Show Us Your Great Patio, Deck or Rooftop!

I’m putting my Basement of the Week series on hold for the summer to get us away in the underground spaces and outside during the wonderful weather. We’ll be featuring a great terrace, deck, rooftop or other imaginative backyard space each week. We are looking for jobs from homeowners as well as pros, so get out your cameras, get a great shot and provide your new outdoor space its big break.

Shoot us a picture of your space and post it in the Comments section below. If we choose it for a featured ideabook, we will want at least four high quality, high-resolution shots; they could be a mix of the entire space, smaller areas within it and close-ups. They don’t have to be accepted by a professional, but they do need to be in focus, nicely lit and large (at least 1,000 pixels wide).

McClellan Architects

If you’ve got beautiful environment, we’d really like to see that the views from the terrace as well.

PLLC, Lynn Gaffney Architect

Let us know where you are located and how you enjoy your outdoor space. Can you sunbathe, entertain or see the little ones as you enjoy a cocktail, have foods or toast marshmallows?

Spore Design

Be prepared to have a tiny phone or email conversation with yours truly in the event you are interested in getting your deck or patio comprised as a Patio of the Week. I guarantee it will be quick and painless.

LOCZIdesign

Paul Davis Architects

Pros and amateurs are both welcome and will receive equal attention. I look forward to seeing everybody’s spaces. Bring them!

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Spring Patio Fix-Ups: 12 Ways With Planters

Whether you use these to pay up flaws, ramp up fashion or just delight your senses, there is little that the right planters (filled with the proper plants) can’t do. And unlike intensive projects, such as building a new deck, setting out fresh pots are readily achieved in a weekend. From conventional topiary to modern bullet planters, wall gardens into privacy screens, let these 12 creative ideas motivate you to make your terrace glow.

MB Build & Design

1. Use planters to create privacy. Lush greenery, tall grasses and trailing flowers create a pure privacy screen on this terrace. Try putting large window boxfashion planters atop a low wall to achieve a similar impact.

Alex Amend Photography

2. Create a garden that is formal texture with topiary. Neatly trimmed topiary in identical pots brings the look and texture of a formal garden into a terrace. Pick tall, sleek figurines such as those shown here to get a modern look, or try massive urns if conventional style is exactly what you love.

Bright Green

3. Plant a wall garden. As intricate and beautiful as a work of art, a wall-mounted garden can be the focal point of a terrace. Try your hand at a smaller-scale variant or hire an expert to design something similar to what is shown here.

Tara Bussema – Design and Neat Organization

4. Go mod with bullet figurines. The iconic kind of these planters immediately dresses up a modern terrace. One or two are all you need to make a big impact.

Watch more about bullet figurines

Margie Grace – Grace Design Associates

5. Channel a traditional Italian garden with an urn that is oversized. It is hard to beat the love of a weathered urn brimming with blooming roses and trailing ivy.

Revealed: Iceberg Rose with Glacier Ivy

Integrated

6. Plant a dwelling privacy wall. Long, low planters full of palms offer privacy on a metropolitan patio. Check with your regional garden center to find types that can do well with the mild conditions on your terrace.

Kenneth Philp Landscape Architects

7. Learn how to combine plants in a single pot. It can be tough to know which plants to match — take the guesswork out of it using this useful guide from picture designer Margie Grace.

Avant Garden

8. Take a cue from cafés. Carve out a specified patio area inside a larger yard with extra-large planters around the border. Fill the planters flanking the entrance with trees and complete the look with some strategically placed umbrellas.

Arterra Landscape Architects

9. Accent your seating room using a tabletop cactus garden. Fill out a shallow, round container with one or more types of cactus for a tasteful display. Complement your desert planting with raw wood furniture, smooth stone and chunky carved candlesticks.

SB Garden Layout

10. Bring climbing plants into new heights using a wire trellis. Less anticipated than wood, a metal framed trellis gives the terrace an appealingly rustic look. The custom trellis design shown here is by SB Garden Layout.

Arterra Landscape Architects

11. Delight the senses. Encourage roses, jasmine or a different blossom blossom to scale over a pergola or trellis to get a sensory treat.

Logan’s Hammer Building & Renovation

12. Window boxes — not only for windows. Frame a view in an elevated terrace with a row of window boxes placed along the border.

Inform us What is your favorite way to use planters?

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Out Of Baseball Factory to Homey Loft at Toronto

When Robert Van Every casually popped to a neighborhood open house one day in Toronto, he was not expecting the attic to blow him away. But the distance was just what he’d always wanted. Located inside a former Rawlings baseball glove factory constructed in 1902, the area needed an industrial shell which held contemporary finishes, 10-foot ceilings, original wood beams and exposed brick. “I immediately began imagining myself alive here; it was really meant to be,” he states.

He purchased the attic and got to work filling the area with standout classic furniture for a smart but dim look which permits the many expansive windows to play a constant loop of the West Toronto area. “This is my final dream house,” Van Every states. “It is what keeps me inspired.”

in a Glance
Who resides: Robert Van Each and his greyhound, Jason
Location: Roncesvalles area of Toronto
Size: 1,300 square feet; 1 bedroom, 2 bathrooms

Jenn Hannotte / Hannotte Interiors

Windows wrap the attic, flood the area with light from the north, south and west, while warm wood ceilings and floors soften the exposed brick.

Van Every maximized space with a large sectional, weighty bronze lighting and a coffee table he created with old crates and a classic marble top.

Sofa: Mirabel, Domison; rocking seat, Thonet, Worth Village; lighting: Bronze Copper Pendant, Tom Dixon; rug: Alvine Ruta, Ikea

Jenn Hannotte / Hannotte Interiors

The elevation and openness of this loft initially drew Van Every to the distance, which, he states, lends itself very nicely to entertaining.

The fireplace was not something he believed he’d ever desire, but he can not imagine living without it.

Jenn Hannotte / Hannotte Interiors

On the very first night in his new attic, a couple of days before Christmas, as he waited to get the paint to dry in his bedroom Van Every place his bed on the floor in front of the fireplace and curled up with a glass of wine. That moment may have been the impetus for the positioning of the greyhound’s bed nearby.

Jenn Hannotte / Hannotte Interiors

The kitchen had aged, although the attic had not been remodeled since the ’80s. Concrete flooring set the space apart from the wood-floor living room.

Green seat: Value Village; taxidermy, Smash!

Jenn Hannotte / Hannotte Interiors

The kitchen’s galley style helps keep the jumble of entertaining confined to the wide-open living spaces. A Persian-inspired rug, combined with a taxidermy deer head and also a midcentury armchair, adds eclectic flair.

Rug: Valby Ruta, Ikea

Jenn Hannotte / Hannotte Interiors

Van Each created this small seats nook off the kitchen ; he enjoys his morning coffee and news. “My decorating philosophy relies on expertise,” he states. “I imagine how I wish to use a space and then work out the best possible furniture positioning. Each area has a reason to be.”

Suitcases double as storage due to their favourite magazines.

Seat: Papa Bear, Hans J. Wegner

Jenn Hannotte / Hannotte Interiors

Van Every’s favorite recent purchase is a bright aqua Era seat he found on Craigslist.

Chair: Era, originally from Design Within Reach; dining table: Stornäs, Ikea

Jenn Hannotte / Hannotte Interiors

The sunken principal bedroom is an exercise in simplicity, with intricate empty frames and a simple hanging pendant lighting which illuminates the hot wood ceiling.

Bed: Svelvik, Ikea

Jenn Hannotte / Hannotte Interiors

The building allows Van Every, revealed here with dog Jason, to walk and bike to virtually everything in the Roncesvalles area of West Toronto, where he’s lived for the past five decades.

Your turn: Show us your attic!

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Kitsch and Humor Meet Midcentury Modern

Clean lines, good bones and a quintessential midcentury apartment roof attracted James and Cindy Stolp to their Dallas house, despite its poor state. “The home was in horrible shape, but we knew we wanted it the moment we stepped inside,” Cindy says. “We definitely had on our ‘possible’ glasses when we bought this home,” James adds.

James, a designer and cofounder of smart-home-technology firm Smart Things, and Cindy, a freelance interior designer and stylist, each have a strong personal aesthetic. Their love of contemporary design, pop art, kitsch, graphic and typographic layout, architecture and midcentury design informs each inch of their property. “We’ve got a sense of humor,” says Cindy. “Modern design could be so uptight, but we wanted our house to be warm and approachable — a place where our kids would like living.”

at a Glance
Who lives here: James and Cindy Stolp and their sons, Jack (age 5) and Mike (3)
Size: 2,000 square feet: 3 bedrooms, 2 1/2 bathrooms
Location: Highland Meadows neighborhood of Dallas

Sarah Greenman

Kitschy art, midcentury furniture and contemporary light fixtures make for an eclectic yet cohesive combination from the dining area. The Heywood Wakefield dining place and two midcentury hutches placed side by side keep the room grounded with honey-colored wood.

Table, chairs: Strictly Hey-Wake; pendant lighting: West Elm; art: We Are 1976

Sarah Greenman

The Stolps bought many of the furnishings online. “Cindy isn’t afraid of getting furniture shipped,” James says. Some of her favorite sites are Furnish Me Vintage, Etsy, eBay and Fab. The pair looks to Lula B’s for furniture and accessories and We Are 1976 for art when shopping locally.

Paint: Iced Cube Silver, Benjamin Moore

Sarah Greenman

A badly constructed remodel in the 1980s divided up the house into little spaces. The first thing that the Stolps did was remove the walls and open the main living area to a fluid space.

They also installed a bank of windows across the rear side of the home. The rectangular window theme repeats throughout the home.

Club chairs: Fab

Sarah Greenman

“Some of the significant design challenges in this home was furniture placement,” says Cindy. “I wished to keep the house from feeling like a giant bowling alley.” Therefore the Stolps created separate seating areas while still maintaining ample room for visitors flow.

Bookcase:
Ikea

Sarah Greenman

A blue-gray tile fireplace, circular shag rug and midcentury sofa make another comfy seating area at the far end of the main living space.

“The watch artwork is titled ‘A Mother’s Love.’ It is by Oklahoma artist Matt Goad and has been a present from James to me for our 15th anniversary,” Cindy says. “The baby bears are such precise representations of the boys. It is difficult to surprise me, but I was shocked by this bit, and it remains the funniest present James has given me.”

Sarah Greenman

Before going into their house, the Stolps dwelt in a loft apartment in the Deep Ellum neighborhood of downtown Dallas. “We’re so accustomed to attic living we re-created the attic feel in our house,” says James. Wide-open spaces, light walls and lots of natural lighting are hallmarks of this home.

Sofa: Lula B’s

Sarah Greenman

A little half bath close to front door pops with dim gray walls, a wall-mounted sink and thematic travel art.

Paint: Rocky Coast, Benjamin Moore

Sarah Greenman

A little anteroom is the best spot for a TV, sofa and classic movie posters. “We had such a hard time locating a sofa that would fit in the space we ended up using one custom made,” James says.

Sofa: custom, Cantoni

Sarah Greenman

Space tends to be lacking most midcentury houses, so the couple use an oversize Italian kitchen unit referred to as a schränke to carry things in the eat-in kitchen. “No loft, no garage and terrible storage means we must find creative,” says Cindy.

Pendant mild: FL/Y Suspension Lamp by Kartel

Sarah Greenman

The kitchen includes a glowing smattering of orange, blue, gray and wood accents.

Fiberglass bar stools and a trio of pendant lights bridge the space between the kitchen and the dining space.

