Is My Landlord Obligated to Supply Appliances?

Most men and women look for basic amenities when they hunt for a home, and a refrigerator to preserve a stove on which to cook it truly is usually toward the top of residents’ list of demands. While it could be difficult for a landlord to lease a unit which does not have appliances, it is not prohibited. But if you lease a unit with operating utilities and they break, it is your landlord’s duty to fix or replace them, not yours.

Fundamental Habitability

State landlord-tenant laws determine the minimum requirements a rental property must fulfill to be considered legally habitable. Most states do not include working appliances in these list of requirements. In California, a rental property must be weatherproof, have natural lighting in every room, have adequate receptacles for garbage and flooring and stairways in good repair. Californian leases must also have working electricity, heat and a plumbing system which supplies and sanitarily disposes of hot and cold water.

Implied Maintenance

Even though the legal definitions of habitability do not require your landlord to include appliances in your unit, even whether it is provided when you sign the lease and move in, it is usually the obligation of the landlord to keep them. Unless your lease specifically places maintenance duties as the duty of the renter, your landlord is bound to keep all parts of your unit, even appliances which are not required to be contained in a lease property. California law allows landlords to ignore repairs to items damaged by tenants, their guests or their pets, so implied maintenance only covers routine breakdowns and regular tear and wear.

Appliances Left By Previous Tenants

Sometimes landlords do not provide appliances in their leases, and choose to legally rent them out with no comforts and, after buying an appliance, a former tenant abandons it whenever they move out. In these instances, landlords provide notice in your rental that appliances are not provided. In this instance, it’s your duty to keep or replace a broken appliance. But when you move away, your state law may permit you to move the appliances together with you as your property because they aren’t a part of this lease property.

Having Repairs Produced

If an appliance which was provided as part of the property breaks down, you must inform your landlord, preferably in writing and in person, of this repair. Your landlord has a “reasonable amount” of time to attend to this repair under California law. If the landlord does not make repairs in a timely manner — the court usually gives the landlord a 30-day window on many repairs — tenants might choose to make the repair themselves together with the “repair and deduct” process. After providing written notification, then it is possible to hire a repairman to fix the appliance at a sensible rate, paying the bill yourself. When it comes time to pay rent, deduct the cost of the repair from your lease. Even though it is not a legal requirement, the California Department of Consumer Affairs recommends including a letter with your lease notifying your landlord of this deduction as well as providing proof of the expense, like a copy of the bill.

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How Many AC Registers Per Room?

Air conditioning vents typically share the same ducts as those employed for your furnace or heating system in the house. Called the heat, ventilation and air conditioning system, or HVAC, the number of ducts or ports per room relies on several variables that comprises the house’s size, airflow needed and the windows in the house.

AC Registers per Room

Under fundamental guidelines, HVAC experts recommend a minumum of one AC register or duct each room. But number this isn’t set in stone, as some contractors may prefer more than one register for better airflow. The general size of the home, the size of the room and the numbers of window in the room all play a role in shaping the size of the general air conditioning unit and the number of seeks to get a room. As an example, one AC duct in a bedroom may be decent, but in the fantastic room or living room area, the room’s size alone may call for more than one register.

Air Changes

HVAC contractors perform a number of calculations to engineer a room’s airflow during the air conditioning or heating system. Contractors use a formula to find out how many times air enters a room within an hour during the HVAC system, measured in cubic feet per second multiplied by 60 to translate it into cubic feet per hour. This helps them to properly balance the airflow to your room with the suitable duct and register size to your house and AC unit. Employing the conventional airflow change table, a bedroom must alter its airflow five to six times each hour, even though a bathroom typically takes six to seven shifts per hour.

Cold Air Returns

When you shut the door into a bedroom while the air conditioning is on, it can pressurize the room and not allow good airflow. While the cold air comes out of the AC register, it moves through the house to re-enter the machine through a large filtered port known as the cold atmosphere, typically situated in a hall or near the massive ducting. The amount of cold air returns in the house is contingent on the AC unit size, duct work size and the general size of the house. Clean cold air return filters twice annually, once before using the heat system and once before using the cooling system seasonally.

