Garden and Landscaping Design Tips

When you think designing our garden or landscape, the most important consideration is how you and your family use your outdoor area. Plants, trees, a lawn area – these are all part of the total landscape. But beyond that, there are other issues. Outdoor lighting will help you enjoy your garden in the evenings. Irrigation lines are the best way to get water to those thirsty plants. If you like privacy, fencing is essential. If you want shade, retractable awnings are a must. If you love entertaining, consider an outdoor kitchen barbeque area. If you are lucky enough to afford the cost of a pool and spa, make sure you incorporate these features into your design. And of course, you also must consider outdoor furniture placement.

Plants, Trees and Lawns

When you think of a garden landscape, you first picture lots of green, with wonderful splashes of color. But as water costs rise, that big lawn may be something you want to rethink. Many people are replacing lawns with more water-efficient areas, such as succulent gardens. This also applies to plants, whether they are in containers or planted in the ground. Besides their water needs, the types of plants you choose also depends on how much sun or shade you have naturally in your garden. When you design your layout, think about how the colors will go with each other, and try to incorporate different textures too. Consider your soil too. If you have very dense clay soil, you may want to avoid delicate plants or at least use a tiller to amend the soil before planting.

Irrigation

You certainly don’t want to spend all your time in the garden with a watering can, so irrigation is a must. Figure out where the lines can run from your original water source when you plan your landscape. When you layout your garden design, think in terms of irrigation zones, too, so you can water certain areas that need more water more frequently.

Outdoor Lighting

Once the sun goes down, you really need outdoor lighting. For most of us, lighting should blend in nicely with the overall landscape. There are different options. LED lighting is cost effective in the long run. Solar lighting is becoming more popular as energy costs go up. Lighting can also be used to illuminate specific parts of your garden, such as unusual trees, or an interesting collection of plants.

Fencing

They say good fences make for good neighbors. This is certainly true. Fencing is especially important if you have a pool or water area. Even if you don’t have children, your neighbors may, so you want to keep everyone safe. Wood fencing is often the least expensive option for privacy and security. Composite fencing can be less prone to termite and weather damage. Fences can also be decorative, for example wrought iron fencing can truly enhance a garden landscape.

Retractable Awnings

We’re all aware of the dangers of too much sun, so if you love the outdoors, you will want retractable awnings or some type of shaded area. The retractable awnings are great because they can roll back in when you don’t want shade, such as in the early morning or the evening. Electric awnings are easy to operate too. Just push a button for instant shade.

Outdoor Kitchen Barbeque

For the chef in the family, why stop at a barbeque, when you can have a whole outdoor kitchen center. These centers are built in, providing not only a BBQ grill, but counter space, running water and other features to make cooking a breeze.

Pool and Spa

If you can afford the cost of a pool and spa – or if you already have one – they can not only be something to entertain the family, they can also be a beautiful part of the landscape. One thing to consider in designing a pool is that unconventional shapes can make it more difficult to use a pool cover. When you figure the cost of a pool, don’t forget maintenance. You will need to keep the pool clean, you will have to maintain chemical levels correctly, and you will also need to redo the surface of the pool over time. A spa can be less work, although cleanliness is still essential for good health.

Outdoor Furniture

Finally, you need furniture to enjoy the outdoors. Before buying any outdoor furniture, consider how you and your family use the space. If you entertain a lot, you’ll need multiple seating areas, perhaps a larger table and chair set. You’ll want to place table and chairs close to the cooking area. You may also want to look into lounge chairs, gliders, outdoor swings or other types of seating.

There are many things to think about when designing a garden landscape. But when it all comes together, the result is a garden you and your family will enjoy for a long time.

For more information on garden and landscaping tips see your local home improvement or garden store.

Popular Concrete Home Renovations and Landscaping Ideas For Your Front Yard

When people think of home renovations and landscaping, they often do not consider using concrete. However, there have been many innovations in the use of concrete that have made it an aesthetically pleasing feature that will add charm and elegance to a property and home. As well, concrete is an inexpensive, durable, and long-lasting material. With a little creativity, it is easy to enhance and beautify any part of the home and property using concrete. Below are a number of popular concrete home renovations and landscaping ideas for your front yard:

1. Garden stepping stones: Adding concrete garden stepping stones is a creative way to enhance and beautify the front yard. You can create innovative stone shapes and have your own choice in size of the stones to create walkways and enhance certain areas in the front yard such as placing them around he door way or in front of the flower garden or around trees or shrubs. The most popular preference is creating walkways because you can have custom design including color or stain preference, and your own unique design. You can exercise your creativity to make your own unique garden stones.

2. Concrete Patios: Creating a brick design for a concrete patio is a popular choice. Stamped concrete is a technique used to create the brick design. The concrete is altered and color is added to the surface of the concrete to make it look like bricks. As well, the concrete can be altered to look like cobblestone and wood. The choice is yours so you can pick the best concrete design to suit your home and property. It will give you the flexibility to create a patio that is unique and appealing, As well, you never have to worry about rot, termites, or degradation. Homeowners now have the ability to have their patios customized to their own unique preference. A concrete patio is a great addition for families. It cannot be damaged by children and it can withstand harsh environmental conditions. The children can have fun on the patio playing games and other activities.