Bar stool foundations: Modernica

Sarah Greenman

The Stolps maintained the wood cabinets but updated the space with stainless steel appliances.

Backsplash tile: ModWalls

Sarah Greenman

They created a play area off the kitchen for their own sons, Mike and Jack. “I wanted them to get their very own play space where I could watch on them,” Cindy says. The carpeting floor tiles specify the area and make the sensation of a room within a room.

The conical pendant lighting in the corner of this room is original to the home. Cindy rewired many of the original fixtures with assistance from Royal Touch Lamp & Fixture Service.

Table, chairs: Area; storage device: Stuva, Ikea; place carpeting: Flor

Sarah Greenman

Wall-mounted shelves and a Herman Miller desk chair keep the house office tidy and stylish.

Shelving: Lula B’s

Sarah Greenman

Cool aqua and daring green brighten Jack’s bedroom. The Stuva storage system from Ikea keeps toys, games and clothes tucked away.

Paint: Hazy Blue, Benjamin Moore

Sarah Greenman

Mike’s area comes alive with bright green with blue accents. “Kids deserve good layout, and our boys are extremely happy with their bedrooms,” Cindy says.

Paint: New Grass, Benjamin Moore; storage: Stuva, Ikea

Sarah Greenman

Sugar cube tile in a double sink from Kohler create the boys’ bathroom a showstopper.

Sarah Greenman

Simple furnishings and ice blue walls make for a calm main bedroom. Each of the home’s three bedroom doors includes a tiny rectangular window on top. “We were planning to put frosted glass in the doors, but then I decided against it when I realized that I could glance in at the boys while they were sleeping,” Cindy says.

Paint: Hazy Blue, Benjamin Moore; bed frame: Russel Wright Studios; bedding: Draper Stripe, DwellStudio

Sarah Greenman

“When we first saw the home, we fell in love with the apartment roof. But horizontal roofs are high maintenance,” says Cindy. “Whenever it rained, I’d start pacing through the house looking for leaks.”

“The roof was also badly insulated,” James says, “along with the Texas heat would beat down on it. We could not keep the home cool.”

A brand new roof with appropriate insulation, ventilation, furnace and drainage operate ran the Stolps $17,000. “It was worth every cent,” says James.

Roofing: Tillery Roofing Service

Sarah Greenman

James and Jack high-five from kitchen. “When we moved in, nine years ago, the neighborhood has been in transition,” James says. “Our friends thought we were mad, since the place was economically sad and sort of beat up. But Cindy and I had faith in it, and it feels like the sun is shining on Highland Meadows.”

See more photographs of this home

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Travel Treasures Personalize a Denver Comedian's Home

When comedian Adam Cayton-Holland is not traveling to perform stand-up, he’s enjoying his 1885 Victorian in Denver. Although the avid traveler — 30 countries and counting — told jokes before this season on Conan, he takes himself seriously enough to provide his house with purpose, displaying artwork and collectibles from his excursions. With an eclectic mix of family heirlooms and travel memorabilia influenced by Cayton-Holland’s dad and art-collecting grandfather, this hot and innovative atmosphere provides a welcome intermission between gigs.

in a Glance
Who lives here: Adam Cayton-Holland along with his puppy, Annabel
Location:Baker neighborhood of Denver
Size: 1,500 square feet; 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms

Lauren Mikus

Cayton-Holland relaxes from the master bedroom along with his puppy, Annabel. “I remember bringing her to my home for a puppy, and I thought, ‘Now this is my property,'” he states.

“I travel a lot for work, and when I come home, among the first things I do is walk my puppy. I like to check on the few-block radius round here and see what, if anything, has changed. Folks say they always find me walking my puppy. It’s my way of announcing, ‘Hey I am back.’ I like things like this.”

Lauren Mikus

Cayton-Holland regularly hosts friends and fellow comedians in his bedroom that is . “A lot of comedians come into town for a monthly stand-up comedy show I do called The Grawlix,” he states. “People are always wanting to come in town for it, so we try to fly comics and then they wreck together with me for a few days. I prefer trying to give them a wonderful spot to stay.”

Lauren Mikus

He’s traveled all around the world and at a single point called the Spanish city Santiago de Compostela house. So obviously, virtually every decor piece in his house includes a narrative along with a passport stamp. A print in the Ecuadorian artist Oswaldo Guayasamin hangs over a vintage record player. A classic Indian wood carving out of Denver’s Antique Row on South Broadway hangs in an adjacent wall.

This dining set, nevertheless, is a family heirloom.

Lauren Mikus

The comedian attributes his style — what he describes as that of a “tenured professor’s office” — to his father, a civil rights lawyer, and grandfather, who was an art dealer. When he was growing up, his father “needed a room we called ‘the library’ because of the number of books,” he states. “My father had only festooned the place with paintings — Indian arrowheads, old binoculars, garudas from Indonesia, Persian carpets, old lamps. It’s very eclectic, but everything gets the feel of being a treasure. I have always wished to emulate ‘the library’ from the living room.”

It was a challenge to distinguish the living room and dining room, but afterwards what Cayton-Holland describes a “war of attrition,” he now loves his open area. “I slowly acquired more and more stuff, which I deemed fitting of the space, and now it seems full and lively. I am still moving. Next I need a player piano.”

A kitchen rug, just past the dining room, hides a panel that opens to a stairway leading into a basement. The previous homeowner was a contractor who upgraded the area, and this is one of their home’s few untouched original features. “To get down to the basement, you have to scale down,” the homeowner says. “It’s kind of terrifying but also really cool, because you can see the skeleton of the home and an old staircase I assume led up to storm-shelter doorways now just goes nowhere.”

Lauren Mikus

The homeowner and his dad are known to regular antiques shops and are great friends with local antiques dealer Rick Rose.

The antique chest here originated out of a Mexican monastery and dates back to the late 1800s. The three birdcages are also antiques.

Lauren Mikus

Typical of early-20th-century homes, the walls in this house are extremely thick. Red paint adds dimension to the doorway between the dining room and the kitchen.

Lauren Mikus

Masks from Senegal line the stairs from the foyer to the next story.

A vintage window framework that has been a Christmas present from Cayton-Holland’s sister hangs out of the 14-foot ceilings.

Lauren Mikus

The foyer’s mission-style furniture piece is from an antiques shop in Colorado Springs and holds the homeowner’s many hats.

Lauren Mikus

Once leased to a roommate, this space is now tCayton-Holland’s office, using a mission-style desk, chair and lamp.

Mexican folk art retablos and tapestries out of Mongolia and Indonesia adorn the wall.

Lauren Mikus

Cayton-Holland sometimes performs in Los Angeles in The Meltdown, linking other comics, such as Pete Holmes, Rory Scovel and Brent Weinbach. The place is found in the back of a comic shop, and for each display a poster is made. Some of them decorate the cupboard doors.

Lauren Mikus

Cayton-Holland relaxes on front porch with Annabel. “I am always visiting new cities, and I always love returning to Denver,” he states. “It’s fun to be a part of a city that’s constantly defining itself, that no one has really written the book on yet. This makes you feel a part of something. There is a spirit of anything that you need to see or do, you can do it here.”

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House Hunting? Look kindly at the Light

When I was growing up, my mum could bemoan others’ restricted imaginations: “Some folks can not see possible; they just can’t picture things.”

My difficulty was not a lack of creativity. An argument may be made that I’ve had too much creativity, bordering on delusion. Take the second house my husband and I purchased. When there had been a category on Facebook for posting the status of someone’s relationship with one’s house, mine could have stated, “It is complicated.”

Let us start with the good things: It was in a beautiful setting with a pool, large yards and many gardens, surrounded by lovely woods. It was near my husband’s office and in a fantastic school district. Most important of all We could afford it.

A wall of windows overlooks natural lighting and the view.

Today you want to brace yourself. The prior owners were DIY-ers from the 1970s. That about says it all, however, I will press on with all the details. There was wall-to-wall carpet everywhere, and I really do mean everywhere: bathrooms and kitchen included. The ceilings laughed at mere popcorn, aspiring to stalactites. Are you seated? Because I am just getting started. Faux beams? You betcha! Cedar shakes? A wall of them! Fake brick? Two partitions! Paneling? Eight rooms and seven fashions! Volcanic-looking rock? Going all the way up the staircase! I knew it was a nightmare, however, I watched all the possibilities. I knew we could sand ceilings and paint paneling and tear out the carpet as well as the faux everything. And we did. We went room by room, including windows and replacing, retexturing and repainting walls, ceilings and floors — from the day we took ownership until days before it burned down. However, all this was only makeup; there was more.

We fulfilled our house on a rainy day so, not surprisingly, it was dark inside. The entrance led to the dining room, which was the center of the house. To the north was a doorway to a hall that led to a bath and bedrooms. However, the east wall was a door to another bedroom. To the south was a large archway that opened into the kitchen and the rest of the house. On the other side of the west wall were the mudroom and the garage. That there were no windows did not register for me as a problem; neither did the home’s deep eaves nor that it faced north and south sat in a valley surrounded by woods.

Bruce Wright

I am sorry to let you know, I saw that the light (figuratively speaking) once we closed on the house, and that was just about the only light we found in that house. We put in so many windows and light tubes, which surely helped, but the overall lack of light was an eye-twitch-inducing source of frustration to me. True, I was sensitive to temptation from sunlight and a bit claustrophobic, but a troll could have suffered from seasonal affective disorder in the house.

My sister, Torey, pooh-poohed me. She recorded all the great things we’d done and our beautiful setting. I gently scratched in my neck and held my peace. A couple of weeks later we were watching a detective series and there was a suspenseful moment when a character is locked in a toilet and might or might not be dead. The detective runs up many flights of stairs, pounds on the door and must break down it.

“If the detective was running up the staircase, you were wondering if another man was dead, were not you?” I asked Torey later.

“Obviously.”

“Well, I wasn’t. I noticed that the stairwell didn’t have any windows, but there was a shaft of sun, and I was wondering if there was a skylight or when the gaffer had lit it unnaturally.” She simply stared at me, all the Pollyanna run dry. Several years later, when she was house hunting, she availed herself of my mania/expertise.

Emerick Architects

This well-placed window lighting a hall and is a beautiful focal point.

If you are in the market for a house, light may not be in your own checklist, but it should. Here are some things to think about:

1. What direction does the house face? Our new house still faces north, but it’s an open floor plan and is filled with windows, so every room and hall has indirect light constantly and direct light at least sometime in the day. The principal living areas and bedrooms all face the south, which here in Michigan allows passive solar energy throughout the winter. Throughout summer time the sun is so large that the light downstairs is indirect and beautiful but upstairs the bedrooms heat up considerably. I wouldn’t ever say we’ve got too much light, but I’ve invested in window coverings to allow us to temper our glorious prosperity.

2. What rooms do you use the most and when? Since we’ve got a wooded hill to the west, the hot and low light of the setting sunlight is filtered. My sister-in-law’s house faces west, but the majority of her living spaces were designed with large windows to take advantage of the lake views to the west. A line of trees to the south shelters the house in the summer from the beams of the intense summer sun.

Shannon Malone

3. What is the window scenario? What was so challenging about my prior home was that the lack of windows. The room shown here is dark, but the beautiful windows makes it feel as if you are in a tree house rather than a cave. Friends of ours designed and built a beautiful, light-filled house. In working out the floor plan, they opted to put their bathrooms and mudroom in the center of the house and hence without windows, an option they regret.

