Ways to Spruce Up Your Patio

If you love spending time outdoors, you may find yourself using your patio frequently. Patios are fantastic places to gather with family, friends, and company. With their frequent use, you may be interested in sprucing it up for next spring. To help you redesign your patio, we have created seven tips to assist you. 


7 Ways to Spruce up Your Patio

  1. Go Green. Flowers and plants can bring your patio to life. The greenery can be worked into your patio’s design by placing plants at the entrance and flowers on the table.  
    • Homeowners find it easier to use containers on their patios since there is no grass available. Plus, container plants come in handy for the winter months, because you can bring them indoors. 
  1. Luxurious Lighting. The lighting for your outdoor patio area can play an important role. On warm nights, it can add romance and relaxation. Try incorporating string lighting above your patio to create a warm, cozy look. 
  1. Homey. Let your home’s interior inspire your patio’s design by incorporating staple decor pieces. Your patio’s decor does not need to be limited just because you are outside. You can add mirrors, vases, and a table setting to spruce up the design. Just be sure to bring these items indoors when the weather drops. 
  2. Soft Touch. You can create a cozy environment by adding pillows and blankets to your outdoor space. Be sure to collect the blankets and store them indoors for bad weather. Also, you can purchase outdoor, water-proof pillows and bring them inside during the winter months. 
  3. Privacy Please. There are several ways to add privacy to your backyard. You could add drapery to your patio or place an outdoor privacy screen. These are simple ways to make your backyard a little more intimate. 
  4. Personalized. Add personalized items to make your patio unique. You can add holiday decorations and dress up the area for the season.
  5. Serene Sounds. The outdoors can have beautiful sounds by itself, but if you are looking to add some of your own music, be sure to bring out an outdoor speaker. The speakers are great for when guests come over and they can play in the background. 


Let us know your ideas for your patio — post pictures if you have them!


Holiday Gingerbread Man Smoothie

The holidays are right around the corner, and what better way to celebrate than making a classic Gingerbread Man flavored smoothie? Christmas is not Christmas without gingerbread, and this delicious smoothie will put you in a festive mood while providing many nutritional benefits.


  • Cloves – Cloves are high in manganese for bone production and help to control blood sugar while providing anti-inflammatory properties. Cloves also contain eugenol which helps to prevent environmental toxins from external pollutants.
  • Cinnamon – Cinnamon has antifungal and antibacterial properties. Cinnamon also helps control blood sugar and is a mood enhancer!
  • Nutmeg – Nutmeg provides calcium, iron, and manganese and has been known to help as a mild sedative, painkiller, and aids in a good night’s sleep.   
  • Cardamom – Cardamom is a diuretic and detoxifier.
  • Almond Butter – Almond butter contains more healthy fatty acids, protein, and nutrients than the old standby peanut butter. Almond butter also contains as much protein as meat, lots of fiber and omega 3 oil.
  • Banana – Bananas contain potassium, soluble fiber and probiotics.
  • Greek Yogurt – Greek yogurt provides probiotics and contains potassium and soluble fiber.

Ingredients for Gingerbread Man Smoothie

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ peeled frozen banana
  • 1 cup ice cubes

Put the greek yogurt, almond butter and maple syrup to the blender and give it a couple of spins to mix and blend. Now, add all the spices to the blender and give it another spin or two. Lastly, add the peeled frozen banana and ice cubes to the blender.  Complete by mixing until desired smoothness is reached. If you would like more liquid, simply add a couple more ice cubes and mix.

Depending on your personal preferences, the Gingerbread Man smoothie can be consumed cold or warm. Top off the smoothie with a candy cane and a gingerbread cookie. Enjoy!


Make Your Fridge More Manageable

From Chinese takeout to grandma’s special dish, our refrigerators see a lot of food over the year. The organization in our refrigerators can make or break our family’s health. It is extremely important to be able to see all of your expired products and constantly clean out your fridge. Poor organization can lead to a poor visualization which causes us to not know when things need put in the trash. To help maximize your family’s refrigerator, we have five simple hacks for making your fridge more manageable. 


