Get ready to celebrate summer in the comfort of your home!
Entertaining is as essential to summer as popsicles, trips to the beach, and firefly-filled nights. In a busy world, it’s important to take time to slow down and reconnect, and there’s no better place than your backyard.
Outdoor parties take planning and prep work, but the payoff is priceless: happy memories. To ease the stress of hosting, try these entertaining ideas and party tips for a summer gathering that’s fun for everyone, including the host.
Give Guests Enough Time to Plan.
With ball games, beach trips, and family reunions, summer calendars tend to fill up fast.
For a casual event, a few days is enough notice. For graduation, anniversary or housewarming parties, send out invitations at least three weeks in advance. Also, ask your guests to RSVP by a specific date.
PARTY TIP: Avoid schedule conflicts by planning parties for after-work Friday nights and earlier than expected Sunday mornings. Mimosas, anyone?
Get Your Home Guest Ready.
After you send out the invites, start preparing for your summer party a little every day. First, get the yard neat and tidy. Next, clean up inside. Concentrate on the areas in your house that guests will see, notably the entryway, kitchen, and bathrooms.
If you’re having a housewarming party to celebrate your new custom home, guests will likely expect to see every room. Plan for tours. As a proud homeowner, you’ll be excited to show everyone your beautiful new home.
PARTY TIP: Don’t be surprised if your guests ask a lot of questions about your new home, especially each room's paint color. Consider printing a list of all of the paint colors throughout your home (interior and exterior). Trust us. Your guests will thank you!
Keep the Menu Simple.
The secret to easy summer entertaining? Plan a make-ahead menu around what’s in season. Take advantage of summer favorites like fresh vegetables and fruit. On the big day, you’ll be glad you got a head start, and the flavors will be enhanced.
When sending invitations, you may want to ask if anyone has food allergies. Considering your guests’ dietary needs will make them feel loved. You can also try a potluck party. This will lighten your load as host, and it’s a fun way to try new dishes.
PARTY TIP: Ask your guests to bring something easy, like a watermelon. They’re helping, but not preparing.
Don’t Overthink the Drinks.
Create a self-serve drink station so your guests can help themselves. Friends and family don’t expect you to provide a full bar at a summer party. Instead, stick to the basics: wine, beer, and a refreshing cocktail. Select a signature summer cocktail and keep the ingredients on hand.
Here are 30 Best Summer Cocktails to Enjoy This Season.
PARTY TIP: Spiking ice water with fresh mint, cucumber, strawberries, or lemon adds a burst of natural flavor.
Set the Mood.
A welcoming party space packed with personality doesn’t have to cost a lot. Fresh flowers and greenery add a pop of color and natural fragrance indoors and out, including in the bathroom. This simple decoration sets a relaxed mood and makes your home more inviting.
To create magical overhead lighting, suspend lanterns from sturdy branches or hang string lights from trees. Day or night, the party’s on in your backyard.
PARTY TIP: A bolt of burlap or roll of kraft paper makes a quick, cheap, and chic table cover.
Cue up the Summer Playlist.
On the invitation, ask guests to RSVP with their favorite summertime song and create a playlist based on the responses. Choose music that will keep it light and fun, and your party will be too!
PARTY TIP: Wireless speakers let you take the summer songs wherever you go.
Cater to Comfort.
Encourage your guests to visit well into the summer evening by having items they may need on hand. Think blankets, bug spray, and, of course—the ultimate summer party essential—s’mores supplies.
Think about anything that might prevent entertaining outside and have a backup plan. For example, if thunderstorms are in the forecast, be prepared to bring the party inside. Set up food tables and a bar area and let guests help themselves.
Enjoy Your Summer Party
Above all, relax. People will rarely remember the food or playlist, but they will remember the way the host made them feel. Be a gracious host. Don’t get too consumed with all of the things you have to do to keep the party going. Take the time to eat, drink, and talk to your friends and family.
Accept the fact that something will probably go wrong. Your reaction will set the tone for the overall mood of your summer party. Keep your spirits up, and your guests will follow your lead.
PARTY TIP: Have fun!
