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.

9 Incredible Tree Houses

5 Fantastic Homes With a Tree House Feel

Pennsylvania Hobbit House

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Designer Sketch: Lea Hein

Lea Hein’s carrot bud made the cut of pupil work showcased at the Stockholm Furniture Fair in February 2012. This year’s subject was “grow,” and also the design challenge was to locate unexpected and creative ways to attract vegetable growing into homes.

“I had to make something for indoor climbing, something which will help urban dwellers find a way to produce indoor gardens,” says Hein, a pupil at the Steneby craft and style school at Gothenburg University in Sweden. “The veggie pot was what I came up with. “It is made from honest materials but remains visually attractive.”

Find an architect or designer

What’s the most exciting thing you are working on today?
The veggie pot, together with Daniel Eidhagen and Kristoffer Nolgren, the Swedish guys behind the Massive window-farm screen at Kulturhuset. The window farm was a really inspiring project that utilized a hydroponic technique. I felt like I always wanted to do something similar, to spread the word to people in town about constructing an urban garden. But, I did not like how plastic bottles were utilized in the window farm, therefore in coming up with the carrot, I conceptualized something which utilized trustworthy stuff but was nevertheless appealing.

My end goal is to earn the veggie baskets readily available for purchase, but we must find a company that can actually produce the pieces and refine the parts a bit more.

When did you know that you wanted to design furniture and products?
I’ve always seen the craft [of furniture layout] as a very important skill. When I knew I wanted to go on this course, I studied cabinetmaking for nearly 3 years before I even entered Stenebyskolans’ furniture layout program at Gothenburg University.

Design Within Reach

Chieftains Chair by Finn Juhl – $11,500

Which famous furniture designer would you wish to work with?
I’d have loved to work with Finn Juhl. I’m very inspired, as I am by a lot of Danish architects and designers, by his understanding of the craft and his
profound comprehension of aesthetics.

What inspires your designs?
My layout is frequently inspired by a form. I guess you can say that I work a bit opposite from the idea that form follows function. I get my inspiration largely in art, nature and geometrics. I have worked a bit with images, and folks tell me that they view the picture changes in my work.

Where is your go-to location for inspiration?
That I love going to flea markets. You can see so many interesting and fun things there.

Where on earth do you wish to go next?
I want to visit Alaska, to get lost in character for a bit.

Can you still draw, or is everything on the pc today?
In the start of a project I always draw freehand. I carry my sketchbook with me. However, the clearer my idea gets, the more I use the 3D drawing apps. To current goods, I always use rendered images.

Herman Miller

Nelson Swag Leg Desk – $1,849

Who is one of your favorite artists?
A Norwegian artist, Magnus Pettersen.

The most significant thing on your desk is …
A glass of red wine.

What’s your favorite traditional furniture piece?
The Nelson Swag Leg Desk.

If you could change 1 thing about furniture layout, it might be …
To mandate that everybody read and use the cradle-to-cradle strategy. Basically, cradle to cradle is a way of honoring our world at the design and manufacturing process, but it can be applied to social systems and businesses outside style.

What’s your favorite new website?
Produced in School

What’s your favorite up-and-coming design company?
We Do Wood at Denmark. Henrik Thygesen and Sebastian Jørgensen are all cabinetmakers and furniture designers who share my style philosophy: design and sustainability principles really ought to go hand in hand. We Do Wood creates honest and simple layout.

Your ideal client is …
A customer who appreciates quality and cares for your environment. It is really important for me to not mistreat the world once I really do product/furniture design. This usually implies that the price of my furniture pieces might be a bit bigger, as you cannot compromise quality in sustainable materials. But if you care about sustainability, you will probably be inclined to pay a bit more.

Find an architect or designer

More Designer Sketches: Josh McCullar | Jean Dufresne

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Staying Put: How to Improve

Here’s an arrangement book for our times, when many homeowners are under water mortgages, and the cycle of trading up has stopped or slowed way, way down. In”Staying Put,” architect and writer Duo Dickinson has assembled a great and practical manual to help us create real improvements to our homes. Dickinson, an advocate of well-designed and affordable homes for all, has specialized in residential layout for more than three decades.

