Preparing Our Porch For Cold Weather Visits

Most of us are all too aware that this holiday season will be like no other.  In our area, it’s looking like safe outdoor visits, carefully conducted, will be the only way we can see our friends and loved ones in person.  But with the temperatures dropping and the rain coming, how practical is that?

Luckily, we have a covered front porch.  It’s not huge, but it is large enough for Chris and I to safely visit with a couple of people even if it’s raining.  Recently, we made a few tweaks to make the space warm and inviting.

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Adding Heat

There are a few ways to add heat to an outdoor space, and we started by getting a tabletop propane patio heater (similar to this one).

Front Porch Visits in Winter

Its petite size fits nicely in a covered area like our porch.  The base holds a small propane tank, but Chris instead connected a hose to a larger tank so that he wouldn’t need to change the tank as frequently.

That larger tank sits under the wooden table – concealed by the burlap skirting that I made.

Front Porch Visits in Winter

(Note: It’s always a good idea to check safety recommendations to make sure that propane heaters are appropriate for the space, and to use them outdoors only.)

While this heater does make a difference, it seems it doesn’t quite dish out the heat like a full-size patio heater.  So we make sure to have a few blankets and warm scarves scattered for visitors to use,

Front Porch Visits in Winter

And a nice warm drink to offer them.

Front Porch Visits in Winter

 

Making It Festive Yet Safe

In outdoor spaces, I feel that I can crank up the color a bit without worrying that it’s over the top.  I got this indoor/outdoor floor mat.  It is made of recycled polypropylene, and it should be very easy to clean.  We decided to use the reverse side of the mat because the colors are so lovely.  They remind me of warm spices like curry, turmeric, and paprika.

Front Porch Visits in Winter

For distancing, we set out two small tables – one for us and one for our visitors.

Front Porch Visits in Winter

And the seating between us and our visitors is at least six feet.

Making this small space feel inviting and safe, yet keeping it uncluttered, was a bit of a challenge.  The small chairs (one of them is a folding chair) can easily be brought indoors when not in use.

Front Porch Visits in Winter

In addition to the overhead porch light, we have candles and string lights.

Chili pepper lights

In early spring, many of our neighbors hung outdoor lights to offer a glimmer of hope to this strange situation that we all found ourselves in.  That is when we hung the chili pepper string lights (similar to these).  I’ve decided they are staying up until things return to normal, so we’ve just been adding other lights to them as the seasons dictate.  (Also, I’m feeling like if ever there was a year where conventional decor rules don’t apply, this is it.)

Right now, they are paired with these LED patio lights.  I am not a huge fan of LED lights, but these seem to have a warmer glow than others that I’ve seen.

I still have plans for some sort of wind break on the south side of the porch.  Of course, I’d like it to be as attractive as it is practical, so we’ll see what I end up with.

In the meantime, it’s fun to put our porch to work, and we find ourselves using the space even when we don’t have visitors.

Front Porch Visits in Winter

We still need music, but I think I have a plan.  For Christmas, Chris will be getting this little portable bluetooth speaker.  I’m hoping it will work for our porch visits and for our camping adventures.

 

The Back Patio

We haven’t completely written off our back patio for winter visits.  Instead of stashing the patio furniture away, we just bought covers that we can remove quickly if we want to use the furniture.

We have a full-size heat lamp (similar to this one) on the patio, and we recently bought this fire pit.  While it’s not quite the style I wanted, I must admit that the stone surface around the fire bowl is very convenient.

 

 

We’ve already used it to roast s’mores with our little niece, and we’re hoping for more outdoor fun on clear days.

We also keep a cover on the fire pit when it’s not in use.  We found this cover, which is a pretty good fit.

Resources For A Cozy Porch Visit

 

Premium Handwoven Mexican Blanket

 

LED Patio Lights

 

 

 

 

 

 

HappyCheers Insulated Tumblers

 

4-Ounce Bitty Mugs For Kids

 

Portable Bluetooth Speaker

 

Oriental/Turkish Patio Mat

 

Tabletop Patio Heater

 

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

BROWSE MY COLLECTION OF PANDEMIC STOCKING STUFFERS

 

Here you’ll find seasonal goodies, my current decor obsessions, and more!

