By Roelf Nel

What’s the Best Landscape Design Idea

A year-round interest is necessary when considering your landscape design ideas. Every landscaping architect and professional will tell you that your yard should have plants, trees, or any element that would make it alive for the whole year. Have a plan for choosing plants and trees. Select for a good structure that will survive during winter, fall foliage in autumn, and shrubs and/or flowering trees in spring and summer.

Do not forget the evergreens. Now that you have trees and plants for the whole year, focus your attention to evergreens. Evergreens provide continuity and add colour and life to your yard. They also give balance to the yard with tall trees and plants. Evergreens are also a winter interest.

Use layering. There is a common way to layer your planting beds using three rows. The first row or the front row is composed of your shortest plants, the middle row has the next tallest plants, and the third row or the back row has the plants trees. You can apply this throughout the design of your yard to provide unity.

Add foliage. Flowers are a great additional to the life of your yard. Diversity is the key to making your landscape design become appealing. Evergreens may offer flowers that offer a heap of colour and texture to your landscape design, but not all evergreens can do that. Select a diversity of flowers for all 4 seasons.

Incorporate other features to your landscape design. Although trees, plants, evergreens, shrubs, and grasses are an essential element of a landscape design, do not disregard the benefit that other elements such as fences can give. What is a painting without a good frame? Fences frame your property; they highlight and provide a design statement not only to your yard but also to your house. Well-decorated walls, gazebos, decks, and patios are also important to highlight your landscape design.

Add the element of water. A good landscape design must have a focal point. The hottest trend today is the use of water as the focal point of a landscape design. Not only it is visually appealing, but also water emits a soothing sound. Installing one is easier that you think. There are durable pumps, pre-formed plastic liners, fountains, and flexible tubing you can buy from any hardware store. You can also adapt a small fountain or pond with fishes.

Keep the maintenance low. You may have good trees, plants, evergreens, and water elements, but still not be happy with what you have in your yard. A beautiful garden needs to a low maintenance plan. Keeping your yard in its tip-top appearing is costly and time-consuming if you did not consider it before you start building your landscape design. Make sure that you plan a design that is for low-maintenance, but still, appears stunning and pleasing to the eye.

Visit our Landscaping Board and get some ideas on how to create a beautiful yard.

By Roelf Nel

An Outdoor Fountain adds serenity with a touch of art to your home design

Outdoor fountains are simply a wonderful way to enjoy the mixture of natural beauty and man-made perfection, all in one simple package. Listening to the beautiful sound of the water flowing from a fountain, a feeling of calmness washes over you. Serenity is your friend, even in the most hectic places, so long as you have an outdoor fountain nestled close to your home. Whether you choose to place your fountain in the front yard or the backyard, this piece of art and nature can fit into any home design – from the most classic to the ultra-modern to the quaint cottage style.

Classical homes are perfect for the beauty of the outdoor fountain. Between the elegant landscaping and the overwhelming majesty of the home, there is room for an outdoor fountain of any size. While you should not purchase a fountain that is too large for your home, a classical house demands a classical fountain designed from old world materials like slate, marble or ceramic. If these materials are too expensive, consider looking at a fiberglass model which has the same look and feel of a slate or marble fountain. The classic cascade of a stylish waterfall fountain is preferable for any classically styled home and generally not to be substituted for any other styles.

Modern homes can also present excellent options for outdoor fountains. Generally made from stone, glass, or any type of metal, a modern fountain should generally blend in with the rectangular feel of a standard modern home. From large to small, an outdoor fountain of modern design will be able to deliver the serene sound of flowing water with the hip, urban look of a high-tech home.

Generally, cottage style homes have fountains that are smaller in scale. These fountains are constructed of marble or some other type of stone. Usually adorned with one or two tiers to allow the water to flow gracefully, the cottage style outdoor fountain is a perfect addition to any garden or patio.

