How Long Have Thatched Roofs Been In Use?

Check out the history of thatched roofs and how they have gone in and out of use over the years.

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15 Ideas for an Amazing Backyard

backyard-Garden-Sml-(1)Your backyard should be your sanctuary from the world. To have an amazing backyard, it will probably take a little bit of work, but it will definitely be worth it. We’ve created this list of 15 ideas that can take your backyard from boring to amazing. Don’t worry about doing everything. Just work with the space you have and take things one project at a time.

 

1. Water Features

Small streams, waterfalls, or ponds can add a natural, soothing element to your yard. If you have the money and space, a pool can be a fun addition as well.

 

2. Levels

If your backyard is sloped or awkwardly shaped, levels can make the best of the space you have. They can also make your space more interesting.

 

3. Trees

Big trees can add shade to your backyard, and smaller trees can add visual interest. Either way, make sure you have the time for the upkeep. Raking leaves in the fall and pruning limbs in the spring can both take quite a bit of time that will need to be planned for.

 

4. Fire Pits

Cool evenings can become much more cozy when you have a fire pit to gather around.

 

5. Stones and Paths

If you want to add interest to your backyard space, you can add large stones, paths, or stepping stones. Real rocks can be a great feature, but artificial rocks can be a good idea if your yard has unsightly elements that you want to keep hidden. Paths and stepping stones can keep your lawn from excess wear.

 

6. Decks & Patios

If you use your backyard for entertaining, a deck or patio can help keep your landscaping from being trampled.

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Tips for Implementing Faux Rocks into Your Landscaping

Many landscapes can see a benefit in their visual appeal and overall ambiance by implementing artificial rocks in their design. While there are tons of reasons to choose artificial rocks over natural stones or boulders, it may be a little more difficult to adequately integrate artificial rocks into your yard if you aren’t familiar with principles of landscape design. Here are some tips to make your artificial rocks fit into your outdoor decor more seamlessly.

Tips and Tricks For Landscaping with Artificial Rocks

backyardxscapes-backyard-rock-wallSize and Spacing

Before purchasing an artificial rock to place in your yard, make sure you have done your homework. If you are planning to use this rock to hide something unsightly, measure around the object to ensure that you get a faux rock that can completely cover your item without touching the object itself. The rock should still be able to touch the ground on all sides. This will help to keep the object underneath the rock safe while not making the rock look weird. It will also allow you to access the object under the rock if it ever becomes necessary.

Blending

Regardless of what you are using your faux rocks for, you are going to want them to blend into their surroundings. The more natural you can get your artificial rocks to look, the more pleasant you will find your landscaping. A great way to do this is to add soil around your rock. You can even cover as much as one-third of the rock with soil to make it look like it should naturally be there with the rest of the vegetation. Another option is to plant small shrubs, trees, or forms of grass around the rock to make a more believable setting. However, if you choose to go this route, be sure you don’t overwhelm the space with too much ornamentation. When planting trees, try to keep them at least one foot away from the rock to avoid inundating your setting with too much embellishment.

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Boost Your Bamboo Fencing with Wood Stain!

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How To Choose the Right Wood Stain

Have you considered adding wood stain to your bamboo fencing? Bamboo fencing comes in two unstained colors: natural and natural black. Enhance the natural color of bamboo by adding a wood stain to it. We recommend that you use Total Wood Protectant (TWP)-Light Cedar for natural colored bamboo fencing. For black bamboo fencing we recommend Total Wood Protectant (TWP)- Dark Oak. These stains also help extend the life of your bamboo fencing with its unique formula. It helps protect your fencing against the harsh outside elements. Shield your bamboo from moisture and harmful UV rays that lead to discoloration.

Light Cedar is a fantastic colors that brings out the warm tan and yellows of your natural bamboo fencing. This wood stain penetrates the wood to create a gorgeous glossy look. For your black bamboo fencing, Dark Oak is the perfect stain. This darker stain brings out the subtle rich hues associated with black bamboo fencing. Black bamboo fencing is unique blend of colors: greens, brown, blacks. These harmonious shades make the perfect complementary backdrop for any homes, businesses, or resorts.

