Latest posts

If you are wanting to see what styles are new and what decorating trends are persisting, a great place to look is at a Parade of Homes or in model homes of builders. They hire professional decorators who use the newest styles and the builder puts in the most up-and-coming materials to showcase his work.

If you don’t have a Home Tour to visit near you, here are a couple of ideas on what you would probably see at one.


  • In the exterior, think country farmhouse made new. Decorative wooden lightning rods at the peak of the roof lines is popular, along with working weather vanes.
  • Stamped concrete on driveways and sidewalks. A note, however: stamped concrete can be very slippery when wet. For safety’s sake it is best to use this along the edges and not over the main walkways.
  • Screened-in porches in addition to decks or patios. Multi-level outdoor living is hot. Fireplaces on the deck or chimineas are still popular. Screened-in porches with wooden beam ceilings and woven grass ceiling fans enhance the look.
  • Outdoor art is fashionable whether it be a piece of sculpture, a metal trellis, a wooden pergola, or a marble obelisk. Paintings that are weatherized and can be hung on exterior walls or on the rough trunk of an old tree are also a beautiful touch.


  • Anything iron continues to dominate interiors. The balusters on a staircase in metal and with designs or curves remain popular. This idea is also taken outside and used on the deck where the wood is the upper handrail and the bottom slats are metal. Ironwork scrolls are seen on the walls as art or candle holders.
  • Small tile accents are found in places throughout the house. Entryways have square tiles set askew to look like diamonds, and in the grout between the large squares are tiny colored tiles set in a line. In bathrooms as a wall decoration or in showers are small tile mosaics.
  • Wine racks to hold towels are showing up in bathrooms – Either a metal one set on the counter, or, more popular now, are wooden cubbies with square openings built right into the cupboard area like you would see in a kitchen to hold a vertical row of wine bottles.
  • Oval or circular great rooms impress visitors from the minute they open the front door. The front door generally opens on an entry area and straight ahead one can see the great room, which has a different flooring than the rest of the downstairs to show off the oval shape. Partial walls are rounded and columns delineate the space here from rooms that open on to the great room, such as the breakfast room.

Cleaning could be this fun.

Just like food choices involve more than taste, decorating a home requires more than style. The materials purchased may be lived with for a long time, so choosing non-toxic products, in addition to pleasing colors and styles, is a worthy consideration. Natural Style, by Janet Sobesky, is a book that can guide readers to a connection with nature inside their homes.

Natural Style: Environmentally Friendly Homes

As a style of decorating, going natural means an uncluttered look, choosing natural materials and displaying objects of personal significance. Other ways to create a natural home include:

  • Recycle
  • Improve Indoor Air Quality (open windows and doors when possible)
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors
  • Opt for organic rugs in place of carpet
  • Reduce pesticide exposure indoors by removing shoes
  • Use organic fertilizer on lawns and gardens

Decorating: Textiles, Flooring, Furniture and Art

Textiles fill a home with color and texture. Some good natural choices for curtains, upholstery, rugs, pillows and other include cotton, muslin, canvas, hemp, linen, ramie, silk and wool. Put special consideration into mattress choice as whatever a bed is made of is likely to be inhaled during sleep.

How to Choose Color for a Home

Color makes a huge impact in a home, and is an effective way to add a sense of style. Choose a color that appeals to the senses rather than being swayed by ever-changing home décor fashions. Natural Style includes a complementary color wheels to help choose a theme, and don’t be afraid to stick with the neutral colors found in nature.

Surfaces: Flooring, Counters and Wall Treatments

Green flooring choices include bamboo, wood, laminate, engineered wood, cork, ceramic tile, concrete, slate and linoleum. Many of these same materials can be used on countertops, as well as stone or metals. Avoid vinyl flooring which emits toxins into the household environment. Choose and eco-friendly paint or paper for walls.

Kitchens & Baths

Select energy-saving appliances when the time comes to replace them, and consider whether it’s necessary to install a second dishwasher or larger refrigerator even though that may be the trend. Make good use of natural light. Reduce water usage and expense by selecting efficient lavatories and showers.

Outdoor Living: Outdoor Rooms, Landscaping, Windows

Connecting the outdoors to indoor living space is a great way to enjoy the natural world from any room. Windows have a direct impact on energy costs and natural views. Provide entertaining space with conservatories, sunrooms and garden rooms. Make water-savvy choices when it’s time to landscape.


