Category Archives: home decor

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Budget-Friendly Backyard Updates for Summer

Living in the Midwest, there’s only about a five month period where we can enjoy the outdoors without a winter coat, so it’s important to take advantage of the outdoors while we can! This year, give your backyard the boost it needs and transform it into a retreat that’ll be the envy of the neighborhood with the below tips!


There’s no better place to sip on summer cocktails, listen to spooky stories or simply stargaze than next to a fire-pit. It’s a summer staple that you can add to your retreat in just one hour (according to the Shabby Creek Cottage). Once it’s done, be sure to invite us over for s’mores!

What you’ll need:

  • Stones
  • Lava rock
  • Shovel
  • Level

DIY | The One Hour Firepit

Outdoor String Lights

Living in, or near, a city you lose the ambient twinkle of stars. But, with globe string lights you can create your own night sky. Just a few strands can give your yard a picturesque glow and it can be accomplished for under $60!

What you’ll need:

  • Electric conduit
  • Plastic piping
  • Single anchor pipe straps
  • ½ in. Knock out seals
  • Rust-oleum hammered dark bronze spray paint
  • String lights

DIY | Outdoor String Lights 

Plant Lemongrass

After you’ve been cooped up in the house, you can’t wait to get outside to breathe in fresh air. This year don’t let anything stand in your way of that – especially mosquitos. Instead of burning candles or spraying repellent with harsh chemicals, plant lemongrass in your backyard to keep mosquitos at-bay. No room in your actual garden? Lemongrass can also grow in big pots on your patio!

Or, if playing in the dirt isn’t your thing, consider creating all-natural mosquito repellent candles!

What you’ll need:



  • Mason Jars
  • Floating candles
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Basil
  • Lemongrass essential oil

DIY | Lemongrass  OR DIY | Mosquito Repellent Candles

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2018 Home Décor Trends

Winter is the perfect time to give the inside of your home a little TLC. Take a look at some of the design trends we’re loving for 2018!


Velvet is making its way from the runway to your hallway in 2018. It’s the perfect way to add a little functional luxury to your home. Get your feet wet by adding a nice velvet pillow or blanket to your bedroom. Or, if you’re really feeling adventurous – splurge on an entire sofa! Either way, your home is sure to be the envy of all your friends with the addition of this elegant, yet comfortable fabric.

Millennial Pink

Millennials can’t seem to get enough of this color! It’s in their hair, on their walls, and in their Starbuck’s beverages, so it’s safe to say this color isn’t going anywhere. Add a splash of Millennial Pink to you walls or accent your existing color with a framed print to wake up every morning feeling refreshed!

Jewel Tones

Looking for another way to feel like royalty? Look no further than adding some jewel tones to your home. Whether you’re into traditional or more boho chic décor, jewel tones are the perfect way to warm up any room.


Say goodbye to the days where the only ounce of copper in your home was a Moscow mule mug! This metal can be seen all over the place, so you shouldn’t have a hard time incorporating it into your home décor. Pots, pans, planters – you name it and it can be found in copper. The best part? You don’t have to spend a fortune to incorporate this trend. There’s plenty of DIY copper crafts you can make to update your home for less.

Indoor Plants

Breathe some life into your home with indoor plants. Over the years, studies have shown that plants help reduce stress levels and make you feel happier. Don’t have a green thumb? There are plenty of low-maintenance succulents to choose from. Or, opt for a faux plant to add a splash or color and a sense of serenity without the upkeep.

good morning coffee = good morning attitude ☕️🍃

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DIY Bird Seed Wreath

DIY Bird Seed Wreath

When the weather turns frigid, all you want to do is stay inside. Instead of binge-watching another episode of the latest trending show on Netflix, get off of the couch and get the family involved in making a suet bird seed wreath to hang and enjoy outside of your Tri-State Home Improvement windows. (Courtesy of DIY Network)

What you’ll need:

  • 10-inch metal bundt pan
  • Pliers
  • Wooden spoon
  • Large pot
  • Cooking spray
  • Wire clothing hanger (remove any cardboard or paper)
  • 3 Two-inch strips of burlap, (~24 in.)
  • 3 Blocks of rendered plain suet (available at local bird feeding store)
  • 9 Cups of bird seed
  • ½ Cup smooth or chunky peanut butter
  • Dried mealworms (optional)
  • Dried fruits and berries (optional)
  • Raffia bow (optional)
  1. Spray bundt pan with cooking spray. Take wire hanger and, with the pliers, make into a circle. Set aside.
  2. Melt the three blocks of suet in your large pot on very low heat, stirring frequently. It’s important that it does not boil!
  3. After the suet is completely melted, add the peanut butter to the pot and mix until melted.
  4. Remove the suet from the stove and slowly stir in the bird seed (and optional mealworms).
  5. (Optional – add berries and dried fruit to the bottom of the bundt pan)
  6. Use a measuring cup to fill bundt pan halfway with suet mixture.
  7. After the bundt pan is half-way filled with suet, add the wire hanger around the center of the pan. Fill the bundt pan with the remaining suet until the pan is full.
  8. Carefully place the full bundt pan in a cold place (like your Tri-State garage!) overnight.
  9. Once the mixture is completely hardened, flip the bundt pan over and gently tap on the pan to remove your wreath.
  10. Braid the burlap together and tie it around your wreath.
  11. Place raffia bow around the burlap and hang your suet wreath from a hook, feeder pole, or tree for your feathered friends to enjoy!

How to decorate for the holidays without damaging your home

lightsIt’s that time of year again—time to dust off those holiday lights and light up the neighborhood with your festive decorations and holiday cheer! While decorating your home is a beloved holiday tradition, decorating with outdoor lights has the potential to cause long-term damage to your windows, siding and roofing. Avoid the hassle and make decorating more enjoyable with these outdoor decorating tips from Tri-State!

  1. No jingles on your shingles: NEVER hang holiday lights directly from your shingles. If hung from your shingles, these lights have the potential to tear or rip your roofing—especially when made heavier with fallen snow or other debris from your roof. When hanging lights from your roof always attach the lights directly to the gutter using clips or hooks that have been specially made for outdoor lighting.
  2. Avoid the shock factor: When decorating your home, make sure all decorations and lights are hung at a safe distance from power cords and electrical lines. You may also want to make sure that all decorations are plugged into a portable outdoor circuit—this includes any inflatable decorations, as well. This precautionary measure will prevent your home’s circuits from becoming overloaded and eliminate any risk of an electrical fire.
  3. Think of the cleanup: Never pull on your lights to remove them from their clips or hooks. Pulling the lights may get them off your roof, but it will also cause damage to your gutters or windows in the process. Instead of pulling, use a ladder to get at eye level with the lights and gently remove them from their hooks—this will also allow you to keep the lights from becoming a tangled mess!
  4. Call a pro: If you plan on elaborately decorating your home—or even if you feel uncomfortable on a ladder or have areas that are difficult to access—don’t be afraid to call a professional. While it may be an extra expense you weren’t anticipating, ensuring your home’s windows, siding and roofing remains unharmed will save you major bucks down the road.

Outdoor decorating is a holiday favorite for many homeowners! However, before you string up those lights this year, be sure to take the necessary precautions to keep your home in great condition all year long. As always, for additional questions or concerns regarding your home’s windows, siding or roofing, contact Hank and the Tri-State gang for help!

Holiday Décor on a Budget

For many homeowners, the holidays aren’t complete without a home filled with festive decorations. While decorating your home is a great way to get into the holiday spirit, it can also be a major strain on your wallet. Not this year! Here are a handful of holiday décor ideas you can try, even if you’re tight on cash.

Create a killer centerpiece
There’s only one place you need to go to create a great centerpiece this year—the dollar store. While it gets a bad rap, the dollar store is filled with lots of festive and frugal finds—like these glass bowls and ornaments. Put the ornaments in the bowl, add a ribbon or bow, and viola—a beautiful centerpiece. You can even mix in a little fake snow with the ornaments to class it up! centerpieces



Deck the door
Greet your guests with a beautiful and decorative front door. When decorating your door, the sky’s the limit! You can use simple items like tree branches, ornaments and wreaths, or—if you’re feeling really festive—you can decorate using tinsel, ribbon and lights—all items that be found for cheap at the dollar store.

Don’t forget the tree
Don’t feel like spending a fortune on Christmas tree decorations? You don’t have to—you can make them! These mini tree ornaments were made with cinnamon sticks, evergreen branches and buttons. You can even use items from the outdoors—like pinecones, acorns and branches—to create ornaments, too. The possibilities are endless

We hope these frugal holiday décor ideas help to spark your creativity and get you excited about decorating! For more holiday décor ideas, visit the Tri-State Pinterest page. Happy holidays, everyone.