Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Create a Backyard Landscape Design for Relaxation and Entertaining

Modern backyard landscape design takes the traditional, simple lawn and extends the enjoyable living space of your home into the natural appeal of the outdoors. Today’s outdoor living spaces incorporate all the elements of indoor living, from purposeful living areas to detailed accents, to create a true estate home that is enjoyable throughout.backyard landscape designsThe most important thing to remember when designing your outdoor living space is to blend the look and feel of your home’s interior into the exterior.
Choose a garden style that complements the style of your home and integrate the same color scheme, furniture style, and even add similar outdoor accessories.
Another way to define the unity between the inside of your home and your backyard landscape design is to connect the two with entrance ways.
A kitchen doorway may provide access to a sunny terrace with a fresh herb garden or the dining room could extend to an outdoor eating area. Consider connecting your bedroom to a romantic, fragrant flower garden.

For more information on backyard entertainment areas view our page on creative landscape design for backyard entertainment.

Extending Home Life by Creating Outdoor Rooms

Just like the inside of your home, your outdoor space should have designated areas for the many different things you and your family may do, from hobbies and relaxing to entertaining and recreation. Decorate your outdoor rooms just like you would the interior of your home, with fine patio furniture, weatherproof accessories, and integrate the same overall color scheme.

backyard landscape designsConsider these outdoor room and living area options:
• Dining areas and outdoor kitchens are common elements of a modern backyard landscape design. This may be as simple as a grill and picnic table or as elaborate as a custom outdoor kitchen with stainless steel accessories and fine patio furniture.
• Outdoor living rooms can serve many purposes and many upscale homes incorporate more than one outdoor living area to serve these functions. Plan this living space with consideration to the time of day it will be used and the amount of sunlight desired. These areas can be used for relaxing, lounging, entertaining, and even recreation and may integrate interesting decks, beautiful patios,or terraces into the design plan.
Outdoor areas designated for recreation will depend on the hobbies and interests of you and your family. Swimming pools, outdoor spas, workshops, and backyard sports areas are all possibilities and can be tastefully integrated into your backyard landscape design.
Living spaces designed specifically for sitting, lounging, or simply enjoying the beauty of the garden are equally important. These areas are often centered around a focal point of your landscape design, like a fountain, pond, or sculpture and are usually accented with comfortable seating.

Creating Indoor Comfort With Outdoor Accessories

The typical modern backyard landscape design truly reflects the comforts and beauty of luxurious indoor living right in the natural elements of the outdoors. There are a number of accessories designed to resist rain, sun, and other weather conditions that are traditionally found on the interior of the home.

backyard landscape designs• Fine patio furniture is an excellent way to add comfort and style to your outdoor living area. From traditional tables and chairs to more contemporary outdoor couches and weather-resistant recliners, outdoor furniture is a necessity.
• Outdoor rugs add safety as well as beauty to your outdoor area. Select colors and designs that blend with the rest of your outdoor design. Bright, vibrant colors are often an appreciated contrast to the neutral, cold hues of outdoor flooring.
• Curtains, shades, and other privacy accessories are designed for outdoor use as well.
There are many other decorative accents found on the inside of your home that can add comfort and personality to your backyard landscape design as well. Candles, artistic wall hangings, and throw pillows are among a few of the accessories you can find designed for outdoor use.
Incorporate your own personal tastes into your outdoor living space with your favorite patterns incorporated into furniture and accessories, unique water features, and majestic wind chimes.  http://www.landscape-design-advisor.com/backyard-landscape-design.html

Creating Outdoor Rooms And Spaces

Outdoor rooms are simply an extension of the home. Fixing up your patio, porch, or garden room extends your living space and gives you that much more room to relax and entertain.
The trend in decorating lately has been to bring the outdoors inside the home. With paint colors, accessories, and fabric prints/motifs, we bring the wonderful colors and essence of the outdoors into our homes with great success. Why shouldn't the opposite be true as well?
Outdoor spaces such as a covered porch, patio area, or garden room can be used during the cool and warmer months of the year. Obviously, someone who lives in Georgia would get more use from their outdoor living area than someone who lives in Ohio, but either way, it's worth the time and effort it takes to spruce up your outdoor living areas.decorated outdoor patioWith the busyness of life and the stresses associated with our daily commitments, getting outside to enjoy a bit of nature, peace and quiet is good for our health and mental well-being.