Natural Style is full of practical, doable advice for making good choices that are beautiful to live with. It is well organized and filled with color photographs that help a homeowner determine their own sense of style. A great gift for new homeowners or remodelers.

You should try this!

enhance home storage

You could use more space in your home, whether it’s make room for new member of your family or accommodate your ever-expanding shoe collection. The initial step to add space to your home is to put things in right place and maximize on your existing set-ups. You may also need to consider a few options such as reorganizing the items in your home, throw away the useless stuff that fills your home, and getting equipment can used for various storage uses.

home storage

Note that to create the impression of space in your home you will need to design the correct storage for your needs. For instance, turning bay windows into window seats can create an instant focal point and offers additional storage underneath and creates extra seating as well. Besides, if you are feeling space-derived, you can opt for dual-functioning products such as coffee table that has inbuilt shelving. This helps in saving room and offers storage solutions.

Find out if every room in your house is being used effectively. Find out if opening up space of two rooms can result in more space. You may also need to find areas in your house where space is used poorly. Consider rearranging the items in such rooms to create more space. Besides, you can use space left unused such as space found under the staircase. If you have many doorways, you can convert one and get some space for your cupboard.

Perhaps you have short term solutions in your to-do-list. But you should also think about long term solutions. If you intend to create space to accommodate your growing family or start a business in your house, you create space depending on your long term goals.  For example, if you intend to start a business in your house, you will need to have a free room. If you are not ready to construct a new one, then you will need to rearrange your stuff to create enough space.

more space at home

Therefore, when creating space in your home, you should not just think about now. Having a plan about your current and future storage needs is important when it comes to enhancing the storage space in your home.

From drawer organizers to modular units or whatever the ways you feel you can organize your storage space at home o enhance it, don’t ignore the tips given in this article.


cheap interior design ideas

Improving home interiors can be costly and troublesome for a lot of people today. There are certain things on interior design which makes it really an enjoyable activity to do. If you are on a tight budget you need not to worry about not having enough funds for ornamental pieces and other furniture that you may want to use for your home improvement project. There are ideas which can really be budget friendly yet elegant. You can avail of such things by simply finding the most affordable pieces to include in your interior ensemble.  There are cheap interior design ideas that are chic and fab.

cheap interior design

One of the most widely used design pieces are candles. These candles are very decorative and functional at the same time. The use of candles has been popular since the medieval times and even until today whenever power interruptions or electricity source will not be possible. However, interior designers today have used candles along with elegant candle holders. Candles can truly turn a room into a cozy and relaxed place. A dinner table can be romantic for two when candles are used to set the mood. One of the best things to include if you plan to use candles for your home interiors is the use of candle holders. These holders can give your interior design plan elegant and ambient appeal.

candle holders

Candle holders can be used on various parts of the home and for specific occasions. There are various designs by which you can choose and would match the entire interior design plan you have for your entire house.  Thus it is totally important that you choose only what will compliment your design to pull the entire plan together.




garden ponds

Many homeowners, when considering the installation of a Garden Pond are fraught with unnecessary concerns, mostly attributable to maintenance issues. Indeed, some informed knowledge is required to ensure a living ecosystem remains vibrant, however an advanced degree is hardly a prerequisite. Given the free flowing exchange of information via the Internet, a few hours invested in self enlightenment can provide nearly any answer imaginable in a timely fashion.

From personal experience the best source of information is your local Garden Pond Dealer/Supplier. It would make perfect sense to seek advice from a professional who not only is knowledgeable of the subject, but also educated in processes, materials and available products. Many times the same person who sold/installed your Garden Pond is the savior of any pond dilemmas. A glowing customer testimonial is worth a million dollars in advertising to a business, and most will more than accommodate any inquiries.

garden ponds

For the purpose of Winter maintenance in Garden Ponds, the initial work begins in Fall. Frequently during Fall months, clean and remove any debris – falling leaves, dying plants, dead bugs, etc. Fall is the perfect time to apply pond netting given the volume of falling vegetation. A matter of particular care should be organic matter on the pond bottom. It is required to do so more than once, and is easily forgotten in value of importance. Check the outside of a raised pond for leaks, and make any necessary repairs before it gets too cold. Fall is a good time to perform a partial water change,ensure fresh new water is the same temperature as the existing pond water, add it slowly over time so as not to disturb the delicate water balance. Also examine any wildlife in the pond for disease or illness and if deemed appropriate, remove them.

