Design Posts

5 Organizational Solutions That Help Eliminate Tool and Toy Clutter

42225 Gary&Sheila Harris2

With most Americans dedicating up to a year total looking for misplaced belongings, it’s obvious that clutter is a time thief. When every tool and toy in your backyard has its own space, though, you can spend much less time searching for lost items and organizing your home. Start by creating a few dedicated structures designed for holding specific sets of outdoors items. If you take the time to plan out your landscape architecture design, you can integrate organizational nooks that actually accentuate the look and feel of your property. Here are five smart structures you can use to organize and declutter your yard.

Toy Crates

Crate with utensils. Wooden box for glass made in vintage style.

In just one fun-filled afternoon playing outside, your yard likely becomes a minefield of toys that your kids left behind. Kids love to live in the moment and drop whatever they are doing for the next fun activity so cleanup is really a chore if kids don’t have a dedicated place to store their belongings. Milk crates give your kids a place to keep their outdoor toys without the container filling with rainwater and you can stack the crates or use storage hooks to secure them to the side of your shed or fence.

1 playhouse1

If your kids’ clutter extends beyond the random playground ball or Frisbee set, you may want to get a playhouse. The tall roof on the Peach Pickers Porch playhouse, for example, allows kids to store their extra toys without cluttering up their own play space. Or, your kids may love to keep their toy bins on the covered verandah for accessibility during playtime. With a fun, designated place for kids to store their belongings, they’ll rarely need to be reminded to keep their dedicated space clean and organized.

Bench Bins
A garden or patio bench can double as a storage container by utilizing the open space below the seating area. You can find a storage bench premade or customize your outdoor seating to act as an organizational device. Benches allow you to keep your frequently-used gear near specific areas of your yard. For example, you can store your small landscaping tools, kneeling pads and gloves in a bench near your garden beds. Of course, don’t forget to tuck away your seat cushions in the bench to protect them from the weather and local wildlife.

Garage Shelves
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Extra shelves in the garage allow you to organize your outdoor tools and products along the otherwise unused wall space. The garage shelves can store bins and baskets you use to keep similar items together. You can also arrange the items along the shelves on their own to keep them highly visible and accessible at all times. You will need to determine the best placement and sizes for your garage shelves to keep parking and work areas open and clutter free.

Storage Sheds
sarawak-garden-shed-islip-new-york-195923-1When you just have too much outdoor gear, you may need to invest in a storage shed to hold everything. The storage shed provides both wall and floor space for your landscaping tools, garden products and outdoor recreational items. Custom storage sheds can fit in the corner of your yard, nestle up to the side of your home or stand on their own in a dedicated section of your property. The lean-to and five sided storage shed designs help maximize your storage space without taking up too much of your property. If you want the garden shed to steal the spotlight, you can customize the design and paintjob to match your house’s architecture. You can even add garden beds and planter boxes around the outer perimeter to dress up the place.

Obtaining Beautifully Designed Organizational Solutions
Once you have your landscape architecture plans in hand, contact us today for assistance obtaining the sheds and shelves you need for your yard makeover. You can deeply customize the pre-fabricated sheds to meet your organizational needs. When ordering your shed, you may want to match the exterior siding, paint and trim to your home or create a brand new design. Large and small garage shelf arrangements allow you to make the most of your available space. You can determine an ideal number of shelves to purchase by measuring and planning your garage layout before ordering.

7 Smart Landscape Design Elements That Instantly Beautify Your Yard

pool landscape design gazeboCreating aesthetically pleasing, inviting additions to your yard can feel like quite a challenge. You may struggle to combine attractive, functional features while creating a cohesive layout. Once you succeed in blending the perfect mix of architectural elements, however, your landscape transforms into the beautiful outdoor space you always dreamed of creating. In addition to fulfilling your personal vision, a beautifully landscaped yard can increase your home’s value by up to 20%. Use any, or all, of the following seven landscape design elements to bring your landscape vision into reality.

Privacy Wall

privacy screen pool cabana
Privacy walls transform your yard into a secluded retreat for you and your loved ones. Gabion walls filled with polished or raw rare stones can give your landscape design a boost of color and texture. The rigid metal cage material offsets the smooth surface of the stones to give your overall design immense balance. If you prefer a less structured look, go with a wall made out of rough cut natural stones and hidden mortar instead.

Glass Waterfall

Glass materials can transform a basic tiered waterfall design into something truly extraordinary. Select tempered blown glass as the main backdrop of the waterfall to introduce bright colors into your outdoor space. As the water flows over the surface of the glass, sunlight will richen and disperse the colors throughout the rest of your landscape.

Stone Fire Pit

A stone fire pit instantly draws interest, acts as a talking point and gives you a unique place to entertain company. For an interesting mix of texture and color, construct the fire pit out of locally sourced natural stones and fill it with fire glass. You can obtain fire glass in nearly any shade imaginable, from deep ocean blue to rich amber tones. The fire glass not only increases the beauty of the flames, but also produces more heat to keep your guests warm through hours of evening talks.