3. Concrete Walkway: Creating a concrete walkway is a great way to enhance the beauty of the front yard. You can create a walk way based on your personal preference. You can use your own choice of design, pattern, and color. You can even plant flowers along either side of the walkway for added elegance. Cobblestone and brick designs are very popular choices for a walkway.

4. Concrete Driveway: A cobble stone or seashell concrete driveway is a very popular choice. This type of driveway is achieved by using stamped concrete. The concrete stamps are used to apply the impressions and the result is concrete that mimic the chosen design. A special color dye can be added to make the concrete more like the pattern that is being imitated. Homeowners now have the ability to have their driveway customized to their own unique preference.

Improving the front yard is always a rewarding home renovation project. In the front yard, homeowners are now able to create patios, driveways, walkways, and any other area that can use enhancement using concrete. Decorative concrete is an inexpensive way to add value to the home and property while making it more beautiful.

Decorating And Hanging Your Home Interior’s Artwork

How to hang art can be baffling to most so here are some steps to help you hang your art if you are finding yourself in that baffled situation. The first step to hanging your art is figuring out where you want to put it. What room or space are you going to decorate? You want to consider scale, color, and the number of pieces or art you are hanging on a particular wall.

The next step is to select your art. Find something that goes with the location you’ve picked out. You have two choices here you can go with your own custom look or you can choose something you like that’s already laid out for you. Don’t think you have to just do artwork either you can use other decor such as mirrors, plaques, sconces, shelves, wall planters, architectural plaques, or wallies. You can even to more then just one which is highly recommended. You don’t want to just throw some framed art work in the middle of your living room wall and call it good you can add sconces to it for some additional flavor or a shelf to bring out the artwork better.

Framed art sets the mood and style of a room. Smaller pictures can be used anywhere and work great as fillers on bookcases, hallways, or a tabletop. Mirrors are another form of wall decor and a source of motion. Mirrors can stand alone or be clustered together in different shapes and sizes. Using the same mirror in multiples will create a dramatic effect. Mirrors also can bring in sunlight to a room in the daytime and reflect candlelight at nighttime which in turn can create a little romance.

Sconces and shelves add a whole new set of decorating options to your print or mirror. Once you start to add these you start decorating in three dimensions! Planters and shelves will add depth to any flat surfaces of pictures and mirrors. It is great to add these when you decorate a wall with no furniture nearby.

Another thing you will need to think about when picking out your art is colors. To heat things up you will want warm, red-based colors, they can make a room seem more cozy and intimate. These colors can stimulate passion, energy, and appetites. For this color I would try abstract art in tangerine, floral art splashed with some red or landscape art in some yellow. If instead you want to cool things down go with some blue-based colors they tend to lend rooms an air of serenity and calmness. They can even give the illusion of expanded space so these colors are great for smaller rooms.

Now you want to hang the artwork you’ve picked out. Contrary to popular belief, hanging artwork isn’t just pounding a nail in the wall and making sure things are level. Hanging prints in a vertical line suggest formality and adds some feeling of height in a room on the other hand prints hung in a horizontal line tend to have a calming effect and can give a narrow room the illusion of some width. Prints have a greater impact if those with dark mats are hung on light walls and prints with lighter mats are hung on dark walls. When hanging a print on a papered wall you will want to cut a “V” slit in the wallpaper and lift it up to insert the nail. You can always glue the paper back in place if you ever want to remove the print. You will want to keep your prints from becoming crooked by placing self-adhesive rubber discs on the back of each corner. This helps tremendously with slipping and sliding.

Remember your home is an expression of who you are, and your walls are your gallery. You will want them to reflect your memories, your interests, and your personality. I love to fill my walls with the faces I love.

If your looking for “rhythm” to add to your room? Creating a certain rhythm depends on the shape, size, and spacing of the objects. When all of the objects are the same size and equally placed, then the rhythm is more placid. If larger objects are placed by tall, vertical rectangles, then the rhythm would be staccato, setting an emphatic tone.

You want to also find “balance” which is deeply important. If you don’t have a balanced arrangement then the arrangement may look top-heavy, bottom-heavy, or as if its side was falling off. You want a symmetrical arrangement where each half of the arrangement mirrors the image of the other half.

If you’re looking for a display with “impact” then you want to start with your largest frames being in the center, as the focal point. From there you want to surround the larger frames with smaller frames giving a balanced grouping. You can add visual interest by hanging frames at varying heights.

If you want to create a visual drama you can hang your frames following and upward angle like a staircase. Use larger frames as an anchor, and then complement them with some smaller frames. Make sure spacing between the frames is equal to create a balanced look.

You want to hang your art at eye level where it can be easily seen, which means it can be either at standing or sitting level your choice. In general, you want the artwork to be hung so that the center point of the picture or grouping is at about eye level for the average person.

Never just hammer a nail into a wall, choose the appropriate hanging device based on the composition of your walls and the weight of your art. Always hang your art on two hooks and two wall hangers for more level, even support. For heavier pieces use D hooks. Place the hooks, lay your frame face down and pull the hanging wire in the back toward the top of the frame in two spots the same distance from the top. Remember the further apart they are the closer the art will be to the wall. Measure the distance between these two spots, as well as the distance between one of them and the top of the frame. Transfer these dimensions to the wall starting with your center mark first. Install the wall hangers at the two hanging spots you have chosen. Begin hanging with the center piece, using it as a reference point for all the others you may have.

I hope this information has been helpful!