Pro Chefs Dish on Kitchens: Paul Kahan Shows His Urban Sanctuary

Chicago chef Paul Kahan is new out of a recent kitchen remodel; the paint was drying on the walls while I took photos. He codesigned his kitchen with Mary Klonowski, his wife, and contractor Nate Loevy. Using Seattle company Henrybuilt’s design solutions, they took down a wall and relocated the plumbing stack from above, expanding some doorways and redoing the floor. Paul and Mary already had all the appliances: Sub-Zero Pro 48-inch refrigerator, Viking 6-burner range with griddle, Viking hood with outside blower, Miele dishwasher and Kohler sink.

Chef: Paul Kahan
Location: Chicago
Restaurants: Blackbird, Avec, Publican, Big Star, Nico
Specialty: Farm-to-table American cuisine

Rebekah Zaveloff | KitchenLab

Rebekah Zaveloff | KitchenLab

Q. What’s your perfect kitchen design? It looks like you guys sort of have a busted U-shaped kitchen due to the existing windows.

A. Well, you know I operate in this environment that’s full of mess and stuff everywhere. At home I’m quite into tidy, uncluttered appearances — I really don’t like wall cabinets with doors. It’s a house, and we modernizing it, maintaining inside the house’s bones.

We have a lot of open shelving, and the pantry was completely redone by Henrybuilt too. The pantry includes a large Julia Child–fashion wall with sliders and pots and pans. I’ve got something like 30 different pots and pans that I can hang; larger ones I can’t move on shelves. The peninsula has seats on one side and houses the principal sink — it seems like an island.

What’s significant: Ample counter space to cook and a lot of storage, and that is why I got the big fridge. I like to have things that are amazing on the shelves, not everyday clutter. The kitchen table is counter height, and it’s on wheels and moves round. Six people can sit at it, and because we have limited space, you can put this up against the wall and use it for prep. A great deal of times once we have parties, we wheel it on the back porch and use it like a buffet.

If I had all the space on earth, I’d construct the kitchen about entertaining. Everyone gravitates there anyway. I’d do a multipurpose area with an island that had a sink and prep area, with a wing that comes off it where people could sit and dine at.

I’m kind of a espresso nut, and our La Marzocco espresso machine sits alongside the sink on the peninsula. I’m also an audio freak working on good noise at the kitchen, living area and dining area in this time too.

Rebekah Zaveloff | KitchenLab

Q. And your perfect cooking appliance arrangement?

A. You know, for years I’ve lusted after a La Cornue … but I don’t know if there is anything on the housing marketplace that actually functions like a true expert cooker for your house. I’ve currently got a 48-inch Viking with 2 ovens and a infrared broiler, and it works for us. Really like the setup of four a French shirt. I’d do a multipurpose area with an island that had a sink and prep area, with a wing that comes off it where people could sit and dine.

Q. What do you think about open leftovers versus closed burners for a range top? Can you really do an induction cooktop as a substitute for gas — or as a nutritional supplement?

A. If I had another house or kitchen, I think I’d do two induction burners, and also the prep sink and gas range on the main wall. I worked at a friend’s kitchen in D.C., and the induction shirt took a while to get accustomed to, but they are amazing. They work well for everything, great for sautéing. For me personally, I’ll be cooking with gas till I die, but I’ll use induction also. They’re quite clean, you simply wash them down, and they are functional. I might do it slightly recessed so I really could perform a cutting board and have extra counter spaces.

Rebekah Zaveloff | KitchenLab

Q. What one extra kitchen cooking gadget would you propose for a house cook?

A. I’m not much of a gadget man; I’m a fairly straightforward cook. However, I really do love my smoker out of Texas in my yard. From the kitchen a Vitamix is critical; each pro chef loves their Vitamix. A fantastic immersion blender and a food processor. I have a ton of All-Clad pans and some French steel ones. I have a lot of knives I love knives and also my Kuhn-Rikon peeler; that’s good.

Rebekah Zaveloff | KitchenLab

Q. What kind of refrigeration arrangement do you enjoy?

A. It would be good to have a couple of burners on the staircase to cook, a 48-inch gas range onto the wall, an oven and a half or 2 ovens, and fridge drawers in that main prep area, and yet another fridge further away. Right now my fridge is a bit far away.