Garden Gazebo

wooden pavilion shade structure
When the rain arrives, you can keep your outdoor enjoyment alive with a garden gazebo. You can select from a number of gazebo styles that reflect your unique personality and design preferences. Gazebo options range from traditional styles with turret rooflines and decorative eaves to modern designs with sloped roofs and carved panels. You can add screens or glass to fully enclose the space and keep bugs and humidity from ruining your good time.

Trellis Arbor

A trellis arbor allows you to direct your favorite climbing vines vertically to give your garden increased depth and height. The flowering vines will weave their way through the trellis bars to enclose the space in greenery. Frequent exposure to interesting greenspaces can improve your health by reducing stress and other distressing mental health effects. The trellis structure offers immense beauty on its own with decorative accents across the entire structural foundation.

Rain Garden

A rain garden provides excellent drainage while increasing the aesthetic value of your yard with locally sourced plant life. The garden space sits inside a carefully formed divot to draw excess rainwater into that space. The extensive root system of the plants filters the water and slowly meters out the excess into the local groundwater. Since these gardens do not require any maintenance, you can simply watch the plants thrive and flower without worry about their care. You may also be delighted to see the rain garden attract local wildlife to your yard.

Storage Shed

garden shed beautiful
Storage sheds are often the picture of utility, but that does not mean you cannot bring beauty into the equation. A stylish and stunning storage shed can complement or contrast your other landscape elements to complete your design vision. Shed options range from minimalist slant roof structures to decorative replicas of your home style. You can seek out sheds with painted or stained finishes for a modern or rustic look, respectively.

Creating Your Landscape Design

When it comes time to finalize your landscape element selections and layout, contact design professionals at Summerwood for the support you need. Designers assist in selecting pre-fab secondary buildings that meet zoning permit rules and your style specifications. Your modern sheds, gazebos and trellis structures are always built to order to ensure you receive high quality, personalized elements for your landscape architecture project.

3 Reasons Why Western Red Cedar is Your Friend

1. Durable and low maintenance

Red cedar is naturally resistant to rot, decay and pesky insect attacks. You won’t face the worry of mildew development like you would with a composite. Forget staining, sealing or painting, red cedar is hardy and one with nature.

2. Ages gracefully

Unlike other composites or synthetic materials, western red cedar is a designers dream when used for siding or other outdoor projects. While it’s known to be a great base for primer and paint (holding a solid stain for up to eight years), it’s in vogue to let your cedar naturally mature. A silvery-grey patina develops when red cedar is left untreated, offering the perfect option for those who prefer low maintenance beauty; and let’s be honest, who doesn’t?


3. Easy to customize and work with

Customization is often key when finding the ideal look or fit for a project. Red cedar comes in various surface textures, lumber dimensions and grades for one-of-a-kind designs. Cedar is easy to saw and glue and takes fasteners without splitting. Western red cedar is strong yet surprisingly lightweight, making it easy to cut and bend (a friendly material for DIYers). While certain materials may not readily come in unconventional sizes needed for outdoor structures like a garden shed, cedar is a no fuss, down-to-earth option that usually does.

The 6 Summerwood Design Steps

You may not know that Summerwood resides in Toronto, Canada, with a showroom open for visitors interested in great outdoor designs. We’ve been busy creating a wall display that will help with the design process. It can be daunting walking into a showroom with no real idea of how it all works, so we made it easy. A few eager Summerwood employees rolled up their sleeves and put their paintbrushes to the wall. We had a lot of fun so we figured we’d share our 6 easy steps to creating your perfect garage, gazebo, playhouse or even man cave.

Our chalkboard wall is complete!

Our chalkboard wall is complete!

Step 1: Choose a style (regardless of type of structure) 

We offer a bunch of styles whether you’re interested in a gazebo or cabana, a storage shed or a garage. Browse our styles and remember that the details are chosen by you! Check out our favorite prefabricated & prebuilt structures and get a taste of what we have to offer.

Step 2: Choose your siding and trim

It’s all about function and style, and luckily we provide both. Rough or smooth cedar offers a rugged, classic look, while our maintenance free option says it all in the name. Mix and match siding options with your trim choices for the look you want.

 Step 3: Choose a roof finish

Don’t overlook your roof choice. It comes down to fiberglass or cedar shingles. Decide on the look you want and the kind of work you want to put into it. Cedar and fiberglass shingles roughly share the same lifespan, but cedar will require a little TLC. Don’t be put off by the extra care cedar may initially require, it offers a beautiful look that lasts.

 Step 4: Choose your doors & windows

Your door and window choices are what will add character to your shed, garage, gazebo…whatever it is you’re looking to design. Have fun with it and let your own personal style shine.

 Step 5: Think about interior options

Whether you’d like a loft for the kids, benches, shelves or upgraded flooring, we offer a plethora of choices. Your interior is just as, if not more important than the exterior, so make sure you get everything you want and need.

 Step 6: Last but not least, the finishing touches

Pat yourself on that back! Once you reach this step the work is done and it’s time to bask in the beauty of your new pool cabana, studio or garden shed. Polish your final look with the perfect hardware, shutters or even weather vane.

The finished product

The finished product

 So those are our 6 easy steps! If you’re visiting us in Toronto or doing it all through the web, keep this in mind when you think the process of designing your perfect shed or gazebo seems intimidating. It really isn’t.

Head over to our custom design centre or call our friendly design staff and get started!