Pick the Perfect Paint Color


Photo of 3 paint cans with paintbrush

 

If you’ve ever had to pick a paint color you know this major truth, the options are endless. Choosing the right paint color can be an overwhelming task, but it doesn’t have to be. Follow these 10 tips and you’ll have a new sense of confidence next time you’re in the paint aisle.

 

Bring Inspiration: Take along an existing pillow, piece of fabric, or photo of your space. This will help you make more informed decisions.

 

The Right Light: Make sure to view your paint or paint chips in natural light to assure you’re seeing the color correctly. Paint looks different under artificial light, so try holding the chip near a window or painting a sample on your wall first.

 

Take Home Testers: All the major paint retailers sell paint in small, tester sizes. These are perfect to take home and try out before committing to a full gallon of paint. The small amount will provide you with enough paint to give you an idea of what it would really be like to live with the color.

 

Try Multiple Shades: If you’re having trouble choosing, buy multiple testers and paint side-by-side squares on your walls. Live with them for a few days so you get the chance to see how the colors look morning, noon, and night. Make sure to mark them with identifiers so you’ll remember which one you liked best.

 

Choose Your Drama: Look to the color wheel for inspiration. Colors close together will make a room calm while those farther apart add drama.

 

Do What You Love: Start with a color you love, even if it’s not popular at the moment. Doing this will assure you’ll love the color for years to come. Just remember, your favorite color comes in a range of hues.

 

Lighten Up: If you’re afraid a hue may be too dark, ask the mixer to do a 50 percent tint of the color to lighten it up. Custom colors can also give a room a designer look, but make sure to jot down the specifics of your color for future touch-ups.

 

Room to Room: If you have rooms that are open to one another, avoid choosing radically different colors, which will make the spaces feel chopped up and small.

 

Go Bold: Small rooms that are visited more rarely, like a library or half-bath, can be done in stronger colors that make a statement.

 

Spraying vs. Rolling: Rolling may be the most popular choice, but it’s also the most time consuming and requires touch ups more often. On the other hand, spraying results in a more high-end, professional look that also cuts painting time in half. You can rent high-volume, low-pressure sprayers at most home-improvement stores. With both options make sure you properly cover the areas you don’t want painted.

Top Interior Design Styles, Explained


Whether you’re in the know or have no clue what makes interior design what it is, we have made a serious breakdown of interior design styles. From Minimalism to everyday coastal glamor, we suggest you bookmark this interior design guide for reference when looking for décor inspiration for your home or next project.

 

Muted colors, sparse decor, clean lines, neutral colors

Minimalism – One of the most thoroughly modern interior design styles to consider, people often tend to confuse minimalism with a stark coldness and uncomfortable severity – which is hardly the case at all. In fact, there’s even a warmer take on minimal interior design (warm minimalism) that’s full of no-fuss, clean elegance. Think simplicity, refinement, and a deft hand at sumptuous comfort and functionality. The key here is to keep rooms spare and well-edited with printless fabrications and décor extras that must serve a dual purpose. When thinking of minimal interior design styles trends, think of a modern art gallery or museum as a reference with their pulled together approach to filling a space with the barest of essentials that still feature a lively sense of drama either organic or abstract.

 

Muted tones with accent color, light-colored hardwood floors, living room with staircase in back right-center, natural lighting, spacious

Contemporary – Though people often tend to confuse modern interior design styles with contemporary interior design, there is a difference between the two that makes them unique in and of themselves. Contemporary style is complete of the moment while modern interior design styles can almost mean anything forward-thinking from the ’50s to the early aughts. Contemporary interior design style trends also have more freedom as modern is usually fixed around squared, graphic lines, and a particular take on modernity.

 

Well-lit, Angular ceilings, muted tones with accent colors from decor, tile flooring, floor-to-ceiling brick fireplace

Mid-Century Modern – Probably one of the most prolific interior design styles of all time, mid-century modern borrows from the best of ’50s and 60’s for a clean retro Danish-inspired feel. Simple straight forward silhouettes, organic shapes, quiet fabrications, and an emphasis on functionality are hallmarks of mid-century modern styling. That said, the movement’s minimal bent makes it a great option when looking to update traditional style interior design with ease. Plus, mid-century modern furnishings look great in almost any room and make for great elements when looking to create rich, diverse, interior design styles living room. And as far as interior design styles trends go, this is one fail-proof one we suggest you give a go.

