Ideas

Intro   Lessons From Office Remodeling Projects To Remember

From time immemorial people have renovated and remodeled homes and offices for progress and modernity. There have been many things overlooked while doing the changes which don’t show the desired result. You need to survey, research, and observe before embarking on such a project.

Space Constraints

There may always not be the option of increasing space at the office just because the number of employees has increased. Where will you get that space from? Breaking down of walls adjoining or within may be an option, but not always so.

Obvious Solution

One of the solutions is to have differentiated and earmarked spaces for various activities and job profiles. This not only encourages employee collaboration but also paves the way for employee engagement and innovative ideas.

Group workstations: where many employees can sit and work around a large common desk or a workstation.

Conference rooms: where meetings and conferences take place. Since these events are usually regular affairs, many employees can work from here regularly.

Focus rooms: where employees on strategic projects and need more focus can work. This room can be used in rotation as projects complete.

Open area: this is for those employees who don’t have any other specific space assigned to them.

Work Cafes: Concepts of Work Cafés are catching up in many offices. The simple cafeteria is now a multi-utility space where employees work and take a break too.

There are lessons learned from such projects of remodeling offices. Here are twelve golden ones.

1. A Matter of Habit

Since the advent of computers, faxes, emails, mobiles, and other such gadgets, the use of paperwork has reduced to nil. There is no need for extra drawers and cabinets for storing papers and files. It’s all there on the cloud storage. Printing of matter has also reduced because of screen sharing options. People thus adjust to small working spaces as they realize that the need is not there. This also does away with the habit of storing unnecessary items at work.

2. Less talk and More work

When people worked in individual offices, cubicles, or enclosures, there are chances of more gossip, conversations, loud volumes of talking, and thereby, reduced output. In open work areas, employees are more conscious of the amount they talk and also the way they talk. Volumes go down and focus on the work increases.

3. Social Interaction and Confidence

Since managers usually get cabins and cubicles, some employees are pushed into the background. They often go unnoticed and don’t have much say in the office. But, the concept of collaborative workstations makes these come forward and be a part of the office. They socially and professionally interact more.

4. Social Interaction and Toning down

The exact opposite is also true. There are people who always push themselves forward and don’t give others a chance to interact. They are also those who have to be on the phone very often and for long periods too. Such people can be made to sit in small Focus Rooms where they get less distracted and also don’t disturb the other employees trying to work.

5. Different Spaces for Different People

Employees at the managerial levels can do with less space as they have the staff to take care of paperwork And documentation. Then there are those employees who work with the bare minimum of belongings or gadgets. They too can manage in small spaces. Give more space to those who maintain most files and records and need more space.

6. Space for Personal Items

Employees do need some space to keep their personal belongings and other knick-knacks at the office. Have options for smart storage for this. It could be as simple as a photo frame with the family picture or a favorite paperweight or a flower vase.

7. Freedom to Choose a workplace

Different people have different working styles. Some offices do give the liberty of the employees to chose where they want to sit and work. This leads to better creativity, innovation, and productivity. Some sit in different places for different assignments. Employees learn so many much by moving from person to person. This is important for personal growth and a better understanding among the employees.

8. Lighting and Ventilation

You will find a variety of people needing different temperatures of air conditioning in the office. Allow freedom to choose to sit near the fan or the air conditioner or away from these. Similarly, give employees the chance to sit near the window for the view outside. Ideally, fixed workstations should not be placed near the windows. That should be an open area for anyone to choose to sit there and work. Keep the place well lit. Fix different creative lights to brighten up the place.

9. Innovation

There is no single key to open all the locks in the world. What worked well for one office may not work well for you. Therefore, try out innovative and different ideas to manage space. You never know what may strike gold with you. Take suggestions from your employees as well.

10. Facilities

Often, in the throes of creating more space for more employees, you forget the basic facilities needed at the office. Make sure that connectivity to the internet is disrupted. Pay attention to the washrooms. Keep them clean.

11. Decoration and Ambiance

Productivity, morale, and motivation go down if the office looks drab and dull. Large halls and rooms will be useless unless they are bright and cheerful. Hang some lovely paintings or certificates. Display some trophies. Keep the walls and drapes colorful and bright.

12. Nature and Environment

It is not easy sitting inside closed rooms on high floors of a tall building. Keeping away from nature even on lower floors is not a very good proposition. Bring in some greenery. Go in for some potted fake trees and plants. You can choose from fake miniature palm trees, indoor decorative palm trees, indoor silk trees, and artificial silk trees. These plants look as good as real and have bright colors which last very long. They are also durable and easy to maintain as they don’t shed their leaves or wither away. Maintaining them is easy as there is no need to water them or add manure from time to time.

It is important to learn from these lessons and move forward for progress and growth of your office. So, read up, research, and then remodel your office. Happy working!

Intro   Designing Your Very Own Mini Retreat In Home Made Easy

“Sometimes you need to turn away from the world to understand it.”

There are times when you need a break for a few hours. Escaping into a secluded nook or a quiet seating area help you to de-stress and relax. Being in a destination retreat may not be possible for budget and travel hassles. Here is how you can design your exclusive mini-retreat at home.

Create an exclusive nook

If you are craving for solace and solitude, nothing is better than having a garden nook. Choosing the right spot is important. You must check all potential corners before finalizing the place. This can also be created on the patio or other open spaces.

Wherever you may create this, it should have a secluded and intimate ambiance. In small gardens or lawns, you can have it in the corner backed by the fences. Pop up the place with a couple of deck chairs and garden benches to make it cozy and comfy

Add a structure

Urban homes are close, and the neighboring buildings cannot avoid looking down into the gardens. These are also prone to street views. Build fencing helps to block out the street views. Additionally, you can add a structure to make it private and secure. This will let you have an all-season retreat in the home.