Rebekah Zaveloff | KitchenLab

Q. What’s your Perfect cleanup arrangement? Sinks first. I can see that you’ve got some pretty fantastic business in the island too: a drawer for cleansing products and a tilt-out drawer front for sponges as well as drawers for silverware, utensils and everyday plates.

Again, if I had another house, dishwashing and cleanup would be transferred into another zone. We have currently got a single-bowl sink at the peninsula that’s made from the same material as the counter top.

Rebekah Zaveloff | KitchenLab

Do not worry about Burgermeister the cat — the counters receive a complete scrub before any cooking goes on here.

Q. What about faucets? Few individuals actually think about how they can make life simpler based on the design, but as much as I enjoy function, I can’t stand a unsightly faucet.

A. We finished up with an Axor faucet, a sleek cousin of one of the very industrial ones. It’s just one hole with a nice big lever and a pullout spray out of the mind. It’s clean and nice and covers both bowls in the sink. No digital touchless faucets for me personally. I prefer mechanical over digital.

Rebekah Zaveloff | KitchenLab

Q. What’s your favorite backsplash material?

A. We conducted the countertop up the wall. Thus far, so great. It’s white, and there are some discolorations, but no significant troubles. It’s durable, and it seems great.

Q. Your favorite countertop material?

A. The peninsula is Caesarstone; everything else is wood. They’re beautiful bamboo shirts with a waxed finish, but we’ve got a plethora of cutting boards and a big Boos block that we use to prep on.

Q. What’s your preferred material for a kitchen floor?

The only one I’ve ever lived with is wood. We did a wide-board walnut flooring. Can I enjoy tile at another residence? Sure. We are doing cement tile at our restaurant.

Rebekah Zaveloff | KitchenLab

Q. Your opinion on perfect lighting for a house kitchen? By the way, I love that ceiling remedy in which you exposed the joists in part only.

A. Thanks. The contractor did a fantastic job fitting in new joists to substitute the aged when required. We did a mix in regards to lighting: three pendant lighting, pin spots in the area with exposed beams [and] big cans in between the beams.

Rebekah Zaveloff | KitchenLab

Q. When you are not working what do you cook?

A. I’m a Fairly serious gardener. My wife and I eat quite simply — dinner may be fish, some sort of vegetable in the garden and sometimes a starch. We maintain a bunch of vinaigrette in the refrigerator, and we love this one buttermilk dressing. We may have a kale salad already marinating in the refrigerator. I have a smoker at the yard; we use it for events and parties in the house. I love to grill in the summertime, go out and grab veggies in the garden. I truly like to eat simple food. We have a butcher store, and we do good charcuterie, but we consume that in small amounts.

Q. What dishes would you cook into test-drive a new appliance?

I would probably cook a whole fish big skillet, two1/2-pound fish. Get the pan hot and finish it in the oven. Some people might cook a quiche or a cake to test an oven, but I’ve got fish on the mind. Sear it to the stovetop and finish it in the oven.

Rebekah Zaveloff | KitchenLab

Rebekah Zaveloff | KitchenLab

Q: What do you have growing now?

A. We have a 15- by 30-foot plot, plus flowers and herbs and some produce our regional farmers and suppliers don’t grow. There’s nothing like picking stuff and cooking it : chicory, a great deal of garlic, celery root, arugula, Chioggia beets, peppers — Hungarian sweet, wax, serrano and Jimmy Nardellos including broccoli, cucumbers, leeks, asparagus, lovage, Swiss chard, lavender, wild arugula.

Q. What ingredient could you not live without?

Olive oil.

Delicata Squash, chef Paul Kahan’s recipe
Serves 4

two delicata squashes
6 cloves garlic, sliced
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
two sprigs thyme
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
4 tablespoons dark brown sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Lemon (optional)

Cut off the tops and bottoms of the squashes 1/4 inch on each side and then in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Lay each half cut-side down and then slice each into 1/2-inch bands, leaving skin on.

Preheat a large sauté pan (big enough to fit the squash pieces evenly in one layer) over medium heat for 5 minutes, then add olive oil.

Add the skillet in a single coating, gently brown on one side and then reverse each slice. You may have to do this in 2 batches: simply maintain the cooked squash warm.

Working quickly, add the butter and sliced garlic into the pan and then sprinkle the chili, brown sugar, thyme, salt and pepper over the squash. As soon as you’ve added the brown sugar watch for burning off!

Once the garlic begins to lightly brown, then move the squash around to sauté it.