 

Want to see more? Browse my photo gallery or check out these categories:

Our Kitchen Remodel Series
Our Master Bath Remodel Series
Entertaining
My Dressing Room Remodel
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Decorating and Holidays
Our Little Sunglo Greenhouse
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Garden Design
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Our Laundry Room Remodel

 

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4-ounce BittyMugs for Kids

Personalize Your Home With These Brilliant Interior Tricks And Tips

Many of us are spending more time at home these days, so today I’m happy to share this guest post with some lovely tips for beautifying and personalizing our homes.

The following is a contributed post.  For more on my contributed posts, please see this page.

Personalize Your Home With These Brilliant Interior Tricks And Tips

When you live in a home, you want to make it feel as personal as possible. After all, it’s where you spend most of your time, especially during the present crisis. 

But what if you look at the four walls of your abode and get the sense that it is not a reflection of who you really are?  What can you do to fight back and make your property feel more like yours?

Here are some ideas to get you started. 

1.  Add A Pleasant Scent

 

There’s no denying that many of us react strongly to certain scents. When we detect a familiar fragrance, it suddenly transports us to a different place, and we feel refreshed.

That’s why we need to add pleasant fragrances to our homes. 

Your options here are almost endless. You could go for the subtle scent of potpourri, or you could fill your diffuser with essential oils. 

Whichever you choose, try to go for fragrances that remind you of home. Think about the scents that you enjoyed in your childhood.  Familiar scents might include lavender, sandalwood, or beech.  Or the scents of warming spices like cloves and nutmeg.

If you have a penchant for essential oils, you could also experiment with stronger fragrances. Peppermint, for instance, is distinct and helps you relax and unwind after a long day. 

2.   Personalize Your Furniture

Generic furniture is affordable and often high quality. But it doesn’t always feel like yours. Your home can often start resembling something out of a magazine instead of an environment that reflects your character. And that can be a little soul-destroying. 

So what can you do about it? 

One option is to start personalizing your furniture and making it your own. 

The easiest option is reupholstering. You just select a suitable fabric and then get a reupholstering service to fit it to your sofas and chairs. 

If you love DIY, then you can get creative and take things much further. And upcycling old pieces of furniture allows you to stamp your mark on them and make them feel more personal. 

3.  Soften Harsh Lines

Straight lines can make a property feel clinical and formal, but there are several ways to remedy this. One is to add more soft furnishings, like throws and cushions. Another is to disrupt some of the straight lines by hanging wall art or adding more sideboards to your rooms.

Play around with furniture placement.  If you have space, you might want to add a round rug to your living room and place furniture on it. Placing furniture pieces in the center of the room on something round can dramatically change how the room feels. 

4.  Add Heirlooms And Memorials

Don’t just put your heirlooms and memorials in a box in the attic and forget about them. Instead, leverage them to make your house feel more like home. 

Memorial and keepsake stone rocks can have a profound influence on how you feel about your house. They remind you of the connections that you have with the people in your life. And they help to stamp your mark on your interiors. Your rooms no longer look like something you would see in a magazine. Instead, they’re personal and reflect your values. 

5.  Put Colorful Plants Everywhere

Research suggests that people react positively to plants in their environment. The more of them that we have, the better we feel. 

Adding plants and color makes a home feel more inviting.  Start in the bathroom. Choose species that don’t require a considerable amount of natural light, as these will tend to thrive the most. 

Once you’ve done that, begin adding plants to your hallways and living spaces. Put them in the kitchen to brighten up the countertops and make them appear friendlier.  You could also try growing herbs in your kitchen so you can have fresh herbs readily available for cooking.

6.  Improve Your Seating Arrangements

Seating arrangements can make a room feel static, or it can make a room feel dynamic and interesting.  Think about how most people arrange their seating. More often than not, they push the furniture up against the walls, dominating the room. 

That’s not what you want. If your living room is only large enough to accommodate a single two-seater sofa, then limit yourself to that. Place it on a rug in the middle of the room and allow it to become a focal point. Don’t let your furniture dominate the size of the room. Let the room’s size determine the kind of seating you put in it. 

