Monthly Archives: September 2019

Be Your Own Best Florist Having a Bouquet Garden

Where you most appreciate the beauty of plants, think about an area in your garden. Now imagine bringing that favorite piece of your garden inside as a bouquet. You may be amazed to find that the mixtures composed of many of your favorite flowering shrubs, perennials, vines and even trees can be employed to make a beautiful tabletop bouquet — and also inspire the next year’s plantings.

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Creating a bouquet is not difficult. In fact, it can be as easy as filling a vase with the stalks from a single flowering tree. Or try pairing flowering shrubs with vines and perennials. Whether your bouquet is made of a type of plant or several, there are possibilities.

The purple blooms of Texas ranger (Leucophyllum frutescens)make a great pairing with the orange blossoms of orange jubilee (Tecoma x ‘Orange Jubilee’).

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Selecting the Right Plants

you might be amazed to find that many of the existing flowering shrubs, perennials, vines and trees in your garden are acceptable for producing a backyard fragrance.

Revealed: Honeysuckle

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Your garden may be filled with flowering plants, but how do you know whether they’ll hold up in a bouquet without wilting immediately?

The easiest way to learn whether a plant can be utilised in a fragrance would be to cut a stem or two, place them in water and see how they consume. When the flowers wilt or droop straight away, then they won’t make a fantastic bouquet. Ideally they’ll last at least 24 hours.

The red blossoms of Jupiter’s beard (Centranthus ruber)form the perfect background for its purple blossoms of chives (Allium schoenoprasum), each of which can be utilised to make a bouquet.

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Garden bouquets typically don’t last so long as people purchased from a florist, but they’re a creative and unique manifestation of your garden.

Here a small bouquet includes flowering annuals violas and alyssum, paired with the pale pink blossoms of pink bower vine (Pandorea jasminoides).

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Don’t limit yourself to flowering plants. Plants with vibrant foliage or interesting textures and shapes can make fantastic additions to your garden bouquet.

Language ivy (Hedera helix)looks fantastic when inserted into a floral bouquet, since it will drape down the sides of the vase. The large leaves of hosta can be utilised to make a gorgeous backdrop for flowering plants.

As the seasons change, so will your garden bouquets, as distinct plants peak on your garden. When the weather starts to cool and the flowers start to fade, you can create a bouquet without blossoms, using seed pods out of your favorite trees instead. Seed pods from trees such as jacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifolia), screwbean acacia (Prosopis pubescens), sweet chewing (Liquidambar styraciflua)and tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera)can be utilised to make a uniquely lovely and seasonal bouquet.

Revealed: Variegated English ivy

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Organizing Your Garden Bouquet

Look to the garden.
You do not need to become a floral designer to figure out how to arrange flowers. For inspiration about what plants to use in your aroma, look at the way the plants are arranged on your garden. Note which plants look great together and try to mirror the identical arrangement in a bouquet.

A simple way to get started is to use a combination of 3 plants: a more slender flowering plant, such as a tree, paired with a medium-height perennial and a low-growing floor cover.

Set the taller branches or stalks toward the trunk or center of your bouquet and add the remaining plants in order of height, ending with all the shortest plant, just like from the landscape.

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Use the color wheel. Look to the garden for notions about which colours look great together. With a color wheel can also help you figure out which colors look great when combined. Group trendy colors, like pink, purple and white, for a beautiful bouquet. Or, if you want darker colours, use plants with red, orange or yellow blossoms. For a dramatic color contrast, pair flowering plants with trendy colours with those who have warm colours.

In the bouquet shown here, the contrasting colours of purple trailing lantana (Lantana montevidensis), yellowish Desert Marigold (Baileya multiradiata)and yellow-orange Cascalote shrub (Caesalpinia cacalaco) blossoms make an attractive mix.

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Bouquets created from the garden tend to be unstructured and loose, appealing in their simplicity.

The pink and white blossoms of globe mallow(Sphaeralcea ambigua) form the perfect background for the lavender blossoms of Goodding’s verbena (Glandularia gooddingii)in front here.

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

A single type of flower can make a wonderful arrangement. Bouquets can be large or small depending on which plants and containers you use, by a large vase filled with azaleas to a small glass bottle with a lot of violas.

Revealed: Azaleas

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Planting Your Own Bouquet Garden

What if you do not have a garden filled with flowering plants acceptable for a bouquet? Go ahead and plant your own bouquet garden.

Here are some popular flowering plants which grow in a variety of climates and will enhance your outdoor garden in addition to beautify your home if made into bouquets:
AzaleaBleeding heartBuddleiaClematisConeflowerCoreopsisCrape myrtleForsythiaHoneysuckleLantanaLavenderPincushion flowerRhododendronRudbeckiaSalvia spTrumpet vineOf course, these are simply a couple of plants which can be brought indoors to make garden bouquets. Read the blossoms section for more ideas.

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

When deciding which plants to improve your bouquet garden, then pick the ones that will have overlapping bloom periods so you can make bouquets throughout most of the year. Incorporate a mixture of flowering shrubs, perennials and vines. Soon you will have not just a gorgeous garden outside, but one which will allow you to attract the beauty of the garden inside.

More: How to Make Beautifully Untamed Floral Arrangements

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Finishing Touches: Professional Strategies for Installing Fixtures in Your Tile

A bathtub’s tile design can depend on just how your fittings and lights meet the tile. Ideally, fixtures are installed centered on a tile instead of on a joint. However, this involves cutting the tile, which is a process. Sometimes the holes end up in bad places on the tile design, and on occasion the tile can break.

These measures can help shorten and simplify the process. Cutting holes in tile does not have to be difficult — there’s only a different method, drill blade and bit for every type of material. Whether you are working with a tile setter or trying a small tile project of your own, understanding the ins and outs of the process can allow you to get the best possible outcome.

Martin Hulala

Bigger shower trims (plumbing fixture cover plates) are substantially easier for tile contractors to operate with. The bigger trim has more wiggle room and does not demand a very small tile cut.