winterizing garden pond

As Winter approaches and the water temperature reaches 40 degrees, quit feeding any fish. Remove the Pond Pump and store it as per manufacturers recommendations. Clean pump filters, remove filter media and perform any other suggested pump maintenance. Install Pond aerators or de-icing systems to prevent water freezing causing the loss of pond life or damage to the pond itself. Also, unusual warm spells in weather can enable bacterial activity which can deplete oxygen. These devices usually have adjustable thermostats, cycle on and off, and are quite energy efficient. Placement of these are critical, and they should be very close to the surface. Don’t allow snow to accumulate on a frozen pond surface, gently brush it away if possible, this allows sunlight to access the pond and will help with algae. Keep a watchful eye on fish if there are left in the pond over Winter. Fish tend to gather at the bottom of a body of water in the cold weather, and if you notice them close to the surface and the pond is iced over, move quickly. Make certain there is a fair sized whole in the ice (12 inches should do) and check to ensure the aerator is working properly. Most likely, an iced over pond allows methane gas to accumulate and can easily kill aquatic life if left unchecked.

In warm climates Winter Garden Pond maintenance is much the same as Spring maintenance. Regardless of location Garden Ponds can be a source of tremendous enjoyment and peaceful reflection. The best advice for maintenance is to view them as living entities, rather than a landscape attraction.


Reliable and Trustworthy Contractors in Your Area

One sure thing about owning your own home is that there are going to be needed repairs along the way. Whether you’re having a small job done, like painting, or a large job, like remodeling a kitchen, you still want the most reputable home improvement contractor available. Contractors are a dime a dozen but finding just the right one can take a lot of time and effort.

There’s a site that lists contractors, some in your area, who have been pre-screened and found to be legitimate, honest and price-competitive. Contractors who think they belong in this group can apply to the site who will then check their reputation.

There’s one downfall to the whole pre-screened contractor business: they mostly list contractors that are located in major cities. If you live close to one of these towns, you’re good to go, but if not, this may not be the service for you.

gutter cleaning

The network includes service professionals in over 500 categories, like cleaning services (janitorial, window cleaning,pressure washing, gutter cleaning), remodeling (house, bathroom, etc), roofing, decking, plumbing work, yard work and cement work. To begin the search for the appropriate company the customer first submits a short description of the service needed by answering a few brief questions. And, after they’ve located the perfect company to serve you, you are under no obligation. Get an estimate or do nothing else – it’s up to you.

This site guarantees the match, too. Notify them if you end up hiring the recommended company, then if there’s any problems they will work with you to straighten them out. And, they’re even willing to provide up to $500 of additional labor to make you happy. Make sure you read and understand the full Service Guarantee at their site. Go to the site and read many customer reviews to see how others liked the services.

The criteria required to become a recommended contractor includes proper licensing, any prior legal problems concerning the business, judgements against the business and any bonding information. Although they invest quite a lot in checking the credentials of the contractors, there’s no fee to use the services.

The site also features a Homeowner’s Library containing articles, pictures and diagrams of topics related to homes and repairs. Learn more about various home repair projects, get remodeling tips, even maintenance tips and hints.

Take the headache and disappointment out of having home remodeling jobs done by a contractor. Save yourself the hassle of making phone calls, trying to check backgrounds, and attempting to find out more about the contractors. Let someone else do all the legwork for you.

Driving past, you catch a glimpse of a man clad in a dazzling ice-skating outfit hoisting another man into the air. Your gaze shifts, and you witness a group of middle-aged men suiting up in leather biker wear. These scenes would be awkward and confusing in any other setting, but they are rather tame compared to other images witnessed while passing by the Garden Drive-In on Route 11 in Hunlock Creek, Pennsylvania.

The drive-in has always been as large a part of American pastime as, it seems, baseball or mini-golf. Popularized and romantacized in early ’70s films such as American Graffiti and Grease, attending the drive-in with a group of friends became the most down-to-earth American way to see a film. Surprisingly, over 30 years later, the drive-in is still a trendy hangout for all ages.

One day after the opening, Northwest senior Todd Belles attended the Garden Drive- In with his friends, “It was good,” said Belles. “It was cold, but good. The movie was really funny. We snuck some friends in the trunk of the car, but keep that on the down low,” confessed the senior with a laugh. “Seriously, don’t put that in your article.”