Adding Fountain Statutes to your existing pond or pool is an excellent way to combine art with the tranquillity of water flowing. As far as serenity and aesthetics go, the pond fountain statue is a top-notch combination of both and is an excellent choice no matter how your home is styled. Available in two distinct styles, chances are you will be able to find a pond fountain statue that will not only match your home’s style but also your own tastes and preferences.

The first common fountain statue style is that where the fountain integrates seamlessly with your existing pool or pond. You will simply buy a statue that doubles as a fountain that will be able to draw its water from an existing source. In the case of this first type, that source is your existing pond. These types of pond statue designs are available in a variety of materials including stone, ceramic, and certain metals. You simply place the pond fountain statue in the water so the fountain’s hose can draw water from the pond or pool and then allow the fountain to go to work creating a beautiful display to accent your existing pond.

Alternatively, you can purchase a pond fountain statue that essentially draws water from its own pond. These are much larger than the first type of fountain, mainly because they contain a large basin at their base that acts as a storage area for the water. There may be a bit of assembly required, but these types of pond statue are generally easy to install. Simply place it where you desire and add some water to the basin. For the most part, you can purchase the freestanding type of fountain statuaries in a variety of different materials, including stone, metal and tile or ceramic.

No matter what your home design is, adding a fountain into the design introduces tranquillity and serenity into your space.

Visit our Water Features Pinterest Board and get some inspiring ideas on how to create a tranquil environment.

By Roelf Nel

Extend your outdoor living using a Patio Awning

For outdoor enjoyment at home, there are few things better than a patio. Originally designed as an enclosed open-air court within a home, the modern patio has evolved to become a paved section in the backyard area of a home. While this feature can be enjoyed in pleasant weather, direct sunlight or rainy days can lessen the usefulness of this extra “room” in your dwelling.

Adding an overhanging awning to your patio can have many pleasant effects. In bright daylight, a patio awning will provide a cooling shade to enjoy the day in. During rainy weather, it will protect you and your patio furniture from the water and allow greater usage.

Because an awning does not have vertical pole supports to brace the frame from the ground, most patio awning materials are of a strong but lightweight construction.

There are several styles of patio awnings you can obtain to cover your outdoor living room. A permanent covering can be attached to the framework of your patio awning if you desire. Several types of retractable awnings are available to give one the choice of shade or sunshine while the patio is in use.

There are two basic designs for retractable awnings. A motorized version can give you the option of having the awning shade rolled up via pulleys within the lateral arms and this removed from view but still have the side braces extended. Other motorized retractable awnings will simply raise the awning screen up to lay flat against the building wall.

One of the best advantages to the manual crank retractable awning is that the amount of retraction can be modified easily and different effects can be obtained. Since manual crank retractable awnings are generally designed to roll up into a protective tube, they have a greater effective life-span than motorized fold away awnings.

Whether you install a hand cranked patio awning or one that is motorized, the awning can be either folded back against the side of the house or rolled up in a protective tube covering which will more effectively protect the material from pooled water or high winds.

While the most common material used to create a patio awning is canvas, there are several types of plastic fibre coverings that can be obtained that provide either total opacity or a translucent material which will allow a diffuse light through to soften the sunlight. While there are some patio awnings made of aluminium, they are not as versatile and are usually built onto the home as a permanent fixture.

Visit our Outdoor Living Pinterest board to get some great ideas on creating a shaded patio.


Copper splashback

By Roelf Nel

Metal Splashback

Are you looking for something different for your home? If so, a Splashback is a wonderful way to add an extra decorative twist to your kitchen or bathroom while preserving and beautifying the wall at the same time. If you want something truly unique, a metal splashback is the way to go.

There are many reasons why homeowners decide to install a Metal Splashback. On a practical note, Splashbacks help to protect the walls, especially in areas where they might suffer the most, such as behind the kitchen sink or the stove. In most cases, Splashbacks are also simple to install, which means that, unlike installing a countertop or new cupboards, this endeavour will not keep you from using your kitchen or bathroom for long periods of time.