Hint: Cutting a small square or rectangle could be simpler than drilling a large hole into tile. Consult your own tile installer to check your trims to find out if a small square cut will get the job done.

MAK Studio

What a tile design that is fantastic — it resembles no drilling was needed. I really like the bath filler comes from the center of four tiles.

Often the trimming for plumbing fixtures covers a massive area. For an installation like this, it could be simpler (and safer for your own tile) for an installer to clip each tile corner at a 45-degree angle rather than drill one-quarter of a hole to each tile nook.

Hint: You’ll need your installer to take note of any seal gaskets (the washer that prevents water from getting behind the trim) and plan your cut so that the gasket is correctly backed by the tile.

By Any Design Ltd..

Ceiling spaces can get cramped, so positioning everything right is vital. This bathtub’s steam generator and lighting have the ideal position. Since the lights fall at the center of the tile, a grout joint won’t weaken their vapor-tight seal.

Hint: Strategy these lighting places early so that you can make sure there isn’t any ceiling framing in the way of where you need your brand new showerhead or light fixture. We assembled this ceiling’s framing to specifically accommodate the massive rainhead and four LED pool lighting.

Ceramiques Hugo Sanchez Inc

This is one of my favorite baths. The oversize tile is installed perfectly. The tile for the shower controllers was drilled to get the pipes and mitered across the long edge (the base of the tile) to fulfill the tile on the top of the niche. Thus much effort for only 1 tile, but this look is well worth it.

Hint: Ask your installer to put in the tiles on your key focal points to make sure you get the precise look you desire.

W. David Seidel, AIA – Architect

This smart tile design didn’t need any drilling every fixture hole is set over a grout joint. This tends to be the easiest approach for sink installations similar to this, as you need to make only a semicircle cut in each tile. This is sometimes carried out with a blade, rather than a drill.

By Any Design Ltd..

Diamond Coring Bit – CAD 40

This is my favorite type of drill bit. These diamond coring pieces cost about $40 where I reside.

High-speed drills can destroy these pieces, so I favor having a low-speed cordless drill or a variable-speed corded drill to get slow drilling.

Hint: For holes bigger than 1/4 inch, tile and glass pieces usually work best. I try to keep three or two available for the smaller items in a toilet, such as toilet paper holders and shower bars. These pieces work well for ceramic and ceramic tiles, but I avoid using these on stones such as slate.

Gast Architects

When you or your installer drills tile, ensure there’s a small bucket of cold water nearby to cool the piece often. In case the water at the cuts begins to boil, then the piece hasn’t been cooled often enough. If a diamond piece gets too hot, the diamonds will fall off the drill bit and make it useless.

Hint: Drill especially slowly and stop constantly to cool the drill bit when drilling glass or some other tile. Glass cracks easily when it gets too hot, and the threat is high once you’re drilling into it.

By Any Design Ltd..

The tile pro who tiled this shower drilled a great hole to the shower hose. These holes have been drilled quite close to the edge of the tile, and that is hard to get right.

Hint: When drilling holes so close to the edge of the tile, ensure the tile is shielded from vibration damage. Fully support the tile whilst press and drilling to keep the tile from penetrating.

How to Pick Tile for a Steam Shower

14 Power Tools for Your Home Shop

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Get the Mystery of a Beautiful Garden for Yourself

Gothic gardening can bring ideas of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Victorian books, but Gothic backyard layout simply follows the architectural style predominant in Western Europe at the moment; in the 12th century, Gothic structure has been characterized by thin vertical pillars and tall pointed arches, with a focus on height and open spaces.

The Victorians adored the Gothic style and revived it, both in their architecture — such as the British Houses of Parliament, in London — and within their furniture, backgrounds and cloth design, like that of the Arts and Crafts entrepreneur William Morris. It’s this Victorian Gothic revival style we are familiar with and that we are able to use to our advantage to create gardens of mystery and serenity.

Many characteristics of Gothic style, for instance, careful positioning of stonework and statues combined with natural, even wayward, plantings, can fit comfortably in gardens today without turning them into a pastiche of a horror film. Combined with the medieval love of decadent decoration and abundant colors, intriguing elements of the Gothic style could be woven into modern garden design.

Does Your House Have a Medieval Heritage?

Lenkin Design Inc: Landscape and Garden Design

Gothic gardens can offer the feeling of refuge we look for in our gardens today, allowing us to escape the stresses of modern life. Although the early period in Europe was unsettled, to say the least, with conflict, civil wars and outbreaks of the Black Death, the enclosed gardens constructed during those times provided some kind of respite from the horrors of daily life.

Through the accession of easy stonework and statuary, and the selection of plants which grow naturally, providing an almost unkempt feel, a Gothic-style garden could be a refuge without too much maintenance.

Without doubt, I think this style of garden design can bring a feeling of serenity not generally associated with the term”Gothic.” I like to think that the naturalistic plantings create enclosure, such as embracing arms, while the statues and older stonework bring ideas of yesteryear, echoes of antiquity which aren’t in any way frightening.

Andrew Renn

Gothic Garden Features

The pointed arch is with no doubt one of the very Gothic architectural capabilities. Often seen from the majestic Gothic cathedrals of northern France and England, the pointed arch shot over for the more curved Romanesque arch in the 12th century. Here it is used as a gorgeous gateway, setting the scene to the Gothic-style garden inside.

Common Ground Landscapes

Enclosed Gothic gardens do not need to be both black and claustrophobic. Gothic buildings, like the great medieval cathedrals of Europe, were light and airy, with a fantastic sense of space. Open fencing with narrow, upright rods will help create the feeling of verticality so beloved by Gothic architects.

Haddonstone Ltd

To most, Gothic gardens inspire mysterious ideas, but stonework does not need to attract dreams of cemeteries and tombstones. Arched windows, pillars or even only sections of stonework can add that touch of mystery while at the same time creating a fantastic frame for climbing plants. Old stonework are discovered in reclamation lawns; sensible reproductions, like these, are also offered.