Improved Efficiency

For the very best airflow in a house, do not shut bedroom doors or close down ports when the machine is in use. This restricts and pressurizes the system and shifts its general efficiency, which makes it work harder especially in rooms where the cold air returns are. Keep doors open between rooms so the air can move throughout the home effortlessly, since the cold air sends pull the air from the home to heat or cool it prior to sending it back through the system.

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Household Tips for How to Clean a Vinyl Shower Curtain Liner

A plastic shower curtain liner helps to keep the actual shower curtain clean and tidy. The disadvantage is the liner itself becomes covered in soap scum, bacteria or even mold and mildew in the damp conditions in the bathroom. Instead of throwing the liner away, clean it up in the washing machine, but skip the dryer as the liner will melt in the heat.

Soap Scum Treatment

Soapy buildup is a vital concern in regards to the shower curtain liner, as this is often what causes it to seem dirty or grimy. Set the curtain liner in the washing machine with various towels. Add your favorite laundry detergent, along with a cup of vinegar, and then run the machine to a delicate or gentle cycle. Following the spin cycle stops, lift the curtain liner out and carry it so that it drips over the washing machine or clean tub for a moment or so. Hang the liner back to the curtain hooks together with the bottom of the liner in the bathtub or shower area, allowing it to air dry.

Fundamental Washing

Keep the shower curtain liner looking its best by running it through the washing machine with bleach added into the laundry detergent. Since the machine fills, add 1/2 cup of bleach, and 1/4 cup laundry detergent. Toss from the shower curtain liner and many white towels which may withstand bleaching. Run the washer on a delicate cycle using warm or hot water, then remove the liner after the rinse cycle and then hang up it on the shower curtain pole.

Mold and Mildew Treatment

Instead of adding bleach to the wash cycle — that will also get rid of mold and mildew — run a gentle wash cycle using 1/2 cup of baking soda added to the detergent in warm water. Add several blankets or towels to the load. Add a 1/2 cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle. After rinsing, hang the shower curtain to drip dry in the shower curtain pole or outside in sunlight, which also kills mold and mildew. The vinegar helps eliminate stains and helps you to avoid mold and mildew.

Keeping it Clean

Mold, mildew and bacteria build up on the folds of this shower curtain liner over time. To help prevent this from happening, pull on the shower curtain liner over the room after using the shower — this allows the liner to drip dry, instead of creating folded regions that remain wet and damp for long periods of time. Open a window or leave the bathroom fan on near the shower, whenever feasible, so you can dry the liner quickly.

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How to Update Dark Wood Paneling With Chalk Paint

Dark paneling may make a room or a stairwell appear depressing and obsolete. Painting the timber is easier than removing it, and the look is richer and more textured with wood under the color than bare walls. Chalk paint is a natural once you want to update dark paneling, and it has the merits of good coverage and low VOCs to make it even more appealing. Preparation and painting are simple, and the result is a more light-filled space.

Clean out the wood paneling to be painted by wiping it down with mild soap and water. Wash with a clean, damp sponge and allow the wood to dry. Fill all gouges, nicks and holes with wood filler and allow the filler dry.

Sand the wood paneling. You just need to hand sand any rough places and timber filler patches, unless the panels are varnished or shellacked. If the wood is sealed with a finish, use a orbital sander to go over the entire section to be painted. Wipe the walls clean with a tack cloth to remove all sanding dust.

Mask the ceiling and baseboards at the very top and underside of the paneling, and some other molding you don’t need to paint. Use low-adhesive blue painter’s tape, which isn’t hard to remove without damaging new paint. Put it over any sections to be safeguarded from the chalk paint.

Apply the first coat of chalk paint with a brush, taking care to get from the grooves of their panels. Immediately go over the painted area with a small foam roller so you get smooth, even coverage. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly.

Give the paneling a second coat. Chalk paint has very good coverage, but a lighter color over the dark wood needs two solid coats to become opaque. As the second coat dries, evaluate the paneling in great lighting to find out whether you are going to require a third coat — usually not.

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How to Use Oyster Shells in the Garden for Moles

Although roots and lights aren’t favorite foods of moles, the precious crops can grow to be the rodents’ sufferers as they tunnel after grubs and insects. To prevent garden damage, homeowners sometimes move after the tunnels by packing their entry holes using oyster shells and other sharp things. Yet moles live in a intricate underground system that’s hard to eliminate or even detect. A better strategy is to protect individual garden areas and plants from the burrowing animals.

