Originally the home’s dining room, Ariene’s office is a place for her to work, reflect and create. But getting the space into it’s current shape wasn’t easy. “The hardest part of designing my home was turning my dining room into a home office without it looking a like an office,” she remembers. Earlier iterations of the room included yellow walls, followed by white stripes before becoming completely white. “The layouts changed as my business grew. It’s more of a workspace now, since I’ve opened my shop and now have a dedicated office there.”
Crunchy ‘Sweet Sunset’ banana peppers won the 2015 All-America Selection award. The fruits grow on compact plants that thrive in containers or the garden, and signal they’re ready to harvest when they change from pale green to light yellow. If you prefer, wait a little longer to pick, until the peppers turn red. This variety has better pest and disease resistance, and is more tolerant of drought and heat, than many older varieties.
Color galore! The blues of the sky and greens of grass and plants make this eclectic living room come alive. Vibrant royal-and-white modern art mirrors the boldly printed rug. The comfy sofa is chock-full of multi-color, patterned pillows that can change with the seasons or on a whim. Personal effects -- scattered throughout the space -- provide a window into the owners' lives, and a large coffee table provides an ample area for knick-knacks and plants alike.
One of the ways design helped Seana explore her creative side was by giving her a chance to explore her bolder side - something she did by going big with color in her second-story rooms. “I started slowly,” she remembers. “I had to keep reminding myself that I could change it if I didn’t like it, or just close the door.” Her experimentation led to masterpieces like this Moroccan-inspired room. The blue walls are amazing, but the gold ceiling simply steals the show. Together with poufs, masks and framed fabric, the room is an instant trip to a far off land.
Funny how as the years pass, older styles become ageless rather than looking dated. If you go with a look that has at least 50 years under its belt — say, midcentury modern — it won’t go stale, says designer Tatiana Machado-Rosas of Jackson Design and Remodeling. For the backdrop, it’s smart to create a simple and versatile setting: here, the clean lines of the fireplace and the neutral tones of the flooring allow the period furnishings to make the statement (and allow you to change your mind down the road).
In a home located directly opposite the stunning white sand beaches of the western Australian coastline, designer Kristie Hill took a slightly surprising design approach. “Instead of the typical range of blues, we used a warmer pink palette, with pink bedding and accessories in the master bedroom. It helps counteract the dominant timber cladding behind the bed, for a look that is neither feminine nor masculine,” she says. Tip from the designer: “Don’t use too much of the same hue of pink. Change it up a little, Blush pink works beautifully with mustard yellow and emerald green, too.”
Consider lava rock as a mulch in xeriscape gardens or around shrubs, succulents or other plantings that won’t change much over time. This type of rock is lightweight compared to traditional stone mulch, which makes it easier to haul and handle without professional help. Individual rock edges tend to be sharp. Stone mulch doesn’t ever break down or disappear—it’s a permanent addition to the landscape. Place it on a layer of landscape fabric to prevent rocks from sinking into soil.
Start with a 120-grit pad on your sander; if it doesn’t get through the grayed surface of the wood immediately, change to 80. 80 grit will sand off a lot of material, so err on the safer side and start with 120. Make sure to sand with the grain as best you can. Once you have finished sanding all surfaces, wipe the piece clean with a damp cloth to get all of the dust off.
This formal garden with a two-story pavilion for entertaining is part of an extensive building and landscaping project by Cruickshank Remodeling. The homeowners had recently purchased the adjacent property which contained a mid century ranch house. After demolishing the structure, the yard was then graded and reconfigured into an upper and lower lawn and garden areas, taking advantage of the elevation change in the lot. The design goal was the creation of various entertainment spaces that can be viewed in our before and after visual tour.
This wallpaper was a game/room changer! A boring space was transformed with great texture when that went up. The rustic table and the tray and indigo African textiles we framed, give it a relaxed feel but the damask curtains make us a little Southern. African textiles and mud cloth from the flea market made great art and we made pillows in the leather chairs in the living room out of it too! These custom, casual and bohemian touches made all the difference!
