Guest Groups: Elegant Master Bedroom, An Earthy

Developing a master bedroom which manages to feel feminine and relaxing without alienating my spouse is like looking for the Holy Grail. I find mixing strong, earthy components with some subtle glam notes such as furry pillows and gilded accessories strikes the perfect note. Herewith is a bedroom which will make us both happy. — Joslyn from Simple Lovely


Woodland Slumber Canopy Bed, Beige – $2,998

This contemporary take on a canopy bed manages to feel masculine and intimate at the same time, which is not an easy feat.


Woods Poster by Debbie Carlos – $50

Debbie Carlos’s giant”Woods” poster is dreamy and a little mysterious. I’d splurge on a giant gilt frame and hang on this on the bed.

West Elm

Mongolian Lamb Pillow Cover – $54

These pillows manage to feel organic and luxe at once. I particularly love that dove gray.


Arimatsu Quilt – $98

This Shibori-dyed quilt feels unique and handmade. It injects some spirit to the space.

Design Within Reach

Møller Model 63A Bench – $760

An iconic, streamlined bench will be perfect perched at the foot of the bed.

West Elm

Glazed Pillow Cover – $24

I’d mix these gilded pillows in with the furry ones to temper the earthiness and up the glam ratio!

Pottery Barn

Scallop-Knit Throw – $99

This throw is chunky and practical but nevertheless sports a fairly scalloped edge.


Jensen Chair – $1,128

I’m crazy about DwellStudio’s new furniture line. I’d really like to put one of those chairs in the corner of the bedroom for hanging out and studying.


Round Manage Basket: Large – $40

A big basket next to the bed to get stashing magazines and blankets is an essential in each bedroom.


Driftwood Console – $3,295

This console is amazing, dramatic and surprising for a bedroom. I’d put it across from the bed and arrange a salon-style wall of art over it.


Abstract Painting by Swalla Studio – $59.95

This little jewel of a painting adds a bit of subtle color to the space.

The Summer Project

Tokalon II – $150

The blush pink in this painting is just the ideal amount of feminine without being on the top.

West Elm

Wood Tiled 3-Drawer Dresser – $699

I’d really like to find these on both sides of the bed doing dual duty as nightstands and individual dressers. The timber tile detail on front is extremely unique.

Lamps Plus

Elexis Stained Crackle Porcelain with Gunmetal Table Lamp – $429.91

I’m crazy about the detail on this lamp. I think one on both sides of the bed would add so much personality to the distance.

Luke Irwin

Luke Irwin Ikat 14

Luke Irwin’s rugs are true heirlooms; they’re like art for your floor. I’d use this to anchor the entire room.

J Schatz

J Schatz Ridge Nesting Bowls – $180

I’d use this gorgeous J Shatz gold nesting bowl to stash rings and bracelets.


Waving Stripes Curtain – – $108

These drapes are thick enough to obstruct morning lighting without feeling jarring.


Numi Candle Holders – $4.95

I’m a massive fan of those delicate glass candle holders from CB2. I’d buy several to group on the dresser. And the price is great too!


Iron Taper Black Candle Holder – $7.95

I’d mix some of these little iron taper holders using a few glass ones to add a rustic element.


Succulent Plants by Tall Poppy Gardens – $16.50

Low-maintenance succulents are perfect near a bright window in the bedroom.

Next: More delightful bedroom finds

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Dip a Toe Into Modern Nautical Style

As with any topic, it’s important not to go overboard with nautical. Ha! Get it? Overboard.

Ahem, anyway. I really like nautical stuff: ropes, navy blue, stripes, wool, canvas, buoys and lanterns. But too much of a fantastic thing and it can look just like you are opening a Long John Silver’s. So sign at it with materials, accessories, colors and even textures. You do not need a boat in a bottle or a chainsaw sculpture of a salty old priest to communicate your love of their water. Go easy, go modern, and your house can be as fresh as a sea breeze.

OK, no more corny seafaring puns. Just 17 beautiful examples of modern nautical done correctly.

Woodmeister Master Builders

Just look at this understated cutie. A single octopus cushion along with a row of ship’s instruments in an open, white space produce a nautical sense without being too obvious about it.

