Category: Exterior

Nature Inspired Green Homes to Envy

Second after blue, green is a very popular color that is available in thousands of hues. Ranging from lime to jade to forest to sage, green is a perfect color for decorating interior spaces. In nature, green is the color that is most abundant and common; due to this fact, it is the color that is seen more by the eyes. What makes this color comfortable and terrific is the fact that it is always in nature. As a color found between blue and yellow in the middle of the color wheel, green balances out the two. Apart from being connected to balance, green is also associated with regeneration, relaxation, freshness as well as youth. Certain cultures associate this color with ailments such as some Asian cultures, therefore, it should be accompanied with a bold hue such as red.

Nature Inspired Green Homes to Envy

Green was the color tone of the plumes of the quetzal birds in the Aztec culture hence the reason it was not just accepted by their chieftains but was considered a color that is royal. The chakra heart, also known as the point of energy, is aligned in the culture of the Hindus; this enables love feelings and emotions to from a person’s core effectively and freely without any impedance. This empty modern interior space uses various shades of green on the walls, ceiling and even floor with the latter featuring an emerald hue of green.

Nature Inspired Green Homes to Envy

Green is also believed to be a source of inspiration for creative artists; whereas analytical performance is not directly related to green, it hastens the performance with so much creativity. Green is also commonly referred to as a restful color since one does not need to make any changes or alterations in order to see anything in nature with their naked eyes. It re-assures people with its tone since when it rains, there is usually more greens in the environment than when a famine is expected.                                                                                    

Nature Inspired Green Homes to Envy

The effects of green such as freshness, creativity as well as growth makes it perfect for designing the interiors of kitchens. In individuals, green can reflect a tempered personality whereas in case of a country or state, moral decay. It can also be used in home offices.                                                                            Nature Inspired Green Homes to Envy

Balancing the life of a family, reduction of fatigue, rejuvenation of the human body and health improvement are some of the great works green can inflict in a room. For these great effects of green, one should go for a softer hue that can be used in the bedroom or even bathroom. For those on tight budgets, potted plants will come in handy.

Nature Inspired Green Homes to Envy

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categories Bedroom, Decorating, Design, Exterior, Interior | laurag September 4, 2013 | comments Comments Off on Nature Inspired Green Homes to Envy

Stone Patio Ideas

Stone Patio Ideas to Create a Stunning Home Exterior

Are you planning to give your home’s exterior that oomph factor? If you are, consider building a patio as your first option for the reason that it costs less than other forms of landscape work. It may not be exactly cheap, but it is one project that you can definitely afford, especially if you use the right materials. Stone Patio Ideas

Like any other home renovation jobs, careful planning is very essential to the success of the project. The best approach that you can use at this stage is to determine the various aspects that play a major role in creating a patio.

Location. Is it going to be built in the middle of the garden, right outside the backdoor, or somewhere close to the curb? Your choice could depend on how you intend to use the patio. If it is designed primarily for rest and relaxation, then you may want to choose a spot that is secluded, quiet, and far from the streets.Stone Patio Ideas

Size. How big or small the patio is greatly depends on the land area available. It is also one of the factors that can help you determine where the patio should be placed.

Design. The first two aspects would enable you to choose the best layout. There are practically no rules as to what style you can use—square, round, rectangular, etc.—provided that there is enough space available.

Materials. A patio can be made of a lot of things. Flagstone patio, stone steps, and natural stone masonry walls are just some options.  But if you prefer something long-lasting, one of the best stone patio ideas to adopt is to pair stone with gravel to create a permeable hardscape. With this design, you can spend less compared to using interlocking pavers. Stone Patio Ideas

Budget. Now that you have a plan and your list of materials is complete, it is time to check on your finances. Are your funds enough to start and complete the patio or do you need to take out a loan? Whichever is the case, be sure to make an effort to work around your budget so you do not end up overspending. You may need to make sacrifices at some point to make ends meet, so to speak. Just remember not to sacrifice on the quality of stone materials.Stone Patio Ideas

In line with the last option, it is also important that you include in your budget the cost of labor and furnishings, which you may need to add once the patio is done.

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categories Decorating, Design, Exterior | laurag August 16, 2013 | comments Comments Off on Stone Patio Ideas

Horizontal Design Elements for Intriguing Interior and Exterior Spaces

Horizontal design elements are used by interior designers to accentuate interior spaces for company, whimsy or even humor just like the straight horizon of a sunset.  The patterns are used both within the home and in exterior spaces to make bold statements. In this beautiful garden with pink, yellow, purple and orange flowers that have fully blossomed, a path is designed to ease the passage within the garden. Horizontal stones have been arranged one after another to come up with this path that is passable in all seasons. The choice of stone blends in well in the garden with the flowers since it is a natural material.

