July 16, 2017

Drapes Hanging On Your Front Porch!?!?

      This is not as crazy as it sounds, but I am crazy about offering the concept of drapes on your front porch!  After all it is another room that we use as often as the weather will allow. My front porch drapes are painting drop cloths from Home Depot. The perfect size drop cloth is a 6×9 which  runs about $10. This size makes one perfect panel with no altering needed! I used four drop cloths for four panels which is less expensive than a fabric shop. I also bought a 1 inch wooden dowel rod from Home Depot and a can of spray paint to make the curtain rod. Real curtain rods are too expensive and may corrode. Wooden dowel rods can be cut to the perfect size for your porch. I did have to buy curtain rings and curtain rod holders, and they sell all these accessories separately. You will need to wash the drop cloths before hanging, I didn’t dry mine in the dryer. They hang better if you don’t. Finally if you want a different color beside the beige (natural) color of the drop cloth you can use Rit dye. So now you see that you can have drapes on your porch. It doesn’t cost a lot of money to bring a welcome interior feature outside and offer a little extra privacy! Stephen Spurling

 

Painted Brick

We don’t all think painting a brick house is a good thing, but sometimes it’s the only option. This house was built in the 1930″s and has weathered many years of repairs to the exterior. Some repairs were what I call putting a “Band-Aid” on the problems which did lead to more damage and decreased the pristine look of the original brick exterior. Painting the brick was an excellent way to update the house without changing any  of its original architectural features.  Check out the pictures… either way it’s a 1930’s bungalow!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two Home Redos. The Gift that keeps on Giving.

Amid the hustle and bustle of everyday life, home has become a personal refuge.  We live in a crazy world and our home should be our sanctuary.

Disorganization takes away from the tranquility of our personal space. Here are two upgrades that are sure please and calm.

Separate Laundry Room:

A well-organized laundry space is the “gift that keeps on giving”. You can enhance laundry room space by installing shelving and cabinetry surrounding the washer and dryer. It does not have to be expensive; it’s the perfect DIY project. Consider what can be stored in that space: laundry detergent, other household cleaners, an iron and an ironing board, towels, bedding, and of course, dirty laundry.Add bins or baskets for instant clothes sorting. A big enhancement, if there is room, is the addition of a rolling table for folding laundry or doing arts and crafts projects.

Smart Storage:

For smart storage I recommend dedicated towers or cubes for each member of the family even one for pets. Add names to them and place them near a widely used entrance. They are great for creating a convenient system for sorting jackets, backpacks, mail, keys and leashes.

Repurposing an Old Door

           I have a thing for old doors. Old doors with character should ever end up in the landfill. I had an exterior door on my 1930 bungalow that was architecturally special, but functionally obsolete. In other words ,it didn’t work as the old back door. However,  the door would stay in its original home as I moved it from the outside entrance, and it has  found a perfect spot as my new pantry door! Yes, I put a glass door on a pantry closet… and guess what?  Everyone that has seen this update to my kitchen notices the door and not what was in my pantry. That could be a fear most of us have with a glass door. Guests seeing our jumbled boxes and canned goods. But the beauty of this door jumps out so much, that the contents of the pantry becomes secondary! Look at the pictures below and ask yourself, would you entertain the thought of a glass door for your pantry? This a true testament to broadening your thoughts about the hidden pantry , or some other obscure spot in your home, ( think linen, or utility closet,) and saving a wonderful old door.

 

 

 

 

 

Rain and Rhythm- More Music

Ok, another unusually rainy, and cool day in August.  In these parts, it is a bit of an adjustment to get acclimated to day after day of rain.  It certainly affects your activity, and well, certainly the way you feel the day. Instead of the magic, and imagery of a hot, sweaty, and sunny summer experience, that includes sand, wet bathing suits, and sun kissed noses, and produce,  I am now picturing covered porches, tin roofs, and books read in comfortable chairs.  I see water meeting water on lakes, rivers, and oceans, instead of daylight always hugging the horizons. With the late summer grey, I long to prematurely swaddle in a sweater. It has actually made me think of a little travel to a place that depends on winds, and weather I have not experienced….

So, until the travel takes place, or the jet stream changes, a good way to enjoy the current elements is to rock with the weather. This selection is for thunderstorms, and rainbows….

” Paper Airplane”  Alison Krauss and Union Station

“I’ll Be Seeing You” Billie Holiday

“Right Down the Line” Bonnie Raitt

“Just the Way You Are”   Bruno Mars

“Blossom”   Carole King and James Taylor

Andi Bartruff

 

 

 

Have you used your talents lately?

