Get Ready for Warm Weather With This Ultimate Summer Home Maintenance Checklist

Summer is almost here. Before it officially arrives, give yourself a chance to beat the heat by prepping your home for the coming season. If you aren’t sure where to start, you’re in luck. Below is our ultimate summer home maintenance checklist. Follow the steps described and, before you know it, you’ll be ready for the best part: summer entertaining.

curb appeal

Wash your windows thoroughly. Image: Roost USA Inc.

Wash windows and screens

Believe it or not, this task doesn’t begin with the glass. You want to start by cleaning the screens. Use a vacuum to bring up any loose dirt. Then, scrub each one with some dish soap and a bristle brush to remove any lingering debris. When they’re clean, set them outside to dry completely before using.

Now, tackle the windows. Make a solution that’s one part hot water and one part vinegar. Then use a sponge or squeegee to wash each window. After washing, use a rag to dry each one. Use extra caution when on a ladder for second-floor windows. Finally, replace your clean screens.

fan

Make sure your family stays cool. Image: Borges Brooks Builders

Prep your HVAC and fans

The last thing anyone wants is to find out on a blistering hot day that their air conditioning system and fans aren’t working. Before temperatures get too high, make sure your systems are in working order.

To work on your HVAC, start by turning off the power to the unit for safety. Then remove the grills protecting the system’s fan and use a refrigerator coil brush to clean out any debris that’s accumulated in the fan over winter. Replace the grills and take the time to either clean or change the system’s filter. Finally, look over the coils for any signs of fraying or obvious wear and tear before testing the system. If needed, call in a professional to make any larger system repairs.

After you’re done, prepping your fans is a much easier task. For this, you simply need to take a ladder and a rag to dust off your fan blades. You may also want to locate the fan’s spin direction switch to ensure the blades are spinning counterclockwise. This will push cool air downward and help you save on energy.

windows

Boost curb appeal. Image: Terracotta Design Build

Freshen up your exterior

Next up, take a look at your home’s exterior. It should shine in summer. Upon inspection, if there are any signs of rot or damage from the winter, repair those spots first or bring in a professional to do so. Then, power wash the exterior to get rid of stuck-on dirt and debris. Lastly, look to see if your home’s paint job needs a touch-up. If so, fill in those spots on a day when you have nice weather.

Keep in mind that summer is also the perfect time to boost curb appeal. If you haven’t already, invest in a few flowers to decorate the front of your home, make sure your lawn is well cared for, and consider sprucing up your front entrance by cleaning light fixtures and investing in a fresh welcome mat.

deck

Get your deck ready to party. Image: Randle Siddeley

Prep the deck

If you have an outdoor space like a deck or patio, now is the time to get it ready for entertaining. Start by looking for any loose boards or other signs of disrepair. Fix those first. Then, if needed, sand and restain the surface.

When the deck is in good shape, focus on the furniture. A warm, soapy rag should be all that’s needed to wipe it down after a long winter. Then, when everything is dry, put it out where it belongs and enjoy!

driveway

Give your driveway a new coat. Image: Mariani Landscape

Reseal the driveway

The final task is to reseal your driveway or give it a new coat of asphalt. To do this, start by power washing the entire surface to make sure it’s as free of dirt as possible. (If there is too much dirt, the asphalt won’t set properly.) Allow it to dry completely.

When you’re ready, fill in any large cracks or potholes with asphalt crack filler. Then, take a long-handled bristle brush and use the liquid asphalt to form a border around the bottom and sides of the driveway. Since asphalt is messy, this will give you guidelines to stay within as you work. Next, use a squeegee to spread the asphalt evenly across the entire driveway. Work in sections to avoid having the asphalt dry before you’re done.

Are you caught up on your summer home maintenance checklist? Which tasks are on your list? Share them with us in the comments.

