Wall Candy: Dish Up Colorful Glass Art Plates

Glass artwork is by nature exciting, and it often seems to have a life of its own. The medium is typically seen in the shape of bowls and bottles arranged on one-of-a-kind outfits. But one of the very photographed spots for glass artwork happens to be your home’s walls. And handblown glass plates are viewing a lion’s share of the activity lately.

The celebrity partly rests on the curved shapes’ being ideal for creating artful groupings which can add a quick abstract art-installation vibe. Glass also naturally pops thanks to its reflective properties, in almost any colour. And the handblown aspect means that no two plates are equally.

RSVP Design Services

Glass plates like these out of Vetro Art Glass from Grapevine, Texas, are usually created by artists as a collection or as individual pieces to mix and match as you need.

One might be inclined to hang bold discs like these onto a blank wall, even though in this case the subtle wall pattern functions as a wonderful background, anchoring the installation in a way that solid colour would not.

Hint: Research the options available from local glass artists and think about working together to create bits in the colors and patterns that talk to you.

Traci Connell Interiors

This collection from Viz Glass is my own personal favorite. The combination of cool blues is soothing and magical, further enriched by a bit of pink.

The seemingly random placement was created by somebody with a fantastic eye for dynamic balance. The key is knowing where to crowd items collectively and in which to leave space between them. Experiment with your arrangement on a level surface to make the right flow of colour and shape.

Hint: Some glass plates are handmade works of art; many others are mass produced using machines. If 100 percent handmade is important to you, buy them straight from an artist or gallery.

Lee Design and Interiors

The sunburst of yellow in this contemporary white area is eye catching and happy. The owner didn’t try to match the glass plate artwork with other touches of yellow in the area. This installation is meant to command attention.

Hint: Invest in bits which are ready to hang or have the necessary brackets. These plates have a protrusion built into the springs which fits into wall-mounting hardware.

Jaffa Group Design Build

Glass holds up well in moist environments, like bathrooms. Plus it doesn’t have to be transparent; it can be opaque and mysterious, too.

The rich jewel tones within this installation turn this area into a gallery.

RSVP Design Services

This trio of footed glass-blown roundels, too by Vetro Art Glass, functions well with the diverse dressing table and stool.

Slifer Designs

Rustic stone walls make such a strong statement on their own that one must choose art for spaces like these very attentively. The glass flower blossom artwork works here by virtue of its daring and surprising color and big scale. The horse seems to be running through a field of flowers — nice vision for a vacation home in the Colorado mountains.

Lerman Construction Management Services

You do not have to be an art connoisseur to enjoy the bold color possibilities of handblown glass artwork.

Hint: If the distance you’d love to decorate is a dark entryway or niche, you might choose to add some spot or directional light.

Embellish interiors

Glass plates needn’t be purchased all at once. I enjoy how this group has a collected-over-time aesthetic.

While there are many approaches to hang art artwork, these glass plates have a conical base that fits to a pipe-like bracket. Screws on the sides of the pipe part are sanded to anchor the bit in place.

Plates: Viz Glass


A number of the glass plates I have seen remind me of the sea or of tide pool creatures, so the toilet really is an excellent place to enjoy them. I love those by celebrity Jennifer Hollack of all Renaissance Fine
Arts in Baltimore.

Thinking about investing in some glass wall plates to add a special touch to your home? Look at buying from local artists. You can locate them online or in the telephone directory, recorded under “glassblowing” or “glass artwork.”

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See Chelsea Flower Show Ideas Flourishing in a Real Backyard

In May 2013 the renowned RHS Chelsea Flower Show celebrated its centenary and once again gave us a superb spectacle of horticulture and garden design at its very best. However, do flower shows like Chelsea affect how we design our houses, or is it merely theatre by the garden layout elite?

We may not mirror the gardens that the designers create, but without doubt we are affected by changing garden designs and fashions born at shows like Chelsea. In my small backyard, these trends and fashions out of over the years can be found woven in its layout and plantings. Since beginning my new backyard in Devon, England, nearly seven decades before, I have been affected by the contemporary garden design I’ve seen at the Chelsea Flower Show. From the total style of my backyard to the option of the plant substance, I have been affected by the trends seen at the planet’s most renowned flower show.

Little gardens aren’t easy to design, as they can easily look cluttered and busy. Display garden layout tends to be quite organized, with solid lines and simple shapes balanced with gentle plantings.

My backyard is small at 30 by 30 feet, so it was critical that the layout was simple and practical, based on these powerful lines, as in the timber rill and the simple rectangular deck.

Topiary balls. Topiary balls, mainly with boxwood, are a favorite of designers at Chelsea in recent decades. I first saw them used en masse at Diarmuid Gavin’s 2005Hanover Quay Garden, in which the entire garden was planted with 2-foot-diameter, closely clipped boxwood balls put into a sea of lavender. He later reused the clipped balls into his 2008Cafe Garden.

Chelsea at 2012 again watched the use of topiary balls in many gardens, such as Thomas Hoblyn’s Arthritis Research U.K. Garden.

I have grown my boxwood balls out of small pot-grown plants, because they may be costly to purchase as specimens.

Though I have used mainly boxwood balls, then the ball at the foreground of this picture is Lonicera pileata, that will be a shrubby honeysuckle. It’s evergreen but tends to be a bit more rampant than boxwood, therefore it needs more clipping at the growing season. It makes a fantastic substitute for boxwood, as it doesn’t suffer with box blight, which may be a problem in some countries.

Additional evergreens that were used at Chelsea for topiary balls include Osmanthus x burkwoodii; Hoblyn used it from the earlier mentioned garden.

The “new English” style. The reduced planted boundary here follows the “new English” style that we have observed at Chelsea in gardens like Andy Sturgeon’s2012M&G Investments Garden.

The clipped evergreen balls give structure while being underplanted by means of a combination of grasses, herbaceous perennials, small shrubs and herbs. These are permitted to naturally intermingle, producing a tapestry of color during the growing season.

