Curb Appeal

Updating Door Hardware

We recently updated an exterior door, painted the front door, and upgraded our fence door; so now we have door hardware on our minds! We’ve found a LOT of modern options for doors when it comes to aesthetics AND security. Let’s see what we can find on Amazon!

Did you know?! Copper, brass, and bronze door handles are naturally “antimicrobial?” Meaning, door knobs made of these materials continuously fight germs and bacteria all on their own, while standing up to the wear and tear of daily living. Who knew!

Entryway Doors:

The hardware on a door can make an old door look more modern. (Once you update the hardware, you’re probably going to want to paint it too – luckily we have an article to show you how we did it and what products we used.)

If security is your concern:

Touch pad and keyless options are popular, because most models allow you to change the “pin” as often as you want. That’s like getting a new lock and key every month, should you desire it. There’s also models where you can set specific PIN numbers for specific people so you know what happened, by who, and when; should anything go awry.

For an extra sense of doorway security, consider popular doorbell camera options. Even upgrading an old non-working doorbell can help better alert you to guests on your doorstep.

Security isn’t just for entry doors and doorways. Secure closets and storage spaces with interior versions.

Non-Locking Doors:

“Passage doors” (doors without locks) are fantastic places to introduce a little decorative flare. Consider these “pretty” door knobs that are faceted shimmering glass, brushed brass, or oiled bronze.

Speaking of non-locking doors; you can even update dresser and cabinet pulls to match your fancy new door knobs with these options.

Sliding Doors:

Bring an old patio door back to life with new slider hardware.

Don’t Forget the Garage:

A garage door might not have traditional handles, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give this door a simple update with accent magnets, keyless entry, and rubber moulding to help keep the rain out during storms.

Fence Gates:

You can even update old rickety fence door handles. (However, updating the whole fence tends to warrant a professional.)

How will you be sprucing up your home this spring? Share your home project wins with us on our social @DeAnnaAndCompany 

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Buying a Home in 2023

It’s no secret that the 2022 real estate market was a volatile one. Today we’re discussing the current real estate market to decide if home ownership in 2023 is a viable option for you.

  • Goldman Sachs’ G-10 home price model suggests home prices will decline by around 5% to 10%from the peak.
  • Freddie Mac anticipates the for-sale cost of a home to drop .2% in 2023.
  • These stats are from this article on Houwzer.

While it is not predicted that housing costs will drop significantly in 2023, it is widely predicted that prices and loan rates will remain more stable, rising slowly instead of the craziness that was 2022. However, in order to get that stabilization of the market, interest rates remain higher than average. What that means for consumers is less home for more payment.

All hope is not lost. Home ownership is still an option for a lot of people with steady incomes and good credit. It’s important that you start behaving like you are applying for a home loan, even before you start looking for the house.

  • Keep paying the rent on time.
  • Make credit card payments on time.
  • Make auto loan payments on time.
  • Do not make any new big purchases.
  • Do not apply for new credit; which includes not financing things like furniture or big trips.
  • Do not buy a new car just because you are tired of the old one.

“How do I buy a home in this market? Everything I want is so expensive and home ownership seems impossible.”

This is the hard part. We believe, if you are committed to being a home owner, you must enter the market as soon as you can, even if the house you can afford does not check ALL of your boxes. To explain, you might have to get a starter home that appropriately reflects your budget, not your dreams. While you may *want* 5 bedrooms, but only *need* 2; find a desirable property that gets you into a home and matches your budget. In other words, new home hunters will likely have to settle for a bit less than they desire.

“If I buy within my budget, what should I be looking for?”

You should still look for *smaller* versions of your ideal home. Find the “worst” house in the best neighborhood.

“What do you mean by ‘Worst home in the Best Neighborhood?'”

Think mild to moderate fixer upper. Look for a solid home with “good bones,” but may need help with cosmetic things like paint, landscaping, updating cabinetry or faucets, etc. Ask your realtor if there is any inspection information available for the homes you are interested in. If you find a home, be sure to get an inspection on the property before you buy the home. Find a home that needs a little love, but not one that will become a money pit. Home Inspectors can help you identify the potential of expensive problems like:

  • Outdated electrical
  • Structural issues
  • Plumbing problems (especially ones that seem to be reoccurring)
  • Water well trouble
  • Sink hole warnings
  • Septic tank issues

“Why should I buy a home that is not my dream home?”