Covered Porches

Covered PorchesA covered porch can be transformed into an additional room for you and your loved ones (and guests) to enjoy. Comfortable seating, side tables, artwork, and plants of all kinds can create an inviting space.


Patios are multi-tasking outdoor spaces. Consider creating an area just for cooking, one for eating, and perhaps a few conversation areas.

Outdoor Dining

Many folks are building outdoor kitchens now to take full advantage of the warm weather months and to spend more time out of doors. Several small tables or a few large tables with seating will provide a great area to eat and spend time in conversation. garden sitting area

Garden Rooms

Garden rooms can be created with man-made materials or by growing hedges and shrubs in a specific configuration. Trellises and arbors are often seen in garden rooms and used to create ceilings or walls for a garden room. Within that space, use seating suited for the outdoors and weather elements, along with flowers and plants to make the space a true retreat from the world.

More Exterior Home Decorating Ideas

Flea markets, garage sales, and estate sales are excellent places to find unique and purposeful outdoor decor, furniture and accessories. Consider older pieces of bamboo or wicker furniture or even wrought iron pieces to fill your porch or patio area. These can be made to look like new with a bit of spray paint and a few new cushions and throw pillows.
Keep your eyes open for interesting and unusual containers for your flowers, herbs, and plants and choose ones that will add to your overall theme. A theme isn't necessarily a must for outdoor rooms, but often times it's easier to decorate when you have a theme in mind. Themes might include gardens, nautical, rustic, cottage, or country, to name a few.
Natural accents work wonderfully in any outdoor spaces. Use twigs to create frames. Glue shells or small rocks to your terra cotta pots. Use grapevines in wreaths or to create garlands. Display your child's collection of pine cones, rocks, twigs, etc. in a bowl or bucket.
Finished outdoor rooms are not only wonderful for the homeowner, but they will also increase the value of your home over time. The investment is well worth the effort!  http://www.cottagehomedecorating.com/outdoor-rooms.html

The Wow Factor


Sonoma Cedar Pergola
Shown with optional lattice ceiling panels, optional wall panels, and optional stucco clad post bases.

Tuscany Pergola
A great pergola for your great outdoor room! The Tuscany Pergola is a 14' x 14' outdoor living center piece

It's time to make the living area outside your home as stylish as the inside."

The last word in outdoor living: The Outdoor GreatRoom™

The era of mismatched tables, grills and lawn chairs is over. The age of the Outdoor GreatRoom has arrived. At Fire Stone we offer fully-coordinated packages of upscale fireplaces, campfires, grill islands, romantic lanterns and high-end weatherproof furniture. All beautifully framed by a graceful selection of pergolas.

A Fire Stone Outdoor GreatRoom is a fantastic upscale upgrade. It makes your outdoor living area look like a million dollars at a fraction of the cost of indoor construction. And you can build them in a fraction of the time. Best of all, the cost can be rolled into the mortgage.

Let our experts help you design your Outdoor GreatRoom. After all, what you're adding is the last word in gracious outdoor living. Make that word: Wow!

From the first name in outdoor living ideas: Fire Stone
Of all the home product companies, only one is dedicated to improving the outdoor living areas of your home - literally, to "think outside." That dedication has - in just a few short years - made Fire Stone the category leader. The one name more and more people trust for unique, upscale outdoor home products.


How to Build a Tree House

A tree house can be a great hideaway spot, especially for kids who have a large imagination and yearn for a getaway spot they can relax. A tree house is a lot less complex than you would think because its main component, is already there and is all natural, a tree. Follow the steps given below and you can construct your very own tree house with some basic tools and items.

