Five Tips for Boosting Curb Appeal

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Outdoor

A home’s curb appeal can make or break first impressions. Your home’s curb appeal is judged immediately upon your guest’s arrival and there is no going back once they have seen the exterior of your house. If you are concerned about your home’s curb appeal, you can put your mind at ease. We have five simple tips for boosting your curb appeal. You can take on these tasks in one weekend and instantly improve the exterior charm of your home.

5 Tips for Boosting Curb Appeal:

Tip No. One: General clean-up.

To start off, you will need to do a general clean-up of your yard. Mow the lawn, trim overgrown bushes, and pick up dead leaves. You will want to emphasize your home’s natural beauty and focus on all of the outside greenery. Make sure everything is in tip-top shape before moving onto the next step.

Tip No. Two: Rebrand yourself.

Your house numbers can really set the style of the exterior of your home and you can update them every few years to keep them fresh and stylish. Explore all the internet has to offer before just settling on the first pair of numbers you see.

Tip No. Three: New door, New home.

Buying a new front door can be quite the investment; therefore, if you are hesitant, a fresh coat of paint will get the job done. Colorful doors can set your house apart from your neighbors. There are a ton of possibilities for front door colors other than the basics that you can choose for your home.

Tip No. Four: Play it up with plants.

Plants can add color and vibrance to your front porch unlike any other object. Dress up your front yard with colorful greenery and make sure to keep them fresh and watered constantly to achieve the perfect greenhouse look.

Tip No. Five: Accessorize like it’s your job.

Now that you have created a new image overall, it is time to add the final details to your house. Buy a new doormat, some fun throw pillows, a flower wreath for your front door, etc. This is your chance to add character and charm to your outdoor space and set your house apart from the rest of the neighborhood.

We hope you enjoyed these five simple tips for boosting your curb appeal. Let us know what you think in the comment section. We would love to hear from you.

Outdoor Tranquility: Decorating Your Porch

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A beautifully decorated porch is an extension of what your guests can expect when they step into your home.  Whether it is situated in the front or back of the house, the way you choose to spruce your porch up will add value and pleasure to you and your visitors.  Here are some ideas for adding appeal to your outdoor space. 

 

Seating

The most inviting trait for your porch to have is available seating.  Nothing says “stay awhile” quite like a comfortable cushion you can sink yourself into.  There are multiple options available depending on what you use your porch for the most.  If you use the space to occasionally eat “al fresco” on a mild evening, you may want to start with an outdoor dining table and chairs.  Be sure that it is made of a material that can withstand the elements and is also easy to clean, as the breeze can bring in leaves and pollen residue on windy days.  If your porch is more of a relaxation area, then there are multiple configurations you can utilize to give yourself and guests a comfortable feeling. 

If the porch ceiling is strong enough, consider a hanging cushioned porch swing.  They’re timeless and they put whoever sits upon them into a serene state.  Rocking Chairs can also have the same effect.  Make sure to have a decorative outdoor pillow to support the sitter’s back.  Investing in an outdoor couch and loveseat, decorated with beautiful cushions and pillows will morph your porch into an outside living room. You can add decorative stools for people to put their feet up as well.  It would be impossible for you and your guests not to relax!  If you are seeking a less formal piece, a simple cushioned bench can also do the trick. 

 

Furniture & Accessories

Once you’ve got somewhere to sit, it’s time to add all the extras.  Your seating arrangement can be enhanced by an outdoor rug.  Plain or patterned, it can help protect the surface of your porch from heavy traffic.  Keeping a tray and serving set handy for coffee and tea can make your guests feel appreciated while placing a coffee table or side tables nearby will give them a place to put their drinks while socializing.  

If you are able to do so, installing a ceiling fan can help keep you cool on those hot summer days, while incorporating an outdoor sound system can add some welcoming background noise while entertaining.  During bright days, a roll down sunshade can keep the glare out of your eyes while outdoor lighting through lanterns, string lights or wall sconces will keep things going in the evening.  Finally, a touch of nature indoors can really warm up space.  Try using topiaries, hanging flower baskets or potted plants.  

