pretty patios

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Patio, deck, porch: whatever you have, you should enjoy it! No matter the size, make the most of it with fun, cozy and inviting pieces to maximize your quality down time. The end of summer is a great time to find killer deals on outdoor furniture and accessories.

Seating
Whether you have enough room for 2 people for 20, you should have comfortable seating to relax and engage in conversation. Here are 2 of many options to get started:
Buy or DIY 

Entertainment
Once your seating is set, bring on the activities for entertaining friends or quality family time. Bring your mixology skills outside, play games or even set up an outdoor movie viewing. These fun DIY projects will get you rolling:
DIY Beverage Center
Giant Jenga
Movie Screen & Projector

Decor
Pick items that mean summer to you! Bright colors? Fun patterns? Neutral all around? What about a bohemian flair? There are great finds on Target, Wayfair, Walmart, Home Depot, At Home and more! 

Visit this issue’s Pinterest board for more outdoor living inspiration.

choosing countertops

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Does your kitchen need a face-lift? New countertops might be the perfect way to update your space without a full reno. There are so many countertop choices available now, here’s some help in deciding which one is right for you.

Your Look
Browse online and in magazines to figure out what look you are going for. Do you like the clean classic look of marble? The rustic and industrial look of concrete? The high-contrast look of a simple black granite on white cabinets? Once you have a vision, check out local big-box retailers, or better yet, a countertop specialist to start narrowing your choices down. Many will even let you bring a sample home to make sure it’s the perfect fit for your space.

Practicality
Say you love the look of marble, but you have three kids and a love of food coloring. Never fear! Alternatives are here! Keep in mind that granite is a porous natural material, so it can absorb stains, especially the lighter colored options. Quartz is quickly becoming the countertop of choice for its near indestructibly and now huge variety. There are great looking (and budget-friendly) laminate options out there too.

Be Adventurous 
Although the most popular material out there is granite, do you really want to be like everyone else? Be adventurous and look into some interesting counters. Materials like: Concrete Butcher BlockStainless Steel and Soapstone are great options that will make your kitchen anything but blah.

In the end, choose what you love and will want to look at every day. Know that there are many alternatives to expensive materials. Try something different and fun! 

Visit this issue’s Pinterest board for more countertop inspiration.