No Sunroom, No Problem: How to Create a Sun Space


During the warm summer months, most of us want to get out in the sunshine as much as possible. One of the best ways to enjoy the seemingly endless string of sunny days is relaxing on your favorite chair in the sunroom. Yet, for most homes, having a room specifically designed for soaking up sun, heating purposes or to grow plants in the proper light is a bonus, a luxury, something that could be added on to the house, but with a lofty price tag. Fortunately, if your windows face the right way, you can turn any ordinary room into a relaxing sun sanctuary. Here are a few easy do-it-yourself tips on how to create a sun space in your home.

East and West-Facing Windows
Windows facing east or west are usually the best for seeing the sun. If you prefer to enjoy your sun space in the morning, try to find a room with windows facing east. If you’ll be doing your relaxing in the afternoon, try to locate a room with windows facing west. It’s also worth noting that windows facing north are least likely to get the most sun, while windows facing south often receive a strong portion of sunlight throughout the day.


Optimizing the Windows You Have
Once you have your orientation figured out, it’s time to start crafting your sun space. Because you won’t be adding any windows, you’ll need to optimize the windows you already have to draw in the most rays. Glass can easily be obstructed by dirt and dust, which can take a major toll on the amount of sunlight and warmth you can usher into your room, so the very first step is to thoroughly clean all your windows inside and out.

Carving Out Your Mini Room
In order to make a sun space, you’ll have to sacrifice some square footage. The best way to make your sun space feel like its own room is to create a partition between the larger room and the space near the window. This can easily be done with a freestanding bookshelf or partition. If you really want to make your room feel like a sunroom, you could decorate the walls with repurposed windows or add a vintage door as a divider.


Filling It with Furniture
At last your room is divided and starting to feel like an entirely new space. Now it needs some furniture. In the spirit of the sunroom, adding some comfortable seating to relax and bask in the sunlight is a must. With comfortable seating, you could spend time in your sun space doing a variety of activities. Add a small table and a couple chairs to create a sunny café-style lounge, and don’t forget to add some plants and flowers to soak up all the super bright, nutritious sunlight funneling through your clean, clear window panes.

Whether you’re looking for some new furniture to create your partition, in need of some cleaning supplies to scrub your windows or anxious to add some colorful plants to your home, LTD Commodities is the place for you. Check out our selection of gardening essentials, cleaning accessories and outdoor summer furniture.

Spring Cleaning: 6 Ways for Upcycling Sweaters

It’s just about time to put the winter sweaters away and start spring cleaning — but if you want an easy and fun way to combine the two chores, we have one idea in mind: upcycling! There are a few ways to transform your old sweaters into useful items around the house and in your closet — most of them are easy, so we picked a few of our favorites. Here are 6 ideas for upcycling sweaters.make-it-love-it

Shoulder Bag You probably haven’t started your Christmas shopping list yet, but with this idea, you can give your list a jump start! Ashley at Make It, Love It, cut, pinned and stitched together this sweater to make it a shoulder bag! The instructions show you how to cut up your sweater and even add a colorful lining to make it extra dazzling. If you want to try to make it super-sturdy with a little more texture, you can felt it, you just have to make sure the sweater you’re using is 100% wool.

infinity-scarfInfinity Scarf Sweaters are great for keeping you warm in the winter, but when they’re too worn to keep you warm, shrink them into scarves to get a little more mileage out of them! Becky from Crafting a Green World did just that with her sweater! It’s about as simple of a project you can do to upcycle a sweater — the hardest part is sewing on the buttons.legwarmers

Leg Warmers If you’re looking for a way to dress up your bulky winter boots, DIY leg warmers gives them a splash of color for those gray winter months. Craft in Hands put together this super-simple, super-cute pattern that involves cutting, gluing and sewing that sweater you can’t wear anymore but don’t want to throw away! Just following the simple instructions for this simple, stylish accessory.



Slippers Here’s another idea to get started on for next winter: slipper boots! Jen at Drawings Under the Table  transformed sweater sleeves into these comfy, cozy slippers for those cold winter nights. To make this easy pattern even easier, she included detailed step-by-step instructions with photos to help you out.

sweater-mittensMittens If you live in a cold weather climate, you know how much you need mittens and how easy they are to lose! Without spending much (or any) money, you can make a few pairs out of your old sweaters. Creme de la Craft came up with these stitch-by-stitch instructions to keep you crafting, warm and stocked with mittens!

sweater-blanketBlanket If you have a lot of sweaters to upcycle, think about making a blanket out of them (you can never have too many blankets!). Basically, We Craft Daily cut her sweaters into a bunch of small squares and sewed them all together. The result was a perfect addition to winter movie nights to keep you toasty while you munch on popcorn in front of the TV.

