From Outdoor To Office

If you work from home or find yourself looking for a space to work in peace a lot of the time, it can be hard to make sure that you’re working to your full potential. With the distractions most homes bring, it can be hard to get a lot of work done when you’re working from one. Of course, using a room as a dedicated office is a nice idea, but a lot of people don’t have the resources to pull something like this off. Of course, though, if you don’t have a room; you can always make one. To help out with this, this post will be going through some ways to turn your outdoor space into a brand new office.

To start, you first have to identify the space you’re going to be using for your work. In most cases, it’s best to have this in a rear garden, as this is more likely to have fences or hedges to protect it. Along with this, your space also needs to be big enough for a shed which can fit your desk and other work essentials into it. Finally, and most importantly, though, you have to make sure space is safe to be built on. In some cases, it could be best to have a professional surveyor come to make sure the ground in your area is strong enough.

With a plot of land figured out, you can move onto thinking about the building you’re going to be using. Sheds come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes, from options made from wood to examples which are made from metal or stone. For most people, a budget will be the biggest driving factor here, and you’ll want to find a shed which not only offers what you want but also the security you need. The best options are ones which are designed to be used in this way. So, it’s worth doing plenty of research before you buy your shed.

In a lot of cases, you’ll be able to start building your shed by yourself, and will only need the help of a couple of friends to get it built. A lot of shed companies will offer building services. So, if you need some help, you can pay a little extra to get it done. A shed won’t make much of an office without the right components, though. To start, you will need the help of a residential electrician to wire up the place and get it powered. Along with this, though, you may also want to have some install water and gas to provide you with heating and a way to have a sink.

 

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start working on a new home office. You don’t need huge amounts of space to improve your working life like this. Instead, a little bit of work and clever building should be enough to secure yourself a place to work. Of course, though, you could also look into some other options like shared office spaces.

From Cluttered to Cozy: Update Your Home Garden With These 3 Steps 

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So, you fancy yourself as having a bit of a green thumb? To help you excel in your gardening endeavors, below are three simple steps to help you get the most out of your backyard paradise. It’s important to remember that these are not hard and fast rules, but rather best practices for developing a garden that feels spacious, quaint, and fits your design desires.

Less Really Is More

Never underestimate the importance of negative space when it comes to your garden. This is especially true if your garden errs on the smaller side. Simply carving out space for a nice walkway, or a small place for you to place a bench allows your garden a sense of breathing room. Not only does it do wonders in terms of design, but freeing up space can help your plants have the growing room they need to prosper.

Add Your Own Flare

In an age where vintage is coveted, repurposing old house items and using them in your garden is a great way to add an extra pop of your personality to your garden. You can make your own plant and flower holders out of used bowls, plates, and just about anything you can repurpose for your garden desires. Also, carving out your own garden walkway with some nice stones or pieces of wood can add a nice touch to the negative space mentioned earlier. Also, adding a wall fountain to your garden can be a great addition. Adding rustic, timeless designs can be a great way to blend the man-made with the natural in your garden.

Do Your Thing

The most important thing to remember is that it’s your garden, so do it your way. There’s no point in designing your garden just like everyone else. Designing your garden can really be an extension of who you are. Just like the clothes you wear or the music you listen to, your backyard garden designs show your unique tastes and interests.

So, now that you know a bit more about garden design best practices, now it’s time to get out there and get gardening. And, don’t forget to remember the most important rule of gardening is this: get out there and have fun.

DIY Projects for a More Organized Garage

Avoid spending unnecessary money on storage items to declutter and organize your garage. To help you get started, I’ve compiled four DIY projects for a more organized garage.

With a little bit of creativity and resourcefulness, common household items can be repurposed into functional organizational systems. There are numerous ways of storing and organizing your tools, equipment, sports gear, car parts, and more.

Do you have old fence boards, scrap wood, and tin cans collecting dust in your house? Here are some ways to repurpose them for a more organized garage.

1. Next-Level Pegboard Storage System

It’s no surprise that pegboards are on this list. They are versatile and can be used for anything.

Mounting pegboards on the wall and using hooks to hang tools, equipment, and/or whatnots is the most common use of pegboards; however, this is not ideal for small garages with minimal wall space. An easy, clever solution to space limitations are pegboard “leaves.” This contraption stores a bunch of tools without requiring a lot of space.

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Image Credits: Pregnantpower.blogspot.ca [Read more…]

Building a Window Box Planter from Scratch

A garden is not the only place you can grow your flowers. Window planter boxes also provide a great alternative on which flowers can bloom and add life to your home’s exterior design. I chose to work on this project for one simple reason. Window boxes are rarely sketched up in new home designs. For a home owner to have one, they either have to request for it or do it for themselves. Being a handy guy, I chose to do it by myself which also allowed me to throw in my specific taste. I am sure your heart skipped a beat when I referred to myself as a handy guy. Now, you are wondering how you will be able to pull it off being a beginner builder. But don’t you worry. I have simplified this DIY project and made it hackable by both advanced and beginner builders. So if you have never built anything in your life, you will build this one.

