Monthly Archives: August 2013

Hosting the Ultimate Outdoor Patio Party

Patios are the perfect place to host a great party, especially as the summer comes to an end and we begin the transition to fall. Warmer temperatures and longer days are ideal for backyard gatherings with family or friends. Hosting the ultimate patio party requires careful planning, a little creativity and some organization. A successful party should be fun, festive and provide a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere for you and your guests. One of the best aspects of an outdoor party is the abundance of available space where guests can easily move around and mingle. With some simple decorations, some food and drinks, you can create a warm atmosphere for your next outdoor patio party.

 

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photo credit: Wickerfurniture via photopin photopin

 

Any patio makes a great place for a party, but requires a little advance preparation to make it perfect. A beautifully landscaped yard with freshly mowed grass and carefully tended shrubbery and flowers add a touch of nature and beauty to your patio area. Prepare for the unexpected, such as mosquitoes, by placing citronella candles in various places around the yard. But ultimately, you’ll want to provide your guests with some cc and perhaps some umbrellas to help protect your guests from the sun, or unexpected rain showers.

Because casual patio parties encourage guests to congregate and relax, it’s important to provide adequate seating for those who don’t want to stand all afternoon in the summer heat. Small pods of comfortable chairs allow for intimate groupings and conversations, while cast aluminum patio tables and chairs give guests the opportunity to sit, visit and have a place to set their drinks and food. Tubular metal furniture is built for stability, comes with cushioned chairs, and is available in several different colors that complement any décor or theme.

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photo credit: cc via photopin cc

Padded chairs provide an additional measure of comfort and work well with these sturdy tables, but if you live in an area that gets a decent amount of summer rainfall, consider purchasing seats with outdoor pillows. These will better handle whatever Mother Nature throws your way, and won’t deteriorate as quickly as traditional pillows or padding would in the elements.

Frosted tempered glass tables with umbrellas can be set up anywhere on the patio to provide you and your guests with some much-needed shade, if there is no cover provided in your yard. Plastic molded chairs that are lightweight are easily moved around from one area of the patio to the next and can be stacked together when not in use. Folding patio tables are another great option for entertaining your guests, as they provide a place for serving food and drinks. Portable waist-high bars have a variety of functions as well, including serving as a wet bar or a dessert bar.

You should also include some sort of method of defining your party space. One way to do this is to use large urns for seasonal flowers or ivy. These should e placed out of the main flow of traffic along the perimeter of your patio to keep the flow going. A fire pit or fire bowls can also add a nice touch that will make your patio stand out above the rest.

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photo credit: patio furniture via photopin cc

 

Food and drinks are essential to any good party, so you’ll want to Winston Furniture – www.winstonfurniture.com. Offer a variety of simple appetizers such as chips and dips, small sandwiches, or veggie and fruit trays before the main course. Burgers, hot dogs, steaks or chicken are easy to prepare and simple enough for your guests to dress them as they please. In the summer months, it’s especially important to have a variety of drinks available in a convenient location for your guests. If you decide to serve alcohol, make sure you’ve gathered enough non-alcoholic beverages for those guests who choose not to drink, or those with young children.

Having a successful outdoor patio party this summer is as simple as paying attention to some key details that will make next party the talk of the town. Above all, make sure to keep your guests as your first priority. If you keep your family and friends happy, you’ll ultimately be happy – even if you’re running around like mad – because you’ll know you hosted the best summer party on the block. So take some time to plan your next summer patio party and reconnect with your family and friends in a low-stress environment.

Rachael Jones is a blogger for cc, where women aren’t afraid to use power tools in a dress.

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Storage Solutions for Your Home

Sometimes you just need more storage, but if you live in a home like I do, even a ton of storage space can get used up and then you need to find some creative ways to store items you just can’t seem to part with.

I searched the net and found a few really amazing storage solutions for your home that may just be what you are looking for. The best part is that anyone can use these!

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photo credit: ooh_food via photopincc

Love your fireplace, but hate all of that stacked wood on your floor? Try this cool wall mounted storage and create artwork out of your firewood!

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photo credit: Stewf via photopin cc

 

Looking for a great way to store food or other small items, try this amazing storage shelf!

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Image taken from http://diycozyhome.com/

Don’t have room to add storage to your walls? Well if you have some floor space you can just add storage to your floor! This shows a platform, but you could do this on a level floor also.

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Embrace Decorative Arts and Add Some Culture to Your Environment

The following is a guest post:

Interior design is a broad spectrum… there are simply so many concepts, ideas and trends that can immediately transform your home into any environment with any atmospheric mood in keeping with any theme. The most exciting part of interior design is the fact that it is based purely on personal interpretation. There is no greater sense of satisfaction then creating your ideal home, yourself.

Personal interpretation does not simply rely on the addition of designs, accessories and ideals that are produced by others being combined to make your own concept. Instead, within any theme, home crafts are more than acceptable if not preferred as you are truly using your eye for style and design to create your own ideal of style perfection.

