Wonders: Tin Cans

Target’s release of 1.2 million limited-edition Campbell’s cans sporting Warhol-inspired labels has me walking down memory lane and also reconsidering the tin can. As soon as I was growing up, our basement was overflowing with Campbell’s soup labels, because my mother was Ayer Elementary School’s Campbell’s Soup Lady. This meant she had to gather and count . (She was pretty excited to move up to Book Lady another year and leave the labels behind.) The faculty then traded them for high-tech stuff, such as overhead projectors and abaci.

During these olden days, there was no such thing as recycling, but we did style high-tech phone systems in the cans and a ball of string, and also our art teachers came up with great tin can jobs for us. I’m psyched to say the creative tin can spirit from days of yore (the 1980s) remains alive today; see if they inspire any simple projects in your home.

Lola Nova

Form of can: Any canned-food can
Use: Vase
Impact: If you leave them using their normal metal patina or paint them bright colors, soup cans are simply the right size for a bouquet or a small plant.
Hint: High-gloss acrylic paint looks the sassiest.


Type of can: Small paint can, java can, soup can
Use: Organizing art or office supplies
Impact: Odds are, one of your earliest DIY jobs was wrap a soup can at some wrapping paper in nursery school and giving it to a daddy because of his desk for a present. Use your favorite wallpaper sample or fabric, or bust out the Mod Podge and channel your inner John Derian by decoupaging a few cans for your studio or desk.

Melissa Mascara Layout

Type of can: Coffee tin
Use: Outside planter
Impact: A colorful vertical garden. I really like the way these containers have faded to different amounts.
Hint: Drill holes at the bottom for great drainage.

Julie Ranee Photography

Type of can: Paint can
Use: Planter
Impact: A good method to use those paint cans collecting in the crawl space, since you never know how to get rid of them anyway. Give them a coat of glossy bright paint and they’ll grab attention in your garden.

Colleen Brett

Type of can: Spice tin
Use: Container for seeds
Impact: You’ll check the dates on those ancient spices on your pantry and won’t feel guilty dumping them since you are going to have a nice new way to use them.

By the way, if realizing your herbaceous plants are somewhat older than your college-age child inspires you to clean out the pantry, then here’s some help for getting started.

Type of can: Any
Use: Robot sculpture
Impact: A funny conversation piece it is possible to use indoors or outside. (It’ll eventually corrode outside, but the patina will make it even more interesting.)


Type of can: Campbell’s soup can
Use: Silverware holder in a picnic or buffet
Impact: A clever pop art foundation for the rest of your colour scheme


Form of can: Campbell’s soup can
Use: Warhol-esque installment
Impact: Soup storage which dazzles in the kitchen and frees a pantry shelf.

Made in Layout

Canned Light Pendant by Ingo Maurer – GBP 158

Type of can: Campbell’s soup can
Use: Pendant light
Result: I swiped this idea from light ace Ingo Maurer, but why not try it with a favorite can plus a simple lighting kit in the hardware store? Should you picked up among the limited-edition Warhol cans at Target, it is a fantastic way to enjoy it in perpetuity.

Read more multipurpose wonders

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A Seattle Remodel Offers Accessibility

Marsha Donaldson and Bill Ferris remodeled their home to look and function like any other modern home, but the actual beauty of this new design lies in the subtle details. The couple’s space-efficient design options also make the house fully accessible to Ferris, who has lived the last 38 years in a wheelchair.

The couple worked with designer and former rehab nurse Susan Duncan of ABCs of Access, Seattle interior designer Piper Lauri Salogga and Guy DiRe of Chieftain Construction. The team carefully considered space, height and more, and the result is a house layout that works comfortably for both Ferris and Donaldson.

at a Glance
Who lives here: Marsha Donaldson, Bill Ferris and their puppy, Sadie
Location: Hawthorne Hills neighborhood of Seattle
Size: 1,350 square feet; two bedrooms, 2 baths

Louise Lakier

The first change they made was adding a wooden access ramp. They then replaced it with this specific concrete ramp that blends to the landscaping, resembling low terrace walls. The extra width of the top leg allows for a tiny front porch.

Louise Lakier

A subtle detail provides convenience, ease, and efficiency in motion: A doorway pull found right above the mail slot enables Ferris to maintain his sanity as he slides out the doorway, without needing to reach back awkwardly to pull the door shut.

