7 Tips to Help You Turn Your Attic Into a Gorgeous Living Space

attic inspirationAttics can be tricky spaces for homeowners to navigate. On one hand, it can be a handy spot for extra storage; on the other hand, that empty space is practically begging to be converted into a cozy living area.

If you have an attic and want to create a warm little reading nook, a welcoming guest room, or an additional play area, check out our 7 tips to help you make the most out of your extra square footage:

Start Measuring – First things first, take a look at the space and determine what you’re working with. You’ll want to measure out the attic and every nook and cranny it has before you begin moving any furniture upstairs. Don’t let low eaves or narrow passages change your mind – there are plenty of ways to work with these odd features (we’ll get to that later)!

Think White – Usually, attics are cramped, somewhat creepy spaces that nary a soul visits. Make your attic inviting and appear larger than it is by choosing white for the walls, ceiling, bedding, and décor! Of course, we’re not suggesting that your attic should resemble a stark and sterile environment; even just a bit of white somewhere will open up the space and make it more inviting.

Dress the Windows – Let’s face it – if you have windows in the attic, they’re going to be tricky to cover. You may choose to use no window treatments, which is totally fine. But if you want to use the newfound space as a bedroom, you should consider covering the window somehow. Customized window treatments or even motorized shades can work wonders in your attic!

Leave Your Bed on the Floor – Create an incredibly cozy space by keeping your mattress on the floor. Depending on the size, you can squeeze it into a hideaway nook. Give it a comfy vibe by adding lots of pillows in different sizes!

Make the Space Work for You – Don’t let your attic’s awkward spacing stop you from making a great living area. Use all of the nooks to your advantage! Turn the low structural points as decorative shelves or create a semi-built in desk under the eaves to maximize the space.

Stay Low to the Ground – Unless your attic is incredibly tall, this is not the place to try fitting in bunk beds or massive bookshelves. Instead, keep your furnishings lower to the ground for a cozier feel. A low coffee table, sofa, and bed will make the attic seem larger than it actually is!

Make ‘em Look Up – You don’t have to live with the dim lighting that typically accompanies attic spaces! Boost the fancy factor by adding pendant lighting or a beautiful statement chandelier to the room. Make it bright and cheerful by supplementing the look with fun but functional table lamps!

Of course, before you begin fleshing out your space and hauling up the furniture, you should call a building inspector to make sure your attic is strong enough to support the changes you want to make. The inspector should be able to give you the go-ahead to create your fun living area or if you need to make any renovations first.

Does your attic (or home) leave something to be desired? Let the experts at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties help! Call us today at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 to get started, or view all of our listings online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com.

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13 Fun Last-Minute Trip Ideas Before School Starts

Starved Rock State ParkSchool might be in session soon, but that doesn’t mean that the summertime fun has to stop. Adventure is still out there waiting for us in our own backyard – and beyond! Whether you have time for a daytrip or a weekend getaway, there’s still plenty of time to have one last hurrah before school starts.

Here are 13 fun Illinois trip ideas for you to squeeze in before time runs out!

Local Adventures

Visit Cahokia Mounds – If you haven’t visited Cahokia Mounds yet, you’re really missing out. It’s one of only 22 World Heritage Sites in the nation and is home to the most sophisticated prehistoric native civilization north of Mexico. Check out the mounds and the site’s interpretive center for a fun journey back in time. Don’t forget to visit Monks Mound, the largest pyramid north of Mesoamerica, for a beautiful view of Madison County and St. Louis!

Hit The (Great River) Road – Soak up the sun and enjoy the beautiful sites on the Great River Road. Take a pit stop to check out the painting of the legendary man-eating Piasa bird just north of Alton (you can’t miss it!). While you’re headed north, be sure to stop by Grafton for a bit of shopping and visit Pere Marquette State Park to hit some trails and take in spectacular views of the Mighty Mississippi.

Fun a Hop, Skip, and a Jump Away

Go Sailing at Carlyle Lake – Get away from it all and head to this beautiful, 26,000-acre manmade lake for some nautical adventures! Sail to your heart’s content, enjoy a picnic lakeside, or stay the night by booking one of the rustic cabins.

Skydive in Greenville – Want to really feel the wind blow through your hair while you get a bird’s eye view of Carlyle Lake? We recommend visiting Gateway Skydiving Center in Greenville! Experience a thrill of a lifetime as you leap out of a plane and free-fall for 45 seconds before opening your parachute and descending to the ground below.

