Category: Fireplaces

The way to Arrange a Room With 2 Doorways

With a little imagination and imagination, arrange any room, regardless of its shape and number of entrances, into a space that is warm and inviting. Begin by drawing up the floor plan to scale on graph paper. Cut out to-scale representations of the furniture you’ve got, and play with the design until you find an appealing arrangement. That way, you can avoid having to move the furniture around the room several times and conserve your back.

The Focal Point

A room having a focal point emits a welcoming feel. Every room needs a focal point to set the tone and mood of the room. At the bedroom, by way of instance, the bed becomes the focal point for picking the room’s colors. In a living room, a fireplace, an old mirror, a picture window, art or the entertainment centre performs the identical function. Place the focal point on a wall opposite or perpendicular to the doors into the room to steer clear of the space’s traffic from impeding the perspective, and use lighting to highlight it.

Away From Walls

Don’t shove all of the furniture against the walls when you establish a room. Rather, develop conversational areas with two chairs and a sofa opposite each other, or set the sofa close to the middle of the room facing the room’s focal point. Set up a corner of the room, in light of the flat-screen television about the same angles and lines, which means it is possible to catch up on your bead-work, knitting or crocheting, or whenever you only want to curl up with a great book when the television isn’t on.

On the Bias

You won’t find a decorating rule that states that you must maintain your furniture aligned in the square or rectangle created by the room’s walls. By putting furniture diagonally in a huge room, you don’t impede the traffic flow through it, and it may jazz up an otherwise dreary space. The very first step to making a diagonal arrangement begins with decreasing the amount of furniture within it. Don’t stuff the room full of furniture. A diagonal arrangement functions best in a room using a solid focal point and the sofa at a 45-degree angle to it. Arrange area rugs on the floor or carpet to help specify the hexagonal design.

Winging It

Two wing-back chairs angled slightly toward each other using a small table and lamp between them contrary a sofa creates a welcoming and cozy conversational location. When a living room also doubles as a dining room, utilize the sofa to produce the demarcation line to your dining room area. A sofa-high credenza during its rear doubles as a buffet place when covered with a decorative table runner. You may also use the back of the sofa to funnel traffic behind it from the instructions you would like it to go.

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When Pets Rule the Roost

Among the great things about the community is that many members seem to be pet lovers. In reality, in many photographs, it looks as though the pets reign supreme from the household. Only call them HRH, for His or Her Royal Highness.

Growing upward, pets in my household were always royal; we discovered them stealing our favourite spots on the couch, curling up beneath the covers and essentially ruling the roost. We simply never could get the heart to say no to those adorable faces.

Let us examine the typical day of a furry Royal Highness round the house.

With a wave, HRH lets you know who is boss the the sun climbs. There’s no starting your day without a tummy rub and a nice, long, purr-inducing scratch. You might find a lively paw at the eye.

This royal puppy certainly doesn’t want to have in your way as you scramble to prepare for work, and will simply take a seat onto your luxurious sheepskin duvet. HRH will make sure it stays warm for your eventual return; heaven forbid your bed becomes chilly while you are out for the day.

Amoroso Design

You’re gone! Time to test out the chaise longue and texture like 19th-century royalty.

RLH Studio

Just another day in the life of Their Royal Highnesses, moving from 1 lounge spot to another as the hours tick by. Another nap from the built in dog bed now? Sure, why not? Thus far, they have had just two.

Martha O’Hara Interiors

Royal pets not rule the roost, but silhouettes of the comrades get worked into the decoration. By early afternoon, the lighting is just right to respect the chosen wallpaper.

Robert Granoff

Hooray, you are home for a lunch break! Yes, HRH knows you have been hard at work all morning, but the sofa is a nice spot while you pay bills on the kitchen stool.

Phil Kean Designs

Time for a quick stroll around the neighborhood. Royal Highnesses do not shower by hose; they refresh by outside pet shower basking in afternoon sunlight, naturally.

Tara Seawright Interior Design

You need to go back already? Oh, man. HRH will merely have to sit down a velvet throne and ponder your absence.

Time for a gathering of Kitties Who Lunch. Eating on the floor is beneath them; they prefer your classic chair reupholstered in celestial cloth. Worry not: Royal Highnesses are meticulous about cleanliness.

Carla Aston | Interior Designer

Do not forget, HRH needs solitude! Thus, hide the litter box within a wall nook.

Martha O’Hara Interiors

A run around the neighborhood may have worn this Royal Highness straight out. Better provide some love.

Caveman Home Theaters

You’re home early in the work! Time to capture a fast movie. All these HRHs assume that since they are smaller, they get the front row.

Oh, you are throwing a dinner party tonight? HRH needs a host or hostess chair even without partaking in preparation, believing cuteness alone is sufficient to win the honor.

Sorry, but no guests are leaving this toilet with washed hands until HRH gets a rest. Do not even think about turning this faucet.

HRH heard you’d prefer some music for your own dinner party and will look at your orders.

Occasionally, HRH may require the very best seat before the fire, no matter a room filled with guests.