Cloud-pruned boxwood. Among my bigger boxwood balls has been permitted to return to a more natural form and is now cloud pruned following the methods used by the Belgian garden designer Jacques Wirtz.

I first saw this feature from Tom Stuart-Smith’sLaurent-Perrier Garden at Chelsea at 2010.

The foreground planting is mainly of hostas, appreciating the moist, shady place at the base of the raised wooden pool. The hostas are interplanted with blossoms to give a combination of form and texture that’s reminiscent of contemporary show garden planting.

Water includes. Most reveal gardens include a water feature of some kind, and in the past couple of decades they’ve tended to be formal and plant free, designed to mirror the surrounding garden.

I’ve used these thoughts in my garden with a narrow rill that edges the deck and then falls in a sheet into an easy wooden pool below. It serves more than just a decorative purpose; being shallow, so it gives a perfect drink channel for wildlife, and it’s great for cooling bottles of beer when I am using a barbecue.

Iris germanica. The stately flowers of Iris germanica, the bearded iris, have made it a firm favorite recently Chelsea show gardens. This year they can be discovered at Susannah Hunter’s and Catherine MacDonald’s backyard for the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, in which they’ve used the gorgeous purple variety ‘Superstition’.

Planted in groups of the identical color, they not only make a statement when flowering in early summer, but also earn their keep throughout the year with their spiky architectural foliage.

Planted at a run down the side of my deck, so they balance the rill on the opposite side in addition to helping direct the eye back into the backyard. I chose a blue selection to reflect the deep blue sky we get in a Devon summer.

Exclamations of color. As the Iris germanica flowers fade, other flowers take their own place. Above the green of these boxwood balls and lush new-English-style planting, the vibrant red flowers of Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ create a stunning exclamation mark.

That is just another display garden design idea I’ve made from Chelsea; a solid color makes a statement among a combination of foliage and pastel plants.

Green walls. The last idea I’ve brought back from Chelsea is that designers really seldom leave walls unclothed unless they’re a design feature in their own right.

I am blessed with high walls on either side of the backyard, which offer not only privacy but also a great canvas for climbers and wall shrubs. Clothing the walls really helps to create my small garden seem bigger.

I’ve layered my climbers, beginning with Clematis armandii ‘Snowdrift’ in early spring followed by Clematis montana (displayed here); afterward the wild Fallopia baldschuanica tries to battle its way through to give me a covering of white flowers through the summer.

Two other styles I love in the 2013 show. Of the numerous layout and planting thoughts from this year’s show I could move to my backyard, two’ve caught my eye: pillow-shaped topiary and ornamental cow parsley.

Having extolled the use of evergreen topiary balls, such as my own, I’ve really been blown away by the pillow-shaped Buxus used by designer Robert Myers in his Brewin Dolphin Garden. I know the ball-shaped plants were brutally ruined in the nursery and trimmed back into some flattened pillow shape — that the outcome is quite stylish.

The white lacy flowers of Anthriscus sylvestris ‘Ravenswing’ were used in Robert Myers’ backyard in his stunning planting of British sailors, while Christopher Bradley-Holepreferred to utilize Orlaya grandiflora, the French cow parsley, in his Daily Telegraph backyard; he used them to contrast against big trimmed blocks of boxwood and yew.

This is how I want to utilize them in my backyard — drifting about and above my topiary balls and perhaps bringing a bit of the Devon countryside inside my backyard walls.

Get more planting and layout ideas from the Gardening segment

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How to Outfit a Classic Farmhouse

Whether you’re painstakingly bringing an old farmhouse back to lifestyle or just enjoy that classic farmhouse appearance, these thoughts and inspirations are here to help. And although you’ll find various great product picks here, from paint colours and lighting to floors and much more, it can help to remember that the farmhouse spirit is all about making the best out of everything you have.

So when your budget is running dry, allow your creativity take over — reglaze these windows rather than getting them replaced, refinish your old cupboards, pull wood from an outbuilding to lay your new floors or repurpose crap into unique decor.

Susan Duane

An almost-black hue on shutters paired with white siding is a traditional farmhouse look. Keep landscaping and porch plantings simple with a lawn, neatly trimmed shrubs and hanging baskets of Boston ferns.

Thiel Architecture + Design

Creamy white siding and trim possess a nearly seamless appearance. Timeless barn light sconces are right in the home above the garage, by the back door or on the porch.

Benjamin Moore

Ballet White OC-9 Paint

White with a bit of cream will look instantly classic on farmhouse siding — great on its own or using a contrasting color on shutters.


Little Warehouse/Barn Light – $266

The traditional barn light appears slick and even a little modern in a glossy black finish.

Farrow & Ball

Railings No. 31

Railings paint from Farrow & Ball, a almost black bronze, would look smart on farmhouse shutters.

Arcanum Architecture

Barn door dividers and farmhouse railings are all iconic bits. Try using one or both these features to lend personality to a dull exterior.

Easy afternoons on your farmhouse porch are crucial — pick a traditional porch swing or pair of rockers for optimum comfort.


Quorum One-Light Outdoor Wall Lantern, Oiled Bronze – $196.99

Gooseneck sconces are at once elegant and easygoing, excellent for the farmhouse porch.

Mountain Lumber Company

Weathered Antique Pine

A farmhouse floor should be the real deal — if you’re fortunate enough to own original wood floors, do anything you can to restore and use them. If not, a close second would be tracking down some reclaimed lumber, such as the stunning heart pine flooring displayed here.

Fredendall Building Company

Custom Paneled Door

In case you have good wood doors, then try stripping and refinishing or painting them rather than purchasing new. Once you do a good cleanup and replace hardware necessary, you’ll have like-new doors at a fraction of the price tag.

In case you really do need new doors — to match an addition to the original region of the house, for example — splurging on solid wood in a traditional style is well worthwhile.

Pottery Barn

PB Essentials Drape Rod – $49

Details thing, and this drapery rod from Pottery Barn fits the bill perfectly. A bit rustic yet tidy, this is a classic. Use several throughout the house for continuity.

