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backyard

Difference Between Screened In Patio And Sunrooms

November 10, 2022
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It’s no secret that outdoor living areas have been among the most popular types of home modification in recent years, and this fad shows no signs of abating. More and more homeowners are looking for ways to make the most of their backyards, including relaxing seating options. What, however, of those times when inclement weather makes patios uninviting?

A sunroom or three-season porch enclosure combines the advantages of both indoor and outdoor living. The benefits are going outside without the heat, humidity, and insects. Perfect. Want to know the differences between a screened in patio and a sunroom? Now you have the lowdown.

Screened-in porch vs. Sunroom

The primary distinction between a sunroom and a screened porch is in the materials used in its construction and insulation. However, sunrooms are more like additions to the house than screened porches, which are generally just basic enclosures added on top of an existing patio or porch.

A screened-in porch won’t keep the rain and wind out as well as an open porch would. It’s really just a porch that has been enclosed by walls. There will likely be little insulation and no suitable floor constructed over the foundation.

In addition to screens, many porches also have windows or moveable panels. For this reason, porches with screens are often referred to as “three-season porches.” You may use them as a temporary home throughout the autumn and spring. However, in really chilly winters, screens are still not very practical.

While the added fourth season is the primary selling point of sunrooms over screened porches, there are additional factors to think about before breaking ground. Your selection will be influenced by a number of factors, including the location of your house, the purpose of the space, the cost of permits and utilities, the amount of useful time, and the total cost of construction.

  • Location

Sunrooms may seem like a no-brainer in places with scorching summers, but they aren’t really the norm. A screened porch may be used year-round in climates with moderate winters. A sunroom is appropriate in colder climates, but a screened-in porch may be built for far less money.

  • Intention Of the Area

A screened-in porch may be all you need if you’re only looking for a place to relax out of the sun with loved ones in the warmer months. The porch enclosure isn’t as efficient at regulating temperature as a sunroom, but it performs a decent job and can be improved upon.

Even though they lack heating and cooling, many screened-in porches nevertheless have ceiling fans. Moreover, a little electric space heater is significantly more budget-friendly than an outside patio warmer.

  • Calculating Your Investment’s Return

Think about the return on investment you’ll receive from a sunroom or screened porch. When do you anticipate using it? Is it reasonable to build a sunroom, heat it, and use it as a year-round living space? To what extent will you get to enjoy the sunroom before moving on? Sunrooms— extremely popular in certain parts of the country, but not in others— are they sought after in yours?

The value of a sunroom or screened porch varies from one homeowner to the next in the same way as the value of an above-ground or in-ground pool does. Sunrooms and screened porches aren’t a certain strategy to boost your home’s value any more than a swimming pool is.

  • Spend on Adding a Sunroom or Screened Porch 

Prices for sunroom additions tend to be higher than those for other types of additions. The price of adding a sunroom to your home may range widely based on factors including its size, the quality of its materials, and the design of your existing structure. In all, the cost of building a sunroom that meets building codes in terms of insulation, roofing, and structural support might reach $60,000.

The cost of a screened-in porch may range from considerably less to much more than that of a sunroom. The average range is $3,500 – $7,500.

Conclusion

You might end up with something you didn’t want and a lot of extra grey hair if you go into it blind. Whether you’re interested in a screened-in porch, a sunroom addition or a DIY sunroom kit, a consultation with an expert may help you make the correct choice.

5 Backyard Ideas that will Transform Your Outdoor Space

September 21, 2022
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There are many reasons why you might want to add a deck or patio to your backyard. Perhaps you need some extra space to entertain guests, or maybe you just want a place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. No matter what your reasons may be, adding a deck or patio is a great way to improve your backyard, plus consider these extra few ideas.

1. Add a fire pit

A fire pit is a great way to transform your outdoor space. Not only does it add some warmth and ambiance, but it can also be a great place to gather with friends and family. You can find fire pits in a variety of shapes and sizes, so there’s sure to be one that’s perfect for your backyard. 

Once you have your fire pit, you can then start to think about how you want to use it. You can use it for cooking, roasting marshmallows, or simply as a place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. Whatever you choose to do with your fire pit, it’s sure to be a great addition to your home.