Louise Lakier

The low concrete ramp wall mixes into and is hidden by lush plantings. Mary Kay Swanson and Niko Stoll of Box of Rain Landscape designed the front yard.

Louise Lakier

Both Donaldson and Ferris admire the elegance and simplicity of celebrity Maya Lin’s designs. Working together with Salogga they achieved a house layout and colour scheme with minimal furniture plus a modern, uncluttered feel.

The two like entertaining and are currently brainstorming ideas on the best way best to enlarge their dining room area.

Louise Lakier

The kitchen includes functional pullout cutting boards. While useful, they are also able to get in the way when both of these are cooking and vying for space. The area under the sink is spacious so Ferris can perform dishes facing forward rather than sideways. The windowsill was lowered so that he can enjoy the outside scenery.

Donaldson is the primary chef, so the countertops were kept in standard height. The items usually found under a sink, such as the recycling and garbage bins, live in a pullout cabinet beside the sink. The breakfast corner table is handily cantilevered to get rid of the cumbersome banging of glider and knees on the table legs.

Louise Lakier

The upper cabinets are somewhat lower than usual so Ferris can reach both lower shelves. The toe cries are 9 inches high, allowing for a 60-inch twist clearance so Ferris can move freely round the kitchen with no backing in and out. Standard toe cries are 4-5 inches high. DiRe came up with the innovative gate that slides supporting the cabinetry when the couple’s dog, Sadie, has access to the kitchen. The floors are Marmoleum.

Louise Lakier

The bathrooms are spacious, and the sinks are cantilevered for full wheelchair accessibility. The extra-wide space also includes sliding doors for clearance and space efficiency.

Louise Lakier

The furniture layout is stored open in the living space, leaving plenty of space for Ferris to get around. A sensible decision was made to leave out a coffee table.

Louise Lakier

The first home was under 900 square feet. The few extended the house to the garden, creating a bedroom large enough to enable Ferris to possess turnaround space on both sides of the bed.

“Our-light filled, spacious master bedroom is my favorite place in the home,” Donaldson says. “With easy access to the deck, the landscaping allows us to leave our windows open while still maintaining our solitude.” The expansive windows also them to enjoy a crystal clear view of the backyard.

Louise Lakier

The sink in the master bath is reduced and cantilevered so Ferris could have full access. The toilet cabinets (not shown) pull out for easy accessibility from the sides.

Louise Lakier

The bathtub is curbless and fully accessible. The few considered installing glass partition walls but determined that a curtain and rod would offer the most flexibility.

Louise Lakier

The prior master bedroom is currently the workplace and also serves as the guest space. The couple opted for a Murphy bed (pictured available) for optimized space efficiency. From the cupboard near the bed, a table lamp is stored underneath a pullout table. The cupboard (not shown) is split between workplace storage and cupboard space for visiting guests.

Louise Lakier

Donaldson says, “We both believe in the maxim ‘Less is more’ and combined with that, ‘Less is calming.'” In line with that, the pull-down bed neatly tucks away to the wall cupboard, along with the couple discuss a cantilevered desk.

Louise Lakier

A golden chain tree in full bloom frames the Trex deck. DiRe sloped the deck to get a smooth transition out in the kitchen. The couple decided on steps down to the lawn for better clearance inside the backyard, so Ferris accesses the space from across the side.

Louise Lakier

It was hard for Ferris to use the backyard with its first grass and planter beds. Box of Rain Landscaping installed and designed the stone pavers, sloping them suitably so Ferris could access the lawn. The pavers extend into both sides gates, so that he has full use of the scenic lawn.

Louise Lakier

Ferris, Donaldson and Sadie in their own backyard garden.

Is your home designed with access in mind? Show us your house and it could be featured on .

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Enliven Your Porch With Shade

If you are looking to add vibrance to your porch, amp up the shade. We’ve already discussed how to do so using plants, and now we’re ready bring in colour utilizing accessories, furniture and architectural accents. If you are looking to just dip your feet into porch shade, stick with smaller accessories at first. As you begin to crave more colour, it is possible to work your way upward to painting the floor, architectural elements and furniture. These notions will enliven your frontside or back porch.

More Porch Life: Wraparound Porches | Sleeping Porches | Screened-In Porches | Modern Porches | Banishing the Bugs | Dining on the Porch

Texas Construction Company

Get all colour from the property’s exterior. The exterior palette with this home is all of the colour this porch requires, particularly because the floorboards and risers were painted to match the trim.

