Keep Your Cool Here

There’s much to be achieved and enjoyed in the August backyard. Butterflies abound, while the magenta, burgundy and orange colors of late-summer bloomers foreshadow fall colors. Give your containers and summer edibles some love by maintaining them suitably watered and fed. Deadhead spent summer flowers for replicate blossoms — or let them set seed to provide food and habitat for wildlife during the forthcoming months. As you proceed, take stock of everything you see in the lawn, preparing for fall planting. Here’s what to do in U.S. gardens in August.

Locate your August backyard checklist:
California | Central Plains | Great Lakes | Mid-Atlantic | Northeast
Pacific Northwest | Rocky Mountains | Southeast | Southwest | Texas

Timothy Lee landscape layout

Northwest. “Maintain on deadheading roses, Shasta daisies (Leucanthemum x superbum), dahlias and other summer-flowering plants,” writes landscape designer Genevieve Schmidt. “By removing spent flowers, you promote the plant to continue placing new buds and place energy into flowers for the rest of the summer.”

Get her Northwest August checklist

California. “Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, once an area of windswept sand dunes, is now a showcase of plants from all over the world,” writes garden editor Bill Marken. “Few are more eye catching than nodding pincushion, among many proteas out of South Africa. Proteas are notoriously difficult to develop, which explains why their high price as cut blooms. They are worth a try if you are able to provide what they need: perfectly drained soil and the perfect climate — coastal, not too hot”

Get his California August checklist | Summer tips for your California backyard

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Southwest. “Are your container crops looking tired? To look their best, plants will need to be fertilized when grown in containers,” writes Arizona horticulturalist Noelle Johnson. “Utilize a slow-release all-purpose fertilizer, that lasts around three months, or apply a liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks. You will be rewarded with larger plants and much more blooms.”

Get her Southwest August checklist

Rocky Mountains. “The large heat of August isn’t the time to split or transfer crops, but it’s a excellent time for planning ahead to get a busy September and beyond,” states Colorado landscape designer Jocelyn Chilvers. “Look in your garden with a critical eye as you aim your work and shopping lists for your cooler days to come.”

Get her Rocky Mountains August checklist

Land Design, Inc..

Texas. “Light, frequent waterings will simply encourage shallow roots, which won’t serve your crops well in times of warmth and dry weather. It’s preferable to water more deeply but less often, encouraging your plants’ roots to dig deep into the ground,” writes landscape designer Jenny Peterson.

“Avoid watering directly on the foliage of your plants, and water earlier in the morning or later in the day to avoid rapid evaporation,” she advises. “Better yet, install drip irrigation or soaker hoses to direct water nearer to the plants’ roots”

Get her Texas August checklist

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Central Plains. “That is prime butterfly season. You can deadhead flowers and hope to get a second, smaller flush, or leave them up for winter interest,” writes Nebraska garden consultant Benjamin Vogt. “Most birds will eat the seeds in fall, so you’ve got to decide if deadheading is worth the bet. Usually it’s best to leave up coneflowers and other mid- to later-summer bloomers, while early summer flowers may be a fantastic bet to reduce. Here a tiger swallowtail is enjoying with a pit stop”

Get his Central Plains August checklist

Barbara Pintozzi

Great Lakes. “August marks the transition from summer to autumnal blooms, starting with all the tall sedums, including Hylotelephium ‘Purple Emperor’,” writes Illinois garden trainer Barbara Pintozzi. “Growing it facing chartreuse foliage makes it a garden standout.”

Get her Great Lakes August checklist

Paintbox Garden

Northeast. “Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium spp) is booming along roadsides and in meadows,” writes Vermont landscape consultant Charlotte Albers. “This native wildflower is widely flexible and grows well in poor soils, so it’s a fantastic choice for a rain garden or swale, or to put in an area where water pools when rains are heavy.”

“The species is somewhat intimidating — just too tall for most gardens, but there are shorter versions. That can be ‘Phantom’ (Dupatorium x ‘Phantom,’ zones 4 to 8), a dwarf that grows about 40 inches tall and brings honeybees and butterflies”

Get her Northeast August checklist | See more beauties of the meadow

Amy Renea

Mid-Atlantic. “While the temperatures are scorching now, cool weather will probably be within a few months, so today is your time to start seeding cool-season plants,” says garden writer Amy Renea. “I really like planting a second run of greens such as chard (pictured), spinach along with a variety of lettuces. Wait around to get a summer rainstorm and get out there and seed!”

Get her Mid-Atlantic August checklist

Gardening with Confidence®

Southeast. “Select and preorder your spring-blooming bulbs today while supplies are plentiful,” writes North Carolina backyard writer Helen Yoest. “Don’t put off today what will be gone tomorrow. The bulbs that are peculiar sell out. I can say this now because I’ve already put in my order. Try something fun like the species tulip Tulipa clusiana.”

