The Way to Paint Your Hardwood Floors

Painting older solid wood floors can give them new life without the cost and mess of refinishing them. In addition, it can create your flooring a gorgeous design part in their own right, especially with intriguing patterns. It takes a little time and patience to paint wood flooring, but if you understand how to apply nail polish, then you already understand the basics.

Jeannie Balsam Interiors

1. Prep the surface. Start by scuff-sanding the ground with 150-grit sandpaper, advises Christopher Comer of Noble Pro Painting in Chicago. This hand sanding is not to produce the floor absolutely smooth but to demanding it up so the primer will adhere well to the surface.

2. Clean the floor. Vacuum up dust; wipe with clear water if necessary to get it all up and then wash with a wood floor cleaner. The most significant part this step is to let the flooring dry once they are washed — ideally two days and maybe longer. When there’s moisture in the flooring when you paint them, the primer and everything on top of it’s very likely to bubble up.

3. Put on the primer. Time to brush or roll on the primer — but what kind? “We recommend a penetrating, oil-based primer which may really seal up the surface tight, but a good latex primer can work well also,” says Phillip Storey of Redhill Painting in San Francisco. This is an excellent time to consult the local paint shop about the right product to use. You will normally need the color coats to be paint created especially for flooring. If this paint is latex, use a latex primer. If oil, then use an oil primer. Let it dry at least overnight, and if it’s an oil product, give it 24 hours or even a bit more.

4. Sand again. It may seem like overkill, but if you do not sand today, you may see the imperfections on each coat over this one. “We sand the primed regions again, as new wood fibers have a tendency to get bombarded with moisture and swell after falsified,” says Storey. This time use 220-grit sandpaper, which will earn a much nicer dust. Once you’ve finished sanding, vacuum and use a tack cloth to make sure all the dust is off the ground. Don’t use cotton paper or rags for this, since they’ll leave fibers on the ground that may ruin your paint job.

MAC Custom Homes

5. Put on the shade. You can use all 1 color or use painter’s tape to include shapes or patterns to the ground in another color. You may find some inspiration in these photos.

You can use a brush or a roller, but make sure to have the right equipment and that you set on a very thin coating of paint. “Apply it slowly with a 1/4-nap microfiber roller or natural bristle brush,” says Comer. “You won’t receive any bubbles at all with a brush, but it’s very labour intensive.” The roller will probably be quicker, he adds, however you have to roll very slowly to prevent producing bubbles. Regardless of what tools you use, think about where you may start and end up — do not paint yourself into a corner.

6. Let it dry. This is where the nail gloss analogy comes in. The basics of the entire process are like applying nail polish: base coat, color coat, color coat, topcoat. Every coat has to be fine and slim, not gloppy, and each coat must dry completely before the next one goes on. In the event the surface below the base coat isn’t clean, you will receive bubbles. The drawback with painting flooring is that there isn’t a handy ultraviolet light to make it all fix fast. After the first coat, then wait at least 24 hours before another coat.

Holly Marder

VOH Architects

7. Add more color coats. Two thin coats of color are adjacent, with 24 hours to dry in between. Don’t forget to paint on each coat as thinly as you can. “If you really do a thick coating of paint on the ground, then it remains tacky for longer and does not cure as well,” Comer.

9. Apply topcoat(s). For long term durability, it is possible to finish with one or two coats of a polyeurethane clear coat. Allow 24 hours to dry between coats. Again, the local paint shop ought to have the ability to point you toward an proper item. Start looking for non- or no-VOC coatings and paints to minimize the fumes.

Tara Seawright Interior Design

10. Wait. If you apply topcoats, you’ll need five to six layers of coatings on your floor. It’s a good idea to wait another day or so to walk on it, and then only in socks. The longer the floor is permitted to cure, the harder the end will be — like your nails!

More:
Are You Gutsy Enough to Paint Your Floor White?
guides to floors

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Plan Your Home Remodel: The Interior Renovation Stage

Follow the Improvement of Mike and Leann Rowe of Lutz, Florida, as they Reestablish a 1970s-era ranch Home in St. Pete Beach, Florida. Over the past couple of months, we’ve shown the way they found the ideal home, constructed their project team, assembled inspiration, established a budget, drew the programs and started building. The author is the project architect.

In the last installment, the outside construction was well under way. We were installing new windows and fixing the exterior siding, which had rotted in several places. Now we’ve completed the exterior, along with the local building department has shut out the license for that work, so we can proceed to the exciting inside renovations.

New closets, relocated plumbing, new finishes and moved walls are only a little what we’re doing. And all the items to go into the inside, from paint colors to furniture, must be chosen and arranged.

Let us take a look at how things are moving.

Bud Dietrich, AIA

The exterior has taken shape nicely. While we still have landscaping to do, the siding has been repaired and the new windows and doors have been installed. We have also had a new deck. We have painted the outside in a palette of driftwood-like colors to relate the home into the local gulf.

Before Photo

Bud Dietrich

BEFORE: The Rowes didn’t allow the house’s ’70s inside and “fast-food-restaurant storefront” frighten them. The dimensions of the home, general and location Florida split-plan arrangement were exactly what they were looking for.

Before Photo

Bud Dietrich

There was way too much wood within the home. In reality, some rooms had wood finishes on the flooring, walls and even ceilings. Although the plan was rather open, it felt all chopped up, especially because of a huge concrete beam that generated a true gap between the front and back of the home and obstructed the view of the water.

