Get the Upholstery Work You Anticipate: 10 Details to Discuss

Despite my 20-plus years in the upholstery industry, there were times that I bit the bullet and hired upholsterers for my furniture. And more than once, I was in complete shock when my furniture came to me with style changes that I had not asked. Those upholstery defects stand out like sore thumbs and really irritate me. Upholstery labor and fabric are costly; you do not want to lament mistakes which could have been averted by having a small conversation with your upholsterer until it’s too late.

Upholstery Club’s Shelly Leer

1. Frame repair. Until your upholsterer requires a peek under the covers, it’s probably not clear what needs to be glued, clamped and tightened up. Many upholsterers make small repairs as a courtesy, but it’s a good idea to inquire about the price of more significant frame repairs.

From teardown to final trim, a good upholsterer earns every cent he or she creates.

Upholstery Club’s Shelly Leer

2. Spring linking or substitute. Your chair might have springs which have come unsprung or need replacing. Very good upholsterers will mechanically retie springs and replace bent springs until they begin. It’s ideal to know up front if you’ll be billed extra for spring repair.

A peek under the front of this chair seat shows threadbare burlap and untied springs.

Upholstery Club’s Shelly Leer

Springs come in many different sizes and shapes; they form the best base for chair seats.

Upholstery Club’s Shelly Leer

Some framework tightening and fix could be required before the upholstery work, also.

Upholstery Club’s Shelly Leer

3. Fabric. Have a thorough discussion about your fabric. If your fabric will be shipped, ask your upholsterer to phone when it arrives, so you can go over each of your fabric directives. Write everything down to your upholsterer to stay with any other notes.

Upholstery Club’s Shelly Leer

4. Pattern. Whether you want a fully upholstered chair or a very simple dining chair, the fabric pattern needs to match up when you look at the final piece from front. Be cautious if you want a particular fabric motif on the trunk, also. If you are mixing materials, draw a picture to show where each part of the fabric pattern should go.

If your routine is misaligned, it will drive you mad. Vertical or horizontal, only make sure the designs lineup.

Upholstery Club’s Shelly Leer

5. Cushions. Specifically say whether you want all-new foam, a Dacron- or – down-wrapped cushion, or a complete down-filled pillow fit. Establish the desired foam thickness and remember that the normal height for seats would be 18 to 20 inches in the floor.

Discuss the foam density you want. Chairs should be a greater density than the back cushions. And ask for a breakdown of the cushion costs; this really is a price which often gets lost from the total project, but it can really add to the bottom line. Discuss what your upholsterer’s policy will be if you are not happy with how the cushions sense when you get your furniture back.

Upholstery Club’s Shelly Leer

6. Style. There is more than one method to finish the front arm panels on chairs, love seats and sofas. Explain how you want the arm panels to seem; deliver sketches or photos so you realize each other. Do not leave this up to your upholsterer to pick the design for the arm fronts.

7. Skirts. If your sofa has a traditional fabric skirt round the bottom and you are ready to see more of the legs, define no skirt. The bottom edge may now need some cording, so you need to specify that. The legs will also have to look good now that the skirt’s been removed. Figure out whether you’ll be billed for the work on the wood, but eliminating the skirt must bring your total cost down because skirts generally coat a little more. If you’d like a skirt to be inserted to an unskirted piece, make sure to pay more; be sure to discuss the skirt style (yes, there are different styles of skirts) and the height at which you want it to be attached. Also specify whether the furniture will sit on a carpet or a hardwood floor, and how high you want the base of the skirt to be off the floor.

Upholstery Club’s Shelly Leer

8. Cording. Would you want fabric-covered welt cording around certain areas of your furniture? Let your upholsterer know where you want it. If you have a piece that has fabric stapled or tacked right up against exposed wood, you’re probably going to want a fabric-covered dual welt cord made and attached rather than using premade braid trimming. If you’d like cording, then you will want to supply more fabric. Consult your upholsterer how much more you’ll need.

9. Sides and backs. Chair, love seat and sofa sides and backs should have fabric and padding beneath the outside fabric panels. Before attaching the exterior fabric panels, there should be a base fabric that shuts the hollows of the framework, with cotton or Dacron batting attached. If these layers are omitted, the exterior arms and back are hollow and appear flat and unprofessional. You generally find that on inexpensive new furniture and on really poorly done reupholstered pieces.

