5 Ideas For Turning Your Backyard Into A Tranquil Retreat

inground pool

It is quite easy for homeowners to design their indoor space. Regardless of personal style, most homes include some combination of lighting fixtures, vases, throw pillows, some pieces of furniture, wall art, and area rugs that can all be mixed, matched and updated to create a cohesive look and a comfortable vibe. However, not as many homeowners may be spending as much time taking advantage of their outdoor space.

Remember that your outdoor space is more than just a few square feet of balcony space and yard. The opportunities are limitless when it comes to transforming your yard into an excellent outdoor living and recreational space.

Reputable landscaping professionals share some ideas for creating your own backyard retreat.

1. Plant Shrubs and Flowers

Plants can bring yards to life. By strategically placing shrubs, herb gardens, and flower beds, any outdoor area can be transformed into a lively space that is perfect for parties with your family and friends or for meditative personal moments.

Choose plants with a soft color palette. Avoid planting those with hues that are too bright because they can alarm and upset the senses instead of lending to a serene experience. Aside from green plants, you can also go for dark or pale shades, like burgundy leaves instead of red.

Moreover, choose different plant heights, including small shrubs, trees, ground covers, and clumping perennials. Use the taller plants as a backdrop with the small plants in front. Different heights will make your landscape appear softer and more relaxing.

2. Set Up Comfortable Seating

Hard metal furniture without cushions can be less inviting to guests. Instead, opt for chaise longues, cozy chairs, and benches with washable cushioning.

Furthermore, landscape designers recommend adding a small café table with a couple of small chairs. This will create a perfect spot for an elegant and intimate breakfast or an afternoon tea.

3. Add Accessories and Statues

Give your backyard more personality by opting for some garden statues and accessories with character. For instance, you can add elaborated painted birdhouses, large colorful rocks, recycled metal sculptures, and unique planters.

You can also add weatherproof art like garden plaques, plates, and decorative wrought iron.

Similar to your interior spaces, your exteriors should also reflect your personal taste and preferences.

4. Use Water Features

Flowing water has an excellent calming effect. It is for this reason that fountains have existed in sacred spaces and gardens for centuries. Aside from fountains, a simple birdbath, and a small pond with man-made streams, a swimming pool can help you achieve your own backyard oasis.

Pool landscape is crucial when creating a backyard retreat. Swimming pool contractors can build the most suitable pool for you and your family. Even if you have a small backyard, these experts can add a petite pool. All it takes is smart planning, a hint of ingenuity, and enough space to squeeze in a small swimming pool.

These professionals can make the pool seem like an extension of your home, shaping it like a lovely deck that will act as a transitional zone between the pool and the edifice.

But beyond the classic rectangle, there are other options to consider. These include circular pools with semi-circular designs. When these pools are combined with the right canopy and natural stone, the whole scene can mimic the dreamy mood of a tropical retreat.

With some amazing lighting, you can look past the fact that your swimming pool is small. Just like in the fashion industry, curves are sexy in the world of petite pools.

5. Plan Outdoor Lighting

Include outdoor lighting so you can enjoy your yard even after the sun sets. Porch lights can provide ambient lighting as well as illuminate access to your house.

In addition, you can install low-voltage lights and solar-powered accent lights to add interest and drama to your landscape as well as to highlight paths. Make your backyard a magical place after dark by combining different lighting sources.

Be careful in choosing the landscape for your home concept. Indeed, there are plenty of things to think through to improve the appearance of your home’s exterior. Remember that small space is not a hindrance in creating a tranquil backyard. Reputable landscape designers know exactly what must be done to transform your yard into a calming and beautiful oasis.

 

AUTHOR BIO

Rachel Hennessey manages the Pools and Landscaping Division of Hennessey LLC. She also works on Tender and Pre-Qualification and brings in new business to the company’s Construction, Interiors and Civils Division.

Saving the family home from foreclosure

During time of financial difficulties you have to prioritize what to pay first. Naturally food tops the list as you can’t give it up, then come perhaps the utility bills as no one wants to end up without water or electricity and we kind of postpone the mortgage instalment. Just for a couple of days, then 1-2 weeks, which unnoticeably become a month. You are still fine but all of a sudden you get a letter from your bank – you are served with a foreclosure due to failure to pay and you realize it has been a couple of months already and the home you took for granted might be lost to the bank. Don’t panic but search professional help and find a reliable foreclosure attorney who can help you out of the situation. The attorney will analyze your personal situation and will give you proper advice what you should do. There are basically two options in such a case – to save your home or to surrender it. Below you will find a few facts why it is better to choose one over the other.

 

Save your home

The decision to keep your home is usually an emotional one, however it should be more financially-based. Review it as a deal and put down pros and cons of keeping the home. If it meets all your family needs, the interest rate you need to pay is reasonable and the property is worth more than the mortgage then you should fight for it. How does the procedure go? When you are served with a foreclosure letter you have 20 days to take the relevant action. In the event that you want to save your home, you should file for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This will allow you to catch up with the payments. An important note to observe is that the sooner you file the Chapter 13, the more affordable the payments will be and you will also save from piling up of attorney fees and charges. A good foreclosure attorney will prepare all the necessary paperwork and will also counsel you on how to proceed after the bankruptcy is filed. The process is not that complicated though it might sound a bit of unpleasant, however it is the best way to save your family home in such cases.

 

Surrender your home

As already mentioned the decision to keep or surrender the property must be financially based and void of feelings, if possible. Keeping the home is either a good deal or not. If the mortgage you have to pay is much hire than the property itself then it is best not to fight for it. In such case the step to take is file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy just before selling the house. This will not only ensure that there is no deficiency balance to pay back after the sale but will also give you additional six months in the property, so that you can get ready to move out.

 

There are times in life when we are faced with the tough decision whether we shall keep fighting for something or just make a step forward. If you are faced with a foreclosure, then you are in one such situation. But don’t waste time feeling sorry for what happened, find a good foreclosure attorney and follow their advice to save or surrender your home and resume your life.

Fireplace Safety Tips You Should Know

Fireplace safety

Who doesn’t love a nice warm fireplace on a winter’s evening?  Fireplaces in the home represent warmth, family, and a feeling of coziness.

Whether it’s a gas fireplace, wood, coal or electric, there are some safety tips you should be aware of when installing and maintaining one in your home.

Gas, wood, and coal are all fossil fuel burning fireplaces, which means they can give off carbon monoxide in the home if not vented properly.  Electric on the other hand does not give off any carbon monoxide, though you still need to be careful of the electrical wiring involved and proper voltage is in place to power it.

We purchased a beautiful linear fireplace in Toronto last year for our condo and absolutely love it!  It’s an electric fireplace that matches our modern decor and provides lots of heat and ambiance for our home.

But whatever kind of fireplace you decide to purchase, just be away of some common safety tips first.

If you will be installing it in your existing chimney, be sure your flu vent is working properly and the chimney shoot is cleaned properly before use.

When using fossil fuel burning fireplaces, always be sure that the room is properly vented, even leaving a window slightly open or at least doors to other rooms open.  Not only can carbon monoxide build up in the home if not vented, but the fire could consume the oxygen in the room if it is an enclosed area.  Proper ventilation is important!

For safety, always be sure that combustibles are clear of your fireplace and that you have a proper screen or glass door in place when using it.  Kids can get burned and fire could light nearby paper, etc if you are not careful.

And never leave a fireplace lit unattended, always put it out before going to bed or leaving your home.

Hope these tips helped and did not scare you, having a fireplace in the home is a wonderful thing and can bring the family together on a cold winter’s evening.

Firpelace Safety Tips Infographic