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Getting Acquainted with Your Home

A house is one of the basic needs. It provides shelter and protection against the elements. It is where a person eats, sleeps and relaxes. One can make his house more than just a shelter. It can be made more comfortable and attractive by decorating it.

Sprucing up the home need not be an expensive endeavor. It does not have to involve hiring an interior designer. Sometimes, all it takes is a fresh look at some of the old things in your house. You can combine design and comfort with cost-effectiveness and practicality. Just let your inner creativity shine through.

African Interior

African Interior

Small trinkets can turn into cheap but chic decorations. Old frames and furniture can be reworked and made more interesting. You can even take advantage of the antique or worn-out look of some of your stuff. Rearranging your stuff is one way you can redecorate the house without having to spend much.

Mix and match items from different rooms. Get the nightstand and turn it into a coffee table in the living room. Take the shallow laundry basket and turn it into a fruit basket in the kitchen. Jars and bowls from the kitchen can be used as decoration along the shelves in the living room. Take the clothespins from the laundry room and use them to hang artfully printed recipes along the kitchen wall. You can also take little things from your drawers or wherever you have the stored and give them a more prominent place in the house.

Frame concert or movie tickets and place them in the living room. Get old ties and hang them along a section of the walls lining the hallway. To get you started in your house decorating project, survey your house. Take a good long look at each room. Think of how you use each space and how you plan to use them in the future. For example, the living room used to hold lots of books and school materials.

White and gray living room

White and gray living room

Now that everyone is working, then it’s time to transform the bookshelves into a more sophisticated area fit for a young professional. The kitchen used to be a cereal station. If you have recently acquired a liking for cooking more sophisticated food, or planning to in the near future, then it’s time to make a few changes to accommodate your future kitchen adventures.

If you do not like the look of something, there is always paint. It is the least expensive decorative item you can get your hands on but can yield bold, striking and major transformation of anything and any part of the house. Take care when you go with this option as it can also do as much harm to furniture and others parts of the house.

Built a patio step

Recently we built a patio step on a door leading from the kitchen to the garden. Below is how we did it and what the results where like.

Material requirements:

2 x 25kg bags of ready mixed foundation cement.
3 x 25kg bags of ready mixed sand cement for bricklaying.
some old bricks / hardcore
12 x new house bricks
2 x patio slabs (these were already laid)
Water for mixing cement.

Tool requirements:

Spirit Level
Rubber mallet

Step 1:

In step 1 we removed the paving slabs that where already laid and dug down by app 10 cm. This will be used as a foundation.

Step 2:

We placed some old bricks around the edge of our foundation hole, and also placed some in the middle, ensuring they where roughly level.

Step 3:

The ready mixed foundation cement was poured in to the whole dry and then level off. We then applied the manufacturer’s recommended water content using a watering can with a rose on it, and left the cement to set.

Step 4:

Once the foundation was dry we built a small brick wall around the outside of what will be our step using the new bricks we had brought. These were held together by the cement sand, which was mixed with water.

Once the are level they can be left to set.

Step 5:

Once the brick work is dry, I added some additional old bricks in the centre of the patio step, ensuring they where either level or lower than the external wall we had built.

Step 6:

We poured in a full bag of sand cement mix and levelled it off, we then applied water using a watering can and rose.

Step 7:

When the based in step 6 has dried, we mixed the last bag of sand cement up with water and added it to our step, we then placed the patio slabs on to the base ensuring that they are level they can then be left to set.

Hope this is of use to anyone looking to build a simple patio step.

Front Yard Landscaping Ideas

The main reason people want their front yard to look good is because it’s generally the first part of your home that people see …

When it comes to landscaping, you typically have different things in mind for the different areas of your property. These purposes range from creating something that’s functional, such as a retaining wall, to a backyard garden for you to sit and enjoy. Most people, however, pay special attention to their front yards, for a couple of reasons.

The main reason people want their front yard to look good is because it’s generally the first part of your home that people see. People can tell a lot about someone by the condition of their front yard. If the front yard is messy and lacks any kind of order, one would assume that the inside of the house is probably in the same condition. With a little bit of planning, you can easily come up with some great front yard landscaping ideas.

Front Yard Landscaping Ideas

Front Yard Landscaping Ideas

Front Yard Landscaping – Come Up With A Plan

When trying to come up with front yard landscaping ideas, take some time to formulate a plan. Visualise the type of scene that you want to have as an end result. Take into consideration your budget and what type of materials you want to use as well. There are a number of great landscaping design software packages available that can be quite helpful. Some of them can give you a general image of what the finished product might look like, as well as materials needed and approximate cost.

Another good idea would be to take a drive and see what other people have done. This is a great way to generate front yard landscaping ideas. This isn’t to say you should copy someone else’s idea, but seeing what they have done might spark a creative fire within you. Obviously, your tastes and personal preferences should be a deciding factor in what you choose to do as well.

Front Yard Landscaping Ideas

Front Yard Landscaping Ideas

Front Yard Landscaping – Ideas To Get You Started

Obviously, the size of your yard will have a lot to do with whatever plans you come up with, but there are a number of things you can do in even a small yard. A small sitting area, although normally reserved for backyards, could make a great addition to your front yard as well. It could be something as simple as a single bench with some shrubs or potted plants, or it could be as elaborate as a gazebo with various plants or a rock garden surrounding it.

One of the most popular front yard landscaping ideas is to dress up your sidewalk or driveway. A border of some kind a couple of feet off of either side of your walkway can really bring your front yard to life. Between the walkway and the border you could put a nice assortment of flowers or shrubs. Surround those with some mulch or decorative stones and turn your walkway into an attractive centrepiece for your house. The same technique can be used on the driveway, if you have one.

Front Yard Landscaping

Front Yard Landscaping

There are also many front yard landscaping ideas for those who enjoy wildlife. Many people enjoy placing items in their yards that will attract certain animals, such as birds. A birdbath or bird feeder in the centre of a rock garden is a lovely addition to any front yard. Not only are they attractive, but you’ll enjoy sitting and watching the birds that come in to use them. Whether you use one of these front yard landscaping ideas or one of your own, careful planning and visualisation are the keys to success.