Upholstery Club’s Shelly Leer

10. Detailed instructions. Finally, make certain there are photographs, sketches, fabric swatches, written instructions and anything else you can think of so that you and your upholsterer have an comprehension of how your piece will appear when it’s finished.

Upholstery Club’s Shelly Leer

Very good upholsterers will do the job right, but in case you’re looking for bargain prices, you could be surprised from the shortcuts you will notice when you get your furniture back. It never hurts to define just what you want. When a recently upholstered piece of furniture turns out right, everyone’s happy.

11 Distinctive Details for Upscale-Looking Upholstery

Search the expert listings to get an upholsterer near you

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Making Room: Discover New Models for Tiny NYC Apartments

Following Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the winner of New York City’s adAPT NYC competition in the Museum of the City of New York in late January, 2013, he toured the Making Room exhibition that opened the next day. The exhibition, organized by the museum together with the Citizens Housing & Planning Council (CHPC), is subtitled New Designs for Housing New Yorkers, ” and it explores this subject through layout strategies that react to CHPC research on the city’s changing demographics in addition to through finalists’ entries in the adAPT NYC competition, some precedents beyond the town and an entire 325-square-foot apartment. This last piece received the most attention and gave the mayor some fantastic photo ops, but as we will see, it is simply a part of the narrative.

The exhibition and competition are linked through the housing council’s findings which nontraditional households (singles and couples without kids) are on the rise, but there is not sufficient housing stock in their opinion. The city states that there are 1.8 million residents who are singles and couples, but only 1 million studio and one-bedroom apartments in all five boroughs. The competition aims to reach a pilot project with microunits averaging about 300 square feet. The exhibition, on the other hand, is a mixture of hypothetical jobs and design alternatives for living flexibly and economically within small spaces. Both are directed at making New York City cheaper to singles and couples.

Here’s a look inside the Making Room exhibition, which runs in the Museum of the City of New York before September 15, 2013.

John Hill

The exhibition is about the museum’s upper floor, at a gallery that is, unsurprisingly, little. Architectural models and drawings occupy about half the distance, with the rest dedicated to a full-scale microapartment designed and supplied by Clei and Resource Furniture and together with design by Amie Gross Architects. The floor plan is a stubby “L,” together with the living area and kitchen on the long side and the bathroom on the brief side; the entry is between the kitchen and bathroom.

Going into the apartment feels similar to entering an Ikea showroom, given the contemporary furnishings, but the emphasis is on versatility — the living room also acts as a bedroom; the kitchen may be utilized as a dining room; wall storage becomes a home office.

Here we see one wall of the dwelling room, with a couch, open shelves and overhead storage behind doors. The white and shelf panel are key into the space’s versatility.

John Hill

The panel hides a Murphy bed (the Atoll 000), which folds down to flip the living room into a bedroom. What’s unique about this layout is how it straddles the couch: simply move the cushions into the side and the bed may be pulled down. Another nice design touch is the way the shelf stays horizontal, so in theory the items on the shelf do not need to be moved every time the bed is moved up or down.

John Hill

Next into the Murphy bed is full-height storage for coats and other garments. A light comes on once the door is opened, and the clothing rack can be pulled out (notice the mechanism on the side) for easier accessibility.

John Hill

Opposite the Murphy bed is a wall with storage, a moving panel with a flat-panel TV attached to it and a bar behind the TV. A vertical support behind the TV hides the wires and allows it to move about 3 feet from side to side.

John Hill

On the same wall as the moving TV is a storage unit with doors which hides a drop-down desk. As with the closet next to the bed, a light has been built to the piece, over a shelf where notes may be hung with magnets.

John Hill

The kitchen is L-shaped and little, both in terms of dimensions and appliances and fittings — the sink is little, and the refrigerator is beneath the counter, for instance. As much as possible is moved off the counter (such as the microwave) to maximize counter space, one area where even larger apartments in Manhattan are inclined to be missing.

Flexibility from the kitchen is sold through a dining table tucked beneath the counter. It rolls out and contains a leaf that doubles its size, therefore it can seat two comfortably. Folding seats are hung on the wall near the front doorway.

John Hill

The majority of the exhibition out of this full-scale microapartment is dedicated to suggestions for many different new home types which are not permitted under present laws. As an instance, small units (less than 400 square feet) are prohibited in most parts of the town, but those might ideally function as unrepresented demographic. This is the focus of this adAPT NYC competition.

