The Indoor Gardener: Crazy for Cacti

Cacti are for Southwestern locales. You can develop these prickly succulents everywhere that has plenty of sunshine and maintains a temperature of at least 65 degrees, making them a good candidate for a houseplant. Besides full sunlight, cacti like to grow in areas where the humidity is reduced.

As they hail from the desert, cacti don’t need much water : Give them only when they have completely dried out, and do so sparingly when you do. While cacti are tough to kill, overwatering is a certain method to do just that.

Cacti can mesh well with all sorts of interiors, from country-cute houses to supersleek high end flats. They also are available in many sizes and shapes, from a tiny specimen to Carnegiea gigantea, a sizable, tree-sized species. Here are nine photographs of cacti to inspire you to bring these spiky plants to your backyard.

VivaTerra

Vintage Cactus Garden – $45

VivaTerra sells this mini cactus garden already planted in a white ceramic urn. Even the succulents that are tiny could make a lovely alternative to a bouquet as a hostess gift.

Kailey J. Flynn Photography

An unusual draping cactus adds to the diverse mix within this modern living room. Its flesh is similar to that of this classic cafe sign supporting it.

Julie Smith

A globular cacti sits on the left of a leafy houseplant within this West Coast sunroom, proving that there’s no reason not to combine cacti with deciduous plants.

Elad Gonen

A pair of cacti flank this unique antique table. The cacti echo the space’s Southwestern d├ęcor without feeling such as stage props.

Studio Marcelo Brito

A tall cacti accents the corner of the sophisticated living area by Marcelo Brito Interiors. It is a welcome touch of lifestyle in a room full of neutral tones.

Tip: Wipe pests off cacti using a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol.

Natalie Blake

A pair of big cacti grow from the corner of the bright room. Stretching greater than the doorframe, these impressive specimens have definitely had many years to reach these heights.

Architectural Pottery

Walnut Wooden Stand – $190

A midcentury-style planter using a wooden stand is an elegant way to display a tall cactus. Here a coating of gray rocks covers the dirt — a simple way to give your planted cacti a more polished appearance.

Design West

Here three modern planters are full of pen cacti. These tall, slender plants are a modern approach to bring a little greenery to an interior.

Modern Outdoor Planters – $72

A tiny prickly plant rests within this mod wall planter. The pot features holes for a powder-coated finish suitable for both inside and out.

More:
See How to Grow Cacti in Glass

The Succulence of Succulents

Drought-Tolerant Landscapes

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Center and front Color

Green is more popular than ever for house interiors and accessories, but have you considered it to your home’s exterior? A green front door, whether in a daring chartreuse or a more neutral shade of green, is a fantastic way to welcome people. The green on your front door may select up on the various green colors found in your landscape, softening — or enlivening — your own entrance.

These houses with a selection of green front doors, along with sample palettes, can enable you to get a similar effect.

Steve Zagorski

1. Green Door With a Blue-Gray Exterior

With a glowing leafy-green door and cool blue-gray siding, this is one happy, contemporary palette. The stone cladding and the timber fence function as neutrals, and since the siding shade has so much gray in it, it also functions as a neutral, allowing the bold green shade of the property’s entrance to pop.

Jennifer Ott Design

Example palette: To get a similar look, you could go with white trim, as shown in the photo, or select up on the siding colour and move a bit darker to the trim colour. Suggested paints (clockwise from top left, all from Pratt & Lambert): Green Blitz 17-9, Lava 28-17 and Confederate 27-21.

Vinci | Hamp Architects

2. Green Door With a Brick Exterior

This handsome, elegant house is resplendent with its ultramarine-green front door and soft sage-green trim. Green doors really stick out against red brick since both colors are opposite each other (or complementary) about the colour wheel. If the door were in a warm shade of red or orange it would blend in with all the brick.

Jennifer Ott Design

Example palette: If you enjoy this look, attempt (clockwise from top left, either from Benjamin Moore) Steamed Spinach 643 and Nantucket Gray HC-111.

helena barrios vincent aia leed ap

3. Green Door Using a Cool-Neutral Exterior

If you favor softer, more succulent greens, try pairing them with a dark, cool exterior shade. It grounds and contrasts nicely with a light, almost light, doorway shade .

Jennifer Ott Design

Example palette: Get an identical look with (clockwise from top left, all from Pittsburgh Paint) Bleached Spruce 208-4, Pegasus 517-1 and Volcanic Ash 555-6.

Maria Hasenecz Garden Design

4. Cool Green Door With a Stone Exterior

Houses with neutral-colored stone siding may sport just about any colour on front door. But again, remember that if you want the door to take centre stage, you are going to want to paint it a shade throughout the colour wheel from the colour of the rock.

In this example, the rock has both warm and cool tones, so the enchanting arch-top door with its cool green stands out while also picking up on a number of the stone’s cooler colors.

Jennifer Ott Design

Example palette: If you enjoy the look of this blue-green door but do not have rock siding, then you could try this case palette (clockwise from top left, all from Martha Stewart Living): Hummingbird Blue MSL135, Bedford Gray MSL246 and Magnetite MSL278.

Continuum Tile Co..

5. Green Door With a Warm-Neutral Exterior

If you live in a hot climate, it is a fantastic idea to maintain the exterior of your house light in colour to limit solar heat gain. But lighter colors do not have to be dull. Liven up beige and white with a fairly grass-green front door.

