The end of June marks the official start of the summer season, and what better way to celebrate than getting your home ready for the fun and relaxing days ahead? This edition of Good to Be Home has tips to help you plan your indoor and outdoor setup for the season.
There are many tech products on the market that can improve your quality of life. Read the enclosed list of gadgets that can help you have an efficient, safe, and refreshing summer.
Getting outside is part of what makes this season special. You could be utilizing your front yard, garden, and storage shed in ways to help you make the most of your summer activities. Use the suggestions in this issue to get creative with your outdoor arrangements.
Soaking up the sun outdoors is fun, but you should consider brightening up your home's interior too. The interior design suggestions inside can inspire your home’s summer color scheme in untraditional ways.
When you think of summer foods and drinks, do lemonade and ice cream come to mind? Try the tasty, colorful, and simple frozen treat recipe that combines both seasonal staples.
Here’s wishing you a joyful June! As always, it’s a pleasure to send you this magazine.
Summer has countless delightful activities to indulge in, from lounging around the pool to road trips with your closest friends and family. If you want to make the most of the next few months, consider adding some of these handy gadgets to your adventures that will help make it the coolest summer yet.
Ice cream is one of the unofficial foods of the season. If you’re one of the millions of people who indulge in the sweet treat during summer, what could be better than making your own ice cream at home? The Ninja CREAMi 7-in-1 Ice Cream Maker will help you create any of your favorite frozen treats, including ice cream, milkshakes, smoothies, and sorbet. Simply freeze your base ingredients, add them to the device, and the Creamify technology will create the dessert of your choice. Finish your refreshing creation by adding chocolate, nuts, or fruit to customize the taste and texture of your ice cream. Whether you choose healthy fruit or a decadent delight, the CREAMi will help capture the taste of summer in every bite.
Scraping debris from the grates of your grill used to be one of the worst parts of outdoor cooking, but not anymore thanks to the Grillbot. This device is easy to use—simply put it on the grates, set the timer, and let the Grillbot work its magic. The Grillbot has a trio of brushes that remove charred residue, and its heat-resistant plastic keeps it safe when working on scalding surfaces. A rechargeable lithium-ion battery powers the Grillbot’s three electronic motors. There is no need to keep a watchful eye on this machine, as an LCD alarm and timer will notify you once it’s finished so you can spend less time cleaning up.
This device prevents one of the peskiest pests from disturbing your fun. The device uses heat-activated repellant mats that are scent-free and won’t leave any sticky residue on your skin, and each mat provides up to four hours of mosquito protection.
Everyone wants to stay cool during the summer, including man’s best friend. If you have a pup that loves to spend warm days outdoors with you, consider adding the Swamp Cooler Dog Cooling Vest to your dog’s wardrobe. Preparing the vest is simple—soak it in water, wring it out, and put it on your pooch. The three-layer construction helps keep your dog cool as the water evaporates, and the UPF coverage helps shade your dog from the sun. With sizes ranging from extra-small to extra-large, there is a vest for every chihuahua, beagle, and great dane to prevent them from turning into hot dogs.
The serenade of “Are we there yet?” coming from your backseat can quickly turn a dream vacation into a road trip nightmare. However, you can keep passengers both young and old occupied with the Macally Car Headrest Tablet Holder. Simply mount the holder from the headrest of one of the front seats, and attach your tablet of choice that’s between seven and ten inches wide. The hours of potential entertainment will bring a moment’s peace on your trek.
There are few things as unbearable as trying to get a good night’s rest on a muggy summer night. However, adding a cooling mattress pad will help make your evenings a little more pleasant. This Brooklyn Bedding cooling mattress protector helps pull heat away from your body. The silky fabric provides hours of comfort, and the hypoallergenic design protects you from bacteria and dust mites. Add this comforting mattress protector to your home and put uncomfortable nights to bed.
Is there anything better than kicking back with a cold soda or adult beverage on a lazy summer afternoon? If the latest case of your preferred drink hasn’t had time to thoroughly chill, reach for this pair of chiller sticks from Brew House Chillers. All you need to do is place these eight-inch sticks into your freezer for forty-five minutes, put one in your bottle, and get ready to enjoy a refreshing beverage. Don’t worry about removing it when you drink, as convenient openings at the top are designed to be leak-free.