A team headed by Deborah Gans proposed extensions to Tudor-style houses in a neighborhood of Astoria, Queens (near where I live, coincidentally). Current laws don’t permit the proposed extensions, which can be envisioned as accessory components for the old or young. The coloured roofs emphasize the now-illegal areas that would add space to single-family houses.

John Hill

A version of one house shows how the attachment extensions would be executed in a similar speech into the first.

John Hill

Architect Peter Gluck’s team proposed microlofts of 232 square feet and 15-foot ceilings. Each unit includes a sleeping loft and a lesser area which may be used for living, working or both in a flexible layout. The kitchen is small (more of a sink with burners than a complete kitchen), but communal areas, like laundry space and worktables, are supplied. Five components are located on each floor inside walk-up buildings that may be situated on normal infill lots. A variance will be required to permit windows overlooking narrow side yards in addition to for such tiny units.

John Hill

Stan Allen and Rafi Segal proposed “Block/Tower” as a flexible reuse of allegedly obsolete office buildings in midtown Manhattan. Their project sits in the opposite spectrum of the suggestions from Gans and Gluck, who targeted small-scale areas outside of the city’s commercial cores.

John Hill

Their version shows the omnipresent curtain-walled glass boxes of the portion of Manhattan, yet with cuts at the base and up the building, to create “vertical neighborhoods.”

John Hill

Another version and accompanying drawing readily illustrate the idea of open, potentially green spaces snaking buildings up, a means of creating shared spaces inside the vertical neighborhood.

John Hill

Next is a scheme proposed by a team headed by Jonathan Kirschenfeld, an architect famous for developing strangely shaped sites deemed unbuildable by programmers to get single-room-occupancy (SRO) homes. Kirschenfeld is an authority in tiny units, and he applies his expertise to a different demographic on three tons along the Grand Concourse in the Bronx. As the model gets clear, the larger scheme comprises a greening of the boulevard to boost the desirability of dwelling on the wide thoroughfare.

John Hill

The proposal comprises a lot of unit forms, like the studios which share a bathroom in the model at right. This sort of plan isn’t brand new (he has used it in SRO layouts, and dormitories use exactly the same design), but Kirschenfeld is a strong critic of innovation in home design, using spoken on events that a large part of the alternatives have already been done.

The Initial microunits are coming to NYC. Take a mini tour
Research the Small Homes segment

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Time Travel to ers' Childhood Homes, Part Two

In this second round of ers’ youth homes, you’ll see the exact powerful connections people have with these distinctive places. Several of you are renovating the houses you grew up in, a few are living very near the houses you grew up in, others are re-creating the houses you grew up in or picking houses that remind one of the ones you grew up in. A number of you have popped into the houses you grew up in for a trip (inhabited by relatives living there, fresh owners that became friends or new owners favorable enough to encourage you in) or simply enjoyed driving. One er became a professional due to the admiration she had for the house she grew up in; yet another is writing a book inspired by her youth community.

Please check out each of the stories from the original Call and continue to add your stories and images of your houses.

Time Travel to ers’ Childhood Homes, Part 1

Dorset, England. “I had the joy of growing up in the home in the center of the island (Portland, Dorset, England), whose community I didn’t fully appreciate at the time, that’s now the topic of a novel I am writing,” says user deniseqaqish. The decoration was my mother’s (complete with multicolored plastic stripes as a doorway decoration — very ’60s), the alleyway was my play area, and the shop next door was where I worked!

“The island is linked to the mainland by a narrow causeway and steeped in history,” deniseqaqish adds.

West Hartford, Connecticut. “That is the home I remember the most fondly, from when I was about 5 to 13 years old, back in the mid-1950s,” says er emsbutler. “That is a recent photograph, but it looks the same, except the new owners turned the screened-in porch into a space. My mom planted lots and lots of rhododendrons from the front lawn, which are gone now. The memories of playmates, our puppy, a pet rabbit, playing in the leaves and skating in the tiny pond near are so much a part of that home.”

Baltimore, Maryland. “The home I recall best we lived for eight years. At the time I thought it had been enormous, though it appeared smaller than I recalled once I returned as an adult,” says christina.

“It was built in 1880, and it was a constant project removing layers and layers of wallpaper and paint, refinishing the wood floors, repairing the old slate roof,” she says. “Nevertheless, it was a fantastic home, with pocket doors and rooms tucked here and there.