When you are a home owner, you leverage your current home to get you into your next home. It becomes easier to buy the next level of home when your current home increases in value.

“If I am already a home owner but am struggling with inflation and making mortgage payments, what is your advice?”

Make. Your. Mortgage. Payments. Defaulting on your mortgage impacts your credit score significantly. You need good credit to get credit. Equally important payments to attend to are:

  • Credit Cards
  • Auto Loans

If you are struggling, do not put items you cannot afford on credit. Credit cards should only be used to buy you a little time and build your credit, not to “worry about later” or purchase things you cannot afford.

We have created a list of income leeching culprits to investigate to help you FIND MONEY QUICKLY without creating a “budget.” Check out the article here.

What is the downside to owning a home?

The downside is, you pay for everything. There is no more landlord to “fix” things for free, so you want to keep in mind that there will be hidden costs of home ownership. Typical expenses that arise (usually over several years) of owning a home are;

  • Lawn Care
  • Pest Control
  • Tools
  • Broken Appliances
  • Broken Water Heaters
  • Failing Air Conditioners
  • Plumbing Issues
  • Roofing and Leaks

What is the upside of owning a home, rather than renting?

YOUR Investment: The upside of home ownership is the money you used to pay to some else as rent, becomes an investment in something YOU OWN and can leverage for future housing.

Predictable Payments: Home ownership with a fixed rate also locks you into a predictable payment, instead of getting the rent raised on you again and again.

No more moving to save money: In a similar vein, when you own a home, you don’t have to move again every 6 months to a year just to get a better rental rate from another landlord.

Refinancing for even lower payments/loan rates: A few years in to owning the home, should interest rates drop, you can refinance your mortgage loan to potentially receive an even lower predictable payment. (That’s where you call us again! 😃)

How can I help my children buy a home in the future?

If you can afford to finance a second property, that is the best way you can secure a home for your children in the future. This is a means to lock in today’s purchase prices, instead of the potentially higher home pricing that will exist 10 to 20 years from now. The idea is; investing in a second property now and using that home as a way to generate extra income through renters. In the future the property would be turned over to their grown children; to live in, leverage for another home, or manage the rental for income.

Home Ownership is a topic that we could discuss forever, and this article is aimed to give a general insight into purchasing a home in 2023. We feel it is better to get advice based on real-world numbers for individual situations. Call us for a more personalized suggestion based on your client’s or your own exact situation.

Contact DeAnna today! D&CO. is always here to help with your mortgage and industry questions.

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Shop Small!

Here are a few of our favorite places for SHOPPING SMALL and LOCAL in Central Florida this holiday season!

CLERMONT AREA 

  • Kim’s Cabbage Patch – Local produce, plants, and specialty items.
  • The Winter Garden Farmer’s Market – Local vendors, food, crafts, and artists. Saturday mornings.
  • Sunshine Book Company – An independent book store with goods from creative vendors.
  • South Lake Animal League Thrift Shop – Find some gifts and help animals at the same time.
  • Gray Bridal Boutique – Not just for weddings. They have a great selection of non-bridal jewelry and clothing.
  • McKenley Rae Boutique – Fashion, sunglasses, and jewelry.
  • Sugar Mama’s Candy Bar – “A sweet experience” candy store with retro favorites and holiday finds, but check out their handmade candy-inspired beverage counter. Their “coolers” are Instagram-worthy drink creations!
  • Ritter’s Frozen Custard – Stop in for burgers, frozen custards, but also whole frozen custard cakes and pies for holiday meals and parties. 

