Adding French doors to a living room creates indoor-outdoor functionality and supplies the space with natural light. Before adding French doors to your living room, consider which direction they'll need to swing. If seating will be placed within 36 inches of the doors, it's best to choose an outward-swinging style for optimum traffic flow. If the space just inside the doors will be unobstructed, an inward-swinging option will work well. Most home improvement stores offer inward- and outward-swinging doors for the same price.
Anna Williams designed this outdoor area to complement the family's tropical lifestyle. This close-up view shows the living area in shades of gray and green through the slats of a bamboo side chair. This comfortable but light furniture is easy to move around and hard-wearing. Although not shown in the photo, privacy screens, lush greenery and a dedicated dining area also incorporate the design scheme.
You would never know that this fabulous walk-in closet was created from an outdoor storage room. An exterior door and window were closed and removed to allow space for custom built-in shelving, providing ample room for clothing, shoes and jewelry. The light from the sparkling hanging fixture bounces off a shimmery petal pink ceiling, while glass shoe shelves mounted in front of pink damask wallpaper provide a beautiful focal point. Nicole Norris, ASID, NCIDQ, is responsible for the dressing room design in this North Carolina home.
This neutral, modern nursery is the perfect space for these homeowners. Inspired by the simple elegance of nature, this space has been outfitted with classic necessities to make this nursery home for the couple's second child. The changing table, trimmed with natural wood, brings in the beauty of the outdoors and is complemented by its simple, white drawers. The modern chandelier brings light to the space and adds a unique, yet classy, touch. The simple gray curtains add texture, while providing a way to block sunlight from the room for nap time.
Also called sword ferns, Kimberly queen ferns (Nephrolepis obliterate) make elegant specimen plants, thanks to their straight, upright fronds. These nearly-carefree Australian natives are happy indoors if they’re kept in medium light and given sufficient humidity (if your air is too dry, try running a small humidifier nearby). Outside, they’re hardy in zones 9-11. Indoor gardeners love them because they help purify the air, but you can also enjoy them outdoors in warm weather months.
In this landscape design by Jamie Durie, this "nest" is enveloped in foliage and tilted to one side to allow views out from the central platform, creating the illusion of sprouting from the forest floor like a plant. Several types of ornamental shrubs and grasses have been arranged in the outdoor bowl-shaped area. Trees grow up through the center of the platform, providing a canopy that protects and embraces the space while allowing dappled light to penetrate.
These homeowners were very interested in bringing their love for the natural beauty of the outdoors inside and mixing it with the modern design style they already love. This photo shows that they succeeded. The large window overlooking the sink brings in plenty of natural light, allowing nature into the space. The live edge wood shelving shows the raw beauty of nature, while the colors on the wall and the backsplash are earthy shades of green, yellow and gray. These natural elements blend perfectly with the clean lines of the countertop and the modern pendant light, bringing the couple's ideas of an eco modern design to life.
Count on Philodendron selloum to bring a tropical vibe to any setting. Wired to grow, this exotic beauty pumps out leaves without missing a beat, regardless of whether it receives bright or low light. Also known as tree philodendron, this houseplant unfurls leaves that can grow to 3 feet long. It’s on NASA’s list of best air-purifying houseplants. Place it outdoors for summer and bring it inside before fall frost.
A chocolate tree (Theobroma cacao) is a large plant, not starting to flower until it reaches 5 to 7 feet tall. It craves warmth (temps above 60 F) and bright light. Sit it outdoors for summer to encourage flowering. Blooms typically form spring through fall, followed by a large pod-like fruit. The fruit starts green and ripens to golden yellow. Inside the fruit are the chocolate beans, which must be fermented and dried before use.
Composed of crisply-detailed, considered materials, surfaces and finishes, the home is a balance of sophistication and restraint. The two-story massing is designed to allow for a bold yet humble street presence, while each single-story wing extends through the site, forming intimate outdoor and indoor spaces. The upper story is clad in stucco, articulated as a floating white box, light in appearance and also acting as a veritable “tree house” for the children’s bedroom zone. The knots in the exposed portion of the wood add a desired texture and contrast to the clean and minimal massing of the white stucco.
