Do-It-Yourself Hardscaping™ Project Story: Boyertown, PA

We were thrilled when Renee and Brian Dye of Boyertown, PA shared their Do-It-Yourself Hardscaping™ EP Wall Project’s Before & After photos with us on our Facebook page. So much so, that we just had to call to find out how they did it.
Written by EP Henry at 00:00

Paver Maintenance 101: Tips to Keeping your Patio Looking Good

In the same way you might polish your floors or wax your car, patio pavers require some routine maintenance in order to restore them to their original look and to protect them from staining in the future. Check out these frequently asked questions on how to keep you Hardscaping™ looking its best.
Written by EP Henry at 13:00

Ideas for Creating a Rustic Man Cave That Does Not Include a Beer Tap (because we know you have that one covered)

Let's face it, when it comes to home décor decisions, the majority of the time the woman of the household takes the lead.  From the lighting fixtures and rugs, to the wall colors and pillows, most men know that they better check in before they eventhinkabout hanging a picture.  

Coined in the early 90's, the phrase "Man Cave" is used to define a space in the home that is off limits to the rest of the family and is outfitted and decorated to give a man (typically married fathers) a place to kick back, express his style, unwind and play. Chances are if you've ever thought about creating one, you've researched high-tech flat screen TVs, sound systems, recliner and where the bar will go.  

While these are all things that need to be planned in order to create something beyond a garage-band hangout, you'll need to think about the bones of the space as well. What do you want the theme of the room to be? How do you want the space tofeelwhen you enter it? Relaxed?  Ready for the big game?

There are loads of fun sports and car themed man cave ideas out there, but if that's not really your thing, consider a rustic man cave. This look tends to feel more cultivated and really lends itself to the "cave" aspect of the idea.  

Need Help Getting Started? Begin with the 60/30/10 rule when planning your man cave. Dividing the colors into percentages is a designer's trick to getting a visually appealing color balance. A general rule is: 60% of a dominant color (the walls) 30% of a secondary color (furniture) and 10% of an accent color (pillows or decorative accents)

Here are a few other things to consider when decorating your rustic man cave:

  • Choosing the Colors: The rustic man cave  theme uses a natural, muted color palette. Look for colors that are found in nature; such as, browns, tans, warm grays, greens and rich burgundy's.  Think of soil, sand, moss, trees and rocks for inspiration, and avoid bright primary colors. This may or may not be very similar to your current wardrobe.
  • Accent Walls: No cave is complete without some rock or stone, and nothing is moremanly than Hardscaping.™  Designate an accent wall or cover a bar base using cast veneer stone. The roughly textured silhouette captures both light and shadow creating Man Cave 1a rugged elegance. Crafted in molds cast from a variety of natural rocks, cast veneer stone is practically indistinguishable from natural stone. Popular profiles include Pennsylvania Field Stone, Ledgestone, Cut Stone, and Split Rock. Because of its lighter weight, it can easily be applied to existing walls.
  • Fire: It's a cave, and it's in your genetic make-up that you are drawn to fire. Even more so if it's in a basement or garage setting. No one is going to want to toss back a few cold ones with you if your room is freeMan Cave 2zing during the winter months. Plus, it's a known fact that men like to burn things. If you have the space, you can't beat a fireplace for its warmth and presence.