7.  Add Flashes Of Color

Neutral homes are good for making you feel relaxed and keeping things simple. But there is currently so much use of beige, white, and cream in interiors that using these colors can make your home feel impersonal – and just like everyone else’s.  

Fortunately, you can fight back against this by adding pops of color to your living and dining areas. 

Try painting the wall on the opposite side of your front door an accent color. If the rest of your property is neutral, try adding black. The interior will immediately feel more personal to you. There will be an edginess and sophistication about it that wasn’t there before. 

So, how will you make your home feel more personal?

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

BROWSE MY COLLECTION OF PANDEMIC STOCKING STUFFERS

 

Here you’ll find seasonal goodies, my current decor obsessions, and more!

 

Want to see more? Browse my photo gallery or check out these categories:

Our Kitchen Remodel Series
Our Master Bath Remodel Series
Entertaining
My Dressing Room Remodel
Dan’s Workshop
Decorating and Holidays
Our Little Sunglo Greenhouse
Floral Design
Garden Design
The June Bug Diaries
Our Laundry Room Remodel

 

Exploring

 

Make Your Garden “Insta-Worthy” With These Tips

Being home a bit more than usual these days has made me want to make my home and garden as pleasant and usable as possible.  And it seems that, since many of us can’t gather or travel as we would in normal times, folks are tending to share more of their everyday home lives on social media.

So I thought that this guest post, with tips for creating an “insta-worthy” garden, would be a fun one to share.

The following is a contributed post.  For more on my contributed posts, please see this page.

Make Your Garden “Insta-Worthy” With These Tips

Who doesn’t want a garden that is “insta-worthy” these days? Many of us use social media platforms like instagram to share pictures and updates, and we want our photos to look good – and to convey a certain message.

But how do you create an “insta-worthy” outdoor space?  Here are a few tips for doing just that.

Give It a Good Clear Out

Just like our homes, our gardens can sometimes become cluttered. It’s either random chairs lurking about, kids’ toys, garden tools, or even items destined for the waste center but you just haven’t gotten around to taking them. But once you give your garden a big clearout, you can see what you have to work with.

If you don’t have the time or the vehicle to clear out your garden, then you could consider hiring professionals to do all the hard work for you. 

If you do have things that need to stay in your garden, like lawn mowers or garden tools, then consider investing in a shed so that they have a home. 

Whether you want to take your garden back to its former glory or start fresh with a new garden design, getting your garden in tidy condition is the first step.

Design Your Garden Space

Much like your home’s interior, your garden needs a design concept. Do you want a cottage garden look, with abundant flower beds, hanging baskets or pots on the patios? Or perhaps something more functional-looking, such as a neatened up lawn and a clear decking space? 

Don’t be discouraged if your garden space is small.  It’s amazing how much can be done with even a small space.

Whatever your garden design plan, installing a new fence or deck can serve to define the space and be a backdrop to your flower beds and garden in general. Companies like Austex Fence & Deck could help you with that.

You can even go as far as picking certain colors you want to see more of. This can be reflected in the flowers and plants you choose for your garden. Treat your garden as if it is an extension of your home and watch it flourish.

Consider Adding An Eye-Catching Feature

Garden features are the things that add focus and interest to an outdoor space.  They are also the driving force behind many “insta-worthy” moments.

You may want to think about adding a water element to your garden – which sometimes carries the added benefit of attracting wildlife.

Or you could choose to use a decked area or patio as your feature and invest in some unique garden furniture to make it look extra special – and to make it functional.

Maintain Your Garden

Finally, once everything is in place, keep your garden maintained. This means mowing your lawns and keeping them neat and tidy. 

It’s about keeping your flower beds free of weeds, pruning plants and trees when needed, and brushing patio and decked areas if leaves or debris have fallen.

Once you have everything in place, this work is much easier to keep on top of. 

And then you can begin enjoying – and sharing – your beautiful new garden space.

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

BROWSE MY COLLECTION OF PANDEMIC STOCKING STUFFERS

 

Here you’ll find seasonal goodies, my current decor obsessions, and more!