Horizontal Design Elements for Intriguing Interior and Exterior Spaces

The pillows placed on this bed feature red and blue horizontal tripes that accentuate the blue bedding for a matching look and thus company. This enhances the appearance of the bedroom with the vintage headboard in wood tone adding warmth into the space for coziness. The horizontal stripes on the pillows also accent the white horizontal wood frames on the wall just behind the headboard.

Horizontal Design Elements for Intriguing Interior and Exterior Spaces

For a long and horizontal dining table that lies low with several seats around it, they are used to accentuate the large space in the dining area. The horizontal curtain bars above the window and door empowers the dining arrangement for a complementary look with an aesthetic appeal.

Horizontal Design Elements for Intriguing Interior and Exterior Spaces

This beautiful, horizontal and low-lying home complements the horizontal stripes on the floor of the parking lot just outside the home for a cohesive and attractive look.                                                                                    

Horizontal Design Elements for Intriguing Interior and Exterior Spaces

Bathrooms with horizontal lines, shapes and elements should be furnished with a rectangular bathtub. The horizontal handles on rectangular cabinets, the horizontal lighting system above the shower and elongated sink all complement the long and rectangular bathtub.                                                                           

Horizontal Design Elements for Intriguing Interior and Exterior Spaces

A blend of horizontal and vertical lines is very attractive. In this eclectic living room with pink as the color theme, vertical stripes in various colors are used. The throw pillow used to accentuate the cream seat is in colored horizontal stripes and the seating area in a cushion with vertical stripes. These complement each other for a look that is enhanced. The living room is cozy, warm and rustic with the touch of the wooden door frame in mahogany wood tone.                                                              

Horizontal Design Elements for Intriguing Interior and Exterior Spaces

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categories Decorating, Design, Exterior, Interior | laurag August 9, 2013 | comments Comments Off on Horizontal Design Elements for Intriguing Interior and Exterior Spaces

All about sheds

All about sheds

All about sheds

If you have enough space for it, you might consider building a shed in your backyard. In fact, those small, one-storey structures are usually very practical additions to your house.

Sheds usually vary in terms of size and architecture and they can be used for several purposes. For instance, some people use their sheds as a storage area, while others use it for entertainment

There are several ways in which you can design and decorate your shed in order to make it more welcoming and practical.

Read on for more.

Your shed as living area

Your shed can also be used as a living area.

All about sheds

For instance, it can easily be converted in a home office, a study or even a play area for your kids. If your shed is large enough, you can even use it as a tiny guest house. In this case, you’ll need to install some electrical outlets and faucets.

Of course, the furnishing depends on how you’ll use the shed. For example, if you plan to turn it into a play area, don’t hesitate to paint the walls in bold vibrant colors that the kids will love. You could also include some seating options such as bean couches, poufs and the likes.

Whichever way you plan on using the shed, you will have to beautify it with some accents and accessories. Don’t hesitate to hang a couple of mirrors on the wall since these will bring a spacious and airy feel the place. All about sheds

Some rugs, curtains and houseplants will also enhance the décor. For a more personal touch, you can even place some family pictures all over the place. And if you can afford it, you should definitely install a stone fireplace for those cold winter nights.

When it comes to lighting, there’s absolutely no need to go overboard with chandeliers and the likes. A simple wall lamp or sconce will suffice.

Your shed as a work or storage area

If you plan on using your shed for storage, it’s a good idea to install some shelving units.

All about sheds

Metal shelves are best suited for sheds because they are more resistant and they don’t require as much polishing as wooden ones.

If you need to store some bulky items, you can purchase a rivet rack or a heavy duty shelf. These are best suited for large, heavy cans, tools and boxes.

Even if you’ll only store your unused items in the shed, don’t hesitate to dress up the place with some thick curtains, a couple of nice artworks, some ornaments and maybe even one or two seating options. You may even line up some pot plants in front of your shed for a more welcoming feel.

All about sheds

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categories Design, Exterior | laurag August 8, 2013 | comments Comments Off on All about sheds

How to decorate an overly large yard

How to decorate an overly large yard

How to decorate an overly large yard

While large yards and lawns are the envy of many, they can also be tricky to decorate and maintain. In fact, if neglected, your yard can turn into a positively hideous eyesore and bring a dull, lackluster feel to your home.

So, it’s extremely important to take the extra time to decorate the yard- no matter how large it is. The good news is that it’s quite easy to embellish your overly large lawn with a few, simple ornaments. If you can afford it, and if you want to go all the way, then you may even splurge on some luxury outdoors decorations such as artificial ponds, Japanese gardens, and the likes.