Include hammocks and swings

Nothing gives you better rest and recreation than a hammock. It lets you rock with your favorite book. In case you are dog-tired, you may enjoy an afternoon snooze on it. This will make your home a private paradise.

For this, you can consider traditional cotton with some smart knots. You may also use the nylon hammocks that are quite tough and sturdy. Just be sure that you hang it on healthy trees.

Having a porch swing is also an excellent idea for creating a nice retreat feeling. This can also be made for you and your partner for spending quality time. When this is adorned with comfortable cushions and pillows; these are sure to help you relax.

Encourage the journey

A winding path creates the suspense of undiscovered places. Building a secret pathway is excellent to elevate a garden nook. Cover the path with gravel and stepping stones so that you have a magical journey to the place.

Better use brick edging to keep the gravel spreading into the lawn. Stepping-stones paths involve little digging and deliver a close association with lawn. This is also a brilliant idea for building a cozy retreat.

Also, build a garden gate to separate the space from the rest of the place. Cover it with vines so that this is not spotted easily. When you walk down the hidden path covered with grass you have a romantic feeling. This helps you to de-compress yourself to a great extent.

Include bespoke furniture

Use readily available bespoke garden furniture to make the place unique and engaging. These can add a wow factor make your garden place a cut above the others. Use flexible furniture. These are easy to install and remove and, therefore, will offer you limitless options.

Include a water feature

Being the most calming element, people always delight in the non-threatening sound of flowing water. This helps to mask the unwanted noise and also adds interest to the area. You can build waterfalls in the garden for creating a soothing experience. Fountains are also great options for creating cozy retreats.

These should match with the size of your garden. Surrounding the water features with pebbles and boulders creates a beautiful visual experience. Sitting on the side of the water feature will help you relax and have relief from stress entirely.

Create a yoga room

A yoga room is a must if you want to build a retreat in the home. This is very easy to do. You should de-clutter the room first. Remove everything that does not fit the needs.

Once this is done, paint the room with calm colors for setting the mood. Arrange indirect diffused lighting for creating a beautiful ambiance in the room. There should be a yoga mat, and you may also use scented candles for creating a beautiful environment.

Make the place comfortable

Make it relaxed and comfortable with air conditioners and a ceiling fan. This will make the room quite comfortable. It may be a room or a garden nook that you are transforming into a beautiful retreat. For making it a success, you must have different layers of lighting.

Arrange general, mood and task lighting to uplift the space. Using candles and string lights are also great options for revamping a place.

Surround with trees and plants

People have an affinity towards the natural elements. Surrounding the place with trees and plants is a brilliant idea to make it private and beautiful. This also makes the place secluded and elegant. When people are near to natural elements, they feel more relaxed.

Although the natural greens are the most popular decorating elements, they are hard to maintain. These have regular maintenance needs like watering, fertilizing, applying pesticides, trimming, etc. If you are not a green thumb, you are sure to make those die after some time.

Fake outdoor tropical plants are great alternatives

The live plants need replacement, and that is why the artificial exterior trees have gained popularity in landscaping. Being made from high-quality foliage and strong, colorfast pigments, the fake tropical plants deliver a stunning realistic beauty. These are also extremely durable and can withstand extreme weather.

Plenty of these faux botanical items are available in ready-to-use sizes. They come in standard base including an artificial bamboo palm tree, large artificial palm trees, etc. These do not attract any insect and also do not grow molds. Thus, these offer a safe environment for the home retreats.

Conclusion

Retreating is the best thing when you get bored with the daily grind. Getting away from everything for some time every day and on weekends helps you relax and refresh. These design ideas are sure to create your retreat in the outdoor.

Intro   Awesome Outdoor Fire Pits For Memorable Evenings Again And Again

Memorable evenings stay with us forever. If you are lucky enough to have some courtyard or backyard space in your home, then you must explore the possibility of making an outdoor fire pit. This is where you will gather your close friends and family and spend many memorable evenings together. Sitting around a fire pit and talking about everything under the sun or simply unwinding in private after a hard day’s work.

Keep in mind some useful tips, and you are ready for the next social gathering at your home.

• Requirement

Think about why you need this for. Is it for only social invitations or is it going to be for your personal daily sits outs only? Or could it be both? You may need this space to sit in natural surroundings and enjoy some quiet moments too. According to your needs, design the place on paper. Think of the practical aspects of a fire pit and the beautification of the place as well. Then budget it out with the list of things required and the costs implications.

• Location

Then identify the area where you can set up a fire pit at home. Since this is possible only in independent homes, you can choose whether it’s the backyard of the front yard which allows space. There should be an open space and also have a bit of a distance between your house and the fire pit. This is for your safety and regarding your health and even fire hazards. Take care of the proximity to the neighbors as well. You don’t want them coughing up late at night because of the fire smoke and fumes.

• Utility

A large space used only for a fire pit and lit up occasionally may not be that financially sound. It may also be a waste of precious space that your children could use for some outdoor sport and play. Design the pit in such a way that a tabletop can be placed on it to cover it. Then it can be used as a dining out experience as well when the fire is not needed or lit up. Have moonlight dinner when you want.

• Materials

As said earlier, use fire retardant and fire resistant materials on the seating and any other side tables as well. Choose colors and designs that will complement the exterior of the house and blend well with it. You can match these fabrics and materials with the theme used indoor as well. The fire bowl can be of stone, metal, or concrete. Place some tiny stones, gravel or shattered tempered glass inside the pit for that beautiful and different look to it.