How To Stain Your Bamboo Fencing

Make sure the weather will be dry the next several days. Keep your fencing in an upright (vertical) position and use a stain or paint brush. Dip the brush into the wood stain, wipe off the excess amount, and apply it on your bamboo fencing. Apply the stain in an up-and-down motion making sure to apply it on all sides of the fencing. Allow your fencing to dry for a couple days. Apply more coats if you wish.

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Transform Your Backyard with Simple Planters

planters classic elegant contemporary backyard

Easily Update your Yard with Planters

One of the quickest ways to update your backyard is to add planters! They easily structure your yard. Planters are perfect for all yard sizes. For large yards, it will add dimension and fill open spaces. For small yards, planters will make the yard organized which will give it a larger and open feel.

Planters can range from all sorts of designs and sizes. An urn style planter is a classic style that will instantly update your garden. A simple square planter in dark grey are perfect for a modern look. Neatly space them for chic and elegant design. Some are glazed with colors such as azure blue or a rich red. Depending on the design, planters will surely fit into any design scheme.

contemporary planter garden design

Depending on the size, plant trees or hanging flowers for a beautiful effect. Add succulents to a small planter for a luxe desert look. Planters are great investment for any yard or garden since they will last for years to come.

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Tropical Decor: The 5 Pieces You Need This Summer

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The Five Essential Tropical Decor Pieces

Kick your summer up a notch by adding some beautiful tropical decor! Choose from five key pieces such as tiki statues, tiki signs, bamboo signs, matting, and don’t forget tiki torches! With these gorgeous accessories, summer time will feel like a tropical oasis.

Tiki torches are a great addition to any home or business. Light up your summer evenings with ambient lighting. These tiki torches come in various heights and designs that will fit any yard or outdoor areas. These tiki torches come in beautiful hues of hammered metals. The sturdier material of the torches gives a luxe look and feel. The Kona color torches are a great if you need a subtle but elegant boost of lighting. The Nickel metal style tiki torch is a lighter metal color that is perfect if you wanted the torch to stand out. If you’re adventurous, a deep cranberry shade is another rich color that is sure to impress.

Matting is another subtle tropical decor piece that will give your area a chic island vibe. Add matting to table surfaces, bar fronts, or use it as textured wallpaper. These intricately patterned matting comes in various natural shades ranging from tan/yellow to a rich deep brown.

For a whimsical spin on tropical decor, tiki masks are great for a finishing touch to a tropical party or tiki bar. These fierce little guardians make a great conversation starter.

Tiki signs and bamboo signs are great for welcoming guests or designating areas. Greet family friends with “Aloha” or “Welcome” signs. Designate areas with signs saying “Tiki Bar”, “Bar Open”, or “Surfs Up”. These handcrafted signs can be hung on walls, entry-ways, on signs, or on bars.

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Makeover Your Yard with Palapas

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Create Your Own Tropical Oasis in Your Own Backyard

What are palapas? Palapas are open structures made from thatch commonly used for backyard or resort designs. They are related to umbrellas but they are not the same! These beautiful structures create a wonderful space to entertain friends and family during the warmer months.

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Different Types of Palapas

There’s many different styles of thatch to choose from. Using different types of thatch creates a unique look for your palapa. Palapas can generally range between two posts to four posts. A two post palapa is commonly seen with BBQ islands or other dining entertainment spaces. A four post palapa is larger and sturdier which makes it great for adding lower chairs and tables. Guests can comfortably sit under this palapa while drinking and chatting with other guests.

Unique Types of Thatch

The Mexican palm thatch is a very popular style of thatch used to create palapas. This plush and luxurious style thatch is commonly seen in tropical resorts around the world. Another common style of thatch is the African reed thatch. This thatch is valued for its clean and structured look. If you’re looking for something that lasts longer, artificial thatch is a great alternative to natural thatch. Baja palm thatch is the artificial version of Mexican palm thatch while Zulu reed thatch is the artificial version of the African reed thatch.

No matter what style of thatch you end up choosing, adding a palapa to your backyard is a great addition to your lifestyle!