 NEAR APOPKA 

  • Kasheta Farms, Inc. – Live Christmas trees, a farmer’s market, with a small vendors fair on the weekends. 
  • Deb’s Garden Shop at the Liner Patch – Plants and pottery.
  • Aunt Gingibread’s Bakery – Delicious cakes, pies, and GINGERBREAD!
  • Yalaha Bakery – Breads, rolls, soft pretzels, cookies, desserts.
  • Yalaha Bootlegging Company – If gifting alcohol is your thing: this is a local Craft Distillery. They also sell AMAZING PIES!
  • Maters & Taters Produce – Local produce.
  • Trader Mae’s – Local vendors with all kinds of goods, candles, jams, antiques, furniture, and handmade merchandise too.
  • Porky’s BBQ – If you’re hosting a holiday party, Porky’s smoked ribs, pork, chicken, or brisket by the pound are a crowd pleaser.
  • Sweet Memories Cookie Co. – Our favorite custom cookie maker in Lady Lake!

 Just incase you need to REST from all that shopping in Apopka: 

 MOUNT DORA 

  • Stroll down 5th Avenue or Donnelly. Most shops in downtown Mount Dora are small businesses, and this town KNOWS HOW TO SHOW IT’S HOLIDAY CHEER! Lights and decorations everywhere!
  • Maggie’s Attic – A great single-bottle beer and wine selection – often with many seasonal and celebratory flavors. Drink them there or bag bottles to go.

 ORLANDO-ISH 

  • The Southern Home Bakery – Sugar cookies that are as beautiful as they are absolutely DELICIOUS! Makes great gifts! (Edgewater)
  • Petty’s – Gourmet meats, cheeses, and more. (Longwood)
  • The Winter Park Farmer’s Market – Local produce, handmade goods, food, plants, and more. Saturday mornings in the park near the train station.
  • Light on the Sugar – Light and airy pastry desserts (Winter Park)
  • The East End Market – Small business food vendors (desserts, breads, cheeses, cured meats). Also vendors with gift-worthy goods too. (Main level and upstairs.) They also host outdoor pop-up events with local art/craft/handmade/artisan vendors outside too. (Audubon Park)

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Choosing the Perfect Christmas Tree!

Does shopping for a tree leave you confused? We’ve got our tried and true tips for picking the perfect tree whether it’s artificial or real.

Artificial vs. Real Trees? Which is better?

It’s really up to you, there is no one option that is “better” than the other. This is really a question of your personal aesthetics. Modern artificial trees are pretty convincing in look and feel, yet there is also something magical about the smell and look of a real tree.

If you still can’t decide, consider your home’s storage space:

  • If you have space to store it, an artificial tree is typically less maintenance because it doesn’t have to be watered.
  • If you are short on space, a real tree is great because you get rid of it at the end of the holiday season. Note: real trees are more maintenance because they need regular watering to stay green and not turn into a fire hazard.

Think of a real tree as a giant bouquet of flowers,

no water = no longevity.

Start with the basics, know your numbers:

    • How tall are the ceilings in the space where the Christmas tree will be displayed? Ideally, your tree should have at least a foot or two of space over the top of it. No one wants a smooshed angel.
    • How wide is the area?
    • Bring a tape measure with you to verify your selection. Don’t end up like the Griswold’s. 😅
    • Trees on the lot are usually LARGER than you think. Trees bought online or in a box are often SMALLER than you think. (We’ll get into why below.)

How to choose an artificial tree:

  • If shopping online, or by an unopened box, trees are often smaller than we think. They are measured from the tallest point on the tree, which is usually a long stick to hold the tree topper. I bought a 3′ tree online, and it seems much smaller than that in person, but when I measured it, it is exactly 3′ to the tip top, and that top stick is about 7″ on it’s own.
  • Pre-lit trees are beautiful, but don’t count on it lasting forever. The lights on these go out as often as a string of lights would. However, they do make it much easier to concentrate on the fun parts of decorating, rather than untangling strings of lights. Just know at some point, you will probably need to supplement pre-lit trees with string lights.
    • You can extend the life of the tree and lights by storing the tree in a cooler place like a closet, rather than a garage or attic.
    • Keep the box. Follow breakdown and set up instructions for optimal performance.
    • Look for tree options with LED lights, as they often have a longer shelf life and cost less to operate.

