24 November 2017

Top Features to Include When Creating a Backyard Oasis

If the idea of a backyard oasis appeals to you, then consider yourself part of the majority. Most homeowners love being able to enjoy their yard, get some fresh air, entertain in the outdoors, and just feel relaxed and at ease. A backyard oasis makes all of this possible, but let’s face it, it takes a fair amount of work to achieve. If you’re looking around your yard that looks rather bland, bare, and without personality and you’re trying to achieve that oasis feel, then here are some features you may want to include.

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Water Feature

When you want to be able to get that oasis feel as quickly as possible, the best tip is to include some sort of water feature in your backyard. Water features are not only beautiful to look at, but the sounds they create are extremely relaxing and comforting. It can help to drown out neighbors, passing traffic, and just the everyday noise of life.

Popular water features include fountains, a small pond with fish in it, a fountain wall if you have the space, and even waterfalls built into a pond or fountain. Your water feature will depend on the space you have available, your budget, and just how big of an impact you want to create.

Garden Seating

In order for your backyard oasis to be enjoyed, you’re going to need to have inviting and comfortable seating. You can help to make it more comfortable by adding cushions and throws in relaxing hues and patterns.

Garden seating may be a small bench strategically placed next to the garden, or it could be a large dining table surrounded by chairs. It should be based on your needs and the space available.

Soft Lighting

As the experts at Architectural Landscape Design will tell you, part of creating that oasis atmosphere is adding special touches such as soft lighting. They can work with you to create a design that includes a variety of lighting options such as rope lighting, twinkle lighting, garden lights, pathway lights, and more.

Privacy Screens/Fencing

It’s rather difficult to create a backyard oasis if all of your neighbors are able to peer in and see you trying to relax. This is where privacy screens and fencing can come in very handy. Lattice work is probably the most common type of privacy screening as it still allows for airflow, and the sun to get through, but it gives you that sense of privacy.

Place the screening around any seating area you may have, as this is typically where you will spend the most amount of time. It’s also where you will entertain friends and family, so again that added privacy is nice to have.

The Oasis of Your Dreams

By using these tips, and seeking help from the experts, you’ll be able to create that oasis atmosphere that your backyard has been lacking. There’s a good chance that you will find you spend more time outdoors than indoors once your oasis is complete.

22 November 2017

7 Home Improvement Tips For Every Homeowner


Big projects or small, home improvement is a challenging, costly, and time-consuming task. Whether you are hiring someone to help you out or doing it yourself, there are many things that have to be considered. Here are seven tips for every homeowner who has caught the home improvement bug.

Begin with a realistic plan

Perhaps  you got excited after watching home improvement shows and suddenly want to change everything. Perhaps they made it look so simple on Youtube that you thought you can DIY anything. Whatever your inspiration for home improvement is, remember that making changes in the home can cost you a lot of time and money.

Always begin with a plan that is realistic to your budget and time. Sure, you can DIY a lot of things but do you have the time for it? You may want the same tiles featured in the magazines but is it within your budget?

Know what you want to do and what it costs to do it. Then, add a nice buffer of at least 15% of the expenses to make sure you don't bite off more than you can chew.

Add value to your home

Your home is your investment. When doing home improvement, make sure your changes and additions add value to your home.

Refinishing the hardwood floors to up the potential sale value or installing a signal booster such as a weBoost Home 4G to increase connectivity throughout the home are worthwhile expenses for the value that they add.

You can also develop your basement into another functional space. Be it an extra room or a home theater or even as something as simple as a basement toilet, renovating that area of the house will add value to your home. When planning changes and additions to your home, it is always good to consider whether it has a return on investment.

DIY

Do It Yourself home improvement projects can help you save a lot of money. However, you have to be aware of your own skills and limitations. Not every home improvement projects are suitable for DIY. If you are a beginner, don't tear the down walls right away. Start small and know when to ask for the help of a professional.

Work with the right contractor

Getting the right contractor is just as important as consulting with the right doctor. Get recommendations from supply houses, neighbors, friends, and online forums. Always ask for the licenses and permits that they need.

Check out the contractor's insurance and always contact references. There are so many home improvement contractor horror stories out there. Make sure that you work only with honest and reliable ones.

