DIY Secret Garden Ideas for Your Backyard

Sometimes you need a cozy, secluded space to relax and hide away from the outside world. Go a step further in your backyard by creating a secret garden. A secret garden is a small area in your yard where you can relax and enjoy calmness and serenity. Take a step away from the hustle and bustle of your busy life, and enter a soothing oasis where you can let go of stress and completely unwind. Whether you want to relax on your own, with a loved one, or entertain a small group of friends, a secret garden is the perfect spot. Here are 5 DIY secret garden ideas for your backyard. 

1. A Whimsical, Illuminated Garden

There’s something that feels so magical about a secret garden. Play this up by creating an illuminated space with a sense of whimsy. Set up a charming seating area underneath a big tree and hang string lights and lanterns from above. Place large candles throughout your seating area, and you have a wonderful place to relax on your own or to entertain your closest friends. 

2. Create a Lounge with a Roof

You don’t have to have a huge backyard to create a secret garden. Use your porch to set up a cozy lounge area and cover it with a pergola that has a solid roof. This will allow you to enjoy the space in all types of weather- you can sip on a lemonade on a sunny day, or read wrapped up in a blanket when the rain is coming down. Add string lights so you can enjoy the space into the night, as well as cozy lounge pieces, plants and candles to create a soothing atmosphere. 

3. A Bamboo Garden 

If you’re a fan of bamboo, use the gorgeous plant to create a wall for your secret garden. It grows quickly and tall, providing you with good coverage and offering the privacy you need. Take inspiration from the bamboo plant and create a Zen oasis for your secret garden, with elements like lanterns, big comfy floor pillows, and perhaps even a small fountain. Does it get any more relaxing than that? 

4. Use Flowering Vines

If you want to create an extra secluded space in your backyard, use flowering vines to enhance the privacy. This is ideal if you love to entertain as it will create extra seclusion for you and your guests. Place an arbour over your dining area, and once the flowering plants start to grow along it, your guests will feel sheltered from the outside world, as well as be protected from the sun and light showers. 

5. Hang a Bed Swing From a Tree

Have a secluded area in your backyard that’s also home to a strong tree? Hang a bed swing from the tree and create the perfect reading nook. Fill the swing with pillows and blankets and plant beautiful flowers and plants around it to foster privacy and seclusion. 

If you need a relaxing spot in your backyard to get away when you need to, use one of these secret garden ideas to create a space to unwind!


Bring the Warmth of Wood Inside This Winter with ChamClad 

If you haven’t heard of ChamClad yet, allow us to introduce you. One of our specialty siding products at Gentek, ChamClad is modern and stylish, and comes in a variety of high-end woodgrain metallic, solid and anodized finishes. It provides the gorgeous look of real wood, without the pesky maintenance, and is available in exterior siding and soffit, as well as interior walls and ceilings. Whether you want to add charm to your city home, warmth to your family abode, or are designing a commercial space, ChamClad has you covered. Take a look at why we’re head over heels for ChamClad. 

About ChamClad and Its Benefits 

ChamClad is made in Canada and manufactured with 100% recycled PVC. Its panels are LEED compliant, and are celebrated for both their style and durability. Available in both interior and exterior applications, you can use ChamClad to outfit the inside or outside of your home, or both. ChamClad is wrapped in a UV protectant coat, so you don’t have to worry about fading, bubbling or delamination, and it’s overall very low maintenance, so it’s ideal for today’s busy lifestyle. It’s impenetrable to water absorption, bacteria and mold, and has high impact resistance. It pretty much has everything you could want in a cladding product. 

Exterior ChamClad

ChamClad exterior siding and soffit is impact-resistant, non-fading, and available for all types of building material applications, from family homes to large commercial structures. It comes in a wide array of colours to complement your design choices, and is the stylish cladding you’ve been searching for. It’s durable and warp resistant, with lightweight panels that offer incredible resistance and strength. The panels provide minimal contraction and expansion in all climates, so are suitable for wherever you may live. 