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Tiny Cabin in the Woods Exhibits a Unique Crystal Shape

tiny cabin crystal shape
This modern tiny cabin was envisioned by Copenhagen- and New York-based architects BIG, and is nestled in the woods of Lanesville, New York. Named A45, the project is a housing prototype that allows for personalization inside and out according to the needs of the owners.

“The design evolves from the traditional A-frame cabin, known for its pitched roof and angled walls, which allow for easy rain run-off and simple construction,” the architects explain. “To maximize the qualities of this classic structure, A45 creates more usable floor area by taking a square base and twisting the roof 45 degrees to raise the tiny home to a soaring 13-foot height. The resulting crystal-like shape gives A45 an ever-changing appearance.”
The tiny cabin offers a total living area of 182 square feet (17 square meters) and is assembled onsite. Its modules consist of 100% recyclable materials and include a sub-floor system, the timber frame and the walls. One of the building’s sides features seven joined glass pieces.

The interior space stays true to the Nordic concept of “hygge,” which translates into finding joy in everyday moments. “An elegant Morsøe wood-burning fireplace is nestled in one corner, while off-the-grid equipment is tucked away in the back,” the designers say.

“The petite kitchen by Københavns Møbelsnedkeri, hand-crafted furniture from Carl Hansen and a bed fitted with Kvadrat fabric designed by Soren Rose Studio are some of the handcrafted Nordic furniture to adorn A45. The bathroom is made of cedar wood with fixtures by VOLA.” Photography by BIG Architects.

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5 Ways to Get the Mixed Metallics Look in the Bathroom

Mixed metallics is a huge trend that’s taken the design world by storm. At one time it would be taboo to mix metallic textures in a space — too much clashing. But today, purposefully mixing metallics creates a sense of contrast and visual interest. And there’s no better way to get that artsy, sleek and stylish look than in the bathroom. With all of those fixtures going on in the space, it’s a great way to try out mixed metallics. Keep reading to learn how.

Mixed Metallics Gold and Silver

Try pairing gold with a dark wall to make it pop. Image: Décor Aid

Gold and silver go well together

Combining gold and silver won’t steer you wrong. As the two most popular metallic shades, they can be combined in such a way that they actually balance each other out. The cool silver and warm gold adds a stylish contrast to your bathroom.

The photo above showcases an interesting organization: gold on top of the room against the black wall, with silver fixtures on the bottom against the white tile backdrop. The gold pops against the black wall, and the silver doesn’t compete with the white backdrop. Combining gold and silver in such a way also keeps the space from looking chaotic.

Mixed Metallics Three Colors

Three metallic shades can work well together. Image: Orren Pickell

Add bronze for another pop of color

You’re also not limited to just two options. The design above combines gold light fixtures, silver faucets and bronze cabinet door handles. This space shows how any combination of mixed metallics works as long as you use a certain amount of organization. This room has a gold theme at the top, a silver shade in the middle and bronze on the cabinets at the bottom. It progresses logically in gold-silver-bronze, like award metals. The light coloring of the room itself also helps the metallic pieces pop.

Mixed Metallics Light Gold Mirror

Subtle shades like the light gold mirror frame bring cohesion to more polar shades like bright gold and silver. Image: Worthington and Shagen

Subtle shades pull together the room

The photo above shows how you can combine metallics in a less tiered way. The warm gold cabinet handles go well with the warm wood coloring. Meanwhile, the cool polished nickel-type faucet pairs nicely with the white marble. Bright chrome light fixtures sit on either side of a light gold mirror frame.

The mirror frame is the element that draws the deep gold cabinet handles and silvery fixtures into one cohesive look, as it stands as a midway point between the two shades. This is a great idea for mixed metallics designs where contrast in the metallic fixtures isn’t the focal point.

Mixed Metallics Leaves and Mirror

Gold statues and mirror frames work as accent pieces when mixing metallics. Image: Schmidt Custom Floors

Fixtures and metallic statuary add to the mixed metallics look

If you don’t want to redo your bathroom, an easy way to get this look is to add some metallic statuary to your bathroom. The photo above shows how metallic gold leaf statues add contrast to the silvery faucet fixtures in the room. You also don’t have to feel limited to silver and gold; a copper statue could create a colorful accent against silvery fixtures.