I should also point out that just because this unit is referred to as a window planter box, it does not mean that you can only put it under your window. It also can look great along railing, banisters and pretty much any plain looking and boring surface you would want to bring back to life.

What you will need

• 1×3 and 1×10 cedar

• Lag bolts (5 in total)

• Caulk

• 1 liter of Exterior grade white paint

• 1 liter Primer

• Paint roller and a pan

• Wood glue

• Electric drill

• Hammer

• Tape measure

• Drill bits

• Level

• Sand paper

Step 1: Design

The first step to ensuring that you succeed in this project and any other woodworking project is settling on a design plan. If you can create a full design layout, that would be great but in this project, just knowing the style of window box you want to create will suffice. Are you okay with a plain four sided flat box or one laden with beveled edges and curves? The former box design is easy to hack, but the latter design is more attractive and will quickly catch the attention of anyone who passes by it. Be warned though; it

will take some extra work and lots of precision and concentration to hack the wood curves.

For the simple box design, you can spend as little as $20. If you decide to go high-end using high-quality materials in your construction, be prepared to part with about $350 or even more.

Using a window box liner will be simpler to build around. But if you are like me, and would love to create your own waterproofing liner inside your window box, you will have numerous options enough to make your head spin. I love keeping things simple but classic, so a rectangular box with some trim and decorative supports will do just fine.

In case you are wondering, the box liner is important in prolonging the life of the window box itself. You see, with prolonged exposure to the contents of the box and moisture, the surface will start to rot and break apart. The box liner prevents contact between the container and the water and organic materials necessary for the growth of your plants.

That said, the location you intend to have your window box will determine the design of the unit as well as its dimensions.

Step 2: measuring and making cuts

After settling on your design plan, you can proceed to take measurements and make relevant cuts. If you will place it on the window, get the dimensions of the window, transfer the measurements to your wood and make the cuts.

I made my window box pretty large, but a great height and depth are usually 8” high and 11” deep.

When choosing your dimensions, remember that the window box once full of soil and plants will be pretty heavy and will need good support. As such, you will need to find a solid support to drill into so that the unit does not bring down your window.

The window box that I constructed, the dimensions mentioned here, holds about 160 pounds of dirt. To support this weight, I used 5 large lag bolts to secure the unit. I also made some brackets to add to the support of the box (you can never be too careful).

Step 3: assembling the window box

Now here is where the real work begins. When you are assembling the box, ensure that the pieces of wood are lying on a flat surface. Have the back and front boards on a table pressing firmly against the bottom board. Clamping

these pieces provides you with a secure hold while drilling the back and front boards onto the bottom board.

Repeat the process with the side boards.

Speaking of drilling, you need to have a quality drill for the process. To buy the right drill for the job read through the Best Cordless Drill Reviews – the Nutty DIY Guide.

Adding a trim to the window box gives it more aesthetic appeal. To achieve this, cut four pieces of wood to cover the length and height of every side of the box. Use nails and a nail gun to secure the trims into place. I sanded down my trims to give the final piece a soft finished look.

After you are done assembling the unit, use the drill to make holes on the bottom of the planter for drainage purposes. Make the holes about 6 inches apart.

Step 4: Prime and Paint

Before you jump into the dirt work (I enjoy this part the most), ensure you fill in any holes with wood filler. Allow the wood filler to dry and then sand it down. This will give it a more polished look after the painting process is done. Using a 2” brush, apply your primer and allow some time to dry. Once it is dry, paint the color you want. I choose white since it will provide better contrast with the colored flowers I intend to plant.

Step 5: Hang and Plant

If you do not build a large box as I did, screws and nails will do just fine. All you have to do is have 2 2×4 blocks behind the window box to provide ample support. For my large window box, however, I used 5 large lag bolts to ensure that it wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon, heck, it isn’t going anywhere, period.

Once the boxes are up, you can plant. But before you add dirt, add about an inch of gravel at the bottom. This will allow the water to drain better.

Quick tip: if you love the idea of having a window planter box full of flowers but are somewhat lazy on the maintenance, you can use fake flowers. They provide the same aesthetic appeal and last for ages needing no maintenance at all.

5 Simple Tips to Transform a Room

If you’ve ever found yourself saying, “I’d love to make this room look better, but I just can’t afford it,” then today’s post is for you!  As a homemaker, I love improving the look of our home, and as a girl on a budget, I’ve learned to embrace simplicity and find easy and affordable ways to transform the rooms in our house.  Today I will share a few tips to help you get started.