This recent economic upheaval  has taken many of us, and put us in a position to do some soul searching in regards to what we should do next. This could be a real blessing in disguise. How many people have buried what they do best under an unfulfilling career, and ignored latent talents? I have had to do different jobs for practical reasons, but I have nurtured what I love the most.   I must say my #1 talent is creating wonderful renovated living spaces.  I am one that must be doing something all the time. I operate this way almost  to the point of it being a fault! My work is only as good as the effort I put into it! Even when I am sitting down at the end of a hard work day, my mind is strategically planning my next working day. Why do I give so much time to my work?  Because I love it! It makes me feel good to utilize my talent and I can see my accomplishments. My passion doesn’t always pay me money, but it always offers me satisfaction! Fostering your talents, and seeing yourself mature past another time in your life, is incredibly rewarding.

I challenge each of you to focus on your talents. Yes we all have something that we do better than the average person. We are all gifted in some way! Putting energy into your talents will not only make you feel good about yourself but motivate you to do something that pertains to that talent. So no matter how big or small your talents are, use them! We are only as good as we allow ourselves to be! Spend time using your talents and I promise you will feel awesome about yourself and what you can accomplish! Yes we are all average people, but each of us have something we do that makes us above average and shine.

 

Deck+Stain=COLOR!

I know. Everyone dreads having to stain or restain their decks.  We recently had to tackle this project while creating a new outdoor living space for ourselves.  I don’t know about you, but we have tired of the myriad of browns that are available.

Upon searching for a stain for our deck project, we were happy to find color as an option.  The  green we chose set up a beautiful green blue hue that created quite a wow factor in the yard, and harmonized beautifully with nature. It also gave us the opportunity to use the color for accent pieces on our outdoor furniture, and inspired some beautiful container gardens.

So, next time you have to stain a dreary deck, think color!

 

 

 

 

 

 

EcoSmart. Organic Insecticide

Here at Southernsmarts.com we are always on the look out for new products that are good for our environment and safe for our furry friends. Upon a trip to my local Lowes store, we found yet another product we would like to introduce you to.

EcoSmart Organic Insecticide. Now there is an organic insecticide that is safe around children and pets and will not harm the environment. EcoSmart Organic Mosquito fogger is made form a patented blend of organic plant oils. It kills fast and repels mosquitos and other pesky flying insects for hours, without any synthetic toxins or harmful residue. Its safe. Its effective. Its smart. Naturally

The fresh natural pleasant scent signals it’s working.

Upon using this product ourselves here at Southernsmarts.com we found it to be all it stated to be. Plus the scent was very pleasing and lingered for up to 8 hours.

Thanks for visiting and y’all come back now. You hear.

Steven J. Chaberek

 

Finally, Tv for Me.

Thanks for coming to visit Coopers Pet Corner! My parents just bought me the best thing ever!! They found out about a new TV channel just for me! ( No more waiting for pet food commercials..) It is called DOGTV, and it keeps me company when they have to leave me alone for a little while. A few smart folks with a lot of degrees got together, and found out what we dogs really like to watch and listen to, and made is something special for us! We can listen to music, that dogs like. (none of that bad people music).  We can watch our friends play, and see our other friends at home with their families. It makes me feel good. I don’t get depressed, or bored, and the time goes so fast. Before I know it my parents are home! It started August 1st, with Direct TV, and is only 4.99 a month. Cheap compared to all the dog toys I like to destroy!

I am glad you took some time to come and see me. I hope you and your dogs can enjoy DOGTV!

DOGTV has a facebook page, and a website. dogtv.com. You can also preview DOGTV on YouTube.

Hot Staging Trends in 2013

The clutter is cleared. The house is clean. Now, what accessories and accents can you use to make a room look fresh and modern? Try chunky woven blankets, reflective surfaces and tangerine combined with neutral shades.

Other Ideas:

Mother Earth Inspired Elements. Nature is popular this year. popular color palettes are reminiscent of natural elements-reds found in earth and soli, blues of the sea, lush greens of the rain forest, and neutrals that draw from the softer, textured look of eggs, seashells, and sand. the natural tones are being paired with color accents, such as Tangerine. Also look for accessories that incorporate natural elements such as woven baskets, leather stools and cotton towels.

Fabulous Faux. Think zebra stripe rugs or leopard print votives. But beware: use animal prints in small doses only.

Digital Fabrics. Framing a piece of digital fabric is a great way to create an inexpensive piece of artwork. Try textiles with fern or tree branch patterns.

Not your grandmothers Doilies. Add lace in subtle ways-on top of tablecloths or paired with bold colors. Traditional quilts and crochet peices are also popular.

Faded Area Rugs? Vintage is in Vogue! Instead of ditching that old Asian rug, use it as the foundation for your rooms color and aesthetic palette. Add modern artwork and accessories that compliment vintage pieces.

Opposites Attract: Think silk with suede, furniture with studs, “shiny with vintage”.

Touch the Sky: Think about clouds and water when choosing reflective white, blue and silver objects and hardware. Mirrors are great for staging as they make the room look much larger. Also consider mirrors in other ways, such as for a tray holding a tea-cup and saucer or on a wall in an area where there isn’t a lot of light.

Bottom Line: Have fun and let your creativity shine.

Chabby. Southern Smarts

Photo courtesy of Elle Décor.