 

Simple style, medium brown hardwood floors, large window for natural lighting, simple furniture, muted tones

Traditional – When it comes to interior design styles, almost everything is rooted in traditional interior design ideas, and for good reason. That said, you can make traditional style interior design all your own by incorporating pieces that speak to your personality and lifestyle while making a statement. 

 

Coastal – There’s something novel and reassuring about an edited mix of coastal and beach house elements bringing a room together. Coastal interior design notes feature light, bright, and airy environs often dreamed up in vibrant neutrals to soak up the sun’s rays. Common coastal color palettes include shades of light blues, greens, and corals, and sometimes wooden or whicker-type furniture inspired by the ocean along with an array of creams and neutrals for a relaxed yet elegant finish. 

 

Care-free, accent wall of dark teal green, relaxed chairs and pillows, mix of colors, houseplants,

Bohemian – One of the most timeless and endlessly popular interior design styles out there is bohemian décor. This style represents care and fuss-free freedom that’s unquestionably heady and intoxicating. Boasting a globally inspired comfortable mix of exotic finds and vintage and antique furnishings sourced from passionate flea-market treks and travels, the eclectic style also touches on hints of everyday glamor via crystal extras, beaded fabrications, jewel tones, and overall relaxed mood. If you’re already blessed with a varied array of distinct furnishings and admire the idea of beautifully rendered juxtapositions, this may just be the perfect interior design style living room to consider.

 

Concrete floors, metal accents, exposed lighting, metal pipig used for decor and furnishings, garage door style windows, metal grsting in kitchen for cabinets, wood accents

Industrial – As the name evokes an urban vibe with warehouse and factory elements thrown in the mix, it should come as no surprise that industrial interior design practices lend a clean, somewhat masculine, and minimal spirit to any room. Think a neutral color scheme, reclaimed machinery, moody hues, raw woods, and unfinished metals, and ultimately, statement-making throwbacks with a slight steampunk feel. That said, we wouldn’t recommend going industrial when considering the best interior design styles for small houses as this is one aesthetic that calls for plenty of breathing room to take in the often oversized machinery inspired elements. However, you can inject small doses of the design movement when looking at industrial interior design styles living room by incorporating raw metal decorative extras that stay on a bookshelf here, or in a small nook there.

 

Large open living room that flows to kitchen, open cabinetry so as to see the contents, large windows, animal-skin-esque rugs, large wooden accent beams with wood accents in windows and kitchen, off whites and dark greens for accent, tile flooring

Farmhouse – If warmth, practicality, comfort, and a relaxed approach to pull together design are on your agenda, modern farmhouse décor is a great option to consider. Warm and inviting, modern farmhouse takes its cues from the provincial for the ultimate mix of high & low contrasts that works beautifully especially for a growing family. Think rustic country elements updated for the now with a rich mix industrial, minimal, and Scandinavian touches for unique spaces that take full advantage of every architectural hallmark – flawed or not.

 

Rich brown color palette, leather furniture, antle chandelier, hardwood floows, open living space into kitchen and dining, large wooden beams in ceiling, catherdral ceilings, large windows, think, sturdy wooden furniture

Modern Country/Rustic – Modern Country, or Rustic, features dynamic layers of the rugged and the organic for a warm, and comforting take on interior design classics. From exposed beams to cherished industrial finds, the look is elevated yet au natural. Taking inspiration from the outdoors and a combination of farmhouse and industrial interior design styles, rustic décor places an emphasis on natural and weathered finishes, raw wood, stone, and leather, with unexpected touches and an overall sophisticated bent. That said, we’re all for modern interior design styles that combine various elements to create a beautifully realized, one-of-a-kind room.

 

Rich jewel tones, various patterns through out, large window, spacious, white walls for colors accents from furniture and decor

Art Deco – If your taste veers towards the ornate and jewel-like, this 1920’s design style throwback might just be your best option. Art deco interior design instantly evokes opulence; elegant, glamorous, and sleek, this style was popularized as the epitome of chic in the 1920s.

Delightful Dog Treats to Make at Home


Photo of dog with milk bone on nose

 

Home is where the heart is, and for many of us, our hearts are also shared with our furry best friends.

 

Making dog treats at home is a great way to reward your dog and keep an eye on what he or she eats. Here are some quick and easy recipes that make safe snacks for your pooch.

