Home Sweet Home Magazine - March 2022

M A R C H 2 0 2 2

Framed Keepsakes How to Preserve Precious Memories Page 4

Protect Kids and Pets (without sacrificing style) Page 7

Prep for Beautiful Blooms and Bountiful Produce Page 15

AgentName@Domain.com 123 456 7890 AgentName.HomeMag.me

courtesy of: Agent Name

Dear Homeowners,

Table of Contents

The long winter is nearly over, and warm temperatures are just around the corner. The real estate market is also about to heat up, as home sellers make final preparations to put their homes on the market in the spring and summer. If you’ve been considering selling your home, I want to let you know there’s never been a better time to do it. Home prices are the highest I’ve seen in years, and houses in a lot of markets are being snatched up as quickly as they’re listed. Of course, that means if you’re in the market for a new home, you’ll be up against some fierce competition. That’s why you need a seasoned and reliable real estate agent on your side to negotiate a fair price and make sure your offer stands out.

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Preserve PreciousMemorieswith Shadowbox Framing Proper framing is key to preserving memorabilia, mementos or collections that represent a particularly exciting event, milestone, family tradition or even a departed loved one. And the possibilities are truly endless. ChildandPet Proof YourHomewith Flair When your family includes young children and “fur babies,” certain safety precautions must be taken to protect them from accidents or injury. Fortunately, you don’t have to sacrifice style to make your home a safe place. AvoidSeasonal AllergieswithaGood SpringCleaning Spring is a time of renewal — which is why many people are inspired to undertake a thorough spring house cleaning as warmer temperatures creep in. If you’re someone who suffers from allergies, this is also the perfect time of year to protect your home (and your nose) from pesky allergens. Essential Steps toPrep Your SummerGarden Summer is just around the corner, and those with green thumbs know the next few months are key to a successful growing season. Whether you’re still waiting on the ground to defrost or you’ve already dug into the ground, there are myriad tasks you can tackle now in anticipation of harvest in a few month’s time. Create Your Favorite Travel Destination Vibe at Home Whether your travels have landed you in China, Italy, or Hawaii, you can make small design choices in your home to relive some of that magic. Consider how you can incorporate some of your favorite design elements using textiles, art and other decor, or go all in with a revamped outdoor space or room inside your home.

I would love to meet with you to provide a free estimate on the value of your home and show you my exact plan to help you get top dollar. We can also discuss the features you’re looking for in your next home.

As always, I hope you enjoy this issue of Home Sweet Home magazine. Inside, you’ll find a guide to prepping your garden for summer and tips to keep outdoor allergens from creeping into your home. There’s also several articles about interior design: how to pet and baby proof your home without sacrificing style, how to turn family heirlooms into one-of-a-kind art, and how to draw on global inspiration in your home design.

Whether you plan to sell your home this spring or you know someone looking for a great agent, I hope you’ll keep me in mind. Thank you for your continued support!

Best wishes,

Agent Name ABC Brokerage 123 456 7890 AgentName@Domain.com AgentName.HomeMag.me 51 Pine Street Atlantic Beach, FL 32233



Shadowboxes: Filling Your Home with Distinct Personality

removed and then returned to the case correctly to protect the items inside fromharm.

exposure to elements like air and direct sunlight.

Now people are turning their attention back to collections or items that have special significance and are showcasing them in their homes. Proper framing is key to preserving memorabilia, mementos or collections that represent a particularly exciting event, milestone, family tradition or even a departed loved one. Items that are commonly preserved and showcased in shadowboxes include christening gowns and athletic apparel — jerseys are especially popular. Paper-based items like photographs, programs, wedding invitations, napkins, diplomas and certificates are also popular and are frequent additions to compilation shadowbox arrangements. The Need for Archival Materials It is common practice for new brides to have their wedding gowns cleaned by a professional dry cleaner, preserved (a process that involves filling the inside of the garment with archival, acid-free paper) and placed in an archival- quality storage box to safeguard the garment for posterity or for use by future generations. This process is necessary because the fabrics used in wedding gowns are primarily made fromnatural materials. Fibers break down over time from