How to choose a real tree:

  • Shop at a tree lot, where the trees have been sustainably harvested – ideally from a Christmas tree farm. Trees that are harvested properly, shaped, and cared for often last longer.
  • Look for green needles. A healthy tree will have springy needles on somewhat flexible branches. If the needles immediately fall off and the branches are brittle, the tree is too dry.
  • Be cautious with festive “colorful” trees: sometimes the vibrantly colored trees can be hiding imperfections or a withering tree.
  • Remember: trees on the lot or farm will always LOOK smaller than they actually are because there is so much open space above and around them. Be sure to measure.
  • Timing is everything: The trees are usually freshest and most maintained at the start of the holiday season. The longer trees are sitting on the lot (especially in the Florida heat) the more dried out they become.

Live tree care is pretty simple:

  • If the x-mas tree lot has the service or if you are confident doing it yourself, cut an inch or so off of the trunk to assure the tree is drawing enough fresh water to sustain itself.
  • Top off the water often, we do it daily – you’d be surprised how much water a tree drinks!

The best kind of stands for live trees:

After trying every kind of stand on the market, the ones that are a wide solid base are the best. (Like these options found on Amazon, shown above.) The water stays inside, the stands don’t tip, there’s no assembly required, and the screws make it possible to hold varying sizes of tree trunks. (Even uneven trunks.)

If you’re choosing between trees that have already been wrapped up:

Sometimes big box stores like Walmart sell trees that are already wrapped up. These are a little trickier to choose from, but:

  • Inspect the top of the tree area to ensure it is full all they way up to the tallest point.
  • Look for an even body of the package. If it sinks in on one side, that side is less full.
  • Look at the trunk where it is cut, it should look fresh and light brown.
  • Again, look for green needles. A healthy tree will have springy needles on somewhat flexible branches. If the needles immediately fall off and the branches are brittle, the tree is too dry.
  • If there are ones sitting in water, and ones laying out on a fence – start with the ones in the water. They have been kept hydrated.
  • When you unbundle your tree, don’t panic if it looks smooshed. It takes a little while for the branches to fall into place.
    • Set the tree in it’s stand with water, unwrap and gently train the branches.
    • Leave the tree to hydrate in the stand for an hour or longer before decorating. The tree should be settled by then.

Christmas trees might be our absolute favorite thing about the holiday season!

Share your tree designs and tips with us on our social!

Tag @DeAnnaAndCompany on Facebook or Instagram.

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Fall Table Decor

Autumnal Tablescapes

A tablescape doesn’t have to be extremely elaborate to be enjoyable. Using simple things like fall colored vases, candles, with seasonal ceramics and crockery can create a wonderfully inviting table for the big meal. Here are some ideas to get you brainstorming.

When gathering items, think “FALL” colors: creams, mustards, oranges, cranberry reds, chocolate browns, etc.

You might already have everything you need! These common household items can make charming tablescapes: 

    • Candles and votives (Don’t light them though, it gets too hot, and becomes a fire hazard when guests are jumbling dinner plates. Opt for LED pillars if you’d like the flickering ambiance.)
    • Small frosted vases
    • Decorative teacups and kettles
    • Creamers, saucers, salt and pepper shakers
    • Cake plates
    • Wooden bowls, spoons, plates
    • Mix and match place settings

Get Creative:

  • Create a grateful jar, where guests can write down things they are grateful for this year, and place them into a cookie-type jar at the center of the table; read the submissions together over dinner or dessert.
  • Add texture to your design with (*washed and air dried*) sprigs of pine, twigs, leaves, or pine cones you find in the yard.
  • Arrange a variety of small photo frames with pictures of:
    • Joyous shared occasions, milestones, and celebrations
    • People, pets, and things you (the host) are grateful for
    • Invite guests to bring small photos of people/pets/things they are grateful for, share stories about the photos
    • Old black and white photos
    • Photos of older friends and family when they were very young, ask them about the photos
    • Pretty photos of fall nature
  • Hand lettered name cards
  • Fancy folded napkins – we used this video on YouTube.
  • Make focal arrangements with faux pumpkins, or miniature real pumpkins and squash

However, if you’re looking to *up* your fall table decor game, check out these finds from Amazon!