Before Photo

Bud Dietrich, AIA

This concrete beam, becoming uncovered here, affirmed the roof structure.

Before Photo

Bud Dietrich, AIA

This fresh sunburst window is where the aged storefront-style windows were. Big telescoping sliding glass doors now direct out into the deck and the boat dock. It’s Florida living at it best.

The new window and vaulted ceiling let in a lot of light and start the view across the bay toward the Pasadena bridge connecting St. Pete Beach to the St. Petersburg peninsula and the mainland. To carry through with all our casual beach-house theme, the vaulted ceiling is finished with wide-plank wood boards painted a soft white. Finally all of the trim in the home will be painted this white color.

Before Photo

Bud Dietrich, AIA

Looking into the balance of the inside shows just how much demolition function took place. Today we have a true feel for how spacious and open the primary living area will be with that beam gone.

Removing the old concrete beam was not all that catchy. We installed a fresh beam of laminated veneer lumber. This new beam was placed in addition to the old concrete beam, and also the present roof structure was attached to it. Whenever that was done, we were able to eliminate the concrete beam. The new beam will be above the ceiling, so it won’t be observable in the distance.

More on how to set up a new beam

Before Photo

Bud Dietrich, AIA

New walls have been erected new wiring has been run and the new plumbing lines for the island sink have all been installed. At the same time, we’ve been refinishing some the original wood paneling that we chose to keep, including in the skylight well. This wood will get the same soft white paint as the vaulted ceiling wood. There is no doubt that the inside will be a good deal brighter than it originally was.

Watch how the strategy for this open region came together

Before Photo

Bud Dietrich, AIA

The present concrete slab had to be cut and removed in areas to accommodate the new plumbing lines for the relocated sinks. While doing this isn’t the least costly manner of renovating a home, the final result — a massive island that enables a view from the kitchen sink from the water will be worth it.

Before Photo

Bud Dietrich, AIA

For the primary living space we’ve decided on Sherwin-Williams’ Copen Blue to pull the colors of the skies and water out. Before finalizing this color, we bought a sample could and painted a couple of areas to test it out. We also took a color sample into the furniture shop to make sure that it’d go with the leather recliner and cloth=coated sectional on order.

In regards to selecting a paint color, purchasing a sample painting and can several small places is the thing to do. Do not paint only 1 area, as color varies with the light. In the minimum, test your paint in a corner that’s in color and an area that gets bright sunlight.

Before Photo

Bud Dietrich, AIA

Another part of the renovation is that a zero-threshold shower. This has meant chopping out the present concrete and replacing it with fresh concrete set lower to adapt the tilework. When it is done, Mike and Leann won’t have to step past a shower threshold and maybe excursion.

Before Photo

Bud Dietrich, AIA

Talking of this shower, we’ve visited a few tile showrooms and have decided on a 16-by-16 slate for the master bathroom floor and 12-by-24 porcelain tiles with glass tile accents for the shower walls. The slate includes a lot of variation, from blue-grays to greens to rust colors. Along with the wall tile is actually rather nice. It’s named Touch, by Mediterranea, also it has a linen look and feel — the nifty result of an ink-jet-type production process.

Bud Dietrich, AIA

We have been working on finalizing the inside cabinets, working with Jim Douglas of Douglas Woodworking in Clearwater, Florida. Douglas has provided detailed drawings of this vanity as well as kitchen cabinetry and a few of the other bits we’ll be needing constructed for the home. Having drawings like these done early in the building makes it possible for each the electrical and plumbing work associated with the chimney to be coordinated up front, eliminating expensive and time consuming rework later.

Bud Dietrich, AIA

The granite for the kitchen counters is Delicatus White. It has a lot of movement, with browns and golds and grays all swirled together. This will work very well with the cabinets; some will be stained a golden oak and some painted in Valspar’s Wicker.

Bud Dietrich, AIA

Scores, if not hundreds, of items must be researched, selected and arranged in an extensive renovation. Leann, Mike and I have been going to light showrooms, tile and rock showrooms, furniture showrooms and a lot more places. When many individuals, including professionals at times, will wait until the final minute, the ideal approach is to select pieces early so they’re ready when needed onsite.

There also may be some thing you find that’s perfect. In this case and especially when it is a one-of-a-kind item, stake your claim for it when you can. This way you will be assured of getting exactly what you want.

Next: In a couple of weeks, we’ll have the rough work all done, the gutters installed along with the cabinets delivered and ready for installation. We’ll be close to getting the job wrapped up and ready for that inaugural party!

Next: The inside finishes go in

Start in the beginning: Component 1 of this Renovation Diary

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When to Give Your Home a Coat of Many Colours

If there was a place and period of irrational exuberance, it was America during the second half of the 19th century. It was surely a time when if a selection of one was great, then two had been better, and three or even more was not overdoing it whatsoever. It was a time when surface decoration became the standard instead of the exception. It was a perfect storm of the new industrialism that made nearly anything available and the existence of money for people to buy it all.

So that it is not surprising that a number of the houses of the age were done up with lots of particulars — and tons of colors. Why pick just 1 colour when the entire rainbow is available? And do not skimp on the details, because every colour needs its own place to break.

While at the early 20th century that the entire world turned its back on this riot of colour, retreating into the protection of an all-white planet, the beauty, richness and joy of the “painted ladies” of the 1800s has been rediscovered. Therefore, in the event that you have it in you, and your span or period-inspired house has the architecture for it, please do not stop with just a couple of colors.