It is also important to remember that the human body secretes oils, so each time you touch a photograph or fabric-based family heirloom such as a christening or wedding gown, you are leaving those oils behind. Over time, this causes yellow staining and accelerates the natural breakdown of the fabric. For this reason, a dry cleaner will warn brides not to unseal the preserved wedding dress, and if it is unsealed for someone else’s use, it should be returned for cleaning and preservation once more to maintain it. The same is true for clothing and other collectibles Debbie places into custom shadowboxes at Providence Gallery & Frames. Debbie advises her clients that if an itemhas been taken out for any reason, it should be brought back to Debbie so she can ensure the item is properly

How It’s Done When asked how she goes about preparing items for shadowbox installation, she explains that if a piece of clothing is involved, it must first be cleaned by fabric conservationists. (This can usually be done by a quality dry cleaner. If the item is an antique, see a specialist.) The next step, Debbie explains, is to put the item into an archival shadowbox, using all archival acid-free materials. The clothing is draped over an acid-free foam core form; this smooths out the garment, creating a tighter fit and resulting in a better presentation. Acid-free backing is used, and the front of the shadowbox is covered with conservation clear 99 percent UVA protective glass to protect the material from fading.

Debbie Campbell Bass opened Providence Gallery & Frames in 1977. A respected, creative and versatile professional framer, one of her many specialties over the past 45 years has been shadowbox framing, a method of simultaneously showcasing and preserving cherished keepsakes, family heirlooms, antiques and collectibles.

Debbie observes there has been a recent surge in requests for shadowbox framing.

A Shift in Priorities

“We’ve all been locked into our ‘luxury prisons’ and come to the realization that while we love our homes and the items we have chosen to collect, we want to update things and want them freshened up — given a facelift as it were. We want something that looks more modern and contemporary.”

“Since the pandemic, I have certainly noticed an increase in requests to frame muchmore memorabilia and things that evoke memories of events that we as a society are not able to participate in now.” Even post-lockdown, more people have realized they enjoy spending time at home.

Debbie also believes our increased isolation as a society has boosted sentimentality. That means more people want to relive favorite memories or revisit past hobbies they’d been neglecting due to the demands of work outside the home and social activities.



Instead of cluttering your closets and other valuable storage space with cherished keepsakes, take them out, have them cleaned, frame themwith the proper materials and hang them for family and visitors to appreciate and enjoy. This is one way you canmake your home a truly intimate space that reflects who you are and what matters to you most. Providence Gallery & Frame is located in Charlotte, NC. You can check out Debbie’s work online at ProvidenceGallery.net.

4. Photos should be affixed using acid-free hinge tape.

(without sacrificing style) Child and Pet Proof Your Home

5. When placing corsages or boutonnieres in a memory

box, use cotton thread or clear fishing line to stitch the items into place. That way, if you need to take the item out for some reason, you can do so easily.

6. Whenmounting coin

collections, use epoxy (a mixture of two types of glue) in small amounts. Doing so will make it easy to remove the coin if needed.

Because your home is inherently an intimate space, your interior design and home décor choices likely express your individual preferences, from color schemes and textures to the style of furnishings and personal touches that reveal the things you enjoy and value most.

Advice for Those Who Want to Take on DIY Shadowbox Projects Debbie offers the following pointers for those who may want to try their hand at a DIY shadowbox project: 1. Remember, you can and should always consult a professional who has done this type of framing before to be certain the materials you are using are archival quality and will not harmbut instead protect your item(s). 2. Do not use glue! Stitch items down.

When your family includes young children and “fur babies,” certain safety precautions must be taken to protect them from accidents or injury. Fortunately, you don’t have to sacrifice your style to make your home a safe place.

We’ve put together some valuable tips for how you can create a safe environment for children and pets while maintaining the home design aesthetic you’ve worked so hard to create.