 

Want to see more? Browse my photo gallery or check out these categories:

Our Kitchen Remodel Series
Our Master Bath Remodel Series
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Our Little Sunglo Greenhouse
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Two Easy Black and White Projects

Black and white is a timeless color combination.  And because it serves as a neutral base for other colors, it works almost anywhere.

Earlier in fall, I finished a couple of small sewing projects that involved black and white fabrics.

Project 1:  An Easy DIY Dining Chair Upgrade

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Recently we bought a beautiful antique dining table and chairs from a friend who was moving.  This craftsman-era set is in wonderful condition and had been in our friend’s family for generations.

Craftsman dining set

The set has six chairs – all of which have the original leather seats. The leather is probably over 100 years old, so the seats all have a lovely vintage patina.

Craftsman dining chair

But they don’t have much padding, and it doesn’t take long for them to become uncomfortable.

There is a way to go in underneath each chair seat and add some padding to the middle, but it would hardly be worth the work – or the risk of damaging the leather.

Topping them with cushions was the best option, but I could not find pre-made cushions that would fit these chairs.

So I decided to make my own.

 

Choosing the Fabric

We don’t have any Western decor in our home, so cowhide is not a fabric that I would normally consider.

But by accident, I happened to notice how nice an animal print fabric would look with the old leather of these chair seats.  So, rather than looking Western, I was hoping that the cowhide would enhance the rustic craftsman-era look of the chairs.

For several reasons, I wanted to use faux cowhide instead of the real thing.  The local fabric store didn’t have what I had in mind, so I ended up buying this suede velvet cow print through a vendor on Amazon.

Faux cowhide fabric

It looked authentic enough to me.  It was soft and had a nice texture, and it was easy to work with.

Choosing And Cutting The Foam

I figured if I was going to upgrade these chairs, I might as well go for maximum comfort.  So I used two-inch thick high-density foam cushion squares similar to these.

The chair seats are not a true square.  They taper in gradually towards the back.  So, I made a cardboard template and traced it onto the each foam square.

Then I cut the foam using an electric knife.

My electric knife is very old, but it’s similar to this one.

Sewing The Cushions

I sewed simple cushion covers with box corners.  I did this so that the fabric pattern would continue down the sides of the cushions without being interrupted by a seam.

So, the only visible seams are in the corners.   For the bottoms of the cushions, I used a felt fabric that I had on hand.  (Whenever I can, I like to try to use up what I already have.)

A corner and the bottom of the cushion.

Corner Straps

So that the cushions don’t slide around on the chair seats, I sewed small faux-leather straps into the two back corners of each cushion.  They wrap around the chair backs and adhere together with Velcro.

By hand, I baste stitched each cushion cover closed in the back where my stitching would not be visible.  The stitching will be easy to remove if I ever want to replace the cushion covers.

 

The Result

The chairs are much more comfortable now.

Craftsman dining chair with faux cowhide cushion

And the original leather remains intact.

There is a slight bevel around the edge of each leather chair seat, and I wanted that bevel to remain visible to show the contrast between the leather and the cowhide.

The fabric has a large pattern repeat, so each cushion is a little different.

Craftsman dining chairs with faux cowhide cushions

It’s fun to mix the rustic cowhide look with vintage linen and fine china.

And the cushions work with my new buffalo plaid tablecloth – a little gift I bought for our new table.

I became enamored  with the black and white buffalo plaid tablecloths that I saw at a home decor shop.  They were a fun look for fall and were reasonably priced – and the fabric was good quality.

None of them were the right size for the big square table, but it occurred to me that it would be less expensive to buy one anyway and alter it to fit the table than it would be to buy fabric of that quality at the fabric store.  And this way I would be getting exactly what I wanted.

And since I would be firing up my sewing machine anyway, I bought a second tablecloth for another project.

Which leads me to:

Project 2:  New Greenhouse Shades

Yes, I would be cutting up a large tablecloth and using the fabric to make shades for my greenhouse!

For several years, I’d had these cute DIY burlap shades in our greenhouse.

Sunglo Greenhouse

I loved them.  But they were in the greenhouse year round, and they were starting to show some wear.

It did not occur to me when I made the shades that I might want to wash them from time to time.  And machine washing burlap can be a tricky business.

