How to Make Your Home Smell Awesome All The Time

Do you ever walk into your home and wonder where that funky smell is coming from? Rest easy knowing that you’re not alone, but also know that there are ways to make your home smell awesome all the time! You’ll never have to feel self-conscious about inviting people over, or wonder if you’ll have to plug your nose as you walk into your house again! With these 9 tips, your home will always smell fresh and amazing!

1. Open Your Windows

Opening your windows can make a world of a difference to the smell of your home. It will freshen the indoor air and eliminate any cooking smells or other lingering odours in your home.

2. Use an Air Purifier

Use an air purifier to eliminate household odours and keep your home smelling fresh! Air purifiers also reduce dust and pollen, so you’ll be breathing the in the cleanest air possible.

3. Light Candles

Find a few candle scents you love and burn them throughout your house. Candles are a sure way to make sure your home always smells amazing. If you notice a particularly bad odour coming from your home (perhaps it’s the garbage, cat litter or dirty dishes in the sink), deal with the odour, open the windows and light a candle to first eliminate the bad smell and then make it smell great!

4. Spray Your Shoes

Do you have shoes piled up in your entryway? This could be contributing to the odour in your home. Spray the insides of your shoes to banish any bad scents that are coming from them. Foot powder also works well for this!

5. Use Essential Oils and a Diffuser

There are so many different essential oils that will make your home smell awesome. Add some water and a few drops of your favourite essential oil into a diffuser and enjoy as the scent wafts through your home.

6. Add Indoor Flowers and Plants

Another natural way to make your home smell great is with indoor flowers and plants. Live plants freshen the air in your home and your favourite flowers will make it smell incredible. Growing herbs in your kitchen is another great way to enhance the scent in that room.

7. Empty Your Garbage Cans Regularly

This may seem obvious, but sometimes life gets in the way and you don’t empty your garbage cans as soon as you should. Make sure to take out your garbage and compost regularly so it doesn’t start to stink up your home.

8. Clean Out Your Refrigerator

Your refrigerator can be another source of bad odour. If you’ve left food in there for too long, it could be rotting and cause a nauseating smell in your home. Go through your fridge once a week and throw out anything that’s ready to go!

9. Make Sure No Dishes Are Left In The Sink

Dishes with food left on them can be another bad-scent culprit, and if they’re left in the sink for too long, the odour is sure to get worse and worse. Clean your dirty dishes as soon as you can to prevent the bad odour from drifting through your home.

With these 9 tips, you’ll never have to worry about your home smelling bad again. Use them to make your home smell awesome all the time!


Floating House: The Stunning New Idea That We All Love

Have you heard of a floating house? Floating homes are constructed just like regular homes on land, but are built on a floating concrete barge on top of water. They’re the new trend in sustainable construction, and are suitable for year-round living. Floating homes can be quaint one-storey homes or grand million dollar mansions. If you’re considering make the move to a floating house, here are the things you need to know!

The Differences Between a Floating Home and A Houseboat

Although they both sit atop water, floating homes and houseboats are not the same thing. Floating homes are permanently connected to sewer, water and electrical, and are permanently moored. They’re built and moved into place just once and have no means of self-propulsion.

Houseboats, on the other hand, have features that you can disconnect. You can unscrew the electricity, and untie and easily move away. They are not built to be permanently moored. They are a self-propelled power vessel that can maneuver on their own, and are free to travel the waterway.

Benefits of Floating Homes

There are plenty of advantages to living in a floating home. First and foremost, you get an amazing water view from your home and nobody can block anything that will ruin it. You’ll have gorgeous sunrise and sunset water views right from your property and can take a dip in the water anytime you feel like it. You won’t need to garden or shovel snow when you live on the water, so home maintenance is greatly minimized too!

Most floating homes are designed beautifully, with large windows, gorgeous docks and stunning features like skylights and rooftop decks. Floating house neighbourhoods also offer an enjoyable experience as you get to know your neighbours well and there’s a strong feeling of community.

Drawbacks of Floating Homes

While floating homes offer a number of benefits, they’re not for everyone. One of the biggest floating home drawbacks is space. Floating house communities are great if you love the idea of being in a tight-knit community, but keep in mind there’s typically about 10 feet between you and your neighbour, so if space is important to you, a floating home may not be ideal.

