Sunday, June 30, 2013

Spruce Up Your Windows

I'd like to welcome Anna Hicks who has written a post especially for DIYbyDesign.  Enjoy!

Before you replace your old windows, determine if that’s what you really need. If your windows are not fogging up or rotting around the edges you probably need a replacement. For other energy efficient windows that are hard to use and peeling paint, get out your home’s colors and a paintbrush. With a few simple touches that are relatively inexpensive, you can create home accents for any room.
All you need for curtains are two curtain hanging hooks, a rod, and the fabric of your choice. Blackout curtains are ideal for regulating the temperature of a room (these types of curtains can lower temperature by several degrees). Not all colors are black, in fact you can find interesting colors like pinks, purples, and reds all over the Internet or at your local retailer.
Try sheer, colored scarves woven around the curtain hanger to add an extra touch of color. Pleated curtains can also help dampen the heat from natural light, which will come in handy for kitchens during summer time.
Vertical Blinds
Home design trends are becoming minimal, where less is more and space is conserved. In this vein, long and vertical blinds can allow plenty of light into your room and can last for years. Install blackout curtains over the blinds, and visit your local craft store for some fine velvet rope that you can use to tie them off as needed. Blinds also come in a range of colors, with fabric and bamboo options that offer greater durability.

Window Boxes
A window box outside your window adds a bit of color looking into your yard. You would need to measure out the length of your window, and find planters that fit that length. You should work with your family to construct the window box, but you can plant flowers like purple penstemons or coreopsis, which will add beautiful purple and yellow colors to your garden, and lively character to boot.
Inside, you can use simple brackets and slats of wood to make planters for an herb garden, or store colored bottles that you collect to give your room a vintage feel.
Paint the Window Frames
One way to spruce up a peeling paint job is to give it a whole new one. The classic black window frames are still in style, but you can experiment with different colors like red or blue too. For city dwellers with exposed brick wall flats, this might be a particularly nice accent.
Adding plants to your room always helps add color and life to the space. Simple plants like ivy are easy to grow and can hang or wrap around things (like shelving) if left to their own devices. Carefully trim and water these plants, but you can grow lots of things indoors if you have good natural lighting in your apartment.
Let in Sunlight
Letting in natural light is the best way to bring out the colors of your home. Hard natural light does add lots of heat, so draw your blinds during the hottest parts of the day, and let in sunlight as the sun begins to go down.

Thanks Anna.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Tips to Raise a Rose Garden the Right Way

I'd like to welcome Anna Hicks who has written a post especially for DIYbyDesign.  Enjoy!

Growing roses doesn’t have to be mysterious or even challenging. By using the right methods/techniques, you can have a bed of roses in your beautifully growing in your garden, In the following article we discuss how planting your rose plants in the optimal conditions and taking care of them effectively can be a easy and rewarding experience for homeowners.

Planting Your Rose Garden
1) The first and the obvious step is to select a good location for your rose garden. This area should not only be away from nutrient-snatching shrubs and bushes, but should also receive at the minimum six hours of direct sunlight daily. Also, since standing water tends to stunt rose growth, pour some water in your chosen area to see if the water drains quickly and properly.
2) Make sure you prepare on planting your rose garden, since the temperatures would have warmed up by then and there wouldn’t be any risk of overnight freezing. It’s also a time when soil doesn’t hold any standing water.
3) Don’t forget to top the soil in your chosen planting area with at least 2-4 inches of compost. Also add 2-3 lbs. of superphosphate to the soil, mixing it along with the compost.
4) When digging holes, make sure the depth of the “root bundle” is around 10 to 20 inches apart. Place each of your rose plants into a hole while covering them with soil. Next, water the roses in a thorough manner so that the root bundle is incorporated into your planting bed.
Maintaining Your Garden
5) Use a watering can to water the soil around the roses at least 10-12 inches deep every time. In case you don’t get regular rain in the first season then you may have to use an irrigation hose in the bed. Avoid using a sprinkler to water the roses.
6) Test your soil from time to time using one of those pH testing strips. It’s a good idea to shoot for pH between 5.0 and 7.0. If pH happens to be too high or too low, then adding 1lb. of sulfur for every hundred square feet.
7) Prune your rose plants by cutting away the diseased/dead branches, keeping it at 45 degree angle to the main rose bush. In order to maintain the desired size and shape, and to ensure your garden looks unique, trim the rose bushes when needed.
8) Protect your young rose plants from termites as these pests tend to feed on their roots. Since these insects usually thrive in “dry soil”, make sure you keep the soil moist at all times. Whenever you see a termite mound in your garden, have a professional destroy it. For more information on identifying termites and termite infestation check out
9) Finally, keep your rose plants protected through the winter. This can be done by mounding up mulch around the base of each rose plant. When it’s wintertime, have a protective plant cylinder placed over your plants. Once winter is over you can get rid of the mound of mulch from the around the base.
By following these tips, you too can have a beautiful rose garden in your yard. Send photos of your garden in the comments below!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Kitchen Makeover - Guest Post On The V Side