My brother and I had the whole third floor to ourselves (which had an extremely narrow, winding stair, hence the adults didn’t like coming up) . I recall when both of us found a hidden staircase that went from the kitchen china closet up to the linen closet on the second floor. We loved that home, but I believe our parents were happy when we moved to a more modern home that didn’t have quite so many issues.”

Gates, North Carolina. “My dad was in the Marine Corps for 30 years, so I really didn’t have a ‘household’ house, but I remember my mother being skilled at turning any place we lived right into a cozy home,” says user caci. “This included a World War II Quonset hut in Adak, Alaska! I married a farmer and now reside in an 1889 farmhouse in Gates, North Carolina, that reminds me so much of my grandmother’s home in Harrisonburg, Virginia.”

Bellevue, Washington. “It’s funny how you remember things — I always thought the home I grew up in was huge! It was a fine, comfy size but was not as enormous as I recall it,” says Sammi Thielen. “My bedroom was the one on the left, and I remember when it snowed, which was not too frequently in Bellevue, Washington, I would sit and look out my big window and watch the snow fall under the streetlight. I recall it being so peaceful and quiet. The home was a trilevel and had, in the time, the most beautiful gold shag carpets — we had a little sterile carpet rake to help keep it looking fine! Tons of wonderful memories from that house.”

Waynesboro, Pennsylvania. “I grew up in a Sears & Roebuck kit house,” says user hjracer. “My parents lived in their forever home for 45 years and just sold it to move into a retirement community. It was built in 1929. It was sad to say goodbye to my childhood home, but another young family bought it to continue many happy memories in a tiny bit of Americana history.” Hjracer’s childhood home was known as the Crescent.

ers, you may recognize some of those kit homes seen in these youth home ideabooks; they were built all over the country. I know there’s a Crescent somewhere around my neighborhood; I am eager to go find it now.

Laguna Beach, California. user joymaker and her husband like to drive by her husband’s childhood home. “It’s on Top Drive in Laguna Beach … we drive by when attending annual high school reunions. It was built using many different bricks and is filled with charm,” she says.

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Occasionally, you can go home again. “I made Ottawa 15 years back. I was lucky in my last trip back (only the second in 15 years) to be able to walk throughout my childhood house (sooo grateful to the new owners),” says Cathy. “This three-story home was magnificent — there was a living area on the first floor, bedrooms on the moment and my father’s office library on the next floor,” she describes. “My dad built that front porch, and he also built the coated indoor pool. The new owners have promised it superbly. It will always feel like home to me”

Medford, Oregon. A well-known local architect built this Pacific Northwest house. “Bob Bosworth designed our home in Medford, Oregon, and it was built in 1959,” says user chrdan.

Birmingham, Alabama. “My family lived in at least five homes in three nations when I was growing up,” says beverly_crawford. “The very first house I remember living in was in Birmingham, Alabama, along with Shades Mountain in an area called Bluff Park, from 1966 to 1974. Our home was a brick ranch with three bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. I wish I’d found an image of the silver aluminum tree with the color wheel spotlight that was exhibited in our living room window. As children we played out from sunup to sundown. There were no fences in anyone’s yards. There was a creek that ran through our neighborhood and a mountain so steep in the end of the road that we were prohibited to ride our bicycles onto it.”

She adds, “The first home my husband and I purchased was in Houston, Texas — a three-bedroom, two-bathroom ranch. It took me a few years to realize that the 2 homes wore each other on the exterior.”

Highland Park, Illinois. “The very first home we had was a fabulous 1930s Tudor with nooks and crannies, sloping rooflines and window seats,” says lilybeach. “The next was a dreadful ranch home my parents loved, built in 1968. They loved using a new house. I hated sleeping on the first floor, and overlooked all of the architectural surprises of this very first place. As a result, I’ve loved and lived in old homes ever since. My oldest home was built in 1787; my hottest, 1930.”

Additionally in Highland Park, Illinois. “The home I grew up in was a midcentury contemporary in Highland Park, Illinois, built in 1957,” says Carol Moses. “My dad is an architect and designed the home. They have lived in this home for 55 years and love it.”

“I had been so affected by the home I grew up in that I became an architect,” Carol Moses continues. “I like clean lines, lots of light and believe less is more. The little girl on the rocking horse is me.”

