Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Home Patio Furniture Accessories: Container Gardening Tips

Planters make for great home patio furniture accessories, providing a way  for your outdoor space to incorporate  added  character,  texture and color. Container gardening comes with specific requirements that should be considered so you can achieve the results that you want while creating optimal growing conditions. Below are some quick gardening tips for getting your plants to a great start.

  • When shopping for garden planters, consider the size of your container plants at maturity. Plants should be planted at the same depth as the original pot they came in. The planters that you select should come with at least 2 inches of space under the plant’s root ball to give space for growth.
  • Before you transfer your plants in the garden planter, look for the most appealing arrangement by playing with the placement of the nursery pots. Determine the most pleasing texture, height and color combination.
  • After deciding on the arrangement, plant the largest plants first, followed by the medium-sized plants, and then the smallest sized ones. Planters sitting against a wall should have the largest plants at one side, progressively planting smaller plants in front. If your planter sits away from any wall, start in the center of the pot with the largest plant, followed by the medium ones in a circle around it, and the smallest plants in the outside circle.
  • Leave 1 to 2 inches of space between the surface of the soil and the rim of the garden planter to give room for water to not overflow.
  • When planting in terracotta planters, soak them in water for at least a couple of hours before planting. Clay is porous and will rob moisture from potting soil if it is dry.
  • Lessen the planted weight of a large planter by putting a plastic nursery pot upside down in the bottom of a large container before you add soil. You will use less soil with this technique as well. To ensure good drainage, put the pot on top of a few small stones or pottery shards.
  • Before you start planting, ease the shock of transplanting by gently dipping the root ball into a mixture of water and root stimulator, and then plant in the garden planter.
Now that you are armed with the most important tips on container gardening, it is not time to find good planters. Here are some of today’s most popular picks.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

10 Ways to Make Your Home Appear Larger with Modern Mirrors

Most of us might have a fairly good idea on where to hang modern mirrors in our homes, but they are usually actually more versatile than we initially might think. They can prove to be one of the best tools in a small space owner’s back pocket. Indeed, you can never have too many of them.

Group them together. Large mirrors can be quite pricey, and most of us do not have the budget for such things. Smaller mirrors like the Oval Mirror by Howard Elliott come with a smaller price tag. Paint their frames the same color and group them in the same place on the wall.

Behind the stove. They might get dirty or greasy eventually, but you could  easily clean them. Behind your stove top is a dark area in your kitchen, and a mirror should bounce light around, making it easier to see the meal that you are preparing.
Turn them on their side. This trick will work especially when using longer skinny mirrors like the Claire Mirror by Cooper Classics. Try turning the mirror on its side. This works best on long skinny mirrors, and will make any wall look longer instantly.

Cabinet fronts. You can use this trick in other places of the home, but the kitchen is the ideal location for this DIY project. Glue mirrored tiles on your cabinet fronts to reflect the space  around you. Be free to just do the tops or just the bottoms.
Next to your dining table. Like you see in many restaurants around the world, this allows for softer lighting to be used, while still keeping the area bright and well lit. Think of this as mood lighting that still allows you to see your dinner plate.
Floor length. Floor length mirrors like the White Croc Leaning Floor Mirror by Powell are great ways to make any space feel taller. Their long shape draws the eye up and carries it around the room. This should make the space feel brighter and lighter.

Layer them. Use several mirrors and make an entire wall mirrored and then adding smaller and defined mirrors on top. Aside from creating a bigger and more open space, you will also give depth to the space without weighing things down.
Fake a window. If you want a space packed with windows, you know this is not really a reality for many. Instead, try using small square mirrors that are tiled out to look like a window to give the illusion of what you wish was there, instead of what really is.
Beautiful backsplashes. The backsplash is the perfect place for a little reflection in your kitchen. It will make any under counter lighting extra bright, allowing you to go without such things and use natural light throughout your room.

Fake mirrored furniture. Just like covering your cabinets above, you can fake expensive designer pieces and use a glass cutter and mirrored tile found at your hardware store. It might be a more labor intensive option, but the results are quite amazing.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Contemporary Bedroom Furniture: Alternative Nightstand Ideas

The conventional nightstand has become a staple in contemporary bedroom furniture. Aside from having a functional purpose of having a space to keep belongings and necessary items; they also have a great stylish value and use them as decorative accents for your bedroom. Below are some great examples of stunning bedroom nightstands.

