make a space feel larger and more spacious. Wall mirrors, for example, can make a room seem longer than it is. Instead of a sofa, use a loveseat, and generally aim to avoid using large items that take up important space. Ideally, items that can be used for more than one purpose are best, as they help reduce the amount of furniture in a room. For example, furniture with hidden compartments provides smart, out-of-sight storage. Glass coffee or side tables take up little visual space courtesy of the clear surface, which makes them yet another option to consider.
So much information about making an energy-efficient home is about creating a tight seal with no holes, and that is important, but it’s also important that your attic can breathe a little. Although this means letting cold air enter your attic, it actually improves the efficiency of your home, and if you have enough insulation, it won’t let that cold air enter your living space. If you think your attic needs some extra ventilation, check out these four important tips.
Install Roof Vents
Roof vents are simply vents that are located directly on the roof. Make sure you mark the position of the vents before you start cutting, and mark them from the inside, so you can see where the rafters are located. Just hammer a few nails through the roof from the attic, so they show on the outside of your roof. On the outside of the roof, cut the shingles and roof sheathing in the size and shape of the roof vent. Last, install the vent and nail it with roofing nails.
Install Soffit Vents
Photo Flickr via ArmChairBuilder.com
Another option is to install soffit vents if you have an overhang. To start, use a cardboard template to mark where the vent is going to be placed. Make sure the template is about one-half inch smaller on each side than the size of the vent. Once you have the area mapped, start cutting the vent hole with a jigsaw. Once the hole is ready, install the vents.
Install Rafter Vents
One problem you may discover if you have soffit vents and a lot of insulation is that the insulation covers the soffit vents, which makes them useless. You can fix this problem by installing rafter vents. Rafter vents are long vents that span from the soffit vents to above the insulation. This way, you can still add plenty of insulation, but the insulation doesn’t become blocked, so you still get all the great benefits of attic ventilation.
Install an Attic Fan
One last way you can help improve your attic ventilation is to install an attic fan. An attic fan helps air circulate through your attic. When used correctly, it pulls cold air through the vents and pushes it into the attic. At the same time, it pulls hot air from the attic and expels it outside. However, if your vents are blocked because of too much insulation and no rafter vents, the fan loses its efficiency. Instead of pulling cool air from outside and pushing hot air outside, it will pull cool air from your air-conditioned home and push the hot air back into your home, which will force you to use more energy to keep your living spaces cool. Click here to find more.
A tight home with no holes is important, but there are some necessary holes that can help improve energy-efficiency in your home. As long as you use attic ventilation and insulation correctly, the cold air that enters your attic won’t reach your home. Instead, it will help reduce your heating and cooling costs throughout the year. Get started today by learning what (if any) ventilation your attic currently has.