Some navy blue, a couple stripes, a cute styled vintage bathing suit and a little boat on a shelf. Oh, there’s definitely a theme here, but it’s not cloying. (I would eliminate that lighthouse, however — too much)

Artistic Designs for Living, Tineke Triggs

This nursery succeeds to really have a motif but to remain calm about it. A single sailboat and that steering wheel onto the orange chair are just the right hints. We get it. It is lovely.

Richard Bubnowski Design LLC

Obviously this nautical motif benefits from its location and view. But that ship’s lamp is a really wonderful touch too.

CWB Architects

I adore this. Nothing about it’s obviously nautical, but that very simple cream and navy striped wool blanket is sufficient to send me directly to seafaring paradise.

Life in the Fun Lane

It is the painting which does it. Don’t you agree? I’d maybe add a single rope knot or glass float to complete the tableau.

Bockman + Forbes Design

The rope banister is certainly clever, but what I really love are the stenciled numbers on the measures. They remind me of steamer trunks.

Rethink Design Studio

This bedroom manages to attain that clanging, down-by-the-dock setting with a navy throw rug and rope pulls the canvas drapes. It is about stuff; there’s not an anchor or a spyglass in sight.

Rethink Design Studio

See the rope and canvas drapes. These, together with a couple of vintage beach-theme trinkets and mirrors shaped like portholes, achieve perfect modern climatic equilibrium.

Zhush LLC

Nautical Knot Door Stopper – $52

A knot doorstop. It is nautical, but it’s not too”Ahoy, matey!”

The Lettered Cottage

A knotted doorstop doesn’t need to be a doorstop whatsoever it. It may be a bookend or a giant paper weight, or just something pretty and boaty to add into a vignette.

Thom Filicia Inc..

Vintage (or made-to-look-vintage) glass fishing floats are amazing in their own right. With some other bits — here a rope knot and some lanterns — they can help make an authentic vintage nautical look.

Cristi Holcombe Interiors, LLC

One easy glass float is well worth a thousand sea chanties.


Thomaspaul – Anchor Pillow – $70

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the judicious use of anchors.

CapeRace Cultural Adventures

I adore this display of found ocean objects. It is modern and true all at once.


Vintage Brass Ship’s Bell With Rope Nautical Decor by Bird in Hand – $32

A supper bell worthy of a priest. I really could get used to calling the troops with this brass beauty.

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Decorate With Intention: Love Your Living Room

Do you adore your living room? When you are ready to unwind, curl up with a fantastic book, watch TV or hang out with friends, is your living room a location that brings relaxation, entertainment and a feeling of harmony? For a lot of us, our living rooms fall short in at least one area. Here is some troubleshooting for common issues.

First, think about these common living room design issues:
Lacks focusAwkward flowToo smallJust doesn’t feel attracted togetherPoor lightingBoringToo formal or overly casualDo some of these fit your room? Select your solutions below.

Jute Interior Design

Dilemma: Lacks concentrate
Option: Supersize your own accessories.

Bitty little candles, vases and knickknacks lose impact when spread across the room. Instead, choose large-scale mirrors and artwork, and chunky vases and objets d’art. If your room has a fireplace (working or not), it’s a natural focal point, so make sure you place a couple of accessories (a group of three works well) and a mirror over to reflect light.

A notice on fireplaces: when you have a working fireplace, maintain a neat pile of timber nearby and it will feel all the more cozy, even when a fire is not lit. In case you have a nonworking fireplace, then try filling it to the brim with cut timber, novels (pages facing, not spines) or a bunch of hurricane lanterns.

California Home + Design

Dilemma: Awkward flow
Option: Rethink your furniture arrangement.

If it seems awkward to maneuver throughout your living room, it may be time to roll your sleeves up and move that furniture. If you would like to save yourself some unnecessary heavy lifting, then draw the new design on paper first or use a free online tool (search “free floor plan”). When you are ready to get going, here are a few things to remember:

• Seating should be positioned close enough that conversations are simple, but with enough room to easily get into and from the seating area.
• Pull your furniture away from the walls to produce a more dynamic arrangement. In case you have the room, placing a long narrow table behind your sofa can help avoid that “floating” feeling.
• Notice the route from the door to every seat in the room. Is it a straight shooter, or do your own need to swerve furniture around? Aim to have a softly flowing route to every seat.

