Open Walls Widen Home Possibilities

My dream home has a spacious wall with a door. It opens to a deck and a pool and some kind of sunny, spectacular view, preferably with all the Pacific Ocean in the background.

However, truth be told, I would settle for a garage door which opens on my own work-in-progress backyard.

Open walls would be the greatest embodiment of indoor-outdoor living, blurring the lines (well, eliminating them actually) between the two. They are a fresh-air enthusiast’s fantasy come true, and there is something about them which is merely friendly and positive. They are the greatest invitation.

But beware, the homes pictured below will likely make your own home feel closed and may induce acute home jealousy. Consider yourself warned.

Urrutia Design

I am pretty certain my dream-house fantasy is just a replica of this home. You may ocassionally find a deer or squirrel in your living space, however, the spaciousness and the willingness make it worth the trouble.

Dick Clark + Associates

Where an actual open wall doesn’t make sense, wall-size windows may do the trick. It seems as though you could dive right from these chairs and into the bay, but the fog has been kept outside.

A garage door doesn’t have to be hiding your automobile and boxes of crap. It may just as easily hide your living space. And it is a relatively simple and inexpensive way to produce an open wall.

Jeannette Architects

Gourmet kitchen, outdoor dining area. This glass garage door is clean and modern; it makes sliding glass doors seem positively old fashioned.


These multipane modern cottage windows open on the garden and make this little dining room feel ever so much larger.

Hanson Fine Building

Another wall of glass. The view doesn’t have to be spectacular to get a wall such as this to make sense. The space and light and feeling of openness are sufficient to make the wall keep. And do not you love the way the clear acrylic chairs play off the glass?

Ojanen_Chiou architects LLP

This sliding accordion door which opens floor to ceiling, turning a little kitchen into a bright, expansive area with an outdoor dining area.

Spinnaker Development

A home doesn’t have to be more ubermodern to operate with an open wall. This traditionally decorated home also receives a boost.

AT6 Architecture : Design Build

This bath takes some courage. I mean, someone in one of those homes down there might have a pair of binoculars. Still, why if living rooms and kitchens have all the fun?

Griffin Enright Architects

What’s there to say about a space with two open walls overlooking rolling green hills anyhow, “Sigh.”

Jennifer Weiss Architecture

Virtually all the exterior walls open on the backyard, turning a segmented home into a open, convivial area where the outdoors are as crucial as the indoors.

Ownby Design

Not having an open wall would be bizarre.

Knudson Interiors

A wall doesn’t have to open on a large, expansive space. Only a little tropical extension for this toilet is motive enough.

John Maniscalco Architecture

The urban version of the expansive perspective. No need for art.

Architect, Lorin Hill

Developing a tiny breezeway between the house and the open atmosphere are able to keep a room from getting too hot in the summer. It also offers a nice visual transition between indoors and out.

I don’t think that it opens, but I don’t care. Magnificent.

Opening Acts: Folding, Sliding and Pivoting Doors

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Baseboard protects the base of a wall from scuffs dirt and collisions at the joint where it meets the floor. Usually made from timber, it may be simple or elaborate, with moldings and trim.

Paul Hofmann Construction

Clear timber makes for a easy baseboard with a tiny trim at its base.

Robert J Erdmann Design, LLC

Miter cuts are rather difficult, making the corners of this curved baseboard molding a masterpiece of angle cuts.

Studio William Hefner

You can observe the pristine wall will be protected by the baseboard of this hallway .

Amoroso Design

A baseboard can be repainted whereas walls appear to reveal touch-ups.

Levy Art + Architecture

Fairly often, contemporary houses dare to exclude baseboards from their finishwork, and it’s pricey to complete walls off this way.

Bruce Johnson & Associates Interior Design

A clever way to get the traditional appearance of baseboard would be to utilize smaller trim and paint the rest, as in this kitchen.

Dwelling Building Group

Various cuts of molding or trim may add personality to the baseboard.

Browse more baseboard photos

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Small-Business Savvy: Establish a Shipping Station

When you’re setting up a creative studio, the initial focus will be in adapting a space so you can practice your art. If you make quilts, you will establish a table with a sewing machine. If you make ceramic bowls, then you’ll require a potter’s wheel. It’s important to market your studio with the ideal materials and supplies, but when your art can also be a business, an equal amount of consideration should go into making sure those quilts and bowls may get packed up and sent out to customers quickly and economically.

