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Why Winter is the Right Time to Plan Outdoor Updates
October 31, 2019 - Outdoors Lawn and Garden
(ARA) - Does the bitter cold weather have you dreaming of warm days spending time with friends and family in your backyard? The cold may keep us indoors, but professionals in the landscape and remodeling industry are still thinking about the outdoors and use the winter months to plan spring projects, and so should you.  

Winter months provide the perfect opportunity to prepare your outdoor space for the warmer months. Planning and prepping now will ensure that you get full use of your outdoor space for the entire season once warm weather arrives. Get a head start by planning some of these spring projects now:

Before you know it, you'll be peeling off your wool socks and walking around your yard feeling the soft grass between your toes. To ensure a lush lawn, spend time this winter researching grass seed options so you can repair any sparse areas in your yard. Planting grass seed early gives the seed plenty of time to germinate which will give you a healthy, green lawn in the spring. In addition to research, you can also chat with someone at your local nursery for help choosing the appropriate type of grass to plant in the early months of spring.

Some bulbs grow best when planted in the early spring when the ground is still cool. Do some research to figure out the best bulbs for your region so you can determine the ideal planting time. There's nothing better than having a yard full of colorful flowers providing great curb appeal early in the season.

Sitting on your deck enjoying warm, sunny days or cooler evenings is something everyone looks forward to. Adding a new deck to your home or replacing an existing one adds value to your real estate investment. Homeowners have been consistently choosing composite decking over wooden decks over the past several years because composite decking is high performance and low maintenance, unlike wood decking which can splinter and crack, and often requires staining and sealing. Composite decking is long-lasting, durable, made of recycled materials, and resists mildew, warping and insects. According to Remodeling magazine 2019 Cost vs. Value Report, adding a composite deck to your home has a 70 percent return on investment.

You can find free online tools to help you plan your new decking project during winter months. Visit to learn which decking materials are best for you by taking a quick quiz. Create free deck designs with the Online Deck Designer. Mix and match decking and railing colors with the Color Visualizer and be inspired by other deck designs in the Photo Gallery. Before you know it, you'll have the perfect plan for your dream deck so when warm weather hits, you're ready.

Trees and shrubs
As you're deciding on the deck, consider a plan to plant trees and/or shrubbery to provide a more natural outdoor atmosphere. The right type of landscaping will not only be visually appealing, but will also provide privacy and shade. Planting your selections early can have many benefits including time for each tree or shrub to establish a strong root system so that it flourishes for many years to come.

Stop dreaming of warm weather and put that energy into planning your outdoor space. From decking to landscape updates, your efforts during the winter months will bloom into big results once the spring thaw hits.
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Create Stylish Outdoor Space on a Budget
June 30, 2011 - Outdoors Lawn and Garden

If your patio furniture, barbecue grill or favorite outdoor planter was left outside, it probably has taken a beating. But think twice before you relegate your favorite lounge chair or lawn ornaments to the landfill. It's easy to transform them and make them look better than new. All you need is a little imagination and a few cans of spray paint.

Create "designer" furniture. Designer patio sets, lawn chairs and other outdoor furniture can cost hundreds, even thousands of dollars. But it's easy and inexpensive to give the furniture you already own a face lift that mimics the look of trendy designer furniture with a few coats of spray paint.

Create a durable designer look that sparkles in the sun with Rust-Oleum Stops Rust Textured Metallic in Galaxy, a textured black with flecks of silver. The texture adds depth, elegance and unmatched protection to any project. Or create a rich Oil Rubbed Bronze finish, while protecting your furniture from the elements, with Rust-Oleum Universal spray paint. Choose an unexpected color, like Painter's Touch 2X Satin Eden. You can also transform garage sale bargains, flea market finds or used furniture you find on sites like CraigsList or Freecycle with spray paint to get a designer look without the designer price tag.

Revive an old barbecue grill. If your grill was buried under three feet of snow, it could probably use a little TLC. Why not revive it with a spray paint specifically formulated for high heat applications? Rust-Oleum High Heat Ultra resists heat up to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit so it's great for grills, fire pits and wood-burning stoves. Plus, it's available in traditional black, as well as stylish colors and finishes such as brown and aged copper, so your barbecue grill will look better than new.