The beauty of metallics is that any types can go together if you use a light touch, using one shade to accent a more dominant shade. And adding metallic statuary is a solid way to do that. To achieve this look without spending a fortune on solid-gold statues, invest in a metallic spray paint that that can withstand moisture and spray a less-expensive statue or accent piece.

Mixed Metallics Dark Handles

Dark wrought iron stands out well against light color schemes. Image: Studio K B

Dark door handles and bright faucet fixtures create contrast

One way to combine mixed metallics in the bathroom is to combine dark and light. Dark wrought iron cabinet handles combine well with a bright silvery color like chrome on the faucet fixtures.

However, what makes this style work is the organization: The chrome on the faucets pops as an accent against the rest of the wrought iron fixtures. The white cabinets showcase the dark door handles, as well.

How have you used mixed metallics in your bathroom? We’d love to hear about it in the comments.

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Target Launches New Decor Line, Made By Design, Aimed at Millennials

Retail giant Target is taking aim at Millennials with its new home décor and accessories line, Made By Design. With economy-minded price points that still delivery style and function, the collection has over 750 items to choose from covering everything from bedding and bath, to cookware, dinnerware, furniture and more. Target’s Made By Design has a tag line that reads “Everyday ingenuity that’s a joy to use”. The new line invokes a clean, simple aesthetic that is affordable and pleasing to the eye.

Launching both online and in stores on June 23, 2018, Made By Design is organized into six different categories: Home Décor, Furniture, Bath, Bedding, Organization and Kitchen & Dining. Beginning with items listed for as little as $2, the majority of the products stay under the $30 mark. Much of the furniture is more expensive, as to be expected, but not priced out of reach for young professionals and first-time home dwellers.

Affordable home decor items and accessories from the Made By Design line, launching June 23rd.

Based on detailed research of shoppers’ spending habits in the home department at Target, the new line addresses shoppers looking to furnish, update and add to their first apartments and new homes. Target invested heavily in research and findings show that shoppers would purchase some decorative items but leave the store and shop elsewhere at other large retailers like Kohl’s, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Walmart and IKEA for larger items and home furnishings.

Made By Design, the new home decor line for Millennials, includes home furnishings.

Home Furnishings represented 19 percent of Target’s annual revenue in 2017 and the retailer aims to increase that number with this new line. Target spared no expense in researching the kind of basic product designs and features customers wanted most in their homes. The company claims developing this product line was “the most extensive guest research we’ve ever done.” It’s an investment that stands to have big pay offs, with the 75 million 20- and 30-somethings who now outnumber Baby Boomers in the U.S. and have tens of billions of dollars in spending power.
The goal is to increase market share with the new line, and to capture guests who might spend their dollars elsewhere for the majority of their home accessories and décor. According to the organization “guests – especially those establishing their first homes – crave quality everyday items that will simplify their lives and complement their ever-evolving style – all without compromising affordability.”

Affordability will not be compromised here. Everyday ingenuity can be found in everyday items including those such as stemware ranging from $2 up to $11, bake ware beginning at $7, and dinnerware in the $ – $20 price range. Cookware has some pricier items for stainless steel pots like the 6-quart stockpot, selling for $35. Solid color bedding sheet sets are reasonably priced and fit the back-to-basics aesthetic. Rugs, in solid colors and simple designs also fall into line with the overall look and feel of the collection. Simple wood shelving, desk and side tables are clean and lean and very affordable. Matching organizational bins and boxes are also important items to new home owners who want to keep things simple and their lives in order. The furniture line has limited items such as wooden shelving, side tables, bedside tables and chairs.

Home Organization is one of the six categories in the new Made By Design line from Target launching June 23rd.