Packing and transport are a huge part of running a creative business, but they can be overwhelming for a small operation. So much energy may go into the making of this product which the shipping period can be overlooked. The important thing is setting up a space devoted to transport and nothing else. Spend some time getting organized and stocking up on gear before large orders start rolling in. Here are a few pointers to help any imaginative business achieve success.

Dream House Studios

Have a large, open surface devoted to transport. Designate a separate place as your transport channel. This space should incorporate an open surface for wrap everything up. The dimensions of this surface needed will vary depending on your craft. But generally speaking, the larger the surface the greater. Devote as much space to transport as you can. It may be frustrating to work in a cramped area.


Consider adding shelves or cubbies underneath the surface for storing boxes. Maintaining boxes arranged can be the biggest problem when it comes to shipping; heaps of boxes may escape control and immediately start to infringe on your creative space. So select a work surface for the transport channel with shelves or cubbies built in underneath. Flatten all of your boxes and keep them organized by dimension. Maintain bubble mailers and envelopes as well.

Hint: Shop most of your boxes apartment however keep a few made up and accessible so you will be all ready to go in case an order must have sent out immediately.

Utilize a pin board or pegboard to hang tools on so they are ready once you need them. Ensure that your shipping channel is stocked with all of the tools and materials you’ll need. You do not need to be scrambling at the last minute for tape or scissors. You need these products to be highly accessible but also out of the way of your workout surface. The best solution is to hang them by a pin board or pegboard that is adjacent to your shipping channel. Quickly pull down the gear that you require, and cleanup afterward is going to be a breeze.

Install paper roll dispensers for wrap paper and bubble wrap. Should you use rolls of paper or bubble wrap, then consider installing a few paper dispensers. You may either attach them to your work surface or put them next to your channel on the wall. Dispensers make it so much easier to manage paper and cut pieces off.

Jeanette Lunde

Hint: in case you don’t have space for dispensers, store your paper rolls upright in a bin next to your transport channel.

Maintain twine and ribbon together in a caddy. Add prosper to your bundles with twine or ribbon and maintain those loose spools arranged by storing them at a hanging organizer or caddy like this one. This caddy has sufficient space for multiple spools so you can add variety to your packaging.

Hint: Hang a pair of scissors from the caddy. This implies you can always find them when you need to produce a cut.

Keep business cards and other promotional materials at your channel. with your goods, you’re probably shipping out business cards and promotional materials (flyers, coupons ) with your packages. These materials need to be performed beforehand and organized at your transport channel. Organize them in a desktop caddy such as this repurposed metal one. Aesthetically this vintage piece adds rustic charm to the surface, however any drawer or cubbie system will speed up the shipping procedure.

Have a whiteboard or calendar handy for creating a shipping program. It’s important for small businesses to establish a shipping program — it is inefficient to run into the post office every second day. Establish a regular and be honest with your customers about when you send out packages. Maintain a whiteboard or calendar near your shipping channel so you can keep track of orders, check off jobs when you finish them and denote transportation times.

Cost Plus World Market

Wood Potting Bench – $119.99

Repurpose a potting bench to a shipping channel. A reclining seat may be the best answer to get a shipping channel. Many have shelves built in that are best for organizing boxes, mailers and paper. Also they’re normally made out of wood, so it’s easy to screw in hooks to hang tools and materials.

Martha O’Hara Interiors

The key to a successful and effective shipping channel is organization. Put time and effort into this stage of your business and make sure that your studio is stocked with the ideal supplies. Plan beforehand, before you start receiving large orders, to guarantee you will be ready when when items do get active.

Want more advice in setting up your creative space? Learn how to craft the perfect studio.

More Small-Business Savvy:
Personalize Your Packaging

Photograph Products Like a Guru

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Cabin Collection: 5 Modern Cabins Round the U.S.

Today’s clean-lined and spare modern cabins aren’t much different than the original cabins crafted in the States, that have been created of rough-hewn logs and had spartan furnishings. Present-day designers take inspiration from everything from Americans’ original homesteads to conventional lake homes in Finland. Here’s a look at five cabins from New England to Washington state, with a stopover in Iowa. Some are second homes, while others are full-time homes.

Joan Heaton Architects

1. Vermont

This contemporary cabin is nestled in the woods of the Green Mountains.