Dig a trench around the backyard bed you’re protecting. Make the trench 2 feet deep and 6 inches wide.

Fill the trench to just below the surrounding ground’s surface using crushed oyster shells.

Tamp the trench down firmly with the back of your rake, or by walking over it.

Cover the trench with a thin layer of dirt and tamp the soil down firmly. This top layer allows family members and pets to walk above the sharp trench without hurting their toes.

Surround vulnerable plants or plant groupings using a “moat” of crushed oysters, created by digging a shallow trench and filling it with crushed oyster shells. Cover the trench with topsoil or mulch. The depth of the trenches is going to probably be dictated by how deep-rooted individual plants really are.

Toss a handful of crushed oyster shells at the base of your planting holes when placing seedlings into mole-ridden places.

Add a last layer of safety by sprinkling oyster shells to the soil surface enclosing vulnerable plants. This won’t deter already-burrowing moles, but can put any moles off — not to mention other mammals, together with slugs and snails — which are roaming above-ground.

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6 Fantastic Ferns into Enliven Shady Garden Spots

Living and working in the Pacific Northwest, I’m regularly confronted with dark, moist sites that exist under a dense canopy of trees — ideal conditions for a garden accented with ferns. There are several other plants that are able to flourish in hard soil and light conditions and provide years of interest with minimal upkeep. Visually, they’re incredibly useful plants, using their fronds unfurling in the spring to reveal crisp new foliage that fills the gaps between hardscaping and plantings. In addition, a huge array of fern varieties is available, so that you may invent a palette using rich contrasts in colour and texture.

Listed below are a few of my favourite ferns to add interest to shaded sites.

A J Miller Landscape Architecture PLLC

Japanese Painted Fern
(Athyrium niponicum’Pictum’)

Always a fascinating feature in the color bed, Japanese painted fern provides much-needed colour to the dark corners of the garden. When you pair it with all the glowing foliage of Japanese forest grass (as shown ), the comparison in form and colour draws the eye to the floor and can accentuate paving stone. Its ease of expansion and ability to flourish in a broad array of soil conditions make it a fantastic addition to any backyard.

USDA zones: 4 to 9 (find your zone)
Evergreen/herbaceous: Herbaceous
Soil requirement: Demands moist soil to flourish
Light condition: Full to partial shade
Size: Slow growing to 12 to 18 inches

Cary Bernstein Architect

Soft Tree Fern
(Dicksonia antarctica)

a really prehistoric-looking plant, soft tree fern’s eye-catching form and imposing size make it a significant feature in the backyard. It functions well in small, enclosed courtyard areas, where its canopy can filter light to the space beneath. This siting has yet another advantage in colder climates (such as where I live): It makes it a lot easier to protect the plant from winter.

USDA zones: 9 to 11, will grow in zone 8 using protection
Evergreen/herbaceous: Evergreen (can lose fronds in colder weather)
Soil requirement: Demands damp soil to flourish
Light requirement: Full to partial shade
Size: fast growing to 15 feet tall

CYAN Horticulture

Royal Fern
(Osmunda regalis)

This big herbaceous fern is a dramatic improvement. Its distinguishing brown-tipped fertile fronds emerge through the mass of leaves in spring, giving a focal point worthy of its name. In addition, royal fern’s hardiness makes it well suited to harsher climates where ferns can’t survive.

USDA zones: 3 to 10
Evergreen/herbaceous: Herbaceous
Soil requirement: Demands moist soil to flourish; prefers acidic
Light requirement: Does best in partial shade; will tolerate Whole sun with ample water
Size: 4 to 6 ft tall

Matt Kilburn

Siebold Wood Fern
(Dryopteris sieboldii)

Siebold wood fern’s leathery, pale green foliage is reminiscent of tropical crops, but those wouldn’t be at home in colder climates. Planted en masse, wood ferns are an exotic alternative for boundaries in woodland gardens, and they contrast well with color grasses and other fine-leaved plants.