Zip Through the Trees in Kinmundy – Get lost in the wild by visiting the American Obstacle Adventure Park in Kinmundy! Feel like Tarzan as you zip-line through tree canopies, or duke it out with your friends and family in the outdoor laser tag area.

Check Out Balloon Fest in Centralia – Mark your calendars for Saturday, August 18 to stop by Centralia Foundation Park for their annual Balloon Fest! Gaze in wonder as the dozens of hot air balloons light up during the Balloon Glow, check out the craft stands, and split a funnel cake with your friends (or have one all to yourself!). It’s a magical event you won’t want to miss!

Excitement a Few Short Hours Away

Explore Starved Rock State Park – Did you know that the Prairie State has waterfalls? You can see a majority of them at beautiful Starved Rock State Park, just south of the Illinois River. Hike your favorite paths to see towering canyons and gorgeous wildflowers tucked away within the flat fields of Illinois farm country. Make the trip complete by stopping by nearby Ottawa to check out historic Washington Square and find a one-of-a-kind gift at Starved Rock Hot Glass!

Get Lost at the Garden of the Gods – Although it’s located far away in southeastern Illinois, this state park is a must-see. Discover extraordinary rock formations and untouched swathes of wilderness as you blaze your own trail on foot or on horseback. The stunning views are unlike anything else you’ll see in the Midwest!

Let Superman Steal Your Heart in Metropolis – Are you a Superman fanatic? You’re gonna want to visit Metropolis! Their museum includes more than 20,000 items of memorabilia and the famous giant Superman statue that stands proudly outside. Photo ops and plenty of fun will be in store for you in this little Illinois metropolis!

Quirky, Off-the-Beaten-Path Ventures

Go Back in Time in Kaskaskia Island – Journey to Kaskaskia Island, the only location in Illinois that’s located on the west side of the Mississippi River, for a trip back in time. The state’s first capital, Kaskaskia is home to the Liberty Bell of the West, which is even older than Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell! A once thriving community, the little village suffered from several floods that wiped out countless houses throughout the years. Be sure to visit the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church to see artifacts from the 1800s before you leave!

Watch Out for That First Step in Woodstock – Who doesn’t love the movie Groundhog Day? If you’re a real fan, take the trip up north to Woodstock, Illinois where the movie was filmed! Check out Woodstock Square Park where Bill Murray broadcasted Punxsutawney Phil’s forecast in Gobbler’s Knob, step in the infamous puddle (which has its very own plaque that says “Bill Murray Stepped Here”), or visit the Royal Victorian Manor, which was used as the inn in the film.

Hunt Planets in Peoria – For an adventure that’s out of this world (sorry, we had to make the joke!), visit the world’s third-largest scale of our solar system’s planets in Peoria! Become a self-proclaimed interplanetary explorer and track down all the planets in and around the city. You can find out more here!

Visit the Infamous Cave-In-Rock – It may look like your average cave, but Cave-In-Rock holds several stories and legends dating back to when it was discovered in 1739! It’s said that it was once home to plundering river pirates, outlaws, and counterfeiters for many years. Local legend even contests that Jesse James himself and his gang once took refuge here. Although it sits empty, you can explore the cave and pretend like you’re a baddie hiding from the law!

Wherever your adventures take you, we hope that you have fun, safe travels before school starts! Did we miss any fun Illinois destinations? Tell us about them in the comments below!

Enjoy Your Patio to the Fullest This Summer with These 8 Tips!

summertime patio

The dog days of summer are here, and if you haven’t gotten outside to enjoy the great weather we’ve been having lately, then you’re missing out! It’s time to get out there and soak up what’s left of the season before the cold creeps in.

You don’t have to go very far either – your patio, deck, or porch will suffice! Just follow these 8 tips to get the most enjoyment from your outdoor living area this summer:

Choose Cozy Seating – No one wants to sit on stiff, uncomfortable chairs and sofas. Treat your outdoor room as you would your indoor ones by placing thick, comfy cushions on your chairs and selecting seating you would practically never want to leave.

Outsmart the Weather – You might not be able to control Mother Nature, but you can certainly stay a few steps ahead of her! Make wind less of an issue by keeping your table bare and weighing down any dishes you may have with small bowls filled with fresh fruit or other yummy snacks. Hide from the sun under a freestanding umbrella, shade trees, or handy lattices.