The Lakeside Collection has dozens of products and ideas to make the most of every season. Whether you’re looking for crafting and DIY ideas or you just want to give your home seasonal flair, look to Lakeside for great ideas and fantastic products.

5 Clever Ways to Upcycle Mason Jars

Mason-jar-soap-dispenserReuse, recycle, upcycle — we want to make the most of everything we have! At Lakeside right now, we’re thinking about all of the amazing things we can do with mason jars. Mason jars are so simple and, even as drinking glasses, they add rustic appeal to decor. But there are so many other ways you can use mason jar other than as a beverage container. Here are 5 clever ways to upcycle mason jars.

Soap Dispenser This is a fabulous way to dress up a kitchen sink! Blissfully Content Life swapped out her squeeze bottle of dishwashing liquid for this awesome mason jar. All she did was punch a hole in the top and put in a pump. It gives the kitchen a fun country flair without spending a lot of money.

mason-jar-craft-storageCraft Storage It All Started with Paint came up with a practical way to sort all the supplies she needs to create fun crafts. Mason jars keep all of her buttons, rubber bands, glitter, and bows neat and in place. It’s such a simple idea we can’t believe we didn’t think of it! It’s an easy way to add a vintage style to your craft corner.

mason-jar-lightsLuminaries Mom Spark put some sparkle in her mason jars by turning them into luminaries! These are super-cool — all she did was add glass craft beads to the outside using hot glue. So easy and so brilliant! You can use tea lights to illuminate them to make any room shimmer. If you want something a little more homemade looking, you could decoupage colored tissue paper to light up your room with shades of your favorite colors.

mason-jar-terariumIndoor Garden Mason jars are great for indoor gardens. You can go about them in two ways: 1) a simple herb garden or 2) a terrarium.

Herb gardens are great in mason jars because it’s basically one herb per jar so you can grow only the ones you want — and the jar adds a little bit more character to your kitchen than a terracotta pot would.

Terrariums take a little bit more coordination, but the same amount of time. Scissors and Steam takes you through the process of making a terrarium with a mason jar. With a little soil and some accouterment, you can get your terrarium together in an hour.

mason-jar-bathroom-cannistersBathroom Canisters Liz Marie knows how to give a bathroom a makeover with style. Not only does she use her mason jars to hold her cotton balls and swabs, she takes upcycling a little further and add knobs to the lids to make them easy to handle. It’s decor with functionality.

The Lakeside Collection has hundreds of items and ideas to help you change up your decor. Keep checking back for fun finds at unbeatable prices.

Pinteresting Picks for January

Connecting with friends on The Lakeside Collection’s Pinterest boards was a real hoot in January! Trendy owls got a lot of attention, whether they were on cozy throws and pillows or fun and functional hobby organizers. Some of our followers already are looking forward to creating whimsical miniature gardens or adding colorful decorations to their yards. Here are our Pinteresting Picks for January.

Add a fanciful touch to your living room or bedroom with this licensed Milo Owl Throw or Pillow.

Add a fanciful touch to your living room or bedroom with this licensed Milo Owl Throw or Pillow.

Clean up the clutter in your crafting space and help your creativity flow with these handy Owl Print Craft Organizers.

Clean up the clutter in your crafting space and help your creativity flow with these handy Owl Print Craft Organizers.

Set of 2 Solar-Lighted Balloon Stakes helps you decorate your garden with whimsical delight!

Set of 2 Solar-Lighted Balloon Stakes helps you decorate your garden with whimsical delight!

Each Fairy or Gnome Garden Kit gives you the miniature accessories you need to create your own magical spot.

Each Fairy or Gnome Garden Kit gives you the miniature accessories you need to create your own magical spot.

Pinteresting Picks for November

As the holiday crush begins, the impulse to organize our homes and make extra room becomes a strong one. Our Pinterest followers have been spending a lot of time this month looking for new and decorative ways to make their spaces function better. After the organization is done, don’t forget to add some new decorative touches to renew your home before holiday guests arrive. Here are The Lakeside Collection’s Pinteresting Picks for November.