Shannon Malone

Exposed beams incorporate farmhouse character to any space. If your house doesn’t have beams to expose, you can add them — assess salvage yards for reclaimed wood beams.

Julie Ranee Photography

Farmhouses are meant to be well loved and well used, not pampered. Chippy wood finishes, steel and galvanized metals are all materials that may take a beating and still look good.

Pottery Barn

French Stripe Roman Shade – $209

A tailored Roman colour in a relaxed ticking stripe is a superb option for the kitchen.

Fixture Universe

Rohl Shaws Rutherford Bowl Apron Farmhouse Kitchen Sink – $2,294.25

The iconic double apron-front farmhouse sink by Rohl is a worthy splurge — utterly timeless and built to last for generations.

Signature Hardware

Aberdeen Smooth Double Nicely Farmhouse Copper Sink – $926.95

If you prefer the apron-front style but want something different from conventional ceramic, then consider a copper farmhouse sink rather.


Vintage 1900 tug – $10.39

Simple and stately, these solid brass pulls using a black iron end would do well paired with Shaker cabinets.

Eclectic Pendant Lighting – $142

Barn lights in galvanized metal possess a rustic appeal that would be right at home in the kitchen. If you’re on a tight budget, try checking out a farm store — you may be able to score the actual deal for less.

Barn Light Electric Company

Ivanhoe Sinclair Porcelain Pendant – $175

An enameled porcelain pendant would be enchanting hung over a chunky farmhouse table in the kitchen.

Green Depot

Butcher Block Countertops

Strong butcher block countertops include a warm, homey note to the kitchen.

Smith & Vansant Architects PC

A claw-foot tub is the quintessential choice for a farmhouse bathroom. Warm, comfy touches such as beadboard wainscoting and built-in details complete the appearance.


Ceramic Basics Savoy Tile

You can’t go wrong with hex tile white; it’s a timeless option for the bath.

Vintage Tub & Bath

Farmhouse Drainboard Sink With Legs

This enchanting drainboard sink could operate equally well in a tub or even a mudroom.

Barnes Vanze Architects, Inc

If your property is set back from the road, provide a cheerful welcome house each evening by installing arenas on posts. A standing-seam metal roof lends a modern rustic appearance well suited to farmhouse style.

Inform us Are you renovating a farmhouse? Or do you simply love farmhouse style? Join the discussion below!

Feast your eyes on thousands of farmhouse photos

Guides to bringing rustic style home

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Bed Down in a Cocoon of Beautiful Textiles

I haven’t always been fortunate enough to have a wonderful bedroom. In reality, there was a time when I didn’t even have a bed, so in regards to the place where I lay my head to sleep soundly during the night, I am enthusiastic about how I want it to feel, both physically and aesthetically. Nothing says comfort to me like a large, fluffy, bed nest. At the end of a dreadful day, once I can crawl beneath a cloud of blankets, sheets, cats and magazines, I am in my version of paradise on earth. I adore a well-made bed — there’s something elegant about having the ability to pull the covers down for a new night’s sleep.

A bed is an extremely personal thing. It is the cocoon where we begin and end each day. What we dress it with and how those things feel against our skin is vitally critical as a mattress and the room it is in. A soft, nubby coverlet folded at the end of the bed feels like an invitation to a long, languid rest, even though a shiny satin duvet beckons for a champagne brunch beneath the covers.

Although extra shams, pillows and throws are usually just for decoration, their arrangement on the bed adds a finishing and relaxing touch.

From the room envisioned, fabrics and feel are layered to create a luxe and diverse space that I’d be more than pleased to move into!

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design Inc..

A long time ago, I had been helping a boyfriend redo his bedroom. The room screamed frat party in my own every time I walked through the door. We began by replacing the random, mismatched sheets and sports-related blankets covering an extremely funky mattress. A couple new sheet sets and a single comforter later, I persuaded him he needed a duvet cover.

Him: “Why do I need a duvet cover? I have a comforter.”
Me: “Yes, the duvet covers the duvet to keep it from getting dirty, and you can switch up the look when you want to.”
Him: “Why would I need to change up the appearance? What determines when it is time to do that?”

It might have been a circular discussion until the end of time, with me trying to explain the merits of freshening up a him and look trying to understand why anyone would need more than one look anyway. To be fair to my ex, he had been all about work and practicality. Many men are. If he already had sheets, then why did it matter if they matched? Who was planning to see them? Did having a “grown-up” comforter make him sleep better compared to his favorite team blankets? I really don’t know. I can’t prove anything one way or another, but a bedroom that blends rich textures and complementary colors, since the room displayed here does, presents itself as an elegant place for laying your head.

Bedroom textiles help create a mood the moment you step in the space. From a linen-covered bench at the foot of the bed to woven curtain panels along with an upholstered headboard, the fabrics you choose give you a chance to create a dream of sorts — to tell a tale about what feels amazing to you and who you are in that room.

My bedroom is my sanctuary. I’ve adorned my bed with things that feel comforting: heavy blankets, a classic bedspread, a duvet for cold nights, kilim pillows and flannel sheets. Some people prefer the feel of sharp, cold sheets against their skin and the simplicity of ironed and bleached cotton.

This is a refreshing and clean room that speaks to a lot of styles — country cottage, farmhouse, European shore flat — and yet is beholden to none.


But simplicity isn’t the same as simple. Having a woven throw at the end of the bed, the easy white bedding is much more bohemian and relaxed. White bedding adds itself nicely to change. In the event the pillows were changed for a large linen bolster, the room might easily go French. Using a velvet coverlet and sisal rug, it might move in a more diverse direction.


White cotton Deciding a canopy bed includes a classic and romantic appeal. Draping the identical bed in brocade and velvet evokes a castle-like setting, while gauzy, almost transparent panels include a distinctly tropical vibe. Bedroom fabrics are the string that ties the entire room together.