USDA zones: 6 to 10
Evergreen/herbaceous: Semievergreen
Soil requirement: Moist soil
Light requirement: Full to partial shade
Size: Slow growing to 18 to 24 inches

Matt Kilburn

Western Maidenhair Fern
(Adiantum aleuticum)

The lacy leaves of the distinctive fern provides a softness unequaled by another shade plant. In the spring dark stalks appear from the floor and glowing green foliage unfurls into widely reaching hand-like fronds, a stunning screen that gets more beautiful over the decades since the plant matures.

USDA zones: 3 to 8
Evergreen/herbaceous: Herbaceous
Soil requirement: Moist, well-drained soil
Light requirement: Full to partial shade
Size: Slow growing to two feet tall

Matt Kilburn

Crispy Hart’s Tongue Fern
(Asplenium scolopendrium‘Crispum’)

Hart’s tongue ferns are a welcome evergreen addition to the shade garden and differ considerably in appearance from most other kinds of fern. Their broad, leathery fronds can be smooth or crinkly (as shown ) and therefore are an excellent comparison to the feathery foliage of other ferns. Hart’s tongue fern works well in modern and traditional plantings alike and is helpful for providing construction among herbaceous perennials.

USDA zones: 5 to 9
Evergreen/herbaceous: Evergreen
Soil requirement: Moist, well-drained soil
Light requirement: Full to partial shade
Size: Slow rising to 18 to 24 inches

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Local Colour: Souvenir Birdhouses Flock to Southern Homes

If you’ve ever traveled anywhere within a few hundred kilometers of Chattanooga, Tennessee, you’ve been bombarded with enchanting barn roofs and billboards telling you to “See Rock City.” What is Rock City? It is an wonderful appeal on Lookout Mountain where it’s claimed you can view seven countries: Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama. There are stunning rock formations, 140-foot falls, a suspension bridge and the Enchanted Trail. The painted barns are part of the charm of the country landscape and help create a long, boring drive down I-75 much more interesting.

Throughout those seven countries and more, many people have picked up a charming souvenir — the See Rock City birdhouse — and put it somewhere with pride. They’re more prevalent in the South than bottle trees. Here are a few I found across my Atlanta neighborhood this weekend.

This birdhouse was suspended with pride in this lovely urban garden in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward.

A few blocks away from the Studioplex (a former cotton warehouse), another birdhouse fits right in at a photographer’s art-filled contemporary attic.

In a bungalow bed-and-breakfast in the Virginia-Highland neighborhood, a See Rock City birdhouse sets the tone for a fun and relaxing stay.

One of my neighbors has this great fence with posts that are topped off with an eclectic assortment of birdhouses. Obviously, a See Rock City one is included!

Following my brother and his family visited Rock City, I told him he would better have brought me a birdhouse. I had never mentioned wanting him earlier, but sure enough, my sister and my sister-in-law know me there it was, all put together for me on my birthday.

I have not found the perfect place for it yet, so I have been moving it around and checking out what my neighbors do with them.

Tell us : What kind of items add regional or local color to your hometown?

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3 Ways Native Plants Make Gardening Much Better

Six years ago my wife and I married (on 7/7/’07, like so many others), and we immediately moved to our first home together. I told her I wanted a backyard, and when she said, “Go for it,” I’m not sure we understood exactly what that would imply. Neither of us had any idea just how madly I’d fall in love with gardening and also exactly what I’d come to learn about myself, our union as well as the environment like I got dirty in the Nebraska dirt.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

I remember the very first two summers of gardening just like I remember my very first kiss — it was a sloppy, goopy affair which only made me more curious. I loaded up carts full of perennials and shrubs at local independent nurseries, spending money like I was a rock star — one time nearly $1,000. On a single excursion. This was just rash, but I wanted a backyard. Badly.

I purchased whatever the nursery had and no matter what the plant label insinuated might do the job. Little did I know then that plant tags can frequently fail us and are targeted more toward marketing than sensible advice. I loaded up with irises to get a moist area but have found that few butterflies see them. My mother — that thankfully forced me to backyard as a child — said I should get as numerous coral bells as I could, but they burnt in my dry summertime clay dirt.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

The plants that thrived were happy injuries: coneflowers, liatris, milkweed, Joe Pye Weed. I knew nothing about these, but once I started doing online research and reading novels, I found that they had been native to Nebraska. Why they appeared to do much better than the eye candy that I flung in my cart as though they were mint cookies in the supermarket shop? After I started gardening more and more with natives my whole life changed, rather than just with issues of less effort. My emotional experiences in the backyard evolved; I was connected to my home ground in ways I never knew were possible.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Here’s how natives can alter your experience also.

