Eco-Friendly Backyard Ideas

In California, the weather is near perfect year-round. Residents of the Golden State cannot help but love spending time outdoors in the bright sun. Homeowners love entertaining in their backyards by hosting cookouts and get-togethers. But is your backyard eco-friendly?

Make your backyard eco-friendlier with these gorgeous landscaping ideas!

  • Reduce Lawn Size

Having less grass to water means you save on water usage. Consider switching out your lush backyard grass with brick, gravel, porcelain, ceramic, or stone. This gives you more room to entertain and saves you time on upkeep.

  • Switch Out Your Plants

Having a lush green backyard is a must for many homeowners in California. But your current plants may require excess water to maintain. Consider switching out your annual plants for some drought tolerant ones. There are numerous beautiful plants that thrive in dry weather, so you get to keep that lovely colorful landscape.

  • Add Solar Power

If you like to entertain past sundown or you like to relax outdoors in the cool evenings, light up your backyard with solar power. Use lovely solar string lights, pathway lights, or even motion activated lights. Not only will you be saving energy costs, but you will be using clean, renewable power.

  • Start Composting

Composting has many environmental benefits. It reduces the amount of waste you produce and creates a natural, rich fertilizer. To start, select a sunny area in your backyard and combine household and garden waste (eggshells, coffee grounds, newspapers, fruit scraps, cardboard, etc.). In 6 to 9 months, you’ll have nutrient rich compost for your garden.

  • Collect Rainwater

California typically only receives about 21.44 inches of rainfall annually, but even that is worth collecting. Rainwater can be used to water your plants and keep your backyard landscape looking good.

  • Attract Bugs

Normally, people like to avoid bugs. But creating a bug friendly garden is eco-friendly and helps you avoid certain harmful garden bugs if you use the right plants. Attract ladybugs and butterflies by planting gorgeous flowering plants.

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Model Crestview Estates Home

Not all homes are made equal, and 602 Crest Drive in South Encinitas is a house unlike any other. This gorgeous house is a former Crestview Estates model home. Admire the breathtaking panoramic mountain views. Every detail of this house is immaculate, see for yourself!

Located at the end of a cul-de-sac, this idyllic home sits on a quiet, private street. Featuring 4 beds and 3 full baths, with 1 bed and 1 bath down, this listing is very spacious—approximately 2,557 square feet. This home has stunning upgrades throughout, with new interior paint, travertine floors, beautiful crown molding, recessed lighting, and sleek granite countertops.

The updates continue into the rest of the house with a new HVAC system, water heater, fencing, and garage epoxy flooring and cabinets. The outside is just as gorgeous as the inside with new exterior paint and Plantation shutters. Homeowners will love every detail of this perfect, modern home that’s currently listed at $1,195,000.

The backyard features drought-tolerant plants and minimal upkeep. Enjoy entertaining with a large outdoor space that’s full of potential. The view from this home is breathtaking, with panoramic views of the California mountains. Every day is a paradise with a home like this!

This listing has no HOA or Mello Roos fees! Near shopping, LA Fitness, restaurants, and award-winning schools—this home is situated in a perfect location!

For more information on this unbeatable home, review the listing information here.

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Beautifully Upgraded Seagate Home

1752 Edgefield Lane in Encinitas, California is a gorgeous end unit townhome located in Seagate Village. This community home has incredible amenities and a private greenbelt location.

This beautifully upgraded home features a popular floor plan that offers spacious room, a vaulted ceiling, and gorgeous french doors that overlook lush greenery. This Seagate model has 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths, 1 partial bath, and 1,531 square feet of space.

The remodeled kitchen has crisp white cabinetry, sleek granite countertops, and a modern backsplash. Chefs will absolutely love cooking in this gorgeous space! The remodel continues past the kitchen, with upgraded bathrooms, ceiling fans, mirrored closet doors, brand new carpet and hardwood floors, recessed lighting, and smooth ceilings. To top it all off, the furnace and water heater have also been replaced!

The fenced patio has room for entertaining and playing with furry pets. The patio is currently home to gorgeous flowering plants and lush greenery, proving that homeowners can use this space however they so choose!

The quiet community of Seagate Village features a tennis court, volleyball field, pool, and spa. There’s no shortage of fun activities to do outside the home. This townhome location is close to great schools and various stores.

The current listing price is set at $675,000. For more information on this beautiful townhouse, click here to see the details.

