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The Home Garden Guide

3 Tips For Decorating With Drapes

Posted by on Nov 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Tips For Decorating With Drapes

Many people don’t realize it, but there are important differences between drapes and curtains. Curtains are lighter and airier, and tend not to be as lengthy as drapes. Drapes are made of heavier fabric, and are usually designed to reach the floor, or at least close to the floor. Drapes can be harder to work with than curtains; they’re more unwieldy and can have a more drastic impact on the room, which can be a bad thing if you choose the wrong drapes. On the other hand, drapes can give the room a more textured look, and that dramatic impact can be a plus if you choose the right drapes. Take a look at some tips that will help you successfully decorate with drapes. Colors Since drapes tend to be heavier and longer than curtains, they have more of a visual impact on the room. That’s why it’s important to be sure that you choose a color or printed pattern that doesn’t clash with the rest of the room, or overpower everything else in it. For example, if you have a lot of navy blue in the room, then blue curtains could be just the thing to tie the room together. However, if the room is small, a dark color like navy blue could make the room look even smaller, and a lighter blue might not look right with your darker pieces. So instead, you might want to try a color that complements the dark blue, like a light gray or a deep orange. Prints Of course, there’s no reason that you have to stick with solid colors when it comes to drapes—you also have a variety of printed designs to choose from. However, like colors, you should choose prints with caution. A floral print can be the perfect touch for a room that needs a feminine, flowery look. The right print can give the room a natural, garden-like feel. But if the room you’re decorating needs a more neutral look, flowery drapes can be overwhelming. Consider stripes or other designs instead. Material The material you choose for your drapes can add as much to the room as the colors or prints that you choose. You can find drapes in velvet or crushed velvet, heavy silk, cotton, rayon blends, and linen. You’ll often see the heaviest materials, like velvet and heavy silk, in formal dining rooms, master bedrooms, or any other room that needs a formal feel. However, it’s important to remember that these heavier fabrics are also good insulators, so you may want to try them in drafty rooms, too. If you want a more casual look, then cotton or rayon is a better choice. Linen or crushed velvet are both good in-between options, when you want something that’s not overwhelmingly formal, but not too casual either. When you’re choosing drapery material, make sure to note the washing instructions. Cotton and rayon are usually machine washable, but the other materials may be dry-clean only. If dry-cleaning is going to be too much of a hassle, you may want to stick to materials you can wash at home. Drapery can really add something to a room, but it all comes down to choosing the right custom drapes for the look you want. Understanding the different ways to use colors,...

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Letting Your Light Shine: 5 Fabulous And Unexpected Ways To Illuminate Your Yard

Posted by on Oct 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Letting Your Light Shine: 5 Fabulous And Unexpected Ways To Illuminate Your Yard

Landscape lighting isn’t something that most homeowners give a lot of thought to. But it can make the difference between having a standard, ho-hum landscape and something that really wows your guests. Here are five lighting techniques that can make your yard really come to life in the dark. Moonlight. Lighting up your trees adds a sense of romance to a backyard. Downlighting — often called “moonlighting” — involves placing lights 20 or 30 feet high in the trees and structures, then shining it strategically downward into your yard. The spectacular effect produced by such soft lighting can transform your yard into a nighttime wonderland.  Outlining. Rope lighting can give your yard a fun border that you can use to create designs and highlight certain areas. String rope lighting around flower beds, at the base of retaining walls, or along walkways for a dramatic effect in a dark space. Or hang it underneath the railing on a deck or patio to create a fantastic border for your entertaining space.  Panels. Translucent panels serve a dual purpose. During the day, they can provide some privacy or separation for zones in the yard, such as on a deck or patio. By night, place a soft lamp behind them to create a glowing square that brightens up that same entertainment area with a soft glow. Underwater. If you have — or are planning — a water feature, consider how you can light it up. Submersible lighting comes in many shapes and colors, so you can choose between traditional white lights, a single accent color, or a variety of colors to go with the time of year. Some pond lighting can even be altered with the press of a button on a remote control, allowing you to be artistic with your decorating.  Pendants. Don’t underestimate the value of using a great pendant lamp in your landscaping design. While few people think of such hanging lamps as an outdoor decorating tool, they can really dress up a space. Choose a pendant lamp that fits your yard theme — such as traditional, eclectic, or romantic — and use it to create a focal point in your entertaining area, under a pergola, as a gazebo centerpiece, or over an entrance door.  Modern lighting choices give you much more to choose from when it comes to outdoor illumination than you may have thought possible. By using one or more of these fabulous lighting styles, you can create something truly special in your very own backyard. You can learn more by going...

