A good xeriscape plant, ‘Embers’ amur maple (Acer ginnala ‘Embers’) turns fall into a season of blazing reds. Amur maple is easy to grow and tough as nails, withstanding hard winters with ease. Seeds form in summer and are a bright red that contrasts strikingly with the green leaves. Trees grow 15 to 20 feet tall and up to 15 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 3-7. Amur maple is considered invasive in some areas. Check with your local extension office before planting this tree.
From late winter through early spring, ‘Beauty’ Japanese plum brightens the landscape with delicate white flowers. The white blossoms fade to form tasty red plums in midsummer, earlier than other plums. This small edible fruit tree grows 12 to 15 feet tall and 10 to 15 feet wide. Plums make a nice addition to the home garden. 'Beauty' plum needs another plum for cross-pollination; ‘Shiro’ makes a good choice. Hardy in Zones 4-10.
Ginnie Leeming of Hello Little Home found creative, money-saving ways to create her layered neutral decor. That tablecloth? An inexpensive drop cloth cut to fit her table. Those texture-rich placemats? “The placemats were created from a large piece of burlap that was intended for gardening. I cut out rectangles, then pulled strands of burlap off the edges to form a simple fringe,” Leeming says. A golden-wrapped box topped with a buffalo-plaid ribbon adds a bright pop at each place setting.
Flowering plants provide attention grabbing color, especially when you choose a plant with long-lasting flowers, like anthurium. This tough-as-nails houseplant unfurls red blooms with a waxy sheen and open steadily all year long when plants receive bright light. Give the thick, leathery leaves on anthurium—or any houseplant—a sheen by spraying with a solution of ½ cup milk (skim or reduced fat) and ¾ cup water. Rub the leaves gently with a soft cloth, then dry with a clean, soft cloth. Be sure to spray both top and bottom of leaves.
This contemporary bedroom was designed around a passion for the color purple and old Hollywood nostalgia. A wrapped accent wall was plastered with a deep eggplant color and smooth velvet-like finish. The flooring (cut pile carpet) is also a deep eggplant with touches of silver-grey. The bright white furniture and a luxurious upholstered headboard add high color contrast and bold graphic accents. Glamorous accessories, such as mirrored tabletops, a black velvet Lucite bench, black lampshades and a zebra area rug punctuate and anchor the bold color combinations.
A second bedroom offers a place for little ones to rest after long days canoeing, skiing or just playing on the beach. Built for two, the room offers a palette with a few brighter hints, all while maintaining the overall sophistication of the home. Playful elements like the miniature stag head pair with the individual reading lamps and a small library to make a comfortable space for kids to sleep or just spend some time playing.
Frozen pops made only of fruit are hard to pass up on a warm summer day. Blend together fresh mango and pineapple with a little water, pour into paper cups and freeze. When the pops are almost frozen, add brightly colored wide straws to the center. Once frozen, let your kids tear away the paper cups and dip or roll the pops in toasted coconut.
With the extra square footage and a french door added to the left of the kitchen, the Cousins on Call demolished old wall that separated the kitchen from the living room. The Betsy family now has two large rooms that flow together. The family can cook on the large oversized island, while others relax in the living room without feeling detached from the rest of the family or guests. The large new windows and french doors fill both rooms with bright warm light.
With a fun, "bright pastel” theme for her holiday decor, Amy Weir of Delineate Your Dwelling got to work making mini bottle-brush trees into a magical holiday centerpiece!
“I believe you can incorporate the colors that make you most happy into all seasons, so I created the glitter trees in non-traditional colors for my holiday table,” Weir says. Stacked on a cake stand and detailed with fresh wood discs and jingle bells, these little trees are a big hit on the holiday scene.
These easy felt cards come together in a snap and their soft texture and bright colors ensure they'll stand out from the pack. To create, use pinking shears to cut a 5" x 7" dark-gray felt rectangle for each card. Next, cut colorful felt into assorted holiday-themed shapes and glue onto card base. Finish by stitching on holiday greetings which have been printed onto paper. Image courtesy of Melanie Blodgett.