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Photo Credit

Bedding – The main focal point in any bedroom is the bed.  A new bedding set can dress up even the oldest set of bedroom furniture and completely change the style of your room.  Consider changing your florals to a modern chic pattern (as shown below).  Or change your plaid bedding set to some trendy chevron stripes or a fun bohemian pattern.

A lot of bedding sets (like the one above) are reversible / two-sided, so if you have a reversible bedding set, you can simply flip over the existing bedding set to get a whole new look.  Adding a decorative throw or extra throw pillows to your bed can also add color, warmth, and coziness of your room. [Read more…]

Why We Love and How We Use Fresh Produce

Why We Love and How We Use Fresh Produce

Summer time brings so many opportunities for cook outs and picnics with family and friends, and one thing that makes these events even more special is that we can use fresh ingredients.  When you get ready to make a salad or a homemade fruit pie, do you ever think about where your ingredients come from? [Read more…]

Every Beautiful Family Kitchen Needs These 4 Important Features

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Developing the homes we love is both an effort in love and labor. Love, because developing the home space for our family to make memories together and commune over the day experienced doesn’t need its appealing nature explained. Labor, because the kitchen is the most difficult, and the most necessary place in your family home to get right.

Your kitchen is the heart of the home. It is where the meals that sustain the family are made. It’s likely where you all enter to commune after coming in from your outside errands and duties. It’s important to make this place a beautiful place for you, your children and any extended family members who come to visit.

Remember, you’ll spend a lot of time here, so make sure that you stock it with the following four tips to complete the space.

A Sizeable Pantry

Every good familial cook, be that the father, mother or even child, requires a place to store all of their cooking equipment. Shoot for a pantry larger than that you’d originally think you might need. This will allow you to collect various items over the years, and also fill the pantry with non-perishable goods for months that can be used in a pinch when you really need them.

Storage spaces are necessary, and when your family increases in size, you can be sure to understand just how increasingly necessary they can be.

A Liquor Cabinet

A good family kitchen is never complete without a classy liquor cabinet. This can serve as an area where you can mix cocktails for your family friends as a go-to party trick. For the most refined liquor cabinet, order alcohol online that adheres to your tastes. If nothing else, the liquor cabinet will serve as a place to store bottles gifted to you as part of anniversaries or other celebratory milestones. You’ll never know when you desire a quick nightcap.

A Familial Reminder

A kitchen should be considered the most important place in the family home. This will only be exemplified if you make a habit out of decorating its display areas with pictures, drawings, and achievements your family have been involved with. As this grows and develops over time, you will have a clear mural dedicated to the family that you couldn’t do without.

A Place To Organize

A good kitchen also serves as the focal point for a family’s responsibilities. Placing a calendar with important dates laid out on a fridge or free wall space can help you and your family keep track of their duties in synchronicity. Also, consider crafting an area dedicated to the safe storage of important family documents, such as bills, gas readings, etc. A large wall divider can serve to keep the whole family on track with their goals, and you as the head of the family aware of all their ongoings.

These four features, when implemented well, can really round off a beautiful kitchen design. A family kitchen is only complete when it feels lived in, when the family members use it often, and the space develops as the family does.

With these tips, you’ll be off to a great start.

Choosing the Best Mattress Topper for your Bed – PROs and CONs of each topper type

The bed is the centerpiece of your room, the one place you make a beeline for at the end of a long day.

It only makes sense to make it as comfortable as possible. If you own and old thrifty mattress and the money it tight the best way to freshen it up is adding a good mattress topper.

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Mattress toppers vs. pads and protectors

A mattress topper is an extra layer you roll onto your bed for added comfort. They provide additional support and help keep you nice and cozy in those cold winter months.

Just to be clear, a mattress topper is not the same thing as a mattress protector – the latter being a thin cover meant to keep out moisture, mildew, allergens, dust, and pests.

It’s also not quite the same as a mattress pad. Pads are usually thinner and perform much the same function as the mattress protector while still providing some comfort.

This is the first decision you’ll have to make – which of these is the best option for you, a topper or a pad? We found the dilemma clarified in detail in this topper and pad guide on TheSleepStudies.com.

How to Choose the Best Mattress Topper for your money

At any bed store, you’ll find hundreds of mattress toppers to choose from. They come in all sizes and “flavors”, which can be quite confusing.

To save time, effort, and money on your part, let’s address the advantages and shortcoming of each type.

Latex Toppers A form of rubber, latex can either be synthetic or natural Talalay (made from Hevea Brasiliensis tree sap).

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Pros

· Latex toppers can be very firm. This gives them high durability and can provide good support (especially useful for people who have joint or back problems).