Most moorages don’t have garages, and carports and storage units often have rent waitlists. On top of that, you’re not going to be parking your car near your home and it can become tiresome to haul groceries down a ramp.

Other things to consider about living in a floating home are sea sickness, motion sickness, and extreme weather that can lead to damage of your floating home. And since there are less floating home neighbourhoods, there is often less real estate and communities to choose from when buying a floating house.

Floating homes are a growing trend in the housing market. If this way of living intrigues you, weigh the benefits and drawbacks and decide if floating home living is right for you!


Step Up! 6 Great Design Ideas for Your Front Steps

Your front steps should make a statement. Whether that statement is subtle or bold is up to you, but your steps are the entryway to your home, so they should make a good first impression.

Many of us think about front steps in terms of functionality, and while they do need to be functional, they can also enhance your curb appeal, make your entryway appear larger, and increase accessibility.

Coordinate your front steps with your front porch, entry door and landscaping so it all comes together to welcome people to your abode. Ready to step up your entryway game? Here are our best front step design ideas we know you’ll love!

1. Brick Entryway

Coordinate your front steps and porch by constructing them both with large, timeless brick. It will flow together, making a seamless transition from your steps to your porch- a gorgeous design for a traditional home. Add Tuscan columns where the stairs meet the porch, big, beautiful windows and gorgeous shutters for a charming, traditional look.

2. Grand Staircase

If you have a large front porch, take advantage of the space and add a wide staircase up to your porch. This will open up the facade of your home, giving people a true appreciation for how grand your entryway really is. Place the front steps so they line up with the middle of the porch, giving your home beauty and balance.

3. Resort-Style Steps

Whether you have a vacation home, or just really want the look of a resort-style home for your house in the city, your front steps can help you achieve the look. Decorative tiles or designs placed on the risers of the staircase offer a resort-style vibe that transports you to an island oasis. Choose a tile that reminds you of your favourite vacation spot, and you’ll love walking up your stairs every day.

4. Cool and Contemporary

Have a contemporary home? You probably want contemporary front steps to go with it. Tones of gray can help you achieve the contemporary look for your front entryway, including the stairway leading up to your porch. You can also consider putting hidden lights under each step to portray the look of floating stairs and to help lead your family and guest up the stairway. It’s a cool, contemporary touch!

5. Wooden Warm

One way to make a warm welcome with your front entryway is with wooden front steps. It gives your entryway an inviting feel and makes your home feel timeless and trendy all at once. Choose a wood you really love and that compliments the rest of your home exterior and landscape.

6. Brick & Concrete

Another great option for a more traditional-style home is mixing brick and concrete for your front steps. Use concrete slabs for the treads and bricks for the risers, ending off with a concrete or brick patio- whichever you like best!

If you want your front stairway to be more than just functional, use one of these awesome design ideas for your front steps!

 


7 Design Trends on the Way Out

Design trends come and go. Some stick around for the long haul, while others drop off after a season or two. The trends we’re talking about today have made their mark on the design world, but it’s time for us to say goodbye. From minimalism to open shelving, here are seven design trends on the way out.

1. Granite Countertops

Everyone and their grandmother has granite countertops these days. While granite has been the go-to countertop choice for years, there are many other, more durable and affordable options out there. If you don’t want to be the same as everyone else, switch it up and opt for materials such as marble, quartz, butcher block or concrete- materials that will last and are practical.

2. Minimalism

The sparse white minimal trend has been popular for the past few years, but get ready to see a shift towards a more colourful, lived-in aesthetic. While all-white walls and decor have had their moment to shine, today’s homeowners are craving more colours, shapes and textures. Minimalism can be beautiful when done right, but it’s not practical for most people.

3. Nautical Theme

It’s one thing to be inspired by the seaside and incorporate it into your décor in subtle ways- think ocean-inspired blue walls and a white and blue striped rug. But the days of decorating with anchors and seashells are drifting away. The nautical design trend is on the way out, so if you were wondering whether to buy that antique ship wheel for your living room, go with something else.

