Bridging Past and Present in a California Craftsman

It is a problem every proprietor of a historic house faces: How do you change your life to adapt your residence? And just how much can you change your home to accommodate your lifetime?

When a California couple purchased a turn-of-the-last-century bungalow on a tight-knit Santa Monica street, they were charmed by the house’s period detailing and closeness to the shore. However, the dusky woodwork cast a gloomy pall over the inside, which was at odds with their modern tastes and set of fine art photography.

The group asked Los Angeles architect Erik Evens and Woodland Hills interior designer Alana Homesley to aid them with the house’s upgrade. A specialist in historic architecture, Evens balked at the idea of painting the vintage woodwork. “My initial response was to attempt to renew the public spaces into how they were,” Evens says. “Over time the customers and Alana brought me to the point of view this home required to work for the customers’ lifestyle and aesthetic.”

Treated into a revivifying coat of white paint, the walls and woodwork still have their historic character but now reflect light and improve the furniture and artwork. “Now that I have seen the final solution, it absolutely feels like the right decision,” Evens says. “The home straddles the line between traditional and contemporary.”

in a Glance
Who lives here: A professional couple and their 3 children
Location: Santa Monica, California
Size: 2,965 square feet; 4 bedrooms, 4 baths
That is intriguing: The houses in this area were originally built on sand dunes, together with boardwalks leading to every residence.

Evens Architects

The spacious front door opens directly into the living room, dividing the room into two seating areas. Here Brenda Anton wing chairs are paired with a lithe custom coffee table designed to evaporate into the setting. Bleached colors underscore the coastline setting without resorting to shore house clichés.

Evens Architects

The seats group is more informal on the opposite side of the living room, where a custom chaise was used instead of a sofa to preserve views of this fireplace. The chairs are from Christian Liaigre.

The living room ceiling felt especially low before the painting job, due to the unpleasant distinction between the brown white and wood coffers. Now that both are painted the exact same colour, one notices the craftsmanship, not only the contrast.

Evens Architects

The owners’ photographs set is exhibited on the plate rail in the dining area, where the original built-in buffet has been treated to a coat of paint. (The walls are probably painted Pith out of Martha Stewart Living, the programmer states; the trimming is your brand’s Bright White.)

Thecustomchairs are coated in a watery gray-blue Hampton linen in Mallard out of Rose Tarlow. “I like colours that aren’t easy to comprehend,” states Homesley. “I find it quite soothing, and I think it works very nicely with wood tones and with white”

Evens Architects

The chandelier is a modern creation from Lindsey Adelman. It is an unconventional choice for a Craftsman bungalow, but Homesley believed the room needed something funky and a bit sparkly to contrast with all the natural finishes.

Evens Architects

The kitchen”was pretty dreadful and seriously in need of updating,” Evens says. The plan team gutted the room, creating a generous fresh cooking area designed for food lovers who enjoy fun in their kitchen.

Industrial-style stools cozy up to an island covered with walnut butcher block and illuminated by a pair of vintage mercury glass pendants. New beams and tongue and groove paneling add curiosity overhead.

Evens Architects

The gray-blue colour introduced in the dining area continues in the kitchen, in the form of Dark Grey Whale subway tile out of Heath Ceramics. The counters are coated in Pietra del Cardoso, a sandstone that looks like bluestone but is stronger and more resistant to staining.

Shelves installed facing the windows screen the owners’ ceramics collection and filter views of the neighboring residence.

Evens Architects

Architect Evens was able to squeeze four bedrooms and three baths to the next floor by reconfiguring the staircase and including a dormer back. The master bedroom, shown here, was opened into the roofline and outfitted with structural ties along with a tongue and groove ceiling.

Evens Architects

Woven grass Conrad shades were used throughout the house. “We needed privacy, because the houses are so close together,” states Homesley,”but we did not wish to block out all the light”

The custom walnut credenza in the master bedroom has been created taller than ordinary, to look less modern.

Evens Architects

As you may expect from a house dating back to about 1903, the original master bathroom was considerably smaller. Evens borrowed space from adjoining chambers to create this fresh toilet, aspiring to something that was traditional but glossy. Horizontal planks produce a solid line around the room. The contractor for your remodel was Krassel Construction.

Evens Architects

The iron bathtub has its own nook; recessed shelves maintain toiletries close at hand.

Evens Architects

The extensive front porch promotes interaction with the street.

Evens Architects

Due to the area’s historic temperament, the architect was not allowed to change the house’s facade, save to get a fresh coat of paint.

Evens Architects

The houses on the street were originally built on sand dunes, with board boardwalks linking the homes into the street.

Front doorway bisects the living room, restricting the quantity and positioning of furniture. New glass pocket doors divide the dining area from the analysis; the neighboring stair hallway was reconfigured, also.

Click image to enlarge.

To fit four bedrooms and three baths in the next floor, Evens reconfigured the staircase, inserted a rear dormer and tucked cabinets beneath the eaves flanking the master bedroom. Bedrooms 2 and 3 share a frequent bathroom, conserving space.

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12 Home Furnishings for Those on the Move

How do you create a room look and feel permanent, even when you understand you may be moving? And what about answers to decorating and storage woes that don’t involve springing for built-ins you would just need to leave behind? If you don’t plan to remain in your existing house long term (no matter if you rent or own), then check out these 12 ways to bring the color, style and space-saving storage you’ll need — with bits you can pack up and move with you when you go.

CDA Interior Design

1. A furniture piece with architectural detail. Just one large-scale part of furniture, such as the magnificent armoire shown here, is sufficient to give any room a more permanent appearance. A richly comprehensive piece can also compensate for a lack of architectural detail at the area itself — also, like all of the pieces featured here, this you can go with you when you move.

