How to get your home in shape for summer

Finally – we’ve hit some nice weather! After a start to the year that could be described as nothing less than ‘temperamental’, the ‘best from the east’ seems like a distant memory after the recent bout of lovely weather we’ve enjoyed. The most recent bank holiday weekend was the hottest on record; there’s no doubt we’re all well and truly in the mood for summer now! As we hope the good weather continues, attention quickly turns to our homes. The transition from the cold to hot weather means change is needed. Here’s how to get your home ready for the summer – both inside and out!  

Getting the outside in order 

During winter, our homes take a beating from the elements. When it’s cold and wet outside, the last thing on your mind will be to get some outside work done. Because of this, the outside of our homes can look a little neglected once the nice weather comes back around. Take some time to look around and which areas need some TLC and get to work.  

Windows 

As the sun shines through your windows, you soon realise the amount of dirt and dust that has collated on them. Whilst the insides might have been kept clean, the outsides can be covered from top to bottom in water spots and streaks. Warm water and soap will help to get rid of dirt, and for an extra gleam factor you could try using some specialty window polish.  

Patios and Walkways 

If you’ve got a path leading to your front door, this is often the first impression visitors to your home will have. Best to make sure it leaves a good one! Stray leaves and mud can make their way onto pathways, and flag stones become discoloured due to excess grime on top of them. The same goes for patios. Give the stones a thorough jet wash to return the stone to its former glory.  

Get Back into Gardening 

With the warmer weather comes more care for our gardens. It’s time to plant the flower beds and cut the grass. After all, the time for barbecues is only around the corner! Take some time to care for your neglected garden. Days out to the garden centre can also be a good family day out. If you’ve got little ones, let them pick their favourite flowers – and maybe enjoy a cake form the café, too!  

Moving indoors… 

Getting your home prepared for summer means adding a light and airy feel to your home’s décor. It’s time to move away from thick blankets and candles, and create a more seamless transition from the outside in. 

Get rid of excess clutter 

Creating a feeling of space is important when planning your home’s summer makeover. By removing unnecessary clutter from around your home, you lend it to a much more contemporary interior design. Move around your home and find a place for anything that doesn’t need to be there. You might have to be brutal at times and remove items you really love – but it’s for the greater good! These items can always be moved into other rooms, and of course brought back out when it gets cold again. 

Incorporate light colours 

Whether you’re making small changes or looking for a complete design overhaul, the colours you use are crucial to the overall feel of your home. You could re-paint your walls to represent a summer-themed haven in your home, or use small design aspects to add splashes of bright colour. Small throw pillows and thin blankets work well for this. After all, here in the UK we’re unlikely to have zero use for a blanket every now and again – even in summer! 

Use natural elements 

Blending elements form the outside into your interior design helps create a buzz and summery feel across your home. Small indoor water features and house plants are great for creating the seamless transition from the outside and, as previously mentioned, this is important for summer décor. House plants will also make the air feel cleaner, so it’s a win-win!  

Clean the floors 

In some rooms, your home may be one of the main features of your interior design. If this is the case, you definitely need to make sure they’re as clean as possible. Even if they take a back seat to the rest of your décor, you should do your best to maintain them. Carpets should be washed and cleaned as much as possible, and wood or laminate flooring should be swept and cleaned using a damp mop (although don’t get them too wet as this can cause more harm than good!) 

Have you got any more tips for getting your home in shape for summer? 

This is a collaborative post.

A Quick Guide to Understanding Stone And Gravel Types for Garden Setup 

Everyone loves a garden or outdoor landscape that has a dash of stone and gravel. Gravel and stone can make even the simplest outdoor landscape look classy and upscale. What most people aren’t aware of is that there are several different kinds of stones and gravels available in the market. They are available in different textures, colors and more. If you’re looking to install some stone and gravel in your landscape, it’s essential that you know about the many varieties available. Today we have put together some details of the various kinds of stones available and some ideas you can incorporate into your landscape:  

Decomposed Granite 

One of the most popularly used materials in the outdoor landscape is decomposed granite. Decomposed granite is typically used by landscape artists for patios and pathways. This material gives the landscape a very rustic and rugged vibe. Decomposed granite comes in a tan color that almost borderlines on red and over the years with exposure to the sun the red fades away. The best part about using decomposed granite in your landscape is that it is very affordably priced and also easily available everywhere. Decomposed granite is best applied in layers that are very thin. A lot of people even add a little bit of stabilizer to the decomposed granite to prevent it from getting ruined during extreme weather conditions and excessive traffic.  

