5 Simple Upkeep Tips to Rejuvenate Your Lake Home

Photo courtesy of Houzz

After everything we’ve been through these past couple of years, we could all use a fresh start—and so could our homes. Just as personal rejuvenation is therapeutic for mind, body, and soul, so is it for the dwellings we live in. If your lake home could use a little pick-me-up, here are some simple upkeep tips that pack a powerful punch and make your rooms look and feel renewed. 

Keep It Clean

Photo courtesy of The Lilypad Cottage

We all dread household chores but love the feeling and satisfaction we get from a clean home. After all, it makes no sense to spend a fortune on our homes and all the furnishings if we don’t keep them clean. The payoff is well worth it, so let’s face it—we can’t avoid this unpleasant task. But it doesn’t have to be as unbearable as you think if you plan ahead and implement some handy gadgets that make cleaning a breeze.

Consider investing in hi-tech housekeeping tools such as a robot vacuum, a carpet spot cleaner, and an electric mop to make tasks go quicker and seem virtually effortless. Keeping floors, furniture, baseboards, ceiling fans, and surfaces dirt and dust-free—and washing windows regularly—makes all the difference in the world in how you and others perceive the look and feel of your home. Plus, if you keep things clean regularly, you won’t have to put as much effort into it each time.

Also, make a schedule and stick to it. Break up chores in simple, easy-to-digest increments, so they won’t be such a pain and take up an entire day. If you’re not doing it all yourself, make it a family project and delegate jobs each week. For truly huge tasks, don’t be afraid to call in a professional.   

Declutter and Downsize

Photo courtesy of ecko360estates

Removing visual clutter from your life is a beautiful way to keep your home looking smart, stylish, and organized. Also, as many of us are downsizing to smaller places these days, it’s the perfect time to take inventory of our belongings and get rid of things we no longer want in our lives. The minimalist look continues to trend today—so less is more.

In the kitchen especially, keep countertop clutter to a minimum and arrange the daily objects you use efficiently and within easy reach. Group items on trays and in canisters to keep things looking clean and orderly. Don’t forget to edit and arrange your pantry, cabinets, and drawers neatly—even though their contents are hidden from sight. Most of us accumulate clutter in those very places, including our closets, and later dread the thought of clearing them out.

We all know how difficult it is to part with our personal possessions, so be mindful and practical about the process. Consider gifting or donating things you no longer need—or have a yard sale. Without all that baggage, we tend to feel lighter, freer, and more at peace in our surroundings.

Maintain What You Have

Photo courtesy of Serena & Lily

Our lake homes are our sanctuaries, so make it a priority to maintain what you already have. Keep your beloved rugs and plush carpets clean and odor-free, replace any worn rugs, patch holes in the wall, polish bathroom and kitchen fixtures, replace cracked tiles, and regularly clean grout on all your tile surfaces. If your rooms look tired and outdated, give them a fresh facelift with new fixtures, hardware, and lighting.

Don’t forget to maintain your lake home’s exterior features as well. For example, clean your gutters to direct water away from your house, seal your driveway to prevent cracks and preserve your pavement, and touch up your home’s exterior paint if you notice any chipping or peeling.

By keeping up with these essential maintenance tips, you can avoid living in a house that looks and feels neglected and instead enjoy a well-dressed home that feels fresh, clean, and cared for.

Paint Power

Photo courtesy of Country Living Magazine

There is nothing like a fresh coat of paint to change the complexion of any room. So don’t be afraid to introduce a splash of color to your kitchen with painted cabinetry, an island base, or even your wooden floors. Paint will instantly transform your rooms and dramatically change the mood with a simple color change.

If your bright white walls look sad and dull, there’s no better way to revive them than with a brilliant new coat of your favorite hue. To create an eye-catching focal point, consider painting an accent wall in a darker, more richly pigmented tone that will make a striking contrast to the adjacent walls while still complementing the style of your interior.      

