Month: November 2018

5 Amazing Landscapes Across the U.S.

I’m going to have a trip across the continental U.S. from east to west, to look at some gorgeous outdoor spaces. From gardens in rural Maine into a contemporary roof deck overlooking the Pacific, these landscapes are certain to stun. Whether you are seeking to plant a perennial garden or bedeck your deck, stop a moment to pick up some lessons for your own backyard.

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

Pastoral Property at Maine

In rural Maine, a retired couple desired to remove the need to purge their present 2 acres of grass. The new design includes meadows, an orchard and colorful perennial gardens near the house.

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

In the foreground, the landscape architect intended out more manicured elements: a diverse mix of perennial colors, shapes and textures, offering interest during three seasons. In the distance are views of Acadia National Park and Blue Hill Mountain.

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

Lesson from the backyard: Perennials supply a palette of colors, textures and shapes to work with, in addition to seasonal changes. Plants like irises add tall green spikes and blossom earlier in the season, while plants like lamb’s ear add soft silvery green texture closer to the floor for weeks. When developing a plant program do your homework. It is as easy as reading the tags.

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Cottage Gardens at Virginia Wine Country

Two landscape architects made beautiful gardens at the Virginia countryside, a stone’s throw from the homes of former presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe. The principal part of the yard is really a rectangle of grass surrounded by perennial borders.

They made this stairs from the driveway into the back entry out of stones located on the property.

Extensive border gardens on a hillside welcome those who come up the driveway.

Lesson from this backyard: working with a simple grassy rectangle, or tapis vert, surrounded by edge gardens is a very simple and striking method to style your yard. Verify the tags in your plants when you’re putting them so that they move from shortest to tallest from the border of the grass to the edge of the backyard.

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Windsor Firms

Sculpture Gardens to a Minnesota Lakefront

Once a tangled woodland, this expansive property takes advantage of the spaces and outside views, including among Lake Minnetonka.

Windsor Firms

Entertainment space and sculpture placement helped drive the plan, as did the spectacular trees that are present.

Windsor Firms

A cutting garden occupies this place between the main house and the swimming pool and tennis court.

Lesson from the backyard: Choose flowersyou’ll enjoy using in floral structures within the house.

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Prideaux Design

A Desert Oasis at Arizona

This well-planned backyard contains a pool, an open fireplace, an outdoor kitchen, a dining area and a lot of room to socialize and lounge.

Prideaux Design

Fireplace illuminates the outdoor lounge on cold desert nights, which makes this room as comfortable as any indoor living room.

Prideaux Design

An outdoor dining and kitchen room imply that what is close at hand, and the homeowners may maximize the time they spend outdoors. Colours and materials continue from one area to the next, such as the piled stone, the tile and the pops of orange, red and bright blue.

Lesson from this terrace: Plan outside rooms just as you’d indoor rooms. Consider how they are arranged (for instance, the dining room near the barbeque), the stream between the scale, the joys of materials and the views each will have.

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Joani Stewart-Georgi – Montana Ave. Interiors

Coastal California Roof Deck

Large lots are difficult to find at Marina del Ray, so citizens make the most of vertical space and roof decks.This expansive area enjoys views of the Pacific and supplies lots of room for soaking in sunlight and entertaining.

Joani Stewart-Georgi – Montana Ave. Interiors

An extensive outdoor kitchen means lots of parties and entertaining on the roof. Stacked stone creates continuity between the outside rooms.

Lesson from this space: Don’t overlook that outdoor furniture is more trendy and comfortable than ever. Do your homework and find durable and trendy pieces, in addition to fabrics, like Sunbrella, that can stand up to the weather.

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Remember the Rooftop
Browse more backyard ideabooks

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Novel to Know:'Living in a Nutshell'

Crammed into a teeny apartment, I can tell you firsthand that decorating a small home is a lot of work. Less space can feel overwhelming when your style isn’t exactly minimal, and it can be hard to unite form and functionality without everything becoming cluttered.

Blogger and Emmy Award–winning manufacturer Janet Lee faced the same Issue. Minimalism doesn’t exist in her language — Lee adopts colour, pattern and all of her cherished belongings. After residing in tiny New York apartments for years, she started compiling her hints to other small-space dwellers on her blog, Living in summary. Now her ingenious ideas are available in a book released March 27, 2012.

Harper Design from HarperCollins Publishers

Living in a Nutshell, by Janet Lee – $25

What prompted your decision to write this book?
I was a sequential small-space nester for over a decade, fine-tuning storage and fashion solutions on the way. But when my Brooklyn apartment had two supplies and marketed in less than an afternoon in the midst of one of the toughest real estate markets in history, it confirmed that I had a style and point of view that others react to and like.

My apartment’d green living room walls, a chocolate-striped bathroom plus a floor-to-ceiling chalkboard wall in the kitchen. The specific same unit, still pristine in contractor-white paint, on another floor in the building was on the market for six months without an offer. I needed to get a rental quickly and find out a way to design it with items that would not damage the walls or windows or flooring. I wanted to record it and discuss the process, so the Living in a Nutshell site was born.

Harper Design from HarperCollins Publishers

DIY wall socket coating hooks: Industrial C-clamps are a quick way to upgrade a simple wall shelf into a coat and purse rack. Opt for some in fun colors (or spray paint them) for extra style. This is a great solution for tenants, because it doesn’t require any possibly damaging nails or glue.

Where do you go for inspiration?
Fortunately, walking down the streets of New York City offers you inspiration around every corner. I walk everywhere and soda into stores of every ilk. I like taking a look at displays more than the merchandise itself, and hardware stores constantly challenge my imagination. I am always thinking of how I could repurpose a thing or hook or nail in a stylish way.

