Tips to Create a Successful Garden

If you have just purchased a house, have recently moved into new premises, or just want to update the look of your front yard, don’t hesitate to launch a landscaping project. The idea may seem daunting too contemplate, but it is not. Whether you want to go the DIY route or plan to enlist the help of landscapers and designers, the first step is picturing in your mind how you want your garden to look like. It gives you direction plus it will save you time and money in the long term.

Creating Ideas for your Dream Garden
You must have seen landscapes or gardens during your holiday or visited a friend garden you really enjoyed. You can also draw inspiration from a Home and Garden magazine or two finding pictures of gardens that you wished to duplicate. These are just two resources to get you started. Next, make a must-have list where the normal garden stuff should go such as the right soil, the plants, shrubs and flowers you want to plant, the paving you like, etc.

Next, think about the future elements you may want to add, such as a pool or a cabana. You are not the only one who will use the garden, so ask family members want they want to see in your garden. Dad may want a spot where he can practice his golf swing or the kids may want a sand pit or a place to hold tea parties.

Don’t forget the pets – they may also want a space in the garden where they can freely play. Some may be big ideas, but dreaming of adding these elements doesn’t cost a thing and you don’t need to put them all at once.

Now, draw rough sketches of the space and where you want to place things. The sketches don’t need to be perfect because they are not master plans, just ideas.

Points to Consider
Consider the sun and wind. How much sun do want to get in your garden and how do you want to utilise it? In which direction does the wind blow around your house? These points are often overlooked, especially by homeowners who have not experienced the four seasons in their new home. It is not advisable to make quick conclusions about the placing of certain elements in your garden because the sun and wind can change in any given season. For new homeowners, consult your neighbours to find out what they did to their own gardens.

Start small. Although you can do a garden renovation without disrupting the entire household it is still wise to start small one area at a time. You have a higher probability of finishing and finishing well.

Stick with one style or theme and implement it throughout the garden.

Plan the work according to hours available and jobs necessary. You will be better served by doing simple projects such as clearing a garden, weeding an area, planting, etc. These are tasks that you can manage to do after work hours or during the weekend. You can do these tasks easily bit-by-bit and before you know it you will be halfway to the end of the project.

Patience is a Virtue in Landscaping Projects
Apart from all these tips, it also pays to exercise patience when undertaking a landscaping project. It is a work in progress; you will not see your dream garden immediately. The shrubs need to grow, the roses need time to flourish, the soil needs to settle in, etc. Remember, your garden needs care and maintenance to improve with time.


A Simple Guide to Accessorising with Cushions

A Simple Guide to Accessorising with Cushions
A bedroom or a living room can achieve an instant makeover by adding a group of decorative cushions or luxurious throw. But serious thought should still be given on which cushions to buy and their placement on a bed or sofa. When it comes to decorating with cushions it pays to act with thought. Even the most elegant pattern will look cheap if it is a mismatch with the rest of the room or the inner filling is wrong.

Choosing your Cushions
Cushions are available in a wide variety of shapes, colours and patterns. With a plethora of choices buying the right ones may not be simple as you may think. Regardless of the style of a room or house there are certain factors to consider when accessorising with cushions.  The size of the bed or sofa/lounge, the size of the cushion, the type and quality of fabric and even the inner filling.

The Prefect Number of Cushions
Is there a perfect number of cushions you can place on your bed or sofa? Some people think that too few makes a room under styled, though this minimal approach works on certain homes excellently. Others think that too many is visually overwhelming and even hard work when removing each night to go to bed.

So, can you have too many cushions? Well, there is no right or wrong answer. The perfect number all boils down to personal taste and the “look” you are aiming for.

Getting Your Cushions Right
To successfully decorate your bedroom, living room or outdoor lounge with cushions here are some tips to consider before you start shopping.

  • More cushions are needed for larger or wider beds, so they don’t look under dressed.
  • There is a simple rule to follow to ensure that the choice of fabrics and colours for your pillows are highlighted: biggest to smallest, back to front.
  • Want more oomph? Choose decorative pillows with varying sizes, colours and textures.
  • On matter of placement, i.e. laying the cushions flat or standing them on their edge, consider the fabric they are made from. Cushions made from heavy fabrics will be able to stand on their edge better than cushions that are lighter. It is important to get this step right to avoid buying pillows that need to be constantly plumped up.
  • When aiming for a more casual look, play with colours and patterns.
  • Minimise the number of cushions, but pay attention to details, to achieve a more contemporary look. For example, a bedroom can look contemporary with just simple white linens, a beautiful throw at the end of the bed and a few plain cushions.
  • You can avoid overwhelming a room even if you use a lot of decorative cushions. You can do this by using a limited palette. 

Just remember, accessorising with cushions is an extension of personality, so have fun!

For more inspiration take a look at my Pintrest Cushions & Throws Board 

How to: Tips to Create a Great First Impressions for your House Exteriors


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We’ve heard of the saying “First impression last.” In seconds, people can form lasting impressions of another person’s character and personality.
This saying can also be true to the exterior of your home.  With just a glance, people can spot what is wrong with the exterior of your home. Nothing should be left to chance when it comes to forming a good lasting impression on your property.Get Rid of the Eye Sores
The first order of business is to get rid of anything that is not working for the exterior. You can do this by standing a few steps from the property and turn your back on it. Then face it again and turn away again. In those few seconds of facing the property, you can easily spot what is wrong. It can be an overgrown bush, a crooked letter box, a broken window, awning or a balustrade with a wrong colour. Remove or neutralise the things or items that did not give you a good feeling or a good first impression of the property.

The Starting Point is the House Facade
Creating a great street presence starts with the house façade. Choosing the right façade can be a little daunting. However, there is no excuse for a boring façade with the many options available out there. Should you go for a face brick or a render look? Should you choose metal roofing or ceramic tiles? There are many choices and your budget and personal taste may influence your final decision.

When deciding on the colours for your exteriors take note of these facts: the roof represents about 30% of the overall look; the walls are approximately 60%; and the fascias and guttering are roughly 10%.

Tips to Make your Property More Appealing
Here are some suggestions you can discuss with your architect regarding the facade of your property:

  • A blend of finishes. Depending on location and budget, the property can feature rendered walls combined with face brick or other elements such as stacked stone or lightweight cladding.
  • Use different face bricks. This involves using a contrasting mortar to the brick colour. With this method, you can easily create a “poor man’s render look.” For example, a light coloured brick used together with a flush mortar joint finish in a similar colour will create an impression of a large single-coloured space akin to a rendered surface.
  • Feature columns. You can perk up your house by installing contrasting brick or bagged columns to the front of the house.
  • Bagging. This will create a rendering that is not only modern but can extend the life of your bricks. Slight flaws can be seen but this lighter form of rendering can look good on the right property. It is cheaper to boot.
  • Timber inserts to gables. Painted on gables are boring. Make them more interesting by using timber, aluminium panels or even Colourbond cladding.
  • External panelling. There are low-maintenance and rot-resistant products that look similar to weatherboard but are in fact a lightweight fibre cement panel. 

What about the Garden?
In your quest to create a good impression on your homes exterior, remember the garden, fencing, driveway, front door and letterbox. These areas of the house allows for another opportunity to make a “statement.” Pay particular attention to areas needing cleaning, straightening and a paint touch up.