Tara Seawright Interior Design

Simplicity does not mean boring, either. Choosing one or two colors that show up in each one of the bedroom’s textiles is a great way to create a cohesive, thoughtful space that fits with any design style. While the room shown here leans toward warm contemporary, it might also be considered modern or even tidy eclectic. The white, black and yellow colour palette is a contemporary one that contrasts extremely well across every style kind.


Choosing textiles in the same tonal and colour families makes a bedroom feel equally high end and calming. The gradients of chocolate and cream shown here are warm and rich neutrals that are stunning in their, but that might be instantly altered with the addition of a glowing orange cushion, a throw on the bench or patterned sheets.

Organic Cotton Pintuck Duvet Cover + Shams

I have a couple friends who swear they can’t sleep unless the bed is made with white sheets. I adore the concept of white sheets, but I am terrified I will wake up and recognize that I am disgusting in some way I probably shouldn’t know about. My sheets are greatly patterned or monochrome. Almost always the colour is gray. When layered, dark gray fabrics tell a sexy, moody, more masculine color narrative. The profound graphite blanket on the pretty pin-tucked duvet and steely sheets is at once inviting, intriguing and mystical to me.

Martha O’Hara Interiors

The wonderful blue, gray and cream fabrics in this photo tell a completely different color narrative. It is glowing, soothing, feminine and soft. The blues are all in the same color family, together with pops of gray at the curtain panels and mocha on the headboard. The appearance is easy on the eyes and yet anything but boring.

Kim Armstrong

Another wonderful blue room has boldly patterned fabrics with deeper tones of blue and statement-making bright white. It feels intriguing, like the people read rare books and go on endless adventures each time they depart.

Chronicle Books

This room is anything but basic. Yet it’s got all the very same components as every other bedroom: a bed, bedside tables, a carpet and lighting. It is the textiles that make this room what it’s — cleverly connected. The bright, bold, bedding mixed with a graphic multicolored carpet and pillows that play the colors in the rug actually do “match.” It is a colour combination that violates the rule that everything in a bedroom has to be low crucial to be calming. For me everything needs to work collectively and be amazing to make a restful space.

Story & Space – Interior Design and Color Guidance

I am smitten by means of bright colors in an adult bedroom. The colour narrative says, “fun, lively, open and distinctive.” The great mix of sea green with turquoise makes this room feel like a weekend getaway of the best type.

Adrienne Chinn Design

Pairing variations in texture, for example machine embroidery with hand embroidery, adds interest without disrupting an otherwise beautifully dull distance.

Design Manifest

Mixing brightly colored fabrics and bold patterns does not need to be daunting. Choose one cloth, like the classic coverlet displayed, since the celebrity and build around it. The batik elephant pillow can also be blue and richly stained, while the patterned pink pillows add a touch a whimsy. It is an eclectic area that works because the colors are sweet and unassuming and romantic in a dreamy, youthful, carefree type of way.

Fluff Interior Design

Using an assortment of boldly patterned fabrics from the same colour family is a more conservative way to inject a little bit of fun eclecticism in your bedroom’s style but has the same effect. Rather than the star cloth being the coverlet, a small colorfully embroidered pillow does the trick.


Whatever your style, select fabrics for your bedroom that inspire you, comfort you and also speak to how you want to feel in that room. Whether you are a minimalist having a love affair with all white or a conventional sort with a penchant for pops of bright colour, invest in your own pleasure and give yourself a great place to start your day.

More: 10 Easy Ways to Dress Your Bed

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8 Tile Types For The Kitchen Backsplash

The backsplash could be regarded as the most significant part the design of your kitchen. No matter what material you choose, it’s a focal point. Tile tends to be the most popular option — for its flexibility in budget, style and program. Whether your backsplash extends up into the base of the upper cabinets, then reaches all the way up into the ceiling or falls somewhere in between, with one of those inspiring and intriguing tiles can increase your kitchen’s distinctive look.

Exquisite Kitchen Layout

Laser-cut tile. These tiles have been intricately cut using lasers to generate intricate designs which are pieced together like a mystery, as shown here.

Beware of the price tag on those tiles, as most of them are made from precious materials like quartz and marble, or handmade stone- or silver-backed glass.

Bella Spazio/ Celine Modern Art

Mirror tile. Tiny mirrored tiles assembled into a single design create a mirrored backsplash with feel. Something similar to this is perfect for that area in your kitchen that requires an extra-special touch — like a buffet area, serving channel or butler’s pantry.

Blue Sky Building Company

Diagonal tile. Give ordinary tile a twist by putting it on the diagonal. Remember that a diagonal design means you’ll want to purchase about 10 percent more tiles to finish your backsplash. Diagonal tile layouts also have a tendency to be more labor intensive — more cuts are required on top and the base — hence the installer can up the price a little.

Buckminster Green LLC

Large-pattern tile. Big, bold designs are in vogue right now — try putting one on your kitchen walls. Many businesses create patterns that may be customized to repeat like wallpaper.

Using a large-patterned tile, so it is very important to lay out your wall space thoughtfully, so that your design ends up seeming even throughout the setup.

Fiorella Design

Subway tile. Among the most beloved tile designs so far is the classic and classic subway tile so named because this kind of tile is frequently utilized in subway stations worldwide.

Tile all the way into the ceiling to give this classic tile a brand new and more modern look.

Croma Design Inc

Herringbone tile. Add loads of feel into your own kitchen with tile in a herringbone design. Many tiles in the herringbone pattern can be purchased on a net backing (generally a 12- by 12-inch backing material on the bottom of the tile that retains several pieces together), which means you won’t need to put out each and every individual piece.

Shirley Parks Style

Specialty-shaped tile. Do not restrict yourself to a square. Many manufactures take pride in supplying colours and unique shapes. You should have no trouble locating a producer near you to get the color and shape you want.

The oval shape in this kitchen has a great retro feel.

Dayna Katlin Interiors

Custom mosaic tile. When you have the funds for this, consider going with a design that is all your own. The design here was created with mosaic tiles, expertly trimmed piece by piece to make a gorgeous custom design.