Lauren Liess Interiors

Whew, the dinner celebration wore this Highness straight out. Off to bed. Your bed.

First Vision Limited

The day after the celebration, HRH may experience a small hangover and will recover in the typical manner: a day of lounging.

Discuss a photo of your royal pet beneath!

50 Design-Loving Dogs
50 Cats Cozy Up at Home

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Night and Day Differences in Exteriors

Buildings might be mute, made up of inert materials in stable compositions, but perceptions of them can fluctuate greatly between when the sun is up and after it’s gone down. To accentuate that difference, this ideabook hastens homes with the same view photographed at dusk or nighttime and during the day.

During the day exterior materials make their presence known, walls are canvases for shadows, and glass reflects the environment. But at night materials fade into the background and walls frame the illuminated windows where the inside spills out. Obviously this ideabook begs considering lighting when undertaking a project, however, it’s also good to think of the home at all times of the day, as an item within the round passage of time.

At night the composition and makeup of the various windows on the home stand out: a small square window at the top left, full-height glass below, the massive opening which juts over the roof and includes integral horizontal louvers.

During the day the quantity that projects above the roof is quite a bit more notable. The stucco walls are also a great backdrop for slopes from trees in the backyard.

thirdstone inc. [^]

The deep spaces of the house are apparent when viewed at dusk, even though it’s still bright enough to read the various exterior materials, particularly the wood slats and siding.

thirdstone inc. [^]

That fishbowl effect disappears during the day when the trees and other environment are reflected in the massive glass windows. It is good here to point out that a number of the photos serve to underline the depth of the houses at night, such that window shades are nonexistent. Many homeowners residing with such expanses of glazing frequently install something to modulate light and views.

KUBE architecture

At dusk the inside spaces of the house literally shine, their yellowish paint standing out against the gray and white exterior walls.

KUBE architecture

In what looks to be a shooter taken not long before the previous photo, the difference is nevertheless apparent. Exterior surfaces are stronger, and the interiors are less discernible throughout the glass. Note how the reading of this yellow is aided by elements of the exterior (entrances) painted to match the interiors.

Sam Crawford Architects

Connection between outside and inside is important in this project, where a wall opens to connect a living area and wood patio. This connection is reinforced from the downlights in the roof overhang out, illuminating the patio.

Sam Crawford Architects

Together with the glass wall mounted, the view within the home occurs during the day as well, assisted by the clerestory window on the left.

David Hertz & Studio of Environmental Architecture

At night the massive roof overhang is a canvas for light spilling in the inside the glass box. A couple of downlights function a second-floor terrace over the dining room.

David Hertz & Studio of Environmental Architecture

During the day the roof shades the glass walls. Additionally, it gives a feeling of enclosure to the otherwise transparent glass box.

John Maniscalco Architecture

This is another instance where a deep roof overhang is a canvas to get mild. The glow in the inside enriches the wood surface which covers the bottom of the roofing.

John Maniscalco Architecture

That wood still has a prominence during the day, together with the cladding on the first floor, but the dark glass cuts views into the home.

Beard + Riser Architects

The glow of the house might be somewhat confusing at first. Translucent surfaces — corrugated panels, displays — give it a more distinctive appearance, a more gauzy appearance, than at the last pictures.

Beard + Riser Architects

Those same surfaces still exhibit what is going on behind them — especially framing — however they seem more opaque, as surfaces instead of veils.

Stelle Lomont Rouhani Architects

This thorougly modern home is wrapped in terraces fireplaces and upstairs at grade. Both these outdoor spaces are thoughtfully illuminated through downlights.

Stelle Lomont Rouhani Architects

During the day the warm glow of this downlights gives way to a predominantly gray and white palette. The green peripheral and grass hedges are the most powerful bit of color during the day.

David Matero Architecture

The various windows square, rectangular, L-shaped — glow in the night, bringing heat to the home surrounded by snow.

David Matero Architecture

During the day the subtle colors of the fiber cement panels are apparent as the interiors fade away from the glass.

Architecture at Night: Lanterns at the Landscape
Translucent Surfaces: A Canvas for Light and Shadow

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Protecting Hardwood Out Of Furniture Scratches

Keep your hardwood floors from becoming unsightly furniture scratches by supplying some much-needed security. As time passes, scooting furniture legs over actual wooden floors can wreak havoc. Pick from a number of protective buffers to place between hardwood flooring and your furniture legs against marring scratches, to protect the natural floors.

Keep It Covered

Put an area rug over floors to provide a cushion between the hardwood and furniture legs. For a dining area, choose a rug dimensions that extends roughly 4 feet beyond the edge of the table for scooting in and out seats from under the dining table, to allow room. From resting off the rug when you are seated at the dining table the generous rug lamp additionally keeps the chair legs. Center a room rug within the wooden floor in the midst of a seating arrangement to include a buffer and cozy texture. You are able to position the couch or chair legs to rest on the rug, with the legs on coasters while protecting the hardwood to balance the item.