Jennifer Ott Design

Example palette: Clockwise from top left (all from Sherwin-Williams): Lounge Green SW6444, Snowbound SW7004 and Classical White SW2829.

Kettelkamp & Kettelkamp

6. Bright Green Against Bright White

Consider your garage door when choosing a paint palette to the exterior of your property. The nice thing about a white house is that you can paint your door any colour you want, including this fabulous and glowing gecko green.

Jennifer Ott Design

Example palette: White or light gray siding serves as a nice background for vivid green doors. Here are a few options, clockwise from top left: Tequila Lime 2028-30 and Whitestone 2134-60 (both from Benjamin Moore), and Chinese Chartreuse 074-6 and Misty Windowpane 144-2 (both from Mythic Paint).

HartmanBaldwin Design/Build

7. Green Door With Warm Terra-Cotta

Here’s another light exterior palette that’s ideal for a house in a hot climate. Terra-cotta pavers can be complicated to work with because of the extreme pinkish-orange colour. A warm yellow siding colour and a light jade-green door work nicely with the terra-cotta.

Jennifer Ott Design

Example palette: Clockwise from top left (all from Kelly-Moore Paints): Gardening Girl KM3278-2, Beachcomber KM3844-2 and Christi Cream KM3577-1.

RW Anderson Homes

8. Lime Green Door With a Dark Gray Exterior

Although dark gray is a neutral, it is superdramatic as an exterior color. If you want your front door to have any attention, it requires its dramatic color — like this bright lime green. If you go for a palette like this, maintain the trimming simple in either white or black.

Jennifer Ott Design

Example palette: Clockwise from top left (all from Valspar): Awakening 6006-10C, Muted Ebony 4008-2C and Almost Charcoal 4008-2B.

Michael J. Lee Photography

9. Yellow-Green Door With Wood Siding

If glowing lime green is simply not the front-door hue for you, try this soft shade of yellow-green instead. This hue works especially well if you have cedar shingle siding, stone or brick. These materials can sometimes read as busy in colour and layout, so the softer color on the entrance offers a nice contrast.

Jennifer Ott Design

Example Shade: Clockwise from top left (all from Glidden): Soothing Green Tea GLG21 and White on White GLC26 with cedar shingles.

Jennifer Ott Design

Example palette: Listed below are a few options to get a dark sage-green door and cut against a light, neutral house shade. Clockwise from top left: Sage Saga 156-4 and Garden of Eden 156-1 (both from Mythic Paint), and Sage Green Light SW2851 and Nuance SW7049 (both from Sherwin-Williams).

Tell us Did you dare to paint your door green? Share a photograph below!

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9 Low-Growing Hedges That

When we think of low-growing hedges, we’re most likely to think of boxwood (box) hedging, Buxus spp, utilized in knot gardens and also to advantage herb gardens and herbaceous borders. But now there are different sorts of non hedges — such as “step over” hedges. Step-over hedges are reduced hedges, generally under 2 feet, created by restricting the growth of larger shrubs through pruning.

This tendency could be seen in fresh British housing estates, where the usage of step-over hedges generates a milder visual barrier between properties while mixing in with multiple landscape schemes. These low hedges could mark the border of your house without losing much space or reducing light the way traditional hedging can. This low hedging can also be utilized as a characteristic in other plantings or as a characteristic against fencing or walls. It can give a sculptural sense better compared to tall, naturalistic hedging we are utilized to.

Many shrubs are suitable, but for optimal step-over hedging, they should be:
EvergreenSlow growing and tolerant of trimmingHappy to be implanted alongside additional shrubsDisease resistantI believe you can see in the subsequent examples just how appealing and effective these hedges can be.

Troy Rhone Garden Design

Boxwood or Box
(Buxus spp)

Boxwood hedging has ever been the traditional plant used in dwarf hedging, and though it has its own drawbacks, it’s still the best general-purpose plant for this type of hedging.

Boxwood can be more prone to the fungal infection Cylindrocladium buxicola, or box blight. This is prevalent in the U.K. and dispersing in the U.S.

USDA zones: 5 to 9 (find your zone)
Water requirement: Drought resistant; necessitates well-drained soil
Light demand: Prefers partial or full shade; can be scorched by sun
Mature size: 18 to 36 inches tall
Planting tips: Plant in well-drained soil. Boxwood benefits from an application of fertilizer and a mulch after clipping in spring.

Good alternatives to box are Japanese holly (Ilex crenata) and box honeysuckle (Lonicera nitida).

Cherry Laurel
(Prunus laurocerasus)

Common laurel is just another tamable low hedging plant. It’s an evergreen shrub that could quickly grow to 20 feet tall and wide. But here you can see how it has been controlled by judicious clipping and has formed a superb low formal hedge.

USDA zones: 6 to 9
Water demand: Drought resistant
Light demand: Sun or semi shade
Mature size: 25 to 30 feet tall
Planting tips: Requires feeding in poorer soils, where the leaves can become chlorotic

Laurustinus
(Viburnum tinus ‘Eve Price’)

Laurustinus is just another big, bushy evergreen which you wouldn’t believe could be controlled enough to make a step-over hedge

Here the variety ‘Eve Price’ generates a stunning dwarf hedge, since it’s more compact than some of the other varieties of Viburnum tinus. The blossoms, blooming in late autumn to early spring, are very appealing, with carmine buds and pink-tinged petals.