Imagine a whole streetscape filled with brightly colored and multichromatic houses near together. Walking down a road in this way could be a visual treat, with house after house being more joyous than another.

These famous painted ladies in San Francisco march down the hill in multicolored splendor. Even though the primary colors of their bodies are soft and silent, each detail and material is articulated by form, texture and colour. The articulation was often achieved here by varying the tone and color of the major colour, but it may also be reached by employing a complementary (or almost complementary) colour.

Thus a light green gives way to a darker green aspect, for example, and the trimming is not white but all creamy and soft.

Alex Amend Photography

As we get nearer to those houses, we begin to find the details and colour intricacies. Golds, taupes, mauves and more all pull out the inlay and overlay details which enliven the surface. Both the carpenters and the painters have to display their craft and skill.

And we see something new each time we walk. Because, after all, these houses are meant to be seen and appreciated from shut up, not whizzing by at 35 mph.

Farallon Construction Inc..

No face is left unadorned. Even the undersides of these eaves receive a rich treatment of colour to highlight all of that architectural detail. It’s the type of feast for the eyes which only a multichromatic palette may bring out.

B Birmingham Inc..

The point that can’t be stressed enough is that colour strengthens the architecture. So however subtle the detail, like the way the corner is created in a box bay, colour strengthens the proportion, scale and overall architecture.

Just imagine if this trimming didn’t step in to form the corner or if the color were the same. The entire home’s proportions could be thrown off, and the overall result would be nowhere near as interesting.

Warline Painting Ltd..

Of course, there is also the use of complementary colors in bold colors. Not for the shrinking violet, these colors will make your house really stand out. And while it is from a little distance that we more often get to love these houses …

Warline Painting Ltd..

… it is really from close up that we see just how artfully the colour palette has been employed. Each piece of molding, trim and detail is painted differently in the main colors to draw attention to it. And each texture is not the same colour, so we get to experience and revel in the diversity of it all.

Degnan Design Group + Degnan Design Build

These colour schemes are not just for old houses. A newly developed home near the Jersey Shore uses colour just as it had been used in the 19th century. A scheme which uses colour to pronounce each architectural element is ideal for a home together with all these mounts, bays and bows; crenellations and crowns; dadoes and dormers. Not to mention …

Degnan Design Group + Degnan Design Build

… a widow’s walk.

Note that the accent is on the vertical, as in 19th-century versions. This 21st-century version, however, splits the body colour in 2: The lower floor is painted a more earthen colour that recedes, whereas the upper levels are more conspicuous. Between the conspicuous color of the next floor and the vertical cream-colored trim, the eye will be attracted up into the rooftop and skies.

Degnan Design Group + Degnan Design Build

Window frame colour plays into this home’s overall palette at an incredibly significant way. Yes, even the 19th-century homeowner had to decorate and paint and repaint the timber windows. On the other hand, the 21st-century homeowner may get brightly colored frames in different substances that will last for many, many years. We are not stuck in a world of merely white, brown or beige window frames anymore.

And just as on its 19th-century ancestors, the undersides of the home’s eaves are richly decorated with architectural information and colour.

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Antiques and Heirlooms Befit a 1778 Vermont Home

Artist and ceramicist Laura Zindel and her husband, Thor, fell in love with their dream house on line. The only problem: They lived 3,000 miles away in San Francisco. Nevertheless, they were in love with the historic 1778 house that they flew to Guilford, Vermont, to begin the lengthy process of its own owners. The previous owner had saved it from demolition in the 1970s, rebuilding it room by room on the weekends, also was not about to let it go to just anyone. “The construction was in great shape, but purchasing an older house is like painting the Golden Gate Bridge,” Laura says. “Start at one end, and from the time you are done, you return to the beginning and start over.”

The grand house has become part of their loved ones. “And just like a individual, we try to not judge its own defects and enjoy it for what it is,” says Laura. The first step in renovating the new member of their household was installing all-new electrical wiring, done by Thor, who’s skilled as an electrician, among many other trades. After that, they set about making the the majority of the home’s individuality.

at a Glance
Who lives here: Laura and Thorsten Zindel, and their son, Wulff
Location: Guilford, Vermont
Size: 3,500 square feet; 5 bedrooms, 1 bath
That’s interesting: This house sat to a 100-acre object of property.

Theresa Fine

A porch in the back of the house is the family’s favorite spot. Located just off the kitchen, the porch overlooks a large, manicured backyard. Thor reclaimed the home ceiling boards to reconstruct the porch’s flooring.

A big wood plank paired with black seats is decorated for the holidays using Laura’s ceramics, mercury glass and natural elements.

Pendant lighting: Ikea; framed artwork: Rick Jones

Theresa Fine

Is a royal-blue Amish-made hutch from Millbrook Farms Woodworks in Westmoreland, New Hampshire. It retains an array of original ceramics, made in house by Laura and her staff and decorated with art that ranges from birds to sea creatures.

Some of the jars and bottles were made using antique molds Laura has found. “My housewares are motivated by the Victorian cabinets of curiosity as well as the Arts and Crafts movement,” she says.

Theresa Fine

The formal entrance to the house was built sometime in the 1800s, as was all the house outside of the kitchen.

A sensed cent rug complements the bold blue paint in the hallway entrance. “I adore dark, saturated colours, which is a bit of a problem since our house doesn’t get a lot of light,” says Laura. “The blue in the hallway I believed was a great updated look for the house but was historically on stage.”