During the renovation process, the kitchen was one of the major points of focus. To begin with, he opened the wall separating the space from the living room. “The kitchen was a tiny box and the space needed more light,” he says. From there, some cabinets were removed, while others had their facades changed; shelves and storage were built, and appliances were added and rearranged. “This was a big chunk of work, but it made a world of difference.” The finished space received a full treatment of Chris’ bohemian aesthetic, with shelves adorned with clay miniature houses as well as glasses, plants and food containers.
In the hallway landing a feature wall commemorating the landmark Brown v. Board of Eduction Supreme Court decision is one of Rachel’s favorite moments in the whole house. Rachel’s collage wall is a pastiche of moments surrounding the integration of American schools. Her clippings profile the March on Washington, examples of resistance to school integration and even political cartoons outlining the arguments for change. The papier-mâché of historic events is a backdrop to a colorful portrait Thurgood Marshall. “This space is so important to me,” remarks Rachel. “I have dedicated my whole life to educating Black and Brown children and I wanted a space in my home that spoke to my passion.”
In a master bedroom that was all about cozy luxury, designer Lauren Macer created an inviting seating area using existing pieces from her client’s collection. “The armchairs are vintage pieces, however they were upholstered in black leather that was damaged. I reupholstered them in a beautiful soft linen fabric for a completely different look,” she says. “When looking for vintage furniture pieces, the most important element is shape. The upholstery, wood color and the condition of the filling can all be changed — so keep an open mind and don’t let a strong pattern or color distract you.”
For the best results in terms of color, cold hardiness and overall growth, buy pansies like landscapers do, picking up larger cell packs or 3- or 4-inch pots. These plants have bigger root balls, which means plants will take off more quickly in beds and containers. Check roots to make sure they’re healthy like this—having many white, fibrous roots on the outside of the root ball. The best time to plant pansies is when leaves on trees first start to change color. Soil temps should be between 45 and 65 F.
Always keep changes of weather in mind when packing, especially if you have long days outdoors planned. When packing for Memorial Day weekend, Trunk Club's Maggie Mee recommends some key pieces that are stylish and multi-functional. "For women, wide leg cropped pants serve as a trendy versatile base. You can pair them with a cami or knit tee. Fitted tops complement the wide pant leg. You might also think about swapping out dresses for jumpsuits this Memorial Day weekend. They're perfect for moving around a picnic and leave you feeling comfortable and carefree."
Many clematis breeders call ‘Kilian Donahue’ one of the best bicolor types. Flowers unfurl to reveal ruby red centers that fade to fuchsia at each petal tip. Petal edges are a pretty orchid. As flowers age, they shift to lavender with a pink stripe. Because blossoms change as they fade, when you grow ‘Kilian Donahue,’ it’s like having two different clematis vines growing together. Vines flower strongly all summer long. For best flowering, remove top growth by one-third in early spring. Vines grow 9 to 10 feet tall by 4 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 4 to 10.
As seen on Love It Or List It, Too, the kitchen and dining room have changed places. Now, the kitchen has plenty of space for storage and prep, while the dining table, which extends from the kitchen island in true Italian fashion, seats up to ten. The Caesar Stone countertops in the color Misty Carrera have been extended to the end of the dining area, and the cabinets are stained opaque, both grey and white, with Benjamin Moor Paint. The flooring throughout the kitchen and the first floor is stone brown red oak from Mercer, and the wall color is Milk Paint from Behr.
Sometimes you can simply eliminate a shelf or two and your storage space will expand significantly. Barriers and other dividers just create dead space within your closet, so the sooner you can remove them, the more space you can create for your essentials. Lisa Adams, CEO and designer of LA Closet Design, made a few cosmetic changes to this walk-in closet that make it feel more spacious and maximize the storage space. "In this closet I eliminated the vertical panels between individual cabinets/sections, creating an open, horizontal look. This opens up the space and makes it feel much bigger," Lisa says. "The use of L-shaped shelves and hanging rods at the corners, again, maximizes the corner spaces and makes the closet feel more customized and luxurious." Photo courtesy of LA Closet Design.