Janice Walker's Blog
Homeowners love the idea of creating a personal sanctuary in their outdoor living space, but many aren't quite sure of how to proceed when it comes to making the most of their yard and garden area. One of the most common issues faced by homeowners is that they don't really know how to use hardscaping elements to their best advantage. For instance, it's standard procedure to place a trellis against the side of the house and let a rambling rose clamber up and around it, and while this provides a classically charming cottage garden look, it's not the only way to use a trellis. Following are three suggestions designed to provide you with inspiration concerning how arbors and trellises can help transform your yard into the serene sweet spot of your dreams.
Create a Privacy Hedge With Trellises
One of the most primary elements of serenity is privacy. By putting in a row of trellises on the edge of your property, you can create a living hedge that does double duty by providing aesthetics as well as privacy. Climbing roses are a good option, but if you want year-round coverage, choose something like evergreen clematis. If you like the idea of mixing it up every year with different types of vining annuals, choose fast-growing options such as morning glory.
Define the Back of a Perennial Border With Trellises
Traditional perennial borders sometimes lack the necessary height for optimal balance, but you can fix that situation by installing one or two tall trellises at the back of the border and planting vining perennials. Classic choices include wisteria, clematis, vinca and, of course, old-fashioned rambling rose. Feel free to let your imagination be your guide when it comes to selecting vining plants. Blue potato vine, for instance, is a vigorous climber that's not often seen in modern home gardens but is one of the few vining plants that reliably produce true-blue flowers.
Create a Secret Glade With an Arbor for an Entrance
If you've got a small, treed area on your property, consider creating a private glade where you and yours relax in an environment filled with natural beauty. Create a small seating area using a weather-resistant teakwood bench, and plant plenty of flowering woodland vegetation such as primrose, sweet woodruff and trillium. Plant your choice of vibrant flowering vines near the arbor so they can ramble up and over it to create a lush bower leading to your private retreat.
Any one of the above approaches will bring an average yard from mundane to magical. With a little creativity, you can no doubt come up with more ideas for creating a serene ambiance using garden arbors and trellises.
Window shutters are a very old form of home improvement. Since there have been windows or openings in the walls of houses, shutters have been around. While they don’t serve much of a practical purpose in the present day, they once were very important to homeowners. Early shutters were meant to protect the interior of a home from things like intruders, weather, and animals.
Present day shutters are often used as the finishing touch for a home. Many homes just wouldn’t look complete without them on the outside of the house. So, how do you find the shutters that are right for your home?
The Size And Placement Of The Shutters
You need room on your house for shutters to work on it. You shouldn’t consider putting shutters on your home if the pieces will come too close to the corner or stick out beyond the trim of your home. Your windows also shouldn’t be too close together. The space between windows and shutters should be about half of the width of one shutter. If you don’t have the appropriate space, you shouldn’t put shutters up. Even though you’re not actually using the shutters for practical purposes, you want them to look authentic, as if they could actually be closed. Keep in mind too that a small window may only need one shutter to make it work.
Even though you won’t actually be using the shutters for your home, they should always be hung with the proper hardware. This allows the shutters to be attached appropriately and give the authentic look that’s needed to make them look true to form. If the shutters are hung any other way, they run the risk of looking cheap and fake. Even though you’re not actually going to use the shutters, the right hardware makes them function as they would if you really needed them.
As far as materials go, real wood shutters are unmatched in their authentic look. The problem with real wood shutters is that they can become weathered quickly. If you go with wood shutters, they will require frequent painting and replacement, which can become a tedious task as a homeowner.
Vinyl shutters will last longer but choose them carefully. You still want a high quality shutter even though this material will be able to withstand the weather longer. The better the quality of your shutter, the more genuine they will look on your home.
Typically, the color scheme on the outside of a home includes 2-3 different colors. Your shutters should be the accent color of the home. This means that they should match some other color that’s present on the outside of the house whether it’s your front door or your window trim, the shutters should always be a different color than the siding of a home.
If you’ve never sold a home, you might not understand the complexities of what your agent provides for you. You could be tempted to sell your home on your own. After all, with the availability of the Internet, how hard could it be?
According to most research, FSBO (For Sale by Owner) nets a lower selling price than selling through a professional marketing agent. Even accounting for the commission paid to the agent, the profit to the homeowner is higher.
Some sellers believe that all an agent does it show the home a few times a week. Anyone can do that, right? But a great agent provides much more. Top agents offer a marketing strategy, professional staging, excellent photography, listing on the MLS and access to their network of buyer's agents.
When you interview your agent, ask them what their plan is. How do they specifically intend to market your property? Who will they invite to the open house? Will they offer a unique open house just for their network of seller's agents?
The greatest challenge to FSBO is how to price your home effectively. Yes, you can see what’s out there on Zillow and Trulia, but your agent has been in dozens of homes. They've spoken to hundreds of buyers. The single most damage you can do to a home sale is to price it wrong for the market and then have it languishing, unsold, for months.
Unless you've sold a home recently, you may not know all the paperwork involved in making the sale. You have the offer, counteroffers and the acceptance letter. Then there's the negotiation over items that come up in the inspection. If the buyer wants a warranty, do you know where to go for that? What if the buyer wants a contingency? Do you know how to write that up so that you're not left holding the bag? Do you have a relationship with a title office or escrow officer? Your agents' broker does.
When you add up all the work they do, and the expertise they offer, you'll see that your agent is worth the commission. If you follow their advice, you can be off on your next venture, and they'll take care of the sale for you.
If you recently bought a house, you likely will need to purchase chairs, couches and other furniture for your residence. Luckily, we're here to help you streamline the process of discovering the right furniture, at the right price.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you find the right furniture for your residence.
1. Consider the Size of Your Home
Take close measurements of your house before you purchase any furniture – you'll be glad you did. Because if you fail to measure properly, you risk buying furniture that might not fit inside your house.
Also, it is important to account for the weight of furniture. If you consider the weight of furniture prior to purchase, you can ensure that you'll be able to carry this furniture into your house. Or, if you cannot lift furniture on your own, you can reach out to family members or friends for assistance.
2. Visit Several Furniture Stores
Dozens of furniture retailers are located in cities and towns nationwide. As such, if you shop around, you should have no trouble finding furniture that matches or exceeds your expectations.
Take a look at furniture from several furniture stores. That way, you can consider a variety of furniture for your kitchen, living room and other areas of your residence.
In addition, don't forget to ask a furniture store about delivery. If you can get a furniture store to bring benches, sofas and other furniture to your house, you won't have to worry about transporting these items to your residence.
3. Consider Pre-Owned Furniture
Sometimes, furniture stores will provide pre-owned furniture at a fraction of the cost of brand-new items. It often pays to check out pre-owned dining room sets, patio chairs and other furniture, as these items may help you furnish your house without breaking your budget.
It may be beneficial to search for furniture at yard sales too. These events may allow you to discover top-notch furniture at bargain-basement prices.
Furthermore, Craigslist and other online marketplaces can make it simple to assess myriad furniture options. And if you find furniture that you like, you can contact the seller and set up a date and time to evaluate it in-person.
Furniture shopping may prove to be time-consuming and costly, particularly for those who are already in the process of packing and moving to a new residence. Fortunately, if you collaborate with a real estate agent, you may be able to speed up the process of finding deluxe furniture.
A real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to help you find a terrific residence. He or she also can help you negotiate with a seller, and in some instances, may be able to convince a seller to include his or her furniture in a home transaction.
Take the guesswork out of furnishing your house – use the aforementioned tips, and you can move one step closer to acquiring top-notch furniture that complements your personal style.