Ways to Make Your Fridge More Manageable

  1. Get Adjusted. Your refrigerator’s shelves are able to adjust to your personal preferences. Take advantage of the ability to recreate your shelving and have it work in a way that is beneficial to you. Your everyday lifestyle should affect the way your fridge is set up. This will make things more convenient and easier for you. If you find yourself wanting to place the milk on the top shelf, reconfigure the shelves towards your liking. 
  2. Labeled. Always label everything with a date in your fridge. This is one of the most beneficial life hacks we can give you. From your eggs to last night’s pasta dinner, you want to mark it with the date in permanent marker. This will help make everyone in the household on the same page and reduce unwanted confusion. 
    • Be sure to mark eggs with their expiration dates. This will save you and your family from consuming expired dairy. 
    • If you do not want to ruin your containers, you can place clear tape on the container then write the date in permanent marker. 
  1. Separated. Everything in your refrigerator should be grouped by what it is. This will help make finding food a little easier for everyone. If you find yourself running out of drawers, you can purchase baskets + bins for extra storage. 
    • Pro-Tip: NEVER put dairy in your refrigerator doors. Since the doors are frequently open, they fluctuate in temperature too often. This can create a health hazard; therefore, be sure to place your dairy and meat products inside of the fridge. 
  1. Lined. Line your shelves with placemats or shelf liners to avoid spillage stains. The mats make it easier to wipe down and clean up unwanted messes. 
  1. Fresh. Mask unwanted scents and odors with coffee grinds or baking soda. Simply place the grinds or baking soda into an open dish and let it sit inside of your fridge. They will help collect the smelly food scents and reduce the stink when you open your fridge. 


What ways keep your fridge manageable and under control? We would love to hear your thoughts and feedback in the comment section below.


A Red Living Room?

Red is a bold color that when used appropriately can inject loads of warmth and make a living room feel well put together. If you’re interested in using such a powerful hue in this space than know that the design options are numerous. There are many different shades of red that can best complement your living room’s design. Here are a few design ideas you might want to try.



Using Hints of Red

Red doesn’t have to be the dominant color in the living room to make an impact on the design of the space. In fact, small doses of red used throughout the space are guaranteed to catch the eye. For instance, a lacquered red coffee table, paired with red patterned pillows on the sofa and dark red vases on the sides tables is a seamless design.


Statement Sofa

If you’re looking to really make a statement than liven things up by opting for a bold red sofa. Whether it’s orange-red, burgundy-red or just plain red such a sofa featuring this hue will definitely add a pop to your living room. Add pillows with bold prints to further enhance the look. Accent with gold accessories for a luxurious look.


Bold Red Rug

Tie the entire living room around a bold red rug with a chic pattern.  Arrange the sofas around the rug so that your space feels much more intimate. You can tie in other hues like yellow and orange to really bring the design together. For example, you might opt for orange drapes and couch pillows with specks of golden yellow.


You can also keep the rest of the room neutral so that the area rug becomes the focal point. Then add small doses of red all around the room for cohesiveness.



A pattern goes a long way when you’re using red. A red and cream geometric pattern when paired with solid red creates a look of harmony. Using brick red in geometric patterns will create a sense of warmth and togetherness in a big living room.



Mixing red in different patterns and prints also work since you’re sticking with a hue that’s in the same color family.


If you have put a little more statement into a room, be sure to post pictures here!



Living Room Decorating Lessons

Transforming your living room doesn’t require a  big budget or huge chunks of your time. By implementing a few simple strategies you can turn your living room into drab to fab. Designing a room is much like preparing a meal. To get the best results you’ll need to follow a good recipe. We’re going to show you living room design methods that every homeowner should know!


Trendy or Timeless

Perhaps the biggest challenge of decorating your living room is furnishing it with pieces that you love and that you plan on having for a while. So should you go with furniture that is trendy or timeless? Since trends and style change just as fast as the season do then it’s best to invest in quality furniture that is classic and that you can envision being in your home for many years to come. Yes, a timeless sofa or chair can be accessorized with almost any trend you wish to use in your design.