1. Less maintenance. My mother loves roses, but once I thought of her and planted a couple of, they expired. I wasn’t willing to baby them in any point. I believe in tough-love gardening — in fact, my mother taught me tough love as a parenting plan (one this mama’s boy sorely needed). If a plant doesn’t look after itself, I don’t have it in my backyard.

As I researched native plants, I found out that if properly sited, they ought to flourish. And when I recognized that when indigenous plants — for me personally prairie plants — went through drought, they may slow down, be bloom less, I might accept not getting a “perfect” backyard. In fact, not knowing precisely what the garden will look like from year to year makes it more exciting.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Liatris, coneflower, rudbeckia, sideoats grama, Indian grass, mountain mint, ironweed, prairie dropseed, aromatic and easy asters, goldenrod, baptisia, prairie smoke, American senna, coreopsis. These perennials will be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to my rich backyard palette (you’ll find over 7,000 indigenous plants in North America). They’re adapted to my climate and clay dirt, and properly sited, and that I don’t bother with any of these. I water a couple of times per year — generally in the autumn, to assist them overwinter after a dry August. I cut them down into the ground in mid-March during a lengthy afternoon, using them as loose mulch. That’s it. No fertilizing. No pruning. No spraying. I estimate I invest one-quarter of this time “working” in my backyard than when I had to mow. Few men and women believe me.

The secret to low-maintenance gardening is always choosing native plants that are adapted, planting thickly to extract weeds and using a diversity of forms — these strategies will help produce a self-maintaining ecosystem which will bring in beneficial bugs to eat the poor ones. And if you don’t enjoy the “natural” appearance, that is OK — indigenous plants can be utilised in formal settings, in some other manner you can imagine. As origins mingle and discuss information regarding diseases and pests, the dirt information highway creates a mutually beneficial ecology. Soil fertility raises. Water penetration gets deeper. Weeds get packed out and starved.

Two areas to find out what’s native for you’re the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center as well as The Xerces Society.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

2. More wildlife. New plants sleep, creep, and then jump. In other words, the very first year they seem to do nothing, the second year they do a little something and the next year they burst.

After three years my apartment moonscape became my interpretation of a prairie. And you know what brought me the most pleasure, besides the pride of thriving plants and blossoms? Butterflies and bees and spiders and birds and cows all frolicking in my backyard.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

I feel any gardener wants a carefree space full of beauty, but alongside the list is a location attractive to wildlife. Winged animals are the fourth measurement of a backyard, the vertical echo of the attractiveness below.

In the nursery I purchased butterfly bush because of its title. But now, as my native plants have grown, 95% of the insects in my garden zoom right by butterfly bush in favour of indigenous blooms, making sense — indigenous plants and insects have coevolved.

Certain species of native bumblebees can pollinate only particular species of flowers, since each blossom has evolved to create nectar geared toward attracting one bumblebee. Butterflies of sorts — skippers, sulphurs, swallowtails, monarchs — create beelines into liatris and Joe Pye Weed and coneflower.

Often those butterflies also put eggs on indigenous host plants: baptisia for sulphurs, zizia for black swallowtails, milkweed for monarchs. On winter viceroys and mourning cloaks hibernate in leaf litter while birds eat seeds; the backyard is being used, even when there’s not a flower in sight.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

3. Healthful area for household. A native plant garden means you will not likely need to repaint or spray, which means a space welcoming to sensitive insects that, through pollination, are responsible for you in three bites of food that we take.

Without bugs we would exist in much fewer numbers. However, a chemical-free landscape is also safe for kids and pets. A recent USDA study analyzed 1,000 people for 20 common pesticides also found that the test areas had an average of 13 pesticides in their system. These pesticides are derived from the food that we eat and the environments we walk in and, then, bring in the house.