Pea Gravel  

The name of this gravel pretty much speaks for itself. The shapes and sizes of the rocks of this gravel resemble peas. You will find this gravel in a range of white, grey, tan and brown shades. A large number of people use pea gravel as filler stones. You can also use this gravel for your pathways and patios. The pea gravel is also very reasonably priced and can be sourced with equal ease. If you’re planning on installing pea gravel, it is advised that you have a proper barrier to ensure that the pea gravel is always in place. This gravel tends to get all over the place if it isn’t kept within in a proper barrier.  

River Rock  

This type of gravel is relatively larger in size than the pea gravel. It is used by people to create dry creek beds. The river rock gravel is easily available. You can even place it in a low flowing water stream or an artificial water body. These rocks are affordably priced and easily available. However, if you’re planning on installing this rock, you need to ensure that you are on top of weeding. Weeding through this rock can prove the be an absolute nightmare.  

Crushed Granite Gravel  

While this gravel is the cousin of decomposed granite, it has a few differences. The crushed granite gravel has particles that are larger than the particles of the decomposed granite. This gravel is ideal for patios and walkways. Finding crushed granite gravel is not as easy to find as decomposed granite. It may be a little priced than decomposed granite too.  

 Mexican Beach Pebbles  

These are gorgeous black pebbles that look fabulous when placed in waterbodies and all outdoor landscapes. They can be used as decorative rocks too. The Mexican beach pebbles are slightly on the expensive side. Finding these pebbles in rural areas can be a bit of a hassle. If you’re planning on giving your outdoor landscape a very Zen vibe, then these pebbles are the perfect options for you. If you’re planning on installing these pebbles, make sure that maintenance is in the area is done regularly. Make sure that dead leaves and other fallen foliage are cleared out from the rock bed on a regular basis. Also, ensure that the weeds are taken out regularly.  

Gravel And Faux Plants  

If you’re looking to decorate your outdoor areas breathtakingly and fabulously, you can mix up a few artificial trees and faux plants along with these fabulous pebbles or gravels. You can use the larger rocks like the Mexican beach pebbles to decorate the silk tree options. The finer gravel can be placed in pots of the artificial plants and so on. You can also use some gorgeous and vibrant artificial flowers and hanging baskets in the outdoor landscape areas. Using this mix and match combo will make your commercial and residential landscapes stand out like stars in a dark night’s sky.  

Gravel Is Fire Retardant And Protects Your Landscape  

While most people only look at the beauty aspect of any landscape, they don’t realize how important it is to ensure that the landscape is also fire retardant. While there are several things one can do to make sure that the landscape is fire retardant, the installation of stones, rocks, and gravel can also help. Stones and rocks are by nature fire resistant. In the event that a fire is to break out, these rocks can break the fire and prevent it from spreading further. The rocks and stones can also be used to keep a distance between the trees and prevent the landscape from becoming overly crowded. Landscapes that are cluttered have more chances of catching fires than those that have plants that are evenly spaced out and separated by rock or stone markers.  

The best part about installing gravel and stones in your landscape is that irrespective of weather conditions, the gravel will not really spoil. Further, the gravel can enhance the character of the overall landscape and can also have played a major role in ensuring that your landscape is fire retardant and the people working in the premises or the people living in the premises are safe from harm. Gravel is mostly inexpensive and can be purchased for landscapes that are massive in size too.  

For all of you out there who have always wondered about the various available options of stone and gravel, this is the best guide for you. Most of these materials are available globally and can enhance your landscape from simple and plain to upscale and classy!  

This is a collaborative post.