Use pillows, area rugs, and different fabrics to inject interest. These elements can be rotated or swapped out for something different whenever you are ready.


Using Patterns

The pattern is a design element that adds both texture and visual interest to the living room. From traditional stripes to modern geometrics you can mix almost any type of pattern within one space. However, there are a few rules:

  • Vary the scale of the patterns used in the space – Mix large, medium and small patterns together so they don’t overwhelm each other.
  • Opt for patterns that will complement your living room color scheme 

Functional Furniture

Remember when shopping for furniture think about the functions that you will need the piece to perform. Don’t be afraid to mix it up. You can select furniture with modern sleek silhouettes but still purchase pieces that double as additional storage.


Window Treatments

Of course, every living room needs at least two layers of window treatments whether it’s for light control, privacy or for its thermal properties. Curtains and drapes can add style to a bland living room. Just make sure that you hang them right. 


Tips for Beautifying Your Bookshelves

If you are not an avid reader, you may find yourself with a lot of empty bookshelf space. Bookshelves can be a fantastic decor piece for homeowners who do not own a lot of books. Decorating your bookshelf can be a challenging process. There may be a lot of designs and ideas already running through your head, but before you dive into decorating, we have nine brilliant tips to help you! 


9 Tips for Beautifying Your Bookshelf

  1. Less is More. When decorating anything in your home, you always want to keep in mind that less is more. It is easier to add later than it is to take away items you just purchased for your space. Try to keep your design simple then add more as you go. 
  2. Add Purpose. Your bookshelf’s design can be whatever you desire. From a place to display your personal photography to a place to store your books, your shelf can have a solid purpose. Display whatever you are passionate about and the rest of the design will follow.
  3. Display The Room’s Style. One of our best piece of advice for you is to use the room’s style in your bookshelf design. Let your bookshelf continue the flow of the room’s design by incorporating similar pieces. If you decorated with gold fixtures in the room, continue that style choice by adding gold decor pieces to the bookshelf. 
  4. Create Depth. An easy and beautiful way to add depth to your bookshelf is to place wallpaper or a different color paint on the back wall. This will add a creative twist to the bookshelf and instantly adds design and depth. 
  5. Get Seasonally Inspired. Let the holiday seasons inspire your bookshelf design. Instead of adding more each holiday season, swap out current decor for holiday items. For example, you will want to take away one item for each piece of holiday you add. 
  6. Layer Photos. Layering photos is a trendy design that we love. You basically take your current photo frames and overlap them on top of one another. It creates a unique design that pairs well with the wallpapered background. 
  7. Visual Appealing. Try not to use items of the same scale and size. To create the ultimate bookshelf display, you will want to incorporate decor pieces of all sizes and varieties. Also, be sure to not use the same items over and over. You want to include different items that play off of one another’s features. For example, you could use a light blue vase that pulls the blue color used in one of your picture frames. This will help create a more visually appealing bookshelf. 
  8. Hang in There. A lot of homeowners will only focus on the shelf space available, but there forget about all of the wall space. For a unique and creative twist, try hanging certain items off of the bookshelf’s wall. Items like mirrors and picture frames will do just the trick! This idea will help add depth to your bookshelf without distracting from the other decor pieces. 
  9. Monochromatic. Using different shades of one color can create a clean and visual-appealing bookshelf. If you are a fan of one particular color in your space, try to use it throughout your entire bookshelf’s design. 


Looking to take your creativity to the next level? Try adding a customized backsplash to the back of your bookshelf’s wall. To help you complete this design, our expert staff is ready to work hard and get the job done professionally and efficiently. Contact us today for more details.


Consider This When Shopping for Sheets

Aiming for the most comfortable nights’ sleep? Then you probably know that quality sheets can contribute significantly to a good night’s rest. What many people don’t know is that when shopping for high-quality sheets, the thread count isn’t the only important factors.  While a high thread definitely makes for better sheets it’s the quality of the thread that really matters. In fact, sheets with a lower thread quality but higher quality fiber will be much more comfortable than bedding with high thread count. Let’s break it down.