Some designs can be purchased directly from a tile maker, and others can be installed and designed by an artist that specializes in custom mosaic tile design. Everything depends for.

More: Watch the guides to kitchen counters, backsplashes and more kitchen remodeling ideas.

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How to Give Your Garden More Soul

I really don’t want to start an argument, but that is inevitable when you talk about the topic of soul, particularly in music. Marvin Gaye, naturally, had spirit. Robin Thicke does not. What is a soulful backyard? It is expressive of you and your loved ones. It is authentic, honest, personal, deeply felt, of this minute — I’m delighted with a definition which says you understand soul when you view it.

At a garden, blooming chrysanthemums purchased from Safeway in March are not soulful. However, a tree planted to celebrate the arrival of a child is. Why put in touches to your backyard? Mainly because that will help you and your loved ones feel much more in the home.

1. Exotic living creatures. When I was a kid, my mom grew red-hot poker, revealed, and many other conservative plants. My wife lovingly remembers ‘Cecile Brunner’ roses in her family’s backyard.

The big lawn of a beloved neighbor was almost overrun by bad man’s orchid (Impatiens balfourii), which propagate from seeds each summer. Growing plants such as those brings back memories of people — old days, good times, sad times.

Red-hot poker provides you the best of both worlds. The nostalgic orange and yellow type is still a reliable perennial. Flashy new types, from streamlined to additional tall, deliver the exact same drama in colors like solid yellow and almost-white.

Common name: Red-hot poker
Botanical name: Kniphofia hybrids
Where it will grow: USDA zones 5 to 10 (find your zone)
Water necessity: Moderate
moderate requirement: Full sun or partial shade
Mature dimension: 2 to 4 feet, depending on variety
Growing tips: Plant taller forms in the back of an edge. In cold clmates shield clumps in winter. Divide crowded clumps in spring.

More about developing red-hot poker

2. Reflect where you have been and who you are. More than 25 years ago in Bali, I spent $10 at most for 2 terra-cotta bits (one is shown) a foot or so tall. I can’t imagine how we got them dwelling without breaking them.

They have been hanging round our backyard ever since, and every time I see one of these, I remember the great times together with the friends who traveled with us and I believe of this seller. I asked him the name of this figure. At a land of tens of thousands of souls, I anticipated a religious answer. He said the figure was a “funny guy”

A lot of travel souvenir can operate in a backyard, provided that the piece is fairly weatherproof. Terra-cotta is particularly fitting.

3. Favor the season shouters. A soulful backyard is dynamic — changing with the seasons. It is wonderful to walk in your backyard and understand what day of the year it’s from the plants doing there and then when their foliage, flowers or fruits continue only a few weeks.

Cases of plants which yell the season abound. Holly and toyon berries announce the vacation season. Crocus and forsythia tell you it’s spring. In my mild-climate place, where the season changes are all too delicate, we know it’s fall when Chinese pistache bursts into flaming orange and red.

Botanical name: Pistacia chinensis
Common name: Chinese pistache
Where it will rise: Zones 6 to 9
Water necessity: Moderate, but this shrub is flexible enough to accept light to heavy watering.
Light requirement: Total sun
Mature dimension: 30 to 60 feet tall and 30 to 40 feet wide
Growing tips: It’s not fussy about water or soil, but the fall color usually is more pronounced in dryer conditions. It is a little slow to get going; start with a bigger nursery tree in case you’re in a hurry. Prune it during winter to form it and restrain the dimensions.

More about developing Chinese pistache

4. Embrace the banana slug. Wild animals may add life to a backyard, and some creatures are more welcome than others. But don’t let general ickiness rule out a visitor such as the Pacific banana slug (denizen of redwood forests and mascot of the University of California, Santa Cruz). This supersize, shell-less, extra-slimy mollusk does not hurt plants or people, and discovering it on your backyard signifies that you live in redwood country or you’ve established its normal redwood habitat — an environment which also suits lovely plants such as azaleas, ferns and redwood sorrel. Probably no one has written a novel on attracting banana slugs (although a graduate student did compose a paper in their sexual habits), but there is plenty of advice on attracting more typical garden visitors, like birds and butterflies.

One suggestion for increasing the amount of welcome visitors: Start by developing plants indigenous to your area — local indigenous bees, birds and butterflies will seek them out.

How to attract birds and butterflies

5. Support the local flora. There’s nothing like plants indigenous to your area to connect you and your loved ones to the seasons and rhythms of where you live. Rather than pampering a exotic plant, why don’t you grow, say a native redbud or dogwood and find out how it compares to the same plants in the wild?

Can it bloom at precisely the exact same time? What exactly does it do with more irrigation or pruning? The California buckeye isn’t a popular or typical garden plant, but it delivers a nature lesson at how it’s adapted to the state’s seasons. It is the very first tree to game fresh spring leaves, revealed, occasionally even in January, when storms make water abundant. It is the very first to reduce its leaves (even at an irrigated garden), going dormant as early as July, during the long, dry season. In fall its big brown seeds hang from bare branches.

Common name: California buckeye
Botanical name: Aesculus californica
Where it will grow: Zones 7 to 9
Water necessity: moderate or more; more helps the shrub hold on to leaves longer
Light requirement: Total sun
Mature dimensions: 10 to 20 feet tall and up to 30 feet wide
Growing tips: Plant it in a wild section of your backyard, where you don’t mind bare branches for half the year.

Why indigenous plants create gardens better


6. Encourage real play. Hang a bicycle from a color tree. Set a badminton net on the yard. Build a simple tree house: a platform with safety rails. Simple garden fun can encourage spontaneity, hanging out and daydreaming. Just saying, most families don’t need elaborate play constructions in their gardens. These days children get a lot of jump houses etc. . birthday parties and other occasions.

7. Celebrate imperfections. Kind of as in life, some of the greatest items in the backyard come with defects — maybe a little chaos and disorder. One of my favorite trees is the jacaranda, beautiful in bloom but messy to live with. Rather than whining about the mess which jacaranda’s fallen leaves and flowers make in your terrace, enjoy the beautiful profound blue-purple blossoms for their short time.