• Fuels

You may require local permissions and licenses to burn certain fuels like gas and propane. Wood logs can be used without permission. Take care of fumes and smokes which could cause allergic reactions to your guests as well as family members.

• Seating

Make sure that each person who sits around the fire pit has access to it without overlaps. Thus you can have around, square, or rectangle shaped fire pits as per your liking and needs. Keep low seats for that coziness and closeness.

• Comfort

Keep the comfort level of the seating and the entire area very high. After all, you will sit here to relax, host some guests or simply spend some quality time with your family on a cool winter evening. Have some plush seaters or recliners where you lie back and enjoy the warm fire. Watch the stars above and soak in the warmth of the fire in front of you.

• Safety

Keep a fire extinguisher handy and functional. Train everyone in the house to use it too. Buy durable and fire-safe materials. Make a sunken fire pit which is safer than a surface or above surface level one. Wind may cause havoc in such holes.

• Aesthetics

Highlight the fire pit by placing it as much in the center of the planned space as possible. Place small or mixed gravel or small stones around the entire hole. It gives a beautiful look to it. Place some decorative palm trees with lights around the seating area. A few artificial palm trees that light up when you use that space look beautiful. You can have contrasting combinations for decoration like shades of blue, black, or reds around the fire bowl.

• Landscaping

Landscape the area around with artificial exterior trees, some grass, pebbles, and some artificial fan palm leaves. This landscaping will increase the beauty of the place. You may think of planting some artificial areca palm plants or some outdoor artificial coconut palm trees to create a hedge for privacy from neighbors or to cover the interiors of your own house. Highlight your patio with some artificial patio palm trees. Sitting at the fire pit in the comfort of your home will be an excellent experience if you have a fantastic view around to admire too.

Create memories with some soft music playing in the background. When you use these ideas and do up a fire pit area in your own house, you will spend many cozy evenings here. It’s your party zone where you will sit evening after evening creating beautiful pictures for your memory album.

Intro   Light Up Your Patio And Your Life Here S How

If you’re looking for creative and unique ideas to light up your patio, you have come to the right place. We have a list of effective and affordable lighting ideas that you can incorporate into your patio and make the space look mystical and charming. Here’s everything you need to know:

Avoid Excessively Bright Lights In Your Patio

Most people sit out on their patios in the evening or late at night. Sitting outdoors at these hours of the day requires some sort of artificial lighting to be turned on. Now if you opt for excessively bright lights for your patio, the deep shine of such lights will bring about a glare that will make it difficult for you to see clearly. Some excellent and subtle lighting options for your patio include rail-mounted lights, step lights, and other such options. These lights will illuminate your patio just enough to give it a calming, unwinding and relaxing vibe, without blinding you or causing irritation to your eyes.

Avoid Lights With Bulbs Protruding Out

Opting for lights that have the bulbs protruding out will cause the same glare issues as lights that are excessively bright. You need to make sure that you choose lighting structures that have frosted glass, or you choose lighting fixtures that hide the bulb deep inside the installation itself, thereby reducing the brightness of the bright lamp.

Add Solar Lights To Your Patio

This suggestion is most suitable for people who are looking out for environmentally friendly lighting options for their patio. They would be ideal to install in a city has strong sunlight through the year. You can get a wide range of solar patio lights that will end up saving a lot of energy and also reduce your energy bills drastically. Additionally, the solar lights will also be easy on the environment. Solar lights are available on most online shopping portals, and they can also be purchased from your local décor store.

Rice Lights Or String Lights For Your Patio

Do you live in a highly polluted state that doesn’t give you the chance to witness the stars come out at night? Well, you can now put your very own stars up in your patio. String lights and rice lights are the closest artificial light options to stars. You can drape these lights on the trees around your patio, on the staircase banister of your patio and so on. These twinkly lights are available in several different colors for you to choose from. You can even get color changing rice lights or string lights.

Install Faux Plants And Trees With Lights

Another excellent option for your patio lights is installing artificial lighted palm tree for the deck. There are countless different kinds of light up palm trees for sale. You can opt for lighted coconut palm trees, or you can even go in for light up palm tree decorations for your faux trees. Not only will these lit up trees make your patio and garden look fabulous, but they will also add all the light that you need to brighten up space. Once you have installed these faux landscaping products on your patio, the area will look like a charming and mystical wonderland.

Outdoor Fire Spaces For Your Patio

Having a beautiful outdoor fire space on your patio can genuinely add to the charm and vibe of the area. Not only will the fire bring in light and warmth to your patio, but it will give the surroundings a very natural and mesmerizing feel too. This idea is particularly useful if the city you live in has chilly and long winter months. You will be able to thoroughly enjoy the outdoor winter chill because of the flaming fire that will keep you warm as you sit in the evening on your patio.

Candles Can Add A Sense Of Romanticism

Candles can be a beautiful and breathtaking light option for your patio. You can cluster up a group of candles together and place them at different spots on your patio. The flicker of the candle flame will be a delightful site to witness on a chilly autumn evening. You can even invest in some outdoor candleholders that will add to the entire charm and give your patio that romantic vibe.

Japanese Lanterns For Your Patio

Are you looking out for affordable but beautiful lighting options for your patio? Well, all you need to do is purchase a bunch of gorgeous Japanese lanterns and hang them all over your patio. These Japanese lanterns will give your patio a very Oriental look and feel. If you want to give your patio that the Far East feel, you can even add some bamboo trees and plants along with the Japanese lanterns.

Jar Lights For Your Patio

If you have a creative side to you, you can just make your very own set of lights for your patio. All you need to do is take a mason jar, fill it up with string lights or rice lights and place the jar in your patio. You can use multiple different jars for different corners of your patio space. You can even get hanging mason jars to make pretty hanging lights for your patio. If you’re looking for something a little more romantic, you can fill the mason jar up with sand and add tea light candles to it.

