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Ideas for Decorating Your Patio Now That Spring is Here

A patio offers a relaxing way to enjoy the outdoors while providing you with additional space to enjoy. The decor you choose for the patio should be compatible with the decor inside the home. Granted, you will be spending more time indoors than out, but it's important to think of the patio as an extension of the home. If you decorate it, you're guaranteed to want to use it and invite friends over to relax and have fun.

Create A Fantastic Fountain

Water features are so relaxing. The sounds of water gushing or gently falling gives your garden depth and creates a tranquil feeling. Portable water fountains can be purchased easily from your garden store or department stores. Be sure to place them where water splatter will not ruin anything. Home Depot displays some beautiful fountains that look like large jars. This one runs about $140. They are heavy and more permanent, but boy do they look good.

Have A Seat

Providing a comfortable place to sit while outdoors is the first priority. Most people want to relax, drink, eat and enjoy the yard or view. What you place in this area will depend on the size of your family and how you like to entertain. Be sure to pick seating that is comfortable, inviting and that will hold up under the kind of weather conditions conducive to where you live. No matter what you choose, there will always be upkeep to contend with, so choose accordingly.

Create A Patio Garden

A myriad of potted plants will help bring color and interest to places where you cannot grow anything directly in the ground. Put several together into a grouping of plants. Select flowers that bloom as long as possible and whose colors blend with your decor. The same goes for your accessories, like pillows, pottery and so forth.

Attract Birds & Butterflies

Butterflies are important to help you multiply your flowers. But they are also beautiful to see. Bird feeders, water features and plenty of color are often all that's needed to invite some of nature's most beautiful creatures onto your patio. Personally I'm not a bird lover when it comes to them hanging around my garden due to the messes that come with birds. But still, great gardens also feature plenty of our feathered friends.

Make Your Yards Full of Drama

One of the ways you can catch the eye of people driving by is by creating a beautiful front yard. This is especially important if you're planning on selling your home. Sometimes your eye is caught by a huge splash of color or by exotic looking flowers or foliage. There are a number of plants that you can use to create drama in your garden with little to no experience.

Since most palms, birds-of-paradise and bananas are very common, even though exotic looking, here are some plants you should consider that will add surprise to any yard.

  • Corkscrew Willow - This tree has a fountain-like structure with branches and leaves that spiral downwards. Many floral arrangers use their bare twigs in their arrangements.
  • Chondropetalum - This plant forms clumps with dark green arching reeds that look like a fiber optics lamp 4' tall and 10' wide.
  • Scirpus - A mimic of the Chondropetalum, it has slender, foot-long arching green filaments tipped with a small white flower. Use it in a pedestal pot. If the soil is modified, you can also use it in a water filled container or pond.
  • Strelitzia juncea - Think of a Japanese Ikebana flower arrangement with reeds and Bird-of-Paradise flowers. This plant provides the perfect reeds. The leaves have no blades, just reed-like stalks.
  • Aloe bainsii, Dracaena draco and Bottle Palm - All of these plants have bold tapering trunks and simple branching tipped with rosettes of arching leaves.
  • Traveler's Tree - An exotic plant, this tree develops a palm-like trunk topped with up to thirty 10 foot long banana-like leaves. They are arranged evenly with a flat, fan-like symmetry.
  • Weeping Mulberry - While a small tree which is at its best in winter when you can see the branching, it is a haven for kids and birds in the summer with all of its small berries.
  • Zamia furfuracea - Also known as Cardboard Palm, this tree has a trunk like a typical Sago palm. However instead of feathery leaves, it has Bullwinkle's antlers. A sun-loving palm, the leaves will look like a cartoon character if grown in the shade.
  • Zamioculcas - Part of the Philodendron family, this plant is relatively new as a house plant. Easy to grow, it is perfect for an end table.
  • Other Plants to Consider - Pride of Madiera, Tolleson's Weeping Juniper, Dasylirion wheeleri, Dasylirion longissimum, Ocotillo
  • Caution - Before buying, check with your local nursery to make sure you have the right soil conditions and climate.
ANNOUNCING! NEW BOOK!
Home Staging Book Exclusively for Real Estate Agents

Up until now, real estate agents who wanted to learn more about home staging and how they could effectively market the service to the sellers who list with them (and utilize the services of professional home stagers when needed) were left to take a pricey seminar or purchase training on how to stage as a business. That wasn't ideal because they weren't interested in becoming home stagers but they did want to know more about it so they could offer better advice.

Now agents can learn how to promote staging ideas to their own clients, and push the services of professional stagers when a more comprehensive service is warranted (which it normally is). As agents and professional stagers work more closely together for the good of the seller, there will be an increase in work for everyone and a much brighter, more profitable outcome for all.

My new book also features some work by Debbie Muccillo, one of my top, most successful stagers in California (InteriorsWithinReach.Com). It is loaded with photos and detailed basics but is not sufficient to become a professional stager nor am I advocating agents become stagers - only that they learn how to give great advice when the seller wants to stage their own property or refuses to hire a professional stager.

My newest book, written ONLY for agents, is now at the printers and will be available in about 2 weeks. Any agent interested can go ahead and purchase a copy and as soon as I have the books in-house, they will be shipped out.

For more details on the book, visit:

 A Real Estate Agent's Guide

To purchase the book:

Continental USA Residents Order Here

Canada/Alaska/Hawaii Residents Order Here


Newly Expanded To-Do List Booklets for Stagers & Agents

Our handy checklist booklet has expanded now to 105 pages. We've made it better for the same low price. Instead of 80 pages, it's now 105 pages and we've given it a complete face lift too.

