15 simple gardening tricks for summer
,

15 simple gardening tricks for summer

You don’t need a green thumb to have a vibrant, plentiful garden. Rather, you just need to know a few simple tricks of the trade. Whether you’re planting a garden looking to be environmentally friendly, trying to save some money, or just want to enjoy the romantic notion of a quaint garden try these helpful gardening tricks.

 

1. Think Outside the Planter

Using planters are always an option, but they’re not the only way to get your seedlings started. For one, save those toilet paper rolls. You can fold up the bottom and then add some dirt along with seeds. Once they start to sprout, just plant them in the ground, because the toilet paper rolls are biodegradable.

 

The same goes for lemon rinds and egg shells. Both are great holders for the beginnings of a seedling, and both are used in compost, so you know they’ll work well in soil, too. Also, wheatgrass grows well in egg shells.

 

2. Recycle Your Gallon Jug

Rather than put your empty plastic milk jug in the garbage or recycling bin, turn it into a tool for your garden. You can either make it into a watering can by poking small holes into the plastic cap or turn it into three different kinds of shovels.

 

3. Make Grocery-Bought Herbs Last

Herbs and vegetables can be expensive, but not if you repropagate them. For herbs, take some cuttings, put them into water until they begin to grow some roots, and then replant.

 

4. Keep Plants Watered While You’re Away

No need to hire someone to water your plants when you’ve got paper towels and two glasses of water. Just put a glass of water at each end of the plants, roll the paper towel tightly, place it over the plants and put the ends of the towel in each water glass. The paper towel will soak up just enough water to keep your plants hydrated while you’re out of town.

 

5. Prepare Your Garden With Newspaper

In the fall, save the Sunday paper after you read it, because you can use it to get a part of your yard ready for a new garden patch. To start, mow the area where you plan to plant. You’ll then put a few layers down: start with the newspaper and then add either bark mulch or shredded leaves. Get the layers wet, and then wait. Once spring rolls around, you’ll have a new garden bed.

 

6. Use Epsom Salt

To encourage your plants to grow and keep those pesky bugs away, all you need is Epsom salt. That’s because it works both as a fertilizer (the magnesium sulfate encourages plants to grow) and a natural and safe pesticide (the salt doesn’t taste good to bugs).

 

7. Aspirin: Not Just For Headaches

Got a fungus problem in your garden? Then break out 650 milligrams of aspirin and put it in a quart of water. Spray it on the fungi – whether it’s black spots on your plant’s leaves or a powdery looking mildew – and pretty soon the nasty fungus will disappear.

 

8. Citrus Rinds: Pest Control

Save your orange peels if you want to keep away all kinds of pests. That’s because citrus rinds, when tossed with your garden mulch, have been known to keep bugs – as well as neighborhood dogs and cats – away from your garden.

 

9. Soak Seeds Before Planting

If you want your seeds to sprout and grow faster, soak them in water first. This works because moisture is one sign for a seed to start the germination process. To do this, simply put the seeds in a bowl of hot tap water for about 12-24 hours. After they’re done soaking, plant them as directed.

 

10. Use a Sponge in Your Planter

We’ve already established that moisture is key to good growing conditions. Since sponges are great at retaining moisture, it only makes sense to add a sponge to your potted plant to help your plant retain as much water as possible.

 

11. Save Space With Bathroom Caddies

If you don’t have room for a garden, you can still grow a couple of plants and herbs. All you need is to create space by making a hanging garden out of bathroom caddies.

 

12. Coffee: It’s Not Just For Waking Up in the Morning

For one, use your leftover coffee grounds to enrich your soil with 2 percent nitrogen; an added bonus is that the grounds help deter critters. That’s not all; use some of your coffee filters in your pots to prevent water leaks.

 

13. Fix the pH of Your Soil

The pH of your soil can either help or hurt the growth of your garden. So, after testing the pH of your soil, you may discover that your garden needs a bit of help. Use vinegar and sodium bicarbonate to alter the pH of your soil. Bonus: Vinegar can kill weeds, while baking soda can kill fungus.