3. Fabrics should always be stitched using 100 percent cotton thread.



A Modern Approach to Baby and Pet-Proofing If you find yourself excited at the impending prospect of a new baby or pet joining your family but are dreading house-proofing with bulky and obtrusive safety devices, this article will give you valuable information you can use to keep your child or pet safe without sacrificing your preferred home design and decor. You’ll find that modern innovations now give parents and pet owners a much wider and sleeker selection of safety devices to choose from, allowing them to take all the proper precautions while simultaneously maintaining their sense of style. 1. Baby/Pet Gates: A new generation of baby/pet gates constructed of materials ranging fromnylon and canvas to a metal frame withmesh interior and a door will save you from continually marking up your walls and having to hurdle your way over the protective barriers to avoid reinstallation every time you enter or leave the area. Modern gates allow adults to open and pass through themwith ease. Simply push the gate shut firmly behind you, and it will lock back into place. Gates made of these materials are also quick and easy to clean — just wipe the surface with a damp cloth.

4. Cabinet Locks: This is another must-have safety mechanism to keep curious

Protective gates constructed of a metal frame with a mesh center allow you to maintain the modern vibe of your home and clearly monitor little ones as they play. These mesh screen gates are available in a variety of neutral colors that easily coordinate with any interior. 2. Corner Bumpers: Baby bumpers are designed to protect small ones from accidentally banging into the sharp corners of furniture. Corner bumpers for child and pet-proofing have traditionally beenmade of foampadding that can be cumbersome and unsightly. The current trend is to use corner bumpers of soft silicone. This new take on a must-have safety precaution is designed to match the color of your furniture, making the corner bumpers less obvious but

just as effective. Silicone bumpers are available in neutral shades like gray, black or clear —minimizing their impact on your interior design aesthetic. Leather has also emerged as a favorite material for table bumpers to match your favorite choice of wood – be it the rich reddish-brown of cherry or the lighter beige tones of furnishings crafted fromwhite oak. 3. Door Knob Covers: Gone are the days when bulky, white plastic was the only available choice for door knob covers. Today, several companies offer a range of door knob covers designed to coordinate with your choice of hardware, whether you have antique bronze, copper/rose gold, polished nickel or satin black.

their reach can pose a choking hazard. Retractable cord wraps and roll-ups are easy to install and

or recycling bins are often sharp and dangerous, such as used razor blades, cotton swabs, or the edge of a used aluminum can. To avoid harm and the potential for a messy cleanup, either use trash cans and recycle bins with sturdy lids or keep these receptacles inside a locked cabinet. 7. Outlet Covers: To prevent shocks, burns and other electrical hazards, it is imperative that you invest in some sort of outlet covers. Clear outlet covers provide an easy and cost-effective solution. You simply insert the covers into the openings and remove and replace themwhen the outlet needs to be used. Self-closing outlet covers are another popular solution since they work automatically, so you never have to worry that you have forgotten to replace an outlet cover. With the self-closing option, the moment the electrical plug is taken out of the socket, a cover slides into place, preventing access to the outlet. 8. Safeguards for Cords and Cables: Children and pets are often fascinated by cords and cables. Playing with blind cords can lead to the cord becoming wrapped around the child or pet’s neck, injuring, or even strangling them.

children and pets frommaking their way into cabinets that often contain sharp objects, medications, cleaning products, chemicals and other dangerous items. It is especially important to use cabinet locks in the kitchen and bathroom areas where these types of products are most often stored. Hiddenmagnetic cabinet locks prevent children and pets from accessing items that could cause harmwhile remaining sight unseen. Magnetic locks are installed inside cabinetry and are unlocked with a special magnetic tool that should be kept high and away. 5. Toilet Locks: A safety device on all toilet lids can prevent young children from climbing into the bowl and stop pets fromdrinking toilet water. There are a wide assortment of latch toilet locks available, as well as clear, plastic safety straps that are easy to install and extremely versatile, as they can be used to secure dishwasher and refrigerator doors, cabinets, toilet seats andmore. 6. Trash and Recycling Bins: We usually throw things away as a course of habit, giving little thought to the danger our refuse could pose to prying little hands or the inquisitive nose or paws of a puppy. However, the things we dispose of in trash cans

automatically remove cords from floor level and keep themneatly stashed up and away, preventing mishaps. Better yet, opt for cordless window coverings to avoid any chance of a tragic accident. We live in a ‘plugged in’ society, and our culture’s love of electronics means charging and other electrical cords are prolific in every home. Arrange your charging cords in an organizer and keep it neatly placed on a high shelf or inside a locked upper cabinet. You can keep teething babies and pets who love to chew from accessing dangerous electrical cords, cables and wires by purchasing spiral wrap, an inexpensive covering that prevents small teeth frombiting into electrical cords. Keep cords off the floor by affixing them to the underside of your desk or table or along high shelves or doorways using adhesive-backed cord clips. Taking this preventative measure has the added benefit of keeping your floors clutter-free and your cords organized. Most importantly, it can prevent a young child or pet from accidentally pulling on cords attached to heavy appliances like computers and monitors.