Sarah Greenman

2. Artistic investments. First paintings, sculpture, handmade pottery, glass art and iconic designer bits you love are all worthy investments to create for the long haul. You can take them everywhere, and they’ll hold — or perhaps profit — value as time passes.

Caitlin Wilson Design

3. An upholstered mattress. Rather than spending fancy wallpaper for the bedroom when you believe you may move, bring in a big dose of color and layout having a upholstered headboard. The height and shape of the headboard, paired with a print that you love, is sufficient to make a focal wall so you can depart the wall behind it bare.

How to make an upholstered headboard you can easily change

4. Portable clothes storage. If you’re short on closet area, pick up a clothing rack appealing enough to be on screen. Store just your prettiest pieces on it, tucking the remainder from sight from drawers or in a cupboard. Should you move to a bigger place in the future, you can always use it in the laundry area, or pull it out at parties to maintain jackets. In case you have the closet area but lack company, start looking for stand-alone storage units that you can tuck in your cupboard to customize the space — without even paying for built-ins.

Browse garment racks

Matthew Bolt Graphic Design

5. A piece with a built-in-quality top. Even renters can have the pride of “renovating” the kitchen with this awesome trick: Purchase a mobile piece having a luxurious surface, such as marble, copper or zinc, rather than the typical butcher block top. A breakfast table, baker’s rack or kitchen island could all work nicely.

Taylor Jacobson Interior Design

6. Colorful furniture and rugs. Small- to medium-size stained rugs can deliver a punch of color to a whole area without painting. Use them in smaller bedrooms or layered on top of bigger rugs in a huge area. Lightweight rattan chairs, small poufs and additional accent furniture can also be perfect for changing the look of a room — they can be the stars of this show in a small room and take on a supporting role in a bigger house.

Lauren Liess Interiors

7. Natural-fiber and hide rugs. You can never go wrong with natural-fiber and hide rugs. They seem great professionally or layered, in living rooms, dining rooms and bedrooms. They can bring textural interest to a neutral scheme or offer a soothing neutral base to a house full of splashes of color. And to top it all off, they are virtually indestructible.


8. A fantastic big mirror. An oversize mirror immediately opens up a room and gives the impression you’re fully settled in your house, even if you just moved in. A mirror that looks equally good hung on the wall or discriminated against it is the most flexible.

Emily A. Clark

9. Straightforward shelving units from multiples. You don’t need to spend an arm and a leg shelving unless you want to — only buy multiples of basic bookcases and line them up side by side for a personalized look.

You are able to personalize your shelves by adding a coat of color or patterned paper to the rear wall, or simply by gluing grosgrain ribbon trim across the shelf fronts.

10. Your own light fixtures. You do not need to live with light fixtures that you don’t like, even if you rent.

Most landlords will not have a issue with you swapping out the lighting fixtures, provided that you replace the old ones before you move out — that you are going to want to do anyhow, which means you’re able to bring your classy lighting fixtures along to your next location.

Vanessa Francis

11. Stuff on the walls! Even when you’re in a really temporary location, don’t skimp on putting stuff up on the walls.

Filling holes and touching up paint before you move out will take just about an hour it is worth it. Before moving to your next location, take a photo of your art wall so that you may re-create it in your next flat without starting from scratch.

Taylor Jacobson Interior Design

12. Houseplants and potted trees. Greenery can solve a multitude of decorating dilemmas, from filling blank corners to disguising unsightly features. And plants clean the atmosphere to boot. It is true you need to be cautious when moving your plants to a different residence, but it can be done — and it is definitely worth the effort.

How to care for decorators’ preferred houseplants

Tell us : Can you have a favorite piece that’s come with you on many motions?

More: Versatile Furnishings to Make the Move With You

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A Southern Vacation Home Trots Out Equestrian Style

When Terry Pylant, leader at Historical Concepts, came across a barn conversion in this client’s inspiration record for her family’s next home, the customer told him”I am attracted to this, but I don’t know whether I wish to stay in a barn.” Inspired by the notion and how this South Carolina land was near the horse stables in its private neighborhood, he designed a house that looks like an equestrian building, laid out in a manner which suits the family’s relaxed Lowcountry lifestyle. The house also has a dogtrot house design; separate zones for children, parents, in-laws and frequent use; and a few industrial details. Have a closer look at just how barn design wound up satisfying the customers just fine.

at a Glance
Who lives here: This is a vacation home for a family of 4
Location: Spring Island, South Carolina
Size: 2,900 square feet; 3 bedrooms, 31/2 bathrooms and also a 1-bedroom, 1-bath guesthouse

Historical Concepts

Big sliding barn doors and Bahama shutters punctuate front of the house and also let the owners batten it down when they head home to Princeton, New Jersey. The shutters function like Bermuda shutters but are planked to match in with barn design.

Historical Concepts

Historical Concepts

A cupola and dormers on the roof let in light and make ventilation, important elements in the home’s layout; the windows are open and operational via a motor.

Details like electrified gas lanterns, board and batten siding, a metal roof and exposed vent pipes add to the barn feeling.

Historical Concepts

Historical Concepts

The neighborhood required muted colours; Pylant chose a woodsy palette which blends well with the coastal trees and shrubs around the house. He added a bit of barn red in the window trim.

Paint colours: siding: Norwich Brown; trimming: Mountain Moss; windows: Georgia Brick, all by Benjamin Moore

Historical Concepts

Large barn doors open to the open dogtrot entrance area. (A dogtrot is an open breezeway, and dogtrot homes are common in Lowcountry.) Large displays are wrapped in pockets so the whole opening can be screened, allowing the breeze without letting in the bugs.

Historical Concepts

The dogtrot supplies an open-air entrance that receives light in the cupola overhead. A catwalk connects a bunk space to a sitting room/office upstairs.