2. Install a pergola

A pergola is a great way to transform your backyard and create your own backyard oasis. Not only will it provide you with some much-needed shade, but it can also be a great place to hang out or relax. You can even add some curtains or lights to make it even more inviting. 

Pergolas are fairly easy to install and can be a great DIY project for weekends. Just make sure to do your research and get the right materials before you start. With a little bit of effort, you can easily create a backyard retreat that you’ll enjoy for years to come.

Backyard deck
Image by Francine Sreca from Pixabay

3. Add some plants and flowers

If you’re looking for a simple way to transform your backyard, adding some plants and flowers is a great option. Not only will it make your space look more inviting, but it can also provide you with some additional privacy. Consider planting a hedge or installing some flower boxes along your fence line. You could also add some climbers to cover up an unsightly view. Whatever you choose, adding some greenery to your backyard is a surefire way to improve its appearance.

4. Install a deck or patio

One of the best ways to transform your backyard is to install a deck or patio. A deck or patio can provide a great place to relax or entertain guests, and it can also add value to your home.

If you’re thinking about installing a deck or patio, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, you’ll need to choose the right location for your deck or patio. You’ll also need to decide what material you want to use. There are a variety of options available, including wood, composite, and concrete. 

Once you’ve decided on the location and material, you’ll need to hire a contractor to install your deck or patio. With a little planning and some help from professionals, you can easily transform your backyard with a new deck or patio.

Backyard deck
Image by eyeclick from Pixabay

5. Build a shed or workshop

Building a shed or workshop is a great way to add some extra space to your backyard. Not only will it provide you with a place to store things, but it can also be a great place to work on hobbies or projects and put to use all those home remodel tips you’ve learned. 

If you’re thinking about building a shed or workshop, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, you’ll need to decide on the size and style of shed or workshop that you want. There are many different sizes and styles available, so it’s important to choose one that will fit your needs. Once you’ve decided on the size and style, you’ll need to choose a location for your shed or workshop. 

It’s important to choose a level spot that’s not too close to your house or other structures. Once you’ve found the perfect spot, you can start planning the construction of your shed or workshop. Be sure to check with your local building code office to get all the necessary permits before you begin construction. With a little planning and effort, you can transform your backyard into an extra storage space or workspace.

Final thoughts

There are many different ways to transform your backyard. By adding some plants and flowers, installing a deck or patio, or building a shed or workshop, you can easily make your backyard more inviting and functional. With a little bit of planning and effort, you can turn your backyard into the perfect retreat.

If you’re planning on raising a family, Baton Rouge in Lousiana is an excellent option. The pleasant neighborhoods, lots of green spaces, friendly people, calm weather, and the best schools for children; make it a very attractive city. 

Being the capital of Lousiana isn’t a complete description of Baton Rouge; the affordability of common stuff makes this city the go-to for most families. 

If you’re a resident of Baton Rouge and own a nice house here, congratulations. You’ve made it, haven’t you? 

The weather is great, isn’t it? Summer is a time for indulging in backyard barbecue parties and swimming pool splash dates with family and friends. 

It’s also a great time to get creative and have fun in your backyard. From putting together an Obstacle Course to playing games like badminton or Frisbee, you can do plenty of activities right in your backyard. 

It’s time to get outside and start having some fun!

Oh, wait! Before you can start having fun, you need to have a backyard worthy of summer gatherings. And that means you need to put some thought into your backyard landscaping! 

Take your backyard from “blah” to “wow” without spending a fortune with these brilliant ideas! We’ve got something for everyone, from pergolas and water features to rambling gardens and fire pits. 

No matter what your style or budget. So get ready to fall in love with your backyard all over again! 

Deal with Overpowering Trees

When you stare at the sky and take in the beauty of stars on a summer night, the last thing you want to see is a big, leafy tree blocking your view. 

Oh, what a pain it is to deal with leaves, branches, and falling acorns constantly! But before you grab your chain saw and go all “The Shining” on that tree, take a step back and think about other options. 

Maybe it’s time to pull out your tech-smartphone and find a specialist who could deal with it? Type in tree cutting service baton rouge la on Google and hit Enter to get a list of tree surgeons in your area to handle the issue.

If your love for the tree goes far and beyond those glimmering stars, then you may want to find a way to work around it. 