Young children and pets also love to chew, and a blind cord left within



Avoid Seasonal Allergies with a Good Spring Cleaning

breakable, potentially dangerous items stored near the floor or placed on lower shelves that should be moved up and away for safety and safe keeping! Remember, all young ones enjoy exploring as a way of acclimating to their new environment and learning to understand the world around them. Remove ceramics, items with sharp edges, cleaning products and chemicals from areas that little fingers or paws could possibly reach. As you make this clean sweep identifying and removing safety hazards within your home, don’t forget that numerous household plants are poisonous if ingested by humans or furry friends. Examples include popular flowers such as tulips, daffodils, varieties of lilies including lily of the valley, the peace lily and calla lily, as well as oleander and English ivy. Place these plants in secure and stylish hanging plant containers or better yet, replace themwith popular indoor plants that are nontoxic, such as African violets, prayer plants, parlor palms and other varieties you can easily research online to ensure they pose no harm if accidentally ingested. You can also use artificial plants and floral arrangements that will safeguard your little ones and relieve you of the responsibility of maintaining live plants.

functionality and the style that appeals to your personal aesthetic.

▶ ▶ Place your glass tables in

storage and choose a fabric ottoman in the color palette and texture of your choice. Taking this step will protect your little ones and keep you from constantly reaching for the glass cleaner to remove small hand or paw prints. ▶ ▶ It’s a fact: children and pets are messy. Prepare for this reality by choosing to furnish rooms with furniture covered in stain- resistant fabrics. Making this choice can save you heartache (andmoney) over damaged items and help you keep your cleaning chores to a minimum.

Spring is a time of renewal —which is why many people are inspired to undertake a thorough spring house cleaning as warmer temperatures creep in. If you’re someone who suffers from allergies, this is also the perfect time of year to protect your home (and your nose) frompesky allergens.

Express Your Aesthetic in a New, Family- Friendly Way

We’ve provided some useful steps you can take to minimize exposure to environmental allergens in your home and help you breathe easy this spring.

Step 1: Keep outdoor allergens from entering your home. Various strains of pollen are frequently the cause of seasonal allergies, which tend to run in families. Monitor and pay attention

lessen the irritation these allergens cause to the eyes, nose and throat. It is also prudent to wear gloves to protect your hands from touching irritants that can lead to dermatitis, a condition characterized by painful, itchy inflammation of the skin that is often accompanied by a rash.

to the times when pollen counts are at their highest and be sure to keep all entryways — doors and windows —securely fastened to keep outdoor allergens fromgetting inside. You can also minimize your exposure while tending to your lawn or garden by wearing sunglasses and pollenmasks, which will help

Proper baby and pet-proofing can certainly prove to be a challenge, but it can also serve as an opportunity for you to rethink your design aesthetic andmake some prudent changes to keep your small family members safe andminimize the amount of time you spend cleaning the house. Helpful Hints: ▶ ▶ Avoid the temptation to invest in home décor or furnishings for a new baby that they will soon outgrow.

▶ ▶ Choose storage with style.

Both children and pets require accessories. Choose an ottoman or entryway bench covered with stain-resistant fabric that also features a practical storage space where you can quickly store toys and avoid clutter. Take a Fresh Look at Your Home from a ‘Lower’ Perspective Protect your children and pets while safeguarding your cherished personal mementos by looking at your home from a new angle! Go room to room and take note of

▶ ▶ Don’t be swayed by trends.

Instead, invest in furnishings and décor that have a timeless appeal and that will serve your growing family’s needs for years to come.