“We maintained the catwalk as open as possible so that it didn’t block too much light in the cupola,” Pylant states. “The industrial texture is an interesting counterpoint to the barn fashion.”

A large fireplace draws everyone into the dogtrot during cold months. “The owners tell me that the dogtrot is a magnet for individuals each time they have parties,” he states.

Historical Concepts

The owners wanted the kitchen sink to look out to the dogtrot fireplace; windows share the light and make the idea of a horse stall. “I can’t tell you how essential the common light is in this house,” Pylant states.

Putting the sink on the dogtrot side dictated that the range be placed in the island, and the customers’ variety required a commercial vent hood.

Frustrated with all the options available (too contemporary or overly average ), Pylant wanted something big scale which looked like it had been fashioned from farm equipment. “Our builder, Monty Jones, is a true artisan,” he states. Jones had some metalworkers custom fabricate the drum using a standard commercial range insert. When asked about the finish, the owners instead enjoyed the fingerprints and discoloration and wanted to see what could happen if they just left it alone. Now it’s a exceptional patina that adds another dose of well-worn industrial fashion.

Historical Concepts

The upstairs windows share the light in the sitting room/office with all the downstairs living room.

“We couldn’t do a barn house and not utilize wide-planked pine floors,” Pylant states. He used 12-inch ponderosa pine planks, which stand up to kids and dogs.

Historical Concepts

In the primary living space, spacious planks on the walls include more barn feeling. “These are just pine planks butted up against each other,” Pylant states. “They maintain the simple, clean appearance that conveys the barn look through the interior.” Native Aged Savannah Gray bricks give the chimney an outdated appearance.

Additionally carrying the barn theme through are rough-hewn beams intended to evoke a hayloft.

Historical Concepts

Other parts of the house have concrete floors, for example, dining area, screened-in porch and dogtrot area. All the spaces flow in a logical manner; a few paces permit the family to choose between the indoor dining area and the screened-in porch at mealtimes.

Historical Concepts

Tall pine trees and the screened-in porch along the back of the house mitigate the direct sunshine.

Historical Concepts

The thoughtful design was quite important to the way the family lives here, especially when the children bring friends home. The children have a two-story zone on one side of the house, the communal areas are located at the center, and the parents have a first-floor master suite off the back of the house.

The upper floor would be the son’s domain; it includes a bedroom, a bunk room and a little sitting room (at the end of the catwalk) and a bath. “You will find a bunch of bunks; you can pile up children like a cord of wood,” Plyant states. Downstairs the girl has a bedroom, bath and sitting area.

Historical Concepts

This is the upstairs sitting area, which overlooks the living area. Each one of the great light coming in throughout the dormers is shared with the first floor.

The son’s and kid’s zones will also work when they develop, as guest suites where they can remain with families of their own.

Historical Concepts

On the back, the master suite is at the left; its arrangement is intended to resemble a secure supervisor’s office inserted onto the barn.

Historical Concepts

A glass corridor contributes to the main bedroom and a tiny office. Barn doors create the idea of rooms as former horse stalls.

“One means that vacation home offices differ is that they need to enjoy the view and light,” Pylant states.

Thanks to telecommuting, the family can spend long stints in South Carolina, but it was important for the workspace to also incorporate the gorgeous surroundings.

Historical Concepts

The parental zone also has its own private patio.

Historical Concepts

More pine planks on the walls, pine countertops and a claw-foot tub give this bath relaxed country style.

Historical Concepts

The property also includes a garage with storage area overhead. “The window is great, because no one wants to go as much as a dim and dank loft to locate something,” Pylant states.

There’s a garden between the garage and the guesthouse, which serves as a private space for seeing grandparents.

More: See more converted barns and barn-inspired houses

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The Narrowest House from the World?

Can you work, eat and sleep in a 48-inch-wide studio? This tiny Polish structure, wedged into a gap between two buildings, is 4 feet wide at its broadest point.

The construction serves as a workshop for Israeli author Etgar Keret. Designed by architect Jakub Szczęsny of Centrala, it takes up about 150 square feet of once-unused space, filling the gap between buildings with a tiny kitchenette, dining room, bathroom, bedroom and desk.

Studio at a Glance
Who works here: Etgar Keret
Location: Warsaw, Poland
Size: 150 square feet


Inspiration struck Szczęsny when he had been walking down this street. The gap between a postwar co-op building and also a prewar ex-Jewish tenement block instantly caught his eye. The two buildings begged for a certain kind of connection and Szczęsny desired to put something functional in between.

The structure blends in from the main street perspective. Access is concealed from the sidewalk with a 61/2-foot-high wall.


Of course, this narrow area presented lots of issues linked to Warsaw’s city building code, extending the construction time to approximately three years. Due to the building’s dimensions, function and location, the town chose to zone it as an art installation. Szczęsny completed the project in October 2012.

Visitors can access the building from a street set away from the main street. Steel stairs fall down, revealing the entry.


The building’s most important resident, author Etgar Keret, walks up the steps.


The gap between the two buildings is 60 inches at its widest and 28 inches at its narrowest. The triangular construction structure allowed Szczęsny to make the most of this narrow and uneven gap.



Everything needed to be stored to the basics. The structure is a steel cage position on two tunnel-like bases. The hollow bases permit present city heating pipes to pass underneath the building. The steel was coated with Kingspan insulated sandwich panels and full of nanofoam for additional insulation and fire protection.


The front and rear facades are made of translucent 20-millimeter-thick (.8 inches) polycarbonate, with two functional windows for cross ventilation. Although the narrow area could have rapidly become gloomy, the white side panels and polycarbonate facade allow for lots of light.


The steep stairs, accessed via a trapdoor in the floor, open up into the main living room.


A little bathroom — about the same size as a plane toilet — includes an open shower, a sink and a bathroom.