Interior ChamClad

If you’re looking to bring warmth to the interior of your home, ChamClad is also available in interior walls and ceiling panels. If you’re looking for a product that’s low to no maintenance, impervious to moisture and bacterial growth, and just plain beautiful, ChamClad is the way to go. With a wide range of colour options from Beach Wood Grey to Natural Oak to Black Cherry, Brushed Metallic and so many more, you’re sure to find the perfect shade for your interior design. 

If you’re looking to warm up your home this winter, look no further than ChamClad. Find it at your nearest Gentek retailer and start outfitting your home to be incredibly modern and stylish! 


Ideas to Create Your Own Home Gym

As we head deeper into the winter season, the thought of putting on our boots and coats and trudging through the snow to get to the gym becomes less and less appealing. But don’t let the snowy season prevent you from staying on track with your health and fitness goals. Create your own home gym and throw the excuses out the door. This way, even when spring hits, you have no excuse not to get in a workout, because the gym is right inside your home! Plus, you can save a significant amount of money on a gym membership simply by doing effective online at-home workouts. Here are 4 awesome ideas to create your own home gym! 

1. The Basement 

The basement is one of the most common areas to create a home gym, because most basements have plenty of space. Bring in a treadmill and exercise mat, and mount a TV on the wall so you can follow along with at-home workouts. Mirrors are also great to hang up in an at-home gym. Not only will you be able to watch your form, it will also make the space seem bigger. Bring in weights, exercise balls and any other equipment you need for your at-home gym!

2. The Attic

If you have an attic space that’s not being used, transform into your very own gym! Bring in a home gym or weight bench, treadmill, stationary bike, or whatever equipment you love to use most. Make sure there’s a window so you can get good air and ventilation, and hang some motivational posters on the wall! 

3. The Corner of a Room

If you don’t have a basement or attic, consider adding a treadmill or stationary bike and some weights to the corner of a room, such as your bedroom. If you have the space for it, there’s no reason why it can’t be done! Plus, being right in front of your face when you wake up every morning, it will remind you to get your workout in!

4. Outdoor Shed 

There are plenty of different ways to use your outdoor shed, and a home gym is one of the best. It provides you with your very own space outside of your home, but is still close enough to eliminate any excuses. Hang a punching bag, place down an exercise mat, and add some weights for a home gym that will keep you healthy and fit all through the year. 

Ready to create your very own home gym? Pick one of these spaces and put together a workout space that motivates and inspires you with your favourite equipment! 


Creative Coffee Tables That Really Showcase Your Personality 

Coffee tables are more than just a surface to place your coffee cup. They’re functional decor pieces and if you get creative with them, coffee tables can be an extension of your style and personality. Every piece in your home should be a reflection of you, and your coffee table can really make a statement. Whether you want to go with a retro, vintage vibe, a rustic vibe, or are into modern functionality, here are 7 creative coffee tables to consider for your living space. 

1. Wooden Coffee Table with Hairpin Legs

A coffee table with hairpin legs is perfect for any room with a mid-century modern or farmhouse vibe. Hairpin legs look especially great when topped with a slice of wood. It’s a fun DIY project, but if you’re not very crafty, you can find hairpin leg coffee tables at many home decor stores. If it suits your style, opt for hairpin legs in a vibrant shade for a gorgeous pop of colour. 

2. Window Coffee Table

Transform an old window into a gorgeous coffee table. Use a wooden window as the tabletop, giving you extra storage and a unique and beautiful look for your living room coffee table. Leave the wood raw for a homey, rustic vibe. 

3. Wooden Crates

Another awesome DIY window project, use old wooden wine crates to make a coffee table for your family room. Place the crates so that the open sides face outward, to give you extra storage space. Fill the open spaces with books, coasters, decor, and anything else that needs a place. 

4. Suitcase Coffee Table 

Whether you have an old suitcase lying around or find a vintage suitcase at an antique shop, using it as the top of a coffee table will give your living room a retro vibe. Stack it on mid-century modern table legs for a look that compliments and contrasts.

5. Driftwood Coffee Table

If you want to make a statement with your coffee table, a piece of driftwood is a beautiful way to do it. You can use driftwood for the base of your coffee table and top it with a piece of glass, or use it for the top of your coffee table with your choice of table legs. 

