How to Create an Outdoor Living Room

If you live for the summer months, don’t spend this special time trapped inside four walls, make a break for the outdoors and carve out a living space in your backyard. You’ll save on your air conditioning bills, and all that outdoor grilling will keep the cooking smells out of your carpeting and upholstery. No one expects perfection in alfresco dining either, so you can forget about the napkin rings and embroidered tablecloths — thank heavens. What could be better than fresh air, comfortable surroundings, family, friends and the glories of nature?

Gazebo Against Trees

[Photo courtesy of Rene Asmussen /pexels.com]

Before you relocate your favorite chair to the deck, patio or porch, let’s take a look at a few ways you can make outdoor living more convenient and fun.

Keep the layout cozy

We know they call it the great outdoors, but designing a super-sized space for your outdoor room may not be the best way to go. A large area and the absence of walls can be refreshing, but it can also make you feel exposed. The space can seem impersonal. Outdoor room plans that have at least one solid (or semi-solid) wall help anchor the space and make it feel more substantial. A room size that roughly mirrors the size of your indoor living room will be big enough for your family but small enough to feel intimate and inviting.

Make it comfortable

Outdoor living may seem carefree and casual, but to add comfort to the mix takes plush textiles and comfortable furnishings. Sure, built-in concrete seating has a modern appearance and is maintenance-free, but it also looks like it belongs out in an amphitheater somewhere, not cuddling your backside on a warm evening.

Your outdoor room will feel as good as it looks when you choose loungers, chairs, sofas, and swing sets that include overstuffed cushions in UV resistant fabrics – if you are not sure where to start with garden furniture, take a look here: https://backyardville.com/flexible-flyer-metal-swing-sets/. Whether you prefer wicker to metal or PVC pipe, the idea here is to balance rough and hard surfaces like concrete, siding, brick and wood with soft, textured and tactile furnishings that people will actually want to spend time on.

adult, architecture, candlesticks

[Photo courtesy of Marianne/pexels.com]

Let there be light!

One of the great things about an outdoor room is that the cool evening breeze wafting across your lounger will be so much more refreshing and natural (and inexpensive) than a blast from your air conditioning system. Make sure your family is tempted to stay outdoors after sunset by providing adequate lighting so that everyone can see each other. Installing outdoor lighting has never been easier, just go solar. Solar lights have come down a lot in price, and are available in most stores. You can find them in post height, deck mounted, string lights, and even tabletop models. You may still want to add some citronella candles to keep the bugs at bay, and maybe an outdoor electrical fixture as a safety precaution when going up and down stairs or around the pool.

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Don’t Let Your Lack Of Space Drive Your Crazy!

When you run out of room at home, it can feel like the end of the world. And if you’ve ever suffering from a lack of space, you’ll know that’s no exaggeration. Living in clutter can be one of the most frustrating things ever. Not only can it make you feel stressed and claustrophobic, but you may also find that your entire family is always stepping on each other’s toes. But, you don’t have to let it drive you crazy. Instead, you need to take action. When you finally think that enough is enough and you need more room, here’s what to do.

Black Leather Book Cover

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Have A Huge Clear Out

The first step is probably the most obvious one, but it’s also the one that we all tend to avoid. Having a clear out can be one of the most stressful things you go through. Not only does it make your space problem worse to start with, it means you have to live in mess for a while. But, remember, it’s for the greater good. So get to work. Start small, take it room by room and be sure to get rid of anything you don’t need.

architecture, cabinets, carpet

[Photo courtesy of ATBO/pexels.com]

Organize Your Spaces

Then, as you start to free up a bit more space, you’re going to want to make sure that you work to organize everything a bit better. It’s often a lot of work, but it will be worth it in the long run. You’re going to want to make sure that you’re using all of your rooms for the best purpose. If you have to switch around bedrooms, living spaces and storage spaces, do it. If it means that your home is more harmonious, it’s always worth the work.

Do Some DIY

Next, you might want to think about doing some DIY. When you lack in space, you’re going to want to do what you can to change that. So, put up some shelves, add in storage and even start to build some more cupboards if you need to. You’ll find that you’re able to live a little more clutter free when you do.

White and Brown Wooden Book Shelf Beside White Calendar

[Photo courtesy of Unsplash/pexels.com]

Add Additional Options

If that’s not enough, you may need to think outside of the box – and even outside of the home. Sometimes, you need to add storage to your yard or elsewhere on your property to make things work. Look into the cost of metal building options or even for a wooden construction that you can add outside. Not only could it be for storage, but it may give you a space to work from if you need home space for storage.

Extend Your Home

And finally, you may also want to think about extending your home. If you have the budget, getting an extension can be a great idea to add more space. You may want to go for a single story to increase your living space or add a garage, or even double to add more bedrooms. If can also be a great option if your family is growing and you need to house more children.

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Hotel-style Home Décor

If you have ever been fortunate enough to stay in a fine hotel or upscale resort then you know that hotel style home decor is different than what you have at home – the luxury pillows and bedding enhance the experience and you leave feeling relaxed, refreshed and invigorated. With some savvy shopping it is actually possible to experience many of the best hotel amenities at home in your bedroom and bathroom for less than even the cost of one night in a luxury hotel.

Start with bedding – look for fine quality Egyptian cotton sheets with a high thread count and invest in the very best set you can afford. When you think about it you spend almost a third of your life in bed and the sheets are in direct contact with your skin; this is not the place to cut corners. If you spend money on nothing else than top-quality sheets you will still have invested wisely and will enjoy a more restful and comfortable night’s sleep.