The kitchenette has the basics: electrical stove, sink, refrigerator and microwave. Water and heat come through a few of the buildings next door.


A tiny built-in dining room beyond the kitchenette has room for two.



A ladder leads from the living room to the working and sleeping compartment. The 35-inch-wide mattress (a little smaller than a double mattress) and a work desk capture lots of light from the translucent front facade.


Here Keret sits on the border of the sleeping platform — it’s just big enough to allow him sit comfortably. “That is a space for one individual to write and think away from individuals, but still be near to the world when necessary,” states Szczęsny.


Steel net on the side of the construction veils the two windows for privacy of the home. More photos from this project

Next: A Family Unwinds in 540 Square Feet

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Know Your House: Components of Efficient Walls

Two of the biggest improvements of the industrial revolution were that the mass production of dimensional lumber for framing, along with the nail. Not only did those 2 products allow to be constructed by the thousands, but they led to a style of architecture. Houses were constructed of rods, instead of heavy timbers or masonry.

From the early 19th century, with the start of stick-built homes, balloon framing became the standard. With this kind of framing, the exterior walls are constructed of wood studs which begin in the base’s sill plate and cease in the highest top plate. The wood studs which make up these partitions can therefore easily be 18 or more feet in length. Balloon framing died out only because of the unavailability of wood studs of such long spans.

Everything came about is stage framing, the process used to build wood-frame homes today. It depends on each story of a house being constructed as a stage so the exterior walls are constructed of wood studs no longer than about 10 or 12 feet.

Here’s a peek at a basic and traditional platform-frame exterior wall, as well as a version of this system which uses far less substance.

Related: Insulated Concrete-Form Construction | Post and Beam Construction

Bud Dietrich, AIA

Fundamental 2-by-4 framing. The most common way of building a wood-frame exterior wall is to use 2-by-4 wood studs spaced 16 inches in the center of one stud to the center of another. These studs are then fastened to a 2-by-4 bottom plate and a double 2-by-4 top plate. Corners have three studs so that there’s always a surface to fasten another material (drywall, sheathing etc.) onto.

Wood-frame walls like these can be easily constructed on the wood floor deck and tilted into place. Once tilted into place and made plumb (straight up and down), square and even (the corners are at 90 degrees or a different angle, based on the layout), these walls are firmly fastened to the ground structure.

Other than the framing needed for openings, like for doors and windows, the closing structural part of a wood-frame wall is the outside sheathing. Sheathing, usually OSB (oriented strand board) or plywood, is traditionally employed in most homes to help make the structure rigid so that the house doesn’t twist or rack.

This type of sheathing also gives a surface that siding could be attached to. You will find other substances, such as rigid insulating material, that can be used instead of OSB or plywood. Whenever these substances, which will increase energy efficiency, are used, structural rigidity will be accomplished through bracing or specific fasteners or other.

Bud Dietrich, AIA

Openings for doors and windows. To accommodate doors and windows, the framings of walls have framed rough openings. In reality, most manufacturers produce doors and windows that fit within a particular rough opening. Knowing the exact window and manufacturer is important in the planning stage so the carpenters build the walls as necessary.

The parts that form a rough opening are the king stud, jack stud (I would love to understand the origin of those terms), header, sill and cripple. Each piece has a job to perform. For example, the jack studs encourage the header, and the header is used to span the opening.

And it should be noted that using a typical 8-foot ceiling, the conventional 80-inch-high doorway fits neatly into a rough opening created out of a double 2-by-12 header. With the header positioned tightly against the underside of the double top plate, then the rough opening steps around 82 inches high. Even though this isn’t exactly the most effective use of substance (the header is often considerably bigger than required), it has become the standard because of its simplicity.

Bud Dietrich, AIA

Optimized framing. Wood framing began when wood was abundant and inexpensive, and a house’s thermal efficiency was not a consideration. As a result, traditional wood framing utilizes far more substance than it needs to, and also the typical 3.5-inch wall thickness doesn’t allow for as much insulation as is needed to get a thermally efficient residence.

More advanced framing techniques now use 2-by-6 wood studs instead of 2-by-4s, a single top plate and 2 studs instead of 3 stud corners. The advantages of utilizing 2-by-6s include:
Increased cavity space to accommodate more insulationStud spacing that’s 24 inches instead of 16 inches on center, resulting in less total materialTo ensure structural integrity and accommodate the installation of materials like drywall and sheathing, particular clips and connectors are developed for this particular framing approach. For example, alloy splice plates can seam together the only top plate.

Optimized framing additionally uses headers which are sized as needed to length door and window openings. As this has the advantage of reducing material costs, in addition, it achieves a distinct architectural appearance, as taller doors and windows could be had.

Next up in this series: the roof structure and how that defines the structure of your property.

More in Know Your Own House:
Post and Beam Construction
Insulated Concrete-Form ConstructionWhat Makes Up a House’s Foundation
What Makes Up a Floor Construction

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Why You Need to Give Brown a Opportunity

Brown is generally thought of as a masculine color that boosts feelings of stability and strength. It is also thought to symbolize reliability and approachability. This functional color is generated by mixing red, yellow and blue. The milder, honeyed browns are warm and comfy, while the heavy red-browns feel more luxurious. But be careful when using this shade that is rich! Too much, or the incorrect color of brown, is assumed to bring on feelings of sadness or gloominess.

Poor older brown. It is quoted as the least loved of colors, and it is the colour of several people’s favourite items — peppermint, chocolate, warm toast, roasted coffee beans and roast beef. Yum! Now that your taste buds are tingling, let’s dispel the myth that brown is dull or boring.

Tewes Design

I have always thought of brown as a masculine color, a safe option for men who dread more womanly creams and pinks. However, Joe Hallock, a student in the University of Washington, conducted a survey in 2003 that revealed brown at the most preferred color of 27 percent of males and 20 percent of females that responded.