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3 Features To Incorporate Into Your Custom Shower

Posted by on Oct 5, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Features To Incorporate Into Your Custom Shower

When it comes to adding to the value of your home, remodeling the bathroom can be a great place to start. The addition of a luxury bath can help make your home more attractive to buyers if you decide to sell your home, and a custom shower can increase your comfort level as long as you reside in the home. Here are three features that you need to consider incorporating into your custom shower. 1. Frameless glass shower doors. If you want your bathroom to look more elegant and modern, the addition of frameless glass shower doors can be beneficial. In addition to creating an unobstructed view, frameless glass doors can provide the toughness and durability you are looking for from a shower surround. Investing in frameless glass shower doors helps your bathroom feel larger and allows you to display any custom tile work that you might have installed on your shower’s interior. 2. Multiple shower heads. Instead of limiting your new bathroom to a single shower head, you can recreate a spa-like experience by opting to have multiple shower heads installed in your custom shower. A handheld shower head give you the opportunity to direct water in whichever direction you choose, while a sliding bar shower head has the ability to accommodate people of different heights comfortably. You can even choose to install a system of shower heads that are designed to massage and clean your entire body at once. Having a few different types of shower heads installed in your custom bathroom can make this space more usable in the future. 3. Custom tile designs. If you really want your bathroom to serve a showstopper in your home, then you need to treat the space as a canvas. The addition of custom tile designs inside your shower enclosure will help you add both functionality and aesthetic beauty to the space. Consider tiling all the way to the ceiling inside your custom shower surround to create a dramatic look, and opt for decorative mirrored or opalescent tiles that can be arranged in a design that will attract the eye. Finding ways to make your home’s bathrooms more luxurious doesn’t have to be difficult. By focusing your attention on creating a customized shower space through the addition of frameless glass doors, multiple shower heads, and custom tile designs, you will be able to create a comfortable and beautiful bathroom for your home in the future. For more tips on how to create the perfect custom shower, contact a company like Monroe Industries...

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A Basic Guide To Heart Rot Fungal Treatment

Posted by on Sep 13, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on A Basic Guide To Heart Rot Fungal Treatment

A fungal infection in the main trunk wood of a tree often means the end for the tree. These fungi cause the trunk to rot from the inside out, a condition sometimes called heart rot. While hardwood trees are more susceptible to it, any tree can be affected. A tree that is infected can’t be cured, but it can sometimes be stabilized. The following guide can help you determine a course of action. Signs of heart rot Heart rot can often go unnoticed since it may not immediately show external symptoms. The most common signs include the following: Cracks or holes in the tree trunk that show signs of fungal growth, such as weepiness, mold-like substances, or fruiting bodies like mushrooms. The growth of mushrooms or shelf fungus low on the trunk or from any exposed roots. Fungus may also appear to grow from the ground around the base of the tree. Increased branch death. It’s often common to also see fungal growths on dead branches as the fungus moves into the now dead and decaying wood. Consider the location If the tree is just beginning to show signs of heart rot, then you may not need to have it taken out yet. Your first task is to determine whether the tree poses a danger if it does fall over, such as during a windstorm. Trees located near buildings or streets should be removed, since a falling tree could lead to injury. Locations near power lines should also be considered for removal. Those that don’t provide an immediate danger can be left alone. A slowly dying tree provides an important habitat for urban wildlife, especially birds. Stabilizing options  Before you can make the move to stabilize, a tree professional will need to assess the progression of the rot. This is done by a combination of tests that determine the approximate depth of the roots and the remaining thickness of the non-rotten trunk. They may have to drill into the trunk to determine how much of it has rotted. If the tree can be saved, it will first require a thorough pruning to remove any dead or diseased branches so they aren’t putting unnecessary stress on the tree. Fungicides may also be used to slow the spread of the disease. The tree may also be staked to prevent it from falling over. For more help, contact a tree service in your...

