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Home and Garden

4 Ways to Brighten Your Home Office Space

If you’ve ever worked at home, you know what a tricky game it can be. It’s lonely. It offers no motivation. And it’s dangerously close to the couch and the pantry. While at first you might have looked forward to working from the comfort of your home, it soon gets old. Before you know it, you’re feeling pretty bleak about the whole situation.

But what if we told you that you could create an office space that you actually wanted to work in? One that puts you in a better mood, leaving you ready to get started and then stay on task? It all starts with setting up a bright and cheerful working environment. A bright environment means a bright mood and a bright mind (cue the lightbulb). Let’s look at a few ways you can brighten your at-home office to reap the benefits of productivity.

Add Color


Not only can color make an office space visually more interesting, it can affect your mood, as well. Ever heard of color psychology? It’s the theory that color can impact mood, actions, and even physiological functions. We won’t go into the science of it here, but we will give you a crash course on which colors do what:

  • White: Gives a sense of freshness, cleanliness, and modernity.
  • Black: Signals luxury, mystery, and power.
  • Silver: Feels innovative and modern.
  • Red: Evokes boldness, action, confidence.
  • Orange: Arouses energy, enthusiasm, and happiness.
  • Yellow: Associated with warmth, energy, and attention.
  • Green: Conjures associations with nature, safety, and luck.
  • Blue: Elicits feelings of productivity, stability, and calmness.
  • Purple: Associated with imagination and mystery.
  • Pink: Feels romantic, calm, and nurturing.

If you want to create a bright space, add a splash of color with a fun chair, a pair of curtains, or a whole wall. Pick a color that stimulates energy, productivity, or any other mood boost you think is essential to your work life. Choose light or vibrant shades of the color so that you don’t end up making the room darker with, say, navy.

Go Green

In honor of the current obsession with succulents, we decided to add plants to our list of office must-haves. But seriously, it’s about more than a corny cactus. Plants add life —literally!— to a home office. The pop of green adds a hint of color to your desk. Plus, an interesting texture always makes a space feel more dynamic.

In addition to aesthetic powers, plants can also impact your mental and physical health. According to studies completed by the University of Exeter, the Human Spaces report, and the University of Technology, Sydney, plants boost productivity and creativity while reducing stress. Adding greenery also helps clean the air naturally by removing carbon dioxide and other toxins from the air. In short, it’s not just a silly succulent. Plants benefit both your physical and psychological health so that you can keep your headspace and your air clean as can be.

Illuminate with Natural Light


Embrace natural light in your home office. Natural light brightens a room more effectively and naturally than artificial light. While you can still supplement your lighting with a lamp, creating a natural lighting situation will prevent your room from feeling stuffy or cramped. Keep your room bright rather than dingy with a few helpful hints about window treatments.

  • The more versatile, the better. Choose blinds, shades, or curtains that you can adjust depending on the time of day.
  • Choose an option with slats for the most mobility. Wood blinds, commercial metal blinds, and plantation shutters provide a full range of motion, from open to closed to everything in between.
  • Light colored wood feels natural and organic if you want a fresh, beachy vibe. Or, if you’re going for a sleek, classic feel, you can choose commercial blinds made from aluminum.
  • Vertical blinds draw the eye side to side, making the room appear wider than it is. The roomier your office looks, the brighter and more airy it will feel to you.
  • When it comes to shades, roller shades can help keep a space clean and fresh due to their minimal shape. Shades are also ideal because they come in a variety of semi-transparent materials that create soft, rather than dreary, lighting.
  • Curtains help introduce color (here’s your chance to add that pop of color that we talked about), texture, or pattern to a drab space. This type of window treatment comes in the greatest variety of designs, so have fun with it. The other tremendous thing about curtains is that they still look stylish while pulled completely open to allow natural light in.
  • When it comes to the materials of curtains and shades, choose light colors and fabrics that aren’t completely opaque. You want to filter, not block, the natural light.

Do a Clutter Cleanse


A cluttered space equals a cluttered mind. Keep your space mess free to relieve both stress and visual chaos. Piles of paper and junk add visual weight to the room. They crowd the space, making it seem smaller. As soon as you remove the clutter, your space will feel instantly larger and more spacious. In general, keep all visible spaces clear to give the space a neat, light feel.

