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Light Your Exteriors!

Light Your Exteriors!

Outdoor lighting is an often overlooked factor which contributes a great deal to enhancing your exteriors. While providing the much needed security at night, they also add a decorative and unique touch to your highlight the architecture of your houses. Outdoor lighting is an affordable and easy addition for most people. It comes in a variety of types and styles and you can select carefully from the wide array of choices available in order to match the décor of your house. Light fixtures can be placed on trees, house or on any part of your house where you deem it to be appropriate to illuminate. Some of the various types of lighting available are listed below:

1.    Alleyway lights


You can try putting path lights on either side of the walkway to your curb area. These will guide your visitors to your front door and at the same time create a particular ambience for the whole entry area. It will be a polite gesture which your guests will undoubtedly appreciate while at the same time giving a different perspective to your exteriors. Light fixtures that are solar powered can be used in order to provide for a more economic option.

2.    High intensity lights


Those types of lights offer a greater sense of security by lighting the whole curb area as well as dark corners. They prevent intruders from seeking to approach your house as they will be unavoidably in the glare of the light rays. It is advised to use motion sensors or timers with such types of lightsin order to be able to determine when to turn lights on or off due to the fact that they consume more power. High intensity lights can be installed out of sight and serve as an effective deterrent for trespassers.

3.    Wall lights

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Choosing your Doormat!

Choosing your Doormat!

When you think of ways to spruce up your exteriors, think simple; and nothing is as simple as a doormat. Doormats have the capacity to express your own unique style to anybody who chances to end up at your door. While being undoubtedly functional, they are also means of adding a personal touch to the exterior of your house. They awaken the curiosity of your visitors to have a peek inside your house. There is a wide range and selection of doormats available with varying textures and patterns. While being largely affordable, they can be chosen depending on a number of factors.

The amount of knocks on your front door per week will determine the type of doormat you will choose for adorning your exterior. While the primary function of a doormat is to remove dirt and debris, it is advisable to choose one which will have an abrasive texture if you happen to live in countryside and entertain visitors regularly. On the other hand, if you live in a place where rainfall is habitual, it is wiser to choose a doormat with a very absorbent material. They are numerous materials available including rubber, polypropylene and olefin among others. You can choose the material for you doormat based on its propensity in resisting stain and for its enduring characteristics. It should suit the weather conditions of your location. Waterproof coconut fibers or teak can also be used in rainy places. Rubber mats, however, tend to crack when exposed to harsh weather conditions.

Moreover, the size of your doormat is also essential. It should be able to accommodate at least your feet and some extra space. The placement of the doormat should be done properly. It is of utmost importance that your doormat does not hinder the door opening. The door should slide effortlessly over it in all circumstances. It is also recommended to keep your doormat clean as far as possible in order to extend its lifetime. So, you should choose one with all the characteristics required so as not to involve a daily maintenance on your part. Doormats can easily be cleaned by shaking the dirt and dust off them as well as by using a vacuum cleaner.

Doormats which are of a darker color usually last longer than those of a light color. They are less prone to be marred by obvious dirt marks and do not require regular maintenance. Doormats are available in a range of designs. They can be dyed or filled with patterns. A person can choose any design which is suggestive of his character. You should choose a doormat that will enhance the attractiveness of your exterior and be a welcoming gesture to your visitors.

Furthermore, there are some doormats that have cartoon designs on them or sayings. Sayings can be used to greet a person with a nice smile before he steps into your house. They can be funny words or simply a statement “welcome”. I know undoubtedly that the one I will choose reads “I am not a doormat!”

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Four Essentials to Outdoor Kitchen Design

Four Essentials to Outdoor Kitchen Design

I don’t know about you, but when we used to have a barbecue at my house, everyone was outside enjoying the sunny weather, and I was usually stuck inside preparing the side dishes and food for the grill. Later I would get to go out and enjoy time with my friends and family over a plate of hotdogs and macaroni salad, but with all the time it took to prepare, I would miss more than half of the party. In the winter time it isn’t so bad because my family is usually all congregated in the kitchen taste-testing each dish as its being made, but when it was summertime, and I was having a party to celebrate the gorgeous weather, I usually missed out on the very thing that I threw the party for. So one summer, I decided enough was enough. I was going to install an outdoor kitchen.

I began my research looking at different designs of backyard and patio kitchens. Some of them were breathtakingly unique and detailed, while others were minimalistic. Though there were vast price differences, and a broad range of aesthetic choices, every kitchen had several consistent elements in their design.

The first thing I noticed were the countertops. They were usually dark, easy to clean, and in abundance. Nearly every designer said one of the biggest pitfalls people had when installing an outdoor kitchen was not planning for enough counter space. Plenty of countertops prevent a crowded work space and a frustrated chef.

The next key element to a successful kitchen was the sink. Every sink had a deep basin and a tall facet. Barbecues usually call for long cooking trays and many dishes. These sinks ensured an easy cleanup. Having an outdoor sink also kept you from running back forth to your indoor kitchen for fresh water.

The following two were ones I had never thought to consider. First, was the flooring. Some of the kitchens had elaborate tile or stone floor plans. Though this offered a desirable aesthetic component, designers recommended a more practical material. The floor around the grilling area would inevitably build up grease, which could become slippery. They said it was important to select a paving that was easy to clean and was also resistant to stains.

It had not occurred to me to prepare for cooking after dark, but designers said ample light installation was also essential.  It is very important to install sufficient task lighting, especially above the grill, and ambient lighting for the seating area.

So if you are thinking of making an outdoor kitchen a new addition to your home, keep these tips in mind:

1)    Countertops- need to be dark and have plenty of them.
2)    Sink- deep basin, tall facet.
3)    Flooring- Anti-slip, anti-stain.
4)    Lighting- For task and for ambience.

There are many other elements that go into outdoor kitchen design, but these four essentials ensured that I got the most out of my outdoor cooking experience.

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Create Your Own Vertical Garden

Create Your Own Vertical Garden

Vertical gardens are a trendy option for people who have limited outdoor space, but still desire some lush greenery and fresh vegetables growing in their backyard. The plants that make up most vertical gardens are easy to grow and to maintain, which makes this a perfect option for the gardener with little time to garden. There are a variety of ways to create a vertical garden and all are simple enough to do yourself.

 

When deciding to install a vertical garden, you will first want to set some goals. What is the purpose of your garden? Are you trying to cover something up, or utilize a small space on your patio with statement greenery? Whatever the reason, be sure to keep in mind the amount of light your vertical surface will receive. You want a location where plants growing along the bottom will receive the same amount of light as the plants on the top.

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Barn wood Elegance: Not-so-Shabby Chic for Exurban Backyards

Barn wood Elegance: Not-so-Shabby Chic for Exurban Backyards

You’re not likely to hear someone indicate how proud they are about something by saying that it was born in a barn, but barn wood might just be the exception to the rule. Reclaimed wood from barns, even more than most reclaimed wood, has been making a slow but well-deserved climb to fame lately.

 

It’s hard to overstate barn wood’s utility and durability for exterior design: before there was Trex, before there was treated lumber, there was the wood on the side of a barn that greyed with age and never rotted as long as it could get enough sun to dry out. The longer it was a part of a barn, the tougher it got.

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