June is an opportune time to take in the warm weather and sunshine. Get outside and enjoy the season with these ideas for planting a garden in your front yard or incorporating plants on your porch, styling colorful hanging baskets, and storing all your outdoor items.
Your front yard can be more than just a patch of grass. Make your yard the envy of the neighborhood by converting it into a beautiful oasis filled with delicious produce and colorful flowers.
Don’t have room for a garden? You can still grow beautiful flowers, even produce, in hanging baskets. Learn all about thrillers, fillers, and spillers, and why you need them for your baskets.
It’s summertime and the living is easy—but where do you put your gear for summer fun? This guide will show you smart places to keep your swim accessories, grilling tools, and other seasonal items.
Do you love gardening but lack space for a backyard garden? Or would you like to add more pizzazz to your front yard? A front-yard garden can give you a place to enjoy your hobby and improve your curb appeal too.
A front yard can be an optimal spot for a vegetable or flower garden, especially if it receives ample sunlight. “We put gardens in front yards all the time,” says Carly Mercer, the director of garden programming at Love & Carrots, a company that designs, installs, and maintains urban gardens in Washington, DC. “Especially in the city. It’s where there is the most sun.” Before you plant, make sure local ordinances allow a front-yard garden, she suggests.
You can dig a garden plot in your yard or add raised garden beds instead. With raised beds, you only need to add bagged soil to begin planting. If you start your garden this month, choose warm-weather vegetables, such as cucumber and squash. You can start with seeds for quick-growing vegetables, such as beans, but for tomatoes and other slower-growing crops, it’s best to buy seedlings instead. A local nursey can suggest annual or perennial flowers for your garden if you want blooms.
You’d be surprised at how much you can reap from a front-yard garden. Wellness lifestyle advocate and author, Shawna Coronado, says that in one year, she was able to donate more than one hundred pounds of food grown in her 200-square-foot front yard to a local food pantry. Even if you don’t have much yard space, you could grow produce by planting tomatoes in five-pound buckets or herbs in a small planter on your front porch.
A garden can add beautiful color to your front yard. For instance, Coronado says bull’s blood beets, which have deep burgundy leaves, look fantastic in gardens. “I don’t plant it for the beet,” she says. “I grow it for the greenery, and beet greens are edible.” When she pairs those beets with a certain kind of kale, the visual effect is amazing. “Lacinato kale is an Italian variety and is super blue,” she explains. “If you plant that kale next to those beets, you have an awesome blue and burgundy combination that looks great together.”
If you’d like to grow produce and flowers this summer but lack the yard space, you can get big results with beautiful hanging baskets.
Among the edible plants that grow well in hanging baskets are strawberries, small peppers, cherry tomatoes, dill, parsley, sage, and rosemary. Flowers that look great in hanging baskets include fuchsia, petunias, and impatiens.
To get started, choose a container for your hanging garden. You can get a lush look by using a wire basket fitted with a fiber liner. Cut holes in the liner to place your flowers and give your planters a rounded appearance. You could also hang garden pots in braided macramé hangers that you can purchase or make yourself.
When selecting plants for your hanging planter, choose thrillers, fillers, and spillers: put a tall, eye-catching plant in the middle, midsized clumping vegetation or flowers around it, and trailing plants on the outer edge for a pleasing look.
Grow sun-loving plants like tomatoes and peppers in sunny spots, and varieties that don’t need much sun, such as hostas and vinca, in shady locations. A hanging planter on a sunny deck could feature a geranium in the center, petunias as the filler, and sweet potato vines as the spiller. For shady areas, you could use coleus in the center, impatiens as the filler, and ivy as the spiller.
Make sure you use a good potting mix that retains moisture and is filled with nutrients. Water your hanging baskets at the coolest times of the day, at dawn and dusk, so the soil won’t dry out too quickly. You might need to water your baskets daily during the hottest days of summer.
Are you looking for extra space to store all your backyard gear like your gardening tools, grill accessories, and outdoor games? Try these storage ideas to make room for everything and add a new look to your outdoor space.
If you have a grill, it’s likely you need a place to store your grilling tools and a surface to place your grilled hotdogs and veggies. An outdoor table with cabinets below plus hooks for your grill scraper, tongs, and other utensils, will give you the organizational and countertop space you need. You could even upcycle two pallets to make your own DIY barbecue station.
