Patio Porn! See This Blogger’s Magical Patio Makeover
Is your outdoor space ready for a season of tropical cocktails and DIY parties with friends? Whether you have a tiny urban patio or a full porch area that needs some new life, a colorful makeover doesn’t have to be extensive or expensive. In her recent interview with Domaine, Claire Thomas from The Kitchy Kitchen showcased just how important it is to think outside the box when creating the perfect (and budget-friendly!) outdoor space. Claire converted her drab carport into the ultimate spot for casual get-togethers, proving that sometimes the most unusual space can be transformed into a mini oasis. Check out the magical makeover below + find out how to GTL!
Claire and her hubs faced a problem that a lot of us do — their yard wasn’t big enough to host the kinda parties they want to throw. To fix the issue, they turned their carport, which ran the entire length of the house, into their new patio. Wasted and covered space = the perfect patio project.
First on her agenda was a picnic table with benches, a lounge chair and lots and lots of plants. Since the carport was mainly concrete, Claire wanted to give the space a “secret garden” feel. Five large ficus plants act as a hedge and then five more cover-up spots that needed extra camouflage, like in front of the water heater.
Claire used a mix of texture and layers to make the outdoor space cozy. One of the benefits of using a carport is that the space is completely covered, eliminating the need for expensive umbrellas and offering more protection for some unlikely outdoor furniture choices like a pouf and lots of non-waterproof cushions.
The blogger told Domaine that her vision was a space that felt like a living room that “accidentally found itself outside.” Style-wise, Claire went a little mid-century and a little boho. Since the house was originally built in 1964 and is very California-modern, she didn’t want the outdoor space to clash with that aesthetic. But she also didn’t want to go too retro, so she brought in tribal accents and funky baskets with boho vibes. And with the perfect balance of boho and mod, Claire’s outdoor oasis is definitely something to aspire to. If you are ready to get this look, check out our finds below.
We love the use of baskets instead of planters to add more natural textures. These graphic printed baskets from West Elm ($150) even come with a lid if you want to use them to store blankets for those cool summer evenings. A little side table is a must for creating a cozy lounge area, and this DIY metallic table is easy enough that you won’t mind putting it outside in the elements. Obviously string lights ($29) are a must for setting the mood, as are lots of tribal blankets ($42) — use them as blankets, rugs, bench cushions, etc. With a few tiny fixes like this, your outdoor space will become the magical, mod-boho patio of your dreams.
What little decor pieces have you added to your outdoor space? Tell us about your favorite finds in the comments!
(h/t and photos via My Domaine)
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com