There are lots of international magazine stores in the city, and the staff doesn’t mind if you sit down with a massive pile. I love what they are performing in Australia and the U.K. that I love their fearless use of color and their mixture of high and low, new and old.

Harper Design from HarperCollins Publishers

DIY pet-corner chalkboard label: Pet-food places have a tendency to take over a small space when they are forced out into the open. Keep items in check by labeling this area using a fun splash of chalkboard paint. A unique colour will brighten up the space and define your pet zone inside a larger space.

What is the smallest space you’ve ever lived in? How large is your home now?
The tiniest apartment was about 500 square feet, but a number of the tiny quarters I’ve lived in were shared spaces, so divide that square footage from half. My challenge has always been that I am none of those small-space dwellers using a minimal design perspective. I can not live within an all-white box with a single photograph and a vase. I adore my things round me, and I really like design and colour. I presently live in 720 square feet and only threw a party for 28 comfortably. So it’s an area that works, springs and moves with my needs and lifestyle.

Harper Design from HarperCollins Publishers

DIY balloon colors: Make classic balloon colors in a jiffy with patterned twin extra-large fitted sheets. Leave the lower half of each sheet elastic edge on to make the balloon effect. Remove the upper edge adjustable, fold the sheet over a curtain rod and fuse the cloth together with iron-on webbing.

Hang the rod up and finish off the look with ribbon pinned to the top of the colour. Tying the ribbon ends together at different heights enables this sheet to function just like a real colour.

Harper Design from HarperCollins Publishers

DIY built in wine rack: Take the fresh and contemporary appearance of open shelves and provide them a quirky spin by installing them in a zigzag pattern for wine storage. The end result is a fresh and distinctive built-in storage bit that frees up cabinet and shelving space from the kitchen.

What do you believe is the most important thing for a small-space owner or renter to keep in mind?
Do not take a size-ist attitude towards your distance. You do not have to decorate with small junior-sized furniture and accessories. You can go bold with colour and design. A small space includes a list of flaws, but if you discover a way to emphasize them as quirky design attributes, then guests will be so dazzled, they’ll forget you live in a box.

Harper Design from HarperCollins Publishers

DIY pillows: Decorative pillows could make or break a living space or bedroom, but buying nice ones could get pricey. Instead of scouring the web for cheap pillows, try making a few of your own. Lee proposes looking for a set of linen placemats from a home collection you adore. Placemat dimensions are about the same as a decorative pillow, so no cutting or measuring is necessary. Look for placemats using a cloth backing, give two of them a quick whir together under your sewing machine and then fill with a pillow insert.

Before Photo

Harper Design from HarperCollins Publishers

DIY secret: brightly colored stripes. How to receive your stripes right, with no bleeding color:

1. Paint the lighter colour for a base coating. Allow to dry completely, then use painter’s tape to mark off the stripes to the darker colour.

2. Before handling the stripes, do yet another layer of the lighter colour along the seams of the tape. This fills the gaps so the darker color will not bleed.

3. Wait for this coating to dry completely, then paint your stripes. Let dry again before pulling the tape off.

Harper Design from HarperCollins Publishers

DIY secret: Hide that eyesore. No matter how perfect your apartment seems, there is always the inevitable unsightly attribute — it’s just like a law of nature. Instead of awkwardly sidestepping guests round your sink or refrigerator, produce a clever method to conceal it.

This apartment needed a refrigerator in the foyer. A collection of cute magnets and a graphic curtain immediately transformed it into an eye-pleasing addition to the apartment.

Living in a Nutshell: Posh and Portable Decorating Ideas for Small Spaces, by Janet Lee. Photography by Aimée Herring. Harper Design, An Imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers. Hardcover: $25.

More Books to Know:
The Happy Home Project
Salvage Secrets

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Contemporary Style at Idaho

There’s a fine line between a house that’s been designed to match with its own locale and one that veers off into theme territory. This may be especially true for homes located in resort towns like Sun Valley, Idaho.

Much to the relief of designers James Dolenc and Thomas Riker of all jamesthomas, the couple who commisioned this 12,000-square-foot residence was dead set on not using a Western-theme house. “But that didn’t mean we couldn’t reference the West without being literal about it,” says Riker. “We brought nature and a lot of pure elements into the plan, but in a more modern manner.”

Additionally they capitalized on the striking work of Ketchum, Idaho, architect Michael Blash of Michael Blash and Associates. “The architecture is indeed strong, and the views of Bald Mountain are magnificent,” says Riker. “Our aim with the insides was to be quiet and impartial, which we realized using a lot of earth tones.” But as these beautiful photographs illustrate, quiet and impartial does not translate into dull and neutral.

jamesthomas Interiors

The living room has a dramatic view of Bald Mountain, one of Sun Valley’s greatest ski destinations. Riker and Dolenc produced a small seating group by the bay window using two Holly Hunt seats and floor lamps from Boyd Lighting. “The seats are upholstered in a light blue wool, and there is a very subtle effect where you’re looking at them and the sky at the exact same time,” says Riker. A Troscan Leigh Chaise joins the two seating areas in the big 16-by-24-foot entertaining area and allows people to confront in either direction, or toward the wood-burning fireplace designed by Blash.

jamesthomas Interiors

Still another view of the living space highlights the versatility of the furniture choices. The Troscan Weekend Bench in the foreground has a timber table that slides and may be placed anywhere along the bench, or placed elsewhere in the room. The stools from Chista and coffee tables from Bradley Hughes are also easily transferred to accommodate guests.

“We kept the colours fairly neutral — beiges and browns — and made sure the furniture would be comfortable for a family that includes three children and a dog,” says Riker. The Donghia couch sits on a carpet from Tufenkian. The floors throughout the house are walnut.

jamesthomas Interiors

“We felt it was significant that when you walked into the house, you were presented using a mixture of contemporary and Western components,” says Riker. “We needed something that felt appropriate for Sun Valley and immediately conveyed this house is all about.” The designers had noticed artist Ashley Collins’ paintings at a gallery in Napa, California. Her work hangs above a games console by John Houshmand. All the pieces is individually handmade — this one is composed of an elm tree trunk that sits on a steel foundation.

