For cool-region gardens, it’s tough to beat the stunning spring beauty of lupine. This native sends up flower spikes in a host of hues, including purple, white and pink. Lupines unfurl strongly textural leaves with finger-like edges. Dew and raindrops pool in leaf centers, adding sparkle to plants. This native readily self-sows, delivering different colors in future generations. Sow this beauty in drifts so you can cut flower spikes for the vase, where they linger up to two weeks. Look for varieties that grow to different sizes. This pretty pink bloomer is Lupinus polyphyllus ‘Minarette’. It grows 18 inches tall and wide. Hardy in Zones 3-7.
Blue and White Open Plan Kitchen and Dining Area
To unify the aesthetic of this sweet breakfast nook with the adjacent open plan kitchen, designers continued the kitchen's blue accents in the nook's blue curtains and dining chairs.
Violas, dianthus and poppies breathe color into Walled Garden plantings after bulbs fade. Choose cool-season annuals to fill containers and planting beds with petals that shrug off late-spring cold snaps. Other good choices for early season flowers include pansy, forget-me-not, snapdragon, flowering stock and sweet alyssum. In beds, plant bloomers in blocks for a punch of can’t-miss color.
Woven baskets are a textured and practical addition to the modern bookshelf in this neutral kids' room. They conceal clutter and make it easy to organize children's things like toys, puzzles and games.
Catherine recommends homeowners decorating their first space take it slow. "I know people are eager to be done," she says, but don't rush into filling every nook and cranny right away. Instead, take the time to hit antique stores and consignment shops to find the perfect pieces for your new home. Catherine found the $25 rattan coffee table base in her living room at Atlanta's Scott's Antique Market and had a piece of glass cut to fit.
Catherine uses Thibaut Tanzania wallpaper in black on cream in her home's only bathroom to give it real impact. "Since it was our only bathroom," says Catherine, she decided to "make it fun." Even the ceiling is wallpapered for maximum effect.
Cuisinart's Griddler comes with two reversible cooking plates, with a grill on one side and griddle on the other. While the multifunctional appliance is compact and great for small spaces, the lid folds down to make the cooking surface area 200 square inches.