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How To Properly Install A Rain Chain

Posted by on Aug 12, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Properly Install A Rain Chain

Rain chains are an alternative drainage option that can be used in conjunction with your already-existing gutter system instead of the more traditional gutter downspout. They are desirable for the aesthetic appeal they provide your home, as well as the fact that they cannot become clogged as downspouts can. Thankfully, rain chains have a fairly straightforward installation process that you can do yourself if you have the appropriate tools and some free time. Before You Begin Before you get started, you should gather all the tools and materials that you’ll need. Thankfully, since the installation process is so simple, you won’t need any specialized equipment. You’ll need a rain chain, a ladder, a drill (or a screwdriver, if you prefer), a measuring tape, and a hammer. All of these items can be found at most hardware stores if you don’t already have them at home. Installing a Rain Chain First, you’ll need to remove the rain chain from the gutter system. To do this, begin unscrewing the rivets that hold the downspout in place against the house using the drill (or the screwdriver, again depending on personal preference – though the drill will be faster). Start at the bottom and move upward so that you can grab onto the downspout and prevent it from falling over once you’ve finished. Then, get on the ladder and use the measuring tape to measure the distance from the gutter to the ground. Adjust the rain chain by removing or adding links as needed to fill the entire distance. You may want to have someone hold the ladder while you’re measuring to reduce the risk of falling off. You can then attach the gutter clip to one end of the rain chain and attach it to the hole left in your gutters by the removed downspout. It should be noted that some rain chains use a strap instead of a clip, in which case simply install the strap within the hole and hang the chain from the strip itself. Then, attach the stake included with your rain chain to the last link on the other end, and use the hammer to drive the stake into the ground. This will hold the rain chain in place and prevent it from falling over during periods of high wind. You may want to cover the stake with gravel or loose rocks for decorative purposes or to help improve drainage, but this is optional. You have successfully installed a rain chain on your home in just a few easy...

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How To Wreck Your Window Air Conditioner

Posted by on Jul 21, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Wreck Your Window Air Conditioner

For some reason, people tend to neglect their window air units. Perhaps it’s because they are no longer that expensive, so replacing one would not be a financial disaster. Maybe you simply expect your air conditioning unit to work forever because it’s been so reliable. No matter how well your AC unit performs, you can hasten its demise by doing the following. Don’t Cover It Leaving your window unit uncovered can certainly shorten its life. If possible, you should remove the unit and place it in a dry storage space over the winter. If you choose to leave it in the window, you need to invest in an AC cover. Otherwise, you can end up with bee, wasps, and other pests taking shelter in the coils. Also, your unit may become clogged with dirt and debris. Although a thorough spring cleaning may help, the elements can take their toll, leaving you with a rusted and banged up unit.  Keep It Slanted Because you want the unit to drain properly, you may keep your AC tilted downward. This position is all wrong for a modern unit. They are created to drain as they should when they are level, due to internal channels. If you tip the unit, the water may actually pool inside the AC and harm the mechanism. To maintain the proper position, you may need to attach a piece of wood on the exterior of your window.  Don’t Brace It The fastest way to destroy your unit is not to brace it properly. If you have a large window unit, in particular, it can easily fall out of the window if it isn’t braced or if the brace has become weakened by rust. If your unit falls, it will be damaged or destroyed. In addition, you may be liable if it hits someone or something. Don’t forget to check the strength of your window sill, too. Rotting wood can mean the brace will fall out and take the AC unit with it.  Without the proper care, you should be able to destroy your window unit in just a year or two. If you want to keep it running for years, you need to maintain it properly and also make sure it is securely and properly mounted. Keep it stored inside each year and inspect and clean it thoroughly each spring. Window units don’t cost nearly as much as they used to, but unless you like spending money unnecessarily, you should take good care of the ones you have. Contact a contractor, like HomeSmart From Xcel Energy, for more...