If you feel like being really extravagant, and if you have an impressively-sized backyard, then why not build a small guest cottage? Alternatively, you can even put up a large tree house as a delightful retreat for both kids and adults alike.

How to decorate an overly large yard

Ideas for large green spaces

The first thing that you have to do is to contact a professional gardening or landscaping service and ask them to clean, mow, and trim your yard. Then, if you have a penchant for contemporary designs, you can also ask them to create beautiful bush sculptures in the shape of your choice.

How to decorate an overly large yard

However, if you prefer old-fashioned Victorian or Tudor designs, then you can fill up the empty spaces by using some garden ornaments such as bird baths, sundials, gazing gloves, mini moon bridges, statues, or even columns.

Some people like to enhance a large yard by placing a water feature right in the middle of the lawn. For example, if you can afford it, then don’t hesitate to build an impressive feature such as a koi pond, a water fountain or an artificial waterfall.

Also, a stream running down the length of your yard will look absolutely amazing.

How to decorate an overly large yard

If you want to draw attention away from the size of your lawn and make it appear smaller, then you can even a gazebo and some outdoors furniture. Such items take up the extra space and trick the eye into believing that the yard is smaller than it actually is. However, don’t forget that your furniture needs to be weather resistant, so go for materials such as wicker and cast or wrought iron.

And of course, it goes without saying that a swimming pool is an excellent addition to an overly large yard. In this case, you can even decorate the edge of the pool with stone or pebble pavers, garden umbrellas and lounge chairs.

How to decorate an overly large yard

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categories Decorating, Design, Exterior, Garden | laurag July 24, 2013 | comments Comments Off on How to decorate an overly large yard

Different Roof Styles for your Selection

Different Roof Styles for your Selection

Roofs are important in our homes; they cover us and protect us from the environment and also from nefarious bugs.

However, you are not all obliged to have the same type as your neighbors; there are wide varieties of roof styles that you can choose from.

  1. 1.      Gabled type roof Different Roof Styles for your Selection

The Gable roof is common while choosing a roof style.  They are in fact two roof that are of the same size and that are put to form a ridge at the top giving of a triangular shaped roof.  Gabled roofs are cheap and it is fairly easy for you to build.

It usually gives more space on the ceiling and at the same time doesn’t hold water during heaver rains letting it slide from the slopes.  However if you live in an area where there is a lot of wind you may want to opt for another roof style because the gabled roof can suffer damage especially if it has not been properly braced.

  1. 2.       The Mansard Roof Different Roof Styles for your Selection

The Mansard roof is mostly common to France since it was made popular by a French architect Francois Mansart.  A mansard roof has two different types of slopes.  One side of the roof usually the lower one is steep and can have dormers.  It gives of a Victorian air to your home so you may like it.

  1. 3.      The Hip roof Different Roof Styles for your Selection

The Hip roof is as common as the gabled roof though it varies a bit from the gabled roof because it does not have any flat sides.  All of its sides are sloped and meet the walls of your house; therefore not creating the triangular look of the gabled roof.

The hip roof is better in the case you live in a windy area however, the installation can be more time consuming and much more involvement.  You also have less ceiling space and it makes it harder to take care of than the gabled roof.  This roof is also more suited to protect you from the natural elements such as rain and heavy sun.  The one important thing to remember is that throughout the years you have to maintain your roof more than the gabled roof.

  1. 4.      The Saltbox Type Roof

The Saltbox roof is nearly similar to the gabled roof but instead of having two slopes of the same size; you want to have a slope to lie on your story and then a shorter second one to lean on the longer slope. It makes for more storage facilities.

  1. 5.      The Gambrel Roof

The gambrel is the roof you usually on top of barns.  It follows the Mansard roof style because it has two different styles of slopes.  The slope that is at the bottom is steep but most of the time more vertical than the top slope which is a little lower.   The gambrel roof is good if you want to have more storage space.

  1. 6.      Flat roofs Different Roof Styles for your Selection

The flat roof is usually not that flat since it has a little slope to allow water not to accumulate on the roof.  A flat roof is usually easier and cheaper to install since you have not much to do with it.  However, you will have to re-roof after some 20 years or less.

Flat roofs were usually fragile since it could fail under water pooling on top but these days there is a membrane on the materials to avoid this situation.   However, you may not prefer the flat roof if you are some areas that have lots of snow and rains.  You may prefer this type of roof for tropical places or dry places.