Paint: Naval 6244, Sherwin-Williams

Theresa Fine

A collection of portrait paintings by artist Nina Friday lines the stairway. The railing is the perfect spot for a holiday garland.

Theresa Fine

The master bedroom has gold elements to match the ebony furniture. Portraits of the men and women who lived in the house hang on every side of the mattress.

The wide pine floors, painted brown, and wallpapered walls are original to the house.

Cabinets: Coqo Floral Curtains, Natural, Anthropologie

Theresa Fine

This woodland-inspired bedding, including rabbits was part of an exclusive lineup by Patch NYC for Goal.

Theresa Fine

At the home office, painted brown trim is paired with apple-green wallpaper decorated in an English hunt club theme. A vintage globe sits on a long weathered teak desk.

Background: Lady of the Manor, Yukari Sweeney, Anthropologie

Theresa Fine

Among the two guest bedrooms upstairs has a neutral and green palette accented with pops of red. This vintage bamboo vanity chair, handed down to Laura from her aunt, was sanded a candy red.

Theresa Fine

The second guest bedroom has a much softer, more feminine palette, with painted white floors and pale pink trimming. A large, folksy felted area rug pulls the colours of this room together.

Paint: Quaint Peche 6330, Sherwin-Williams

Theresa Fine

A big antique cupboard, purchased at A Candle In The Night in Brattleboro, Vermont, displays Laura’s mother’s Depression-era quilt group.

Laura’s mother inspires her personal style the most. “She loved to collect antiques and had collections of everything from china to quilts,” Laura says. “I’ve inherited many of her treasures and also have them in our property. After we moved to Vermont from San Francisco, she explained that my style could change, and I didn’t believe her. But I discovered that if you reside in an old house, it has a voice that cannot be denied.”

Theresa Fine

A classic bureau stands out against white walls and floors, providing storage and a lovely vignette in the guest bedroom.

Theresa Fine

Another bit of artwork original to the house, a Victorian sampler, hangs above a nightstand that showcases additional vintage finds, such as a milk glass hobnail lamp perched atop an old whiskey box which once belonged to Laura’s father.

Theresa Fine

The rustic bed frame was created by Moose River Lake & Lodge Store in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. The chenille bedding is vintage.

Theresa Fine

A group of antique silver mercury glass ornaments hangs in the front windows to the holidays.

Theresa Fine

The formal entrance to the home is lit by an industrial window lighting first to the house.

Theresa Fine

“My 1778 home only feels great inside,” says Laura. “The whole house is made out of ancient wood, floor to ceiling. Maybe that’s something to do with it, or simply lots of joyful ghosts.”

A house this old includes some quirks of the past; for example, a little door used only for attracting coffins in and out. The house also offers an “Indian window” in the pantry, used for arrow strikes.

Theresa Fine

The family’s lawn can be home to well-cared-for pet hens.

Theresa Fine

Guilford is a little town near the historic town of Brattleboro. Laura’s new working studio, gallery and storefront, found here, is set in a thriving arts community.

Theresa Fine

Despite all of the treasures within, Laura (shown here) still says, “The most significant part house is my loved ones.”

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Top 10 Unsung Organizing Tools

In our quest for fresh, beginning-of-a-new-year, organized perfection, it’s simple to find a little carried away in the organizing or office supply store. While technical sorters and doodads surely have their purpose, more often than not they simply add more clutter to our homes. Commit to getting it right this season (and saving a bit of cash in the process) by sticking with those 10 hardworking but often overlooked helpers that are probably sitting in your house right now.

Feldman Architecture, Inc..

1. 1 calendar. It does not matter if you want a digital or paper version; the most important thing is that you stick with one calendar program, preferably for everybody in the house. Google Calendar is a great, flexible, portable option you may access from home or on the road.

Washi Masking Tape 5 bits, by mt – $14.94

2. Washi tape. Never before has this kind of small thing (tape!)) Inspired the exact same level of obsession because of this vibrant Japanese paper tape. It’s easy to tear, removes easily from most surfaces, also comes in the most stunning colors. Use it to label everything from eyeglasses at a celebration to documents, pantry jars, storage bins and more. And when you are done labeling, use it to wrap a gift, tape photos to your inspiration board or make your own wall art.

Divine Design+Build

3. A magnetic knife strip. A wall-mounted knife rack may do much more than maintain your knives tidy and out of the way (even though it’s great for that, too). Use it to arrange spices in the kitchen, tools at the garage, keys from the front door and scissors and other essentials near your desk or crafts place.

Photojojo

Instax Mini 7s and Mini 25 Instant Cameras

4. Your camera. Snap photographs of the contents of storage containers and kids’ toy bins and record them to the fronts as visual labels. Photos are also ideal for documenting oversize art projects, and that means that you are able to give up the first in good conscience.

Kate Jackson Design

5. Tote bags. The humble tote bag can do the job equally as tough as a basket or storage box, but with the additional benefit of being portable and lightweight. Use bags to sort things you store temporarily, such as library books, work materials and workout clothes.

Atypical Type A

6. Binder clips. Using these tiny workhorses only for their intended usage could be missing — you may also hang art, corral wires, keep packed products fresh from your kitchen and keep rolls of ribbon and wrapping paper from unfurling. For extra credit, upgrade your binder clips with small lengths of washi tape (see number two) and label away.