Consult an expert

Some home improvement projects just require expert help.  This is especially true for big projects. For example, if you are planning to remove a load bearing wall to have that Pinterest-worthy open space patio, call an expert before doing anything.

You have to accept that no matter how successful your last DIY project was or how many hours you spent watching how-to videos, some projects are not suitable to do yourself. Check out the developers in Toronto to get some ideas.

Make small changes

Home improvement need not involve embarking on big, expensive projects. Sometimes, doing something simple like changing up your curtains or installing an upgraded home security device can do the trick.

Personalize

Adding a personal touch to your home is the best way to improve its style and overall feel. Adding a mini-gallery of your family's photos on your living room wall or adding a new look to your personal library can make the home feel cozier.

14 November 2017

How to build a brick wall

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Brick laying is a skill that you can easily learn provided you are a self-builder and keen to build (or fix) the brick wall in your home. In order to achieve best results, you need to lay quality bricks. You may want to hire an experienced tradesman for the quality results, that may be a cost effective option too. While building a wall or repointing brick, the mortar you use should be of good quality because it helps in maintaining the wall over the years.

As mentioned in the beginning, if you want to get involved in the bricklaying project yourself, you need to practice this skill and the best way to practice is to start with building a wall in your garden. Although it seems easy, but the most experienced DIY will need to practice it first. before you get start with the project consider following requirements. Consider the type of the brick, standard size is recommended, you can consult this chart to get the right type of brick.

1. Layout the Bricks:
When you have prepared the grounds, and necessary foundation is prepared, lay out the bricks at both ends of the wall. With the help of the string line, make a straight line at brick height between the two outside bricks.

2. Mix Sand and Cement:
Accumulate five shovels of sand and one of cement on a board or any surface. With the help of shovel, mix it to make it a consistent color. make the mixture hollow from the center, pour water and mix it well. repeat until it turns into a smooth creamy texture or paste, but not runny mixture.

3. Lay Mortar:
Along the string line, lay 1 to 2 cm mortar bed. Lay first brick, while starting at one end, and tap over it to settle it on the mortar. Apply the mortar paste at one end of the next brick, and place it next to the first brick and attach both of the bricks. Repeat the procedure along with the string line to keep it straight.

4. Place the brick side-on where the pillar starts:
Determine where you want the pillars to start. At that point, place the bricks side-on and to the end of the wall. As you build up the wall, each consecutive course of bricks should be laid in the opposite direction.

5. Lay half-bricks: 
During the process, at certain points, you will need to place half-bricks. In order to split the bricks, place the bricks on its side, place bolster on the split point and strike the head firmly with the hammer and split cleanly at the first stroke.

6. Build one course higher:
It is important to remember that you build at least one course higher on the pillars. As you build the wall, move the string line up. Each brick must be placed over the center of the beneath one.

7. Mortar Joints:
The mortar layer as joints between the bricks, should be thick. Vertical mortar joints should be10mm thick; with the standard size make sure it is 75mm thick.

8. Attractive Soldier Course for wall:
To make the walls attractive, adding a solder course on the top of the wall is a great idea. To achieve that course, place the bricks vertically lengthways. A second higher string line will be required for the uniform look.

9. Finish the beds:
In order to remove the excess mortar in beds, scrape the mortar into joints with the rounded edge of the brick jointer. Remember, start finishing with the horizontal lines and follow with the vertical ones.

10 November 2017

Six Living Room Ideas for Winters

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Winters are all about staying cozy and warm. You have kept your home cool whole summer, and now it is time to turn off the air conditioners and get ready for the winter season. Embrace the winters and upgrade your home for the winter season.

If you are tired of trying the same old setting and furniture for your living during winters, you don’t need to worry because we have got you covered today. With our list of few ideas you can make your living room as amazing and comfortable as you ever wanted it to be. You must have heard about the Danish concept hygge; that’s when you make your living space and yourself comfortable and cozy for the winters, in this article we are suggesting you some new trends that you can opt to make hygge more warm and welcoming. Let’s discover what is in our list for your home!

1. Go Beige this Winter:

Winters don’t have to be in dark colors. Break that rule this winter by adding beige in your living room. Brighten up your winter living room with beige and white combination. Addition of the wool throw and sweater pillow makes your living room a little cozier.

