Assist Your Stair Landing Eliminate

I have a nightly ritual. After we place the kids to bed, my husband and I head back downstairs to see a show before hitting the hay ourselves. Yesterday evening, when our stair landing was wash out of the toys and mess of this afternoon, I had been struck by the expanse of it and could not believe I’d missed it for so long. Our home isn’t large — it’s a modest size for our loved ones, and there’s potential in that little landing. After doing some research I decided on a program. A very small seat, a few art and quite a narrow bookcase are now in my stair landing wish list.

It doesn’t take much to make over a stair landing. See how adding shelves, books and artwork can turn your stair stepping right to a usable, functional and gorgeous area for your loved ones.

Archer & Buchanan Architecture, Ltd..

Make it cozy. I would probably say that this is the stair recording of my fantasies. There is nothing I’d change about the distance. The cozy bench under the window is my favorite part.

Shannon Malone

Keep it simple. If the distance in your stair landing is minimal, keep things simple. Collect a gorgeous mirror or artwork and a couple of decorative vases. The attention you give that this distance will not be dismissed.

Smith & Vansant Architects PC

Contemplate how it will operate. Novels are lined up on those shelves, but the mom in me sees an chance for organization and storage. This little nook looks to be about a quarter of the way up the stairs.

If this were my home, I would purchase baskets which fit closely on the shelves and then assign one to each child. During the afternoon as out-of-place things are collected, I would put them in the appropriate child’s basket. At the end of the afternoon they’d be responsible for removing the items out of their basket and putting them off.

Brennan + Company Architects

View it from every angle. When designing your stair landing, look at it from every vantage point and be sure you like the view.

John Maniscalco Architecture

Stick with the total design of your dwelling. It would not make sense for there to be a cushioned seat, comfy cushions and overstuffed chairs in this contemporary area. Decorating the stair landing with amazing photography works together with the design of the home.

Farinelli Construction, Inc..

Pay attention to the specifics. Details matter, even on a stair landing. Among the first things I noticed about these pretty built-in shelves was the wallpaper that supported them.

Smith & Vansant Architects PC

Optimize your distance. When you have the budget, ability and room to put in a built-in shelving unit, then take action. You will love having the extra space to store things.


Get that high-end texture. By adding a wonderful stripe on the wall, a custom-made pillow for your seat and shutters, this stair landing includes a well designed, thought-through feeling.

Inform us What’s in your landing?

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Awnings protect windows and structures using a rooflike shelter made from any material, but the most frequent awning is stretched canvas.

Asher Associates Architects

The awning within this covered porch is created from fabric treated to resist the elements.

The Ranch Mine

A modern spin on the traditional awning causes this covered patio safe from the sun.

Texas Construction Company

This awning is stretched between two beams, creating a sort of fabric pergola.

Solar panels make an energy efficient awning.

Exteriors From Chad Robert

Scalloped edges decorate these awnings protecting the French doors.

Feldman Architecture, Inc..

A glass awning juts from a contemporary home, seemingly weightlessly.

Frederick + Frederick Architects

When opened, this timber shutter becomes an awning that is instantaneous.

Hull Ancient

Here’s a copper awning supported by metal scrollwork.

Read more awning photos

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Boost Your Energy With Natural Light

Abundant all-natural lighting in a home not only saves electric energy, but it gives you more private energy also. In a standard construction, lighting comprises 25 to 40% of your energy consumption (and energy bill), states that an architecture professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. That is one good reason to incorporate clerestories, tubular daylighting devices and much more windows.

Another reason to get additional lighting is due to the positive effect that natural lighting has on well-being. I can speak from some personal experience: After moving from an apartment with a sofa which was dark all the time into an apartment with three windows which get morning sunlight, I can tell you I am more rested, more ready to get up in the morning and also much more cheerful throughout the day.

Medical professionals are just at the start of this study, however so far, it looks like natural light can benefit homeowners in many rooms by reducing seasonal dips in disposition, promoting healing, increasing productivity and much more.

LDa Architecture & Interiors

For those who have seasonal affective disorder, getting a lot of light early in the morning can help reset their internal clock. 1 way to do this in your home is to make sure the bedroom will get lots of dawn light with windows and skylights. But I imagine that once you get out of bed, down a trip light-filled staircase such as these would help jumpstart your day.