Fresh Linens and Towels

Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn

Let’s confess, we all have them—flattened pillows, ratty towels, and old worn-out sheets that are either stained or torn. And the sad truth is, nothing makes bedrooms and bathrooms look more unkempt than having these less-than-luxurious items in plain view. However, you can elevate your spaces instantly simply by replacing them with plush, luxurious bed linens, fluffy towels and bathmats, and plump new pillows—either down-filled or a down alternative. Also, consider using two duvets to get a more sumptuous plumped-up look. You can stuff two duvets into one duvet cover or simply layer them one on top of the other over your bed.

For more tips on how to freshen up and rejuvenate your home, click here. From all of us at Lake Homes Lifestyles—here’s to a beautifully renewed 2022!

How to Make a Raised Garden Bed

Photo courtesy of Real Simple

A garden bed is an excellent way to add both aesthetic appeal and gardening ease to your backyard. In this style, soil is raised above ground and enclosed in some way, typically by a wooden frame. It’s a great way of working around less-than-ideal soil conditions in your backyard. Plus, you can choose the location of your plot, offering great flexibility. For the eager gardener, garden beds also warm up more quickly in spring so you can start your planting earlier. Overall, garden beds require less maintenance in the long-run — you can keep them mulched all year which reduces weeds, you’ll spend less time in a smaller garden, and this manageable look creates a sense of organization in your backyard.

If you’ve decided to make garden beds at your lake house, follow these steps!

Consider the Elements

Photo courtesy of Shain Rievley via HGTV

Just like planting a garden on regular soil, you’ll need to consider all the elements before laying down roots. First off, sun exposure and soil health are key, so you’ll want to ensure that you pick a spot for your garden bed that covers these basics. Keep in mind that your garden will need 8 hours of sun in the summer, so be sure to scope out a plot uncovered by shady trees. If needed, you can get a soil test from your local Cooperative Extension Office to obtain a fuller understanding of what’s going on beneath the surface. This may be especially important if your lake house is an older building with paint on the exterior, in which chemical damage is a risk.

Determine the Size

Photo courtesy of Garden in Minutes

Once you’ve determined the location in your yard, the next step is to choose the frame size. Of course, this decision will vary based on the space you have in your backyard. But regardless of yard acreage, the most important rule of thumb is to be mindful of width. Essentially, you want to be able to reach every plant in your garden without stepping on other crops in the way. In general, 5 feet wide is ideal. If it’s against a fence or wall and you’re unable to reach both sides, aim for less than 2.5 feet wide.

Build the Frame

Photo courtesy of Home Depot

There’s not one way to make a raised garden bed. They come in all different styles, types, and materials — it just depends on your preference, and what looks best in your backyard! Although you can use bricks, steel, or stone pieces to create your frame, the easiest material for beginners is untreated wood. For example, cedar is a widely available and popular material, known for its unique pinkish-red color and ability to thwart insects and decay. But whatever you do, be sure to stay away from treated wood. The infused chemicals could potentially seep into your plant bed and compromise your roots. For the actual construction piece, YouTube tutorials can be a helpful place to start, as well as step-by-step online guides from home improvement retailers.

Lay Landscaping Fabric

Photo courtesy of Grow Food Guide

One of the great benefits of garden beds is their independence from the rest of your yard. If you’re not satisfied with the soil in your backyard — perhaps soil contamination is an issue in your town, or the level of moisture isn’t right — a garden bed is an opportunity to start fresh. To keep your soils separate, the next step is to lay landscaping fabric along the edges of your garden bed. This water-permeable piece of cloth keeps the soil in your garden bed separate from the soil in your yard. Additionally, landscaping fabric discourages weeds and stabilizes soil temperature — a great benefit for helping your plants flourish!

Fill In the Garden Bed

Photo courtesy of Garden Gate Magazine

To fill in the garden bed, you’ll want a good mixture of soil and compost. According to blog Homestead and Chill, the target recipe is 40% soil, 40% compost, and 20% aeration. Next you may have to do a little math. First, calculate the volume of your garden bed (multiply width by length by depth) then convert the amount to cubic yards to determine how much soil you need (check out this gardener’s calculator for more help). Finally, the fun part comes next — you can start planting! If you need tips on how to choose the best plants for your gardening zone, take a look at some of our previous blog posts. We cover tips about gardening in all zone regions of the country!