An outdoor storage bench can hide some of your tools and outdoor decor and provide extra seating. These benches are made to stand up to the elements and have space inside for outdoor throw pillows, toys, and more. You can add a seat cushion on top for extra comfort. Megan Harney of the blog Our Handcrafted Life made a simple DIY storage bench for her backyard. She put two big plastic storage bins inside the bench to better protect the items she stores inside.
An outdoor potting bench is a gardening workbench that offers space for your flowerpots, soil, trowels, and other gardening tools. You can purchase a potting bench with shelves, or you could create your own simple potting station from fence boards or used furniture, such as dressers and changing tables.
There are a variety of outdoor ottomans with built-in storage that can double as a coffee or side table. These ottomans look great paired with an outdoor loveseat or an Adirondack chair, and can hold items like grilling tools, sunscreen, bug spray, or even a book to enjoy while lounging in your backyard.
What colors do you associate with summer? Yellow? Orange? Red? While summer can be a time for breaking out the brightest colors of the rainbow, you don’t necessarily have to go bold to make a summery statement with your decor. The guide that follows offers suggestions for finding seasonal shades perfect for your home and aesthetic.
Flowers and plants start to bloom in spring, but they are often in full bloom throughout the summer; for much of the country, this means that summer brings the greenest foliage of the year. Take a cue from nature and embrace the varied shades of green you might see outside your window by incorporating more greenery in your home. In your living room, place small potted plants on top of your coffee table and end tables, or a larger potted plant, such as a fern or palm, in an empty corner of the space.
If you’re not a huge fan of plants, you can add green in other subtle ways. Try swapping out dark-colored pillows and throws for new ones in an olive-green or lime-green color. You can do the same for your home’s exterior by replacing your current patio furniture cushions with green ones.
The nautical theme is popular for beach houses, but unless you live in a quaint coastal town, it can be hard to make it work in your decor. Instead, bring a sense of the sand and sea to your home by incorporating tropical colors like light blue and coral.
Coral can be a particularly fun color for the kitchen. If you’re looking to go big, you could paint an accent wall or an entire section of your kitchen a shade of coral. For something more understated, try swapping your usual tableware for coral plates and cups. Light blue can be mixed and matched with a variety of different colors, making it an easy color to work into your existing decor. The bathroom and bedroom are great places to use light blue. For example, your bathroom can be made more relaxing by bringing in a plush blue bath mat and towels, and you can give your bedroom a comforting aesthetic with blue bed pillows and decorative accents, such as vases and picture frames.
The sun is out longer in summer, so it’s the perfect time of year to leave your home open to as much natural light as it can get. You can do so by replacing heavy drapes with light linen ones in neutral colors like cream or tan and placing mirrors across from windows to reflect the light coming in.
If your home doesn’t get much natural light, you can bring a bit of the sun into it artificially by incorporating warm colors like honey (golden yellow) and sand (tan yellow). Gold accents can also reflect light, so try placing gilded decor, like decorative bowls and candle jars, near a window. Because sand is such a neutral color, you can place accents of this color, including tan throws, pillows, and rugs, just about anywhere. Yellow flowers can be another fun touch to lift the atmosphere of your home and promote positivity.
You can’t go wrong with an old design standby: black and white. White is common in summer decorating. But you might be thinking, “Black?” Fear not. Black and white is a classic color combo for a reason—it’s easy, looks elegant, and will be easy to transition once fall arrives.
The key is to achieve the right ratio of black to white. A good rule of thumb is one-third black to two-thirds white, meaning you should aim to keep the majority of your decor light and breezy, and incorporate dark elements in small doses. For example, if you have white furniture, spice things up by adding black pillows (bonus: the pillows won’t show dirt as easily), black coffee table decor, and a black accent rug.
To make a statement in your entryway or mudroom, create a decorative gallery by hanging a variety of black-and-white art pieces on an empty wall. You can also combine form and function by placing black storage baskets in a convenient spot to store shoes and other odds and ends, and a black decorative welcome mat at the front door.
Summer decorating is all about having fun with color. No matter which colors you choose, remember to keep your design playful and carefree, just like the season should be.
written by rachel stevens
photos by shana smith
This tart and sweet pink lemonade ice-cream pie is easy to make, kid-approved, and the perfect treat to help you cool off on a warm day.