Carry just about anything in this Oversized Utility Tote!

Carry just about anything in this Oversized Utility Tote!


Shot Glass Display Shelf organizes your collection with ease.

Shot Glass Display Shelf organizes your collection with ease.

Organizing your bags in the Over-the-Door Purse Storage may help extend the life of their straps while utilizing space behind a door.

Organizing your bags in the Over-the-Door Purse Storage may help extend the life of their straps while utilizing space behind a door.


A Set of 2 Window Tie-Backs creates a different look for your existing curtains.

A Set of 2 Window Tie-Backs creates a different look for your existing curtains.

Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Favorite Items for the Week

When it is time to get organized, it is easy to feel intimidated. Not only does the thought of sorting through your rooms seem overwhelming, so does the potential cost of the project. Try some smaller, less expensive changes to make your home run better and give you more time to enjoy a pitcher of lemonade or iced tea. Get started with the Lakeside Selection: our choice of favorite items for the week.


Keep things tidy with a Set of 2 Silicone Counter Gap Covers.


Trash-Ease 13-Gallon Bag Holder is a simple way to clean up at campsites, picnics and at home.



This huge bag lets you tote multiple loads at once. The Oversized Laundry Tote features a trendy print on a very large and spacious bag.


Fast and affordable, Brick and Siding Clips help you decorate without causing damage to your home.


Your family will love to help themselves to a refreshing beverage with the ergonomic Shatter-Resistant Pitcher.


Home Organization 101

The start of a new year always feels refreshing, and it’s a time we all feel extra motivated to get our lives on track. Organization is one of the keys to a comfortable and successful year, so we’ve got you covered with these great tips to help you get started on a more organized life.


Identify Clutter Culprits

Whether you’re a Feng Shui fan or not, we can all agree that a cluttered home can feel much more cramped and demotivating than an organized one. Start by identifying the areas of your home that are prone to attracting clutter, such as the entryway, the laundry room, your dresser, or the kids’ play area. If you’re low on space, think outside the box a little with hanging organizers, or repurpose items meant for a different part of the house.

Use Magnets For Small Objects

Sure, that fridge of yours might be a bit of an eyesore, with all the random magnets and yellowing receipts you saved so you could return something, but magnets don’t have to be the problem. You can use a magnetic strip in your bathroom to organize small metal items like bobby pins and nail clippers, or as a place on the fridge to organize your spices. (TIP: Use old baby food jars for spice organization by placing the lid-side against the metal fridge.) You can even use a magnetic tin rack in the bathroom to organize these items, which is even better than the strip because the tins will hold non-metal items as well, including hair clips and bands, studded earrings, cotton swabs, lip gloss and more.

Get Cords and Cables Out of Sight

Cords and cables are a huge contributor to a messy home, but luckily people all over the web have come up with hundreds of ways to keep them organized and out of site. You can roll them up nicely and organize them in toilet paper rolls, or clamp an office clip to the edge of a table or nightstand and run your charger cord through the end, letting it rest perfectly in sight without falling to the ground or getting tangled.

Another option when using a surge protector for multiple electronics, such as behind the television or under the desk, is to mount the surge protector in an accessible area, then wrap up the slack cords and secure them with a rubber band. Everything will stay organized and out of sight. Finally, if you have no good way to hide a messy surge protector in furniture, get a decorative cube box with a lid (wooden looks good) and cut a hole in the back. Place the surge protector inside and run all cables through the back hole. This is great for cube storage entertainment systems or standing desks.

Hang More Things

Do you have too many earrings and necklaces to fit in your jewelry box? We all know they’ll just turns into one big metal knot, with you heading to the store to stock up on more necklaces and dangly earrings. Instead, organize them by hanging them individually on a mesh jewelry holder or a large metal rack. You can also use this as a place to store decorative items like photos, as well as useful things like coupons and receipts. Another option for hanging is a pegboard. You can get numerous hooks to organize anything from kitchen utensils, pots, and pans, to outdoor garden tools, power tools, and anything you keep in your garage. They’re also great for hanging brooms and mops, or organizing your laundry room.

Buy More Space

No, this doesn’t mean you need a bigger home, it just means you should be willing to spend a little money on organization sometimes. Sure, if you’re great at DIY projects, you can make most organizers, but those of us who attract clutter also have a tendency to procrastinate on projects (which is where a lot of that clutter comes from). Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and spend a little time online or make a trip to one of those amazing stores with organization ideas for everything. With the right inspiration, you can double your home’s storage space and free up the kitchen table for things like eating together as a family.