The hedge shown here is cleverly underplanted with glowing pink geraniums, which contrast beautifully against the lush summer foliage of the Viburnum.

USDA zones: 7 to 10
Water demand: Drought resistant
Light demand: Full sun to full shade
Mature size: 8 to 10 feet tall
Planting tips: Grows well in moderately fertile and humus-rich soil, but soil needs to be well drained

JMS Design Associates

Lavender
(Lavandula stoechas)

Spanish lavender, also called French lavender in the United Kindgom, has odd blackish-purple flowers surmounted by a tuft of purple bracts.

For dry, sunny spots, lavender may create a fantastic low hedge. Though it can be short lived, it is still the best of the low-growing aromatic shrubs.

USDA zones: 6 to 9
Water demand: Low; gains from additional watering
Light demand: Full sun
Mature size: 18 to 36 inches tall
Planting tips: Prefers well-drained soil in full sun; if grown in containers, it is going to require frost protection.

A fantastic alternate to lavender is rosemary — that also adores a hot, sunny spot. Perhaps the best variety to use for non hedging is the compact Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Severn Sea’, that has citrus leaves and vibrant blue flowers in the summer.

Hebe
(Hebe x andersonii)

Hebes, primarily from New Zealand originally, differ widely in height, leaf size and flower color. Some of the lower-growing varieties make superb step-over hedges.

I was always taught, “The bigger the foliage on Hebes, the hardier the variety.” While I’m not sure whether that is true, it has ever worked for me.

Hebe x andersonii is a vigorous grower, but with careful pruning it makes a low hedge that provides a summer of gentle lavender-blue flowers fading to white in fall.

USDA zones: 9 to 10
Water requirement: Moderate
Light demand: Full sun or semi shade
Mature size: 6 to 8 ft tall
Planting tips: Grows best in moist but well-drained soil.

Elaeagnus
(Elaeagnus x ebbingei)

Elaeagnus x ebbingei has lovely dark green leaves with silvery-pewter undersides and little fragrant flowers.

Even a few of the open-growing shrubs can be formed into appealing low evergreen obstacles. Evergreens such as Elaeagnus must be pruned in spring just before growth starts.

USDA zones: 7 to 11
Water demand: Drought resistant
Light demand: Full sun or semi shade
Mature size: 9 to 12 feet tall
Planting tips: Grow into well-drained dirt; good for exposed and coastal situations

Box Honeysuckle
(Lonicera nitida ‘Baggesen’s Gold’)

Box honeysuckle is a small-leaf evergreen that is perfect for clipping. It is very good for hedging, as it is quick to regrow — although it is going to attain a height of 7 to 8 ft if not included.

Lonicera nitida ‘Baggesen’s Gold’, shown here, has the extra benefit of bright yellow foliage in summer which turns out a yellow-green in autumn.

USDA zones: 6 to 9
Water requirement: Drought resistant
Light demand: Full sun to partial shade
Mature size: 7 to 2 ft tall
Planting tips: Prefers well-drained soil. Its glowing yellow foliage can become greenish-yellow in colour.

Daisy Bush
(Brachyglottis greyi)

For a gorgeous gray hedge that is pretty hardy, it’s a challenge to beat Brachyglottis greyi. The plant is sometimes marketed as Senecio greyi or Senecio ‘Sunshine’.

One thing which you will almost certainly miss with judicious pruning would be that the glowing yellowish daisy-like flowers that cover the plant in the summer. This hedge will have to be pruned at least twice a year to keep it in shape.

USDA zones: 8 to 10
Water demand: Low
Light demand: Full sun or semi shade
Mature size: 3 to 5 ft tall
Planting tips: Grow it into well-drained soil, rather than full sun.

Mountain Holly
(Olearia ilicifolia)

Mountain holly is just another massive evergreen shrub from New Zealand. It could reach 6 feet in height, however once more, with timely pruning spring it could be restricted to develop into a step-over hedge.

The gray-green leaves are narrow and spear formed, with undulating and toothed edges which make it ideal for deterring dogs from entering your garden. If unpruned it will flower in spring with fragrant white blossoms.

USDA zones: 8 to 10
Water requirement: Minimum, particularly in winter
Light demand: Full sun
Mature size: 6 ft tall
Planting tips: Grow it in a fertile, well-drained soil in full sun and shelter it from chilly winds.

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Budget Decorator: Shop Your Home for a New Look

I love switching things up at home and experimentation with decorating styles, but like most of us, my decorating budget doesn’t allow for purchases made on a whim. Instead of spending money (and littering up my house with more stuff), when I want a change I try to use what I’ve in a fresh way. From new furniture arrangements and easy DIY makeovers to ideas for innovative reuse, there are lots of techniques to upgrade your space which don’t require money. If you’re prepared for a house makeover without spending a dime, then it is time to store your house.