 

14. Prevent Tools from Rusting

Tools are a key part of keeping your garden in tip-top shape. Keep your tools from rusting by storing them in builders’ sand.

 

15. Repel Mosquitoes Naturally

You’ve spent all this time and effort on creating a beautiful and fruitful garden. Now you should be able to enjoy it. To guarantee that, keep mosquitos away by finishing your garden with a few plants that naturally repel them, like citronella, lemon balm, marigolds and more.

 

Gardens may take work, but gardening can be fun with clever tricks like these. What’s your favorite gardening trick?

 

Image used under CC license sourced on Pixabay.

Read more
It’s week two of First Home Views, and the chance to win an amazing interior design book
,

It’s week two of First Home Views, and the chance to win an amazing interior design book

It’s that time of the week again, as we want to hear your First Home Views. The easy to enter competition gives you the chance to win the fantastic new interior design book, BrightBazaar; the brainchild of world-renowned blogger, Will Taylor.

So it’s time for us to once again turn the spotlight onto you lot – our readers – giving you the chance to share your wealth of house and home advice on a variety of topics.

Barbecue season is currently in full swing, and many of us will be cooking up a selection of meats over the charcoal flames this over the coming days; so this week, all we want you to tell us is your favourite barbecue recipe.

To enter, just leave your top recipe in a comment below this article. We’ll be announcing the winner on Monday. Good luck!

Bright Bazaar has an RRP of £25, and is available from Amazon. The book explores specific colour palettes for every room in your home to give you the confidence, knowledge and inspiration to get your colour choices right first time. Packed with personality and heart, playful but informative, engaging but practical, Bright Bazaar is brimming with ideas that work.

Read more
Share your first home ‘views’ and win an amazing interior design book
,

Share your first home ‘views’ and win an amazing interior design book

Today, we’re launching an exciting new competition on First Home News, giving you the chance to win the fantastic new interior design book, Bright Bazaar; the brainchild of world-renowned blogger, Will Taylor.

Running each Friday throughout August, we’ll be tuning the spotlight onto you lot, our readers, giving you the chance to share your wealth of house and home advice on a variety of topics. Each week, our favourite answer will win the book. Simple!

So to kick things off, and given the warm weather we’ve been having lately, we’d like to know: What’s your top tip to turning your garden, into a ‘garden room’? It could be a web of fairy lights, outdoor sofas or some choice greenery. Whatever it is, we want hear about it, so get creative.

To enter, just leave a comment below this blog post. We’ll be announcing the winner on Monday. Good luck!

Bright Bazaar has an RRP of £25, and is available from Amazon. The book explores specific colour palettes for every room in your home to give you the confidence, knowledge and inspiration to get your colour choices right first time. Packed with personality and heart, playful but informative, engaging but practical, Bright Bazaar is brimming with ideas that work.

 

Read more
Homes with gardens: Make the most of summer
, ,

Homes with gardens: Make the most of summer

The summer is well and truly here, and the beautiful weather of the past few weeks has led to many of us flocking outside to bask in the sun and warmth. When the warm weather hits, the garden is the place to be, and to many, the outdoor spaces of a home can be just as important as the indoor, especially in the summer. If you’re looking to move into your first home, or even want to upgrade from your current house to something with a little more to offer, an impressive ‘garden room’ can add real value to a home in the eyes of a buyer. If you’re looking for the perfect next home, and enjoy long summer weekends enjoying the sun, cooking up a barbecue and entertaining guests in a generous outdoor area, here are our top three picks of Keepmoat homes with a garden to offer.

Cutlers View, Sheffield

Cutlers_View_4859The Cutlers View development has proved extremely popular with home buyers, with properties all sold well into 2015.  The show home gardens have prompted many conversations with interested parties due their great design, entering the space down steps and leading to an arch, creating the effect of a secret garden.  Due to the location of the development atop a range of hills, the view of the city and peak district beyond are simply stunning. These great outdoor features have resulted in many purchasers being willing to wait over a year for their dream location. Situated on a tram route, the properties enjoy easy access  into the city, with trams running every 9 minutes, giving great links from the railway station to all over the country. All in all a brilliant location for city living but with the added bonus of being in a very green location giving the added feeling of a countryside retreat to boot.