Black and Grey Bedspread on Bed and Pillow

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A mattress pad can help to improve the sleep surface, especially if your mattress has some age to it. There are mattress pads designed to address a variety of issues so if you seek a less firm or more firm sleeping surface you can achieve it. Look for memory foam mattress pads along with mattress pads and toppers designed to reduce motion transfer and relieve pressure points. Much like sheets, mattress pads are available in a variety of sizes ranging from twin and twin extra-long to queen, king and California king.

Pile on the pillows – hotels use lots of pillows to make the bed the focal point of the room plus they are comfortable to lean against while relaxing, reading or watching televise while in bed.

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Planning On Renting A Spare Property? Here’s What You Should Take Care Of

In the world of property rentals, there is a spectrum. Bad landlords and great landlords are to be found in any country, in any location, in both affluent and deprived areas alike. No matter what house or room you are letting out, as a landlord, you have a whole host of responsibilities for your tenant.

The monthly fee you charge them isn’t just a fee for the right to live there, it’s also a bonded contract that ties you to deal with their issues and maintenance woes. It is also a symbol of trust on the part of the renter that you will keep the property safe and up to housing code for them to live there.

As a new landlord or letter, it can be difficult to figure out just what responsibilities you have to your client, and how to be considered a ‘good landlord.’ No one intends to enter into a business relationship without aiming to hold up their end of the bargain, so most ‘bad landlords’ are a result of incompetence, ignorance, and lack of care.

[Photo courtesy of noona11/flickr.com]

This article will allow you to figure out if you’re on the right track, and if not, how to correct it.

Fees

To begin with, a new renter will want to identify how much the property will cost them, and what fees they will need to pay upfront in order to secure the property. This is where plenty of landlords and letting agents lose their way. ‘Signing fees, holding fees, administrative fees’ are all terms you might have heard if you’ve rented property yourself. These are, for the most part, meaningless, and renters know it too. There’s just no reason to charge a renter $50 to have the luxury of signing your contract, especially when they have a deposit and likely one or two months worth of rental investment to give you.

Try and limit these unnecessary fees as an independent landlord. If you’re going through a letting agent, discourage them from doing the same. It only serves to dissuade interest in your property and starts the whole business relationship on weird terms.

Health Code

It is your responsibility as a landlord to ensure your property is up to health code before your tenants enter. There should be no leaks, the boiler should be up to date and serviced, and the place should be well insulated. It should also be free of pests and other hygiene issues.

This is not to say it’s your responsibility to clean up and pay for any damage sustained by your tenant while they are in the property. If they take matters into their own hands to repair a fault and end up compromising the safety of the property, you are well within your rights to charge them for that or penalize their safety deposit sum. Lay all of this out in the contract so the tenants know what terms they should live under.

Safety

Your property should be secure and allow your tenant to live safely at all times. You should secure the property with combi-locks and strong window supports. If the property has seen better days, taking the time to review all the methods of security issues that could occur will be beneficial. It will also prevent unnecessary damage to your property.

Energy

You have a responsibility to provide your property with electric/gas and water. It is not your responsibility to include internet usage in the energy bill packages. You can come to an agreement with your tenant when the contract is being drawn up as to how they will pay for it. If they would like to change the service that they’re being supplied with, you must stipulate that they ask you, in writing, permission to change it.

Maintenance

Any repair faults of a sizeable quality should be dealt with from your own property. General wear and tear is bound to happen. Tenant induced damages are not your responsibility. Small fixes, such as light bulb replacement, should be taken care of by the tenant.

Be sure to hire the services of a professional repair or construction firm to help fix big issues at a moment’s notice. Always be quick to solve the genuine worries of a tenant, because holding out on these fixes might cause the tenant to withhold their rental payment, and that can be difficult for everyone involved.

Amenities

If the apartment is furnished, you must provide basic amenities. Providing good amenities like washing machines can help you raise the monthly rental cost justifiably, and can pay for themselves in a matter of months. Consider what would be best for your domestic requirements, such as weighing the home benefits of a gasoline vs electric pressure washer. It’s good to provide refrigerators, and you may need more than one depending on the number of people you bring into the property. If you’re letting out 8 rooms, 1 refrigerator is most likely not going to meet the requirements of those living there.

Despite living as a landlord, remember the times when you first moved out into your own rented apartments, and consider ‘would I be happy with the amenities that I have provided if I was living here.’ If you would be, you’re good to go.

Fair Use

If you decide to ‘bills inclusive’ in the monthly cost of the rent for your tenant, they should adhere to a ‘fair use’ policy. This basically prevents them from leaving the heating on all the time and racking up extortionate bills that through a contractual loophole, you’ll be responsible for. Stipulate clearly in your contract that a certain monetary amount if fine, but past that, the tenant should contribute more towards the payment.

Being a great landlord is as simple as identifying how you’d want to be treated if the roles were reversed. The renting relationship should be one of the best business relationships around if everyone upholds their side of the contract. A bad landlord is constituted as someone who doesn’t fairly adhere to their side. Remember, your tenants are living, breathing people, and have their lives to live. You’re not in the business to make best friends, but if your tenant respects you, be sure to pay it in kind. You’re sure to have a fruitful and lucrative relationship if you do this.

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