Lighting your patio doesn’t necessarily have to be a costly affair. You just need to be practical about what kind of lighting fixtures and options you choose for the area. You can use the tips and suggestions that we have for you and transform your patio into a beautifully lit up space. These ideas are tried and tested, and most people have loved the outcome. Your guests and neighbors too will fall in love with your gorgeously lit up patio. Get to it today and start making these simple and basic changes. You won’t be disappointed with the outcome!

Intro   Gravel Can Bring Your Outdoor Space To Life Here S How

Gravels are small rocks that can be used to create varieties of landscape designs. Having different colors and textures, gravels can enhance the appeal of your outdoor. These easily available landscaping elements require little or no maintenance. Here are some ways of using gravels in your outdoor space.

Types & advantages

Landscapers have been using gravels for improving the outdoor spaces. This is so because gravels have many advantages. Available in varieties of sizes, colors, and textures; these stone fragments can be used in many combinations.

These are mostly maintenance-free, and you can lay it easily. Another great point about gravels is that these are climate resistant and are easily available. They come in the following types:

  • Pea gravel
  • Crushed rocks
  • River rocks
  • Path fines

1. Gravels make a great walkway

Winding walkways deliver a great walking experience. Making sidewalks with gravels is an excellent experience for the pleasing crunch under the feet. These are available in different colors and shapes. Combine them to create colorful designs in separate zones of the outside space.

Gravel pathways are easy to build. Adding few inches of gravel on the earth and apply binding materials. This is enough to create an excellent gravel path. Use finer gravels for reducing rolling under the feet. Alternatively, you can also use large size crushed gravel. Being heavier, they lock better.

Lining the driveway with gravels also enhances the outdoor space. Besides, these protect the edges of the driveway from cracking and prevent erosion. In case, the driveway is not paved, you can also use gravels for that.

2. You can have a perfect dining space with gravels

Alfresco dining is an excellent option for homes, and gravels can deliver you a stylish dining area. You can combine gravels with patio pavers. This lets you have a chick and classy dining area in the outdoors. While dining under the canopy of stars is delightful, you may have a shade for all-weather dining.

Add folding bistro chairs and a table. You can also opt for log type sitting arrangements for a nice country look. There should be string lights for boosting up the evening ambiance.

3. Gravels can make gorgeous patios

Gravels are affordable and are easy to install. These create attractive anchors for outside decors. You can choose any color from gray, brown, white, rust, etc. for creating a captivating patio floor.

Gravel patios match well with Mediterranean outdoor landscapes. You can build grid-like decks and fill the alternate square with gravels. This will build a high-impact patio floor.

In case you want to create a Zen feeling in the patio, mix multiple colors of gravels. Surround the patio with a rustic flagstone wall to prevent spilling. This will also enhance the look and feel of the patio.

4. Fill the garden beds

Gravels provide an excellent solution to keep away the pets. These also make the garden beds more appealing. As these are not affected by weather, they do not deteriorate and also prevent soil erosion.

Using gravels as a top dressing over the mulch is also a great option. These deliver a nice clean look and suppress weeds effectively. Moreover, it also helps to prevent the loss of water due to evaporation.

Consider Pea gravels for small trees and plants. These are also great for hiding the exposed roots of the large trees.

5. Gravels create stunning water features

Water is the most natural element. With its motion, reflection continuous sound lore, it brings a garden to life. You can create an artificial pond, fountain, or waterfalls in the gardens. When gravels are included in the water features, it adds another dimension to the outside space.

Dark gravels offer the best aesthetics when used fountains and waterfalls. These appear almost black when water splashes on these, and create a natural look. Of course, you can use any color based on the landscaping theme.

6. Gravels offer unique drainage

Drainage is a huge issue in all landscaping projects. You can use gravel trenches for an effective water drainage solution. Gravels also acts as a messiah for absorbing and draining out the rainwater.

When there is excessive moisture in the outside, water fails to seep into the soil. This causes spillage of water on the pathways. Gravels provide a beautiful solution to such problems. These help to keep the water in the soil by absorbing the excess moisture.

Thus, no messy mud is created, and the appeal of the yard is enhanced.

7. Gravels are great erosion controller

Maybe the pathways in your yard have slopes, or there is a hilly bed in the garden. Spreading gravels on this areas help prevent erosion of soil. Having more edges, crushed gravels offer better protection.

8. Gravels enhance the beauty of the faux palm trees

Your outdoor space is where you meet the guest first. Adorning this with green elements is, therefore, an absolute necessity to make it warm and inviting. While this sounds nice, it is hard to implement. This is because the live plants have great maintenance demands.

Made from high-quality raw materials the silk plants and trees offer an awesome landscaping alternative. Being botanically correct, these do not compromise with the aesthetics. You can have these in standard bases. Placing gravels on the base of the faux trees impart a natural look.

These are available as large artificial outdoor trees like coconut palms, bamboo palms, banana palms, etc. There are also illuminated artificial palm trees that create a magical evening ambiance in the lawn.

You can use these on either side of the path for creating a dreamy entrance. Surrounding the water features with fake palm trees lifts up the environment. Since these do not attract insects, they deliver a safe space.