Under the direction of Mark Tritton, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer who joined the company in 2016 after serving as president of Nordstrom Product Group, a group of in-house designers were directed to create the line. “Made By Design is the ultimate expression of our DNA – a commitment to democratization of impeccable design,” he said.
Target is betting a lot on the success of the Made By Design product line. It is one of three new product lines that CEO Brian Cornell promised in the 2017 annual report letter are “on pace to generate more than $1 billion each in annual sales.” Reaching millennials may prove to be tricky. According to the marketing company Kissmetrics, 89 percent of millennials trust recommendations from friends and family more than claims by the brand.

The new line will join Target’s classic Threshold furniture and furnishings product line, which reportedly does $2 billion in sales a year, as well as its mid century modern Project 62 line. The Made By Design looks are designed to seamlessly blend with all its other home product lines, such as Hearth & Hand with Magnolia.

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Dark Colors in Small Spaces? Yes You Can! (Here’s How)

dark colors Eclectic living room

Exotic prints and eclectic accessories brighten dark colors in a living room. Image:Ethan Allen

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Small rooms can be a decorating challenge, and we often reach for light colors in hopes of making the room look larger. However, a light color palette isn’t the only way to decorate a small space, and it doesn’t always make a room look larger. Don’t be afraid to use dark colors in even the smallest rooms of your home. With a few easy tips, your small spaces can handle a dark color palette.

Your powder room is the perfect spot for dark colors

Powder rooms may be small, but they can pack a big decorating punch. Your powder room or guest bath is used less often, so it can take more color and daring accessories. No amount of light paint that will hide the fact that these spaces are tiny. This is great news, as it means you can decorate however you like.

Gray powder room

Gold metallic accents add luster to a charcoal-gray powder room. Image:Eurodale Development

Add drama to your foyer

Use a dark color palette to give your guests a big welcome in your small foyer. Most foyers and entry halls open up to other rooms, so your adjacent rooms will balance dark colors. If you’re not ready to jump into a totally dark color palette in your foyer, an accent wall or even your ceiling make good surfaces for deep colors.

foyer with accent wall

If you’re not ready to commit to lots of dark colors in your foyer, a dramatic accent wall may be the answer. Image:Design West

Purple foyer

Dark purple walls are the perfect backdrop for bold stripes and gold accents. Image:JDS Designs

Make your formal dining room an everyday space with color

Formal dining rooms may not see everyday use, as busy lives often necessitate casual mealtimes. That said, a new color palette and furnishings can make your dining room the most-used space in your house. Deep wall color with light upholstery and accents is a classic combination, but it doesn’t have to be stuffy. Choose modern lighting and accessories for an updated look.

gray living room

Natural light is an asset for a dark dining room, illuminating your accessories and fixtures. Image:Ethan Allen

navy blue dining room

Crisp white dining chairs balance the rich blue of these dining room walls. Image:Adam Gibson Design

Choose dark colors for your bedroom

There are so many ways to use dark colors in a small bedroom. Other than your walls, your bed and bedding are the largest surface areas in the room. If you love the look of dark paint but fear it will overwhelm the room, light-colored bedding and window treatments even things out. Of course, there is no rule that says bedrooms have to be light and bright, especially as a space for sleeping. To pair dark wall color with dark bedding, choose bed linens and window treatments with texture or patterns. Too many solid dark colors can quickly turn a relaxing space into a cave.

Gray bedroom idea

White bedding and innovative plant shelves soften a dark bedroom. Image: i3 Design

Plaid bedroom accents

Clever plaid wallpaper makes a welcoming backdrop for a black headboard. Image:Boutique Homes

Turn a living room from cave to cozy

We love the look of a cozy living room, so don’t be shy about decorating with dark colors. There are ways to create a harmonious balance between dark and light in these often-used spaces. For instance, paint your ceilings and trim white, or use pops of bright color in accessories and artwork to create a bridge between the two extremes. The right lighting is important for your living room, so look for fixtures that are airy and light.

brown living room

Metallic accents and wall texture brighten up a brown living room. Image:Anthony Michael Interior Design

Contrary to popular belief, there are many ways to make dark colors work in small areas — everything from using accent pieces to employing unusual texture. Which rooms will you be transforming with dark colors? Tell us about it in the comments.

