Archive for the ‘Home Care’ Category

23, May

No one wants to pay too much, and timing might be the key to scoring the best deals. From airfare to appetizers, here are the best days to shop to these five purchases.

  • Looking to fill up your tank? Prices are often the lowest on Monday.
  • If you’re planning a trip, Tuesday is best day to purchase flights, especially around 3 p.m.
  • Wednesday is when grocery stores start their weekly sales or roll out new bargains.
  • Thursday look for sales on clothing at department stores.
  • And on Friday enjoy the happy hour deals that will put you in a weekend frame of mind.
18, May

Once you’ve chosen the right color, it’s time to prep your room forpaint. A few quick steps will not only make it easier for you to paint, it also protects your home from inadvertent splatters or spills. Here is a checklist from the experts at Sherwin-Williams to help you get started:

  • Remove draperies, pictures, mirrors, area rugs, hardware (if possible), and switch and receptacle cover plates.
  • Move all furniture to the center of the room or the room, if possible. Cover all furniture with drop cloths.
  • Tape off woodwork and tape down plastic drop cloths.
  • Wrap plastic around light fixtures, and use masking tape to cover any hardware you can’t remove.
  • Open a window or door to ensure good ventilation.
  • Clean the surface as needed.
  • Gaps between walls, ceilings, crown moldings and other interior trim can be filled with the appropriate caulk after priming the surface.
16, May

One of the quickest ways to change a room is to change the paint color, but choosing a color can be intimidating. Here are three tips from the experts at Benjamin Moore paints that will help make your decision a little easier:

  1. Find Inspiration. You can come up with ideas by creating a portfolio of what appeals to you: a favorite painting, the color of your baby’s eyes, an unforgettable vacation in Mexico or that great hike in the Grand Canyon.

 

  1. Define the Mood. Is there a mood or theme that you would like to achieve in a particular space? Do you want a restful feel in the bedroom, or an energizing feel to the family room? The mood will lay the groundwork on the desired visual impact of a chosen paint color palette.

 

  1. Use Key Elements in Your Home. Take stock of your home’s key elements. The color of your flooring anchors the room and can impact the color on the wall due to reflections. Furnishings also play an important role as they often “suggest” a coordinating color scheme that ties everything together.

 

28, Apr

Ahhh … the carefree days of summer. Lounging on the deck chaise. Dining with friends on the patio. Reading a book under the big umbrella. In Art’s Backyard, the items we stock to make your summer carefree are virtually care-free themselves. Designed to be durable, rust proof and weather resistant, you can keep your outdoor furnishings looking like new with some easy maintenance.

As with any piece of furniture, the first step is to read the label and manufacturer’s instructions. Using products that are stronger than needed, such as bleach or harsh cleansers, may not only damage your furnishing but might also void the warranty.

Bellevue

In Art’s Backyard, we offer aluminum and wicker seating and dining groups; both are easy to clean. For aluminum pieces, simply wipe down the frames with mild detergent and water. A light coating of wax will protect aluminum, but be sure to read the manufacturer instructions first.

Wicker

The wicker pieces we offer are made of a synthetic, all-weather material and will last longer than traditional wicker. Like aluminum, caring for these pieces is easy. All they might need is to be swept with a soft bristle brush. Dirtier pieces might benefit from a rinse with a spray nozzle on a garden hose. You can also use mild detergent and water.

Cushions

Outdoor cushions are made to stand up to the elements, resisting sun damage, stains and mildew. To freshen cushions, start by sweeping the surface with a soft bristle brush. This will often do the trick. You can also wash with mild detergent and water. For tougher stains, use a soft brush with soap and water.

Umbrella

Caring for umbrellas is similar to caring for cushions; most can be cleaned with a brush, mild detergent and water. Our Treasure Garden umbrellas are machine washable. Simply remove the canopy, toss in the washer with mild detergent, and then replace on the umbrella frame and open for drying. Also, check to see that the frame is operating well. You might need to oil areas to keep it opening and shutting smoothly.

Furniture Cover

To extend the life of your outdoor furniture and protect your investment, consider a cover that will offer protection from daily sun and downpours, as well as provide an option for year-round outdoor storage. We carry covers that are made from durable Rhino-Weave fabric, which is water resistant, breathable and will not crack or peel. When not in use, the covers easily store inside their own built in pouch. We have sizes available to fit dining tables and chairs, sofas, loveseats, chaises, firepits, lounge chairs, and umbrellas.