Your porch is your outdoor getaway.  Make it as enjoyable and inviting as you can.  Happy decorating!

DIY Mosquito Trap

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The season is coming to an end, but the mosquitos are hanging on. Learn how to create your own mosquito trap that attracts the bug and then kills them on contact. The items needed can be found around the house. This little project takes minutes to make and provides weeks’ worth of protection.

What You Will Need:

A two liter bottle

1 gram yeast

1 cup hot water

¼ cup brown sugar

Black electrical tape

Directions:

Wash out the two liter bottle. Wrap the bottom half of the bottle with the black tape. Mosquitos are attracted to the color black. This will help attract the pest to your trap.

Next cut the bottle in half. Then add the brown sugar to the hot water and mix well. Once the water has cooled down add it to the bottom half of the bottle.

Add the yeast to the sugar water.

Place the spout end of the bottle upside down in to the bottom half of the bottle. This will create a funnel leading to the liquid mixture that will attract and kill the pests.

Using the black electrical tape, tape the two bottle pieces together.

This trap will work well for about two weeks. After that make a fresh mixture. The same bottle can be used each time.

Place the trap where you spend time outside as well as near entry doors, to side track the pest from coming inside the house!

How to Keep Plants Healthy

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Even though the growing season is coming to an end, don’t give up yet on your garden!  Help it to stay healthy as long as possible. Find out how to determine what is wrong with plants and how to rectify the situation.

If the plant’s leaves have holes in them, it means an insect is eating them. Spray the plant with a mixture of insect killing soap. This item can be purchased at any major retailer or online at stores like Amazon.

Leaves that are turning yellow and looking wilted, typically meant the plant is being over watered. The drainage may not be great. This can be fixed by adding sand to the soil. If that doesn’t help, the plant may need be to be transplanted to a raised garden. You can tell if a plant is not getting enough water by feeling the leaves. If they feel crunchy or dry; chances are it needs more water.

If a plant’s leaves are looking wilted and faded, it may not be getting enough sun. Consider relocating the plant to a sunnier spot. It always helps to research the type of plant, to find out how much sun it requires.

White stripes running along the vein of the plant means that it needs magnesium. Add Epson salt to the soil around the base of the plant. If there is a color variation between the veins of the leaves the plant probably needs a zinc boost. Spray the plant with kelp extract to give them the vitamin it needs.

Yellowing occurring around the edges of the leaves and on the main vein, usually means that the plant is not getting enough nitrogen. Compost materials like coffee grounds and organic matter will help get the plant back on track. If the edges of the leaves become yellow, but the veins look good, it generally means that the plant needs more potassium. Save your banana peels and citrus peels. Chop them up and add to the soil around the base of the plant.

When in doubt, research what your plant looks like to find out what is going on. Type in the appearance of the leaves and look for other web images that look similar to your plants. The internet is a great place to find easy remedies for unhealthy plants.

 

How to Properly Care for and Prune a Tomato Plant

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Tomato plants are a perfect choice for any produce or salad garden. They are easy to care for and produce a good amount of fruit all through the season. Find out how to care for and properly prune your plant that will yield the best results.

Once a week add crushed up egg shells around the base of the plant. This will keep beetles and other bugs from eating the leaves. However this does not keep caterpillars away. They must be treated separately, on a daily basis. These insects not only eat the leaves, but they also eat the tomatoes. Simply spraying the plant with an insect soap killer will not keep the caterpillars away either. If you can, check the plant in the morning and afternoon for caterpillars. When you see them, spray them directly with either a store bought soap killer or make your own.

Making your own soap killer is healthier for both you and the plant. It is made up of only two ingredients rather than containing the many chemicals found in store-bought soap killer. To make your own, add 1 tablespoon of plain dish soap to 8 ounces of water. Mix well and pour contents into a spray bottle.

Water your tomato plant about every two to three days during the summer. Keep in mind how often it has rained along with the amount of rain when determining how much to water the tomatoes. The goal is to soak the soil about six to eight inches in the ground. Water the roots only and make sure you water the plant slowly. Watering the entire plant wastes water and can spread disease.