But if you are looking for something out-of-the-box, something that will match your quirky take on things, then maybe you are looking for something else. Below are some options to consider. Others require some assembly, while others just might be under your nose.
A stack of old hardback books. Give your bedroom an intellectual touch with a stack of books. But rather than stacking them on shelves, treat them with shellac. Pile them up in different directions, and glue them together. Complete it with a piece of glass or slab of wood on top. Now you have one classic nightstand
An ottoman. A nightstand does not have to be complicated and filled with drawers, shelves and knobs. Ottomans make for wonderfully casual nightstands, especially for those with low-rise platform beds, or those who like having their mattresses on the floor. You can balance the items on a silver platter or flat dining tray.
Miniature bookcase. Find a small book shelf and give a complete makeover. Rather than storing books on it, use it for decorative trinkets for your pump, and other nighttime items on top. Using a bookshelf is a great way to punctuate the style of your bedroom without taking up too much room. You can also install shelves on the wall next to your bed, and still serve the same purpose minus the floor space.
Outdoor folding bistro table. If you are going for a tropical, breezy look, go with outdoor furniture to give this effect. A folding outdoor bistro table is not only versatile and sturdy; it gives off a casual vibe. Cap off the look by adding a beachy-looking canopy.
Rolling liquor cart. Those little liquor cards in your home are decorative, and come in various shapes and sizes. This makes them a great candidate for a nightstand. Many of these carts come with locking canisters so they will not roll away. Plus, they should come in handy if you are looking for a little nightcap before sleeping.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Stylish and Durable Cast Aluminum from Alfresco Home Patio Furniture

A wholesale designer of original interior and exterior home and garden accents, Alfresco Home Patio Furniture offers a wide selection of fashionable products, from garden accents and casual furniture to handcrafted terra cotta. The brand helps retailers offer a complete line of exterior and interior living products so the retailers can expand sales and increase repeat traffic.

Alfresco Home is a boutique design and distribution company that was created to make it easier for home décor retailers, casual furniture stores, and garden centers to fulfill the growing needs of today’s consumers. Adding chic décor pieces will breathe new life to the traditional store and give consumers a reason to skip going to big box stores.
To keep the consumers from doing so, independents have to be more like an outdoor living boutique where the customers can find a good value and purchase unique gifts or products for the home, pick up something nice to use for entertaining, and find great plants.
One of the top offerings of Alfresco Home is their line of cast aluminum outdoor furniture and décor. Unlike most wrought iron pieces, aluminum never rusts, making it a great material for outdoor furniture. They are also heavy in weight which is excellent for windy environments. Their pieces feature 95% cast aluminum frames that are fully welded, ensuring that no hardware will loosen over time. Its other features are as follows:
  • RTA frames are all cast-design as well, and all RTA hardware is rust proof stainless steel
  • Tube thickness ranges from 1.22 to 1.55 millimeters
  • Frame construction and finish has 5-year warranty
  • Two-step durable finishes: (1) powder coat base color applied and baked on and (2) hand applied accents to highlight frame details.
Indeed, cast aluminum will last for a long time outside your home. if you are looking to furnish your outdoor space with this material, check out some of their best offerings below.
  • Cast Aluminum Weave Outdoor Bakers Rack by Alfresco Home. Great for those who love to entertain; this rack features lots of storage and two convenient shelves. It is durable powder-coated and has an Antique Fern pain finish, and can be used indoors and outdoors.

  • Cast Aluminum Weave 21" Round Beverage Side Table with Stainless Steel Bowl by Alfresco Home. A part of Coordinating Elements Collection, this side table makes the perfect beverage cooler for keeping sodas and other drinks cold during warm days. It features Antique Fern pantina highlights and exquisite patterns and detailing.

  • Charter Cast Aluminum Dining Set by Alfresco Home. This set includes 6 stackable dining chairs and a 60-inch round table. The kaleidoscope-designed table top is constructed from cast aluminum with hand applied accents and includes an umbrella hole with plug.
    Alfresco Home grew out of the need to help retailers further develop their concepts by expanding their casual home décor offerings with some great products that are really of great value. This brand gives the elements that will make your outdoors more stylish and comfortable.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Cedar Patio Furniture: Clean and Maintain Adirondack Chairs

Cedar Adirondack chairs add beauty to your landscape and have many advantages that other wood furniture cannot provide.  Cedar wood naturally repels insect, decreasing the necessity of using harmful pesticides for pest control. Also, cedar is a lightweight wood and is easy to care for, making it ideal for outdoor furniture. But despite it being lightweight, cedar patio furniture is strong and weather resistant. It has natural oils that act as a preservative to help prevent the wood from decaying and rotting.