6. Coffee Dining Table

Multifunctional furniture pieces are all the rage right now, especially for small spaces. A coffee table with a dining table built in, or an adjustable height coffee table that can be lifted when you want to eat dinner is extremely practical for a wide array of lifestyles.

7. Tree Stump Coffee Table

Whether you have tree stumps in your backyard or you can visit some lumber yards, making a coffee table out of tree stumps offers natural beauty and is ideal if you’re looking to enhance the gorgeous rustic look of your room. Use two or three tree stumps of varying heights to create a coffee table in the middle of your seating area. Top it with books and coasters or make it even cozier with a faux fur throw laid over top.

Your coffee table can be a statement piece in your living or family room. Use one of these creative coffee table ideas to showcase your personality!


Fences Can Be Beautiful: 8 Stunning Designs for Your Backyard

Fences are often times an afterthought when it comes to the design of a home, but when given the proper attention, a fence can create a beautiful statement, providing privacy, boundaries and protection for your backyard. You want a backyard fence that serves both function and style, complementing your yard and your personal design aesthetic. Fences don’t have to be boring- check out 8 stunning fence designs or your backyard! 

1. Uneven Wood Boards

If you love the look of a wooden fence, but want something a little more unique, create a wooden fence with uneven board lengths, giving it a staggered look. It’s unique and classic at the same time, and since you can lay the boards so they overlap, it creates lots of privacy for your yard.

2. Black Horizontal Slats

If you’re going for a modern look, black horizontal slats are right up your alley. The perfect combination of minimal and elegant, divide the black steel fencing with white concrete for a sleek, sophisticated look. 

3. Low Vinyl Fence 

If you prefer a shorter fence, a low vinyl fence could be the ideal option for you. It will still provide you with a good amount of privacy, while allowing you to see more of the nature beyond your fence. 

4. Wrought Iron Fence

Wrought iron fencing will give your yard a beautiful, sophisticated feel, plus it’s extremely durable. Whether you’re going for traditional, modern or rustic, a wrought iron fence can work for you. They allow ventilation, while also protecting your property, and are ideal if you don’t have neighbours directly beside you.

5. Classic White Fence 

There’s nothing more classic than a white fence, especially paired with a more traditional home. White fences come in vinyl and wood, depending on your budget and material preference. A classic white fence looks clean and timeless, popping out against the greenery in your yard. It’s simple and elegant and can make the most gorgeous backyard statement. 

6. Bamboo Fence

If you want something truly unique, a bamboo fence is the way to go. Beautiful, light weight and natural, bamboo fences are environmentally friendly and can be stained whatever colour suits your yard. Bamboo is incredibly resistant, and can withstand extreme temperatures and weather, such as excessive heat, rain and snow. If you want a tropical look for your yard, consider a bamboo fence!

7. Solid Concrete

This look isn’t for everyone, but if you want your yard to have a truly modern feel, solid concrete backyard walls can be sophisticated and stylish. Add geometric lines to give the walls a personal touch and a sleek finish.

8. Frosted Glass with Wood 

Frosted glass fencing offers amazing privacy, and is complemented perfectly by wood frames and posts. It’s a cool and distinctive look that can work for various backyard styles. 

It’s time to give your backyard fence the upgrade it deserves. Use one of these stunning design ideas and transform your backyard with a gorgeous fence.


Top Tips to Create the Perfect Gallery Wall

Hanging a gallery wall in your home is one of the best ways to make a visual statement. A gallery wall can transform any room, giving it interest, depth and personality. Hang it above your couch, a mounted TV, your bedroom headboard, or anywhere you feel there’s empty wall space that needs to be filled in. If you’re someone who loves to change up your decor, a gallery wall gives you the opportunity to switch things up as your taste changes, or as you add new pieces to your art collection. Whether you have a large home or a small apartment, a gallery wall is a simple way to add visual interest to your space. Here are our top tips for creating the perfect gallery wall.