 

Photo of dog treats being made in kitchen

 

DOG BISCUITS

*2½ cups whole wheat flour (substitute regular flour or oats if your dog is sensitive to wheat)
*1 teaspoon salt (or less)
*1 egg
*1 teaspoon beef or chicken bouillon granules (can substitute beef or chicken broth/stock)
*½ cup hot water
*Optional: Bacon bits, eggs, oats, liver powder, wheat germ, shredded cheese

 

Directions:
• Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit
• Dissolve bouillon in hot water, add the rest of ingredients
• Knead dough until it forms a ball
• Roll out dough until ½ inch thick
• Slice pieces with a bone-shaped cookie cutter and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet
• Bake for 30 minutes

 

 

PUMPKIN BALLS

*½ cup canned pumpkin
*4 tablespoons molasses
*4 tablespoons water
*2 tablespoons vegetable oil
*2 cups whole wheat flour
*¼ teaspoon baking soda
*¼ teaspoon baking powder
*1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

 

Directions:
• Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit
• Mix pumpkin, molasses, vegetable oil and water in a bowl
• Add whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon to the mixture, stir until dough softens
• Roll small scoops of dough into balls
• Set the balls onto a lightly greased cookie sheet, flatten with a fork
• Bake for 25 minutes, until dough is firm

 

 

FROZEN YOGURT PEANUT BUTTER CUPS

*32 ounces plain or vanilla yogurt
*1 cup peanut butter (preferably unsalted and unsweetened)

Note: Check your peanut butter label to make certain it doesn’t contain xylitol, an ingredient which is toxic to dogs.

 

Directions:
• Melt peanut butter, combine with yogurt
• Pour mixture into ice cube trays
• Freeze mixture until firm (about a few hours)

 

 

FROZEN PB&J ICE CUBES

*About 12 strawberries, washed and rinsed
*3 tablespoons peanut butter (preferably unsalted and unsweetened)
*¼ cup cold water

Note: Check your peanut butter label to make certain it doesn’t contain xylitol, an ingredient which is toxic to dogs.

 

Directions:
• Mix ingredients together, scoop into balls
• Freeze mixture until firm (about a few hours)

 

Recipes courtesy of Cesar’s Way and Pawsh Magazine.

 

 

How to Protect Your Yard From Pests


Photo of Bee on flower

 

High humidity combined with warmer weather creates the perfect habitat for pesky summer bugs. Here are some effective ways to prevent common bites, stings and nuisances.

 

BEES

To prevent bees from establishing a colony in or around your house, it’s important to remember three things: food, water and shelter — bees’ keys to life.

 

As with any other summer bug, stagnant water must be kept to a minimum. Drain pots and repair any faulty irrigation systems. And if you have bird baths or pet bowls outside, mixing in 2 tablespoons of vinegar per gallon of water will discourage any bees from setting up shop near your house.

 

Plan an exterior inspection and eliminate any potential nesting sites. Cover holes, chimneys and animal burrows. Make sure windows and screens are tightly fitted and sealed. If you have any debris in your yard, such as old tires, cardboard boxes or old appliances, throw them out. Bees seek out such items for nesting sites.

 

Removing flowers as a source of food is not recommended. In fact, it’s very important for bees to pollinate many plants, including crops. If you have a colorful garden, not to worry. As long as you have their other two resources tamed to a minimum, you’re in tip-top shape for the summer.

 

GNATS

Although relatively harmless, these small creatures create quite the inconvenience with their constant swarming. Plus, you never know what germs they may be carrying as they travel from place to place.

 

If you garden, you want to make sure your fruits and veggies are staying fresh outside. If you happen to notice rotting or mold, act fast and pluck them out, then turn your soil or mulch to allow any moldy layers to dry out.

 

As with mosquitoes, be diligent in draining any standing water and drying out any moisture. With Texas humidity, the drying process may take a while. In this case, sprinkle a bit of sand on top of your soil, something very discouraging to gnats.

 

MOSQUITOES

Unfortunately, Texas’ No. 1 culprit is here to stay. Aside from the traditional insect repellants and home remedies, it’s best to treat this problem at its source — water.

 

Turn over empty pottery to prevent from collecting water, drain plant saucers and fix any leaking outdoor faucets. Mosquitoes often lay their eggs in stagnant water, so the less the better.

 

SLUGS

Like humans, slugs seek out shade on sunny days. And like many other bugs, they love moist areas.

 

To prevent slugs from damaging your plants and leaving their slimy evidence, get rid of any hiding places. Think cool, dark and moist. Try irrigating your lawn in the morning instead of the evening, allowing plenty of time for plants and soil to dry before the sun sets.

