All You Need To Know About Outdoor Ponds And Patios

Enhance the look of your home by including a small pond or redecorating the patio. The simple addition of a customized water feature, however small, can really enhance the beauty of your home from the outside. In any home improvement store or garden center, artificial ponds are easily available. There are numerous types of artificial fishponds available; concrete, fiberglass, or rubber-lined. Your imagination and budget are the only limitations to your creativity when designing your outdoor space.

Outdoor Ponds

Outdoor ponds may be a part of the patio construction, or separate. When thinking about adding a pond, keep in mind that you will need space for a filtration system, as well as other necessities. You don’t want your pond to overpower the entire garden. You need to keep your plant and animals’ spatial requirements in mind. Otherwise you may end up with stunted or sickly flora and fauna. This will not only look sad, but it will be hard on your pocket book to keep replacing all of the dead organisms. You want to be able to see your creatures clearly, and they will want a nice clean environment; a pump or water filter system is imperative.

Plants, rocks, and decorative statues can improve the pond’s appearance. Research what types of plants will do well in a pond environment, and go with those. Adding a fish to your pond will help it look and feel authentic. And who doesn’t enjoy the beauty a spectacularly marked koi, or the color splash a goldfish? They will give your pond personality and flare!

Outdoor Patio Information

A patio is a cement-covered part of the backyard or an interior yard, most often intended for feasting and other entertainment. Concrete or stone slabs are the most common building materials used for patio construction. A bed of dense stone chips, covered by a layer of sand, and then a layer of cement mortar forms the base. It should be both hard and sturdy since a weak base will end up in split slabs, and there goes your investment.

No matter how exotic it may look, you can find different patio furniture to suit your style. Make sure that any patio furniture you pick complements your home’s architectural style. Most importantly, be certain that it is comfortable to sit in for hours. The amount of rainfall and sunlight it will be exposed to is an aspect to keep in mind while choosing patio furniture. Some furniture is given a chemical treatment to make it last longer by resisting the effects of the weather.

Wood, plastic and vinyl are a few of the materials patio furniture can be made from. The most popular choice by far is wooden furniture. However, you should be aware of the fact that wood requires lot of maintenance before buying this type furniture. If you are set on wood, then your best option is to buy patio furniture made of Teak or Shorea. Age and extreme elements of cold, heat, and water will not be detrimental to these types of wood. They also stand up well against moisture, mold and pests. For those not exactly interested in the maintenance required by wood, furniture is available made out of easy-upkeep materials such as stone, metal and plastic.

Outdoor ponds and patios not only enhance the enjoyment of your home, but they also add significant resale value. Professional landscapers and home improvement outlets will have more ideas on how to improve the outdoor space around your home. Do some research, and find out what interests you.

Teen Bedroom Designs For Budget Decorators

If you are on a budget then finding great teen bedroom designs in your price range might be a bit discouraging. However, you can get a great bedroom for your teen without having to take out a second mortgage if you are willing to do a bit of legwork and put in some elbow grease.

The first thing you need to do is come to an agreement with your teen on how the room should look. Do they like specific colors or perhaps a theme of some sort? Once you have a broad idea of what you want, you need to find an inspiration for the room. This could be a particular item like a chair or a lamp that you could base the design of the room around, or you could scour magazines for a room that appeals to you and your teen and try to replicate that as close as you can.

Now that you have a general idea of what you want, you need to think about color, bedding, furniture and accessories.

The cheapest way to totally change the look of the room, and one that will go with most teen bedroom designs, is to simply paint it. Pick a color that goes with the design you have chosen and get out your brushes. If you want to add some pizazz you could do some faux painting or paint stripes or different colors on the walls. There are plenty of interesting paint techniques that can really make the room look neat and the best part is that you can learn to do most of them for free down at your local home improvement store.

The furniture can be the most expensive part of the whole bedroom design but if you use your head, you can get great furniture your teen will love without spending too much. First of all, look at the pieces you already have – could the be repurposed by painting them and adding some new knobs? Just doing this can dramatically change the pieces and costs barely anything but a weekend of your time.

However, if they are not the style that you need for the new room design, you probably should look at getting something different. But who says you have to go out and buy something new and expensive? Take a look at your local consignment shops and on Craigslist to see if you can get a used set. Many times you can get a set that is just like new but for a fraction of the cost.