▶ ▶ Remember that done right, you can baby or pet proof your home by combining



Step 4: Create a schedule for changing out your home’s HVAC air filters. HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) filters capture dust and other debris and keep it from freely circulating around your home. It’s best to use a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to ensure most airborne household allergens are properly captured. Using quality air filters and changing them regularly — about every 3-6 months, will safeguard your family from continually breathing in harmful irritants that can cause or irritate existing allergies. Step 5: Change your bedding often and wash in hot water. People tend to spend a lot of time in their bedrooms. Research suggests adults are in their rooms up to 30% of the time, while children are apt to spend as much as half their time in the bedroom. Since bedrooms are such a central part of the home, these areas must stay as clean as possible. This requires frequent washing as bed bugs and dust mites are drawn to fibers and often inhabit materials

that can be challenging to clean such as mattresses, pillows and curtains. To avoid these household pests and the irritation they can cause, be sure to wash your bed linens and pillows every 1-2 weeks in hot water and dry on a high setting. If you or one of your family members already suffers from allergies, you may want to consider purchasing bedding and curtains made of allergen-proof fabrics. If the allergy is particularly severe, you may even need to use airtight plastic covers for mattresses and pillows. Step 6: Keep stuffed animals and plush toys well-laundered. Like bedding and other household items made of fabric, stuffed animals and plush toys attract dust mites and other allergens, which

means they must be washed regularly to keep themhygienic and safe for

your child to be around. Stuffed animals and plush toys often get dirty thanks to active play. Frequent cleanings will keep your child’s favorite toy looking presentable and smelling fresh. You’ll find that many stuffed animals and plush toys can be machine washed. Read the tag for precise cleaning directions. If you do decide to machine wash stuffed animals and toys, be sure to use the delicate cycle and place each item in a separate mesh bag for delicates (or you can use a zippered pillowcase). Separating these items will prevent wear and tear caused by friction in the washingmachine. Items that can’t be placed in the washingmachine should be hand washed.

Household dust is a combination of dirt, pet dander, insect waste and bacteria, all of which can cause a host of uncomfortable side effects, fromnasal and skin irritation to headaches. Therefore, it is important to dust regularly and not allow it to accumulate. For best results, use a soft cloth and a small amount of water or furniture polish when you dust. Dry dusting is not as effective at collecting the fine debris and is more apt to simply spread it around than actually produce a clean surface and remove airborne particles. Step 3: Sweep and clean floors regularly. It’s a good practice to have indoor and outdoor floor mats placed on either side of each doorway. These

mats encourage family members

The blow of spring winds causes pollen to spread easily, and the irritant quickly collects in hair and on clothing. So, be sure to wash your hair, hands and clothing after spending time outdoors to remove traces of pollen and avoid prolonged exposure. Step 2: Dust from the top down for optimum results. Cleaning, particularly deep cleaning that reaches areas oftenmissed in daily housework, is bound to stir up dust. To ensure you are getting rid of dust rather than simply moving it around the room, begin at the ceiling and work your way down to the floorboards and carpets. This approach ensures you are constantly moving the dust in a downward direction so you can collect and remove it properly.

and visitors to wipe their feet before entering and help capture dirt before entering the main rooms of the home. Floor mats should be swept and washed regularly to avoid the accumulation and tracking of dirt and allergic irritants into the home. Although dry vacuuming is effective in removing surface dirt, it cannot eliminate dust mites, microscopic pests that are a common trigger for allergy and asthma attacks. Dust mites are known to infest fabrics and are generally found in carpets, curtains and bedding (which we’ll discuss later in this article). Dust mites are common and plentiful, but the good news is they cannot survive heat. Therefore, it’s a good idea to steam clean carpets often to rid them of dust mites.



How to Avoid and Clean Household Mold Excess moisture leads to the growth of mold, another common household allergen that can best be prevented by not allowing water to stand in bathroom areas and cleaning up spills in a timely manner. It’s also important to run the bathroom exhaust fan while taking a shower or bath to keep the humidity level in your home low, discouraging the development of mold. DIY Mold Cleaner: If you findmold andmildew in your bathroom or kitchen, avoid inhaling strong chemical cleaners by using this simple cleaning hack: Add undiluted white distilled vinegar to a spray bottle and apply liberally to the moldy area. Let sit for 30 minutes

Essential Steps to Prep Your Summer Garden Summer is just around the corner, and those with green thumbs know the next fewmonths are key to a successful growing season. Whether you’re still waiting on the ground to defrost or you’ve already dug into the ground, there are myriad tasks you can tackle now in anticipation of harvest in a fewmonth’s time.