Merzbau Design Collective

Match a colour from the architectural elements to furniture. This perfectly aligned row of seats coordinates with all the beams and columns, resulting in a balanced and attractive facade.

Rachel Reider Interiors

Bring in colour through smaller pieces of furniture. Modern metal tables comparison with this traditional furniture.

Anthony Baratta LLC

When seaside, consider matching your colours to the water. An opinion this stunning has to be celebrated. The hues on the upholstery, ceiling and accessories shade adopt the water’s beautiful colours.

Jeffrey Dungan Architects

Likewise, inspiration in the dune grasses and sand cover homage to a seaside setting.

Gridley + Graves Photographers

Embrace the exterior wall shade. A lake home’s brilliant green board and batten siding is almost all of the colour this porch needs; pops of cherry would be the finishing touch.

Paint a couple wooden bits. The bright turquoise buffet and chairs with this porch stick out alongside each of the crisp white and black everywhere else. Using paint to spruce up some flea market wooden seats is an easy way to add colour. If you have several different varieties of chairs, it is going to unify a mismatched group as an eye-pleasing group.

Watch the rest of this home

Cathy Carr, APLD

Play off your plants. The stripes on these pillows coordinate perfectly with all the hanging impatiens.

Siemasko + Verbridge

Fall mums inspire a couple autumnal red accents as the seasons change across this porch.

Rethink Design Studio

Turn your hues up a notch or two. Fantastic blue and bright pops of yellowish turn up the volume over the usual coastal palette to this Tybee Island, Georgia, screened-in porch.

Watch the rest of this home

Tom Meaney Architect, AIA

Pay attention to the floor. A vibrant cardinal and gold checkerboard pattern unifies the various spaces with this lengthy porch.

Use throw pillows. Switch your throw pillows around on the porch just as you would on your sofa or bed. These vibrant tones include Moroccan style for this porch. Use weather-resistant fabric such as Sunbrella’s to keep colors bright.

Smith & Vansant Architects PC

Pick painted wicker. While I am usually a sucker for black wicker, these reds and yellows show off the owner’s personal style and make this porch seem to be a very happy spot.

Watch the rest of this home


Use an outside rug. Not too long ago, the only outside rug alternative was a close relative of AstroTurf. Now there are a shocking number of styles available. Ground the distance with one and pick up on its colour. Here pops of robin’s egg blue in the rug, upholstery and ceiling unify the area.

Sara Hopkins

Add an awning. Not just will it provide extra shade as required, but also an awning provides colour and layout to play from, as these coastal chair cushions show.

12 Ways to Prep the Porch for Summer
10 Methods to Bedeck Your Deck

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'Yakisugi-ita' Is Placing the Siding World on Fire

High design and Far East tradition garnish with the dark, dramatic Japanese siding made by a procedure called yakisugi-ita (also known as shou-sugi-ban). Translated as “the burning of Western cypress (sugi),” yakisugi-ita is gaining popularity outside Japan, as the procedure leaves wood almost maintenance free and makes it resistant to fire, rot and pests. Siding created by this method has an expected life span of over 80 decades, because of a protective coating made by carbon released during burning.

Carbonized (that is, charred) siding is a strong statement and, as such, is ideal for simple forms and details that allow the dramatic finish to take center stage. The charred siding of this Prescott Passive House above overlooks the handsome restraint of this form.

The home is a product of an innovative non-profit design/build program, Studio 804, for graduate students at the University of Kansas School of Architecture. The students design and build one project every year, with an emphasis on sustainable, affordable and innovative building solutions.

This former backyard shed, now an office, designed by THOUGHTBARN, efficiently plays with form and materials, rooting the streamlined arrangement using charred siding. The darkish siding is topped with light-diffusing polycarbonate sheets and a cherry roof. Western red cedar was carbonized for both the building and the fence.

An Amsterdam residence becomes playful with contrasts, with brighter planks of wood layered between the siding.

The Process

First the wood is burned either using a torch or by more conventional techniques.

The scorched wood is subsequently doused with water and brushed to remove the charcoal dust, revealing a slightly silver sheen.

Finally the charred wood is washed and dried. It can be left with no finish, or an oil can be implemented to bring out the gray, sliver, black or brown tones.