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Lake Inspired DIY Candles

Photo courtesy of TheYummyLife.com via Pinterest

Throughout the past several years, one of the biggest trends in interior design has been bringing the outdoors in. Oftentimes, this takes shape through incorporating nature-inspired furniture such as driftwood, adding biophilic elements to your living room, and using wallpaper tones that resemble the outdoors. However, visuals are not the only way to create a natural feel in your home. One often-overlooked way to “bring the outdoors in” is through scent. Besides the pleasant ambiance, lighting candles has other health benefits such as stress relief, memory stimulation, and mood improvement. But before you rush to your local Bath and Body Works, consider creating a DIY candle for a craft project and an amazing scent, rolled into one. Check out these lake inspired DIY candles for recipe recommendations!

Fresh Pine Candle

Photo courtesy of Ann’s Entitled Life

This candle recipe comes from Ann’s Entitled Life, a blog full of crafts, cocktails, gardening, and travel tips. Just in time for the holidays, a DIY fresh pine candle is the perfect project. Whether you wrap it up as a gift to yourself or another person, you’ll enjoy creating a smell reminiscent of a beloved evergreen. 

Materials: 

  • 2 cups of soy wax 
  • 1 candlestick 
  • 1 large nonstick pot 
  • Wooden spoon
  • Chopstick, woodstock, pencil
  • 1 crayon (any color) or candle dye 
  • 10 drops of pine essential oil or wintergreen essential oil 
  • 1 mason jar 

Directions: Place a candlewick into a jar, allowing it to sit at the bottom. Wrap the top around a pencil to hold it in place. Then, heat soy wax on low heat, and continue to stir. Add pine essential oil and the crayon. Remove the mixture from the stove and pour into the jar. Let sit for 3-4 hours.

Maple Scented Candle

Photo courtesy of Vin’yet Etc

This recipe from the Vin Yet blog features one of our favorite autumn scents — maple. Whether it reminds you of leaf peeping season or of pancakes, the smell of maple immediately evokes a sense of comfort. 

Materials: 

  • Soy wax flakes 
  • Wooden wick 
  • Glue gun 
  • Double boiler 
  • Kabob skewers 
  • Maple flavored extract 

Directions: Set up your workstation with craft paper. Put a pyrex measuring cup inside the pot to create a double boiler. Pour wax into the Pyrex dish, boil the water, stirring occasionally until the temperature has reached 185. Remove from heat, add maple extract, and pour into containers when heat has reached 125 degrees. Cool.

DIY Floral Candle

Photo courtesy of one good thing

When thinking about the best natural scents for your lake home, we’d be remiss to exclude florals. Especially if gardening is an activity you enjoy, you’ll appreciate a botanic scent in your living room. This DIY floral candle from the One Good Thing Blog is fun and colorful, yet elegant. 

Materials: 

  • Soy candle wax 
  • Candle jar 
  • Candle wicks and wick stands 
  • Flowers of your choice 
  • Essential oils of your choice 

Directions: Melt the soy wax over the stove using a double boiler. Allow the wax to melt, then remove from the heat. Then add your essential oils (around 15 ml bottle). Once the wax is scented, dip flower petals into the wax and press to the edges of your candle jar until they’ve stuck. Finally, pour the wax and allow it to set in completely and cool.

Ocean Scented Candle

Photo courtesy of Atta Girl Says

Although ocean scents reflect a different kind of coastal atmosphere than a lake, this DIY candle’s smell is emblematic of the laid-back vacation lifestyle. Using an oyster shell in place of a traditional candle jar, this DIY sea shell candle from Atta Girl Says will make your guests feel relaxed and “at home” as soon as they step into your living room.