Conclusion

A manicured yard is meaningless if one has to trample the grass and leave footprints to get around. Using gravels keeps you away from such things. This also reduces drainage easier. Following these tips, you are sure to enhance the curb appeal of your home

Intro   All You Need To Know About Keeping Your Landscape Fire Safe

Most people don’t understand the importance and seriousness of having a safe fire landscape. This is because they are not aware of the fact that something as simple as a garden landscape can be a significant fire hazard. If you’re planning on landscaping your garden, there are certain tricks that you can use to make sure that the landscape is fire safe. Here’s everything you need to know:

Add A Waterbody To Your Landscape If Possible

Whether you opt for a koi pond, a small artificial pond, a waterfall or any other water body, adding a waterbody to your landscape can play a significant role in making it fire safe. The moisture from the waterbody will make your landscape less prone to fire breakouts. Further, in the event that a fire is to break out in your landscape, the water in the waterbody will stop and prevent the spread of the fire.

Use Gravel, Stones, Pebbles And Other Such Landscaping Products

Using pebbles in your flower beds, gravel in your walkways and stones around the landscape can help in preventing the breakout and spread of a fire. Stones, pebbles, and gravel are fire-resistant and will instantly stop the spread of a small fire. You can also use large rocks or stones as separators between thick bushes and foliage.

Regularly Trim And Prune Trees And Bushes

It is very important that you regularly trim and cut the trees, plants, and bushes in your landscape. Allowing your plants and trees to grow wild and out of control can make your landscape a fire hazard. The overlapping branches and leaves can prove to be extremely dangerous. If you don’t have the time to trim the foliage yourself, hire a professional gardener to provide regular maintenance to your landscape.

Make Sure That Trees Are Planted At A Proper Distance

You need to make sure that trees are planted at a distance of minimum 10 feet from each other and also at the same distance from structures. If the trees in your landscape are planted very close to each other, it can make space a fire hazard. If there’s adequate space between the trees, the flames of the fire won’t spread all through your landscape.

Dispose Of Any Debris From Your Landscape

Old construction materials, fallen twigs and branches, piles of raked up leaves and other debris should be cleared out from your landscape. You also need to make sure that any hazardous fire debris in your rain gutter is cleaned out properly. Any debris lying around in your landscape can make the place susceptible to fire breakouts.

Install Artificial Landscaping Products In Your Landscape

Nowadays you can get tons of faux plants, artificial outdoor trees, and other such fake landscaping products. There plants and trees are fire resistant. Installation of these fire-resistant plants and artificial outdoor palms in your landscape can make the place look classy, upscale and fabulous. The fire resistant feature in these faux landscaping products will play an essential role in making sure your landscape is safe from any mishaps or fire outbreaks. If you’re looking to give your landscape a nice summery vibe, you can install artificial coconut palm trees in the area. There are also artificial potted palm trees available for people who are looking out for more conveniently sized faux landscaping options.

Keep Your Grass Well Watered And Lawn Well Mowed

You need to make sure that the grass in your lawn is well mowed and always kept well-hydrated. Grass that is kept properly mowed and well-irrigated have lesser chances of catching fires from embers. If the grass in your lawn becomes brown and dry, it is at a greater risk of being prone to fires. A fire that sparks on the grass of your lawn can uncontrollably spread throughout the landscape within a matter of minutes.

Add Moisture Retaining Plants To Your Landscape

There are tons of moisture-retaining plants like cacti, succulents and other water retaining plant and tree varieties. These moisture retaining landscaping products are an absolute must for your garden because they can play a critical role in making the landscape fire safe.

Opt For Alternates To Wood

Most people have wooden fences, decks, and boardwalks in their backyards or gardens. While these wooden options may add a mystical and cottage-like charm to your landscape, it may not be the most suitable option if you’re looking to transform your garden into a fire resistant landscape. Wooden boards and fences are highly-flammable and susceptible to going up in flames. A great way to make your landscape fire-safe is by installing metal fences in place of wooden ones, stone or concrete patio and so on. Find non-flammable alternates to the wood so that you can make your landscape completely fire-safe.

Remove Dead And Diseased Trees At The Earliest

If you find any dead or diseased trees in your garden, you need to make sure that you remove them at the earliest. Leaving dead and dry tree trunks in your garden can be a risk because the bare trunks and branches of the trees are susceptible to fires. The diseased trees are not only a fire hazard, but they can be a health hazard for you and the other trees in your landscape. If you don’t have the experience and skill to cut down the tree yourself, you can hire a professional to get the job done for you at a nominal cost. It will cost you a lot less to bear the expense of a professional tree cutter as opposed to baring the expense of a burnt down garden and house.

Making sure your landscape is fire safe is simple and easy. You don’t even need to invest large sums of money to make these changes to your landscape. A few nips and tucks and you can transform a simple garden into safe fire heaven. Follow the tips and suggestions we have offered and keep your family and property safe from damage.

Intro   Yard Beautification Ideas That Will Make You Go Wow

Not everyone has a large yard. Most of the urban houses have small open spaces. Irrespective of the size, an unattractive yard is enough to ruin the beauty of your home. As the front yard creates the first impression, we should endeavor to make it beautiful.

Here are some inspiring ideas for beautifying the front yard.

1. Upgrade the mailbox

While decorating a yard, you must look through the eyes of the visitors. You should think deeply if the mailbox became an eyesore. It is not necessary that you will have a cast iron mailbox always. This can be made using different materials including vinyl, bricks, and stone.

You can have different styles of mailbox matching with the design of the yard. Pop this up coating with vibrant colors for adding to the beauty. Also, check that this is easily identifiable and do not block the view.

2. Create multiple zones

Limited space can, at times, be a barrier to improving the yard. Breaking up the yard into different zones is a smart move for making a small place look large. You may divide the yard into zones for dining, relaxing and reading. There can also be separate space for hanging hammocks.

Walls of height 2 to 3 feet are great for creating separate zones in the yard. You can also use fences for this. Better include alfresco cooking in the dining area provided with matching sitting arrangement. Have some Adirondack chairs or other comfortable sitting arrangements in the relaxing zone and reading nook.