Also called “use what you have” decorating, buying your home involves searching your own home for abandoned treasures and looking at what you already use with fresh eyes. Get started with these three measures:
Do a walk-through of your house, exploring every nook and cranny for abandoned items. Note anything you would like to have mended.
Take photos of everything. It is simpler and faster to see what will work where if you can hold up a picture, instead of dragging furniture from room to room. Remember to remove, not only put in, items. If a piece of furniture or a decor item was rubbing you the wrong way, move it out, try it in another area, paint it or sell it — but do not let it sit there.Here are 12 imaginative methods to kick off your shop-your-home makeover. Feel free to add your ideas.

Kate Riley – Centsational Girl

Shop your own kitchen for pretty organizers. Bowls, creamers, cake plates and serving trays may make fantastic organizers for everything from jewellery and makeup brushes to office supplies and mail.

Natalie Myers

Give an old twin bed new life. A classic twin bed frame (or even only the mattresses) languishing in the basement can easily be converted into a chic daybed with the accession of a pretty coverlet and an armful of cushions. The real key to making it appear more sofa-like would be to cover the mattress with a fabric you would not normally find on a bed. A classic Moroccan wedding costume, a hefty linen coverlet or anything with pretty trim would be sublime.

Dress up your walls with dishes. Have a heap of pretty dishes hiding out in a darkened cabinet? Bring them out where you are able to appreciate them by developing a wall display. Try incorporating one larger platter in the center to anchor the structure.

See how to hang a plate set

Sullivan Design Studio

Put an unused desk to get the job done. Placed behind a couch drifting in the middle of the room, a desk provides a handy place for sorting mail or exhibiting a few preferred objects. You may even try with a desk as a games table, an entryway planner or an unconventional bar cart.

Emily McCall

Stop before purchasing that changing table. Dressers (the long, low kind) are usually the perfect height to be used as a changing table and have the added bonus of storage in the drawers below. Later, simply remove the changing-pad top and fill out the drawers together with your little one’s clothes instead of diapers.

6 Great Uses for a Vintage Dresser

Kate Riley – Centsational Girl

Give mismatched accessories a cohesive look. Wondering what to do with all the random range of vases, bowls and other trinkets unearthed out of your loft? Assuming none are too valuable, try unifying the collection using a coating of white paint. When you’re finished, group the items together in 1 place (on a bookcase, for example) instead of scattered throughout the area for the most impact.

See how to make over knickknacks with paint

Emily McCall

Create a unique display space with a spare coffee table. Just because you bought that table to use in front of the couch doesn’t mean that is the limitation of its potential. Try with a coffee table (more, thinner models work best) pushed against the wall to hold artsy novels or a pottery collection. Or use it as the focal point within a meditation or yoga corner using a candle and other special items put on top.

Feldman Architecture, Inc..

Swap out your present coffee table. Shifting your coffee table is a quick way to freshen up your living room. Look around your house for things you might have the ability to use instead, including a leather or wooden bench, a steamer trunk or a set or stools or side tables.

Cut down a table to size. Before you give away an old dining table, consider whether you would use it if it had been shorter. Kitchen tables, consoles and easy desks can be shortened to develop into fantastic coffee tables.

The Virginia House

Reuse architectural components as cosmetic screens. If your basement or garage is packed with old windows, doors and walls, consider how you might use these creatively around the home.

Window panels may home photos, or you may fix them to a foundation to make a unique table. Shutters and doors may stand in for your headboard, while old mounts can hold up floating shelves.

Attempt that dresser in another area. Dressers are among the most versatile pieces of furniture, supplying both display space and storage. Try using one in the entryway with mail at the top, scarves and hats in the drawers beneath.

Or place one from the dining area to use as a buffet, with linens housed from the drawers. If you’re a crafter, try painting your old dresser with chalkboard paint and keeping supplies organized by writing with chalk on the drawer fronts.

See how to Create Your own chalkboard paint

Emily A. Clark

Want more workspace? Use an old dining table as a desk. When you have an old dining table you no longer use, think about swapping it with your own desk for more room to distribute. Also, be honest about the way you use (and the way you wanted you used) your own house. If you hardly ever use your formal dining area but seriously want more space to devote to a home company, why not give in and make your dining room the office? On the rare occasion that you want to host a dinner party, you may always clear your work away stuff.

Inform us : What’s your best repurposing or funding decorating tip?

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Swags and Jabots Hold Sway Over Window Style

The stately and elegant swag window treatment has appeared in some of the most famous houses in the usa. The king of rock ‘n’ roll, Elvis Presley, had them in floor-to-ceiling fashion at his Graceland mansion, and America’s forefathers used them to adorn the windows in the White House. Purely decorative in style, the swag is produced by hanging fabric throughout the surface of a window and allowing the underside to overeat or sag, making soft, horizontal scallop-like contours. The accompanying jabot is the perpendicular part of fabric that flanks the swag as a detail — as a panel or put symmetrically throughout.

Whether they’re used to soften a room or simply to add personality, swags may add distinctive style to any window in your house.

Swags with fringe. The symmetrical arrangement of those swags leads the eye upwards and focuses on the ceiling height. The long and thick fringe at the bottom hem requires the swag from ordinary to elegant, softening the overall look of the dining room.

Design suggestion: Utilize any fringe — fabric, glass or wood — to take your swag up a notch.

Designs by Gollum

Conventional swags. This dining room gets the royal treatment from the heightened center of the swag and the crowning decorative finial. Taking the negative jabots to the floor and allowing them to balloon in the base creates an elegant appearance.