Yukon, Canada. “I grew up in a 1960s home in a fantastic neighbourhood from the Yukon,” says user tourere. “The house didn’t look big in the road, since the lawn came up to cover the bottom level, however it had four bedrooms, a large second living area (my dad’s study) and a large room that housed the freezer, camping equipment and all sorts of canned goods. There were two bathrooms, one with bathroom and shower/tub and another with only a bathroom. This was problematic when there were three teenaged girls (plus their friends) needing to shower in the afternoon.”

“But as a result I’ve never been that keen on the en suite thought, as I enjoyed that it had been an area that we all had to talk about,” tourere persists. “It’s where I watched my dad brush and learned how to whiten my teeth. Both things I love as I return would be the fantastic food storage/pantry and the big picture window. As I child and when I go home to visit my mom, I love looking out the window and seeing exactly what the neighbors are up to — that has a new baby or puppy and who’s learning how to ride a bike. I now reside on a farm in New Zealand, however from our deck we can see down the road, and my son enjoys looking at the tractors and trucks drive beyond. If I were to reside in a city again, I would need to be on the road with a view.”

Austin, Texas. “I recently remodeled and moved into my childhood home in Austin, Texas,” says katrina50. “My parents built the home from the early 1960s. I recently remodeled the master bedrooms, bathrooms and added hardwood floors; however, I did maintain the pine living space.”

“It did have a Nutone intercom system that has now been replaced with newer technology,” katrina50 says.

Cincinnati. Michael Long of Ridge Carpentry is also pleased to be renovating a youth home. “I am fortunate enough to have bought my childhood home in the Pleasant Ridge area of Cincinnati and’m in the process of restoring it,” he says.

It sounds like Ridge Carpentry’s remodel can result in a fantastic future Tour. I’ll be keeping my eye on it.

Detroit. “I grew up in a home in Detroit which is very similar to the one I reside in now in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan,” says user ruthie11. “They call them Cox and Baker bungalows, and it’s not that I love them, however my spouse and I do a fantastic job renovating it piece by piece to make it fit contemporary needs! We got it for a fantastic price in fantastic condition during the bank-owned phenomenon.” Ruthie11’s latest home is only about 5 kilometers from the one she grew up in.

Thanks so much to all of you for sharing your own stories. Please keep them coming!

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Produce a Long-Lasting Eucalyptus Holiday Wreath

Fragrant and textured, this crazy eucalyptus and juniper wreath may be a pleasant addition to your front door or a wall above a fireplace mantel. Tracy Goldman of Sabellico’s Florist breaks down the measures.

Rikki Snyder

Set against a bright doorway, your handmade arrangement would be sure to be noticed. Or bring it indoors to enjoy its fragrance indoors.

Rikki Snyder

To create this wreath, you’ll need the following greens:
4 distinct types of chamomile: spiral, gunni (baby), flat and seededJuniper sprigs (optional)You may need 1 bunch (approximately 5 to 10 stems) of each chamomile type, available at your local florist.

Added tools and materials:
14-inch metal wire wreath, clamp-style form (available at a crafts store or florist)2 feet of 2-inch-wide burlap ribbonScissorsPruning shearsHammer

Rikki Snyder

1. Lay the metal wreath type apartment. Starting with the spiral eucalyptus, use two pieces at a time to get the foundation coating, trimming to slightly uniform lengths as you go. Place them between the clamps, making sure they are even.

Notice: You can adjust the amounts of each kind of eucalyptus to suit your tastes.

Rikki Snyder

Continue layering all of the way around the wreath base. Keep everything visually even and uniform.

Rikki Snyder

2. Rip little pieces of this gunni (baby eucalyptus) off each pack.

Rikki Snyder

Follow the same procedure as for the spiral eucalyptus, layering each gunni stem in a uniform way.

Rikki Snyder

3. Twist the gunni in addition to the spiral skillet between the clamps, going around the entire wreath, staggering each one and making sure the pieces are even.

Rikki Snyder

4. Layer in the apartment eucalyptus. Considering these leaves are larger, move them more toward the center of the wreath so they do not overpower the foundation coating. Continue layering around the wreath as you did in the previous steps.

Rikki Snyder

5. Now it’s time to add the seeded eucalyptus. As you did with all the gunni, break small pieces off the stems and layer them on top. The seeded eucalyptus adds a unique texture that stands out from the remainder of the wreath, dividing the other silvery textures. Add as much or as little as you like.

Rikki Snyder

6. Snip off small sprigs of juniper from the stems with garden shears. Place each piece carefully on top of all of the other greens.