Joan Heaton Architects

The bedroom is part of this wide-open floor plan, but the curtains can be dragged for solitude.

Joan Heaton Architects

A combination of walnut, hemlock and ash woods add warmth into the open home.

See the rest of this home

Larson Shores Architects

2. Maine

This magnificent home on an island in Maine is a few full-time residence.

Larson Shores Architects

The architect made sure to comprehend how the couple lived and carefully planned for all their storage needs. Thus, the residence is uncluttered and organized.

Larson Shores Architects

This complete bathroom is covered in a watery blue tile mosaic.

See the rest of this home

Susan Teare

3. Vermont

Challenges in designing and building this cozy Vermont cabin included a small budget and how all the construction equipment and materials had to be transported in over a tiny pedestrian bridge.

Susan Teare

The flooring and staircase are reclaimed timber, and there is not a single inch of drywall from the home.

Susan Teare

A classic claw-foot tub, a whirlpool bath stand, barn light and exposed aluminum pipes add patina into the new structure.

See the rest of this home

DeForest Architects

4. Iowa

Outside of Iowa City, an architect assisted a couple stake out the site of their dream home to take whole advantage of perspectives and energy efficiency.

DeForest Architects

The home has been heavily influenced by the local agricultural vernacular on the exterior, but it has a much more contemporary feel indoors.

DeForest Architects

The home enjoys sweeping views of the landscape and is bathed in natural light as a result of the big, well-placed windows and the open floor plan.

See the rest of this home

Louise Lakier

5. Washington State

A couple and their two kids enjoy this family escape out Seattle. It sits atop piers from Puget Sound.

Louise Lakier

The home looks much bigger than its 672 square foot, because of mild walls, a tiled ceiling and large windows.

Louise Lakier

The owner describes her decorating philosophy as”eclectic, easy and inexpensive.” The family has done a fantastic job of making the space inviting and comfortable, dotted with entertaining coastal and atomic accents.

See the rest of this home

Guest Groups: Modern Cabin Decor
Contemporary Cabins in the Woods

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Serene Cabin Retreat Near Austin

This cozy cedar cabin was originally built as a refuge for Melissa and Mike Wilson. When the opportunity arose to allow them to create this 20-acre property outside Austin, Texas, they understood that it was the perfect feast for their hungry cousins. The creative couple first designed a simple and colorful space to escape and operate in. Now they share their oasis by renting out the space to others, and hope to build yet another vacation rental in their property soon.

at a Glance
Who resides: A vacation home for Melissa and Mike Wilson
Location: Austin, Texas
Size: 1,000 square feet; two bedrooms, 1.5 baths

Kara Mosher

Minimal furniture invites visitors to use the comfy, alternate chairs in the living room. A Costco memory foam beanbag is paired with a cushion for a makeshift cushioned chair.

Kara Mosher

After Melissa first moved to Austin, she stayed at the Hotel San Jose and fell in love with the relaxed, contemporary design. “I’ve followed Liz Lambert’s work and have stayed at all her properties over time,” Melissa says. “Her work really motivated me. I wished to keep the design clean and simple, uncluttered and with a few unique pieces to invite you bring down your heart rate a little. I hope it does.”

Kara Mosher

Mike loves music, so the cottage’s album player (tucked beneath the ladder) is an essential accompaniment to his impressive vinyl library. “I think that it can help to set the tone for the distance. We do not have a TV or phone so it’s great to unplug, lie back, listen to great music and enjoy the warmth and solitude the cabin attracts,” Melissa says.

Sconces: Manuel’s on 5th Street (currently closed)

Kara Mosher

The exterior and interior of the home are produced from a regional species of cedar timber.

Kara Mosher

The couple has hosted everyone from honeymoon and wedding guests to writers needing somewhere to finish projects. The cabin has even been used by musicians working on albums and gearing up for excursion — including bands during Austin City Limits and SXSW.

Kara Mosher

Melissa put her own creative touch on decoration pieces across the area, such as this written reminder:”Discussing does not always improve upon silence.”

Kara Mosher

The simple kitchen is outfitted with stainless steel appliances and custom cedar attributes. Both the countertops and seat are custom made.

Kara Mosher

The couple loves spending time in the floor-to-ceiling cedar space and fun with friends. One of Melissa’s favorite pieces is the dining table Mike designed; it sits against the wall with bench seating. “All you need to do is pull it away from the wall and you’ve got space to have six people for supper,” she says.

