Keeping Your Home and Garden Spiffy

If you are like most people, you want your home and garden to be smart and stylish. You can keep your place up to date when you shop for all the modern necessities and luxuries. You can surround yourself with beautiful and functional items as you make your choices.

Your home will be cozy and livable and your garden will bloom when you get all the right accessories. You will be able to make any kind of food or beverage in your kitchen if you have the right appliances to do the jobs. Cookbooks will guide you on your way to great family meals in your home.

For beverages, you will have blenders, juicers, and mixers. You can find cookware to suit your style, whether it is a single cooker or a complete set of nonstick cookware. Bring out the cutlery sets to chop up and prepare your foods for cooking and roasting. You can also cook in fryers, skillets, griddles, or microwaves. Toasters, toaster ovens, grills, and waffle makers complete your small cooking appliances.

When your food is finished, you can serve it with coffee, tea, or espresso. Use buffet style food servers to show off your dishes and keep them warm for guests. When the meal is over, you can bag up the leftovers in FoodSavers bags to use on another day. If all else fails and you are not in the mood to cook a fancy dinner, use can or jar openers for an easy meal.

Entertaining at home is easier with novelty items like cotton candy, popcorn, snow cone, or slushee machines. You can serve hot dogs, ice cream or nachos in a nostalgic way. Do not leave out barware and fondue equipment when you are thinking about entertaining.

Your home will look more modern if you use attractive soap dispensers in your bathroom. You can get beautiful touchfree versions that show off the colors of your soaps and shampoos. Air purifiers can clean up the environment not only in the bathroom, but all over your home.

Cleaning is a necessary evil for many people, but having the right machines and detergents will make everything work better. Steam cleaners and vacuums make tough chores easier. Special touch free trash cans make everyday clean up a breeze. The chore of garment care will not be a dreaded one in your home if you have the best in steam irons.

Children of all ages should not be left out of home plans. They need their toys and games. Golf putter sets are just as desirable for some as pedal cars are for others. Everyone loves poker sets and signs. The big kids like their toys too, and sets of tools are popular for them.

House and garden plans are not complete until you find all the little things that make a house a home. You will look forward to shopping for your kitchen, your bathroom, your comfort, and your entertainment with excitement.

Better Homes and Gardens Home Designer Software

The magazine staff and editors of Better Homes and Gardens have come with a design solution for the intrepid homeowner wanting to realize his/her dream house. The Better Homes and Gardens Home Designer Suite 8.0 is the latest edition of that effort that started years back and has become popular among American novice designers and even professional architects and home builders.

Getting to see your dream house with uncanny 3D realism on your PC has never been as easy with a software application tool that can make just about anyone a home designer. You just need to make sure your desktop or laptop PC is powerful enough to render 3D modeling. Not to worry, the software package comes with the recommended PC configuration you need.

Indulge your Imagination

The Better Homes and Gardens Home Designer Suite 8.0 gives reign to your innate design skills the better for you to visualize your dream home on the PC. But even people without artistic talent can to it.

  • Automatic Designing Tools. The Suite has 5,000 competent and easy to use building blocks and tools to simplify getting your design looking real. For starters, you design your lot and backyard terrain with the Automatic Build Terrain and Terrain Perimeter tool that can be aided with a GPS terrain elevation data. Add pools and other landscaping details like fences and driveways from its landscaping library. Generate house roofs, ceiling beams, floor patterns, dormers, stairs, framing and house foundation automatically.
  • Design Templates. There are over 1,500 sample house floor plans as well as a Design Inspiration Gallery with photos by house designs categorized by type that can inspire you with your own unique design ideas. It has a library of home-style templates you can start with or create own customized house designs. There’s also the House Wizard that can automatically generate a house design for you based on information you supply.
  • Design Libraries. There are over 6000 design elements like furniture and electric fixtures, windows and doors, wall paper and floor designs and appliance, just to mention some, in its built-in library that you can just drag and drop on your design work area, or you can design your own. There’s even a Plant Encyclopedia on the side containing 1,500 popular plant species you can learn about that’s suitable in your country as indoor plant ornament in your design.
  • Online Advice. You can get free online design expertise from the Design Planning Center of Better Homes and Gardens as well as download additional design elements from the Home Designer website.
  • 3D Rendering and Virtual Tours. Once you’re done with hour house and interior designing, remodeling, landscaping, and floor planning, go into 3D simulation of light and shadows and a virtual walk-through of your dream house.
  • Project Cost Estimating. Once you’re happy with the look of your new house complete with interiors and landscaping, the Suite will estimate the cost of making your design happen, generating a spreadsheet where you also get material estimates on how much lumber and concrete is needed which creates the basis for the costing.

