Make Your Front Yard the Talk of the Neighbourhood

No matter what time of year it is, you can have the best looking front yard in your whole neighbourhood. By utilizing different textures and colours, you can drastically change your yard to create a winter wonderland or a summer paradise.

As the cold winter starts to roll through, you’ll be getting your yard ready to withstand all the snow and freezing temperatures that are bound to happen. However, by being creative with bushes and shrubs, railings, and decorations, you’ll take your yard to a whole new level.

To help you make your front yard the talk of the neighbourhood this winter, consider using some of the following tips.

 

Install Railing

When snow blankets the ground, you have to be more creative with how you’ll create your yard. In summer, you have colourful plants and green grass at your disposal to help. But in winter, the snow can only do so much.

So, add railing around your yard. From simple to elaborate railings that go around the perimeter of the yard or up to the front door, you can add an elegant feel right away. Take a look at some of the railings we’ve built for residents in Toronto.

Plant Winter Shrubs and Trees

Many plants can withstand winter, and still produce berries on them even when it freezes. They help feed the birds that stick around for winter. Not only that, they can add some much-needed colour to contrast the white snow.

Look at your Hardscape

Lots of times when talking about decorating a yard, we look at the soft landscape called softscape. Those are anything living that you plant. However, we can easily forget about the hardscape, or things that are not living.

Hardscape would be the hard stuff you include in your yard, like bricks and stones. Winter is the perfect time to take a look at any additions to your hardscape to help balance everything out. It could be a sculpture, an arch over the entrance to your home, or a bench on the porch.

Tidy Up the Yard

Leaves, mud, branches, and other things that appear during the transition to fall can quickly make your lard look cluttered. Part of your curb appeal is having a clean and tidy lawn. So, before the snow comes, rake up the leaves and branches, and clean out everything that accumulated in the gutters.

Rely on Lighting

In the winter time, have fun with your exterior lighting. Having proper outdoor lighting is for your family’s safety, and to add a dramatic effect to your front yard.

Install lights in different areas of the yard. You can have small lights that line the pathway to the front door. There are post lamps that work great on decks and by the front door. Use string lights throughout the trees for a winter wonderland effect.

 

Don’t let your yard fall behind once the temperature drops. Even in the winter months, you can still have the best front yard in your neighbourhood. Incorporate some of our tips listed above to help you design your winter yard this season.

6 Tips for Decorating a Small Balcony

No matter the size of your balcony, there is always room for creativity and design. It may take a bit of manoeuvring around, but with the right plan in mind, you can transform your small balcony into your favourite hangout spot.

Having a balcony of any size is a huge perk for any living space. It allows you to bring your living room outdoors in the summer, and to enjoy the fresh air. Sit outside and watch the sunrise or sunset, all while still enjoying the comfort of your home.

Whether you are renting an apartment or own your home, there are many budget-friendly designs that you can do with your balcony. Take a look at some of our ideas to get your balcony hangout ready.

 

Start With the Railing

Although this will be more for homeowners rather than rents, changing the railing along the balcony can make a huge difference. You can go for a classic look that won’t take away from the rest of the design on the balcony, or you can go with an elaborate, custom-made railing that is the attraction piece in your design.

Browse through some of our recent railings to see how they can dramatically change the feel of your balcony.

Take Your Home Outdoors

You want your balcony to be an extension of your home. To achieve that look, keep the design scheme you have inside when planning out your balcony. Stay within the same colours and theme to keep your transition from inside to outside smooth.

Use Your Walls

One thing you’ll notice right away with a small balcony is the lack of space to place items. This will force you to be creative with your design.

Don’t forget about the wall space. The walls around your balcony are like a blank canvas. Hand plants and lights off of them, or other decorations that add to your theme.

Lay an Outdoor Rug

An easy way to change your balcony of any size is to lay down an outdoor rug. Balconies don’t always have the most beautiful flooring unless you can afford to upgrade it. Instead, take a look at different rugs available. You can start with the rug and use the colour scheme as inspiration for the rest of the balcony.

Add String Lights

You’ll want outdoor lights on your balcony if you hope to spend much time there at night. However, you don’t want to give up precious space for a lamp. Opt for string lights instead. You can hang them around the railings, the walls of the balcony, or even across for a unique feel if there’s room.

Utilize Multi-Purpose Furniture

One thing every balcony needs is a place to sit. But a couch and table can take up much space and leave you with little to no room left. Luckily, there is outdoor furniture that has two purposes – storage and seating.

When you’re decorating a small space, be creative with multi-purpose items. They can serve you in two different ways without taking up additional space. So, our outdoor couch could hold items under the cushion, and the table can turn into an additional chair by adding a cushion on top.

