This design features a long curving hall that sweeps through the house. The result is a deep focus space with an unimpeded view from the front door across the entire house and out to the back garden. This continuous space dramatically enhances the circulation of natural ventilation and light. Clerestory windows throughout the house significantly lower the need for artificial light, adding to the house’s sustainability. Cutouts in the wall house simple decoration for added color.
Creating welcoming warmth within the flowing spaces of open-layout floorplans is important—and sometimes difficult to achieve. Designer Brett Mickan turned to color to do the trick in this Sydney, Australia kitchen. “The deep green hue makes the walls recede so the pieces within the room stand out. And, because the room looks out through a series of large glass doors towards the garden, I used a deep green tone with a grey base to create a color connection to the garden and focus the view out the windows,” he says.
Chrysanthemums contain chemical compounds that act as natural insecticides, which are processed and sold as pyrethrum. It’s a go-to natural pesticide for dealing with fleas, ants, ticks, silverfish and bedbugs. Certain types of mums do a better job at repelling insects than others. The ones used commercially for extracting pyrethrums include painted daisy (Chrysanthemum coccineum) and Dalmatian daisy (Chrysanthemum cinerariifolium). Use these perennial mums in the garden to add daisy-like flowers to planting designs.
Gold Lamps and a mod gold mirror show the advantages of using the right gold touches to add dimension to a room. This room created by Ginger Brewton for the Southeastern Designer Showhouse and Gardens strikes the perfect balance with simple but rich details.
Adding natural elements gives container gardens a custom look, says Joe Guggia, a California floral designer. He incorporates items, such as bamboo, willow and rocks, into his indoor displays. It all starts with the container, from faux stone rounds to slender metal squares to larger baskets.
Digging is at the heart of gardening, and one of the quickest ways to tuck seedlings into soil is with a hand trowel. Look for trowels with an ergonomic design to lessen hand and wrist fatigue. Trowel blades with inch markings take the guesswork out of proper planting depth. Trowels that feature a seamless handle-blade design won’t break or fall apart. Other hand tools worth considering are a short handled pick mattock (for rocky soil); a Korean hand plow (often sold as a ho-mi and one of the most versatile tools ever conceived); and a sturdy weeder (cobra head type works like a gem).
Candles and metallic accents complete the design and add a soft romanticism to a tablescape. The mix of florals includes antique green hydrangea, peach Campanella garden rose, peonies, Chocolate Sunflower privet berry, magnolia, pieris, dusty miller, Agonis mixed with dried pods and pheasant feathers. To accent the florals, Forage and Flower used lush green mood moss mounds, a xerographica air plant and candlelight with the mossy green tapers and low gold votives.
A movable fire bowl nestled into newly established colonies of bayberry, winterberry and fern extends the use of a Maine garden beyond dusk. Slabs of lichen and moss-covered granite are used as benches and form a firewood crib. The property is
within Acadia National Park along the west edge of Somes Sound on Maine’s Mount Desert Island. Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design won an American Society of Landscape Architects award for the entire project.
An irregular bluestone pathway flanked with pachysandra leads to an Asian-style gate with pergola. The gate draws the eye through to frame the rear yard and entices one to enter. Designer tip: You do not need a fence to have a gate. Simply tucking an arbor gate into the landscape will draw the eye into the garden.
The full-service kitchen makes it easy to pull off parties on this Chicago rooftop. It features a sink, refrigerator, commercial grill, ice maker and self-serve beverage center. A TV centered on the wall allows the homeowners and their guests to catch their favorite sports without leaving the roof, says designer Vanessa Slivinski of Chicago Roof Deck and Garden.
Powder coated steel elevates edging to an art form when it takes the shape of a low fence. The design for this edging comes from Shakespeare’s garden in Stratford, England. These hoop stakes mark bed and path edges while also pulling double duty as plant supports. To draft hoops as edging, place them side by side or slightly overlapping along planting beds or paths. Hoop stake edging is the perfect choice for keeping annuals or perennials from falling over onto lawn or walkways.
In a small space, you are already saving money by not buying a big outdoor furniture set, but cut your costs even more by visiting home decor and garden stores after Labor Day for end-of-season deals on items such as chairs. If you find a used set of chairs instead, you can spray paint the metal to freshen the finish, says designer Julie Montgomery.
Joseph Eichler was a California real estate developer who created a prototype with architects for residential homes in the early fifties that incorporated modernist architecture with a “bring the outside inside” concept. The Eichler home favored wall-to-ceiling windows with glass transoms in all the major rooms with direct access to private garden patios and courtyards. This remodeled single-family home by Klopf Architecture takes an original Eichler home and updates it with a truly “open” design.
Take time at least every other day to walk through your garden and look closely at plants. When pests are attacking, you’ll see signs of their presence. Holes in leaves, small black seed-looking things on leaves, insect clusters and webbing on plants are just a few common signs of a pest outbreak. When you think you have a bug issue, take time to identify the culprit so you can take appropriate action to curtail their munching. Don’t ignore pests. It only takes a few days for insects to damage a plant.
As seen on Love It Or List It, Too the room was previously open on the garden facing wall, but had a shoebox for a kitchen and an underused bathroom. Jillian's solution was to blow out the bathroom entirely and insert a 30ft steel beam to support the already vaulted ceiling. With an extra 10 inches of space found in the renovation Jillian's team added a coffered ceiling to delineate the space adding intimacy and definition. The grid prints are of traditional Italian hunting scenes often found in family homes of Italian expats and are a nod to the grid design of the ceiling. A custom sectional was designed so that the homeowners could entertain many guests and take in a football game or two. The wrought iron wall hanging is actually from Egypt, but Jillian felt it gave a country feeling to the home. The components console is custom made. New french doors have been added to the patin entrance and a new gas insert sits on the far wall made of Venetian plaster and box posts, designed to draw the eye upwards into the grand vaulted space.
Cutting tools are vital to successful gardening. Start with the dynamic duo of hand pruners or shears and loppers. Hand pruners are the tool of choice for stems up to ¾ inches thick. It’s a go-to tool for deadheading or pruning perennials, trimming new growth on shrubs and snipping thick pepper and squash stems. With hand pruners and loppers, a bypass blade design (blades work like scissors) give you more cuts and versatility in the garden. Also invest in a sharpening tool of some type, along with lessons on use. Clean and sharpen cutting blades regularly to keep them in tiptop shape. Last but not least, pick up a good pair of sturdy scissors (bright handles are preferable—helps in not losing them in the yard). You’ll grab those for snipping twine, herbs, flowers for bouquets, greens and a host of other items.
Landscape designer Katharine Webster used art installations and plants to fill otherwise empty spaces in the front garden of the San Francisco Decorator Showcase 2015. "When I first came to the space, it was a very long, rectangular, bleak space," Webster says. "I thought it was important to move the eye along. As it turned out, the art elevated the landscape and the landscape elevated the art, balancing each other."
Be creative as you design a trellis for your pea plants. Traditionally gardeners use fruit tree and shrub trimmings to craft a twig trellis. You can do the same thing with twigs that winter has tossed onto your lawn. Simply stick pencil-thick twigs into soil beside peas as you plant them. Another option is to string netting between stakes. This easy trellis (above) supports pea plants with a double row of twine that runs alongside plants. Insert stakes at either end of your pea plant (or every 4 to 5 feet for long rows), and wrap the twine around stakes to create a tight support. The plants will grab one another and the twine for support.