Wear Socks

Look in your sock drawer when you are ready to shuffle existing furniture into a new room arrangement. By slipping a sock on every furniture leg, you supply an economical way to stop floor blemishes that are unattractive when the pieces slide into position for a new design. Pick thick socks with a shirt to provide adequate leg protection that allows you to easily slide a bit throughout the ground to a barrier that is padded. Put an rubber ring around the sock-clad leg to secure it to furniture legs.

Install Pads

To get a thick piece, like couch or a dining room table, shield the hardwood against furniture movement that is potential with pads that have a tack or nail that you gently tap in the bottom of the leg. Use stick-on that was thick felt pads to protect your hardwood from frequently scooted pieces, like kitchen chairs and bar stools. Pads are easy to affix by peeling off the paper backing and pressing them to the desired position.

Insert a Coaster

Avoid unsightly scarring on hardwood flooring by matching chair legs with coasters that are protective. These floor protectors are available in assorted diameters to accommodate specific leg dimensions, and they’re designed to fit chair legs over. A coaster typically covers approximately 1 inch of every chair leg to guard wooden floors against scratches that are damaging when the seats are scooted or tilted at an angle. A few furniture coasters are round with a slightly recessed facility to shield floors from the movement of furniture legs that are typically stationary.

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How to Hide Laundry Room Plumbing

The laundry room is a space in any real estate investment, however with the cords and hoses it is not necessarily the room in a house. If you would like to decorate your laundry room and hide plumbing, there are a few ways to make the space. Selecting a professional can get costly, but you can camouflage the majority of the plumbing yourself.

Conceal Plumbing with Appliances

Hide your laundry space plumbing behind your washer and drier. So that your washer and drier camouflage the hot and cold water faucets and the drier hose strategize the design of your laundry room. Normally the plumbing in a laundry room is low enough that you can use your appliances to hide plumbing attributes that are unattractive. Put a wooden plank between your appliances to hide cords extra pipes and vents. If you don’t have a washer or dryer, use a apparel, solid table or bookcase to hide the plumbing from view.

Store Appliances in a Closet

Create a storage place to hide appliances and your laundry room plumbing. Conceal the dryer washer and plumbing features behind closed cupboard doors or cabinetry. A little pantry cupboard or a hollowed-out shelving unit may save the pipes and appliances accessories, if your washer and drier are piled. For a traditional side-by-side washer and drier, use a coat cupboard or cabinets that are built-in to hide the appliances and plumbing. The plumbing will likely be of sight if you hide the laundry room appliances.

Create a Fabric Skirt

Sew or buy cloth skirting to disguise your laundry appliances and plumbing. Since washer and drier plumbing is located midway down a wall, then use a cloth skirt to hide the plumbing and appliances. Attach the skirting to a shelving unit over your appliances or a pressure rod between the two walls where your washer and drier are found. Lift the cloth curtain, when laundry appliances are in use and lay it on the washer and drier to access the pockets of the appliances. A cloth skirt works best with side-by-side washers and dryers.

Install Sliding Doors

Install hardwood doors facing your washer and drier to hide appliances and plumbing. This custom made project demands some carpentry skills, but all you will need is tracking a top shelf, wood panels and hardware. Paint the panels a colour or add stenciling to the doors. Doors slide open when you want to get into your washer and drier. Install rubber stoppers on the walls to keep the panels from scraping or scratching the walls.

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Mantel Makeover: By the Grade to Live-Edge Wood of Builder

“Builder’s grade, plain old wood painted at a screaming white shade.” This was inside decorator Cathy Zaeske’s lament seeing her ho-hum mantel. “It screamed ‘wrong’ to me because the day we moved in,” she says. The scale and appearance of the stark white mantel did not stand up to the two-story vaulted ceiling and the flagstone fireplace surround. She tried painting it a honey shade to help it blend in, but in the long run, she just couldn’t live with this. It was time to get a job. Beginning with a crude sketch, in five times complete (two to construct and set up; two to three to sew), Zaeske needed a stunning live-edge mantel that brought harmony to her living space. Here’s how she did it.

Before Photo

The mantel did not relate to anything in the rest of the room, and also that it was a part of the area’s focal point exacerbated the problem. “I was willing to do anything to make the mantel disappear,” Zaeske says.

Instead of making it vanish, Zaeske determined it was a fantastic chance. She had wanted to use live-edge wood in her home for quite a while, and this looked just the chance to achieve that.

She needed a crystal-clear vision in her head, but couldn’t discover any real-life examples of a floating live-edge mantel to demonstrate her carpenter, so she started doodling it.

Your Room From Cathy Zaeske

AFTER: Here’s a glimpse at the final product. The mantel fits the rest of the fireplace surround in scale and look, and gets the appropriate presence in the room, along with also the live-edge wood adds a warm and interesting feel. On to the particulars of how she did it.

Zaeske discovered the wood at Owl Lumber at Des Plaines, Illinois. “They were amazingly patient and helpful as I scrutinized each slab,” she says. “I wanted the color variation, graining and size just perfect.” The slab cost $700.