Goessling Design

With climbers twining through, this wooden framework serves the same purpose as stonework. Though simple in design, it has the Gothic features of space and height while at the same time providing a frame for climbing plants. If you consider yourself useful, it would be rather simple to assemble this framework using a hardwood which will weather to a nice warm grey.

Lenkin Design Inc: Landscape and Garden Design

The careful use of statues really brings the Gothic feel to a backyard — angels or mythical creatures being the favored types. Mature, weathered statues are greatest, but you are able to paint new ones with live yogurt to get a fantastic growth of algae, making them look older.

Unlike formal gardens, where statues are isolated and showcased, statues from the Gothic setting are inclined to be nearly hidden by climbers. Ivy is possibly the preferred, but easy white climbing roses, such as the Sally Holmes increased shown here, can offer a stunning contrast to the stonework.

Margie Grace – Grace Design Associates

Plants of a Gothic Garden

Roses ought to be contained on your Gothic backyard. They were a favorite in medieval art and tapestries, and even the Victorians, such as William Morris, utilized them in backgrounds and cloth design.

Go for the simple colors and forms; white and red bush or climbing roses produce a classic feel, though a number of the modern David Austin roses would also offer a rather wild, intimate look growing through stonework or implanted in aged urns or containers.

The New York Botanical Garden

A real winner is an improved that unites both strong Gothic colors and conjures the medieval improved Rosa damascena‘Versicolor’, which was stated to unite the increased colors of the Houses of York and Lancaster, which battled over England from the Wars of the Roses.

This modern improved variety, floribunda George Burns, would make a perfect replacement for your Rosa damascena, though it does have traces of yellowish inside a number of the blooms.

Beertje Vonk Artist

The ideal white sands climbed for scrambling throughout slopes and stonework is Rosa filipes‘Kiftsgate’. In early to mid-July it is coated in panicles of white blooms and looks like a cascading waterfall.

This recommendation comes with a warning, however. I’ve seen it growing in its birthplace, Kiftsgate Gardens, which is just down the lane in the famous Hidcote Gardens from the English Cotswolds, also it is a rampant climber, developing high into the tops of mature trees.

Fullmer’s Landscaping, Inc

Evergreen English ivy, Hedera helix’Thorndale’ (shown here),is another mainstay of Gothic planting. Let it scramble over stonework and develop walls to soften lines, or use it like a fantastic ground cover even in the deepest of shade.

Ivy is pleased to grow on wire supports, therefore it is easy to create easy topiary shapes which will be quickly covered by the ivy.

Zeterre Landscape Architecture

Here scaling plants are used in an entirely different manner, turning brickwork into virtually living architecture, reminiscent of buttresses of Gothic buildings.

Troy Rhone Garden Design

With weathered stonework and statues combined with the dark foliage of ivy and roses, you would feel a Gothic garden would be rather funereal.

But Gothic style also comprises the rich colors of the medieval period. Plants with flowers of dark blue, deep red and purple, echoing the brocades and velvets of the period, stand out from dark foliage and light up the backyard with the brightness of a William Morris wallpaper.

Earthwork Landscape Architects

Even the skeletons of long-dead plants can be utilized to advantage in the Gothic backyard by helping to offer a feeling of mystery and enchantment. Here the vines of dead ivy cover a construction wall and have taken over the landscape.

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

When the garden is complete, plants are left to their own devices and the right atmosphere has been created, it’s time to sit — on your Gothic pointed-arch chair, naturally — to delight in the calmness and mystery you have created.

More: Does Your House Have a Medieval Heritage?

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Unwind in Your Own Private Garden Escape

Most of us have a mental go-to location — somewhere we’ve been that gives us a feeling of comfort and safety. Imagining ourselves there can help us regroup at the middle of a hectic day. Some of the very productive and successful men and women in our society have learned the secret of accepting five-minute mental vacations when the daily grind appears to inundate them with tasks and migraines.

My mental go-to location is an overlook near Grandfather Mountain in western North Carolina. It is a wonderful location of escape. Anxiety disappears as I make my way over a footbridge and between boulders as tall as three-story buildings. Water trickles from the mountain between the rocks, nurturing innumerable ferns and rhododendrons. A primordial mist and aromas engulf me as I climb toward the peak. There I can sit and gaze out over countless mountains. I feel like I could see forever. Lichens and some brave rhododendrons that have taken hold in the cracks between the enormous plates of rock are my companions. Life is placed into perspective.

You can design a private garden space in your corner of suburbia that authentically speaks to your go-to location and activates those relaxing, pleasant memories. Regardless of how your place looks in your mind’s eye, certain design principles will help you achieve that feeling of comfort and well-being you need and deserve. Your model of my mountain overlook could be waiting for you behind your garage or outside your kitchen door, just past the recycling bin and the electrical meter.

You know the location. Let’s make it happen.

JSL Exteriors Landscape Design/Build

Create a transition to remind you to look at your hectic day at the doorway. Every private backyard needs a entry. This offers a backyard credibility and integrity, putting it apart from the outside world. An entrance could be a pair of older doors, a trellis with a gate, stone pillars on either side of a pathway, a concealed opening at a tall hedge, a pair of a bridge.

Jean Brooks Landscapes

Don’t you just want to slip between the opening in this fence and experience what’s beyond? Perhaps a stone pillar or metallic sculpture of Asian sway located to the left of the opening will welcome you house at the end of a long workday.

Whatever kind your entryway takes, it is a reminder to leave your concerns at the doorway. Don’t we all need those occasional reminders?

Katia Goffin Gardens

Less tangible. Go natural. After a day of work in the concrete and asphalt jungle, who needs to come home to a lot of that? To mepersonally, a go-to backyard is all about people and plants, the way they interact and coexist. Unless you have a good reason to use excessive hardscaping, why not use dirt or gravel instead?

Both are permeable, inexpensive and, most significant, feel good under your feet. Mulch pathways cushion the feet and bring to mind the seemingly audible quiet of a wilderness retreat. Gravel crunches underfoot, making the most beautiful sound.

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

Use mass plantings to make stream. “Flow” is one of those words which is better felt than ever defined. This photo defines “stream” better than any dictionary ever could, and it feels right, doesn’t it?