John Maniscalco Architecture

Natural light penetrates just so much through every window, so consider installing multiple points of light. You can also organize your furniture so the most-used pieces sit where there’s the most light.

David Vandervort Architects

Obtaining light in is important for your health, studies state, but is looking out your chimney. Looking out in gardens brings faster healing in patients, claims a paper by HMC Architects. And should well-lit perspectives help those that are sick, how much more will they assist those that are well?

Jay Hargrave Architecture

Some studies show that a lack of natural light in dining places might raise the odds of obesity. In 1 study, mice that ate beneath daylight gained 50 percent less weight than those which didn’t. Makes you wish a glass-walled dining area like this one, does not it?

John Maniscalco Architecture

As long as there’s no warmth, light in a home office can increase productivity, minimize mistakes, lessen eye strain, and increase your mood. That’s a lot of profit for some easy window installations — or to get some proper furniture placement, as in this office, where the desk is positioned to maximize daylight exposure.

One study showed that standardized test scores in students improved 26 percent when they obtained natural rather than artificial light at school.

Sutton Suzuki Architects

If you are thinking about optimizing natural lighting, also consider minimizing fluorescent lighting — particularly in kitchens.

If you are a stay-at-home mother or dad and devote a lot of time in the darkened area of the home, you ought to be certain your body can remain in tune with its own biological clock. Being out of sync can mean fatigue, depression or what The Washington Post calls for a months-long case of jet lag.

Leslie Goodwin Photography

And most of us know that natural lighting in the toilet means more precise makeup application, shaving and self-esteem. If you seem yellowy and exhausted under fluorescent lighting, you are likely to think negatively of yourself. Who knew light can affect so much of your life?

McClellan Architects

Can you get vitamin D from sunlight through your living area windows? The chance is enough to convince people that the windows in this living area are worth it.

Inform us: When did you realize the significance of natural lighting?

Tubular Daylighting Devices Bring Natural Light

Replace vs. Restore: The Fantastic Window Debate

Clerestory Windows Are Tops at Ushering in Organic Light

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Talk: Frameless Showers Get Display of Support

Frameless shower doors convey a clean, modern feel and are, well, sort of sexy. Here are 12 reasons why you should consider installing one in your property.

Amoroso Design

Divide and conquer. “Given that the layout for this toilet placed the shower in the center of the space, together with the vanities on each side, a frameless glass enclosure was the best approach to keep the space open and airy,” says Shelly Amoroso of Amoroso Design. “I understand the need for a few to have separate vanities, but hey, you’d miss a whole lot of amusing banter and together time if you could not find each other”

The Sky is the Limit Design

Turn toward the light. “I changed the layout of the bathroom quite a bit by turning the shower space 90 degrees from its place on the wall to sitting under the window,” says Ines Hanl of The Sky is the Limit Design. “That had a huge influence on the visual aspect of the space. All of a sudden, a somewhat dark, train-compartment-like room became somewhat grand in appearance, and also we did not even need to enlarge the window. And the grey stone is balanced with lots of openess and light”

She adds, “The color scheme was driven by the client, who had spent a summer in Rome and wanted stone in shades of grey. The silver slate has a gorgeous shimmer to it, and I was able to combine lots of different patterns. The ginormous showerhead is a favorite with the whole family”

Hanl did believe “frosting the glass for solitude, but after quite an extreme deliberation, we elected from this because it’d have enclosed the space too much.”

The Sky is the Limit Design

Get the balance right. “This really is really a steam shower, which is why the ceiling is tiled and weathered, the glass goes all of the way up into the ceiling and there is a hinged panel that may be cranked open,” says Ines Hanl. “The shower has white Thassos marble on the walls and a black marble mosaic on the floor, each of which can be inspired by the color scheme in the remainder of the toilet– black and white marble mosaic for the floor and black-stained cherry cabinetry”

She adds, “This bathroom is in a house where there is a more modern-inclined husband and a traditional-favoring wife. To keep things balanced, the shower also got a little more of a diminished treatment”

Murdock Solon Architects

Contrast modern and rustic. “This bathroom was a part of a renovation in what was originally an old stone gatehouse,” says Kelly Solon of Murdock Solon Architects. “We’re trying to insert a clean, modern design into a very rustic and visually significant atmosphere. The frameless enclosure provide a light and airy texture, as well as a comparison to the other materials in the area”

Divine Design+Build

Show off your tilework. “We love to utilize frameless shower doors for a couple of reasons,” says Mariette Barsoum of Divine Kitchens. “Having a frameless door, there is no visual separation, making the space larger. Additionally, unlike framed doorways, they do not conceal the gorgeous tilework in the shower. Frameless doors also sport a cleaner, more modern look — and we enjoy this.”

Studio On Cedar LLC

Make a small room feel larger. “I had been inspired by the frame of the house and its secluded and forestlike surroundings,” says Kimberly Arnold Fletcher of Spectrum Design Group. “My aim was to make an open texture and bring the outdoors to the master bathroom. The frameless door enabled me to not only offer a transparent look that mirrors the dividers added into the space, but in addition, it made a very small room feel larger and more spacious.”

Bring in natural light. “A frameless shower gives the illusion of openness. The metal, the less you notice that a wall is dividing the space,” says Alison Causer of Alison Causer Design. “In this master bath I actually wanted the natural lighting to reach every corner of this space. Since we used dim, natural stone on all four partitions, we actually needed to maintain the light shifting around the space.”

She adds, “We also installed a skylight in the shower, which combined with the frameless shower really helps convey an open feeling.”

Maximize the view. “This house has a classy and subdued palette with walnut casework throughout,” says Kerry Ellis of Benning Design Associates. “It also has stunning views, which is why we chose to maintain the master bath , and shower, so open.”

Jamie Herzlinger

Move for an elegant look. “The inspiration for this particular bathroom was elegant glamour,” says Jamie Herzlinger of Jamie Herzlinger Design. “The easiest way to acquire elegance in your toilet is using a frameless shower, because it keeps the look clean and sleek.”

Webber + Studio, Architects

Embrace minimalism. “We’re seeking to get the colors of this limestone tile bounce light around the room and to use few if any noticeable details, in keeping with our firm’s philosophy of adopting minimalism,” says David Webber of Webber + Studio Architects.

“In my view,” he adds, “the shower glass is really not minimal. The original design was to allow the glass to be slid to a recessed slotmachine, which is exactly what I would have preferred. However, the shower’s framing did not allow us to recess the hardware, so we went with a surface mount instead.”

Justine Sterling Design

Infuse a sense of calm. “I had been inspired by the tranquil river and landscape surrounding this house to make a peaceful sanctuary that attracted the outside in,” says Justine Sterling of Justine Sterling Design. “The frameless shower layout was key in creating openness, transparency and a sense of calm.”

Nora Schneider Interior Design

Invite nature to be your guest. “This master bath is in a summer house on a lake, and the rear of the house faces the woods,” says Nora Schneider of Nora Schneider Interior Design. “The shower faces an entire walls of windows overlooking the woods, and I wished to invite nature in as an evergreen guest”

“The shower tile resembles bamboo, and the glass floor tile echoes the look of sand. The willingness of the entire house is supposed to invite nature in, so a framless shower was the obvious choice.”

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Intelligent Combo: Metal and Aged Wood

The character of wood juxtaposed with the roughness of aged metal makes a marriage so packed with visual and character dimension, it can not help but steal the show. Whether you’re renovating your home or curious to work the tendency into your current area, seem to the following photos for inspiration. The mixing of substances might never be edgy or so gratifying.

Erdreich Architecture, P.C.

Because outdated metal and distressed wood are all organic elements, their attractiveness is obviously exceptional. Full of texture and colour, both of these will set any room aflame with character. The addition of a single copper presence in this primarily wooden kitchen, as an example, results in a potent statement.

AMI Designs

When working with aged woods and metals, elevate the visual measurement by using different species and types. In this kitchen, many different woods paired with bronze fixtures provide a variety of elements to hold interest.