“The lumberyard thoroughly cut on the slab into three boards of my preferred size, and we hauled the treasure home in my job phone — I suggest minivan,” she says.

Zaeske had a fantastic working relationship with a carpenter (he had worked with her on other endeavors(such as this swinging daybed). “He managed to bring my crude sketch to life,” she says.

Cutting and Cutting the corners required extreme attention to detail, as they needed to line up just right to attain the wraparound appearance.

To get a more smooth appearance, her carpenter used cookies and wood glue to hold the borders in place.

He and his associate then added bottom and top pieces to create a box — which makes the mantel seem to float.

The present mantel did come in handy for something — it provided a good foundation for the new piece. They slid the new box directly over it, after adding some additional support for the weight of their new mantel.

The cassette marks signify where the new frame and the bottom of the art will hang — more on this in a moment.

Hint: Utilize sawdust to fill in the pits on a job like this.

“The pits were tight but only a hair off at a few places,” Zaeske says. “By packaging in a bit of sawdust with his finger, my carpenter made them to stay in place. Then the varnish sealed it beautifully.”

To save some money, Zaeske varnished the new mantel herself. She used six coats of Minwax Wipe-On Polyurethane, lightly sanding between each coat. While happy with the consequences, she admits if she needed to do it, she’d have used tung oil before varnishing, because it would sink and push the graining outward.

Your Favorite Room From Cathy Zaeske

Here you may see how the hard work about the corners paid off.

“We left the very bottom edge rough; it adds another dimension with a third very dark, almost black tone,” Zaeske describes. “I love the various lines, colours and variations of this wood. It’s nature’s way of color blocking.”

The lighter hues at the bottom portion pick up about the honey colours of this flagstone encircle, while the upper part works with all the red wall and present brown tones in the room.

Your Favorite Room From Cathy Zaeske

The mantel has inspired Zaeske to expand her own layout horizons at home. She is enjoying going from a more traditional style into a transitional-eclectic style and blending new and old, rustic and sleek.

Your Favorite Room From Cathy Zaeske

For example, she has been playing with the scale and materials of mantel accessories. While one instinct told her to go for taller candlestick lamps for scale, she is trying out some short chrome lamps with black shades for contrast.

She also nixed placing a TV over the fireplace. “The top of the mantel reaches 70 inches — not only is that too large to comfortably see a wall-mounted TV, but by placing the TV at the corner, it allows us to also take in the pretty view out our big windows,” she says.

Your Favorite Room From Cathy Zaeske

Following the mantel was in place, Zaeske believed her triptych needed a tweak. She had a frame made with 11/2- by 11/2-inch strips, then painted it light gray.

“it’s very special to us, as it is the same tree and view that we consider some time sitting by the fire in our cherished family cottage in Door County, Wisconsin,” she says. “Those minutes are so very valuable that I knew I needed to bring that peaceful feeling home.” The angle and placement of the image give her the same vantage point of this tree that she’s in the next photograph.

“The new frame functions on so many levels — its clean lines help move the space from traditional to transitional; it is airy and light; it supplies pleasing contrast with the walls; it ties in with all the stone of the fireplace; and it literally frames my favorite tree in the world, which makes the focal point additional notable,” she says.

Wall paint: Confederate Red, Benjamin Moore

Browse live-edge mantels

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Roots of Style: Château Architecture Strides Through a Century

As per a recent analysis by the American Institute of Architects, Biltmore is America’s eighth favorite construction. This château-style, or châteauesque, mansion is an indelible image of riches from the Gilded Age. Commissioned by an heir of the Vanderbilt family around 1889, the astonishing 178,000-square-foot house with 250 rooms, located near Asheville, North Carolina, is the largest private house built at the U.S.

Its celebrated architect, Richard Morris Hunt, based the design upon French châteaus located from the Loire Valley. These 15th- throughout 17th-century country estates of those noble and royal classes, were a mixture of late-Gothic and Italian Renaissance architecture that resulted in exceptional French Renaissance creations. Hunt’s interpretation comprises numerous elements of the original French châteaus, with the parts organized into a fantastical and stunning architectural masterpiece.

The original château design developed around 1880, and homes were constructed in small numbers, largely from the northeast, for approximately 30 decades. The design rarely reached other areas of the nation in that time. It’s likely that other examples were constructed through the center of the 20th century, but late-20th-century home construction booms produced both extravagant and much more small examples across the nation.

The Biltmore Company

Seeing from left to right in this photo of Biltmore, notice the components that specify the design. Most originals had thick masonry structure, as does Biltmore, and were clad with stone and then topped with a steeply pitched hip roof farther improved with metal cresting.

An elaborately detailed parapet-type dormer divides the eave line, suggesting the loft story. Massive and detailed chimneys reach high to clear the steep and active roof ridges. A flattened arch defines lower-level windows and arcades. The detail and positioning of ascending window kinds reveal the location of the stairs.