2. Fill Your Room with Rattan Furniture:

In order to make your living room look vintage inspired, grab a set of rattan furniture and place it near the fireplace. A big plus, it gives more space to the room and suits best if you have a small living room. If you are not sure where to buy a quality rattan chairs, visit Hudson Furniture today.

3. Notch it up with Slipcovered Sofa:

Slipcovered sofa changes the game. Transform your living room in winters with slipcovered sofa to give it warm feel. It adds more texture and softness to the room. Isn’t it amazing to curl up in slipcovered and sip a cup of coffee in cozy evenings of winter?

4. Go Vintage:

If you are lucky enough to already have dark hardwood floor, an addition of a wood-burning stove and brown leather chair in the corner of your living room gives it complete vintage look. It’s amazing to fill your room with some antiques when the current setting seems somewhat boring and neutral.

5. White Setting:

we already have beige in our list. How about white living room with some pastels? It creates coziness and brightens up the room in snowy and dull winters. White can be paired with shades of pink, blue or green to give the room lively look.

6. Country Fireplace with Leather Chairs:

A pair of black or dark brown leather chairs is a great idea with a country fireplace. Along with a couple of antique wall hangings and rug would make the setting complete and warm. For a variety of color and shapes of leather sofas, you don’t have to waste time finding in other places, instead visit Hudson Furniture today and make your home welcoming for the winters.

Few Tips for a Cozy Home:

  • Create a reading corner in your room. It’s great to curl up in with hot drink with a freezing weather outside.
  • Add floor pillows to add extra comfort. 
  • Don’t throw away old sweaters instead use them as pillow cases. It is a great way to add coziness in the atmosphere
  • Glow candles. There is nothing like candles that warms up your home.
  • Add layers of rugs to make your living room warmer and cozier.

Share your thoughts about what you would like the most in your living room to make it warmer?

01 November 2017

How to Make Your Garden Appear Bigger

Having a big and beautiful garden is every homeowner’s dream, but not all properties are blessed with the extra space to make that happen. Don’t let limited garden space deter you from having a beautiful garden though because there are still so many things you can do with the patio area.

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In this article, we are going to focus more on making the garden appear bigger than it really is. These next several tips we are about to discuss will help you get started in no time.

Limit the Use of Lawn

Lawns are great in bigger gardens, but too big of a lawn area can actually make your garden appear smaller without the right design. On top of that, you also have to invest in lawn maintenance to keep the garden looking pristine in the long run.

Instead of using a lot of lawn, use beds with simpler designs in order to create the appearance of a large space. The simple design will help keep garden maintenance simple too. You can combine the planting beds with other garden features for a cleaner, more spacious design.

Utilize Straight Pathways

Another great and simple way to make your garden appear bigger is to use straight pathways. Curves will only make the garden appear cramped and smaller; straight lines create the exact opposite effect, which is the effect you want to go for.

It is also a great idea to use darker colors or colors that blend well with the surrounding elements. Aside from the standard pathway colors, you can also turn to decomposed granite colors or other finishing colors to achieve different results.

Add Elevation Changes

Changes in elevation is another great way to create the illusion of space. You can add a deck closer to the house. Raised wooden decks work best for this purpose.

You can even make the elevated areas more pronounced to further push the effect. The area can then be used for the kids to play on or for placing patio furniture to use on special occasions.

Scale the Design

One thing to avoid when you are trying to utilize a small garden space is using design elements that don’t fit size-wise. Adding a water feature that is too big for the garden, for example, can quickly make the garden appear smaller.

Use scale to your advantage when trying to make the patio area look bigger than it really is. When choosing pavers, find the right size to achieve the desired effects. The same can be said for trees, water features, and other elements of the garden. A consistent scale across all of them is what you want.

Keep It Functional

Last but not least, keep the garden functional with furniture and patio items that fold away. You can avoid a cramped-looking garden by storing the furniture away when they are not in use. When you do want to host a garden party or a relaxing afternoon in the garden, on the other hand, the furniture is still available.

These tips will make your garden appear bigger. Utilize them the next time you remodel your garden and have a beautiful and spacious garden at the end of the project.

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