Birdseye Design

A island made from distressed wood and metal is a functional advantage with identifying industrial design. Stools in a milder metal further optimize the mix.

Debbie Dusenberry, aka

Capturing the look can be as straightforward as monitoring the best piece. This island may be small, but with repurposed metal and wood, its aesthetic impact is striking.

Debbie Dusenberry, aka

Instead of pairing a wooden table with wooden chairs, keep a look out for chairs or stools in metal. Carry the alloy throughout the room with different pieces, like a light fixture.

The best thing about this look is that can discover pieces inexpensively once they are on your radar. Hunt down a distressed desk and seat in a flea market or antiques store, and add a metal toolbox for office supplies.

Dana Wolter

Boost an empty corner with a vignette made by a reclaimed wood plank topped with a metallic attachment, even if it’s just a photo frame.

Cristi Holcombe Interiors, LLC

If you presently have a distressed wood bit somewhere in your home, add some metallic pieces. A reading lamp can be an inexpensive choice.

Casatelli Marble

From the restroom, juxtapose a metal sink with wood cabinetry.

Palmer Todd

Entire your Engineered timber drawers with metal hardware for an edgy cosmetic.

SchappacherWhite Architecture D.P.C.

If you’ve got beautiful reclaimed wood walls in your home, you’re already halfway there. Again, this can be a time to keep your eyes peeled for cheap metal steals, like a metallic pot like this one that may double as a place to store blankets or magazines.

Jane Kim Design

If you have recently completed a space with newer metal, then operate in reclaimed wood, like shelving.

Birdseye Design

If you’re renovating or building and want to explore this look, consider walls made with reclaimed wood with corners completed in rustic metal. This is particularly interesting in a modern space.

Jensen Architects

Or try the opposite: a wall completed in metal. Pull in the repurposed wood component through the floor or perhaps a bit of furniture, like this classic mattress.

Don Ziebell

Staircases are excellent places to capture this look. Maintain the stairs unfinished and pair them with an easy wrought iron railing.

Blending Styles: Farmhouse Meets Industrial

Pressure Less With Distressed Cabinets

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Strokes of Genius: 8 Stunning Lap Pools

Perhaps you long for a pool to cool you off during the warm months, but your skinny lawn won’t hold you. Or maybe you’re an all-business kind of swimmer: You want to have in, plow through your workout and dry off without as much as a winding-down soak. Whichever the case, lap pools — long, narrow pools created for rhythmic strokes — are your response. Need inspiration? Check out these eight inventive takes.

House + House Architects

Nevertheless and unbroken, this sliver of a pool feels just like a great sheet of glass.

This is a simply imaginative approach. A glass wall at one end of the house transforms a simple lap pool in a aquarium-style display, set off from the tranquil, wooded setting. It lends the illusion which the water floats in midair.

A modular metal canopy within this pool offers strategic stretches of colour and helps anchor the pool visually to the principal house.

Lewis Aquatech

Lap pools don’t have to be outside. Broad, generous windows provide enough all-natural light the space doesn’t feel oppressive, and using a roof overhead means that you may enjoy a swim in poor weather.

Lang Pools Inc..

1 end of this lap pool is walled off to create a spa. The design provides double the performance without needing a space-swallowing footprint.

Studio William Hefner

Lap pools may double as reflecting pools, and also the one which abuts this villa-style house gives the landscape the atmosphere of a formal estate.

Da Vida Pools, LLC, Andre Del Re & Lisa North, CBP

Raised walls lined in red tile twist this infinity-edge lap pool into an oversized piece of sculpture. A terrace juts over it so that swimmers don’t have to hike their legs over the sides to go into.

Here’s another, entirely different approach to the raised look. Weathered, coved borders produce a stately, storied feel that falls in step with the lush gardens and grass-pocked brick walkway.