You could also be creative and use the tree as an advantage. For example, build a tree-house or a swing! Try planting low-lying shrubs or flowers at its base.

Spectacular Stepping Stone:

Have you paved your backyard paths yet? If not, you’re missing out on a dirt-cheap and easy way to add some real personality to your outdoor space. Stepping stones come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. 

You can find them at your local home improvement store or online. And the best part is that they’re relatively easy to install! Just be sure to follow the instructions on the package.

If you want something more unique, try using different materials like glass, ceramic, or even shells. You can also get creative with the shapes. Try something more abstract instead of going for the traditional round or square. Just have fun with it!

Greece Up Your Garden:

Remember those big creative plant containers you saw in Santorini last summer? The ones so big you could fit a small tree in them? 

Well, it’s time to get your own! Over-sized planters are a great way to add instant drama to your garden. Plus, they’re a great way to show off your green thumb!

Try something more modest if you’re not ready to go all-out with a giant planter. A simple terracotta pot can be just as effective. 

Splatter paint it or wrap it in twine – get creative! Just be sure to choose a plant that will thrive in the pot. And don’t forget to water it!

Make it a Honeymoon Backyard:

Romance your backyard with some beautiful lighting. String lights are a classic choice, but they can be boring. If you’re looking for something with more personality, try lanterns or paper lanterns. You can even make your own!

If you wish to gee-whiz your guests (or that special someone), try hanging lanterns from tree branches or installing floor lamps and tiki torches

A floral-container-tiki torch combination is ideal for creating a Punta Cana -style backyard appearance. This fantastic combination combines earth, flowers, and fire to demonstrate that you may make your yard seem as beautiful as you desire. Just be sure to use safe, weatherproof materials.

The Succulent Fairy:

Think Peter Pan, but with succulents instead of Tinkerbell. If you love all things miniature, this is the perfect backyard trend! 

Plant your favorite succulents in tiny pots or teacups and arrange them around your garden. You can even make a fairy village complete with houses, bridges, and paths.

Don’t have a green thumb? No problem! There are plenty of faux succulents on the market that look just as good as real. Just be sure to get your hands on weatherproof and durable ones.

Sing-Along the Birds:

That melodious singing contest between the birds is not just for their sake; it also signifies their affection towards one another. As we all know, nature is the best musician, and the bird’s song is one of the most beautiful music.

One of the perfect ways to enjoy the birdsong is hanging birdhouses in your backyard. No backyard is complete without a bird feeder or two. But why stop there? 

If you want to attract some feathered friends, try adding a birdbath or birdhouse. You can even make your own! Please make sure you’re using non-toxic material!

Birds are beautiful creatures, but they can also help keep your garden pest-free. So go ahead and give them a little love!

Minimum is the New Maximum:

We’re all about going big here, but sometimes less is more. That’s why we love the minimalistic trend. Just because your backyard is shrimpy doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful!

Try using a few large pieces instead of a lot of small ones. A few well-placed potted plants or a single piece of patio furniture can significantly impact. 

And don’t forget about the power of negative space! Sometimes the best way to make your backyard look bigger is to leave some room.

Maybe plant a huge palm in the heart of a freshly mowed and trimmed lawn. Or place a large, comfortable hammock under a shady tree. Whatever you do, keep it simple.

Rockin’ Rock Beds:

Oh boy, this trendy yet straightforward backyard landscaping idea is music to our ears! We’re talking about rock beds, people. And no, we don’t mean the kind you have to sleep in.

A rock bed is simply a garden that uses rocks instead of (or in addition to) soil. And they look pretty darn good too! They’re perfect for areas that are prone to drought or erosion.

Handpick your favorite rocks and arrange them in a pleasing design. Then add some drought-resistant plants, and voila! 

The Gist:

Your backyard should narrate a story and be an extension of your home – a place where you can hang loose and enjoy the outdoors. 

With a little creativity (and maybe a small budget), you can transform it into a space that you’re proud of. So get out there and start landscaping! And don’t forget to have fun!

A retaining wall is a structure that retains any material, usually earth, and prevents it from sliding or eroding away. Its main purpose is to resist the pressure of the material it is holding back. Due to its broad use, we have prepared some facts that you should know about retaining walls.

