Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Winterizing Your Backyard

Before winter finally finds its way, the last warm rays of the sun in autumn should be used to prepare your house and garden for the winter. Even simple external actions can be done to winterize your property, preventing many massive, costly damages that can occur. 

Here are some tips to help winterize the outside of your home and make it ready for a winter wonderland:

-       Give your trees and shrubs a makeover. Turning your backyard into a virtual winterized picture of perfection means that you need to pay attention to your trees and shrubs.

-       Always keep your small pond open throughout the winter. With the colder temperatures approaching fast, it is important to ensure your pond never freezes over, especially if there are fish in the pond. Using an aerator pump will pump air throughout the pond to make sure your fish live. Its main purpose might be to keep your fish alive through air but the bubbles that it produces will ensure that the pond isn’t settled enough to freeze.

-        Make sure your patio furniture is also taken care of for the cold months. If you have patio or any other type of garden furniture, you will know exactly how much maintenance means to the life of your outdoor furniture. Before the cold hits, take everything that is washable and start cleaning as well as making sure that the sun can dry them afterwards. If you have plastic patio furniture, you can just take a power-washer to it. The best way to ensure your furniture lasts is to invest in patio furniture covers, as these will help keep snow and moisture off of the materials.

-       Brightening up the area with potted plants can make a huge difference in the overall look of your patio or yard.

With a few simple steps your backyard can be ready for the cold and ready to make it through to spring with minimal damage. The trick is to get everything done before the cold sets in. Good luck!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cleaning Tips for a Fabric Ottoman

Owning an ottoman helps you in a couple of ways. It allows you to revamp a room, and at very little cost, and it also helps reduce wear on your furniture. If your ottoman, or any other furniture, however, is placed near a sunny window it will be affected over the years. You can change this by using an ottoman cover, and by cleaning your ottoman regularly.

There are several things to keep in mind when cleaning your ottoman. It is recommended to clean the fabric as often as needed. A gentle cleaning is preferred to a more rigorous regular cleaning, but you can be more energetic about it if need be. 

Cleaning removes dust that has been accumulating along with any other dirt and grime. Pigmented leathers and semi-natural fabrics should be cleaned using a mild soap that has a neutral pH along with some warm water. Rinse the soap off with a clean dampened cloth to help remove any residue that is left over. Don’t use a soap that is too strong for the skin, as it may also be for the leather. 

You should always test on an inconspicuous part of the ottoman to make sure that the cleaner is adequate. If you are cleaning an aniline leather ottoman, clean it with a damp cloth only. Don’t use soap on the leather. 

Under no circumstances should you expose the fabric to bleach, ink, liquid, traces of fatty skin, strong products (even laundry detergent) or chemicals and sharp objects to avoid damaging the furniture. Never expose the ottoman cover fabric or leather to direct sunlight or bright light sources as this will discolor or distort the piece.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Design Ideas for a Kid’s Ottoman

There are literally thousands of designs that are floating around for kids when it comes to furniture and their rooms. A great example is the kid’s ottoman. In fact, designing a child’s piece of furniture is fun and exciting, plus it brings back some great memories. You can pick a piece that will go along with what your child already has. A desk, tables, bed, ottoman cover and beanbag chair can all be designed with fun shapes and colors.

An ottoman, is a perfect way to bring out your child’s inner personality and it will save you some money along the way.

1.   Animal Shaped Ottomans. If your child is an animal lover, this option is a no-brainer. Design an ottoman that looks like their favorite animal.

2.     Star Wars Ottoman. Almost every young boy loves Star Wars these days, so this would be a great time to build a Death Star.

3.     Artistic Ottomans. If your child loves to paint or draw, let them have at it on their own ottoman. In fact, add a chalk board on it so they can draw on it anytime they want.

4.     Girly Ottomans. Plenty of girls love frilly, pink things so this would be a perfect time to pad an ottoman down with tassels or frills and anything else you can think of. You can also put a make-up kit with a mirror in it which could pull out. You could even install a hidden drawer for some clothes as well.

Monday, October 15, 2012

DIY: Build a Fire Pit With These Tips

Since the dawn of time, friends and families gathered around the fire company, eating, and entertaining. The patio and the garden turned into an outdoor theater as many people are searching for ways to put some flair back into their home. Their favorite choices have become outdoor fireplaces, fire bowl and fire pits for their outdoor spaces. However, not all types of outdoor fireplaces or fire pits will serve a home as well as the other. Here are a few tips for choosing outdoor fireplaces, fire bowls or fire pits:

  • Consider your needs. Whenever you decide to buy, think about what things you want from an outdoor fireplace. Looking mainly for heat to expel the moisture in the evening so you or your family can enjoy the outdoors for the colder months?
  • Every fire will smoke. Consider a chimney with a smoke stack that runs away from you.
  • Iron eventually rusts. Even the finest of quality outdoor iron will do so. Make sure you do preventative maintenance. Using a fire pit cover is smart in this instance.
  • Height matters. A fire pit on the ground or in it gives you the sensation of a real fire.
  • What does portability mean to you? Having a portable fireplace is what life is all about. You can take a piece of home wherever you go but, at the same time, you can also bring nature to you.