3. Include a water feature

From historical times, people fall for moving waters like rivers, streams, etc. The sound of running waters has a soothing effect on the human mind. It also makes one more creative. Adding water features to the yard greatly improves the home. You may buy an artificial fountain or can build artificial waterfalls in the yard.

The soft sound of the water provides a nice relaxing spot. Adorning the area with pebbles and stones make it a talk-of-the-town. It requires minimum maintenance and makes a great focal point in the yard. Other than this, it also helps to lower down the surrounding ambient temperature.

4. Rethink the pathway

Most of the homes either have stone pathways graced with grass. You should think something different to spruce up the yard. Better pave the stones at some distance so that they deliver an isolated patterned look.

Aside from this, you can have paths made from gravel. Using pebbles is also a nice pathway decorating option. Whatever you do, build edges with bricks and stones for defining the path. Lighting the path also create a great visual effect in the evening.

5. A fire pit is the hottest addition to the yard

A fire pit in the yard is all that you need to listen to a ghost story in a chilling winter night. This also lets your guest have a cozy and comfy gathering place. This also helps to have great BBQs. You can either buy a pre-fabricated fire pit of can make your one.

For making your fire pit, consider the fuel first. You should decide if to have a gas burning or a wood burning fire pit. While wood burning creates a primitive ambiance, these are tough to manage. Using gas burning stoves are easier and functions well.

6. Organize creative seating

Think out of the box for making sitting arrangement in the yard. Adirondack chairs are great for this purpose. Built-in benches, planters, and wall sitting arrangement also deliver a nice cohesive effect. Including a swing in the yard also adds to the aesthetics.

7. Symmetry & seamless transition are the keys

Varieties of decorative elements can be used for bracing up a yard. Balance these elements on either side of the pathway in geometric patterns. This will deliver an inviting and attractive yard. Also place pebbles, planters, stone steps and other décor elements evenly throughout the yard. This should seamlessly lead to the front entrance. Avoid cluttering & overgrowth of grass and other live green elements.

8. Add unexpected materials

Unexpected materials make a great addition to the yard. This can be anything from recycled wood, found objects, corrugated metals, etc. Add this to the fence or wall to make a great view. Also, try to use the materials available onsite in unexpected ways. If there is a large boulder, it can be placed near the door to make a great entrance.

9. Liven up the door with color

Your front door can significantly improve the yard. Lift it up with a combination of bright and bold color that matches the yard. You may paint the door green if the façade is white, or can choose colors as per the style of the home.

10. Splash up with artificial outdoor palms

If you lack the mindset and time to nurture live plants, the faux trees are the right alternative. These are available in many varieties like curved trunk coconut palms, artificial sago palm tree, fan palm tree, etc.

Passing through many transformations these commercial artificial palm trees are made stunningly realistic. As such, they can deliver a fabulous yard. Since prime quality foliage and color pigments are used in manufacturing, these are quite strong to withstand extreme weather.

These provide an excellent and effective way to spruce up the yard. Should you like, you can introduce a tropical vibe using the fake outdoor tropical plants in the yard. Coming in standard bases, you can install them easily. Being highly portable, you can easily change the arrangement.

They add to the beauty from the day one and remain the same in all seasons. Other than adding loads of greeneries, these are quite safe. They never attract any insect or cause any allergy.

Conclusion

Decorating the front yard is vital to make your home fascinating. It also makes your home eye-catching to the neighbors and a point of discussion for the guests. Implementing these ideas will give a new and fresh look to the yard making it an onlooker’s envy.

Intro  Before You Hire A Landscape Architect Ask These Questions

While we all want our home garden to look stunning and mystical, hiring a landscape architect to get the job done maybe a little more tricky and complicated than you think. There are several questions that you should ask a professional landscape artist before you get him on the team to transform and revamp your garden. Blindly hiring the first professional that comes your way may end up backfiring on you. Here are a few questions that you should be asking any professional landscape artist before you hire him:

Find Out What Services The Landscape Artist Offers

Different landscape architects offer different types of services to their customers. While some landscape artists only provide the services of design planning, other landscape artists offer the full-service option that includes everything from design to maintenance. Knowing the services offered will help you plan your next step properly. If your landscape architect only offers design services, you will have to find an alternate source to build the design, make the purchases and carry out the installation.

Ask For Past Project Photos Or Site Visits

It doesn’t matter if you’re planning on hiring a professional landscape architect, you need to keep in mind that irrespective of his experience in the field, his taste might be very different from your taste. While you might prefer a modern style landscape, the landscape artist that you’re in talks with maybe known for his cottage style garden landscapes. You need to request a site visit of past projects that he may have done so that you can get a feel for the kind of work he does. Don’t end up getting stuck with someone who has a taste that’s different from yours. You will only regret it.

Ask For A Garden Visit If Possible

A garden visit typically comprises of the landscape artist coming over to your place, studying your garden thoroughly and understanding what it is you wish to accomplish with the remodel. The landscape artist will discuss ideas and that he may have for your garden landscape once he scours the site entirely. This exchange of ideas and brainstorming session will help you take a call on whether or not the landscape artist is worth hiring.

Figure Out What The Designer’s Process Is

The design process involves the services that the landscape architect has to offer. You need to figure out whether he will only provide the design for you or whether he will make it a point to oversee each and every step in the making or the remodeling of the garden. If your landscape architect only takes care of the design aspect of the project, will you be able to singlehandedly take care of the incorporation of the design into your garden? If you don’t have the experience of landscaping, it would be advisable that you find someone who can take care of the entire process from design to maintenance so that you don’t have any hassles at a later stage.