St James Gate, Birkenhead

New Garden Pic 800x400St James’s Gate is a fantastic development which is playing a major part in the regeneration of the Birkenhead area, with a range of three and four bedroom homes available from just £99,995 or only £79,995 with Help To Buy.

Situated just across the River Mersey from Liverpool city centre, the development sets a great impression to viewers with a stunning new show home now open to give househunters a look inside these beautiful offerings. Set in Birkenhead, the development is around four miles from Liverpool city centre, and is surrounded by beautiful parks and golf courses on the Wirral Peninsula. Generous gardens only add to the properties, and make each offering ideal throughout the summer, however you enjoy making the most of the sun.

Horizon, Newtown

DSCN0247Horizon is an extremely popular new development of stylish and affordable homes in the heart of Birmingham city centre. Now in its third phase of development, Horizon offers a range of two, three and four bedroom homes just a mile from the centre of the UK’s second largest city.

The contemporary homes are ideal for couples and families alike, and come complete with energy saving appliances and environmental design features including roof mounted solar heating panels, the latest condensing boilers, energy saving lighting, double glazing and insulated walls, cycle storage and rainwater harvesting.

Boasting impressive and generous gardens, the Horizon development is the perfect midlands home if you enjoy evenings entertaining in the garden, or lazy weekends soaking up the sun.

 

If you’re the proud owner of a Keepmoat property, and enjoy spending the summer out in your garden, drop some of your top summer garden tips in the comments section below. We love to hear how you spend your time, and you might just inspire some fellow readers.

 

Read more
How to hold the perfect garden party
, ,

How to hold the perfect garden party

Thanks to Nicola Peterson for the creation of her article exclusively for First Home News. 

Precision and planning are two key elements when it comes to holding the ultimate summer get-together. Entertaining friends and family at home can be a great way to celebrate the warmer months. The smell of hot coals and the feeling of the sun beaming down – no one can refuse an invite to a summer garden party. Make it a summer to remember this year by gathering your nearest and dearest for a perfect BBQ shin-dig.

Preparations

Preparations should begin the night before your garden party. You should ensure that the coal for the BBQ is kept in a secure, dry environment. Failure to do so will only dampen the mood when you realise your fuel isn’t fit for use. A gas-burning BBQ would eliminate this extra preparation, but you would need to purchase a gas canister and safely connect it to your grill.

You could even decorate your garden for the summer celebrations. For a quirky British summer vibe, adorn your fence with bunting and streamers to really evoke a feeling of nostalgic street parties of yesteryear.

Food & friends

Forget the charcoal-tainted bangers of last summer, the food you serve at your next BBQ will set the benchmark for future friends’ and relatives’ endeavours. Don’t just blindly grab your apron and get going with whatever meat you could find on offer, plan your menu and offer your guests some options. A BBQ may be a carnivore’s dream, but by adding light salads of couscous and mixed leaves, your guests can take a break from the heavy onslaught of meat.

You could really get the party flowing by creating your own cocktails. Pimms may be the epitome of the Great British summer, but you can add a much more personal touch with a big bowl of homemade punch. Nothing says summer like a refreshing fruity beverage to quench your thirst under the sun.

Practicalities of your party

Although the sunshine is glorious, you’ll need to provide some respite for your guests. Parasols and marquees can offer some much needed shade when the sun is beating down. If any party-goers have forgotten their sun lotion, they’ll need some other form of protection from the relentless rays. You could also leave your kitchen or conservatory doors open to allow people to hide away from the sun if necessary.

When accommodating extra guests, the ‘spare chairs’ just won’t do. Make sure you have outdoor furniture that can stand up against the elements and is in keeping with the style of your garden. Go for lightweight outdoor furniture that gives you the freedom to rearrange sections during your party.

