Month: December 2018

Cool-Season Vegetables: How to Grow Beets

If you understand just canned beets, then beets from the autumn or spring garden is going to be a surprise. First, they are available in different shapes, from around more oblong, and a range of colours. You can also find yellow, gold, white or striped, although there is the traditional deep red. Even the leaves and stalks are some reds and greens. Sauté the leaves as a green, and then delight in the roots in salads, in soups (who doesn’t understand of borscht?) As well as a side dish.

More: How to grow vegetables in autumn and spring

The New York Botanical Garden

When to plant: Sow seeds in early spring to harvest beets in late spring or early summer. In mild-winter climates, you can plant them at the end of summer and in autumn.

Days to maturity: 45 to 65

moderate requirement: Full sun to partial shade

Water necessity: Frequent water

Favorites: Big Red, Bull’s Blood, Chioggia, Crosby’s Egyptian, Cylindra, Detroit Dark Red, Formanova, Golden, Gladiator, Green Top Bunching, Little Ball, Little Mini Ball, Lutz Green Leaf, Red Ace, Ruby Queen, Sangria, Sweetheart, Yellow Detroit

Robin Amorello, CKD CAPS – Atmoscaper Design

Planting and care: Be sure the soil drains well and is free of rocks and lumps, and which may hinder root development. Keep sowing each month and fall to ensure a harvest. Plant seeds about an inch apart and cover with a quarter inch of compost or vermiculite.

Robin Amorello CAPS – Atmoscaper Design

When plants are small, combine care and harvesting from thinning the plants to about 2 inches apart and ingesting both roots and greens. Keep the soil moist until the seeds germinate, then keep to maintain the garden well watered. Mulch will help keep the soil cool.

Pests aren’t many, but you may attract some beetles, leafhoppers, leaf miners and wireworms. Rotating the crop will help keep problems to a minimum.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Harvest: After thinning, crop beets when the cap of the origin is roughly 1 inch wide. Don’t let them get too large; roughly 3 inches is as big as you would like. In cold-winter ponds, complete inside all harvesting before very cold weather sets. Or, if you would like, pay the plants with approximately a foot or so of hay and straw to keep the ground from freezing and keep to harvest as long as the crop remains.

More: How to grow vegetables in autumn and spring

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Great Design Plant: Ginkgo Biloba

If you believe “stinky berries” once you hear the term “ginkgo,” please keep reading so I can try to modify your preconceived ideas about this beautiful tree. It is accurate — fertilized female ginkgo trees of a certain era will sprout fruit that, quite frankly, smells just like a trash dump. However, you can avoid this entirely by ensuring you plant a male tree.

Think about the fact that this historical tree was around during the time of the dinosaurs, which Buddhist monks have revered and planted ginkgos in contemplative temple gardens for thousands of years. Let those details marinate and boost your appreciation. Then find out more about this unique tree beneath and replace your thoughts of foul female berries with those of gold fan-shaped leaves.

The New York Botanical Garden

Botanical name: Ginkgo biloba
Shared title: Ginkgo tree, Maidenhair tree
USDA zones: 3 to 2 (find your zone)
Water condition: Soil ought to be well-drained.
Light demand: Full sun to partial shade. Full sun is suggested for the best.
Mature size: At the largest cases, over 100 feet tall and 60 feet broad; though more commonly anticipate around 70 feet tall and 30 feet wide.
Benefits and tolerances: Infection, pest and urban-pollution free. This really is a long-living tree you must plant with the notion of leaving a legacy behind.
Seasonal interest: The leaves turn to a beautiful golden yellow in the autumn. They fall off nearly creating a golden carpet on the floor beneath the back. Keep the leaf-blower tucked off and love it.

When to plant: Spring or fall

Ginkgo Leaf Studio

Distinguishing traits. The green leaves are a delicate fan shape that’s so pretty and distinguishable it is frequently rendered in decor, whether on a cushion, wallpaper print, bronze or tile sculpture.

While the full-grown ginkgo has a lovely shape, youthful specimens go through an awkward and gangly adolescence, using odd branching patterns along with a rate of slow development. Following a couple of years, they begin to fill out and grow at a moderate rate.

The sensational golden yellow fall color is motive enough to plant this tree.

Ziger/Snead Architects

The best way to use it. The ginkgois a distinguished speciman tree that stands out in a landscape. While it’s a magnificent tree to plant independently, it’s also wonderful in a grove or in a courtyard, and because of its tolerances, it creates a fantastic urban street tree.