Notice: At this point, the clamps might be getting harder to see underneath each one of the greens. This is completely normal. As you place the juniper sprigs in the wreath, look for each one of the clamps and be sure each has a sprig of juniper within it.

Rikki Snyder

7. Feel through the greens to Discover the clamps. Push down on each to shut it, so they will hold each one of the greens in place.

Rikki Snyder

Hint: When the clamps are too hard to shut with your hands, use a hammer to gently push them down. Take care not to bruise the greens in this procedure.

Rikki Snyder

8. When the clamps are down, fluff up the wreath. Don’t be afraid to pick it up and give it a fantastic shake to observe how nicely everything remains in place. Be sure that the clamps are coated by the greens. Here, the wreath is propped upon a gentleman’s easel to make it easier to use.

Rikki Snyder

9. To create a hanger to your wreath, cut about 2 feet of 2-inch-wide burlap ribbon.

Rikki Snyder

Turn the wreath upside down and then fold the ribbon through the metallic framework.

Rikki Snyder

Pull it all of the way through and tie a bow where the 2 ends meet at the top.

Rikki Snyder

To add to the rustic appearance of the wreath, you can use scissors to fray the ends of the bow.

Rikki Snyder

This pretty wreath will last for many weeks through the holiday season. Enjoy!

More wreath DIYs:
How to Produce a wonderfully twiggy All-natural wreath

How to Produce a lush and leafy holiday wreath

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Expand Your Living Room Using an Outdoor Fireplace

By rooftop terraces to backyard sanctuaries, a fireplace can transform an ordinary outdoor space into a true extension of your property. Whether you would like to entertain friends or include a few mild-weather square footage for your family, the flickering flame of a fireplace could add to your home’s value and improve your capacity to enjoy it yearlong. These exterior architectural elements can be made in all shapes, sizes and styles to match your home perfectly.

Have a trip using these backyards to inspire your own outdoor fireplace design.

Pedersen Associates

Significant seating. Ample seating constructed around the fireplace helps use an outdoor space on chilly nights.

Tip: Set blankets or seat cushions in your hearth as a layer between bodies and the chilly and hard rock.

Bernard Andre Photography

Double sided. Light and airy, this fireplace has an enlarged opening that makes it seem just there. This layout allows you to enjoy the flame’s warmth from both sides.

Tip: A massive opening and clear opinions like this imply you can sit by the fire while watching your kids at the pool.

Frederick + Frederick Architects

Tall and stately. The tall exterior chimney of this home comprises a quintessential brick and mortar fireplace. The simple style is timeless and durable.

Suggestion: in case you don’t enjoy the rustic or classic appearance of brick, talk to a designer or builder about possibly painting your brick fireplace.

Tate Studio Architects

Architectural element. This home’s roof extends into an integrated built-in fireplace that had to have been proposed in the pattern stage.

Tip: If you reside in a warmer climate, building an outdoor space in your home’s layout will have prospective buyers running for their checkbooks.

Chandos Interiors

Outdoor living area. This outdoor living room feels just like an indoor living area. The fireplace functions as a focal wall but still allows for a open space.

Tip: Even with simple structure, an outdoor fireplace may be customized and accented with the selection of surround and mantel materials.

Milieu Design

Fully integrated. This outdoor fireplace matches seamlessly into the backyard garden with all the built-in overhead pergola. The shady inclusion makes this a fantastic space to invest some time in, day or night.

Tip: Plants may help add colour to a sparse patio design. If a built in pergola isn’t for you, try incorporating pots with colorful flowers.

Tracy Stone AIA

Low lying. Forgo the traditional fireplace for a modern in-ground variation instead.

Tip: Think about your family’s needs. Though this fireplace is beautiful, it isn’t particularly child friendly.

Markus Canter (FCB:Design)

2 for one. These homeowners turned into their retaining wall into a fireplace. A sunken sitting place and stepping stone transform it into a personal refuge.

Tip: Be open minded when it comes to location. There is no rule that says that the fireplace has to be beneath a patio or on a porch.

More: 3 Sudden Reasons to Have an Outdoor Fireplace

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Homeowners Are Intended for Push-Button Light Switches

Light switches are found in residences for the last 125 decades, but only recently has the kind of change been ordering the cool factor of a house. The classic push-button design is back on the radar, and it is heavily adding to the vintage charm of homes across the nation.