Let’s get out there and make the most of the summer we’ve got left. Great company and great food is all you need to make your party a success, so let’s reclaim our gardens and get cooking. If you think of yourself as a bit of a summer party expert, make sure you comment below, and inform us and your fellow readers of your top tips!

 

Creative commons image sourced on Google Images from Wikimedia Commons

Read more
Hottest summer styles: The mineral trend
, ,

Hottest summer styles: The mineral trend

Many thanks to Suzanne Yates, from Graham & Brown, for the creation of her article exclusively for First Home News and her expert insight into the top trends of this summer. With a rich history dating back to 1946, Graham & Brown have built a reputation as a leading design house and manufacturer.

Invite Mother Nature into your home this season by embracing the mineral trend. Curate all the beauty of the outside world and bring it indoors to promote a calming and tranquil atmosphere. Exploring different patterns and texture allows you to follow the same trend, whilst creating a completely different feel in each room.

Lounge

  • Take note of the wondrous elements of nature that we often pass by. How many times have you thought about how beautiful the structure of a leaf is? The Glade wallpaper from Graham & Brown takes the intricate composition of a maple leaf, turning it into a beautiful motif that would be perfect for a feature wall in your living room.
  •  The key to using these statement patterns is to use a neutral tone. Greys, beige and white all allow light to reflect across your room, opening up the space and creating a relaxed atmosphere. These shades also replicate the colours of the mineral trend.
  • On your next outing, collect natural trinkets to decorate your living space. Bracken, dried flowers and pebbles can bring literal sense to the mineral trend, whilst helping you to experiment with natural textures.
  • You can also experiment with textures by choosing furniture made from natural material, such as wood and contrasting its rustic feel with unexpected chunky knitted throws or plump cushions.
  • Remember to think of all five senses when working on your next interior project. Texture is a big part of design that many people mistakenly overlook.
  • Wall art can add a quirky touch to your living space and add some personality to your room. These metal birds offer a great talking point, whilst sticking to the mineral trend. A simple twist to prints and canvas, this metal art brings the room to life whilst sticking to the mineral trend.

Picture2Kitchen

  • Consider bringing the outside indoors literally by potting a miniature fresh herb garden. The scent of fresh basil, coriander and mint will fill your home with a natural aroma which cannot be replicated with a synthetic air freshener. Edible plants are easy to tend to and take care of and enhance your culinary exploits.
  •  Wooden crockery and cutlery will bring a humble rustic vibe to your kitchen. This simple touch allows us to take advantage of natural patterns. The swirly grain of each unique piece takes us away from the uniform style of modern interiors.

Garden

  • Blur the lines between your home and the outdoors by decorating your garden with outdoor lighting and furniture. Fairy lights bring an eco-friendly, effective touch to give the illusion of an expanding space.
  •  Break down physical and visual barriers that cut off the outdoors and the indoors. You can do this by using the same flooring outdoors and indoors. The continuous pattern flows from your kitchen to your garden, removing the immediate threshold which separates the two.

Picture3

Children’s play room

  • Creating an environment to stimulate your child’s imagination is crucial to their upbringing. Although simple and chic, the mineral trend can also be used to add an outdoor theme to a child’s playroom or bedroom.
  • Perhaps this grey tree patterned wallpaper could be used to create an enchanted forest theme. What better way to implement the mineral trend by combining it with the magic of classic fairy tales?
  • You can be much more adventurous when decorating a children’s playroom, so let your imagination run wild. What may be a feature wall in your living room, could adorn all four walls in a play room.
  • Stick to charcoal, grey and taupe colours, but add contrasting flashes of bright green. This offers a lively take on bringing the outdoors in, which would be perfect for a playroom.
  • Taking your cue from nature allows you to create an ethereal atmosphere that transports you away from the trappings of modern life. The mineral trend implores you to get outside and feel inspired by the world around you. Bring yourself back to your roots with raw elements of nature around your home to evoke a tranquil setting made just for you.