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8 Ideas to Get a Head Start For Valentine’s Day

s'more friendsValentine’s Day is less than a month away, which means it’s time to really start thinking about gifts, reservations, and exciting evenings with the one you love. Your kids will request Valentine’s Day cards and baked goods for their classes, and you’ll have to come up with something fun and unique to do with your spouse. Here are 8 ideas to help you get started.

1. Plan a Party

It’s not very common for couples to throw parties for Valentine’s Day, but it can be a really fun way to celebrate the holiday with the whole family. You can make treats, plan games, get favors, and enjoy spending time with the people you really love. If you’re feeling really generous, you can make Valentine’s Day about the kids by planning a fun party for them! Offer to watch your friends’ kids on the big night as well, and you can let them enjoy their time together.

2. Make Reservations

Valentine’s Day is the busiest day in most restaurants, so if you want to take your loved one out for a nice meal, now is the time to pick the place. Check out review sites like Open Table and Yelp to find great restaurants in your area, or just make a reservation at your favorite restaurant in town. Another fun idea is to try and recreate your first date by heading back to the first place you ever shared a meal. You should always make your reservations early to ensure you get a seat!

3. Look for Upcoming Concerts and Shows

Most of us really enjoy going to concerts, plays, and other outings. Now is a great time to see if your significant other’s favorite groups will be in town so you can score great seats. You don’t have to see the show on Valentine’s Day, but it is a great day to present the tickets as a gift!

4. Pay Attention to Hints

Let’s face it; most of us have a way of dropping hints for our partner. We talk about how fun it is to go golfing with the guys on Saturday or receive flowers at the office. Now is the time to pay attention to these little details so you can work them into your Valentine’s Day celebration. It’s not about what you want to do for them; it’s about what they want and what makes them happy!

5. Stock Up on Hearts

A fun way to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your kids is to put a little heart, Hershey’s kiss, or other treat in their lunch every day in February. Now is the time to stock up on little heart toothpicks or heart-shaped candies for the month. You can even cut their sandwiches into hearts! (Tip: look for fun cheap toothpicks online now and they’ll arrive before February!)

6. Plan a Menu

While many of us want to get out of the house for Valentine’s Day, it can be amateur hour out there! Restaurants and movie theaters are often packed with people who rarely leave their homes, so if you don’t want to fight the crowds, plan a nice night at home. Now is the time to figure out what you’d like to make and serve, and you can even test out a few of the recipes.

7. DIY Décor

You’ve got about a week until February, so if you’re into decorating for Valentine’s Day, now is the time to start! Make tissue paper pom-poms, and heart-shaped wreaths to hang around your house.

8. DIY Gifts

Ah, the gifts. This is always the easiest and hardest part of any Valentine’s Day celebration! A fun twist on the standard gifts is to add a personal touch of love by making something yourself. From mustachioed mugs and personalized beer mugs for guys to photo planners and jewelry boxes for women, there are tons of ways to present a great gift with a DIY touch. DIY gifts are also great for kids who want to make something for their parents! Check out more ideas on Pinterest.

Image Source: Today Show’s Pinterest

Cleaning the Yard for Fall

cleaning-fallAlthough we tend to focus our energy on spring cleaning, cleaning up in the fall is just as important, if not more so. Take care of your yard in the fall to make things easier once the winter weather is over. There are a few essentials that need to be taken care of before the seasons change.

The lawn
Possibly the most important feature of your yard, the lawn is the first sight everybody sees when arriving at your home. The steps you take during the fall will ensure your lawn will be healthy for springtime again. Make sure to water it properly as long as necessary, and continue to keep it looking nice. This will stop any need for heavy duty maintenance in a few months. Besides just watering, it is important to:

Fertilize your lawn – this should be done both in the spring and fall. When done during this time, it will help maintain the roots of the grass, and keep the nutrients stored all winter long.

Air out the soil – after constant footsteps tracking across the lawn throughout the summer, it is good to have the soil aired out as winter approaches. There are professionals that will aerate your lawn for a reasonable price.

Pick up leaves – leaves can be damaging to your lawn if left there for too long. Not only will this kill your grass, but procrastinating will only leave the project for later in the spring.