Bee balm, also known as Oswego tea, explodes with floral fireworks in summer. The flowers attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds and make a terrific addition to the summer vase. Plants grow best in full sun to part shade with consistently moist soil. Bee balm comes in a variety of plant sizes and colors, including lavender, pink and bright purple. Rabbit- and deer-resistant plants grow 12 to 36 inches tall and 14 to 18 inches wide. Hardy in Zones 4-9. Good vase companions for bee balm: anise hyssop, coreopsis, zinnia and garden phlox.
Keep in mind that your furnishings should be in proportion not only to the actual size of the space but also to the perceived size — which can be affected by such elements as paint color or extensive areas of glass. In this project, the latter came into play. “The floor-to-ceiling windows make this small space feel larger, and to keep that open feeling the furniture needed to be scaled appropriately,” says architect Leslie Arnold. “Choosing furniture that was open at the bottom — i.e. pieces that do not go all the way to the floor — ’enlarges’ the room by allowing the entire floor to be visually unbroken. The simple, solid colored upholstered furniture allows the brightly colored rug and wall art to be the main focus of the room.”
“I love modern design and bright color, so I really wanted to keep my Christmas tablescape colorful, but with simple lines,” says Angela Neese Rathbun of Blue i Style. Using papier mache cones found on sale at a craft store and striking paint colors, Rathbun got to work. The resulting centerpiece is certainly eye-catching.
“I have always wanted something taller and more dramatic for the center of our Christmas table, and these painted cones provide just the right height while still keeping a simple, modern style,” Rathbun says.
Bergenia stages a multi-season color show in a part shade to full sun spot. Cool seasons deepen leaves to brilliant red hues, and spring welcomes the arrival of bright pink blossoms that beckon hummingbirds. Leaves fade to green through summer, until fall frosts bring out red tones. Unlike other bergenia, ‘Flirt’ has small leaves that put blooms center stage. Deer-resistant, drought-tolerant plants grow 6 inches tall by 9 inches wide. Bergenia is evergreen in the Deep South, where winter color is strong. Hardy in Zones 4-9.
Spice Girl viburnum is a selection of Korean spice viburnum, which is beloved for its wonderful fragrance that can perfume an entire yard in mid-spring. Flower clusters start with pink buds that open to reveal white blossoms. Spice Girl viburnum dazzles with bright red fall color and is deer resistant. Give it a spot in light shade to full sun. Spice Girl viburnum grows 6 to 7 feet tall and 7 to 8 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 4-8.
Discover a native tree that’s perfect for any size yard. This beauty delivers white, fringe-like flowers in late spring to early summer, followed by blue-black fruits that are favorites among birds. Fall color delivers with leaves that shift from bright green to shades of yellow-gold. This tree has no pests and stands up to pollution. It also doesn’t need pruned. The shape is rounded (like those lollipop trees you drew in elementary school). It often forms multiple trunks, which is not a problem. Size: Plants grow 12 to 20 feet tall and wide. Hardy in Zones 3-9.
Mountain laurel is a go-to favorite when it comes to shrubs that thrive in shady conditions. This native shrub grows as an understory plant in forests east of the Mississippi River. The true native form opens white flowers. ‘Pink Charm’ brings on spring color with bright pink blossoms that attract hummingbirds. Evergreen leaves add to the landscape year-round. Plants grow 8 to 10 feet tall and wide. Hardy in Zones 4-9. Good to know: Light shade with some sun coaxes best flower color.
This residential kitchen boasts commercial flair. Functionally, the room was laid out to maximize prep space for cooking; visually, the sense of immense space was heightened by using three different types of engineered stone for the backsplash, the countertop and the island topper. The neutral background is broken with a dash of bright orange in the light fixtures — an easily changeable feature when you're in the mood for a different color. This impressive kitchen with was designed by Poggenpohl team Tedd McKee and Rosemary Porto in collaboration with architecture firm CUBE 3 Studio.