The window scenario goes both ways. Other friends have a house on a hill. A bank of windows in their living room showcases the magnificent view to the east and floods the room with morning light. It was all I could do to keep from throwing myself onto the (bright!) Floor, in a sense of wonder and envy. For my friend it was a nuisance — her blinded toddlers encounter each other while they played. She purchased a huge and expensive shade soon after they moved in.

When a house has an abundance of windows, assess whether you need to add window coverings to your budget. The cost for even the least expensive shades can be considerable.

Kanner Architects – CLOSED

A big corner window is perfect for a modern house.

If we were planning the new house, I made it crystal clear that maximizing natural light was overriding. (Picture Scarlett O’ Hara shaking her fist and swearing she’ll never be hungry again.)

Throughout the framing phase, the builder posted pictures online. The caption next to our great room stated, from the understatement of the century, “An unobstructed, naturally day lit open space was a priority for the homeowners.”

What about you personally? Did you consider light once you purchased your house? Did you overlook or dismiss another fundamental attribute? Tell your story in the Remarks.

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Kitchen of the Week: Practical Beauty at Dallas

After five decades of living together with her 1952 ranch kitchen, Deb Young decided she was done using all the dilapidated material palette. Sticking with the kitchen’s unique layout and deciding on all of the materials beforehand helped her cut down on the remodel’s price and time. Only one month of construction resulted in a brand new, contemporary kitchen with plenty of practical additions.

Kitchen at a Glance
Location: Lakewood area of Dallas
Size: 13 by 17 feet
Budget: $25,000

Young and her family lived with all the obsolete setup for so long partly to save cash and partly to put a disruptive remodel, but also because it gave them insight about what needed to be fixed.

Young had an additional stainless steel sink custom made. The Grohe faucet handle turns into the sink, instead of to the side, so wet palms do not drip on the counter prior to doing dishes. “It’s easier for the 7-year-old to achieve, too,” she says.

Faucet: Grohe Concetto

Young was never a fan of their first layout, but the cabinetry and appliances were in great shape. Rather than pull them out, she stuck to the basic layout, saving cash for future bathroom renovations.

Cabinetry: solid Lyptus stained in walnut; paint:White Dove, Benjamin Moore; countertops: Luce de Luna quartzite, stainless perimeter

Choosing the colors and materials was all about practicality. Dark cabinets, sturdy flooring and stainless steel–lined countertops can all stand up to heavy family use.

Backsplash: fireclay tile, Crater Lake

Before Photo

The prior all-white cabinets put every speck of dirt and spilled drop of coffee on display. The awkward handles also made it hard to clean the entire door fronts.

Dark stained doors now conceal most stains, and easy hardware is not difficult to clean around and under. “At no point did I put anything in this kitchen that wasn’t practical because it had been pretty,” says Young.

From the beginning, Young knew she wanted to keep the first pivoting bar top. Connected to the countertop with a rotating grommet, it’s an incredibly functional seating solution for this particular kitchen’s layout.

On the other side of the rotating bar, a lockable caster allows for seamless movement. When it’s time to consume, the bar drops into the kitchen, stopping just short of the island. When it’s time to clean or entertain, it slides back into place against the window.

Flooring: Volcanic Ash Marmoleum

Selecting flooring was simple — Young knew in the get-go that she wanted to use Marmoleum. This legitimate linoleum product is frequently used in schools and hospitals because it’s extra durable but still feels soft and works well. Even though it took some time to find someone to put in it in a residential project, it had been worth the hunt.

Bar stools: CB2

This existing cabinets got a fresh update with walnut-stained panels and new hardware.

Texas artwork: Draplin Design

Before Photo

The kitchen previous finishes were completely worn out. The yellow paint peeled off the walls in areas, the vinyl floor had stains, the cast iron sink had massive scratches, and the laminate countertops had their fair share of burns and stains.

The older island’s open shelving did not provide enough storage for the Youngs, and food was constantly falling upon the open shelves. Adding several pullout drawers made additional, defined storage space.

Dishwasher: Miele

The Marmoleum flows into an adjacent hallway — the key route to the family’s backyard swimming pool.

Before Photo

While Young adored the existing glass-front refrigerator, it did not have the storage that she wanted — particularly when it came to ice for drinks during summer parties.

New refrigerator and freezer drawers were a splurge for the brand new bar area, but they make a significant difference when it comes to the family’s daily actions and enjoy of entertaining.

Bubble glass above the bar provides a little bit of contrast. “We put glass there because it permits our friends to wander in and help themselves to drinks,” says Young. “It’s easier for them to do so if they could see what’s in the cabinets”

Refrigerator: Jenn-Air

Your turn: Can you just redo your kitchen? We’d like to hear about it and see a photograph below!

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Stoke Your Fireplace Layout With Decorative Screens and Doors

Both practical and decorative, fireplace doors and displays keep your fire safely contained while being a gorgeous part in your fireplace’s layout. Whether custom made or shop bought, these works of art come in infinite styles, finishes and fabrics. In case you have an old or slightly used fireplace that will use some updating, consider replacing the screen or door for a quick and cost-effective makeover.

See whether any of those gorgeous fireplace displays inspire you.

S / Wiley Interior Photography

Constructed in. These Mediterranean-style iron doors have been permanently attached to the exterior of the fireplace with decorative hinges. With a layout like this, it’s the hinges that can attract attention.

Hint: Not only are those doors amazing, but they possess the additional structural integrity required to keep pets and kids safe.

AMI Designs

Designer. This high-style freestanding fireplace screen in polished chrome has an elegant look that’s just the correct touch for this perfectly accessorized interior.

Hint: Place birch logs within the fireplace opening for decoration and depth.

Smith & Vansant Architects PC

Glass. Shut off a burning flame completely while enjoying the view with glass fireplace doors, like in this picture. Stone and glass make for a gorgeous combination.

Hint: If you decide on glass to your fireplace door, then take note that it’s going to take a good cleaning every so often.

Irwin Feld Design

Artistic. Get creative by custom design your fireplace screen. This built-in version of a metallic screen overlaps the surrounding fireplace opening to make a look all of its own. Bravo for creativity!

Hint: Having this much metal around the fireplace opening appears very cool, but beware — the alloy can become very hot.

Brian Watford Interiors

Freestanding. This classic-looking fireplace screen stands in its vertical position by mounted angle mounts (behind the screen) and decorative feet.

Hint: The best part about a freestanding fireplace screen is the fact that it makes cleaning the interior of the fireplace much easier than with a built-in screen.

Clockwork

Mesh. If you forgo a fireplace door, then try this very traditional metallic mesh drape. If you need to access the fireplace opening, then simply pull back the curtain.

Hint: Mesh curtains, like the one here, are cheap and seem almost invisible once the flame is burning.

Kristen Rivoli Interior Design

Utilitarian. This freestanding fireplace screen serves double duty. Each side of the screen is actually the hanging rail for your fireplace fittings (shovel, poker and broom).

Hint: Fireplace accessories may look great when they are first bought, but you may want to think twice about having them out on screen as soon as they have been used. Black soot and ashes may rub away from them onto furniture and fabrics.

Vanni Archive/Architectural Photography

Ornate. It’s not appropriate for every interior, however this freestanding fireplace screen is the perfect fit for this conventional wood fireplace. I love its ornate scalloped corners, feet and decorative finials.

Tip: Like the screen layout but not the metal? Utilize a high-temperature spray paint to turn it in a piece you love.

More: 10 Ways to Repair Your Fireplace Up With a Screen Star

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Kitchen of the Week: a Dining Nook for 16 and Turquoise Tile

Unhappy with their humdrum, builder-grade kitchen at Rancho Santa Fe, California, these homeowners needed something that would permit them and their four kids to do what they love most: amuse. Interior designer Kari Arendsen and her staff in Intimate Living Interiors responded by gutting the space, including more storage, installing an extra-large stove for whipping up massive dishes for numerous guests, and producing a customized island that could accommodate everything from prep work into serving. A mirrored wood plank, bold turquoise backsplash and custom dining room add character, while durable materials, such as bleached oak floors and marble counters, will suit this busy family for years to come.

The sink previous location determined the design of the area, as the homeowners needed to avoid moving any pipes. They also wanted to get a very clear view of the backyard when doing dishes.

A French armoire adds storage for mugs and cookware. “it is a refreshing departure from just doing all cupboards,” Arendsen states.

Range: 60-inch Wolf; faucet: Rohl; faucet fixtures: Jalco

Intimate Living Interiors

Turquoise arabesco tile is repeated in the backsplash and the custom made island’s built in pet dining area. The repeating pattern and color produce symmetry and stream without taking away from the clean appearance of the custom white paint walnut cabinetry and bleached oak floors.

The home is part of a development community, also Arendsen wanted to create this new kitchen stand out. The mix of textures — Calacatta marble, arabesco tile and the worn metal of this chandelier — give the kitchen character and depth.

Chandelier: Amarass, Joss and Main

The wooden plank over the stove was found at a reclaimed-wood lawn. Arendsen and her staff screwed a small, unique piece of metal hardware they found in San Francisco into the board.

The formerly tiny dining area that was connected to the kitchen is now a cozy corner and bar area that seats 16 people. The habit tables have removable glass tops so the family can rotate in various design patterns beneath.

The zinc and leather seats were added with the growing youngsters in your mind. Wear and tear over the years will add character to the materials.

See more Kitchens of the Week

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Summer Plants: How to Boost Tomatillos

Tomatillos, also referred to as husk tomatoes, are a vital ingredient for several Mexican dishes, such as salsa verde and enchiladas verde. They’re also yummy whether eaten raw or cooked, so why not add them to your edible garden? They have the identical basic care requirements because their tomato cousins, with the added advantage of fewer issues and a longer and frequently sooner crop, a plus in short-summer places. Additionally they reseed.

The crops resemble berries but using papery husks encasing the fruits. Green tomatillos are the most common, but it is possible to find some that are purple or yellow. Purple varieties are generally sweeter. For odd varieties check Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Seeds of Change and Seed Savers Exchange.

Notice: To put fruit, you’ll need at least two crops for cross-pollination.

When to plant: Start seeds inside five to eight weeks prior to your planned planting date; set out begins or nursery plants two weeks to a month after your last frost and after the soil is warm.

Days to maturity: 70 to 120

Light requirement: Full sun

Water necessity: Regular

Favorites: Cisneros, Fiesta Duo, Green Husk, Pineapple, Purple, Purple di Milpa, Toma Verde, Verde Pueblo, Zuni

Photo courtesy of Seed Savers Exchange

The New York Botanical Garden

Planting and care: Wait until the frost has passed and the soil has warmed up before planting outside. Pick a website with rich, well-drained soil in full sun. Work in compost plus a low-nitrogen fertilizer prior to planting.

Plant deeply, burying about two-thirds of this plant. Leave 1 1/2 to two feet between plants. Tomatillos fared well in containers. Even a 12- to 15-gallon size is good, even though they will grow bigger baskets.

Water thoroughly after planting. Add supports now also, whether conventional tomato cages, stakes or some other sturdy structure. Nonmetal stakes or cages will not burn the plant if they become hot. As the crops grow, reaching an eventual height of 3 to 4 feet, attach the stems to the supports with tender ties.

Water regularly, about 1 to 2 inches directed to the base of this plant. Keep the roots moist but not soggy Mulching helps conserve water and keep weeds down. To promote fruit set, feed the soil using a low-nitrogen fertilizer after flowers look.

Tomatillos aren’t bothered by several pests and diseases. Providing good air circulation around the plants will help stop early blight, and staking will frustrate snails and slugs. Other issues you may experience are aphids, beetles, leaf-damage pests and powdery mildew.