7. Zip-top bags. One of the most flexible (and cheap!) Organizing tools around, baggies may be used to store components bits all together, type things in your junk drawer, maintain toiletries neat in your bag, suspend soup level or even pipe frosting.

The Container Store

Bright Stockholm Binder – $9.99

8. Fundamental binders. Paperwork gets lost easily when piled up in baskets or piles. Use three-ring or portfolio-style binders (with plastic cuff inserts) rather to file away instruction manuals, magazine clippings and more.

Melissa Miranda Interior Design

9. A smaller filing cabinet. Have a giant filing system? You are probably saving a lot of newspapers. Make things easier on yourself by going whenever you can and making sure you need to save each paper thing that you record. Most of us can get away with one or two well-tended drawers.

See ways to take Your House office paperless

simple thoughts

10. A gifts bin. It’s 1 thing to get organized — staying organized is another issue completely. 1 tool that has the potential to keep your house tidy and clutter free is really a permanent bin dedicated to giveaways. Keep it at a central place where you are able to throw things in whenever you think of it. After the bin is full, empty it at your favourite charity store; replicate.

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14 Ways to Make Better Use of Bedroom Corners

A lot people have bedrooms at which we need to produce every little distance work difficult, such as the corners. Check out these ideas for corner window seats, headboards, fireplaces, armoires and press closets, workspaces, bookshelves and chaises, in addition to some interesting designs for making good use of corners in kids’ rooms, also.

Chandos Interiors

Extend an upholstered headboard. This gives the bed a stronger presence. It’s a fantastic opportunity to get more mileage out of a cloth and generate a daybed texture in the corner.

Tommy Chambers Interiors, Inc..

The idea also works with a bigger bed plus also a leather headboard.

See how to style with dual headboards

Lori Gilder

Angle the bed in. According to feng shui principles, the bed ought to be placed where you can see the door. Angling a bed to the corner may figure out this issue, providing clear views to the doorways. From a practical perspective, in addition, it allows for a surface space behind the bed for lamps, reading materials and decorative accents.

Learn more about drifting the bed into a corner

Thrifty Decor Chick

Tuck in a small fireplace. This is a cozy way to incorporate a hearth to a bedroom, and it saves a great deal of precious wall space for windows, dressers, the bed and doors.

Designs Northwest Architects, Dan Nelson

Let your bookshelves form an “L.” This is an efficient way to extend bedroom storage and display space in a bedroom that is tight. You could also nestle the bed into precisely the same corner if necessary.

Designing Solutions

Extend window treatments. This gives continuity and enlivens possibly dead space with fabric and prints.

Denise DeCoster Architect

Insert a work nook. We’ve debated whether or not a desk is a restful item to have in the bedroom, but for many it’s a matter of necessity. The corner is a discreet spot that can help keep your relaxation and work spaces different. You can also use this idea for a dressing table; just add a costume mirror.

Tracery Interiors

Produce a reading nook. Put a chaise or overstuffed armchair in the corner that has a great lamp for settling in with a book or that pile of catalogs that have been calling your name.

Cravotta Interiors

If your space is tight, then look into corner seats for a comfortable fit.

You can also use two seats to make a spot for conversation and coffee. It can be a great refuge where parents may connect from the kids.

Griffin Enright Architects

Open that sucker up. OK, OK, I admit, this really is a dream-house scenario in a mosquitoless part of earth, but wow, this treehouse-like bedroom plus its own spacious corner are a damn great fantasy.

Zinc Art + Interiors

Nestle an armoire in. Based on how it relates to a mattress’s placement, this may also be an excellent spot for concealing a bedroom TV.

Alicia Ventura Interior Design

Get creative using a wall mural. This clever tree incorporates bookshelves on two walls.

Twist Interior Design

Conjure a special spot for curling upward. Bookshelves and an oversize ottoman create a wonderful kid-size nook. Note the way in which the designer has included a roof across the very top of this built-in. The same idea could be executed with beanbags on the floor and fabric across the top.

Carlyn And Company Interiors + Design

Put two single beds head to head. This bed setup is excellent for kids’ sleepovers.

Flea Market Sunday

Similarly, you might have the two beds back up to some shared nightstand.

More: Desire tips for taking advantage of corners in other rooms? Check out corners in the kitchen, corners in the house office and corners at the living room and family room.

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8 Gorgeous Trees for Winter Interest in the Garden

Winter is often thought of as the good time of year to escape the harsh elements and head inside to get comfy. Most plants are dormant, and the backyard is a far more subdued place than at the spring and summertime, when there’s all that vibrant and budding colour. But don’t discount your backyard at the off season. It is within this sedate atmosphere that tree form and structure take center stage, and a whole new level of attention can be gained.

Evergreen trees would be the obvious stars of winter landscape because they supply structure year round, but a lot of deciduous choices have interesting bark along with a gorgeous branch form.

When planning a website for your winter-interest tree, then think of an area of your backyard where the surrounding plantings are mostly herbaceous so that your characteristic tree can show its true colors and is not blocked by foliage.

Here are some of my favourite winter trees.

The New York Botanical Garden

Stewartia Pseudocamellia

Peeling bark carries several distinct forms, also Stewartia has one of the unique appearances. As old bark flakes off, a gray, brown and light reddish patchwork effect appears on the trunk of this tree, creating an intriguing contrast to snowy landscapes.

USDA zones: 5 to 9 (find your zone)
Soil condition: Prefers acidic soil
Light requirement: Best in partial shade; will withstand full sun with ample water
Size: Slow growing, to 30 to 40 feet

Matt Kilburn

Paperbark Maple
(Acer griseum)

The paperbark maple is another tree with intriguing peeling bark. This slow-growing tree is ideal for small gardens and can be an intriguing focus in winter landscape due to its rich colour and the tactile surface of its trunk.

USDA zones: 4 to 8
Soil requirement: All types provided that the soil is well drained
Light requirement: Full sun to partial shade
Size: Slow growing, to 20 to 25 feet

Matt Kilburn

Monkey Puzzle
(Araucaria araucana)

Speaking of focal points within a backyard, a Monkey Puzzle tree can add unique texture to the landscape. The whimsical type of this tree will probably stand in sharp contrast (literally, due to the razor-sharp, scale-like leaves) into the snowy landscape, giving an exotic respite in the dog days of winter.

USDA zones: 7B into 10B
Soil requirement: Prefers well-drained acidic soil
Light requirement: Total sun
Size: Slow growing, to 30 to 40 feet

The New York Botanical Garden

Tibetan Cherry
(Prunus serrula)

The Tibetan Cherry is an intriguing tree year round due to its glistening, silk-like bark. The wealthy coppery-red, smooth surface of the trunk comes to life from the winter garden as other colors fade. Its ease of expansion makes it a great choice for beginner anglers.

USDA zones: 7 to 10
Soil requirement: All types provided that the soil is well drained
Light requirement: Total sun
Size: Slow growing, to 20 to 30 feet

Matt Kilburn

Japanese Maples
(Acer palmatum spp)

Japanese Maples are a great addition to any backyard due to the seemingly endless forms offered in various colors and dimensions. Several have an amazing trunk and branch form which can be viewed when all the leaves are all gone. I often enjoy these trees in winter because of their gnarly, contorted branches have so much character.

USDA zones: Varies, but generally between 6 to 9
Soil demand: All types provided that the soil is well drained
Light requirement: Varies, but generally full sunlight to partial shade
Size: Varies, but generally slow to moderate growth, to 15 to 20 feet

Photo from Scott Cutler; used with permission

Matt Kilburn

Strawberry Tree
(Arbutus unedo)

Strawberry tree is an excellent addition to sunny sites that flowers in the late autumn and then produces bright red, round fruit throughout the winter months. The fruits are actually edible (although they’re an acquired taste!) And are great for holiday wreaths and bouquets. This evergreen specimen is classified as a tree but over the years can be pruned to a small tree form.

USDA zones: 6 to 9
Soil requirement: All soil types
Light requirement: Full sun to partial shade
Size: Slow growing, to 20 to 25 feet

Matt Kilburn

Colorado Blue Spruce
(Picea pungens)

The Colorado Blue Spruce is a popular addition to a lot of landscapes due to its vibrant gray-blue needles. This stately evergreen provides vertical structure to the garden year round but really stands out against a backdrop of snow and ice.

USDA zones: two to 7
Soil requirement: All soil types
Light requirement: Total sun
Size: Slow to moderate growth, to 40 to 50 feet

Matt Kilburn

Himalayan Pine
(Pinus wallichiana)

Many pine tree varieties create amazing flashes that add architectural interest to the landscape. This species is a walnut, a gorgeous tree known for the long needles and large, storybook-perfect cones.

USDA zones: 5 to 7
Soil requirement: All types provided that the soil is well drained
Light requirement: Full sun to partial shade
Size: Slow to medium growth, to 30 to 50 feet

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A Home Comes Alive With Day of the Dead Decor

Melissa Love Tristan and her family go out for Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. At the end of every October, their Dallas home is awash in paper flowers, skulls, skeletons, sugared treats and Halloween decoration.

Melissa was introduced into Dia de los Muertos with her husband, Guillermo, whose family is originally from Mexico. This Mexican vacation comes right after Halloween — on November 1 to two — therefore the family unites the decor of both holidays in their merry, two-bedroom residence. “The civilization of remembering loved ones who’ve passed and celebrating them this way is indeed amazing,” she states.

in a Glance
Who lives here: Guillermo Tristan, Melissa Love Tristan, son Luca (age 4) and the spirits of previous generations
Size: 1,370 square feet; 3 bedrooms, two bathrooms
Location: Elmwood neighborhood of South Dallas

Sarah Greenman

Bright Mexican textiles, Fiestaware, candles and maracas set the mood. Tiny sombreros and paper flowers adorn the overhead lighting fixture.

Sarah Greenman

The Dia de los Muertos celebration focuses on food and family, which makes the dining room party central for the Tristan family. A pink hand-embroidered Otomi fabric hangs as a drape in the dining area.

Wall paint: Hearts of Palm, Sherwin-Williams

Sarah Greenman

Vignettes throughout the home honor the custom of producing little altars for family members that have passed away. “My decorating doctrine is, if it catches my eye and makes me grin, I need it around me,” says Melissa.

Sarah Greenman

Guillermo, a chef, typically spends his time preparing French cuisine at Boulevardier in Dallas. In the home that he keeps it easy with conventional dishes such as Dia de los Muertos. “If we are lucky his mama will make us some homemade tortillas,” says Melissa.

Sarah Greenman

Son Luca and his buddy Hudson shake maracas in expectation of candy bowls and kiddie mocktails being prepared in the kitchen.

Sarah Greenman

A vintage sideboard from an antiques mall in Gatesville, Texas, houses Melissa’s expansive group of sugared skulls, miniature coffins and skeletons dressed in formalwear.

