Think of your outdoor space as an extension of your home. This thoughtfully designed backyard is an excellent example. Here, a Douglas fir pergola provides structure over the back patio, while the composite decking connects the entries of the house acting as an outdoor hallway.
The original entry of this historic 1930s hacienda had been obliterated by previous renovations and additions. Designers stripped it back but still wanted more original texture and character, so they sourced antique firebrick from Spain and used it in key areas to re-create the exposed original structure.
Set back from the curb in an exclusive Palm Springs neighborhood characterized by tall hedges and hidden properties, this translucent entry gate opens to an expansive garden showcasing native plants. The design is by landscape design firm Steve Martino and Associates, an American Society of Landscape Designers award winner.
A cozy living room is anchored by a large stone fireplace, dark wood beams and oversized rug. Sliding doors open onto a private entry courtyard on one side and the back patio on the other. A pair of yellow sofas offer a comfortable conversation space while embracing the sunniness of this bright space.
To give the open space just off the entry a purpose, yet keep the center of the area open for traffic flow in and out of this apartment, two pairs of ready-made bookshelves purchased from an office supply store were placed back-to-back to act as room dividers. On one side, a private office is separated from the formal dining space and family room on the other side. The apartment's walls were painted peacock blue, which helps the walls recede so that accents of white and apple green stand out.
Double entry doors are upholstered with a patterned fabric. The back wall showcases an open weave bark wallcovering that leaves some of the red wall beyond exposed. The sink is repurposed chicken wire filled with a bag of river rocks with a function stainless sink hidden below the wood timbers. Water falls into the basin through the rocks, creating a nice soothing sound.
This Big Sky, Mont., house is separated into the main living area and the guest wing. The guest area is designed so that it can be shut off from the rest of the house when unoccupied and set back to a lower temperature when not in use. Additionally, the two wings of the house bend in order to capture the best views of the river and create a protected entry courtyard.
The owners of this traditional, coastal home requested a lounge-style dining area with views to the ocean. The designers took advantage of the open concept floor plan to arrange the furniture into a focal point, drawing the eye from the entry straight through the dining space to the sweeping vista beyond. The entire back of the house opens up to a full sun deck, allowing for panoramic views of the beach.
Set in Big Sky, Mont., this home is specifically designed to withstand both extremes of the temperature spectrum. Additionally, the house is separated into the main living area and the guest wing. The guest area is designed so that it can be shut off from the rest of the house when unoccupied and set back to a lower temperature when not in use. The two wings of the house bend in order to capture the best views of the river and create a protected entry courtyard.
Some clematis varieties open flowers with twice the number of petals and are called double blooms. ‘Diamond Ball’ unfurls cool white-blue double flowers. When fully open, the blossoms measure 4 to 5 inches across with a round or almost spherical shape. Expect to see flowers all summer long. In early spring, cut stems back to 18 inches high. Vines grow 5 to 6 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide—a great choice for an entry arch or pergola over a patio. Hardy in Zones 4-9.
With a compact form and several integrated sustainable systems, the Capitol Hill Residence achieves the client’s goals to maximize the site’s views and resources while responding to its microclimate. Some of the sustainable systems are architectural in nature. For example, the roof rainwater collects into a steel entry water feature, day light from a typical overcast Seattle sky penetrates deep into the house through a central translucent slot, and exterior mounted mechanical shades prevent excessive heat gain without sacrificing the view. Hidden systems affect the energy consumption of the house such as the buried geothermal wells and heat pumps that aid in both heating and cooling, and a 30 panel photovoltaic system mounted on the roof feeds electricity back to the grid.
One reason many gardeners grow clematis is because they crave blue and purple colors in planting beds. Brother Stefan clematis delivers beautiful blue blooms—all summer long. It flowers on old and new growth, creating a plant that’s blanketed in blue hues. This gorgeous vine is named for Stefan Franczak, a Jesuit monk and noted horticulturist in Poland who developed many excellent clematis varieties. In early spring when buds swell, cut stems back to 3 feet high. Vines grow 5 to 7 feet tall and 4 to 6 feet wide—a great choice for an entry arch or pergola over a patio. Hardy in Zones 4-9.