Test the squash for doneness. Add more salt and pepper if desired and then squeeze a lemon wedge over it to flavor.

Visit a different chef’s kitchen Michael Symon Shares His Tastes

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A Radical Reconstruction Raises an Austin Home

It’s a simple fact of life: Growing families need growing spaces. Architect J.C. Schmeil knows this firsthand. A decade ago he added 700 square feet to his 1935 bungalow in Austin, Texas, when his second son was born. After his two boys lately begun edging toward the adolescent mark, he decided it was time to expand again.

The extra square footage came in a second-story inclusion for those boys, with two bedrooms and a trendy secret music space behind a bookcase. Schmeil added more perceived distance, too. He awakened the kitchen with gobbling up the dining room and added a stunning vaulted ceiling into the present front entrance, which had gone from being a compact living room into a cluttered home office and is presently a new dining room — the latter of that for a very practical reason. “Typically, dining rooms have been kept neater than other chambers,” Schmeil states. “Now it is a nice, calming area to walk into.”

at a Glance
Who lives here: J.C. Schmeil; spouse Ashley, an environmental adviser; along with sons Corbin and Becket
Location: Austin, Texas
Size: 2,150 square feet; 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms

Merzbau Design Collective

Schmeil had attempted various uses for this entryway. He hit the sweet spot with this clean, modern dining room. “Its better than walking into an area with stuff all around the place,” he states.

The highlight is a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf with multiple windows that bring in leafy perspectives.

Table, seats, carpet: Crate & Barrel

Before Photo

Merzbau Design Collective

The roof has been basically peeled off therefore the addition can be constructed. “It was not really a remodel but a radical reconstruction of the home,” Schmeil states.

After removing”cheap wood paneling,” he states, he discovered longleaf pine planks, which he used for the flooring in the second-floor addition.

Merzbau Design Collective

Due to something called the”mansion ordinance” in Austin, residents can create a home just as large as 40 percent of their lot’s square footage, or 2,300 square feet, whichever is larger. If Schmeil had assembled space over the dining room, he would have gone over the square footage allotment. He created play a vaulted ceiling and a exceptional wall remedy instead.

For the wall therapy, he collaborated with Roger and Paul Wintle of Texas Trim, who did all the custom cabinet work. They landed a trendy approach using 16- by 32-inch modules of walnut plywood”pickled” via a whitewashing process. A ⅛-inch reveal leaves faint black lines to highlight the layout, which imitates that of the travertine tiles on the front porch.

Paint: Evening Sky, Benjamin Moore

Merzbau Design Collective

A brand new guest room — dubbed the Gransuite in honor of this frequently visiting grandmother for whom the distance was constructed — is just off the dining area. Schmeil removed first gray shag carpeting throughout the home to expose white bamboo floors in near-pristine condition.

Paint: Covington Blue, Benjamin Moore

Merzbau Design Collective

The guest bathroom includes slate tile on the ground cut in a 6- by-12-inch running-bond design.

Bathtub: Kohler; tile: Ann Sacks; toilet: Aquia, Toto; faucet: Ikea

Merzbau Design Collective

Schmeil combined the old kitchen and dining room to double the size of this kitchen. Whitewashed walnut panels on the stair rail echo those from the dining room.

Cabinets: Texas Trim; countertops: HanStone; cupboard paint: Curing Aloe; wall paint: Beach Glass, both by Benjamin Moore

Merzbau Design Collective

The couple’s taste for blues and greens drove the color scheme, which produces a soothing vibe. Windows beneath the cabinets bring in northern light and perspectives of bamboo.

Backsplash: Lush Surf, ModWalls; butcher block counter tops: Ikea

Merzbau Design Collective

An office space off the kitchen affords views of heritage oak trees; Schmeil’s wife, Ashley, an environmental adviser, made sure they were left unharmed during the renovation.

Wall paint: Covington Blue, Benjamin Moore

Merzbau Design Collective

A separate laundry room connects to the home office.

Wall color: Fresh Grass, Benjamin Moore

Merzbau Design Collective

More whitewashed maple makes up a brand new media cabinet in the family room, which was part of a renovation in 2002 that added this space and a new main bedroom suite.

Wall paint: Beach Glass, Benjamin Moore; coffee table: Mockingbird Domestics; puppy artwork: Walter Salas-Humara, Yard Dog Art

Merzbau Design Collective

High-placed windows in the main bedroom provide privacy and views of a neighbor’s trees; Schmeil says they are”borrowed landscapes: You get to enjoy the views but do not have to keep it.”

