Get A Wow All Year Round: Creating An (Almost) Zero Maintenance Garden

Everyone wants a beautiful garden in which they can relax and be at one with their own little piece of the great outdoors. The trouble is that very few of us have the time and effort spare to commit to maintaining one. Mowing the lawn, weeding, planting and all of the usual activities necessary for a beautiful garden may be fun and easy over the summer months but when the leaves fall from the trees and the rain clouds come out in force, many of us prefer the creature comforts of the great indoors.

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The quandary, then, is how can we put together a garden that is not only beautiful all year round but requires an absolute bare minimum of maintenance. Believe it or not, it can be done. Here’s how…

Lose the lawn

A lush green lawn is a beautiful addition to any garden, but it also requires regular maintenance. If you’re not prepared for mowing, clipping and weeding on a weekly basis then it may be time to consider the alternatives. Fortunately they can be both beautiful and affordable. Paving your garden gives you absolute control over the look of your garden and with the huge variety of colors, shapes and materials on offer, there’s huge scope for customization allowing you to tailor the look of your garden to your own personal tastes. Of course, even the most robust weed control membrane may be breached every once in awhile so it’s important to be vigilant and patrol your garden with a bottle of weed killer handy every now and then.

For those who want the low maintenance benefits of paving while still enjoying the ability to plant, gravel lends a Mediterranean style to your garden while allowing you to plant drought resistant plants like lavender. This way you can give your garden some beautiful, colorful flourishes that provide nectar and pollen for visiting insects while also preventing weeds.

However, if you want the appearance of turf, as well as providing a soft, safe surface for your children to play on, a synthetic turf such as Multiturf may offer you the best of both worlds. Synthetic turfs look and feel much like regular grass yet require no mowing or other maintenance. For those who want a neat, lush lawn all year round, synthetic turf is the way to go.

The perfect plants

A lawn free garden will require some plants to prevent it from looking and feeling sterile and lifeless. But since we’re looking for low maintenance options, it’s vitally important to choose the right plants. Fortunately, there are many beautiful and hardy perennials that will add color and vibrancy to your garden yet expect almost nothing in return. Evergreen shrubs like holly, lavender and daphne are famously reliable though if you’re looking for a little more range of color we recommend the ‘Jules Verne’ peony, the Japanese barberry and ribbon grass.

With a little imagination, a beautiful yet relatively maintenance free garden is not a pipe dream but an affordable and attainable goal.

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Tips on Choosing the Perfect Modern Floor Rugs

You wouldn’t think it but there are a lot of things to consider before you purchase a rug. One of the most common mistakes that people make when buying a rug is going for the cheapest option,  which is why we’ve put a little step-by-step guide to follow and make sure you make the best choice for both you and your home.

First of all you need to remember that everything looks different in a showroom setting and this includes rugs, which is why you really need to take your time when it comes to choosing the one you want. Consider your options and don’t rush into anything, the rugs aren’t going to run away and if the retailer offers them; always ask for samples. Samples are great if you have a few different ideas in mind and you can actually take them home with you to see how the rug may fit with your decor.

So what else is there to consider? Well, the simplest of things can make the biggest difference for example, the size of the room that you will be placing the rug. The thing about rugs is that they they can make a room appear smaller than it actually is, so if you are thinking of placing a rug in an already small room then it’s probably best to avoid rugs with intricate and busy-looking patterns as well as dark rugs. If you are planning on placing a rug in a smaller room then the same rule applies as does with decorating, lighter colours will make the room appear more spacious and bright.

Another important factor when it comes to choosing your rug is the texture that you opt for. The texture of the rug can add different depths to the room, for example if you chose a pile or shaggy rug then this would make the room feel cosier than your standard modern rugs, which tend to act as more of a feature.

You don’t always have to worry about your rug directly matching the decor of your room, one of the trendiest options in the rug world for the last couple of years has been antique statement rugs. You know the kind? They seem to make their way into charity shops quite a lot but in all honesty they look ideal in modern spaces. Go on, be unique and bring something ‘stand out’ to your room!

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[Photo courtesy of Pixabay/pexels.com]

It’s also worth thinking about the kind of home you run in accordance with the rug you choose, for example if you were to purchase a crisp white sheepskin rug it probably wouldn’t be best placed in a home with pets and toddlers running about. That being said, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a nice sheepskin, you just need to make sure everyone knows the rules!

If you do buy a high-quality rug then there is more of a likelihood of it needing to be professionally cleaned, in fact that goes for any rug, especially if it is kept in a high-traffic area. It is advised that you have your rugs cleaned at least once or twice a year by professional cleaners, this prevents the rug becoming unsanitary and can be done on top of regular cleaning on a weekly basis.

So there you have it, just a few pointers to help make the decision of buying a new rug that little bit easier. Take your time to ensure that this rug can be the one you and your family will enjoy for years to come.