Get her Southeast August checklist

More: See more regional gardening guides

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5 Best Tips for Working Virtually With Your Architect

Whether your house is big or little, building it includes plenty of challenges, particularly in the event that you would like to build in a region where surfing the design review board is difficult and time consuming. Dealing with a local architect can help your dream project take the course of least resistance. Your architect should have experience with projects similar to yours and have a good standing with the local authority and design review board. This can help you to save money and time getting your project approved.

However, how can you work with a local architect if you are not living in the area that you would like to build? Due to all the tools in today’s architect’s toolbox, this is sometimes much simpler than you might think.

Of course, nothing can substitute real face time among you, your architect and a paper and pencil. The most effective meetings tend to involve live bodies brainstorming around sketches. The more your architect has to know you and your way of life, the more probable it is he or she’ll design your ideal home. These five tips will just help you remain in touch and keep the project going when meeting in person is not possible.

Dylan Chappell Architects

1. Go paperless. The days of having heaps of email each month are long gone for the majority of us. Floor plans saved as PDF (Portable Document Format) files, sent via email, are a fantastic way to see files and help save paper. It is almost always a good idea to view the actual prints to get important design characteristics, but a lot of little design choices and testimonials can be handled by seeing design files on your computer.

Radius Architectural Millwork Ltd..

2. Share photographs. We use with all our customers as a forum for discussing theories and finding visual references for every aspect of design. Having the ability to communicate with a customer through images when we’re far apart is invaluable.

A picture is worth a million words, and using a library of more than a million photographs to search and share can save substantial time when working with your architect no matter where she or he resides. Read the photograph library by room, style or search term to get motivated or find examples of everything you’re searching for. Make an ideabook and reach “Collaborate” to share it with your architect when talking what you need for your home.

Taylor Lombardo Architects

3. Try screen sharing. I recently finished a project here, in California, where my customers were comfortably sitting at home in Massachusetts to get 95 percent of our meetings. These customers are really detailed; all the minutiae were methodically designed. We spent countless hours in virtual meetings doing screen sharing — I seen and took control over their Mac computer — that enabled them to review each aspect of their project.

AMS Landscape Design Studios, Inc..

4. Set up. Communication design intent over the telephone is difficult. Viewing a mouse moving across the screen to point out everything you want to see can make the process efficient and effective. Virtual meetings combine screen sharing, PDFs along with a group phone call (conference telephone) with any number of attendees. Virtual meetings save on travel costs, permit you to communicate more efficiently in comparison with regular telephone calls, help finish projects faster, are reduced cost and also have less prep time.

Bruce Wright

5. Consult with a local architect. Sometimes the best architect for your project is not located close to your build location. Instead of hiring a local architect for the whole project, you might want to ask her or him to collaborate through the plan review and planning processes, allow your primary architect shoot over.

This is quite common on bigger projects, particularly in areas having complicated planning approvals. Employing a local architect along with your primary architect might look like a waste at first, but it’ll inevitably help save you money and time in the long run.

Find architects where you want to Construct

Ana Williamson Architect

Experience with design review boards probably is not the first thing on your set of criteria when hiring a brand new architect or designer. But it’s crucial that you do your research and ask about the professional’s expertise. The very last thing a design review board wants to do is hold up a project, but anybody who comes again and again without all the crucial information is squandering the board’s time and the homeowner’s cash.

Cornerstone Architects

How has tech helped you work with architects or customers? Please tell us!

More: Discover inspiration photographs and Begin your own ideabook

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Definition of a Deed

Similar to a mortgage, a deed of trust is a signed agreement which makes it possible for a borrower to buy a house. While the presence of a third party presents one big gap, a deed of trust acts almost just like a mortgage,” states Escrow Help. During the loan-repayment period, the debtor uses the title to her house as security for her debt. The title is transferred back to the debtor After the loan is repaid.


A deed of trust may also be known as a trust deed or a Potomac Mortgage, according to The Free Dictionary. Though it is like a mortgage, a deed of trust should not be known by this term.


California is one of those states in which a deed of trust is used rather than a mortgage. Another countries that also follow this principle are Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.


A deed of trust is set into place so that a borrower may achieve the loan that he wants to buy a house, clarifies Escrow Help. Subsequently, the creditor agrees with this loan just under the terms of the trust deed, which makes sure that the home will be sold in the event the borrower defaults on the loan. The profits from the sale would be obtained by the creditor instead of repayment from the borrower.


Many people believe a deed of trust acts in precisely the exact same way for a mortgage. The California Department of Real Estate clarifies a deed of trust involves three parties, while a mortgage involves just two. In a deed of trust, a borrower, lender and citizenship are involved. The title is transferred to the trustee during the repayment period. In a mortgage arrangement, the title is transferred to the creditor.