Alex Amend Photography

Dilemma: Feeling the pinch in a small space
Option: It’s all a matter of scale.

It may seem counterintuitive, but if you have a tiny room it may actually seem larger when filled up with large, comfortable furniture. The secret is to find bits that fill the area without overpowering it. An L-shape sofa works especially well in tiny rooms, and also a straight-backed armchair feels large without taking up too much floor area.

On the flip side, avoid needless space wasters, such as overstuffed seats, rolled-arm couches and colossal coffee tables.

Elizabeth Gordon

Dilemma: Only doesn’t feel pulled together
Option: Use symmetry to add polish.

Adding a couple of symmetrical components is a timeless decorator fix. Pairs of fitting lamps, vases or stools, or two couches facing each other operate well. Just bear in mind that too much symmetry can feel stiff, so set that last seat a bit askew or create an asymmetrical arrangement in your mantel to loosen things up.

LKM Design

Dilemma: Poor or unflattering lighting
Option: Insert more light sources but lower the wattage.

You would be amazed at the difference appropriate lighting can create. Try to have at least three light sources in the room, and frankly, more is better. Overhead fixtures can be great, with the caveat that they’re on a dimmer switch and supplemented with floor or table lamps.

Listed below are a few more things to remember when lighting your living room.

• Sconces are a great choice when floor and table space is tight. Swing-arm lights operate well as task lighting over reading seats.
• Fill dark corners with little pools of light. Lighting the corners of your room will make it feel bigger.
• Utilize lower-wattage bulbs but more lamps to create a warm, luminous effect.

Thom Filicia Inc..

Dilemma: Bland and dull
Option: Spice things up with rich details.

A room without books and intriguing fabrics can feel bland. If your living room is filled with accessories and furniture, it may be time to mark your calender and reach on a few local flea markets and antiques fairs. Quirky items are excellent conversation starters, and having intriguing books and artwork around makes life more gratifying. Background or a textured wallcovering like grass cloth may also add a sense of history and depth.

A notice on mirrors: I believe most decorators would concur that a room is not complete without a mirror. Some mirrors are meant to be looked in, it’s correct, but at times the ideal location to get a mirror is where it can’t be seen right into straight. On the mantel or a top bookcase might not be great for checking out of your outfit, but it is going to reflect light and perspectives and add a wonderful sense of depth to the room. Don’t always choose a rectangular mirror — ring mirrors are a classic choice, and a pair of square mirrors hung side by side is quite chic.

Wendi Young Design

Dilemma: Too formal
Option: Tailor the room to your actual life.

Mature homes especially are more apt to have a “formal” living room along with the more laid-back den or TV room, and suppose that one has used more often? While the attraction of display time is excellent, you can lure family members and friends to the living room by just introducing a more relaxed vibe. Listed below are a few ways to do precisely that.

• The trend in formal rooms is to place furniture farther apart, which may feel uncomfortable and stiff. Instead, pull your seats near the couch and table for a more intimate feel.
• in the event that you like taking snacks and tea to the living room, or you also like to play cards, why not use a counter table table? You may find some great ones in vintage shops, and there’s something a little bit different about using a tall coffee table which feels warm and friendly.
• Fill a basket with board games and cards, stock up on soft blankets to flake out and very good books to read, and also this chamber could become the new favorite rainy-day hangout place.
• Assess the comfort level. Are the seats worth sitting in? Are the fabrics so valuable that people are afraid to sit? Consider swapping out a few things to deliver the formality down a notch.

Elza B. Design, Inc..

Dilemma: Too casual
Option: Refine the colour palette and add crisp storage options.

Should you stay away from bringing business in your living room because it has turned into a cave for viewing TV and nothing more, it’s time to give your room a lift. Listed below are a few ideas.

• Maintain your colour palette tight. 2 main colours (one “safe” colour like light blue and one punchy shade like raspberry, to be utilised in smaller doses) and one neutral (white consistently works) are a lot.
• If your upholstery is severely sagging, think about having it redone or even buy a new piece. If the cloth itself is nice but the seat sags, look into having your cushions restuffed (much less costly than reupholstering).
• Add art and fun details. A fantastic tea tray, a fresh throw plus a sweet small vase for flowers can perform wonders.
• Hide away the media mess — DVDs, gaming gear and the like — in crisp, matching bins or boxes.