Tools required

  • Hammer
  • Level
  • Ladder
  • Ladder
  • Post hole digger
  • Materials required

    • A nice sturdy tree
    • Wood
    • 4*4 Wooden posts
    • Nails and screws (galvanized)
    • Rope
    • Concrete
    • Gravel
    • Carriage bolts
    • Washers

    Instructionstreehouse How to Build a Tree House

    1. Your first objective is to find a sturdy tree, with a decent height, strong trunk and roots that go deep into the earth. The branches should be firm enough to be able to sustain a lot of weight. There may also be laws that you have to consider before building you tree house, so research on the building codes that may exists for your area.
    2. Make a proper plan that should state all the details and dimensions of the tree house. This will let you know how large and wide it will be.
    3. Use the jigsaw and cut the wood into pieces that can be used as the tree house steps. Then nail the steps onto the tree leading up to where the house will be.
    4. Use the ladder to climb to the top of the tree to start making the flooring of the tree house. Utilize the areas that have a lot of branches to lay the platform that will support the house floor. Build a four sided frame board and place boards across each branch to make the platform. Use the level to secure that the floor is straight and sturdy.
    5. Use the 4*4 wooden posts to add support to the structure at each corner. Use the post hole digger to make a hole into the earth where the posts will be. Place the posts in and add gravel and concrete to stabilize the posts.
    6. Attach the tree house framing to the posts with the screws. Then use carriage bolts and washers to secure firmly.
    7. Constantly check with the plan to secure that construction is going in conjunction with it. Always test to make sure that while adding all the pieces, it is suitable for supporting the weight.
    8. Start making the floor section by setting up the joists for the floor decking. Use the screws to set the joists in place sturdily then start laying the tree house deck. Make sure the deck is flushed with the edges and the frame is fastened tightly with screws. Make certain there is space left in the flooring section for getting into the tree house when persons are entering and leaving from the wooden steps
    9. Now create the wall of the tree house by placing wooden posts around it and installing studs in the middle and the top section. If you wish u can place wood across the surface to enclose the area or leave it opened as is, with just the post fixtures.
    10. You can also place use a rope as an alternative method to going up and down the tree house. And there you have created your very own tree house.

    Tips and Warning

    • When purchasing the wood, seek strong ones such as, pine, redwood or oak. These are all light, firm and durable. These types of wood are not very vulnerable to insects and elements that cause wood to rot.
    • When you are choosing a tree for the tree house, ensure that it is alive and not being infested by parasites that can weaken it. For this you can also have a professional to do an inspection on the tree.
    • You can research from various sources and websites to see the different type’s tree house designs to widen your concepts and ideas but simple designs are the most recommended.
    • If construction becomes complicated consult a professional who can assist you to finish your tree house project.
    • You can place flags and different decorations to make your tree house more appealing.
    • Monitor the tree house to make sure only the amount of weight it was designed to take equates to the amount of persons are in it at a time.
    For more information on How to Build a Tree House read:
    How to Build a Tree House
    How to Build a Tree House
    How to Build a Tree House   http://www.buildables.net/how-to-build-a-tree-house.html

The Queen of all Playhouses

Pictured above is the Dream Tree Loft Playhouse. It looks amazing, and if you are interested in dropping more on a playhouse than most drop on their car, this is the playhouse of your dreams. It can be a retreat for your children in your own backyard. Click behind the fold to read more about the playhouse and see more pictures.
This is a side view of the tree house. While it is quite expensive, often times you can find people that make knock offs. (Yes, knockoffs of a playhouse.) This particular play house is handcrafted using high quality hardwood (90% cedar).
The interior view is quite nice also. I think I could use one of these for myself. The upper part of the tree house measure 5'x6' and the deck portion measures 10'x10'. Overall, the treehouse is 12' tall. Click on over to Posh Tots to check it out for yourself.


