A container garden is a wonderful thing for ambiance, but it can wreak havoc on your deck or patio’s surface. Overwatering leads to puddling, which leads to mold and stains caused by mineral buildup as the water evaporates. “Anytime we install a deck, we always use saucers for potted plants, connect the pots to an irrigation system, and install a drain tied into the below-ground drainage system whenever possible,” Kalamian says. “That way no water pools around the bottom or leaks across the deck.” Stains caused by pots often can’t be removed, so prevention is your best option.
A series of pilastered arches frame the view from the dining room to the glass doors of the library. Intermediate “vestibules” help to formalize the entry to the dining room and living room from the entry without the use of doors.
An interior challenge was to transition from formal to informal spaces. Daniel Contelmo Architects accomplished this by minimizing the detailing of moldings in the informal spaces, and adding beading in the ceiling and oak accents in beams and mantels.
Your basement or crawlspace is usually the coolest spot in the house because of the insulating effect of the ground. That means that warm, moist air coming inside condenses on surfaces, including your pipes, causing dripping or sweating. Besides being annoying, dripping raises the humidity level in the house and increases the chances for mold growth. To reduce this problem, make sure all vents to the outside are closed, and add foam pipe insulation to the parts of the pipes you can reach.
How to freshen up classic board-and-batten paneling: Paint all of it, as well as the window casings, dark gray (Porpoise by Sherwin-Williams). The rich blue of the chairs—scored at a vintage store—go beautifully with the color. “They seem grand but not stuffy or formal,” says Sonal. “We use one as the special birthday chair when cutting cake with family.” They’re paired with white plastic molded chairs from Overstock and an industrial table from RH. Instead of traditional fabric curtains, Lisa hung fringy macramé ones from RH Teen for an unexpected hit of texture. The rug is from Nourison.
This pretty living room’s neutral color palette offers a clean backdrop for the layers of traditional, modern and vintage elements in the space. Gray walls create contrast with the moulding around the ceiling and entryways. A Restoration Hardware sofa in a soft shade of periwinkle is a perfect complement to the home’s traditional bones. A pale pink rug completes the room’s palette of light pastels. The feminine color palette works in partnership with the vintage details in the room like the coffee table, featuring curved legs that have a feminine feel.
Young newlyweds were looking to transform their home into a chic, sophisticated space for both relaxation and entertaining friends and family.
The renovations were all about creating spaces for entertaining. The compartmentalized main living spaces were opened up with the help of a structural engineer. A bearing wall and two outdated columns were replaced by steel beams that fit into the ceiling system above, and the structural work continued all the way down to the footers in the basement. Designer Heather Garrett and her team worked decorative moulding around the new ceiling beams to make it appear as if they were always part of the home.
Don't bag up your fallen leaves and send them to the landfill. Dump them into a wire bin instead and let them decompose. This DIY bin is 3' tall and 4' in diameter. According to author Michelle Balz, it can hold about as many leaves as you'd stuff into nine paper bags. Once the leaves settle, you'll have more room to add more. The resulting compost is called leaf mold, and while it's not as nutrient-rich as traditional compost, it's still a valuable amendment for improving your soil and helping retain moisture.
The living room is the area that homeowner Richard Long considers the introverted area of the house: This is where the family goes for quiet moments: listening to or playing music, reading or pausing for a minute of reflection. It adjoins the dining room, which is painted a dark gray for a cozy feel. “Our goal is to have an art collection,” says Richard, “so we wanted a color that would fade into the background and let the art stand out.” Simple but glossy moldings and creamy walls are set off by the rich textures of leather, jute and wood in the living room.
Summer-flowering larkspurs are lovely in dried arrangements. Cut the stems just before the blooms are completely open and strip away the leaves. Then tie the stems together and hang them upside down from a coat hanger, hook or clothesline to air-dry for a few weeks. Keep them out of the sun and make sure they have good air circulation. If there’s a lot of moisture in the room, you may need to use a dehumidifier to help prevent mold and mildew. Shown here: 'Guardian Lavender' (Delphinum elatum).
The most unique part of this Tudor kitchen is the unique vignette surrounding the oven. The state-of-the-art oven was created with a vintage look, despite it having all the modern day conveniences of a new appliance. Just above the oven, there is an inset in the white subway tile backsplash that provides a focal point for the kitchen, as well as a place to set spices and oil for easy access while cooking. The Vent-a-hood has been concealed behind drywall, painted and given moulding to make the space look a bit more elegant, while still keeping the modern necessities present in the kitchen.
Just a few steps through the front door and the space opens up into this expansive dining room. Part of the effortless charm of this home comes from original details such as historic moldings. The cool white of the walls and the warm wood tone of the floor create a stark backdrop that give the room’s other colors and elements ample room to shine. The dining room is a mix of rustic and industrial elements. To add some color to the mix, a large red print, left by the home’s previous tenant adds a pop of color to the neutral decor.
