Friday, 22 May 2015 09:05

13 Best Projects for a Long Weekend

Three cheers for the long weekend, says Bob Villa.  He continues, a few times out of the year, we're blessed with a full extra day's worth of time to ourselves. It's the perfect opportunity to run errands, spend time with family, or fix up whatever has been hanging around for weeks waiting to be addressed. But that extra day is also great for tackling a fun home DIY. We've rounded up a few of the best, most joyful summer projects we've seen in order to inspire you to exercise your creativity over the long weekend. This collection ranges from hour-long crafts to extensive multiday projects, so there's an option here to suit every skill level and any schedule.  Read and see the projects:

Courtesy of and

Published in Landscaping

Laura Gaskill, a Houzz Contributor says it’s the little things that can make all the difference in your outdoor kitchen experience, so consider what would benefit you the most — better lighting, prep space, or music. She continues, try adding one (or more) of these fun features, from grill-side seating to a vintage fridge. Read and see more:


Schmechtig Landscapes Outdoor Kitchen Design for HGTV Landscapers Challenge

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Enjoy these fun summer outdoor party decorating ideas from House Beautiful and Good Housekeeping.  My favorite is the wheelbarrel!  See them all:


Pool Ideas in Winnetka, Illinois, Schmechtig Landcapes



Backyard Outdoor Living and Entertaining with Pool, Winnetka, Illinois, Schmechtig Landscapes

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Here are 9 ideas to revamp your backyard this summer. See them all -

Courtesy of

Published in Landscaping

 Make summer cooking and drinks even better with herbs plucked from your own backyard or windowsill pot.
says Annie Thornton, from the Houzz Editorial Staff team.  Here's 11 herbs not to leave out of your garden this summer. 

Read more:


Published in Landscaping

Get glorious veggies and fruits on your patio with a pro’s guidance — including a recipe for potting mix. Most edibles do well in containers, and in some cases even prefer them, says Annie Thornton, Houzz Editorial Staff. For gardeners with poor soil, or no soil at all, container gardening can be a way to create the edible garden your landscape wouldn’t otherwise allow you — all within steps of your house. But where to start? Thornton shares San Francisco Bay Area gardening consultant and edible-garden designer Steve Masley 10 great tips to growing the edibles in containers.  Read More:

Published in Landscaping
Monday, 20 April 2015 09:18

New Front Yard Landscaping Ideas

The best front yard landscaping draws the line of sight to the front door and features eye-catching color and textural combinations along the way, says Roseann Foley Henry. Here are a few simple but effective tips for boosting curb appeal with trees and bushes, your driveway and walkways, and more from Roseann Foley Henry and

First and foremost, don’t hide your door behind large shrubs and trees. You want your landscaping to sweep the eye up to the door, not block the view completely. Position larger plants and trees off to the sides, says Roseann, and keep them trimmed back to allow a full view of the door.


Front Yard Landscape Design, Winnetka, IL.,  Schmechtig Landscapes


Henry's second tip, don’t skimp on foundation plantings. A typical two-story home should have a bed about eight feet deep around the front to soften the view. Use plants of varying heights, different shades of green, and different textures to create an interesting mix. Use containers on the front steps and walkway to add variety and color, but not so many as to make things look chaotic. Keep it simple and elegant.


Front Yard Landscape Design Ideas, Glenview, IL., Schmechtig Landscapes 


Finally, Roseann says, don’t forget your hardscaping—that is, the walkway, driveway, and other hard surfaces. Little things like changing a straight walkway to one with a little curve or flair, or allowing plants to drape over a wall, can have outsized effects on your entry.


Lake Bluff, IL., Front Landscape Design Ideas with stone, Schmechtig Landscapes

See more photo ideas of front landscape design in our website and in Roseann Foley Henry's article:

Courtesy of  Roseann Foley Henry's  and


Published in Landscaping

After a long winter, your outdoor furniture might be looking shabby, particularly under the bright, unforgiving glare of the sun, says Jennifer Noonan, a contributor to Before you hop on the Internet to order new furniture, Jennifer has a few ideas to revive that patio set, picnic table, garden glider, or favorite pair of lawn chairs. Read More:


Wilmette, Illinois Landscape Company, Schmechtig Landscapes

Published in Landscaping
Tuesday, 14 April 2015 07:56

Edible Plants That Double as Ornamentals

Try growing these tasty plants with your ornamentals for an attractive garden and fresher meals, says Noelle Johnson a Houzz contributor.  Johnson continues, a combination of flowering plants and attractive foliage usually comes to mind when we imagine a beautiful garden. What about the plants we grow for food? From flowering herbs to leafy vegetables, many edible plants have shapes, textures and colors that can add both beauty to the landscape and flavor to your dinner plate. Let’s break down the border between our ornamental and edible gardens and see how edible plants can do double duty.  Read and see more:



Published in Landscaping

Take your home’s outdoor connection to the next step with a serving window for alfresco dining, says Joanna Tovia, a Houzz contributor. The kitchen pass-through window historically was used to hide kitchen clutter from guests and to help maids and chefs deliver food efficiently to formal dining rooms, says architect Rebecca Naughtin. Recently the feature has made a comeback — with a difference. Today it’s often used to ease the transition between indoors and out. What are the benefits of a kitchen pass-through, and how easy is it to install? Read and see more of what Joanna has to share:

Published in Landscaping
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