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 cliché. 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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10 Broad-Stroke Ideas for Selecting and Displaying Art

Art can pull a room together, although the ideal ways to exhibit it can seem evasive. We hope the artwork we exhibit does not feel to be an attachment into the furniture. We need it to reflect a sense of our tastes and deeper selves. And so searching for the ideal piece — and the ideal spot for it — can be intimidating, a challenge that people set off. Here is help so that you may rise to the challenge.

Blue Tangerine Art

A combination of paintings, sculpture and photographs collected over time and journeys weaves a layered tapestry about the interests and aesthetic. Consider which medium you prefer and where your tastes lean before you start shopping. The goal is to pinpoint bits that mean something to you personally, not simply choose decor to meet wall space.

Upscale Construction

Ascertain how much space you have available and search for bits which are the ideal size. A rule of thumb is to get the artwork fill two-thirds into three-quarters of the wall. Size matters — for modern art, bigger is far better to maximize effect.

Beckwith Interiors

Another rule of thumb for hanging artwork would be to centre it at eye level. Consider if you’ll usually be sitting or standing in the space, and select your eye-level elevation so.

Twenty7 design

Photography looks best mounted in Plexiglas or acrylic frames. Dare to be edgy when utilizing art photography.


When hanging art above a sofa or another piece of furniture, like a credenza, keep the bottom edge of the frame 6 to 12 inches above the furniture.

Thom Filicia Inc..

Large-scale bits can be more expensive. If you can not make that form of investment yet, create a gallery wall of prints piled together to take the place of a big piece. Reframe bits you already own to give them a brand new life.


For a budget-friendly piece, stretch a handsome, high-quality cloth across a clean canvas or stretcher bars.

Wish to Inspire

A constant question is how to integrate a flat-screen TV to a design strategy. A lively gallery wall can help.

Dayne Keating

Use works by the same artist or works which have a common style to bring cohesiveness and a curated feel to the artwork on display. Notice the way the red pillows and pomegranates complement the red tones in the artwork.

Croma Design Inc

Try making artwork the inspiration stage for a whole room’s color palette and material options. Does not this tranquil bedroom look like it had been informed by the art, rather than the art being added in the end?

Dillard Pierce Design Associates

Your turn: Have you made artwork a showstopping centerpiece in your property?

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What's the Big Idea? In Architecture, It's the Parti Pris

The term”parti pris,” generally abbreviated to”parti,” literally translates as”passing point,” however in architect lingo it often refers to the project layout’s big idea. It signifies an architect’s entire guiding idea for a design. As such, a parti generally has less to do with technical, fiscal and technical issues and much more to do with perspective, massing, scale, transparency, opaqueness and other architectural problems. While not every design starts with a parti pris, it’s typically better as it does. The overall guiding idea, or passing point, can strengthen the last result, as the design won’t become confused.

An architect will generally tell you up front what the parti is to get the design. If not, be certain to ask. It is one way of earning certain that you and your architect are on the same page as you work together to create the house of your dreams.

By the way, the term, which is French, probably originated in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, the 19th-century French architecture college.

Yamamar layout

The parti pris, or large concept, could be on the home becoming translucent and framing viewpoints. A horizontally composed linear band draws the eye in this one, even though a vertical totem arrests which motion. The architectural idea is to control sight lines and highlight the stunning view.

Scott Allen Architecture

Scott Allen Architecture

Perhaps the large idea is to get the home”disappear” in the entry side (this photo), seemingly hiding at a park-like setting so that it can be a party of light and transparency in the water’s-edge side (previous photograph ).

Kristina Wolf Design

Perhaps the large idea is to reestablish an old firehouse, breathing new life and another use into the structure. A desire to retain remnants of this original use would surely qualify as a passing point for the overall design.

Elliott + Elliott Architecture

Perhaps the large idea is to create a set of little houses, each with its own function yet grouped together to make a family room. Such a parti yields a very different house than just one where each of the functions are gathered under one roof.

Torsten Ottesjö

Perhaps the large idea is to be little and anything but standard.

Demerly Architects

Perhaps the large idea is to respect a component of the context whilst trying to accomplish something entirely modern. While the form this is of a classic gabled roof home as a child would draw it, the overall effect is just one of modernity.

Perhaps the significant idea is in how the floor plan is composed. An L-shaped plan which creates different public and private legs that open to exactly the same terrace provides the passing point for your own design.

Tell us What big idea would you love to utilize for your house?

More: 8 Things Successful Architects and Designers Do

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A 'Portlandia' Home Raises an Eyebrow

The aptly nicknamed Eyebrow House catches the attention of anyone who walks past it — just as it did with all the location scouts for IFC’s hit cable show Portlandia. The spaceship-style back and advanced interior helped to inspire and set the scene for the plight of an alien played with a durian fruit at the episode “Feminist Bookstore’s 10th Anniversary.”