But the tablecloth, on the other hand, was machine washable.  It was made of good quality home decor fabric that hopefully will hold up nicely in the greenhouse.

So I removed the burlap shades (which, since they were natural burlap and therefore compostable, I could put in my yard waste bin).

Then I deep cleaned the interior of our greenhouse.  I’m talking the entire interior, from the floor to the acrylic panels and everything in between.  I try to do this every year in early fall.

Sunglo greenhouse

 

Now the greenhouse was ready for the new buffalo plaid shades.

The shades were easy to make.  I just cut the tablecloth into the rectangular panels that I needed and then hemmed them.

Sunglo greenhouse

 

In the greenhouse, they are attached to a thin cable by clothespins – making it super easy for me to remove them when I want to wash them.

Sunglo greenhouse

 

These photos were taken a couple of months ago – right after my greenhouse deep clean.  Now the greenhouse is jam packed with plants that I am overwintering.

The buffalo plaid is a big change from the burlap, and in truth it took me a while to get used to the new shades. But now I love them.  And of course the plants are enjoying the filtered light that they provide.

Christmas decor is the focus now, so the tablecloths I found aren’t in the shop anymore.  But there are many options for black and white buffalo plaid tablecloths on Amazon.

To see more greenhouses like ours, check out the Sunglo Greenhouses website.

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

BROWSE MY COLLECTION OF PANDEMIC STOCKING STUFFERS

 

Here you’ll find seasonal goodies, my current decor obsessions, and more!

 

Want to see more? Browse my photo gallery or check out these categories:

Our Kitchen Remodel Series
Our Master Bath Remodel Series
Entertaining
My Dressing Room Remodel
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Our Little Sunglo Greenhouse
Floral Design
Garden Design
The June Bug Diaries
Our Laundry Room Remodel

 

Exploring

 

 

Pandemic Stocking Stuffers

There is simply no use pretending that 2020 has been a normal year.  And while there hasn’t been much to laugh about, sometimes a little humor can be the best medicine.

So I’ve assembled a few ideas for stocking stuffers that will give loved ones a little chuckle – and remind them that we are all in this together.

All of these items are made by the small independent sellers on Etsy.  Because, at times like this, it’s important to support small businesses.

This post contains affiliate links.  For more on my affiliate links, please see this page.

 

Our First Pandemic Ornament by SouthernXpressions

 

Holiday Face Masks by Carol Art Boutique

 

Covid Gingerbread Ornament by WindyWillowsHome
Best Quarantine Partner Ever Mug by EwaarKultureStore

 

Alexa Fast Forward to 2021 Mug by JeanandCompany85

 

Stink Stank Stunk Ornament by TrendiGoodsCo

 

Pandemic Gift Box (Mask, handcrafted soap, organic hand sanitizer) by BrownButterflyCo.

 

2020 Ornament by TwoAcreMarket

 

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

 

Here you’ll find seasonal goodies, my current decor obsessions, and more!

 

Want to see more? Browse my photo gallery or check out these categories:

Our Kitchen Remodel Series
Our Master Bath Remodel Series
Entertaining
My Dressing Room Remodel
Dan’s Workshop
Decorating and Holidays
Our Little Sunglo Greenhouse
Floral Design
Garden Design
The June Bug Diaries
Our Laundry Room Remodel

 

Exploring

How To Beautifully Decorate Your Porch

Lately I’ve been focused on reworking our front porch so that we can better use the space to safely and comfortably visit with friends during the upcoming holiday season.  So the timing could not be better for this guest post, which reminded me of a few easy things we can all do to beautify our porches.

The following is a contributed post.  For more on my contributed posts, please see this page.

How To Beautifully Decorate Your Porch

Your porch is the first impression that visitors get of your home.  It has the potential to set the design tone for the rest of your house.  But even more than that, it is an extension of your home – a bonus space that you can utilize for storage, outdoor activities, socializing and relaxation.

Here are three quick and easy ways to beautify your porch.

1.  Add Seating

You might picture an old farmer sitting on the porch with a hay strand sticking out the side of his mouth but, in actual fact, porch chairs are a lovely addition to your home. Unless your porch is enclosed, you should invest in weather-proof chairs like a plastic adirondack chair which will brave all the elements. In addition, you can cover the chairs with decorative or protective covers to add color and style to the furniture. 

