Backyard Renovation Ideas for Your Home!

Well, folks, we survived Hurricane Irma! Thank God! (And I’m not saying that jokingly at all – there were many who did not. Our thoughts and prayers are certainly with the families of those who were lost!)

We took an almost-direct hit from the storm – the worst Central Florida has seen since 2004. It packed quite a punch. I won’t lie, as I was sitting against a barricaded window in the twins’ room while they slept and the storm roared outside, for a minute or two, I started to panic. But we were very very blessed. The worst we had to deal with was our power being out for 4 days. (And can I just say that I do NOT recommend camping with 1-year-old twins?! MERCY!)

Anyhoo, trying to get back to normal over here. One of the negative effects of the storm has been a LOT of standing water on our property. We live on just over an acre, and about 25% of it is under water right now, so that’s a little bit of a concern for us. The hubby and I were outside brainstorming the other day, trying to think of something that could help with the water. I stand by my idea that creating a “dry creek bed” element in the backyard would help to funnel some of the water out, and LOOK pretty neat, too! Something like this…

HE thinks that will probably mean a lot of work for him…so he’s hesitant. (He’s probably right.)

So when Zachary Whatule sent me over a post chock full of backyard renovation ideas, I really got to dreamin’! You’ve got to see what he suggested!

The backyard to any home can hold a lot of potential. Maybe you would like yours to be an oasis of relaxation, or maybe you like to entertain a crowd. Either way, there are plenty of things you can do to turn a plain backyard into something wonderful.

Check out these renovation ideas for a little inspiration!

Continue reading

The Essentials of Backyard Sun Protection

Before his 30th birthday, my husband had three skin cancer surgeries. THREE. Now, we’re both pretty fair-skinned and pretty sensitive to the sun, but mercy, that’s a little bit of an overkill eh?

As a result of those skin cancers, he’s awful cautious about anything having to do with the sun. He’s religious about sun protection for himself, and we both have now focused in on making sure the twins are well-protected from the sun, as well. 

But what we’ve run into is: the twins LOVE to be outside! Which is great! But we have NO shade in our yard. Which is not great. So we’ve been looking at ways to change that.

In the midst of our search, Lillian Connors sent me over the PERFECT guest post! She sure did! Essentials of Backyard Sun Protection! It’s a nice follow-up to last week’s “6 Beautiful and Family-Friendly Backyard Ideas”!

Perhaps the greatest perk of owning a house is having a backyard. It makes a perfect chill out zone, especially during the summer. Relaxing after a hard day at work, having a party with your friends, or grilling a Sunday lunch for your family – a backyard has multiple purposes. However, you’ll need something to protect yourself from the sun and the harmful UV rays. Of course, sunscreen is a must, but creating a shade is even better so here are the essentials of protecting your backyard from the sun.

Go creative

If you’re into the interior and exterior design, you’ll probably see your backyard as an extension of your home and you’ll want it to be just as trendy as your living room and kitchen are. Do you practice yoga and meditate? You can make your own meditation pavilion as a getaway from the everyday buzz. All you need is a wood or steel construction and some colourful sheer fabric to provide protection from the sun. Vertical gardening is a major hit lately and flowerpots hanged around your backyard can provide you with some shade, too. The simplest version of this is to purchase a pergola and train vines to grow over it. Decorate with string lights or lanterns and your backyard will look amazing even when the sun goes down.

Play it safe with permanent structures

For a good, old sun protection, purchase a patio umbrella, an awning or any other protective structure. Look for dense materials since they block more UV rays and provide a better protection. Hard materials like metal or timber provide 100 percent protection, but various kinds of textiles will do just fine, too. Permanently installed structures are more durable and can withstand outdoor elements. Besides, if you opt for an awning, it will provide shade not only for your backyard but also for some parts of your house and help control the temperatures in the dog days of summer.

Continue reading

How to Build a DIY Backyard Pizza Oven!

Happy Friday, everyone! Just wanted to pop by and share something fun with all of you. Who knows, maybe this pizza oven could be your weekend DIY!

Matt with Northshore Fireplace recently contacted me regarding an infographic on how to build a DIY backyard pizza oven! Since outdoor cooking season is in full swing, and many people use this time of year to entertain and throw outdoor dinner parties, I thought it was a great idea! Building a backyard pizza oven may seem like a daunting task, but is more achievable and even more affordable than you might think.

DIY-Pizza-Oven-6-2 - Copy

This resource can be used as a step by step guide to creating your own pizza oven that doesn’t require any specialized construction skills. By using brick, sand, and some cement you can build a beautiful, durable backyard pizza oven that only costs a few hundred bucks. The nice thing about these wood fire ovens is that they can be used for more than just cooking pizza! Check out how!

Continue reading

The Perfect Garden for the Perfect Summer!

It’s finally that time again! The winter coats are packed away, the washing is hanging up outside and the men of the world are taking their rightful place at the barbecue. Yes, it’s summertime! Now that the season of ‘Taps Aff’ weather (a very scientific way of measuring warm weather) is upon us, it is the perfect time to create a beautiful summer yard for all of the family to enjoy. Whether you are looking for a new theme or perhaps your grass just needs sprucing up, it’s important to have your garden exactly how you want it. 

Here are some fantastic ideas to bring it all together!

Bifold Doors to Bring Together Home and Garden

bifold-doors-scotland

One of the best ways to make the most of your yard in summer is with Origin  bi fold doors, such as those sold by Ekco. Unlike traditional patio doors, bi-fold doors fold all the way in thereby opening up your home and giving you unparalleled views of your garden. Not only do they look stunning, bi-fold doors have a low threshold which removes the barrier between indoors and outdoors essentially creating one huge living space for you to enjoy in summer. Bi-folds give a wonderful sense of space and light and allow you to keep your home cool in summer.

Continue reading

Get Your Backyard Ready for the Season

Here in Florida, it’s as good as summer. The high today is slated for a whopping 92 degrees with thunderstorms. Yep! Welcome to summer in Florida! 

So when Emma Lawson asked me about doing a guest post that would teach all of us how to get our backyard ready for some summer fun, well, I know MY backyard needs some help! How about yours?

With summer already knocking on our door, it is high time we scoop up spring blossoms and mow the law so that the beauty of our backyard can shine freely. However, getting your backyard ready is not an easy task, and you should plan it out before you start making any significant changes. In order for your yard to look perfect you should invest your time and enthusiasm, but not necessarily a lot of money.

Light it up

?

                                                                                              {Source}

Can you imagine spending warm summer nights sitting outside with family and friends with a drink while listening to soothing buzz of insects? The only thing missing in that picture is soft light enveloping you. If getting expensive lamps is not an option, you can make your own garden lights using nothing more than mason jars, some white paint and string. Wrap jars with string and paint them white (or any other color). The results are great: your own garden lanterns in which you will put candles and place on your porch or table. You can also use a string of ordinary Christmas lights and cover them up with cupcake liners.

Continue reading