Materials: 

  • Oyster shells 
  • 6 ounces of candle wax 
  • 0.3 ounces of fragrance oil 
  • Candle boiling bag 
  • Measuring cup 
  • Saucepan 
  • Wicks 
  • Wooden skewers 
  • Rimmed baking pan with aluminum foil 

Directions: Place a wick in the middle of each oyster shell using adhesives. Set the shells on a baking pan lined with aluminum foil and use a double boiler to melt candle wax. Measure the wax into the candle bag and secure with rubber band. Add water to the bottom, then add the sealed candle boiling bag. Bring water to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Once the wax has turned into liquid, remove and place it in a measuring cup. Open the bag and fold edges down. Finally, add the fragrance oil and stir! 

We hope these lake-inspired DIY candles motivate you to create your own!

DIY Bird Seed Tips

Photo courtesy of Andrew Dernie / Getty Images via The Spruce

In summertime when food is abundant, birds are more likely to scavenge for their own meals. However, resources are scarce during the cooler months. So, this season, birds could use a little assistance finding a reliable sources of food. Installing a bird feeder in your backyard is a great way to attract birds to your lake home and enjoy birdwatching on a regular basis. But when it comes to filling those feeders, things get trickier. If you decide to make your own bird seed (a fun craft project for everyone), how do you know what the “dos” and “don’ts” are? Which types of seed will attract a wide range of birds? At Lake Homes, we’re here to help. Check out these tips for creating DIY bird seed this winter!

Essential Ingredients

Photo courtesy of Bird Watcher’s Digest

The key to creating a delicious homemade bird seed recipe is including nutritious ingredients that birds need in their diet. Luckily, these essential components are inexpensive! You can usually find them in bulk at most grocery stores. For instance, peanuts are beloved by birds and provide them with enough protein for their diet. Besides peanuts, any good bird seed mix will include sunflower seeds. Whether hulled or in the shell, these seeds are highly nutritious. Specifically, black oil sunflower seeds have high fat content, as well as protein and fiber, which is perfect for birds.

Extra Ingredients

Photo courtesy of This is My Garden

While key ingredients like peanuts and sunflower seeds may be the star of the show, supplemental ingredients are necessary to round out the nutritional value of your DIY bird seed. First off, white millet (as opposed to red millet) is an excellent source of protein, calcium, magnesium, oil, and phosphorus. Similar to white millet, cracked corn is a great high-protein ingredient. As opposed to whole corn, cracked corn is easier for both small and large birds to consume. Just be sure to use limited amounts! Too much cracked corn can absorb moisture and dry out your other ingredients. Finally, an ingredient often excluded from store-bought mixes is dried fruit. A handful of raisins (white or red) can attract a host of birds to your backyard who might not otherwise hang around.

Ideal Ratio of Ingredients

Photo courtesy of Growing Family

As one might expect, the essential ingredients (e.g., peanuts and sunflower seeds) should be prioritized in these DIY bird seed recipes. For a standard recipe option, include one cup of peanuts and sunflower seeds and ½ cup of extra ingredients. This ratio excludes dry fruit, in which a little bit (just a handful) goes a long way.

Ingredients to Avoid

Photo courtesy of Powell Feed, LLC

Although birds are known to devour a host of seed-like ingredients, there are several that you’ll need to avoid when creating your own DIY bird seed. Among them is milo, a filler grain. This large, reddish seed with a round shape is less appealing to most birds. A few select species, such as doves, enjoy eating milo, but including it in your recipe will turn the majority of birds off to your backyard. Canary seed, grass seed, oats, wheat, and sticks are other bad ingredients to avoid. One of the benefits of creating DIY bird seed is that you can avoid these “bad” or “filler” ingredients that are often included in cheaper store-bought mixes. In fact, so many mixes contain more milo than other, healthier and more appealing ingredients. Making your own bird seed will ensure that birds are attracted to the food you’re offering! 

With these tips, your backyard is bound to be a hotspot for birds this winter!