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5 Ways to Add Artificial Rocks to Your Home

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Artificial Rocks are Great for any Gardens

Artificial rocks are the perfect addition to any home or business. Gardeners and homeowners that need a cover to hide unsightly garden eyesores turn to artificial rocks. This is a great method in creating a seamless landscape that looks very natural as well. Artificial rocks are very easy to install. They are lightweight and durable so this is a great DIY project. It comes in a vast selection of colors and sizes that can cover many flaws in your garden.

Cover Pool or Pond Equipment

Hide water pumps or any electrical posts and outlets, or other pool equipment that you try to hide in your garden. These beautiful rocks will blend into your landscape easily with its gorgeous hues. The fake rocks come in four different colors that mimic real rocks: Autumn Bluff, Fieldstone, Riverbed and Sandstone. The versatile look of these rocks will fit any pool design scheme. Hide unsightly pond filters with this fake rock for an attractive garden.

Address Rock

Some artificial rocks come with an address plaque attached to its face. This can especially be nifty when there is something to cover in front of the house such as an electrical post or outlet. This is also good for homes where the address number isn’t as visible on the streets.

Say No to Flat Septic Lids or Tall Pressure Tanks

Hide those noticeable and ugly septic risers with a wider rock style. Add height and texture to areas that are flat. This difference in height adds interest and beauty to the garden. Conversely, tall pressure tanks stick out like a sore thumb that can be seen very easily. These can also be concealed from view with artificial rocks.

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Bamboo Fencing DIY for Condos and Apartments

bamboo fencing diy for condos and apartments

Bamboo Fencing DIY for Small Spaces

Decorating small patios and areas for condos and apartments can be frustrating at times. Fortunately, Bamboo fencing DIY is the perfect solution for creating a beautiful yet space saving design. It can also be the easiest DIY you have ever come across. The only hard part is deciding the height, thickness,and color of your bamboo fencing!

The first step is to decide why you need bamboo fencing. Are the walls or balcony unsightly? Do you need more privacy? Or maybe you just want a new look to your outside area. Whatever your reasons are, these factors will help you choose the best type of bamboo fencing. If you would like more coverage and privacy, 3 or 4 foot fencing is perfect for smaller balconies. Some condo or apartment associations may allow up to 6 feet of fencing but if you live on the second floor, a 3 or 4 foot fencing is sufficient.

The thickness of bamboo poles is a personal style choice. Thinner styles are subtle and blends into the background better than thicker style poles. Thinner poles are more versatile in style while thicker poles look more tropical in style. Bamboo fencing makes a great backdrop for your design needs. Unsightly patio bars or aging drywall can be easily masked by propping up bamboo fencing. Dress up your patio space with some clean and modern planters or a small patio furniture set.

Bamboo fencing comes in various shades. Natural, Natural Black, and Mahogany are all very popular colors when it comes to making over your patio or balcony space. Natural Black and Mahogany are beautiful contemporary shades that will work with many designs. Natural is a warm and neutral color that would also be a great addition to your condo or apartment.

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Doing Home Fountains the Right Way

fountain for the home

Credit: At Home in Arkansas Magazine

Types of Home Fountains

Adding fountains for your home is a huge benefit in terms of design and lifestyle. Your home is one of the most important place in your life  so why not invest in it? Home fountains are perfect for creating your own oasis that you can enjoy everyday. There are many types of fountains and it can be a bit daunting to choose the right one for your home. We’ll help you walk through the steps of choosing the perfect fountain for your home!

Vacation in Your Own Home

Including a fountain in your home automatically enhances your home space. Home fountains create a beautiful and calm atmosphere. Not only are fountains aesthetically pleasing, but they are wonderful to listen to as well. After a long day at work, nothing is more pleasant than coming back to the cheerful and bubbling sounds of your fountain. During days off, it is the perfect background noise while reading a book or holding a get-together.

Home fountains aren’t just restricted to your outdoor areas. Fountains can be added indoors for an extra source of interior decor. Create a focal point in your living or dining room by adding a wall fountain.

Add Fountains from Your Table to Your Yard

When people think of fountains, the first thing that comes to mind are extremely large and tiered fountains often seen in parks. That’s definitely one type of fountain size option to consider but they come in many other sizes as well. Some fountains are even small enough to add on top of tables! If ground space is limited, why not also add a wall fountain? It creates just as a large impact as ground fountains but takes up less space.

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