4. Chevron Print

Chevron prints have definitely made a name for themselves in the world of design, making their way onto everything from rugs to wallpaper to pillows, furniture and so much more. But chevron has reached its peak. Geometric patterns are set to take chevron’s place, as well as tropical patterns and muted tones. Just keep in mind, when you’re using a bold print, leave it to accent pieces like pillows and wall art so you can easily switch them out down the road.

5. Painted Brick

While designers often opt to paint brick (usually in a shade of white), leaving brick in its natural state is the way to go for 2019 and beyond. Natural brick adds the feeling of warmth to any room, giving it a rustic vibe. It’s cozy, trendy and timeless- the best combination for a home. And you better believe getting brick back to its natural colour after it has been painted is no easy feat.

6. All White Kitchens

All white kitchens had their moment, but the truth is, it’s tough to pull off the all white look. White kitchens meant to look crisp and modern often end up looking stark and cold, and unless you’re never home or are a cleaning fanatic, it’s hard to keep them clean. White will always be a popular colour for kitchens, but add some contrast with a darker backsplash or countertops.

7. Too Much Open Shelving

Open shelving may look great in magazines and home reno shows when everything is perfectly matching and placed, but are they practical for the everyday homeowner? Not really. With open shelving you have to make sure you don’t have too much stuff and that all your dishes, glassware and decor pieces match. Sure, many homeowners may be able to handle one or two open shelves, but the days of full open-shelf kitchens are soon to be gone.

If you’re renovating or redecorating your home, stay away from these design trends that are on their way out!


4 Steps to Build an Outdoor Kitchen on a Budget

The more the temperature rises, the more time all of us want to spend outside. Extending your indoor space to the outside with an outdoor kitchen is a great way to ensure you and your family will spend some much needed time outside this summer. While an outdoor kitchen may sound like an expensive task, we’re letting you in on four steps to build an outdoor kitchen on a budget, so you can build the outdoor kitchen of your dreams without breaking the bank!

Outdoor Kitchen Layout

First things first, you need to decide where you’ll place your outdoor kitchen in your yard and choose the layout you want for it. You’ll want it to be as close to your indoor kitchen as possible, so it’s easy to transfer tools, dishes, food and other kitchen necessities.

Placing your kitchen near an exterior wall will make your new kitchen more affordable, with easier access to plumbing and electricity if you plan to have sinks and refrigerators. But really, all cooking in an outdoor kitchen requires is a gas or charcoal grill and a surface to place your food. Let your budget determine any extra amenities you add.

Determine Your Kitchen Essentials

Now that you’ve decided where to place your kitchen, you’ll need to determine the essentials for your outdoor kitchen. Of course you’ll need a grill for cooking. Make sure you invest in one with the suitable number of burners, counter surfaces and storage cabinets for your needs. Will you mostly be cooking for your family, or do you plan to entertain a lot? Take these things into consideration when planning your outdoor kitchen essentials.

And don’t forget post-meal clean up. Garbage and recycling bins are also musts for an outdoor kitchen. Depending on your budget, you may also consider add-ons such as a roof, bar, or pizza oven.

Get Creative For Your Budget

If you’re on a tight budget for your outdoor kitchen, get creative and upcycle furniture and appliances you already have or visit salvage yards for affordable kitchen cabinets, countertops, appliances and anything else you need for your outdoor kitchen. You can also check out discount retailers and big box stores that will have inexpensive options for you to choose from.

The Extras

Make sure to consider things like lighting and seating for your outdoor kitchen. If it’s somewhere you spend to plan a lot of time in or entertain in, you want it to be a comfortable space for you and your guests. Your outdoor lighting should illuminate your cooking, eating and relaxation areas. Intergrate lounge chairs and add an outdoor kitchen table and chairs so you can enjoy all the food you whip up in your outdoor kitchen!

An outdoor kitchen is a great way to extend your indoor living space come summertime. Use these steps to create an outdoor kitchen on a budget!