Prune branches that are damaged or dying. Be very careful not to over prune. It should be done by using clean garden shears. You will want to make a clean, fast cut that is close to the main stem. Make sure not to cut any branches that have buds or are producing fruit. Prune branches that are laying on the soil because they will rot. All leaves on the plant are using the sun and water to provide valuable nutrients to the fruit that it produces.

If you follow these simple tips with your tomato plants this summer, you should have a happy plant providing you delicious summer tomatoes!

What Works for this Sun Room and What Doesn’t

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This beautiful atrium style sun room has so much potential. Alternately it’s potential is not being utilized. Find out what works in this room and what could be improved upon to make this room live up to its full potential.

Architecture is the key element that the eye is drawn to. The overhead beams, with full of windows serving as the roof, almost makes the eye look past the furniture and flooring, right through the windows to the gorgeous view.

The biggest mistake is that the rhythm is thrown off by the floor material.  The pattern on the floor is distracting to the overall flow of the room, pulling the eyes down rather than allowing to viewer to gaze outside.  Being so close to nature, a nice tile or wood floor would be more appropriate for this space. Adding a warm area rug would pull the seating group together and designate a comfortable space for people to gather.

The table set into this space is a good choice for the room.  The table is long in order to seat at least four individuals, but it is also shallow.  A deeper table would block movement through the space.  

However, the right side of the room contains chairs that do not continue the theme of shallow furniture.  Creatively shallow chairs would be a better fit for the space. It would make it easier to navigate the space and it would feel free flowing.

Notice there is not a large amount of decor in the space, rather the pieces in the sunroom are essential to the space, but nothing further has been added.  This is a wonderful approach to keeping the airy, sunny view.  A crowded room would detract from the space and block the windows.   

Architecturally speaking this sun room is spectacular. Given the furnishings and the layout it feels like an airy space inviting the viewer to gaze outside and enjoy the light. The lesson here is try to carry some unity throughout a space. if it has strong architectural features, mirror them in a subtle way throughout the space.

How To Make Citronella Candles

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The time of year is upon us when bugs and mosquitoes are beginning to be overbearing. They’re a nuisance at parties and barbeques, they really annoying in the yard, and they cause a lot of grumbling when camping. And that’s before they bite! If one manages to get to you, then you have to deal with the irritation and itchiness that follows. Retailers know this and so they charge a pretty penny for any outdoor remedies. Did you know you can make your own citronella candles? It’s both easy and cheap!!! So much so that you’ll be able to make enough of them to completely protect the outdoor space you’re trying to enjoy.

Shopping List

  • Mason Jars
  • Citronella Torch Fuel
  • 1/8” Lamp Wicks (torch wick replacement or smaller, otherwise flame too big)
  • Nail punch and Nail
  • Hammer

How To

  1. Punch hole in the lid of the Mason jar. Do so through the bottom of the lid so the wick is easy to insert.
  2. Twist and insert wick through bottom of lid and leave 1/8” sticking out of the top.
  3. Fill jar with citronella torch fuel.
  4. Place the wick in the fuel and screw the lid onto the jar.

Because this is so very easy you could also make extras as gifts for the neighbors. Even better, have a candle making party and invite people over to join in on the project and the fun!

Good places to put them:

  • Kitchen window
  • Window Sills
  • Patios
  • Around a campfire
  • Around the entire yard if you’re having a party

Note: Over time you will have to occasionally replace the candles because the rubber ring around lid will eventually melt and make it difficult to reopen the jar.

Save Egg Shells for the Garden

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Egg shells are perfect for gardening! There are many added benefits to using them in any garden. Find out how to add them to your garden for enriched soil as well as keeping critters away!

These hard shells provide an excellent source of calcium to soil, seedlings and plants. Before planting, add crushed up egg shells to the soil and rake it in. Having extra calcium in the soil is beneficial for brand new seedlings. It also benefits the plant after it starts to mature. After plants have been sown into the ground, continue to add cracked egg shells to the top of the soil. This will keep beetles and slugs out of your garden.