Delta Lumber & Millworks

This handsome and powerful cladding has gained international appeal, together with the treatment being applied to a wide variety of wood. While some species can be charred, the consequent look will be different. A softwood, such as the Western sugi (cypress), has prominent growth rings which lead to an extremely textured surface, whereas charring hardwood leads to an evenly blackened surface.

Tell us Can you go dim?

Wood Home Exteriors Branch Out
Exterior Materials Mix It Up
Exterior Materials: Textures Chat

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Pivot Door

Instead of being attached to the door frame, pivot doors turn on a single shaft located within the door itself. The weight of the door fully rests on the arm in the bottom; the arm in the top guides the motion. Pivot doors can either swing in a single direction or turn either way.

Four Corners Construction, L.P.

The hardware allowing a door to pivot is nearly invisible, creating a slick look.

Silva Studios Architecture

Conventional swinging doors rely on hinges for their motion, which eventually warps the door or wears out the hinges. Pivoting doors break on a single shaft, reducing strain on both the door and the hardware.


Oversize or heavy doors swing easily on a pivot. It would be difficult to find a hinge powerful enough to suspend a door of the size and weight

Ana Williamson Architect

High-gloss paint and frosted glass make for a striking pivot door. The shaft of the pivot door is visible at the top, revealing the mechanisms.

Quezada Architecture

A double set of pivot doors such as these may resemble hinge doors whenever they’re closed, but the gap in the frame border when they’re open gives them off.

Gast Architects

This pantry has a pivot door complete with a kick plate. Occasionally full hands need a foot to assist.

Browse more photos of pivot doors

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Quirky DIY Bungalow in Canada

Gemma Bonham-Carter is a avid DIYer who realized early in her house makeover that the home of her dreams would not materialize overnight. “The greatest challenge for us has been a mixture of budget and space. With a tight budget, we try to do a lot ourselves, frequently buying things “preloved.” I must be OK with slow and steady advancement,” states Bonham-Carter, the DIY design blogger behind The Sweetest Digs.

Bonham-Carter has handled her home makeover projects piecemeal. Her and her husband have shone present decor and furniture, and are seeing how things could be reincarnated to more functional, beautiful bits. “I am also all about intelligent storage, trying not to collect too much things and working with what we really need,” states Bonham-Carter.

in a Glance
Who lives here: Gemma Bonham-Carter and her husband, Dan
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Size: 1,600 square feet
That’s interesting: Every room benefits from Bonham-Carter’s DIY projects.

Bonham-Carter made the faux capiz chandelier at the guest room with wax paper, string and a hanging flower basket. She was itching to handle this job after she and her husband relocated to Canada after a year old in England. “You just require a flat surface to work on, some time and a hot glue gun,” she states. “The 3 nights I spent working on it had been completely worthwhile. It cost me a total of $2.50!”

This lime green and white trellis pattern on the wall has been made using a stencil. “I wished to use background in this area, but once I realized it was likely to be $150 just to complete one wall in the design I liked, I started considering other choices,” states Bonham-Carter. She chose a trellis pattern that channeled design components she and her husband had admired a trip to Morocco.

The wall complements the house general palette of blues, turquoises and grays, and although the stenciling made Bonham-Carter’s hands cramp, she states the final result and money saved were worthwhile.

Punch Up a Wall Using a Bright, Bold Stencil Pattern

The rows of magazine filers and organizers show just how serious Bonham-Carter is all about organizing; everything has a dedicated space and is set away after use. Once every season, Bonham-Carter does a complete spring cleaning to declutter even further.

Bonham-Carter made this black and white chevron artwork canvas using a cardboard template. “Then it was just a matter of taping the lines out with painter’s tape and painting the space between. The entire cost was less than $20 — not bad for a large, fun piece of original art for your pad. And even if you don’t believe you are an artsy person, this is a totally easy-peasy job,” she states.

Radio: Tivoli Radio

Bonham-Carter and her husband’s solution into a drab and dull kitchen: a cosmetic update of black and white vinyl tiles. “The vinyl tiles are clearly not the most glamorous of flooring alternatives, but since we are saving for a huge kitchen remodel, they’re a fantastic temporary solution and include a fun diner look to our kitchen,” she states.

Other cosmetic makeovers from the kitchen include repainting the cupboards and replacing the components into a brushed silver finish.

This well-composed vignette was a hidden spot in the Bonham-Carter’s kitchen. “I emptied the shelves and coloured the backs using a splashy lime green paint — left over from our office makeover. I took out some of our baking items from a different shelf, jars of things that look great in an exposed shelf. Now these items are easily available and also have freed up space everywhere in our little kitchen,” she states.