How to Create a Cool “Hang Out” Area in Your Backyard: 6 Hammock Ideas

Want to create the ultimate relaxation spot in your backyard? Putting up a hammock is the perfect way to do it. There’s no better place to lay back, put your feet up, and breathe in the fresh open air. Hammocks are light-weight, trendy and they’ll make your backyard look like a comfortable oasis. If you’ve been feeling like your backyard needs an extra place to hang out, check out these 6 awesome hammock ideas!

1. Patio Hammock

Hang a hammock (or two) from the pillars on your patio. While traditionally hammocks are made from cotton and rope, cloth hammocks are rising in popularity due to their incredible comfort. Head out onto your patio and in just a few steps you can fall into your hammock to read a book or take a nap.

2. Poolside Hammock

Need a place to relax before and after jumping into the pool? A poolside hammock will be your new best friend. You can build a trellis to hang your hammock from, or hang it from any trees or poles near your pool.

3. Hanging Bed

If you love the idea of a hammock, but think you need a little more support, a hanging bed may be just the thing for you. Bring the comfort of your bed to your patio or yard- wherever you decide to hang it. If it’s a large hanging bed, make sure it’s hung with a sturdy chain on each corner for support. Whether you want a smaller one-person bed or a bed you can share with family and friends, a hanging bed is a great way to bring comfort outdoors.

4. Tree Hammock

Hammocks are traditionally meant to be hung from trees, so if you have trees in your yard that can support a hammock, tie it between two of them. Fill the hammock with blankets and pillows for the ultimate relaxation spot. You can also consider adding string lights between the trees above the hammock to create a tranquil ambiance.

5. Garden Patio Hammock

Do you have a garden patio that’s look a little bare? Surround yourself with flowers and greenery by placing a hammock on your garden patio. It will give you a secluded spot to enjoy your garden while you breathe in the gorgeous smell of the flowers, plants and fresh air.

6. Hanging Pillow Chair

Another option that’s similar to a hammock but a tad different is a hanging pillow chair. Hung from all four corners, the unique design is perfect for one person to sprawl out and relax on an oversized pillow. It’s stylish and comfortable, and offers the perfect place to hang out and read or get some reflecting done.

Creating a cool hang out area is easy with a hammock! Use one of these ideas to add comfort and style to your backyard!


Who Needs Artificial Grass? And How to Pick The Best Kind For You!

When you think of artificial grass, do visions of sports fields pop into your head?  Many sports arenas opt to use artificial grass over real grass since it’s more affordable and easier to maintain, but people have started using it for their lawns at home as well! It’s a great option if you have children or pets, live in a well-shaded area, or reside in a location that gets little rain. Here’s how to pick the best type of artificial grass for you!

What is Artificial Grass?

Artificial grass, or artificial turf is a surface of synthetic fibers with a firm, yet flexible base, that’s made to look and feel like real grass. There are a number of benefits of using artificial grass for your lawn. It’s low-maintenance (it doesn’t need to be cut or watered), affordable, and many brands contain an antibacterial that prevents the spread of germs and bacteria, so your kids and pets can play on artificial grass without worrying about pesticides and other chemicals!

Do You Need Artificial Grass?

So who needs artificial grass? There are a number of factors that make artificial grass ideal for certain homeowners.

1. If You Live in an Area With Lots of Shade

Shaded areas cause major issues with real lawns, but are perfect for artificial turf. Whereas real grass will dry up and die if it doesn’t get sunlight, artificial grass requires no direct sunlight at all. It maintains its colour with or without sunlight and water.

2. If You Have Children and Pets

Artificial grass is also ideal if you have children and pets. As we mentioned above, you don’t have to worry about pesticides, fertilizers and other toxic chemicals used to maintain your lawn. There’s also no need to worry about grass stains with artificial turf.

3. If You Live in an Area That Gets Little Rain

No water is needed to maintain artificial grass, so if you live in an area that gets little rain, it may be a good bet for you. The only water it requires is the occasional rinse off to prevent odors and dust build-up, but you can do that easily with your garden hose.

How to Pick The Best Artificial Grass For You

If you’ve decided that artificial grass is the right choice for you, it’s time to pick the best type for your lifestyle (believe it or not, there are lots of different types of artificial grass!). Here are four tips to help you figure out the perfect match for your yard.