Cadet Castle
Everything it sounds like it is. A magnificent structure for keeping kids in shape and 2 dwellings either side offers shelter from the storm!
Great for lookouts and escapes. Military style castle sized to suit your campus! with a range of accessories as shown slide, rock climbing walls, ladders, poles and scramble nets, swings and a draw bridge & pulley bucket to lift rations so little cadets never go hungry whilst keeping watch.
Finished off with a flag pole, run across bridge and decorative timber supports. Weather resistant timbers, in blue, brown and green non-toxic treatments throughout.
A great excuse for dressing up military style and camouflage accessories for interior seating areas and anti-slip strips. Door and stairway access from right side dome.
With a few alterations and additions it transforms into Wizard Playhouse.
From £2950 in size above
Installation £650

Wizard Playhouse
A fantastic playhouse of Wizardry with turrets, a moving staircase, moving walls and hideaways, and several secrets built in. Several escape routes for safe play.
It has a spell room, meeting hall and up to 4 dorms.
Custom built plans available. May have a connected play deck, stage for magic show entertaining, draw bridge or bridges and bucket pulley so no wizard will go hungry whilst they perfect the banquet spell.
A chunky entrance doors with studs & metalwork surround. This playhouse is great for kids to dress up and let their imaginations run wild! Mystical lighting effects throughout. Anti-entrapment devices built in for protection in all areas. Goes great with our timber Labyrinth.
From £3850
Installation £450

Timber Labyrinth.
Great fun for the whole family to get lost in! A superb attractive garden feature when lit up at night. With seating areas and doors that lead to nowhere. Great for trellis work and all size gardens, visitors can enjoy a walk around the garden with a difference!

Including installation.

Fort Knox Clubhouse PlayDeck
Tree house style 3-storey Clubhouse with stairs access and basement play stables dwelling beneath. Fort Knox style with framed half locking doors making it impenetrable by most adults!! 6 upper windows with plain appearance, tilt opening only to 100mm.
Finished in 5-colours stain & paint finish shown (all non-toxic). Lower windows open in halves with lockable shutters. Crawl escape hatch in a secret place to this model. The uppermost mini windows are just accessible within a crawl loftspace lookout area 2ft height only to apex via ladder. Top doors open in, lower stable doors open out.
Stands 11ft6 high. 8ftx5ft on the ground. Display cabinet inside for toys-trophies. Boxing ball swing, rock climber with rocks and slots, quick escape firemans pole, bridge with 2 flexi swings below, and flagpole. Keeps little soldiers in fighting fit shape. Straight and decorative fascias, sidings and decorative railings to balcony and loftspace guard rails.
Heavy grade green roofing felt or shingles shown +20%. Room for a Mini fitted kitchen +£95 and dropleaf table & bench set inside +£25. Otherwise a blank canvas ready for kids with imaginative schemes.

Fort Zulu PlayDeck
High elevated playdeck fort with a distinctive African feel offering shade from the midday sun. MOst wild animals or pets will not scale up this model, but for kids just a little strategy and stamina will manage it. :)
Let children warriors imaginations run loose, battling fearlessly across the timber rope bridge through the wide lookout platform and down the slide. Crazy ladder access to the platform also. Or quickly up climber poles & rope, across the slatted effect defence bridge 3ft high. Safe ladder which you can stand on at the top!! and still go up/down, with bench seating at the ground. 2 flexi swings underneath.
Cream painted hut dwelling 5x5ft (with deep floor) below the lookout platform with rock climber stones on, 2 stained diamond windows (fixed), Crossed spears decorative timbers on the sides. . Framed half locking door and 4 windows tilting and lockable shutters. It will take a powerful army to get in! The lower hut leads up via ladder access to the lookout platform with another 2 windows opening to 100mm only, and grass topped seating area. Strong timber canopy roof with asphalt shingles, finished with ball finials and flagpole. Front door may be 5ft instead of 4ft door shown.
Stands our maximum 12ft high (without need of planning permission) to apex roof. 22ft wide. Rich multi-stained and painted finish (all non-toxic). Ground anchoring +£150.
£1850    http://www.freewebs.com/island3rlora/playdecks.htm

Coolest Playhouses

Some kids have everything. Certainly the kids that own these playhouses have the best of everything. They are better decorated that most people’s homes. Some even have real kitchen and fireplaces. The probably cost as much as most people’s homes as well.