Well hello there! I'm super excited to be blogging at DIY by Design while Judy is on vacation! I'm Emily and I blog over 'yonder at On the V Side.. stop by and say hey sometime! :)
Today I'm sharing a project that I completed earlier this year and it has made a BIG impact on the entire feel of my kitchen!  I chose this project because I think sometimes we can shy away from things that go a step beyond paint, and might seem like they have more of a "construction" element because they are intimidating. I'm here to show you it can be done, and relatively easily!  Trust me. Check it out: So I painted my kitchen cabinets just before the holidays (and I am still so thrilled with them B-T-Dubs) 
Snazzy, right? But there was something missing. My kitchen island is fantastic in so many ways: it's a great size, has ample storage and we use it a ton for entertaining, crafts and food prep.  But it left a little to be desired in the "good looks" department. Here's a before, pre-paint:
See?  Um, yeah. Like a lot of standard kitchen and bathroom cabinetry, the face of all our cabinets is nice quality wood.  The sides, however, are veneer engineered to *look* like the oak... a much cheaper product that is pretty common.  I always hated the look of those sides, so I was more than happy to paint over it when I painted the rest of the cabinetry.  The paint was definitely an improvement, however the veneer doesn't take paint as well as real wood does, even with a good primer.
On the ends of my base and upper cabinets, I added bead board wallpaper to hide the veneer and add a little texture (just like I did in this bathroom). But in our house, the kitchen island is a hardworking fixture, and I knew that if I used the wallpaper, it wouldn't be long before it was scuffed or dented or torn.  The island needed something a little more durable that could really take a beating but still maintain its integrity. I loved the bead board look, so I went to Home Depot for the real-deal. I had planned on purchasing pre-primed MDF bead board panels, but was able to find real oak panels on sale for less than the MDF so I jumped on that!  They typically run (regular price) around $14 a panel. To save time and labor, I took my measurements with me and had my handy Home Depot associate cut my panels for me there in the store. This is a super service AND IT'S FREE.  Step 1 in eliminating the construction-intimidation factor if you're afraid of mis-measuring.  Those guys are good. :)  
I also picked up two of these half-newel posts.
You'd find a full newel post at the end of your stair banister.  These are cross cut so that one side is completely flat and can be put flush against a wall.
I started by adding the bead board panels to the sides and securing with liquid nails (use the version meant for indoor woodworking projects.  It goes on super smoothly and dries super quickly) while my husband lent a hand and removed the quarter-round shoe trim from the backside of the island.  One thing I liked about the island's original design is the quasi-board and batten look on this side of the island.  I planned to keep that, but add bead board detail to the inside of the 'boxes'
I used liquid nails once again to secure the newel post flush against the edge of the island (you'll note I trimmed down the posts to fit under my counter.  I lopped off the ball on top and also trimmed from the bottom for a little more even look.
Let the panels dry before nailing in to secure. For the trim, I wanted to continue the board and batten style that's on the back side of the island, so I used a piece of primed MDF as my baseboard.  You can buy one long plank at HD for about $10.  I trimmed what I needed, adhered it to the island, and then nailed it to secure. So here's what the "guts" of the construction looks like, pre-paint and pre-finishing. I have found that seeing pictures like this - of what's underneath the final product - helps me break down a project to a "hey, I can do that!" attainable level. Step 2 in not being intimidated. :)
Once everything was dry and secure, I filled my nail holes and spackled the joints to make them disappear.  I really love the version from DAP that goes on purple, and then turns white when it's dry. Once dry, I gave it a good sanding and the joints are just about invisible.
From there, everything got a couple coats of primer and paint, the seams got some caulk and the end result is a custom-finished look that I love! After!:
I added bun feet to the drawer-side of the island to mimic the turned leg of the newel post, and then I also added them to the rest of my cabinets for an even more custom look.

