Island construction is essentially simple; it’s a project most experienced woodworkers could manage fairly easily. Designer Brooke Norsworthy took on the project herself, building an oversized island with seating for four. She explains her process: “Using Ana White’s kitchen cabinet plans, I built these cabinets by hand using PureBond plywood with poplar trim. The island consists of four cabinets: two 24" bases and two 21" bases. I made the frame for the counter using plywood and 2x4s and took it to my local metal shop to be wrapped in stainless steel. I screwed the legs directly into the countertop just before I glued down the metal, creating a very spacious 4' x 8' kitchen island.”
Create a beautiful piece of indoor or outdoor decor with a piece of plywood, a pile of sticks and some wood glue. Cut the plywood into a roughly pumpkin shape. Use wood glue to completely cover the plywood with rows of sticks. It's ok if the sticks hang over the edge of the wood a bit. Place weights on the sticks and let the glue dry for at least 24 hours. Trim the edges of the sticks and sand if necessary to create your refined pumpkin shape. Add a fabric leaf and display your pumpkin in your garden, beside your front door, or hang it on the living room wall.
These vintage doors are a clever transition from Angela's daughter's bedroom into her art studio. Angela found the doors, lacquered them and had them put on a track system in order to divide the two spaces. Notice that just beyond the doors in the hot pink studio, the trim color is white as opposed to the tone-on-tone application we've seen throughout the home. Bright white borders on the deep pink tone define the color even more. Another cool trick? When your case goods don't actually match, have them painted the same color simply for continuity. Neither of the tables, chests or dressers in this space were sourced together or at the same time, however the crisp white finish on each makes it look like they were destined to live in the same room.
When decorator Nick Olsen moved into his 525-square-foot studio in New York City, the walls were painted white, in keeping with small-space convention. "But the place just looked gray and dingy," says Olsen. And so, rather than just slapping on a newer, brighter coat of white, he painted the apartment's main room Oregano Green (Benjamin Moore 2147-10), in an oil-based metal enamel, to resemble lacquer.
"Although the apartment is small," says Olsen, "it's actually rather grand with 12-foot ceilings, huge windows and a high-relief fireplace. So I felt it would be a shame to tone it down with a pale color or white." For even more impact, he painted the doors glossy black and the trim white, and added a deep teal velvet sofa. Olsen didn't shy away from bright color in the 35- (yes, 35!) square-foot kitchen either, wallpapering the fridge in a bright spring pattern and painting the walls and the ceiling Sea Mist Green (Benjamin Moore #2041-50). "To make color work in a really tiny room like this kitchen," Olsen suggests, "paint the walls and ceilings the same color so you're eye doesn't stop at the ceiling line."
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.