Gingerbread Cottage Playhouse

World’s Most Expensive Playhouses

What better way is there to give your kids an early start on life than to get them their own kid-sized home? Sure it doesn’t come with a mortgage or monthly utility bills, but this Tudor House by Flights of Fantasy has a price to match some adult-sized houses.
World's Most Expensive Playhouses - Flights of Fantasy Tudor House
The handcrafted two-storey playhouse is just over 10 feet tall. Made primarily of moisture-resistant marine plywood, the home features oak floors and stairs as well as hardwood trim and doors. The Tudor House is built to last—the pictured playhouse was built in 1987.
Selling for £25,500.01 (US $36,036) at Hamleys, and shipping only to the UK mainland, this is the most expensive playhouse on the market—but what about custom jobs for millionaires?
Well, Flights of Fantasy does that, too.
World's Most Expensive Playhouses - The Wendy Playhouse
The Wendy playhouse, commissioned by a Swiss millionaire as a magnificent Christmas surprise for his children, is modeled after the father’s chalet in the foothills of the Alps. Not only that, but it’s specifically suited to the climate in Switzerland, as Flights of Fantasy’s Russell Bowlby visited the country to study the weather conditions.
The Wendy playhouse features underfloor heating, an LED-lit chimney, a well-appointed kitchen and a large living room.
The most expensive playhouse in the world cost $155,000 to manufacture, including materials and 2,000 man hours, and another $95,000 to ship from Norfolk to Switzerland.  http://most-expensive.net/playhouse

How do you store your bags?

Ok, admit it, we all have so many bags until our cupboards are so full. As a messy person that I am, I usually come home and put the bags wherever there’s place and leave them there until my mum comes and nags me. lol.
How do YOU store your handbags?
Most people find it hard to store bags if they have limited space in their rooms (or for those who do not have a walk in closet). Ooh, how I want a walk in closet when I grow up! lols.
Walk in Closet from the container store
So, since some of us don’t have the luxury of parading bags properly in a closet, here are some ways to store your handbags:
In boxes/baskets. I stay in a typical Malaysian house, and I have one room to myself(no walk ins for me), so the best thing I did was chuck some in a laundry basket thingy. Works well with boxes and any other container like a chest or other big storage area.
Ikea Laundry Bag with Stand, RM45
On hangers in closets/behind doors. If you have enough closet space, then I guess you can hang some in the cupboard. That is if your cupboard is big enough also right? Or try behind doors or anywhere on your wall. Of course, the downside, dusty bags you will get!
Ikea hooks RM45
If you can keep your bags/clothes so organized like this, respect! HAHAH(image credit)
On Coat hangers. Some people do this. Hang them on coat hangers. Addy’s question was where to get these coat hangers. I found one in Ikea, but its a bit not right for handbags. Lookie below:
Ikea hat and coat stand, RM119
But, but, wait a second, I found a better one, its from a new online shopping site for furniture that I’ve just discovered (How amusing, buying furniture online!). Its called Furniture4u.com.my. I think this online furniture shop is not located in KL but somewhere in the North region of Malaysia. So, shipping cost would be very expansive if you live in KL or South of Malaysia, just be very careful when buying :)
Coat hanger for RM70 at Furniture4u. This would work i guess, if you have like 10 bags to hang!:)
Strap it up! This new way of hanging bags is so interesting. It is made out of heavy duty cloth with little handles to button your bags in it and hang just like this one from Gin&Jacqie. It can be hung behind doors, or any wall areas, probably even in a closet!
5 Straps Organizer from Gin&jacqie.com, RM45. It works something like this, same concept, but slightly different product by this Pinoy brand called bypockets: