Monday, July 27, 2015

Create a Cozy Front Porch to Enjoy Year-Round

Nothing is more inviting than a cozy front porch. It's the perfect place to enjoy your morning coffee, chat with neighbors, or curl up with your favorite book on a lazy afternoon. With the right furniture and atmosphere, your front porch can serve as an outdoor living room that you can enjoy year-round. 

Comfortable Furniture 
Select comfortable outdoor furniture pieces that invite easy conversations and emphasize a cozy atmosphere. Traditional wicker in white, yellow or blue will provide a

quintessential summer look that's fresh and inviting. It's a great choice if your porch is covered with some protection from hot sun, rain and wind. If your porch isn't covered, go with all-weather wicker that's made of resin. A resin finish offers long-lasting protection from the elements and UV protection against fading. For a more contemporary look, choose resin or teak pieces with clean, sleek lines for modern appeal. Make sure your furniture cushions are covered in an outdoor, weather-resistant fabric and filled with a durable, cushion filling like outdoor foam from the Foam Factory that will hold up well outdoors. 

Relaxing Atmosphere
To create a relaxing atmosphere, add design elements that emphasize a quiet, tranquil mood for your porch. On one side of the porch, you can create a cozy seating area with sofas, loveseats or chairs that invite guests and neighbors to stop by for friendly conversations over tea. Place a few of your favorite books or magazines on an adjacent table with some of your favorite scented candles. On the other end of the porch, hang a relaxing hammock or porch swing, or add a glider or pair of rocking chairs that invite tranquil, lazy afternoon naps. If your porch is covered, install ceiling fans with lights that will provide a cool breeze on hot days and lighting after dark. For finishing touches, add a variety of plants and flowers in colorful, decorative pots or lovely hanging baskets. 

Unique Design Details
For privacy, use decorative fabric panels, curtains, screens or a trellis with climbing vines to block unwanted views of close neighbors of busy streets. To create soft, relaxing ambiance, install twinkle lights in nearby shrubs or trees that invite twilight strolls, and an outdoor fountain that provides soothing sounds. For added warmth, include outdoor heaters that will allow you to use your porch on chilly evenings throughout the year. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

6 Real World Advantages of Solar Energy

Solar energy is fast becoming the energy provider of choice for both families and businesses. With solar panels, you can not only do something good for the planet by reducing the need for fossil fuels, which are forms of dirty energy, but you can also reap plenty of savings on your electricity bill each
If you need more convincing, though, check out the six real world advantages of solar energy below.

An Infinite Resource

Unlike other finite natural resources that are used to provide electricity to people all over the world, the sun provides an infinite, renewable resource that can be used over and over again without exhausting it. This is because the sun shines every day, even on cloudy days and in the middle of the winter, and solar panels can receive that sunlight and convert it into the energy that you need to power your home or business.

Practically No Pollution

Sure, the production of solar panels themselves may contribute to pollutants entering the environment, but once the panels are properly installed and maintained, they'll be able to absorb radiation from the sun and provide a clean source of energy. When you burn fossil fuels, like petroleum and coal, however, you're producing a lot of harmful emissions that damage the planet and contribute to climate change. Plus, solar power also generates energy without any noise, thereby reducing noise pollution as well.

It's Becoming More Accessible to More People

Even more remote parts of the globe are now able to enjoy the benefits of solar energy. So while it may be difficult to equip certain parts of the world with natural gas pipelines, for example, when it comes to solar power, you can generate energy regardless of how remote an area is because the sun will still shine there.

A Cost Effective Option

Because the solar energy industry is quickly evolving, the technology is also becoming more cost effective and affordable. Payback times on the initial investment, for example, are becoming shorter than ever, which means the savings are increasing.

Hardly Any Maintenance Required

In addition to being cost effective, accessible, and clean, solar energy also provides a system that's virtually maintenance free. After your solar panels are set up properly, they could potentially last decades, and there aren't any recurring costs when it comes to upkeep. If you find that you need more energy, for example, you can simply add more panels easily.

Sunlight is Free!

The sun will shine every day and you do not need to pay for it. The same can't be said for other forms of energy that require the extraction of resources that you have to pay for. When it comes to solar energy, your initial investments into the right equipment will eventually be paid back because that's the only investment you need to make. From that point forward, you'll be saving money every month.