  1. 7.      The shed roof  Different Roof Styles for your Selection

The shed roof is also called the lean-to roof.  It is, in fact, a single roof that is sloped down the whole structure of the house but can also be added on one wing of the house.  The shed roof is usually cheaper than other roofs and it is also the easiest to install.  You may prefer this roof to a patio or to a porch because it doesn’t need to encompass the whole house.

Most of the time shed roofs are used for sheds; not surprisingly enough.

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categories Decorating, Design, Exterior | laurag July 20, 2013 | comments Comments Off on Different Roof Styles for your Selection

Patio furniture

Patio furniture

Patio furniture

If you’re lucky enough to have a patio that falls on your backyard or even front lawn, you can embellish and furnish it to make it even more attractive. A nice set of patio furniture will not only bring a more appealing and cozy look to your home, but it can also be practical if you want to relax outside on a warm summer night, or if you feel like throwing a garden party.

However, you can’t just run to the store and grab any set of furniture that you want. Unlike your indoors chairs and tables, there are several things that you should take into consideration before purchasing your patio furniture.

Material

The one thing that you should keep in mind is that not all materials are suited for the outdoors. Even if your patio is screen and covered, you can’t use your indoors furniture, because they will never withstand the heat and the direct sunlight.

Hence, steer clear of expensive antiques, mahogany, oak, rosewood and the likes. You can, however, go for weather-resistant materials such as cast iron, synthetic resin, plastic, eucalyptus, redwood, wicker, rattan and wrought iron. Patio furniture

Bear in mind that wooden furniture should imperatively be stowed or covered during rainfalls or snow storms to enhance their lifespan.

If you want a more elegant look and if you can afford it, you can also go for teak patio furniture. This material is usually enhanced with silica, and is hence very resistant to several types of fungal decay. Patio furniture

Aluminum is another popular option for patio furniture, but bear in mind that you will often need to redo the protective coating on your furniture. You can also opt for cast aluminum furniture: these do not corrode as easily, but they are much more expensive than plain aluminum.

You may also go for UV-resistant fabric cushions and pillows to scatter on your furniture.Patio furniture

How to furnish your patio

The number of items that you purchase ultimately depends on the size of your patio. If it’s on the smaller side, you might need just a few armchairs and a tiny coffee table or maybe even an end table.

However, if you have enough space, it’s better to go all the way and purchase a full set that usually includes armchairs, a couch or sofa, a coffee table and an end table upon which you can place some decorative ornaments.  Patio furniture

Of course, if you plan on doing some entertaining, you might need to invest in some extra chairs and a sideboard where your guests will be able to place their foods and drinks.

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categories Decorating, Design, Exterior, Furniture, Table and Chair | laurag July 17, 2013 | comments Comments Off on Patio furniture

Outdoor and Indoor water features

Outdoor and Indoor water features

Outdoor and Indoor water features

Water features never fail to add an extra touch of class and sophistication to any home. In fact, what can be better than relaxing next to a tinkling fountain after a long and strenuous day at work? Some ancient cultures even believe in the mental healing power of water and encourage us to place several water features all over the house.

Many people seem to believe that you have to be extremely rich to be able to afford a water feature in your home: this is so not the case. Nowadays, stores carry all types of features, with prices aimed at every budget. So, you might not be able to afford a huge, artificial waterfall in your garden, but you will definitely be able to purchase an LED- tinted tabletop fountain.

Outdoor features

There are endless possibilities for outdoor water features. If you’re lucky enough to have a large yard and if you can afford it, then never hesitate to go for an impressive design that will automatically beautify your garden.

Outdoor and Indoor water features

For example, you can even build a Koi pond right in the middle of your garden and surround it with several impressive rose bushes. In this case, don’t forget to place a bench, a lounge chair or any other seating option that will enable you to sit and relax while you watch the fish.

Outdoor and Indoor water features

Other types of outdoor water features include birdbaths, fountains and waterfalls. You can choose from a wide variety of materials such as natural stone, cement and cast stone. Most of these features are powered by solar energy, electricity or battery.

Indoor features

If you’re on a restricted budget, then it’s best to go for indoor features since they come at a relatively cheap price. For instance, you can go for floor-standing fountains that are usually equipped with colored lighting.

Outdoor and Indoor water features

These fixtures can be placed directly on the floor, in any room of the house. Otherwise, you may also purchase wall-mounted fountains.

Outdoor and Indoor water features

A cheaper alternative would be to go for a countertop fountain. The one big advantage with this particular feature is that you can easily carry it through the house. They also come in various shapes and sizes such as sphere, circular, square and the likes. The main materials used to build indoor features include glass, crystal, resin, copper, stone and stainless steel.

Those of you who have a large living room can even place a reinforced glass covered pool right under the coffee table for a more striking and impressive look.