His mother-in-law, an interior decorator, added the Heriz carpet, 1800s cupboard and Louis Vuitton steamer trunk.

The Schmeils remained in the home for most of the renovation. The children slept in the family room along with the few in their bedroom. They started calling their toilet that the”bitchen,” because they prepped food and washed dishes in the sink while their kitchen was being assembled.

Merzbau Design Collective

The second floor is a completely new addition. A cutout at the top of the stairs leading to the inclusion looks back on the dining room.

Wall paint: Woodlawn Blue, Benjamin Moore; seat: Tops Office Furniture

Merzbau Design Collective

The second-floor layout is basically two bedrooms divided by back-to-back closets. The children share one bedroom. The other is a playroom.

The bedroom floor is longleaf pine that transforms into white oak.

Merzbau Design Collective

Corbin sits in one of his favorite spots. The angled window follows the roofline of this lower gable. Dormers pop up to provide the bedrooms enough headroom.

Wall paint: Woodlawn Blue, Benjamin Moore

Merzbau Design Collective

Becket’s preferred place is this reading market.

Niche paint: Fresh Grass, Benjamin Moore

Merzbau Design Collective

A fold-out sofa in the playroom generates space for overnight guests.

Wall paint: Woodlawn Blue, Benjamin Moore

Merzbau Design Collective

Merzbau Design Collective

Before undertaking the remodel, Schmeil maintained his sons they might possess a hidden room behind a bookcase, which he calls for a”Scooby Doo bookcase.” He delivered with this trendy music space; Becket plays drums and guitar there, and Corbin plays saxophone.

Merzbau Design Collective

A glass-tile flooring in the boys’ shared toilet makes the space a lot easier to clean.

Wall paint: Bunny Grey, Benjamin Moore; tile: Slate Blue (floor) and Quail Gray (shower), both from Hakatai

Before Photo

Merzbau Design Collective

BEFORE: Schmeil believed that the little porch and gable lacked curb appeal.

Merzbau Design Collective

Merzbau Design Collective

AFTER: He gave the outside a fresh paint color and prolonged the porch to make more seating area. Travertine tile recycled from LBJ Library at the University of Texas at Austin covers the porch, that has been rebuilt and reframed with dual rafters along with Douglas fir columns.

Paint: Ocean Floor, Benjamin Moore

Before Photo

Merzbau Design Collective


Merzbau Design Collective

AFTER: The second-floor inclusion extended the home’s living area by more than 600 square feet.

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10 Stylish Possibilities for Shower Enclosures

A shower is one of the first things you notice when you step into a toilet, so ensure that your enclosure not only matches your personality but also accentuates your toilet.

We’ve all seen or lived at a home with the ever-so-famous enclosure framed in polished brass, but there are plenty of other choices with which to surround your shower. Whether you opt for framed or frameless, or with no enclosure at all, choose your design sensibly.

Specialty Tile Products

1. Frameless glass shower enclosure. This is a very popular option at the moment due to its flexibility; a frameless glass enclosure brings itself to any style, whether it is a clean, sleek design that appeals to modern tastes or a very simple and understated one with a stylish and timeless look.

The glass itself is fairly easy to clean and preserve; it is even more so if you get glass with a complete baked on this repels soap scum and water stains. In general, frameless glass is a great way to showcase your shower.

Robert Nebolon Architects

2. Aluminum and glass bath enclosure. Need a little something more to spruce up your shower? Don’t be afraid to be particular and also try a shower surround that has dash. Created with glass panels set in an aluminum framework, this shower enclosure mimics the look of the tile at the back of the shower. The dark metal combined with the glass provides the enclosure an eclectic feel.

J Allen Smith Design/Build

3. Glass block shower enclosure. Eliminate the need for a door with a glass block enclosure. Glass block surrounds are versatile, and there are different textured patterns on the blocks themselves. They have strong lines and give your bathroom a fresh, cool look.

The choices are virtually limitless with glass blocks. You are able to find different block styles, thicknesses and even colors.

Artistic Tile

4. Sliding enclosure. Desire the attractiveness of glass but don’t have the room for a moving door? Try out a sliding glass door, a very practical space-saving option that is also stylish. Sliding doors can be customized to fit any space and style, and are a great way to show off your shower and still have room for additional bathroom fittings.

