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Spring Mulch 101

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Spring is finally upon us!

Time for spring showers, spring cleaning and, of course, spring planting and gardening. After all the snow and frigid temperatures we had in the Cincinnati area this winter it sure sounds like fun to get outside and play in the dirt! If you’re heading out to spruce up your yard or plant a garden, chances are you’re going to need some mulch to protect and moisten your soil, lock out weeds and add that colorful springtime flair.

Mulching is a great option for protecting your soil from the harsh midwestern weather, but what kind do you need and when should you put it down? Generally, residential mulching is done during the springtime warming so it can help plants grow and protect the plants already grown. The type of mulch to use depends both on preference and application. Course mulch is made for spreading in wider areas and around large trees, whereas a medium to fine mulch will work better with shrubs and flowers. Colored mulches add a lot of excitement to a yard and can sometimes last multiple years meaning you can just touch it up instead of completely remulching each year. Wood mulches make for excellent walking paths and to keep areas from getting muddy or dirty.  If you need help picking your mulch, drop by Semco in Cincinnati and we’ll help you make the right choice.

Mulch isn’t the only way to add springtime flair to your garden, gravels not only look good but can help plants grow more quickly in the spring as they lock daytime heat into the soil during the chilly nights. The Iowa Rainbow gravel, for example, is a fun and useful addition to any garden or landscape.

Outdoor lighting

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Daylight savings time may be coming to an end, but shorter days doesn’t have to mean less time spent outside. Instead, why not add lighting to your existing outdoor space? Depending on the type you choose, lighting can go a long way in helping set the tone of your space and creating a place you can enjoy whenever the weather allows.

The first step in choosing appropriate lighting is determining what type of space you have and what type of entertaining you do. Remember, anything you do now will still be useable next spring and summer, so think long-term. Do you typically have large social gatherings? If so, consider installing bright lighting that will provide the most visibility. While bright lights provide the most visibility, they are also the harshest, so you will probably want to keep bright lights to a minimum and supplement with softer lighting.  One benefit of adding permanent, bright lighting is the increased safety and security it provides to your home in return, increasing your home’s property value.

If your space doesn’t lend itself to bright lighting or you’re not interested in making the investment, then soft, dimmer lighting may be the solution. You can either choose permanent lighting with subtle, low wattage bulbs or you can rely on candles and lanterns strategically placed around your space to add ambiance and warmth as well as needed light.

There are many types of lighting options available for your outdoor space. Take the time now, before winter arrives to think about what you want and what you need to make your patio or deck useful and enjoyable year-round.

Flagstone Flooring

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Flagstone is generally thought of as a flooring option for outdoor spaces. But have you considered using it indoors? Natural stone is an ideal option for indoor flooring thanks to its durability, ease of maintenance and the variety of options available.

Natural stone of any sort is a very durable surface and flagstone is no exception making it ideal for withstanding the daily grind a home’s floor endures. Flagstone is also quite easy to maintain while being environmentally friendly. Maintaining stone flooring is as simple as keeping it swept and dusted. Periodically you may need to mop these surfaces, which can be done using water and mild soap.

When choosing flagstone flooring for a home or business, it’s important to remember that there is no cookie cutter look to natural stone. Natural stone comes in a variety of colors and patterns and each installation has it’s own distinct look that can be customized to suit your home’s décor. The differences in natural stone variations allow a home or business owner to be secure in knowing the look of the install will not be repeated in other homes, helping increase property value.

The addition of natural stone flooring can add a sense of elegance and sophistication to a room. If your room is connected to an outdoor patio, consider using the same stone both indoors and out, giving the illusion of a larger space and bringing the outdoors, inside.

These are just a few of the benefits that come with installing natural stone flooring. With a large variety of product offerings including an exclusive product, Brentwood, Semco can help you find the perfect stone to use for your home’s flooring.

Beautiful Bathrooms

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Fall has arrived. The days are shorter, the nights are cooler and most homeowners’ thoughts turn to their home’s interior. From cozy fireplaces to elaborate entertaining spaces, there are many uses for natural stone inside your home. Have you ever considered adding stone in your bathroom like this install using Blue River Tumbled Machine Cut building stone?

Whether you have a small guest bathroom you’d like to improve or a large master bath fit for a king, natural stone is a great addition. It embodies elegance and luxury and provides a sense of serenity and relaxation to your home. Who wouldn’t want to come home after a long day and relax in a bathroom with a spa-inspired aesthetic?

There are many ways to bring natural stone into your bathroom depending on how large a commitment you want to make. Just want to add a little? Try using natural stone as a backsplash or installing stone countertops. If you want to try something a little more intensive, why not consider adding natural stone walls to your shower or even completely enclosing your shower? Or maybe you’re ready to make a large commitment to adding stone in your home. If so, bathtubs and sinks carved from stone can really add visual interest and a wow factor to you home.

From large scale to minimal, adding stone to your home is a great investment. It is good for the environment, good for your resale value should you ever decide to sell and a very durable material that is easy to maintain. If you think natural stone is right for your home, check out our inspiration gallery for tips.

Natural Stone Fireplaces

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There’s nothing better than curling up by the fire on a chilly, fall night. Fireplaces add warmth and ambience, making spaces in your home, such as the living room, the ideal place for entertaining and hanging out with your family. By combining the elegance of a fireplace with the beauty of natural stone, you can turn any home’s living space from so-so to so sophisticated.

Aesthetically speaking, a fireplace can make an excellent focal point for most any room by adding texture, scale and color to the room. Whether you want to complement your existing décor or develop the room’s look around the fireplace, the variety of stone offered by Semco makes it easy to find a finish that will suit you and your family’s taste.

In addition to being visually pleasing, natural stone fireplaces are also extremely durable and low maintenance. The sturdiness of the stone allows it to withstand the high temperatures that come with housing a fire and its durability insures the stone will last for a number of years. Natural stone is also very easy to clean needing only warm water and a rag to wipe away dust, grime and dirt.

If you’re not quite ready to commit to natural stone or already have a fireplace made of another stone, there is always the option of installing natural stone thin veneer. Not as heavy or expensive as regular natural stone, thin veneer allows you to add the look of natural stone to your home without the cost or commitment. Check out our previous blog for tips and our “how-to” section for a video on the process.

Natural stone fireplaces can enhance any home’s style while adding warmth and elegance to your space. Whether your home is modern and trendy or classy and elegant, Semco has a stone that will work for you.

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