Living Beautifully: Easy Tips to Make Your Lake Home Feel Luxurious

Photo courtesy of Beach Pretty

Making time to enjoy the simple things in life has taken on new meaning these days. For many of us, our lake homes have recently brought us a much-needed sense of refuge, tranquility, and, quite literally, a kind of shelter from the storm.  As we savor more moments with family and friends, we value the comforts of home now more than ever. Even life’s little luxuries have become front and center in our focus—and why not? After all, you only live once.

The best part is that luxury doesn’t have to be expensive. It might appear so, but then again, that’s the beauty of it. So, if you want to create an air of luxurious comfort in your lakeside interiors, here are some easy tips to get you started.

Adaptable Neutrals

Photo courtesy of My Domaine

If you’ve ever walked into an upscale furniture showroom, you’ve probably noticed that nearly all of them display an overall neutral color palette—and for good reason. An unassuming yet powerful neutral scheme instantly elevates the style of the space, making everything in the room look sleek, polished, and pulled together. It creates a cohesive look like no other and is also highly adaptable if you want to make seasonal changes with your accessories. For instance, adding a splash of color with sumptuous throws, pillows, and other decorative accents to warm up your interiors during fall and winter is quick and simple against a neutral backdrop. Nearly anything works within a monochromatic color scheme, and vibrant accessories, playful patterns, and elegant touches of black—used sparingly—always look crisp and impactful.

Think furniture, wall color, and even bed linens when building your serene and luxurious neutral palette. In this bedroom, white walls, curtains, roman shades, lamps, artwork, bedding, and plump, fluffy pillows work in harmony to create this tranquil and inviting space. The soft slate-blue bench cushion, along with the graphic patterns on the accent pillows, strikes a lovely counterbalance to the all-white palette while also creating a satisfying focal point. The nubby area rug underfoot adds texture and anchors the bedroom’s ethereal feel.   

Full-Length Curtains

Photo courtesy of Erica George Dines via Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles

Don’t skimp on this one if you really want your rooms to shine. Nothing creates more elegance than long and luxurious floor-length curtains. They dress your rooms in sumptuous layers of fabric and, if hung appropriately, bring an exquisite sense of height to your interior spaces. Make sure to measure correctly and take curtains all the way to the floor, even allowing for the fabric to puddle a bit at the bottom if you prefer. Another trick is to hang your curtain rods as close to the ceiling as you can to bring the eye upward and create more visual height.

In this beautifully rustic lake home with soaring ceilings, the designer takes the curtain rod to the top of the first beam so the curtains can block out the sun when needed and create a sense of privacy. The windows above are left bare to allow for optimum natural light. And again, the ivory curtain fabric here coordinates effortlessly with the soft, neutral palette of the overall space, creating a pleasing continuity throughout the home.

Quick Tip: If you can’t do full-length curtains, opt instead for simple woven blinds or roman shades for a clean look.

Large Mirrors & Artwork

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

Incorporating a large mirror into your interiors will immediately create the illusion of having more space. It will also reflect light and illuminate your room with a dazzling effect—think natural sunlight, candlelight, and firelight. You can use a large full-length mirror as an accent piece that sits on the floor or hang a large mirror on the wall in place of artwork. Just make sure your mirror reflects something that is visually appealing and beautiful to look at.

When considering your artwork, the bigger, the better. Large statement pieces will instantly give your home a gallery vibe and create a dramatic effect. An over-size, museum-worthy work of art or even a pair of magnificent paintings or drawings bring powerful visual impact and interest to any room.

Vintage Rugs

Photo courtesy of Home Bunch

The floor offers an ideal opportunity to introduce pattern, so don’t be afraid to accent your rooms with vintage rugs. This will instantly upgrade your spaces and infuse them with a bit of antiquity and colorful personality in a truly luxurious way. If you don’t want to afford the expense of an authentic vintage rug, consider using a vintage-style rug or even a natural-fiber area rug to complement your space.

