August Check Lists

Laura Gaskill, a Houzz contributor, posted this August checklist for a late Summer reminder that when seasons start to come to an end – we can do simple tasks around our homes to welcome Fall the moment the first cold morning comes.

Laura goes on to say:

Stretch out these last days of summer by squeezing in a few more home projects, savoring simple pleasures and, when the time comes, cleaning up the beach toys and preparing the house for a busy fall. Pick from these to-dos to create your perfect August plan.

Truro Cape Cod beach-style-exterior
Finish up outdoor projects. Make use of the long August days to finish up any outdoor projects you started (or intended to start) over the summer

Check your home for signs of pests. It’s not a pleasant subject, but being proactive when it comes to pests in and around your home is much better than trying to solve a pest problem that has gotten out of hand.

Surf Shack beach-style-living-room

Clean and store summer gear. Toss out cracked or broken toys, and shop end-of-season sales to replace items if needed.

Organize family photos. Have a bunch of new photos from your summer adventures? Take this opportunity to sort and organize them — back up digital photos with cloud-based storage, and make an album or a book of recent photos.

Get organized for back to school (and work). Consider what would make this fall run more smoothly for your family: a few extra hooks in the entryway to handle coats and bags.

Houzz Photo

Organize closets before fall shopping. Before making any new purchases, spend some time assessing what you already have in the closet.

Manhattan Beach Home closet

Clean out the garage. If you haven’t cleaned out your garage in a while, it’s likely this project will take an entire weekend (or more), so plan accordingly.

9 Howard Street - Nantucket beach-style-garage

Schedule some do-nothing time on your patio. It can be surprisingly hard to relax and simply do nothing, even when you do have a pocket of free time. It’s the last few long days of summer – enjoy your outdoor rooms and spaces that you have spent the Summer tending to. This weekend sounds like the perfect time for that. Don’t you agree?

Schoolhouse Electric Fall '15 Catalog

Read more by Laura Gaskill here and visit for more design inspiration for your corner of the world, your home.

Source: for blog post and photos


August Check Lists

Charlie’s outdoor style on the island

Charlie D’Amato is our Senior Manager of Product Development  and Design. He spends his days in the office analyzing sales, market, and trend data in Classic’s product categories to propose new product development projects. Charlie also oversees our Product Development Team with defining project scope, product line planning, and development project management.  He also oversees Product Design team in sourcing and development of raw materials, color palette development, and product design and development from concept to production. You can imagine the amount of creative work that ebbs and flows from our departments here at Classic Accessories. Charlie gets to be the guy in charge of making sure all of us creatives stay within our coloring lines and in a very timely manner. He does so effortlessly. He calls Vashon Island home here in the great Northwest and gets on a ferry every day to come into work.

We get to live “life on the island” through his stories of Vashon and his many adventures working in the yard which is what he shared with us below:

This weekend was so amazing!  I got lots of time out in the garden.

For the past two weekends I have been clearing blackberry vines from this area of my property (These are close-up views) you can just see the fabulous redwood on the left of the first picture – this tree marks an entrance to an old growth wooded trail:


This is a picture from the early spring before the leaves came out – it’s easier to see the position of the hardscaping here:

These are old pictures, so don’t get too excited!  

However I am not finished with the physical work yet.  When I clear away the brush piles I’ll take another “After” picture to use for my next post.

So this is an area that we named “Devil’s Hole” on our property!  It was overgrown with noxious weeds, and completely inaccessible!  It actually blocked off a beautiful wooded corner of our lot which is multi-layered and could be groomed into a beautiful park-like garden.

So, the way I see this outdoor space is like a strolling garden, full of pathways and steps to other levels which will provide “moments” in our garden landscape – views of the house, fenced gardens, and terraces.  For example, here are some pictures of the possible views – you can see the unfinished garden beds in the foreground and our lawn and home in the distance:

Charlie’s outdoor style on the island

Theresa’s Favorite Spot

Theresa Relyea is the Content Specialist of our E-Commerce Team here at Classic Accessories. She wouldn’t be the first to tell you, but I will – the girl has a green thumb I am jealous of! I asked her to tell me a little bit about her garden and she told me about her favorite spot:

My favorite spot in my garden is this corner. It’s a shady one that can get rather dark here in Washington. That’s why I planted the bleeding hearts in the corner, to fill that area with bright greenery and brilliant pink blooms.