Set the Right Mood – You’d be surprised how even the simplest outdoor space comes alive with the right lighting! Best of all, you don’t need a lot to achieve the feel you want. Paper lanterns or repurposed white Christmas lights draped over tree limbs work wonders. Make decorating even easier by using battery-operated flameless candles. They’re just like the real thing but without the mess and fire hazard!

Keep Bugs at Bay – No one invites these pesky critters to our outdoor get-togethers, but they always manage to crash the party. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can keep them away. Light citronella candles or use insect repellant, for starters. Get rid of any standing water and turn on the ceiling fans to deter mosquitoes and other insects. And of course, you can also screen in your porch to enjoy the outdoors without the bugs – permanently!

Stoke the Fire – There’s nothing like gathering around the fire on chilly summer nights and making s’mores. Break out the fire pit and call some friends over to roast marshmallows and share spooky ghost stories!

Bring the Music Outside – Create a relaxing oasis in your own backyard by bringing the tunes to you. If you don’t have any outdoor outlets, grab some wireless speakers and connect them to a sound system in your home to play your favorite songs. If that doesn’t work, a decorative running water piece can create the same effect!

Make an Outdoor Dining Kit – Maybe you like the idea of dining al fresco, but the thought of getting everything together and taking it outdoors is exhausting. Make things easier on yourself by having a handy kit ready and waiting to be taken outside! Include some of the essentials like unbreakable plates and glasses, napkins, silverware, a carafe for your favorite beverage, and a bottle opener.

Keep Blankets Handy – For those chilly evenings, it’s always smart to have a few lightweight blankets or throws nearby. Stow them in an outdoor ottoman or drape them over chairs to use them as soon as you catch chill.

If you’re one of our readers who doesn’t have a porch, deck, or patio, then what are you waiting for? Find your dream home – complete with the outdoor space you want – with the help of The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties! Call us today at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 to get started today!

5 Tips to Keep Your 4th of July Safe and Fun

fireworks

Break out the grill, ready the yard games, and don the red, white, and blue – Independence Day is just around the corner! As you prepare to celebrate our nation’s birthday with delicious food and great company, take the time to follow these 5 important tips to keep you safe and the festivities fun.

Leave the Fireworks to the Professionals – No July 4th is complete without oohing and aahing at a masterful display of fireworks. Come out to one of the many displays that towns in the Greater St. Louis region will be hosting. Stay at least 500 feet to enjoy the show safely (They’re better from a distance anyway!).

Grill Like a Pro – Cook up amazing food, not a recipe for disaster! Supervise your grill whenever it’s in use, and make sure that everyone else stays away until the food is ready and the grill is off. Remember to use long-handled tools to keep your hands safe and burn-free!

Say No to UV Rays – Speaking of getting burned, you’ll also want to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays this 4th of July. The sun is at its strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so remember to apply sunscreen half an hour before heading outside and wear a protective hat and sunglasses as well. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, too!

Be Smart Behind the Wheel – Did you know that Independence Day is the most dangerous day to drive in the United States? If you have to be out on the road this July 4th, be extra cautious. Don’t use your cell phone and always wear a seat belt. Make sure that children are properly buckled in the correct seat and that they are never left in an unattended vehicle. And of course, never drink and drive!

Take Care of Your Pets – Dogs and cats aren’t the biggest fans of the 4th. Many of them are terrified of the loud noises and bright bursts of light that fireworks bring. Keep your pets indoors and consider keeping a radio or television on to distract them from the commotion. If they do go outside, make sure that they’re wearing a collar with an up-to-date ID tag.

From all of us at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties, we wish you a happy, fun, and safe 4th of July this year!

10 Smart Ways to Stay Safe During Summer Storms

cellar door

A rumble of thunder, a bolt of lightning, a sudden change in the atmosphere – these are telltale signs that a storm is a-brewin’ and could be heading right your way in the near future.

While you might feel the desire to reenact Twister and go chase down the storm to make your Instagram a little snazzier, we’re here to tell you that it’s a really bad idea. In fact, we want you to stay safe during inclement weather, so we’ve taken the liberty of putting together a list of 10 handy tips to keep you and your loved ones protected from those wicked seasonal storms roll around:

Keep an Eye on Your Trees – Have you noticed that some of the trees in your yard have a few dead or rotting limbs? If so, take the time before any storms come to take them down. If one of your trees appears to be rotting or is dead, remove it before a storm does that for you (and causes some unnecessary damage to your property).