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This Modern Scratch and Sniff Wallpaper Line Is Literally Bananas

Flavor Paper has taken Willy Wonka’s wallpaper idea to the next level (minus the licking). It’s released three scratch and sniff wallpaper designs that are cool enough to adorn the walls of any modern space. Tommy Hilfiger papered three of the bathrooms in his Miami home with the citrus design. Deeta Von Teese chose a custom cherry print. And Elton John went bananas for the banana wallpaper print.

One of Tommy Hilfiger’s contemporary bathrooms features the citrus scratch and sniff wallpaper. Image: Architectural Digest

The three scents and patterns are bananas, cherries and citrus in a variety of designs and colors. But how does the scratch and sniff work? Micro-encapsulated fragrance oils are hand-applied to the paper. When you scratch it, you pop open the tiny capsules and release the smell.

Here are some rooms featuring the scratch and sniff wallpaper:

The whimsical yet modern cherry pattern is the perfect backdrop in a bedroom featuring an upholstered headboard. Image: Flavor Paper

The banana-scented paper in a company’s conference room is a great ice-breaker. The paper features a seafoam-color foil background. Image: Flavor Paper

Cosmopolitan Magazine’s new hair and makeup room features the cherry-scented scratch and sniff wallpaper paired with one of Flavor Paper’s new designs: Marylin Monroe’s lips. Image: Flavor Paper

This modern San Francisco nursery adds fun and whimsy by papering the walls with the banana-scented wallpaper. The jungle-themed nursery is bright and colorful. Image: Studio Munroe

A Santa Monica loft features the cherry wallpaper on an accent wall, working in harmony with the red dresser. Image: Jessica Ayromloo

Eighties retro chic colors and patterns add fun and fashion to this desk area. Image: Flavor Paper

Would you wallpaper your space with scratch and sniff wallpaper? Which one is your favorite? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments.

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Marking The Studs

With the onset of things like Instagram, it’s kinda rare that you see really short updates on blogs anymore. But something happened recently that was funny enough to warrant its own archive in my blog’s history.

To give you some background, I’ve been working on a new plan for better organizing my garage. With my home becoming a space where I’m no longer fixing drywall and can make more of my own furniture, I need room to create a little sawdust. With K moving in, he also has a few of his own tools that need a new home as well.

Between all of the outdoor tools and the mower, I’m hyper aware of how much extra space I could use if I moved all of the outdoor equipment to its own space. It’s also the motivation behind getting the new shed built. Also, I have an awesome new set of battery powered outdoor tools thanks to my partnership with STIHL (more on that very soon!), and I just don’t have the space anymore!

I am trying little by little to get small corners of the garage improved, such as the small expanse of wall immediately to the left of the door from the kitchen. It’s about 14 inches from the door casing, so I created a narrow workbench table that fits right in the space and runs the full length of the wall. If you saw my DIY power carving post or video, then you will have already seen glimpses of it in use. Nothing like a project to immediately confirm that I need to make more improvements!

So, that’s what I’m setting out to do: one tiny organization project at a time, and mostly with scrap wood. I casually asked K if he would help me out by marking the studs along the same wall while I ran to the store. The goal is to cut and hang French cleats for battery chargers and long clamps that take up too much space on my pegboard wall.

I asked him for this favor, and then totally forgot, distracted by whatever it was I was already working on. It was DAYS LATER that I walked back into the garage to find what K actually did:

Oh, he marked the studs, alright. Every. single. one. of the studs are marked this way. That takes some dedication, for sure. If you watched that carving video, you might have even seen them and not realized what they are! They’re curling a bit from the humidity now, but I plan to keep them up a little longer.