Utilizing lots of plants of the same species creates unparalleled visual effect. A buddy of mine explained that she would go to the nursery, spend $1,000 on one of the and among that rather than notice them since they became visually engulfed by her large space. Collectively we planted 80 fall ferns at a serpentine line around the back of her pond. She was amazed by the visual effect when she stood and saw the outcome.

The reason why the idea of mass plantings works so good is that the eye flows uninterrupted, seeing the whole space as one component. The result is most assuredly a calm sense of comfort.

Jay Sifford Garden Design

Establish rhythm in your garden. Most of us have an internal rhythm. A number of that is static, portion of who we are, and some of it changes according to our circumstances and moods. Heart and breathing rates are just two of the most noticeable kinds of internal rhythm, but your normal stride and style of walking and that melody that continually plays in your head are other kinds of your private rhythm.

You can present the notion of rhythm in your backyard by repeating certain important elements, as was performed with these sculptural ceramic orbs. By spacing them further apart, you can slow down your rhythm, making a more relaxing backyard experience. Closer spacing might actually reduce your sense of comfort by simply making the room feel busier and more congested. Considering these orbs alternate from side to side along this path, the eye is drawn down to a concealed portion of the backyard. Why? Because rhythm is created, and this rhythm interferes with your internal rhythm. If you have ever thought to yourself, “This backyard speaks to mepersonally,” rhythm is possibly the reason.

Tip: When doing a rhythmic installation such as this, strange numbers of things are always more gratifying to the eye.

James R. Salomon Photography

Use curved bed lines. While directly bed lines fit nicely into a formal garden, they are sometimes much too rigid for your go-to space. Indeed, they may interfere with your goal of comfort unless your go-to space involves a queue, a theme park and a roller coaster. You will find that curved bed lines will calm you down and inspire a sense of well-being and creativity.

Another advantage of utilizing curved bed lines is that they make it much easier to transition from one type of planting to another. In this manner your plants won’t wind up looking like cans on a grocery store shelf.

Jay Sifford Garden Design

Introduce the element of water. Few things have caught the imagination of the human race like water. Water Resistant and sustains, absorbs and reflects light, and gives a home to a multitude of creatures, all which are reasons to include some type of water component in almost every garden. The noise and motion of water attract a distinctive amount of visceral cartoon to the backyard.

The certain type of water feature you decide to integrate into your private space will be different according to your affinities, budget and space. You may choose a naturalistic type of pond like the one shown here, or perhaps a trickle of water flowing through a bit of bamboo in a Japanese garden.

Tip: Consider having your water feature professionally equipped, and purchase the best equipment you can afford. There’s nothing relaxing and nurturing about broken pumps, algae blooms and water flows.

Refine your plant colour. Now on to the fun part. Creating a plant palette may be an intimidating task for many gardeners, so here are a few pointers.

Limit your colors but explore shapes and textures. Vibrant warm oranges and showy pinks might be overpowering at a comfort garden. If you study the garden shown here, you’ll find that the color palette is very restricted. The majority of plants used in this garden are either bluish gray or tan. Green is used to subtly weave continuity into this space and to provide the eye a place to rest. Likewise, most of the crops are mounding with a few accents of spikes. This mounding form is reinforced by boulders.

What gives this backyard a punch of attention is really the massive variation in texture, from the rock steps and boulders to the a variety of leaf textures. Limiting the color palette and shapes produces a sensory base of relaxation so that the viewer is encouraged to explore the wonderful selection of textures.

Randy Thueme Design Inc. – Landscape Architecture

Similarly, the designer of the space significantly limited the color palette and even the plant contours to give prominence to texture. You don’t need a huge space to pull this off; you could easily re-create the appearance on an apartment balcony.

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

Consider the use of moss. I am aware of no other plant which so readily nurtures a feeling of relaxation.

Moss can now be purchased by the square foot. Carefully study which type is best for your conditions. Some varieties can take more sun than others; some favor sandy soil, but others favor clay. Moss doesn’t need perfect dirt, but it does need daily watering until it’s well recognized. The payoff would be well worth the additional effort on front.

Add a weeping or pendulous tree. This may sound simplistic, but weeping and pendulous plants really do assist us feel rested, while upright spiky plants exude electricity and activity. Picture yourself doing the comfort technique of gradually breathing in and breathing out. Notice two things: the position of your body after you exhale as well as the corresponding feeling.

Weeping and pendulous trees imitate this form. Notice that the superb pendulous Alaskan Cedar trees (chamaecyparis nootkatensis, zones 4 to 8) in the photo. Don’t they lend a feeling of calm?

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Want a Clear Decorating Conscience? Try Recycled Glass

Although glass was once a costly material used in very limited applications, today’s large-scale production systems are made glass a huge portion of our lives. Though its attractiveness is a welcome addition to the home, the negative side of this romance is that without recycling, glass goes right to the landfill once we’re finished with that. Though glass is inert and not directly hazardous to the planet, it stays in landfills indefinitely.

The good news is that glass is more recyclable — not only once, but on and on, without any degradation of the material. Consider a few of those ideas for bringing the sparkle of recycled glass in your residence.

West Elm

Recycled Glass Jug – $19

The fundamentals: Recycling reduces the amount of waste glass the demand for raw materials quarried in the landscape. Additionally, it uses 50 percent less energy to recycle glass than to create new glass out of sand, soda and lime.

Plus, the more cullett (crushed glass) used to create recycled glass, the lower the temperature the furnace should reach — and that prolongs the life of the furnace.

Programs: Recycled glass countertops have made it even simpler to incorporate recycled glass in the home. They come as 100% recycled glass as recycled glass combined with resin or concrete.

Recycled glass backsplashes, tiles, tableware, accessories and even processors (shown within a landscape) can all be used to create your home and backyard beautiful.

Woodmeister Master Builders

Experts: Recycled glass may be coloured and backlit, and may have various textured finishes implemented, so the design options are bountiful. More significant, there is an expansive glass recycling civilization in both the United Kingdom and the United States, which eliminates any need to buy recycled glass products from different countries if you live there; you won’t trash its green credentials with unnecessary transport.

