Tuesday, 25 September 2012

How to Make Your Own Garden Fountain

A garden adds vibrance to any home. It relaxes the eye and breathes an aesthetic feel to the surroundings. Not only does it provide foliage to butterflies and little insects hopping and flying about, it also cleans the air in the immediate vicinity.

Gardens can be a place to unwind and relax, or to enjoy a good conversation with good company. However, if you really want to make your garden zen, it would be best to add an outdoor furniture or installation, like a fountain.  It’s even better if you make it yourself.

Making Your Own Garden Fountain

It has been believed that the trickling of water soothes our senses. Having a fountain  in your garden can also add a more soothing feel to the already relaxing hues of greens and pastel colors.

Making your own garden fountain may seem daunting, but with these steps, you will surely find it easier.

  1. Check for available power source. Look for a spot near a socket where you can put up your fountain. It has to be stable enough for all the pots you’ll be stacking on top of each other. A clay pot, usually found in local department stores or garden shops, would be your first installation. It has to be big enough to hold water and to secure the other objects in place.

Since you have the prerogative of how you want your fountain to look like, you can either leave the big pot on the ground or dig a slightly bigger hole to hold the basin in. This is where the water pump and the water will go.

  1. Place the water pump in the middle of the basin, connecting the tubes accordingly to where they should go. Cover the basin with chicken wire or mesh to keep debris away. This is important to make sure you don’t clog your pump.

  1. Decide on how tall or how short your fountain is. For a regular pocket garden, it would be best to opt for a size that is space friendly. If you dig a hole to accommodate the water basin, the best thing to do is to cover it up with old wood or anything stable that can hold the weight of the remaining pots. Some choose to use big stones as support, placing the wire mesh around the pump instead.

  1. Now that the important parts are in place—water basin, pump, and support structures—it is time to design it the way you want it. People who prefer elaborate designs stack small pots on a bigger one to let water flow in an artistic spout. Some even use ornamental, plants or bamboo arrangements. Those who go for minimalistic styles just stuff a clay pot with stones and pebbles to create a gentle run-off that produces the right amount of trickle.

Whichever way you choose to go, the most important thing is to make sure that the water flows out from the top of your fountain, and the tube that collects water is be sitting on the spillover basin. From here, the water goes back to the tube that sends water at the top, and on goes the circulation. You can secure the tubes in place by drilling holes or by twisting wires around them for convenience.

  1. Once you are pleased with how your fountain looks like, you can already let the water flow. Make sure the water level is maintained at about 4 to 5 inches on top of the pump to ensure that the fountain does not dry up after a few couple of days. Regularly clean and check the water basin for any mosquito larvae or other unwanted dirt or pests.

Once everything is in place, you can already enjoy your fountain and take the stress away right in your own home. With minimal cost and barely any fuzz, you can truly relax in your own place of zen.

Vincent Sevilla is a Marketing consultant for Openbrook.com, an excellent source of information about patio sofa and outdoor furniture

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

How to Set Up Aesthetic Focus in Your Garden

Making your garden bright and colorful is easy, but making it into art means you have to apply a few art and décor principles. The most important thing to have in your garden is a focus, the place where you look first, and the thing that everything else is meant to complement or contrast with. There are many options for great garden centerpieces, from massive living hedge sculptures, to ponds, 100 year old oaks, to intricate statues. However depending on the size of your yard and the size of your wallet there are a few options that look wonderful and are more accessible than other options. Here are my favorite three.

Fire Pit

A nice centrally located fire pit has multiple functions in that it can provide a splash of unexpected color in your garden otherwise green yard while also providing a great place to congregate outside at night while grilling up some sausages. You can opt for the more modern looking fire bowl or the old classic stone fire pit. If they’re done right either one looks absolutely gorgeous. Depending on what type of fire pit you use you can give your home a taste of modern edge or rustic lumberjack.


A fountain can be a bit more expensive than a fire pit, but if you live in a perpetually hot climate it can help to lower the overall temperature in your yard. Bubbling water is a classic garden feature and will help give your garden an air of calm and relaxation. Additionally if you like animals you can populate the water with some small fish. Depending on your range of income a fountain can be rustic or downright opulent. You can let the water gush out of a moss and algae covered rock formation or you can have it shoot into the air from an elaborate statue depending on your tastes.

Flower berm

Probably the most popular option for a centerpiece is a strategically placed flower berm. The trick to turning a flower bed into a centerpiece is location and configuration. A flowerbed placed at the side of your property will have background pieces placed toward the back with flowers and accent pieces in the front. A centerpiece is usually round (ish) and focuses toward its own center which should be raised. As For example you might have some bright flowers near the outside, graduating to some decorative bushes as you move in and capped by a gorgeous tree growing out of the very center and top.

Drawing Focus to your centerpiece

All of the previous centerpieces can be classed up by setting up a stone pathway that travels toward your centerpiece in a straight line and then terminates in a ring around it. As you step outside and look the path will help to draw your eye out toward it and make the whole look more concise and orderly. Also avoid putting asymmetrical features (like a single lone tree) near the center as this will draw focus away from the piece.