That, my friends, is just one small story about the boy who now lives in my house. Because he’s pretty good at a clever prank. I’d like to repay the favor, though. So:

  1. I’d love your stories about some really good pranks you’ve pulled (for coughcough, ideas and such)
  2. I’ve created this handy stud-marking downloadable for those of you who would like to be extra and mark YOUR home’s studs in the same way.

Since marking them with K’s face is super weird, I took some images from a free photo database instead and created two versions (one for those of you who don’t like beefcake; one for those who are my level of crassness, hehe). I named them both Mark (get it?).

stud finder version 1
Mark I printable
stud finder version 2
Mark II printable

If anyone takes me up on this offer, please tag me on Instagram at @uglyducklingDIY when you use it, along with the hashtag #myUDH. This is just for funsies, so I will laugh my ass off if anyone actually does it.

Enjoy.

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What to Expect During Your New Home Walkthrough

Home inspections are usually part of the process when you’re buying an existing home. If you’re building your home, however, your builder will coordinate any necessary inspections with the city, then schedule a walkthrough with you. The walkthrough is a vital part of the building process, so it helps to come prepared. As you tour your new home with your builder, you’ll get the 411 on all the features while making sure everything’s up to par. Knowing what to expect during your new home walkthrough means you’re ready to ask the right questions and turn the key on the finished home you’ve been waiting for.

Your new home walkthrough is the perfect time to learn about new appliances. Image: WORKS

The new home walkthrough process

Schedule between one and two hours for the entire walkthrough process. You’re not just touring the home before you close; you’re also learning about all of the features and functions in your home. Your builder needs sufficient time to go through the home so you’re comfortable using everything from the appliances to the thermostat.

The walkthrough usually involves the builder or superintendent, the buyer (you) and, if applicable, the buyer’s agent. Having all three parties present means that everyone’s interests are adequately represented. It also means getting all of your questions answered before your move-in date.

Check trim and paint for flaws. Image: Moser Architects

The steps

While each builder has a different walkthrough process, you’ll likely go over the same general areas. Here are some of the places your builder will check with you (and some things you can look out for along the way):

  • Finish work. Most builders will mark off any cosmetic issues with blue painter’s tape. This gives a visual reminder of any finish work issues, such as scuff marks, paint touchups, exposed nails or uneven grout lines.
  • Doors and windows. Your builder will show you how to operate all doors and windows, giving you the chance to make sure all of the seals are nice and tight. Check for drafts, gaps or windows that stick.
  • Appliances and features. From the thermostat to your security system, the walkthough gives you the chance to learn about your home. Your builder will show you how to use all of the features and hand over any necessary manuals. Make sure you locate the electrical panel, fireplace controls, thermostat and security system panel, and ensure that you are comfortable in using each before you close.
  • Exterior finishes. Your builder should take you outside for an exterior inspection. Check to make sure your stucco, stone, brick or exterior finish is smooth and even. Then check the foundation of the home to make sure the ground slopes away from the home. You can also grab a pair of binoculars to check the roofing; it should be consistent and tight without gaps.
  • Warranty vs. maintenance. As you walk through the home, talk to your builder about the warranty. Most builders offer a one- to two-year warranty on things like electrical and plumbing systems. Cosmetic items that aren’t flagged during the walkthrough, however, might be considered “homeowner maintenance” once you close, so make sure you’re clear on what’s included in your warranty and what’s not.
fixtures

Pay special attention to fixtures and tiling work in the bathroom. Image:

Buyer tips 

It’s easy to see your new home through rose-colored glasses. After all, you’re excited to move in, and correcting issues could prolong the process. But it’s best to take the time to resolve potential issues with your builder before you close. Otherwise, you risk having to deal with (and pay for) them yourself. These tips can help save you time (and headaches) during and after the walkthrough.