The lattice light fixture has been designed by Blash to feel as if you’re walking though organic light. In addition, he chose the habit pivot glass doorway.

jamesthomas Interiors

An imposing spiral staircase joins the 3 levels of the home’s north wing. The reduced level of the wing includes a wine room and a home theater, while the entry level (shown in the last photograph ) includes a guest bedroom and a work out room. On the next floor, there is access to the major living spaces as well as the children’s bedrooms plus a powder room.

The south wing is entered on its lower level, in which there is a mudroom, the children’s playroom and a bathroom. The second floor comprises the wife’s office, a lanai and added entrance to the main living areas. The next level includes the master suite. This wing of the house is also serviced by an elevator.

The 20-foot hanging chandelier was designed from the Kirkland, Washington, firm Charles Loomis. Riker notes “it feels rustic but functions in a modern environment.” At the very base of the stairwell, the designers installed a water feature using a column of rock at its center. “It points up into the obelisk-shape light fixture so the contour of each one imitates the other.”

jamesthomas Interiors

The fireplace wall divides the living room from the family room (revealed in the next photograph ), and both spaces are available to the dining and kitchen locations. The white sculpture a part of the owners’ art set.

jamesthomas Interiors

The family room is a somewhat compact 12-by-16-foot area where everybody hangs out and watches television. The custom-made couch is covered in a wide-wool corduroy. Riker says that the Ellipse Chair from Modernica”provides a fun, poppy element. It’s a statement piece that stands by itself.” The glass piece on the huge ottoman from Doma Home Furnishings slides so you can push it away to put your feet up or deliver it close when it is holding food or beverages. The carpet is a wall-to-wall carpet that has been cut and jumped. “We do this a lot as it saves money when you need a very specific size,” says Riker.

jamesthomas Interiors

“The kitchen is very open, so it was significant that all work together and the colours and materials remained in the exact same household as the ones in the adjoining chambers,” says Riker. “We didn’t need you to be jarred as you seemed from room to room.” The large L-shape pub, which can be surrounded by pub stools from Berman Rosetti, includes a raised countertop so you can not see directly into the kitchen. “We had the White Beauty granite waterfall down the front so that it feels like a monolithic piece of rock,” notes Riker. “It’s very architectural and performs the feeling of the home’s environment and the mountains.”

The center island and backsplash have been performed in quieter tones of mocha granite so they would fade into the background a little. The cabinets will be the exact same mahogany that’s in the living space, yet to create a subtle distinction they had been stained slightly darker. The stainless steel hood has been custom developed for the oversize Wolf cooktop.

Beyond the kitchen, a step up and a twist to the ideal lead to an outdoor entertaining area. The floor is a Gaston beige limestone. Bamboo planters soften the rock wall.

jamesthomas Interiors

The owners needed to be able to host small and large gatherings in the dining room. Riker and Dolenc designed two square tables that seat , when pushed together as revealed here, eight. There’s an additional leaf that expands the dining table, which has been fabricated from the Chicago firm EuroCraft, so it can accommodate 12 people.

The seats are from Holly Hunt, and the custom light fixture is from Pagani Studio. An Atelier Credenza from Morlen Sinoway and candlesticks from Baker sit under art chosen by the owners. Knoll fabric drapes open to reveal views of the nearby foothills.

jamesthomas Interiors

“We constantly look at powder rooms as an chance to do something more fun and push the envelope just a little bit,” says Riker. A custom made concrete spout is surrounded with a floating walnut dressing table and marble backsplash. The sconces from Fuse Lighting are made up of a metal sword with black crystal beads that wrap around the bulbs. “It’s kind of sparkly and surprising, and we enjoyed how the rock and metal use everything else that’s going on in the house,” Riker explains. A glass top protects the dressing table from water damage.

jamesthomas Interiors

The designers wanted the guest room to feel like an all-inclusive hotel space. The desk from Niba Home is the perfect spot to use a laptop, but in addition, it serves as a vanity (the mirror is from Arteriors) and a nightstand. “The adjoining bathroom has a limestone floor called Seagrass, so we moved with a slight green and gold color scheme,” says Riker. The Berman Rosetti bed is on a platform that incorporates a bench. Crate and Barrel lamps flank the bed.

jamesthomas Interiors

The guest area’s en suite features wall tile from Walker Zanger that”provides a modern spin on a rustic part,” says Riker. “We designed the floating dressing table, the sconces and the walnut millwork to coordinate with the hotel-like surroundings of the bedroom. It feels a whole lot more habit than simply slapping a mirror up on the wall.” The sconces are from Boyd Lighting, the sink and taps are Lacava, and the tub is by Kohler.

jamesthomas Interiors

The hallway leading to the children’s bedrooms is awarded architectural interest with small built-in benches and markets that highlight the owners’ art set. The carpet is from Odegard. “I had been going through the sample rugs the showroom gifts in a striped arrangement,” explains Riker,”and that I loved the way they appeared, so I had them create a rug that mimicked the sample. I also like that it’s a more playful feel as it is outside the kids’ bedrooms.”

jamesthomas Interiors

The whole back wall of the master bedroom has been coated in a panelized Ultrasuede headboard that goes all of the way to the ceiling. “The bed feels like it is floating up to it,” says Riker. “The metal tables on each side of the bed are rather big, and we actually wanted to center the Baker lamps in the window. They are really more decorative, whereas the sconces are all for reading.” The owners enjoyed the expression of the bare floors and only wanted something underneath their feet once they got in and out of bed, so the designers used runners. “We do this a lot in bedrooms in which you don’t need a major rug since a lot of the floor is coated by the bed,” says Riker.