Retaining wall types

Here are some of the often used types of retaining walls.

Gravity walls are multifunctional – for example on hillside properties and they are usually made of concrete and stone. They depend on its mass to resist material pressure from behind. However, their main disadvantage is that they are easily damaged in earthquakes.

Brick retaining walls has multiple purposes – such as on hillside properties, however, they are not as strong as concrete gravity walls, and water pressure behind them can cause their failure.

Sheet pile retaining walls come in different materials such as steel, vinyl or wood planks. The process of their making is done by driving a part of them into the ground up to the required depth.

You can use anchored retaining walls when you expect high loads since they have additional strength using cables to stay anchored in the soil behind.

Retaining wall use


A retaining wall is a multipurpose construction. One of their benefits is to protect shorelines and create space for storm drains. You can see these walls as support to roads and bridges, as well as in residential properties to add definition to the landscape by making distinct flat areas in your backyard, offering an appealing look. Thus, we can see that their purpose is both functional and decorative. They are used as the support for keeping soil in place and preventing erosion. Furthermore, they’re very effective at preventing flooding.

Retaining walls material

Some of the most common materials used for retaining walls are stone, brick, timber and concrete. If your budget is not tight, we would recommend you a stone, whose strength and rustic look are worth some extra money. Brick and timber, on the other hand, are cost-effective choices. However, you should be careful in the case of brick walls, since they require a strong structural footing. Also, you should have in mind that, although timber is cheaper, it has a reduced lifespan.

What are the costs involved?

As we have already mentioned, the cost heavily depends on the type of the material. However, that’s not all. Dimensions and the labor required are also some of the important elements. You can keep costs down if you decide to build the wall on your own. However, if you’re not up for a challenge, don’t shy from contacting the experts. The construction process is quite not for everyone, particularly in case of higher walls. Aside from this, soil conditions can affect the cost as well, so it is hard to predict a quota before the work begins.

Water can weaken the wall


The accumulated water is a huge danger to retaining walls. Especially since it increases the pressure on the wall and the risk of failure becomes significantly higher. Thus you have to take the importance of proper retaining wall drainage seriously. This may include drainage sheets that protect the foundation. Another possibility is to drill the weep holes which will allow the water to escape, instead of staying accumulated behind the wall. Also, a suitable method is installing a drainage pipe behind the wall, either near the footing or higher. It’s important to use granular and not cohesive clay soil as backfill because that way, water can reach the holes or pipes, instead of just accumulating.

Retaining wall decoration ideas

There are many interesting ways in which retaining walls in residential areas can be decorated in order to contribute to the visual appeal of the landscape. For example, there is nothing more beautiful than introducing a touch of nature to it. You can plant climbers like beautiful climbing roses or a Virginia creeper whose crimson autumn leaves will make your retaining wall look magical. Another possibility is installing the night lights. Owing to them the retaining wall will look more sophisticated, at the same time being both functional and decorative. Keep in mind that you need to think about the security of your home as well. And if you love colorful decorations, you may even consider installing color-changing lights to get the impression of being in a fairy tale.

As you can see, retaining walls can completely transform your backyard. Since serious construction work is in question here, you can consider a lot of things, starting from the types of the walls, the materials, the cost, etc. However, you can also be creative and decorate it according to your own desire.

 

Spending time on your patio is one of the best ways to relax and recuperate after a long week. This is where you can welcome your guests, hang out with your family, or regain your inner peace. However, not just any patio will be good enough for all these things, which is why you need to spice up your patio from time to time. Doing this might not always be easy or simple, but it’s something you just have to do. Introducing unique features might be one of the ways to go and a solution that will take your patio to the next level. If this is something you’d like to do as well, here are a few ideas you could explore.

Unique patio furniture

If you want to be able to spend time on your patio, you’re going to need some furniture first. There are lots of materials, designs, and ideas you could explore, and finding your perfect fit could take some time. But, it’s all going to be worth it in the end, and your patio will become the most comfortable spot at your home. Start with some comfortable chairs that will allow you to spend hours on your patio without risking lower back pain. After that, find some matching sofas, and finish everything off with a unique coffee table. Don’t forget to maintain your furniture in the future as well, and try to keep it as good as new in the years to come too.