 

Feature image courtesy of Graham Brown

Read more
10 ways to get your summer garden on a budget
,

10 ways to get your summer garden on a budget

When it comes to decorating your garden in time for summer, how much you spend can spark quite a bit of a debate. While you’re obviously eager to make the most of every last bit of sunshine by basking in your beautiful garden, it’s also inevitable that the great British summer will be over before you know it and therefore it’s probably not worth breaking the bank for.

That being said, when the sun does decide to show, there’s nothing better than organising a BBQ or cocktails with friends and family, knowing that you have a lovely garden to sit out in. Bearing that in mind, we’ve put together a list of 10 summer budget buys that can help to spruce up your garden and get it summer ready, without having to break the bank.

1. Statement pieces are a great way to add a feature to your garden without having to spend a lot of money, so a large ornament or statue can often work perfectly. This bronze decorative garden sphere is the perfect way to add contemporary style to your garden and is a bargain at only £14.99.

2. If you’re looking for something to help give your table a bit of wow factor then this solar powered mosaic table lamp is just the thing; both stylish and practical.

3. When having friends over for a summer BBQ, it’s great to have something fun to dress up your garden. These fun lights can help to keep the party running from day, well into the night.

4. When it comes to seating, these heritage bistro chairs are the perfect addition to your garden.  Light and easy to fold, they’re ideal for storing away when the sun does decide to disappear.

5. Lanterns have become one of the latest décor trends, with a wide range now available for the garden.  They are great way of adding a decorative piece to your garden, whilst also adding to the ambience. Don’t forget to purchase some candles too.

6. Who can resist these dragonfly solar lights? They scream summer and instantly add a burst of colour to your garden.

7. This garden wall sign can help to add an air of shabby chic to your garden, and at only £3.00 is a serious must-have style upgrade.

8. Sticking to the theme of shabby chic, this watering can makes for the perfect garden feature. Our tip would be to use it as a garden planter and once filled with beautiful flowers it will make for the perfect table centre piece.

9. Cushions are a great way to add a splash of colour and are an instant style upgrade for your garden. What’s great about these is that you can use them inside too.

10. Finally, we all dream of summer nights where we can stay outside chatting and catching up with friends but the reality of it is that it often gets too chilly. However, now thanks to this bargain fire pit at only £39, you can make the most of your evenings sitting outside around the fire.

Thanks to these top 10 budget buys you’ll have all of the neighbours talking about how fabulous your summer garden is; while you can relax knowing that if it rains…it’s OK to go inside!

 

Photo Credit: Naughty Architect via Compfight cc

Read more
5 Tips for Exterior Home Maintenance
,

5 Tips for Exterior Home Maintenance

After the harsh conditions of a cold winter, and the even wetter start of spring that we have endured in the UK, some outside maintenance around your house will be essential. There are a few key things to consider when inspecting the outside of your property for potential maintenance work, so it helps to know what you are looking for in the first place. Here are a few key tips to make sure that you know exactly what you’re looking for when it comes to outdoor renovations.

 

Guttering, Drains and Roof Tiles
Throughout the winter, the chilling weather will have a real effect on  gutters, roof tiles and drains. When the water freezes in gutters and drains, they expand and are put under pressure; unfortunately this causes cracks and breaks to appear. These can be patched, but it is a definite nuisance. Similarly, roof tiles can receive a battering from wind, rain and hail, so replacing them in the sunnier and dryer months of the year is advisable.
Whilst the rain has been pouring down, all of the debris that accumulates on roofs like moss and leaves are washed down into your guttering. This can cause blockages, and even result in the gutters breaking or splitting. Now that there is a nice gap from the dire winter weather, it makes sense to get a head start on repairs. For those with fairly reachable gutters you can use a long ladder to clear out the debris, but for those with very high roofs this may not be so easy or safe. If this is the case then it may be advisable to hire a specialist lift for a day, so you can carry out the task in a safe manner.