The Nankin Bench at the foot of the bed is by Christian Liaigre. The metal bedside tables and storage cubes are jamesthomas layouts that were fabricated, respectively, by Gentner Fabrication and EuroCraft, both in Chicago. The seating area in the foreground features the Stop Club Chair and Ottoman from John Hutton for Holly Hunt.

jamesthomas Interiors

It’s an overused expression, but there is no getting round the reality that this toilet is spalike. Architect Blash came up with the idea for its latticework ceiling, while Riker and Dolenc designed the dressing table and chose the finishes. “We love the striation in the classic vein-cut travertine floor,” says Riker. They also used big pieces on the wall to maintain the space feeling clean. “The sink is just one enormous concrete trough that has an earthy feel but is modern and modern, such as many other components throughout the house.” Stones include a textural element and have been placed around the perimeter of the whole toilet. Glass transoms provide ventilation for the walk in cupboard and the water cupboard.

jamesthomas Interiors

A patio off the master bathroom wraps round to a corner in which a Waterworks bath has a view of the nearby nature preserve. The light fixture is by jGoodDesign.

jamesthomas Interiors

The 200-square-foot dressing room is located off the master bathroom. The cabinets’ walnut end is the same as the one that’s used throughout the remainder of the house. Massive ottomans covered in Ultrasuede — a jamesthomas layout that has been fabricated by Eurocraft — provide a cozy spot to consider the”What should I wear today?” dilemma. The drum light fixture is from Stonegate Designs.

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5' Smokin' Warm-Season Grasses

When last we talked of grasses, I shared some of my cool-season favorites. Today let’s talk about grasses that wake up in the second half of spring, when temperatures begin to grow and the soil starts to warm. These are known as warm-season grasses. They develop and bloom throughout summer’s warmth and frequently peak in fall. Many remain attractive through dormancy into winter, and all require little more than an early spring haircut before growth starts for maintenance.

Habitat Design

Popular miscanthus (Miscanthus sinensis cultivars) is the grand dame of warm season grasses — so much that I locate people are more likely to know it by its botanical name than its common name (“maiden grass”). You’ll find a lot of varieties of miscanthus on the current market, but many are 4 to 6 feet tall, have a vase shape and blossom anytime from midsummer to fall. My favorite is the standby’Morning Light’ (zones 5 to 9), a vision in rather slim, flocked blades. This one blooms late or not at all, which makes it more a foliage plant, however, that is good in that Miscanthus sinensis, the parent species of all these grasses, has come under fire because a weedy, seedy invasive species in the past couple of decades. Experts question the cultivars’ capability to seed, however, the main point is: When it does not blossom, it won’t set seed. Miscanthus enjoys full sun.

A warm-season grass that is exploded in popularity lately is change grass (Panicum virgatum, zones 5 to 9). The species is pictured here along with its cultivar ‘Dallas Blues’. Switch grass is native to almost all of North America, save to the West Coast. Its grace as a foliage plant is surpassed only by its pretty pink blossoms, and this grass thrives in heat and drought. Most cultivars come in either blue, such as’Dallas Blues’ or popular’Heavy Metal’, or crimson, as in’Prairie Fire’ and’Shenandoah’. ‘Northwind’ is another blue cultivar of fantastic use to designers because of its striking vertical posture. All prefer sunlight.

Terra Nova® Nurseries, Inc

If you need a fabulous grass for shade, look no farther than Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra, zones 5 to 9). Another newly popular group, these little grasses excel in shade, even reasonably dry shade. Forest grasses are inclined to be a bit chartreuse, and my favorite is’All Gold’ (shown here), that positively glows. These little men max out at about 11/2 feet tall and wide, and their obviously cascading habit makes them gorgeous for elevated beds and walls. They take their time getting settled in, but once they do, they will more than return your investment of time.

So many great grasses have just lately come into vogue, and one is muhly grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris, zones 5 to 9). Muhly is another indigenous, calling the southeastern half of the United States home. This grass much prefers sunlight, inadequate soil and well-drained soil, which makes it a prime candidate for coastal planting. Its narrow blades are beautiful, but its misty pink-purple blooms in fall are its real claim to fame. White-flowered varieties may also be found in the marketplace today.

Last but certainly not least is a grass that deserves far more attention:’Karley Rose’ fountain grass (Pennisetum orientale‘Karley Rose,’ zones [5] 6 to 8). There aren’t many grasses I do not adore, but this could be my favorite. ‘Karley’ gets larger and beefier than your average fountain grass — about 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide. It blooms in fuzzy pink early in the summer, with blossoms that fade into some buff pink. On top of that, it reblooms throughout the season, so it is an all-summer stunner. ‘Karley Rose’ needs full sun and dry soil to thrive, and good drainage is essential in the northern reaches of its scope.
Ornamental Grasses in the Landscape
Great Plant: New Zealand Wind Grass

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House Rule: Off With Your Shoes

In places like Japan, Austria and Sweden, entering a house with sneakers is a charm. However, those residing out of these countries know that not many guests are acquainted with or respect the shoes-off policy.

It is a challenging house rule to implement as on one hand, since the host, it must really be your house, your rules. But on the flip side, guests must be made to feel as comfortable as possible — and most of us know that not everybody is comfortable going shoeless.

Listed below are a couple methods to implement entryway shoe elimination with tact, frequently without ever having to say “Off with your shoes!”

CapeRace Cultural Adventures

Set the case. When guests see a person answering the door with stockinged toes, they have a tendency to follow the lead. If you’re entering your home with someone who’s unfamiliar with your shoes-off coverage, then you may want to mention that your house rule before they come to see.