Take care of your lawn before it’s too late. It is better to get these things done as early as possible, in case an early cold front comes through.

Clear out the junk
As organized as we try to be, junk can quickly accumulate over the summer months. Use the beginning of fall to get rid of the worst of the junk. Organize your garage, shop, and anywhere else around the house. Determine what you still need, and what can be thrown away. Before taking a load to the dump however, check and see if what you have is worth anything.

Some people don’t realize just how much scrap metal they have hanging around their home, or how much they can get for it. If you have non-ferrous metals, the price jumps significantly. Go throughout your yard, combining all the metal products you no longer have need of.

To test and see if the metals you have are non-ferrous, grab a magnet. If the items are magnetic, you have a ferrous material on your hands, such as steel. Non-ferrous metals such as copper and aluminum will bring in a much higher profit. Rather than just throwing these items away, take them to the scrap yard to get some benefit from them. Not only will you be cleaning up your yard, but you will also earn a little extra cash to work with. Invest this in future home projects or whatever else you want.

Take the time this fall to improve your yard. Not only will this save you time for spring cleaning, but it will also keep your yard and garden healthy. By breaking up the tasks between the seasons, your yard will look better than ever before.

Cassie Costner writes on DIY projects, yard maintenance, and recycling metals. She has experiencing with fall cleaning projects on large and small yards. 

Freshen Up Your Home for Fall

FallNow the kids are back in school, you’ve probably had some time to sit down, step back, and take an honest look around your house.

Do you like what you see? I’m not talking about major renovations—you probably still like your couch, your countertops, and your coat closet. But you may feel that your home has become a tad bit stifling, or that you need a subtle change as you and your family transition from summer to fall.

It’s amazing what a simple cleaning and subtle décor shift will do to rid you of that uncomfortable, stagnated feeling! Here are four simple ways to freshen up your home as the seasons change to fall.

An All-Over Clean
Not a deep-clean of every last surface in your house—this is like you freshening up at a hotel after a long drive, not a long primping session for opera night. But you should, before you begin, give your house a basic cleaning job all over. It actually used to be a common yearly ritual in European households to clean at the start of a new year to bring in new life and good fortune, especially the sweeping out of old dirt and debris and replacing the rushes, which were a common medieval floor treatment. While it’s not likely you’ve chosen that particular option for your floors, sweeping them as well as cleaning the house will give you the same refreshed feeling.

Dust where needed, clean & disinfect surfaces, sweep and/or vacuum your floors. Clean and organize your cupboards, throw out any dead plants or spoiled food. Doing this will leave you with a clean, blank canvas to work with, and everything will feel fresher now you’re rid of that old dust and last season’s dirt.

Shift Paradigms by Shifting Furniture
You can laugh, but I’ve got evidence to back this one—frequent re-arranging of furniture keeps people happy by keeping them from being bored with their surroundings.

If something absolutely needs stay in place, like the TV near the cable hook-up,  move around the things you can—you’d be amazed what placing the same items of furniture differently does to the look of the room.

A More Polished Look
Even if your home doesn’t have hardwood floors, there are probably still some wood surfaces you could stand to polish.

If you don’t want to drop a lot of money on expensive furniture or all-natural cleaners, never fear! Just add a little lemon juice or essential oil to vinegar and olive oil. The vinegar pulls out dirt, the oil polishes, and lemon gives it that clean smell. And you’ll feel like your hardwood flooring and furniture are brand new!

Clear the Air
The air you breathe has to be good air if you want to feel refreshed! So make sure to clear the air in your home.

Clean vents and replace your furnace filters. If you haven’t already, see if you can’t buy and install filters meant to reduce allergens.

Then, bring in some summer-to-fall seasonal potted plants to match the rooms in your home! You don’t have to be a total green thumb to enjoy the natural, oxygen-replenishing benefits of plants—you just need the plants in their pots, your own sink, and maybe some led grow lights, and you can easily enjoy potted plants in this changing season. For flower lovers, try sunflowers, chrysanthemums, dahlia, or Chinese lantern. For those of you more practicality-minded, why not grow useful herbs, such as flavorful basil or soothing mint.

Doesn’t your home feel fresher already?

Nina Hiatt researches and writes articles to help people find balance and beauty in their personal space through landscape and interior design. In her free time, Nina blogs about many of her interests, which include gardening, technology news, and baking.

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