Built to modern safety standards, UL-listed push-button switches are readily available for new construction and antique homes. Often comprising buttons, this switch that is timeless yells fetching! And besides looking great, there’s nothing like hearing the click of the push button when you flip your lights off and on.

Tim Barber Ltd Architecture

A double switch supplies a fashionable way to control two fixtures from a single location.


Push-Button Shift – $20

Brand-new UL-listed push-button switches are available from outfitters such as Rejuvenation. The real mother-of-pearl buttons and heavy construction make them appropriate for incandescent light.

Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

Switch plate that is push-button and the oil-rubbed-bronze hardware pop against walls here.

Square Deal Remodeling Co..

This kitchen features architectural gems like a triple push-button light switch, an integrated breakfast nook plus a large transom window above the exterior door.

Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

With mother-of-pearl buttons along with an oil-rubbed-bronze switch plate, the light switch takes centre stage in this easy Oregon bathroom.

Brennan + Company Architects

Arts and Crafts interior trim, square-tapered columns and push-button switches are just a couple of the classic Craftsman features within this handsome house.

Group 3

When a residence is packed with vintage charm and custom light, push-button switches are the clear light switch option.

Tim Barber Ltd Architecture

While this Los Angeles house is new construction, the push-button switches pay homage to the colonial design the residence was motivated by.

Tim Barber Ltd Architecture

Brass and push-button switches are back!

Inform us : Can you make the change?

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Your Décor: Enchanted Forest

You don’t have to create your living space look like the set of Twilight, but touches of the organic world add warmth to any décor, from super-sleek contemporary boxes to over-the-top baroque castles.

There’s something especially nice about the comparison between the organic lines, shades and textures of pure components and the much more linear human-made world.

ABC Carpet & Home

Cobble Hill Terra Stools/Side Tables – $195

These wood-slab tripod stools are the perfect mix of pure elements and iconic contemporary layout. They’d look amazing in a white kitchen or as end tables in an eclectic, flea-market-inspired room.

Artistic Designs for Living, Tineke Triggs

Use branches. Hey, and they can double as hat racks!

jamesthomas Interiors

A branch-base table matches in even in a masculine, contemporary room.

The Office of Charles de Lisle

The rectangular shape is individual. The remainder is Mother Nature.

West Elm

Natural Tree Stump Side Table – $249

West Elm’s stump table has become a modern icon. Probably because it can not really be improved upon. Straightforward. Elemental. Functional.

More Gnarly End Tables

Joel Kelly Design

The beautiful colour, form and feel of this live-edge wood produces this dining table one-of-a kind.

Debora carl landscape layout

An indoor woods, complete with moss and ferns. Add your personal woodland nymphs.

Tim Barber Ltd Architecture

Moss as houseplant: tidy and crazy at the identical time.

This forest-floor rug from Angela Adams is over-the-top amazing. It may be highly impractical (if you don’t live in a style magazine), but it sure is cool.

Michael Tauber Architecture

A backsplash of river stone makes you feel somewhat like washing your face.

Nunley Custom Homes

A stone bathtub and views of outdoors is similar to having a hot springs directly from the bedroom.

Clayton Gray Home

River Stone Boiled Wool Stool – $440

Here’s a heap of rocks you can actually find comfy on. Ok, it’s really a pouf.

More: 7 Ways to Upcycle a Fallen Tree

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Pretty Up Pumpkins With Paint

To mention that my husband doesn’t enjoy carving pumpkins is a understatement. We’ve got a 7-year-old, so Halloween is a big deal in our house, and every year we bring home a carload of bulbous orange beauties from the pumpkin patch. As my son and I gladly pick the best ones to become jack-o’-lanterns, I can see the look of dread in my husband’s eyes. Last year he just mutinied, giving me the knife reappearing only after he detected the odor of pumpkin seeds roasting in the oven.

Needless to say, I’m now the designated pumpkin carver in the house by default. However, I will mix it up somewhat and try painting a few of them, which can be neater, less tedious and a whole lot more child friendly than hacking at them with a chef’s knife. Onboard with the idea? Follow my lead and check out these pretty painted pumpkins for inspiration.

Rikki Snyder

Metallic paint autumnal orange lends gentle shine to these tiny pumpkins. This is a good way to highlight their beautiful curves and ridges while staying true to their natural colour.

Hint: Pick the most straightforward, firmest possible pumpkins for painting — dips, soft spots and knobby growths will make it trickier to get an even coating.


A mini pumpkin in gold gowns up a drop place setting and echoes the brass candlesticks.