According to the Emily Post Institute, it’s sensible to inform guests about your rule ahead of time so they bring slippers or indoor shoes together, stressing that “no one enjoys being told to take their shoes off if they are oblivious to do so.”

Designing Solutions

Children are a wonderful reason to require shoe elimination inside. According to a report by researchers at the University of Arizona, pedestrian shoes carry a fantastic chunk of these, at least 66 million cows. The study also discovered that not only do bacteria live longer on shoes than in other places, but germs on shoes transfers easily to tile floors.

Jennifer Grey Interiors Design & Color Specialist

Supply instant cues. House rules must be put out as quickly and clearly as possible. Make shoe elimination a knee-jerk response by placing a boot rack or shoe storage near the door. On the reverse side, requiring off shoes in the house means you have to offer a safe and clean walking coating for guests (so you can not whine about shoe or foot odor).

Connected Fair Trade Goods & Gifts

Handmade Fair Trade Woven African Knitting Basket – $55

Give options to going barefoot. Martha Stewart seemingly keeps a basket of footies by the front entrance of her house — a fantastic idea from the hostess with the mostess.

Nowali Cable Knit Moccasin – $26.95

Coaxing guests to get into barefoot in the summertime likely won’t be overly difficult, but during winter, a fantastic host must provide options to bare feet. All these cable-knit moccasins or a new pair of socks encourage shoe shedding.

The Emily Post Institute says that it’s “considerate to have several pairs of disposable, paper slippers by the door so that when they remove their shoes, and might also be unprepared to accomplish this, you have some thing for them to slip into.”

Alexander Johnson Photography

Bauhaus Custom Homes

Encourage barefoot play with splashes of color, buttery softness, plush textures and playful patterns.

Neiman Taber Architects

Provide a seat and storage. Entryway chairs or chairs are important in encouraging shoe removal. You do not have to go overboard…

TruexCullins Architecture + Interior Design

…a simple chair or bench is going to do. However, no matter your entryway seat selection, make sure it’s cozy.


Make their toes nice and toasty. The floors of the eclectic ranch house in Portland are heated, which makes them warm and pleasant to walk on.

This West Oakland, California, industrial loft also includes heated floors, balmy enough for bare little feet and pudgy hands.

Nilima Home

Art-A-Peel Wall Wisdom Mahalo For Eliminating Your Shoes – 22823 – $17.99

Say the words. Additionally, it pays to be direct, either by stating your policy explicitly before or if they arrive, or simply by setting up a sign by the door.

Contemporary Rugs – EUR 220

Regardless of what your preference is in your home, in case your host request off shoes, please, because this beautiful entryway rug educates, maintain calm and continue — with either bare or stockinged feet.

Tell us : have you got a shoes-off policy in your residence? How do you implement it?

10 Quick Ways to Receive Your House Ready for Company

5 Best Ways to Receive Your Living Room Ready for Entertaining

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Chicken Coops That Rule the Roost

Whether you’re an urban farmer in the making or a well-versed nation gardener, it is hard to resist the allure of cows. While they are plenty of effort — and can make a large mess — the general consensus is that the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.

Of course, the coop is a massive part of having chickens. These little guys are completely determined by their owners for security and are extremely sensitive to space, ventilation and light.

We asked you to share photographs of your henhouses. Scroll down to view eight of the favorites.

1. Aimee Carpenter created this chicken coop, Chateau de Poulet, out of her daughter’s old playhouse. Recently, she added new siding, a metal roof and paint. The playhouse was altered to include nesting boxes, roosts, a doorway, a ramp and chicken wire above the windows to keep predators out.

Carpenter coop is a chicken paradise. The exterior boxes have viewing windows and could be accessed from the exterior, making collecting eggs somewhat easier. The coop also has a solar light and a solar lover inside. The fan kicks in at a certain temperature, which helps to keep the distance cool in the summer. The center segment, fenced in with chicken wire, joins the chicken coop to the goat home — a favourite spot for the cows on rainy days.

Sheet fiberglass outlines the walls, which makes them completely scrubbable — a great touch in what could become a smelly space. The roosts within this coop are also hinged and lift to hook to the ceiling, allowing Carpenter to clean the floor without needing to work around them.

She installed branches rather than round rods, which she found most chickens prefer. Each of the windows open for light and ventilation, and heavy-gauge wire is layered underneath the window framing to keep raccoons out.


2. Leslie Divoli of West Palm Beach, Florida, has maintained chickens for the past five or six years. What started out as two hens, four chicks and a rooster has grown into a flock of 62 cows. Divoli’s coops are walk-in, making cleaning easier. A self-closing door with a hands on latch makes sure that no one becomes locked in.

Since Florida is ridden with snakes, the biggest challenge has been making the constructions snakeproof. “Every climate has different design requirements,” Divoli says. “A Chicago coop and a Miami coop ought to differ. In our climate, the main shield needs are shade, cool breeze, protection from intense rain and security from predators.”

3. Michelle Carlisle has maintained chickens for three and a half years into her Saint Croix Falls, Wisconsin, residence. She desired her coop to be as low maintenance as possible. “I tried to be logical with the way I put up things,” she says. “I place the food and water right next to the doorway, so they would be easy to grab when we must fill them in winter. The nest boxes are in easy reach of the doorway also.”

Since plenty of predators live in the woods surrounding her house, safety was particularly important. “The best thing we did was totally enclose the coop into a secure lawn, so that if we desired to depart for a couple of days in the summer, we can just leave their little chicken door open.”

4. For her very first flock of chickens, Vicki Smith needed an economical but durable coop that would look great at the lawn of her 140-year-old Pennsylvania farmhouse. She wasn’t sure how she’d feel about getting cows and didn’t need to invest a lot of money. She kept it easy electricity-wise, with a power cable out of her back deck running to the coop to get a water heater and light.