Looking for a sliding glass door on a budget? Try out a partially frameless sliding door. It will give you an airy look without breaking the bank.

Jeff King & Company

5. Tub enclosure. Simply because you have a tub doesn’t mean you’re stuck with a shower curtain. Tempered hinged glass can supply you with the very best of both worlds: the capacity to reach the fixtures and also the ability to keep water in the shower.

Additionally, tempered ⅜-inch frameless glass is very durable, so even if you bump the plank from the toilet or vanity, it won’t damage the glass. Tempered glass could be sandblasted to make a frosted look, providing some privacy as well as looking great. Have a little fun with a mix of frosted and clear glass.

Rachel Mast Design

6. Textured glass enclosure. If you want solitude without the frosted look, try a glass with texture. The beautiful textures are enhanced with water running down the glass and generate a spa-like feel. Textured glass also allows for a see-through effect while masking specific elements, which makes the toilet look larger.

YLAB Arquitectos Barcelona

7. More than one entrance. Who states showers can have only one entrance? Having more than one way to get in and out of this shower is much more than just sensible. It generates so many design choices and can give a toilet a his-and-hers feel. Additionally, it will give you more distance in the shower.

A fully frosted surround provides this toilet a very luxurious atmosphere, although the exposed sides of this enclosure give the room an open texture. This is very good for tall, narrow baths.

Looking for something a little less closed off? Try frosting only a portion of the panel to provide privacy while still showing off your fabulous shower.

Kaufman Homes, Inc..

8. No shower enclosure. Some toilet layouts don’t need an enclosure at all. A consistent flooring substance makes this bathroom look expansive. The open shower with just the tiled wall separating it from the vanity provides the bathroom a wonderful sense of unity.

Worried about keeping the warmth in? Insert a heated shower flooring or a heating lamp in the ceiling (or both).

Tim Barber Ltd Architecture

9. Framed enclosure. Framed enclosures are a popular option since they are a low-cost way to solve the age-old issue of how to keep water in the shower. But just because the shower is framed doesn’t mean it can not be stylish. Instead of polished brass, try out a chrome finish for a look that could be classic or modern.

Adjustable panels in the top allow for ventilation in this fully enclosed shower as well as give it a little dash.

Want something cheap and conventional? Proceed with an oil-rubbed-bronze framework — and don’t forget to bring a drain cover to match.

10. Tile and glass enclosure. A frameless glass door together with tiled walls provides this toilet an open look. A tile surround with frameless glass windows not only makes the shower feel bigger on the inside, in addition, it allows plenty of light in.

Need something more adventuresome? Don’t be afraid to combine substances. Try out a darker tile with rippled glass.

More: How To Turn Your Toilet Into a Shower

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How to Go Bold With Summer Garden Color

If you take a stroll around your neighborhood on a summer day, you will find that some gardens stick out from the remainder. Some anglers get your focus by using bold colors that stand out from the harsh sunlight, while others take advantage of large-leaved tropical plants that stand out even from the comfort of an air travel car.

As you’re window-shopping for ideas, note what appeals to you and everything you can do on your own backyard. Below are some design ideas to watch for while summer plantings are in their prime. Fall is a superb time to acquire many of these plants at the floor.

1. Cool down with colours. Blue and purple do two wonderful things to a backyard. They make a space seem cooler, because they seem to recede and become shadows. And like creating the backyard feel cooler weren’t a nice enough party suggestion, cool hues make hot colors, such as orange and red, stand out even more. This suggestion is particularly helpful during the hotter months, but can also be used to include interest in fall.

One approach to make a garden seem larger is to put cool colors in the rear part of your garden beds, particularly paired with hot colors. You can use tall perennials, such as purple coneflowers (Echinacea spp) and Mexican bush sage (Salvia leucantha, zones 8 to 11; annual elsewhere), or protect fences with vines such as purple passionflower (Passiflora ‘Incense’, shown) or clematis (Clematis ‘Jackmanii’, zones 4 to 8).

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

2. Spice it up with orange and crimson blossoms. Warm colors need to be quite intense from the glaring sunlight of summer, so bypass the pastels and bring your richest reds and many outrageous oranges.

This planting of reddish bird-of-paradise (Caesalpinia pulcherrima, zones 8 to 11) steals the show in a hot desert backyard such as the one displayed here, but anglers who get freezes can find the exact same look with nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus, annual in most zones), crocosmia (Crocosmia crocosmiiflora, zones 5 to 9) or red hot poker (Kniphofia uvaria, zones 6 to 9).