Harvest: select the fruit when it’s filled the husk but remains firm to touch, and the husk has become brown and began to split. Remove the husk and wash off the fruit just prior to use.

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What You Need to Know Before Buying Chicks

You may not think of baby chicks at the dead of winter, although the ground is frozen over and icicles are hanging out of the eaves. Cold as it may be, winter is time for ordering chicks, particularly if you’re likely to order rare-breed chicks online. If you’re likely to purchase basic White Leghorns or Rhode Island Reds from the local farm supply store, feel free to wait until spring, but for the rest of us, the time is now!

After your chicks arrive, you’ll need to have an interim place for them to stay; you can’t throw them straight into the coop. Here’s the way to take care of your infant chicks in their infancy,”teenage” months and maturity.

Designs to the hens: Chicken Coops Rule the Roost

Amy Renea

When you buy chicks online, you’re most likely buying a rare breed that cannot be found locally. You need to place your order today since the inventory begins to run out on the many gorgeous breeds the nearer we get to spring up. Obtaining your order in early ensures that you will find the strains you desire. The chicks will arrive in spring, and they will be literally a day old.

Before ordering chicks, first make sure that your neighborhood statutes and town zoning laws allow you to raise cows. Asking your neighbors about their own tastes is also a nice gesture when considering raising a flock.

Amy Renea

Chicks are sent in cardboard boxes throughout the country whenever they’re hatched. As crazy as that sounds, the chicks arrive happy and healthy.

When intending a temporary home for chicks, note the industrial shipping boxes used. Made from cardboard, the boxes give little chick feet something to hold onto. You do not want to place chicks in a slick plastic or metal container, since their feet and feet will not develop correctly. You’ll also require a simple heat lamp or quite warm room for those chicks in the beginning.

Amy Renea

Take a peek in the shipping box and then notice the thin and soft bedding material. When designing your chicks’ first home, choose the smallest pine shavings or perhaps hamster bedding in the beginning. Avoid cedar chips, as these can damage the chicks’ lungs.

While chicks will gradually go outdoors to open grazing, it is a bad place for them initially. Although chicks survive just fine outdoors with their mom in nature,”orphan” chicks will not survive out in the open by themselves, without heat and security.

Lindsay von Hagel

The second worst place for the chicks is your coop, with its mature chickens, thick bedding and spacious water pans. They can drown in the water and become trapped under bed. Mature cows will even peck in the babies.

Amy Renea

Baby chicks may also start pecking at one another. If it comes to pass, it is vital to separate the injured chick. So be prepared to have a lot of spaces inside and then outdoors to house the chicks.

Williams-Sonoma

Alexandria Chicken Coop and Run – $1,499.95

A moveable chicken tractor is the best set up for integrating chicks to the outdoors. After they sleep inside at night, you can let them to the guarded part of the tractor each day. The mature cows can roam around in the grass surrounding the tractor, permitting both flocks to get used to one another.

A triangular design functions well with this adjustment period as well. If you’ll be raising new chicks each year, you may want to consider this design.

If you’ve got a small coop, consider letting the adult chickens out in the early hours, putting the chicks indoors, and then shifting through the nighttime. Chicks can get accustomed to the coop without being at risk in the adults.

Amy Renea

Once chicks can jump to nesting boxes and up a small scale or ladder, they can start seeing the”grown-up” coop through the day.

Amy Renea

Placing nesting boxes levels allows the smaller cows to become accustomed to flying into the boxes, while leaving space for the adults to lay their eggs at the higher boxes.

eric marcus studio

Straightforward ramps can allow”teenager” cows to go just about everywhere. A simple plank design with small cross pieces can allow small cows to get to and from the coop, feeding areas and nesting areas.

Avant Garden

A fenced-in area with a enclosed coop also functions well to integrate younger and mature chickens. Since the chickens become used to one another, they have different space to move in, and fighting is kept to a minimal.

eric marcus studio

In your roosting setup, make sure there is more than enough space for both mature and younger chickens. When there’s limited space, the adults will strike the smaller cows when they try to roost. Multiples bars or multiple roosting spaces solve this problem.

While natural predators and mature chickens are often the best threat to your chicks, a housecat can cause difficulties as well. Housecats are usually uninterested in chicks and are intimidated by full-grown chickens, but teenage cows would be the ideal age for them to pursue. Make sure housecats are introduced to the chickens early, so that they can get used to them, but do not expect them about chicks between 6 and 3 months old.

Janiczek Homes

To recap, while purchasing buying chicks in the farm store or online may be a simple endeavor, their care once they arrive at your doorstep is more involved. Make sure you have an easy, warm setup when they arrive. If you’ve got adult chickens and other animals, make different spaces for the new chicks. Be cautious of dangers like open water utensils, heavy bedding and housecats. Nip any poultry bullying in the bud immediately. While raising chicks is much more work than purchasing pullets, it is definitely enjoyable and well worth the effort.

More:
Chicken Coops Rule the Roost
The Twist on Chicken Coops

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How to Plan a Just-Right Living Room Layout

Whether you are constructing a new home, remodeling an existing living room or just rearranging furniture you already have, laying out your living room is best done with a plan in your mind. It may seem to be a very simple matter of rolling up a chair over here and squishing the couch over there, but even the simplest elements of space planning can get complex quickly. Before you start doing some heavy lifting, consider these professional living room layout tips.

Habitar Design

Planning. Analyze how that you spend time on your living room. Nashville interior designer Kippie Leland suggests writing down everything that you plan to get there. “This can allow you to prioritize when you reach the furniture planning phase,” says Leland.

Then consider traffic and dialogue flow. How can you enter a room? Move between chairs? Get around the corner of a sofa? “You don’t ever want to feel trapped or feel as if you are making laps around an area to get out or in,” states Minneapolis interior designer Lucy Penfield. And “do not locate the back of a sofa by the entry,” says Colorado interior designer Andrea Schumacher. “It should be installed so you could walk in and out of the room easily.”

Don’t leave too much distance between seating, so conversation can flow readily.

The Cross Interior Design

Arranging and rearranging. Everybody has an individual preference when it comes to arranging furniture. Some individuals prefer to take their time and plan out every detail. For those, Leland suggests starting off with a scaled drawing of this room, measuring the existing furniture and making to-scale cutouts of each piece to play with. “It is much easier on your back to rearrange on paper than to transfer the furniture,” she states.

There’s a different route for people who prefer to be spontaneous. “Block out a good hour or so, bring a friend along or your own family, and really move things around,” states Penfield. Move out everything that’s simple to carry first, just to find a new view of this room. Then switch it all up — even take out the carpet to learn what the room looks like without it. “Every time you come up with a fresh configuration, take a little time to sit down and see how it feels,” she states.

A few things to remember, regardless of what arrangement you decide on:Try to maintain 15 to 18 inches involving upholstery and the coffee table. Be certain that you have 2 to 4 feet of walking distance in a most important pathway. If you opt to put your furniture within an angle, know that it’ll take up a lot of extra space. Try symmetry first — that often works well in living rooms.

Meredith Heron Design

Keeping things to scale. All of the designers here highlight the importance of furniture size in a living room. “Properly scaled furniture may make or break a room,” says Austin, Texas, designer Allison Jaffe. “Having too much room or too little room can really throw away the look and feel of this room.”

Just because the scale and size of a bit appears right in a shop doesn’t mean it’ll feel right on your living room. Larger rooms require larger furniture, and bigger rooms require a bigger scale.

But above all else, make sure everything you buy is comfortable too. “Select furniture that fits you,” says Schumacher. “Try out different sized pieces. We’ve found some people prefer larger furniture they could flake out, and some people prefer more miniature furniture”

Terracotta Design Build

Purchasing furniture. A brand new living room usually means some new furniture — at the very least a bit here and there. Jaffe suggests because it will be the piece in the room, picking the sofa first . “When purchasing a sofa, go moderate in proportion, for it may be used at a future home in the library or den,” adds Leland.

Contemplate your entertaining needs and choose furniture which may be used with larger groups if necessary. Slip a bench or locate ottomans which may be used as side tables or seating.

Dana Nichols

Handling the TV. The TV is not necessarily pretty, but for a lot of us, it’s a must-have at the living room. Fortunately, the design issue is lessened by flat-screen televisions. Keep relaxation in mind when putting your TV — make sure not to hang it in a height that will make your throat ache. Above the fireplace may be too large, unless the couch has enough distance so that your neck doesn’t have to strain. But, Jaffe advises to not put the TV over 10 ft or less than 6 ft away from the sofa.

You may not want your TV to become the room’s focal point (regardless of how proud of it you’re). “Do you want a black hole dangling in a significant visual location in the room?” Says Leland. Consider placing it on a bookshelf which flanks the fireplace or on a buffet from the wall.

More about putting your flat-screen TV

Inform us What have you learned while setting out your living room?

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Beat Winter's Chill With an Indoor Picnic

Picnics are among life’s simple pleasures, but winter, naturally, is normally too cold for individuals in most areas to head outside with a basket and blanket. It is still possible, but to enjoy the fun and love of picnic dining now; just recreate the encounter indoors. It is a great way to package in friends and family, even when you don’t have a great deal of traditional dining space. Get motivated by this particular indoor picnic spread.

Holly Marder

The Setting

A indoor picnic is a wonderful opportunity to snuggle up on the floor with a few comfy blankets and pillows with a loved one. And if you are hosting several guests, then it is also a creative alternative when dining room is limited. If your house is blessed with a great view, clear a place beside the window for your installation.

Picnic basket: Picknickshop; plaid blanket: Hermine, Ikea; poufs: Slumber and Bonnet, Casalis; gray platter: Serholt Sweden

Holly Marder

Just as you would do outdoors, make things comfy with a plentiful supply of picnic blankets. Take advantage of being indoors by integrating throw cushions as well as a few poufs.

Holly Marder

Bring the outside in by incorporating some greenery into your picnic setting. The plant is a species of eucalyptus.

When you have a fireplace, make sure that you’re ready with a supply of chopped wood. A crackling fire is a certain way to amp up the coziness element.

Holly Marder

The Meal

Getting your picnic indoors also suggests you could employ your loved ones dishes and cutlery. This picnic set includes cutlery and dishes, but trendy compostable choices will also be available that can make cleanup a cinch.

Holly Marder

Holly Marder

When planning your menu, then think of easy finger foods that are easy to share and serve. The spread displayed comprises cheeses, crackers, salami, pesto, fruit along with a newly baked pecan pie.

Tip: To prevent drink spillage, ensure you have a sturdy tray with a lip available.

Holly Marder

Pecan Pie(adapted from Allerhande)
Serves 12

1 cup (250 g) flour
100 g powdered sugar
1 cup (250 g) butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups (280 g) whole pecans
1/2 cup (150 g) maple syrup
1/3 cup (75 g) sugar
1/3 cup (75 milliliters) fresh lotion

Timing: prep, 30 minutes; cooking, 50 minutes

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius). Blend the flour, sugar, butter and salt in a mixer and mix everything into a crumbly dough. Knead the dough into a ball with your hands and line a greased 8- by 8-inch skillet with the dough to form an even base. Bake for 20 minutes. Roast the pecans in the oven in an 8- by 11-inch tray for 10 minutes.

2. Heat the cream and sugar in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil then cook it on low heat for 6 minutes.

3. Remove the gently roasted pecans and pie foundation in the oven. Distribute the pecans on top of the precooked pie foundation, placing them in lines and forming two layers. Carefully pour the caramel sauce on the nuts and put the pan back in the oven for another 20 minutes.