Smith didn’t need to have to get on her hands and knees to clean, so she put the coop on legs so that she could back her Gator up to it and rake the litter into the truck bed. But since she’d need to creep in and do care from time to time, she had to make it sturdy with a significant entrance. The pen is about 200 square feet total and can home her six chickens with plenty of breathing room.

“My main suggestion for anybody building their own coop is to keep it easy and have fun with it. Do it if building your own miniature Cape Cod for your flock is within your skills. Chickens have a few basic requirements for distance, roosts, nest boxes and predator protection. Following that, you can do anything you need — or anything your neighbors or local government will take.”

5. Cheri Mitchell of Winnie, Texas, rescued her Godl Dutch Bantams in the training facility for duck hunting dogs. After snagging two hens and a rooster from certain death, she realized she had to build a place for them to live. This adorable little home has wheels on it, therefore it can be dragged in addition to the chicken run to fertilize different areas of the lawn and keep the chicken appear clean and fresh.

The coop itself has six nests, which Mitchell created out of milk crates. Having heard horror predator stories, Mitchell lined her chicken house with 1/2-inch-thick hardware cloth — a hardy netting that’s more powerful than chicken wire and has considerably smaller holes. Additionally, there are two layers of hardware cloth on the ground from burrowing in, to stop rats and snakes.

6. Though she and her family wanted cows, Cassie Ward also desired a coop that was as low maintenance as possible. As a mother and an elementary school teacher, she didn’t have a ton of time to devote to these little critters. Because of this, she produced a henhouse with two big doors that swing open, allowing for cleaning at waist level. Nesting boxes available out into a nook that’s easy for collecting eggs, and also a deep bedding system means she wants to fully clean out the coop only a few times a year.

The upper level of this coop has two ports, which help stop frequent chicken respiratory issues. This 60-square-foot space is chock-full of security measures — strong metallic fencing, brick floor that extends 8 inches into the ground to protect from digging predators, and padlocking latches.

“Find the coop at a place where the cows could choose sun or shade, if possible. Chickens like to stretch out to the ground in sunlight for afternoon naps,” Ward says. “And be sure to allow your hens have access to an outdoor run. Chickens that are cooped up all of the time won’t be happy. They will let you and your neighbors know precisely how they feel.”

7. Kathy Siegel’s Los Angeles coop was created around a beautiful closed window that her husband discovered. Utilizing Google Sketch-Up, Siegel made the home to incorporate air, light and tons of protection. The coop has a series of screened areas beneath the rafters, allowing for clean air flow. The arrangement is nestled against a retaining wall, therefore Siegel had to design all the entries and exits through one set of doors.

8. Washington state resident Gwen Weertsand her husband were excited to become first-time chicken owners but had difficulty figuring out where to place their coop within their small lawn. They have an extensive garden, also everything might be destroied by providing the chickens free range. The one perfect spot was interrupted by a walnut tree stump, so the couple constructed around it, letting it become a part of this coop.

To present their chickens the sun and shade they crave, the couple extended the coop’s roofing to cover 70 percent of their run, with 30 percent found for sunny, dry days. Washington is known for its wet weather, therefore this also prevents the run from turning into a giant pit of sand.

Do you maintain hens? Please tell us about them below!

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Kitchen Workbook: Planning Your Remodel's Scope of Work

Arranging a kitchen remodel involves finding your style, looking for a professional and determining the range of work and your budget. This ideabook focuses on this last element.

Scope of job is the term used to describe the basic parameters of a project. Are you planning an addition or would you like to move the kitchen completely, for example? Are you going to need new electric, plumbing and floors in the procedure? Begin with budget and your wish listdecide the range of work.

Mark English Architects, AIA

A designer, architect or contractor you like and trust can help you develop your range of work and be sensible in what your budget can achieve.

Keep in mind there is generally not one right answer, therefore obtaining a couple of remarks is a good idea.

Karen Viscito Interiors

Some kitchen remodel considerations:
Are you remodeling your kitchen within the existing footprint? Do you wish to relocate the sink or stove, which would mean moving the plumbing or gas lines? Are you planning on opening up to another room and you are not sure when you’ve got a load-bearing wall? This may call for structural work and unforeseen costs. With new building, you may have already heard prices referred to as the price per square foot, but this formulation rarely works with remodeling. Every home has unique requirements because of age, construction type (masonry versus framework, for example) and layout.Detailed pricing information up front can help you meet your budget. Where to start? Listed below are a few suggestions.

1 2 S T U D I O . C O M

1. Come up with a rough budget of what you want to spend on the overall project. Consider if it is going to involve related projects like new walls or painting the entire house. Discover how to avoid “scope creep”

2. Come up with a wish list of everything you desire. That implies new appliances, cabinets, countertops, tile, flooring, light and so on. The more detailed you are, the better you’ll be when speaking to professionals. Do you want professional-grade appliances or is the next level down OK? If you’ve got a $30,000 budget and you desire a built-in refrigerator and a 36-inch professional-grade selection, any professional will tell you that your budget will be challenging to meet.

3. Pull tear sheets and make ideabooks of your eyesight. This can help a professional get an idea of the level of anticipation and finish detail required in your undertaking. It’s hard to convey needs obviously, especially about visual things like endings. Showing professionals photographs of kitchen designs you like can help them determine your preference degree and prompt them to ask the correct questions.

4. Get referrals for designers, architects and contractors. Ask friends and family members for referrals and look at professional portfolios on to see if their aesthetic suits your own. Call experts to establish phone interviews and see if they’ll come meet you in person. Ask if you can go to a few of their job sites or other endeavors. This really makes it possible to see the caliber of their job.

5. Check references and inquire about charges. Some homeowners begin with selecting a contractor, and others begin with a designer or architect and use contractors known by them. Others hire design-build firms that do all of it. Remember, you are not comparing apples to apples here, therefore it is going to require a while to work out who is the ideal fit.