The Sweetest Digs

A ceramic white elephant perches onto a pile of favourite magazines.

The Moroccan trellis wall stencil pattern at the house office is repeated in the drapes framing the dining room windows; the drapes add vertical elevation and lend an air of sophistication to the area. “The paint on the cloth does not feel good against your skin, but it’s not like you are curling up from the drapes,” states Bonham-Carter.

A classic chandelier adds elegance into the master bedroom. The chandelier used to get what Bonham-Carter calls for a “sad brass” end, therefore she breathed new life to the metal using matte black spray paint.

The Sweetest Digs

Bonham-Carter describes her bungalow as with a fun and unique charm. “I’ve seen some houses which have weathered little rooms, but ours is pretty open and feels like a comfy place for family and friends to congregate,” she states.

One of Bonham-Carter’s treasured pieces from the living room is your coffee table, which she “fished out” of her father-in-law’s farm. She and her husband sanded and sanded the surface to restore the wood’s dark veneer; black paint has been also applied to the metal legs.

“I am always tweaking things. We are currently in the middle of a bathroom remodel, and eventually we’d like to devote a new kitchen,” she states. “In the meantime, we take each job one day at a time.”

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Sink Into a Home Yoga Practice Space

Shri K. Pattabhi Jois, famous in the West since the father of Ashtanga yoga, famously said to his students, “Yoga is 99 per cent practice, 1 per cent theory.” But as our daily obligations increase, enriching one’s practice by attending course at a yoga studio has gotten more and more difficult — not to mention pricey.

Yoga professionals all over the world have taken things into their own hands by attracting their yoga exercise home. You, too, can accentuate your practice by producing your own yoga space in your house with only a couple of tweaks and enhancements that match your budget and lifestyle. If you don’t have the funds for a detached cabin or another yoga space, a cellar corner or nook should suffice, provided that it could accommodate an unfurled yoga mat along with your arm span. If you’re planning to do inversions, at least one clear, unadorned wall space is necessary.

Palmerston Design Consultants

Salute sunlight with natural light. This airy penthouse yoga room has all of the elements of the very serene yoga studio: natural air purifiers by means of a potted plant, hardwood floors for more secure Sun Salutations and asanas (poses), white and warm tones, and most important, unadorned windows that let in lots of natural light.

“We installed sun colors that allowed our customer to control the amount of light that was coming to the room and reduce glare,” says interior designer Kirsten Marshall, who made this Toronto yoga room for a teacher who continues to use among the rooms in her house as a studio for personal clients.

Shelving unit: custom constructed by Palmerston Design Consultants; alpine white planter: Barracuda Home and Garden Accessories

Sutton Suzuki Architects

“For the ones that can have an entirely separate yoga space, I would advise using plenty of natural light,” agrees San Francisco Bay Area yoga teacher Charu Rachlis. “Ideally you want to face north or west when in the yoga space; the two instructions are considered auspicious for spiritual practice, not to mention that you might have to see the sun climbing in the distance.”

Feldman Architecture, Inc..

Connect with character. This Mill Valley, California, yoga cabin was part of a project that included adding two cabins on a steep wooded website, with one cabin used as a yoga studio. As you can see, the cabin has direct access into the surrounding plant and receives lots of natural light. “We placed the yoga cabin right next to a beautiful group of redwood trees,” chief architect Jonathan Feldman says. The customer “desired healthy materials and finishes [non- or zero-VOC] and natural substances: rustic timber, rock and warm paint colours,” he adds.

More clients are asking yoga studios, these days Feldman says. “People seem to want lots of light plus a distant location where they may escape from the stresses of their hectic lives.”

Harrell Remodeling, Inc..

Colorado yoga teacher Meg DePriest adds, “Your yoga space doesn’t necessarily have to be 9 feet by 9 feet, as is popularly believed.” Can you stretch your arms out and legs while lying on the ground without bumping into furniture? Would you proceed through Sun Salutations without having to restrict your motion? If so, then you have enough space for asana practice.

The warmth to your yoga space or room is dependent upon your wants and preferences, but be certain the room is ventilated properly and may be heated in winter.