The benefits of choosing a metal Splashback are numerous indeed. There are a variety of different materials to choose from, such as tin, copper, stainless steel, aluminium, and several others. The best thing about choosing a metal Splashback is that you can experiment with different colours and textures as well. For example, if you like the look of bright stainless steel or copper, you can give your favourite rooms a truly vibrant, glowing look.

However, the appearance of fatigued or oxidized copper or tin is rapidly growing to be a popular look indeed. Rather than having the uniform coppery red or silver, having your tiles treated this way results in your metals showing a plethora of darker hues and patterns that are great for creating a natural, rustic look.

Copper in particular is interesting in that it can be manipulated to show different textures. Marbled copper, for example, is an interesting mix of bright, pale copper with darker swirls. This, as you can imagine, can create quite a dramatic effect when installed in a kitchen or bathroom.

A metal Splashback is also a great choice for kitchens because they tend to conduct heat very well. However, when it comes to liquids, you may want to contact the manufacturer before purchasing different tiles. To prevent rust from occurring, try purchasing only metal Splashback tiles that are chromium-plated. You can also treat your Splashback tiles by keeping them away from standing water and always wiping them off thoroughly should they become wet. If you plan to paint your metal Splashback tiles, use acrylic paint.

That aside, washing your Splashback tiles shouldn’t be a problem. Oftentimes all you need is soap and water. Avoid using overly harsh chemicals, however, as this can warp the appearance of your metal.

Well, now that you have an alternative to the regular tiled splashback, do some more research and see if this is a style you want to incorporate in your home.  Visit our Pinterest board for more metal splashback ideas.


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By Roelf Nel

What is the best Splashback material?

When it comes to decorating, the splashback can mean the difference between an ok kitchen and a kitchen that has a truly unique look. If you are redecorating your kitchen for aesthetics as well as purpose, the splashback is also a good way to create a bit of extra style without sacrificing your kitchen’s functional properties as well.

What sort of materials are the best for a splashback? This depends entirely on your personal taste, of course, but the location of the splashback will also affect what materials you should use. However, there are many materials to choose from that are both durable and beautiful.

For example, if the area you want to decorate is located behind a stove, it is ideal that you pick a material that is both heat resistant and non-absorbent. If you are looking for a warm, organic look, then using stone tiles may be the perfect choice for you.

While not all types of natural stones tiles are ideal for enduring the intense heat and regular grease and food splatters that commonly occur, there are several ideal choices, such as soapstone, granite, and several others. Less durable such as marble or quartz also make an attractive addition to areas of your kitchen that are less busy. For a truly unique look, try using copper splashback tiles.

If stones are not for you, porcelain tiles are also ideal for any area of your kitchen. Along with coming in a variety of different textures and colours, they are also naturally heat and stain resistant, resulting in a beautiful splashback that will last. Many decorators will recommend that you use the same porcelain tiles as your floor for a simple, homey look.

Glass splashbacks are ideal for countertops. Depending on the colour and pattern, you can create a sterile, clinical look or a truly eclectic statement. One of the best things about using glass is that this material is easy to install and comes in a wide variety of textures and hues. Some glass splashbacks actually contain bits of crushed mirror shards or flecks of vivid colour to create added texture. However, as it is not very heat resistant, keep it away from the area behind your stove.

These are only a few of the materials that are ideal for splashbacks. Regardless of what kind you choose, you will be able to rest easy in that you are making your kitchen truly yours.

Visit our  Pinterest Board, and get some fantastic ideas on creative splashbacks that will give your kitchen a unique look.

What’s the Best Landscape Design Idea
An Outdoor Fountain adds serenity with a touch of art to your home design
Extend your outdoor living using a Patio Awning
Copper splashback
Metal Splashback
What is the best Splashback material?