Botanical name: Jacaranda mimosifolia
Where it will grow: Zones 10 to 11
Water necessity: moderate to medium; gets along with little water once established
moderate requirement: Full sun
Mature dimensions: 25 to 40 feet tall and 25 to 35 feet wide
Growing tips: be sure to have room for a big tree. Plant it where dropping flowers, leaves and seedpods won’t create a messy issue. In marginal climates don’t make jacaranda a part of the landscape — frost can kill it straight back to the ground. Water it to the first couple of years, then decrease irrigation. Prune it in winter to control the form and size.

8. Grow a storyteller. A backyard has additional depth when some of your plants come with stories. They may be fun or enlightening or just icebreakers in a gathering.

A classic amalgamated plant is franklinia, a small deciduous tree, much like a dogwood, with a special history. It was first collected in 1770 in the southeastern U.S. by one of America’s great early botanists, John Bartram, who named it after his friend Benjamin Franklin.

The shrub has not been seen in the wild as 1790, but it’s been grown in gardens since and continues to be sold today at nurseries. It is a fine landscape tree with fragrant, white, yellow-centered flowers plus fall color.

Botanical name: Franklinia alatamaha
Where it will grow: Zones 5 to 9
Water necessity: Moderate
Light requirement: Partial shade
Mature size: 10 to 20 feet tall and 6 to 15 feet wide
Growing tips: Provide the same conditions as for dogwood, especially well-drained, compost-rich, acidic soil, kept moist.

9. Plant a tree no matter how old you’re. There’s a Greek proverb, “Society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit” Actually, I’ve seen exactly the exact same notion attributed to many others, such as paper columnist Walter Lippman and philosopher Edmund Burke.

No thing, the thought is a great one. However, what tree to plant? It depends on your climate and space. The main thing is you’ll want a tree which will endure. Not a fast, brittle tree such as a fruitless mulberry. Perhaps not a disease-prone one enjoy an ash. Oaks are classic. My personal choice: coast live oak (although we need to be concerned about sudden oak death). I have not planted a oak of my very own. But squirrels have planted five trees for me personally, in their own way also considering future generations.

Botanical name: Quercus agrifolia
Common name: Coast live oak
Where it will grow: Zones 9 to 11
Water necessity: moderate; existing trees generally suffer if watered in summer
moderate requirement: Total sun
Mature dimensions: Potentially huge with time — around 70 feet tall with an equal spread
Growing tips: It is susceptible to oak root fungus; avoid summer watering. Be aware of sudden oak death, that has been killing tens of thousands (or millions) of Northern California’s coast live oaks and relevant species for the past two decades.

More: A Mother, a Garden and a Gift for the Neighbors

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Must-Know Modern Homes: Edith Farnsworth House

Philip Johnson’s Glass House and Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House are very alike, but their little differences are magnificent. Each is a glass box with an open plan of roughly the exact same size on a large estate for an individual, but Johnson’s home sits right on the land, while Mies’ home for Edith Farnsworth is increased above it. The Glass House blurs the distinction between structure and glass framing, while the Farnsworth House clearly expresses the construction. And of course one is painted black and one is white.

Johnson may have finished the Glass House in 1949, two years before Farnsworth House was constructed, but having seen a version of Mies’ design at MoMA in 1947, he was obviously poised to Mies. While the two homes are strongly connected formally, for Mies the home is part of a bigger idea about universal space that he had been exploring for decades and that would discover much grander fruition in a number of residential and office towers in the 1950s. In this sense the Farnsworth House is an incredibly important home for the architect, a small-scale experiment in his ideas. Matters weren’t as perfect for the client, as we’ll see, but the view of the home as a masterpiece of a contemporary architect has prevailed to this day.

Edith Farnsworth House in a Glance
Year constructed: 1951
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Location: Plano, Illinois
Viewing info: Individual and group tours available
Size: 1,500 square feet

More: 10 Must-Know Modern Homes

Farnsworth and Mies fulfilled at a dinner party held by mutual friends in November 1945. Farnsworth knew of his buildings and requested him to plan a weekend escape to get her 9 acres she owned in Plano, roughly 40 miles west of Chicago. Mies agreed to do the project that evening.

Accounts of their assembly and following working relationship signify that Farnsworth respected Mies’s imagination and gave him lots of leeway with the plan. She also liked the thought that her home can serve as a prototype for a new American architecture.

The weekend home sits on the banks of the Fox River, on land which would eventually mushroom to 62 acres from the initial 9. The home sits inside the flood plane, therefore Mies lifted it about 5 ft above the level of the river. In addition, he positioned the rectangular box parallel to the river, to benefit from these views to the south and into the clearing in the north.

The house consists of three flat planes: the floor of the home and porch, the roof, along with the lower porch. The home and adjoining porch occupy a 28- by 77-foot rectangle, while the lower porch is 22 by 55 feet, roughly the exact same dimensions as the enclosed portion of the home.

The two porches give the otherwise regular home some asymmetry. They also make sure that people going to the home approach it in a specific fashion, walking from the east and then visiting the home frontally in the south and then up the steps.

By comparison, the north side of the home is so regular that it borders dull. Nevertheless 1 detail (and remember, Mies is known for saying “God is in the details”) which comes across nicely in this opinion is the way the floor and ceiling extend past the columns.

This detail gives the impression that the two airplanes are being held (barely) between the columns, while highlighting the way the floor and roofing are somewhat of these columns, as if they can extend even further. In fact the beams of the floor and roofing are stored between the columns, welded to them so carefully that they seem to just “kiss” each other.

Whenever the Farnsworth House was under construction, Mies was working on two apartment buildings on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. While the house’s construction can be expressed on the outside, in the Lake Shore Drive buildings and towers the structural steel needed to be fireproofed (encased in concrete), therefore Mies chosen for smaller steel pieces on the outside to stand out for the construction.