Image taken from www.curlsnpearls.com

One of the biggest trends of the 2013 season is the incorporation of decorative arts within the home. Paintings, drawings, photography and sculptures are regular additions to the home already but many are unaware of just how stylish and favored they are. The theme can easily be taken to a point where the entire home is overwhelmed with culture and takes on a whole new feel.

Decorative arts differ slightly from the fine arts, they are there for purely aesthetic purposes rather than as part of a collection or a way to showcase your passions surrounding the fine things in life such as expensive artistic pieces.

Incorporating art within the home locks in a theme and ensures that visitors and family members can be transported into a different world simply through the way in which each room is styled. Cultural elements within the home are a reflection of an individual or families personality, the genuine desire for knowledge and the embrace of things, which are out of the ordinary. Elegance, class and sophistication are things that evolve and this can be easily showcased within the home.

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Image taken from www.aliexpress.com

Interior design trends are strongly based around the idea of having focal points, eye-catching features that dominate a room and perfectly resemble the interior style, which is trying to be represented. A striking piece of art, a sculpture, anything that is decorative and artistic is the ideal way to ensure the room or area has a talking point, an area of discussion and something that is entirely unique and created purely for the room and style in question.

Decorative arts are not limited to the interior of the home; they can easily be incorporated in the outdoor areas, which surround the home. Whether you just keep the trend to the outdoors or use it to theme the inside as well as the outside, there are items that work perfectly in both areas and allow for a sense of style consistency. They way in which we style our homes is reflective of our behaviours, the way we utilise the personal space and overall our design preferences.

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21st Century Remodeling: Top 5 Apps for the Tech-Savvy DIYer

The following is a guest post:

Technology somehow finds its way into our daily lives. It’s now simplifying complicated things for us. Just yesterday, we manually did things using typewriters, meter sticks and implemented projects by way of trial-and-error mechanisms. Now, there isn’t anything that our mobile gadgets can’t do. Technology has made us more agile and certainly more productive than we could ever be.

We all know remodeling our household is a complicated task because we’re not experts. Five years ago, we would have hired an architect, an interior designer, or a contractor if we want to do anything home-related. We seek for professional help even for simple things as changing lighting fixtures or replacing wall paints that looking back, it seemed ridiculous considering the amount of money we pay these home pros. Now, it’s easier to understand difficult tasks on remodeling. From color palette, wood materials, green energy to floor plans, companies have figured out a way regular homeowners can do these things themselves, with just a few clicks and taps on our mobile or tablet devices.

Remodeling made even easier

Apps are cropping like mushrooms and there are a number which are geared towards productivity and home improvement. Of the lot are these 5 apps which stand out for its simplicity, ease of use, and extensive features and role when it comes to helping homeowners to carry out successful DIY remodel. So before you tear your house down, check out these apps that can help you plan along the way. These could help save novice homeowners from any possible remodeling mishaps and design mistakes.

1. Home Design 3D by LiveCAD

Remodeling your house is no easy feat. From colors, to materials, measurements and locations, all these should be considered. Good thing there’s a handy application that creates a 3D manifestation of the house of your dreams! The Home Design 3D by LiveCAD maps out a 2D and 3D rendering of what you want your house to look like. It allows you to simulate your existing home orientation with exact measurements applied so you can easily pick out furniture, experiment on layout, and add design components into the equation with ease. This gives you a visual foresight of your ideal home, which would later help you select the right furniture size, color, and texture to match the rest of your ensemble. The application can be downloaded on the iPad for$5.99 and $4.99 on the iPhone.

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Home Design 3D by LiveCAD Application

2. DIY Remodel Cost Calculator

Having a budget is essential when remodeling. It keeps you within your spending range so that your renovation costs don’t overshoot beyond your means. With this application, second-guessing is no longer needed and you stay debt-free. The DIY Remodel Cost Calculator gives you a ballpark figure of your costs before you decide to roll up your sleeves and dive into the project. It provides an estimate of the costs you’ll be incurring for each material, factoring in dimension, labor, the state (US and Canada) you live in, taxes, market pricing, and contractor markup (if you’re not doing the project yourself). You can add or remove items, specify changes in terms of material grade, type, and quantity according to what your budget permits. You can also export it to CSV or excel and email to friends for further review or comments. It’s simple and straightforward – a must-have for the budget-savvy DIYer and available on the Google Play for $0.99.

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DIY Remodel Cost Calculator Application

3. iHandy Level

In construction, symmetry and precise alignment is extremely important, along with accurate measurements but what if you don’t have steady hands or the ability to make a stick-straight line? The iHandly Level application is a virtual counterpart of the classic bubble level, which aids you in checking if angles and alignments are precise. Available for free download on any Apple or Android device, it’s very simple and easy to use without the need for the bulky level. Ideal for carpenters and DIY-ers, this is a nifty application built for any home improvement enthusiast, or simply when you can’t stand looking at a crooked picture.