Step 7: Keep your pets well- groomed.

Step 8: Reduce clutter. Keep your home clean, and avoid allowingmail, clothing and knick knacks to accumulate. Items that are no longer used but not properly stored are a magnet for dust and household pests. Clutter canmake it difficult to detect when dust, cobwebs and other allergens like pet dander have built up. By keeping your living space neat and orderly, you’ll find it much easier to reach surfaces and items in need of a good scrubbing. Completing your cleaning goals will also be much less time consuming.

By bathing and brushing your furry family members often, you will avoid the buildup of pet dander, which can often cause allergy attacks and add to the amount of dust present in your home. Regularly brushing your dog’s coat outdoors will reduce shedding on furnishings, carpets, window treatments and your clothing! Wash pet beds, blankets and plush toys regularly in hot water to keep them clean and smelling fresh.

Build Raised Beds If you have a sheltered place to work, you can build raised beds any time of year. Whether they’re just a foot high or sit a few feet off the ground, raised beds offer many benefits, including weed control, temperature moderation and better drainage. Raised beds can be made from scrap lumber, pallet boards or new timber. Just about any size will do the job.

Create a Planting Schedule The most important step in any successful project is creating a plan. Your garden is no exception. Start by identifying the herbs, fruits and vegetables you want to grow. Make a list on paper or in a spreadsheet on the computer. Next to each item, list the estimated time until harvest. Based on that information, place an anticipated planting date in the

next column. This is an important part of your plan since radishes will be ready for harvest in less than a month, while onions can take five months. You can then plan for which crops you will replace as the season progresses.

to one hour before rinsing and allowing it to dry thoroughly.



Map Your Garden Once you know what you’ll be planting, map out the location of each item. This can be a detailed design on graph paper or a simple sketch to give you a general idea. Either way, use clear labels and refer to your plan throughout the growing process to see what’s sprouting. When you move your raised beds into the garden, remember to leave adequate space for walkways and wheelbarrows. You need to have access to the middle of each bed, so don’t make them too wide. In an open garden with rows, you may not have any space constrictions, but for more compact gardens, consider intercropping underground crops like carrots with above-ground crops like lettuce and spinach for the most effective use of space. Intercropping allows plants to grow very close together without competing for the same resources. When planning out plant spacing, consider the mature size of the plants. Consult gardening books or the back of seed packages for

Prep the Tools Regardless of how you left your garden tools at the end of last season, make sure all tools are clean, sharpened, and working properly. Remember to check out larger tools like rototillers, mowers and edgers. Then organize your tools for easy access when you need them. Place long-handled tools such as shovels and hoes in a barrel, garbage can, or wood-framed tall crate. You can also hang them from a wall of the shed, barn or garage. Smaller hand tools fit nicely in a five-gallon bucket. Use a bucket apron to keep small items organized in the pockets.

recommended spacing so you don’t find yourself hunting for hidden carrot tops beneath the mangle of sweet pea vines. Also consider what plants need the most sunlight. Group plants together that require more water. Think about what you will plant after the first harvest — maybe cool-weather spinach will be replaced by beans later in the season. Order Seeds and Plants Early spring is the time to purchase your seeds and plants. Scour the internet and seedmagazines for options. Your local garden center is a good resource, as well. Store your diagrams and seed packets inside your favorite gardening book, a three-ring binder, or plastic container with dividers for easy access throughout the season and beyond.