    Today's modular fireplace models can be installed more quickly and at less expense than a site-built version.There is a varied selection of styles, so you can choose the sizeand shape that works best for your space. The fireplace is further customized by selecting a cast veneer stone that best matches your personal aesthetic. The sparks will really fly when your friends spend hours rearranging the logs with a poker. Man Cave 3
  • Lighting: Caged industrial lighting is a great addition to any man cave. Good looking as well as practical, these fixtures feature a protective cage that will prevent bulbs from breaking when you throw balls around the room. (we all know that you do that) The best part is, it's no longer necessary to scour antique stores for these bold beauties. Many lighting suppliers carry historic reproductions and Man Cave 4 newly inspired industrial designs. Styles include mounted fixtures, pendant lights and sconces.
  • Furnishings:  As cliché as it is, you'll probably want a recliner. We get it, they'recomfortable beyond compare. (Just skip on the puffy-pleather versions please.) Today's styles include slimmed down models covered in soft fabrics. Accents like stout wooden legs and nail head trim keep them looking masculine. 
  • Textiles: To prevent your man cave from looking cold and uninviting,Man Cave 5 you'll need to soften it up a bit with textiles. Consider distressed leather Navaho patterned pillows and throws. Or, how about a faux cowhide area rug for the floor? Nothing says man cave more than having animal skins lying about.  
  • Choose a Metal: When decorating your man cave, you'll need to choose a metal for your hardware items. Man Cave 6Hinges, drawer pulls, and light fixtures etc… For this look, steer clear of polished metals or chrome. Good choices would be antique brass, bronze, copper or wrought iron. Can you think of anything more manly than hammered metal? No, you cannot.    
  • Select a Wood: The wood in the room (flooring, furniture, and cabinetry) should have a rustic finish and tone. These wood tones generally tend to be darker, like walnut or mahogany. But really, any wood can work if it's matte or distressed.  DistressedMan Cave 7 wood gives the space a sense of history and its aged, nicked, and worn look holds up well to man-handling. Since it's designed to look worn and somewhat dirty, this look is perfect for those of you who are less than fastidious.
  • Decorative Items: This is where it can go really wrong, really fast. Shy away from décor Man Cave 8 items that are more country-crafty than rustic: like baskets filled with pine cones, mason jar anything or painted pallet signage. Leather bar accessories make great functional, decorative items. Here's where you can express your love of sports, cars, or other interests with framed sepia tinted prints. 

Gather a lot of ideas and edit from there. Above all else, have fun.

This is your chance to show the world (and the Mrs.) that you are perfectly capable of setting up and maintaining an enjoyable living space.

Nope, no pressure at all.


Written by EP Henry at 18:00

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Patio Pavers: Mixing Mediums

When it comes to patio pavers, you may think that once you pick out your preferred style, that you are finished with your Hardscape™design decisions. Not so fast. You may ultimately decide to have the lawn meet up to your patio pavers, but if you are looking for a more natural or rustic landscape, consider incorporating other outdoor Hardscape™ elements such as boulders, rocks, stones or gravel.
Written by EP Henry at 12:00

Don’t Let Your Garden Fall Apart

The end of the summer is here and the kids are back in school. With fall just around the corner, take advantage of the weeks ahead to plan your end of season upkeep routine, before the *gasp* holiday madness begins. Here are a few things to keep in mind when planning your yard work maintenance.
Written by EP Henry at 17:00
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5 Tips for Extending your Outdoor Living Season

The outdoor living trend is here to stay, and homeowners are enjoying their “ceiling-less” home additions well past the Labor Day weekend. 1) Outdoor Heating: Once only found in restaurant settings, outdoor heaters have come way down in price over the last few years. They come in all sizes, styles, and mounts; including table top, wall and ceiling mount. New models are designed to look like high-end floor lamps and are a beautiful addition to any outdoor living room. Look for coordinating tabletop versions for use on bars or dining tables.
Written by EP Henry at 14:00

DIY Hardscaping Tips for Paver Installation

Make no mistake, tackling a DIY paver project is not an easy task and will require assistance from friends and/or family. However, enterprising folks can get the job done and the results and return on investment are well worth it. Just as with any do-it-yourself home improvement project, you’ll need to research paver installation before you begin.

3 Distinct Japanese Garden Styles

What do you picture when you hear the words “Japanese Garden”? Maybe you see a lush courtyard with Buddha statue. Or, do you see a koi pond and arching bridge? Perhaps you’re picturing a simplistic space landscaped with rocks, gravel and sand. Whatever you envision, if you are planning on designing a Japanese Garden in your backyard, it’s important to note that there are several types of distinct Japanese garden styles.
Written by EP Henry at 17:00
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Dog Scaping: 5 Pooch Friendly Patio Ideas

Special beds, blankets, and toys to chew on…we spoil them rotten. We all know that dog lovers go above and beyond the norm when it comes to making sure their dog is comfortable in the house; but what about the backyard?
Written by EP Henry at 10:00
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Take a Seat: 5 Classic Backyard Seating Solutions

Adirondack Chair: Did you know that the Adirondack chair was originally called the "Westport Chair"? Back in 1903, Thomas Lee was bent on creating the perfect chair (one that would remain in an upright position when placed on the hillside) for his summer retreat in New York, in the Westport Adirondack Mountains.
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