4. Allow the dish to cool completely before serving it in your indoor picnic. Enjoy!

Holly Marder

The Entertainment

After indulging in dialogue, relaxation and food, have a few games available to continue the fun. Ensure that you also prepare a playlist of your favourite holiday tunes to play.

Holly Marder

After unwrapping gifts this Christmas, gather your loved ones for an indoor picnic. Afterward, don’t hesitate to prop yourself in a comfortable spot against some cushions for some quality quiet time with a fantastic book.

Tell us : How will you be getting comfy this winter?

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Light-Up Mirrors Offer Bright Design Solutions

I’m often turned on to fresh design trends or merchandise through recommendations from my own clientele or the designer on the project. One of my most recent enjoys is a light-up electrical mirror — yup, it is too fancy as it sounds! This mirror with built-in lighting can solve many design problems. For instance, if a vanity is facing a toilet window, then finding a place to get a mirror and a light fixture can be difficult.

While electrical mirrors can be bought online, using one custom made is an option, too. Take a peek at a few methods to put in this new design element through your bathroom remodel.

Risinger Homes

This glistening powder area is a fantastic use of space. If the mirror did not possess the built-in lighting, the design would be much more complicated. What kind of light could the designer have set up? How big could the mirror happen to be?

The round shape allows for a much larger mirror size and looks fine against the angled ceiling. The simple fact that the mirror is also the light source simplifies the design challenge.

Flüff Designs & Decor

I have heard that side lights make using makeup considerably easier (although I can not say I know from experience). These new mirrors have the identical impact as an old-school Hollywood dressing room mirror, but without the bulbs running down the side.

The light output is great, but care ought to be taken when choosing the type of LED lighting. LED lighting colors can vary from one company to another. Warm and cool whites are available in LED, therefore get a record of both if possible.

Edgewater Design LLC

Here we see a fantastic example of built-in hot white light at a mirror. Warmer white tends to function well with warm-hued paint and tile colors. Cooler white lights work well in white and blue bathrooms.

RKI Interior Design

Yet another design challenge solved with this customized corner mirror.A little vanity at the corner often means you can not get light across the side without shoving a light fixture into the corner. The usage of this next mirror solves this dilemma. It is a clever design and creates a very slick appearance.

Platinum Series by Mark Molthan

The lights for these mirrors can be RGB — LED lights that change colors and turn your mirror into colour therapy. You may select whatever colour makes you feel most happy or relaxed. Imagine taking a bath with all the lights gradually scrolling through numerous colors. Or perhaps you have a migraine and select light purple only, as it is the most relaxing for your pounding head.

If you’re using chromotherapy (colour therapy) or nighttime light elsewhere in the area, I recommend you have the light all from one supplier and don’t mix warm white light with trendy white light at precisely the exact same space.

Bubbles Bathrooms

The sky is the limit in mirror design. It is simple to have mirrors created and sandblasted. The lights can be set up on the back and represented through the sandblasted areas.

By Any Design Ltd..

We installed some solitude film over this toilet’s window and mounted on the electrical mirror on a customized support.

Low-voltage leads to your mirror snake up between the windows at a dado cut and are covered with the original window trimming stock. Each of the wires are encased in certain bend conduit, which protected them when the trimming was emptied.

More: Magic Mirrors Emerge From Fairy Tales

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5 Anytime Glad to Rev Up Your House All Year

Now that January is in the past, party season is again upon us. Allow the celebrations begin! Celebrations are instances for sharing special moments with family and friends, like birthdays, weddings and birthdays. Other celebrations are just for the pleasure of it. Parties in my town start with the Super Bowl and just keep on coming until Christmas again. Some celebrations are for universities, charities and churches and are commonly called”party book” occasions.

In case you have been attempting to show off that new kitchen remodel for your friends, use your new barbecue or host a memorable day for the sake of a charity, then below are some party ideas which will surely be the talk of town.

Cost Plus World Market

Chinese New Year Packets, Set of 6 – $2.99

1. Chinese Takeout Party

Chinese New Year is celebrated in February and is now a joyous time of food and traditions. Join in the fun with a small twist by hosting a Chinese takeout party.

The color red is a big part of the celebration. Red envelopes such as these are used to give gifts to friends and family, usually coins or dollar bills.

Horchow

Pagoda Salt and Pepper Set – $60

Set your table with Chinese-inspired reasonable.

Number Four Eleven

Dragon Napkins – $125

It can be quite formal or as casual as you desire. Put the table based on the Chinese zodiac; 2013 is the year of the snake. Find the Chinese place together with all the yummiest takeout in the town and serve it directly from conventional takeout boxes.

Laura U, Inc..

2. Poker Party

Throw a poker night with great food and friends.Make sure to have a lot of finger foods and cold beverages.

Restoration Hardware

Classic Edition Monopoly – $149

You are able to host a family-friendly version of this party using another table for children and traditional board games, such as Monopoly and Bingo.

Restoration Hardware

Town Hall Bingo – $129

Have an older kid keep score for the younger children and have prizes for the winners.

Crate&Barrel

Cuisinart Electric Fondue Set – $69.95

3. Chocolate Fondue Party

This is just one of the’70s. Ideal for girls’ night, the chocolate fondue party is an enjoyable potluck-style party. Have your guests bring sliced fruit, marshmallows or graham crackers.

Jeanette Lunde

Throw in a touch color for the party. Color consistently makes a party festive by creating instant whimsy. Anything hanging from the ceiling is a great start to a celebration.

Charmean Neithart Interiors

Organize the food artfully with other goodies before everyone starts to dip.

John Willis Homes

4. Movie-Night Party

Oscar night is February 24 in 2013. It is a great time to concentrate on films. This is a gathering my children love. This works great when you have a media room or just a big-screen TV. Make tickets and gather them at the door when the kids arrive.

Doug Pitts Construction

Enjoy a lot of conventional movie treats, such as popcorn, soda and ginger pop. Although not the funniest treats for children, every once in a while they make film night even more special.

Oriental Trading Co..

Mini Striped Popcorn Boxes, Set of 24 – $4

Actual popcorn boxes are available at most party stores or online. Personalize the boxes by writing everyone’s name on them.

Dillard Pierce Design Associates

5. Concert Party

Have musical Buddies? Why not have a concert at home? A growing number of people are choosing music rooms in their houses, occasionally turning underused rooms, such as dining rooms, into miniature concert halls.

Tulp Kids

Gakki Percussion Set – AUD 67.50

This sort of party can do the job for kids or adults. Child-friendly tools are simple to find, and playing an instrument is a wonderful hobby to boost in children.

The Cavender Diary

For an adults-only version, set up a bar cart and serve delicious drinks as you listen to your friends share their musical talents.

Tell us about your favourite party heritage below!

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Make a TV Star With Your Video Phone Calls

The future sure is not what it used to be. By the year 2000, according to futurists of the first half of the 20th century, everyone was supposed to be driving a nuclear-powered flying car, eating food in pill form and running errands around the city using a personal jet pack.

What happened to the future?

The majority of the predicted technologies never occurred because they proven to be undesirable, dangerous or far too expensive. However, a number of them really came true. One uncontroversial prediction was the video phone, which revealed as a standard element of daily life in matters such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, popular science magazines and The Jetsons.

Futurists predicted that in their future — our present — telephone calls would involve a TV display, and we’d have natural, face-to-face conversations instead of holding a gadget up to our faces for audio-only communication. Along with the futurists got it right — sort of. In fact, millions of video calls now happen daily. And the surprising fact is that the caliber and experience of these video calls can be massively better than futurists ever imagined.

Much more surprising is that we frequently don’t make the most of what is possible. The very best video phone experience is given through a big-screen TV, for an obvious reason: The display is quite big and probably faces some comfy sofas or chairs. TV-based video calls most closely simulate the experience of getting the caller seeing in your property.

Below are some methods to bring video calling to your TV.

Warpia ConnectHD Video Conferencing System – $139.99

There are three fundamental strategies to achieve TV-based video call nirvana. One is via a pc attached to your TV, another is via a smart TV and the third uses a special-purpose gadget attached to your TV.

The easiest is the first: linking a laptop or PC to a TV using a cable, like HDMI, then clicking over to that as your video source. From that point it is possible to use your computer’s camera and video conferencing software, and display it all over the TV.

That is an inelegant solution, but one you can probably implement now without extra purchases. One small improvement to this general approach can be made using a product known as the Warpia ConnectHD. It utilizes video conferencing software running on your PC or laptop. But instead of using your PC’s camera, it comes with its own, which you may place on top of the TV. And instead of working with a big, sloppy HDMI cable, then it utilizes wireless using a USB device that plugs into the pc.

Using the camera on top of or just below the TV is important with video calls, because it creates the illusion of eye contact.

Samsung 51-Inch Plasma 8000 Series Smart TV – $1,697.99

Samsung’s 51-inch plasma TV is a terrific all-around smart TV, with 3-D, apps, innovative motion gestures, voice command and face recognition. Additionally, it has something I think many TVs are going to have in the future: a built-in camera. Along with the TV comes with Skype built in too, so you may readily make living space video phone calls.

Future smart TVs from Samsung and other major TV giants will increasingly come with Google TV layouts, that will enable Google+ Hangouts as the video-conferencing system, and also other apps for doing video phone calls in fresh ways.

Logitech TV Cam HD – $199.99

Logitech and Skype offer a product called the Logitech TV Cam HD. The camera connects to the Internet within either Wi-Fi or ethernet, and links to TVs using HDMI. Logitech claims that any TV that supports HDMI will work with the item.

The camera itself is high definition and wide angle, so it will demonstrate the whole living space. However, you can zoom in if you desire using the included remote control unit. Four noise-canceling microphones cut down to any echo from a large room.

And you’re going to hear the phone ring if the TV is off.

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Conventional Meets Airy in a Luxurious Coastal Home

Interior designer Diane Bergeron had some convincing to do with this project, a weekend home for a large family who uses the home year-round. The project architect had suggested a death by a comfy coastal home: a slick inside with a glass staircase and modern furnishings. “However, I told him ‘The conventional bones are. Why tear down them?'” She says. “It only made sense to work together with all the architectural bones of the home and move from there.”

Bergeron applied her layout knowledge of conventional American coastal homes throughout the project. “They enjoyed images of summer homes in the Hamptons and the warmth and airy feel of California coastal homes,” she says. “We opted for a soft, neutral base and layered on patterns and color.”

The clients turned off from what a lot of folks in those pieces are doing: “Lots of ultracontemporary houses with a glass-box structure that would have certainly carried into the interiors and furnishings,” Bergeron says. And did they enjoy the last outcome? “My clients are utilized to fine surroundings,” says the designer, “and they have a fantastic city home. But there were tears during the show. They’re only in love with this home.”

at a Glance
Who lives here: That really is a weekend home for Jack and Diane Gringlass and their 4 grown kids.
Location: Mornington Peninsula, Melbourne, Australia
Size: 5,488 square-foot
Design challenge: Changing a darkened, lodge-like country house in an airy and bright coastal home

Diane Bergeron Interiors

A photograph shot at sunset lets us see into the front-facing inside rooms of this home: three bedrooms, the analysis, a card room and a billiards room. Motorized Roman shades can be controlled with simplicity for privacy.

Diane Bergeron Interiors

John Himmel’s woven rope furniture adds warmth, warmth and texture into the living room. A vintage Lucite coffee table does not take attention away from the rich patterns of this window shades, carpeting and upholstery. Bergeron paired couture Quadrille China Seas cloth in the rope seats with a striped cotton dhurrie, which ties the distance together.