Outdoor furniture maintenance is quick and easy, giving you more time to enjoy the weather. Iced tea anyone?

27, Apr

Enjoy the spring weather from the best seat in the house: a lounge chair on your patio or deck. Make sure your view is fresh and nice by doing these three spring-cleaning tasks:

  1. Pressure-wash your patio and deck to blast away dirt without chemicals. If you don’t own one, rent one for about $75, or put a spray nozzle on the hose and scrub with a 10:1 solution of water-and-dish-detergent mixture.
  2. Clean your grill while it’s warm (but not hot.) Use a wire brush to scrape off charred food remains. Or soak grill grates in soapy water for a half hour and scrub with steel wool.
  3. Wash outdoor light fixtures and yard accents, such as birdbaths and fountains. Mix a 1:10 bleach:water solution to kill mold and algae.
26, Apr

Look Alike Outdoor Sectional

Sectionals are a hot look for your patio or deck, but don’t get burned by spending too much! These two sets look strikingly similar. One is the Huntington Sectional from Pottery Barn, selling for $4,095, and the other is the Dover Sectional from Art Van, which retails for $1,099.

Both have beautiful resin wicker frames and crisp ivory cushions, but one costs 73% less. Click here to grab the better deal. We’ve got the look (for a lot less!) 

20, Apr

When to Plant

It’s time to add color and depth to your yard. If you’re headed out to your local nursery, here are plants that are ready to take root:

 

Trees and shrubs

The Farmer’s Almanac predicts a mild and dry spring for Midwest planting, and trees and shrubs love cool conditions. Make sure you give them plenty of water for the first few weeks to keep them healthy and happy.

 

Annuals

Add quick color with annuals. Plant them in beds or containers on your porch and patio for instant beauty.

 

Perennials

Perennials are great because they come back year after year, lessening your workload. Here are 12 that do well in the Midwest, according to Midwest Living magazine: Coneflowers, butterfly weed, Lenten rose, Virginia bluebells, hardy geraniums, black-eyed Susans, allium, panicle hydrangeas, sedums, Russian sage, goldenrod, and aromatic aster.

18, Apr

Prepare Garden

The weather has finally turned and that means not only can you enjoy the outdoors, it’s time to get your yard ready for spring planting and backyard barbecue season. Here are three projects to tackle this weekend:

 

1. Prune roses

Prune your roses before new growth emerges, to shape the plant and encourage new growth that can produce lots of buds. Here are instructions that will keep you in bloom.

 

2. Divide perennials

Plants like irises and hostas can spread like wildflower, but they are healthier when they have space. Anything that’s grown to be two to three times its size needs to be dug up and divided. Here’s what you need to know.

 

3. Get a handle on weeds

Weeds can make all of your hard work in the garden look messy. Pull weeds when they’re small to avoid having them go to seed, creating more weeds. A good layer of mulch will also help. Experts say a two-inch spread will hold moisture and discourage weeds.

 

16, Mar

Getting rid of the clutter from your bedroom will help you create a restful place to sleep. If you’re not sure where to start, here are three places that could use some tidying.

1. Make your bed. An unmade bed looks messy, but remedying the situation is easy. Get in the habit of making your bed each morning. A made bed sets a clutter-free tone for your room.

2. Tidy your nightstand. After you get dressed each morning, bring your water glass to the kitchen. Put away reading material, throw away tissues or trash, and straighten decorative items.

3. Put away clothing. Having clothing strewn about makes a room feel cluttered. Don’t set something down to take care of it later; chances are that space will become a collection area for clothes. Instead, get in the habit of hanging up or putting away clothing before it starts to pile up.

14, Mar

Clutter isn’t just a tidiness issue; it could affect the quality of your sleep. Clutter overloads your senses, causing stress and anxiety. Clutter also makes it harder to keep a clean environment, creating a germ haven that aggravates allergies and asthma.

Turn your bedroom into a calm, soothing sanctuary by banishing clutter. Here are three easy tasks to do each week:

1. Go through your room with a bag, and get rid of any garbage. Recycle old magazines, and take out the trash.

2. Remove anything that belongs in another room. Sometimes a bedroom becomes a collection spot for papers, dishes or kids’ toys. Return them to where they belong.

3. Make sure everything has a home. There are plenty of storage options available, so corral like items and put things where they belong. When everything has a place, you’ll eliminate clutter before it happens.