For the most striking contrast, plant hot red flowers facing cooler colors, like the blue of the fine cables of Colorado blue spruce (Picea pungens, zones 2 to 7) or even the deep purple of thundercloud plums (Prunus cerasifera, zones 5 to 8) or loropetalum (Loropetalum chinensis, zones 7 to 9).

Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture

3. Create striking contrasts with painted backdrops. A brightly painted background stays interesting throughout the year and makes adjoining plants pop. You can paint fences, trellises, garden walls or even the exterior of your house with reckless abandon, but your neighbors will probably prefer that you maintain your muted colors into the backyard.

Additional benefits to painting backdrops are you can easily divert from eyesores beyond the property line and give the eye a place to rest. This is particularly helpful in a little space, where a collection of vibrant blossoms might seem a bit cluttered.

Try to envision how your chosen color will look at several times of the year, particularly if your spring flowerbeds will battle. When you do make a decision, speak with a knowledgeable member of the regional hardware shop’s staff to see which type of paint is appropriate for the job.

Banyon Tree Design Studio

4. Bring new life to your backyard with vibrant furniture. If painting an whole wall or fence appears too intense for your tastes, it is possible to easily attain a similar effect by purchasing vibrant patio furniture or by giving tired old bits a cheery facelift.

The table and chairs in the photo here avoid sticking out like tender orange thumbs because the designer was careful to set them with a bright red-orange blooming canna (Canna ‘Australia’, all zones as a bulb) as well as a smattering of additional orange blossoms in a sea of leaves. A large glazed ceramic pot in a complementary hue of cobalt blue adds a welcome pop of color and balances the makeup together with class.

5. Accessorize with color. Another method to present your backyard furniture a breath of fresh air this summer is to get a new pair of pillows or cushions. This mod masterpiece by David Bromstad has lively hues of aquamarine and tangerine that perk up a tiny outdoor space without even a single blossom’s being used.

By creating the furniture that the most fascinating part of an outdoor space, you’re draw traffic to the seating area where the party takes place. It couldn’t hurt to give guests something to talk about, though, so incorporate plantings that are going to be in flower when you are inclined to entertain outdoors — summertime. In this garden, including highlights of lime green to chartreuse foliage would create curiosity, while plugging in some vivid orange blossoms would add excitement while maintaining compatible with the seating.

6. Bring in some shrubbery. Rather than just plant a bunch of run-of-the-mill summer bedding plants, why not seek a shrub that will bring even more striking blooms to the table? Though they take up more space than bedding plants, shrubs are still superb choices for small gardens or entertaining areas because they raise up the garden and attract the blooms to eye level. You might even find some on clearance at the autumn, as garden facilities attempt to make space for autumn crops and jack-o’-lanterns.

For large blooms and tropical personality, attempt hibiscus and its temperate relatives. Mallows like confederate increased or the native swamp hibiscus are tall and ungainly but have absolutely enormous blooms that resemble the blossoms of their relative, the hibiscus.

Princess flower (Tibouchina urvilleana, zones 9 to 11), shown here, can place you in a predicament, because it has velvety foliage that begs to be increased within arm’s reach, but its cool purple blossoms are also perfect for the back of a border. The solution is simple: Plant two.

R DESIGN Landscape Architecture P.C.

7. Combine cool and warm colors. Pairing up two colors that sit across from each other on the color wheel will make them seem to vibrate and dancing at the lightest breeze. The lavender spires of Russian sage and joyous yellow sunbursts of black-eyed Susan from the photo here help keep the eyes moving around the backyard and seem to glimmer from a space.

It’s a neat trick and can be achieved by juxtaposing orange and blue, or red and green, which is convenient since most leaves are all green. To really make red blossoms pop, utilize lighter hues of green, such as lime or chartreuese. Golden Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’, zones 4 to 9) and Marguerite sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas ‘Marguerite’, zones 9 to 11) are the perfect foils for a planting of reddish flowers.

Pot Incorporated

8. Make a temporary focus. Rather than plant a whole bed of flowers, plant a container garden so it can bring summer color where it is most appreciated — if that is on a terrace or a doorstep. Since container combinations are typically seasonal affairs, they’re frequently implanted with the desirable blossoms and hammered or thrown out as soon as the season is over.

