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Easy Home and Garden Ideas to Transform Your Living Space

Easy Home and Garden Ideas to Transform Your Living Space
by Jennifer LB Leese

Spring is here and that means it's time to spruce up your home and garden. All homes need a little freshening up from time to time. After a long, cold winter, spring, with its warmer and longer days, puts us in the mood to redecorate...or at the very least - clean up!
So pull your patio furniture and grill out of storage, dig out your gardening tools and get to work!
Below are a few ways to revive your living space.
Try Color!
Color's never hurt anyone. Sometimes all it takes is a little color. Paint indoors and out can give your home a whole new look. Many enjoy the fresh look of white walls; others like to spice it up. White walls are pretty safe. Fear not! Add some color! There are many choices of color available, including custom mixes. If you would like to add color, but are a still a little timid, try neutral colors like beige, light rose, off-white or peach. For you more adventurous ones out there, try the powerful and energetic color of red, or the jazzy, "I'm here" color of orange.
Either way try to balance your home and garden area with warm and cool tones. Use your personality and make it you.
Revive the Old
Home improvements don't have to awaken the wallet-moth, rejuvenate the old. New pillows will enliven any older piece of furniture. Give an old table, bench, or lawn chair a fresh coat of paint. Decorate it with decoupage, faux marble finish or crackle paint. New colorful shades will give new life to old lamps. An area rug thrown here or there will give any room a fresh look. Use a slipcover on couches and chairs to spruce up the old underneath. Putting your mind to work, using a little creativity, you will find many ways to bring life to old cherished pieces in your home.
Fix up the Outside
Like painting, beautiful landscaping is key. A well-placed flowerbed, some fresh shrubbery and a few trees can enhance every home. Plant a tree. Nothing will appreciate more in value than a tree. If the landscaping around your home looks drab and dingy, it could benefit from a fresh planting. Maybe all you have to do to improve the landscape is trim, mow, weed, and then plant a few flowers. Adding or upgrading an existing patio, deck, or walkway can also be very worthwhile.
Decorative Details
Add details such as shutters, decorative moldings and fun elements like weathervanes to the outside of your house. Make bland windows come alive and define the architecture of your house with mullions, moldings, decorative eaves, fixed shutters or iron scrollwork. Add a stone walkway or path going to the house.
General Cleanup
Spring cleaning is dirty job, but someone's got to do it. So set aside a weekend and tackle as much as you can. Start by making a list of everything you want to accomplish and assigning duties to family members. When my children help, we get done faster and we got them outside for a while!
Getting Rid of Clutter
Removing clutter is another worthwhile project and requires adequate home storage with a combination of cabinets, shelves and bins, and sufficient strength of mind to discard all junk, no matter how much you love it. Small, decorative containers can be used to organize and conceal the ongoing accumulations of such items as incoming mail. In the yard, removing clutter means getting rid of dead trees, dead branches, broken slabs and stones in patios and walkways, and tidying up the garden and lawn. When faced with clutter, ruthlessly throw it out, recycle it, hold a garage sale, donate it to the charity of your choice - just get rid of it.
Gardens and Flowerbeds
There are many options to choose from when designing a garden. If you like flowers, shrubs, vegetables...find the right spot for what you'd like to see in your garden. Choose flowers and vegetables that fit your schedule and personality. Play around with colors and experiment with height. If you already have a garden, add a new layer of mulch to the planting beds and paths. This will brighten up the area while the new buds form.
The Extras
* Remove leaves and sticks around the outside of your home. Using a chipper/shredder can convert small lawn debris to usable mulch.
* Wash the driveway, blow away debris, and reseal if needed. If that isn't an option, patch those much needed spots.
* Don't forget to clean the outside of your home. Most homes can collect mildew. Rent a power washer and spray away the mud. Be sure to clean in and out of gutters and downspouts as well.
* Clean and seal your deck. This will prevent splinters, warping, and tripping throughout the warmer months.
* Plant some bright, cheery flowers in the front of your home. Try some soft lights along your sidewalk to light your path when it's dark
Many of the above ideas are easy and cost-efficient, and could be done in a day or two. Use your imagination, be creative, and enjoy spring.

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