Browse thousands of pool layout photographs

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Space-Maximized Victorian in Toronto

Dwelling in a three-story Victorian sounds like a dream come true to some homeowners, but for designer Shirley Meisels it was a struggle. The home was amazing but impractical because of her family, so she began hunting for an opportunity to downsize. Meisels found another Victorian tucked off in midtown Toronto. The 1,500-square-foot house had less space but still retained the high ceilings and structural bones of a Victorian. Meisels equipped it with functional storage, space-saving solutions, and classic furniture punctuated with pattern and color.

in a Glance
Who lives here: Shirley Meisels and her household
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Size: 1,500 square feet
That is interesting: A couple of days later Meisels purchased the house, it was on the front page of the real estate section of the newspaper, together with the headline”Ugly Duckling.” “I was really proud of the headline, because I could see the transformation in my mind’s eye,” she says.

Shirley Meisels

Despite its own”ugly duckling” standing, Meisels knew this home had good bones. The home is located in a part of Toronto where some of the last Victorians from town were constructed, so the majority of the homes have high ceilings. “A few blocks north, the houses are newer — maybe 1920s — and the ceilings fall,” Meisels says.

In the formal dining room, a chandelier highlights the room’s high ceiling, and Meisels’ classic vase set adds color to a clean-lined dining room collection.

Shirley Meisels

Vintage furniture dominates the chambers. The excitement of the hunt is partly what attracts Meisels to these bits — as well as the endless customizations. “These items tend to be more whimsical and less expensive, with good-quality basics,” she says. “I think this mix is what makes my house feel warm, inviting and a bit quirky while still maintaining its modernity.”

Meisels fell in love with this home’s Victorian bones and more contemporary layout — every room was more thought out with respect to space, storage and flow. “I actually realize that this home feels bigger than my old one,” she says. “We utilize every square inch , where before I was heating so many unused rooms.”

Chairs: re-covered at Robert Allen Entrelazos; ottomans: Target, re-covered in Missoni fabric; sofa: habit; lamp: vintage

Shirley Meisels

The narrow front hall supplied some spatial challenges. There was no coat cupboard, so Meisels needed to find out a way to incorporate storage without consuming too much space. Sliding at a narrow cabinet allowed for adequate storage and strengthens the wall as a divider between the dining room and hall.

Pendant: classic; wallpaper: Osbourne & Little, Asuka

Shirley Meisels

Meisels transformed one of the home’s first 3 bedrooms into her office. Built-in shelving plus a desk offers plenty of storage, and the space is big enough for a classic chaise and table.

Table lamp: Restoration Hardware with custom shade

Meisels made the master bedroom with performance in mind. She’s not someone who recalls to hang up clothes consistently, and it is partly why she constructed the dividing wall behind the bed. A pass-through cupboard is tucked beneath this wall; she could make a mess there and nobody would know it from a glimpse into the bedroom. “If I had a traditional cupboard, my clothing would be stacked on the ground at front,” she says.

Wallpaper: Elitis, Fleurs Découpées; bedding: Matteo; bed frame: habit; sconce: classic; chandelier: vintage

Shirley Meisels

Most of the house has neutral undertones, and Meisels brought the very same ideas to her daughter’s room. “If there’s a common tone to color, then you don’t actually have to match everything perfectly. My daughter’s room has pink, but it’s not actually a pink room,” she says.

Wallpaper: Anthropologie; bedding: Pottery Barn and Urban Outfitters, Bella Notte; bed frame: habit

Shirley Meisels

Meisels quickly learned to take advantage of as much space as you can — even it’s meant inches instead of feet. “Niches in walls, beneath stairwells and supporting cabinets are key and worth exploring,” she says.

Rug: Elte; chair: classic, re-covered at Robert Allen Cat’s Cradle

Shirley Meisels

A Calacatta marble backsplash and countertops provide the kitchen a contemporary but timeless appearance. Meisels kept the space clean but functional by installing massive pull-outs and pantry space into her cabinetry. “Function is the most important thing,” she says. “Really consider how you live. What are your habits?”

Countertops: Calacatta; backsplash: Calacatta mosaic; bar stools: Umbra; cabinetry: O’Sullivan Millwork

Shirley Meisels

A chalky gray exterior reflects the home’s contemporary interior layout. Synthetic grass makes the little backyard livable and vibrant, and saves money and time in the long run.

When remodeling a house, Meisels proposes designing from the inside out, with a clear layout in mind. “This way, you can prevent errors, like a window where you might have inserted a desk in a bedroom,” she says.