Sticky notes everywhere? Paper? Knick knacks? These can also mess with your carefully created color scheme and draw away from the desired look you’re going for. Furthermore, your extra efforts to brighten your office have gone to waste if you can’t find anything in it. You’ll be more frustrated than before if you don’t organize your own chaos. No space can be bright if you have a dark cloud over your head.

Creating a productive space doesn’t require an entire overhaul of your current office. You can brighten your office, and your mood, with a couple small tweaks. First, add color and natural light with an open window framed by colorful curtains. Next, clear off those stacks of old papers and replace them with some greens. Finally, experience how it feels to be productive while working from home.

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Home and Garden

Pool Ideas for Small Backyards

As landscaping Toronto experts who have installed many pools in small backyards over the years, we would like to share our knowledge and experience so that others may benefit from our unique industry perspective. After reading this article, we recommend approaching pool and landscaping companies in your area if you are serious about installing a pool in your compact yard: they will be able to help you choose the best solution for your property, needs and personal preferences.

Yes, You Can Have a Pool in Your Yard


If you have always thought that your backyard was too small for a swimming pool, it may be time to think again. The range of fibreglass pool designs available today includes many shapes and sizes that are ideal for properties with small yards, and contractors that specialize in their installation can easily solve restricted access issues to ensure that nothing gets in the way of your dreams. However, some designs work much better than others when it comes to swimming pools for smaller yards so you need to choose your new pool carefully if space is really at a premium. Below, we look at some of the best ideas for small backyards and outline what they have to offer.

The Best Pools for Small Backyards


The best type of pool for your home will depend on the exact dimensions and layout of your backyard but you should find one of the following ideas suitable for your needs:

  • Kidney-Shaped Pools – If you plan to spend more time relaxing around your new pool than swimming in it, a kidney-shaped pool will leave you with more space for decking. This type of pool is popular with homeowners who like the idea of being able to take a dip when the weather is warm but are not likely to be doing 50 lengths before breakfast every morning. Swimming pool contractors who specialize in fibreglass installations will normally have a selection of pools in this particular shape and because fibreglass pools are the easiest to maintain, they are a good choice for people who want something they can spend more time enjoying than looking after.
  • Small Rectangular Pools – Generally speaking, a rectangular design will provide the greatest volume of water for any given space, making it the best choice for keen swimmers. You may not be able to fit an Olympic-sized pool in your backyard but if you go for narrow decking and a rectangular pool, you should still be able to have a pool that is big enough to use for both daily exercise and weekend fun. If you want the lowest maintenance option available, fibreglass will again be the preferred choice but with this shape, any type of in-ground pool will be relatively simple to install. All landscaping companies and swimming pool contractors in your area should be able to provide you with quotations for in-ground pools of this shape.
  • Freeform Pool – Owners of homes with odd-shaped backyards may find that a freeform pool is the best solution to their needs. By having a pool designed to fit your backyard, you can make the most of the available space in a yard that is not square or rectangular. The main downside of this option is cost and maintenance: you will probably have to have a concrete pool, which is the most expensive and highest maintenance type of pool. Another option for odd-shaped yards would be to have 2 or more smaller fibreglass pools, arranged to make the most of the available space. If your yard is a very unusual shape and you are finding it difficult to imagine how any size or shape of swimming pool will fit neatly into your outdoor space, consulting a local specialist should prove useful.
  • Semicircular Infinity Pool – A small semicircular pool with a straight infinity edge on one side is a great choice for those who have a small back yard but would like a pool in which they can sit and relax on warm, sunny days. The infinity edge gives the impression of an endless horizon as you sit in the cool water, creating a feeling of spaciousness and freedom that is almost impossible to replicate with any other type of pool in a very small yard. Additionally, a semicircular pool will double as an attractive water feature, enhancing the appearance of your backyard.

Working with Local Landscaping Companies and Swimming Pool Contractors


Unless you have years of relevant industry experience, you are going to need to hire a local contractor to install your new swimming pool. Whether you are looking for companies that specialize in pools and landscaping in Toronto, Los Angeles, London or Sydney, you should approach 2 or 3 at least, to make sure you get a competitive quotation. You should also ensure they are all fully insured and accredited.

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Home and Garden

LEED Certification Process For LEED For Homes Green Building Rating System

If you are thinking about building a new green home, a LEED For Homes certification may be just what you are looking for. LEED—which is the most widely used green building rating system in the world—has a rating system called LEED for Homes that is specifically created to certify homes. The LEED for Homes rating system is designed to certify single-family and multifamily homes that are between one and eight stories. Residential buildings over eight stories should use the LEED BD+C: New Construction and Major Renovation rating system.