1. Plan Out Your Gallery Wall On The Floor

Before you begin to hang your pieces of art on the wall, it’s a good idea to plan out your gallery wall on the floor. Arrange the pieces until you’re happy with the layout, changing things up that don’t work. It’s much easier to do this before they’re nailed on the wall. Use painters tape and a level to help transfer your layout from the ground to the wall. 

2. Use Varying Frame Sizes 

Gallery walls look best with varying frame sizes. Choose one or two larger frames as your starting point, and fill in the gap with smaller frames. Try not to put two frames of the same size right beside each other, and make sure to hang frames both vertically and horizontally for ultimate aesthetic appeal. Also, make sure to hang your frames at least one inch apart. Everything should look evenly arranged and you don’t want it to look overcrowded. 

3. Choose a Colour Scheme

Your gallery wall should have a colour scheme and it should also follow the colour scheme of whatever room you hang it in. Choose prints, pictures, and art pieces with a common colour to give your wall a more cohesive look. Pull colours from your room and complement them with your pieces. Or, opt for an all black and white gallery wall, which goes with any colour scheme. 

4. Frames Matter

Gallery wall frames aren’t just there to hold your art pieces, they’re part of the art itself. Depending on the feel of the wall and the room, choose between simple, sleek frames, ornate frames, chunky frames, or bright coloured frames that pop. Don’t forget you can always paint frames with spray paint or regular paint to get the look you want. 

5. Add in Personal Touches

The great thing about a gallery wall is that not one is the same as another. It allows you to bring your personality into the space and decorate with pieces that mean something to you. Mix in your favourite pieces with special artwork or features that reflect you and your family. It could be pieces from your travels, letters of the alphabet for people’s names, or family photos from special occasions. 

Creating a beautiful gallery wall is a great way to bring visual interest to your home. Use our tips to get started and create a gallery wall today!


5 Ways to Keep Your Siding Mold Free

Dealing with pesky mold? While many siding options today are able to fight against mold, if your home is covered in older siding, you may be struggling with mold and mildew. The exterior aesthetic of your home affects its curb appeal, and its first impression. It’s important to keep it clean and mold free to ensure your exterior looks great and lasts longer. Here are the 5 ways to keep your siding mold free! 

1. Regular Checks and Cleaning 

To keep your siding as mold-free as possible, it’s important to conduct consistent checks of your exterior and clean it regularly. Take a look around the exterior of your home from time to time, and if you notice any mold growth, act quickly. Use a diluted solution of bleach and water to get rid of the mold and stop future growth. Even if you don’t see any mold, regularly cleaning your siding will prevent build up and keep your siding looking brand new. If you have older siding, use your garden hose and a soft bristle brush to clean your siding every few months, and make sure to spray in a downward direction to prevent moisture buildup in the siding panels.

2. As Much Direct Sunlight As Possible

Mold typically grows in spots that are dark and damp. Allow as much direct sunlight as possible to hit your home. Trim your trees, maintain your shrubs and make sure as much natural light is reaching your exterior. This will keep mold away from your siding, keeping your exterior fresh and beautiful! 

3. Get Rid of Climbing Vines

Climbing vines can give your home a charming, artistic appeal, but they can also lead to mold growth. Since the vines cover so much of the surface, they make it difficult for your siding to dry out, and also block direct sunlight from reaching your siding. This makes it easy for mold and mildew to grow. If you have climbing vines and are having issues with mold and mildew, it’s time to cut them back and get rid of them.

4. Maintain Your Gutters

Another way to keep your siding mold free is to maintain your gutters and make sure they’re leading water away from your home. If your gutters become clogged and water ends up spilling over, it will create a moist environment on your siding. This will foster the growth of mold. Do whatever you can to keep your exterior siding dry to ensure mold doesn’t grow and thrive. 

5. Watch Your Lawn Sprinklers 

If you use lawn sprinklers to water your lawn and garden, make sure they don’t reach your siding. Especially if your sprinklers are located close to the foundation of your home, you’re going to want to move them away to ensure they don’t reach your siding. Moisture on your siding creates an ideal environment for mold growth, and it’s up to you to hinder that environment as much as possible.

Keep your siding free of mold with these 5 tips! Your home will maintain its beauty and look good as new.