The Family Home: Living Rooms You Can Stay In
Can Your Living Room Be Better Without a Sofa?

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Who Could Foreclose on a Homeowner?

While foreclosure most frequently is hunted by mortgage lenders if their borrowers default, these lenders aren’t the only parties permitted to seek it. For instance, tax foreclosure can be and frequently is hunted by authorities at various levels. Additionally, property lien holders can foreclose their debtors’ properties to fulfill their liens; however, most choose to not work out their foreclosure rights.

Home Loan Foreclosures

Mortgage lender foreclosure is very common in regards to the occasion. Also, out of tax liens, the first mortgage lien on a residence is superior to all other property liens. After any tax liens, the first mortgage lien on a property’s title is settled first in the event of foreclosure. Even when a home is foreclosed by inferior lien holders, the first mortgage lien is paid first before all other liens, always excepting for tax liens.

Tax Lien Foreclosures

Another common type of foreclosure that homeowners experience must do with their property or other taxes owed. For instance, the IRS can place a tax lien on a home and then grab it. Also, governments frequently attach liens on properties because of their delinquent real estate taxes. Government property tax lien foreclosure typically occurs one to two years following unpaid property taxes accrue. Mortgage lenders especially fear tax lien foreclosure because it can wipe from the creditors’ own liens in the process.

Additional Lienholder Foreclosures

All property liens attach to a property’s title and they can, therefore, cause property foreclosure to fulfill them. Lenders on second, third party and other homeowners and mortgages associations can foreclose a homeowner to fulfill their liens. Likewise, creditors can attach liens to a homeowner’s title and attempt to foreclose. However, because first mortgage lien holders are exceptional, inferior lien holders typically do not foreclose because there may not be enough left over to fulfill their particular liens.

Deficiency Judgments

Problems might not be over for homeowners for a variety of liens. Post- foreclosure, the foreclosing lien holder may be permitted to pursue the property owner for accounts on its arrogance which went unsettled by the foreclosure. Additionally, subordinate lien holders whose liens weren’t eliminated from the foreclosing lien holder’s foreclosure activity could seek repayment of the very own liens. Lien holders using liens that survive a property’s foreclosure frequently go to court to get lack judgments to compel property owners to settle their liens.

Lien Foreclosure Laws

Property lien settlement laws, after a property’s foreclosure, can be complicated. As an example, California doesn’t allow foreclosing first mortgage lenders to seek lack judgments if they foreclose nonjudicially, or with no courts. Also, based on the circumstance, California inferior lien holders may or might not have the capacity to seek out lack judgments following exceptional lien holder foreclosure. Last, real estate tax lien foreclosure laws frequently result in the elimination of all other property title liens to allow for this particular property’s resale from the government.

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Leaf Size for an October Glory

Growing to 50 feet tall, “October Glory” maple (Acer rubrum “October Glory”) has a curved, oval canopy. “October Glory” maple’s leaves grow 2 to 5 inches long and 3 to 6 inches across. The tree grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 9.

Leaf Characteristics

The recently emerging leaves of “October Glory” maple are red and turn a medium to dark green on the tops and grayish-green over the undersides as they mature. The leaves have serrated edges, are made from three to five triangular lobes, and grow opposite each other along the branches.

Color Factors

“October Glory” maple’s leaves remain green longer to fall compared to those of other maples. When they do change, in some cases not until after the first frost, the leaves vary in color from yellow and orange to crimson.

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How to Use 1-Inch vs. 2-Inch Cedar Wood for Raised Garden Beds

When you’re ready to construct a raised garden bed, cedar is a great selection for prolonging the life of the bed without needing to take care of it with chemicals. Whether you pick 1- or 2-inch thick wood is dependent upon a few things. No matter which you use, remember that 1-inch thick lumber is actually only 3/4-inch thick, while 2-inch lumber is 1 1/2 inches thick. And several of the cedars we use for building outdoor structures aren’t true cedars (Cedrus spp), however, also are part of the cypress family (Cupressaceae).