Lindy Donnelly

Recycled glass is also durable. Glass is among the few substances that may be recycled infinitely with no losing strength, purity or quality; recycled glass products are as durable as the first glass.

Bill Fry Construction – Wm. H. Fry Const. Co..

Disadvantages: There are very few disadvantages to recycled glass, with the exception of the high price of some products. Do your research — recycled glass tableware is usually fairly priced, but recycled glass construction materials can get expensive.

Latera Architectural Surfaces / Dorado Stone

Considerations: Glass chip-based products rely upon concrete or a resin-binding material. The recycled content of those mixed work surfaces ranges from 70 to 85 percent.

Environmentally it requires a lot of energy to extract the raw materials and produce the cement. Resin, generally, is a petrochemical product derived from a nonrenewable resource (unless it’s formulated from plant-based sources). For concrete, look for combinations. But, transport costs for this thick material can be large, both environmentally and financially.

Shannon Malone

Upcycling: In the United Kingdom we import more brown and green glass than we can recycle, so we send green crushed glass back to Portugal for recycling. Since coloured glass has to be separated out of clear glass in the recycling process, think about upcycling those wine bottles intact — like this light fixture that is innovative.

More: Your lead to an ecofriendly kitchen

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Design It Like a Man: Tips for Single Guys Planning a Bedroom

I’m always interested in gender differences in regards to design. Being a man, I’m especially on the lookout for styles that appeal to masculine tastes. But essentially it’s a means with no end, as it’s hopeless — and impractical — to lump all men into a category of style. Everybody differs.

However there are a few similarities that tend to span the spectrum of what men want — and which differ in women’s preferences — when it comes to design. (These similarities are easier to spot with single men, because the style is unadulterated by someone else.) One is the way we talk about and describe design.


Nicole Hollis, an interior designer in San Francisco, has discovered that men usually adopt a very special vocabulary when describing what they want. Chat almost consistently turns to automotive design — nice leather, hand-crafted wood, unique sewing, polished metals. Feeling, color and texture gleaned from fine artwork are referred to as well, and so is technology design, such as the sleek and minimalist expression of this iPad.

If you’re one man seeking to design, say, a bedroom or if you’re designing a bedroom for one man — there are a number of things that you’ll want to consider. To get your creative juices flowing, try to think about this ideal hotel room you’ve stayed in. “Lots of men travel for company, and their only introduction to luxury spaces has been in hotels, so their requests tend to mimic people,” Hollis says.

It is a good place to start. Hotel suites are inclined to be calm, have great beds and also have minimalist design that discusses efficiency, practicality and performance — all hallmarks which form what many will call masculine design.

Here a bedroom designed by Hollis for a travel bachelor in the fund industry recalls European hotel suites in which he remained on business trips. A suede headboard, custom made European oak bed and white cowhide rug soften the clean, minimalist design. Practical luggage racks in the close of the bed provide a place for your homeowner’s suitcases.

Shirley Meisels

Interior designer Shirley Meisels claims the sleekness that men seek ought to be softened just a bit, a strategy she took when designing this Toronto bachelor pad. “A home has softer touches,” she says. “The bedroom should be a soft place to land in the end of a long moment. Add cushions, something and a blanket comfortable and cozy. That’s what makes a house a home.”

Chair: Design Within Reach; bed: custom; carpeting: Elte

Frances Bailey

Strategies for Single Guys Designing a Bedroom

stressing your lifestyle.
An interior designer will almost always begin a job with an interview to get at the source of how you live. Do you travel a lot? Work a night shift? Do you require blackout curtains? See TV in bed? Turn on the information in the morning? This will dictate the layout and put focus on significant elements within the room, such as splurging on a top-of-the-line mattress as opposed to built-in audiovisual equipment.

Do not be covetous. Just how long do you plan to live independently? Occasionally it isn’t a matter of if somebody else will move in but when. This goes for men and women. If you’re designing a space, you might want to consider how it will accommodate a different individual and his or her style. Should you include a mirror? More cupboard space? A place for a hair dryer and curling iron in the bathroom? Will the colours, textures and furnishings appeal to other people or just your personal tastes?

Pillows: Ralph Lauren Home

Mauricio Nava Design, LLC

Stick with neutral colours. Guys tend to feel more comfortable using a palette of white, gray and black. Think about adding color with a bit of artwork or an accessory rather than a big, splashy red wall or bright bedding. And be sure to balance out the neutrals. “Dark and grey can be very harsh for a bedroom, so I try to make it feel cozier,” Meisels says. “To soften I present natural materials such as linen, wool and natural stone.”

Mirrors, nightstands, Amelia bed, lamps, carpet: Top Fashion Home

Chicago Luxury Beds

Do not skimp on the mattress. Many men travel a lot for work and aren’t home very much. Possessing a calm and serene bedroom and, most significant, a comfortable bed to come home to ought to be a top priority. OK, you might not want to drop $32,000 for a queen-size mattress like this Hastens, but you get the idea. Invest on your sleep, bro.

Frances Bailey

Contemplate your audiovisual equipment. Meisels has a lot of requests to incorporate technology into men’ bedroom designs. But having a TV and gaming consoles on your bedroom can disrupt sleep, so be certain these devices can easily be put away when it’s bedtime.

TV cabinets, built in wall systems and screens that drop down from the ceiling are all worth considering.

Benning Design Construction

Display your own stuff. Hollis notes in her experience, men tend to amass more things than girls — surfboards, vintage guitars, stereo equipment and old cameras — and they always want to display them. Think about the things you collect and how you are going to want to incorporate them in your design.


Follow function. Guys want a place for all. We want the plugs right from the bedside table to our phones and devices. We want a spot for the remote right on the nightstand, and we want big dressers and closet systems for our garments.