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Incorporate Spanish Style into Your Home

Spanish style homes are gorgeous and very in demand right now. Spanish style homes, or Spanish colonial homes, were built by Spanish colonizers from the 1600s to the mid-1800s.

Many homeowners like to mimic the look of a Spanish style home as the design is both stunning and ornate. There are numerous ways to adopt this revival style, but here are just a few ideas for both the interior and exterior:


  • White Walls: Spanish homes traditionally have white stucco walls. If you have paneling or even brick, you could still recreate this clean aesthetic by painting the exterior white.
  • Terracotta Roof: One of the trademarks of a Spanish style home is the gorgeous, red terracotta roof. If you truly love the Spanish style, this home renovation is a must.
  • Arches: When people think of Spanish style homes, they think of white walls, clay tile roofs, and arches. Transform your entryway and add some curb appeal to your home by creating an arched entryway. For an even grander renovation, install arched windows.


  • Tile Flooring: Flooring is an opportunity to add Spanish style throughout your home. Use earthy colored tile made form stone, rock, or ceramic to further embrace the Spanish aesthetic.
  • Stairways: Update your stairway by installing a detailed wrought iron railing or banister. This detail is from Spanish revival homes in the early 1900s. For tiled stairs, use decorative Spanish tile on the risers of your staircase for a beautiful
  • Decorative Bathrooms: Use of tile is very important in Spanish style homes. Decorative tile is a must, so incorporate it into your entryway, flooring, or walls. Remember to stick with earthy, warm colors and a clean style. For a truly one of a kind bathroom, consider installing a detailed ceramic sink.
  • Archways: Use of arches are very stylistic of Spanish homes, so install archways throughout your home for a gorgeous
  • Chandelier: Spanish chandeliers are dark and ornate. Check out this gorgeous rustic iron chandelier that would look incredible in your dining room.
  • Use Wood: Wood is heavily incorporated in Spanish décor. From wooden furniture to wooden doors. Stick to light colored woods that show the grain and embrace the rustic look.
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5 Design Ideas to Upgrade Your Fireplace

Fireplaces are the focal point of living rooms and family rooms. They look chic and eye-catching, and they also provide warmth on chilly days. If your family or guests love to crowd around the fireplace, consider if it could use a renovation. After all, chimneys should be inspected and cleaned at least once a year.

If your fireplace is in need of an upgrade, consider these 5 stunning design ideas to transform your living space.

1.      Decorative Fireplace Tile

If your fireplace could use a new facade, consider replacing the wall surround tile. Fireplace tile comes in many colors and textures. If you previously had square mosaic tile, you could opt instead for a honeycomb marble tile, an architectural stone veneer, or even a statement making geometric tile. The choices are endless!

2.      Updating the Fireplace Mantle

If you love the look of your fireplace already, you could update the mantel for a fresh new look. If you want to keep the structure of the mantel, paint it an eye-popping accent color. If your mantel could use more design, install an elegant stone scroll mantel or a classical stone mantel.

3.      Add Some Shelving

To create an even more shining focal point, build shelving around your fireplace to add some color and design with décor. You could have simple, minimal shelving by using one or two long shelves, or numerous shelves for books and nostalgic knickknacks. For some quirky pops of color, paint the shelf edges an accent color.

4.      Add a Hearth to the Fireplace

There are quite a few fireplaces that do not have a floored hearth. A fireplace hearth protects the carpet/flooring from the flames and keeps the chimney soot confined. A fireplace hearth can be upgraded like the fireplace and mantel—though it is often neglected. Changing the color, shape, and texture of the hearth tile can transform your entire fireplace from boring to artistically chic.

5.      Add a Screen to Your Fireplace

If your fireplace is already looking fabulous, but could use a touch of something, consider adding a screen. Fireplace screens come in all types of styles and sizes. They ward off curious pets and keep the fireplace neatly tucked away when not in use.


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Top 10 Inspiring Home Décor Influencers

Home decorating is an artform. Creative individuals know how to mix colors, prints, accessories, and furniture in a cohesive, chic way. Interior decorating requires an artistic vision, which these 10 influencers possess.

Forbes released a list of the top 10 home décor influencers.  These artists have captivating blogs, successful businesses, and a remarkable passion for interior design. Check them out and get inspired to redesign your home!

  • Kate Albrecht

This busy bee and her husband run the website Mr. Kate, an online jewelry store. Her YouTube channel, also called Mr. Kate, has numerous home makeover and design videos.