How can I get a LEED certification for my home?

The first step in certifying a home under the LEED for Homes rating system starts with project registration and payment of the registration fees at LEED Online (https://lo.usgbc.org/).

At the beginning of the project, project teams will need to hire a LEED for Homes Provider Organization, which will be responsible for overseeing all the certification process and incorporate the rating system requirements into the project’s design and construction. The LEED for Homes Provider Organization will employ a LEED for Homes Green Rater, who will conduct the in-field verification, and an energy rater, who will conduct the performance testing. Energy raters will need to have the Home Energy Rating System Rater (HERS Rater) credential, which is an energy rater credential administered by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET). Let’s take a look at the certification steps of a LEED for Homes project:

  1. Registration
  • The project is registered at LEED Online and registration fees are paid.
  • Project teams select a LEED for Homes Provider Organization.
  1. Verify
  • Preliminary Rating: The project team, the LEED for Homes Green Rater, and the energy rater will set project goals and the targeted LEED certification level.
  • Midconstruction verification visit: The LEED for Homes Green Rater and the energy rater will verify certain building systems while the building walls remain open.
  • Final construction verification visit: Once the construction is over, both the LEED for Homes Green Rater and the energy rater will verify that all the rating system requirements have been met. The energy rater will conduct the required performance testing.
  • The LEED for Homes Green Rater will complete and submit the LEED for Homes workbook, which is basically a template book that contains all the requested information about the project for LEED certification.
  1. Review
  • The LEED for Homes Provider will submit the LEED for Homes Workbook to Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI); the project team will pay the certification fees. (GBCI is responsible for reviewing the submitted documents and granting the LEED certification).
  • Preliminary design review is conducted by GBCI.
  • If additional information is needed to evaluate the application, GBCI will ask for clarification, and the project team will send the clarification.
  • GBCI will proceed with the final design review to evaluate the clarifications and report the awarded/denied prerequisites and credits to the project team.
  • The project team will either accept or appeal the result.
  1. Certification
  • GBCI issues the final certification report, which shows the level of LEED certification awarded unless the certification is denied. The project teams can appeal the results if needed, and if no appeals are made, then the project will be deemed “closed out,” and the project team will no longer be able to appeal the certification level.

Getting a LEED certification for a home is a different process compared to other building types. The major difference is that LEED for Homes rating system requires in-field verification and performance testing to ensure the rating-system requirements are met on-site (which is a great think). Some activities that take place during the in-field verification may be the on-site verification of modeled building energy performance, on-site verification of the building insulation, on-site air tightness and leakage testing, and more.

If are new to LEED and want to learn more, feel free to check out our “New To LEED?” blog. For specific LEED questions, we also have a LEED blog that features different types of articles about green buildings.

LEEDUCATE Inc. | Online LEED Training

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Home and Garden

Modern Backyard Office Projects That Make You Want to Work from Home

Having an office in your house backyard is the new and modern concept which is becoming popular day by day. People enjoy working in their own backyard as it saves commuting time and cost associated with it, space rentals and hassles of dealing with that heavy traffic. Offices in backyard give people the peace and quietness that they need to concentrate on their work.

To meet these modern office requirements, there are various kinds of backyard office shed designs available in the market. Besides being stylish, you can always opt for an energy efficient garden office pods. These cubicles are very comfortable and have sufficient space where you can easily, work, think, and discuss new ideas.

Another benefit of having a garden office shed is that you can be really close to nature. Just imagine an office which is surrounded by greenery that too of your own garden.

Today, various manufacturers have gained expertise in designing and manufacturing different style of office pods. You can either select an existing design or can ask for a personalized office pod as per your needs and requirements. Furniture for your backyard office is another important aspect. You can always keep a gate open for office furniture bay area near your place.

Some tips for the modern backyard office projects are discussed below:

Garden office pods: These office pods look like a tiny home. These are designed in a way that they are self-sufficient and have ample space where you can concentrate on your work without any disturbance.

To enjoy your garden, you can always add a tall window to the wall facing the garden. Similarly, you can add more privacy to your office pod by having solid wall fencing towards the street. Depending on the availability of space, you can use the additional space either as a resting room or as a place for conducting meetings.