· Despite its firmness, latex has low transfer motion. This simply means you won’t be disturbed by your bedmate moving around.

· Latex is also anti-microbial and for the most part, anti-allergenic.

Cons

· A latex surface can trap heat, so lying down on it for a long time might feel very warm.

· It may also feel too firm or too bouncy to some people’s tastes.

· It won’t work for people allergic to rubber or latex.

· For those concerned with green living, natural latex can be costly.

Memory Foam Mattress Toppers

This chemically-enhance polyurethane returns to its shape after use. Because it conforms to your body it provides ample support and comfort. It also comes in a variety of densities and, opposed to what most people think, it’s very different from latex.

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Pros

· Never wrinkles or gets bent out of shape.

· Soft surface for added comfort.

· Provides ample support for arthritic joints and similar problems.

· Memory foam reduces motion, so you won’t be bothered by your bedmate’s movement.

Cons

· Over time, it may start feeling hot.

· Memory foam is more expensive than other materials.

· You may have a hard time turning or moving around in bed.

Polyester Blends

Also known as fiberfill, this is a synthetic material but feels like feather or down.

Pros

· Very affordable.

· Unlike other materials, does not carry an odor.

· Feels like feathers but is non-allergenic.

Cons

· Does not provide much support or cushioning.

· Over time, it can feel hot.

· It may get lumpy through use.

· It may also flatten over time.

Feathers and down toppers These are much like feather duvets, and while they are incredibly soft and will have you sleep like a baby they do not offer much support.

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Pros

· Feathers feel very soft and comfortable

· Because of the air in between them they do not trap heat.

· Easy to move around in bed or turn over.

· Feather toppers do not cost as much as latex or memory foam.

Cons

· Feathers can cause allergic reactions

· You will need to occasionally fluff them up as they tend to flatten over time.

· Feather make noise when you move on them and can wake up a bedmate.

· Watch out for feather shafts sticking out of the cover.

Wool

Made from the fleece of sheep, wool toppers are rarer but provide an outstanding level of comfort.

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Pros

· Wool toppers are soft and comfy.

· Provide the right amount of temperature regardless of weather. They feel cool in summer yet warm in winter.

· Easy to move around in bed.

· Wool is a highly durable material and wool toppers can last years.

· Wool is antimicrobial. It is also hypoallergenic except for those allergic to wool.

Cons

· Wool toppers are expensive and difficult to find.

· New toppers may smell like sheep, at least at first.

In conclusion

While purely optional, mattress toppers are a great way to bring additional comfort to your bed. Hopefully this list gave you an idea of what topper best suits your taste. It’s a relatively small expense for the essential need of a good night’s rest.

Tips to Make DIY Projects Safer

Tips to make diy projects safer

As you know, I always love a good DIY project. Any time my husband and I can fix or build something ourselves, we try to do it, and since we live in an older house, it seems like there is always something to do.  In the past few years, we’ve replaced light fixtures, painted and replaced porch rails, had plumbing repairs and installation, assembled furniture, upcycled old furniture, and started a bathroom remodel.

Anytime we start a new project, there are a number of things to consider: What does the project involve?  What are the materials needed?  How much will it cost?  How long will the project take?  What are the potential roadblocks to the project? Answering all of these questions can help us to better plan the project and ensure that the project is completed in a timely and efficient manner.

But beyond these questions, you should also consider the risks associated with the project.  Does the project involve any health risks?  What safety precautions should be taken to avoid injury or other bodily harm?  As an expectant parent and a pet owner, I have to take extra precautions to make sure everyone in our home is protected.  The following infographic gives us a a little insight into the views of fellow DIYers and it details some of the risks involved with home improvement and do-it-yourself projects.  Check it out! [Read more…]

Our Nursery Furniture – Preview and Products

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. The opinions are my own.

As many of you know, I’m getting ready to welcome a new little one into the world.  HE is scheduled to arrive on November 17, and I’m currently in the process of getting the nursery decorated.  Today I’m sharing the nursery furniture that has been purchased.

Chest and Changing Table

First we have the South Shore Fundy Tide Changing Table and 4-Drawer Chest.  I purchased these on Amazon.  The set is available on other websites, but Amazon had the best pricing.

This is a great looking set. The color is espresso, but I think there are other colors available. It was very important to me to find a changing table with drawers, because I like to have things stored so that they are hidden.  The South Shore Fundy Tide Changing table has two drawers, plus a shelf for storing items.  And another great thing about this item is that we can still use it in the baby’s room long after a changing table is no longer needed.  I figure I could use for toys, extra clothes, art supplies, or anything else in his room, and then I just have to remove the changing pad, and there is a place to display items.   [Read more…]