Gothic stone tracery defines primary openings surrounded by shallow relief carvings. Spires and pinnacles extend the construction into a fractal finale.

Beausoleil Architects

Let’s return to earth and welcome this small but whimsical French château–fashion abode. This small stone, not far from San Francisco, openings with a delightful play of decoration and height that creates its individuality. Compare the detailing here to Biltmore and you can understand the inspiration.

Most originals in the late 1800s were asymmetrical, such as Biltmore. However, Renaissance influences probably persuaded some architects to balance the homes with symmetry, according to the primary part of the house.

Fusch Architects, Inc..

Château design borrows French diverse design and could be differentiated through the features found in Biltmore or the Renaissance classical details present in this house.

This handsome symmetrical facade holds a lovely balance of components. Notice the segmented arched windows of the flanking elevations along with also the classical delineation with Roman arches at the centered entrance. Classical pilasters, a belt line along with a pediment with stone relief further specify the carefully detailed composition. Two varieties of detailed dormers and pinnacles cresting the fashionable summit cue the original châteauesque taste.

Less formal than the previous example, though still carefully balanced, this newer house has the steep hip roof, detailed chimneys and cresting detail of the design. Note also that modern examples of the design are typically constructed of wood-framed structure, compared to their ancestors. The stone here is a veneer.

Derrick Architecture

Though this house could be considered French diverse, an attempt was made to imply a château by the usage of pinnacles and stone detailing. A belt line and broken eave additionally communicate a château impression. Notice the brick veneer, which can be located on a lot of examples during the design’s history.

Distinctive Dwellings – Thayne Hillrichs

This lively composition definitely takes its inspiration from château style. The symmetrical facade combines many components normally found in much more complicated houses.

Fusch Architects, Inc..

This formal example has a symmetrical central altitude flanked by minor extensions to the left, and generous but lower elevations to the right. Small but detailed dormers remaining in the primary roof, while bigger dormers split the eave line on the right side. Another bigger and highly detailed dormer and two little vent dormers cap the roof over the porte cochere.

Hollingsworth Design

Notice how this kind achieves the perpendicular expression significant to the design. Pinnacles, comprehensive port dormers, quoins, a belt line, window tracery and a wrought iron railing lead gently, in moderate quantities, to cleverly provide the château identity.

Eskuche Design

Notice the symmetrical and asymmetrical composition of the handsome home. The main body of the house is balanced exactly, however the porte cochere and abandoned appendage still complement the design. Notice that the elevation. Asymmetrical large and tiny windows rhyme with the other components.

Eskuche Design

To appreciate the flexibility of châteauesque architecture, analyze this back elevation of the exact same home. Generously proportioned windows open up to the personal outdoor spaces. This indoor-outdoor effect is not easily achieved in most conventional styles.

Fusch Architects, Inc..

At first glance this classically detailed facade appears symmetrical. On closer inspection, however, you are going to see more complex appendages along with a narrow interruption to the left of the entrance, adding to the pleasure of its design. Also notice the way the roof over the entrance is more steeply pitched.

Platinum Series by Mark Molthan

This generous house relates more clearly to Biltmore in its lengthy facade and varying particulars. You will find shed dormers and stylish dormers set into the primary roof shape, and stylish and arched dormers that split the eave line. The entrance sits within a little inset with a detailed surround.

Barnes Vanze Architects, Inc

First townhouse examples with lots of the components found in Biltmore live in big Northeastern and Midwestern cities. But this house keeps the design with slight classical detailing and a vertical emphasis.

Fusch Architects, Inc..

This house achieves a nation château saying through rough-faced stone and a slightly relaxed conversational composition. The exquisitely detailed entrance follows the typical châteauesque theme. See the brick chimneys with the implied quoins, a wonderful contrast to the stone.

Though modern design theory might eschew the imitation of styles like châteauesque, an affection persists among the public for areas with such different identities. Can we ever question that our reinterpretation of classical design with the use of materials accessible to us, instead of those used by the ancients?

As history will repeat itself, that the current attraction to modernism will probably cycle, and formerly established styles or variants of these will return. There’s no right or wrong regarding this matter. Certainly other styles will emerge, but is not it nice to have such a rich vault of design and so many choices?

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Superstar Annuals for Containers and Baskets

I demand a lot of my container crops. I expect them to blossom with very little if any deadheading or to possess fabulous foliage — preferably both. I do not want to pinch them back, prop them up or do a whole lot more than water them frequently (and I do so with an automatic drip irrigation system to keep my hands free for that large, cold drink with a little umbrella in it). I don’t have any tolerance for wimpy crops. Only the best will do, and after personally analyzing each of them I can vouch for their celebrity status in the Pacific Northwest, although a lot of my horticulture colleagues will attest to their visibility from different fields of the United States too.

Have you tried these annuals? Many were new introductions for 2013 but are readily available in nurseries and on the internet.

1. Superbells Lemon Slice

I am not a petunia fan. In my Seattle climate, petunias go mushy with tacky and rain with aphids, and in addition, they have to be deadheaded regularly — way too much work for me.