The to-do list for sellers is even more thorough than before and it is written for the home seller to use if they want to stage the home themselves (and gives you a place to affix your label on the back so when they need help they know how to reach you).

And it is equally useful to the stager who will be doing all the work. It streamlines the whole consultation process and speeds things up for the stager. You are wasting valuable time if you are not using these pre-printed, customizable checklists! Plain and simple. Time is money. Don't waste you time making reports when just one of these booklets will do it all for you!

For more details, see Home Staging Checklist To-Do Booklets

Train to be a Professional Home Stager and Re-Designer Now!

diamond ruby home staging and interior redesign courseBy far and away our most popular and best valued course ever, the Diamond Ruby Course risen to the top of the list in staging and redesign courses in the industry.

The reasons are simple really. Barbara spares no expense to bring the best possible value to students. She is well know for being the most student friendly, student focused trainer in the industry. Are her courses comprehensive? You bet. Do they inspire? You bet. Can anyone achieve success? Well, they can if they study hard and follow the training. But if they don't, it isn't likely.

The world is full of people who start but don't finish. The market will gobble up the weak and ill prepared. So it is incumbent on anyone who is serious to get the best, most complete training available. It's an important decision and should not be taken lightly.

Less is more when it comes to staging a home. But when picking your training route, more is more. No one gives you more than Barbara Jennings. And she won't extract on-going monthly or annual fees out of you later as her competition does.

Follow the leading trainer in home staging and redesign. You'll get the critical design training you crave, PLUS all the important marketing and business set up guidance. Barbara brings over 40 years of home based business experience and interior design experience to you, so don't settle for less.

Buy the Diamond Ruby Course Now & Save $500 Off Previous Price:

CONTINENTAL USA

CANADA/ALASKA/HAWAII - Foreign country residents, please use this link. We will process any additional shipping charges to your country as a separate charge (except for Canada).

For More Details:

Diamond Ruby Course Details


13 Things Your Burglar Won't Tell You - Written by a Former Burglar!
  1. Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator.
  2. was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.
  3. Love those flowers. That tells me you have taste ... and taste means there are nice things inside. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they have.
  4. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it.
  5. If it snows while you're out of town, get a neighbor to create car and foot tracks into the house. Virgin drifts in the driveway are a dead giveaway.
  6. If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don't let your alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it's set. That makes it too easy.
  7. A good security company alarms the window over the sink. And the windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom-and your jewelry. It's not a bad idea to put motion detectors up there too.
  8. It's raining, you're fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to lock your door-understandable. But understand this: I don't take a day off because of bad weather.
  9. I always knock first. If you answer, I'll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters. (Don't take me up on it.)
  10. Do you really think I won't look in your sock drawer? I always check dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet.
  11. Helpful hint: I almost never go into kids' rooms.
  12. You're right: I won't have enough time to break into that safe where you keep your valuables. But if it's not bolted down, I'll take it with me.
  13. A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system. If you're reluctant to leave your TV on while you're out of town, you can buy a $35 device that works on a timer and simulates the flickering glow of a real television. (Find it at FakeTV.Com
8 MORE THINGS A BURGLAR WON'T TELL YOU:
  1. Sometimes, I carry a clipboard. Sometimes, I dress like a lawn guy and carry a rake. I do my best to never, ever look like a crook.
  2. The two things I hate most: loud dogs and nosy neighbors.
  3. I'll break a window to get in, even if it makes a little noise. If your neighbor hears one loud sound, he'll stop what he's doing and wait to hear it again. If he doesn't hear it again, he'll just go back to what he was doing. It's human nature.
  4. I'm not complaining, but why would you pay all that money for a fancy alarm system and leave your house without setting it?
  5. I love looking in your windows. I'm looking for signs that you're home, and for flat screen TVs or gaming systems I'd like. I'll drive or walk through your neighborhood at night, before you close the blinds, just to pick my targets.
  6. Avoid announcing your vacation on your Facebook page. It's easier than you think to look up your address.
  7. To you, leaving that window open just a crack during the day is a way to let in a little fresh air. To me, it's an invitation.
  8. If you don't answer when I knock, I try the door. Occasionally, I hit the jackpot and walk right in.

Sources: Convicted burglars in North Carolina, Oregon, California, and Kentucky; security consultant Chris McGoey, who runs CrimeDoctor.Com and Richard T. Wright, a criminology professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, who interviewed 105 burglars for his book Burglars on the Job.

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certified staging specialist certified staging specialist

Barbara is the director of theor of the
Academy of Staging & Redesign, hosted at
Decorate-Redecorate.Com,
the leading home study course in home staging and redesign.

About the Author

Barbara Jennings is author of 16 decorating books/ebooks: Decor Secrets Revealed, Rearrange It, Home Staging for Profit, Home Staging for Yourself, A Real Estate Agent's Guide to Offering Free Home Staging Consultations, Staging Portfolio Secrets, Staging Luxurious Homes, Getting Paid: Financial Strategies for Home Stagers, Home Staging in Tough Times, Arrange Your Stuff, Advanced Redesign, Pro Art Consulting, Where There's a Wall - There's a Way, The Secret Art of Hanging Art, Great Parties! Great Homes!, and Wall Groupings! The Secrets of Arranging Art and Photos

2002-2010 Present resent

Copyright Barbara Jennings


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