This chamber has various shades of brown with contemporary splashes of pink to suit him and her.

Urrutia Design

Winston Churchill once said, “I can’t pretend to feel impartial about colors. I rejoice with the brilliant ones and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns.”

I am not sure he would have said this after viewing the various colors and textures within this cozy but elegant room.

Natalie Younger Interior Design, Allied ASID

In medieval England, brown was correlated with humility and poverty, since the lower classes wore materials dyed brown with the economical madder root.

However this chamber shows no humility at all, introducing gold for a gorgeous opulence — it reminds me of a luxurious chocolate bar wrapped in gold.

Rodika Chi, a feng shui expert, states heavy, rich browns offer a nourishing power and therefore are fantastic for entrance halls, kitchens and feature walls in bedrooms. However, too much brown can lead to a lack of ambition or drive, so be sure you balance it out with another colour.

For me there isn’t any superior contrast to brown than white, and also this hallway manages to look fresh, warm and welcoming all in the same moment.

Elizabeth Reich

Sepia is a reddish brown colour named after the pigment derived from the ink sac of the common cuttlefish, at the Sepia genus. Sepia ink has been used by artists and writers such as Leonardo da Vinci from the Renaissance; later, in the 1880s, it had been added to the positive print of a photo to produce the sepia images we’re so familiar with now.

I adore how the sepia images are used to tie together this chamber, where gloomy cleverly complements the brown.

Millbrook Circle Interior Design

In India brown is the colour of mourning, since it is the colour of leaves. Nonetheless, it seems anything but somber when teamed with pretty pink. This room shows how to utilize brown with no feeling autumnal.

Bashford Design

In aromatherapy nutmeg is used for rejuvenating, energizing and uplifting, though we frequently associate it with the soothing, festive smell of Christmas.

This chamber demonstrates beautifully how well red and brown work together — it is definitely a pairing that’s not only for Christmas.

NOA Architecture Planning Interiors

Look at nature and take a page in the fundamentals of feng shui to utilize brown in your home. Water nourishes wood and generates plant expansion — it is no wonder blue, brown and green match each other so fabulously.

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Man Space: A Guy Likes a Nice Closet

Take just about any closet space shared between a woman and man. The man’s portion will probably take up one of their distance, while the girl’s dominates the rest. Sure, we all guys know: You’ve got more things than we do (despite hating 95% of it and just needing to wear clothing).

But a man still needs his own well-designed and organized distance, also. Our style collection might not be as massive as most women’s, but it encompasses nearly as numerous categories: jewellery (ties, cuff links, rings); accessories (belts, pocket squares, watches); bags (briefcase, knapsack); and, yes, sneakers (work, play, exercise, summer, winter). And since you have made it crystal clear that the bathroom floor, hallway floor, bedroom floor, desk chair and kitchen counter tops are not appropriate storage alternatives, it all has to go somewhere.

The very best part of our transformation from apparel piles to organization is that lots of dudes are realizing that their closet is the one place where they can excercise a little personal style. Our girls might not want dark, classy wood along with a shoe-shining station in the living room for all the visitors to view, but we can still have a small bit of liberty in the closet.

Branca, Inc..

Custom closets vary from a few thousand bucks for a small corner area all the way up to an great walk-in for $200,000. But for some the splurge is well worth it. That’s because getting ready in the morning is a ritual. Whether you are heading to a job interview or an important meeting, or you only want to feel energized and confident throughout the day, choosing time to pick out the perfect outfit and wear it well is important.

Using a distance that keeps things organized makes this process easier. Here a pullout shelf and brass wall hook allow the homeowner display and select his outfit carefully, while rich, classy wood, a Persian-style rug along with a tufted foot stool help set the tone for your day.

Atlanta Closet & Storage Solutions

A closet doesn’t need to be on the top to make a big impact. David Buchsbaum at Atlanta Closet and Storage Solutions created this smart custom-made unit to perfectly match a corner area.

Since guys do not generally have long articles of clothing, piled double hangers for tops and trousers help maximize space and keep things organized. A oversize bottom drawer here’s really a pullout hamper.

Cost: About $1,200 to $1,500, such as installment

Boudreaux Design Studio

“Believe it or not, guys do have a lot of sneakers,” says Jessica Boudreaux, who designed this custom-made system to get a minimalist homeowner’s slim closet in Miami. Open shelves hold numerous pairs of sneakers, while pullout drawers have holders for multiple pairs of sunglasses, a must in Florida.

Boudreaux believes the closet is one area where guys can get creative with fashion. “You might love the colour green but do not want to do this colour on your living room, in which you entertain frequently,” she says. “But a closet can be a fun place to play up your character.”

Cost: Around $6,000

Tim Barber Ltd Architecture

Floor-to-ceiling storage units can turn tight and narrow spaces into absolutely coordinated solutions, while masculine materials and colors create a private, inviting area where guys can start and end their day.

Poliform USA

This freestanding unit with vertical panels by Senzafine is among the most well-known designs at Poliform, a company that produces custom closet spaces. Elena Sladkopevceva, a marketing partner at Poliform, says dark colors tend to work better for men’s cabinets. “They seem organized, along with the richness shows off the substances longer,” she says.

These units have inside light, are simple to install and include custom enhancements like glass doors, pullout hangers, drawers with coordinated dividers for cuff links and links, and even room for a briefcase.

Poliform USA

Poliform’s Ubik unit can also be popular. It attaches to a wall — unlike a modular unit — and comes without doors for simple access. The shelves have been melamine board, whereas the drawers are sold in eight different types of wood and lacquers in more than 30 colors and textures, such as leather.

Poliform USA

California Closets Twin Cities

“Men do have a taste for dark colors,” says Ginny Snook Scott, chief design officer at California Closets. Scott has been making custom cabinets for more than 25 years; she’s discovered that guys lean toward modern aesthetics to get a more streamlined and clean look without overpowering detail or decor, unlike girls, she says.