Pantone’s 2020 Colour Palette is SERIOUSLY Colourful 

Pantone released its spring/summer 2020 trend report on September 6th- a guide to the season’s most important colour trends, based on New York Fashion Week. The palette features the 12 top colours and four classic neutrals that are bound to be a hit in 2020, from pale pastels to aqua blues and greens to bright and bold shades, plus neutral classics that will stand the test of time. If you’re wondering what colours to decorate your home with in 2020, we’re letting you in on 7 of our favourite colours from the 2020 colour palette.

1. Coral Pink

Muted pinks have almost become neutral in the world of home decor. From couches to throw pillows, dinnerware, and table lamps, any item in a soft muted pink can work with your decor. Coral pink is subtle and warm, making it easy to incorporate into a wide range of aesthetics. 

2. Faded Denim

Another soft and subtle colour, faded denim is a comforting blue-grey that’s sure to become a classic. Pair it with creams and soft yellows to warm it up, or create a sunning contrast with a bright citrus shade. Since blue is a neutral, you can’t go wrong pairing it with any colour or material. 

3. Cinnamon Stick

Cinnamon stick is earthy and warm, creating a welcoming atmosphere wherever it’s placed. It would be a gorgeous colour for a front door, couch or accent wall. You can also add pops of cinnamon stick with pieces like ottomans, side tables and throws. 

4. Navy Blazer

One of the palette’s neutral classics, navy blazer is sophisticated and stylish. It’s versatile enough to use in any room of the house, and can serve as a statement colour, or a foundation for you to bring in other pops of colour. Use it for your kitchen cupboards and contrast it with gorgeous marble countertops, or add pops of navy to your living room with a rug, throw pillows and lamp shades. 

5. Chive

Chive is a savoury, herbal green that evokes the feeling of calmness and harmony. A chive green couch would make a for a gorgeous piece, and a powder room with green walls is sure to make a statement no one is expecting. Pair the walls with gold and marble accents to elevate the sophistication of the room. Other ideas are a chive-painted kitchen island, headboard or window trim in a sunroom with a relaxed vibe.

6. Sunlight

Sunlight is a soft, muted yellow that evokes happiness and cheer. It’s a gorgeous colour for the walls of a bedroom, family room or kitchen, creating a warm and welcoming vibe. Almost everything goes well with yellow, whether you use it as a main colour or subtly throughout your home with accent pieces and statement-making decor.

7. Ash

Another one of Pantone’s spring/summer 2020 classics, ash is a medium grey that’s sophisticated and timeless. Use it on your interior or exterior for a stylish home that will stand the test of time. From accent chairs to kitchen cabinetry, your exterior siding, or bathroom tile, ash is one of the strongest neutrals to decorate with this coming year.

If you’re wondering what colours to decorate with in 2020, use the Pantone colour palette to direct your aesthetic choices and make your guests swoon!


9 Top Dog Spaces for Inside Your Home

If you’re lucky enough to have a dog, you know that they’re more than just a pet. They’re part of the family and they deserve the utmost love and care and of course, a space to call their own. While dogs love going for walks and spending time outside in the yard, they also need an indoor space for sleeping and play that will keep the mess out of your living areas. Want to see the top spaces for a dog room inside your home? Here are 9 of our favourites.

 

  1. Mudroom

Mudrooms are one of the most common spots to create a cozy space for your dog. Not only does a mudroom stop dirt at the door before their paw prints get tracked through the house, it’s the perfect place to set up a dog bed or kennel and store away chew toys, leashes and food.

 

  1. Under Your Staircase

Creating a dog kennel under your stairs is a cozy, stylish and practical way to utilize the space. Especially if you don’t have a lot of room in your house for an extra dog space, this design offers a smart solution for your home and for your dog as well.

 

  1. Dog Teepee

There are plenty of adorable dog teepees and tents you can place anywhere in your home. Choose a design that works with the rest of your space, so it looks like it fits right in with the decor. It’s a chic storage spot for your pup’s bed and blankets and will help hide toys away too!

 

  1. Laundry Room

If you have a spacious laundry room, why not make it part pet room as well? Place their dog bed and a few toys next to the laundry machines, or go one step further and create a sleeping space in a pre-existing cupboard or shelf.