Pumpkin Soup Bowls:

Autumn colored/themed Dinnerware:

Harvest Colored Drinkware:

Reusable Name Plates:

Pumpkin Salt and Pepper Shakers:

Remote Controlled LED Fall Candles:

Fall Decoration Stems:

Autumnal Table Runners:

Best Browsing for Fall Finds:

Some of our favorite places to browse for fall decor is right here around town!

Big box retailers: Tuesday Mornings, Homegoods, TJ Maxx, Michael’s, Ross, and Hobby Lobby never disappoint with their seasonal offerings.

Try antiquing: Renniger’s, the various shops in downtown Mount Dora, and the Antique District near downtown Orlando have a good selection of antiques in fall colors and holiday themes too.

Pop-Up Markets and Craft Festivals: Winter Garden, Sanford, Mount Dora, the Milk District in downtown Orlando, and the Audubon Park area near Leu Gardens usually have fall and holiday themed festivals with many vendors offering holiday decor.

If you know of additional places around town for holiday decorating finds, share with us on Facebook or Instagram: @DeAnnaAndCompany

Thanksgiving is really about being together and enjoying each other’s company. Decorating should be simply for the fun of it. Any design elements you incorporate to the table are a bonus on this day of gratitude, not required to make your meal more meaningful.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING from D&CO.

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Cheer for Fall Beers!

“It’s the most won-der-ful tiiiiime, for the beeeeeeers!”

(The fall sugar rimmed beer that started it all. Motorworks Brewing in Bradenton, FL.)

Whether they be Oktoberfest beers, pumpkin ales, brown/red ales with caramel and spiced flavors… fall beers are DeAnna’s absolute favorite beers of the year!

Sip them, DeAnna style: In our opinion, the top notch, BEST-OF-THE-BEST way to drink pumpkin ales are in chilled pint glasses, rimmed with brown sugar and cinnamon. We’re currently loving the pre-mixed sugar rim sold at Eden Abbey Brewing Community in Mount Dora. (They also have a nice selection of seasonal brews that made her list, so be sure to stop for a pint or two!)

Okay, now here’s the ***very important*** (and DeAnna-tested) 2022 FALL BREWS MENU. DeAnna says you can’t go wrong with any one of these seasonal fall finds.

DeAnna’s 2022 Fall Brews Menu

  • Cigar City Brewing; Good Gourd Imperial Pumpkin Ale
  • D9 Brewing Co; Head of the Horseman Imperial Pumpkin Ale
  • Elysian by Chucky; A Killer Wit Beer with Pumpkin and Cranberry
  • Elysian; Night Owl Pumpkin Ale
  • Elysian; The Great Pumpkin Imperial Pumpkin Ale
  • Elysian; Dark O’ the Moon Pumpkin Stout
  • O’Fallon Brewery; Salted Caramel Pumpkin Beer
  • O’Fallon Brewery; Pumpkin Cheesecake Cream Ale
  • O’Fallon Brewery; Chai Pumpkin Porter
  • Pontoon Brewing; The Great Punkin’ Spice
  • Shipyard; Pumpkin Head Hard Seltzer
  • Tampa Bay Brewing Co.; Gourds Gone Wild Pumpkin Ale

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5/5

Good Gourd from Cigar City Brewing. It’s just the perfect beer for fall. It’s available on tap at Maggie’s Attic in Mount Dora. We found cans for purchase at Cigar City Brewing in Tampa.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5/5

Gourds Gone Wild from Tampa Bay Brewing Company. This one is a little different take on pumpkin, which is a delicious way to mix it up. Found at Tampa Bay Brewing Company.

If seltzer is your thing, we’ve heard Pumpkin Head Hard Seltzer is a popular one for fall, an interesting idea but not one of DeAnna favorites. She’d rather have the fall-in-a-glass beer flavors!

Honestly, this year we found an autumnal ale wonderland at Eden Abby Brewing Community in Mount Dora! If you’re looking to partake, stop in for any one of these on-theme tasty treats!