Style suggestion: Paint your partitions the specific same colour as your own window treatments, along with the eye will focus on texture rather than style.

Kathleen Walsh Interiors, LLC

Polished swags. This expertly tailored swag has jabots put over the center scallop rather than behind it. The contrasting banding emphasizes its layout.

Design suggestion: Placing fabric above a corner of any kind produces a warm and cozy space, much like a fabric canopy onto a bed.

LADS Interiors

Swags with details. These symmetrical jabots with coordinating fringe not just add texture (which our eyes love), but they help dress up an extremely functional room, the kitchen. Installing this swag treatment with decorative finials above each jabot is a great designer-quality touch.

Design suggestion: Anything made from toile fabric adds a great traditional touch to a room. It could appear busy at first, but you will love it in the end.

Witt Construction

Swags for her. Flank an architectural window in a woman’s room in a whimsical manner to create a feminine and warm window treatment that does not feel overwhelming. The attention here is the window, not the window treatment. You never need to block a stunning perspective.

Style suggestion: This swag treatment is very easily installed with little fabric and minimal effort. Use two decorative hooks in lively shapes and curtain till you love it!

Marlene Wangenheim AKBD, CAPS, Allied Member ASID

Swags because of him. Dress up a masculine den or office by adding a coordinating swag topper therapy over a full-length drapery panel. The thick accent fringe feels lavish and formless when staying masculine.

Style suggestion: Make this accent swag topper out of leftover material from any upholstered piece in your room to tie everything together.

Susan Serra

Swags using a decorative rod. This formal swag and jabot treatment is downplayed by the cosmetic bamboo rod. The treatment says severe, but the rod says lively — a great combination.

Design suggestion: When using fabric in a kitchen, match or coordinate the fabric of your window treatment to the hard surfaces of the majority of colour. In this case, see how the counter pops?

Craig Denis

Elegant swags. Take your bathroom from hard to soft by adding luxurious fabric. This swag becomes the focal point of the bathroom while still emphasizing the tub. The sheen of the silk fabric almost reflects the glow from the crystal chandelier.

Design suggestion: Insert an additional window treatment behind the swag and jabot combination for even more softness.

Grand swags. Grandeur and elegance are achieved in this great room with plenty of swags and jabots. By applying the treatments to just the clerestory windows (those above eye level), the designer has been able to place the focus on the ceiling height in addition to the ceiling. See how the base windows go unnoticed due to the exaggerated length of the jabot tails.

Design tip: If you have high windows put over low windows such as in this room, consider incorporating window treatments just to the very best ones for a somewhat unexpected appearance.

Cravotta Interiors

Simple swags. This room may appear extravagant, but the swag window treatment is in fact very simple. The thorough ceiling, intricate moldings and thick patterned wall covering will be the primary focal points, along with the swag just ties into the couch shade.

Design suggestion: For easy swag designs, decorative finials and tassels are wonderful ways to create a finishing touch.

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Does Your Home Need a Running System?

Home automation technology is out there, but barely anybody uses it. Sure, there are lots of home automation products, and serious fans. Nevertheless, the average home stays prominently manual.

To your average Silicon Valley engineer, the reason is obvious: lack of standards.

The issue is that different home automation products use different, incompatible and frequently proprietary technologies to make their magic occur. If you purchase two products from two companies, they usually won’t work together. Standards groups such as Z-Wave and Zigbee Alliance have attempted to create industrywide standards but have been ineffective so far.

The computer technology businesses are now rushing into this vacuum of standards to provide them. Leading the charge is none other than Microsoft. Best known as the manufacturer of the Windows operating system for personal computers, Microsoft views the entire home as a “computer” and is creating a working system for this.

Microsoft’s HomeOS, since it is called, is designed to bring law and order to the lawless frontier which is home automation. Perhaps most importantly, there are indications that Microsoft’s HomeOS will encourage existing standards, so even home automation goods already bought may utilize HomeOS.

How can HomeOS work?

The majority of us don’t have to think about what makes a computer system triumph, but Microsoft does.

Computers have a working platform, which can be software that orchestrates interaction between the hardware and the application program. By way of instance, you’re reading this with a web browser or in a mobile program, both of which are application software applications. This program does not really put these words on your display. It sends requests to the operating system, which frees up all of the components necessary to show text and photos on a display.

Actually, many of the items that application software appears to do are in reality accomplished by the operating system.

That is one of the biggest benefits of Microsoft’s HomeOS. A number of the jobs that home-automation appliances may want to do can be done by HomeOS. Rather than each appliance manufacturer and software manufacturer reinventing the wheel, they can simply make requests of the HomeOS and have the job done for them.

That signifies a small company can create an appliance much more easily and reliably. Let us say, for instance, that a company wants to create and sell a lamp which dims when the TV is still on. Rather than needing to create the technology to know when the TV is on, the lamp manufacturer can simply utilize the printed instructions for HomeOS for being informed by the machine once the TV is still on.

A standardized platform boosts the automation of houses making it simpler for organizations to make home automation products.

The idea is that Microsoft will try to convince home-automation organizations to create both software and hardware that supports HomeOS. Consumers will get these goods, which are likely to comprise all of the items one might automate: sprinklers, lighting, home-entertainment systems, enthusiasts, doorbells, heaters, air conditioners, coffee makers, dishwashers, robotic vacuum cleaner and home security systems.

