Spring backyard patio decorating

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of At Home. All opinions are 100% mine.

I’ve always stood by my claim that summer is the best season of all. But, I have to admit, spring does give it a good run for its money. I love spring for many reasons, but mostly because of all the possibilities it brings with it.

This time of year, our family likes to talk about all the fun things we want to do outside when it warms up, including heading to the lake and hitting up our favorite ice cream shack. It’s also the time of year I get inspired to put the back patio in party order.

This year, I wanted to keep it simple and spruce up our back patio by adding some budget-friendly color and texture. This space was looking rather sad after another long, Pennsylvania winter.

I decided that a rug and some new garden planters would provide the most impact without costing me a lot of money or time. I headed over to the new At Home Store in Mannassas, Virginia, to see what they had in stock for outdoor decor. (This store is not too far from where I’ve been spending the past several weeks on a business-related trip.)

This is the first time I’ve ever been in an At Home store. Oh wow. If you’re like me and you brake for shiny things, you will need to go into this store with an iron-clad game plan. I could have easily spent several hours – no days – looking at all the home-related deliciousness.

Actually, I could have spent several hours alone just perusing the Outdoor Decor Collections  in this store. 

Huge, huge, huge selection of home goodies for any budget.

I settled on this rug and two, large metallic planters for the back patio. The 5’x7′ rug from the At Home Patio section of the store was $49.99 and the planters were $69.99.

I spent a few hours scrubbing the porch and cleaning up the patio furniture, windows and siding. Then I added my new decor.

It’s amazing what a little elbow grease and budget-friendly decorating can do for a backyard space.

Have you done any outdoor decorating yet this year? I’d love to hear ideas you’ve got planned this year for Outdoor Entertaining.

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Bedroom 2 before and after at the flip house

Hello friends! I’m back with another before and after from the flip house. We’re in the process of finishing the last 10 percent of this home, and I’m hoping it will be done soon. Progress has slowed significantly since I’ve been away for job-related training over the past several weeks.

Today I wanted to show you the before and after of the second downstairs bedroom.

Here’s a journey down memory lane with the before:

Bedroom-2-before

The renovation in this space included plaster patching and wall painting, ceiling and trim painting, a closet build, and installation of new carpeting. All the windows in the entire house were already replaced earlier this year, adding to the room’s updates.

Here’s what the space looks like now:

Gray-bedroom-after-LR

Yes, it is quite a transformation. The wall color I chose is a Sherwin Williams color called Windstorm. I had it mixed up in my favorite Valspar Signature eggshell paint, which is less expensive but provides a really professional finish.

For the window and baseboard trim, I used my favorite Zinsser® Cover Stain® Oil Base primer, then topped that off with a coat of off-white, semi-gloss trim paint.

Gray-bedroom-furniture-LR

Bedroom-furniture-LR

I staged the space mostly with stuff I had around my own house or in the basement. The one new piece I added to the room was this adorable print by Craft Street Design:

Enjoy-every-moment-LR

I’m a bit sad to let this artwork go with the house. I want to order another print from here to go in my office at home. 🙂

So what do you think of Bedroom 2 at the flip house?

Bedroom-2-before-and-after-pic

Special thanks to Craft Street Design for providing the print used in this bedroom transformation. 

Gadgets I’m loving right now

Hello friends! The flip house project is nearing its finish line, so I thought I’d take a step back briefly (i.e. I need a break, people!) and share with you a few gadgets I am totally crushing on right now.

1. SnapPower Guidelight

Snap-Power-Guidelight

I just installed this SnapPower Guidelight in our son’s bedroom and I’m installing another one in our downstairs hallway.

Snap-Power

This nightlight is built into the cover plate of an outlet, so it always leaves both outlets open. It only took me about one minute to install. It looks just like a standard cover plate, so the kiddos aren’t tempted to mess with it.

Snap-Power-night-light

2. SnapPower Charger

Snap-Power-charging-port

I installed a SnapPower Charger where my husband powers up his phone and I’m going to put another one where I charge mine.

This USB charger is built into the cover plate of the outlet, so both outlets are always open for other stuff. Again, it took me only about 60 seconds to install it. I like that this gadget keeps the room looking less cluttered and more organized. That makes me smile. 🙂

3. Purdy® Contractor 5 in 1 Tool

Purdy 5 in 1 tool

I don’t think there has been one single day I haven’t used this tool in some capacity at the flip house. If you don’t have one of these, run to your nearest home improvement store and pick one up. Seriously … so many uses!

4. Kobalt 7-inch End Cutting Pliers

Kobalt pliers

If you need to pull staples from flooring or remove/cut nails from hard-to-reach spots, these pliers are your tool. This tool saved me a ton of time and made light work of the dirty task of removing millions of staples from hardwood flooring.

So there you go, a few gadgets I’m loving – and using – around my house and the flip project.

Special thanks to SnapPower for providing, at my request, the SnapPower Guidelight and SnapPower Charger featured in this post. As always, all opinions and projects are 100-percent mine.