 

To protect plants, spray surrounding areas with soap and water. You can also create barriers around your plants, such as rocks, wire or anything rough and abrasive to slow them down.

 

Lastly, slugs have no bones. Therefore, they can fit in any crack or crevice they set their eyes on. Seal any cracks and cover any holes you notice throughout your house. By doing so, you not only eliminate the potential for slugs, but for other bugs as well.

 

If you’re experiencing bug problems not addressed here, contact your favorite local nursery for expert advice.

 

Strategic Pricing is Key


 

Strategic pricing is the key to selling your home at an attractive price in an acceptable amount of time. While many brokers will gladly list your home, the reality is if it is not properly priced your home may sit on the market month after month and actually help sell competing properties.

 

At Williams Trew, our professional real estate agents take pricing your property very seriously. Your Williams Trew agent will utilize Multiple Listing Service data to create a competitive market analysis that estimates a market-value range for your home based on the recent action of buyers and sellers in your neighborhood. A few of the factors your Williams Trew associate will consider when estimating your property’s market value:

 

Successfully Sold Homes
The selling price of recently purchased homes comparable to yours.

 

Competitive Properties for Sale
Since these homes are not yet sold, the market value is undetermined, but they are important, as buyers most likely will view and compare these properties with yours.

 

Pending Sales
Though they have not yet closed, homes under contract are a good indicator of value in the current market.

 

Failed to Sell
The listed price of these homes suggests what potential buyers will not pay.

 

If you’re curious about what your home is worth in North Texas’ competitive housing market, visit williamstrew.com, where you’ll find just the right real estate professional for your needs.

Tips for Flawless Outdoor Entertaining


 

Summer is here, which means longer nights and warmer weather. What better way to spend a summer day with family and friends than at an outdoor gathering? If you’re hoping to host a backyard soirée, here are some tips that will help things run smoothly.

 

PREPARE YOUR YARD

Tidy up your yard before hosting guests. Mow the grass and pick up any tools, hoses or toys.

 

CHOOSE THE RIGHT SEATING

Patio furniture with thick, comfy cushions are the best option for homeowners who frequent their outdoor space. When hosting a gathering, make sure you have enough seating. Benches and tree stumps are a casual, rustic way to add seating to your outdoor space. Make sure all the seating is clean of debris before your guests arrive.

 

KEEP GUESTS COMFORTABLE

Guests will be more inclined to stay for the duration of the party if they are comfortable. Have ample shade coverage and consider running a fan near the dining area to keep guests cool. You may also want to set out a basket with warm-weather essentials for guests to grab — think sunscreen, insect repellent, handheld fans and iced spray bottles.

 

PLAN A SIMPLE MENU

Opt for recipes that can be prepared in advance and will withstand crowds and heat. Fresh grilled vegetables, pasta salads and guacamole are all popular (and colorful!) choices.

 

ADD LIGHTING

Outdoor globe lights, lanterns and LED candles are all great options for setting a relaxed summer atmosphere. Setting out candles with an open flame is a bit riskier — instead, use hurricane lanterns or jars to shield the flames.

 

PLAY RELAXED TUNES

Set the right tone with a playlist that is easy and laid-back. You don’t want to overpower any conversations among guests. Create a long enough playlist to avoid repeating songs too many times while guests are there.

 

DISPLAY FRESH CUTS

Use flowers and foliage from your own yard as centerpieces. Arrange your fresh cuts in jars or buckets and set them out to brighten up your display.

 

OFFER ACTIVITIES

Providing lawn games like cornhole or croquet will keep your guests occupied and happy. Use butcher paper as a tablecloth and set out crayons for creative people of all ages.

 

KEEP PESTS AWAY

Be sure to protect food with mesh food coverings and light citronella candles to keep bugs away. Eliminate any standing water in gutters or the bottom of flowerpots to keep mosquitoes from breeding there. Offer guests bug wipes and insect repellent.

 

CREATE A BEVERAGE STATION

Make sure your guests are hydrated by preparing a beverage bar or cart stocked with the essentials. Include straws and plenty of ice.

 

OPT FOR MELAMINE

Melamine is an affordable and durable option for outdoor dinnerware. Using the break-resistant plastic will help you reduce waste and also keep the area clear of lingering paper cups and plates.

 

Visit williamstrew.com to view all of the extraordinary outdoor patios on the market that are begging to have you as a host.