When building the sides of the raised bed garden, strength is important. Raised beds are typically 6 inches tall to get blooms and most vegetables, however, the beds to get root vegetables are up to 12 inches tall. Taller beds require more soil and result in more pressure exerted on the sides. When screwed together at the corners, thicker 2-inch wood is stronger than 1-inch, which makes it a better choice for bigger beds. But if you want to keep prices down, you can increase the strength of 1-inch cedar by attaching it into 4-by-4-inch corner articles using 3-inch deck screws.


Whether you pick 1- or 2-inch cedar boards to build your raised beds, then you want them to last as long as you possibly can. Thicker wood lasts years longer than thinner, and boards made of heartwood last longer than ones made from sapwood. Heartwood comes from the center of the tree and contains additional rot-resistant oils. Sapwood is located just under the bark. It’s softer and decays considerably more quickly than heartwood.


Cedar is precious for its ability to resist rot and insects strikes, however, its price keeps some people from using it. You can make it even more affordable by lining the interior of the boards using 6-mil black plastic. This keeps moisture off of the boards, when watering, prolonging the life of the raised bed. Don’t run the plastic across the breadth of the bed or you will create drainage issues. But because of the possibility of toxins leaching from the plastic, some gardeners do not consider growing in plastic-lined beds consistent with organic practice.


Eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana) is the most durable of all the cedars. It’s knotty and when left untreated, the heartwood can last 30 years or longer, even when in contact with soil. It resists insect strikes nicely and is the most expensive of the cedar species. It’s native to the eastern United States, where it rises in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 2 through 9. Western redcedar (Thuja plicata) rises from the Pacific Northwest at USDA zones 6 though 8. It resists rot for 10 to 25 years and is not as immune to pest attacks as eastern red cedar. Northern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis) resists termites and lasts about five to 15 years. It’s often used for making outdoor furniture and rises in USDA zones 2 through 7 at the northeast United States. Cedar sorts are more likely to be available in their native areas and at a more cost-effective price.

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A Sports Bar at the Family Room

Unique design starts with a dilemma. Keith Gregor’s and Sherry was twofold. For one, they’d spent 10 years trying to figure out precisely what to do with their 500-square-foot family room. Then one afternoon they sat down with their two teenaged sons in the area to watch sports and recognized their favourite football teams — the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals and the University of Cincinnati Bearcats — were playing in the exact same time.

To solve the second dilemma, they hauled in an extra TV and watched both games side by side. “Out of laziness it remained that way for a while,” Sherry says. “I then got to thinking, ‘This could work. Why not just turn it into a sports bar?'”

Before Photo

Transformations Custom Wood Design

After all, while the decor exuded family on the outside — a large family photograph hung over the fireplace, and also the word “household” was exhibited on a shelf — the space didn’t quite function for their real needs. This really is. Keith was a championship point guard for the University of Cincinnati; his dad played in the NBA in the late ’60s and ’70s; Sherry had season tickets to the Cincinnati Reds rising up; and their 14-year-old son is a sports enthusiast, too.

“Everything we did, it didn’t seem like it filled up the space,” Sherry says. “I never enjoyed it. In 10 years it never looked decent.”

The only logical thing to do was build a sports pub.

Transformations Custom Wood Design

AFTER: And today … match on. The area has everything a sports fan could need: multiple TVs, a full bar, two fridges for wine and beer, stadium-style recliner chairs, a cushioned booth and memorabilia signed by some of baseball’s and football’s best athletes.

But while the Gregors had the eyesight, they needed someone to build it. They met custom wood designer Doug Roth in the Cincinnati Home & Garden show and explained their plan, not sure if they would be met with open or confusion arms. “I was like, ‘Sweet! ”’ Roth says. “I really like to do something no one else has.”

He explained he wanted to make it look like the Fox and the Hound Irish bar in Cincinnati, a dark-paneled, masculine-leaning area. “I immediately knew precisely what this must seem like,” he says.

After checking out the bar, the Gregors said “cheers” into Roth’s approach. “When those paneled walls went up, it grew much bigger and turned out quite awesome,” Sherry says.

Transformations Custom Wood Design

They originally wanted all the TVs on the fireplace wall, figuring because they never really made fires, they would simply tear it down. However, Roth found that if the focus was pointed the other way, they would get 2 extra feet of space behind the seats, giving them space to get a corner stall.

Now a 65-inch TV hangs over the fireplace mantel, which can be adorned with football helmets from several groups: the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Bengals, Oak Hills high school and Ohio State University.