In this hallway and dining room, the homeowners created satisfying continuity with two plush vintage area rugs that befit the style and size of each space. These gorgeous rugs ensure softness underfoot and incorporate lavish texture into the décor.

Lighting & Hardware

Photo courtesy of Waunakee Remodeling

Upgrading your hardware can make a tremendous difference, especially in your kitchen and bathrooms. You can give these rooms an instant facelift simply by replacing faucets, cabinet handles, drawer pulls, doorknobs, and even electrical outlet covers and light switch plates. This easy fix can give your spaces a fresh modern update and transition your rooms to reflect any style you desire.   

Installing new lighting is also a brilliant way to change the look and feel of any space quickly. With a good lighting scheme, you can create soft pools of light, crisp focal points, and dramatic areas of interest. Transform any room quickly with a large-scale pendant light hanging over a kitchen island, a dining room table, an entrance hallway, or even a bedroom. Wall sconces are a perfect solution if you want to make a stylish statement in your bedrooms and bathrooms.

Keep in mind the overall mood you want your interiors to emit and choose lighting accordingly with warm lightbulbs and dimmer switches. To create truly luxurious spaces, remember to layer your lighting with a mix of the following styles: recessed lights, strip lights, down-lighting, up-lighting, overhead lighting, ambient light, and task light. If you like to use smart lights, motion sensors can highlight focal points such as stair steps with a WOW-factor effect.

For more ideas, click here. We hope you enjoy bringing a touch of comfort and luxury to your lake home this season—cheers!

The Best Types of Ground Covers for Your Backyard

Photo courtesy of Lowes

As anyone who owns a lake house knows, landscaping is hard work. Countless hours spent in the garden, mowing the lawn, and keeping pests out of your yard can be tiresome. Plus, it takes away from your time enjoying the lake. On the Lake Homes Realty blog, we’ve written about low-maintenance landscaping solutions to minimize your manual labor. Among these ideas, ground covers are a helpful yet often overlooked strategy. 

As the name suggests, a ground cover refers to any plant that covers some part of the ground in your backyard. Unlike grass, ground covers don’t need to be mowed, which will cut down drastically on your work in the garden. So, that slope in your yard that’s too steep for a lawnmower? Or patches of dirt underneath a shady tree where grass can’t grow? Ground covers are the ultimate solution. Not only do they solve your landscape problems, but they’re also beautiful. For clarity’s sake, a ground cover is different from a cover crop. While cover crops are annual plants designed to die and provide mulch for your plants, ground covers are flowery perennials made to last. 

If you’re looking to incorporate ground covers into your landscaping at your lake house, check out some of our favorite kinds.

Bugleweed

Photo courtesy of Gardenia.net

Members of the mint family, bugleweed plants are a common ground cover in zones 3-10. These fast-growing plants are known for filling in shady areas where grass is less likely to grow. Their ability to spread throughout a landscape is also reflected in their species name, reptans, which means “creeping.” In warm climates, bugleweeds are evergreen but are most beautiful in summer. This is when their purple blossoms stand out in your garden.

Creeping Phlox

Photo courtesy of Gardenia.net

These small ground covers, perennial in most regions (zones 3-9), are a popular evergreen choice. Most times during the year, the creeping phlox doesn’t draw much attention to itself. However, these small pink, blue, and white star-pointed flowers particularly shine in springtime. When planting these in your yard, be sure to cut them after flowering to promote a second bloom in the following year.

Hosta

Photo courtesy of Gardening Know How

Reliable perennials, hostas make excellent ground covers across a variety of gardening zones. These ground covers boast tall white and purple flowers during the warmer months. At colder times in the year, their leaves are still stunning. Today, there are over 2,500 variations of hosta plants, making these some of the most popular ground covers. When deciding how much sun exposure to give them, you can use the plant’s color as a rule of thumb. A darker hosta will adapt better in the shade, while those with lighter leaves enjoy the sun.