Unique patio lighting

If you want to be able to use this space in the evening as well and throw dinner parties on your patio, you’ll need some proper lighting too. There are lots of lighting ideas you can explore, and not all of them will work for you. That’s why you need to think outside the box and find solutions that are unique and cool. String lights are among the most popular and appealing ideas at the moment, so look into that idea first. Also, check out those solar lights that are perfect for patios and other outdoor spaces. Finally, don’t be afraid to install a massive chandelier above your patio, and making it more appealing than it’s ever been.

Unique patio décor

Even though most people focus on interior space when decorating their homes, the fact is that their patio deserves some love and attention as well. Your simple everyday décor won’t be good enough, though, so start thinking outside the box. Adding a water feature might be a great start because a small fountain could do wonders for the appeal of your patio. Also, adding some greenery is crucial as well, especially if you’re a fan of nature. From a few simple pots to decorative plantation shutters that will take the entire space to a whole new level, there are lots of ideas to consider. Finally, add some scented candles and light them before your guests arrive.

Unique patio flooring

This is probably not an idea all homeowners are going to love, but investing time and money into your patio flooring is one of the best ideas you could explore. Again, there are lots of different ideas you can look into, depending on the size of your patio and your aesthetic preferences. Painting your patio, installing new concrete, replacing the tiles, applying a new stencil or introducing some reclaimed wood into the mix are just some of the ways to make your patio welcoming and appealing.

 

Exploring various unique features that will make your patio more special than ever isn’t hard at all. It’s all about finding the right designs and ideas, and turn them into reality as soon as possible!

Living in a house with a backyard is one of the most enjoyable and beautiful things in the world! And if you’re one of those people who live in a house with some exterior space, you probably know how fortunate you are.  However, not just any outdoor space will do, and you need to make sure your backyard is actually functional and purposeful. This means investing some time and effort into spicing it up from time to time and maintaining it regularly.  But, if you manage to give your backyard all the love and care it deserves, you’ll make it look nicer and more special than ever. If that’s something you’d like to do as well, here are a few ideas you might want to look into. 

Build a swimming pool

This might be one of the most difficult backyard projects in the world, but it’s one of those ideas that go a long way too. That’s why investing your time and energy into building a pool makes a ton of sense and is something you should do as well. You can always try doing that on your own, of course, and create a pool that will fit every member of your family. Dedicate some time to learning a few basic things first, though, and only then should you start with the actual process. Alternatively, you can hire experts who can build you a pool in a matter of weeks and make it more beautiful than you ever could. This is a serious investment, so define your budget and your plans first, and try to do everything right.

Spice up your patio

patio
If your backyard has a patio, this is where you probably spend a ton of your time. Unfortunately, not just any patio is good enough for you and your family, which is why you need to spice it up every now and then. Start by decluttering this space and removing absolutely everything you don’t need in there. This will create more space and give you a chance to enjoy your patio even more than before. After that, dedicate some time to your patio furniture – repaint and reupholster it, or simply buy some second-hand furniture from your local thrift shop. Finally, add a few finishing touches – blankets, cushions, and flowers are something most homeowners do, but you can go a step further. Be sure to explore those beautiful plantation shutters that will make your patio look wonderful and add some style to your interior space as well. 

Get some protection

Most backyards have a deck or a patio, which is why lots of people love spending their free time there. Whether you’re hanging out with your friends, spending quality time with your family, or doing something on your own, being in the open is always better. This is particularly true for people living in hot areas with lots of sunny days. However, if it’s too hot, you’re going to have to protect your outdoor hangout spot, especially if your kids are spending hours there as well. Doing this is rather easy, though, and you can use protective pergolas and gazebos that aren’t just effective against too much sunshine, but also look quite amazing. This way, your outdoor area will be nicer and safer than ever.

Maintain your lawn

backyard
Some people aren’t fans of spending time in the open, but that doesn’t mean their backyard deserves no love at all. On the contrary, these are the people who need an amazing lawn more than anybody else. To maintain your lawn might not look easy, but it’s actually quite doable as long as you get organized. Remove your weeds, aerate the lawn, apply some new seeds, water the lawn regularly, and don’t forget to mow it at least once a week. That way, your lawn will remain healthy, and your backyard will look fantastic. According to London-based lawn care professional Pol Bishop, a neat and tidy backyard will also inspire all your neighbors to do the same. Good-looking landscape can dramatically change how a neighborhood looks and feels like,

Final remarks

Giving your backyard love, care, and attention isn’t always easy, but it’s something you just have to do. Keep the end result in mind and find ideas that go a long way, and you’ll be able to enjoy your backyard in the decades to come as well.