Flooring: stained European walnut; empire stools: Jonathan Adler; sofa: custom in camel linen, Diane Bergeron Interiors

Diane Bergeron Interiors

The designer loves the all-white walls and trusses. “The house used to be somewhat dim and cabin like, and you feel like the whole area is breathing, which is a quality I associate with California coastal homes or summer homes in the Hamptons,” she says. “I’m happy this comfy coastal style has found its way to Melbourne,” says Bergeron.

Sofa: custom in cotton twill, Diane Bergeron Interiors; facet table: vintage French; Roman blinds: custom, Diane Bergeron Interiors; pendant lighting: Ralph Lauren

Diane Bergeron Interiors

Windsor chairs create a surprise pairing with a Lucite table at the game room. Lulu DK wallpaper swathes the walls and continues into the backs of custom shelving units, giving the room a compatible flow.

Diane Bergeron Interiors

A rustic farmer’s table from Boyd Blue surrounded by Windsor seats adds warmth and contrasts with the all-white kitchen along with metallic sheen of those fittings and Ralph Lauren pendants.

Diane Bergeron Interiors

Bergeron turned into a mostly white and metallic powder room into a stone box with art deco Scalamandre wallpaper in Zanzibar Gold.

“If done correctly, layering on color and pattern may add a lot of verve to your home without being garish or too over the top,” says Bergeron.

Mirror: custom, Diane Bergeron Interiors

Diane Bergeron Interiors

Bergeron created a cozy space by mixing vintage fabrics and furnishings with new decor.

Diane Bergeron Interiors

Custom piled curtains and orange Roman shades dress up the most built-in bunk beds. An alpaca wool rug softens the sharp whites and stripes of their bunks’ window treatments. Underbed drawers maintain guests’ items tucked away.

Diane Bergeron Interiors

A home theatre hosts the entire family on film night, with custom reclining seats and both luxury chocolate brown picture walls. “A French artisan came and stitched all of the linen together by hand,” Bergeron says. “This was an amazing process to watch and actually adds this stunning, touchable caliber to the walls”

Diane Bergeron Interiors

Grass fabric wallpaper in sage covers the study walls and pays tribute to the customer’s love of green. A dark Roman color adds a masculine touch. “He loves this room,” she says. “It’s his little sanctuary within what is a relaxing weekend home.”

Background: Diane Bergeron Interiors; executive chair: vintage Eames; sofa: custom, Alan Campbell

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Trend Alert: Oxblood Red Enriches Autumn Style

This week I finally had time to catch up on all my September and October fashion glossies, and two things struck me. To begin with, a great deal of this September 2012 dilemma of Vogue is styled just like”1990s club kids meet people from the Capitol at The Hunger Games,” and it’s odd. Secondly, and far better news, is that oxblood red is back, and it appears rich, tasty and more current than ever.

Since fashion and decor tend to take turns following each other, these fashion pages sent me searching out the hue here at . I found designers employing this deep red tone in spaces from conventional dining rooms to contemporary powder rooms. I know the name”oxblood” is a little off-putting, but these rooms are anything but. Take a look.

Soorikian Architecture

Use oxblood red as an exterior accent. Doors like this are welcoming and draw the attention.

Susan Jay Design

Oxblood is a warm way to welcome visitors once they are inside the doorway as well.

Brenda Olde

The richness of this color combined with leather is a stunner. Use oxblood leather onto a Chesterfield sofa, wooden dining chair seat cushion or tufted corner chair, as you see here.

Martha O’Hara Interiors

Give this deep red a neutral background with tans, lighter and lighter hints of crimson.

Andrea Schumacher Interiors

Glenn Gissler Design

Give natural wood tones oomph with an oxblood blot.

1800Lighting

Use oxblood walls in conjunction with a contrasting trim, for example wainscoting.

Karlene Hunter Baum

Use it as a backsplash in a warm, traditional kitchen.

Celia James

Try it as a dramatic accent in the most minimalist of kitchens, whether on a valance a single cabinet or table linens.

Macy’s

Just Designz Serveware – $24.99

Speaking of table linens, if you want to give oxblood an evaluation run, try it with serving pieces, china, blossom or floral structures.

Stig Carlson Architecture

Oxblood is a great selection for style that is Asian.

W. Gibson & Co..

When this red goes iridescent, it transforms into a glamorous appearance.

Beth Dotolo, ASID, RID, NCIDQ

Blend touches of oxblood with eggplant. Split it up with creams, woods, tans and browns.

Rachel Reider Interiors

Oxblood Red Sculpted Vase Porcelain Table Lamp – $149.99

Accessories like lamps are a fantastic way to present the color to a room.

More:
Browse more color ideabooks

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Southwestern-Style Florida Mansion

When architect Roger Gritton’s customers approached him in a custom house, he knew that his business’s biggest challenge will be their preferred Southwestern style. “We’d never previously created a layout from the client’s selected style. Fortunately for us, the [customers] could see that although this style was new to us, we’d shown the capability to learn and adapt. I think we were able to make their dream home,” states Gritton.

The final result? A home that’s symbiotic with its surroundings, symbolizing the homeowners’ love of horses and deep respect for nature and the outdoors.

at a Glance
Who lives here: An equine-loving couple and their kids
Location: Florida’s northern peninsula
Size: 7,950 square feet
That’s intriguing: All doors and beams were made of laminated barn wood and timbers.

Gritton & Associates Architects

The kitchen materials and color palette embody Southwestern style. Ceramic tiles, a mantel-style variety hood, rough-sawn timber beams and ceiling, rusticated brick floors and stucco walls evoke the feel of Arizona, where the owners previously had a home.

Gritton & Associates Architects

The tall cabinets near the skillet have metal rails installed at the top, and a ladder slides for simple access to items in the bigger cabinets (much like the way libraries use ladders for books). The ladder tucks neatly across the side of the cabinetry when not being used. Gritton states, “The ultimate aim for the kitchen was to be hot, inviting, functional and a bit unexpected.”

Gritton & Associates Architects

The home’s architectural massing divides its profile to avert a boxy look and feel like a hacienda. “We tried to make the house feel like it was added onto many occasions and built organically by using different roofing materials in different pavilions: horizontal roofs with parapet walls or sloped roofs with Spanish clay tile,” states Gritton.

Gritton & Associates Architects

A number of the exterior spaces on the back elevation are coated, due to Florida’s torrential summer rains (as opposed to the uncovered patios of this arid Southwest). The living room windows function as focal point with a number of large, stepped, fixed panes of glass. Wings open at obtuse angles to reach out and embrace the horse pasture and surrounding environment.

Gritton & Associates Architects

The stairway’s natural shape makes it feel like it is carved from a mud wall. A beautiful chandelier in the round tower component generates comparison with the milky, light-washed ceiling. A dried chili pepper garland wraps round the railing, adding a personal touch.

Gritton & Associates Architects

From the covered porch, you may see the pool, horse paddock and side yard. A corner fireplace anchors the porch, and the visible flue accents the ceiling elevation. Splashy colors on the fireplace complement the most vibrant Adirondack chairs.

Gritton & Associates Architects

The living room serves as a gathering space and provides optimum views of the pool and horse paddock. Gritton states, “The substances remain consistent in this room: clay tile floors, stucco troweled walls, wood-beam ceilings. All the accessories are the homeowners’ touch and create a personal feel in this space.”

Gritton & Associates Architects

The foyer hall sets the tone of the home. Openings leading to the wings flank each side. These openings are stabilized by timber beams and shaped to resemble “donkey” door openings — a unique touch.

Gritton & Associates Architects

“Notice the way the clay tile flooring changes pattern into some 45-degree [angle] which helps you to define the distance and anchor the dining table,” states Gritton. Rough- sawn wood timbers framework the tall coffer from the ceiling, and green paint accents the arched market, which uses another beam as a display shelf for more accessories.

Gritton & Associates Architects

The back porch is one of many that include heavy timber columns and beams, coupled with rough-sawn wood mounts. The majority of the porches serve a dual purpose as flow corridors. Lantern-style wall sconces line the porches to provide light as well as Western detailing.

Gritton & Associates Architects

River stones add an outdoor texture to the shower, which has been designed to feel spacious, “almost as though you were taking a shower out in a horse stable,” states Gritton.

Gritton & Associates Architects

The homeowners wanted the tub to create the space feel as rustic as you possibly can. “We did this by putting it on a platform and employing a traditional stand-alone tub with a foundation,” states Gritton. “The tub is lit with a rustic wrought-iron chandelier. Decorative heavy timber beams and the same heavy-duty iron plates continue to give the illusion which the timbers, posts and beams are actually structural.”

Authenticity has been of extreme importance to Gritton’s customers, who wanted both the exterior and interior to stay true to Southwestern style. Gritton says that the residence is “a beautiful, approachable home that doesn’t feel quite as large as it actually is. Kudos to the homeowners for the personalized layout details; they are what attract the home to life.”

More:
Historic Home in Austin, Texas
Tahoe Ridge House
Pattern Play: Subtle Southwest Style
Southwestern Chic
Home Design Suggestions for the Cowgirl at Heart

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White Vases Hold Secret Twist

You only finished arranging all the new furniture and placing the rug in your newly painted room, and yet it seems unfinished and empty. My go-to remedy for adding that well-styled designer touch is to display a cool assortment of white vases and dishware. They’re easy to findeasy to fit to any present décor and simple to integrate into any kind of room.

Leclair Decor

A group of otherwise shaped tall and brief vases that are kept cohesive by using their minimalist white porcelain bodies is the objective.

Atmosphere Interior Design Inc..

Upgrade a so-so room to some showcaseworthy sample with a wonderful arrangement of snowy ceramic vases onto a games console. I love how they match the monochromatic tones of the sitting room.

FrontPorch

You don’t need to invest in many vases. You can test out the look first by clustering two or even three on a games console tablethen grow from there.

Horst Architects

Finding an arrangement of light ceramic vases onto a dining table isn’t what I would expect here, so it seems fresh.

Crestview Floors

I’m actually smitten with a single row of identical white vases, each having a spring of greenery, across the dining table. This type of very simple arrangement really brightens up the space.

Alabama Sawyer

The kitchen is a natural home for your empty vases maintained handy close to the sink to fill with water for fresh flowers. Housed one of other white dishware, especially in open shelving, they look just right.

Ilija Mirceski

White with organic timber is among my favorite end mixes. The combination of pearly vases on white floating shelves against a darker timber panel is stunning in any room.

Anthony Baratta LLC

Alabaster vases need not be simplistic. In this dining room setting, they’re downright exotic and kooky. Think beyond the box when incorporating this idea in your décor.

Dawna Jones Design

And don’t forget the bathrooms. They can use a decorator’s closing touch as well.

IKEA

PERSIKA Vase – $3.99

IKEA is a superb source for a supercheap vase to start your own arrangement. You simply won’t find much variation in size and shape.

West Elm

Pure White Ceramic Vase Collection – $10

West Elm offers an whole lineup of differently sized, somewhat glossy white ceramic vases at moderate rates.

2Modern

Shine Labs – Avalon Vase – $158

2 Modern also has a fine offering.

Etsy

The Bloom Collection Vase by Aedriel Originals – $15.99

I love the cheekiness of concealed colour inside these vases out of Etsy.

More:
Developing a Tablescape

More Than Flowerpots: Amazing Vases

9 Ways to Decorate with White

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Get It Done: Whip That Junk Drawer Into Form

I know the purpose of the catch-all drawer should be you could throw whatever you want in there and not worry a lot about business. The problem is, it tends to reach a point when you can’t find anything, and you realize there’s significant stuff inside. This is when it has demoted from “catch-all drawer” to “junk drawer.”