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How To Grow Wildflowers From Seed In A Residential Garden

Posted by on Jun 27, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Grow Wildflowers From Seed In A Residential Garden

For residential gardeners, there is nothing more satisfying than sowing plants from seed and nurturing them into mature plants and blooms. A residential gardener can be very successful with many types of plants, especially wildflowers. These natural plants grow in different geographical locations and can be transplanted or grown from seed in your own residential garden. Here are some steps to grow wildflowers in your garden:  Check Your Geographical Location and Timing – Research the wildflowers that are indigenous to your area to find the type of wildflowers that are successful in your location. Wildflowers in the Northern Hemisphere are most often sown and grown in the autumn. However, if you live in an area that has consistent rainfall and weather that does not greatly vary between seasons, you may be able to sow and grow wildflowers at any time of the year.   Clear the Ground – Clear a selected garden plot of all other growing grasses and plants to create a space for your wildflower seeds. Dig deep enough to pull up the roots of the existing grasses and plants and discard them. Till the soil with a rake and break up any large clumps of soil so that new wildflower seeds and seedlings can easily push their way through it.  Choose Your Wildflower Seeds – When choosing wildflower seeds for your garden, consider the following: Color – Most wildflowers have subtle colors that blend well together. Choose any wildflower seed that you would like to grow and plant them together in your garden plots, planters, and pots.  Height – When planning your residential garden, think about the mature height of the wildflowers that you sow. Place wildflowers of equal height together so they do not block the sun from smaller plants. Sow small wildflower seeds together on the edges of your flower boxes and pots to create a full carpet of wildflowers in your garden.   Coexisting Environment – When planning your residential garden, choose wildflower seeds that will have an ample supply of pollen to encourage bees, butterflies, and birds. In this way, you will create a natural habitat that will self-propagate and grow new wildflower plants next season.   Plant Your Seeds – Prepare, sow, and care for your wildflower seeds as follows:  Prepare Your Wildflower Seeds – Mix your wildflower seeds with 10 parts light sand or vermiculite to 1 part wildflower seeds. Blend the seeds well with this planting medium and place the mixture into a large plastic bottle. You can use the spout of the bottle to easily pour your planting mixture where you wish the wildflowers to grow.  Sow Your Seeds – Dig small holes, approximately 1 inch wide and 5 inches deep, with a garden awl or wooden dowel. Depending on the type of wildflower seeds you are planting, space the wildflower seeds apart so that the plants will not crowd each other when mature. Immediately after sowing your wildflower seeds, give them a sprinkle of water to encourage them to swell, take root, and grow.     Stake Your Plants – Wildflowers often grow in deep forests with plentiful trees, bushes, and rocks. Wildflowers naturally entwine themselves around these uprights to have something sturdy to support their branching systems. When planting wildflowers in your garden, insert stakes into the...

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4 Benefits Of Stamped Concrete

Posted by on May 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Benefits Of Stamped Concrete

When you want to be sure that your patio, driveway or other exterior fixture is solid and dependable, it all boils down to the materials that you choose. Stamped concrete is an excellent material to choose from for a number of different reasons. If you want to learn more about stamped concrete and why it is an excellent selection for you, read on and take in these four benefits of stamped concrete and then reach out to a landscaping services professional that can look out for you.  Benefit #1: Stamped Concrete Is Versatile For Decorating When you need to get a paver product that gives you plenty of options that are aesthetically pleasing, it doesn’t get better than stamped concrete. With stamped concrete, the choices you have in front of you in terms of color and texture are virtually endless. This gives you the opportunity to be as decorative as you would like with any fixture you are creating. Benefit #2: Stamped Concrete Is Very Low Maintenance The amount of care that you have to put into your stamped concrete is minimal, which is one of the greatest benefits you will enjoy. The main thing you will need to keep in mind is that pavers can sometimes become a little loose over time, which creates safety hazards. However, with stamped concrete, you never have to worry about this once it is installed, so you can simply leave it and forget about it for the most part. Benefit #3: Stamped Concrete Is Friendly To The Environment When you get stamped concrete professionally installed, you are making an environmentally sound decision. This allows you to prevent having to worry about trees being cut down or transported for the installation. Concrete is a far more environmentally sound material to use from a sustainability point of view. Benefit #4: Stamped Concrete Is Cost Efficient There are plenty of savings to be enjoyed when you spring for stamped concrete. This gives you a great value, since your concrete can be stenciled or decorated to look like more expensive brick pavers even though you pay far less.  Since maintenance is far less extensive a requirement for stamped concrete, you also pay a lot less money in the long run in keeping up with it. With these four benefits in mind, you can see what steps concrete can be an excellent option for you. Take advantage of these benefits by reaching out to a landscaping services contractor near you. Contact a business, such as, for more...