Prepare Before the Storm – Any thunderstorm can cause damage to your home or belongings. If a storm is on the way, take the time to shut any open windows and secure all outside doors. Don’t forget to tie down or relocate anything that could be blown away outside, and unplug your electronics to avoid a possible surge.

Beware of Flash Flooding – According to the National Weather Service, flash flooding is responsible for more fatalities than any other thunderstorm hazard, and it’s also the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the nation. If you notice that the road ahead is covered with water, turn around and take an alternate route.

Invest in Surge Protectors – When lightning strikes your home, it can surge through your power outlets, which can damage any appliances attached to them. Take care of your electronics by investing in a surge protector, especially in rooms that use a lot of electricity. These handy devices help redirect excess electricity toward a grounding wire and neutralizing it, keeping your home and everything within safe!

Stay Away From Metal and Electrical Equipment – If you paid attention in your earth science class, you probably remember that metal conducts electricity. Should you be handling metal or electrical equipment during a storm, you run a real possibility of electrocution. Don’t use telephones, laptops, or computers unless it’s an emergency. Stay away from other dangerous objects like aluminum bats, golf clubs, bicycles, and any devices that are plugged in for recharging until the storm passes.

Delay That Shower – It’s also dangerous to come into contact with water whenever a storm is in the area. While using the restroom and washing your hands is minimally risky, taking a bath or shower and doing the laundry is unsafe. That’s right, we’re giving you a real reason for you to put off doing the laundry! Pay close attention to the weather to make sure that it’s safe to begin your chores or take a shower.

Stay Inside – We know. You just want to go outside on the porch and watch the storm roll on by, but the safest thing for you to do is to head back inside and to stay far away from the windows and doors. Your body carries a slight natural electrical charge, which can attract lightning if you’re the strongest charge in the area. We recommend staying inside near the center of a ground-floor room, especially during a particularly nasty storm system.

Avoid Storm-Damaged Areas – After the storm, it’s best to keep away from any areas that have fallen branches and downed powered lines in the streets. If you happen to see any live power lines on the ground, report them to the police immediately.

Steer Clear of Trees – Should you find yourself outside when a storm arrives, maintain a healthy distance from natural lightning rods like tall, isolated trees. You should also avoid being near small structures in open areas. These objects can increase the likelihood of lightning striking near you!

Take a Storm Spotter Class – They’re fun, educational, open to the public, and free! You’ll learn how to look at cloud formations and identify potentially dangerous weather situations. Besides learning how you can keep yourself and your loved ones safe during inclement weather, you can also become a volunteer storm spotter for the National Weather Service! Learn more and find a class near you here!

We hope that these tips will help you stay safe during those summertime storms. If we left out any handy pieces of advice, be sure to let us know in the comment below!

10 Easy Ways to Have Fun Around St. Louis This Summer

School’s out, the sun is back, and everyone’s sporting shorts and sandals. That’s right – summer’s back in the St. Louis area, and we are loving it! Of course, you don’t need to have a beach and an ocean to get the most out of the season. There are plenty of fantastic things to do in your own backyard!

Enjoy summer to the fullest with these 10 fun ideas:

Visit a Farmers Market – There’s nothing like fresh produce, and summer gives us some of the best. You can find all of the berries, peaches, corn, tomatoes, and peppers you want at your local farmers markets! Pick out your favorites, along with some farm fresh eggs, local honey, and delectable bread, as you listen to live entertainment. Oh, and you could find some fun gifts for your friends or yourself, too – there are plenty of crafts, handmade soaps, jewelry, baskets, and more! Just head over to Alton, Edwardsville, or Jerseyville to get started.

Catch a Game or Two – It just isn’t summer without some baseball! Enjoy America’s favorite pastime at Busch Stadium, around the local ball field, or in your backyard playing catch with your family and friends.

Check Out Local Homecomings – Summers call for fun times out in the local parks eating corn dogs and funnel cakes while the kids have the time of their lives on the Scrambler and carousel. Celebrate Highland’s Swiss heritage with plenty of hot food, cold drinks, and fun games at the Schweizerfest. Get lost in carnival games and karaoke at the Glen Carbon Homecoming, or watch a tractor pull, demolition derby, and more at the Madison County Fair.

Go For a Spontaneous Drive – What better time of year is there for grabbing your friends and driving somewhere beautiful with the windows down? Whether you’re marveling at the beauty of the Great River Road, revisiting the tale of the Piasa Bird, or blazing your own trail on your favorite back roads, you’re sure to enjoy the wind flying through your hair as the music blares from your speakers.

