Landscape Your Way to Better Curb Appeal

You have just one chance to make a great first impression to your potential buyer, and a neat and tidy front-yard landscape makes sure they’ll be impressed. The National Association of Realtors says that 63% of buyers will do a drive-by to see a home after they’ve looked at it online. When they do, you’ll get that one chance. Your front landscaping needs to reflect on the potential buyer what they can expect inside, too. A well-maintained front yard means a well-maintained home.

Here are just a few ways to transform your front landscape into something that makes your potential buyers want to inspect your home further:

1. Flowers of Course

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The sight and scent of healthy flowers make your yard – and therefore your home – seem welcoming and well cared for. You don’t need a lot of space, and you can even utilize planters instead of digging into your current landscaping to add flowers. Choose bright, happy colors, and keep the look of your planters similar for a more cohesive look. If you want to plant flowers in the ground, make sure you look into municipality rules and homeowners association rules before you do.

2. Walkways With Personality

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A plain front walkway is just boring. Add a bit of style by edging the walkway with easy to care for hostas, and choose something other than basic cement for the walkway itself. Flagstone and pavers give your front walk personality and are easy to install and upkeep. Consider adding some solar walkway lights, too, for added appeal.

3. Patio Appeal

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The addition of a small front porch or patio will give you a place to sit and read the paper while saying hello to the neighbors. Surround the patio with flowers, or a low hedge to add a feeling of intimacy without seeming unfriendly. While this isn’t a fast or inexpensive project, it will be seen as a benefit for those buyers who love spending time outdoors.

4. Groundcover for Slopes

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A grassy slope can be a lawnmower’s nightmare, so keep it easy by planting a pretty groundcover and letting it grow and expand, or choose the slope as a place to plant your flower garden. Mix and match groundcovers, grasses, and annuals with beautiful stones for an unforgettable garden with unbelievable curb appeal.

5. Let Nature Lend a Hand

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Utilize flowers, plants, and landscaping materials that are naturally occurring in your region. Plant a butterfly or dragonfly garden with your region’s species in mind. Add a bird bath to enhance the look and the enjoyment of watching the wildlife.

6. Don’t Forget The Green

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Tall native grasses can add as much to your landscape as flowers, so don’t forget to mix in the greenery, too, for a variety of textures and colors.

7. Indoor Appeal

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Make sure your landscaping looks as good from the inside as it does on the outside. People normally spend more time indoors than outdoors, so make sure that your front yard is nice to enjoy from through the windows, too.

8. Hedge Your Privacy

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For some privacy, create a buffer of plants around your property. Utilize different sizes, shapes, and varieties to add visual interest and appeal.

9. Pretty Up Your Pathways

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Utilize containers for plants and flowers along walkways, stairs, and anywhere else that looks like it needs a pick me up. Install some glass bulb waterers for easy maintenance.

10. Use Creative Borders

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A curved border adds elegance to your front yard with very little effort. If your yard seems like a large expanse of green, break it up by planting some rows of flowers right through it. Just make sure you allow a few inches on either side of the row for the lawnmower to do its job without ruining the plantings.

11. Don’t Over Do It

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If you’re working with a very small yard, be careful not to overdo it. The use of too many types of plants and flowers could overwhelm a small space, so utilize just a few types over and over again.

12. Ranch Home Landscaping

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Your landscaping is especially important if you are selling a small ranch home, which is generally very ordinary looking. Your great landscaping will set your home apart from the sea of similar homes. Don’t be afraid to call attention to your home by the use of a white or ornamental arbor to mark the entrance.

13. Use Bold Elements

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Bold elements can really make a statement in your landscaping. When building in these bold elements, be sure they fit with the type of home you already have. For instance, the walkway of a small ranch home would look out of place flanked by dramatic spiral-pruned junipers.

14. Balance is Everything

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If you have an intricate walkway created with a distinct brick pattern, go for a similar level of intricacy in your landscaping. Use color to your advantage by blending your gardens with the color of your home, and using a few contrasting colors for interest.

15. Perimeter Planters

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If you have a grand front porch, call attention to it by placing railing planters filled with gorgeous flowers all around the perimeter – and don’t forget the stairs, too!

5 Types Of Outdoor Furniture That Lasts

As spring turns into summer, one of the first things you’ll do is get the patio furniture out of storage, grab the cushions, and get ready for some R&R. But what if you grab that furniture and hmmm…it doesn’t look nearly as nice as it once did. Well, you’re in luck because today there are dozens of choices for new outdoor patio furniture that will have your outdoor living spaces looking and feeling cozy and welcoming for both you and your guests.

Your choice in outdoor furniture is important, as you probably spend a lot of time on it during the summer months. It makes sense, then, to choose comfortable styles and fabrics, while still keeping in mind the care and maintenance needs of furniture. The first thing you should do is think about how you use your outdoor areas. Do you hold big parties for many people, or do you have more small, intimate cookouts? Do you do most of your cooking outdoors during the summer? These are important questions to ask when you’re considering new furniture purchases.

Below we have categorized a few of the most attractive choices for patio furniture, both by aesthetics and by their ease-of-maintenance. Use this as your guide when you go shopping.