Kara Mosher

The cabin’s most important bathroom has a classic claw-foot tub. “A long soak in the bathtub is one of my favorite things I do to relax,” Melissa says. “I make sure we keep relaxing bath salts on hand for all guests to use.”

Kara Mosher

The limited color palette echoes the rest of the cottage’s soothing layout. Melissa used mainly green, giving the distance power and life.

Curtain: Cost Plus World Market

Kara Mosher

Melissa is a therapist also uses a spare bedroom for her very own private counseling practice. She and Mike intend to keep the cabin for a vacation rental and aspire to build yet another unique structure on the house within the next couple of years.

Kara Mosher

Upstairs, the second bedroom is in a spacious yet cozy loft space. A barrel nightstand contributes to the rural sense.

Throw cushions, blankets, nightstand: Pier 1 Imports

Kara Mosher

The downstairs bedroom windows fill the room with soft light, highlighting the colors of the room. Melissa made the light rainbow mosaic-tiled art bit.

Rug, bedding: Cost Plus World Market

Kara Mosher

Melissa and Mike enjoy their saltwater escape is close to downtown but still feels a world away. They recognize that it’s rare to find 20 acres in Austin and feel blessed to have this escape. “We are only 20 minutes away from amazing Hamilton Pool, and down the street from The Salt Lick BBQ and Lady Bird Wildflower Center.”

Kara Mosher

The creative couple’s thoughts aren’t limited to their own rural retreat — they also attend Burning Man each year. They brought the cedar swing set shown in this photo there in 2011. Two musicians at Curious Customs made the lamp hanging out of the swing set.

Kara Mosher

Melissa snagged this birdhouse out of a neighbor who had helped a girl with an amazing birdhouse set clean out her home. “They were just going to be thrown away, so I was able to choose a couple that I loved,” she says.

The weathered wooden picnic seat was salvaged from a local skating rink that needed to get rid of some tables. “I love that it has so much character and several layers of paint,” says Melissa.

Do you have a nation cabin? Show us your property.

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A Primer on the Language of Design

I was introducing a job to my client a couple of days back. I stood at the head of the conference table, flanked with my renderings, and began to ruminate on the design idea. The job was to be an urban intervention, and as this could be formal understanding of the tenuous balance between the requirements of the community and the needs of the individual. The project would represent, in built form of course, the space between these contradictory forces — the interstitial kingdom, if you will.

As I finished my presentation and opened my eyes I was greeted with a collective blank stare.


I had the sobering realization that my clients had no clue what I was talking about. Why does this keep happening to me? I mean, we’re talking the same language, aren’t we? I’m being perfectly clear, aren’t I?

Well, obviously, since I did not do anything wrong, I can only assume that everybody else needs to brush up on common architectural terms. I thought we’d done this before (here), but obviously more study is justified. Feel free to review these flash cards one or two times a day, as required.

And please refrain from staring blankly at me meetings. I’ll lose my train of thought.

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

Frankly, I could specify “architecture” all day long. And occasionally I do. Then my clients go to the “structure,” and also the “structure” starts to specify them. It’s like the circle of life, just with more angst.

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

We know, we know: All great architecture leaks. Please stop reminding us.

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

Actually, “interstitial” is just one of my favourite words. This means “the space between.” Tell me that’s not awesome.

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

It must be in the unbearable lightness of shining.

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

Here’s a fun fact: Whenever an architect designs a building that struggles with its surroundings, we call it “juxtaposition. ” That is a large word, and it will take you a couple of minutes to emotionally process it. We do this mainly to distract you from the fact that our design does not fit with its surroundings. It buys us some time. Then we will point out the “interstitial” space between our building and its surroundings. Eventually, you’ll get bored and proceed. So it’s a truly win-win.

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

I believe they should remove that cushion.

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

“It’s all part of the process.” This is what I tell my clients when they are unhappy with the very first attempt at the design. “It’s all part of the process.” But this isn’t really correct. I just allow the interns slap a design together. I’m really seeing it for the first-time today too. We’ll continue working on it.

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

Have you been considering me? Great.

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

This is the style admired by hipsters. I discovered Bon Iver has a fishing shack at Minnesota clad entirely in flannel.

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

Architects do not wear pleated trousers. Ever.