Wooden garden office


If you love the natural aesthetic, then wooden office sheds, surrounded by the beauty of your own garden could be an excellent option. You should try to make the optimum use of the available space. To add more space for furniture, you can add a wooden bench outside the office area, which can be used for conducting brainstorming sessions and also for taking those power naps.

Office sheds with wooden plank siding

Backyard office shed designs with wooden plank are a very good example of a blend between modern yet aesthetic designing. Being attractive in their looks, office sheds with wooden plank sidings leave a good impression on the clients. Besides being stylish, office sheds with wooden planks are quite inviting. The ambiance of the office has a significant influence on the productivity and creativity of an individual.

Another benefit of using wooden plank siding is that they are easier to fit and goes with both traditional as well as modern architectures. You can even opt for some bold glass inclusions in between the planks, this would further add a style statement to your backyard office shed.

Home backyard office sheds with green roof


Adding a green roof to your garden office would not only help you in naturally insulating your office pod. Moreover, it would also fulfil the purpose of having a roof garden.

Office sheds with Louvre systems

Louvre systems have been part of architecture for a long time. You can select among the wide range of louver systems available in the market. Besides giving your office shed a modern look, the louver system also acts a rain shield and sun shield for your office pod.

Nothing can beat the feeling of having your own office pod that too within the boundaries of your own house. It provides you privacy and saves you from any kind of household distractions.

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Home and Garden

How to Up Your Garden and Outdoor Lighting Game

For homeowners, it is important to know how to make their house as good-looking as possible. The interiors are easy to plan out—usually an idea comes into mind, and sharing this to the contractor will make it easy. But what about the exteriors of your house?
Lighting the outdoor area of the home is just as important as illuminating the inside. How else will the house amp up its curb appeal? If you’re looking to up your garden and outdoor lighting game, then this is the place to be! Here are some tips and tricks to get your garden looking beautiful in the nighttime.

Learning the Basics

The basics of lighting come down to these three lighting types: ambient, task, and accent. Ambient lighting is general lighting and is soft light that blankets the space it is used on. Most interiors use ambient lighting to amp up the mood and generally keep the room or area illuminated enough without too much glare.

Task lighting, as its name suggests, is lighting to do a certain task. Often referred to as office lighting, task lighting is mostly used to ensure that one has enough light to work. Accent lighting is a smaller concentrated light that helps to direct the focus of one’s eyes toward a focal point. As a general rule of thumb, outdoor landscape lighting focuses on the use of accent lighting.

Lighting Techniques

There are many lighting techniques that can be used for the house exterior and the different parts of the home. Here are a few tips to take note of and when you can use them.

Uplighting or In-Ground Lighting

This technique, as the name implies, is lighting that is strategically placed at the bottom to beam light upward and onto a surface. This technique is useful if the intention is to give emphasis to certain objects like statues, trees, walls, sidewalks, and other outdoor installations. It helps in drawing the attention of the viewer to the focal point. Accent light is primarily used for this technique as there are many kinds to deliver different effects.

1. Grazing

Grazing, or wall grazing, is actually a type of uplighting that gives more importance to drawing one’s attention to a certain wall or outside surface. Rock-wall installations or walls covered with foliage can benefit from this lighting technique the most as the light dances around the textures that these have.

2. Path and Spread Lighting

Pathways and patios can benefit from accent lighting as well. Path and spread lighting gives a dreamy look to the floors of your outdoors. Not only is this great to look at, but it also provides safety to the homeowner by lighting up the walkways during nighttime. Stone pavements and lawn walkways look lovely with this technique as it helps give the plant beds that line them more flair and intrigue.

3. Moon Lighting


Moon lighting is lighting a certain area to make it look as if it were basking in moonlight. The lights are placed in between branches high atop a tree, and the lights are pointed downward like a spotlight. Details of the leaves and branches in the light look as if they were catching the light of the moon, hence the name. During windy seasons, this lighting helps create a calm and soothing atmosphere.

4. Underwater Lighting

Underwater lighting is making use of lights under bodies of water or on waterscapes. Pools, water installations, and water curtains, for example, will look even more beautiful when coupled with a good light source. This helps give depth to ponds and helps illuminate water features that have fish and other aquatic fauna in them.

This technique gives more dimension to a still waterscape and will make the scenery around the backyard look even more amazing. Place the lights beneath the water or on them, depending on what effect you want to achieve. LED lights are the best to use for underwater lighting.