Owning a backyard is not enough — there always needs to be something that makes it stand out more. Some people decide for complicated floral arrangements or endless rows of trees and bushes, while others prefer next to nothing. Whatever you like, it’s a fact that your backyard needs some care and possibly a full makeover. If you don’t know what to do, and there is plenty of space around, we suggest a gazebo. Aside from looking beautiful, a gazebo can also be used as a yard focal point which means that, if you do it right, it’ll automatically attract the attention of your guests any time of year. So, here are some tips on turning your gazebo into a cozy and elegant oasis:

Add some hanging potted plants

There’s nothing more enjoyable than sitting on your gazebo on a warm spring evening and smelling the surrounding flowers while sipping some cold ice tea. The quickest way to decorate your gazebo is to add hanging potted plants. You can play with various colours and sizes, so feel free to mix different types of flowers until you find the combination that you like. Having potted plants around can make your gazebo look more homely and elegant especially during the spring and summer. If you prefer other floral arrangements, you can add regular flower pots or even rose bushes. 

Paint your gazebo white

A white gazebo will bring a dash of elegance and sophistication to your backyard, but also, make it look bigger. On sunny days, your white gazebo will look extra comfy, and chic with some stylish outdoor sun-blocking features that will also bring shade to your backyard oasis. White can add more light into your gazebo especially when it’s less sunny outside, but you still want to spend some time in your backyard. If you want to spruce it up a bit, you can add matching white chairs and a table so you’ll have a place to sit and hang out with your friends. For those who want some privacy, getting a white breezy curtain will protect your gazebo from rain and make you feel cozy and a bit isolated whenever you need some privacy.

Make your gazebo a winter sanctuary

Who says gazebo should only be used during the warm months? There are many gazebo covers and even though they don’t look much elegant, they can still be used if you don’t have anything else. The best option would be to insulate your gazebo with sliding glass walls, but sometimes even that’s not enough. However, there are ways to make your gazebo feel warm even if it’s cold outside: get a fire feature that will keep you safe from cold even in lower temperatures and check out these helpful tips for loft insulation problems, for additional inspiration. You can then snuggle in your armchair, wrapped in your fave blanket with a cup of tea or a glass of mulled wine.

Get some Chinese lanterns for an ultimate autumn feel

Autumn is the time when everything becomes red, yellow, brown and orange, so adding Chinese lanterns that are traditionally autumn-colored is a perfect decor choice. To create an ultimate romantic autumn feel, hang lanterns with different length string, so they’ll look more interesting and unique. If you feel extra crafty, you can create your own lanterns. Besides lanterns, you can also add various fall flowers like garlands, dahlias or orange gerberas. For those who really love autumn, you can also add fall leaves to make your gazebo look ready for the cozy autumn afternoons.

In conclusion, turning your gazebo into a focal point shouldn’t be a one-time project since your gazebo could be redecorated and redesigned for each season, which will only make your time there more memorable and fun. For example, adding a lot of greenery can make it look more stylish and less stripped. Your main design goal should be making your gazebo attention-grabbing and comfortable at the same time.

Christmas is just around the corner, and it’s high time to prepare your home for the upcoming festivities. Since your front yard is the first thing everyone will notice when they come to visit, it can serve you as the ideal spot to show off your décor skills and inspire everyone to get into the Christmas spirit. In order to help you make your front yard absolutely festive in no time, we have singled out our top garden decoration tips for you to try out. Let’s spread the holiday cheer.

Fairytale vibes with Christmas lights

First things first, Christmas lights represent a great and easy way to add a magical touch to your outdoor décor. You can start by illuminating the walkway to the front door with multicoloured floodlights. Additionally, if you want to achieve the wow effect, you can hang solar-powered led Christmas lights on your trees which accumulate power during the day to create a romantic holiday atmosphere in the evening. On top of that, if you want your home to become the talk of the town, you can invest in remote-controlled laser lights which could enhance the look of your entire outdoor decor arrangement with a soothing ambient flare.