Superbells Lemon Slice may look just like a miniature petunia, but thankfully that’s where the comparison ends. This new Calibrachoa hybrid is unfazed by summer rain and heat, and it blooms so prolifically that the foliage is hardly observable.

The dense, mounding habit means it hugs the sides of containers or baskets well, while trailing two feet approximately. This tidy habit makes it an 11 out of 10 from me.

Botanical name: Calibrachoa hybrid
Water requirement: Average
moderate requirement: Full sun

Le jardinet

Design thoughts: The multihued Luscious Berry Blend lantana displayed here is a perfect color partner, repeating the yellow while presenting hot pink and zesty orange. This lantana is vigorous enough to contend with Superbells too.

Lemon Slice would also make a vivid colorful ruffle beneath an arching purple fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’).

Le jardinet

2. Spitfire Coleus

There are hundreds of coleus hybrids. While all are colorful, some are spindly others need endless pinching back to keep the plants compact and a few assert they can take complete sun but actually can’t.

Spitfire is different. I analyzed it in harsh circumstances in 2012, and it came with style. Despite intense summer sun, it didn’t show any signs of scorching. It never wilted from the heat and even remained compact without pinching. The bronze foliage turns more cherry in full sunlight and can be accented with lotion.

Botanical name: Solenostemon scutellarioides
Water requirement: Average
Light requirement: Full sun

Le jardinet

Design thoughts: Emphasize the paler colors within Spitfire by mixing it with Orange King coleus (pictured here). The leaves of the 2 coleuses may differ in size and pattern, but their shared color palette creates a sense of unity.

I also planted Spitfire with Luscious Piña Colada lantana, which has a soft creamy yellow flower. This was shown to be a beautiful, fresh-looking combination.

Le jardinet

3. Bonfire Begonia

This sun-tolerant begonia is so dependable that I buy a dozen at a time once I see it look in nurseries. I use these tracking annuals in hanging baskets or at the advantages of containers, in which they not only tolerate full sun but thrive inside. Bonfire begonia is revealed here with Angelina sedum (Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’).

The orange flowers, often mistaken for fuchsias are a hummingbird favorite, and I often find myself being heckled by these feisty little birds while I’m attempting to complete my planting.

No deadheading is required to maintain this beauty blooming. Just be careful not to overwater, but settle back and appreciate.

Botanical name: Begonia boliviensis hybrid
Water requirement: Average
moderate requirement: Full sun or partial shade

Le jardinet

Design thoughts: Permit Bonfire to ship out dozens of orange sparks out of a densely planted container.

This picture indicates the Arakawa Japanese walnut (Acer palmatum ‘Arakawa’)underplanted with deep red coleus, chartreuse and bronze sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas), and Bonfire begonia. It also pairs well with purple or blue flowers and foliage, like the fanflower described next.

4. Whirlwind Blue Fanflower

This is one for the front of the pot. It is called a spiller, since it paths loosely, yet it ends flowering branches at a multitude of directions — making for some great, if unexpected, mixes. As opposed to making it look untidy, this feature is actually one of those I love most about fanflower; it is a filler plus a spiller all in one.

The pretty periwinkle-blue fan-shaped flowers cover this unassuming annual until a hard frost. It is really an outstanding performer.

Botanical name: Scaevola hybrid
Water requirement: Average
moderate requirement: Full sun to partial shade

Design thoughts: Plant a hanging basket exclusively with fanflower.

For more colour add the bold orange Bonfire begonia and trailing sweet potato vine — the black foliage of Blackie (Ipomoea batatas ‘Blackie’) would be dramatic.

Le jardinet

Or let fanflower to mingle with additional container crops, like this Superbells Apricot Punch. For foliage interest I’d add in one of those deep burgundy floor cover succulents like sedum ‘Blaze of Fulda’ (Sedum spurium ‘Fuldaglut’). The dark red rosettes would play off the similarly coloured neck of theSuperbells.

5. Beefsteak Plant

At first glance this looks like a coleus, yet it is sturdier than coleus and appears to be slug resistant. This leaves plant requires no return to look fabulous all season. It is going to typically reach two feet tall and one foot wide, making it convenient as a thriller in small pots or a filler in bigger ones.

I have used beefsteak plant just in a shade container, but I feel the coloring is much more intense in sunlight.

Botanical name: Perilla frutescens ‘Magilla’
Water requirement: Average to non
Light requirement: Partial shade to full sunlight

Le jardinet

Design thoughts: Utilize the bold dash of magenta as a springboard to your colour scheme. This foliage-focused container design has it paired with a white caladium (Caladium bicolor) that has striking pink veins and the leathery black leaves of a Calathea. This Calathea cultivar, ‘Dottie’, has an interesting pink stripe around the perimeter, which also plays into the theme perfectly.

6. Diamond Frost

This frothy white blooming annual is not nearly as delicate as it appears. It is demonstrated to be heat tolerant and drought tolerant, it’s a well mounded habit, and it does not require deadheading, therefore this pretty annual is firmly on my favorites list.