John Kraemer & Sons

Produce another space. Devoting another space for yoga practice, however large or small the region, is important in establishing your home yoga practice. There’s something curative about leaving the needs of our hectic lives in a distance “out there” and entering a distance that’s solely dedicated to healing, mindfulness and calm.

“With this project, the homeowners’d always desired a space especially for yoga, so the space was really designed into the plan and wasn’t an afterthought,” says home contractor Jonathan Kraemer, adding that it was designed exactly to his clients’ specifications.


Cork Flooring, Bleach White

“The clients asked for bamboo flooring, which can be ecofriendly, comfy and easy to walk on, durable and absorb sound nicely,” says Kraemer.


You don’t have to have a lot of money to have an entirely separate yoga room. “You might not have a space that you’re able to keep clear at all times for yoga,” DePriest says. “In that circumstance, every [time you practice], clear exactly the same distance that you’ll be using then light a candle to signify the transition out of what that distance was to exactly what the distance has become. It helps ground your yoga/meditation practice”

Karen Maximo-Fernando

A reading nook or sitting area may quickly transform into a yoga room if furniture could be moved against the wall to create more space for your mat.

DePriest clinics at home in a tiny alcove in her master bedroom, where she’s a low table with books and incense, and floor space for her zafu (meditation pillow) and yoga mat. “I have one wall space free so I could do inversions. I adore my house yoga room,” she says.

Zafu Zabuton Set – $152

This zafu zabuton set comes with a meditation mat along with a cushion for rear support during meditation.

Escale layout

Don’t be afraid to take it outside. What a lot of people don’t understand is that yoga is much more than poses and physical exercise. “For me, yoga is also about sitting and meditating. The poses help you attain strength and flexibility in order for your meditation and sitting practice can be more comfortable. Anyone can practice yoga anywhere in the house. You work with what you have,” says DePriest.

This scenic view and surrounding landscape create an ideal place to practice yoga; pranayama (breath work) is made easy with fresh air, along with the heat from the sun’s rays can help improve flexibility during one’s practice. Just don’t forget to wear sunscreen.

Contemporary Prints And Posters – $69.99

Set the ideal intent with a grounding object. It is important to have something that reminds you exactly what your practice is aiming toward. “Possessing an visual totem that reminds you that the distance and exercise is for healing and relaxation: a flower, a statue, a film that has spiritual meaning for a candle,” says Rachlis, adding that it’s “entirely up to each individual how to set up a space for meditation and yoga.”

Like everything that has to do with yoga, use your intuition in determining what seems sacred and what you would like to have within your conscious space.

Produce Your Own Massage Room
Inspiring Spaces: A Place to Work Out

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Easy Green: Weekend Detox for Your House

Seeking to green your home but not certain where to start? Try out this very simple strategy for a weekend home detox. Covering Friday to Sunday, it’s packed with easy pointers to help the planet, save money and have more fun.

ZeroEnergy Design

Friday after work: Unplug. Save energy and recharge your batteries by spending Friday evening without your usual tech apparatus. Take advantage of the longer times by taking a small snack, a book along with a refreshing beverage outdoors to savor the last few moments of light. No yard? Hit up the neighborhood park.

Later, dust off decks of cards, board games and failed craft projects for a day of old-school fun.

Jeanette Lunde

Saturday morning: Clean the air. Open those windows up and let the fresh air in. This simple step can make a big difference in indoor air quality, which is normally worse than outside, even in towns. Attempt to crack a few windows for at least 15 minutes each day to keep your house’s air clean.

Next, grab your jacket and your coffee because I am sending you on a little errand. Go to a local nursery (or perhaps your grocery store) and treat yourself to a flowering plant. This small act will undoubtedly lift your spirits, and it’ll help detox the air to boot.

Artistic Designs for Living, Tineke Triggs

Reduce and recycle. Take a walk throughout your home, scooping up surplus clutter in addition to those pesky electronics you have been meaning to take to the recycling center. Your home will feel lighter, and you’ll be doing the earth a favor when you contribute and recycle unwanted items rather than throwing them in the trash.

Nicole Lanteri Design

Now let us take a look in your pantry. This is a good opportunity to throw unhealthy packed foods, also anything that is expired. Consider keeping healthy staples in clean glass containers where you are very likely to reach for them.

When it is time to hit the shop again, consider using the bulk bins for some of your purchases to reduce packaging waste and save cash.

Karen Viscito Interiors

Getting hungry? It’s time to plan some home-cooked meals for the next few days. Cooking at home means you don’t have to dispose of most of those takeout containers, also it is usually healthier and cheaper.

