Category Archives: DIY

How to Landscape on a Budget

Landscaping can make or break the curb appeal of any house, so it’s important to do it right even if you don’t have a lot of money to spend.

The key is to use perennials – plants that come back year-after-year – that are hearty and in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors for both sun and shade because yards are rarely all of one or the other.

1. Define the garden using larger rocks you can find in a variety of locations while you walk around town and your neighborhood. Collecting rocks is free (!) instead of potentially budget-busting purchases like bricks and plastic tubing.

2. Pay attention to how the sun moves shadows around your yard throughout the day so you can plan your plants accordingly. Hostas and day lilies are great for areas that get dappled or limited sunlight but daisies and flowering bushes like peonies need six to eight hours of sun each day.

3. If you have neighbors or family with lush gardens, ask them when they’re going to split some of their plants so you can transplant them into your own yard. More experienced gardeners are usually willing to give advice as well as plants.

4. If you have to rely on garden centers for plants, buy plants toward the end of the summer season. Not only will they be larger and more established, they’ll also be on sale. Remember that plants grow so pay attention to the detail label included with your plants that tells you how far apart plants need to be.

5. Start a compost pile and visit local sites that offer free top soil (usually near produce fields and construction sites). You won’t be able to use your compost until next year, but having one of your own means you aren’t buying bags of it and you’re reducing the amount of waste at the landfill. The Blissfully Domestic blog shows you how to do it with a plastic storage bin.

How’s your garden doing? Tell us in the comments!

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Amazing Things You Can Do with Paint

Oh, the things you can do with paint. Think beyond transforming rooms with new colors and get into the details like that old brass faucet you want to replace or the dresser you hide away because it needs work.

There are so many things you can paint so we combed through our sources and compiled this list. Ready … Set … Paint!

1. Faucets -VIA Sincerely Sara D likes RUST-OLEUM Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover*

2. Countertops – Using RUST-OLEUM Countertop Transformations Kit makes an old counter look like you spent a fortune on a new one. DIY Showoff*

3. Old furniture - Richmond Thrifter can show you how.*

4. Stand alone tubs – Don’t let imperfections mar your love for your classic clawfoot tub. Grab some paint instead and let This Old House show you how to do it.

5. Floors – Whether you choose a solid color or go creative with a pattern, painting a wood floor can breathe new life into a room. says to be sure to use a water-based polyurethane top coat to avoid yellowing.


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Summertime and the Grilling is Easy

What smells and tastes come to mind when you think of summer? Freshly mowed grass, lilacs and peonies blooming in the garden, burgers and hot dogs on the grill, freshly cut watermelon … there really is nothing like the scents and flavors of summer.

What about summer do you love most?

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Take Our Poll: Painted or Natural Woodwork?

Do You Prefer Painted or Natural Woodwork?
Painted - love the accent and uniform look
Natural - wood is too beautiful to change
Depends on the overall style of the room
Poll Maker

Natural woodwork has a welcoming feel and can warm up a cool palette while painted trim can ground bolder colors and create a unifying element throughout your home.

So, we wondered … which look do you prefer? Take our poll!