Learn where your apparatus will go and be certain you have a place for them. “If I tell a man, ‘This is where you set your shoes,’ that is where he’ll put his shoes forever,” Hollis says. “They enjoy that programming in the house so that they do not have to consider organizing”

Hollis made this space for a young physician. He works night shifts and needed a dark distance suitable for sleeping through the day. Floor-to-ceiling curtains, a dark brown sisal carpet and warm wood do the job.

Carpet: Stark Carpet; curtains: Martin Kobus; dresser: Restoration Hardware; pendant lights: Leucos; bed: custom

Photo by Ben Mayorga

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Know Your House: What Makes a Floor Structure

Once the foundation, or substructure, of a home is set up, the next step is to create the superstructure: floors, walls and roof. Among all of the available building materials, wood is the most commonly utilized in North America, so that is where we’ll start.

Why Wood?

Wood is a top building material for several reasons. One is heritage: Historically, North America was inhabited, and old-growth forests were abundant throughout the united states. Wood is also easily processed into posts, beams, floor joists, roof rafters and other elements of a house’s construction. Furthermore, while a skilled carpenter can work wonders with wood, it’s possible for a beginner to build a small house of wood.

The great innovation in wood framing came about from the early 19th century with the industrialization of North America. Harvesting trees became more efficient, as did processing the trees into dimensional lumber that could be used for framing. Sawmills big and small sprouted up wherever there was a woods and a way to transport the felled trees, such as a waterway.

Together with the mass production of framing timber was the development of mass-produced nails. No longer hand forged onsite or nearby, nails became common and inexpensive. Between the mass production of dimensional lumber and nails, the wood-frame construction became ubiquitous, and the legendary magician with a hammer in hand, tool belt filled with nails and possibly one in his mouth, became the symbol of American home building.

Here are the basics of how carpenters build the first stage of a home’s aboveground construction: the floor.

AIA, Bud Dietrich

Elements of a Wood-Framed Floor

Start degree, true and square. After the concrete foundation is complete and has cured (dried and hardened nicely), a builder can start the floor construction. This starts with applying a sill sealer to the peak of the foundation. The sill sealer is a thin, compressible material that gives an air barrier between the wood frame and the concrete foundation.

The sill sealer helps create an energy-efficient building by closing the gaps between both rough and uneven concrete foundation and a wood sill plate — typically a 2-by-6 pressure treated to resist bugs, moisture and damage caused by the elements.

It is important that the sill plate be treated this way, as its proximity to the ground makes it particularly vulnerable to rust. In fact, in most older houses the sill plate has rotted away, causing the actual exterior walls to settle in order that cracks show up from the interior finishes. The sill plate could be replaced, but that is not a cheap operation.

The sill plate is tied down to the foundation with anchor bolts. These bolts become inserted into the concrete foundation wall and have threaded ends. Once the sill plate is put and leveled, nuts have been screwed to the anchor bolts, and all is locked down.

AIA, Bud Dietrich

Floor joists and open programs. Once the sill plate is down, you are able to install the floor joists. These are ordinarily 2-by-6, 2-by-8, 2-by-10 or 2-by-12 pieces of timber. The dimensions used will depend on the span (how far between supports) that the joist should travel. A commonly used size is 2-by-10, which may span about 15 feet.

An alternate to “2-by” (dimensional lumber) floor joists is truss joists. These are particularly helpful for spans of 18 feet or more.

Always check with the local building department prior to doing any dwelling construction, as the code changes by area. By way of example, some building departments require that homes built with long span joists have a fire suppression system installed. That’s something that you’ll absolutely need to understand prior to budgeting your project.

AIA, Bud Dietrich

A platform built to last. Next a plywood subfloor is laid atop the joists.

Usually 3/4 inch thick and in sheets that measure 4 by 8 feet, a plywood subfloor should be glued and screwed to the underlying joists. This can not be stressed too much, as there are many squeaky floors and tiled floors that develop cracks brought on by a subfloor that was not securely fastened to the joists. In fact, the squeaky floors that exist in older houses are the consequence of subfloors generated from 1-inch boards that have come loose in the joists, making them squeak when stress is put on.

Now’s plywood subfloor material includes a tongue and groove arrangement. The constant membrane shaped by installing the tongue of a single sheet into the groove of the adjacent sheet assists from the overall structural performance and wearability of these subfloors.

A well-installed subfloor will make a big difference over the long run, as the actual floor finish — be it wood, tile or something else — will develop fewer flaws.

More in Know Your Own House: What Makes Up a Home’s Foundation

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Tell Us: Do You Understand How to Live With Your Parents?

Last Evening I checked out two mistresses of Humor, Sarah Chalke and Elizabeth Perkins, in ABC’s new sitcom How to Live With Your Children (To the Rest of Your Life). It made me wonder how I could make it work when I needed to move back in with my folks or shelter them here in my house.

So many economic factors during the past few years have led to higher numbers of nuclear and nonnuclear family members residing together; it’s become the new standard.

So let’s : Are you sharing your home with your adult children, or have older family members moved? How is it moving?

Share your best advice and strategies you have picked up during the experience in the Comments section below. If you’ve got a fantastic design tip related to multigenerational living, please share a photograph of it too; your story or idea might be used in an upcoming featured ideabook.

On day one, this is pretty much exactly how coming to dwell in your childhood bedroom can feel. It’s kind of fun to find your journal from sixth grade, but after that it can be a big adjustment.

Can you live at home following your 20th birthday? What was the obstacle? How did you get settled?

How to Live With Your Children (To the Rest of Your Life), which airs after Modern Family on Wednesday nights, centers around Polly, played by Chalke, also contains her daughter, her stepfather, her mom, her ex and her single bestie.

Used to having the house to themselves, her parents have a tendency to overshare. “TMI” is not a part of the vocabularies.

Whether you moved back in with your parents or they moved in with you, how did you establish boundaries and manage to have any privacy or time to yourself?

Polly’s wacky parents reside for Oscar night; they believe it is an official holiday. They also believe that anything could happen on Oscar night, and it will. One benefit of these multigenerational housing situations is that you have so much extra time together.

Tell us : What were the best things that came out of your multigenerational housemate situation? Which household activities became enjoyable? What opportunities did you have to make memories during the time you lived?