 

How to Create a Greener Home


 

There are many different ways to go green at home. Even if you do just one or two of the below five things, you can make a big difference for our environment — and you’ll see the results on your bills.

 

MONITOR YOUR TEMPERATURE

Nearly half of a home’s energy usage goes toward heating and cooling. Keep filters clean, consider a new/more efficient furnace, and make good use of ceiling fans.

 

UPGRADE OUTDATED APPLIANCES

It’s estimated that almost 20 percent of the typical home’s energy bill can be attributed to appliance use. By upgrading to newer appliances, you’ll consume significantly less energy.

 

SAVE WATER

Putting an aerator on faucets can cut your annual consumption by half. Consider installing low-flow toilets, which use just over half the normal amount per flush.

 

LET THE SUN SHINE

The cheapest and most environmentally sound heat and light source is just outside your window. Open blinds, drapes, and shutters to let solar energy warm and brighten your home naturally.

 

USE GREENER CLEANERS

There’s an abundance of green cleaning products available these days. A simple online search will reveal which products are gentler to the environment than others.

Refreshing Summer Recipes


It can be tough to beat the Texas heat, but ice-cold beverages and tasty treats definitely help. Here are some easy and delicious recipes perfect for relaxing on the patio or hanging by the pool.

 

SIPS

CLASSIC LEMONADE

Ingredients:
*6 lemons, enough to make 1 cup of juice
*1 cup white sugar
*6 cups cold water

Directions:
1. Juice the lemons via your preferred method of juicing.
2. Stir together lemon juice, sugar and water.
3. Serve over ice.

 

WATERMELON GREEN TEA

Ingredients:
*3 cups green tea
*8 cups watermelon, cubed
*1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
*1/2 cup seltzer
*Springs of mint, for garnish

Directions:
1. Combine green tea, watermelon and lemon juice in a blender; blend until smooth.
2. Strain through a mesh sieve.
3. Refrigerate until cool.
4. Add seltzer.

 

BLACKBERRY SWEET TEA

Ingredients:
*1 pinch of baking soda
*4 cups boiling water
*4 tea bags
*2 1/2 cups cold water
*3 cups blackberries, fresh or frozen/thawed
*1 1/4 cups sugar
*1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped

Directions:
1. Crush blackberries and sugar together in a large container.
2. Add mint and baking soda; set aside.
3. Drape tea bags over the side of a pitcher; pour boiling water into the pitcher.
4. Steep for 3 minutes; remove and discard tea bags.
5. Combine tea and blackberry mixture; rest for 1 hour.
6. Strain through a mesh sieve.
7. Add cold water and stir.
8. Refrigerate before serving.

 

SNACKS

SWEET RICOTTA AND STRAWBERRY PARFAITS

Ingredients:
* 1 pound fresh strawberries, trimmed and halved or quartered
*1 teaspoon sugar
*1 tablespoon snipped fresh mint
* 1 15-ounce carton part-skim ricotta cheese
*3 tablespoons light agave nectar
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
* 1/4 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
* Fresh mint

Directions:
1. In a medium bowl combine strawberries, sugar and the 1 tablespoon snipped mint; gently stir to combine. Let stand about 10 minutes or until berries soften and start to release their juices.
2. In another medium bowl combine ricotta, agave nectar, vanilla and lemon peel. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes.
3. To assemble, scoop 1 tablespoon of the ricotta mixture into each of six parfait glasses. Top ricotta mixture in each glass with a large spoonful of the strawberry mixture. Repeat layers with the remaining ricotta mixture and strawberry mixture. Garnish with additional fresh mint.
4. Serve immediately or cover and chill for up to 4 hours.

 

CAPRESE SALAD PITA POCKETS

Ingredients:
*1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
*4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed
*1 cup coarsely chopped cucumber
*3/4 cup mixed spring salad greens
*1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
*2 tablespoons chopped green onion
*1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or cider vinegar
*1 tablespoon olive oil
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
*4 large whole wheat pita bread rounds, halved crosswise
* Large soft lettuce leaves (such as butterhead, Boston or Bibb)

Directions:
1. In a medium bowl toss together tomatoes, cheese cubes, cucumber, salad greens, basil, green onion, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper.
2. Line insides of pita halves with lettuce leaves.
3. Spoon tomato mixture into pitas.