Transformations Custom Wood Design

On the primary viewing wall, two 60-inch TVs flank an 80-inch one in the center, over which is a ticker that continuously scrolls sports scores and news. The area includes two hinges on the left one for wine, another for beer and soda. Most importantly them LEDs illuminate spirits that are hard. Roth made the cabinets and additional columns for extra detail.

The wall panels are stained solid walnut 1-by-4s. The center is one big piece that Roth constructed in the living space, then hoisted up.

Transformations Custom Wood Design

The Gregors purchased this cushioned vinyl bench online. Roth then added trim to the bottom to make it blend in with all the millwork. He made the table, too.

The jersey, photos and little shelf of championship rings are from Keith’s college days. The large bobble head is your Cincinnati Reds mascot.

Transformations Custom Wood Design

The reddish chair back is in the old Riverfront Stadium’s seat. It’s signed by former Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench, whose group number was 5. Pictures and bats signed by Cincinnati Reds players are also exhibited.

Transformations Custom Wood Design

Keith and Sherry met in a Taco Bell in college — she attended Ohio State University — and a neon sign reminds them of their early days as a couple.

Transformations Custom Wood Design

The space is installed using a raised platform and stadium-style seating. The Gregors’ oldest teenaged son loves theater and movie, so the space functions as an incredible movie-watching room, too.

But, needless to say, using a radical transformation similar to this, there are guaranteed to be naysayers questioning your own judgment. The Gregors simply plowed forwards as though they had been returning a punt.

“My father was like, ‘Why would you do this?'” Sherry says. “The neighbors said, ‘Why don’t you get it done in the basement?’ Since I don’t wish to go down to the basement,” she says. “Everybody hangs out in the kitchen. It simply made sense to do it all in one area. Obviously, all of them love it today. Now that they’ve seen it, their mind has changed. It’s been packed ever since.”

Next: London ambience in a New York basement

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Kitchen Evolution: Function Alter the Triangle

When I started studying kitchen layout many (many!) Years ago, I heard all about the much-venerated kitchen work — in which the fridge, range and sink have been placed 4 to 9 feet apart, forming a roughly equilateral triangle. This design principle was developed back when many folks had smaller, closed-off kitchens, where only 1 person prepared and cleaned up dishes. It’s an efficient way to lay out appliances and the sink at a tiny closed or semiclosed kitchen.

The work triangle is still practical today, but with kitchens that now run the gamut from miniature single-wall galleys up to big open-plan kitchens, it is more helpful to think in terms of work zones rather.

Ward-Young Architecture & Planning – Truckee, CA

Work zones are just the normal evolution of the kitchen work triangle. As kitchens grew in size and opened up to additional rooms in the home, it became more of a challenge to place appliances at a neat triangular layout. In addition, we have more appliances than ever before — dishwashers, extra sinks, microwaves, independent cooktops and wall ovens — not to mention more individuals working and interacting in the space. By sectioning off your kitchen into work zones, you’ll maximize efficiency in a bigger space; more cooks, as well as their guests, will be adapted.

ID by Gwen

Group appliances and fixtures according to use. To set up work zones on your kitchen, think of the activities that you perform regularly: keeping food, homework, cooking, baking, serving, eating, cleaning, making coffee, chilling wine etc.. A work zone contains whatever you use to perform each job.

For example, you should place your dishwasher next to your sink, with a compost bin and a garbage bin nearby to streamline kitchen cleanup.

First Lamp

Store what you want where you want it most. As well as group appliances and fixtures according to use, give yourself sufficient storage in every zone for everything you want to perform the job.

This wood-topped baking zone is perfect for kneading bread or rolling out pizza dough. All the bread-making and baking tools can be kept in the cabinets under. Someone can quickly work at this channel while another individual prepares food in another portion of the kitchen.

Sinclair Associates Architects

Supply landing areas alongside significant appliances. For security and efficiency, consider putting a countertop landing place next to your major kitchen appliances, particularly the stove, cooktop, microwave and wall ovens.

That you want to be able to rapidly set something down hot without having to trek halfway across your kitchen. This will also give you a cooking work zone; you can store items like knives, cutting boards and pots and pans from the cabinets and use the countertops for cooking and chopping homework.