1. Quality

You want to make sure you choose top quality artificial grass. Well-made synthetic grass is made out of polypropylene, polyamide, polyethylene yarns or a mixture of all three. It will also be evenly backed, have consistent colour throughout, and contain well stitched tufts.

2. Blade Length

The recommended blade length for artificial grass is 30-37mm. This length ensures your lawn looks well maintained, and that it’s not too long, causing it to bend over and flatten out over time.

3. Backing and Infill

There are a number of different infill types for synthetic grass to keep it bouncy and resilient. Sand and gravel are often used for infill, as well as other materials. When it comes to backing, polyurethane or latex are used. Use polyurethane if you live in an area with high heat, since it doesn’t expand and contract. This will keep it from causing bubbles and tears.

4. Colour

When it comes to the colour of your artificial grass, choose a combination of shades of green. This will keep it from sticking out and looking too fake among the real grass lawns on your street. Varying shades of green with some brown flecks will make your lawn look more natural.

If you think artificial grass is a good option for you and your lifestyle, use these tips to pick the best kind for you!


7 Creative Uses for Leftover Siding

If you’ve just finished an exterior renovation and have some siding leftover, don’t put it to waste! There are tons of fun DIY projects you can undertake with leftover siding so you don’t have to throw it away. Seeing as you likely used top quality siding for your home, whatever you make out of the leftovers is sure to last you for years to come! From projects for your kids to home upgrades, here are seven creative uses for leftover siding!

1. Nameplates for Kids’ Rooms

When you’re a kid, there’s nothing better than a personalized room, and with leftover siding you can create unique nameplates for each of your children. Cut a piece of the siding and stencil your child’s name onto it, letting them paint and place stickers on the nameplate to make it their own.

2. Baby Mobile

Another creative way to use leftover siding is to make a baby mobile! Use a circular saw to cut out geometric shapes (or get even more creative if you can!), to hang from your ceiling. Remember to drill a small hole through each of the pieces so you can string the shapes onto some string to hang it from the ceiling.

3. A Vanity Cabinet

Have you always wanted a unique vanity cabinet for your bathroom? Use your leftover siding to create one, and it paint in any colour that matches your bathroom colour palette. It’s a great way to add character to your bathroom as well as additional function.

4. Coat Hanger

Cut a piece of siding your desired length and place it up on the wall in your entryway or mudroom. Attach hooks along the front of it, and ta da, you have a coat hanger. You can also create a towel hanger in your bathroom the same way, or attach vintage door knobs to the front to hang towels on.

5. Dog House

Have you always wanted to build a dog house for your favourite four-legged friend? Extra siding provides you with the perfect chance to make that happen! Especially if your dog spends a good amount of time outside, it’s a great way to keep them comfortable and protected. And since quality siding is weather resistant and maintenance free, you won’t have to worry about it weathering or rusting.

6. Treehouse or Playhouse

If you have a considerable amount of siding left over, you may want to consider building something on a larger scale, like a treehouse or playhouse for your kids. If you’re building a treehouse, check with your city to see if you need a permit. You won’t need one for a playhouse, so if you want to get started right away, that may be the better option!

7. Statement Wall

Have a small wall area in your home and always wanted to create a statement wall? Use the leftover siding from your renovation project to cover your entire wall in siding. If you have siding pieces of varying thickness, it’s a great way to add visual interest to the space.

There are plenty of ways to use leftover siding! Get creative and don’t let it go to waste!


5 Bug-Free Gazebo Designs

Sitting outside in your backyard, relaxing in the summer heat sounds like paradise…until you factor in the bugs. If you live in an area that’s prone to bugs, you know what a pain they can be, and when it comes to entertaining friends and family in your backyard, the last thing you want is their visit getting ruined by bugs. If you’re the family who loves to hold gatherings at your home, whether it’s barbeques, birthdays or special events, it’s nice to have a shady place to relax away from the bugs.

Enter: the gazebo, a gorgeous and comfortable structure that will make your backyard feel like an extension of your home. A nice gazebo will elevate your backyard, making your guests flock to it when they see it. And many of them come equipped with screens or curtains to keep the bugs out. If you love the idea of placing a gazebo in your backyard, here are five bug-free gazebo designs for you to choose from.