Along with products which encourage HomeOS, you would purchase a host, that would be a small computer system which everything would connect to, largely wirelessly. You would control your home automation with a wise phone. This really improves the experience, as as this picture shows, you can view camera feeds on your phone, which is probably going to be together with you.

And finally, the coolest thing of all : a HomeOS program store.

The HomeOS program store

So you’ve got your HomeOS server, and you’ve got some devices that encourage HomeOS. Now what? Microsoft is about to offer a HomeOS app store, where you can browse and download software which will automate your home.

This makes sense coming out of the world’s biggest software firm. This screen capture shows a control panel, where you are able to assess the status of all wise devices in the house. This was not created by Microsoft, but by a supporting partner for another platform that Microsoft makes. A “control panel” category of programs is merely one that is going to exist at the HomeOS app store.

By way of instance, some firm might offer an program that sets the video feed out of your security system up on the TV when it detects motion. Another firm might offer software that sends you a text message when someone arrives to a door. Another may develop software that plays music based on who’s in the area (by discovering your mobile phone).

Nobody knows what software will be available on the HomeOS app store. And that’s the point. Hundreds or thousands of software makers can provide more variety than any one company alone.

As one instance of a very favorable application, Microsoft researchers are developing something named HomeMaestro.

The HomeMaestro thought

A Microsoft research project named HomeMaestro is working on making it easier to control devices in your home.

The approach uses regular language, rather than complex controls. The idea is an old-fashioned if-then statement shared to basic software programming: If something occurs, then create something else happen.

At a video demonstration, HomeOS researchers utilize the easy instance of: “If I open the door, then turn on the lighting” This command is referred to as a rule, and it is controlled on your smartphone.

The HomeMaestro project does a neat trick. As you construct these rules, you use the action to alert the program. By way of instance, you tell the program to create a guideline. You then open the door. “The door opens” appears at the upper box.

Then you click the Then box, and then turn on the lamp. “Turn on the lamp” appears in the Then box. You conserve your principle, and automation has been set. Later on, when you open the door, the lamp will turn on.

The HomeMaestro project would have all home automation work this way — for instance.

While the door-and-lamp case is very simple, the rules for home automation could be very complex: Should I see a show, don’t record it. If the air temperature outside is below 50 degrees between the hours of 6 a.m. and 8 a.m., turn off and warm up the car when I make coffee. When everybody is in bed, turn off most of the downstairs lighting and appliances.

The possibilities are infinite. Especially since the HomeMaestro project envisions social sharing of rules — a “rules store” where you are able to browse and download rules created by others for your own use.

When is HomeOS coming home?

Microsoft has been growing HomeOS for years and has been testing HomeOS in real houses. It is called on pupils and Microsoft programmers to create programs for the HomeOS app store.

Up to now, Microsoft has not announced a product launch date, pricing or other details, so that means we won’t see products available on the market this year. But with other competitors also preparing comparable offerings, such as search engine giant Google, I would be surprised if next year didn’t see a large launch of the new Microsoft HomeOS merchandise, and a tsunami of home appliances that encourage it.

More:
A Smaller, Cheaper Future of Home Automation
The Way Bluetooth 4.0 Will Change Remote Control

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Shapely Coral Sparks Summer Decor

Whether your home sits on the beach or at the top of a city skyscraper, a superbly shaped piece of coral can fit into any room. While we may traditionally think of them for beach homes or summer climate, these small bits of nature make great accessories for your landlocked also. Keep it simple with a little piece or include a coral lighting fixture or shelf in your decoration — whichever path you choose, coral natural shape is a chic addition to any layout scheme.

Burnham Design

A piece of real or faux coral using a striking silhouette can become a versatile accessory. While the organic colors are gorgeous, painting a piece to coordinate with all the space is a great option. Silver and gold are our favorites for adding play; fundamental white may tone down a glamorous scheme.

Joel Kelly Design

A larger piece of coral really can hold its own on a case piece. If you want coral which stands proudly, look for a piece with a flat underside. An acrylic foundation, a modest super-strong glue and you’re good to go!

Darci Goodman Design

Depending upon its proximity to waves and the shore, coral could take on all sorts of intriguing shapes. Branched coral such as this generally grows in calmer, deeper waters. Placed on a mirror, it turns into a reflective focal point.

Tiffany Eastman Interiors

A single parcel of coral makes a simple, crisp topper for a stack of novels.

Jessica Bennett Interiors

Red coral, seen in this bookcase, is perhaps the most precious type. Besides looking pretty, it’s reputed to relieve melancholy and excessive nervousness. Set a piece beside your bed for sweet dreams.

Moth Design

Coral Chandelier

A coral chandelier makes a gorgeous , point in any room.

Z Gallerie

Faux Coral – Ivory – $59.95

Faux coral is easy to discover and makes a great alternative to the real item for accessorizing.

Elte

Boca Coral Lamp

For a space that could use a touch of sea life, look at a coral lamp similar to this one.

Wisteria

Floating Coral Shelf – $49

These unique wall shelves would be perfect lining a hallway or as a twist on an object of art above a sofa.

More: Browse coral uncovers in the Products section

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Color Guide: How to Use Bright Yellow

There is a reason that the classic happy-face design is bright yellowish; it’s the cheeriest colour in the spectrum. It is the colour of sunshine, buttercups, lemons and dandelions.