Expect Diamond Frost to grow to 12 inches tall and up to 18 inches across. It could be set in the middle or at the border of a container, in which it will mound daintily over the border.

Botanical name: Euphorbia graminea
Water requirement: Average to non
Light requirement: Full sun

Design thoughts: Plant some pretty party favors with white impatiens and Diamond Frost in vibrant tabletop pots. Use these as place settings or set a trio onto a table to decorate a buffet.

Notice: in view of the fungal disease affecting impatiens in many regions of the United States, you may prefer to use this disease-resistant New Guinea impatiens.

More: The Key Formula for Grouping Plants at a Pot

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7 Enticing, Little-Known Annuals of the Plant World

My grandpa, agile with his hands longer for framing barns than nice cabinetry, built one of the most memorable presents of my entire early childhood: a postage stamp-size greenhouse. Heated using a set of hanging red lamps, dangling beside the farm truck and also the garage, my greenhouse further enflamed my plant addiction. The majority of my plants consisted of select annuals the regional growers wouldn’t grow. Over the years — and eventually in a much-upgraded greenhouse — I had the opportunity to test a medley of famous seasonal beauties. Of all of them, here are seven that became favorites.

CYAN Horticulture

Euphorbia ‘Diamond Frost’
(Same manly title)

It would be a stretch to claim that Euphorbia ‘Diamond Frost’ is anything elusive and rare. I think, however, that it’s underutilized. Introduced about 10 years ago by giants of the horticultural industry, this deceptively discreet tender plant is not much to check at on nursery shelves. Laced one of showier annuals, though, it enlivens any and all compositions, such as baby’s breath one of cut roses. A little bit of religion is all anglers need to ensure its achievement.

USDA zones: Tender
Water requirement: Well-drained to damp dirt
moderate requirement: Full sun to dappled shade
Mature size: 1 foot tall and broad
Seasonal attention: Summer to collapse
When to plant: Spring

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Partridge Pea
(Cassia fasciculata)

Really infrequent is the charming sun-loving legume named Partridge Pea (Cassia fasciculata). Better known to farmers and recovery biologists, it nonetheless does a fantastic job in borders and beds, as exhibited here at the Montreal Botanical Garden. I also have seen it used on a shore to good effect. Approximately 3 feet high, it blooms.

USDA zones: N/A
Water requirement: Well-drained to dry dirt
Light requirement: Total sun
Mature dimensions: 3 1/4 feet tall and 2 1/2 feet broad
Seasonal attention: Summer to collapse
When to plant: Spring

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Flowering Tobacco
(Nicotiana spp and cvs)

Flowering tobacco (Nicotiana spp and cvs) was a staple of spring annual sales for decades. Unfortunately, contemporary breeders have turned these aromatic and tasteful heirlooms into short and graceless cookie cutter solutions. Thankfully, some speciality seed homes and growers still offer the greater ones. N. langdorfii, N. mutabilis, N. sylvestris and the like are excellent options.

USDA zones: N/A
Water requirement: Well-drained to damp dirt
Light requirement: Full sun to dappled shade
Mature dimensions: Varies
Seasonal attention: Summer to collapse
When to plant: Spring

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Globe Amaranth
(Gomphrena haageana ‘Strawberry Fields’)

A similar problem affects most globe amaranths: They’re so dense and short they’re hopeless to weave into any makeup. Not too much with Gomphrena haageana ‘Strawberry Fields’, a taller, more relaxed globe amaranth that sports an infinite series of bright red inflorescences. In full sunlight and a well-drained location, it poses no difficulty in any way.

USDA zones: N/A
Water requirement: Well-drained dirt
Light requirement: Total sun
Mature dimensions: 1 2/3 feet tall and 1 foot wide
Seasonal attention: Summer to collapse
When to plant: Spring

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Red-Leaf Hibiscus
(Hibiscus acetosella ‘Red Shield’)

As misleading as it’s impactful, red-leaf hibiscus (Hibiscus acetosella ‘Red Shield’) has exchanged the typical dinner-plate-size flowers for saturated burgundy foliage. It is a vigorous grower; the small cutting purchased in the spring will rapidly become a stately shrub. I find it particularly helpful for filling those gaps left by juvenile perennials and shrubs.

USDA zones: Tender
Water requirement: Moist soil
moderate requirement: Total sun
Mature size: 3 1/4 feet tall and broad
Seasonal attention: Spring to collapse
When to plant: Spring

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Gentian Sage
(Salvia patens)

Authentic blue is a much-sought-after colour in the backyard, and very few other plants can match sages on this wedge of the chromatic circle. Of the dozens of species available, the marginally tender Salvia patens always wins my heart. The rivalry between the sky-blue ‘Cambridge Blue’ and the dark blue ‘Oxford Blue’ is depended solely by personal preference (I favor the latter).