6. Meet with the experts at your home and begin seeing who you like, who asks the ideal questions, who is prepared to give you some rough numbers, and what he or she needs to achieve that. Some firms don’t work this way; they may have showrooms and you need to meet them in their possessions. Many contractors need a full drawing set before they will bid on work. Others will be inclined to do a walk-through and give you some rough numbers, nothing line-itemed or detailed.

I suggest doing this with an experienced contractor; a novice may underestimate or overshoot the budget by a wide selection. Ideally, having some simple space, electric, mechanical and lighting plans will help a contractor get you a more accurate estimate.

This is merely the first phase of pricing. You will want to reestimate based on detailed, finished plans before signing a contract. If you run the risk of getting those dreaded altered orders in the future.

Next: How to Plan Your New Kitchen

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Kitchen Workbook: 8 Elements of a Mediterranean Kitchen

Warm, inviting and cozy, the kitchen creates the heartbeat of a Mediterranean home. There is nothing bashful about Mediterranean décor; it is filled with saturated colors, solid lines and elaborate details, calling to mind sun, vibrant landscapes and coastal breezes. And in most cases, you either love it or you do not. But if you are on the fence about whether to go in this direction — or if you are already smitten with the appearance — incorporate those eight principles to pull off this distinctive strategy.

More kitchen styles:
Vintage | Conventional | Transitional | Modern | Contemporary | Eclectic | Cottage | Craftsman

Nunley Custom Homes

1. Rich, warm colors. The Mediterranean shore brings from sunlight and sea, bright flora and foliage, and other elements of the area. Take a mix of hot red, bright yellow, terra cotta and ocean blue to bring your kitchen to life. Tie the colors together with a stenciled or tiled backsplash or other decorative element.

Filmore Clark

2. Swooping curves. Mediterranean design is known for its curves and curlicues. Notice the range hood and the lighting fixture in this area — their sinuous shapes give the kitchen a feeling of elegance and fluidity. Choose hardware, faucets and other elements that have powerful curves and graceful forms.

3. Hand-painted tilework. Mosaic tile adorned with elaborate motifs is a blossom touch. Use it for a backsplash or onto a tile-topped island, or make a focus over the scope.

JMA (Jim Murphy and Associates)

4. Wrought iron detailing. Metals are generally heavy in Mediterranean style, and wrought iron gets the visual weight to stand until the magnificent flourishes elsewhere. This pot rack helps to define the space and lends a dramatic touch.

House + House Architects

5. Textured walls. In a Mediterranean kitchen, walls benefit attention and depth from a tactile finish. Contemplate stucco, Venetian plaster or even drywall mud to get a weatherproof surface that evokes the feeling of an old fashioned villa.

Hann Builders

6. Saltillo floor tile. This floor, a Mediterranean touch, lends an earthy note and fits in with the warm palette. Brick can work well also. If tile feels too cold or hard underfoot, think about bringing in a lasting rug that complements the color scheme, possibly with a swirly design that echoes the curving elements of the room.

Claudio Ortiz Design Group, Inc..

7. Ceiling beams. Exposed ceiling beams offer a rustic note that blends nicely with the design’s burnished metals and about textured walls. Stain them darkish for comparison with the ceiling.

JMA (Jim Murphy and Associates)

8. Dark wood tones. Blossom furniture is usually strong, solid and elaborately carved or turned. Cabinetry and furnishings in a kitchen done in this style reflect that appearance, with abundant woods like walnut, along with deep discoloration and cosmetic detailing.

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'Mad Men' Design: Peggy Olson's Office Grows Up

I think that it’s safe to say that Peggy Olson will experience some significant transformations in the fifth season of Mad Men. This picture from New York magazine is indicative of the observable flux within our favourite copywriter’s character: She’s prepared to do whatever it takes (perform in the nude or wreck a men’s night out with customers at a strip bar) to be taken seriously and to have her work confirmed as it matters.

Outside her style choices, nowhere will the changes in Peggy’s life be more evident than in her office area. Listed below are a couple décor pieces that I think she could use today that she’s brought the guys around her into their knees.

Mad Men‘s season five two-hour premiere: March 25, 2012, 9 p.m. Eastern

AMC Networks

Peggy made lots of bad choices in previous seasons of Mad Men, but she’s never allow the tumult of her private life has an effect on the quality of her work — most likely among the reasons she became the first female copywriter at Sterling Cooper (afterwards, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce), an absolutely revolutionary accomplishment. She has gone from being Don’s secretary to having her own secretary, who fields calls and …

Amy Lau Design

… if a pitch assembly requires this, prepares a couple of libations to stimulate inventive work. The gold finish and flowers of the bar trolley soften the portable setup without getting away from its functionality and purpose, making it a great improvement to Peggy’s office.

Amy Lau Design

This midcentury sectional couch is a more practical and aesthetically appealing version of what is in Peggy’s recent office; the sectional can accommodate the SCDP spouses and all Peggy’s creative underlings if need be. And let us face it — she could use the excess legroom for the many all-nighters she will probably have to pull season five.

Nube Green

Modern Swoop Armchair – $1,000

Peggy can get rid of the clunky side chair that is currently in her office and replace it with this chocolate and plaid midcentury modern Swoop armchair, which still very much reflects Peggy’s yellow and brownish color palette.

Layla Grayce

Business C Pillow Deco Peacock – $130

Janie Bryant, Mad Men‘s stylist, said in an interview how the changes in Peggy’s personality are constantly expressed apparently in little variations. Although Peggy is attending film screenings downtown, hanging out having a lesbian photographer and making out with a liberal author, the observable changes in her life will be subtle. Therefore it makes sense that she upgrades her office’s colour palette with attachments (as opposed to sweeping paint adjustments or chinoiserie background), like a peacock patterned throw pillow

Modern Table Lamps – $275

. . .or a tangerine mod lamp. It is perfect for illuminating her office inspiration board(you can see a sliver of it in this picture).