Utilizing native plants can mitigate and frequently negate the need for sprays in the landscape, and you’re helping develop a wildlife refuge out back.

sustainable garden design perth

Since native plants support more wildlife than nonnatives, with them generates a space of exploration and wonder for kids. Exposure to character has been proven to increase creativity, out-of-the-box thinking and confidence, while easing symptoms of ADHD. As soon as I was growing up I had more intense relationships with sticks and horns and dirt than that I could remember. Were you aware dirt includes microscopic organisms which, via contact with our skin, raise levels of serotonin? No wonder I’m glad when I’m digging into the dirt!

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

As soon as I began the backyard in 2007, I’d be outdoors for six hours every day; my wife would wonder exactly what happened to me personally. While the backyard has always been a place for me to work through complex ideas and feelings within my everyday life, it eventually brought my wife and me nearer, even though she doesn’t garden like I do.

I remember one day when, walking the backyard, she insisted on studying some Latin plant names. After some time it was too much to take in, so she sat on the seat while I putzed around neighboring enjoying a spider weaving a web.

I could hear my wife muttering the Latin title for Joe Pye Weed, Eupatorium. “You-pa-tor-eeee-ummmmmmm,” she was saying, with fun pulling the final syllables. I’d won her over in the backyard like I had won her over on our first date.

Together we thrive in our native plant garden, in the same way the butterflies, birds and bees glide overhead and property on sunflowers and prairie dock, hungry for a place of belonging, a wildlife refuge in suburbia, a place to call home.

Do you grow plants indigenous to your region? Please discuss your own favorites!

More: Planting for birds and butterflies

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2 Washington Studios Give Artists Somewhere to Produce

Artists need time to think, daydream and let new ideas to create — Henry Thoreau’s greatest work was done in isolation at Walden Pond, and Vincent van Gogh painted many of his masterpieces while still glancing at the lavender fields of Provence. But finding that period can be hard.

Cyndy Hayward purchased a 14-acre plot of land in Oysterville, Washington, with the intent of turning it into an artists-in-residence colony to assist artists find their creative spark. Understanding it’s going to take time and money to complete her eyesight, she has begun slowly, first creating a little structure containing two studios next to her house. Architect Geoffrey Prentiss worked closely with her, creating a stunning, durable and high-functioning location as the beginning of her dream.

Studio at a Glance
Who works here: Artists at the Willapa Bay AiR program
Location: Oysterville, Washington
Size: 280 square feet
Cost: $75,000

Photographer: Michael Datoli

Prentiss Balance Wickline Architects

The 280-square-foot structure consists of two independent studio spaces with a carport, bicycle storage and a little bathroom in between. The artists remain in nearby cottages at night and work in the studio throughout the day.

Hayward chose durable materials that would fit into her budget and still look great. “Since the building was to house spaces which would be splattered with paint and materials, I knew I needed it to be simple and relatively cheap,” she says. “But style and design were crucial. I like to believe all structures are works of art”

Prentiss Balance Wickline Architects

The two studios are extremely close to the main property. The main home’s corrugated metal roof fits the roofing and running-seam siding around the studio.

Prentiss Balance Wickline Architects

When ceramics artist Sandy Bradley completed her residency, Hayward asked her to design these habit hand-painted concrete tiles to the studio sunny patio.

Prentiss Balance Wickline Architects

Garage doors on both sides of the studio could be opened completely for light and air. The wide opening also allows artists to bring large items in and out.

Prentiss Balance Wickline Architects

Prentiss installed polycarbonate sheet siding (Polygal) within the studio’s vulnerable framing. The translucent walls have been an inexpensive solution to the demand for good all-natural light. Windows would’ve added to the budget substantially; Hayward also knew they would occupy a lot of wall space which would be used for working and displaying art, and that the view may actually be a distraction.

Each studio has its own door which leads out to the terrace, so performers can take gaze and breaks upon the meadow.

The Polygal wall panels also helped to cut back on the cost of drywall and insulation. The studio is not a fulltime residence, therefore this compromise in substances functioned. But it will get cold in the winter, therefore Hayward equipped each studio with electric heaters, in addition to exhaust fans, electricity outlets, sinks with paint traps and art-grade fluorescent light.

More: Strategies for getting the most creative area you crave

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Get Together With Less Lawn — Ideas to Save Water and Energy

Lawns work nicely as busy playspaces for pets and people, and as circulation corridors through landscapes. As a result of their uniform color and feel, lawns often serve as a place for the eye to rest inside an area of visual strength.