As you are at the market, also scoop up a couple of natural cleaning products. Most available on the market now work just in addition to traditional cleaners and smell better. Want to actually pinch pennies? Some people swear that baking soda and vinegar can clean just about anything. For bonus points, pick up a water filter and ditch your plastic water bottle habit.

Michael Robert Construction

Saturday evening: Go paperless. Prior to going out, take a half-hour roughly to register for online statements to your household accounts and cancel any subscriptions you are no more enjoying. A brief time spent setting up things now will stop a mountain of paperwork by entering your home in the future.

Get tips and Internet tools for carrying the paperless plunge

Amy Lau Design

Bedtime: Make your bedroom a tech-free zone. Remove as many electronics as possible from your bedroom and see what a difference it makes in the way you feel. To have a more restful sleep, consider turning off the TV and Web at least a half-hour until you flip in.

8 Decorating Ideas for a Good Night’s Sleep

Banyon Tree Design Studio

Sunday: Plant something. Plants help clean the air and keep our world cool. Do your part and take advantage of whatever area you need to grow something. Don’t have a huge yard? No Problem. Get creative with container planting, a vertical garden or even a pot of herbs on your windowsill.

Go a step further and bring home a tree for indoors or out. Indoor trees make for dramatic decor and do a wonderful job of cleansing the air. Bamboo, philodendron and rubber plants are great choices.

Yvonne McFadden LLC

Sunday evening: Have a dinner. Finish the weekend by starting a new dinner tradition. Whether you keep it modest or invite a lot of family and friends is up to you; the point is to slow down and connect. In case your unplugged evening went well on Friday, consider going unplugged again this evening. You might even shut off the lights and have a candlelit dinner.

10 Ways to Go Greener Through Design

Reclaim Room to Breathe

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Kitchen Workbook: 8 Components of an Kitchen

The allure of a Asian-style kitchen lies in its basic sense of serenity, spiced with a bit of the exotic. Materials with a strong connection to nature, harmonious and smooth lines, and an unexpected surprise or two add up to some distance that exudes peace and balance yet whispers of an inherent strength. Here is the way to interpret the appearance for your kitchen.

More kitchen style guides

MN Builders

Balance and harmony. The Asian aesthetic puts a strong emphasis on harmony, in terms of substances in addition to design. Pay attention to balancing visual elements such as color, weight and form. Inside this kitchen the dark range hood offsets the staircase, and the milder ceiling beams echo the cabinetry.

LisaLeo layouts

Organic substances. Surfaces using a connection to the earth feel most at home in Asian-style kitchens. Consider forests, subdued stone as well as butcher block. More modern materials, such as glass or concrete, have a location here as well, but be sure to balance them with organic ones so the kitchen does not feel cold or unpleasant.

Gaspar’s Construction

Elements from nature. Asian layout puts a strong emphasis on bringing the outside inside through crops and organic themes. Look at adding touches of glass or acrylic that has bamboo, grasses or leaves embedded inside it, like in the shoji screen–style panels that entrance this kitchen window. You might also line cabinet panels with split bamboo stalks or include potted bamboo plants or wheatgrass to infuse the area with a sense of life.

Mark Brand Architecture

Minimalist design. Asian interiors are about simplicity, and that has the kitchen. An Asian-style kitchen ought to feel serene and understated. Keep the design sleek and streamlined, without the visual mess to interrupt the sight lines. A galley kitchen, as shown above, works especially well, but any setup could be successful as long as it’s a smooth stream.

John Lum Architecture, Inc.. AIA

Straightforward cabinetry. Cabinetry in an Asian-style kitchen has clean lines and has no ornamentation. Some cabinets have a Shaker-like quality, while others are frameless. Keep hardware minimal and crisp to fit.

MN Builders

Spectacular comparison. Asian kitchens often feature an element of play, such as the black fridge panels against the pale cabinetry of this area. Look at adding an unexpected element to ignite the room: a bit of gilt, an unusually shaped staircase, a statement light fixture.

Melinamade Interiors

Natural flooring. Flooring in an Asian-style kitchen feels warm and organic. Bamboo is a fail-safe choice, but consider slate or another natural stone as well. Exotic hardwoods also appear appropriate.