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iHandy Level Application

4. Mark on Call: Home Space Planning Design Tool

This iPhone/iPad app was created by interior designer Mark Lewison to complement his book, “What Would You Do with this Room? My 10 Foolproof Commandments to Great Interior Design”. This app helps you visualize room per room by mapping out your design on the small screen. Planning becomes a breeze since it lets you create rooms with accuracy. It’s like building your own Sims house! Incorporate wood cabinets, furniture, rugs, pottery, and a range of appliances within the space you want to remodel. This gives you an idea of what colors and fabrics work together so that mixing and matching doesn’t come out a disaster. Right then and there, you’ll get a virtual representation of the real thing which saves you time and effort while shopping for items. It combines architecture and interior design in one interactive, easy-to-use and fun application at $5.99 on the iPad and $2.99 on the iPhone.

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Mark On Call: Home Space Planning Design Tool Application

5. Houzz Interior Design Ideas

Need a bit of inspiration to jumpstart your remodeling plans? You’ll love Houzz! With over 150,000 images of stunning kitchens, bathrooms, porches, rooms, and pools at your disposal, it’s impossible not to get you all fired up and ready to go. Aside from images, this application also has tabs with useful suggestions on what type of material or products to use, remodeling and home improvement advice from professionals and experts, and new, fresh ideas on how best to design your home. This is an application that is incredibly useful that it’s hard to believe it’s free! So start browsing for ideas using any Android and Apple device.

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Houzz Interior Design Ideas Application

Home improvement and remodeling tasks can be daunting especially if you’re not a professional. That used to be the case but now, the emergence of these amazing tools make renovation and redesign projects a tad easier and faster than what it used to be. These tools keep you organized and well informed about different trends in construction and design, making you more competent and precise. They also allow you to gain perspective on what you really want for your home and what you need to do to achieve it. And if the high cost of professional help is what’s keeping you from fulfilling your dreams, these tools make things incredibly easy that it’s a wonder why you even need contractors. Made by experts for non-experts, these apps are great additions to any construction kit, and can be navigated easily with a few screen touches.

 

About the Author:

Marie Christine Sing-Umali is a blogger and home improvement enthusiast working for Kitchen Cabinet Kings, a leading online distributor of discount bathroom and kitchen cabinets nationwide. Kitchen Cabinet Kings offers RTA Kitchen Cabinets at affordable prices. Claim your free kitchen design service, discounts and know more about financing options by visiting their website.

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How You Can Clear Out Clutter

“SpareFoot, the largest online marketplace for self-storage, offers up some advice on why you should cut out the clutter at home with this beautifully designed image. According to a survey done by Rubbermaid, 42% of homeowners experienced more anxiety when their homes were unorganized. This, along with 14 other fantastic reasons, should give incentive to those that are seeking some organization in their lives.”

How You Can Clear Out Clutter

Clutter

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Kids Bedroom Inspiration, Create a Room Your Kids Will love

When it comes to decorating a kids bedroom it’s often very difficult to find some kind of inspiration as to just what style to go for. You have all your existing furniture – bed, dressing table, wardrobe and alike – and you need to find a way of incorporating them into the overall style of the room. However, this already complicated procedure takes on a whole new level of complexity when you’re trying to decorate a child’s bedroom.

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A lot of children have particular tastes – they might be big football fans, maybe they’re dreaming of being a princess, they like a particular television show or perhaps they want to be a racing driver. Whatever they enjoy, that’s usually how they want their room to be decorated, showing off their tastes and what makes them happy. The problem with this is it is often particularly difficult to find the right decorations. How are you supposed to find wallpaper that has Sponge Bob on for example, or a particular paint with glitter mixed in? Nightmare!

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There are a number of things you can do for a bit of inspiration, however, and many are based around the kind of furniture not just the color scheme. Check out online stores to see what your kids like and visit your local furniture stores to find furniture perfect for kids bedrooms. The furniture in your childs room, must be durable, you can’t feel it online and that is why I suggest you go to a store to actually buy the piece, or at least look at it there.

By the time you’ve put in the essentials – bed, drawers etc. – and then they’ve cluttered the whole floor with their toys and clothes you can find that there is very little space so you need to really think through your choices. Beds with storage underneath are just one way of doing this, allowing them to put their toys under the mattress. Blanket boxes are another great idea because they serve a dual purpose. You can store things inside, such as bedding, clothes or toys and then it can also be used as a seat so you don’t need to have chairs in the room that take up more room.

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Getting inspiration for a kids bedroom doesn’t have to be hard. Think about what they like, the kind of things they wear, do or talk about and use this as the basis of your decorating plans. Space will always be compromised so try to avoid clutter, and also remember that they will start to grow up and they may outgrow what they like at the moment. They’re not always going to be SpongeBob fans or dreaming of becoming a princess!

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