This photograph, of the opinion Fox River in the porch, illustrates how Mies accentuated the landscape as a picture during the parallel planes of floor and ceiling. We can also see the roughly 2-foot-square grid where he founded the plan; every piece lines up with the grid.

What we don’t see are the screens Farnsworth had installed once she transferred in. These along with a wardrobe inside were taken care of by Mies’ workers, but the architect and client weren’t communicating at the moment. He sued Farnsworth for nonpayment, and she countersued, saying the home was unlivable. The courts sided with Mies on both lawsuits, but the entire undertaking scarred him so much that he never pursued another real estate commission.

The house’s entry is between the dining area and room inside the open area. Beyond is a piece of millwork that extends form the floor to the ceiling ; inside are two bathrooms, the kitchen cabinets, a fireplace and a mechanical core. In front of the millwork is your living room, seen here. In the backdrop is the apparel which Farnsworth had made following moving; to the side is your sleeping area.

Mies believed that a home with large expanses of glass would link people to nature in a deeper way than smaller windows, or even being outside. Appreciating nature as a picture was so just as important as being inside it. A home in character, like the Farnsworth House, subsequently supplied the ideal condition for this appreciation.

Even though the lawsuits brought the connection of client and architect into a bitter near, Farnsworth utilized the home for more than 20 years. Peter Palumbo bought the home and land in 1972; he removed the screens, added air conditioning and made extensive changes to the bigger grounds. In addition, he opened up the home for visits once he wasn’t in town.

In 2003 he put the home up for auction. Preservationists and the National Trust for Historic Preservation worked together so the NTHP could Buy the house and operate it as a house museum, such as Philip Johnson’s Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut.

2 higher-than-average flooding in the previous twenty years sent the Fox River’s waters nicely above the floor level. In 1996 the home underwent recovery following the oceans peaked 5 ft above the floor, and in 2008 waters climbing 18 inches above the floor needed some repairs that were less extensive. Rising waters are threatening the home this season, but the NTHP had heard from the prior floods and enacted emergency measures to protect the interior.

Blaser, Werner. Mies van der Rohe, Farnsworth House: Weekend House. Birkhäuser, 1999. Cadwell, Michael. Strange Details. MIT Press, 2007.
Farnsworth House + The Glass House. Modern Views. Assouline, 2010.
Farnsworth House, National Trust for Historic Preservation
Frampton, Kenneth and Larkin, David. American Masterworks: The Twentieth Century House. Rizzoli, 1995. More: 10 Must-Know Modern Homes

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DIY Love Reforms a Dated Cape Ann Home

Expectant parents Jen Migonis along with her husband, AJ, purchased their home three decades back, wanting room for their son to play and develop in. The location, only a 15-minute walk to the beach, and a good college system are just what convinced the couple to see the chances, despite a less-than-ideal inside. The home had dated and dark rooms untouched for years, zero insulation and flooring suffering from exactly what Jen explains as “nauseating linoleum,” but the industrious couple knew that using a great deal of DIY patience and love, they could create a bright location for their loved ones to call home.

in a Glance
Who lives here: Jen and AJ Migonis and their son, Drew
Location: Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts
Size: 1,600 square feet; 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom
That’s interesting: Although it’s located on chilly Cape Ann, the home had zero insulation when the family moved in.

Theresa Fine

The couple removed an present nonload-bearing wall that separated the initial bloated kitchen in the dining area. They added an island with a Carrara marble top, maintaining a bright and open-concept kitchen in mind. New stainless steel appliances plus a Maytag convection stovetop replaced the very outdated stove. “It was rather rough before. The 1950s stove took nearly an hour to boil water for pasta,” says Jen. “The brightness of the room today makes me happy every time I’m inside.”

Before Photo

When the couple moved in, the cabinets were painted a dull ” [The kitchen] was our first major renovation, because we’re going to have our first child, and we understood that it would be a key spot,” says Jen.

Theresa Fine

A silver faux pressed-tin backsplash gives the sink area a classic feel. “We ordered semicustom cabinets to fit our room but were cautious to not need to move windows and pipes in order to keep down the cost,” says Jen.

Backsplash: Shanko 309 Lacquer End Steel, Home Depot; cupboards: Thomasville; appliances: Home Depot; countertop: Bianco Carrara marble, Doyon’s Appliance; sink, faucet: Franke and Moen, Home Depot

Theresa Fine

Theresa Fine

The kitchen flows into the dining area, located to the right of the entrance. A turned-leg pine dining table found on Craigslist was stripped of its own glistening orange coat and awarded a black, distressed finish. The linoleum flooring went outside, and new hardwood floors were painted a dark warm walnut colour.

A classic window and inherited vintage lamp accent the dining buffet. Like many people I love the gray-blue colour palette and think it perfectly reflects the sea,” says Jen. “I’m a huge fan of calming colors on the walls and using the rooms readily flow to each other.”

Rug: Malika, Pottery Barn; seats: Overstock.com and Harry, Ikea; deaint: Driftwood Gray, Martha Stewart Living and Ultra Pure White, Behr

Theresa Fine

To the left of the entrance is your living room, featuring many of Jen’s budget-friendly DIY projects. The blue and white drapes are actually shower curtains from Target which she cut in half and adorned with a white band of fabric to produce affordable window treatments.

Before Photo

The living room’s focal point was a outdated wood-paneled wall. The couple pumped out the far corner of the wall, adding access to the kitchen, opening the space up and generating flow in the downstairs space.

Theresa Fine

The few whitewashed the paneling, trim and brick fireplace, making what was a dark area feel open and cheerful.

Paint: Vanilla Ice Cream 2154-70, Benjamin Moore; armchairs: Tullsta, Ikea; pillows: HomeGoods

Theresa Fine

This door off the kitchen contributes to the basement, decorated for the coming of spring with a moss wreath. A glittery coral-colored “M,” another one of Jen’s DIY projects, stands to your household’s last name.