Request The Landscape Architect To Visit The Landscape Products Store With You

Making a trip along with the landscape architect to your local landscape store will help you both understand the each other’s frequency. You can point out to products that you like and are looking to add to your landscape. The landscape architect can improvise on your ideas and help you choose products that will be best suited to your garden and so on. Once you both can come to common grounds and understand each other’s ways of thinking, it will become much easier to transform your garden into landscape heaven.

Find Out What It’s All Going To Cost You

Once you have done your basic research and had an in-depth interaction with the landscape architect, the next step you need to take is found out an approximate estimate of what it’s all going to cost you. You need to get a ballpark figure from the landscape architect of his fee, the amount he is going to spend on landscape products, maintenance charges and so on. You need to make sure that the landscape artist can source the best possible landscape products at the most affordable prices. If you don’t find out an approximate cost, you may end up getting slapped with a bill that’s way beyond your budget.

Consider Installing Faux Plants Yourself

While this isn’t exactly a question that needs to be raised with the landscape artist, you should seriously consider installing faux plants yourself. Not only will adding faux plants reduce your maintenance and overall landscaping cost, but they will add vibrancy to your landscape. Artificial coconut palm trees will give your garden a fabulous summery and tropical vibe. You can also opt for artificial banana palm trees for your garden. If you’re looking to add a little bit of light to your landscape, you can opt for a fake palm tree with lights. When discussing the landscaping process with the landscape artist, be sure to mention that you plan on installing faux landscaping products in your garden. This will make it easier for him to design your garden taking into consideration the faux trees and plants.

Find Out If There’s Room For Negotiations / Discounts

You don’t necessarily need to cave into the first estimate quoted by the landscape architect. You can try and negotiate with him and bring him down on the cost and even get him to reduce his service fee. Often landscape artists tend to fluff up their estimates. Squeeze him down to the best possible price so that your garden remodeling is pocket-friendly for you.

Asking these questions to the person whom you’re going to hire for your landscape work will end up being beneficial for you. You will get to know what to expect and can get the landscape that you have always dreamed of having. Make sure to get proper and thorough information before you get on the team any landscape artist. You can probably even meet multiple landscape artists before you finalize one that best understands your needs.

Intro   Cool And Quirky Front Yard Seating Ideas Worth Exploring

If you are blessed with a modest home, the chances are that you have a modest front yard. Providing seating arrangements makes it warm and welcoming. Maybe you are getting bored of rearranging the front yard seating time and again. This write-up will give you some thumb rules and ideas for new and quirky front yard sitting.

Things to consider

While placing front yard furniture, efforts should be made to create a focal point. Once done, arrange the furniture around that. Although symmetrical arrangements are much popular, asymmetrical arrangements deliver a quirky and casual feeling.

While making furniture layouts, make sure to avoid congestion. There should be enough moving space. They should be so placed that the guests are led to the sitting area without moving through it. Divide the front yard into separate zones to make it more functional and dynamic.

You can also include area rugs, side tables. Use of accent pillows and cushions are great to impart a resort type feeling. Also, arrange to light for grand evening gatherings. Accessorizing the place will make you feel at home outside the house.

Adirondack chairs lift up the yard

Mostly made with wood, these originally had eleven flat wooden boards. With the advent of varieties of manmade material, these are now available in polymers and hard plastic materials. These straight-backed chairs are fitted with wide armrest for proving maximum comfort. When included in the front yard they make good uses of the space.

The polymer made Adirondack chairs are weather resistant. They are inert to snow, rain, and sun. These strong and sturdy chairs are insect and termite resistant. Being light in weight, they can be easily rearranged to new sitting formation.

Swings make great sitting arrangements

Swings offer great relaxation and let you spend quality time. Sitting on a swing with a cup of coffee after a hard and hectic day gladdens the mood. These are great for enjoying loneliness and still watching what is happening nearby.

In addition to the traditional swings, varieties of front yard swings are available in the market. You can choose from classic swings, rollback swings, console swings, etc. You can also use the other varieties as well.

These have unique designs and are also available with curved shapes. When included in the front yard these make great sitting arrangements. Get a variety that matches the size of your front yard. Make sure that it is safe and do not block the entrance.

Encircling the outdoor fire pit makes excellent style statements

Your front yard decoration reflects your lifestyle. When you have a fire pit in the front yard, it makes your home warm and stand-out. Designing a fire pit adds to the aesthetics of the house and creates a great entertainment area.

Making a stone fire pit lifts the front yard to the next level. Encircle the fire pit with a free-standing stone wall so that the guest may sit on it. Alternatively, you may place garden chairs around the pit. You should also have a canopy to use the space in the rainy and the cold seasons.

A satellite patio helps to enjoy the front yard

A satellite patio with sitting arrangement can transform the front yard into a great gathering spot. It draws the guests out and influences them to sit in the front yard sitting area. This can be located anywhere and can be of any size.

You may build this in any geometrical shape that matches your choices and preferences. You can also make it abstract for imparting a new look.

Building this near a water feature makes a great sitting option. You can add some lawn chairs and a table to a corner of the front yard. This will also serve the same purpose. Class it up with lighting for a glamorous look.

Create a hangout space

Not all are blessed with a home with a large front yard. Most of the urban homes suffer from space crunch and are tight on the open area. In such case, create a hangout space with comfortable chairs and a table.

It lets you have a farmhouse type sitting area. When the yard is shallow, you can include a pair of chairs. This will make your front yard a more sociable. People can sit here facing each other and engage in conversation.