After cracking the egg shells and removing the actual egg, gently wash the shell out with warm water. Line a container with paper towels and lay the egg shells out, allowing ample room for air to circulate the entire egg; especially the interior. Place the shells in a dry place where they can have access to the sun. It takes about two days to dry the shells completely. The shells may seem dry after a day, however the membrane inside (that holds the shell together) needs longer to dry. If this membrane is not completely dry, it will cling to the shell and make it harder to break the shell up into small pieces.

After a couple days in the sun, either break shells up by hand or use a hand held kitchen gadget. A food processor or a coffee grinder works great. Careful not to break the shells up too finely. There should be little pieces about ¼ of an inch by a ¼ of an inch and some pieces that are smaller. These pieces are the part that keep pesky beetles and slugs away from your garden. These pieces of shells actually act like pieces of glass and cut up these pesky garden destroyers. This is a process that can be applied to the top of garden soil about every week or so. With that said save your shells and do not simply toss them in the trash!

Entrance to the Home: Design a Positive First Impression

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The entrance to a home sets the tone for your home. This is usually the first thing guest experience when they come over. Make it a strong and lasting first impression. Read along and find out what makes an entrance way a success.

Aesthetics and accessibility should be used hand in hand. Make sure the outside of your door and entry way are clean, tidy and pleasing to the eye. Keep this area clutter free if possible. If there are steps, make sure they are free from obstruction. Getting to the front door should be safe and easy. Keep paint or stain maintained. Install good lighting so others can see well at night. Make an effort to provide an entrance that is easily accessed and approachable.

Door bells and door knockers should be easily visible. These items need to be able to be heard as well. If you have a larger house, install a door bell with a pleasing ring that can be heard throughout the home. Take into consideration the actual noise that the bell creates. Short and sweet bells or rings are optimal. You and your family will be hearing this noise day to day; its best to keep the sound simple. If your home is smaller, you may want a loud door knocker.

Hardware should work with ease. Door knobs are better hardware for interior doors. Knobs can be tricky if you have your hands full. Door handles work better in this location. They provide a certain entrance look and can be easily accessible.

Plants placed near a home’s entrance bestow a welcoming feel, simply by adding life to the entry. Hanging plants or window boxes on either side of the door create symmetry and give life. Small trees and topiaries can extend the entrance leading up to the door if your space feels small and cramped. Just make sure all plants are not in the way. Make sure hanging plants do not run the risk of hitting guest in the head. Leave ample room to walk and keep plants out of the egress area.

Bring the Indoors Out

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A patio extends the interior of your home to the backyard. This is a unique space, which you may design using your own personality and flair. When deciding on the style you want, you might want to reflect the style inside the house or to complement the architecture of the exterior.

 

For a polished look, a monochromatic palette with lots of white, gray and black can work well. Wirework tables and chairs might be suitable. For a tropical look, lots of floral accents and maybe actual flowers can be used. Attractive and vibrant colors such as red, orange, pink and yellow, and other prints can make the space livelier. For those living near the beach, a nautical look might be preferred. White and blue of different shades, and shells and bottled sand as accent can be fitting.

 

A fire pit, a grill or a seating area can provide an interesting and useful focal point. To make the space more intimate, you can imagine the patio as a room just without its walls. The comfortable seats, coffee table, side tables and fire pit are appropriate for interacting and having conversations with family members, and entertaining guests. For a more relaxing space, a swinging seat bench can be placed by a corner or as a centerpiece. Large existing trees in the area can also be fitted with a hammock. If you desire for greater privacy, putting the patio against a tall wooden fence will work.

 

Keeping in mind that the furniture would be exposed to harsh sunlight and water, choosing weather-resistant furniture is a must. If your patio is not covered with an awning, coverage for the sun may be necessary. A simple large umbrella and a fabric canopy can be used and even a pergola can be constructed.

 

Also, you may let out your creativity by creating decorative accessories or looking for found objects to use as furniture. By doing this, you may even save some money. An old trunk, for example, can be used as a coffee table, and a splash of color may easily be added by displaying potted flowers from your garden. An assortment of can or glass lanterns, which are easy to create, can also give the patio a festive atmosphere.

 

The outdoor space of your home can be transformed into a more valuable living area by installing a new patio or decorating an old one. The patio can easily become a functional, relaxing and attractive addition to your home.