MAKE Design Studio

Produce a kids’ zone. When you have kids and a good-size space, set up a place from the kitchen where the children can hang out, do homework and eat snacks. This will make it possible for you to all be from the kitchen together with no little ones getting underfoot.

Fivecat Studio | Architecture

Take a zone for your guests. When you have an open kitchen and prefer to entertain frequently, you know how important it’s to have a place where guests can hang out and chat while you prepare meals and beverages. A huge island or peninsula works nicely for this, because it can work as a barrier that prevents individuals from getting in your way while also giving them a place to perch while you work. Again, consider the items you use for serving and entertaining, and keep them in the cabinets under so that you can readily access them.

Homes From Architects Tour

Widen the aisles. Whether you opt for the conventional work triangle or to divide your kitchen into work zones, pay attention to a kitchen aisle widths. The suggested minimum aisle width is 42 inches, however I prefer 48 inches, particularly in kitchens with numerous cooks. Should you cook and entertain frequently and have the distance, you can go as wide as 54 inches. Wider than that, though, and your distance will probably become ineffective, as you’ll spend more time walking than cooking.

Tell us Does your kitchen have a zones or triangle? How does the layout work (or not) for you?

Read more about kitchen designs

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Just Add Water: Rain Barrel Magic

Harvesting rainwater is an old idea that is gaining more adherents as water issues impact more and more of us. It is a practical strategy — you collect the water which would otherwise drain off your roof and use it to water your garden. The one disadvantage has always been seems. Most rain barrels were plastic containers which didn’t add much to the general landscape, a consideration that has been made even more obvious from the fact that their place, in the end of a rain or gutter series, made them a notable garden feature.

Times have changed, since the rain barrels showcased here prove. With a little work and creativity, you may have a rain barrel that fits your style and can be a standout in your backyard layout.

Chitra Vishwanath

Show it off. This rain chain/stone barrel combination doubles as a element in the backyard. In fact, you need to appear carefully to comprehend its function.

The use of strands of carefully spaced, thin galvanized iron chains is also an intriguing variation on the prevalent and bigger chains while the colors of the rock and metal mix seamlessly with the property’s exterior paint and trim.

AMS Landscape Design Studios, Inc..

On a similar vein, consider turning a fountain into a rain barrel. The scrollwork spigot might easily be attached to a downspout and you might put in a hose end to the base of the pot. Hidden pipework is an cost but worthwhile to the look.

Calico Studio

The sleek lines of this metal container would be too primitive for many houses, but they work perfectly with this contemporary style. It is evidence that a rain barrel needn’t be hidden.

Gardens from Gabriel, Inc..

Blend it in. If you would rather your barrel mix in, tuck it into the corner and encircle it with soft plantings. Repeating the terra cotta components in the rest of the space provides design continuity.

Burris & Associates, LLC

Cladding your storage tank in the exact same siding as the wall it stays against lets it fade into the background.

Woodmeister Master Builders

A wooden barrel is, of course, the greatest rain barrel. Luckily, it fits well with several house and garden designs, such as traditional, cottage and ranch houses.

Native Edge Landscape

Experiment with the look. At first sight, this rain barrel makes its presence known since it perches on its custom wooden stand. Though the mix of materials may seem like it would clash, it works well with the surrounding stone and wood facade of the house, architectural plantings and ground cover.

Envision Landscape Studio Inc..

This large galvanized container would seem to be an odd choice for this natural garden. It turns out that the lavish use of rocks grounds it instead. It is observable, but not as awkward as it might be in a more traditional space.

S2 Design

Add more performance. Water storage and irrigation are all combined in this modern spin on classic rainwater storage. Rather than conceal the workings, the storage unit and habit overflow tank are part of the general terrace design.

2fORM Architecture

A similar, though slightly bigger scale, includes a rain chain leading to the planter and also a bigger gutter in the backdrop draining to the bigger cistern outside it, which sits back far enough not to overwhelm the space directly outside the door.

Eggleston Farkas Architects

If industrial is the style, forget the wood barrels and go out with metal and concrete. The pipe look, rather than an open gutter, strengthens the theme and the concrete blends with the home’s siding.