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categories Decorating, Design, Exterior, Interior | laurag July 11, 2013 | comments Comments Off on Outdoor and Indoor water features

Swimming pool area: accessories and accents

Swimming pool area: accessories and accents

Swimming pool area: accessories and accents

If you’re among the lucky ones who actually have a swimming pool in your backyard, then, you should imperatively embellish your pool as well as the surrounding area with some tasteful accents and accessories.

Indeed, as inviting as a swimming pool might look, it will quickly loose its beautifying power if you skip the decorating step. Don’t limit yourself to just building the pool, adding a diving board and some steps. Instead, you should go all the way and make it as appealing as possible. After all, don’t forget that the pool area is also a place where you can sunbathe and relax.

Pavers

Pavers add value to your swimming pool, while giving it a distinct spa/hotel-like look. So, if you can afford it, don’t hesitate to invest in some good-quality paving around your pool.

You can choose from a wide variety of materials such as brick, concrete as well as polished or natural stone. Remember that it’s important to consult a reputed company to install your pavers, since they can very easily become uneven if not properly fixed to place. If you’re on a restricted budget, try going for the brick or concrete ones since they are relatively cheaper than stone.

If you don’t want to go for pavers, you can always go for colored poured concrete to create a path around your swimming pool. Another option would be to cover the area with wood paneling. Swimming pool area: accessories and accents

Plants

Plants and flowers can bring a tropical feel to your swimming pool area. However, it’s important to carefully choose your greenery, because your plants can easily get splashed with chlorinated water and die.

Swimming pool area: accessories and accents

So, try to go for more resistant flowers and plants such as Proteas, Russian sage, Palm trees, Elephant ears, Cannas, Hibiscus, Banana trees and Bottlebush.

Try not to grow them too close to the pool or they’ll shed right in the water and this will force you to do some every cleaning very day!

Furniture

Lounge chairs and large umbrellas are swimming pool furniture by excellence. While lounge chairs come in several types of material, you can go for plastic ones if you don’t want to spend too much.

If you want, you can also add a small table and some chairs around the pool area. In fact, this furnishing can be quite convenient if you want to have your meal right next to the water.

Don’t forget to always go for weather-resistant materials that will withstand the sun and the rain. Some examples include wrought iron, wicker and plastic.

Swimming pool area: accessories and accents

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categories Design, Exterior, Furniture, Interior | laurag June 23, 2013 | comments Comments Off on Swimming pool area: accessories and accents

Moroccan Doorways and Arches

Moroccan Doorways and Arches

Moroccan Doorways and Arches

Morocco is known as the “Kingdom of the West”.  It is a country near the Mediterranean Sea which has a rich culture who is influenced by the Arabs, the Berbers, Africa and Europe.   The Moroccan style is very popular and gaining more and more influence from the Moorish architecture.

Moroccan architecture is very beautiful and can offer a wide selection that range from royal arches to more modern buildings that offer neon lights at night.  The Islamic culture has had an impact on the Moroccan style basically through arabesques carvings.

Moroccan Doorways and Arches

One of the most common architectural and design influences of Morocco is the doorways and arches.

The doorways are made of brass, iron, wood and camel bones.  Usually, the Moroccans have a belief that the exterior of your house is the place where you have to work and the interior is where you relax and have fun.  Therefore, you will see that the exterior of Moroccan houses have simple doorways made of wood or brass.

The doorways are very exotic and can sometimes have arches to add to the decoration.  You may want to choose doorways to put in your home since they are exotic and very beautiful to have at home.

Moroccan doors are very beautiful and sometimes have either scriptures from the Islamic sacred books or can have floral arabesques too.

Moroccan Doorways and Arches

Another very common architectural design in Morocco is the archways.  Archways are just like doorways but they are more for the decorative style; because it is in fact an open space where you go and come through.

Moroccan arches are also known as the Horseshoe arc or the Moorish arch.  It is a very emblematic representation of the Islamic culture though it originates from Spain.  Horseshoe arches can be curved like a horseshoe, pointed or in the form of a lobe.  It was modified and improved by the Umayyad who accented the style and introduced the arches in their architecture.

If you don’t want to have doors that remind you of Morocco you can opt for the alternating colors of horseshoe arches that can have alternating colors and moreover can have arabesques or can be plain.

Moroccan Doorways and Arches

It is up to you to choose the style of Moroccan doorway you want; you can choose to put both a door and archway for the whole exotic effect but you can also opt for simple horseshoe styled doors that can lead to the rooms inside your house.

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categories Decorating, Exterior, Furniture | laurag June 15, 2013 | comments Comments Off on Moroccan Doorways and Arches