Find The Best FALL BREWS of 2022 in Florida at:

Eden Abbey – 405 S Highland St, Mt Dora, FL 32757

Maggie’s Attic – 237 West 4th Av. Mount Dora, FL 32757

Motorworks Brewing – 1014 9th Street West Bradenton, FL 34205

Cigar City Brewing – 3924 W. Spruce St. Tampa, FL 33607

Tampa Bay Brewing Co. – 1600 East 8th Ave Tampa, FL 33605

Also, don’t forget about the German American Society Oktoberfest! It’s always a fun time with good beers and great food in the fresh fall air!

When: October 22, 2022 

Where: The German American Society

381 Orange Ln, Casselberry, FL 32707

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We Tested Three House Painting Methods So You Don’t Have To

The long and short of it is: there is no “fast” way to paint a house that produces a “professional” end result. No matter which method you choose, achieving that professional level look means a LOT of time must be spent on the fine details. “Details” like of taping off moulding and bases, blocking out the windows, pressure washing, clearing a path in bushes and shrubs along the house, prepping machines and tools, cleaning brushes and paint equipment, etc. All these little things ate up the majority of our time, but it really made a difference in the end result. The good news is, when it comes to physically painting – there ARE faster ways! We tested three different methods for painting. Here’s how it went.

The ratings below are based on painting the house exterior only.

Professional Paint Sprayer:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5/5 Stars

We used the Graco Magnum X5 True Airless Sprayer, purchased at our local Sherwin Williams.

This machine works, and works well, and fast too! Coverage was even and we could paint for quite a while before running out of paint. The end result looks like a professional paint job. There were never any machine malfunctions to troubleshoot. We followed the directions closely and there were no road blocks to getting the painting done.

The downside: It takes a lot of prep work just to paint and clean up. There are buckets you need for water, meshes to strain the paint, a series of steps for priming the machine, some steps to walk through when you need to change out the paint, then just about as much to clean the machine when you are done. Once you are all set up though, painting with this machine was the fastest, most accurate painting method of the three we tried.

Would I use this machine inside? I don’t think so. Unless, it was an empty house, and no one was living there at the time. There seemed to be a lot of super fine paint mist, so I can’t see that fairing well inside of a lived-in home.

Hand Held Spray Painter:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 3.75/5 Stars

We purchased the Wagner Power Painter Wide Shot Pro at our local Lowes. We think this model might have been updated, because we can no longer find this exact one on their website.

This little thing worked well too. The coverage was better than expected. While the tiny reservoir and coverage was no comparison to the professional machine, it did last *much* longer than paint would on a roller brush, so it was still way faster than traditional painting. It got into stucco nooks, cover wood, and porous cement with no problems.

I started a stucco wall in the back yard with a roller brush while my husband used the professional machine out front, and very quickly thought I was going to lose my mind – so I was extremely happy to have this little Wagner painter machine, flaws and all!

The downside: Refilling was a little messy, and there was time lost in troubleshooting malfunction. The machine seemed to clog easily. A spring inside also broke while we were using it, and the only place with replacements was Amazon – which meant waiting another day or two to finish.

Would I use this machine inside? If it were a very large room and wall… maybe. But again, there is a fine mist when you use it. However, the outside application was very good.

Traditional Brush and Roller:

⭐️ 1/5 Stars*

*Note: 1/5 stars rating is for EXTERIORS. Brushes and rollers remain our 5/5 favorite method for detail work and interiors.

We purchased a variety of brushes and rollers for stucco, wood, concrete, and smooth surfaces from our local Home Depot and Lowe’s stores.

Would I use this method outside? Only on the detail painting, like window trims and doors. With the majority of Florida homes having stucco exteriors, rolling paint – even with the appropriate roller or brush for the surface means going over spots several times just to get in all of the nooks and crannies. Painting with a sprayer is MUCH faster. I’m talking easily 10 times as fast. We will never paint the majority of a house exterior without a paint spray machine ever again.

Note: No matter what way you decide to paint a house, make sure to follow the paint directions for application, climate, and clean up guidelines. Don’t forget to use the appropriate ventilator mask and eye protection. Paint particles and eyes/lungs just don’t mix.