With a little forethought to your intended use, you are able to select the perfect fire pit outdoor fire bowl or fire your needs.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Personalize Your Glider Rocker Chair

Are you in the mood to decorate that old gilder rocker of yours? It may be easier than you think. Unless you are planning to reupholster the whole thing, the process can be as simple as buying new cushions or pillows for the rocker. You can decorate your rocker using your favorite sports team’s colors or you can go all out and use velvet or some other high-end material. In fact, you could mix everything up and make your own thing up but the whole idea is to take your time and do what you want.

Here are some ideas that might help you make up your mind when it comes to making your glider rocker chair truly your own.

1.     Team Colors. This is probably the easiest and the most fun of the decorating ideas. Imagine sitting in your very own “game time” seat every time your team plays. You decorate it the way you want to- the colors, the pillows and even the padding is all up to you! Even a glider cover would go great.
2.     Cushions and pads. This is a very nice way to make a child’s room stand out even more. If you have a glider in your baby’s room (or you want one in there), decorating the cushions and pads with funs things like fire trucks, horses, puppies and frogs will make any child smile.
3.     Decals and detailing. Having a favorite cartoon character or even your favorite sports player on your glider is easy to do and inexpensive as well. In fact, another great idea is getting your child’s name put on the glider because it makes them feel special.
4.     Fabrics. Choosing the right fabric is up to you. Whether you want lace or leather or nice, soft suede, the choice is all yours.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Restore your Chaise Lounge and Patio Chairs with these Easy Tips

 If you are the proud owner of patio furniture or chaise lounge sets, you should be well aware of how to take care of it. It would be a good idea to invest in chaise lounge covers as well, but here are those tips:

Before you start on your task you are going to need some rubber gloves, a wire brush and a scouring pad.

For Aluminum Furniture:

-       Put your gloves on and scrub the furniture with the wire brush to loosen up any rust, if present.  Use the scouring pad on the furniture.
-       Take out the scouring pad and throw some aluminum brightener or kerosene on it and start scrubbing hard to loosen up any dirt or rust.
-       Dry the furniture off.
-       Wax.

Fabric Furniture:

-       Your chaise lounge should be ready to go at this point. Have a bucket of water and detergent ready. The solution shouldn’t be too strong.
-       Make sure that you vacuum the lounge first.
-       Take a cloth or brush and make it wet by dipping it into the soapy water.
-       Start cleaning your chaise lounge.
-       Now rinse it off with a clean, wet cloth and air dry the lounge.

Whitening Furniture

-       Set up a bleach mix by making 1 gallon water, ¾ cup of bleach and 1 tablespoon of detergent into a bucket.
-       Put on your gloves and start applying the mixture.
-       Let it sit for about 10 minutes and then rinse.

Plastic Furniture

-       Wash furniture off using detergent and water. A simple light mix will do.
-       Scrub the furniture down with a firm bristled brush using the soapy water.
-       Rinse off and let it dry outdoors.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Paint Your Wicker Patio Furniture and Revamp its Look

Owning wicker furniture is a smart move these days both financially and socially. It saves you plenty of money because of the upkeep and it is a great piece of furniture that will look good in any home. In fact, you can use it outside of the home as well. However, if you decide to keep wicker outside the home, it is going to need some regular upkeep.

Painting your wicker furniture is one way to keep the new look fresh but this process is a time consuming one and should be done the right way. You can bypass all the work by just covering your furniture up with wicker furniture covers. However, if you do not want to spend the extra money on these covers, you can follow these simple steps to keep your wicker looking brand new:

-       Make sure you have all your tools and supplies ready. This means your paint, brushes and lacquer.
-       Take your stripper and soften up the wicker so you can strip it down. You can use a hard bristle brush for this step. Remember that the stripper is going to soften the wicker up but once it dries, it will harden again.
-       Once you are finished with the stripping process, wait two days so the wicker can harden again.
-       Now you are ready for the painting process. Spray paints are going to work best with wicker because they spray evenly. It will also reach the crevices a lot better than brushes will. Allow the paint to dry.
-       Once paint has dried, apply a lacquer via a spray. Again, using a spray is best because it does so evenly. You want to use a lacquer that is soft and not hard because the hard lacquers become brittle and will crack.