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Common Sense Water Consumption

Posted by on May 5, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Common Sense Water Consumption

With 30 percent of the average household’s water usage going toward maintaining lawns and gardens, it is becoming harder to ignore the high cost of turf lawns and thirsty plantings. Practice using water more wisely. The Impact of Turf Grass on Water Usage Turf grass lawns are traditional, but they have now surpassed edible crops as the number one use of water in the U.S. Irrigating lawns uses an average of 200 gallons of water per person every day. Replacing your lawn with native groundcovers which require no supplemental water or decreasing your lawn area by adding hardscaping can potentially save you thousands of gallons of water and hundreds of dollars a year. Choosing Better Irrigation Methods Replacing your old, inefficient sprinkler system with a water-saving drip irrigation system makes a huge impact on the amount of water you use. While there are pros and cons to drip irrigation systems, they can be up to 90 percent more efficient than a standard sprinkler system. Because they deliver the water directly to the roots where it is needed, they drastically reduce water waste from evaporation. Coupled with landscape plants with low-water needs and less garden space, you can significantly decrease your water usage. Using Native Plants Look around you at the abundance of wildflowers, flowering trees, vines and fruits that thrive with no care other than what nature provides. You can easily build a beautiful colorful landscape using only these native species, or intersperse them with other drought-resistant plants to minimize water usage. Choosing Food Over Grass If you think growing your own food isn’t water-wise, think again. Consider the millions of gallons of water wasted by commercial agriculture every year, not to mention the over-production of food that is ultimately thrown away. Research estimates that it takes approximately 75 to 100 gallons of water to grow a commercial tomato plant as opposed to 20 to 40 gallons per plant in a home garden.  Growing your own food using water-wise irrigation and rain harvesting saves volumes of water and other resources. As you can see, using less water doesn’t necessarily mean turning your landscape into a desert and not using any water at all. It means using less water to better advantage, such as removing lawns and replacing them with vegetable gardens or beautiful outdoor living spaces. Talk to your landscaper about how using water more efficiently can work with your...

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Searching For The Perfect Gift For Your Guy? The Best Selfless Options To Pick

Posted by on Apr 11, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Searching For The Perfect Gift For Your Guy? The Best Selfless Options To Pick

If you are looking for the perfect gift for a guy that has everything, you have to think outside the box to know what they really need. There may be gifts that you can get him that he’ll actually need, instead of items that will collect on a dresser or in a closet and get thrown out. There are a variety of presents that are going to serve a purpose, and put a smile on his face, like the following. Outdoor Power Tools Does the guy go and rent a pressure washer every time he wants to wash the house? Does he always complain about his weed whip, leaf blower or hedge trimmer? If so, these are great items you can get him as a gift, and he can enjoy them every week when he is taking care of the lawn and exterior of the home. Find out what he needs casually so you can wrap it up for the big day. You can purchase outdoor power equipment at a company like Joe’s Tractor Sales Inc. Electronic Devices Has your guy been dreaming of a new and bigger television to watch all their favorite sporting events? Would he enjoy a sound system throughout the house? Purchasing these from local suppliers and having the installation work done, so everything is completed when you give the gift, is going to impress the guy. Docking stations for smart phones to play music, an electric car starter, or a new smart system for their car are other ideas. Day Trip Has the guy been trying to get to a game for their favorite sports team, or trying to get to an event or attraction? Arranging the entire trip in advance, and then surprising him with having all the arrangements made is a great way to give him a gift he isn’t expecting, and that you already know that he wanted. This trip may have to be shared in advance if the guy has to get off work. These are some of the gifts that your guy is going to enjoy, and that he is going to remember when he uses the items in the future. Listen to what your guy says that he needs, instead of getting him something that you want him to have or wear. The gift should be something that he is interested in and that fulfills him, not something that is going to make you happy with the way he looks or what he...

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