USDA zones: 8 to 10 (find your zone)
Water requirement: Well-drained to damp dirt
moderate requirement: Total sun
Mature dimensions: 1 2/3 feet tall and 1 1/3 feet broad
Seasonal attention: Summer to collapse
When to plant: Spring to summer

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Silver Sage
(Salvia argentea)

Another sage, eons from the preceding one, is famed for its large white woolly leaves. As a biennial, it first hugs the ground and, even if left to overwinter, then skyrockets into a candelabra of average white flowers. Personally, I replace it every year. This kind of alien-looking plant convinced makes for a refreshing antidote to the oh-so-common stiff marigold and tacky petunia.

USDA zones: 4 to 8
Water requirement: Well-drained to dry dirt
moderate requirement: Total sun
Mature size: 1 foot tall and 2 1/2 feet broad
Seasonal attention: Spring to collapse
When to plant: Spring to summer

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Fun and Eloquent in Manhattan

Carrie Hammer’s bright-colored apartment is an energy-filled house in one of Manhattan’s coolest neighborhoods, the West Village. It’s an perfect location for a young creative professional such as Hammer, founder and CEO of her own style line tailored for professional women. From an intricate aluminum painted ceiling and gloomy partitions to eclectic furnishings and artwork, Hammer’s flat mirrors her love of style and her artistic aesthetic.

in a Glance

Who lives here: Carrie Hammer and two housemates
Location: New York City
Size: Around 900 square feet; 3 bedrooms, 1 bath

Chris A Dorsey Photography

“I love what I do today, and I really like that my flat is filled with life and color,” Hammer says. She’s had housemates over the years, but the decorating is a reflection of her personal style.

Her favorite piece in the flat is the chandelier. “I’ve always wanted one,” she states. “It had been my life dream. I had a decal chandelier within my room in L.A.. Now I’ve got a real one, so that’s really exciting.”

Chandelier, carpet:; coffee table: Ikea; sofa: Door Store (now closed); pillows: Target

Chris A Dorsey Photography

Hammer formerly worked in ad sales. She’d go to work and think, “What we wear is so boring; it’s all just variations of black and white with no colour” Wanting to come home to an energizing haven, she adorned her space with vibrant colours.

Length: Ung Drill, Ikea; mirror: Empire Gallery and Framing; paint: Benjamin Moore

Chris A Dorsey Photography

Hanging on almost every wall in Hammer’s flat are framed fashion posters she picked up during Fashion Week in 2009. “This random subway guy was handing out these images. I took a few and thought, ‘One day I want to do so.'”

She put away the posters, then brought them out once she quit the sales job and began her fashion line, as a reminder of her want to do something more creative. “I framed them, and today I get to see them daily,” she states.

Frames: Westside Frame Shop; candleholders: Ikea; mantel clock: Linens n Things

Chris A Dorsey Photography

Her mother, artist Jean Wellshad a hand in the decor. “My mother is an artist, so I’ve grown up around art my entire life,” Hammer says. “She does oversize art, such as mosaics and things. She really did the silver wings over my TV.”

Hammer painted the iconic power.

Chris A Dorsey Photography

Hammer shares her apartment with 2 housemates. “I predict my area the bachelor flat,” she states. “It’s funny: If anyone goes out, it’s to have married!”

The dining table is a gift in the old housemate, and the mannequin is from the city’s Garment District.

Frames: Ikea

Chris A Dorsey Photography

Mannequins do dual duty as dressmaking forms and layout elements throughout the primary living spaces.

Chris A Dorsey Photography

These screen mannequins, including one covered in a toile pattern, have found a house in an unlikely area: the kitchen.

Chris A Dorsey Photography

Also in her colorful kitchen are oversize fork and spoon stickers inspired by neighborhood restaurant Great on Greenwich. Hammer commissioned the art from Etsy vendor Household Words.

“I mailed them the colour I wanted and they snapped it and delivered to me,” she explains. Great has these huge framed forks, spoons and knives I just love, so once I was decorating I pulled those out of my toolbox.”

Table, chairs:

Chris A Dorsey Photography

Hammer applied vinyl art by Etsy vendor Household Words to customize a straightforward Ikea Malm dresser in the bedroom.

Bedding: Bed Bath & Beyond

Chris A Dorsey Photography

The New York weather also inspires Hammer. She claims her native California, “There is no punctuation of seasons. Everyone should experience changing coasts.”

A bright purple quilt adds life into the space even on the coldest winter day.

Mirror: HomeGoods

Chris A Dorsey Photography

The painted over-sized playing card holds particular significance for Hammer, whose great-grandfather was an artist and a prisoner of war in World War I.

“In his camp the prisoners would make little trinkets and trade them with one another to get cigarettes, additional food or blankets. My great-grandfather took to painting the backs of playing cards to trade,” she states. “The general saw a deck of cards he made and moved him into a room from the camp along with different musicians, [who would] get delivered in to town to do things such as paint murals on churches”

Following five years Hammer’s great-grandfather was given a visa to go home. “I think all the time that had it was for a deck of playing cards, I literally wouldn’t be here now,” says Hammer.

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