Author's Bio: Mackenzie Kupfer has been a lover of all things green since the age of six when she began gardening with her Nana. She is currently an online publisher for the outdoor garden decor site avantgardendecor.com. In her free time, Mackenzie enjoys attending garden shows, hiking, and gardening with her son.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Five Sure-fire Ways to Recycle Your Old Furniture

We have all heard the cry to help Mother Nature recover by recycling. We do our own little ways to pitch in. I personally segregate my trash, use recyclable grocery bags, and sometimes walk instead of using a vehicle.

But did you know that you can do more than that? How many times have you done your spring cleaning where you simply throw out the things that you will not use anymore? How many furniture have you sentenced to death by just leaving it out for the trash collector to pick up?

Source : Localbuzzmagazine.com

The next time you want to throw out a piece of furniture that you think is not worth having anymore, hold your horses.Let’s see if we can still recycle that. To get you started, here are some easy tips to recycle furniture:

           Ask yourself if the furniture can still be saved. An old bookcase can be revamped and made into a patio table or even a side table. A worn-out sofa can be upholstered to look brand new again.

The trick in revamping your furniture is to have an eye for detail. This can even be a mini-project that you can start with your friends or your family. With the right attitude and tools, your old fixtures will be taking a whole different form in no time.

      You can also sell these used pieces of furniture. Make sure that you price it wisely. Overpriced used furniture may not attract a lot of prospective buyers. Also, be reasonable when a potential buyer haggles with you.

Scrapping is another good way to recycle. If your furniture is made of steel, iron or aluminium, these parts can be sold separately. So instead of having these materials polluting the surroundings, it can be sold where it will be given a new lease on being another object.

You can also donate your furniture in thrift shops. This is a philanthropic move, because by donating, you do not earn money. You simply let go of your furniture and find a better home for it.

Source : Naturemoms.com

Another good move is to hand it down. If you have a friend who just moved out of his parent’s house or a young couple who just got married, you can offer to give them your old furniture.This is a win-win situation. They get to have “new” furniture without shelling out extra money, and you can still get to “visit” your old furniture and know that it will be in great hands.

When recycling anything, remember that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Avoid just dumping your furniture as these may still be used—if not as a whole, then probably as something else by recycling its parts.

Pierre Angela Cruz is a Marketing Consultant for Open Brook, an excellent source of information and reviews about patio and outdoor furniture. She also writes for Amerisleep, a distributor of memory foam mattress

The Different Types of Flooring for your Home

Right flooring combined with elegant wall colour and gorgeous curtains can make a lot of difference to your home. If you are thinking of renovating your house to give it a new touch, give special attention to the flooring part as it always plays a huge role in uplifting the overall look of a home. Nowadays, many options are there in the market. Each and every type of flooring has its own unique appeal and individual benefits. You just need to know which type suits your style better. So, have a look at the current available options -

Hardwood Floor -

Style, aesthetic look, easily repairable, low maintenance, and durability - all these come in mind while talking about hardwood flooring. These are the main aspects that make this flooring an all-time favorite choice. If you want to give a traditional look to your home, go for it. But frankly speaking, this would be an ideal choice for your bedroom and living room rather than your bathroom or kitchen.

Vinyl Floor -

Vinyl sheet is an economic choice that brings several affordable options along with it. This durable, water resistant and easy going flooring option comes with attractive textures that can mimic other flooring types like natural stones, wood and tiles.

Bamboo Floor -

Bamboo flooring is an ultimate way to make your home environment friendly. Easy installation, great look, sustainable nature, versatile color options and moisture resistant power of bamboo will satisfy your taste. Apart from the hardness of bamboo, it is the moisture resistant power that makes it an ultimate flooring choice for your bathroom and kitchen. It is a great long lasting flooring option that requires very less maintenance.

Laminate Floor -

Laminate flooring is cheaper than the hardwood flooring. Though the life span of laminate flooring is not similar to hardwood as hardwood flooring lasts quite longer than laminate flooring, still it is considered as one of the most popular options nowadays. Laminate floor does not fade easily and has scratch resistance power too.

Linoleum Floor -

This is another remarkable choice if you want to go for an economic yet attractive flooring option. Linseed oil is the main ingredient of the material and is completely natural. This flooring is also very tough by nature, environment-friendly and easy to maintain.

Ceramic Tiles –

Ceramic tile flooring is very attractive, fire resistant and needs less maintenance. Due to the waterproof and durable nature and resistance power of the tiles, they are also used as counter tops. Lots of people say that ceramic tiles help to increase the resale value of a home. In case of any damage, a single piece of tile can be removed, replaced and re-installed easily.

Carpets -

If you go for carpets, you will have advantages in terms of your safety and health as well. Apart from easy cleaning and maintenance benefits, you will be able to add style and beauty to your home through carpets. The chances of slipping and falling will also reduce if you use carpet flooring.