Sweet Woodruff

Photo courtesy of Mother Earth Living

Want a simple, timeless look for your garden? The sweet woodruff, which blossoms lacy white flowers in warmer months, is a popular ground cover for those in zones 4-8. Keep in mind that it can be an invasive plant in moist soil, which makes it harder to keep under control. However, the plus side to its invasiveness is that it’s very low maintenance. So if you don’t mind it overtaking an entire section of your backyard, this plant may be perfect for you.

Sedums

Photo courtesy of The Spruce

For lake homeowners looking to avoid high-maintenance ground covers, sedums are one of the more forgiving plants out there. Their thick, drought resistant qualities, typical of most succulents, make them quite hardy. It’s no wonder they’re often named among the best  evergreen ground covers. Sedums come in a variety of different species including dragon’s blood, blue spice, and lime twister. Typically found in climates with milder winters, these ground covers flourish best where it’s warm. 

From our backyard to yours, happy landscaping!

Best Materials for Creating a Backyard Walkway

Photo courtesy of Swenson Granite Works

When designing your lake house’s backyard, low-maintenance landscaping strategies can help you cut down on manual labor and reduce water waste. One often overlooked tip for a stress-free backyard is incorporating hardscapes. In particular, walkways are an excellent choice. Not only do they minimize your grass maintenance workload, but they’re also beautiful. The contrast between grass and a material like brick or stone adds an element of visual interest to your lakeside curb. If you’re thinking about installing a backyard walkway into your landscape, check out these ideas for inspiration.

Stepping Stones

Photo courtesy of How to Build a House Blog

For anyone who prefers DIY over hiring a professional, this backyard walkway idea is for you. To make a stone walkway at your lake house, all you need is several large stones. Just arrange them over grass to form a simple yet beautiful pathway through your backyard. To create a more interesting, rustic look, pick stones of all different shapes. The DIY Network walks you through this easy process with their tutorial.

Gravel

Photo courtesy of GAP via This Old House

Gravel is an easy, inexpensive way to create a stunning walkway. These small stones come in all different colors and sizes so that you can customize the path to your liking. You can even add stone material alongside the path to evoke a more structured look. To ensure the gravel doesn’t wash away in bad weather, The Gardener of Good and Evil has instructions on creating a foolproof DIY gravel walkway.

Pallet Wood

Photo courtesy of Funky Junk Interiors

At a lake house, a rustic pathway through your lakeside garden is certainly fitting. If you want to lean into the natural look, use pallet wood to create your backyard walkway. Plus, if you incorporate space between the wide wooden boards, it allows room for plants to grow. Laura from Garden Answer demonstrates a budget-friendly way to create one of these charming pathways. For this DIY project, all you need are wooden planks and some basic power tools.

Brick

Photo courtesy of Family Handyman

A brick walkway is perfect if you prefer a more upscale, polished look. This design also allows for customization, so you can arrange these bricks however you’d like. While a herringbone pattern is classic, you could also organize these stones in many patterns, alternating between vertical and horizontal to create visual interest. As brick pathways are a bit harder to DIY, installing this yourself is possible, as demonstrated in this HGTV tutorial. Just be sure to take the time to level out the ground first.

Mulch

Photo courtesy of Bob Vila

With a backyard walkway made from mulch, you’ll immediately make your guests feel like they’re entering a botanical wonderland. DIY friendly, this material evokes a strong sense of natural beauty. It’s a perfect combination of rugged and sophisticated. Mulch is also easy to combine with other materials such as stone. The blog Pretty Handy Girl details instructions for creating mulch and stone walkway combinations. 

 

Mosaic

Photo courtesy of Fine Gardening

Want to invoke the same aesthetic as the Ancient Romans? Installing a mosaic walkway is a great way to impress all your guests. It immediately gives off an elegant, stately essence. Due to its complexity, many lake homeowners would have a mosaic walkway installed by a professional. However, if you’re interested in the DIY route, follow these instructions from This Old House. By creating a mosaic pathway yourself, you can incorporate your own creative designs into the mix.

