We tend to examine the yard quickly. In our minds, it’s not very important. The condition of the home and its financing are of greater significance. Yet, taking the time to observe the four corners of the yard may save you many problems.
If you’re only planning to stay for a few years, you may think the yard doesn’t really count for much. Caution! If the yard hides a defect, it will affect the home’s resale price. If you intend on staying there permanently, the yard will require much thought for future projects. In both cases, a basic examination is required.
If an old tree is near the house, its roots may be so deep and spread out into the ground that they are about to crack the foundations, especially if they’re already fragile. Continue reading →
At last! We can now unwind and enjoy the beautiful warm summer evenings. Time to head for the patio or terrace. Maybe you are just about to set it up? Or perhaps you wish to change the way it looks? Here are some ideas that will surely inspire you. The Holy Grail of recreational spaces is the convivial atmosphere they evoke. Remember, the space you are about to set up is the ideal area to relax and entertain. Here, you can decompress, alone, amongst family members or friends. Everything needs to be light, warm and easygoing.
The lounge style is always very popular. You can find designer furniture usually made of polyethylene, chic umbrellas, copper or silver accents, metal lanterns, refined lighting and a flashy decor. The fancy bar is never too far away.
Many people love lounging around in a laid-back atmosphere like the African way of life. This style comprises many decorative accessories. Take your pick: a leopard-printed footstool, a zebra-striped fabric, a rug with a tiger motif, a low wooden table, terracotta vases, amber-tinted jugs, brass lanterns, a Moroccan-style modular couch, masks and a solid bamboo balustrade. What about the colours? They are warm, of course. We’re in Africa, after all! Continue reading →
May is certainly the best time to undertake outdoor renovations in the hopes of taking better advantage of the long summer evenings ahead. Here is general advice to create or renovate a recreational space, such as a patio, deck or garden.
Before building a deck, consider all the relevant factors. There are quite a few. Are you looking for more sunlight or more shade? What scenery would you like to see every day? Would it bother you if the neighbours could see in your backyard? Do you want the garden or the kid’s play area to connect with the deck? Would you rather have a deck close to the home or farther away?
Bricks, concrete blocks and terracotta tiles are the best materials for building a patio: they will give you the possibility to leave space to plant vegetation. That is what we call a green patio. Designing green spaces between hard material not only looks stylish, it also creates a cool oasis, however small it may be, for your recreational space during hot summer days.
Wood is a material that is accessible to everyone, or almost. Building a wooden pathway is relatively easy. As for a wooden deck, a handyman can eventually extend it every year by installing joists, if need be. Continue reading →
You came up with the idea of redecorating your deck or patio. Or, maybe you are about to open your backyard to the pleasures of summer for the first time. New decorative features have emerged in the last few years. Allow us to present you a few.
It is referred to as Yakisugi. It is wood, usually cedar or larch, that has been purposely burnt, which gives it a darker colour, often with different hues. Its surface is smooth and shiny, almost like glass. Its black colour varies from greyish-black to the blackest of blacks. Luckily, it appears that black is the new decorative trend for recreational spaces.
The Yakisugi is not only restricted to exterior siding. We have seen fences, plant pots, furniture, countertops made of Yakisugi as well. Incidentally, you could add some black accessories to your decor to echo the colour of Yakisugi, such as black rattan, a Victorian lamp post or forged iron. Throw in other colours like silver, gold, and ivory and you will give your deck an upscale look. Continue reading →
Patio is a Spanish word that means inner courtyard. Anyone who travels in the Caribbean, Spain or South America has already encountered these outdoor spaces, often covered, which run the length of house or direct people to the centre of the property.
In Quebec, patio means most outdoor structures: large gallery, big balcony, deck. In general, a patio is on the ground while a deck is raised above the ground.
To get a taste of the great outdoors, the patio is a great choice if you have a small budget or if the space is too narrow. Sometimes it’s just a simple set of steps or a staircase leading to the yard. You can place plants, flowers and decorative pots there.
The great thing about patios is that you can set them up any way you want, thus the importance of determining its use before you start the work. Do you extend it to the bedroom so you can have your morning coffee or a candlelit breakfast? Do you extend it to the living room for the pleasure of a cocktail in the fresh air? Do you extend it to the kitchen to benefit from outdoor meals or to organize receptions? Continue reading →
Articles on home financing, home decor & renovations