Curb Appeal

The Spring Real Estate market is picking up speed. The warmer weather and spring rains are also bringing our yards and gardens back to life. This is the perfect time to get outside and easily add some great curb appeal to your property. First impressions are important as our lawns and front gardens are often the first thing that prospective buyers see. Here are simple and inexpensive things you can do to help your home look its best.

Garden Tidy Up.

After the long winter, your lawn and gardens need a little TLC. Pick up any garbage or debris, rake the grass and remove last year’s dead plants and branches. This is also a good time to fertilize your lawn and prune any branches or overgrown shrubs. To give your flow-er beds a “clean and new look” add some mulch.

This will instantly improve the look of your garden while helping to conserve water and deter weeds later in the season.

Paint it.

If time and budget allow, give your front doors, garage door and any painted window trim a fresh coat of paint. You can also paint the patio furniture, planters and window boxes. Painting or re-staining a front porch or deck can add value to your home.

Add Some Colour.

You can buy annual plants in an array of colours at local garden or home renovation centres. You might even find some at a farmer’s market or a local shop. To make the most impact, plant them in groups of 3 or 5 plants. Don’t space them out too much with single flowers here and there. You can also plant them in containers or pots and set them where they will be noticed such as along a walkway or by the front door. If you don’t feel like you’re up to the challenge of choosing and planting the flowers yourself, buy a ready-made planter from a local nursery or garden centre. It is sure to make your home feel welcoming.

Walkways and Driveways.

We often forget about these elements when we think of the lawn and flower beds. Walkways and driveways are the “hardscape” of our property. If possible find and repair any winter damage that might have occurred. Fix loose stones, add some more gravel, or patch holes that might have developed. These measures also make your walkways and driveways safer for everyone to walk on. Use a power washer to clean these up. At the very least get out the broom and be sure to sweep up all the dirt, gravel, leaves and debris left over from the winter. To remove weeds that have grown in the cracks use a power washer or dig them out with a flat screwdriver.

Dress it Up.

Think about adding some fixtures that add interest to your front yard. Add a new mail box or new numbers to your house. You can also add lighting to walkways or as accents to your flower beds. Solar lighting can be installed easily without the need for cords or proximity to an electrical out-let.

Did you Know? You can paint plastic garden furniture!

Do you have a plastic patio table or lawn chairs? Are they looking a little tired, worn or discoloured? Instead of throwing them out and replacing them you can give them a fresh look by applying a new coat of paint. Make sure you use a spray paint that will adhere to plastic such as Krylon. Here are the step-by-step instructions from


1. Using an all purpose cleaner/degreaser, wipe down chairs to remove all dirt and grime. (If the plastic is new, wipe down with paint thinner for best results.) Rinse thor-oughly with water and allow to dry.
2. We painted one chair in Gloss Mandarin and the other in Gloss True Blue. If you would prefer to create a pattern using both colors on a chair, use painters tape to mask off your design.
3. Turn chairs upside down and begin painting the bottoms first.
4. Applying in a well-ventilated area, hold can 6-8 inches from the surface and paint using a sweeping side-to-side motion with slight overlap.
5. Allow paint to dry for 30-60 seconds.
6. Continue to apply light, multiple coats, waiting 30-60 seconds between each, until you are satisfied with the ap-pearance.
7. Krylon® Dual® Superbond® dries in 25 minutes or less, and can be handled in about one hour.
8. Once dried, turn the chairs right side up and finish painting them.


Home Organization Part 2


Last month we began our journey to a more organized home by addressing the issue of clutter. This month I would like to share with you some tips for using some simple tools to make your space more functional and beautiful.

Command Hooks

Maybe you’ve used a command hook to hang up a seasonal wreath on your door. They are great because you don’t have to make holes in your walls to use them. The sticky strip technology has improved over the years and now comes in a wide range of sizes, designs and strengths. Place a few hooks under your sink cabinet to hang up cleaning tools, or inside your kitchen cabinets to hang a tea towel or pot holders. Command strips can even be used to hang framed photos or other artwork. Use these hooks as a place to hang a hand towel or your keys by the back door. They make great hangers for kids’ backpacks or jackets and can be placed at their level. The best thing about these hooks is that if you want to move them or remove them altogether, they just peel away—no hole, no mess!

Wall-mounted Shelves

If you want to increase your available space for storage, think of all the vertical space that is currently unused in your home. You can put a shelf anywhere, even above the TV. Add open shelves to your kitchen or bathroom or in the bedroom. A tall shelf added to a corner can double as a night stand while providing storage space.


Storage containers can be beautiful—works of art in themselves. A hand-made basket or a colourful box set on a shelf or under a table can provide a space to hold items. Use containers creatively. Magazine or file holders can be used in the kitchen to corral stray plastic ware, lids, utensils, spice packets or anything else you can think of. Clear plastic bins or large glass jars are great because you can see what is inside. You can add a pretty label or tag if you want.

Use Space Creatively

Do you have space that is currently under utilized in your home? Think about storage or an office space under a set of stairs. Or how about using an existing closet as a craft cupboard or home office space? Don’t forget about space on the backs of doors. By simply adding a hook or an over-the-door hanging organizer you can add valuable storage space to your home.

Farm Fresh Ideas for Spring

The sun is shining today and the air is warm. The snow is gone and the ice is melting in the pond. Signs of spring are appearing and we are getting ready for a new season. Yesterday we welcomed 3 new piglets to our little farm. In a couple of weeks our new chicks will arrive. I am already dreaming about those farm-fresh eggs! There is new life all around us. It reminds me that each season brings a new beginning. Now is the perfect time to start planning for a summer crop of fresh vegetables. Did you know that you don’t need a lot of land to grow food? A pot of tomatoes on the balcony or fresh herbs and micro-greens growing on a windowsill will supply you with fresh, organic food all summer long. And who doesn’t like to say, “I did this with my own hands?” Whether you live in the country, city, or somewhere in between, enjoy a new beginning by trying your hand at growing something delicious this spring. We might not all have the space to raise animals and plant a huge garden, but any sunny window will provide you farm fresh food for the months to come.