These are but a few things to take note of when lighting up exteriors. Knowing how to take advantage of angles is key when it comes to upping your outdoor lighting game. Learn from other outdoor landscape photos, or experiment on your own. Who knows how well these techniques can make your outdoor landscape out of this world?

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Home and Garden

Green Roofing – The Types Available and its Benefits

The roof is a crucial part of the house, and yet it gets overlooked by many homeowners! Much is being said and done about roof repairs and replacement today. And while it is essential to say yes to regular roof inspections and repairs, it is also important that you welcome roofing trends that bring in more longevity for your roof. One such trend is Green Roofing.

Understanding Green Roofing

In the past few years, green roofs have gained immense popularity. It comes with a set of distinctive features and aesthetic implications that it brings out the best in every roof. It also enables people to add their bit in safeguarding and nurturing nature and contributing to the environment.  Using Green Roofing, you can play your part in making an ecological difference. Also, you can make your roof stand out from the generic roofs in your neighborhood. There are financial advantages, as well.

When you say yes to a green roof, you can stay away from the harsh weather impacts. It helps to minimize erosion and also results in better roof life. Naturally, you tend to save on your roof repair costs, and that helps to add to your savings hugely. Also, the thermal properties of your home enhance with proper Green Roofing. It keeps the air warm during winters and cool during summers. Do you stay in an urban location? If yes, then with this roofing type, you can reduce the heat and warm air that flows into your room.

Today, house owners are looking at Green Roofing as a tool that can add to the roof health in unique ways. However, you need to get in touch with an expert service provider for this. Else, you might get the process incorrect. To know more on this, you can get in touch with Patriot Roofing and Construction.

What comprises of a green roof?

It is essential to learn about the green roof composition! It gets designed carefully so that the homeowners get to witness the advantages while securing the home a traditional roof does. Today, green roofs are available in multiple variants. But they are usually categorized as extensive, intensive or just brown roofs. And the elements used for each roof type is reasonably similar.

It usually comprises of reservoir layer, a secure fleece, a crushed aggregate, filter fleece, the planting and vegetation and a kind of hard landscaping. Let’s look at the different types individually:

  • Intensive green roofing

It gets developed at a basic level using planting vegetation such as trees and shrubs. The construction needs to get done in a detailed manner. The room for improvement is vast. You can innovate on the design as well. But just in case the vegetation is dense, you need increased depth for providing the best support for the plant so that it grows well. Intensive green roofs need regular upkeep. You also need to be constant with plant care through consistent watering.

  • Extensive green roofing

Most homeowners opt-in for this roof type because of individual taste and preferences. The vegetation layer is simpler for upkeep. The designers here generally make use of grasses, moss, herbs, and succulents for covering the space. The plants also need reduced, and hence it is more budget-friendly. You choose the plants based on the location and the ecosystem your residential area can sustain.

  • Brown roofing

Simply put, this is the biodiverse choice that imitates the previous ecosystem, which perhaps got substituted by specific developments. Usually, this is more prevalent in the big urban locations, and it can create a natural habitat for the plants and birds.

The advantages

Green Roofing comes with its own set of benefits. The important ones are discussed below:

  • Maximized roof life

It is evident that with time, your roof will wear away and show signs of damage. It is because of the shifting temperatures and the UV rays of the sun. The temperature change and fluctuations result in shrinking and expansion of the roof. And gradually, that can also result in damaged shingles as well.

When you opt-in for Green Roofing you can increase your roof’s lifespan. It is a protective layer that Mother Nature provides you. Also, it opts in for proper drainage and absorption for any storm water run-offs. Concerning longevity, green roofs can sustain for about 30 to 50 years, which is more than the traditional roof structures.

  • It offers an element of beauty

You can decorate your green roof structure with as much creativity you want. It is a smart way to make use of the roof space available. When you place a plant at a vacant roof space, you can add beauty to it. It adds to the aesthetic value of the roof as well as the entire area.

Also, garden spaces bring about a healing effect on the surrounding environment. It is a great way to give back to Mother Earth. Also, it adds to the overall health of the roof and the house in a holistic approach. A green roof can inspire people to use their creative ideas in decorating and arranging it. And that also brings about peace of mind and happiness.

That is not all. Research suggests that green roofing also brings about immense health advantages to a community and a family.

  • Cooling advantages

Some people know that a green roof can minimize the energy usage of a house. And that brings down the utility bills as well. It can also add insulation when it’s cold and offer shade during the summer months. A generic black roof might successfully absorb as much as 150 degrees during summertime. When it comes to a green roof, it records a maximum of 100 degrees. Hence, it keeps your house cool and helps to minimize your AC bill by almost a good 25%. Also, green roofs are known to keep any building dry and warm.