A chair on your porch means you can sit and take in the world as it goes by. Or you can visit with friends in the fresh air.  A porch chair is relaxing, functional and decorative too. 

2.  Incorporate Plants

Another way to make your porch more beautiful is to add plants. If your porch is enclosed and/or protected by glass, you can find stunning house plants which love to soak up the sun. If your porch is exposed to the elements, you could add hanging baskets of flowers, or small shrubs or potted trees in  attractive containers, to your porch space. 

Either way, a splash of green adds vitality to the porch, making it a refreshing, welcoming space for all who visit. 

Some house plants that love sun and are easy to maintain are: 

  • Golden pothos. The beautiful leafy tendrils of golden pothos are hard to kill – and it grows at rapid speed!
  • Cacti. Cacti are easy to maintain, virtually unkillable and funky to look at. If it can survive the desert, it can survive the porch. 
  • Fiddle leaf fig trees.   These trees are a very popular choice at the moment.  They can be bought as young trees or as full sized ones; outdoors in warm climates or indoors in any climate, these stunning plants bring any room to life.

But remember that not all plants survive in all outdoor areas.  If your porch is not enclosed, check before buying a plant to make sure it will survive, and thrive, in your planting zone.

3.  Add Color

A splash of bright color is bound to make your entryway space come to life. You could invest in a rug made of recycled plastics which is environmentally friendly, gorgeous to look at, and easy to clean.

Alternatively, an enclosed porch could benefit from tasteful artwork or a wall hanging that takes it from a bland entryway to a stylish part of your home you can be proud of. Adding color to a particularly neutral, bland space in your home can transform it for the better, and what’s more, this can be achieved relatively cheaply without any stress or hassle!

In conclusion, your porch isn’t just a neutral place you bypass on your way into your house. The porch can be a beautiful, welcome entry to your home with these simple steps!

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

 

Here you’ll find seasonal goodies, my current decor obsessions, and more!

 

Want to see more? Browse my photo gallery or check out these categories:

Our Kitchen Remodel Series
Our Master Bath Remodel Series
Entertaining
My Dressing Room Remodel
Dan’s Workshop
Decorating and Holidays
Our Little Sunglo Greenhouse
Floral Design
Garden Design
The June Bug Diaries
Our Laundry Room Remodel

 

Exploring

An Old Entertainment Center Becomes A Potting Bench

My Mom, Erika, has been organizing her garage.  A couple of weeks ago, my husband Chris and I went over to haul away some of the larger boxes that she wanted to donate to charity.  I began obsessing over what was in the boxes and which items should go where.

I was too busy obsessing to pay much attention to a little plan that Mom and Chris were cooking up – a plan to repurpose a huge piece of unwanted furniture.

But it turned out to be a great project.

What To Do With An Obsolete Entertainment Center

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Decades ago, my parents bought a large, solid wood cubby cabinet.  They customized it to use as an entertainment center.   It had room for the big speakers, LP records, and other bulky media components that we used back in those days.

I didn’t think to take photos of it before Mom and Chris worked their magic, but this is roughly what it looked like.  (Apologies for my horrible computer mock-up.)

Over the years, Mom’s media needs became more streamlined, so the entertainment center ended up in the garage – where its huge profile took up space and blocked natural light.

 

Converting It To A Potting Bench

One reason Mom was organizing her garage was so she’d have room for something she really needed:  A potting bench.  She and Chris had the idea of cutting the entertainment center down so that she could use the base piece as a potting bench.

So Chris did just that.  By this time, I at least had the presence of mind to snap this photo of the base.

From here, Chris would add a countertop and install shelves in the open cubbies on either side.  The rest of the entertainment center would be scrapped.

Or would it?

Mom realized the bank of horizontal cubbies that topped the entertainment center could be turned vertically.  So Chris flipped the bank upright and attached it to one end of the new potting bench.

He cut, installed, and finished a piece of 5/8″ ACX plywood as a countertop.

He installed pegboard and pegboard hooks to the wall behind the potting bench.