It’s About the Fiber

Polyester and cotton blend sheets are popular because they are an inexpensive bedding option. Polyester blend sheets are durable, generally, wrinkle resistant, and they are less expensive.  However, blended fibers are not quite as comfortable as real cotton bedding. If you’re searching for sheets that feels super soft against the skin, invest in sheets that are made up of 100 percent cotton.


What sets cotton fiber apart from a polyester blend? First, you can say goodbye to waking up on clammy sheets since cotton tends to absorb moisture from the skin. Also, cotton is more stain resistant than polyester-cotton blends which means that they look cleaner than their less expensive counterparts.


The Weaving

The weave of the material also affects the way sheets feel against your skin. This also affects the aesthetics and the longevity of your sheets. Basic, plain sheets use horizontal and vertical yarns and are generally less expensive than bedding with patterns, designs, and colors. Percale weaving is more upscale and usually comes with a thread count of at least 180.  Sateen weaves are the most expensive. It utilizes more vertical yarns resulting in a higher thread count with a softer feel but with a longer life since it is not as susceptible to tears and rips.


Final Finish

Most sheets have been chemically processed with chlorine, silicon and other types of substances to prevent wrinkling, shrinking, and to keep them from losing their shape. If your skin is highly sensitive than you may want to consider purchasing organic pure finish sheets that haven’t been chemically enhanced. Pure finish sheets can be more expensive but they are definitely worth the price. Always remember to wash new sheets before using them for the first time.

Ten Ideas to Spice Up Your Walls

No one likes a boring wall. Spice up your home’s walls with these ten genius wall decor ideas! 


Ten Ideas to Spice up Your Walls

  1. Artwork. If you are a collector of fine artwork, what better place to display your art treasures than at home? Artwork can be an amazing decor piece because it shows the homeowner’s personal style while letting the piece of art be displayed. This decor idea would work perfectly in your master bedroom!
  2. Photo Collage. Gallery walls are the perfect opportunity to display your favorite family photos in a unique way. This decor idea would work perfectly in your dining room or living room! 
  3. Floating Shelves. Having a floating shelf system is not only unique, but it is super useful. You can store items on your floating shelves by placing them in baskets. This wall decor idea would work perfectly in your bathroom to help stash all of your items! 
  4. Message Board. Cork boards are a great decorating tool for busy homeowners. It provides homeowners with a stylish space for memos, scheduling, and photos. This wall decor idea would work perfectly in kitchens, entryways, and home offices! 
  5. Chalkboard Wall. Who does not love an opportunity to express their creativity? With chalkboard walls, you can express it daily! You can create new drawings and messages each day while adding to the room’s decor. Need a place to write your grocery list? This will decor idea would work perfectly in your kitchen! 
  6. Mirrors. Mirrors are a timeless decor piece that we will never get tired of using. Mirrors can be great in entryways to see yourself one last time before you leave the house! 
  7. Clipboards. Are you looking for an interesting wall decor piece that will stand out? Using multiple clipboards on your wall will do just the trick! You can click on some of your favorite family photos or other art prints and hang the clipboards right on your wall. This wall decor idea would work perfectly in your home office! 
  8. Tapestries. Looking for a fun way to spice up your space? Tapestries are an amazing decor item for bedrooms and dens! 
  9. Decorative Hooks. There is nothing wrong with a little extra storage! Decorative wall hooks can provide you with the extra storage you always needed. Plus, you can go to a local antique shop and find one-of-a-kind hooks for your space. This wall decor idea would work perfectly in your foyer or mudroom! 
  10. Hanging Plants. Who does not love plants? We sure do! Hanging plants are not just for the outdoors, but you can use them to decorate the inside of your house. Try adding hanging plants inside of your kitchen, bathroom, or even home office! 


How do you decorate your walls? We would love to hear from you in the comment section!