So, if you are thinking whether to opt-in for a Green Roofing arrangement, you should go ahead and get it done. However, it is essential to join hands with an ace service provider for the same, so that you can reap all the advantages of a green roof.

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Home and Garden

Hot Tub Gazebo for a Perfect Backyards

A home hot tub gazebo can be many things. From a tool shed or an extra attic space to even a home spa or an intimate party area, the world’s the limit when you have a home gazebo. This is why more and more homeowners are getting such structures for their backyards. Not only does increase the space in your own home, but it’s also a versatile home feature for your own personal use. Nowadays, it’s no longer that ostentatious to have a home gazebo. Some might argue that it’s become a necessity, especially if you have guests frequently.

Another great use for your home gazebo is a guest room. Actually, this can already count as a home cottage considering its size and space. But whichever you see it, know that it’s easy and simple to turn your home gazebo into a guest room/house. How? Here are a couple of points to take into account.

Take Note of Insulation

Remember that in a guest room/house, you’ll be hosting people to stay in it for a night or two. The most important thing to take note of even before you have the structure built is the insulation. Make sure that, how ever the gazebo is built, your guests will be able to breathe freely in it. It’s always better if you add windows to it. At least with those, the gazebo-turned-guest room won’t be so stuffy. And during the colder seasons, they’ll only need to open up a window to feel the cold breezes. This is especially useful if you’re not planning to install an air-conditioner in the space.

Set it a bit Far from your Main House

Do you know what houseguests like more than anything? It’s not the mints by the pillow or the comfy cushions. Most often than not, houseguests would like to have some privacy. Whether they want to tend to their own personal matters or they don’t want to feel like they’re intruding into your life, houseguests prefer to have privacy when they’re staying at another person’s home. So how can you instill privacy in your hot tub enclosures guest room? Set it a bit far from your main house. Not so far that it’ll take minutes to get to the structure, but just right that they can do whatever they want in it without disturbing you and without you disturbing them!

Make It Private


The importance of instilling privacy into your house-gazebo-turned-guest-room cannot be stressed enough. Oftentimes, it goes way beyond setting it a considerable distance from your own home. You also have to take into account the structure itself. Though you can’t really play with the windows and such, you can always provide curtains, dividers, and other furniture that can help your guests make the space more private for them. The worst feeling for you guest is when they think they’re being watched. Help them feel calmer and collected by providing all sorts of features that better privatize the space. When they feel like they can do whatever they want in it, you’re guaranteed to receive a few compliments about your hospitality.

Put in Proportioned Furniture

Speaking of furniture, make sure all the pieces that you include in the backyard structure are proportionate. Remember that whatever interior decorating rules you apply to your own home should also be applied to your guest room gazebo. The more homely it feels to you, the more it will feel to your guests. With this in mind, make sure that all the pieces of furniture inside the gazebo are proportionate. Not only will this look and feel nice, but it’ll also promote space within the structure. And when your guests have ample space to stretch their legs and put their feet up in your home gazebo, they’re likely to enjoy their stay better!

Soothing Interior Colors Only


On the subject of colors, always put yourself in your guest’s shoes. Would you enjoy staying in a guest room/house painted in a strange hue that’s more in-line with the homeowner’s personality? It would feel uncomfortable, right? Then you shouldn’t do this with your own guest home gazebo. Only go for soothing colors that’ll ensure your guests will have an easier time relaxing in your backyard structure. But what particular hues constitute a soothing color? More or less neutral tones. Never mind that’s they’re slightly boring (think of them as trendy minimal shades instead). At least they’re relaxing enough to look at.

Fill it with the Essentials

With every guest room, it’s always best to fill it with the essentials. The same should be applied to your home-gazebo-turned-guest-room. In fact, it’s more important that you fill the gazebo with the essentials, more so that your guest won’t have to go all the way to your own house to get whatever they need. But what are these essentials? Basically blankets, pillows, chairs, a closet for your guest’s clothes, a candle or two when the power goes out, and stuff like that. Both normal and basic items that every house has in order for you to be comfortable. When your guests have all of these in the guest home gazebo where they’re staying, they’re likely to feel more comfortable in it!