Manage the Compost

As winter fades and the ground begins to warm, your compost pile will come to life. Toss in some worms to help facilitate the conversion of household and yard scraps into the nutrient-richmaterials your garden needs. Continue to add layers of greenmaterial like grass clippings, brownmaterial like paper bags and small twigs, and organic food materials from the home. Stir your compost pile at regular intervals to combine ingredients. Order Garden Soil Depending on where you live, it might be time to get garden soil delivered. Some areas won’t be ready for another 4-8 weeks, however you’ll want to get your soil in place and let it settle for a few days to a few weeks before planting. Collect Rainwater If you don’t already have a rain harvesting system in place, now is the perfect time to get it set up so you can catch the spring rain

runoff. Grab a couple of rain barrels and a downspout diverter.

Cut the downspout and install the diverter with hoses running into the rain barrels. Make sure to elevate your rain barrels for easy access when it’s time to use your collected water in the garden. Set up Sprinklers and Soaker Hoses If you already have an automated system and the threat of freezing has passed, it’s time to dewinterize. Alternatively you may rely on soaker hoses as your primary watering system. If this is the case, make sure you have enough hoses. Check them for function and lay them out. Also set up your timers to control your watering schedule.

Weeds You know what they say… “Getting started is the hardest part.” Pulling weeds while the ground is soft from spring rains and the thaw of winter frost is much easier than battling themwhen the ground hardens in the summer. Get a jump on weeds now. If you don’t plan to pull them, you can till the area or lay down a thick layer of mulch or layers of cardboard to suppress weed growth until you’re ready to plant.



Travel Destination Vibe at Home Create Your Favorite

Install Fencing Keep deer and other critters away from your garden buffet with fencing around your garden area. There are lots of fencing options that will do the trick, frombasic chicken wire to steel, so pick the style that fits your desired look and budget and get it in place before vulnerable plants go in the ground.

Attract Pollinators While you might think

job, too. Draw these pollinators into your yard with a variety of plants that bloom throughout the season. Place flowering plants in clusters to make them easier for pollinators to find. Choose plants that are native to your area since they’re the perfect food for pollinators and are well adapted to the landscape. You can also incorporate bird, bat, and butterfly houses into your overall garden design.

attracting bees to the garden is counterintuitive, the truth is you need pollinators to help your garden grow. They are the not-so-secret weapon in high yields. Bees, wasps, butterflies, flies, ants and beetles can all help pollinate your plants. Sometimes birds and bats do the

Travel exposes us to the culture and history of different parts of the world. It can also inspire the interior design of our homes.

Whether your adventures have landed you in China, Italy, or Hawaii, you canmake small design choices in your home to relive some of that magic. Consider how you can incorporate some of your favorite design elements using textiles, art and other decor, or go all in with a revamped outdoor space or room inside your home.

Plant Bulbs If you held over bulbs from last

season, it’s time to get themback in the ground. Garden centers will also be lined with bulbs for the upcoming summer season. Be sure to label the location of your bulbs, either through markers in the area or on your garden blueprint so you don’t accidentally plant over them.



Pillows, Blankets, Bedding, and More

Lamps and Other Lighting Lighting is important at a functional level, but it’s also a central design element. The fixtures and even the types of bulbs you choose can create or detract from the mood of the room. For an Oriental design, invest in a variety of paper lanterns spaced throughout the room. Large round paper lanterns can hang from the ceiling. You can also buy lamps in an Asian style or replace your current table or floor lamp shade with a paper shade. In a cabin-themed room, look for shades withmountains or wildlife instead. Make a statement with an antler chandelier, or simply go rustic with iron and wood lighting above the table. For a beach theme, reflect the movement of water in glass shades for lamps and central lighting. Look for blue and green accents in clear glass pendant lights and even in flush-mount wall sconces.

and be sure to incorporate some oversized plants into your design.

Turn your family vacation photos into wall art or frame and display them alongside the items collected on your trip. Driftwood, glass floats and netting are other accents that fit well into this theme. For a tropical theme, you canmake the space more colorful and playful with flip flops, flowers and tropical birds. A tropical theme can cover anything from the Mayan ruins to Hawaiian culture or the essence of Vietnam, so go with elements that bring you joy from your travels in tropical regions. Tropical decor is more vibrant than coastal, so create accents with pinks, greens and blues. Drop in some animal prints,

If you’re going for an Asian theme, keep the space sleek and minimalistic in alignment with Feng Shui. Swap out curtains for bamboo shades. Include floor pillows for seating. Add silk fabrics with tassels. Use traditional colors like red, gold, jade and purple. Mount colorful fans on the wall or display them inside a glass cabinet. Also mix in a water feature or two. As a backdrop behind a sitting area or as an accent piece, bring in a shoji roomdivider. Ceiling fans are another design element you may not have considered, but the size, location and decoration on the blades can all work to solidify a room’s theme. To bring home a specific area, install a fanmade with wood from the area, such as koa fromHawaii. There are even themed ceiling fan blades that can equip you with a shark, cabin or Victorian design.