Flags For Home and Garden Decor

Have you ever wanted to add creative elegance to your porch, garden, deck or wall? Decorative flags may be just the right ingredient for that special finishing touch. A friend of mine has a home with a tall wooden fence next to the garden path. She hung large rainbow flags from the top of the fence. The result was absolutely stunning. The sky is the limit when it comes to decorating with flags. Today designers have created flags that are beautiful works of art. There are colors, themes and sizes that will enhance any area of your home. For those of you who have an entry porch that would benefit from an uplifting splash of color a flag may be just the ticket for you. If you have a wall that is boring, then consider hanging a banner to cheer it up. It is easy to be creative when decorating with flags. Whether you choose to be flashy or understated you will find the flag fits the bill.

Flags are available in themes for the country home, the traditional home, the contemporary home, the desert home, the log home and the sea side cottage. There are even gorgeous flags that render a touch of Asian inspiration. I personally love the Native American designs that are bright and bold. For those of you who love animals, it is really a banquet of delight. You will be amazed at the fantastic designs that feature cats, dogs, horses, cows, rooster, penguins, polar bears, moose, wolves, geese, sheep, pigs and even flamingos. If you live near the ocean, you might be interested in a lighthouse flag, a boat flag or a flag that paints a picture of marine life. I know of a couple who even flew flamingo flags from the bow of their boat. So whether you are decorating a home, an office, a garden or a barn there is a flag that will meet your needs.

Are you planning a party? Consider a flag to welcome your guests. You will be happy to know that flags are available for graduations, birthdays, retirements, weddings and every holiday that we celebrate throughout the year. Flags will add a touch of cheer to any celebration.

You will find flags to enhance every season of the year. Harvest moons, snow capped mountains, spring and sunny beaches are all common flag themes. Fall, winter, spring and summer have not been left out of the equation. Dancing leaves, daffodils, bluebirds, budding iris and colorful ladybugs are just a few of the treasures to be discovered. The possibilities and choices offer a wonderland of decorating ideas for both the home and garden.

So go ahead and express yourself, be creative and have fun with flags.

Hot at the Home and Garden Store: Top New Products!

If you think everything at your local home and garden store is the same as it’s always been, think again! The speed of technological and scientific innovation hasn’t left the home supply industry in the dust. The whirlwind of new modernity has swept it up, and there are all sorts of hot new items that might surprise you.

Bathroom Products

In the bathroom, companies are putting all sorts of things into old products to make them more efficient, effective, and entertaining. You’ve probably seen waterproof radios; some hang from your shower arm while others are designed to stick to the tile with suction cups. While these are effective at broadcasting sound, they take up space in the shower and can be a bit of an eyesore. One company has come up with an ingeniously simple way to integrate sound seamlessly into morning showers by putting a wireless speaker inside the shower fan. The music plays over the noise of the fan and is positioned to broadcast downward, an acoustically superior positioning, without taking up any space.

Another new product prevents a toilet backup from turning into an overflow emergency. This new toilet has a sensor near the rim of the bowl that prevents additional flushing when the water level gets high enough. Next time you’re at the home and garden store, check out the smart toilet.

Painting Products

The paint department might not have invented any new colors lately, but the list of things that you can do with the old ones is growing. A recently developed product uses a two-part epoxy coating for a paint that gives a high gloss finish you can write on. You’ll be able to make designs or write notes with a dry erase marker and wipe the walls clean just as easily. If you have young children in the house, rather than try in vain to stop them from drawing on the walls, let their imaginations run wild! And it’s not just for kids. In an office space or kitchen, use it to write to-do lists, important dates, or other items.

Outside Products

The home and garden store has cool new gadgets to improve the safety and efficiency of the outside of your home as well. One of the most common ways that fire ‘jumps’ is from cinders being carried into the air by the rising heat from the fire. When those cinders land, they can ignite fires on the roofs of nearby homes. Newly developed, flame-resistant and fiberglass-based roof shingles drastically reduce the likelihood of fire spreading. If there is a fire, you can hose it down with the spigot-free water tap. Instead of an obtrusive spout sticking out of the side of the house, these new systems have a shelter for the hose to twist into; and they also reduce water leakage by lessening the length of pipe subject to water pressure.

Check out these brand new products next time you’re in your neighborhood home and garden store.