Sarah Greenman

Melissa produced a spooky apothecary of doll parts, jarred innards and imitation fingers for her kitchen windowsill. “My taste leans towards the frightening and the bizarre,” she admits.

Sarah Greenman

An adult cocktail pub stands at the ready on a serving tray in the middle of the kitchen. This is only one of many small party stations Melissa has created throughout the home.

Sarah Greenman

A candy channel replete with lollies, candy corn and gummy pumpkins sits in the entrance to the kitchen. Melissa sets her extensive collection of glass jars and vintage containers to utilize during that season.

Sarah Greenman

“You can’t go out and buy your decorations at one time. Hunting and gathering is key for this type of party,” she states.

Sarah Greenman

Monster portraits, skulls and other spooky curios deck the living room. A classic trunk, found in Guillermo’s grandmother’s attic, serves as a coffee table. The sofas were a roadside discover that Melissa had reupholstered. “My key for finding furniture would be to follow along with the bulk trash signs,” she states.

Wall paint: Oyster Bay, Sherwin-Williams; rug: Ikea

Sarah Greenman

A Ouija board serves as a spooky coffee table tray, and a doll head onto a black candleholder keeps watch over the living room.

Sarah Greenman

Sarah Greenman

Luca and Hudson show their eyeball marbles during a holiday-themed card match.

No matter what the vacation, Melissa makes certain to generate a special place for kids from the living or family room which has a small dining table and chairs. “Kids should feel comfortable in their houses,” she states. “I also don’t need anything in our home which [Luca] can’t touch is afraid to be around.”

Sarah Greenman

Framed portraits of circus sideshow performers share space with doll parts under glass bell jars in a living room corner.

Sarah Greenman

Tall black and candles cat figurines flank the hearth. The vintage leather ottoman was a garage sale score. “Can you think I got that for $1?” asks Melissa.

Sarah Greenman

Is it a ghost, or is it Luca running throughout the living room on the way to his bedroom? A hand-me-down midcentury console from Melissa’s mother holds extra seasonal decoration. “I truly am inspired by lines, shapes, textures and anything from art deco to midcentury,” says Melissa.

Sarah Greenman

Publications, sturdy furniture and comic book paraphernalia fill Luca’s room. “The visual rule of eye level for kids is important,” says Melissa.

Sarah Greenman

Melissa put a great deal of thought to Luca’s bedroom. “I really wanted him to feel motivated in his room,” she states. “I think it’s important for kids to have a place in the home where they can have quiet time as well.”

Rug, artwork above bed: Ikea; pub cart: thrift store

Sarah Greenman

Melissa made certain that Luca’s favourite things are in his fingertips from the playroom. “His distance is a reflection of him. And there’s nothing better then wooden toys, Legos and musical instruments to fulfill a day of exploration and imagination,” she says.

Sarah Greenman

An extra shelf keeps small collector’s things from harm’s way.

Sarah Greenman

There aren’t any holiday decorations in the master bedroom, to keep its serene and quiet feel. “I love everything girly, but since I’m the only lady in my property, I want to make sure there’s a balance of masculine and feminine,” says Melissa.

Wall paint: Lemon Verbena and Hearts of Palm, Sherwin-Williams

Sarah Greenman

A group of vintage suitcases and one antique portable record player make up a tower in the master bedroom.

Sarah Greenman

This coated side porch was the house’s main selling point. “I love sitting out here when it rains or to watch Luca play in front yard,” says Melissa. “For me it’s about a sanctuary. It is my retreat from the rest of the world.”

Sarah Greenman

A skeleton sits inside a twig wreath and greets guests and trick-or-treaters since they approach the property’s entrance. The legs clack against the door when it opens and closes.

Sarah Greenman

The front yard explodes with Halloween decoration and autumnal cheer. The Tristan family’s 1920s cottage is dressed with hay bales, gourds, pumpkins, black spiders and smiling skeletons.

Sarah Greenman

Luca and his neighbor, 10-month-old Jacob, are in costume and ready for a night of trick-or-treating. Melissa smiles as she surveys her handiwork. “That is definitely my favourite time of year,” she states.

Prove us Do you celebrate Dia de los Muertos? Please share a photo below!

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5 DIY Holiday Gifts to Start Early

Procrastinators, be aware: Start now on your DIY presents to save money and prevent stress afterwards. Although the holidays might seem ages away, we all know they have a tendency to sneak up and surprise us. So begin planning today! Research your crafty side and also make one of those gorgeous gifts for your loved ones in your life.

See more DIY projects

Erin Lang Norris

1. Scrap wood seat. A piece of handmade furniture out of a loved one will be treasured forever. Make this personalized seat (using a surprise secret compartment) for somebody truly special in your life — and also eliminate any scrap wood you have in the procedure. Give yourself a few weeks for this DIY; it could take some time to gather all your materials and get the dimensions right.

See how to make a scrap wood seat

decordemon

2. Mobile container garden. Branch outside beyond the standard potted plant and make a container garden for the urban gardener in your life. It should not require more than an afternoon to complete, but find or you’re going to want to purchase your materials at least a week.

See how to make a mobile container garden

R. Olson Design

3. Cutting board. Another great method to utilize scrap wood, this sturdy cutting board produces a lovely and thoughtful gift for anybody who loves to cook (or eat). Do not have some scrap wood available? No problem — check out the regional lumber yard, purchase a couple feet of favorite lumber and have it hammered it to dimension. Beginning woodworkers will need a couple of days to pull this project together.