AMC Networks

Even in the middle of a celebration with Joyce (her photographer friend, found here), Peggy scouts for photographers to the bureau. The celebration is pivotal for Peggy’s image and Mad Men‘s plot in general: She’s seen with her hair down, smoking a joint, wearing a cotton shirt (read: not a lace bow blouse). The concept is clear: Peggy is paying attention to the way she looks.

The Couture Rooms


Starburst Mirror – $495

Now that she is all grown up and aware of her image, Peggy could definitely use some type of starburst mirror (here and above) in her office. We do not want to see a repeat of how she mistakenly thought that a customer was making a lewd pass if he was really trying to inform her she had lipstick on her teeth. Constantly check your manifestation prior to a meeting, Peggy.

Peggy has a small blue version of the chair, which she uses as a footstool while she sits on her desk. However, this Saarinen womb chair and ottoman would offer her both comfort and functionality, allowing her literally put her feet up at work.

Elad Gonen

She’s already let down her hair and taken off her bra to the sake of creativity, therefore I think that it’s time Peggy got rid of her coffee table to generate space for this Eames elliptical coffee table.


Husky Throw – $435

It can get chilly at Manhattan for a woman operating in the ad world in 1967 — nothing can make the temperature sense frostier than an exchange with the occasionally icy Don Draper. Peggy could use this throw to keep her warm at the office, day and night.

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Mediterranean-Italian Mansion at California

About 15 decades back, using their two boys starting to outgrow their house, Marilyn and Steven Gutsche ventured out to search for a larger place. When they saw a beautiful Don Nolte ranch in the sunny hills of Santa Barbara, California, it was clear that they had discovered their new house. They promptly repainted the exterior and inside from stark, contemporary white to considerably calmer, soothing tones and transformed the home into a Mediterranean-Italian ranch.

The inside colour palette and decorations had been closely chosen to accommodate Steven’s big assortment of antique Persian carpets. Carpets are draped on the ground in nearly every area and even on the wall in the first vaulted Palladian entranceway, among the few areas of the home kept in its original condition.

in a Glance
Who lives here: Marilyn and Steven Gutsche and their two sons
Location: Santa Barbara, California
Size: 6,500 square feet; 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths
That is interesting:
The few have hosted a number of weddings.

Evan Travels Photography

A gorgeous colonnade connects the classic-style living area to a gazebo surrounded by a colorful array of fruit trees.

Evan Travels Photography

Marilyn was motivated by the orange trees from the backyard to bring the gazebo.

Evan Travels Photography

The Gutsches desired more space for those boys and their friends. They expanded the kitchen, attached a family room complete with big TV and pool table, and also added a pool home from the back. Santa Barbara architect Ketzel and Goodman designed all the new spaces.

Evan Travels Photography

The pool home, here and next photo, is reminiscent of a Greek beach cabin, with soothing blues and whites, straw shades and a lot of natural light coming through big windows along one side. It’s the ideal spot for children and guests to relax or get a little noisy without bothering anyone in the main property.

Evan Travels Photography

Evan Travels Photography

Steven’s study is a tribute to the Napoleonic age. The space includes original busts, a first French cavalry saber collection along with a museum replica of a famous painting of the man himself.

Evan Travels Photography

This bookshelf from the library houses first leather-bound history novels from the Napoleonic era in addition to art pieces commemorating Napoleon.

Evan Travels Photography

The family room layout is based in part on the Four Seasons Biltmore, with as many big windows as you can.

Evan Travels Photography

Apollo, the Gutsches’ Lutino cockatiel, lives in a gorgeous Indonesian antique wooden birdcage found in an antiques shop. With all the big windows, it may be harmful for Apollo to be flying around the home, but he’s still a happy clip-winged member of the household, often hitching a ride across the ranch around the shoulders of Steven or Marilyn.

Among the owners’ preferred areas for antiques shopping nowadays is nearby Summerland, a small beach town just 1 mile long containing no fewer than many antiques shops.

Evan Travels Photography

As Marilyn tells it, she had been “bitten by the chicken germ” only a couple of short years back. She has her very own coop, “Chez Poulet.” The theme of birds and chickens runs through much of the home, especially the kitchen.

Evan Travels Photography

French limestone floor tiles extend across the remodeled kitchen and family room. The tiles were imported directly from France by ship, requiring months to get there. The wait was worthwhile, though, since the high quality flooring show very little wear after many decades.

Evan Travels Photography

“Once you begin a chicken coop, everyone buys you poultry gifts,” Marilyn says, explaining her stovetop accessories.

Evan Travels Photography

This dark wood kitchen island cabinetry by William Oh was installed years ago, before it had been in fashion. The windows show real beans held in the front of each drawer.

Evan Travels Photography

A close-up of this kitchen.

Evan Travels Photography

A crystal chandelier imported from Italy hangs from the classic-style dining area. It reflects direct sunlight over the smooth surfaces and mirrors which cover the space.

Evan Travels Photography

These finches were purchased to match the lamp from Maison K in Montecito.

Evan Travels Photography

This brass music rack is a gorgeous original piece found at one of Santa Barbara’s many antique stores. It serves function and form standing beside a rosewood piano. The living room’s large windows allow sunlight to pervade the room and bounce into each nook and cranny.

Evan Travels Photography

This rosewood grand piano, Marilyn’s pride and pleasure, is still in perfect shape after 32 decades.

Evan Travels Photography

An Aphrodite torso in the entranceway is a first-century Roman bit that introduces the Italian-style design and architecture seen throughout the home.

Evan Travels Photography

The Gutsche house at night.

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