Here at Solutions, we know summer has truly begun as school is out and house projects start to beckon. Here are a few things to do (both inside and outside your home) to best usher in the summer months and also help you get the most use out of your backyard for entertaining and/or a staycation with your family.
1 Prepare your grill
Summer is not complete without the outdoor grill going full steam so make sure it’s in good working order. Scrub down internal racks and change out any old charcoal that was left over from last summer. Treat yourself to some new tools of the trade – a basting mop, grilling basket, non-stick skewers and scissor tongs.
2 Fresh flower arranging
Whether you take a course for fun or gather ideas from magazines, now is the perfect time to brush up on the art of flower arranging. Think of niches around your house or in patio/porch containers – mix unexpected elements and play with texture and color to give your centerpieces some flair.
3 Set out your outdoor furniture
Arrange your outdoor furniture as you would your indoor furniture in order to turn your porch or deck into a second living room. Establish a space for eating, group conversation and a more intimate nook for enjoying an after dinner drink with friends and family or an afternoon read.
4 Repaint trim and doors
High-traffic use – especially if you have lots of visitors or pets – of doors and abuse of baseboards can leave a space looking worn and dingy. A quick coat or two of paint on trims and interior doors can instantly refresh your home. Choose a shade darker or lighter than what you currently have to introduce a new contrast with an existing wall color.
5 Service your air conditioner
Central air conditioners consume a lot of electricity and, without regular service, its efficiency can fall by as much as half. Call for servicing now before the temperature spikes, demand for service increases and the cost of a house call goes up.
6 Update your outdoor hardware
With an increased focus on the outside of your home during the spring and summer months, take a look at the state of your outdoor hardware. Door handles, knockers, house numbers and even the mailbox can suffer from the elements and, if they’ve been present for a decade or more, are probably in need of an update.
7 Decorate your fireplace
With the cold weather months behind us the inside of your fireplace doesn’t need to stand empty. Arrange white pillar candles of varying sizes or an assortment of low-light plants in attractive pots to fill this otherwise unused space.
8 Add a splash of color to your deck
Wood-stains aren’t just for preservation purposes. Available colors now go beyond shades of brown and can be used to extend the indoor color palette of your home. Whether you choose classic blues or greens or bolder colors, proper application is key. Be sure to follow manufacturer’s directions to produce a long-lasting stain.
9 Plant window boxes
Whether you live in a house or apartment, window boxes make maximum impact of annual flowers. Most plants grow happily in well-draining containers – try petunias, nasturtiums, zinnias, phlox and verbena. Space plants to give them sufficient room to grow, but also ensure that your container will look full and lush.
10 Try wallpaper in a small space
Looking for a big change in a small space? Wallpaper can personalize a small space -such as a powder room, study or nursery – in a big way. Wallpaper with a vertical pattern adds the illusion of greater ceiling height, while small and open patterns, in lighter shades, can help stretch the perceived size of the space.