Borrowers must be aware that if they fail to repay their debt to the creditor, the trustee will be asked to sell the house through a foreclosure,” states Escrow Help. Properties with a deed of trust in place can go through the foreclosure process considerably quicker than possessions with a mortgage, making it harder for the debtor to have an opportunity to regain the title into his property.

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Ranch House Love: Inspiration From 13 Ranch Renovations

Nine out of 10 new homes built in the USA in 1950 were ranch houses. By 1970 the number of new homes that were ranches had dropped to four out of five, and the number continued to decrease, says Witold Rybczynski in Last Harvest: How a Cornfield Became New Daleville. As American riches increased and mortgage down payment requirements and interest levels dropped from the mid-1980s, the thirst for more square footage and traditional adornments followed. Ranch homes fell out of favor, replaced with more conventional bigger two-story homes.

Today there’s much revived interest in these low-slung, iconic 20th-century homes. They are readily available, for starters, often at sensible rates. For another, many men and women are realizing that one-floor living is a fantastic approach to age in place without much renovating (or a elevator) required.

Midcentury modern ranches from designers such as Cliff May and Joseph Eichler are highly sought after, while designers are also viewing the charms of contemporary colonial ranches and the potential for hot open floor plans from the smaller, more closed-in ranches.

If you’re searching for ideas for your own ranch home, have a look at the assortment of ranch house tours on . I just did, and I have chosen a few ranch renovation jobs offering useful lessons for diving into your own.

Design Platform

1. Inherited ’60s ranch home in Denver. Seeking to sell the closed-in home, the owners paid particular attention to opening up the kitchen and renovating it.

Tip: They saved money by using Ikea cabinets, subsequently enriched them by incorporating custom hardware and wrap the sides in white pine for contrast.

Pictures: See the rest of this ranch renovation

Shaw Coates

2. Spanish-style ’60s ranch in Rancho Santa Fe, California. The homeowners, expecting their first child, appreciated the home’s great bones, including the high ceilings and open design, in addition to having a master bedroom and bedroom to precisely the same floor.

Tip: If a window appears out of scale with the room, go big with all the window treatment. Note how in which the rod and curtains frame the alcove and stand up to the huge scale of the room.

Pictures: See the rest of this ranch renovation

Tara Bussema – Neat Organization and Design

Tara Bussema – Neat Organization and Design

3. Less is more in a Long Beach, California, Cliff May home. The homeowners were inspired by the simpler lifestyles of the 1950s.

Tip: Even in the event that you don’t emulate the exact furniture and finishes of the age, look to the philosophies that your home’s era inspired. In this case the owners like to live by”Less is more” and to concentrate on community and family instead of their possessions.

If you have a small ranch kitchen with low ceilings, use translucent or transparent glass on the top cabinets for a lighter, more open appearance.

Pictures: See the rest of this ranch renovation

The Cavender Diary

4. Clever solutions in a ’70s Dallas ranch. This creative couple remedied the plain-old-box-feeling malady one area at a time.

Tip: Bring things out of the closet. The owners turned into a wall into outerwear storage that looks like an art installation. (Do not feel bad if your initial attempt at this doesn’t look this good; among those homeowners would be a creative manager at Ralph Lauren.)

Pictures: See the rest of this ranch renovation

Susan Jay Design

5. Los Angeles canyon setting. A narrow canyon road leads to this homein the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles. The homeowners are not allowed to add to its footprint, because fire vehicles have to fit down the road. The surrounding territory was so beautiful that they didn’t care, and they made the most of the home’s square footage.

Tip: Expand in the garage. Many ranches from this age have roomy garages just begging to be completed as family rooms, an extra bedroom or a home office. What is more, replacing an old garage door with a glass garage door, French doors or sliding doors would create easy access to a distinctive courtyard or patio.

Pictures: See the rest of this ranch renovation

Tara Bussema – Neat Organization and Design

6. Enviable outdoor rooms in Southern California. The mild weather in Costa Mesa, California, inspired beautiful new areas in this’60s ranch yard.

Tip: Recall that rooms may often be enlarged beyond your home’s footprint. A fountain-side outdoor dining area and living area will be this family’s favorite rooms.

Pictures: See the rest of this ranch renovation

Amy A. Alper, Architect

7. Expanded 1940s Sonoma ranch. If narrow roads and other city codes are not an issue, ranches are great candidates for additions. This couple chose to reconfigure and renovate their California Wine Country ranch to better match their lifestyle, extending the footprint from 1,900 square feet to 2,500 square feet.

Tip: Think about a plan for your outdoor living area when planning an improvement. In this case the architect added a master bedroom wing off the ideal side of the home, creating a courtyard feeling that enhanced the beautiful backyard. She borrowed space off the back of the existing garage to form an office and cabana space (far right).