Concrete

Photo courtesy of Home Talk via Pinterest

Concrete is one of the most popular choices because of its versatility. It comes in a variety of colors, so you can stick to a beige industrial look or opt for a darker gray tone for a faux-stone aesthetic. Concrete also gives off a striking impression when contrasted with grass, as its smooth surface stands out against textured greenery. If you want to use concrete for your backyard walkway, The Family Handyman has tips on how to DIY. 

No matter what material you choose, we wish you the best of luck with your backyard walkway DIY project!

DIY Dried-Flower Crafts

Photo courtesy of Design Sponge

On the Lake Homes Realty blog, one of our most popular DIY posts is about brightening your lake home with dried flowers. Repurposing withered blooms can spruce up your home in a simple yet sophisticated way while adding a touch of biophilic design. Although hanging dried flowers create an elegant look (it’s incredible what you can do with a little twine and hairspray), it isn’t the only option for your lake home. This week, we’re thinking outside the box. There are many ways to incorporate dried flowers into your crafting projects, including decor, utilities, and accessories. From wall art to coasters, you can’t go wrong with these DIY dried-flower crafts.

Pressed-Flower Monograms

Photo courtesy of DIYS.com

Once flowers begin to dry, pressing them is a great idea to preserve the natural colors. This involves using a book or another heavy object to push the remaining moisture out of flowers so the flat pieces can be used to create a design. These framed monograms made from delicate dried flowers add an element of creativity to your lake home. Plus, they’re easy to DIY. Check out this video for the instructions.

Dried-Flower Terrarium

Photo courtesy of The Smart Local

Need a new centerpiece for your table? Or a flowery decoration for your mantle? This simple, DIY dried-flower craft is a perfect addition to your lake home. The geometric glass container with a stylish brushed metal accent will add a contemporary feel to your living room. All you need are dried flowers and sand to complete the look. At Afloral.com, you can get the full tutorial.

Dried-Flower Sachets

Photo courtesy of DIYS.com

While driving to your remote lake house, you’re spending plenty of time in the car. And nothing is worse than an unpleasant smell on a long road trip. Rather than buying an air freshener from the gas station, try using some leftover dried flowers to create these beautifully scented sachets. You’ll need a few other materials, such as wax molds, but this elegant end product is well worth the effort. Hearth & Vine’s blog features more detailed instructions on these DIY dried-flower sachets.

Dried-Flower Bath Salts

Photo courtesy of Almost Makes Perfect

Looking to repurpose those dried roses you’ve been saving? Mix in some Epsom salts, sea salt, baking soda, and essential oils for a decadent bath-salt mixture. Using this tutorial from Almost Makes Perfect, you’ll be able to make dozens of batches at once. Besides treating yourself to a bubble bath at the lake, these bath salts also make excellent gifts!

Floral Phone Case

Photo courtesy of LotusWei

For this craft, all you need is a clear phone case. You can even coordinate the color of your phone to compliment the flowers you choose. To create this easy DIY phone case, as outlined by LouisWei, just take a few dried flowers and press them on the inside of a clear phone case. Then, snap it onto your phone and — voila! For a more involved version, check out these instructions that incorporate a clear resin to hold the dried flowers in place.

 

Dried-Flower Coasters

Photo courtesy of Frankie Magazine

When dining at your lake house, these coasters are the perfect accessory to showcase your connection to nature. Plus, the brushed metal and glass look is fresh and stylish. Ideal for a friend who loves the lake, they make an easy and thoughtful gift. You can even pick their favorite flowers to use in your coaster creation.

Pressed-Flower Lanterns

Photo courtesy of A Practical Wedding

During the pandemic, we’ve become experts at hosting guests outdoors. When gathering friends around a fire pit, this collection of DIY dried-flower lanterns evokes an elegant ambiance. Especially around dusk, this soft lighting will bring out a sense of warmth at your lake house. To create them, you need pressed flowers and greenery, wax paper, a cutting board, and an iron. These instructions from A Practical Wedding will help guide you! 

We hope these crafts inspire you to put those dried flowers to use this spring!