And he installed this shop light, complete with plant and aquarium bulbs, above the bench.  The light and bulbs he used are fluorescent, and he used them because he already had them on hand.  Otherwise, he would have gone with an energy-saving LED option.

 

The Result

An obsolete piece of furniture had been transformed into something useful and attractive.

Chris cut the countertop to be a bit deeper than the bench, so Mom has space for a soil basin – and plenty of room for repotting and overwintering plants.

 

And, with the cubbies and the pegboard, there is a place for everything that Mom needs to keep on hand.

 

 

But what I love most of all is that this potting area, like the rest of Mom’s house, is such a cheerful space.

To recap, the entertainment center went from looking [kind of] like this

to this.

In the end, only the center panels of the entertainment center were scrapped.  All the rest was put to good use.

The Organizing Possibilities

Chris is still on a roll – this time here in his own shop.  He’s done some organizing and created some space.  And he’s installed pegboard so he can store his tools and supplies vertically.  Until now, I had no idea how many options for pegboard hooks and pegboard accessories there were out there.

Previous Visits to Mom’s House

Here are a few of Mom’s other projects:

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

BROWSE MY COLLECTION OF PANDEMIC STOCKING STUFFERS

 

Here you’ll find seasonal goodies, my current decor obsessions, and more!

 

Want to see more? Browse my photo gallery or check out these categories:

Our Kitchen Remodel Series
Our Master Bath Remodel Series
Entertaining
My Dressing Room Remodel
Dan’s Workshop
Decorating and Holidays
Our Little Sunglo Greenhouse
Floral Design
Garden Design
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Our Laundry Room Remodel

 

Exploring

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moving to the Countryside? 4 Tips For A Smooth Transition

I often dream of moving to the country and living in a house with large windows that overlook a serene and stunning view.  But in reality, that would take a lot of planning.  So today I’m sharing a guest post with a few practical tips for making that big move.

The following is a contributed post.  For more on my contributed posts, please see this page.

Moving to the Countryside? 4 Tips for a Smooth Transition

Are you thinking of moving from the busy city life to the quiet countryside? You are not alone! The number of people moving to rural areas is growing. A huge factor contributing to the increase in net migration is the improvement of the rural areas’ social and economic conditions.

 

But, relocating to the countryside comes with a significant set of challenges. Regardless of the reasons behind your move, be it a new job opportunity, family reasons, or to find a quiet new location, there needs to be a great deal of planning and preparation.

But you do not need to worry. Here are some top tips that can help you secure a smooth transition as you relocate to the countryside.

1.  Find An Affordable Property

The first step to countryside living is finding a property that is well within your financial means. Do you plan to buy or rent the property? How much mortgage can you get based on your income? You can get access to calculators to help you figure out how much you can afford.

2.  Stock Up On Essentials

Living in the country instills in you a life of independence. Unlike life in the city, rural areas or small towns may not have access to 24-hour convenience stores. Visiting the nearest grocery store every few days may be a hassle due to the distance you have to cover.

If you want your life to be easier, you need to stock up on all your essentials. You should make sure that you have enough food to last for more than a week. You should also have enough toiletry items to last until the next time you plan to shop for them.

3.  Know Your Neighbors

Although your nearest neighbor may be quite a distance away, it’s likely that your paths will eventually cross.  So, make friends with them. Neighbors in the countryside are communal. They can be an invaluable resource, especially during challenging times.

4.  Respect Nature And Wildlife

The environment in the countryside is quite different from that of the city. You must be mindful of your natural surroundings and wildlife that may have a habitat around you. Before moving to any region, learn about the wildlife in the area and how you can best interact with it.

At the same time, it is wise to learn how to conserve the environment.  For example, since you may be disconnected from resources such as garbage pickups, you can consider setting up a compost heap and learning how to recycle your supplies.

Summing Up

Countryside living brings about a different lifestyle to that of the city. It gives you opportunities to take up some activities that you would not have in the city, such as gardening. If so, you should learn some gardening safety tips to avoid any accidental injuries.

And it gives you the opportunity to adopt a life of independence while still recognizing the value of the people around you.