It fills the area at the base of my plum tree and welcomes birds of all sorts with my feeders and baths. One of my favorite things to do on my patio is watch the humming birds. This fountain is their favorite place to sit in the pedals and drink from the water falls. It’s the perfect size for them.

I just had this peony pop up from transplanting a rose bush into this corner. It’s one of those rogue plants that makes gardening so much fun. It goes great with the bleeding hearts. There is no other place I would rather have my morning coffee than this little spot in my own outdoors.

Here are some more tips on bringing hummingbirds to your patio with flowers, shurbs and trees from Debbie Hine-Lea of

I have found that this is the best recipe for making your own nectar–I feel the birds prefer it over the various instant mixes.

  • 1 Part Sugar
  • 4 Parts Water
  • Boil 1-2 Minutes
  • Cool & Store In Refrigerator

Never use honey or artificial sweeteners!
Honey ferments easily, and can cause sores in a hummers mouth.
Artificial sweeteners have no food value.
DO NOT use red food coloring in your solution, as this could be harmful to your hummers. Most feeders have red on them and that should be enough.

Here are lists of Flowers, Shrubs and Trees you can plant in your garden to attract hummingbirds:


1 Cardinal Flower Lobelia cardinalis
2 Lantana Lantana camara
3 Columbine Aguilegia spp.
4 Fuchsias Fuchsia spp.
5 Impatiens Impatiens spp.
6 Coral-Bells Heuchera sanguinea
7 Hollyhocks Althea spp.
8 Penstemen Penstemen spp.
9 Petunia Petunia spp.
10 Flowering Tobacco Nicotania alata
11 Geranium Pelargonium spp.
12 Begonia Begonia spp.


1 Azaleas Rhododendron spp.
2 Butterfly Bush Buddleia davidii
3 Flowering Quince Chaenomeles japonica
4 Honeysuckle Lonicera spp.
5 Weigela Weigela spp.


1 Flowering Crab Malus spp.
2 Tulip Poplar Liriodendron Tulipifera
3 Locust Robinia
4 Eucalyptus Eucalyptus spp.
5 Vines Honeysuckle Lonicera heckrottii
6 Morning Glory Ipomea ssp.
7 Trumpet Creeper Campsis radicans
8 Trumpet Honeysuckle Lonicera sempervirens

**The Hummingbird Book by Donald and Lillian Stokes. Published by Little, Brown and Company. (ISBN 0-316-81715-5)  by Debbie Hine-Lea


Theresa’s Favorite Spot

Ask Martha

Martha has some great tips on creating outdoor spaces for entertaining. Whether it’s a full on BBQ or morning coffee outside with a good book, creating spaces with thoughtful purposes is the secret to having a nice flow to your outdoor space. Check out her quick tips on making it work for you and your next gathering:



Ask Martha

Make your patio your own – starting with the furniture

It’s that time of year when the days are longer and your inner entertainer is eager to get the patio ready for the first get-together. If it’s your first home or maybe you need to garage sale the set your in-laws passed down to you, picking the right furniture to entertain can be a little daunting. What kind is right for my space, the weather, the comfort? We’ve been trolling some sites and living vicariously through Pinterest, blogs and photos for inspiration and found a great video on Good Housekeeping to start off your season of outdoor entertaining. Check it out!

Create a cozy outdoor room with the right patio furniture

Patio Furniture Types











Make your patio your own – starting with the furniture

Spring Yard Clean up!

It’s here and it came in like a lion!

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade”  – Charles Dickens
Spring Clean Up
There are a TON of tips out there on how to start thinking about sprucing up your outdoor space. Maybe it’s the longer nights, the BBQ specials at the store, or the mere fact we’ve been inside for such a harsh winter. So we thought we’d share our three favorite tips with you:
#1 Cover up your patio furniture.  Winter maybe done, but Mother Nature isn’t!
#2 Budget out the cost of your projects – most will prove to be more expensive than you may think. Especially with renting equipment.
#3 Check out Lowe’s Spring Tips here:


Spring Yard Clean up!