Belles, along with his friends, participated in the age-old tradition of hiding friends in extra car space to lower the cost of an already cheap admission fee. Although this has been looked down upon and may result in rejection from the drive-in, most students agree that it is worth the risk once in a while.

“I never do it, and I don’t agree with it, but it adds some excitement to the trip,” said Michael Buerger, senior. “It’s like, you might get caught, and you might not. And if you don’t, it costs less. If you do, you just have someone else drive while you hide. It’s fun.”

As aforementioned, the goal of sneaking in friends is mainly to make going to the drive-in a cheaper fair, but the ticket price is hardly worth arguing. At an already cheap admission price of $6 per person to view two movies, which trumps the normal prices of most theaters by $1.50 (not including matinees) for just one film, the Garden Drive-In offers an inexpensive way for a joyful outing. Needless to say, this economical offering is the main attraction for most of the crowd drawn to the drive-in.

Obviously though, there are negative aspects to a seemingly perfect pastime. As Belles mentioned earlier, the elements do play a large part in the enjoyment of an evening at the Garden. Northwest senior Ryan Pearson recalled his experience at the drive-in.

“The fog ruined the entire evening. The one time, they had to pause the movie for a while until the fog cleared, but it never did. Also, it has rained and gotten very chilly,” said Pearson. “It’s fun nce in a while, but you either have to sit on the ground or in a car, which can get rather uncomfortable.”

Included in a poor elements is the ethics of the drive-in. A noticeable marketing ploy made by Garden is to play a children’s film on one screen, while showing an adult-oriented R-rated film on the opposite screen. This is done in order to attract separate demographics rather than just one crowd. “Think if a young child was watching an animated kid’s movie and happened to turn around to see a heated,graphic sex scene, or gruesome image from a horror movie on the other screen,” said Town Hill local Annie Groff. “I can’t say if it is a big problem, but it’s more than likely it has happened and caused some difficulty among parents and children. It just seems wrong to me to expose kids to that while they are enjoying a more innocent time.”

Despite these many dilemmas, though, the Garden Drive- In still manages to draw a decent crowd of all ages. As long as there are films to show and people to go see them, the drive-in will remain a beloved pastime of American history.

When you decide you want a water garden, or fountain, as part of your landscape, next you have to choose which type you want. Do you want only water plants, or one filled with goldfish? You will want to see how much sunlight it will receive from your chosen location in case you want to also have water lilies. Lilies need four to six hours of sunlight daily, shade is fine for goldfish. Moderate climates need about two feet of water depth in a goldfish pond, colder climates need water a little deeper.

When choosing placement for your pond, remember that you want an area of landscape that has good drainage and is free from rain run off. You may need to do some landscaping before starting your project.

Flexible liners and pre-built pools are the main choices for building a water garden. Both are cheaper and easier to install than one made of concrete. Pre-fabricated pools come in various shapes and sizes, depending on your personal preference. If you want just a small round pond, a kiddie pool from Wal-mart will do the job. If installing a flexible liner, be sure to get one especially made for water gardens.

Once you have your location and type of pond chosen, it is time to start to work building your water garden. To be sure that you have enough space, you can make a template of your desired pond and place it on top of the ground for use as an outline and guide for digging.

If you are in doubt about the size of your pond, remember bigger is better. Larger water gardens are easier to maintain and it cannot be too large if you are planning on stocking it with several large goldfish.

Next, you will need to excavate the area where your water garden will be placed. Dig the width and depth needed to occupy your pond. You will also need to make a little ledge around the borders of the pond to place your pump and, if desired, a waterfall. You will need to go ahead and place any pumps or filters and be sure to level them up.

Put your liner in place and smooth it out and around the ledge on your water garden. Decide on what type of border you want around your garden, stones or medium sized rocks work well. You can simply place these around your pond and layer them to make a nice wall. Cement or concrete can be used to keep the stones in place, but it is not required.

Dechlorinate your pond with chemicals used for outdoor water gardens, you can purchase these at most garden centers. You will also want to go ahead and add any aquatic plants or lilies as soon as the pond is in place. Give the water in the pond time to get established before adding fish. Waiting a week or so before adding goldfish is your best choice. Add one or two fish at a time so that any adjustments to water balance is done slowly.

Once you have constructed your own backyard water garden, sit back and enjoy your beautiful addition to your home’s landscape.

‹ previous posts
Recent Comments

    Hi, guest!