“Girls like more cubbies and containers,” she says. “Men want more open baskets and shelves they can see”

Smart and fashionable closet theories aren’t only for walk-ins. Custom modular units can turn into a tight place to a stunning area.

Cabinet Innovations

Having a place for each and every item is key to creating a walk-in cupboard. Suit trousers, for instance, are always the bane of a guy’s existence. Twist and hang them wrong, and you’ll receive awkward, messy creases up and down the pant legs. Hang them correctly, and they’ll remain neatly pressed.

This hideaway pullout for match trousers keeps each pair only far enough apart for them to remain immaculately folded.

Richard Ross Designs

Sure, hanging all of your knotted ties on a single hanger and then shoving it in your closet worked when you were in school and owned department store ties. But expensive wool and silk ties can’t take that sort of misuse.

Custom drawers, revealed here and below, keep them wrinkle free and simple to access.

Twin Cities Closet Co..

Cabinet Innovations

This vertical drawer creates an organized mini wall for ties and other accessories.

Cabinet Innovations

In precisely the exact same area, acrylic dividers keep undershirts and socks colour coordinated and coordinated.

Cabinet Innovations

Meanwhile, a clever wooden plank folds out to make a shoe-shine station.

Cabinet Innovations

And figurines create suit jackets easy store to get a clean look and to rifle through.

The Closet Lady/Manhattan Murphy Bed Inc..

Even a few straightforward options for hanging trousers, ties and shirts can turn an average closet into a fashionable space.

Hall Developments

Richard Ross Designs

If your wardrobe does not contain dozens of matches, smart storage can still jazz up your closet.

TransFORM | The Art of Custom Storage

Small closets get the most benefit from high-minded design. This cool sliding door helps hide a perfectly organized area.

Jill Greaves Design

With graphic carpet, rich wood, marble flooring, cool light and black and white photographs, this closet and the one over rival any ritzy country club.

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Toilet Design: How to Pick a Vanity

It’s not necessarily the most glamorous part of a bathroom remodel, however deciding on the ideal vanity can break or make your bathroom’s layout. If it’s placed awkwardly in a traffic path, uses poor or mismatched stuff, or does not have enough storage, the rest of your bathroom will suffer.

We talked with six bathroom and dressing table designers to get the professional spade. Here are their tips for this bathroom cornerstone.

Erica George Dines Photography

1. Placement

Access. Choose a spot for your dressing table that won’t mess with your bathroom’s traffic stream or block your bathroom door or shower door fold. Beth Fillerup of Native Trails counsels homeowners to consider cleaning and on the vanity door swing area, too. Very good questions to ask, she says, include: “Are the surrounding areas available for cleaning? If the vanity has doors, is the distance around the dressing table sufficient for foot traffic when they’re open?”

Designer Robert Berkovich of European Cabinets & Design Studio indicates that homeowners take other architectural features into account when choosing a location, also. Ensure any windows nearby will allow to get a wall and mirror cabinets over the dressing table. “Remember the dressing table has an integral role in the purpose of the bathroom and demands the room around it to function correctly,” says designer Steve O’Neill of Van-i-tY.

Globus Builder

Plumbing. Should you have to change your bathroom’s pipes to install your new vanity, it is likely to account for a chunk of your budget. Even switching from a classic floor-mounted vanity into a wall-mounted version will mean rerouting drains and pipes.

“Finding the dressing table far from other tub fixtures requires a greater cost for pipes,” says contractor David Lawson of Ironwood Builders.

Katerina Vallianatos

2. Materials

“Vanities are set in environments that are humid, wet and busy,” says O’Neill. “The substances that make up your dressing table of choice should have the ability to stand up to this environment.” Wood veneers, laminates and thermofoil (such as on the dressing table in this photo) often work well in bathrooms. Wood should be properly sealed and lacquered — although Lawson does warn that lacquer is not indestructible.

“We do caution our customers that clear endings are generally lacquer and water will affect the finish if it is left standing on it,” he says. Designer Gina Adamson of Cab-I-Net recommends preventing pressed MDF too, as it is vulnerable to water damage.

Niki Papadopoulos

Start looking for a durable vanity shirt as well, and try to prevent anything using hard-to-clean grout. If you are redoing other bathroom finishes, consider choosing your dressing table top first. “It’s so much simpler to locate a tile and cupboard to match a exceptional countertop than attempting to locate a shirt to match a unique tile,” says designer Lori Hethmon of Granite Grannies. “When you choose a dynamic tile first, you may be limiting yourself to more mundane countertop options that won’t compete with your specific tile”

anat shmariahu

3. Storage

Taking account of what you truly use will help you determine how much storage you will want in your new dressing table. Take inventory of what you store in your current dressing table. Organize everything from what you will have to have in reach and what you will simply have to get nearby.

“This will put into perspective what you have to store and where it needs to be put,” says O’Neill. Lawson recommends adding about 20 percent more space than you believe you’ll want, simply to be safe.

Mahoney Architects & Interiors

Hanging vanities with drawers can supply a good amount of storage, because they make the most of this often-unused space around pipes. Berkovich suggests preventing bulky medication cabinets but frequently uses wall cabinetry (at least 10 inches deep) to add storage.

If you are stuck using a little vanity cupboard, consider adding extra cabinets that break the counters, as in this picture. “You will get more storage without losing floor area,” says Hethmon.

4. Size

Scale. Your dressing table size should consistently make sense for the bathroom’s size. Cramming a huge vanity into a tiny bathroom does not make sense, regardless of what your storage requirements are. “The quantity of storage needed by the client impacts the size of this dressing table,” says Lawson. “But more important is the size of this room it stays in. Working inside the structure a part of this equation.”