Accessories can get a second life, too. No need to toss planters, lawn ornaments or other outdoor accessories because their finish has been weather damaged. Spray paint can give them a second life. Try spray painting planters with Rust-Oleum Stops Rust for a rooftop garden or patio in a variety of vegetable colors-Sunrise Red for tomatoes, Hunter Green for lettuce or green peppers, different shades of green for herbs. The possibilities to add a splash of color-or a little sophistication-to a patio, rooftop or backyard are endless.

For more inspiration, project ideas-or to share a project you've done-visit Or find Paint Ideas on Facebook at

You can give your grill a lift with the help of a spray paint specifically formulated for high heat applications. (NAPSI)-

Backyard Upgrades Bring the Resort Lifestyle Home
May 02, 2011 - Outdoors Lawn and Garden
(ARA) - Many Americans are choosing to spend their hard-earned money where they'll enjoy it more for longer - in their own backyards.

Upgrading your backyard may work for you on multiple levels. Not only will you increase your enjoyment of the time you spend there, backyard enhancements like decks, patios and landscaping can increase your home's resale value. You can create your own oasis of luxury at home for much less than the cost of a luxury vacation.

From murals to outdoor kitchens, resort-style luxury can be had for less right in your own backyard. To get an idea of where to begin, think of the features and decor that you most loved about your last resort stay and work toward recreating them at home for a fraction of the cost. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Theme park

HGTV star Jamie Durie has elevated outdoor living spaces to an art form by creating each design around a specific theme, whether it's capturing the exotic flavor of Thailand or the dreamy, relaxed style of California. You can borrow Durie's techniques and create a theme in your own backyard.

Do you dream of a vacation to the English countryside? The right mix of flowers, cultured pathways and gracious seating areas can evoke the beauty of an English garden. Is a beachside retreat more to your taste? Try potted tropical plants, torches and decorating accents in sand and ocean hues to recreate the atmosphere of the beach.

Dazzling decor

Your outdoor decor can go a long way toward creating a luxury resort feeling. Draw on favorite luxury touches of interior designers, such as luxurious floor coverings and engaging wall murals. An outdoor mural can transform a space from mundane to exotic.

New technology, dubbed SmartStick, can allow you to mount a mural virtually anywhere outdoors. All you need is a flat surface (other than non-painted brick). The space-age material will withstand all weather conditions, won't shrink or curl, and can even wrap around corners and curves. It's easily removable, peeling effortlessly away from the surface without leaving any marks or residue, and can then be re-used elsewhere. Log on to to learn more.

A splash of class

For many of us, water play is a key part of a resort experience. If you live in a community that permits pools, you can easily install an above-ground pool for less than you would pay for a luxury vacation. Modern kits include everything from the pool walls and liner to the filter. Prices range from just a few hundred dollars for basic, modestly sized pools to a few thousand for more upscale versions.

If a pool isn't possible for you, consider adding a different type of water feature. Installing a fountain or building a pond can not only be a great do-it-yourself project for the entire family, everyone will enjoy the delightful presence of water in your outdoor living space when you're done. Whatever type of water feature you choose, from a tabletop fountain to a bird bath, the object is to deliver the restful mood and charming sound of flowing water.

Seating that sizzles

For some items, it's worth paying a bit more to get better quality, and outdoor furniture is one of them. You'll be spending a lot of time on your deck or patio, and your seating area should be comfortable, inviting and luxurious. A table and at least four chairs is a must, but think beyond the box and consider incorporating loveseats, lounges and ottomans into your seating design.

If you have the space, consider creating seating groupings throughout the yard. Your deck or patio will be the main entertaining area, but a simple bistro set tucked away beneath a tree or beside a flower bed can make a great spot for quiet chats, or reading a book while sipping your favorite wine.

This summer, consider staying home and keeping your money with you by creating a backyard resort that your whole family can enjoy throughout the season.

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