The catch-all drawer is usually near your front or side door or at the kitchen; it usually has in it the stuff that you need as you depart or enter the home: keys, checks, stamps, rubber bands, paper clips, sunglasses, camera, chargers, pens, measuring tape and Post-Its. The catch-all drawer is really a highly individualized space — everybody might have entirely different things in it. You simply need to be certain the catch-all is not behaving as a Venus flytrap, grabbing and devouring all of your things. Let us get started.

How to Organize Your Catch-all Drawer

spare time: 1 hour plus possible shopping period

Installation: Possessing a wastepaper basket along with a recycling bin near, and another box for stuff that you are going to be discovering new homes for.

More: Take a before picture for Additional satisfaction when you’re done.

Before Photo

1. Open the drawer. Take a good look at all of the stuff in there and be thankful you’re doing this. Within an hour or less, your drawer will proceed from crap standing to organized-necessities status.

2. Empty and assess. I am really doing this job as I write this ideabook. I will discuss some silly items in the drawer that aren’t helpful to me at all :
Eyeglasses with hideous frames from about 20 prescriptions agoHardened Liquid Paper (I don’t have some use for Liquid Paper anymore)5 collections of Delta Airlines headsets6 inches of carpet tape, that is perhaps enough to use a dollhouse area rug.Packaging and cans for each iPhone and iPod I’ve ever owned, including a few who are no longer in my possession. I don’t really require a shrine to Steve Jobs taking up space in here.By the way, this is among my 2 catch-all drawers.

3. Pause and ponder. Out of all of the items in this drawer, what can you really use, and what’s handy to have in this spot? What goes in a different place?

Determine: Would it be handier to have your own stamps and checkbooks in your office? Would you want to spread a few of the 10 Post-It pad around the home where you might need them? Is this the place in which you would like to keep every pencil you own, or do you want them in other places in the home? Shouldn’t that raffia be hanging out with the other wrap supplies?

Bottom line: This is prime property. Only items that you use regularly and in the close vicinity of the drawer should find a spot in this drawer.

Shannon Ggem ASID

4. Sort everything.
Give your drawer a good wipe-down. Put aside the items that belong on your catch-all drawer.Throw old newspaper (coupons that died four decades ago, luggage claim checks, ticket stubs) from the recycling bin.Toss the material that is as worthless as hardened. Liquid Paper belongs in the trash. Place the items that are going to be put away in new houses in the other box. Carry said box around and place everything in its designated space.

Lonny at K and B

5. Determine whether you want to go shopping. Take a look at what’s left and what type of organizers you’ll need to keep it all in place. A silverware or makeup drawer organizer may suffice; even if your drawer is heavy, you might choose to utilize shoeboxes. Cardboard jewelry boxes might be built to maintain your goodies too.

Organize

Mesh Drawer Organizer – $4.79

Luckily for me, I did this job about five decades ago and bought a lot of these mesh drawer organizers at The Container Store. Obviously, this cleanout is a job that needs to happen more frequently than each five decades.

Hammocks & High Tea

Grey Chevron Drawer Liners – $25

6. Shop

If you would like to add some flair to your drawer, buy some stylin’ contact paper and line it.

The Container Store

Lucite Drawer Organizer – $19.99

By now you may tell what type of configuration you’ll need for your organizers — it is time to pick out them. If you have invested in the above contact newspaper, Lucite organizers will let it show through.

The Container Store

Bisley Five-Drawer Cabinet – $99.99

You might decide you want more than just one catch-all drawer, or you may need for your items to be placed somewhere that does not have a drawer. If this is so, invest in a tabletop cabinet and be sure to label each drawer so.

EliteWatchWinders

Heiden Deluxe Charging Station Valet – $139.95

7. Reward Your Efforts

If your cords and personal electronics are giving you fits, treat yourself to a charging station. It will continue to keep all of these important elements in one place and keep your cords from becoming tangled and knotted.

Jennifer Weiss Architecture

This is the greatest catch-all spot. It’s built in chargers (something to think about) along with a minimalist, modern appearance. Most of our catch-all drawers won’t ever look this great, but we could try.

Inform me : What are a few of the crazy things you discovered on your junk drawer?

Browse more weekend projects

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Patterns at Play at a Scotts Valley Home

When Stacey Costello and her husband, Brian, made a decision to update from their little bungalow, they found a easy tract home that has been an ideal canvas for adapting to their lifestyle. “It was size at first sight,” says Stacey. “The inside was like a mansion for us. It was a simple tract home, but we knew we can do everything to make it our own.”

They worked together to redesign and personalize almost every aspect of their house since then — such as all the surfaces, the light, the flooring and the facade. Now their house is a unique and gorgeous addition to their neighborhood and a real manifestation of the loved ones.

in a Glance
Who lives here: Stacey and Brian Costello, son Patrick and dogs Ruby and Coco
Location: Scotts Valley, California
Size: 2,400 square feet; 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, office

Shannon Malone

“I stuck to three to four colors to keep it calm and easy,” Stacey says. “I mainly use greens, whites, creams and chocolates.” She loves how the neutral tones and white walls set the scene due to her decor, furniture and art.

Nearly all paint throughout the house is custom-mixed Benjamin Moore.

Leather seat: Crate & Barrel

Shannon Malone

Stacey is a interior designer, so her home frequently ends up being a style lab to test potential ideas for her customers — she consistently has more custom throw pillows than necessary. She rearranges them frequently and plays different color combinations, designs and fabrics.

The coffee table is a family heirloom dining room table that has been cut with her grandfather.

Sofas: Restoration Hardware; ceiling light: classic mercury glass

Shannon Malone

The kitchen “was such a labour of love. I simply love being in here,” she says. The couple changed every detail in this area: flooring, cabinets, lighting, appliances and window treatments. The color of the backsplash tile has been custom created by Sonoma Tilemakers.

Shannon Malone

This is where her family gathers and hangs out often. “I am big on eating every meal along with a family,” she says.

Though she loves her cabinets, Stacey plans to eventually repaint them white.

Light fixture: Urban Electric

Shannon Malone

A daring purple wall color and an artful display of styled Manolo Blahnik shoe prints make for a stunning statement from the downstairs powder room. Stacey also made the shower curtains with two picture materials.

Paint color: Bonne Nuit, Benjamin Moore

Shannon Malone

The formal living area doubles as a dining room and entertaining area, and will be home to Stacey’s selection of serving pieces and collectibles. She had this hutch custom built for the distance.

Stacey refinished and handpainted the dining table, including custom slip covers for the seats. For a better transition to the living room seating area, she uses a backless seat as seating.

Shannon Malone

Stacey instantly fell in love with this collection of classic French patio seats in a store in Mill Valley, California. After arriving home, she could not quit considering the set, so she called the store in hopes of purchasing it, only to find out it was marketed.

As luck would have it, it was her husband who purchased the seats and was planning to give them as a present. “Brian knew I’d call the store asking for them, and made sure that the employee didn’t inform me he’d bought them,” Stacey says.

Floor light: Saffron and Genevieve

Shannon Malone

Stacey loves the accumulated, layered look. She is inspired by a Really feminine and somewhat French aesthetic, and by designers like Mary McDonald, Jan Showers, Charlotte Moss and Susan Kasler.

This faux fireplace in the living area was passed to Stacey from her grandma. It was added here specifically to exhibit the mirror.

Coffee table: Craigslist

Shannon Malone

The living room sofa is a custom upholstered piece by Lee Industries, decorated with throw pillows designed by Stacey.

In the formal living area and the family area, classic shutters found at a store in Los Gatos, California, add architectural interest.

Shannon Malone

Custom rug lining on the staircase gives the household dogs more grip on the flooring.

This seat on the staircase is a reupholstered family heirloom. Stacey’s father built the shelving unit, and it is currently home to a selection of antiques.

Art: Cary Nowell

Shannon Malone

Stacey altered the upstairs landing to a workspace for her style company. The office area is covered with personal sources of inspiration and unique artwork.

Shannon Malone

This dresser on the staircase landing was Stacey’s first classic purchase. She purchased it for $99 when she was 16, and it’s moved with her to each new home.

Shannon Malone

Stacey’s workspace leads to one of the bedrooms, which functions as an additional work area for the arts and crafts.

Shannon Malone

“My son, Patrick, wanted his room for a ‘gentleman’s room,” Stacey says. Keeping this in mind, she made with darker brown and grey colors, aiming for a more complicated but still young aesthetic.

Shannon Malone

Stacey picked a dark blue hue for Patrick’s upstairs bath, giving the space a more masculine feel. She made custom-made curtains, additional accumulated decor and changed out the mirror.

Paint: Newburyport Blue, Benjamin Moore

Shannon Malone

Stacey chose neutral colors and a unisex decor for the master bedroom. The mattress is made of walnut with a custom made and a custom-designed canopy. She had the small tufted seat made for their dogs to enjoy.

Shannon Malone

The couple gutted the master bath, raising the bathtub size and the shower area. They installed custom cabinets and tile, and also an integrated medication cupboard disguised as a wall mounted mirror.

Tile: Sonoma Tilemakers; stool: Wisteria

Shannon Malone

Stacey brought her decorating technique for her garden, too. “I layered all the plants and decor to provide it more privacy,” she says.

Shannon Malone

Brian wanted the outside of their house to have an appearance that was similar to that which he watched growing up on the East Coast. The couple additional shingled siding, larger columns, a custom made door and an overhang above the door.

Shannon Malone

The Costellos’ two dogs, Ruby and Coco (here with Stacey) are a big part of the family members and provide a warm welcome to all their visitors.

Do you reside in a gathered, personalized home? Share it with us!

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8 Natural Home Materials That Can Not Be Performed

Listen, I understand we architects can be difficult. More often than not, we don’t listen and we don’t respect the owner’s budget. Or at least these are of. However, there are many wonderful possibilities and opportunities. It is just that we view every how each job has a really fascinating story to tell, and we want to use the complete selection of our language when telling that story.

A large portion of the language is the materials we choose. My preference, as with all these architects and other designers, would be to utilize natural substances. While human-made substances are good, and oftentimes the best thing to do, natural substances have a luminosity and depth of color that can’t be beat. Along with the uniqueness of every piece of quarried stone, batch of hand-mixed stucco and sawn wood board contributes to the narrative about you and only you.

Some preferred natural substances that just don’t have an artificial equal are under. Which would you prefer to their synthetic counterparts?

AIA, Tom Meaney Architect

Natural stucco. Although it costs a little more and requires a little more upkeep, there are many reasons to utilize natural stucco over synthetic stucco — the best of which is that natural stucco will take on a patina as it ages a synthetic stucco just won’t. So rather than all uniform and monolithic, I’ll choose irregular and full of character.

Mason Miller Architect

Quarried stone. Not one of those laminates or the quartz substances can have the variety and character of quarried rock. So to get a counter my preference is granite, marble, granite, marble or soapstone. The veining and color is exceptional for every single piece, and the visual thickness is unsurpassed.

Carson Poetzl, Inc..

Clay tile. Like the stucco walls which encourage them, clay tile roofs are all made by mixing natural substances and forming the mix into a distinctive form. As every tile weathers and ages otherwise, the whole roof takes on the impression it has been there forever and will continue to be there for some time.

2fORM Architecture

Wood siding. Many will tell you to stay away from wood siding. They will say you’ll spend your evenings refinishing the outside of your house rather than appreciating life.