“By assessing lifestyle, if it’s the powder room or master bathroom, and the demands that will be put on the dressing table, the size will become clear quickly,” says O’Neill. For frequently used bathrooms, Adamson recommends starting with a dressing table that is a minimum of 21 inches deep and 24 inches wide.

White Crane Construction

Height. “Consider who is utilizing the dressing table to choose the proper height,” says Adamson. “overly tall or too short may be equally frustrating.” Traditionally, the 32 inches will be your go-to height dimension for bathroom vanities. But some designers disagree with that dimension due to modern sink designs. Berkovich suggests aiming for 34 to 35 inches.

The Right Height For The Sinks, Mirrors and More

McElroy Architecture, AIA

5. Custom Designs

The variety of vanity layouts today makes it effortless to get what you need in terms of design and storage, but many designers still suggest buying a customized layout for greater efficiency. “Custom vanities aren’t necessarily more expensive than store bought,” says Adamson. “Plus they have unlimited layout configurations and styles”

“Don’t forget your bowl does not have to be in the middle,” says Hethmon. Such as the sink in this photo, a sink jar that is slightly off centre allows for more countertop space. Consider your bowl dimensions. “Bigger, deeper bowls may mean less mess to clean up,” Hethmon points outside.

Geneva Cabinet Company, LLC

Placing electricity in the cupboard box may be a nice touch as well — if you would like to maintain hair dryers, toothbrushes and other essentials prepared to go. Having a custom vanity design can help you consider all of the little details that often get overlooked, such as attributes that work if you are left handed or right-handed.

Naturally, choosing your dressing table materials, design and style has a great deal to do with the way you feel about your house, too. A custom-designed dressing table in the master bathroom of your “forever home” might make sense, however a store-bought vanity could work just fine in the guest bathroom of a house you intend to sell down the street.

Share your story: Did you upgrade your vanity? Please talk and after photos below!

How to Choose the Right Bathroom Sink

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Northeast Gardener's February Checklist

Last year I had a Valentine’s Day celebration with garden buddies and asked everyone to bring some a favourite book to discuss. It was a hit. We laughed and had good conversations as we compared stories and experiences — crops that had bombed, issues with this or that, successes, favored colors and varieties of tomatoes or zinnias. As you probably already know, gardeners like to share, and colorful catalogs were strewn all across the table at the end. Here are some more ways to indulge your passion and beat the winter blues.

More regional garden guides

Paintbox Garden

Fill out your rooms with fragrance. It is accurate: Aromatherapy does help soothe away stress and make you feel better. It is not too late to grow paperwhite narcissus — it is supereasy along with being fragrant. Look for it in garden centers and get a bag of polished stones in a crafts store to grow them with.

Keep bulbs in a cool, ventilated area and pot them up every couple of weeks for nonstop blooms.

Paintbox Garden

To grow paperwhites with stones, anything will do. It is interesting to use interesting vessels, in this way ice bucket, which displays the impressive root expansion around the supporting stones.

The water should come only to the base of the bulbs. In roughly two to three weeks, then they will blossom and fill your house with a new, sweet scent. Hyacinth bulbs can also be easily grown in water.

Paintbox Garden

Visit a greenhouse. A visit to a garden centre or tropical climates this month is crucial. Among my favourite scented crops, white (or pink) jasmine (Jasminum polyanthum), includes a fragrance that transports you to the jungle — entirely heavenly.

An evergreen vine indigenous to China, jasmine makes a fantastic houseplant for a sunroom; give it indirect light and cool temperatures (approximately 60 degrees Fahrenheit) for optimal flowering.

Paintbox Garden

Drench your house with color. Hothouse crops, like this lush orchid, surprise that the senses — it is impossible not to feel energized by the visual punch of these voluptuous tones, the most complex variations of color and the curvaceous petals that capture the attention.

Catch some orchids and place them around your house. They’re dignified enough for the dining room and also ideal for a steamy bath.

Paintbox Garden

Relax by a fountain. It is no surprise that the oldest gardens of Persia were courtyards surrounding pools. The sound of running water flow through leafy plants is intensely curative on a bitter-cold moment. As you’re enjoying the fountain, then examine the displays. It is amazing how easy it is to earn a water feature with all the container options available.

Paintbox Garden

Water treatment is good for the spirit, too. We need to develop energy for the garden work that lies ahead (let’s not think about that right now), and just take a couple of minutes to sit and enjoy an indoor garden conservatory is among the nicest things you can do at this time of year. Bring a notebook and make some plans for the forthcoming season, throw some pennies into a swimming pool and make a wish.

Paintbox Garden

Love winter beauty. Branches, berries and bark comparison with evergreens to give winter gardens visual punch. Among the very best crops to grow for winter and wildlife shade is winterberry holly (Ilex verticillata), a U.S. native that’s greatly valued in the home landscape because of its reddish berries.

Paintbox Garden

For Northeast gardeners, winterberry holly is a versatile tree to understand and utilize, as it is adaptable to varying soil conditions and easy to grow in full sun. Plant some at a mass to get the complete impact of its persistent fruits, which stand out in winter snow and are favored by birds. The plants are dioecious, so you’re going to need a male plant to pollinate the females and assure decent fruit set. The cultivar’Sparkleberry’ makes a fantastic wildlife screen in a naturalistic setting.

Paintbox Garden

Update your patio furniture. New seat cushions or pillows in vivid colors can alter outdoor furniture that is weathered from years of use. Take a look at what’s available locally and assess online for options in bold stripes, solids or patterns. It’s possible to get a brand new style for a patio or porch without having to spend a lot.

Paintbox Garden

Midwinter inventory sales are in full swing, which signifies deals on all sorts of things. I discovered these fabulous rockers discounted in my local garden centre on a recent excursion. Love the blue.