  • Even if your builder marks off items with painter’s tape, keep a detailed written list of repairs and resolutions as you tour the home. That way, you have a written record of everything that needs to be done.
  • Tour the home and examine the finishes from every angle. If you’ll be sitting on a couch in your new living room, crouch down and see what the home looks like from that level. You might notice flaws that you hadn’t seen while standing.
  • Snap a few pictures as you examine the home, especially if you find flaws that require repairs. It’s easy to get so excited about your new home that you completely forget which areas needed attention.
  • Don’t be afraid of speaking up during your walkthrough; your builder wants you to be happy with the finished product. A dent in your appliances or a scuff on the wall might seem like no big deal, but having it resolved during the building process means one less thing to worry about on moving day.

Arrive prepared

Even if your home clears inspections with flying colors, inspectors are there to confirm that a home is built to certain standards. They aren’t looking at the paint job or making sure you got the cabinetry finish you wanted. That’s why new home walkthroughs are so important: They allow you to advocate for yourself. While a few cosmetic flaws might set you back a week or two, it’s all part of the process. A new home walkthrough ensures that your builder has met your expectations and that your home is ready for you come moving day, so arrive prepared and you’ll be that much closer to your finished home.

Do you have experience with a new home walkthrough? Any tips to share? Let us know in the comments!

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6 Must-See Gardening Ideas to Transform Your Outdoor Space

Remember last month, when my friend Corey shared some of her projects and we did a blog swap? This month, I’m continuing that monthly feature (aiming for the last Friday each month), and happy to be swapping with my pal Beth! If you want to check out the post I wrote for her blog, head over to her site, Unskinny Boppy to see some of my favorite gardening ideas.


Hey guys! I am SO excited to be a guest on Sarah’s blog today.

First off, let me give you a little background on me — I’m Beth from Birmingham, Alabama. I’ve been sharing my home, garden and DIY projects for over a decade at my blog, Unskinny Boppy. When one of our mutual friends (holla at Stacy!) suggested we kick it old-school style and join together for a blog swap, I was all in.

Sarah and I decided since summer is upon us here in the South, we would share our best gardening ideas for our blog swap today. Here are a few of my best garden projects to give you ideas for your yard this summer.

6 must-see gardening ideas to improve your yard this summer

One of the most popular garden projects we added to our backyard was this raised garden bed to hide the underside of our back deck. The beds are constructed with a lumber frame and cedar plank siding. It totally transformed my backyard and provides us with tons of fresh veggies and fruit all summer. Right now I’m growing tomatoes, cucumber, blueberries, blackberries, squash, zucchini and a few sunflowers for fun! I also love not having to bend over to tend to my garden.

Another popular outdoor tutorial is an oldie but a goodie. In 2011 I hung a vintage ladder over my back patio table with a Moravian star and mason jars to provide candlelight for ambiance. I loved this simple garden project so much. It added a ton of character to our back patio beside the swimming pool.

Freshening up porches for summertime entertaining is never a fun job, but it’s always worth it in the end. Here are some of my best tips for decorating a narrow front porch for welcoming guests in the spring and summer.

If you have a shady yard like me, it can be tough to find pretty plants that will grow in the shade. I started embracing the shade and realized there’s plenty of pretty plants that will grow in the darker areas of my yard.
Click here to read my list of Top Five Shade Loving Plants for a Summer Garden.

Speaking of shade, I just recently finished a screened-in back porch makeover so we can have a shady (and mosquito-free) spot to sit this summer. Between the bed swing and the Adirondack chairs, we have been chilling like villains out here all month. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy the great outdoors without dealing with the rain or bugs.

Click here to read all about theback porch makeover.

My most recent garden tutorial is this watering can that is “pouring” fairy lights into the fern below. This was a super simple and fun project to add some whimsy to any outdoor space. If you need a quick gift idea for a gardener in your life, this one will be a huge hit!

I hope these posts that I’ve shared will give you guys a taste of my gardening style. If you like what you see, I’d be honored if you would stop by my blog and look through my archives to see if there are any other ideas you would like to pin. I’d also be super stoked if you wanted to be my friend on social media or join my e-mail list.

Here are some links to do that:

Or click here to join my email list.

Thanks for joining me today! Happy decorating and DIYing, y’all!

~Beth

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