Pictures: See the rest of this ranch renovation

Susan Teare, Professional Photographer

8. New face for a’70s split degree. The wood siding with this ranch home in Burlington, Vermont, had not held up well against the weather and looked dated (check out the before shot).

Tip: Give the exterior an energy-efficient makeover. Galvanized steel and fiber-cement siding are all durable, low-maintenance, energy-efficient materials that give this house contemporary style. The tight envelope is about to stand up to Vermont’s harsh winters while complementing the surrounding landscape.

Pictures: See the rest of this ranch renovation

John Prindle

9. Cool updates to get a musician in Portland, Oregon. This unique house is rocking a corrugated metal siding.

Pictures: See the rest of this ranch renovation

Clayton&Little Architects

10. A lift to get a small Texas ranch. The tiny rooms in this ranch had low ceilings and felt very closed in.

Tip: Push up the ceiling. While midcentury modern ranches could have high ceilings that are great, lots of the ranches that followed have lower ones. Converse with an architect about busting through the ceiling into the roofline — a higher ceiling makes rooms feel a good deal bigger. See how that works

Pictures: See the rest of this ranch renovation

Spry Architecture

11. Contemporary search for a Spanish colonial ranch in Phoenix. I have to insist ahead that you check out this entire Tour, since the before and after shots of this transformation left me gasp with delight and disbelief. Proceed, then come right back, OK? See you in some…

Tip: Eliminate a few walls. This architect tore down four walls to create this open dining-living space. It makes the home feel twice as big.

Pictures: See more of this Arizona ranch home

Smith & Vansant Architects PC

12. Maximizing wall area in Hanover, New Hampshire. Thisranch gets the most of every inch with family Bearing in mind.

Tip: Think thick. “Thick zones” are thick walls that have many functions. These include the wall that includes a bookcase on the left, and the niche in the wall that suits the vertical piano and shelving on the right.

In the kitchen a different thick corner encases the cabinet, eliminating the need for freestanding shelves and making it all more streamlined.

Pictures: See the rest of this ranch renovation

Valerie McCaskill Dickman

13. Organic overhaul of a ’50s ranch in Dallas. Renovating this drowsy ranch took approximately a year but was well worth the effort. It now has beautiful organic style.

Tip: Invest in a new front door. This is one of the biggest factors in creating curb appeal and creates a fantastic first impression. Translucent glass panes allow in the light while providing solitude, and also the clean, modern lines suit the home’s streamlined style inside and out.

Pictures: See the rest of this ranch renovation

More: Read the Ranch Homes section

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Try Slow Gardening for Some Unusual Benefits

Are you a small hippie in your garden? Relaxed and laid-back, seldom cutting the lawn or hedges while trying to grow a few organic vegetables? It might be that you are not a gardening throwback to the ’60s but are a follower of the Slow Gardening movement.

Inspired by the Slow Food movement, founded by Carlo Petrini in the 1980s, Slow Gardening was started by American horticulturalist Felder Rushing. In its deepest level, Slow Gardening is about more than practical gardening; it’s about self-awareness, personal responsibility and environmental consciousness. It has been described as a mindset rather than a one-way checklist.

Slow Gardening is exactly what I would think most gardeners aim for: a relaxing pastime, one that lets them take their work and time with the seasons and with all the local environment. Lets check out some of Slow Gardening’s major principles — dispersing some of your plants, using plants appropriate to a garden’s microclimate, saving water, composting as well as using design details like growing hedges and departing grassy regions natural to promote wildlife — to help us reach its ideals in our gardens.

In & Out Design

1. The delight is in the process. When we have the image of the garden we want in our mind we can become impatient to turn it into truth. With sufficient cash it can be easy to attain this reality by using large specimen plants, but this is not the Slow Gardening way.

The delight of slow gardening is enjoying the process as much as the outcome. Perennials and ornamental grasses are easy to grow from seed or cuttings — though it is going to take longer to create your dream garden. By developing your own plants, you will not only get to understand their needs, but you’ll have real ownership of them.

Shrubs aren’t always very easy to grow from seed, but you can always purchase small starter plants which, with time, will attain the size you desire. The actual delight of slow gardening is in waiting and enjoying the various stages of plant development.

2. Choose plants that will thrive in your garden. When designing your garden on the principles of Slow Gardening, what we plant and where’s of prime importance.

By developing plants that are appropriate to a garden’s microclimate, not as work, feeding and watering will be required to receive the best outcomes from those plants. Plants naturally grow nicely when they’re planted in the exact same position as their normal habitat.

Regional garden guides on

Calico Studio

3. Water conservation can be trendy. Together with the changing world climate, water conservation has become vital, especially in the way we garden. A thrifty approach to using water is a kingpin of the Slow Gardener’s philosophy.

