Better Than a Dog Run — Yard Ideas for Your Four-Legged Family MemberDog- and People-Friendly Yard
This small space accommodates three dogs and their people. Stone dust, a material known for reducing doggy odors, was used to create pet-friendly paths while plants beds were added for human enjoyment.
Tip: Although stone dust is an inexpensive and low-maintenance option, ¾-inch pea gravel is better for windy areas.
FYI: Indoor dog space is a growing trend; 13% of dogs have their own room.
Better Than a Dog Run — Yard Ideas for Your Four-Legged Family MemberWoof-Tastic Haven
Wood chips are a great dog run staple. It’s soft on paws, doesn’t get muddy, and makes cleanup a cinch.
Tip: Pick a pooch-friendly mulch. Cocoa bean mulch can be deadly if ingested. Mulches that contain fertilizers, insecticides, and herbicides are also highly toxic. Cedar mulch is a great choice since it repels flies and ticks.
FYI: We heart hounds; 54% of Americans refer to themselves as pet parents.
Image: Mouse Meets Turtle blog
Better Than a Dog Run — Yard Ideas for Your Four-Legged Family MemberMake a Splash
Cool your hot dog down with this chill built-in. The insert is called the Bone Pool — it’s a chew- and UV-resistant wading pool for pups that you fill with a garden hose. Price: $369
Tip: Got a real pool? Non-chlorine chemicals like bromine are safer for dogs.
FYI: Pet spending is increasing. Pet products are consider a recession-proof industry.
Better Than a Dog Run — Yard Ideas for Your Four-Legged Family MemberPawsome Barkitecture
Here’s something to howl about: Americans are willing to spend money on pet features that complement their homes. So an aesthetically pleasing dog house that works with your home’s architectural style is a hot property.
Tip: Keep your local weather in mind when picking a canine crib. This dwelling was designed for a desert environment.
With the shifting seasons comes change. The leaves turn red and gold, kids head back to school, and it gets cold and wet. We start tracking in the mud and the needles and find ourselves cleaning our floors more often. And we start noticing an influx of crawling critters in our cozy homes.
Or maybe it’s just me? I’m not personally bothered by spiders, but they tend to show up indoors more often in the fall, when the cold closes in at night and they find their way into our warm rooms. Whether or not spiders give you the creeps, you probably don’t want them in your house.
There are various ways to keep them at bay using harmful sprays and chemicals. But thankfully, there are also tried and true natural alternatives! So especially if you’ve got pets or kids, take note and be ready to keep your home happy and healthy.
Keep things dry and clean. This is a good starting point. Spiders love damp places, like bathrooms, and particularly love clutter. In the kitchen, old food will attract insects that will ultimately attract spiders. Organize and clean routinely, and you’re less likely to find an unwelcome friend at the back of your closet.
Patch cracks and holes. Eliminating easy entry points in your home’s foundation, walls, window and door frames can’t hurt, especially since it may save you money on your energy bill!
If an interior designer were to walk through your front door, like, right now, what would this professional think of the place you call home?
We’ll tell you right now: plenty. And that’s even before you’ve given the pro the grand tour. Interior designers, with their sharply honed sensibilities, can take in a space in seconds. In fact, these pros can’t help but make a ton of snap judgments—and typically these first impressions aren’t all that good.
In case you’re curious about what jumps out at interior designers when they first enter a home, here’s an unsettling glimpse, courtesy of some experts who aren’t afraid to spill the beans. But don’t beat yourself up if you recognize your home in some of these criticisms; these flaws are entirely fixable. Read on for an inspiring home decor wake-up call.
“The first think I notice is whether or not the furniture placement promotes good flow of traffic,” notes Lorelie Brown, a Showhomes franchisee in Charleston, SC. Most living and family rooms have a focal wall that’s anchored by a fireplace or television, which means the chairs and couch should be arranged to face this point without causing you to walk awkwardly around them.
“I find this problem happens a lot in an open floor plan, with pieces defeating the whole ‘open’ idea,” she adds.
The solution: Less is more. Remove extraneous chairs and side tables to create a natural path in and out of the space.
The wrong lighting can ruin even the best interior design.
“Usually when I walk into a home, the overall look is dark and drab because there’s not enough of the right kinds of light,” says Anna Shiwlall, a designer with 27 Diamonds in Los Angeles.
Of course, we can’t all be blessed with a flood of natural light, but you can install what you need rather easily. Sit in each chair or section of the room, and determine whether you can read easily. If not, add in the missing table or floor lamps; don’t rely on one big overhead light.
Style continuity is a big one for design pros. If your pieces don’t work well together or there’s no unifying color or theme to the rooms, the whole look can feel off.
“This seems to come from a lack of understanding of the style elements and characteristics of the pieces in the room,” explains Mark Sidell, a Closet Factory designer. Too many colors, in particular, can create a sense of disorder. Make it better by choosing a neutral palette and then introducing just a couple of coordinating hues.
Truth: Interior designers make snap judgments not just on what they see, but also on what they smell. As a homeowner, you’ve become inured to your own odors, but an outsider can nail a scent right away.
Pets are the most obvious offenders, followed by cooking smells and odious candles. Fortunately, the remedy is an easy one: Open the windows as often as you can to air out stale spaces (especially in bedrooms and the kitchen).
We can’t be more emphatic here: Your bathroom must be pristine!
Interior professionals (and potential buyers) will look with a critical eye at every bathroom in your home, and a dirty one will convince them that the entire home isn’t clean, even if it is. Towels must be fresh, grout should be clean, and definitely clear your counters of personal items (makeup, hair dryer, toothbrush).
We’re talking tiny lamps on huge tables, or king-size beds squeezed into too-small rooms.
“I always notice the layout and scale of the pieces in a bedroom,” says Hessen. Frankly, most people buy whole packages at the furniture store instead of choosing complementary items in the correct sizes for their home.
“To fix this, try to mix and match your styles and the stores where you shop,” she adds. “You’ll end up with a more interesting, inviting space.”
Let it shine! A lack of personality in a home means your space will appear boring or sterile. Even worse is a look that’s been copied directly from a catalog. A designer can certainly help you develop a style, but you can also jazz up your abode with art you love, mementos from a faraway trip, or a collection that has special meaning.