 

Outside Plumbing
Checking outdoor plumbing could be the most important aspect of looking after the house exterior, as it may show problems that will affect the interior of your home. If you have taps on the outside of the house, make sure you check if there are any problems. If the water flow is losing pressure, or if the water flow is intermittent, this could mean that there is a leak in the plumbing system. Similarly, if the flow seems strong, then plug your finger into the facet. If the flow stops without much resistance, you may have a leak somewhere else in the interior plumbing line. If it sprays everywhere however, then you have nothing to worry about. If the above problems are occurring, it is worth calling in a professional plumber to see what the root cause of the problem may be.

 

Probing for rotten wood
This is a simple exercise that can be undertaken using a screwdriver or a pointed piece of metal. If you have any wooden fixtures or overlay on the outside of your house, they can be prone to rot and warping. Although most wooden exterior fixtures should have been weather treated before they are exposed to the elements, it is possible that they are still prone. Walk around the outside of the house and probe the wood to see if there is any give. This should expose any sort of rot that may be taking place under the surface. If there has been any warping at all then it sensible to replace that fixture or try and salvage it by sanding it down and weather treating it again.

 

Move the firewood

As it gets cold in the winter, storing firewood as close to the house as possible is advisable, as it provides quick access. The problem with storing the wood next to your house is that is can be a nesting place for wildlife, or could begin to rot and erode away at the side of your house. The correct procedure for storing firewood is that it has to be 1.5 feet off the ground and 2 feet away from the house itself. This keeps it nice and dry, preventing the wood from being ruined.

 

Looking at the foundation

When there has been significant rainfall or just any rainfall in general, it is worth checking the land and ground around the your home and garden, so ensure it is draining water adequately. Your grounds may be prone to earth and stone erosion, which can lead to structural problems in the future. Keeping an eye on prone areas is a significant measure to ensure that you do not get caught out.

 
This article was written by Drew Rapley, an expert in homecare and DIY.

 

Image used under CC licence courtesy of 

Read more
Top summer gadgets
,

Top summer gadgets

New items and gadgets for your home are perfect for any time of the year, however as the summer rolls around, it might be the case that you’re after a new toy to enjoy as you dart from the indoors to the scorching heat of your garden. Whether you’re planning to impress guests with outdoor drinks and barbecues, or  just want something to add a bit more personality to your home, we’ve compiled our list of the perfect summer gadgets to introduce into your home.

Patio heater

Summer means spending time outside, entertaining, cooking up barbecues and enjoying the weather with an ice cold drink in hand. That’s all well and good, however as the sun sets and the warmth turns into the evening chill, it’s the prompt for many to move the evening inside. If you’re looking to extend your patio evenings longer into the night, you need to generate some warmth for your guests. A patio heater is the perfect option, providing your patio with radiant warmth from a relatively cheap gas source. Our pick is this Sahara heater, priced at just £99.

Outdoor shelf cupboard

Staying on a similar theme of entertaining guests, our next suggestion is this Hi Gear four shelf outdoor cupboard. We all know the frustration of having a packed patio table, and the food you’ve spent hours hunched over hot charcoal cooking won’t all fit. This handy outdoor cupboard is perfect for when your table space is limited. At just under £40, it’s the perfect accompaniment to any barbecue.

Speaker system

Whether you’re wanting to enjoy background music whilst entertaining guests or you enjoy relaxing in the summer sun with music blasting, a portable speaker system is a must have over summer. There are plenty of options when it comes to speakers, but leading the class when it comes to bluetooth speakers and iPod docks are Bose’s range of portable stereos. With a great sound, quick recharge time and a range of models to fit most budgets, these are our pick for blasting out your favourite tunes over summer.

Television

Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean all your investments need to relate to the outdoors. With the World Cup fast approaching, many electronics stores will be promoting TV sales in build up to the big tournament, and with evening kick offs in many of England’s games, it’s the perfect opportunity to throw an event and open up your new home to friends. Shop around for the best deal, and make sure you get something nice and big to enjoy the coals and carnival atmosphere of the world’s biggest sporting event. The likes of Currys are offering cashback on any TV bought over £699 when England or Brazil score, however many other retailers are likely to have offers on in the looming build up, so there will definitely be bargains available.