The tree also has become a symbol of longevity, endurance and hope; those meanings are factors to consider when planting it.

WA Design Architects

Here the early tree looks sculptural, its irregular form contrasting with the straight lines of the contemporary architecture surrounding it.

Ginkgo Leaf Studio

Planting notes:
Dig a hole about 5 inches larger than the root ball on either side.
• Ginkgos like sandy loam, so if your soil is not sandy loam, spread sand on the bottom of your hole.
• Place the rootball in the hole and fill out the sides with sand.
• Keep turf a few feet away from the trunk.
• Water your tree, but be careful not to overwater.
• Ginkgo tree growth could be erratic, so don’t worry if it hasn’t grown, provided that it seems healthy.

The New York Botanical Garden

Fun facts. Google “ginkgo biloba” and you will get a ton of medicinal info. The plant was used to deal with a assortment of ailments for thousands of years. In Eastern medicine these include asthma, indigestion and bronchitis.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the plant has proved effective for treatment of “intermittent claudication Alzheimer’smulti-infarct dementia and cerebral insufficiency.” It also has been researched as a remedy for suffering from altitude sickness to PMS. You’ve probably heard of it most recently as a memory aid; scientists are still analyzing the efficacy of this use.

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How to Use an Architect

Whether you are arranging a simple addition to your residence, a thorough remodel or a brand-new structure from scratch, or the help of an architect may be a worthwhile investment in a home tailored to your particular site, taste and lifestyle.

Resolution: 4 Architecture

What’s an architect? Architects design buildings and frequently oversee their structure. Architects must make a bachelor or master of architecture degree and complete a three-year internship which culminates in a rigorous multiday exam. The internships are managed throughout the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB); all U.S. states and territories participate. Plans drawn up by architects need to keep their license number, and they may be held liable for their endeavors’ structural integrity.

When to hire a single: Architects use their customers to come up with unique house designs that meet the requirements of a building site, as well as their customers’ needs and way of life. If your plans involve building from scratch or changing your house’s footprint, building codes may require an architect or engineer sign off on plans before construction begins, so check whether this is true in your city or state.

What it will cost: Architects’ fees vary widely based on the project type, location and many other facets. Though fees might be hourly (anywhere from $50 to $200 or more), they are more often based on a percentage of total construction costs (generally around 10 percent, depending on project and region). Some architects may draw up a set of permitting plans for a flat rate.

Gelotte Hommas Architecture

Seek architects from respectable sources. lists tens of thousands of architects and architects in its professional directory. The American Institute of Architects (AIA), an architects’ trade association, offers a directory along with a referral service. A builder you have chosen or have worked with in the past also might have the ability to recommend architects who’d be a good fit for your project.

As with hiring any professional, schedule a first meeting to get a sense for whether the pro matches your personality, needs and personality. Look at his or her online portfolio or ask to see photographs of previous jobs. Ask references and be sure to follow them up. The design and building process is filled with unexpected events, which means you’ll want to hire somebody who has a strong history and with whom you get together and communicate well.

Remember that different architects specialize in various styles and kinds of projects, so make certain you choose one who has experience with structures like the one that you’re planning.

Mitch Wise Design,Inc..

Do your assignments. At the initial consultation, the architect is going to have a very long list of questions regarding the ways you’ll want to utilize your space along with the aesthetic and other goals you would like it to satisfy. Be prepared to answer these completely and thoughtfully. It can help supply photographs of houses or architectural features that appeal to you.

Make sure your thoughts and the architect’s game. After obtaining your input concerning the project, the architect will draft a pair of sketches to begin bringing your vision to life. Take your time reviewing these materials and share anything that does not jibe with your wish list for your space. It is much, much simpler to make changes at this point than it is when the plans are company and construction has begun.

Following the sketch stage, the architect will draw up final, concrete strategies. These generally include a list of specified materials and other nuts-and-bolts products.

Don’t be shy about asking for assistance. Architects’ programs could be hard for the untrained eye to decipher. Make certain you realize the facts and ask your architect to describe any aspects which you find confusing. See how to read a floor plan

Also, the procedure for gathering building permits can throw homeowners for a loop; your architect needs to be able to assist you and alleviate some stress in your end. And also an architect can ensure that the builders’ work stays true to the strategies for the space.