Whether you allow your cedar Adirondack chairs to naturally weather to a beautiful silver color or you choose to stain them, these chairs require little maintenance to remain strong and beautiful. Below are some beautiful examples.
Cedar American Forest Adirondack Chair & Footrest Set by Creekvine Designs. With its matching footrest, you will never want to leave the comfort of its wide arm rests. Group this two or three like it to create a casual conversation area.

2 Piece Red Cedar Adirondack Chair with Tripod Table by All Things Cedar. This Adirondack chair includes a stylish tripod table that includes a lower storage shelf. It is constructed of clear grade Western Red Cedar with a finely sanded finish.

Ultimate Adirondack Chair by Cedar Delite. A comfortable lounge chair with adjustable back and leg rest, this Adirondack chair is handcrafted by the finest Canadian Western Red Cedar. Ideal for beaches, lawns and decks, it comes in beautiful Clear Natural finish.

A soft brush and a good wood cleaner are all you need to clean your Adirondack chair should you allow it to weather to a silver color. You can find wood cleaners at your local hardware store that protects the cedar wood while removing fungus, algae, mildew and dirt. You can also just use a mild soap and water solution to clean it as well. But because cedar is a porous wood, it can fade or become discolored in damp climates. If this happens, use a 20% bleach-water solution and scrub the cedar using a soft bristled brush until the stain disappears.
Staining cedar furniture will help maintain its rich, natural dark color. You need a deep penetrating stain with mildew inhibitors and water repellent additives. Staining Adirondack chairs will make cleaning and caring for them as easy as wiping chairs with a damp cloth twice in a week. Painted cedar Adirondack chairs are also easy to clean and maintain. Just follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning the painted surface. If there are no instructions, just wipe it down with a damp cloth twice weekly just as you would with a stained chair.
During cold weather months, it is better for your cedar Adirondack chairs to be stored in a shed, garage or storage building. But if you prefer to just cover them or have nowhere to store them in, ensure that the chairs are completely dry before covering. The plastic task should be durable and thick with no openings, rips or tears.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

How You Can Build Firepit Table Sets on Your Own

A patio table with a fire pit provides  a warm relaxing space to enjoy when the weather starts to get cooler. Many patio table sets offer a recessed area to build a small fire, and usually come with a screen dome to prevent sparks and embers from escaping. These tables, however, are usually expensive and a hassle to bring home from the store. With the following tips, you can build firepit table sets on your own right at home.

  1. Buy the lumber for the size of the patio table fire put that you want. The type of wood that you get is all up to what you want and what best fits your current outdoor scheme.
  2. Build the surround for the fire pit from the lumber as desired. Purchase or gather stone or rock to construct the center basic that will hold the central fire pit bowl.
  3. Put the stone or rocks in a pattern or styles that you want and join them in a mortar of cement that has no adhesives.
  4. You can also opt to dry stack the stones in constructing your fire pit. Make sure that you leave a depression in the center of the stone for the fire pit bowl.
  5. Look for a fire pit bowl basic in a size that is appropriate for the center depression in the stone patio table. You should find them in home improvement stores.
  6. Fill the fire put with a good amount of wood or any other burning material and light it. Let the fire consume the material and check all of the stone to ensure that the fire pit bowl is secure in place.
It would be great to build the patio table fire pit into the ground itself to create a more rustic feel. Line the edges of the fire pit with slate or large flat stones for a tabletop appearance. You might also want to consider building the whole patio table fire pit out of brick and mortar. This fire pit design can then function as an outdoor cooking area as well as a fire pit design.
But if DIY is not your thing, then just get a readymade firepit table. Below are some of the great picks you might want to consider.
Compass Mosaic Fire Pit and Beverage Cooler Table by Alfresco Home. Made from hand-laid mosaic tiles, this fire pit table features wrought iron frames that are coated with a rust resistant finish. It includes an iron bowl, grate and dome spark screen, cooler insert and mosaic center disc.
Kingston 48" Table with Propane Burner by Meadow Décor. Aside from being a great source of heat for chilly evenings, this fire pit table is also a beautiful centerpiece for your patio. It is made with cast aluminum and stainless steel with a Black or Walnut finish.
Sierra Fire Pit Table with CF-2424 Burner by Outdoor Greatroom Company. This fire pit is made with outdoor rated faux ledgestone. This square burner is a great new look that is U/L Listed. Its durable supercast top looks great and stands up to the outdoor elements.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Using Indoor Modern Fountains in Your Home for Good Feng Shui