Elevated decks also add to the beauty

When you have enough space in the front yard, you can also opt for elevated deck sitting arrangement. This will create different cozy zones and add depth and dimension to the front yard aesthetics. A pair of chairs with cushions makes the place great.

Spruce up the curb appeal with greens

For socializing, your front yard must be worthy to have guests. It should be catchy and have excellent sitting arrangements for a great gathering. Live greens go a long way in sprucing up the curb appeal of the front yards.

But live greens have many associated pitfalls. These have great maintenance demands. They suffer from natural decay, die, and need replacements. Having no such demands the silk plants and trees offer a great alternative for decorating the front yard.

These have passed through many revolutions and are now manufactured botanically correct. Hence these do not compromise with beauty. The decorative artificial palm trees are made from the top-notch material, and these are quite durable. They can also withstand all weather conditions to provide you a great front yard.

There are plenty of varieties. You can use fake coconut palm tree for creating a unique sitting nook in the front yard. The banana palm tree also lets you have a magical outdoor decoration. Coming in tailor-made sizes and standard bases, these are easy to install. They even start adorning the place from the day one.

Conclusion

The front yard is the place where people gather for watching the outside world and for obvious chatting. While this is a guideline, you can always rearrange the furniture matching with the seasons. This will add a new perspective and impart a fresh new look.

Intro  Top 10 Tricks To Make Your Summer House Parties More Awesome

Summertime is the best time of the year to throw those fantastic and memorable house parties. What makes a summer party even more impressive is smartly upgrading your home to accommodate the guests and tweaking the décor a bit to make it more party friendly. We have put together a list of some fun and easy tricks that you can use to change your home into the perfect party den for the summer. Here’s everything you need to know:

Beach Style Summer Candles

A great way to add to the décor of your party is by placing candles around your home. Candles can give your home and the party atmosphere a classy and upscale vibe. If you want to add a little bit of a beach style vibe to your candles, there are tons of ideas in which you can be creative. Fill up mason jars with sand and gorgeous seashells and place the tea light candles inside the pot. You can also be creative with your candleholders and stick shells and starfish on them to give them a more summery vibe.

Make Centrepieces Out Of Common Objects

Who says you need to spend large sums of money on centerpieces for your party décor? You can use the simplest of daily objects and items and transform them into affordable yet attractive centerpieces. For instance, you can transform soda bottles into vases. Just clean out the bottle thoroughly, fill them with water and add daisies or carnations in the containers. You can also get beautiful pieces of driftwood from the beach, dry the wood, apply a coat of varnish and use the driftwood as a centerpiece.

Use Faux Landscaping Products To Liven Up Your Home

Another brilliantly effective and affordable way to transform your home for your summer parties is by installing artificial indoor palm trees and outdoor palm tree options. You can decorate your backyard and porch with artificial bamboo tree options. You can also get artificial coconut palm trees for your backyard or driveway. Some fun indoor plant and tree options that are worth considering include artificial kentia palm tree, paradise palm tree, artificial ponytail palm tree and so on.

Go Crazy With Light Options

Using light to transform the décor of your home can give the surroundings a fun party feel. You can get several different kinds of lighting options. Some affordable lighting ideas include:

  • String lights or rice lights can be used to decorate the porch, backyard, and outdoor trees.
  • Japanese lanterns are an excellent option for your home décor too. Not only will these lanterns add charm to the area, but they will also give your home a very Oriental and ethnic vibe.
  • Colour changing garden lights can also be an excellent option for your home. These lights will make your home look more colorful and fun. They can either be hung or placed on a stable surface. Such lights typically come in 7 changing colors.

Place Seating Arrangements And Tables Under Shade

If you’re planning on having a sundowner or an outdoor lunch party, you need to make sure that the tables and chairs are placed in such a way that your guests don’t have the sun burning down on them. You can either set up the table under a thick tree, or you can consider investing in large outdoor umbrellas that can provide proper shade to your guests. If you live in a city that has exceptionally hot summers, you can get a canopy roof or a canvas roof installed in your backyard to protect friends and guests from the baking heat.

Balloons Are A Fun And Affordable Option

No matter how old you get, you’re never too old for balloons. Balloons can decorate large parts of your home and add life, color, and vibrancy to the area. You can get a wide range of colored balloons, or you can get balloons in just two colors for a themed party and so on.

Make Use Of Old Wooden Crates

Storage for drinks and beverages can become a nuisance when you’re having a party at home. Your refrigerator may not be big enough to store all the bottles. A smart and affordable way to bring more storage space for bottles is by converting old wooden crates into drink containers. You can fill up the boxes with ice and store the bottles in these crates.

Use Streamers And Confetti

Using streamers is a great way to decorate the walls in your home for a party. You can hang the streamers in a color-coordinated scheme from ceiling to floor. Alternatively, you can also creatively twist the streamers and stick them on either side of the wall. Confetti can be used to add a little bit of bling and color to your floor. Just cover your floors with confetti to give your home that celebratory vibe.

Terrariums Can Be Placed On Tables At Your Home

Terrariums filled with sand, pebbles, cacti, succulents, candles and other such fun and captivating items can be used to decorate the coffee tables and side tables in your home. You can make the terrariums yourself by filling up the glass bowls with items of your choice, or you can purchase readymade terrariums from your local nursery or décor store.

Decorate Your Home As Per The Theme Of The Party

If you’re having a themed party, you can decorate your home as per the theme. For instance, you can use carved pumpkins and paper machete ghosts and witches for a Halloween party. On the other hand, you can use garlands and wildflowers for the décor of your party when throwing a Hawaiian theme party and so on.

As you can see, these few simple tricks can transform your home entirely and make it a party-ready space for the summer. These affordable ideas are fun, unique, easy to incorporate and your guests will most definitely love them.