Paintbox Garden

Get organized. With our houses lying dormant beneath blankets of snow (it was below zero here now ), use this downtime to get your gear organized. Gardening is a messy business, and also our footwear takes a beating. Perhaps it’s time to get a set of colorful new clogs?

Paintbox Garden

I adore these tubs. They grip tools and garden gloves, and are fantastic for lawn cleanup when you are working in a small area. Everyone has stuff to haul and store, and these tubs are versatile and tough. And did they mention that they also make ice buckets for garden parties?

More regional garden guides

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20 Ways to Work White Magic into Your Lawn

Just like a perfect white coat or a string of pearls, white gardens exude a classic charm. They are classically elegant and never appear to go out of style. If you’re trying to liven up your house or try something new this year, it’s not hard to add a bit of white with flowers, fences and other elements for some oh-so-sweet cabin style, to create a relaxing backyard escape or dress up your front yard.

Wallace Landscape Associates

1. Welcome with whitened. This beautiful entry is balanced with a white flowering dogwood (Cornus kousa, zones 5 to 8) and framed by a split-rail fence. The look is formal but not stuffy, and the fence matches the scale and style of their clapboard buildings.

Denise Dering Design

2. Install a fence for curb appeal. A low fence like this is both playful and appropriate. Filled with roses and fronted with mounding perennials, it creates a welcome entry from the street or sidewalk. The fence can be strung with greens and lights in the winter season.

D’Urso Landscape Design

3. Display a driveway with white pickets. This curved picket fence mitigates unwanted views of cars that may be parked in the driveway, providing the yard a cohesive look. A mix of sun-loving plants softens the hardscape and its exterior.

Milieu Design

4. Top fence panels with lattice. Let’s face it, white fencing can be hard on the eye, therefore soften it with lattice panels like these. Notice the sweet autumn clematis (Clematis terniflora, zones 5 to 9), a fantastic white flowering vine, on the brick pergola.

Frederick + Frederick Architects

5. Mark an entry. Arbors make excellent focal points. As an alternative to traditional wood, which needs regular maintenance, look for structures created out of a white composite material, like Azek, for simple care and durability. Experiment with blossom roses and string white lighting for nighttime garden wayfinding.

Deborah Cerbone Associates, Inc..

6. Build a white pergola. There is nothing like a well-built pergola to offer shade and respite outside. If your house is white, consider a fitting pergola — a bonus room from which to relish the view. Flank it with silver and white plants, framed in a classic boxwood parterre for classical elegance.

Derviss Design

7. Frame a garden room. White rising roses onto an arched metal arbor form a romantic entry to a yard enclosure at this San Francisco home. Light-colored fabrics catch the eye and keep loungers cool in the heat while a backdrop of older cedars helps to make the blooming roses stick out.

8. Make chairs a focus. This set of white sling-back canvas chairs pops out of the dappled shade within this cabin garden in Portland, Oregon, where chic meets hip beneath the green foliage of hostas, azaleas and white variegated brunnera (Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’, zones 3 to 8).

Aiken House & Gardens

9. String a hammock. Got a great deal of colour in your flower borders? White goes with everything, and a traditional rope hammock is a practical means to enjoy the scenery. Additionally, it is easy to take down and store at the close of the season.

Austin Ganim Landscape Design

10. Mix white with water. Classical urns with white chaise longues balance well with the creamy blossoms of smooth hydrangeas (Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’, zones 3 to 9) within this Connecticut poolside garden.

Paintbox Garden

11. Install a white bench. I really like the elegance and simplicity of this beautiful bench placed beneath mature trees. It’s a work of art, with ornamental appeal, but provides comfort and relaxation.

Barbara Cannizzaro

12. Create a little space feel larger. Short on space? Make it feel somewhat less cramped by employing white, as revealed in this rooftop garden. The crisp fabric of the chair cushion allows for a constant scene change with bold colored cushions, cut flowers and ornamental accents.

Margie Grace – Grace Design Associates

13. Go for classic style. White roses are a girl’s best friend (or is that diamonds?)) . Whatever your taste, a lush urn overflowing with blossoms can make the heart swell. And did I mention the scent?

Westover Landscape Design, Inc..

14. Grace a doorway with climbers. White clematis proves with style. Give it support and shade its origins with smaller plants around the bottom of the container, like variegated sedge (Carex morrowii ‘Ice Dance’) or trendy chartreuse coleus.

Paintbox Garden

15. Mount a white birdhouse at a flower border. A whimsical birdhouse makes a fantastic companion to snowy lilies, garden phlox (Phlox paniculata ‘David’) and smooth hydrangeas within this coastal Maine garden.

Verdance Landscape Design

16. Anchor tall plantings. In this San Francisco garden, white tulips lend a pristine formality into a brick-edged, curved rock walkway. Punctuated with columnar evergreens, the look is bright and understated, and can be readily switched once the flowers fade.

Westover Landscape Design, Inc..

17. Fill a room with shrubs. Utilize panicle hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’, zones 3 to 8) with frothy Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macro ‘Aureola’) to display a fence and create a complete border with a great deal of visual attention.

Genus Loci Ecological Landscapes Inc..

18. Build a border. When designing white, keep in mind that trees deliver big impact, as shown in this Toronto garden, that has a line of white birch put against a construction as a thoughtful display with harmonious repetition.

19. Design for seasonal impact. In Vancouver, Washington, a stately grid of white flowering trees lends timeless appeal to a formal garden parterre centered around one blue focus. The look is fresh and pure, crisp and deliberately controlled — sophistication redefined.

Paintbox Garden

20. Use plants. White variegated brunnera (Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’) is one of the best perennials for Growing shade, and its blue flowers are a joy.

Plant guides: Find white flowers for your own climate

More: What To Do in Your Garden Now

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