Shirley Meisels

Meisels was torn between using a little master bath plus a small principal tub, or devoting all of the space to a big bathroom. “I finally arrived at the conclusion that if any single space in the home was small and pokey, then the home would feel small,” she says. She left the idea of a master bathroom and instead built a generous family tub that would look at home in a bigger home. “People are always surprised when I tell them just how many square feet I have,” she says.

Tile: Luna Honed stone tile; vanity: O’Sullivan Millwork; wall paint: Revere Pewter, Benjamin Moore
Builder’s Beige Gets a Makeover
Global Architectural Style: Victorian

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Book Tour: 'Coastal Modern'

Sometimes coastal style brings to mind an explosion of seashells, driftwood, ship’s wheels, nautical and rope versions, with everything themed out in honour of the sea into the max. Not in interior designer to the stars Tim Clarke’s world. Through careful screening and a gorgeous comprehension of mixing textures and materials, he’s created a fresh, updated and contemporary approach to coastal fashion, which he’s sharing with the world in his new book, Coastal Modern. The styles are certainly not confined to beachfront fantasy homes.

Clarke has divided the book into five coastal contemporary styles: Scandia surf, beachfront Mediterranean, shore classic, inherited simplicity and indigenous forests. While each has its own distinct aesthetic, Clarke doesn’t believe in hard and fast rules when it comes to style. His advice for getting the coastal contemporary appearance: “Keep things simple. Use chunky linens in solid colours for upholstery; coating with vintage ticking stripe and large-scale faded print cushions,” he says. “Layer a natural woven carpet with a faded ethnic rug to define a seating area”

Whether you’ve got an ocean view or you’re landlocked in the Midwest, the book is full of gorgeous photography by Noah Webb and useful information from Clarke. This is only one of the most inspirational tomes to grace my coffee table in some time. It makes me dream of the shore and moves me to edit my house. Here’s a glimpse inside.

Penguin Random House, LLC

Scandia surf. This is what Clarke deems “the new Nordic style in the shore.” Drawing from Scandinavian contemporary style, it brings in a airy and light palette, highlights natural substances and celebrates clean lines, superior proportions and uncluttered spaces.

However, the appearance isn’t strictly minimalist. As you can see in this area, fun beach finds and artwork produce a pleasing composition on the wall, and even incorporate the above driftwood and kitschy miniature ship wheels.

Penguin Random House, LLC

Seaside Mediterranean. Clarke draws design inspiration from many countries along the Mediterranean Sea’s coastline, including Morocco, France, Spain, Greece and Italy. Elements such as mosaic tile, aged stone, taupey-gray wood finishes and plaster walls are part of this material palette.

This kitchen illustrates Clarke’s beachfront Mediterranean style with its pared-down aesthetic. It incorporates materials such as wealthy wood counters and limestone floors. Lattice panels include a subtle pattern that recalls North African Mediterranean fashion, while pieces of coral reefs are styled as if they came out of a French flea market.

Penguin Random House, LLC

Beach timeless. Clarke describes this quintessential relaxed and rambling New England shore “cottage” when defining this appearance, remembering the Kennedy compound in Hyannisport, Massachusetts. To keep matters livable and comfortable, Clarke urges avoiding having a lot of stuff. Rather, he advises, “simplify to fewer bigger pieces, arranged symmetrically to permit free movement”

Clarke updates the shore classic appearance whilst paying homage to its traditional ago, freshening things up with new (but casual) upholstery, utilizing organic materials such as canvas, sea glass and grass. While he’s attentive to edit, he’s certain to incorporate beloved items, from black and white photos to favored beach reads.

Penguin Random House, LLC

Inherited ease. This style incorporates classic, heirloomworthy pieces into their own sort of coastal style. The key is to use items that are classic; nicks, age and patina simply increase attractiveness. When these furnishings are somewhat more formal, casual arrangement and layering lends the style a relaxed beachy look.

This restful bedroom is a great illustration of how to attract the serenity of coastal style to any room, anywhere. Natural fiber textures along with a calming color palette drawn from sand and sky make this room a relaxing retreat. A weathered chandelier and an antiqued mirror add a sense of age and elegance.