Sprinkler system

If the move into the new home has prompted you to take a keen interest in gardening, then your summer will involve a lot of watering. Scorching temperatures lead to dry soil and grass areas, so it’s important to keep a hose pipe handy for an evening water. If you’re someone who likes to take an interest in garden maintenance, but doesn’t have the time to water every night, investing in a smart  sprinkler system might be the route for you. Installing permanent sprinklers keeps your garden looking smart and serves the function of watering your garden and plants as required. Interested? This oscillating pop-up sprinkler from Gardena might be for you.

Photo Credit: mikecogh via Compfight cc

Read more
Five garden ideas to prepare for summer
,

Five garden ideas to prepare for summer

Despite the fact that a large outdoor space is often at the top of most people’s wish list when looking at a new home, some outdoor spaces go unused or get so outdated that homeowners become too embarrassed to spend time outside. However, it’s important to keep in mind that, just like a finished basement or remodelled bathroom, your outdoor space can be renovated too. This is especially valuable to consider when the weather gets nicer and you want to begin spending more time outdoors. Here are five ways to renovate your outdoor space to make it more enjoyable. Some are likely easier than you might expect, and they’ll give you plenty of value that the entire family, or neighbourhood can enjoy.

Build a Kitchen Extension
If you love spending time in your kitchen, but feel as if it isn’t quite big enough or doesn’t allow enough sunlight, consider how a kitchen extension can change this room in your home. A kitchen extension includes taking your current setup and adding extra space by building onto the room. Great kitchen extensions can mean more space for counters and worktops, room for appliances, and even larger windows that allow for more light to shine into your home. If you have more back garden space than you need and would rather the area was put to better use with a larger kitchen, consider how extending your kitchen can add size and value to your home.

Build a Granny Flat
Do you find yourself having frequent guests over to visit? Perhaps you plan to have visitors like family or a babysitter staying for an extended period of time? While it can be convenient to have extra hands helping around the home, cramming more people into a small house isn’t always ideal. However, a secondary suite or a granny flat is a great alternative option to consider. A granny flat is typically an offset housing area that will consist of a bedroom, bath and even a small living quarters and kitchen. To what specification you build your granny flat is up to you, however keep in mind that it should be accommodating to the amount of people that are living there. For homes that don’t have extra bedrooms or a finished basement, a granny suite can not only make it easier to have guests, but it can also be a helpful renovation to your outdoor space.

Build a patio area
A great kitchen is the heart of any home. It’s where kids do homework, birthdays and holidays are shared and people gather during get-togethers and social gatherings. However, the kitchen doesn’t have to be the only place you can sit down and enjoy a meal iwth company. Instead, you can build a patio for entertaining through the warmer summer months. Patio areas are usually paved and can consist of a barbecue or grill aswell as a seating area to entertain guests. To make things easy to transport back and forth from the kitchen, incorporate a patio door into your design.

Hire a Landscaper
Maybe the idea of this beautiful outdoors space is something you have always dreamed of, but you simply don’t have the time to do it yourself. If this sounds familiar, then consider hiring a landscaper to take care of all of your outdoor maintenance needs. Not only can a landscaping company keep up your backyard, but they can also create something new that turns your outdoor renovation into a dream garden space. This can include lavish flowers, beautiful waterfalls, squirrel feeding areas and so much more. When you interview landscapers, do your due diligence with who you want to hire and be sure to find the right company that can take your grandiose dream and turn it into a reality.

Having a beautiful outdoor area can change the complete look and feel of a home. But if you are uncertain of what additions you should make to your house, consider the options on this list to add new life to your outdoor area.

 

Author Bio

Tony Palmer is Operations Manager at Living Environs, Landscape Architecture and Outdoor Living experts in Perth, Western Australia. Find Tony on Google+.

Photo Credit: antonychammond via Compfight cc

Read more
© Copyright 2013 Keepmoat