 

Have fun when decorating your balcony. From installing unique and custom built railings to draping string lights all around, every change will enhance the feel of your balcony. Make it the place everyone will want to hang out on when the sun comes out.

 4 Common Cleaning Tasks for Keeping Glass Railings Clean

More and more you’ll find glass railings in homes. Whether it be inside following the stairs or outside around the deck or balcony, glass railings offer safety that is aesthetically pleasing. You can see through the glass as to not obstruct the view of your surroundings. It allows you to watch your children play on the lawn as you relax on the deck above.

What makes glass railings very appealing to homeowners is how durable they are and the minimal amount of upkeep required to keep them looking new. Of course, over time they will get dirty, especially if they are outside railings. However, with a regular cleaning routine that includes the glass railings around the home, you’ll keep them looking in pristine condition for many years to come.

To help you out, here are a few tips to easily keep your glass railings clean.

 

Water Spots and Streaks

Water spots and streaks are probably one of the most frustrating parts of keeping the glass clean. You may notice water spots on outdoor railings after it rains or splashed with water. For indoor railings, likely you would notice streaks after wiping the glass down. Either way, they are annoying and can make the glass look dirty.

To avoid water spots and streaks, wash the glass products specifically meant for glass, or mix equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Wipe down with a clean cloth that will absorb the water.

Dust and Dirt

Dust and dirt will make its way onto the glass of the railings. Unfortunately, it is inevitable. Inside your home, dust floats around and grasps on to things around the area. Outside, dirt will stick to the glass when it storms or is windy.

Luckily for you, dust and dirt are some of the easiest things to clean from glass. A soft, dry cloth will easily wipe off the dust and dirt, revealing crisp, clear glass.

Grime Build Up

Depending on where the railings are, you may have to deal with grime build up from time to time (or quite often). Lots of times you see grime build up on the glass doors of the shower. The same thing can happen to your railings, especially if they’re in the kitchen and continuously get splashed with liquid.

Your best bet is to try and wipe down the glass as soon as a spill happens. However, if that is not always possible, the water and vinegar solution will work just fine to clean them up. Use a damp cloth to wipe the glass. You can also use glass cleaning products as well.

Animal Feces

For outdoor railings, there is a good chance you’ll encounter animal droppings on the glass. Most commonly are bird droppings. Cleaning up animal feces from glass is quite easy, but you should take safety precautions to do so. Wear disposable gloves and use a cloth that can be thrown away after. Using the vinegar and water solution will not only clean the glass, but it will also disinfect it as well.

 

Cleaning the glass on railings typically is not a difficult task. By staying on top of it, though, you can keep the glass looking like brand new for decades to come.

The Ins and Outs of Floating Stairs

Don’t let a common household necessity blend into the background. The stairs can be a striking feature in your home if appropriately designed. From walking up a few steps to enter the home, or taking a grand staircase up to the next level, every stair can be a unique addition to a house.

One way of incorporating a stunning staircase is with floating stairs. A floating staircase adds a distinctively modern touch to any home it is in. What makes them so appealing is that they are a perfect combination of functionality while being stylish.

If a floating staircase sounds appealing to you, let’s take a look at the ins and outs to see what makes a floating staircase unique.

 

How They Work

Floating stairs, although look like it, are not actually floating. They still have structural support to make them stand up. You’ll be walking up and down these stairs, so you want to ensure they can still maintain their structural integrity.

When designed and installed correctly, these staircases give off the illusion that they are floating. Even though there will still be certain areas of support and attachments, where and how they are built will keep them hidden away.

Save Valuable Space

One major perk of floating stairs is the additional space you save underneath of them. Traditional staircases can take up a large amount of space because they require a solid structure to support them. Because floating staircases are designed without the solid structural support, it opens up space underneath for you to do whatever you please.

There are many creative designs for under the stairs. You can turn the space into a cozy reading nook, a fancy storage area, a small home office, even a dog house for your furry friend. Basically, anything that you lack in your home you can use the space under the stairs for that.

Versatility

With floating stairs, the design options are only limited to what you are house allows you to build (or your wallet allows you to afford). Although they tend to be on the pricier end of staircases, there are so many ways you can build and install them in your home.

You can go more minimalistic and have as little of accessories to them as possible – only the steps jutting out from the wall are what you see. You can have them follow along with the wall and curve up to the second floor. You could even suspend the steps from the ceiling, making them look like they are really floating.

 

In the end, floating staircases are a preference rather than a necessity. However, they do offer a unique look to any home they are installed in. Take your home to a modern level by installing floating staircases.