Not Correct. A well-installed and well-finished wood siding may last a lifetime or more without a longer maintenance demands than any other substance. As an instance, on this home the beautiful cedar shingles protected by the broad roof overhang will age beautifully and gracefully and be present for several years to come.

Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture

Wood decking. Along with also a wood deck is far more inviting than one made from a composite substance. Each plank will weather in its own pace and choose on such a patina that states, “Come, sit and enjoy the view.”

PMWArchitects

Copper. Stainless Steel will constantly seem shiny and new; aluminum has to be painted, anodized or completed; but copper, like a favorite grandparent, just gets better with age. Even inside, where it will age more slowly, copper offers character to this modern and spartan setting.

Stonewood, LLC

Natural stone. Newer quarrying and production techniques enable us to utilize natural rock on walls where previously only artificial rock was accessible.

And while the producers of artificial rock do an excellent job creating some really nice items, nothing beats a natural rock for color and texture.

While we might someday have the ability to immediately manufacture substances which have taken eons to create, we just aren’t there yet.

Bruce Wright

Sunlight. Last, natural daylight beats generated light any day of the week. Does natural daylight make you feel better, but it conserves energy so is more sustainable. Maybe in your new house or another renovation project, you’re search for ways to bring more natural daylight inside.

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A Dallas Home Goes Modern and Artful

First-time homeowners Matt and Mary Emma Hawthorne orchestrated a modern remodel of the Dallas house like experienced professionals. Their secret? A crystal-clear vision and lots of research. Matt says, “We wanted a fresh, intentional space prepared for our artwork and artifacts.” Mary Emma adds, “But we wanted to do it right the first time.”

Both Matt and Mary Emma possess a similar layout aesthetic, letting them move ahead on their remodel with a unified vision. Matt, an expert photographer, provided a computing eye for detail, colour and space. Mary Emma, an artist, attracted her keen understanding of texture, layering and organic forms. Together, this young couple produced a modern gem with a handmade feel.

at a Glance
Who lives here: Matt and Mary Emma Hawthorne, their 1-year-old son, Oliver, and cat Parker
Location: Lake Highlands neighborhood of Dallas
Size: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths
That’s interesting: Mary Emma’s father is a lifelong art collector and awarded the family lots of the pieces exhibited in the house.

Sarah Greenman

The Hawthornes spent the first five years of the union in a small apartment filled with hand-me-downs, saving their pennies for some time when they can create their own dream space.

Sarah Greenman: Tell me about your decorating Procedure.
Mary Emma Hawthorne: After forfeiting for such a long time, it had been this fun to pick out furniture and fittings.
Matt Hawthorne: We see furniture as artwork also. When we had been making initial decisions about furniture, we chose a blueprint and cut out furniture contours to scale and moved them around on the paper until we had the ideal configuration. Everything was planned.

SG: How would you describe your own personal aesthetic?
MH: That is tough. It is a lot of things. Urban. Modern. Organic. Eclectic. Minimal.
MEH: I seek out authenticity. Some of the “artwork” in our house is just real artifacts from our journeys. A drum from a box or Indonesia from Ghana. We enjoy things that are real.

Art: “Water Well,” by Mary Emma Hawthorne, dining table: Bo Concept; seats: Design Within Reach; bookcase: Expedit, Ikea

Sarah Greenman

SG: How did you realize that was the ideal house for your renovation?
MH: We wanted a house that had no prior renovations. Why pay for updates which you’re only going to take out? It was built in the 1950s, and we enjoyed the floor plan. We dissected each house that we looked at and knew that this one would best match our vision.
MEH: We spent a lot of time in each home. I believe what I enjoyed the most was that the face of the house was directly across, accentuating the clean-line texture.

Art (far left): Beast sculpture by Patrick Mehaffy and “Nana” by James Havard

Sarah Greenman

SG: After you chose the house, how can you decide on a contractor?
MH: We went with Scott Powell of New Leaf Construction since he was confident he could do exactly what we wanted within our budget.
MEH: We just sat down and chatted with builders. Some of them had their own ideas about layout which didn’t jive with what we wanted.
MH: We were very picky.

Sofa: Gus Modern; java table: Anthropologie

Sarah Greenman

SG: I understand you were on a budget. What was your greatest steal?
MEH: The 3 globe pendants dangling in the kitchen. I used to be a screen coordinator at Anthropologie and got them for $30 apiece rather than the first $200.

Bar Condominiums:
Sportsman’s Guide

Sarah Greenman

The excellent room is anchored by a huge piece of abstract artwork by Dirk de Bruycker, which greets guests as they enter the front door.

Sarah Greenman

Oliver just celebrated his first birthday and loves to scoot around the house. He is, building a escape down the hallway to his bedroom.

End table: Crate & Barrel; lamp: Bo Concept

Sarah Greenman

Oliver’s area is filled with vintage toys and whimsical artwork, much of it created by Mary Emma. The red screen-print above the crib is by Evan Hecox.

Crib: Walmart; dresser/changing table: Oeuf

Sarah Greenman

Wire baskets under a wooden chair provide storage room for Oliver’s books and trinkets. The silver roadster from Design Within Reach was a present.

Armchair: Small Castle, Baby Bliss

Sarah Greenman

Oliver’s playthings are neatly tucked away on shelves by Ikea.

SG: How has your home’s design changed since you’d Oliver?
MEH: It has not. After we were pregnant we had been nervous. Spaghetti on walls! But I couldn’t care less today.
MH: The house stands up. If Oliver bangs a toy on the wall, I believe “uh-oh,” but it is fine.

Sarah Greenman

Although the hallway bathroom is small, it is inviting and well appointed. Mary Emma points to the countertop and says, “This is a struggle that I won. Matt wanted a different whitened, but this white has little flecks in various earth tones. It goes great with the wood floors.”

Sarah Greenman

The guest area doubles as a workplace. The artwork above the bed is among Mary Emma’s first functions.

Sarah Greenman

The office is a clean, compact space. The framed Polaroids above the desk were shot by Matt. See Matt Hawthorne Photography for much more of his photography work.

Desk, drawers: Ikea

Sarah Greenman

Mary Emma’s desk can be from Ikea. The seat is a discovered object she obtained while working at Anthropologie. The artwork above the desk is by Cody Hudson. It was a present from Mary Emma’s father purchased at The Public Trust a gallery at the Regional Deep Ellum neighborhood.

Sarah Greenman

Atop her desk is Mary Emma’s prize possession: a paintbrush that once belonged to abstract impressionist Agnes Martin.

Sarah Greenman

A low-lying platform bed covered in a strong grey quilt, either from Crate & Barrel, is the centerpiece of this master bedroom.

Art: Waddy Armstrong (over headboard), Mary Emma Hawthorne (next to TV); lamp, side table: CB2

Sarah Greenman

SG: Where are your favorite places to look for home products?
MH: We enjoy Design Within Reach, West Elm, Bo Concept, global markets while traveling and small, interesting boutiques.

The master bath is simple, practical and monochromatic with a double sink and a huge glass walk-in shower.

Sarah Greenman

There was no backyard landscaping once the family moved in, so that they brought in 10,000 pounds of dirt, built a short retaining wall by hand and installed grass. Potted succulents, aloe and agave anchor the edges of the patio.

Painted brick, dark grey trim and bright green grass create a pure framework that showcases the home’s crisp, clean curb appeal.

Sarah Greenman

Mary Emma retains Oliver while Matt leafs through a few of his art books. The excellent room, with a view from the bay window, is a favorite spot for the Hawthorne family.

SG: what’s your advice to homeowners interested in remodeling at a modern style?
MH: Don’t rush it and don’t be trendy.
MEH: We often see modern remodels that seem cool at first, then quickly become obsolete.
MH: And do your research. Make sure your contractor is on precisely the same page. His answers must be in line with the homeowner’s vision.

Do you have a creative, modern home? Share it with us!

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Picture: Just How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster?

Even in the event that you don’t know who Norman Foster is, chances are you’re familiar with his work. Take a moment to look the Swiss Re Tower in London or the Hearst Building in New York to refresh your memory — remember now? It’s fairly tough to forget Foster’s unique appearance.

“How Much Can Your Construction Weigh, Mr. Foster?” Traces the existence of the British architect — from his life in Manchester, to his education at Yale, to his very first company in London, to his worldwide triumphs. The documentary is distinguished by its striking cinematography and extreme narration, which only emphasizes Foster’s extraordinary work. But what’s even more fascinating are the pieces of insight that the viewer gets into Foster’s persona. His love of flying airplanes, his personal dress and his distinctive hand drawings are all part of what creates his apparently effortless architectural style.

“How Much Can Your Construction Weigh, Mr. Foster?” Opens at New York’s IFC Center Jan. 25, 2012.

First Run Features

The enigmatic name of this film comes out of a well-known question that American inventor, architect, author and all-purpose genius Buckminster Fuller once requested Norman Foster. Both had a fantastic friendship, and Fuller was always challenging Foster’s views, particularly in the domain of sustainability. Fuller once requested Foster how much one of the buildings weighed. Of course, he didn’t have an answer then, but Foster figured it out a week or so later. By answering the question, he realized that most of his building’s weight has been stored in the unseen concrete areas of the structure — a complete waste of material. To Foster, powerful design was tied into layout which has been lasting and was eco friendly, and he strongly believed that his buildings should do the most with the least way possible.

First Run Features

Directed by Spanish documentary filmmakers Norberto López Amado and Carlos Carcas, the film was created by Antonio Sanz and Elena Ochoa. Although creating a film on Foster was something the supervisors and directors had discussed within the course of many decades, it didn’t quite click until they moved to a trip to Foster’s newly assembled Beijing Airport — what is now the most significant building in the world.

The filmmakers meshed with Foster and his group, and determined that producing this film was a must. “I’m not an architect, nor do I consider myself someone who understands architecture,” states Carcas. “So for me, the main issue in this film is’Why should I care about architecture, and also what does it matter to me?'”

Above: The Millau Bridge in Southern France

First Run Features

The film covers Foster’s life, career, architectural achievements and worldwide influence in fantastic depth. The majority of his primary work is shown at some point in the film, but many of his more famous pieces are discussed in detail. The Hearst Building in New York, The Reichstag in Berlin, the Millau bridge in France, London’s Swiss Re Tower (pictured here), the HSBC Main Building in Hong Kong, along with the Wonderful Beijing Airport are all examined in terms of their structure, inspiration and architectural technique.

Above: The Swiss Re Tower in London

First Run Features

The cinematography in this film is just striking. The camera moves slowly, frequently drifting through foggy skylines as the edges of Foster’s epic designs are slowly revealed. All of Foster’s major works have been shown from incredible angles, and in ways which most people would not see unless they had been right there. Each framework highlights the magnificent intricacy of the design. As somebody who had only the smallest bit of experience with Foster’s job, it was jaw-dropping to see such shots — it’s hard to imagine how beautiful these buildings have been in person.

As a unique contrast to the big and bold shapes of Foster’s buildings, his most delicate hand-drawings look many times throughout the movie to illustrate the structures and techniques he is describing — and frequently his clearly labeled sketches clarify concepts better than the more complex computer renderings. His drawings are extremely controlled — there are no wasted lines or movements — just like his buildings.

Above: The HSBC Main Building in Hong Kong

First Run Features

Above all else, this film leaves the impression that Foster is an artist. The film explains how Foster constantly carries around a pencil and paper, just in case inspiration strikes — and as an artist, he finds inspiration in the strangest places.

Picture: “How Much Does Your Construction Weigh, Mr. Foster?” Opens at New York’s IFC Center on Jan. 25, 2012. More

More:
Eames on File: The Architect and the Painter

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