This isn’t your normal architect’s publication about layout. There’s no vague language nor design-for-design’s-sake thoughts. It’s a practical, down-to-earth manual that walks anybody through the rational procedure of how to redesign your home to get the home you need, from how to think about your home and overcoming barriers to some listing of”Duo’s Do’s and Don’ts” for the homeowner. On the way, there’s plenty of fine before-and-after photos to help clarify the things. Do read the publication. You will be happy you did.

The Taunton Press, Inc

The cover says it all. The omnipresent photo of a gorgeous, award-winning home that’s beyond most people is replaced with pictures of a watched, cup of dawn joe plus a to-do list.

Are you currently staying put yourself? Keep Reading for 8 of Dickinson’s suggestions.

Mick Hales

Think about the compass points. The strategies and illustrated examples are wonderfully straightforward. As an example, we see a home that gets overheated, the siding degrades and the front doorway bakes in the sun because it all faces southwest.

Dickinson’s common-sense information: Rework the front of the home with a new broad porch that shades the front doorway and some smaller, yet well-sized windows to make a whole lot more curb appeal whilst decreasing maintenance and energy intake. It is a triple win: more attractiveness and relaxation with less price.

The Taunton Press, Inc

Avoid gutters. Statements such as”gutters and leaders are devoutly to be averted” may seem like heresy to many, but certainly are the truth. Proving his point, Dickinson illustrates the way the properly-built roof overhang can shed all of the water it has to without the complications, for example ice dams, due to gutters.

The Taunton Press, Inc

Embrace small moves. Dickinson provides a wealth of simple solutions illustrated with before-and-after photos. He shows how to utilize small moves for big dividends, such as taking out a wall between a kitchen and a hallway to generate space for longer kitchen storage.

Mick Hales

Boost curb appeal. The publication offers solutions to frequent problems with a specific style, such as the way to improve and improve an entry into a split-level home. (See the prior photo of this entrance).

Mick Hales

Open up to the outside. Dickinson provides some excellent examples of how we could use modern doors and windows to strengthen the connection between inside and outside. Our homes, ” says Dickinson, no longer want to be”later-day caves.”

Mick Hales

Find your home. Learning more about the style of the home you’ve got will help you avoid barriers in remodeling and recognize the the best opportunities for improving your specific home.

Mick Hales

Open the inside. Snippets of advice sprinkled throughout the book are similar to refreshing raindrops that clean the cobwebs away. 1 such snippet:”If you walk through a room for to a space, something is wrong.” You know — it’s when that new great room gets inserted onto a modest home, and the outcome is some sort of dyslexic creature that’s two homes rather than one.

So rather than even building an addition, Dickinson suggests you take advantage of everything you presently have. In this example, widening the gap between chambers reinforces this room’s connection with the remainder of the home, raising its utility and spaciousness.

See the room before Duo’s intervention

The Taunton Press, Inc

Work with everything you have got (before): Keeping the kitchen dimensions exactly the same when vaulting the ceiling radically increases the overall spaciousness of the space, because you’ll see in the next photograph.

Mick Hales

Work with everything you have got (after): Walls, doors, appliances and even the skylight and kitchen sink were all left where they were. This all avoided costly plumbing, electrical and mechanical function and rework.

Find an architect or contractor in your area

The Taunton Press, Inc

Working with everything you have got (plans): Dickinson has included before-and-after floor programs for lots of the examples. These programs help provide that much more context, allowing the reader to better understand what they could be able to do with the home they already have.

More: Staying Put, by Duo Dickenson, Taunton Press, 2011

How are you making the most of everything you have in your present home and backyard? Please tell us about your project below!

More: Converting a Toilet Into More Living Space
Converting Attics and Basements
Accessible Design: Creating a Home That Works for Everybody

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