Have fun with front door ornaments

This Christmas you should try to express your creative side with front door ornaments. For example, instead of simply hanging your usual decoration, you can opt for a special faux wreath, add tiny pines to it and sprinkle it with fake snow for a beautiful statement piece. Alternatively, you can take a different route and design a nice garland by combining Holly, Spruce, Eucalyptus, various foliage and tie it all together with a red and green ribbon. Another easy way to style up your front entrance and brighten up everyone’s day is to switch your boring welcoming matt with one that has a funny Christmassy motif on it. Don’t forget to add a personal touch to the decor by hanging a classy banner over the door frame with your family’s name on it.

A luxurious Christmas tree

Planting a fir tree in your front yard is a great idea since you can use it as a nice decor piece for many years to come. In order to make the tree more visible, you should go for fabulous electric candles that can shine in different patterns and colours. What’s best, they are usually controlled via an App. Furthermore, when one fir is not enough, you can find a couple of gorgeous pots and plant a few trees inside for an evergreen front yard look. As far as Christmas tree ornaments are concerned, feel free to experiment and hang small plush toys, candy, pinecones or even framed family photographs. Lastly, if you are bored of your regular star tree topper, go for an unexpected item like the Harry Potter sorting hat, or something geeky like a Death Star replica.

Create your very own Christmas theme

Last but not least, it’s time to transform your front yard into an enchanting scene with Christmas theme ideas. If you’re more into a traditional style, you can build a couple of snowmen, place plaques on them with heartfelt messages and cover the space around them with large gift boxes. However, if you want to express your humoristic side, you can place sitting rattan reindeer next to Santa’s sleigh and hang an “Out of Order” sign on it for a funny sketch. Finally, you can even get a light-up polar bear set to complete your Christmas theme and warm up everyone’s hearts with this magical decor idea.

As you can see, it doesn’t take much effort to create a winter wonderland in your front yard for the upcoming holidays. All you need to do is to follow your decor checklist, don’t be afraid to express your creative side and add your personal touch to the design. We wish you a Merry Christmas!

For me, every meal tastes better al fresco. If you agree and love preparing and eating food outside, it’s time for you to expand your living space and invest in an outdoor kitchen. It will allow you and your family and friends to spend time outside while making tasty lunches or hosting fun dinner parties. In case you don’t know where to start with your design, here are some outdoor kitchen design tips for every outdoorsy chef.

Carefully plan the location

One of the first rules of building: location, location, location! Probably the most common mistake people make when designing their outdoor kitchen is not looking at the wind pattern in their yard. You don’t want all the smoke and smells to get sucked into your home every time you’re using your outdoor kitchen, so place the grill and smoker accordingly. Also, people often place their outdoor kitchen too far from the inside kitchen, which makes carrying heavy platters and drinks quite inconvenient. Additionally, if you love the view from the inside of the house, don’t block it with the outdoor kitchen. Instead, place it to the side or pick an angle that will not ruin your view.

Choose the right materials

Your outdoor kitchen needs to be a bit sturdier than your indoor kitchen in order to resist the elements, such as winds, rain, snow and extreme heat. So, during the process of designing your outdoor space, opt for materials that are weather-resistant and easy to clean and maintain. Stainless steel is always a good option for countertops because it’s tough and durable, easy to clean and looks very sleek. If you want something more rustic and warmer, you can opt for tiled countertops. Tiles come in all shapes, sizes and colors, and they require minimal maintenance. Also, pay attention to your floors. Tile and marble floors can get very slippery when wet or greased, so you might want to skip them. Concrete, brick and natural stone, on the other hand, are much safer and they will give your space a stylish look.

Opt for high-quality appliances

No matter how well you’re planning to equip your outdoor kitchen (some only opt for a grill, a sink and a small fridge, while others include beer taps, smokers and even warming drawers), you have to make sure your appliances can take both rain and sun. Stainless steel works great, requires little maintenance and is quite popular nowadays. Additionally, hire a licensed electrician to install your appliances and make sure everything is up to code.