More: How to Generate an Extra-Full Nest Work Happily

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The Ability of Plywood All Around the Home

Before we begin talking about plywood, it can help to know what plywood substituted. Though wood has been with us forever, contemporary plywood has existed for less than 200 decades, and its omnipresence is quite recent. Now we deck the roof, sheath the walls and build cabinets. It was not long ago, however, that all of these tasks were performed by linking individual boards side by side into a larger piece of timber, or simply by nailing them alongside one another. Though the nostalgia for salvaged timber has revived interest in these types of boards and techniques, there are many benefits to using plywood instead.

Ashley Anthony Studio

Types of Plywood

There are many different kinds of plywood, but this ideabook focuses on the forms at your regional home center, and that you may use for DIY projects around the home.

Plywood is used for virtually everything now. For example, in this photo there’s likely plywood below the hardwood flooring (likely a tongue and groove subfloor plywood), and probably plywood below the exterior wall siding. The furniture piece pictured is made from solid wood planks, attached side by side where the boards are bigger. But most cabinets nowadays could be made from smooth hardwood plywood.

Buckminster Green LLC


If you think about plywood, you likely think about a sheet of CDX. CDX plywood includes a “C” side, a “D” side and an “X” side. “X” signifies the glue could be subjected to the elements for a little while until it falls apart. Plywood is made by gluing many thin layers of timber (veneers) together. The wood grain of each layer runs perpendicular to the past, which lessens the wood’s tendency to divide.

You’ll find four different levels of plywood: A, B,C and D. Remembering the gap between the grades is simple — it is just like school. When it has earned an A grade, it is free from imperfections. A D grade does not mean it is useless — it is fine to face in the home or cover with shingles.

Plywood can work for all kinds of tasks, and the grade makes a big difference. CDX plywood is good for demanding structure, but you wouldn’t wish to construct a cabinet with it. A nice piece of birch plywood with an A-grade face could work fine to sheath your shed, but it is expensive, and you would be paying for caliber that you do not need, because the sheet will probably be covered with siding.

Buckminster Green LLC

Structural Benefits

You can see three different sheet goods utilized in the construction of these new houses in Philadelphia. The yellow sheets are exterior gypsum, used to make a fire-resistant barrier between houses. The bays’ faces are sheathed in oriented strand board, or OSB (more about this later). CDX plywood is anywhere except to the faces of the bays. Return a hundred decades and the facade of the building might have been sheathed in 1-by-8 planks, or whatever width the lumberyard had that day.

Here’s a thought experiment: Take four parts of lumber and nail them in a square. Now push the square from 1 side. Will it stay square? No, it will change to a rhombus. Now cover this square with individual boards. Will this keep the square square? It is not much of the advancement. If you nail the planks diagonally this helps, but it is nothing like putting one sheet of wood within the whole square — it wouldn’t budge. In a nutshell, explains the structural benefit of being able to use a single piece of plywood.

Buckminster Green LLC

If you’ve ever pushed a screw to a plank without predrilling a pit first, you know that inserting a wedge into wood makes it split across the grain. All plywood accomplishes this, because the timber grain of each layer is different compared to past.

But what if, instead of gluing together massive sheets of wood at right angles, you glued together tiny pieces of timber at all different angles? You would get a similar effect whilst using small wood pieces which could otherwise become waste. The consequence of this process is either OSB plywood, or oriented strand board. OSB is less expensive than CDX, and under the right conditions performs well.

Buckminster Green LLC

I have seen CDX plywood and OSB get rained on if delays happen and roofs and siding are not installed. The CDX buckles in areas but usually holds up. The OSB turns to mush substantially faster. Once the glues begin to break down, you’re left with little pieces of timber.

The merchandise shown here is the Zip System from Huber; it has a weather-resistant barrier applied to OSB. Green is for the walls; brownish is for the roof. This saves you the step of stapling a barrier up such as Tyvek after installing the plywood. Once the seams are taped, you have a continuous air barrier. Compare it to the previous boards nailed up with a lot of openings for air to blow through, and you can see how the current building techniques can save you energy.

Buckminster Green LLC


recently focus has turned into the glues in plywood, and what fumes the item is off-gassing to our houses when used indoors. To decrease harmful VOCs, search for plywood with glues which have no added urea-formaldehyde.

The plywood used in the construction of the cabinets in this image goes one step farther. The doors, shelves and cabinet boxes are all made from bamboo plywood. Bamboo is a grass that grows quickly, also it is a sustainable substitute for timber from trees. Sustainability is all in the details, however, so do your homework to be sure the life-cycle costs of the product are really less than the product which you are replacing.

In addition, there are plywoods made from sorghum and wheat germ. The look of these alternate plywood products is part of the allure.

Nic Darling


Plywood is overly helpful to end up just cladding buildings and becoming covered up from other building materials. It has many uses indoors, also. This plywood is used to make a exceptional railing for the stairs. If you take into consideration the labor saved by employing large, strong, straight sheets of timber in building products, plywood is an economical solution to many issues. You are limited only by your imagination.

Hint: Make Certain to use the Ideal thickness. Plywood that is 3/4 inch is quite rigid and good for walking on shelving etc.. If you are applying a layer of plywood over another surface and you simply need a smooth surface — say that a luan plywood underlayment for flooring — 1/4 inch will do just fine.

Sylvia Elizondo Interior Design

OK, so now you’re heading into the shop to purchase plywood for your next job. Here are a few suggestions:
When it is for beneath your floor or roof, it should be tongue and groove plywood, where the boards associate along with puzzle pieces for firmness at the seams. I told you to purchase 3/4 inch but you might show up to the lumber yard and see 23/32 inch. Bring a tape measure or calculator and get the closest to the dimensions you want. Contractors talk about 1/4 inch, 1/2 inch and 3/4 inch, but you’ll also see 7/16 inch, 15/32 inch and all types of different fractions.

If you are building something such as garage shelving that does not have to be ideal, but should be somewhat free of imperfections, get a 3/4-inch B or C plywood.