Water butts and rainwater tanks should be a key feature in almost any Slow Gardener’s garden, collecting rainwater to use during the growing season. Now we do not have to rely on unsightly green plastic barrels as our only collection method; there are plenty of trendy and interesting containers which can turn into a characteristic of a garden’s overall layout.

Matt Kilburn

4. Invest in DIY dirt improvement. Another way of helping to conserve cash is making sure your soil retains moisture. The best way to accomplish this is through the addition of organic matter like farmyard manure, leaf mold or the Slow Gardener’s preferred, compost.

There’s no mystery to making compost, but it requires an understanding of the methods to create this ideal soil improver. It would be quite easy to just get a compound fertilizer from the regional garden center for immediate results, but Slow Gardening is all about patience — not dashing nature but helping it. Making compost and using it to increase your soil is not instantaneous, but the outcome is well worth the wait.

Aloe Designs

5. Grow the slow solution to fast food. Growing your own food and perhaps helping the environment do not always have to be on an allotment garden scale; a couple baskets can suffice. It’s possible to get a rewarding harvest by constructing smaller, more manageable growing spaces for seasonable plants.

“Cut and come again” sausage crops, including rocket, lettuce, radicchio and endive, are ideal to grow in pots and are almost maintenance free. Growing berries, such as Tumbler or Tumbling Tom, at a hanging basket is the essence of vegetable Slow Gardening.

Shades Of Green Landscape Architecture

6. Leave the mower in the shed. A beautiful close-cropped emerald green lawn has been a central characteristic of several traditional gardens previously (now replicated in contemporary gardens with the usage of plastic artificial grass).

Creating the ideal lawn requires a great deal of time, energy, fertilizer and water — all things which go against Slow Gardening principles. Leaving your grass to grow more or adding more grass as part of your garden layout will provide you the benefits of conserving on these items while creating an environment for beneficial insects which will help with pollination around the garden.

Lynn Gaffney Architect, PLLC

7. Create a natural home for the garden. Slow-growing hedges, especially indigenous varieties, will provide even the tiniest garden the benefits of providing shelter and food for insects and birds. The very last thing a Slow Gardener wants in the garden is topiary or a fast-growing hedge which needs a whole lot of time-consuming clipping and care.

Kathleen Shaeffer Design, Exterior Spaces

Perhaps this is your image of slow gardening — a quiet location where you are able to sit at the sun without a care about the uncut lawn or flowers to deadhead.

Above there aren’t any hard guidelines to Slow Gardening. Your garden should suit your lifestyle and environment, and allow you to unwind, take your time and adhere to the seasonal rhythms. So, perhaps the hippies had the ideal idea in the first location.

More: Things to do (or not) on your garden now

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Three Magic Words for a Clean Home and a Better Life

Ask anybody who knows me well: For years and years, a passion of mine has been cleaning and organizing. This might lead you to believe that our home has been a bastion of tidiness and order, but the truth is, I was constantly fighting against chaos. Unfortunately it was more a battle of the mind: I read novels and tried various plans; I studied my organized friends and family and thought about it. Looking back I can see all I needed to do was get rid of at least half my stuff, establish some cleaning routines and establish a couple of systems.

Half of you read that last sentence, pressed your lips together and thought, “Yes! Obviously!” While the rest slumped across your keyboards and wept, “Why don’t we simply climb Mount Everest while we’re at it, Alison!”

Hang in there, all y’all. I promise you, the 3 words are not “Just do it”

Rauser Design

To the first group, you know that you don’t want my help. You have a place for all, and you make damn sure everything is in its place, and yet you may be residing with a individual or two who can’t seem to understand this. Would you routinely find yourself, pillow in hand, stalking the house, intent on smothering your loved ones? Maybe you could use a little support, after all.

For the purposes of this guide, we’ll refer to our different camps as the Obviously Organized and also the Not Obviously Organized, but both parties will be known as “she,” because I’m a woman and it’s easier.

When something is out of place — say, a bit of paper which overshot the wastebasket or a pencil that rolled off a desk — a Obviously Organized individual spies it instantly. Lights flash and alarms sound. She scurries to pick this up and instantly throw or put it away. That is reflexive; she doesn’t even consider it. She can’t help herself and she can’t understand how her Not Obviously Organized loved ones are able to walk. Can not they see?

The answer is no and yes. I’m sorry.

If a person who isn’t Obviously Organized walks by something out of place, it’s not that she doesn’t see it — she probably does, but it just may not be consciously. Maybe she’s attempting to stay focused on whatever job she’s doing. She might see the bit of paper or the fallen pencil, and if she does she tells herself, “I’ll get that later.” She probably doesn’t hear herself believe that. She’ll probably pass the thing a few more times, and every time she tells herself “Afterwards,” till she finally picks it up or — as is more often the case — among her Obviously Organized loved ones does.