Penguin Random House, LLC

Native forests. This fashion celebrates wild and woolly nature, and has a more rustic and groovy vibe. It recalls the aesthetic of Sea Ranch in California, the rocky coast of Maine and the heavily wooded shores of the Pacific Northwest.

As noticed in this comfy den, the appearance celebrates materials like stone and wood in large doses. It is the grooviest of the coastal contemporary styles.

Penguin Random House, LLC

Exotic inspiration. Component of native forests is appearing at coastal fashion from round the world. Rich forests, tropical plants and cultural prints collected together can make you feel like you’re halfway across the world even if you’re in your own backyard.

Twist your porch, deck, patio, lanai or gazebo into a coastal-feel retreat with a seaside color palette, organic fibers and tropical substances. This distance will become your beach-inspired home away from your home.

Penguin Random House, LLC

“I’ve always been drawn to the ocean. … It was on my first trip to Hawaii 15 years ago that I actually started to visualize my company involving the ocean in a real way,” says Clarke.

Actually, Hawaii is ongoing to inspire him today. I asked Clarke what his most recent inspiration is, and he explained, “I am in Hawaii, and I am loving the lava against cobalt blue ocean. … I believe I am going to do a whole blue and black room once I get home”

Penguin Random House, LLC

Coastal Modern is available in stores now.

Tour more design publications

So Your Design Is: Coastal

A Neutral Palette Pleases by the Sea

Shingle Style Meets SoHo on the Jersey Shore

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Design Calendar: April 5–26, 2012

See what innovative technology and products are light up the design industry at Germany’s Light+Building show or step within the house and curated collection of a San Francisco art collector. Our roundup of upcoming events around the world has something for you.


TRADE SHOW — April 15–20, 2012
Frankfurt Fair and Exhibition Centre
Frankfurt, Germany

Energy efficiency is the buzzword at this year’s Light+Building show. Mingle with architects, designers, engineers and other business professionals from around the globe as you see what is new in lighting technology and products. This year’s show is expected to feature over 2,100 exhibitors plus also a”Trend Forum” imagining four house fashions: fluorescent modern, hot elegance, soft minimalist and natural neighborhood. Ideas for LED technology, smart metering and intelligent grids are also exhibited.

See more details

SHOWCASE — April 13–December 7, 2012
DreamHome 2012
222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, First Floor, Chicago

Nine Chicago interior designers generated spaces with house furnishings from Merchandise Mart showrooms. Room displays include a game room and an outdoor dining room. This year’s DreamHome features operate by Jillian O’Neill Interior Design, Vincere (picture ), SemelSnow Interior Design and more.

Cost: $5 suggested donation to gain Nearly Home Kids.
Hours: Weekdays, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.

Ed Ritger Photography

ART TOUR — April 18, 2012
Private Collections: The Spring Art Tour
San Francisco

Peek within the house and personal art collection of one of seven San Francisco homes on the 12th annual Private Collections tour. (You have to select which of those seven to visit.) Collections vary from international contemporary to eclectic and include photography, works on paper and sculpture. The art collectors may also share their experiences in creating relationships with artists, curators and galleries. Proceeds benefit Enterprise for High School Students, that can help provide job placement and skills development for young people from San Francisco.

Choose from seven groups and email [email protected] with your choice. Buy tickets .

SHOW — April 2126, 2012
High Point Market
164 South Main St., High Point, North Carolina

Boasting 10 million square feet of showroom space and over 2,000 exhibitors, higher Point Market is the show to attend if you’re trying to see the hottest in retail home furnishings. The largest furnishings industry trade show in the world, it will bring over 85,000 individuals to North Carolina. Attend a market concert, catch lunch and listen on a design lecture, or stay on top of what is happening in the industry through various educational events. Also see the most recent products from your favorite exhibitors.

SHOW — April 24–26, 2012
The Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS)
McCormick Place, 2301 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago

This kitchen and bath business event will showcase the latest trends and products. Socialize with new products via your smartphone in a new multimedia product gallery. Network with other business professionals, find out how to stay competitive in your area and wander through this year’s”UNcontained display,” highlighting the lifestyles of five unique customers.