Clarke Appliance Showrooms

Dabs of crimson. Red is a strongly symbolic color in several Asian cultures, signifying happiness, fantastic luck and auspicious beginnings. Though Asian d├ęcor tends toward the monochromatic, a few hints of bold color can energize a kitchen done in this style. Limit them to small accents such as dishware to prevent disturbing the serene feel.

East Meets West: Including Asian Style into some Modern Home

5 Homes Full of Far Eastern Influences

9 Elements of Asian Design

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Set the Landscape: Traditional

Traditional landscaping can get a bad rap in design circles. It isn’t daring; it doesn’t push the envelope; it is something that you can see everywhere. However, traditional gardens which are done well have a lot going for them. They are instantly appealing, they work well with any number of home designs and they evoke a sense of graciousness and a connection to the past.

Although traditional can take many turns, from English country estate to French styling and even to some hint of this classic cottage garden, something which joins traditional landscapes together is greenery. Lawns, or something very similar, anchor the space. Trees play a major part. Garden beds are full of shrubs and leafy green plants. Sure, there are bursts of color, but overall, green is the dominant motif.

The hardscapes are just timeless. There is a powerful sense of geometry underlying the overall space and of everything using its place.

And you know what? It works. People are attracted to traditional spaces. They are peaceful and inviting. They allow you to relax and feel at home while admiring the landscaping. And isn’t that what you really want from a space like this?

A clean and simple hardscape, and a traditional lawn and a harmonious planting bed, allows the traces of the home itself to stand out. The lamppost fits the style of the home and functions as an accent piece. Providing a patch of light to mark the beginning of the path at night isn’t advisable, either.

Donna Lynn – Landscape Designer

Filling a backyard boundary with trees, perennials and annuals is a time-honored way of concealing the borders of a lawn and making it look larger.

Windsor Firms

A mass planting of a single plant, a throwback to the days of large estates, is highly effective, especially in a traditional setting. Here the color of this annuals performs off the color of the home yet doesn’t compete with all the architectural lines.

Woodburn & Company Landscape Architecture, LLC

These landscape plantings, from garden bed to lawn to overhead blossom, match this shingle-style house perfectly. But think about it: The same landscape would work well with a variety of house designs.

WINN Design+Build

The simple geometric lines of those shrubs and trees match the architecture of the home as opposed to compete with this. A palette in shades of green is always calming and restful.

Westover Landscape Design, Inc..

This home’s design is colonial, so a straightforward traditional landscape might not set it off to benefit. On the flip side, a cottage garden, especially in this rather large space, might be too much. The solution: Combine both. The lawn, the proper paving to both sides of the home and the garden beds full of shrubs reflect a traditional approach, while the irregular pavers, the picket fence as well as the blowsy plants supporting it add a cottage touch.

Milieu Design

A garden bed that sits between the sidewalk and the home softens the proper lines of a traditional landscape. Because the more free-form plantings are restricted to a smaller area, they don’t overwhelm the rest of the space.

Richard Kramer

A paved brick sitting room that provides the ideal transition between a home and lawn is a traditional look that will function in any landscape. Adding cutout planting beds softens the border between the terrace and the home.


A large lawn might be a traditional approach to a landscape space, but dividing it into tiered levels edged with brick gives the same sense of expansiveness whilst incorporating individuality.

Woodburn & Company Landscape Architecture, LLC

A large lawn might not be the most water-wise option, but there is no doubt that it is inviting. This lawn reminds me of this type in older films, full of friends and families.

Southview Design

Clean lines, a place to sita patch of green and symmetrical garden beds. The appearance might be simple, but it is always going to draw you in. And as this lawn proves, you don’t need a good deal of room to achieve it.

Westover Landscape Design, Inc..

Stone and wicker create a fantastic mix that’s withstood the test of time. Whether you’re at the shore, nestled in the heartland or upward from the hills, this appearance will serve you well. Simply add green edging and flowering plants, and you’re good to go.

Cathy Carr, APLD

Creating a room that’s calm, restful and inviting is exactly what a traditional landscape is about, and those are just the notes this inviting patio strikes.

Paradise Restored Landscaping & Exterior Design

In case you have kids, sometimes less is more. A place for a swing set and a playhouse, and plenty of lawn space for matches, might not win you prizes for the daring design, however this classic approach to a garden can serve your loved ones for years.

Natural Garden Style
Find Your Perfect Patio Design
4 Steps to the Fantastic Garden
Garden Edging: Clean Lines for Your Landscape

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