See how to create a custom cutting board

decordemon

4. Vintage suitcase dog bed. Though this could technically be a present for a dog or cat, any pet owner will appreciate this bed’s cute design. Scrounge thrift shops for a hard-top vintage suitcase in a good colour and fill it with a fun cushion for a friend’s beloved pet. Although it might take time to discover the ideal suitcase (do not forget to look online also), this project should take less than a day to complete.

See how to build this dog bed

Erin Lang Norris

5. Side table with a spin. This table assists the friend who loves to couch do it easier. While this slick and easy side table will enhance any decor, it is also built to slide right over the arm of a couch — creating drinking, eating and working on the couch that a lot easier. Give yourself a few days to put this together — you’ll need to be sure to get the measurements just perfect.

See how to make this side table

Do you make your own presents? Share your favorite idea in the Comments!

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A Basic Builder Home Understands the Glam Remedy

Stacy Curran’s transition from attorney to interior decorator started when she moved into her new residence. Following September 11, 2001, Curran, together with her husband, Patrick, and their two children, moved from Washington, D.C., and into a new-construction house in Marshfield, Massachusetts. “The house felt like a complete blank picture to me,” she states.

Using color, texture and customized details to make this basic builder house her family, Curran took on the layout challenges herself — installing wall molding, picking color palettes and coming up with creative DIY solutions. And that hard work has paid off: Today the family has a home, and Curran includes a career at South Shore Decorating.

at a Glance
Who lives here: Stacy and Patrick Curran and their children, Bobby and Ellie
Location: Marshfield, Massachusetts
Size: 4,200 square feet; 4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 bathrooms

Mary Prince Photography

Curran chose another accent color for each room, although Gray, black and white dominate in the house. A piece of cloth is draped over each couch’s center — the rooms were carried throughout by a detailCurran.

Two gray curved loveseats in brushed cotton surround four 22- by 22-inch end tables, which can combine to make one big coffee table.

End tables: Lexington Furniture; paint: Iceberg, Benjamin Moore

Mary Prince Photography

“The house looked massive to us, coming from our four-story, 2,400-square-foot townhouse in Alexandria, Virginia,” says Curran. Color, fabrics and custom touches on furnishings help distinguish each room.

This 20- by 24-foot living room sits a step down from the eat-in kitchen. Nine framed sketches of rooms Curran hang on the wall.

White tufted couch: Robin Bruce

Mary Prince Photography

Curran used nonwashable horizontal paint on the walls. The bamboo flooring are alkaline dyed to a dark and uniform color.

Molding and trim paint: White Cloud, Benjamin Moore using Coventry Gray, Benjamin Moore; cherry dining table and credenza: eBay; hardwood flooring: Minwax in Jacobean; carpeting: Jonathan Adler

Mary Prince Photography

Cabinetry New countertops and built-ins added design. “After we moved, the house has been pretty much a builder’s basic,” Curran says. “Though it was not quite love at first sight, I saw the potential, and we spent the next few years getting it where we needed it”

Mary Prince Photography

A trio of a desk that is V-shaped and closets twist a kitchen corner room into a house office.

Mary Prince Photography

Curran set up this wall molding herself for custom detail. A mirrored backsplash attracts light and glimmer into the kitchen — one of the darkest rooms at the house.

Mary Prince Photography

She transformed tabletop lanterns located at HomeGoods into hanging candle chandeliers with chains and hooks.

Counter stools: BarStools.com

Mary Prince Photography

Until she devotes to selecting upholstery in this casual seating area, Curran is utilizing gray accents created with swaths of cloth on the white muslin chairs.

Chairs: Boston Interiors; rug: Rugs USA; coffee table: Horchow; paint: Cloud White, Benjamin Moore

Mary Prince Photography

Cording adds detail between entrance stair molding and the wall.

Wall paint: Winter Solstice, Benjamin Moore; stair railings: Appalachian Brown Semi-Gloss, Benjamin Moore

Mary Prince Photography

Images and colors continue from the second floor children’s rooms. A trundle bed could be transformed into a couch.

Rug: Pottery Barn; bookshelf: Pottery Barn Teen; paint: Stem Green, Benjamin Moore; sports prints: Etsy

Mary Prince Photography

Ellie spotted her desk at the city dump and needed to have it. In a bright pink that is new, it creates the perfect accent piece in her room.

Dresser, mattress: Ethan Allen; chair, rug: Pottery Barn Kids

Mary Prince Photography

In the guest bedroom, Curran produced a canopy in bright brown and green cloth to create hotel-style luxury to get an otherwise blank white wall.

Mary Prince Photography

An oversize picture zebra rug from the master bedroom warms up the massive area. “It was actually hard to get enough furniture here,” Curran says.

Painted black consoles serve as bedside tables. Curran monogrammed the lamps . She wrapped the pair of white lamp colors in black ribbon and did the same with the curtains.

Wall paint: Sleepy Blue, Sherwin-Williams; zebra rug: South Shore Decorating

Mary Prince Photography

Curran sits at a vanity from the master bedroom. The family spends a lot of their time. “It is the room we discuss the most as a family, reading to the kids at night and watching television together,” she states.

Mary Prince Photography

They found this jewel in Marshfield — equidistant between Boston and Cape Cod, though work requires meant the family had to select a house.

Mary Prince Photography

After moving in, the family included the backyard and a new pool.

Share your creative, colorful house with us.

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