Storing Your Gardening Supplies This Winter

As the cold weather begins to make its way back, homeowners can begin storing their gardening tools and supplies. There is nothing quite as nice as opening your shed in the springtime and having a completely organized, well-kept space. Before you dive right into the project, we gathered several tips for you to use while you organize and store your belongings. We hope you find these tips and tricks helpful! 


Storing Your Gardening Supplies:

Tip One: Create a System. 

Map out what you would like your shed to look like. Add function by putting in adjustable shelves and a shelving system on the walls.

Tip Two: Get Hooked. 

A great shed storage idea that we love is hanging your gardening hose on a wall hook. Be sure to purchase a large enough hook to hold your entire hose. But once you add this genius trick, you will never have to worry about a tangled hose. 

Tip Three: Magnetized. 

Are you looking for the perfect way to store your tools? Try adding a magnetic strip to one of your shed’s walls. Most of your tools will be magnetic, but if they are not, you can add a small magnet on each of your tools. Once the strip is added, you can properly hang all of your tools for quick access and have an easy clean-up.  

Tip Four: Ramp It Up.

Storing your larger items can get tiring. By adding a ramp to your shed, you can help make organization less work. Wheel barrels and lawn mowers can be easily stored and accessed with this ramp! 

Tip Five: A Good Cleaning. 

While storing your supplies for winter, it is a good idea to focus on cleaning your tools and supplies. This way dirt and grim will not be left on them while they sit unused during the winter months. For help cleaning your gardening tools, we have created a simple three-step system: 

  • Step One: In a large bucket, pour in dry sand. Moisten the sand with vegetable oil. 
  • Step Two: Remove dried-on gunk from your tools with a putty knife. Afterwards, you will want to submerge your tools inside of your sandy mixture. Make sure that the wooden handles are outside of the sand for easy access. Let your gardening tools sit inside this sandy bucket for approximately ten minutes. You will want to keep putting the tools back in the bucket until all the residue is gone. 
  • Step Three: Once all of your tools are cleaned, wipe them off with a piece of burlap. After they are wiped down, you will want to store them on your magnetic strip. They will be cleaned and ready to use once spring arrives. 


How do you prep your outdoors for winter? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the section below. We look forward to hearing from you!


Getting Your Home Ready for the Holidays

The holidays are the most joyful time of year. The holidays reunite the family and bring seasonal cheer. With the holidays, some homeowners can become stressed and overwhelmed trying to get their house in sorts. Luckily, we have created a guide to help you through this busy season! Here is how you can get your home ready for the holidays:

Getting Your Home Ready for The Holidays:

  1. Focus on Your Main Rooms

During the holidays, your main rooms will do most of the entertaining. The spaces like your living room and kitchen should be your main focus. Before your guests arrive, begin clearing the clutter out of these spaces. Make room for your company by providing extra chairs and storing bulky items. While you declutter your space, this is a great time to create a donation and discard bin. As you go through all of your stuff, you can begin placing items in their appropriate bin. This will help make cleaning up after the holidays faster and more efficient. 

  1. Decorating. 

Once the clutter is cleared away, you can begin decorating your rooms. Design experts recommend replacing current decor with decorations instead of adding more to the room. For example, you have a clock and some picture frames on your mantle. Instead of adding decorations in between and around these items, store the clock and picture frames. Then you will want to add your seasonal decor in place of those items. 

  1. Know Your Space

It is important for homeowners to recognize the amount of space they have before the holidays. Make sure you are not biting off more than you can chew. You want to be assured that you fit all of your guests with a good amount of wiggle room. Once you have assessed your space, you will want to begin to factor in your gifts. How much room will your gifts take up? Where will you store your gifts? 

  1. Make a Holiday Game Plan

The best way to get ready for the holidays is to create a game plan. Make a list of everything you want to accomplish. From baking cookies with your kids to caroling with your neighborhood, you will have everything laid out for the holidays. Just remember to add a little bit of wiggle room for unforeseen circumstances and new activities. 


We hope you enjoyed these tips on getting ready for the holidays! We wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season!