Hunt input fixtures, finishes and surfaces. If you aren’t working with an interior designer, ask your architect for advice about paint colours and surface stuff, as well as other features such as lighting. He or she likely will have the ability to offer good suggestions which will assist the space to flow both functionally and visually.

Invite site visits during construction. It will add to the bottom line, however having your architect on hand to be certain the programs are performed correctly can save time, money and headaches in the long run.

Inform us : Architects and homeowners, please discuss your tips below!

More: Locate architects and designers near you

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Containers Make Growing Edibles a Cinch

With all the focus on buying locally sourced food nowadays, it’s easy to get excited about buying new produce close to home. And what’s more local than your own backyard? One of the most convenient, functional and attractive methods of going local is planting veggies and herbs in containers. Done right, they can become a focal point element in your landscape design.

The key to success in growing crops in containers is picking the appropriate plants, the right pots and the ideal place, and supplying the right care. Here, six essentials for edible gardens and how to use them.

Exteriorscapes llc

1. A container. It has been stated that when choosing a container, you are limited only by your imagination and a drainage hole. Proper drainage is essential, as edibles do not like wet roots.

Here, chives, oregano and other herbs grow in a custom steel planter using two layers of planting area and plenty of drainage right into a gravel courtyard.

Beertje Vonk Artist

Window boxes are a lovely and effective way of growing small edible plants like herbs and greens, especially in urban settings with little if any yard. Pictured here are pansies, that have edible flowers.

The Gardensmith

Size matters when it comes to containers for edibles. Most vegetables have quite large root systems that require pots to be deep and broad. Plus, larger containers will not dry out as quickly, making it easier for you personally and less stressful for your plants. Find baskets at least 12 inches broad and heavy; 16- to 20-inch pots are much better.

Amy Renea

2. Seeds or plants. Generally, it is easiest for beginner gardeners to purchase plants instead of start from seed. The exclusion is root vegetables, that do not like to be transplanted. If carrots and beets are your favorites, then sow these directly in your pot following the seed packet directions.

With the popularity of container gardening rising, many growers and seed companies are offering varieties of veggies specifically for growing in containers. These kinds are practical for smaller pots, but you might have the ability to use regular-size varieties if you’ve got a container that is large enough. By way of example, a solitary standard-size tomato plant would be happy in a container at least 20 inches deep and broad.


3. Soil. One of the biggest benefits to growing edibles in containers is that you can use a high quality potting medium to help ensure success. Locate a potting soil that’s specifically devised for containers. Wet the soil well and allow it to drain before adding your plants or seeds. This helps to ensure that the soil will not wick moisture from the plants you’re incorporating.

4. Fertilizer. At the time of planting, include a granular, slow-release fertilizer that supplies the proper nourishment within 3 to six months. Because edibles are heavy feeders, you can even supplement with a liquid organic fertilizer twice per month.

Kim Gamel

5. Water. One of the most crucial responsibilities in container gardening is watering. The key here is moist yet well-drained soil. Drip irrigation is the best method for accomplishing this. If you’re watering by hand, you will need to water once every few days once the weather is moderate, and at least once every day if temperatures are at their peak.

If you water only once every day, choose the morning so that there is less opportunity for fungus to develop. For the same reason, it is also best to water the base of the plant instead of the leaves.


6. Sun. Most edibles will work best in full sun, so choose a spot that gets at least six hours of sunlight daily, even in the event that you need to move your pot to achieve it. Placing your pots on wheels makes this simple.

Kim Gamel

Tend to a containers every day if at all possible. Pick herb leaves throughout the growing season, make sure you snip the tops to keep them from going to seed (setting flowers). Harvest vegetables whenever they have gotten to the size you want. Deciding them early and frequently will help to keep the plants productive.

Oh, and one more thing: patience. With a little time and effort, you will be rewarded with all the fruits of your labour. There’s barely a more satisfying sense than choosing a ripe vegetable from a plant you’ve nurtured.

Best of luck, and I want to know in the Comments section the way your edibles are growing!

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Colorful, Casual Vacation Home

Front and rear lanais decorated with twinkling string lights, open living spaces full of natural light and a soothing blue and green colour palette come together in this cheerful tropical getaway for a busy California couple. With five business locations throughout Maui and Oahu, Hawaii, the couple reached out to designer Natalie Younger to design a relaxing house for them to retreat to.