 

NO-COOK ASIAN CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAPS

Ingredients:
*3 green onions
*1/2 6-ounce package refrigerated cooked chicken breast strips
*1/2 of a medium green sweet pepper, seeded and cut up
*3 tablespoons rice vinegar
*1 teaspoon sesame oil or olive oil
*1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, as desired
*1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
*1 cup shredded cabbage
*2 tablespoons water
*2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
*8 leaves butterhead lettuce (Boston or Bibb), about 1 small head

Directions:
1. Trim and discard root ends of green onions. Cut off and slice green tops and set aside.
2. In a food processor combine white parts of the green onions, chicken breast, sweet pepper, 1 tablespoon of vinegar, oil, black pepper and, if desired, crushed red pepper. Cover and pulse until chicken mixture is finely chopped. Transfer to a medium bowl.
3. Add cabbage and toss to combine. Divide chicken mixture into four individual microwave safe containers; chill.
4. Spoon mixture into individual lettuce leaves and wrap.

For dipping sauce, in a small bowl combine sliced green onion tops, 2 tablespoons vinegar, water and soy sauce. Divide among 4 small containers.

 

Count Sheep Not Threads


 

It’s estimated that a person will sleep for a third of his or her life. If you’re spending that much time in bed, you should make sure you like your sleeping conditions. Comfortable sheets are crucial for a good night of sleep, and many people don’t seek out the sheets that are best for them.

 

A common misconception is that higher thread counts mean better sheets. While thread count is important, there are other factors to consider when searching for the perfect sheets: the type of cotton, weave and finish, to name a few.

 

Cost: When it comes to sheets, quality is better over quantity. More expensive sets of 200-thread count sheets will generally be higher quality than a cheaper set of 400-thread count.

 

 

Fiber: Evaluate the length of the sheet’s fiber: longer fibers are better than short and lend themselves to longer lifespans. In addition, Egyptian cotton isn’t a myth, it’s indeed an indication of the quality of the cotton. Make sure the label says 100% or pure Egyptian cotton, because sheets can be labeled Egyptian even if they only contain a small percentage of actual Egyptian cotton. Alternative options are Pima and Supima, cotton-poplin, cotton-polyester and even bamboo.

 

Finish: Sheets may contain bleaches, dyes or finishes to keep them from wrinkling. If you have sensitivities or allergies, steer clear and opt for 100% organic sheets.

 

Thread Count: Thread count is the number of threads woven into one square inch of fabric. Additional threads can be woven in, thus, increasing the thread count. In general, a higher thread count will make the sheets denser. It’s recommended to get anything over 200, but anything higher than 400 isn’t necessarily worth it. The threads used to achieve these higher thread count sheets are often thinner so they can all fit.

 

Weave: Weave is the last thing you should pay attention to and is the determining factor in how the sheets feel and the lifespan. Common weaves are percale or sateen percale features a cool, crisp feel, while sateen is softer and warmer. When it comes to weave, pick what feels best to you.

 

6 Tips for Lasting Flowers


 

Like many businesses, flower shops have taken a hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. But as the Texas economy continues opening up, flowers are again in demand.

 

From homemade bouquets to delivered arrangements, here are some tips for making your fresh flowers last longer.

 

Clean vases are a must.

If whatever container you’re putting your stems in isn’t clean, bacteria will continue to grow and kill your flowers. Experts suggest scrubbing the vase with a mixture of 1-part bleach to 10-parts water before rinsing.

 

If a whole leaf is submerged underwater, tear it off.

When leaves remain underwater, they decompose and bacteria can grow. Remove excess leaves and stems to keep bacteria at bay so your flowers will last.

 

The colder the water, the better.

When you want to cook vegetables, you steam them with warm water until they wilt and soften. Think about it like this, if you use room temperature or warm water, you’re causing the flowers to soften. The colder the water, the better your results.

 

Cut stems at a 45-degree angle.

When you cut flower stems with scissors, you are constricting the straw-like tube that allows nutrients to reach the top of the flower. Use a Swiss Army knife for soft stems and a pair of bypass cutters for woody stems. Always trim the stems at a 45-degree angle.

 

Measure flower food precisely.

Avoid dumping flower food into the vase with your flowers. Too much flower food will poison your flowers, and too little is somewhat pointless. Use the directions on the packet of flower food to follow the correct food-to-water ratio.

 

Fresh water is key.

Every two days, or when the water gets cloudy, replace the water in the vase. With each water change, it’s recommended to clean the vase. Use the same steps as above.