Have you recently painted your house? What are your tips? Share them in the comments on our Facebook and Instagram: @DeAnnaAndCompany

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Patio and Porch Refresh

Time to give our porches and patios a little TLC. Here are some simple finds from Amazon and ideas for refreshing those outdoor spaces just in time for the end of summer cookouts and the coziness of fall.

Start with a clean slate. Getting everything out of the area will allow for easier deep cleaning. Seeing the space cleared out may even inspire new ways to arrange and decorate. Properly cleaning and prepping the area will ensure the hard work of painting and decorating will last for several seasons. We recommend: a pressure washer with a circular attachment “surface cleaner” because it can cut cleaning time by 50-75%! Additionally, proper pressure washing can revive dingy wood, hearty plastics, and pvc type furniture too. Just be sure to use the right pressure for the material and paint or seal after.

If it’s dingy, consider painting it. Keep in mind: paints are not all-purpose. Paints are formulated to adhere to particular materials and to be used in specific environments. Check the labels to ensure you purchase a quality paint (with great reviews) created for your exact surfaces and environments.

Paint plastics with confidence. Plastic items like side tables, planters, and even furniture can be salvaged with a little cleaning and a coat of the appropriate spray paint for the surface. Choose a brand that mentions “for outdoor use” and the type of surface(s) you plan to paint. We used Behr indoor/outdoor spray paint for multiple surfaces from our local Home Depot. We chose this brand specifically for the designer colors offered, multiple surface capability, and the advertised “corrosion resistance.” It’s been over a year and our plastic planters and mailbox are still looking fresh!

Note: Always follow instructions and pay attention to the cautions listed on the paint can.

Choosing paint colors: If the space has high traffic and use, grays and darker colors may be a better fit. If you prefer lighter colors, consider off whites, creams, and light gray colors that will hide foot traffic better than bright whites. Remember, colors often dry a little darker than you may anticipate, and very light colors can dry a bit brighter than you think so it’s okay to walk the white swatches down a few steps to achieve a more likable, gentler color when it’s applied on the large scale of the ground or walls.

Stencil your way to a fancier space. Stencils can give the feel of tile, without all of the expense. We searched “how to use outdoor stencils” on YouTube and found a lot of helpful tips for using stencils and templates on concrete patios. Two we enjoyed were “Cutting Edge Stencils” for a professional stencil approach, and “House Mix Blog” for a more diy template (use what you have laying around) approach. Both approaches produced a professional end result.

Use the right tools for the job. Cutting corners seems like easy the way to go until everything falls apart and you end up spending twice the amount of money to fix it. You don’t need to go overboard but get the right paint brush roller, choose high quality paint, buy the stencil adhesive… it will make life easier in the long run and ensure a quality end result.

If you’re overwhelmed start small.

Try working on a space by completing a task or two at a time:

  • Step 1 – Clear out the space.
  • Step 2 – Sort items into “keep,” “toss,” and “donate” categories. Clean the “keep” items and prep for spray painting, if desired.
  • Step 3 – Pressure wash.
  • Step 4 – Spray paint the cleaned/prepped furniture and accessories.
  • Step 5 – Prep the patio by taping off the edges, sweep, and start painting.
  • Step 6 – Finish painting/stenciling.
  • Step 7 – Decorate!

By working a step at a time, the space will be dazzling by the end of the week!

Some decoration inspiration:

Don’t feel like painting? No problem!

An outdoor weather proof rug can make the space feel instantly fancier.

Then add some furniture to relax in, or a pop of new pillow covers.

A bit of shade that gives the daytime resort vibes:

And a little *twinkle* to the nights with remote controlled “outdoor light bulb garland.”

Did someone say dining al fresco?

Make shift bar carts and decorative ice chests add color and fun, while shatterproof tumblers and dishes are a pool owner’s dream.

Love a good deal?

Keep an eye out for sales at your local home improvement stores staring this month. We’ve notice August (or when a potential storm is looming) tends to start the clearance of summer and patio merchandise. We’ve found whole patio sets and Adirondack rocking chairs on sale for %50 OFF. What a deal!

Show off your exterior design skills. Share your before and after patio/porch refresh pics with us!

Via email: DeAnna(at)goffmc .com

Or on Instagram and Facebook: @DeAnnaAndCompany