Play a Set of Washers – While many of us do whatever we can to stay out of the hot summer sun, we tend to make an exception when it comes to playing a rousing game of washers. Of course, if you want to do ladder golf, Frisbee, cornhole, or any other sport instead (or in addition to) washers, we say go for it!

Meet Your Friends at the Muny – The Muny is celebrating their 100th season this year! Now’s the time to head out to Forest Park and catch one of your favorite shows with your family and friends. Shows this year include Meet Me in St. Louis, Singin’ in the Rain, Jersey Boys, Annie, and many more. Get your tickets here and get ready to have a blast!

Savor St. Louis Classic Foods – Whether you’re cooking up some pork steaks or horseshoes at home, demolishing a plate of toasted raviolis with your best friends, or splitting a St. Louis-style pizza at a party, you can’t go wrong with enjoying some local cuisine throughout the season. Don’t forget to top it all off with some delicious gooey butter cake, no matter what the occasion!

Consume a Healthy Amount of Frozen Custard – When dusk rolls around, it isn’t uncommon to find your neighbors or people you’ve gone to school with lined up and waiting to sink their teeth into some fresh frozen custard. Enjoy a classic concrete at Ted Drewes, savor Annie’s Frozen Custard’s Flavor of the Week, or order your favorite concoction of flavors at Bobby’s Frozen Custard.

Be Dazzled by Fireworks – No July 4th celebration is complete without a fireworks display! Fortunately, St. Louis has some of the best shows in the nation. Prepare to be left awestruck whenever you check out the fireworks in the city, Edwardsville, Alton, Highland, Troy, Granite City, and anywhere else you may go in the Metro East St. Louis region!

Soak in the Music at the Muny Band Concerts – Head on over to Highland, Edwardsville, or Alton (or all 3!) to sit back and enjoy some beautiful live music with your friends and family! You just need to bring a lawn chair or a picnic blanket – these weekly municipal band concerts are free.

How do you like to celebrate summer? Tell us in the comments below!

How to Decorate with Succulents (and Keep Them Alive) Like a Pro

succulent terrarium

Have you been thinking about adding some pizzazz to your home décor? Maybe you’ve seen people decorating with those oh, so adorable, seemingly omnipresent little succulents. Maybe you like the idea of adding these no-fuss plants around your home, but you have the cursed brown thumb and every plant you touch seems to wither and die under your care.

Never fear. We’ve put together a handy list to help you not only decorate with these spiky little gems but also keep them alive like a regular pro. Read about them below!

Decoration Ideas:

Leave ‘Em Hanging – Indoors or out, some succulents hanging around in pretty planters can really add some life to your space. Add a bit of personality by securing the pots with some sturdy twine.

Greet Them at the Door – They say that first impressions are everything, so make it count by keeping a few cute succulents in the entryway. We think they look especially nice next to a pretty picture frame or a small stack of books!

Keep Your Thinking Sharp – Succulents are great little plants to keep on your desk. They don’t need too much attention and are happy to give your workspace a little bit of life while you work from home.

Make a Centerpiece – Cacti and other succulents make a colorful, unique centerpiece on your kitchen table, coffee table, or any other spot of prominence in your home. Whether you group a few of them together in one planter or purchase a handful of various succulents in their own pots, you really can’t go wrong!

Pretty Up Your Windowsills – Are your ledges begging for some decorative attention? Succulents are the perfect little touch for any windowsill! Put them in fun planters and watch them soak up the sun!

Place Them on Shelves – Add some green to your bookshelves with some potted succulents. Aside from looking perfect next to your favorite pieces of literature, these plants will take care of themselves with very little upkeep!

Now that you know what to do with your succulents, here are a few quick pointers to help keep them alive for more than a few weeks:

*Give them some room – Most succulents like being outside in warm, dry climates and like to have a little space. When you plant them, be sure to give them a bit of breathing room so they can grow and flourish.

*Provide shade – Believe it or not, some succulents can get sunburn. While we don’t recommend slathering on the sunscreen, we do suggest placing them in a spot that gets at least a little shade throughout the day.

*Water them right – These plants have learned to live a very long time with little water, but that doesn’t mean they can’t go without it entirely. Give your succulents a healthy rain shower every few weeks to keep them hydrated and happy.