When it comes to party planning, do what’s natural to you, and everything else will fall into place. The important thing is you take time to connect. Whether it’s a graduation, a birthday, or an informal dinner on the deck, anytime friends and family gather and share conversation and laughter, memories will be made. Use these outdoor party ideas to make the most of the season. Summer is too short.
You can break out the bikini, iced tea, and sunscreen, and be ready for heat waves in a flash. Your home, however, can’t do anything to prepare itself for the heat of the summer months. That is all up to you as the homeowner. A few small updates and changes can make a HUGE difference in the way your home holds up over the summer. It can mean the difference between a minor change and a major repair later, after the heat has had its way. Here are a few tips you can use to make sure your home is ready for the summer months.
Get your roof checked, including the caulking and the shingles.
During the winter, your roof took a beating – and it’s going to happen again in the summertime in a different way. Get the situation checked up there so that your home is in good shape to handle summer thunderstorms. It’s best to call a professional for this project; have the person make sure that flashing is tightly sealed, with some type of sealant that is still intact.
Check and replace air filters.
It may be best to call a professional for this.. Make sure the air filters in your HVAC vents are still fresh and mostly clean; if they are dirty and clogged, your air conditioner will have to work harder to push air through your home. That’s code for a higher energy bill.
Check your dryer vents.
If your vents are clogged or full of debris, the heat from the dryer will begin to blow right back into your home blocking any air conditioning or closed-windows that you’ve set up to cool the house down.
Install CFL, or compact fluorescent, light bulbs instead of incandescent ones.
Aside from the obvious energy savings, the new light bulbs will directly impact the temperature of your home. CFL bulbs produce much less heat when they are on, so the room stays cooler. It may not make a big difference – but who can argue with energy savings and a naturally cooler room?
Consider landscaping your yard for maximum energy efficiency during the summer.
Believe it or not, placing a tree overtop the air conditioning unit will keep it cooler and more efficient when doing its job.
Replace your old-style thermostat with a new one.
Switching to a programmable one could help save you up to $100 a year if you’re using a thermostat from the Stone Age, especially if it has a mercury tube inside. (Call your public works department to find out how to dispose of this, as it’s a toxic material.)
At R.L. Lanham Custom Built Homes, we value you as a customer and hope that you choose us as your next home builder in Oldham County, KY.
One of the most important rooms in your home is one that your guests may never see or even use. And yet, it can have a huge impact on your life at home. We’re talking about your master bathroom. Whether you’re building a new Oldham County home, or remodeling your existing home, this room deserves some special attention. Here are a few design ideas that can make that most private of rooms in your house truly special.
#1 Separate Sinks for Less Stress:
There’s a lot to be said for togetherness, but in the master bathroom, it can lose its luster quickly. Your master bath should be a relaxing place for getting ready for the day, or to wind things down at night. When two adults have to share a single sink at the beginning or the end of the day, it’s just not nearly as calm. Talk to your builder about including enough space (or creating it in the case of a remodel) to accommodate twin sinks.
#2 Hidden Storage:
Your bathroom closet and cabinets aren’t the only place you can store towels and other bathroom items. By recessing your vanity (between studs, for instance) you can create additional storage space without getting in the way of the space above your sink. Another very popular trend we have seen is to create open space above your cabinets for towels and other items that you might want to show off. We also love giving additional storage in the shower with a recessed niche to store all of your shower items and give you even more room without having bottles spread all over the shower.
#3 Soak Tub or Shower:
While there has definitely been a move away from larger soaking tubs, there are still a lot of homeowners who enjoy a long, relaxing soak after a long work day. If you allow enough space in your design, you may be able to accommodate both options. The trend, however, is toward larger walk-in showers that often include multiple heads and built in seats. Not only do these larger showers look amazing, but a step-in shower with a place to sit will serve you well in the future if you plan to stay in your home for the long haul—something the American Association of Retired Persons says that nearly 90 percent of Americans over 55 plan to do.
Ah, the bathroom. It’s a place of cleanliness and stress relief, a place of primping and prepping, a place of – ahem – relieving yourself. Along with the kitchen, it’s arguably one of the most important rooms in your house. That being said, it’s not uncommon to want to make it better, nicer, newer, more well suited to your needs, etc. So, how do you even start when you decide you want to remodel your bathroom?