Add a Bathroom

Make your guests lives easier and add a bathroom in your gazebo. It doesn’t need to be big and extravagant, just a big enough comfort room where your guests can do their business in. This goes back to incorporating living essentials and making your guest home gazebo a more private structure. Your guests will feel more secure using that bathroom in the gazebo instead of having to go inside your main house and using yours. Think about it, when they suddenly need to go to the bathroom at 1 am in the morning, would you like that they wake you up so that you can open your back door and they can use your bathroom? Their own bathroom in the guest home gazebo will solve all your problems!

You might not know it yet but your home gazebo can turn into a fabulous guest room/house! Just remember these pointers to ensure that your guest home gazebo will be one your friends, family, and colleagues will actually enjoy staying in!

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Home and Garden

10 Benefits of Buying a Condo Versus a House

When it comes to browsing condos for sale Los Angeles, you might be wondering whether they’re a better option than buying a house. Consider the following ten reasons to opt for a condo.

  1. They’re more affordable. Unsurprisingly, condos are simply more affordable than houses. The difference is often thousands of dollars.
  2. Live space-efficiently. The lower price of condos is because they are often smaller than houses with the same bedroom and bathroom count. For many, though, living in a smaller space is desirable.
  3. Keep options open. With a condo, you have a myriad of options available in the future. If you plan to relocate, finding a leasee can turn the condo into a source of income.
  4. Condos are lower maintenance. At the end of the day, more space means more maintenance, and condos have minimal demands of occupants.
  5. Live in a community. Unlike apartment communities, turnover in a condominium complex will be minimal. This means that you can get to know your neighbors.
  6. Lower crime rates. There are a number of studies that suggest there may be lower rates of burglary and overall crime in condominium communities.
  7. Start out small. For first-time homebuyers, starting out small with a condo is a great way to enter the real estate market without making too big of a commitment.
  8. Streamline residential responsibilities. Condo community residents pool funds via a homeowner’s association to cover residential costs such as landscaping, cleaning, and maintenance.
  9. Invest in the real estate market. Buying a condo is a natural transition for many apartment-dwellers from renting to owning their home. This is a wise way to invest in your future.
  10. Explore a range of options. Exploring condos for sale can open a whole new world of real estate options, including homes that fit your criteria and budget.

Contact a real estate agent at Maser Condo Sales to get started on your search for a condo in the greater Los Angeles area. Finding a condo these days is not at all a hard task. You can easily contact a real estate agent and get a great condo as per your need and desire. Tell them about your requirement and they will find you a great condo as required within no time and that too within your budget.

If you are not sure where to find a reliable and reputed real estate agent then the best way to search for them is look for them online. With online search you can just not find a reliable agent but can also check out the reviews which will make you sure that you are going with a reliable and reputed one.

Many people try to find a great condo on their own and they think that by doing so that can save a good sum. But when they go ahead they find that you are really spending high and in many cases get trapped and have to face much problems. Thus, taking the help of the agent is always a wise idea.

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Home and Garden

Functional Ways By Which You Can Utilize Your Ottoman

No doubt, the ottoman is that piece of furniture which is often neglected and forgotten. All of us are generally interested in how we would place the sofa, decorate the furniture, dining room table and attend other stuff. But seldom do we care about how our ottoman adds aesthetic value to our home.

If a regular leather furniture is an effective part of the household but so is a leather ottoman. Every part of furnishing needs support to bring out the best in it. So, if you want your leather furniture to look better, you should consider this long-forgotten piece of ottoman.

Ottoman isn’t only a piece of furniture that needs to be kept on a side. But it has got a lot of benefits to serve so that you can keep a close check on it. Ottoman can act as the supporting factor for your other furniture thereby increasing the beauty of your interiors. Ottomans are available in different styles thereby proving to be extremely versatile.

Before proceeding to how you can use the ottoman, let’s get familiar with what an ottoman is. It will eventually help you make better use of it!

What is ottoman?

Ottoman appears like a leather couch without a backrest. It has a head, but there may not be any back. Ottoman is available in different shapes and sizes. Usually, they have square or semicircular ends. Ottomans are usually made of leather and are overstuffed. Thus, you cannot see wood in case of ottoman.

Ottoman can serve different purposes such as a footstool, coffee table, stool or sometimes a smaller sofa. You can purchase a set of three Ottomans and align them sidewise to make a sofa out of it.