A ruddy bronze hue and playful polka dots give these pumpkins the appearance of upside-down toadstools.

Hint: Gently wipe pumpkins using a moist cloth or sponge to remove dust and dirt (you might need to wash them under a faucet or hose should they have caked-on sand). Towel dry or air dry them entirely.

Rikki Snyder

Do not be afraid to use unexpected colors. Light blue is not a color you usually think about for Halloween, but it makes such a perfect partner for orange that I wonder why we don’t see more about it.

Pick a colour that blends with the scheme of the space to create a sleek effect. Within this darkened area, white painted pumpkins seem strikingly sculptural against the pristine backdrop.

Hint: Before you paint, apply a coating of multipurpose sealer, which helps to preserve the pumpkin and assists the paint to adhere. Permit the sealer to dry thoroughly.

Rikki Snyder

In a similar way, these ghostly pumpkins comparison with spare black branches to get a stripped-down group that’ll delight minimalists.

Seaside Interiors

Keep it easy by painting a little design onto each pumpkin rather than covering the whole thing. Letters on this trio spell out a spooky message and perform up the black and white palette.

Hint: Spray paint works best if you are painting the pumpkin a single colour. If your layout is much more complicated, brush acrylic paint for better control.

Silver pumpkins shine in this trendy display, but that’s not the only notion here. Consider embellishing a painted or unpainted pumpkin using nailheads — used here as a monogram — or hammering it with metal studs. Happy Halloween!

Hint: Keep pumpkins in a cool spot away from strong sunlight to preserve them as long as you can. Depending upon your climate and whether you display them indoors or outdoors, they’ll last at least two or three weeks, and sometimes more.

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DIY: Make Your Own Chalkboard Paint

Chalkboard paint is famous due to its mix of sentiment, whimsy and practicality. Whether it’s painted on walls, furniture or appliances, chalkboard paint has surely come a very long way in the fundamental green or slate gray boards utilized in colleges.

I really like the use of chalkboard paint in bizarre ways — like on the back of a kitchen island or in place of a headboard — but I am also a classic girl at heart and a fan of those easy chalkboard. My son’s nursery to large child room’s transformation needed streaks being painted by me, and I couldn’t resist throwing a chalkboard to the mix.

Meg Padgett

Chalkboard paint is offered in varying shades of color through manufacturers like Hudson Paint, but at $25 per quart, it could get expensive. Save your pennies and have complete control over the color by simply making your own in three steps.

Meg Padgett

Non-sanded groutLatex paint in any color Mixing cup or cup
Brush or rollerPaint mixer drill attachment

Meg Padgett

1. Mix the latex paint with the non-sanded grout at a cup or cup. A good ratio to use is 1 piece grout to 8 parts paint. So, if you are mixing a small amount, combine 1 tablespoon grout with a 1/2-cup paint. To get a bigger amount — like I used — combine 1 cup of grout with a 1/2 gallon of paint.

Make sure that all the grout is mixed in — otherwise, the granules may be observable on the chalkboard. I have found that a 5 gallon bucket and a paint mixer drill attachment would be the simplest and most efficient way.

Note: Grout is generally only available in massive amounts — 10 pound boxes for approximately $12 — so plan accordingly. I knew I would be regrouting the shower and bought the Polyblend Non-Sanded grout to match. Do not have any plans in your future? You could have a friend who recently tiled a entrance or bathroom, so ask to use some of theirs.

To decrease the sheen at the high-gloss black “oops” paint I picked up at a discount and achieve the classic charcoal color I wanted, I mixed a 1/2 gallon of this black paint with 2 cups of white ceiling paint, then added the grout.

Meg Padgett

2. Paint the paint on the surface. Prep the surface as you would for any paint job. I painted two coats to get protection.

While I’ve employed a classic charcoal gray, the color choices are endless. Make chalkboard paint out of your left wing wall paint to get a seamless and enjoyable addition to a room or go bold with a bright, contrasting color.

Meg Padgett

3. Condition the chalkboard. Make your chalkboard ready for drawing by massaging the board with chalk, then wiping it off with a dry towel in circular strokes. With that final step, it is ready to be put to good use.

Meg Padgett

In my son’s room, I’ve gone large by painting an entire wall with chalkboard paint and framing it to make a spot that can be used for both educational and play activities.

More: Grown-Up Suggestions For Chalkboard Paint

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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.

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