Home and Garden

Let this be your guide for cooking, entertaining, gardening and landscaping, health and fitness and design trends for Florida living. Here you’ll get great insight from chefs and hostesses, recreational leaders, golf pros, tennis pros and other professionals who know everything there is to know about living the Florida Lifestyle!

Selling Your Home? Banish Junky Bathrooms and Stinky Smells

Putting your current home up for sale?

You’ve probably done a ton of research for the best tips on making it appeal to buyers. If you’ve sold a home before, you probably know firsthand what to do and what to avoid. Either way, any hacks to make the process easier, are worth investigating, right?

We’ll throw out two issues that might not be the first things to mind, but can be deal killers if you don’t address them — cluttered bathrooms and household odors.

Make no mistake — the stuff that absolutely should be done to ready your home for sale, like […]

Real-Life Cleaning Tips for Real Life

“House cleaning is my favorite activity,” said no one ever.

Cleaning the abode is something that must be done on a regular basis, and more than a few of us put it off as long as possible, then panic when the doorbell rings.

We all know people whose homes are sparkling enough to eat off their floors. They just aren’t us.

But we all can do better, especially if we’re moving into a new custom Florida home. With a little pre-planning and forethought, there are ways to lessen the chore aspect of house cleaning. All it takes is mindfulness and a willingness […]

How to Properly Store Mementos, Important Papers and Seasonal Decorations

If you’re preparing to move from your current home into a new custom Florida home, you might be ready to start a plan for better household organization and storage.

Oh, the junk! Stuff you didn’t know you had! Oops, but some of it is important. What do you do with it?

Here’s how to properly store mementos, important papers and seasonal decorations.
First, assess your stash
What do you have? How much? Which items stay or go away?

Some things are non-negotiable — passports, birth certificates, military discharge paperwork and Social Security cards.

Some things are not — holiday cards received every year for the […]

Keep the Sparkle in Your New Custom Florida Home

It’s impossible to keep any home clean 100 percent of the time.

Homes are made to be lived in, and messes happen more often than not. Add multiple residents, kids of all ages, their friends, pets and a busy at-home social calendar, and you have a recipe for grunge, grime and grit of all kinds.

Sounds lovely, doesn’t it!

Even the neat freaks among us may surrender at all that. But cleaning crises and catastrophes don’t have to be daily or weekly occurrences. Here are some tips to keep the sparkle in your new custom Florida home.
Do the basics first
Probably none of […]

The Hardworking Outdoor Lighting That’s Right for You

So you’re designing a new custom Florida home — or compiling a wish list for one — and most of your attention is rightfully going to interior living spaces.

You’ll spend the most time inside and your floorplan should be as comfortable as you like it.

But don’t neglect the exterior of your new home. In Florida, outdoor living is year-round thanks the Sunshine State’s balmy climate, and if you’re not used to being outdoors every month, you’re in for a nice surprise.

Another important thing you shouldn’t overlook is outdoor lighting. Florida’s warm, temperate evenings are made for porch sitting, marshmallow […]

Freshen Up Your Cool-Weather Landscape

For many homeowners, yard work is something that ends with the first autumn freeze and begins anew with the spring thaw.

Not so in Florida!

Forgive us for gloating, but one of the joys of living in the Sunshine State — if you truly enjoy gardening and landscape maintenance — is the opportunity to indulge in it year-round.

However, there are some classic tasks that apply to every yard and garden, no matter the climate. Performing these chores in the fall or early winter will help ensure a healthy head start on the next warm-weather growing season.

Follow along for our tips on […]

How to Create a Home with Fido in Mind

Pets are a huge part of many homeowners’ lives, and building a new custom Florida home means including animal friends in the planning.

Gone are the days where opening the back door was sufficient for Fido’s exercise, feeding and toilet times. For many pet parents, customizing spaces for Fido and other pets is as important as planning human spaces in a new home.

Here’s how to create a home with Fido in mind.
Consider the functions
Regardless of size, dogs do require maintenance. They must be fed, watered, bathed and taken outside (for the most part) to do their business and exercise.

Some of […]

Outdoor-Living Wish List for Your New Florida Home

Are you Florida-bound or thinking about making that move?

Our sunny climate and year-round warmth are major reasons many people head south. Being able to go to the beach (comfortably) almost any day of the year is a big draw, along with amazing recreation options, world-class attractions, booming industries and no state income tax.

Perhaps the biggest draw is being able to truly live outdoors. No more covering the pool for winter. No more shuttering and sealing the back porch in plastic for six months.

You might need a light jacket or sweater on our cooler winter days, but that’s also why […]

Versatile Outdoor Living: Try These Tips and Tricks

We love our outdoor living in Florida and likely so will you if you move to the Sunshine State.

The combination of natural resources, beauty and a year-round temperate climate means enjoying 70-degree beach days in January, and only occasional appearances of heavy jackets.

Northern Florida can be a bit cooler than Miami during the winter months, but if you prioritize outdoor living space in your new custom Florida home, expect very few days that you won’t be tempted to head out the back door or sliding glass doors.

Even that iconic feature, the Florida lanai, can be a year-round gathering spot […]

Fun Ideas to Turn Your Backyard into a Weekday Oasis

If you’re building a new custom home with ICI Homes, you’ll find no end of inspiration and options for outdoor living.

We live in the Sunshine State, so of course all of our homes come with a lanai of some shape and size. In most of our floorplans, you can opt for a large sliding glass door to open up your lanai to your gathering room and really bring the outdoors in. You may also choose to screen in your lanai, or go with a plethora of other upgrades. A favorite upgrade and staple of Florida living — the summer kitchen […]