1. Get a scope of the work.
More specifically, get a set of plans. This is especially important if you’re changing the layout of your bathroom. Having plans or a scope of work helps to ensure that you aren’t just telling a contractor “put that vanity over there”. Rather, you’re telling them, “install a 6’ long, 3’ tall vanity cabinet with marble countertops in the northwest corner of the bathroom.” Doesn’t that sound better?
2. Find a contractor.
Choosing a remodeling contractor who suits your needs and your budget can be a daunting task, but it’s also possibly the most important. After all, a project can’t start without someone to run it! (I mean, it can, but it sure won’t go anywhere fast!) A great place to start is with referrals from friends and family or online resources. Then, verify those referrals yourself through online research, in person meetings, and checking in with any references your potential contractor may supply. Once you’re head over heels in love (or you’ve at least found someone you trust and like), say “I do”, sign the contract, and begin talking about the commencement of work.
3. Make your selections.
It’s important to get your ducks in a row before your project starts. In this case, your ducks are called tile, plumbing fixtures, and light fixtures. There might be other selections to make (grout colors, paint, etc.) but these are by far the most important. This way, you or your contractor can place orders for everything you will need before the project starts to ensure none of it is out of stock or on backorder, which could cause a significant delay.
4. Let 'er rip!
Finally, after weeks (or months – or even years) of planning, construction begins. The most important tip for this phase is to COMMUNICATE! In remodeling, there is no such thing as asking too many questions or being overly If you have questions, comments, or concerns, bring them up! It will make the process easier for all involved parties.
Ah, the moment you’ve been waiting for. Whatever you were dreaming of before, whether it be a steam shower, a makeup vanity to call your very own, or just new tile, it’s now become a reality. Relax in your steamy retreat! Do your makeup like you’ve never done your makeup before! Walk on your new tile with all the gusto of a member of a marching band! Now’s your time – the contractors and workers are gone, the space is clean and sparkly, so live it up.
And that’s all there is to it! Five easy steps. Nothing else. Okay, there might be a little more to it than that, but breaking down a big project like a bathroom remodel makes it a lot easier to accomplish while keeping your head on straight.
Want to get started on a remodel in the Oldham County/ Louisville-Metro area today? Contact R.L. Lanham today at 502-744-8171.
When it comes to building your custom home, you don’t want a builder who doesn’t listen to your ideas. You want to work with one who listens to your ideas and builds the home you’ve been dreaming of for a while. But, how do you make sure you find that perfect home builder? It all comes down to the custom home building process. By making sure you understand a builder’s process, you can better evaluate what working with that builder will be like.
To help you get started, here are just a few key things you should look for in a custom home building process:
If a home builder doesn’t include sitting down with you and talking about what you’re looking for in a custom home, then it’s a huge red flag. The home builder should go beyond just talking though. Make sure they take the time to actually listen to what you want in a custom home. If they spend the entire conversation talking about their history, their goals, and how they operate, then you’ll want to talk to a different home builder.
Reviewing Custom Home Plans.
After your conversation, the custom home building process usually involves reviewing custom home plans. If your home builder really took the time to listen to your ideas and what you’re looking for, then the plans they prepared will match your ideas. If they didn’t listen, then the plans probably won’t match. Don’t be afraid to point out things you don’t like about the plans either. You want a home builder who is easy to work with and will customize the plans to your needs and wants.
Building the Home.
After you have approved the plans, R.L. Lanham Custom built Homes will start building the home of your dreams. During this phase of the process, you want a builder who will be willing to work with you. If you want to see the progress of the home, they should let you visit the build site and they should answer any questions you ask.
Moving into your Dream Home.
When the home is built, you want a home builder who will do a final walk through with you. After the buildout is complete, you may have questions about particular aspects of your new home and you want a home builder who will be there to answer those questions. While you’re looking for the right home builder, have them explain this part of the process and double check that it’ll work for you.
Every home builder has a different custom home building process, so it’s crucial to the success of your home building project to find a builder that will work with you and your needs. Make sure your voice is heard throughout the process and don’t be afraid to speak up about your concerns and wants.
Are you ready to start building your dream home? The team at R.L. Lanham Custom Built Homes is ready to listen to your ideas and start building your home today! Give us a call today at 502-744-8171.