In decorating bright yellow is frequently relegated to accessories. And no one is complaining about lemon yellow throw pillows or kitchen appliances; the colour works good as a focal point. But it does need to be used sparingly. In fact, you can set it anywhere — so long as you have a fantastic plan. Yellow will draw on the eye and eventually become an automatic focus.

Yellow’s perfect colour wheel date is purple, purple or indigo. It looks smashing with cool grays, navy blue and eggplant. Yellow also pairs well with other citrus tones (greens and oranges).

Bright yellow can slide between green and orange hues. Many yellows in decoration are inclined to be on the other hand, with peachy undertones. However there is lots of space for green-yellows too, especially in midcentury modern and contemporary modern design.

AIA, Mark English Architects

The Greens

A bright yellow (with lots of green inside) wakes up this kitchen, making it seem fresh and modern. Envision these walls in beige — see how boring that would be?

Ida Lifestyle

Yellow, especially green-yellow, and turquoise are a match made in heaven.

Heather Knight

More turquoise and yellow.

Tara Bussema – Neat Organization and Design

Blue gray with a light, cooldab. It adds a little heat and a wonderful focus. Delish.

Mark English Architects, AIA

An extremely modern greenish yellowish on a very modern landscape design. A warm yellowish wouldn’t have worked too with those lines and angles.

Gallagher Home Builders, Inc..

Bright citrus hues modernize this Craftsman detail whilst still paying respect to its lovely lines.

Tara Seawright Interior Design

Who says ceilings need to be white? This lemon yellow ceiling in an all-white kitchen is so fresh and modern and lush. Positive vibes only in a space like this.

Sherwin-Williams

Lively Yellow Paint

This very green yellowish almost walks the line between the 2 colors, but on a wall it reads as yellowish.

Benjamin Moore

Lemon Grass Paint

Another green-yellow that would be great with other citrus colors.

Erika Bierman Photography

The Warm Yellows

Warm yellow adds a glow to this eclectic living room and works well with the dollops of charcoal, orange and teal.

Tracy Murdock Allied ASID

Gray and bright yellow are the perfect couple. One is bright and outgoing, the other serious and solid. Together they’re all things rolled into one.

Elad Gonen

These lemon yellow seats are the perfect splash from this dark, neutral dining room. They add immediate attention and look good from the very warm, nearly brown gray walls.

Deep, vivid yellowish with warm, rich earth tones. I love this mix of modern and rustic, and the yellowish adds some playfulness to the entire shebang.

1800Lighting

Vintage lines don’t aways have to stick to neutrals and pastels. A very conventional room (check out the columns) in playful yellow and purple is a nice surprise.

Artistic Designs for Living, Tineke Triggs

A bright and incredibly daring yellow looks magnificent with a hot magenta and a darker eggplant.

Lizette Marie Interior Design

Warm, nearly ocher vertical subway tiles. Cozy and modern all at one time.

Benjamin Moore

Bold Yellow Paint

A bright yellow that is true. Do not be afraid!

Lowe’s

Valspar Lemon Parfait Paint

So hot, it’s nearly peach.

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Trellis

A trellis is a almost vertical, or vertical, grid composed of metal or wood strips set in a frame. It provides support.

APLD, Susan Cohan

A trellis can be a frame with latticework panels.

Frank & Grossman Landscape Contractors, Inc..

Or it may be far more complicated. This trellis combines lattice, fretwork and arches at a finished product that stands out without plants covering it.

Anne F Walters Company

Putting a trellis against a wall gives scaling vines a construction to cling to, saving the wall out of poisonous roots that may weaken it.

Robin Amorello, CKD CAPS – Atmoscaper Design

When vines or other climbing plants are placed close to a trellis, their spiraling tendrils automatically catch onto it. Freestanding trellises permit you to grow vertically even when a permanent structure isn’t offered.

Amy Renea

This wooden lattice, place on a diagonal, is an angled version of a traditional trellis. It is a fantastic alternative for supporting many fruits that are manicured, like cucumbers or cantaloupes.

Browse more trellis photographs

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Contemporary Four-Story Locate in San Francisco

After Amelia and Steve Hirsch heard a house renovated by architect John Maniscalco went on the market, they instantly jumped at the opportunity. The couple have always been attracted toward clean, contemporary design and had long admired Maniscalco’s work. They knew they couldn’t pass up a opportunity to own the house, which was created in 2003 from the esteemed architect, and so were pleased to bypass the hassle of going through a dull building process.

Amelia is a self explanatory interior decorator that specializes on producing clean, livable spaces. And Steve grew up with his mom, Barbara Hirsch, along with their exceptionally modern West Los Angeles house. With their combined backgrounds and interests, the couple created a contemporary, comfortable space satisfied to their family’s lifestyle.

in a Glance
Who lives here: Amelia and Steve Hirsch, along with their son Quincy
Location: Noe Valley neighborhood of San Francisco
Size: 3,100 square feet; 4 tales; 3 bedrooms, 3 baths
That is interesting: Quincy went to lecture with an architect’s kids.

Shannon Malone

The house originally had a much cooler colour palette, with white walls, blue glass and a metal staircase. Amelia and Steve added heat by painting yellow accent walls and design using earthy tones. “For us, the exterior inspires the interior,” says Amelia.