This home in Decatur, Georgia outside Atlanta has five boys all under the age of 5, which means lots of mess. Designer Gina Sims solved that "problem" by creating an adult nook in the kitchen where the boys' art supplies are hidden away in the buffet. Sims advising going up when it comes to design and other elements you want to keep out of kids' reach. "The wine storage went up the wall out of reach, and we added impactful art, lighting and window treatments to draw the eye up," says Sims. Sims was also strategic in her choice of materials for the seating. "The plastic molded chairs are easily wiped down (or hosed off!) and the machine made (read: inexpensive) rug has lots of color and pattern which hide stains," notes Sims.
Young newlyweds were looking to transform their home into a chic, sophisticated space for both relaxation and entertaining friends and family. Designer Heather Garrett and her team's approach was to utilize materials that were both luxe and livable, taking into consideration pets and a baby on the way.
The renovations were all about creating spaces for entertaining. The compartmentalized main living spaces were opened up with the help of a structural engineer. A bearing wall and two outdated columns were replaced by steel beams that fit into the ceiling system above, and the structural work continued all the way down to the footers in the basement. Garrett and her team worked decorative moulding around the new ceiling beams to make it appear as if they were always part of the home.
Classic anthracnose symptoms include circular, water-soaked spots with a dark bulls-eye. A mold-like fungus eventually develops. Anthracnose is caused by a fungus that lives in soil. It’s more prevalent in poorly drained soil. Leaves or tomatoes that come into contact with soil can pick up the fungus spores. Rain and overhead irrigation can also splash fungus spores onto plants. To avoid this disease, improve poorly drained soil by adding organic matter. Stake plants to keep them off soil, and pick tomatoes before they become overly ripe, which makes them more susceptible to the disease.
Through a colorful doorway and past a tastefully appointed parlor is a breathtaking living room. The dark stained floors, which run through the entire house, were laid by Julio, who taught himself the skills he needed to accomplish the job. The white masks that hang from the far wall are his creations as well. The masks offer a modern way to bring classic Angolan art home. The ornate fireplace, one of four hearths this home boasts, is original to the space, as is the decorative scrollwork that runs across moldings and ceilings in this room. The way that Kenza and Julio have maintained the architecture of the home, is a reminder not to remove or cover up original fixtures, but to instead accentuate them. Filling a traditional space with modern furnishings creates a unique contrast of styles that can add layers of sophistication to a room.
Slugs love the soft skin of tomatoes, and if you mulch with straw or leaf litter, you may have a bumper crop of these slimy foes. You know slugs have been at work on ripening tomatoes when you see single holes in the fruit. Once a slug creates an opening in a ‘mater, the fruit is prone to attack by other insects and mold. The quickest way to catch slugs is by leaving boards out in the tomato patch. They’ll crawl under for shelter at dawn, and you can scrape them into a bucket of soapy water. Use slug bait throughout the growing season right up to frost to diminish the slug population. Choose pet-safe baits if your pooch visits the garden.
Over 4,000 different types of aphids exist and attack plants. If their numbers are low, they might be unsightly, but won’t actually harm plants. It’s when populations boom that their feeding damages plants, causing leaves to curl or flower buds to fail to open. As aphids feed, they release a sticky honeydew, enriched with plant sugars. These sugars grow mold, attract ants and create another layer of problems. Ants will actually guard aphids to protect them from predators so the ants can harvest the honeydew. When you spot a cluster of aphids, remove them with a spray of water from the hose, or kill them with insecticidal soap or a sprinkle of diatomaceous earth. Birds and predatory insects eat them, including ladybugs and lacewings. Avoid using pesticides in your garden and let these natural controls help take care of aphids for you.
Shrubs and trees planted too close to your house can trap moisture, damage siding when the wind blows, and fill gutters with debris. “I want to be able to walk behind shrubs — they need to be at least three feet from the house and from air conditioning units because they block airflow,” says Steve Gladstone, owner of Stonehollow Fine Home Inspection in Stamford, Conn. “With trees, you don’t want them rubbing against the house at all. If the sun can’t dry your house, you’ll have to repaint more often because mold and pollen will build up.” Prune regularly to keep your house envelope clear.
Climbing vines like ivy, although beautiful, can splinter and rot wood siding and even weaken the mortar between bricks. Prune any existing ivy so that it stays away from windows, gutters and trim. If your heart is set on adding a climbing vine, choose a twining vine that wraps around a trellis or other nearby structure rather than a vine that climbs by tendrils or rootlets that cling to the surface of your house.