  • Grace Bonney

Her website Design*Sponge is a testament to gorgeous DIY projects and inspiring pictures. She also has a podcast titled ‘Good Company’ that covers various topics like success, empowerment, and more.

  • Reichel Broussard

Reichel runs CopyCatChic, a website dedicated to ‘Luxe Living for Less.’ She offers gorgeous, inexpensive alternatives to luxury décor items.

  • Paloma Contreras

This interior designer services not just the Houston area, but numerous cities across the U.S. She provides ‘full-service, boutique interior design’ for homes, and her Pinterest page La Dolce Vita is full of stunning interior designs.

  • Coco Cozy

This savvy businesswoman runs CocoCozy, a blog and online store. Coco describes herself as “an executive by day and an interior design blogger and home furnishings designer by night.”

  • Bri Emery

DesignLoveFest is a lifestyle blog dedicated to various topics like healthy eating, DIY, decorating, travel, and more. Bri holds online workshops about social media and building a business online.

  • Jennifer Hadfield

This artistic mom runs Tatertots & Jello, a blog that covers DIY, décor, crafts, recipes, and good living.

  • Emily Henderson

This interior designer started with a small blog and has since won the HGTV competition Design Star and become a New York Times Bestseller.

  • Elsie Larson

A Beautiful Mess started as a DIY blog but morphed into a lifestyle company. Elsie has since wrote three book and she hosts online courses on video basics, blogging,

DSLR, and so much more.

  • Will Taylor

Will’s love of colorful interior design has earned him a cult following. His New York based lifestyle blog Bright.Bazaar features bright, inspiring décor ideas.

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How to Choose a Finish for Your Deck or Porch

Your porch or deck may get a lot of traffic. If you enjoy entertaining, then your guests may spend a significant amount of time outside. But it’s important to take care of your deck or porch with a finish that not only looks complimentary to your home, but that protects the wood.

The first step when shopping for a deck or porch finish, is to choose color, shade, and finish. If you want red, consider what shade of red you would like (dark or sheer), and if you want either a flat or glossy look.

Once you have a general idea of the color you would like, it’s time to consider what type of sealant and stain to buy.


Oil Based: This type of sealant is available in clear or slightly pigmented colors. This type of sealant protects the wood on your deck or porch from water damage from within. You could also consider using additives, which would help protect against insects, fungi, mildew, and sun damage.

Water Based: A water-based sealant acts like a shell that protects the wood on the surface. If your porch or deck was previously sealed with an acrylic finish, only use another water-based sealant.

What type of stain is recommended? What are the different types available?


Semitransparent: This type of stain transforms the appearance of wood by enhancing it. If you like the look of the wood and only wish to add a light color on top, then this stain is recommended.

Heavy-bodied: Unlike semitransparent stains, this type offers a lot more color pigmentation. By using this type of stain, the wood grain will be less visible. But unlike paint, the woods natural look won’t be completely hidden.

Paint: Stains enhance the look of a wooden deck or porch, but paint covers up the look of wood completely. Paint costs more than stains and the application takes longer. That said, paint lasts a lot longer than stains and thus requires less upkeep in the long run.

It’s important to seal your deck or porch to not only keep it looking good, but to protect the actual wood from damage.

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Immaculate Home in Carlsbad!

Are you looking for an immaculate modern home? Look no further than 1671 Plover Court in Carlsbad, California! This model perfect home has a tucked away end unit location in Sanderling at Aviara, a beautiful gated community with two community pools, spas, a volleyball court, and walking trails.

This home has Sanderling’s most popular floor plan with a master bedroom downstairs. There are 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths, 1 partial bath, and an attached 2 car garage. With 1,707 square feet, this spacious home has more than enough room for your family. There are upgraded kitchen cabinets, and stunning granite counter tops in the kitchen, baths, and the linen closet.

This house is filled with natural light, and Plantation shutters adorn the windows. Homeowners can look forward to recessed lighting, a new A/C unit, a fireplace, and tasteful hard surface flooring throughout.

There is a bright and sunny South facing back patio area. This oversized space is perfect for relaxing or entertaining. Host a barbecue party and enjoy some delicious food in the company of friends or relax in the sun with a good book. The decision is yours!

This luxurious home is currently listed at $719,000. View this listing by clicking here!

