Michael Nash Design, Build & Homes

Monday, April 25, 2011

Spring hints for your outdoor life

There is more to our homes than their indoor rooms and nothing emphasizes that more than spring’s arrival. As the season progresses, we increasingly find ourselves outside and quickly realize that is where we want to spend more time as the temperatures rise.

We also realize that we want the outside of our homes both beautiful and functional. This often means a bit of remodeling to achieve our ideal outdoors.

Decks, fences and gazebos

Decks can be big or small; single level or multi-level. They may be elevated or ground level, freestanding or right off the house. They can be the border of your pool. Your deck can also be made from a number of woods from pressure treated to composite.

A fence can also add to your home by providing a combination of privacy and panache. They come in a number of styles and a variety of materials including iron, aluminum, vinyl and wood.

You may also want to have a gazebo as the centerpiece of your yard. See our article this month on gazebos for ideas and what they can bring to your home.


When thinking about gardens, don’t restrict yourself to flowers. They are the heart of most gardens, but remember you can add style and flair with trellises and arbors.

Your yard needn’t have just one garden either. If you think of your yard as a space with a variety of enhanced areas, you might put in several smaller gardens, each with it’s own personality.

And don’t forget what a well-placed birdbath can do or the calming touch of a pond or water fountain.

A place to play

Your outdoor space isn’t restricted to simple sitting and enjoying the day. It’s also a place for play. Don’t neglect the kids – including the adult ones – when designing your outdoors.

Consider swings and playsets to give the young ones a place to play and enjoy their childhood. You may also consider a pool for the family.

And when thinking outdoor enjoyment, keep in mind you can also put in a hot tub or sauna.

Outside living

There is so much you can do to enjoy your outdoors it’s hard to know where to start. You may even want to consider bringing the outside inside. As we mention in our article about revitalizing your bedroom, you can consider adding patio doors, including French doors (and not just for the bedroom).

The addition of a sunroom can truly bring the “outside inside” and give you the best of both worlds.

Let your imagination run wild! It’s quite likely you’ll come up with even more ideas for how to welcome the season with style and function for your outdoor life!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Outdoor living with your gazebo

With the arrival of spring we inevitably turn our attention from inside the home to outside where we hope to enjoy the warmer months. This year when thinking of outside your home, consider a gazebo – but don’t restrict yourself to the traditional image.

There is much more to them than many people consider.

For instance, while we tend to think of them as being made of wood (such as cedar or redwood), they can also be made of stone or metal. More significantly, how we use them is almost limitless.

While they’re often used for peaceful getaways to sit and enjoy the day – the focal point of yard or garden – many people use them for entertaining and dining.

They can be much larger than we usually think, often containing tables and chairs. Gazebos are frequently wired for lights and outlets and speakers. You can have music playing in your gazebo, or use a blender for mixing drinks. It can be screened to avoid the annoyance of summer insects.

Lights can truly enhance a gazebo. They can include things like pool lights in the floor that highlight its role as the center of your garden. Exterior lights add to its usefulness in the evenings as a place to gather and entertain. In some cases, people will even install a ceiling fan to provide cool, moving air.

You can also extend a gazebo’s usefulness into cooler months with removable windows that help keep the chill out.

As is often the case with design and remodeling, the only real limit is imagination. Your gazebo can be a peaceful retreat from a busy day or it can be the heart of your family’s entertaining. It can be any number of shapes and be placed close to your house for quick access to your kitchen when dining, or it can be placed further away as a cozy retreat.

This year, when thinking about what you can do to enhance your outdoor living, give some thought to a gazebo. You’ll find it can be both beautiful, useful and the heart of your family’s summer. 

Ideas for revitalizing your bedroom

One of the most used rooms in a house, yet often neglected when we think of remodeling, is the bedroom. We spend hours sleeping in our bedrooms, sometimes watching television or reading, or simply relaxing after a long day.

So why not give your old bedroom a new look? Here are a few ideas you might want to consider, some traditional and some not traditional at all.


Nothing revitalizes a room or sets its mood like color. The obvious first step is a new coat of paint. Once you know the mood you want, find the color or colors that give your bedroom that feel. Be adventurous!

Don’t forget you can always paint one wall a different color – one that either complements or contrasts the primary color. Something else to consider when painting is the ceiling.

Traditionally, ceilings are shades of white. But what about a soft, sky blue or other shade (one that goes with your overall scheme)?

You can also consider for both walls and ceiling a faux finish, one of the very popular trends today. A faux finish creates the illusion of texture and depth. It can add color and elegance to a room and really make your bedroom stand out with a style that is uniquely yours.


Another wonderful way to add personality to a bedroom is making changes to the floor. This can be as simple as adding carpeting. It may be putting in hardwood floors. You may even want to try something quite different for a unique look: a ceramic tile just as you would a kitchen or bathroom. (Why should those rooms get all the options?)

If you go with hardwood or a tile, don’t forget to give another dash of personality to the room with an area rug or smaller rugs. They’ll also add some warmth.


You can enhance your windows with treatments like curtains and blinds. This is a relatively simple way to go for some quick personality changes.

But also consider being more daring and replacing your current windows with new designs – even enlarging your windows for greater natural light. Depending on the room and where it is located in your house, you can even consider putting in French doors that open from the bedroom onto your yard or deck. You could even put a skylight in your bedroom!   


While it is dependent on your house and budget, consider an extension on the bedroom to enlarge it or even add a sun deck off of it. An extension that enlarges the room may even allow you to add some space to an existing closet to give it more size, possibly turning it into a walk-in closet.

As simple as a bedroom is, it is a treasure trove of possibilities once you let your imagination run.

Is it time for your bedroom to get a new look?