Matching bedding is easily purchased in sets and you can get these rather inexpensively but if you can’t find anything that suits, you can buy separates. If you are handy with a sewing matching, you can embellish them with piping or ribbons to give them a custom look. When you buy bedding, remember to get pieces that match in color and style but have different patterns and textures for interest.

The accessories are the icing on the cake and here’s where you can really save a few bucks on your teens bedroom by shopping at flea markets, yard sales and consignment shops. It might take a while to collect all the pieces you want, but you will end up with a unique and interest room that didn’t cost a lot!

Teen bedroom designs can range from a retro look to a sports theme to a pink princess palace, but if you use your imaginations and shop wisely you can come up with a great designer look without having to pay the price.

Garden and Patio Decorations For Great Outdoor Living

Think about garden and patio decorations just as you would if you were designing a room in your home. We always hear of interior decorating, so now think about exterior decorating! A well-decorated patio can have sitting areas, dining areas, and center pieces. Because you’re outdoors, garden and patio decorations let you become creative in really fun ways.

The garden decor you select will give your outdoor “rooms” style and character… so go with what appeals to you. Are you formal and elegant, or informal and casual? Whatever approach you take, keep in mind that too many garden and patio decorations will give you a crowded look. Plants and flowers should play just as big a role in your decor as structures and furnishings… let them compliment each other.

Visualize Key Furnishings

First, envision your patio, deck or garden area. Plan out a few different layouts for the main, larger decor items that will need to fit within your space. These would be chairs, benches, tables, and grilling or cooking stations. If you work at home, you can even design an outdoor “work station” for your laptop and office work.

Weather-proofed wicker, wrought iron, cedar, or teak garden furniture are excellent choices for patio and garden furnishings. Functionality is important, but go for comfort and style, too!

There are some great designs in outdoor patio furniture, guaranteed to fit your personal style. Make sure what you buy is very durable and weatherproof, since your furniture will be exposed to sun, wind and rain. Be patient and shop for the most attractive furniture that meets these standards and you’ll save money in the end.

Outdoor Lighting Sets the Mood

Once you identify your main furniture pieces, add even more atmosphere to your garden and patio with outdoor lighting. Lighting arrangements can change the entire feel of your outdoor area. You can go for festive, subdued, ornamental, warm, or bright!

Outdoor patio lights are made to endure all the elements, and feature insulated and weather-resistant components. There are quite a few styles you can choose from. The possibilities include freestanding lamps, table lamps, shaded and globe lamps, lanterns, umbrella lights, BBQ lights, string lights, and ground lights. Shop around for what appeals to you, as well as what’s practical for your purpose.

Choose Your Accents

There are no rules to garden and patio decorations… and lots of choices! Here are some great accents that will add life and charm to any yard:

Garden Benches: Have you ever noticed a rustic bench placed “just right” in a garden? It’s a very inviting sight. It doesn’t need to be fancy… just a spot to sit down and relax.

Decorative Planters: To create a pleasing focal point, set out a few planters filled with beautiful flowers in different areas of your garden. You can move them around, and replant them with different flowers as the season goes by. These are perfect for the patio, too.

Don’t forget, an old container you have lying around can easily be tuned into a planter – perhaps an old watering can or a pickle barrel. All they need is some form of drainage. Try one or two planters and see the difference they make!

Garden Fountains: Fountains add a great deal of atmosphere to any garden setting. The varieties range from grand fountains made of stone or bronze, to modest and charming garden fountain kits. Garden fountains have such a pleasant, tranquil sound that their beautiful effect is immediate and captivating.

Garden Sculptures: Garden statuary is usually made of bronze, marble, stone, wood, or resin. Choose themes from cherubs and saints to deer, rabbits and frogs. Garden sculptures can really develop your garden theme, and are great fun to design with! Tuck them into a corner, or display them openly as a main focal point.

Sundials: This ancient device has brought beauty and charm to thousands of gardens. Sundials are terrific accent pieces and come in different designs, such as tabletop and pedestal. Some sundials double as birdbaths!

Garden and patio decorations can be as elaborate or quaint as you wish. Simply keep in mind it’s just like fixing up a room in your home – when you like what you see, you’ve added your own personal signature to your outdoor living place!

Copyright 2006 Robert Mosse