But yards can be a drain on water resources, and they need regular mowing and fertilizing, and of course weeding and aerating. Most home landscapes offer lots of chances to produce colorful, engaging and more sustainable options.

Curious in lessening the amount of yard to take care of? Below are some ways that will help you study your landscape with fresh eyes and continue beyond the yard.

Phase One Landscapes

Eliminate yards where they struggle to survive. Get your yard from the deep shade or away from the dry slope.

Elevation Architects

It’s also a good idea to keep lawn away from the burning pavement — for example, the classic “hell strip” between the sidewalk and road, or the narrow space between the driveway and entry walk.

Goodman Landscape Design

Eliminate yards where they are hard to keep. Target narrow side yards, regions around shrubs and trees, and spaces smaller than 12 feet by 12 feet. Mowing, trimming, fertilizing and watering these small, awkward areas are difficult and time-consuming jobs.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Remove yards where they aren’t used for active play or entertainment. Front yards are prime candidates for this treatment. These are typically smaller spaces which may get amazing no-lawn showcases.

Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture

The fashion of your own landscape that is no-lawn should reflect the design of your property.

Scott Brinitzer Design Associates

Replace small yard areas with a low-maintenance perennial ground cover. Small areas and the ones that are tough to access may best be served with this low-maintenance alternative. Once established, a bulk of ground cover has a simple, calming effect. Appropriate plant selection will eliminate mowing, decrease water consumption and radically reduce the need to fertilize — saving you time and money.

Choose a plant with multiseason interest: flowers, colorful foliage, winter feel. Some ground covers will tolerate a small amount of foot traffic, also. Creeping lilyturf (Liriope spp, zones 5 to 9), shown here, has a lush, grass-like look and can also be evergreen. Additional choices — depending upon your garden’s growing conditions — may consist of periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus, zones 4 to 9), creeping thyme (Thymus praecox, zones 4 to 9) or snow-in-summer (Cerastium tomentosum, zones 3 to 9).

More crops to your pathways

The Garden Consultants, Inc..

Replace yards with bigger, decorative plants for even more visual punch and biodiversity. Larger spaces may go yard spare with mixed plantings of perennials, shrubs, grasses and trees. This kind of landscape renovation simplifies the monoculture problems that are inherent with yards. Greater plant diversity welcomes butterflies, birds and other wildlife, and promotes a more ordinary ecosystem in general.

Large yards are visual deserts. Replacing them with more varied plantings creates a feast for the eyes which creates attention and invites interaction with the landscape. Color, texture, form and fragrance — all of those backyard elements that we prize — can transform a boring lawn into a beautiful outdoor space.

Derviss Design

That is gardening on a bigger scale which takes planning and upkeep, certainly, but suitable plant selection can result in a joyful and more sustainable lawn substitute. Walkways or paths of stepping stone, as shown in this photo, can help organize these bigger spaces and invite exploration, also.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Replace yards with edible plants to create your landscape more effective. You can not eat your yard, so why don’t you replace some of it together with vegetables, fruits and herbs? Yard areas which struggle to survive in warm, sunny areas may be excellent for food production.

Think beyond the 4-by-4 box and consider terracing and other structural enhancements to add visual weight and year-round interest to your backyard.

Paradise Restored Exterior & Landscaping Design

Huettl Landscape Architecture

Replace yards with collecting areas to enhance the way you live now. Not utilizing your yard for active play and gameswith? Create many different outdoor spaces in your landscape which take advantage of both sunlight and shade, are silent and intimate, or are big enough for the entire gang to enjoy.

Phase One Landscapes

Lush plantings, the sound of splashing water and the warmth of dancing fires are always welcoming. Comfortable collecting spaces are perhaps the very low-maintenance and water-conserving options for replacing your yard yet staying engaged outside.


Lawn Gone! : Low-Maintenance, Sustainable, Attractive Alternatives for Your Lawn: – $19.99

If you are inspired … Lawn Gone is a great resource to learn more on landscaping with significantly less yard, including how to eradicate existing yard areas. Additionally, it offers regionally proper plant ideas.

Tell us : Are you replaced part or all of your yard?

More: Are You Ready to Lose the Lawn?

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