 

  1. Home Office

If you work from home day in and day out, it only makes sense for your dog to be right by your side. Create an indoor dog den with their favourite toys so the two of you can keep each other company. Place a dog crate under your desk or a dog house or bed beside you.

 

  1. Bedroom

While some dog owners have a no-dog-in-the-bedroom rule, others like to keep their pets close at night. Place a dog bed or teepee at the foot of your bed or anywhere there’s enough space in your bedroom. They’ll feel safe and comfortable being able to sleep in the same room as you night after night.

 

  1. Nook or Corner Space

Do you have an empty nook or corner space somewhere in your home? These are ideal spots to set up a dog space! You can place their bed, toys and food and water bowls without them getting in the way of your living space. You can also place hooks on the wall to hang your pup’s leash.

 

  1. Insulated Garage

If your garage is insulated, it can be the ideal space for a pet palace. If you’re not planning to store your car and lawn equipment inside, create a dog zone with a cozy bed, their favourite toys and dog-friendly decor.

 

  1. Entryway

Your home’s entryway can be a great spot for a cozy dog area, especially if it’s spacious. Place a dog bed under your entryway table or on top of your entryway bench. It’s the perfect place to store their leash and keep their toys out of the way.

 

Your dog deserves the best, and that includes a comfy, cozy space to spend their days. Use one of these ideas for the perfect indoor dog space!

 

 


From Garage to Tiny Cottage: How to Make Use of Extra Space 

Have a garage or shed in your backyard that you’re not getting any use out of? Why not transform it into a tiny cottage or guest lounge. When you have visitors, it will be nice for them to have their own space, and you can even consider renting it out on a platform such as Airbnb. If you have a good sized garage, creating a tiny cottage is easy, and can potentially bring in some extra income! Don’t let extra space go to waste! Here are our ideas for how to transform your garage into a tiny cottage. 

Bedroom/Kitchenette

Given the space of most backyard sheds, your cottage will likely function as a “studio” type space, with the bedroom, living area and kitchen all combined as one. If you’re using it as solely a sleeping area for guests, add in a Queen size bed, or if you’d rather it function as a living space as well, opt for a sofa bed that you can fold up during the day. You only need a small kitchenette, so place one along one of the walls with a small fridge, sink, a 2-burner stove top and some cupboards and shelf space. Make sure to deck it out with everything your guests may need, from dinnerware and utensils, to a cutting board, tea kettle, and perhaps even a toaster oven. 

Bathroom with Laundry 

With the extra space, you should be able to create a decently sized bathroom in your tiny cottage. It should be at least a 3-piece bathroom so your guests are able to shower. Add in a stacked washer/dryer so they have the option to wash their clothes if they’re visiting for an extended period of time. Make sure it’s always stocked with fresh towels, hand soap, laundry detergent and toilet paper, and as an extra courtesy, it never hurts to have a small ironing board and drying rack. 

Make it Cozy

Transforming your shed into a tiny cottage gives you another space to decorate. Make it cozy by adding lots of pillows and throws, wall art, stylish blinds and a few small plants. An area rug under the bed/sofa bed will create warmth, and stacks of books are always a nice touch. Make sure the lights are working to provide proper brightness to the space, and consider stylish light fixtures and lamps that give personality and character to your tiny cottage. Paint the bathroom a warm and cheery shade, and add some incense to ensure a pleasant scent. 

The Outdoor Space 

Along with the tiny cottage itself, your backyard space should be stylish and welcoming. Create a small patio space with a couple chairs and good lighting. Consider hanging string lights for a whimsical effect, or place lanterns on the ground to exude stylish elegance. Make sure it’s tidy and that there’s no debris or tripping hazards and make sure the exterior of the cottage is visually appealing. Paint or redo the siding, replace the front door and put in new windows if needed. This will all make a huge impact on the look of your tiny cottage. 

Transforming your garage into a tiny cottage is a fun project that will leave you with a cozy space for guests and visitors. Take our ideas and run with them to create the tiny cottage of your dreams!