1. Wrought Iron Furniture

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Wrought iron is classic, sturdy, and timeless-looking. If you live in an area of high winds, you won’t have to worry about your patio furniture blowing away. There are so many styles, colors, and designs with wrought iron that it is sure to fit your style, no matter what that might be. But don’t plan to use this type of outdoor furniture if you’ll be moving pieces around a lot. They are hefty and will leave marks if dragged across the deck.

Because the paint on wrought iron can chip, see if there is a touch-up paint in the same color available to purchase when you buy your set of furniture. You’ll be able to use the touch up anytime you find scratches or chips, and it’ll keep your furniture looking like brand new. To clean, just wipe down with a damp cloth. If deeper cleaning is necessary, wipe down with a solution of dishwashing detergent and warm water, and then rinse with your garden hose.

2. Aluminum Furniture

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Aluminum patio furniture is great if you want an easy-care solution that you can effortlessly move around. Aluminum won’t rust, and it’s super lightweight. Choose cushions that you can easily replace, as the aluminum frame will probably significantly outlast your cushions. When you’re shopping, make sure that the hardware on your furniture is rust-proof, and choose a powder-coated, UV-resistant finish. Check the welds to make sure they are seamless, and look sturdy.

To clean aluminum furniture, just wipe it down with a damp cloth. If you see scuff marks, you can very gently use a bit of Soft Scrub on a soft, damp cloth, but be careful – you don’t want to scratch the finish, especially if it’s shiny. And never use abrasive cleaners on aluminum. Rinse off with your garden hose.

3. Polymer and Plastic Furniture

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If easy care and maintenance are what you’re looking for, synthetics are where it’s at. Plastic patio furniture created from recycled plastics are fantastic if you live in a saltwater environment. This furniture can’t ever rust and is designed to last in difficult environments. Marine-grade polymers can also be used. They’re heavy, sturdy, and have been designed to look just like painted wood. You can leave this furniture out all year round without any ill effects, and cleaning is easy with a simple dish soap and water solution and a damp cloth. Rinse with your garden hose.

4. Real Wood Furniture

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The type of wood your furniture is made of is crucial if you want to avoid things like splitting, rotting, and bugs. You want dense wood such as teak or eucalyptus, or a hardy wood such as cedar. Teak and Eucalyptus are easier to maintain because they don’t need to be sealed on a yearly basis, but cedar is naturally moisture- and bug-resistant.

Clean your wood furniture with a soft brush and a solution of water and Murphy’s Oil Soap. Hose down well and dry with shop towels.

Use a soft scrub brush dampened with water and mild, oil-based soap, such as Murphy Oil Soap. Rinse by hosing down.

5. Cushion Fabrics

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Choosing new cushions is a great way to make older furniture look new again. They can also be the most pricey part of your patio set, so make sure you choose wisely!

If price is no object, look for fabric designed for outdoor use that is UV-resistant, as well as resistant to moisture, mold, and stains. And bring your cushions indoors when you’re not using them – you’ll get much more life out of your investment.

Tips to beautify rooms in your home

Tips To Beautify Rooms In Your Home

There’s no place like home, so why not make home the most beautiful and cozy place you can stay in? Let’s dive into some techniques that can help you showcase the best features of every room in your house. Just a touch of color, texture, and personality can transform your home into something new. Here are a few tips that aren’t a lot of hassle:

Add Some Color
Going with a neutral scheme can never go wrong, but if you’re feeling like your room is a little drab, don’t be afraid to go with a bold color. You can do an accent wall that compliments the current color scheme or use your furniture or accent pieces to bring a touch of color. Color doesn’t have to mean clutter, you can keep the rest of the room simple and add the dramatic touch with a few elements.

Use Some Mirrors
Bringing in some mirrors can add light and room to your space. Using mirrors in staging is known to help the room look like it’s much bigger than it is it. Add a few accent mirrors, preferably right across the room from a window, to brighten up your space and keep it from feeling too tight and small.

Play With Accessories
We get it, furniture can get expensive, but there is so much you can do with a room just getting creative with accessories. Get some unique decorative pieces and let your room tell a story around them. Hop down to your closest antique store and grab some pieces that are bold. You can also hop into Hobby Lobby or TJ Maxx, they have beautiful and unique decorative pieces that are incredibly affordable.

Add Some Green
Nothing gives a space some life like some life, literally. Add some plants to your rooms, lots of green ones that are easy to keep alive, to add a unique touch to the room. You’d be surprised how much a room looks “finished” when you add a beautiful tree to the corner of a room.

Embrace The Light
The natural light, we mean. Don’t block out your windows with heavy drapes or hide them behind furniture. Decorate around your room in a way that compliments the windows and brings the natural light in.

Add Texture
Use fur throws or pillows, use patterns in your fabrics, etc. Don’t be afraid to add unique textures throughout the home. It gives your eyes something to land on as it’s looking around the room. You can even use metallics. Don’t over-do it, because then it can get overwhelming. Just get a few textures that compliment each other and put them in clever places around your room.

Remove Clutter
A tip you’ll hear often, nothing brings the best out in a room then getting rid of all the clutter and junk. If you have a hard time walking around your room or finding things, it may be time to get a few boxes and start cleaning out the things that don’t really belong.