If you are planning to create cabinets or an interior project where the surface of the plywood will be seen, I suggest having a wood plywood, such as a birch plywood which has a smooth A-grade face. Hardwood plywood may be stained in addition to painted, and will end in a nice finished product.There are many beautiful forests which may be applied as the surface veneer into a plywood made primarily from less expensive woods. Let your imagination go crazy and make a statement. The Mesopotamians initially created plywood by gluing wood together if there was not enough about. In modern times we do not have to waste wood either, and plywood brings with it enough other benefits to make it a win-win situation.

Next: See what you can do with drywall

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Southeast Gardener's May Checklist

May brings the conclusion of pine pollen as well as the unofficial start of summer with all the long Memorial Day weekend. Allow the prime gardening period begin. Here is what you can do from the Southeast garden.

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The Carter Rohrer Co..

Admire blooming trees and shrubs. May is blossom period for southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora). These flowers give so much, and we will need to do so little to them in return. I love to pluck a magnolia blossom and float it in a bowl of water near where I read or enjoy the garden at the end of the day. It lasts but a day, but what a day it’s.

The Endless Summer hydrangea is the first hydrangea to blossom new and old expansion, together with the ability to rebloom all summer long. I planted my Endless Summer in 2005. To encourage reblooming, cut the blossoms for drying or to put in vases to get a brand new arrangement. This may also encourage the plant to set new buds.

Prune rhododendrons and azaleas right after flowering.

The Todd Group

Enjoy abundant rose blossoms. Roses are in full swing right now. Let the roses flesh out; prune less in May so that they grow taller. This is good advice for your two or three cuttings. Then you are able to prune at will, remembering to cut the subsequent five leaflets at a angle.

Expert Pruning Secrets for Exquisite Roses

Roses are heavy feeders — in terms of both food and water. Fertilize once a month and then provide each rose approximately 5 gallons of water each week (or about 1 inch per week). Water in the morning, at the base of the plant to help discourage black spot.

The New York Botanical Garden

Cherish blooming iris. Oh, the irises are blooming their heads off. As soon as they bloom, cut the flower stalks to clean up the plant. Recently I cut for a buddy. She took a whiff and realized, for the first time, that bearded irises have a beautiful scent — making them pleasurable indoors too.

Cut the flower stalks of daffodils. Try to dismiss the leaves because the plants naturally die back.

Troy Rhone Garden Design

Plant annuals. With frosts behind us, you are able to plant annuals with jealousy. Visit public gardens to see the number available for planting in our region. The JC Raulston Arboretum is a All-American Selection (AAS) display backyard, exhibiting the most recent selection winners.

Direct sow zinnia seed at periods to have cut flowers through frost.

Gardening with Confidence®

Plant tender summer bulbs. It’s now safe to transplant the amaryllis you grew during the winter. It will not likely blossom again this year but should do this next year.

Now that the soil has warmed (be sure it’s at 60 degrees Fahrenheit), plant caladium bulbs or caladiums potted and already in foliage. They like it warm and may be ruined by cool weather, but not just a frost. They are also large collars, so you will want to water and fertilize them consistently during the growing season.

In fact, any tender summertime bulb, such as cannas, dahlias, ginger lilies and tuberoses, can be planted now.

Earth Mama Landscape Design

Grow edibles. With all the last frost of the season, it is now time to plant berries, basil, peppers, cucumbers and other tender annuals.

Gardening with Confidence®

Plant an herb garden. If not for you, then to the backyard friends. Black Tiger Swallowtail butterfly larvae love parsley and fennel. Let those green worms consume all of it.

May within my backyard is peak lavender blossom time. Every May I’m reminded of why I develop lavender; it may appear ratty several months of this year. When it flowers, cut back and form it.

Gardening with Confidence®

Discover distinct wisteria. May isn’t the ideal time for planting perennials, but they’re frequently accessible. If your plan is to plant, be prepared to pamper them nicely. Perennials need more watering to help them get established.

Seeing Chinese wisteria from the wild brings a sense of wonder. Yes, the color and flowers cascading down from the trees are beautiful, but they aren’t assumed to be there. Think twice as planting one.

Rather, think about the rich purple flowers of American wisteria (Wisteria frutescens ‘Amethyst Falls’); it blooms a little later the Chinese species.

Gardening with Confidence®

Insert a container garden. Every home area has room for container gardens. Locate some fabulous pots and fill them with anything you fancy. Know the amount of sunlight you get and if.

It matters when you choose your plants. Containers are inclined to dry out quicker, so container gardens will need to be watered more often. This water tends to cause nutrients to leach out, so plants will benefit in the application of a quick-release fertilizer.

Gardening with Confidence®

Top-dress your garden beds with mulch. Keep your gardens trendy, less thirsty and reduce the number of weeds. I can write volumes about the benefits of mulch. I believe in the ability of mulch.

For my roses, I use mini nuggets, but for my continuing gardens, I used composted leaf mulch. Picking up a load of mulch informs me how important it’s to be sure lawn waste is separated from trash. Yard waste not only is good stuff once it’s composted, but also the conservation practice is in everone’s best interest.

Fertilize sustainably. To encourage flowering, use a fertilizer low in nitrogen and high in calcium.

Fertilizer’s three chief components are nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, or NPK.
10-10-10 signifies there’s an equal ratio N, P and K. Hydrangeas like a low N and a high P; hence a blend of 10-40-10 are ideal.My general rule of thumb to remember what the numbers mean would be to start with the first number and apply from the cover of the plant to the bottom. As such, N is for its green, P is to get the blossom and K is to get the root or up and down and all around.

To refresh your comprehension of pH, it refers to the acidity of the soil and can be quantified by the amount of hydrogen ions within the soil. It’s a logarithmic scale based on the ability of 10. As such, a pH of 6 is 10 times more acidic than pH of 7. Thus, just a little change in pH may make a big difference.
A pH of 7 is neutral. A pH lower compared to 7 is acidic. A ph higher than 7 is alkaline. Most plants like a pH between 6.5 and 7. Hydrangeas like it more acidic than most plants.

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