It's just how I hoped it would turn out! See? YOU CAN DO IT! :) I hope to see you over at On the V Side sometime soon! Thanks again, Judy, for having me! Cheers,
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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Decorate with Flowers - Guest Post The Pin Junkie

Hello, I'm Bonnie from The Pin Junkie and I'm completely and happily addicted to Pinterest.  I blog about all the recipes, crafts, and DIY projects I do that are inspired by Pinterest. 

I'm so happy to be guest posting for Judy today and I'd like to share some simple and inexpensive ways to decorate with fresh flowers.  You don't need to spend a lot of money at a florist.  You just need a good selection of flowers and some imagination.

I like to get my flowers at Trader Joe's.  They have a great selection at cheapo prices.  I made all of these arrangements with only three bouquets of flowers which cost less than $20.00!  I also like to use a variety of objects, not just vases, to hold the flowers.

How about using a tea pot?

Milk bottles in a vintage milk crate are another unique way to display flowers.

Sometimes I don't mind using a vase when I can find a really pretty or unusual one.  I love shopping at thrift stores and I couldn't pass up this pretty little vase for 99 cents!

I love how elegant just one really pretty flower looks in it.

How about mixing tulips and daisies? 

Even items that you don't think will work, might still make a good arrangement.  I really like this ceramic berry basket, but it's very wide, shallow, and won't hold water.  It doesn't seem like it would work well for arranging flowers does it?

I found a great way to fix that!  I used a clear glass bowl that fit inside the berry basket.  Then, I used tape to make a grid pattern across the top of the bowl.  The grid pattern will hold the flowers in place. 

Since the bowl is small and shallow, I cut the stems of the flowers short.  (Arranging them OCD style is optional!)

Poke the flower stems through the holes in the grid you made with the tape.

Keep adding more flowers until you have a nice full arrangement.

I hope this gives you some ideas for using inexpensive supermarket flowers to create a really beautiful flower arrangement. 

Thank you so much Bonnie!!
So many great ideas and inspiration.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sizzle into Summer - It's A Party # 123

Welcome to this week's Sizzle into Summer party.  As always, last week's party was filled with tons of great ideas and inspiration.  Here are this week's features:

Monograms 'n Mud  shared her gorgeous deck makeover.  What a perfect summer retreat.
The Pin Junkie shared her bathroom makeover.  You must check out the before photos to truly appreciate the after photos.  

Cluttered Corkboard shared her makeover of a garden bench.  What a difference!
The Dedicated House transformed a piece she picked up 
from a resale shop and turned it into this beauty.

Jewelry Making Journal shared tips and techniques on how to create metal stamped jewelry.  This is definitely on my to do list for the summer.  
Believe & Inspire gives a DIY organizer tutorial with a pattern.  Super cute project.

Domestic Bliss Squared shared a three ingredient peanut butter cookie recipe - that's gluten free!
No Place Like Home shared her recipe for asparagus prosciutto wraps.  So gourmet looking.

If you were featured, please grab an "I've Been Featured" button (you can now find my buttons by clicking on the buttons tab right under my header).  Now let's get started with this week's party.  I can't wait to see what you have been up to.  Link up anything you have been working on...home decor, sewing, crafts, organizing, baking, recipes etc.   I will keep this link open through Friday.

A few rules:
1.  Please become a follower (if you already follow me on Google, I would love for you to follow me on Linky Followers as well).  

2.  Please grab my party button above and display it either on your sidebar or somewhere in your post.  This way word can spread about the party.  The more people at the party, the more fun we will have.

3.  Please enter the link to your actual post, not just a link to your main blog page.

4. Please visit others who have linked up.   Everyone works hard on their projects and blogs...let's show each other some love by visiting each other.  Let's have some fun and hopefully make a few new friends along the way.

Ok...Let's Party


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