It is also possible to hear vice president of marketing Liza Hausman and kitchen writer Rebekah Zaveloff discuss”Marketing from the New World” at 3 pm on April 24.

See the complete schedule of events and pricing choices.
Hours: Tuesday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday, 9 a.m.–3 p.m.

More design events: March 22–April 12, March 29–April 19, 2012

What’s in your calendar? Let us know in the Comments.

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Vase Shapes Set Shrubs

When you cut blossoms to bring them inside, how can you display them off? I bet at least a few of the time you put them in a vase. And guess what? You can use that notion to shrubs in your garden too. Flowers — and leaves too — look ever so sophisticated in forms that are skinny at the bottom and billowing at the top.

Most are greatest with a bit of yearly training and pruning, particularly eliminating suckers that pop up in their feet, but the problem is well worth the return. Here are a number of vase-shaped shrubs, and it occurs that four are spring bloomers, so now’s the perfect time to be thinking in their place in your garden design.

Fountain butterfly bush (Buddleia alternifolia, zones 5 to 9) is a bigger cousin of the more familiar butterfly bushes. Unlike those, this blooms with a frothing fount of lavender in spring, therefore its title. Fountain butterfly bush blooms on last season’s wood, so prune it just right after it blossoms. This drought-resistant shrub likes sunshine and narrow soil, and its silvery leaves make it interesting during the growing season. Cultivar ‘Argentea’ is much more silver.

Photo by Cillas through Wikimedia Commons

Kerria (Kerria japonica, zones 4 to 9) is just another vase-shaped attractiveness that colonizes politely, so give it space to spread. In spring, it blossoms in tens of tens of thousands of gold daisies. This tree does best in part shade, even reasonably dry color, but average soil is nice. For all-season interest, look for variegated cultivar ‘Picta’.

Japanese aucuba (Aucuba japonica, zones 7 to 10) is a bulletproof evergreen with gorgeous gold-flecked foliage that can’t be overcome. A workhorse for shade, in which it positively glows, it’s good in tough spots near trees and inquires little maintenance. Protection from drying winds from the northern reaches of its range is greatest.

Another perk of vase-shaped shrubs? They’re beautiful from above. This is a venerable beauty (Kolkwitzia amabilis, zones 4 to 8) in my garden, as seen from a second-floor window. It blooms in spring with pink flowers that smell like bubble gum, after which it fades to the background, although its peeling old trunks at floor level are eye catching even in winter. Beauty bush is an easy drought-resistant shrub. It does best in sun to part sun but will take a bit of shade.

Elderberry cultivars are sensual, busty foliage plants grown mostly for their colorful foliage, like this one, branded as Black Mirror (Sambucus nigra ‘Eva’, zones 4 to 8). They bloom pink or white, which adds to the show. A lot of different species exist, for instance, native elderberry (Sambucus canadensis, zones 3 to 9), which produces edible fruit. All are hard and thrive in full sun to part shade and ordinary garden soil, though in my experience they like a bit of shade in the hottest part of the day.

Who could forget the throw orange? Really easy to grow, therefore freely, fragrantly blooming in spring, and several natives and their cultivars are more available to the trade all the time. (This is one, Philadelphus lewisii, zones 4 to 8.) Frequent threads among mock oranges, aside from the above: They grow in almost any old place in full sun to part shade, and their clean, crisp foliage is attractive even if they are not in bloom. Cultivars of various sizes also mean there’s a mock orange for any size garden, no matter how little.

Photo by A. Barra through Wikimedia Commons

More amazing design crops:
Red-Leafed Mukdenia | Blue Chalk Sticks| Hens-and-Chicks | Redtwig Dogwood |Toyon

Wonderful design trees:
Bald Cypress | Chinese Witch Hazel |Japanese Maple | Manzanita | Persian Ironwood
Smoke Tree | Texas Mountain Laurel |Tree Aloe

Great design blossoms:
Catmint | Golden Creeping Jenny | Pacific Coast Iris | Plumbago | Red Kangaroo Paw
Sally Holmes Rose | Slipper Plant |Snake Flower

Great design grasses:
Black Mondo Grass | Cape Rush |Feather Reed Grass | New Zealand Wind Grass

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