Indoor modern fountains are among the most popular Feng Shui products and come in various materials, sizes and shapes. They also come in many types, including wall-mounted, free standing, and tabletop, to name a few. Contrary to popular belief, a fountain does not have to look oriental to become a Feng Shui cure. In fact, none of your Feng Shui cures have to look oriental in order for it to bring in good energy. It is best when they harmoniously work with your home decorating style.
The reason why fountains are very popular in Feng Shui is because they bring the energy of water, which is an ancient Feng Shui symbol of prosperity and wealth. Another good reason to use indoor fountains is because it has the ability to diffuse negative ions into the air. The best areas to position fountains in your home are the following.
  • North for career and path in life
  • Southeast for abundance and prosperity
  • East  for health and family
The location of your fountain is determined by the Be-Gua, which is the Feng Shui energy map. This can also be determined with the interplay of the five Feng Shui elements.
  • It is not advisable to put a fountain or any water feature in the south area. In Feng Shui, south is connected to fame and reputation with the energy of fire. Bringing the fountain -- a water element -- and fire creates bad Feng Shui or conflicting energy, as water will put down the fire.
  • It is bad Feng Shui to have a water feature in the bedroom, regardless of the Feng Shui area it is located in. The water element brings the energy of worry in the bedroom.
On a practical level, when buying a water fountain, choose a good quality fountain with a silent motor, along with a fountain with a design that is easy to keep clean. Below are some great choices for indoor water fountains.
Tabletop Collection Mini Haiku Moon Fountain by Bluworld. This tabletop fountain features a slate panel hanging from its Dark Copper powder-coated frame. Water flows out the tube, down the slate, passing the layer of polished river stones, and into the pool of water.

Vestaglia Wall Fountain by Kenroy Home. Featuring a Burnished Gold finish, this wall fountain has three beautiful vessels where water will flow into. It comes with a halogen bulb to create a stunning effect.
Olympus Ceramic Fountain with Pump and Light by Alfresco Home. This beautifully designed fountain can add warmth and comfort with its deep, natural brown color. Finished with hand-applied surface patinas, this fountain comes complete with a pump.
You can put small stones or crystals in your fountain to strengthen its beneficial energy or Sheng Chi. You can also buy a fountain that allows you to diffuse specific essential oils into the air. By using stones, crystals and essential oils, you can double the energy benefits of this very popular Feng Shui cure.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

How You Can Make Indoor Modern Benches a Standout

Attractive accessories are the best to bring new life to your interior design. Without painting new color on the walls, remodeling the floor design or replacing the furniture, a simple home accent like a wooden modern bench can already transform the appearance of a room. Although usually found in backyard patios, colorful gardens and outdoor parks; wooden benches can also liven your home in an interior space. Their elegant woodworking, attractive design and additional seating make a bench a great accessory for the living room, bedroom and even bathroom. Below are some great indoor wooden benches.
Here are some tips to transform your wooden bench.
  1. Paint the Bench Black
One of the most striking ways to draw attention to an interior bench is to paint it a deep black color. Because black is a contrasting color for most interior designs, it secures a visually appealing status. Adding black in a room gives the area this sense of character and depth as well. Using paint from a paint store or hardware store specifically designed for wood applications should give you the best results. Black spray paint easily adheres to wood, and the application is quick and easy.
  1. Add Colorful Accessories
Once the black wooden bench has dried completely, you can start adding colorful accessories to the design. Throw pillows in solid colors which contrast with the bench and blend with the décor in the room would make for designer friendly accents. If you want a more eclectic design, use bold stripes in coordinating colors, black and white floral prints and colorful checkered patterns. A black wooden bench can also look visually stunning when placed in an area where a small accent floor lamp or table can be placed beside it.
  1. Add a Decorative Throw Rug
The last piece that will complete the attractive design of your wooden bench would be a decorative throw rug that will further accentuate the accessory. When choosing a throw rug to put under the black wooden bench, choose a solid, print or pattern that complements the bench itself. Once again, simple stripes or floral patterns can bring a harmonious design to the area. The rug can partially slide under the bench for a visually appealing look.
Creating and decorating a wooden bench can bring a simple elegance to any living space. The attractive woodwork, vivid accessories and contrasting color make for a charming piece of interior décor for any home design.