If you’re struggling to organize your home, you might scoff at the suggestion that picking up one piece of paper or a lone little pencil is really going to make a difference, and you’re right, unless it truly is a struggle of the mind and also the only single issue is the pervasive thought “Afterwards,” that never comes.

House of Earnest

If you’re not Obviously Organized like I’m, here’s my suggestion: Live your life and discuss your day but try to listen to the “Afterwards”s. It may take some time for you to hear them, however you will finally, if you continue. Maybe you’re going to be walking down the hallway headed to your bedroom, when you see it a stray sock lying at the center of the floor and — as clear as a bell — you hear, “I’ll get that later.” Normally you would walk right on by but you’re finally onto yourself. Order and mayhem hang in the balance of everything you do.

This is the time for the 3 magic words, and you need to say them at the most optimistic tone you can muster: “How about now?”

I’m not kidding you.

It’s a sock. Easy peasy, right? Ho, ho, ho! No. Running underwater with cement shoes would be a stroll in the park in comparison to this. Just try it. Time will slow down, the atmosphere will grow thick and this teeny, tiny thing — the paper, the pencil, the sock, whatever — will probably feel as the heaviest thing in the world. Just remember, civilization is counting on you, and magic is on your side. Pick up the item and trudge to where it belongs — trash, table, desk — and put it in its own place. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. And your life will change.

It is really as easy and as hard as that.

Maybe you have never really thought about coordinating. Perhaps the only reason you’re reading this is because someone who you love thrust it in you. This individual is almost certainly Obviously Organized. Steal a glance: Does she seem to be in prayer? Assess her breath; if she is not holding it, it’s almost certainly coming loudly and through her mouth. You are taking a look at someone in pain.

What’s the big deal? It’s just a piece of paper/pencil/sock/java mug/beer bottle/set of keys/wallet/pair of sunglasses/pair of shoes/sweatshirt/towel! Does this even matter? Multiply that by a hundred or a million, however, and it starts to pile up — in every sense of the phrase. And by the same token, if you do this small thing — select up, throw or place away — over and over again, it all, the mess, the frustration and the strife — like magic — will disappear.

Justine Hand

More: We Can Work It Out — Living and Cleaning Collectively

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Wonderful Ways to Mesh Woven Furniture With Your Style

My design style tends to lean toward the beautifully strange, gently worn and subtly masculine. I’m not too Shabby Chic, but I’d fall in love with a classic, chipped wicker footstool at the drop of the hat. Woven furniture doesn’t need to remind you of Grandma’s house — classic woven substances which have been around for centuries can be used in a totally modern way. Sea grass chairs around a farmhouse dining table, a slick bar with rattan and chrome stools, and wicker storage containers at the bottom of a lavish bed all have a relaxed luxury around them. These organic substances ground a place by taking off the edge proper furniture and encouraging you to stay awhile.

Su Casa Designs

Making Woven Pieces Work Together With Your Style

Woven pieces operate in most styles if you get the mix right. For modern settings, such as the one shown, woven stools can balance out sharp angles and add colour to clean spaces. The newer woven pieces in this room were created with up-to-date tactics and materials that can stand up to the challenges of daily life.

Hint: You get what you pay for. If you are looking for woven pieces which will last, buy from businesses which have good reviews. Examine the guarantee (if appropriate) and return policy for merchandise that frays or breaks. Examine the bottom of woven pieces to make sure the bracing construction is strong — that is imperative for chairs.

Mahoney Architects & Interiors

Darker woven pieces make a exotic farm feel — believe India Hicks’ home in the Bahamas. Paired with cream-colored cushions, these stitched wingbacks are comfy but elegant. Putting two side as shown, functions because of the size of the bright white colour scheme and the room. In a smaller space, or one with darker tones, a dim woven chair would still function but should stand alone if paired with the upholstered ottoman.

Rikki Snyder

Use a generous amount of wicker to make a bohemian eclectic space similar to this one. Brightly patterned cushions, tablecloths and cushions on vintage woven pieces make an interesting, fun and inviting space. Textiles can also help disguise and protect damaged woven furniture vintage wicker has a tendency to snap, so you might have a great chair with pieces missing here or there; adding textiles solves that problem nicely.

Tara Seawright Interior Design

Woven Pieces as Mainstays

Should you discover a woven piece you like, then use it as a mainstay. Now’s woven kinds are scaled to operate well with modern couches and other pieces, but make sure your vintage pieces are large enough to operate in your home too. A great rule of thumb is to quantify a woven bit against an upholstered piece. Do not skimp on the dimensions.