If you are purchasing leather furniture, armchairs or gliders, you may often be given Ottomans. Around the world, the ottoman is also referred to as hassock, pouf or footstool. Although they do not have arms or back, they can serve as an effective storage option.

How can you use the ottoman table?

Well, now that you have gotten yourself an ottoman, you are sure to be confused about how to use it. You wouldn’t like it if the table is kept on one side of the room. Some of the prominent ways by which you can keep a leather ottoman include the following:

  1. Use it as it should be

Ottomans are usually used as a footrest. This will make it comfortable for you. The main use of an ottoman is to use it for comfort, and you can use it that way. Since it does not have a backrest, you can just lay your foot on it.

  1. Effective storage spaces

Not many are aware of the secrets of ottoman. Before purchasing a leather ottoman, you can check if it has a lid. Most of the ottomans have an opening lid that can provide you some extra space to store inside.

Often people have used an ottoman to store books, pillows, photo albums, files, and paper. If you have some extra space in the ottoman, it is better to make the most use of it.

  1. Side table

Ottomans do not have backrest thereby making it one of the best side tables you can use. If you want to break away from the normal shackles, you can use it as a side table. Not only does it look functional, but it also helps to add a quirky look to your house.

You can place the ottoman right beside the leather furniture, and use it for holding a tray with a mug of hot chocolate or book. It can hold anything you love just like a normal table would. However, to make it stable, you may place something sturdy as a tabletop to provide the things from shifting.

  1. Extra seating

If you are running out of places to sit because of have guests come over, you can always rely on the ottoman. Also, you don’t have to only use it in the living area. You can use an ottoman for storage and seating option in your bedroom too.

If you are confused about where to place the ottoman in the room, you can place it near the foot of the bed. They can prove to be an effective cosy reading area.

  1. Bathroom area

Not many are aware of this but Ottomans can be used in the bathroom. This is because they can withstand the humidity of the bathroom. You can use it as a towel holder while you take a bath.

They can also serve as a seat for you to do makeup in the vanity area. Since they act as a table, you might as well use them for holding your phone, book, portable speaker and so much more.

Final thoughts

When you explore Wellington’s Fine Leather Furniture, check out their collection of ottomans too. They will tell you how this neglected piece of furnishing can revamp the entire look of your room.

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Home and Garden

Three Places You Can Pick Up Bed Bugs

The first sign that you have bed bug issues is usually the red rash across your body. Bed bugs are attracted to the heat of your body and will suck a tiny bit of blood from your body as you sleep. Sucking the blood is not likely to cause any infection from the bed bug and you’re unlikely to feel any significant effects; the amount of blood taken is simply too small.

However, the bed bug will leave a small lump which looks like a red rash and is incredibly itchy. This will quickly become a nuisance to you and anyone else in your home.

In fact, if you do notice you have a bed bug issue it is important to get the exterminators to help as soon as possible. The sooner you get rid of them the better.

Where Bed Bugs Live


Bed bugs are surprisingly shy. They generally only come out at night and will spend the day hidden in the cracks of your bed and other places in your room. This is why it is so important to get help from your local pest control experts. Bed bugs hide in many places and can be easily transferred to other rooms or buildings. An expert will help to ensure the problem is dealt with properly on the first attempt.

The Places You Pick Up Bed Bugs


Bed bugs are consummate travelers, they’ll hitch a lift virtually anywhere and can travel on your clothing, in a towel, bag, or even inside the edge of your furniture. This is why they can be easily picked up and may be hard to get rid of.

Family & Friends

Bed bugs can get into anyone’s house and then move from their house to yours. If your family or friends have recently been traveling then there are at increased risk of having bed bugs and bringing them home.

Family and friends that have been traveling can even bring them home from the airplane or another mode of transport.

Hotels


Hotels see thousands of people passing through every year. It only takes one of these to bring the bed bugs to the hotel and then they are often there to stay. Hotels often don’t realize that the bed bugs are there until several people have taken them home and complained.

Equally, if your children stay over at a friend’s house they could pick up bed bugs and bring them home with them.

Summer Camp

Another place that has thousands of visitors is summer camp as children come and go for several weeks at a time. The bed bugs can survive throughout the winter in the sheltered camp cabins and then infest more children in the summer.

Your child will be unaware they are bringing them home, as will you until you realize there is an issue. As always, it is harder to resolve the issue than it is to prevent it in the first place.

If you suspect you have bed bugs then make sure any clothing or bedding from the infected room is bagged; to avoid it infesting other parts of the home.