Younger functioned from Los Angeles, selecting a team in Maui to perform her vision. Employing a tropical palette with modern patterns and toned-down colors, Younger generated a house which emanates island existence while still feeling comfortable for a few of mainland roots.

at a Glance:
Location: Maui, Hawaii
Who lives here: A California couple, on holidays
Size: 1,600 square feet; 3 bedrooms, two baths

Allied ASID, Natalie Younger Interior Design

Open lanais in the front and rear of the house stretch the interior footprint and adopt the island’s indoor-outdoor relationship. While the clients wanted this home to have the familiarity of home, they wanted it to have the playfulness of a holiday house too. Younger used bold, tropical colours that feel right at home in Hawaii.

Wicker furniture: Bali; cushions: custom

Allied ASID, Natalie Younger Interior Design

Nothing beats living right on the shore, but the constant sand can make cleaning a hassle. Younger installed simple hardwood flooring to produce sweeping easy and put a tightly woven carpet in the bedrooms for a cozier feel.

Allied ASID, Natalie Younger Interior Design

All of the home’s furnishings were treated with a nontoxic coating to prevent the stains, spills and wear and tear which come with beachfront living. Younger had the outside cushions and pillows made with Sunbrella fabric for durability against the elements.

Natalie Younger Interior Design, Allied ASID

Toned-down blue and green colors pay tribute to the home’s stunning surroundings. Linen curtains and bamboo Roman shades donate to the relaxed ambience. A starburst clock adds a little bit of glam to the simply adorned walls. “Time isn’t necessarily accounted to the island, so the clock has been more of a decorative piece,” says Younger.

Paint: Taliesin Blue, Dunn Edwards

Natalie Younger Interior Design, Allied ASID

The L-shape kitchen sits just around the corner in the dining area. Because this is a holiday home, the clients wanted to keep the kitchen simple and economical. A collage of their customer’s photographs of favourite spots in Maui hangs on the walls, and wallpapered open shelving supplies character.

Natalie Younger Interior Design, Allied ASID

A shell chandelier has been the perfect match for the dining area. Grass cloth walls meld with rattan chairs for added texture. Younger and the clients had a hard time finding simple but brightly colored art that would do the job for the house, so Younger designed and painted the home’s wall art on her own.

Table and chairs: Bali; chandelier: Capiz, West Elm

Natalie Younger Interior Design, Allied ASID

The custom-made sofa was filled with premium fill to get an extra-cozy feel. “After a long day at the shore, there’s nothing better than coming home and lounging on the sofa,” says Younger. Unique accent pieces, such as the custom made cushions and trunk out of Bali, are great tropical touches which would nevertheless feel at home in California.

Rug: Facet Citrine, DwellStudio; sofa: custom; sconces: Jonathan Adler; mirror: Pier 1; coffee table: Pampa Furniture; fan: Artemis Natural Maple

Natalie Younger Interior Design, Allied ASID

The home’s floor plan gets rid of closed-off spaces — the kitchen, the dining area, the living area and the outside rooms all run into one another. Plentiful windows and doors allow in fresh air and light. “it is a space that lives two lives,” says Younger. “At the day, light and the island views become an addition to the total design. But at night, when all the light is put and dimmed, it gives an ambience which allows for extended and unforgettable dinner nights with family and friends.”

Natalie Younger Interior Design, Allied ASID

Both the clients and Younger comprehend the value of good lighting, so they put new fittings into virtually every area in the home. Modern sconces dress up the living area walls, whilst bulb string lights and lanterns extend the shine outside.

Natalie Younger Interior Design, Allied ASID

The master bed is a real item from Bali. The woven headboard adds warmth and texture into the straightforward and soothing area.

Bed frame: Bali; wall paint: Hot Springs, Valspar; bedding: West Elm; table lamps: Pier 1

Natalie Younger Interior Design, Allied ASID

Having additional space for guests has been important to the clients. A guest bedroom includes ample area for couples staying overnight, and the custom built in the living area is outfitted with a pullout bed.

Designing the house from overseas presented challenges for Younger. She is onsite only for the first belief and final touches. Fortunately, she found an awesome team in Hawaii which would be her eyes while she was not there and made sure the design was executed exactly as she envisioned it.

Wall paint: Salisbury Green, Benjamin Moore; bedding: DKNY

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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.

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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.

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