Marble Floors -

It is the look of marble flooring that lures the attention of many homeowners. Gorgeous elegant marble flooring adds greater value to your home. Besides, it is stain and dust resistant and suitable for people who are allergic to dust or have trouble with carpets.

So, the above discussion can help you to know the different flooring options. You can choose the one that best matches your priorities.

Monday, 10 September 2012

5 Rules to Decorate Your House before Selling It

Most homeowners begin to sense that the time may be drawing close to put their home on the market. It may be too small, it may be too large or it may be in the wrong place. Whatever the reason the decision to sell a property is a very fundamental one in people's lives should be handled with the maximum of professionalism, so that the sellers can enjoy the highest possible price for the property.

That should mean investing what is required to make the property look as good as possible before it goes on the market. The money invested in this re-decoration project should be recovered many times over in the final selling price. The reason is that when most people come to look over a property with a view to buying, first impressions can be very important.

That's why it's important to invest money in getting the property in as good a shape as can be done within a reasonable budget. 

There are five simple rules to decorate your house before selling it. If they are followed more or less to the letter then the chances of receiving a higher price will greatly increase.

Rule one- Bland is better

it may sound strange but most people who buy a property, will immediately want to place their territorial claim on it. That means taking the house, even if it has just been decorated, and the smell of paint is still in the air, and redecorating it. For the seller should remember that this is likely to happen and not put out too much in making fashion statements. Clean and crisp will do the job.

Rule Two-Don't be cheap when it comes to materials

being in mind that many couples and especially if they are first-time buyers will be working on a very stretched budget. If they see a property that is ready to move into then they are liable to look more favorably upon it. They would rather pay the cost of redecorating the house to the mortgage for the next 25 years than pay out some cash today. That means decorating using good materials that will last.

Rule Three-Don't forget to add some personal touches

Even though you may like that rug or the set of curtains in the baby's room, you know the baby is now in their teens, leaving them behind. when you're putting the house up for sale. Prospective buyers may hate the rug and the curtains but at least it will give the impression that this is a house that has been lived in.

Rule Four-How to decorate the house that you are no longer living in

there is an unhealthy scenario where someone is trying to sell a property which is no longer occupied. Once all the furniture and fittings have been removed, near is no way that the house can look at its best. Some people have gone as far as picking up used furniture and appliances to continue the impression that the house is still a home. It may be a pain in the neck but can have a major effect on the selling of the property and how long it stays on the market.

Rule Five- If you manage sell your property before redecorating

This is a dream scenario, but it can happen. If you're happy with the price then you can sit down with the buyers and offered to pay part of their redecoration costs or even help them to undertake the work. Leaving a buyer in the best possible terms has many advantages that can be reaped over the years. 

Author's Bio : Chris has been writing about interior design for over 4 years. Chris has published numerous articles on various decorating blogs. Aside from blogging,Chris specializes in french provincial furniture and decoration.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Quick Tips on Staging a Home

It has been said that a home's value is what a buyer is willing to pay for it, and this is especially true in today's turbulent real estate market. Home sellers often think of their homes in term of location, age and square footage, but potentially buyers often base their decisions more on the feeling they get from a home; preparing and staging a home can lead to more bids and a higher sale price. Here are a few tips.

Clean everything

The psychological effect of cleanliness is well established. Make sure every facet of your house looks as great as possible. Carpets should be stain-free and vacuumed, and tables should be clear. Try to remove any scuffs on tile, and pay extra attention to the exterior. Potential buyers see the outside of a home before stepping inside, so make sure it is spotless.

A little paint can go a long way

Homeowners often design their homes exactly how they like it, but most buyers are looking for a fairly neutral home they can convert into their ideal living space. If a home has red walls, for example, it may be wise to paint them a neutral beige color. Kids rooms often have wacky paint colors, but buyers might be less inclined to make a bid if they know they will have to repaint a room.

Remove clutter and personal items

Clutter has several effects on potential buyers; it makes rooms look smaller and might give the impression that the home is poorly maintained. One of the biggest effects of staging is the fact that is shows that the seller cares about details and has likely maintained the house well. Personal items can severely detract from a home's look, so they are best removed before interested parties stop by.

Smell matters

Studies have consistently shown that smell is one of the strongest senses, and humans remember smells far longer than sights and sounds. A home's smell will persist in the minds of potential buyers long after they have left. Take steps to remove bad odors and replace them with subtle, pleasant smells.

Ask for advice

It can be hard to step back and make a neutral evaluation of our homes after living in them for so long. Have a friend or neighbor view the home after the staging has been completed and ask them to share their opinion. There are often simple fixes that are easy to overlook.

Staging is not always free, but real estate agents all agree that the costs are worthwhile. Buyers pay more for staged homes, and sellers might be able to start a bidding war between multiple interested parties. Make sure you take the staging process seriously.

About AuthorAndy Hall is an online marketing manager for Cornerstone Homes. He writes about home builders in Calgary, interior design, and home improvements.