The home includes a very open floor plan, and Amelia says one of their main challenges was arranging the living room space within an kid-friendly manner which didn’t make it resemble a playroom. Built-in shelves keep things organized, furniture helps produce individual spaces with both purpose and character.

Couch: Room & Board; rug: one of a type from ABC Carpet & Home; yellowish side table: Propeller

Shannon Malone

As an interior decorator, Amelia finds it important to style with livability in mind. She also designed the space to be suitable for an energetic and growing 8-year-old son but to nevertheless meet the couple’s love of clean lines and clutter-free contemporary design.

Couch: Design Within Reach; paint: Cornbread, C2 Paint

Shannon Malone

The spacious floor plan is one of the couple’s favourite features of their house. They find the space more comfortable and social than houses painted by walls. Steve says he loves being able to sit down in one area and see all of the way to the other end of the home.

Leather chairs: B&B Italia

Shannon Malone

Locating a suitably scaled dining room table has been just another one of their design dilemmas. They went through three rectangular tables before Steve’s mother eventually recommended what was be the alternative: an oval-shaped table. The Saarinen table’s marble surface is custom created, and the table is paired with custom-upholstered Dune seats by ABC Carpet & Home.

Amelia created the banner hanging behind the table from wrapping paper for Thanksgiving dinner one year, and the family decided to keep it on the wall. “It’s how we wish to live,” says Amelia.

Shannon Malone

Shannon Malone

The slightly darker earthy hues in the kitchen, together with their kid’s art adorning the fridge, make for a warm and welcoming kitchen. The sleek kitchen cabinets are made from Anigre wood.

Rug: ABC Carpet & Home

Shannon Malone

Most walls have been painted with one of John Maniscalco’s favorite colors, White Dove by Benjamin Moore.

The couple purchased the cork vases from Palecek, and the mirror is from San Francisco Bay Area store Harvest Home.

Shannon Malone

The hardwood flooring throughout the house are jarrah wood. The couple admits the flooring can be high maintenance but consider the choice well worthwhile.

Shannon Malone

One of the couple’s favourite features of Maniscalco’s architecture is how he utilizes structure to manipulate light. The center of the house has no direct windows, but light comes in through the skylights shining in the top to bottom and bouncing off the walls.

Shannon Malone

A bright yellowish Tom Vac rocking chair by Ron Arad by a store in San Francisco adds cheerful colour to a staircase landing space and complements artwork by Amelia’s mother, JoAnn Hughes.

Shannon Malone

Warm, earthy tones and clean, contemporary design make for an attractive guest bedroom.

Painting: JoAnn Hughes; bed: Crate & Barrel

Shannon Malone

“Quincy gets the best room in the home,” jokes Amelia. The 8-year-old’s area is filled with sun, toys and kid-friendly art. Amelia advises parents to use large pieces of art like this print in children’s rooms. “It declutters the walls with just one large focal point, rather than various scattered bits, which can distract from the overall look of the space,” she states.

Bed: Custom upholstered from Room & Board; beanbag chair: Pottery Barn

Shannon Malone

One of Maniscalco’s signature design features is his use of storage. These built in units are observed throughout the house and are the best solution to the daily clutter of a busy household. “I enjoy wash, clutter-free spaces,” says Amelia.

Bed: Room & Board

Shannon Malone

“We feel as if we are on vacation once we are in our bedroom,” says the couple. With stunning views surrounding the master bedroom, both Amelia and Steve can relax and watch the sun rise and set.

Shannon Malone

Outside of the master bedroom is a small deck which overlooks San Francisco. “We love this city,” says Steve. “It has great outdoor spaces, and I love the accessibility. I walk to and from work every day.”

Amelia found this one-of-a type patio table at a neighborhood store.

Shannon Malone

The couple did not make any changes to the master bathroom. The gorgeous built-in storage unit and contemporary double sinks keep the space organized and relaxing.

Shannon Malone

Introducing art into the house was a method for the few to make the space their own. Though they are thrilled to be “done” with the home, they say that they would love to add more art.The painting hanging above the tub is just another unique piece by JoAnn Hughes.

Shannon Malone

The top attic floor of the house was originally supposed to be utilized as an office space, but the base floor became the office and gym, and this space was turned into a media room and playroom rather than A glass floor leads the way into the space, fully equipped with a flat-screen TV, a unique couch with detachable bits and Steve’s electric guitar. Additionally, it leads to an wonderful outdoor deck.

Shannon Malone

One of the major renovations was the construction of patios and decks. The few converted the original rooftop into a scenic wooden patio overlooking town and the bay, with glass siding to security.

Patio furniture: Room & Board

Shannon Malone

The downstairs space doubles as a home office and a gym. It leads to the deck.

Desks: Custom created by Room & Board

Shannon Malone

Amelia and Steve added the rear deck as another outdoor lounging space.

Furniture: Room & Board

Shannon Malone

The contemporaryrear exterior of the residence is an excellent representation of the aesthetic of Maniscalco. The original home was identical to their neighbor’s conventional San Francisco home but was remodeled by Maniscalco to give it a fresh, new look.

Shannon Malone

Front is much more conventional than most Maniscalco houses, but the few added the metal rail and larger street numbers “to give it a little advantage,” says Steve.

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