Keep reading. You will get it eventually.

More by Coffee With an Architect:
Find Your Inner Minimalist
Flash Cards for Architectural Terms
Find Your Architectural Style
Great Architecture Speaks to Us

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11 Seductive Landscapes That Lure With Less

At the tender age of 16 I had been introduced by my mom to the fan dancing — a dated, although a lot of unkind, variant of this striptease. She gave a running narrative as she broke her moves, known as, I suppose, by some maternal instinct to give me critical life skills I’d need as a grownup. The timing of her dancing tutorial was a little suspicious, but the lesson I learned has served me well.

Here is the takeaway piece from Mother’s fan dance instruction: It isn’t necessarily what you show that produces something sexy/alluring/compelling; it’s exactly what you do not show. When you get right down to it, the mere suggestion of something more to come really grabs your attention, doesn’t it? Surprisingly, this principle applies to a broad range of topics far beyond fan dancing.

Try this easy trick the next time that you would like to enthrall and engage your viewers: Don’t reveal the whole image in one glance — stimulate their imagination and draw them with a tantalizing glimpse of a part of this picture. Trust me, they’ll clamor for more.

Read on for examples of how to apply the theory to the business of landscape design.

Cary Bernstein Architect

I don’t know about you, but that framed partial view of the pool and slice of the distant mountains topped with a huge, clear skies makes me want to run out and see what lies beyond the limits of this window frame. I wonder what’s past the far side of the pool. I am compelled to go out and look over the edge.

Andrew Renn

The sumptuous curves of this garden draw you to the composition immediately. The enchanting arbor brings you into deeper and guarantees access to the garden which can be found in the distance. But without passing under that arch, crossing that threshold and rounding that last curve in the yard, you’ll never understand what’s back there.


What lies beyond this garden gate? The glimpse of red foliage draws the attention to the garden, and the yard appears to lead beyond it to the left, inviting the viewer to research.

Margie Grace – Grace Design Associates

This”humble” door is utilized to present the viewer with a photo of the water component within the walled garden. The come-hither path brings the attention to the garden wall, throughout the door and to the garden, leading to we know not where.

Intriguing, right? (Not to belabor my point, but see the way you might think about this trick as the landscape design equivalent of a peep show?)

Shirley Bovshow

This is a joyous and beckoning path. I would like to pass through the arch, then skip down the stepstones, nip under that jacaranda tree and determine what’s back there!

Exteriorscapes llc

Here is another path you simply need to follow.The secret is to create a strong visual pull down the path without showing its own destination.

Don’t have a huge garden? Simply curve the trail beyond view to draw the eye down the path and create the illusion that there’s more garden to be discovered around the bend.

Margie Grace – Grace Design Associates

This proposal of a path invites a leisurely stroll in the woods.

Whether you heed the siren’s cry, only looking out the window and the trail gives a momentary respite from the workaday world.

Donna Lynn – Landscape Designer

Play to all the sensations to enchant your garden guests. Add a couple of aromatic plants, such as the stephanotis wrapped around this particular column. Perfume the atmosphere with a touch of orange blossom or lavender — only enough to make 1 wonder where that heavenly scent is coming out of and seek its origin.

Tip: Subtlety adds to the allure. Avoid overwhelming the senses with overpowering odor.


Add soothing sounds to your own garden — the murmur of trickling water, the cooing of doves, the distant notes of a wind chime — but visually downplay the origin of the sound, incorporating it in to plantings or tucking it just past the field of vision. You’ll find folks are drawn to audio.

Troy Rhone Garden Design

Look closely at this picture. It’s possible the whole composition is an illusion. Is that a glimpse of a secret garden throughout the”gate,” or is that a broken light door glazed with mirror reflecting the greenery along the edge of this path? Wonderful trick, eh?

(I adore the”protector” goats flanking the door/gate. They add a whimsical touch, making what could otherwise be an intimidating facade very approachable.)

Tongue in Cheek Antiques

Ahhh… The breezy curtains supply a peekaboo view of this intimate sitting area. I can envision myself in this setting savoring a summery vintage and good company on a sultry candlelit evening. Count me in!