B. Jane Gardens

Go large. If you live where rainfall is plentiful, you needn’t be limited by size. Sure, all these cisterns are large. But rather than attempt to hide them, embrace them as part of the landscape.

Thanks to the greenery along with the painted wall near this traditional cistern almost, but not quite, hides in plain sight. The weathered wood is another way to help this mix into the area, even if it is as tall as the house.


Or, simply place your rain water storage system front and centre. Yes, these are extremely large, but the contemporary home design may hold its own against them.

Johnston Design Group

Add your own touch. Nestle your barrel into a bed or rocks and grow vines around it for a natural look.

Rain Barrel Artist

Or move daring. In case you don’t want to disguise your rain barrel, make it stand out. Who wouldn’t enjoy this frog?

Rain Barrel Artist

Or surfing scene?

Rain Barrel Artist

Or glorious peacock?

There are not any rules. Only ideas.

More: Protect a Precious Resource Having a Rain Garden

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The Benefits of Building Out — and What to Take into Consideration Before You Add On

Do you feel as though your home is bursting at the seams? No playroom, no guest bedroom, no room for everyone to go to their room? If you have made the best use of what you have, it may be time for you to melt, go up or build out. When an addition makes sense together with your home’s construction and site, building outside, rather than up or down, can be more affordable. But there’s still plenty to think about before beginning.

Professional Photographer, Susan Teare

Questions to Ask Yourself

Do you have room? If you’re hemmed in by land-use codes or just don’t want to give your spacious garden, then building out may not be the ideal decision for you. But if you have room to spare and also can be designed around an outdoor gathering area, your inclusion can actually capitalize on a bigger lawn.

Will it finish your residence? Think about the brand new floor plan you’re considering (for instance, adding a third or fourth bedroom in the primary level, relocating the kitchen, including a great room, making a open floor plan) and if it will really resolve the problem you are trying to fix. When there is not space in the primary level to fix the design issue, you may choose to visit your basement or a second-story inclusion for the response, or possibly a main-floor inclusion that includes a basement or second-story area.

Duo Dickinson, architect

Matters to Consider

Feasiblity and cost. A main-level addition on a set property can be the least expensive square footage you put in to your home. But if you throw in a steep incline, an inclusion below grade, complex tie-ins to the existing house or difficult access to the construction area, the costs can quickly rival the cost of a second-story inclusion — or perhaps be greater. Talk with your architect and contractor about which portions of your strategy are cost drivers, and make choices that will restrict their effect.

Alair Homes Charlotte

The path of least resistance. Main-level additions are often the easiest, structurally. They can be built to code without needing to retrofit much of their existing home or its base. This can assist them cost a lot less than second-story additions, which frequently need structural retrofitting to the base, removing siding and disturbing interior walls.

The only trick with main-level improvements is connecting the new base to the older one if the original base is made of brick or another unreinforced masonry material. Nonetheless, it’s still far easier than having to completely replace the base to accumulate.

Frank Shirley Architects

Making a match. Anytime you add to the outside of your home, you should carefully consider how the addition will match or purposely not match the finishes of the first residence. If your home includes weather-worn wood, unmatchable brick or vinyl that’s no longer left, you will have decide whether to replace the siding on the entire house or have the inclusion not match.

Consider windows too. In case you have leaky old single-pane windows, it may be time to replace them with versions that are cultured.

A whole-house outside makeover can a project’s cost, but it can also yield a unified, updated look for the exterior which makes your inclusion seem as though it has ever been there.

Bosworth Hoedemaker

Small solutions. Sometimes a tiny addition can yield big results, particularly in kitchens. Adding just three or four feet to a cramped kitchen can open up a world of possibilities for appliances and extra cabinetry. If this can be accomplished by cantilevering the inclusion (that does not take a base) and if the inclusion can be tucked under existing overhangs, the requirement to frame in a brand new roof is eliminated as well.

Strategies for if you need just a little more room

Wyant Architecture

The building-out bonus. There’s a valuable incentive to building out rather than up or down. Often the groundwork, concrete and framing for the inclusion can be under way for at least two weeks before the construction moves into your current home. That buys you more time to package up and prepare for the rest of the undertaking. If the range of work is restricted to the inclusion, this means you can maintain the balance of your home furnished and operational, which means that you won’t need to pay for a temporary transfer.

More: How to melt for more room

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