Theresa Fine

Upstairs, one of three small bedrooms has been turned into son Drew’s sea-inspired nursery. Jen credits her inspiration and style for her mum and her love of browsing magazines. “My mother has always loved decorating and shopping comparatively frugally,” she shares, “therefore I think that is partially where I get that gene from. Subsequently marrying AJ was like a continuation of how I grew up, just he had been renovation minded as well.”

Wheel: Christmas Tree Shop; bedding, carpet: Pottery Barn Kids

Theresa Fine

Seat: Ektorp, Ikea; stool: HomeGoods

Theresa Fine

Jen’s dad made Drew’s sailboat mobile by hand in main colors, adding a personal touch to the nautical design plot.

Lamp: Fisherman Table Lamp, Pottery Barn Kids

Theresa Fine

Baskets, buckets, along with a vintage red wagon corral Drew’s toys and books. Jen made the Migonis family plaque.

Before Photo

BEFORE: The master bedroom had low ceilings, aged walls along with the dreaded linoleum flooring. This chamber was the brainchild of AJ, that came up with the thought to vault the ceiling and did all the work himself. The transformation took nearly three decades and $3,000 to complete.

Theresa Fine

AFTER: The finished master bedroom.

Theresa Fine

The couple opened the bedroom ceiling to include stunning lines and make the room feel bigger. Jen repurposed shower curtains into window drapery as well as pillow shams. The tufted headboard is a DIY project that Jen made from pegboard.

Jen also whitewashed the mantel around a newly installed electrical fireplace and created a small sitting area. The once-gold mirror has been painted and washed white to fit the house’s neutral colour palette.

Paint: Moonshine 2140-60, Benjamin Moore; drapes: Feather Gray, West Elm; flooring: stained with Jacobean, Minwax; fireplace: Home Depot

Before Photo

The upstairs bathroom is the only one in the home, so the few needed to liven it up right away. It had old tiles, wallpaper and cheap shelving, and the toilet was sinking to the ground. The shower also had a mysteriously stubborn mildew no matter how many times they washed it.

Theresa Fine

The newly tiled shower, mirrored in the mirror, is outfitted with neutral variegated cent tiles. A white beadboard ceiling adds personality. The few came in under budget at $2,500, getting members of Overstock.com to obtain a 7 percent reduction on tiles.

Shower tile: Overstock.com; Paint: Harbor Gray AC-25, Benjamin Moore

Theresa Fine

Jen covered a kid-friendly security gate at the peak of the stairs with old maps.

Theresa Fine

Connected to the wall beside the entry is a handmade giant ruler for charting Drew’s height.

Before Photo

The house was hidden by big shrubs and painted blue.

Theresa Fine

While it’s snowy today, Jen enjoys that they reside within a mile and a half of the beach. “It’s amazing to run or walk from the sea whenever we want to. Our neighborhood is composed of largely capes or tiny ranches that people are gradually renovating or tearing down,” she says. “There is a good mix of kids and older folks who only love talking and turning to Drew.”

Paint: Cumulus Cloud MSL260, Martha Stewart Living

Theresa Fine

Here Jen presents for a picture with an energetic Drew. In terms of the household’s future renovation programs, Jen says, “We are starting the process of producing a nursery for our little girl, due on April 5, and turning the guest room into a more grown-up room for Drew.”

Your turn: Share your renovated home with us!

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Washed Out to Knockout — Watch a Smart Living Room Makeover

When er Lana Carlene became fed up with her property, which she called a “large, dull, beige box,” she chose to do something about its lack of personality — one area at a time. She began her coup from the living area, in which an expansive fireplace screamed for attention. In less than two weeks of construction time, she had the black granite from around the fireplace stripped, organic rock installed all the way to the ceiling along with a clever new storage system packaged in. Here’s how she did it.

Project in a
What’s Living room makeover
Location: Maple Valley, Washington
Duration: Approximately two weeks of preparation; 12 days of in-house construction
Budget: $12,000

Installation done by Powell Custom Homes & Renovations

Before Photo

BEFORE: Carlene had transferred from a significantly smaller condominium to the 2,000-square-foot house. Her numerous small furniture pieces were creating the spacious living room feel cramped, and they felt out of balance.

AFTER: A clever storage method and ceiling-reaching stonework now surround the fireplace.

Mounting the TV over the fireplace would have put the display too high for comfortable viewing from the sectional, so Carlene had it hung at eye level to a side and the components put in a cabinet underneath. Cables running via a Smurf tube in the wall connect the components to the display. And she made sure to leave enough room for a larger TV in the future.

Before Photo

BEFORE: The small TV stand was crammed into a corner and packaged with amusement gear, furthering the mess issue. Carlene knew the spacious wall could be used for storage. “I wanted something more unified,” she said. “The thought of not needing another entertainment unit and shelving for storage has been attractive.”

She place various paint swatches on the wall until she found the right color.

Carlene spent hours looking at photos of living rooms with fireplaces, eventually settling on a mix system that would span the entire wall. After she found the right storage layout and wall color, the area was emptied and prepared for installation and painting.

In the beginning she tried a mild blue, Behr’s Cloudy Day. She had the black granite onto the fireplace surround replaced with natural rock to add texture and also to utilize the existing mantel. “The existing mantel is a really fine, chunky Craftsman appearance, so I wanted to just enhance that feel,” she says.

She had the rock extended to the ceiling for height and texture.

AFTER: Symmetrical shelves make the most of this extensive wall space and accommodate artwork. Carlene changed the wall color to a warm gray (Benjamin Moore’s Cinder) for a more dramatic backdrop for her artwork and accessories.

Stone: Cronin, Desert Gold

Once the TV components were put up, Carlene eliminated the center doors onto this cabinet and set in perforated metal panels for additional ventilation.

What was cluttered and plump is now inviting and warm. Merely ask Carlene’s puppy, Ricky.

Prove us : Would you have before and after photos of a project to discuss? Upload them in the Comments or in the Discussions section, and your project may be contained in a featured ideabook!

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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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