Garden Design Principles: Emphasis and Focal Points

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'James Bond' Tree House at Greece

Simon Payne, cofounder of Blue Forest at the Uk, grew up in the great outdoors of east Africa. Payne is nostalgically connected to tree houses, which he says remind us youthful experiences with “dens, playhouses and hideaways.” After a day visit to Athens, Greece, to visit a client’s estate to determine whether a tree house build was possible within the client’s gardens, Payne had a sense that this tree home build would be one of the most extravagant constructions that his team had done. After walking round the client’s house to identify the most appropriate place, Payne picked a website one of a collection of older pine trees close to the client’s most important house and not far from an current children’s play area.

in a Glance
Who performs here: Two and their 11-year-old son
Location: Athens, Greece
Size: 376 square feet (inside floor area)
That is interesting: The tree house is filled with a wide range of high-tech gadgets and can be fittingly known as “James Bond’s HQ.”

Blue Forest UK Ltd

The customer wanted to build a large tree home with enough room to include a kitchen, a washroom and a living area. From the initial conversations, TVs, security cameras, biometric security systems and other high-tech gadgets weren’t even in the picture.

Blue Forest UK Ltd

The tree home, using a deck perched about 10 ft from floor level, was developed to become part of the landscape so that trees may be retained; no trees were removed to make way for the construction. The construction is supported on Blue Forest’s bracer system, which allows for tree movement and expansion where the trees pass through the decks.

Read through numerous tree home photos

Blue Forest UK Ltd

“Our client’s brief for this project was really brief, but following our initial meeting, it had been clear to us that what they desired was a tree house on a bigger, more functional scale. Having designed and built over 200 tree houses, we’ve become quite good at being creative and allowing our imaginations to run rampant after the first meeting,” says Payne.

Blue Forest UK Ltd

The building of the tree home was carried out almost completely onsite in Greece by three of Blue Forest’s craftspeople. The team used a unique technique that enabled for the tree house’s subframe erection with no fixings into the host tree.

Unique to this project was the high website security required by the customer. “Someone from the client’s security detail remained with our craftsmen at every minute — even to the bathroom or while waiting beyond the doorway to enter. My staff was required to hand in their passports, cellular phones and cameras to armed security staff in the main entry,” says Payne. Despite being slightly amused by the exceptionally private nature of the customer and the high security, Payne’s team jumped just as though they were constructing at home in the uk.

Blue Forest UK Ltd

This biometric fingerprint lock has been one of those high-tech gadgets conceived by Blue Forest. “After much searching, we were able to supply a professional of biometric security systems in China,” says Payne.

The client’s wish to make an exclusive tree home with a number of luxurious accessories made it hard for Payne and his team to take sustainability into account. However, despite the extravagant nature of the plot, he used a few methods to help improve endurance.

Blue Forest UK Ltd

The tree home substructure, deck, frame and roof are built almost completely from FSC-certified soft wood timber, being one of the most sustainable building materials available and perfect for tree home contruction.

Blue Forest UK Ltd

Timber was the perfect material for this particular tree home because it is ideal for Athens’ hot climate; wood, a natural insulator, has air pockets that make it a natural barrier to cold and heat.

Blue Forest UK Ltd

A few of the tree house’s high-tech features: a bespoke CCTV console, a plasma TV, plasma plates along with the sacred trinity of game consoles: Xbox, PlayStation and Wii — a tween boy’s fantasy come true.

Read through tens of thousands of media room photos

Blue Forest UK Ltd

The tree house was designed to blend in with its natural surroundings. Cedar tongue-and-groove planks, cedar shingles and hand-split oak shakes make up its exterior cladding. The combination of these neutral colours is not only very attractive but is also helpful in breaking up the outline of this construction, which makes the tree house less oppressive in its own surroundings.

9 Incredible Tree Houses

5 Fantastic Homes With a Tree House Feel

Pennsylvania Hobbit House

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Kids' Study Spaces Earn High Marks

It feels enticingly like summer lately in the Midwest, and I’m sure kids everywhere are getting the itch to ditch the novels for the wonderful outdoors. Unfortunately, this early streak of hot temperatures is a bit of a tease: It might feel like school is outside, but homework remains on the table.

If you’re having difficulty luring your kids inside to complete their assignments, consider sprucing up their study region. It is hard to make it as tantalizing as a bright backyard, but there are definitely ways to boost its aesthetic and performance — perfect for cracking a couple of quadratic equations.

Neslihan Pekcan/Pebbledesign

Instead of working with a regular desk and seat, consider unusual designs and different designs. You never know; they can inspire your child to become a designer.