The huge scale of the ocean grass wingback chair in this room perfectly complements the deep couch. A boldly patterned seat cushion and toss pillow help this chair fit into the modern eclectic living space.

Suggestion: Sea bud chairs have a tendency to be more comfortable than wicker for long term relaxing, because sea bud has a far better flex and softer weave than wicker.

Margaret Donaldson Interiors

Swap out a couple of your regular dining chairs with just two (or more!) Woven pieces to evoke a countryside feel in a transitional space. Cheaper woven furniture are able to continue to keep your dining space formal but not stuffy. Mixing in a few woven chairs with much more flair would work well with the raw metals and forests of an industrial-style space.

Tara Seawright Interior Design

Woven Pieces as Accents

Insert woven pieces to your living room by simply using them as occasional pieces, such as ottomans, drink chairs and tables. Outdoor faux rattan works beautifully for indoor occasional pieces — the sturdy material is great for busy family rooms and readily withstands spilled popcorn and beverages. Outdoor woven furniture can be obtained out and hosed off in a flash, but it still looks classy.

This wonderful round woven ottoman is perfectly scaled to your sectional and provides a tropical island touch without feeling thematic.

Kelley & Company Home

You can even add small doses of woven pieces, such as the end-of-the-bed stitched chest revealed here. Vintage rattan pieces are often finished with leather buckles, brass enclosures and other details. If you discover something you adore, but it’s the wrong colour, just prime and paint it.

Hint: When you are buying vintage pieces, be sure the wraps around the legs and ends are still intact and not unwinding. Wraps can be redone, but it’s an expensive procedure. Buy pieces with as little cracking in the wicker as you can — wicker is a bud, so it does snap as the years go by.

Tobi Fairley Interior Design

Weathered wicker accents seem amazing in just about any setting. In a modern setting, something such as a large sun-bleached basket can add some romance without feeling overly clich├ę. This vintage wicker table is the best style counterpoint to both modern beds in this lovely space.

Hint: make certain your woven furniture (whether vintage or new) is powerful and flexible enough to operate how you need it to. It would not be a fantastic idea to utilize a Victorian-era stool at a children’s playroom, for example. Modern and faux wicker operate better in high-use configurations.

Wicker headboards — common to Victorian homes — are unbelievably amazing as modern painted pieces. The complex handiwork that went into curling the grasses and producing the “beads” and fantastical shapes doesn’t exist today. Giving a classic or vintage wicker headboard a new life with spray paint will produce a one-of-a-kind statement bit.

Remember, provided that you pair your vintage woven pieces with more modern furnishings, accessories and textiles, the space that they inhabit will always feel clean.

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Coming Soon

The futurist consensus is that someday household surfaces, like kitchen counters and fridge doors, will work like giant iPads, together with Internet-connected interactive touch screens. No, not displays. Entire surfaces will be usable as interactive computers.

It seems like far-fetched, space-age technologies, and pricey, too. And the concept of replacing choice pieces of your home decoration with big screens seems horrible. However, none of that is the case. That is because touch screens don’t need a brand new counter or fridge. It’s possible even today to convert any surface into an interactive touch display using projected camera and light detectors.

This has long been a fundamental characteristic of Microsoft Home, which will be a showcase house constructed to show futuristic thoughts from Microsoft Research.

The Microsoft Home kitchen employs projection screens to beam information and recipes directly onto the surface of the counter top. The dining area pill has games projected onto the surface, as well as step-by-step instructions for crafts.

Even more sophisticated compared to Microsoft’s prototype is its own “Vision” video, which projects into the near future (pun intended) how projector touch screens will function in five to 10 years. A girl builds a product on a bit pill in this scene:
But an overhead projector expands the animation beyond the tablet and onto the desk. Then she does the exact same thing with recipes. (Microsoft really has a patent for this and may even ship the tech this year in another version of its Xbox gaming system.) Her father assesses the contents of the fridge without opening the door, plus a projector touch display.

The material, and even the port, is almost inconsequential. That only requires programmers to write software, which they’ll do once this technology is more prevalent. It’s possible with relatively inexpensive projectors and cameras to turn any household surface into a strong, huge interactive touch display which can be conjured up or dismissed at any time. When it has gone, no tech is observable.

inamo-stjames. com

Projection technologies is already here. It’s simply not widely distributed yet. A restaurant in London called Inamo jobs its menu in the ceiling onto the tables, as well as jobs custom “tablecloths.” Diners order in the touch display projected onto the tables. A menu of other choices includes interactive games and also a support for ordering a taxi.

The tech is something of a gimmick, designed to entertain restaurant clients. But in addition, it demonstrates that the feasibility and functionality of such display technology.