Provide storage

Like every kitchen, your outdoor kitchen also needs storage for cooking tools, gadgets, food, and drink. Also, the outdoor storage should be waterproof and well insulated to endure temperature changes. With some storage, you’ll always have things on hand and your countertops will be clutter-free.

Build shelter from the elements

If you don’t want the weather to stop you from enjoying your outdoor kitchen, you should build a shelter that will keep the elements away from your grill. A tall roof, pergola or even some simple umbrellas will allow you to show off your culinary skills ever in the rain or scorching sun. You can also equip your outdoor kitchen with a fan for the summer and a heat lamp or a fire pit for the winter. Additionally, if you live in an area with pesky mosquitoes and a lot of flies, you can equip your kitchen with repellents and bug zappers that will keep them away from your food.

Install good lighting

Good lighting will allow you to prepare food when natural light is scarce and it will provide your outdoor space with a soft ambience that’s perfect for relaxing. You will need overhead lighting for food prep (hang the light from the roof or install a pole yard light) and add some string lights or tiki torches for ambient lighting.

Add comfort

An outdoor kitchen isn’t just a place where you cook food. It also serves to enjoy those delicious meals you make and for entertainment. So, make sure you put out some chairs, tables and decoration that will make your outdoor kitchen the star of your home. Choose durable pieces and weather-resistant fabrics so you can enjoy them all year round.

Once your outdoor kitchen is finished, get ready to break out your spatula, tongs and fork and prepare the perfect BBQ for all your family and friends.

With more and more children immersing themselves in the virtual world instead of discovering the beauties of the outside, physical inactivity has become a serious problem even among the youngest ones. Since physical activity contributes not only to children’s health and fitness, but also to their cognitive development, parents need to motivate their little ones to spend more time outside playing and discovering the wonders of their own backyards.

But first, safety

Before transforming your backyard into a child’s haven, you need to create a safe environment where your children can play. Make sure that your entire backyard is fenced in order to prevent your children from wandering off. If you have a pool, you should place a safety fence around it. Afterwards, you should clean your backyard from all debris and any hidden dangers. Checking whether you have any toxic plants, such as barberry, calla lily, oleander and others, is another important step. Finally, you should put all of your cleaning supplies, chemicals and tools under lock and key so that your children can’t reach them.

Make it appealing

After childproofing your backyard, you can move on to styling it up. Introducing plenty of colours and interesting decorations will help you create a playful atmosphere that will appeal to your children. Using colourful decorations will spark your children’s imagination and creativity, and contribute to their general development. In addition, this will draw their attention away from their video games. Yarn bombing is a great way to add colour to your backyard in a fun, playful way.
You should also consider what kind of activities you want to plan for your children. If you want to motivate your children to be more artistic, you’ll need to design an arts and crafts corner where your children can paint and create.

For the mind and body

boys on the lawn

Physical activity is not only for the body, but also for the mind, so you should plan activities and games that will contribute to your children’s both physical and cognitive development. A backyard obstacle course is a great activity that can promote your children’s general development, including their motor skills, coordination, balance, agility and spatial awareness. For an obstacle course in your own backyard, you can include balancing obstacles like books or eggs on spoons, bunny hopping through ladders, jumping rope, doing push-ups and even some teamwork activities, such as a “mummy” obstacle where one child wraps their partner in toilet paper. Of course, the difficulty of your backyard obstacle course will vary depending on your children’s age, but make sure to design a course that is neither too easy nor too difficult.

Giving your children their own private area for relaxation and play is another great idea for your backyard. You can use an old tent, lovely tepee or design a playhouse. For younger children, you can design a sand box with all the necessary items, such as shovels, scoops, buckets, etc. However, make sure to add a large umbrella to provide them with enough shade.

Backyard isn’t a battlefield

mother and child

Joining your children in their play will contribute to their development and awaken your inner child. By being active with your children, you’ll be a great role model, sending a message that regular activity is important and valued in your home. However, you also need to distance yourself and let your children learn and play on their own, as well as discover their own inner world. As long as you keep your eye on your children from a distance, they will remain safe and protected.

Enjoy the perfect chaos

You, as a parent, can relax and appreciate your children’s night of sweet dreams after a day of fun and activity that you ensured. You can spend a quiet, relaxing evening indulging yourself, not worrying about the perfect chaos in your backyard.