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

 

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Keep Those Green Fingers Healthy With Gardening Safety Tips

Nothing can ruin a day of gardening faster than a trip to the ER – which happened to me once when I had a minor run-in with a hedge trimmer.  I’ll spare you the details, but I will say that I am very happy to share this guest post since it addresses an important topic:  Safety in the garden.

The following is a contributed post.   For more on my contributed posts, please see this page.

Keep Those Green Fingers Healthy With Gardening Safety Tips

As relaxing and slow-paced a hobby as gardening can be, it might be difficult to imagine it as anything other than the safest pastime out there. However, there are health and safety risks to just about anything if you do it often enough, and gardening is no exception.

Here, we’re going to look at a few tips to make sure that you stay healthy and safe when you’re out there trying to create a gorgeous-looking garden.

The Right PPE is Priority Number One

The vast majority of accidents in the garden involve your hands and your fingers. They typically involve accidents such as injuring your hands with your own tools or accidentally getting irritants on your hand (such as moss killer.) For that reason, you must always ensure that you’re wearing good gardening gloves, as you can see at this site. Good leather gloves also protect against insect bites.

If you’re clipping, mowing, or trimming in the garden, then it’s a good idea to make sure that you’re wearing safety goggles as well. These can protect you from the risk of gardening debris flying into your face and injuring your eye.  If you’re using a loud power tool, such as a leaf blower, noise-blocking earmuffs are also a good idea.  (Just be aware of your surroundings when you’re wearing them since you won’t be able to hear things like approaching cars.)

Visibility is a Key Concern

When you’re gardening with tools, you need to make sure that you’re able to see what you’re doing so you don’t end up clipping your fingers. For that reason, it’s best to garden during the day when it’s visible out. However, if you are taking care of chores in the evening, or just have a dark garden, you should use lighting to brighten it up.

Similarly, you should visit this website to make sure you have a spare pair of glasses on you at all times. If your visibility is compromised, not only can you hurt yourself with tools, but you can end up more vulnerable to the slip, trip, and fall hazards in your landscaping like patios and decking steps.

Mind the Sun

Just as not having enough natural light can be a health risk due to the effects on visibility, you should also be wary of spending too much time in the sun. If your garden gets plenty of access to the light, then you should try to garden in a long-sleeved shirt while using a broad hat to stop the sun from getting directly into your eyes.

 

Otherwise, make sure that you’re choosing an effective sunscreen, picking one that offers at least 30 SPF and guarantees protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Many sunscreens only protect against one or the other, but both kinds of rays can cause damage to your skin, including a very real risk of skin cancer. Don’t take that risk with your skin.

Take Care of Your Joints

It’s important not to push yourself too hard out there, but you might not know what damage you’re doing to your body until you’re done for the day, only to find a burning pain in your knees or your back. Gardening often involves spending a lot of time in a single position, working away. If you’re kneeling down or bending down, however, you can injure your back and joints. Be sure to do some stretches between tasks, as seen here, and try to find a way to work with better posture. For instance, instead of hunching down on your knees, you can make sure you’re kneeling at the right height with a gardening stool that offers some support.

Be Ready to Deal With Any Emergencies

Even though you might assume that gardening is relatively safe, especially with the tips above in mind, you should always be ready to deal with any injuries if and when they happen. As such, it’s a good idea to keep a first aid kit nearby, such as in the shed, so you can quickly clean, treat, and dress any wounds as and when they happen.

Try to let someone know that you’re going out to the garden so that they can check in on you throughout the day. Keep a phone nearby. Take frequent breaks when gardening, and make sure that you have water on hand – both to keep you hydrated and to wash any wounds or contact with irritants ASAP.

Hopefully, the tips above will help you stay safe and allow you to garden without worrying about any aches, pains, or injuries along the way.  But if you do hurt yourself, but sure to act on it quickly, as the bacteria you deal with when gardening can make injuries just a little riskier than usual.

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

 

Here you’ll find seasonal goodies, my current decor obsessions, and more!

 

Want to see more? Browse my photo gallery or check out these categories:

Our Kitchen Remodel Series
Our Master Bath Remodel Series
Entertaining
My Dressing Room Remodel