Cedo Design

Spruce up the place with paint. In reality, let your kids tag along with you to the paint shop in order that they can help pick. A room painted in a colour they adore and select provides them a sense of pride and ownership in the space, ideally advocating them to invest more time in it. (A TV might not be the best idea, though.)

Moon Design + Build

If painting the walls is from the question, get creative by sprucing up the desk. Give it a fresh coat of paint or add patterned cubes within the drawers to get a hit of colour every time your kids go hunting for a pen.

Fiorella Design

Just as you want in your office, accessorize your kids’ workspace with things they love. These make it more personalized and comfortable, and much less like a bare desk which screams work, work, work.

Artistic Designs for Living, Tineke Triggs

Put in a brand new board so your kids can pin up anything from homework to-do lists for their most recent art projects. Fill it with ornamental pieces so the distance feels energetic and inspiring.

Equip the distance with the right supplies. This will keep your kids from wandering to your storage cupboard to “look for crayons,” just to escape to the swing set whenever your back is still turned.

TruexCullins Architecture + Interior Design

In case you have a couple of kids, figure out how they learn best. Do they prefer to study together? In that case, prepare the desk so it can accommodate two. Your kids might be more prone to come inside if they know they can at least be in one another’s company when researching.

Ellen Grasso & Sons, LLC

In case you’ve got the space, create a really collaborative study atmosphere. Invite your kids to work together to fix their homework issues. Studying feels like a job when everybody teams up.

Laura Bendik Interiors

Maybe your kids prefer their private space. Allocating a desk to every child provides them sufficient storage for their unique supplies and items. Don’t forget to have a little fun with the d├ęcor; vibrant wallpaper and vivid colours make for a far more enjoyable study room.

In case you’ve got a space in your home that’s not being used, perhaps you may convert it in your child’s particular study room. Possessing a private escape may encourage them to invest time in it.


Last, do to do your very best to bring sunlight in by putting together a study area near windows. If kids can’t be outdoors, they can feel the atmosphere when handling the intricacies of photosynthesis.

Enriching Children in the Summer
Guest Picks: Creative Ideas for Organizing Kids’ Rooms
Containing Kid Clutter: Fashionable Storage Solutions for Kid Spaces

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Porch Life: 8 Suggestions for Great Outdoor Dining

Dining on the porch brings the very best of both worlds. Whether out front or back, open or screened, with a meal on the porch allows you to enjoy the fresh air and outdoor views without having to pack a basket or cram together on a picnic blanket. Here are eight tips for setting up a dining space.

Rauser Design

Mix and match furniture just like you would inside. Matchy-matchy outdoor dining sets are no longer required; today there are many options for furniture that can stand up to the components. Furthermore, a porch roof provides ample protection for the majority of the year, so long as golf-ball-size hail is not coming in sideways.

If space is limited, treat 1 corner of the porch like a little breakfast nook. A little rounded dining table and two to four chairs may cozy up into a little space and leave room for settees, rockers and armchairs on the remaining part of the porch.

Witt Construction

On a screened-in porch, put a round table in an outer corner. This maximizes the views for as many folks in the table as you can.

Crisp Architects

Heal your porch table for example your formal dining table. That means incorporating fresh blooms and candleholders.

Su Casa Designs

Take cues in your formal dining room when it comes to hanging lighting. This onion lantern pendant has outside style, but it is hung in an interior way — centered over the dining table.

Martha O’Hara Interiors

In case you’ve got a very long dining table, consider hanging more than 1 lantern.

Browse lanterns in the Product section

Permit your rustic flag fly. If a number of the previous images are a little too formal for your perfect porch, then by all means, go more crude. This charmingly rustic porch and its coordinating twig furniture make a comfy picnic atmosphere where you are able to pretend you’re roughing it — you know, like MBAs on a dude ranch.

Frederick + Frederick Architects

Insert an outdoor kitchen. A porch provides great cover for cooking al fresco, and you won’t need to take the serving dishes very much better.

Witt Construction

Or incorporate your grill with built-ins. A stucco port hood, stone stands and counters give the grill a presence that fits into the old-world European flair of the rest of this home.

More Porch Life:
Wraparound Porches
Sleeping Porches
Screened-In Porches
Modern Porches
Banishing the Bugs
Porch Plants

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