With so many great advantages to using solar energy from companies like Slingshot Power, it's no surprise that so many people and businesses all over the world are making the switch.

Great Outdoor Features For Your Back Yard

Everyone enjoys spending time outdoors on a warm, sunny day, and outdoor activities are a part of daily life when you have kids. Why not create a family-friendly landscape with backyard projects that make your time outdoors fun and entertaining year-round? Take a look at some project ideas for your back yard. 

Outdoor Features 
Whether your back yard is large or small, enjoyable outdoor features will create an

inviting, comfortable atmosphere for family activities and entertainment. You can expandyour indoor living space, increase your property value, and add years of outdoor enjoyment for your family. 

Multi-level Patio or Deck
A multi-level patio or deck is a great way to expand your indoor living space. It will provide a comfortable area for large family gatherings, backyard barbeques, and cozy outdoor dinners with friends. By building multiple levels, you can set up separate areas for different activities like outdoor dining, quiet conservations and relaxation. A multi-level patio or deck will add depth and dimension to your house and yard without taking up more of your lawn. 

Fire Pit
An outdoor fire pit is a wonderful outdoor feature for your back yard. It creates an appealing focal point in your landscape, a cozy, comfortable gathering space, and adds light and warmth to your yard. During spring and summer, you can enjoy relaxing around the fire pit with family and friends after dinner. In cooler fall and winter temperatures, you'll enjoy the warmth on chilly evenings. An outdoor fire pit will allow you to get outdoors year-round and enjoy roasting marshmallows by the fire. 

Outdoor Kitchen
An outdoor kitchen provides endless opportunities for outdoor activities and entertaining. You can grill burgers for the kids or prepare a gourmet dinner for friends. Outdoor kitchen can be equipped with so many amenities like cooking burners, warming drawers, refrigerators, sinks, ice bins, and wine coolers. They provide all of the amenities you'll find in an indoor kitchen, but they allow you to cook outdoors on the comfort of your patio or deck. 

Any of these outdoor features will create a back yard atmosphere that's comfortable and fun for family and friends. If you're interested in adding outdoor features, visit us at for more information on our renovation services. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Inspiring Bedroom Ideas

If you're looking for inspiration and ways to create a stunning bedroom, all it takes is good planning and the right d├ęcor. With the right design elements, you can turn your bedroom into a comfortable, relaxing space with updated style! Take a look at some inspiring bedroom design ideas. 

Plan Your Layout
The layout of your bedroom furniture is very important, so think about how you want to

use your bedroom. Do you want to create a bedroom that's a quiet sanctuary for rest and sleep? Do you want a cozy place to watch TV and read your favorite novels? The size of your room will impact your layout, so it's important to position your bed first. Center your bed on the longest wall with the foot facing the door. This will make your bed the focal point in the room and the signature piece that defines design style. Whether you choose sleek, elegant modern bedding or colorful tropical bedding for more exotic appeal, your bedding will set the theme for the rest of the bedroom.

Consider Storage Needs
Plan for adequate storage to create a neat, relaxing atmosphere in your bedroom. Clutter will quickly destroy a tranquil mood and replace it with anxiety. Depending on the size of your room, you can use a dresser, chest or wardrobe that enhances your bedroom style and decor. If you have a large bedroom, consider built-in cabinets or shelves for a more custom, finished look. Whatever type of storage pieces you choose, make sure you provide adequate storage for your clothes and personal items without making the bedroom feel cramped or crowded. When purchasing new bedroom furniture, buy good quality items that will last a long time. 

Provide Good Lighting
Natural light is welcome in any room, but in a bedroom you may need to filter natural light with draperies or shades for healthy sleep, especially if you have bright morning sun that streams through your windows. In addition to natural light, you'll want to use a variety of light fixtures for day and night. Tables lamps will provide soft, directional lighting for your dresser and bedside tables, but make sure they're tall enough if you plan to read in bed. If you need brighter, targeted light for reading, purchase a small LED reading light or a swing arm lamp and attach it to your headboard or wall behind your bed. If you have overhead lights, put them on a dimmer to create relaxing ambiance at night.