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Big Buys To Create The Ultimate Backyard Bash

If there is one universal truth it is this: nothing beats a good old backyard bash. Nothing. That’s a fact (like an actual fact; not one of those facts El President Trump loves to spew on Twitter). There is just something extra special about being in your little slice of the great outdoors, enjoying the winning combination of good food, great drink and perfect company; the weather holding up as laughter warms the air even more than the setting sun.

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But no matter how good your food is or how amazing your cocktails are, they can only go so far in marking this occasion as amazing. That’s because creating the ultimate backyard oasis requires you to create the ultimate backyard oasis.

If you don’t know what we mean by that, then read on for our top tips on what you need to play hostess with the mostess at your next garden bash.

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Win In All Weathers

It doesn’t matter whether you in live in a small locale that enjoys fantastic weather all year round or somewhere that is susceptible to more rain than the poor Vampires in Twilight; being able to pull off a garden bash in all weathers is important. We’re talking shelter and shade. It could be that you get an open structure built at the bottom of your garden, something with a solid roof and drop down walls, or it could be that you decide to do something extra unique and get a yurt. Either way, these will allow you to party on no matter what and remain chic the entire time.

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Next Level Chef

If you really want to be the hostess with the mostess then being able to spin plates is a talent you need to master. That means being able to cook and entertain simultaneously, and the easiest and coolest way to achieve this is by looking at some outdoor kitchens and picking the one that will suit you best. We’re talking about bringing all the comfort, ease and luxury of the indoors out. It could be something as simple as adding a barbecue, a table, and some seats, or it could be as intricate as installing a completely furnished kitchen finished with modern appliances and seating. Whatever is going to snazz up your backyard most and make your meals stand out that much more, that’s what you should look at investing in.

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Must-Have Heat And Light

It doesn’t matter that your big little bash has landed on the hottest day of the year, the evenings always tend to drop off a few degrees, which is noticeable even when you’re six cocktails down. That is why you need ramp up the luxury you offer to create a splash of extra comfort and get some heaters dotted around your eating area. The other thing you can do to add to the ambience of a warm evening is get your lighting on point. That is an absolute essential when it comes to summer parties. Lanterns, tea lights, string lights and just about anything else that will lead the charge in creating an Arabian Night’s vibe.

What could be better (and warmer) than eating a nice Moroccan Tagine you’ve cooked outside, fine wine slipping down a treat, and the fire pit keeping you toasty as little lights flicker about around your outdoor space.

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Creating A Vintage Bathroom

One of the biggest design trends to come out of recent years has to be the vintage look. Cropping up in new builds, cafes and work places up and down the country, the vintage look has earned itself a firm place at the top of the design world as of late. The vintage style is an easy to recreate design and is a great way of revamping a bathroom to breathe a new lease of life in to your home.

Wall Tiles

The key step to achieving that vintage look is by installing white metro tiles. Metro tiles are an iconic feature of any vintage look thanks to their historical use in the London Underground. Not only this, but a white tile will help to make any room feel larger and more airy, transforming an otherwise drab space in to one that feels spacious and inviting. For a true vintage look, use a gloss metro tile. Their shine is unparalleled and will bring in a beautiful sense of light to a room while also being unbelievably easy to clean. To further enhance this vintage look, use a contrasting grout colour. With a while metro tile use a grey or black grout to make the tile really pop. This gives an authentic vintage look and gives your tiles a chance to shine through as a design feature. Don’t feel as though you are restricted to white tiles, you can still get that vintage look using other colours such as black or grey. While colour is less important, it is worth noting that the metro tile is your best bet design wise compared to other tile types.

Floor Tiles

For your floor use a patterned tile, ideally a black and white design. The contrast of the block colour from the wall tiles and the black and white pattern on your floor creates a gorgeous sense of dimension to your bathroom. The patterned tile is perfect for the vintage look as it introduces a more sophisticated design theme. Try to aim for a geometric pattern as opposed to an abstract or floral design. The geometric design is far more true to the vintage look and will automatically improve the general aesthetic of the room.

Accessories

No vintage bathroom is complete without the use of copper or tarnished metals. When looking for faucets for example, copper is an excellent way of emulating that distressed look. Similarly, a feature bath makes for a beautiful centre point in a room. When trying to achieve the vintage look its important to remember that often more is less. Think exposed radiators, bare floorboards and light fixtures without lamp shades to give that stunning industrial and stripped down look. As well as this, try including vintage furniture pieces such as metallic soap dishes or toothbrush holders, the vintage looks works by combining all of the little things to create one truly unbelievable look.

Creating the vintage look has never been easier thanks to its popularity over recent years. The focal point of creating the vintage look however is in the tiles. Choosing the right tile will propel your bathroom in the right direction in an instant. Tiles are essentially the blank canvas from which you build your whole design, so it’s important to plan them meticulously before you buy and install them. From there, the rest should come with ease until you have your dream vintage bathroom.

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