Christmas cactus are succulents, not cacti. They need warm temperatures and bright light; after their holiday flowers fade, reduce the amount of water you give them. You can enjoy your potted Christmas cacti as a houseplant or move it outdoors in the spring, after all danger of frost has passed. Give it bright light, but not direct sun, and in some parts of the country, as the daylight hours naturally lengthen and then shorten again, new buds will form. Some gardeners may need to put their Christmas cacti into a completely dark location for 12 hours a day, for several weeks, in temperatures from about 50 to 55 degrees F., to stimulate new buds.
This home is located on a steeply sloping ridge top and is designed to sensitively step down with the land. The steep topography influenced the linear design as it hugs along a natural rock outcropping. The layout is perfectly harmonious to the land and sun, allowing the home to orient its long faces to the north and south while minimizing its east and west exposures.
Tall, north-facing window walls capture cool, even lighting throughout the day, while deep overhangs along the south protect from overexposure from the sun. The main roof sheds to the south, providing maximum solar collection potential. Decks and screened-in porches along the south face also provide areas for outdoor entertaining and a means to capture prevailing breezes that blow up from the canyons below.
Six Oaks can be found deep in the woods of Felton, California (not far from Santa Cruz). It’s built in a former railway area surrounded by redwood trees, although you’ll be glad to know only two redwoods were cut down to accommodate the home, and those were used for interior elements such as the stairs. Architecture and design firm Modulus created Six Oaks by stacking six shipping containers as a way to maximize light, views and airflow throughout the 1,200-square-foot space. Skylights, a bridge and private outdoor shower are other standout features in a home that’s otherwise intended to blend into its surroundings.
You would never know that this fabulous walk-in closet was created from an outdoor storage room. An exterior door and window were closed and removed to allow space for custom built-in shelving, providing ample room for clothing, shoes and jewelry. The light from the sparkling hanging fixture bounces off a shimmery petal pink ceiling, while glass shoe shelves mounted in front of pink damask wallpaper provide a beautiful focal point. The custom-designed full-length mirror and the sconces flanking it stand out in front of the horizontal striped wallpaper. Nicole Norris, ASID, NCIDQ, is responsible for the dressing room design in this North Carolina home.
The 16-foot-wide dining space in HGTV's Dream Home 2014 feels voluminous thanks to 10-foot-high walls and a steeply-pitched ceiling featuring exposed structural beams. A wall of windows overlooks the front yard and floods the room with natural light. As interior designer Linda Woodrum chose fabrics for this room with a view, she was careful to stick with subtle patterns and solids that didn't compete with the outdoors. The flowy white draperies are mounted at the top of the wall in order to draw the eye up. A traverse rod operates on a pulley system to allow for easy adjustment.
‘Kirigami’ ornamental oregano isn’t meant for the kitchen—it’s purely a garden delight with its colorful bracts and lightly fragrant flowers. In autumn’s cool nights, the rose-purple bracts on ‘Kirigami’ (Origanum x hybrid ‘Kirigami’) deepen in color. Look for this beauty in spring to grow all summer long and into fall. Or pick it up at garden centers in autumn to decorate outdoor spaces until hard frost arrives. This oregano is winter hardy in planting beds in Zones 5b-8b. Tuck it into the garden at least six weeks before hard frost to help ensure winter survival. Next spring, dig it and pot it, or enjoy its trailing stems in the garden.
Inside the wet room, a sloped shower floor and linear drain system eliminates the need for a shower door, creating universal access and a feeling of openness. The plank tile is continued vertically up the rear shower wall, while the adjacent walls are tiled in iridescent white porcelain for maximum reflection of natural light. Because the window offers spectacular city skyline views, a curtain of beaded crystal is hung to create a permeable layer of privacy and to represent falling beads of water. The installation of a living orchids wall completes the experience of showering outdoors within the city.
Once your holiday amaryllis blooms, keep your plant in a room that’s on the cool side to help the flowers last longer, and give them bright light and evenly moist soil. When the flowers fade, cut back the stalks to just above the bulb, and let the leaves continue to grow. Water and fertilize throughout the next summer and,if you moved your amaryllis outdoors, bring it back in before frost. If your amaryllis dies back completely, it’s probably gone dormant; stop watering until new growth appears.