The beauty of fabrics is that they can change the look of a room withminimal effort and expense. Swapping out throw pillows, blankets and curtains also allows you to test the waters of your new theme without breaking the bank. You might decide the look you imagined isn’t for you once you see it in the space. There are a variety of ways to use textiles to your advantage, and they can have a huge impact. Look for scatter and area rugs, tapestries, hand or bath towels, comforters and duvet covers, window shades and table coverings. During your travels, take pictures of rooms or design elements you like so you have an example to work from. You can also buy fabric at a local market during your trip and use it to make pillowcases and other accent pieces when you return home. Art Framed wall art takes endless forms and really enhances any space when correctly incorporated into a design. For a coastal theme, purchase pictures or artwork of your favorite beach destination (you can support local artists and photographers at the same time).

Palm trees, sandy beaches, exotic plants and animals and colorful landscapes all speak to a

tropical theme. For an Oriental design, incorporate bamboo pieces, calligraphy, jade carvings or pottery in your space. Return to the desert with camels, expansive sand horizons or cactuses. Of course, art goes well beyond the frame. Look into canvas prints and printed tapestries you canmount to the wall. Other elements of interior design are also considered art. Depending on your available display space, you can include Asian vases, Chinese pottery, carved wood figurines and sculptures. Other Interior Design Elements Beyond soft furnishings and art, there are many ways to bring your vacation home, especially if you actually bring souvenirs home. Think big picture here. If your ideal vacation involves skiing, your theme will likely resemble a ski

lodge. It doesn’t really matter if your

inspiration is Switzerland or Colorado; you can achieve the look at home with criss-crossed skies above the couch or fireplace. Antlers and vintage snow shoes also fit well with the theme. Focus on outdoor elements like wood, and lean into warm colors and soft textures throughout the space. Compliment the roomwith your vacation photos and resort souvenirs. A coastal theme can be achieved through natural elements, as well. If it’s allowed where you travel, bring home a pocket full of sand or a collection of shells that can act as both a souvenir and interior decor.



Scents Travel is a sensory experience. Consider the sights and sounds of a busy city or quiet savannah, the taste of the food and the feel of fine linens. But don’t forget about scents. Fromdry desert to rain- drenchedmountains, you may not even realize howmuch the scents of the area stick with you until you relive them. Complete your experience at home with lightly- scented floral, seascape, pine or citrus-scented candles or diffusers to bring the memories flooding in. Outdoor Spaces There are many ways to bring your vacation home with you, from subtle additions to the main living space to entire rooms dedicated to the design. Another option is to create an outdoor space for your own pleasure and entertainment purposes. Travel-themed outdoor spaces can be achieved on a covered porch, open deck or paver stone patio. You don’t necessarily have to design a whole space around your destination concept —maybe just a small area near the firepit in the corner of your yard. Regardless of the size, focus on replicating your experience through furniture selections and accessories. Grab a few floral pillows and add appropriate palm trees, bamboo, Bonsai or pine in themed pots for the table and deck, or in the

themed path lighting to enhance your experience. Round out the backdrop with strands of lights, wall-mounted decor and a rug to pull it all together. While your vacationmight be over, creating your favorite travel destination vibe at home will keep the good times rolling until the next time your passport is stamped.

ground. If the varietal you want doesn’t grow well in your climate, go with a quality artificial substitute instead. Wind chimes are a nice addition and can add the sounds of your vacation into your resting spot. Use driftwood chimes for a beach theme, bamboo for an Oriental design, or the coconut shell chimes you bought in Hawaii. Add tiki torches, road/pathmarkers, suitcases, adventure signage or

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