*Drainage is essential – Succulents don’t like water hanging around – after all, too much water at the roots leads to rot. Make sure that your planter has some sort of drainage so that water can be diverted away from the plant, and remember to water them lightly.

*Don’t forget to feed them – When it comes to succulents, a once-a-year meal is just enough. Feed them organic fertilizer at the beginning of their growing season for the best results!

Guess where these adorable plants would look best? The home of your dreams. We can make that happen! Just call the experts at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 to get started today!

5 Simple Tips to Make Your Yard Pet-Friendly

labrador looking over fence

We know you love your pet. After all, you’ve made sure that their world inside your home is filled with plenty of water and healthy food, treats, a cozy bed, and their favorite toys. But is your backyard equally as safe and fun for your four-legged friend?

Whether you’re bringing home a new pet or just want to make life even better for your furry best friend, here are 5 easy tips to help make your backyard a paradise for your dog or cat:

Give Them a Steady Water Source – Your pet needs plenty of water, especially during the hot summer months. Keep a large bowl filled with lots of fresh water, or go ahead and add a water feature to your landscaping that your pet can access such as a stream or a splash fountain. Have a water-loving pet? Keep a small pool out for them to frolic in. If you have a pool made for humans, however, make sure that it is securely covered whenever your pet is outside.

Fence Them In – Keep your pets safe by creating a safe enclosure, whether you fence in your entire yard or an enclosure for them to enjoy. Make sure that it’s strong enough to keep your pets inside and intruders outside. If you have a cat that enjoys the great outdoors, create a cat-proof fence with an inward angle of 45 degrees at the top.

Provide Shade and Shelter – Like people, dogs can get sunburn and suffer from sunstroke, and cats enjoy having privacy. Trees and large shrubbery should give your pet sufficient shelter and shade. If your yard lacks trees, outstretched tarps, a patio umbrella, or a doghouse could do the trick (no pun intended).

Avoid Toxic Landscaping – Pets can get into trouble sometimes when they explore. Prevent accidental poisoning by ensuring that your garden is free of any toxic plants and flowers or create a small fence around the perimeter of your garden. Remember to check which plants are poisonous to dogs and cats before you plant anything!

Make It Fun – An exercised pet is a happy pet. Make sure that your yard has plenty of space for your four-legged friend to run, chase balls, play fetch, and safely explore their territory. Get a little creative and construct an obstacle course for your pet to enjoy or designate a spot for the two of you to play together!

Don’t have enough space for your pet outside? The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties can help with that! Call us today at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 to find the perfect home for you and your furry friend. Sniff out your future dream home by visiting our listings page at www.dianamasseyhomes.com!

4 Easy Ways You Can Flood-Proof Your Yard

rain barrel

As the saying goes, April showers bring May flowers; however, seemingly endless springtime rain can herald some serious damage to your yard, and fast. Flooding isn’t just an eyesore – it can also kill any overly saturated grass and, depending on the proximity to your home, may also cause water damage in your basement.

Don’t let the springtime storms rain on your parade. Protect your home and yard with these 4 easy tips!

Create a Rain Garden – Have a low spot in your yard that tends to become your own private pond after heavy rains? Bolster it with some colorful, water-loving plants! Rain gardens are environmentally friendly and they can give you beautiful curb appeal. Choose native plants that soak up water like Stokes aster, Louisiana iris, Black-eyed Susans, sweetspire, and spider lily. When you create your rain garden, be sure to place the plants with the highest wet soil tolerance in the center to allow the rain to percolate the ground slowly and evenly.

Use Heavier Mulch – How many times have you had to head outside, rake in tow, to clean up the mulch chips that heavy rainfall scatters? Well, you can put a stop to that by using heavier mulch in your garden areas! We suggest avoiding pine mulch and trying something more akin to hardwood mulches. Some brands create chips out of man-made materials, making it a low maintenance choice for homeowners.

Divert the Rain Creatively – While you can certainly divert the rain away from your home by using a long downspout, you can always feel free to get a bit more creative. Good with landscaping or looking for a new side project? Try making your very own waterfall or stream. Looking out more for the environment? Installing a rain barrel might be more up your alley!

Install Permeable Pavers – Have you noticed water sitting for days on your walkways, patio, deck, or driveway? Then we have the perfect solution – permeable paving stones and grout. This type of landscape will help drain the water back into the ground and keep your walkways puddle-free!

How do you keep your yard safe from flooding? Have we missed any tips? Be sure to tell us in the comments below!