However, before this home was famous, it had been just a plain-Jane 1941 artificial Cape Cod home. Because it had no major period details to speak of, architect Edgar Papazian treated it as a blank slate for his brand new family home. Increasing square footage was a must, but he wished to do it at a sensible but one of a kind manner, blending new and old elements to make a really original home that is no doubt appreciated by the present owners as well.

at a Glance
Developed for: Edgar Papazian, girl Giovanna and spouse Michelle Lenzi
Location: Mount Tabor neighborhood of Southeast Portland, Oregon
Size: 1,300 square feet; 3 bedrooms, two baths

In the episode, an exotic durian fruit comes to existence, finally taking off because of its alien world in this quirky residence. It’s easy to see where the spaceship feel comes from if you have a look at the back of the home. After the episode aired, Papazian discovered that the author had actually changed the sketch when he saw the home, giving it a bigger role.

Curves stick out on the house’s previously boxy shape and keep into the interior. The new curving shapes reflect a more modern sensibility and draw the attention to the home.

The curved addition on the second floor resembles a single raised eyebrow. Originally this upstairs space was a narrow attic-like room. Adding more room upstairs would ordinarily mean utilizing dormers, but Papazian thought it’d give the little house a top-heavy look. Instead he used steel galvanized arches, which make more room but still allow for a streamlined exterior. White asphalt roofing reduces solar gain.

House amounts: Atlas; front door manage: George Ranalli, Lock-It

Steelmaster galvanized arches compose the curved shape and the interior finish of the upstairs bedrooms. Normally these arches help make Quonset huts.

Carpet: Shirt Stripe Button Down and French Cuff, Flor; java table: Alexander Girard, Knoll

The steel arches bring the spaceship feel inside, too. It seems fitting that the floating, luminous alien durian would call this place home.

To insulate the arched roof, Papazian came up with a method with purlins bolted on top of the arches. Sheathing and roofing connected to the purlins, and soy-based foam insulating material, fill the pit between the roofing and the galvanized arches.

The new addition also left space for Papazian’s daughter’s bedroom. While the arched upstairs allowed for additional square footage without expanding the property’s footprint, in addition, it meant that the rest of the 70-year-old home needed an entire structural renovation. The majority of the home was reframed and updated to take the new burden upstairs and suit local seismic codes.

Curved forms carry into the toilet; notice that the slope of the ceiling, the penny tile, the oval bathtub along with the round bathroom lovers.

Bathroom tile: Ann Sacks Savoy penny tile; toilets: Toto dual-flush; wall mounted sink: Villeroy & Boch, Oblic; hydronic towel warmers: Runtal, Fain

The curves continue down the stairs and around the primary bookcase — that Portlandia fans might remember the durian having to contact its home world.

During filming, Papazian must walk through the home to learn how they had set this up. “It was rather odd,” he states. “Books organized by colour, strange devices and knickknacks decorating the shelves. … It’s very odd seeing your home represented to you on a screen that you watch all other kinds of shows.”

Papazian moved the kitchen from the front to the back of the home, creating a continuous living and dining room with a transparent view of the garden. The kitchen was created as the middle of the home, since that’s where the family spent most of the time while they had been living there. “To me, with the cultural emphasis on food nowadays, the kitchen is actually the living area of our days,” he states.

Refrigerator: LG; cabinetry: Ankrum Nexus, Ikea; hood: Franke, Tube; cooker: Franke

Papazian spent about $15,000 on the kitchen. Cabinetry, countertops and shelving from Ikea helped cut down on cost. The butcher block counters flow visually with the fir tongue and groove siding onto the back deck out. Windows supporting the Ikea cabinets flip them into shining boxes on sunny days — the Portlandia durian also used this area to call its home world.

Two Ikea base cabinets topped with Ikea butcher block compose the massive island. Papazian had the curved borders added to replicate the shapes of the local central bookcase, drawer pulls and curved range hood.

The dining area, connected to the kitchen, shares the same clear view of the expansive, private backyard, with cedar and fir trees. Originally, two bedrooms sat at the back of the home, but their miniature windows did not take advantage of the lavish view.

Living chairs: vintage Series 7, Arne Jacobsen

The living area is still preserved in its original shape at the front of the home. A brand new fireplace and curved mantel jut softly out to the simple room. The first refinished and stained bamboo flooring now have radiant warmth, backed by a gas–fired tankless water heater.

Sofa: Natuzzi

The house’s joists — mixed with fresh ones — along with the outside walls are a few of the only remaining original capabilities. Everything’s been bolstered to match local code. This steel pillar, one of several throughout the home, helps bear the load of the new upstairs inclusion.

Bird feeder: Egg, J. Schatz

Despite the new renovations, this home still honors its origins. A number of the houses in this part of Southeast Portland were constructed by precisely the same developer, who consistently utilized painted cedar siding. When Papazian needed to rip out the first siding, then he replaced it with cedar Tyvek siding.

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Copyright h o m e s t a y b e i j i n g 2 0 0 8 2019