1. Wooden Gazebo

There are plenty of gorgeous wooden gazebos you can choose from for your backyard. Whether you want it tall or small, with intricate detailing or unadorned, a wooden gazebo is sure to be a beautiful addition to any yard. Whatever style you choose, look for a wooden gazebo with screens built into the walls to keep the bugs at bay.

2. Gazebo with Curtains

If you don’t love the idea of having netted screens on your gazebo, another option is a cloth or metal gazebo with curtains. You can leave the curtains open when you want more sun and a breeze, and close them when the bugs start buzzing. If you go with a cloth gazebo, opt for curtains in the same colour as the fabric top!

3. A Built-In Gazebo

If you have a large deck in your backyard, consider installing a built-in gazebo in one of the corners of the deck. This will make your deck a prime destination in the summer, where your guests can enjoy time outside in the sun, or head into the gazebo for some shade. Make sure the gazebo has installed screens, making it safe from insects.

4. Poolside Gazebo

Have a pool in your backyard and need a shaded area to relax after a swim? A poolside gazebo is just the thing for you! An enclosed gazebo with windows and screen panels offers the perfect spot for you to relax, bug-free, on a summer day.

5. Gazebo with Screen Sliders

Another option for a bug-free gazebo is a metal gazebo with retractable screen sliders that can be easily opened and closed. This allows you to have more of a breeze when it’s not too buggy outside, and close the sliders when it is. It’s a great alternative to stationary screen walls as well as curtains, and allows for more versatility!

A bug-free gazebo is the best place to spend time outside this summer! Choose your favourite design and let the fun begin!


Upcycling: Something Your Grandma Used to Do, And You Should Too

Upcycling is nothing new, but it is gaining increased traction among more people these days. Your grandma may have been one of the original upcyclers, with families in the 1930s and 40s repurposing items until they were no longer useful anymore. With little economic and material resources, they would thrift old objects, giving them new looks and uses.

People today upcycle for the same reason and more- they love thrifting and repurposing old items, enjoying crafting and DIYs, and they care about the environment. Read on for the importance of upcycling and why everyone should be doing it.

What Is Upcycling?

Upcycling is the creative new use of an object that would otherwise be thrown away. It’s the process of repurposing and converting old items or materials into something new and useful. Upcycling items gives them a new, and often better purpose, and keeps you from putting things to waste. The upcycling process reduces the amount of waste we produce, while also reducing the need for new materials for new products.

Recycling Vs. Upcycling

Upcycling may sound the same as recycling, but the two are actually different. With upcycling, you’re using the material of an item to create a new item with a new use. You may be changing the look and function of the object, but it’s still made from the same material as when you started. For instance, creating a bookshelf out of an old wooden ladder.

Recycling, on the other hand, takes materials such as plastic, metal and glass, and breaks them down so they can be used to make new items. For example, plastic bottles can be recycled and made into carpets or clothing.

4 Benefits of Upcycling

1. Environmentally Friendly

Since you’re repurposing old items into new ones, you aren’t throwing your old items out, making it more sustainable for the environment. It reduces the amount of waste dumped into the landfills, decreasing land, water and air pollution.

2. Saves You Money

Instead of spending your money buying new products, upcycling allows you to create new uses for old items. Turn old picture frames into serving trays, an old door frame into a coffee table, or old books as wall shelves. There are lots of ways to upcycle old objects!

3. Elevates Creativity and Encourages Innovation

Upcycling allows you to get creative and turn “junk” into treasure! Upcycled items are always unique and quite beautiful. It takes time and creativity to create something meaningful from an item that would otherwise be thrown out, and that’s why the finished product is usually so special. Upcycling encourages you to take time away from media and technology and get your creative and innovative juices flowing!

4. Preserves Natural Resources

Every time a new item is made out of a natural resource like wood, the supply of that resource is diminishing. Upcycling eliminates the need to use raw materials to make new products, preserving our precious resources.

With so many benefits, upcycling is the way to go! Next time you go to throw something out, ask yourself how you can repurpose it instead!