Celluon Magic Cube

A widely accessible and affordable gadget called the Celluon Magic Cube projects a red laser keyboard onto any table or desk. When the user taps on the projected keys, the keystrokes are registered on any newish OS X, iOS, Windows, Android or Windows Phone device. Additionally, it works as an invisible “mouse”

You might consider that the Magic Cube to be a basic proof of concept for things to come. It projects only 1 colour and only lines, numbers and letters. The “resolution” of this touch interaction is fairly primitive. Yet it’s a cheap product (just over $100) and utilizes just 1 camera with the projector at the exact same device. Plus it works.

Imagine what will be possible with multiple cameras, no requirement for battery operation and better software.

ubi-interactive. com

A company called Ubi Interactive is working on software that utilizes any projector plus Microsoft’s Kinect to get Xbox 360 product to turn any surface into an interactive touch screen. Kinect for Xbox 360 is a low-cost add-in for Microsoft’s Xbox gaming system that is usually employed to get in-the-air motion-sensing games.

Ubi’s software employs the Kinect detectors to determine where people are moving, pointing, tapping or swiping on a face, and how that relates to the projected interface. 1 benefit of the program is that it will work with regular, off-the-shelf goods. By way of instance, it will project and control Windows software, which means you’re going to have the ability to project any Windows game or application onto a wall from the box. You’ll also have the ability to use it together with almost any projector. All you’ll need is your Ubi software along with a surface to project onto.

The $149 software is available for preorder.

The Japanese company Fujitsu has done some incredible research with movie projection screens. The most impressive is that a projection product which integrates real-world items. The way it works is that with a very simple gesture a book, magazine page or picture can be scanned and then converted into an electronic version in the exact same region, and at the exact same size as the original.

By way of instance, let’s say your projector screens four electronic bills on the kitchen table, plus you’ve got a newspaper bill that came from the email. Simply by drawing your finger through the newspaper, you could digitize the paper invoice. You could then chuck the paper version and use the electronic one in its place.

Still another use for the technology is to create paper pictures and papers interactive. By way of instance, advertisers could put codes in advertisements; when you put the ad flat on the desk and touch the code, interactive coupons or videos or other information might seem to jump right off the page.

Fujitsu intends to begin selling the item in 2014. Its name and price have not yet been announced.

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Rocky Mountain Gardener's May Checklist

The May backyard feels really fresh, lush and colorful, it is difficult to resist. The wonder and beauty of it all keeps us at our tasks after our backs are weary and the sun has grown dim. Enjoy. Wishing you your very best gardening season ever.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Plant summer-flowering bulbs and tubers for example dahlias (shown here), gladiolus, begonias, caladiums, lilies and cannas later in the month for a summertime burst of colour. Include them in container gardens with annuals, herbs and veggies, or plant them directly into the backyard in well-amended soil.

Plant trees, shrubs and perennials the moment the ground is workable. Ornamental trees, such as the Tatarian maple (Acer tataricum) revealed here, are most commonly used as ornamental accents but can also serve as shade trees in tiny landscapes.

Photo by Wikimedia commons consumer Le.Loup.Gris

Avant Garden

Plant veggies and tender annuals after the danger of frost has passed. Harden them off if they’re coming from a greenhouse or home atmosphere. (Hardening off means to acclimate plants by slowly exposing them to more times outside over a period of several weeks or days.)

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Keep the foliage of spring-flowering bulbs — such as daffodils (shown here), tulips, frittilaria and hyacinths — until the plant has completely died back. While green, the leaves photosynthesize and construct food reserves for the plant. When the foliage has dried and can be pulled from the plant with a gentle tug, it can be removed safely.

Prune spring-flowering shrubs — such as forsythia (shown here), quince, lilac, spirea and daphne — promptly after flowering, as needed. Save yourself time and keep a more natural look for your own trees by pruning them lightly by hand instead of shearing them.

J. Peterson Garden Design

Check sprinkler and drip systems. An efficient irrigation system is the ideal way to conserve water.
Make sure your sprinklers are delivering the right amount of water to the right location. Check for leaks and overspray. Adjust your clock to accommodate seasonal conditions (evapotranspiration) and regulations or limitations.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Stay ahead of the weeds. Even though it is not nearly as exciting as planting something new, you’ll be glad you did. Keep your weeding tools useful and do a little each time you are outside.

5 Ways to Naturally Grow the Weed War | More regional gardening guides

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Zen Garden

Buddhist temples in Japan were the first sites of Zen gardens, that can be simple landscapes of sand, rock, plants and water that serve as places for reflecting and meditating.

Daryl Toby – AguaFina Gardens International

Lines in sand signify rippling water at a Zen garden, where simple objects of nature are used to create a place for contemplation.

Garden Mentors

Zen gardens are made to create a stripped-down awareness of thought.

Urban Earth Design

Zen gardens support relaxation through their artwork.

Photos: Browse more Zen garden-inspired layouts

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