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Springtime Desserts for Your Next Party

Springtime is here! Take advantage of the gorgeous weather and the blooming flowers by hosting a springtime party in your backyard. These desserts are springtime themed and are oh so scrumptious.

Sure to delight both kids and adults, these sweet goodies are going to be the talk of your next house party. Best of all, they’re easy to make!

  • Adorable Bunny Cake

This cake is shaped just like a bunny! To make this sweet cake, you will need two 9-inch round cake layers, jelly beans, licorice, biscotti, coconut shavings, marshmallows, and a few other cake ingredients. This recipe requires you to do a little cake constructing, but the effort is entirely worth it in the end!

  • Carrot Patch Cheesecake

This carrot patch cheesecake recipe is both delicious and aesthetic! The cheesecake crust and top layer are made with crushed Oreos to look like garden dirt. Strawberries dipped in orange frosting serve as the carrots on top of this scrumptious dessert. Add some chocolate eggs to look like robin eggs in the spring.

  • Egg Fruit Pizza

This egg fruit pizza is made up of fruit and a sugar cookie base. Bake sugar cookie dough into the shape of a large egg, and once cool, cover the cookie in frozen whipped topping. Map out where you want your fruit to sit, and then start layering! Once done, drip honey over your masterpiece and let your guests enjoy!

  • Robin’s Nest Cake Topper

This cake is oh so cute for springtime! This recipe is so easy to make, simply create any cake you wish—frosting included. The robin’s nest is made from vermicelli noodles covered in chocolate. Use a bowl to shape the nest and let it cool in the fridge. Secure the nest on top of your cake with some frosting and put some chocolate eggs inside!

  • Peep Marshmallow Bars

This recipe is so easy to make and is ready in no time. This Rice Krispies treat recipe is made with colorful Peeps! Using 3 different bowls, and 3 colored peeps, microwave each and combine the ingredients to create the color gradient. Then all you have to do is layer the colored concoctions!

  • Chocolate Malt Nest Egg

This chocolate malt cake is made to look like a giant robin’s nest! The outside of the cake is made from shredded wheat covered in a chocolate mixture. Create a dip in the middle of the cake for the chocolate eggs, and you’re all set to wow your party guests!

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Decorating Ideas for Easter Egg Hunt

Easter is right around the corner, and many families will take part in the traditional Easter egg hunt. The Easter egg hunt involves hiding eggs for children—or even adults—to find. Eggs can be hardboiled, plastic shells filled with candy or money, and even egg-shaped chocolates.

Plastic eggs may be more convenient, but there are so many stunning ways to decorate hard-boiled eggs. Take a look at these various ways to beautifully decorate hardboiled eggs for this upcoming Easter holiday.

  • Marbled Easter Eggs

To make marbled Easter eggs, start by mixing hot water, white vinegar, and food coloring in a bowl. Allow the hardboiled eggs to sit in the mixture and then let them dry on a paper towel.

To prepare the oil mixture, mix food coloring and vegetable oil in a bowl. Carefully drop your dry colored eggs into the bowl and roll it in the mixture. That’s it!

  • Silk Tie Dyed Easter Eggs

To make gorgeous silk tie-dyed eggs, start by using 100% silk fabric. Old ties work very well. Tightly wrap boiled eggs in the fabric and tie the top with a twisty tie. Then use a light-colored fabric to wrap the eggs again.

Place your eggs in a pot filled with water and white vinegar, then bring it to a boil. After 20 minutes, let them cool and you’ll have beautiful Easter eggs to show off!

  • Checker Dyed Eggs

To create this striking, graphic design, simply use tape to create vertical and horizontal lines on the hard-boiled eggs. Dip the eggs in a food color mixture and let them dry on a paper towel. Once dry, remove the tape and dip them in a lighter dye mixture.

  • Galaxy Eggs

This Easter egg decoration design is out of this world! Paint some hardboiled eggs black, and once dry, use a sponge to apply blue, pink, and purple. Once the second level is dry, use a toothbrush dipped in white paint to create a splatter of white on the egg to look like stars.

  • Swirl Colored Eggs

This method is so easy, it takes almost no time at all! Use a hot glue gun to create swirls onto hard-boiled eggs. Once the glue is dry, dip the egg into a food color mixture. Let them dry on a paper towel and remove the glue.

  • Emoji Eggs

Dye hard-boiled eggs in a yellow food dye mixture. Once dry, use markers to paint on some adorable emoji faces! To create a wide variety of faces, use blue, red, black, and white paint markers.

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