A container planting with rich, warm hues, such as the one displayed here, will stay seasonally appropriate even if the frosty nights insist that you bring it indoors and also the trees’ autumn foliage encourages you to maintain it outdoors just a tiny bit longer. It is also possible to swap out frost-tender tropical plants in an arrangement such as this with cold-hardier ones, such as creeping bugleweed (Ajuga reptans, zones 3 to 9) or coral bells (Heuchera sanguinea, zones 4 to 9) to keep the show going into winter.

Katharine Webster Inc..

9. Plan ahead for collapse. A bold planting of red-flowered and purple-leaved cannas definitely draws attention in summertime, but remember that a number of the colorful tropicals from the backyard will begin to fade as the weather cools down. Like the aforementioned container garden, mixing in a few plants with autumn curiosity will continue to keep your garden beds vibrant as the days get colder.

Contain plants that offer late-season interest, such as deciduous shrubs with intense autumn colors or grasses such as the purple fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’, zones 8 to 11) shown here. Even once frost kills the leaves, the plants will still maintain their shape till spring.

More: What to Do On Your Garden Now

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12 Effective Strategies to Help You Sleep

Having difficulty getting a full, restful night’s sleep? Join us as we tackle every feature of the night routine, by preparing your distance to the final lights-out, which means that you can sail into dreamland — and also learn how to get back to sleep even if you pop up. Take charge of your sleep routine and learn how to let go of your daily worries by following these 12 tips.

SHED Architecture & Design

1. Have a bathroom. Warming your entire body and then slowly cooling down is an excellent way to market rest. Light candles and add essential oils if you like, read a book, sip refreshing herbal tea and start the process of letting go of your day.

ras-a, inc..

2. Wind. It helps to consider going to sleep as a process that begins hours before your head hits the pillow. After your bathroom, get into cozy jammies and closed off your notebook, TV, phone and other devices. Lower the lights marginally all around the house — lighting candles or twinkle lighting is a wonderful nightly ritual — and also invest some time in an unplugged pursuit. Read, talk, pick up a craft project or listen to music.

3. Pick bedding. It pays to splurge here if possible. Sheets come in direct contact with your body and can make a massive difference in the way you are feeling in bed. Get to understand what type of sheets feel best to you and stock up on these. Donate old, worn sets if they’ve begun to tablet or feel uneasy — two collections of high quality sheets are much better than a closet filled with scratchy ones.

How to Pick the Perfect Bedsheets

Rikki Snyder

4. Make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary. Think about editing your bedroom down to the essentials. Remove the computer, both the TV and other apparatus. Declutter your nightstands, your closet and under the bed. Make sure any artwork, pillows or decorations elicit calm, restful feelings, and move everything else to some other area. Assess your mattress, sheets, blankets and pillows for relaxation, and update anything that is not absolutely a joy to sleep on.

Spend a couple of minutes making your bed and picking up the room daily, which means that you are able to go back to some clean, refreshed area in the evening.

LeBlanc Design

5. Stick to a sleep schedule. Going to bed and waking up in the same time every day can help your body find a comfortable rhythm. If you have been falling asleep much too late, then try very slowly adjusting your bedtime to an earlier time — even five minutes or so earlier — every night until you have reached a longer reasonable time.

Davenport Building Solutions

6. Raid the fridge. It is true that using a heavy dinner in the evening can make it more challenging to get to sleep but going to bed hungry is not much better. If you are genuinely hungry, have a small, healthful snack before tucking yourself in. Simply allow it to be free of caffeine and alcohol, since they can both impact sleep.

Mindful Designs, Inc..

7. Try aromatherapy. Tap into the power of your perceptions using essential oils in your bedroom to encourage rest. Lavender is well known for its relaxing properties, but you may get another scent you like more — experiment to find out what works for you. Put a couple drops of this oil in your prebedtime bath or use a diffuser in your bedroom. You may also dilute essential oils together with water in a spray bottle and (gently) spritz your sheets and pillow.

A Fantastic Chick To Know

8. Read something tender. Attain for a book, but not you know you won’t be able to set down. Search topics that are interesting for you but also require some concentration — nonfiction, philosophy, nature writing or something inspirational. Hopefully after a couple of pages, you’ll feel your eyes start to close.

Holly Marder

9. Make it dim. Once the time comes to shut off the lights, how dark is the bedroom? If streetlights out creep through your curtains, invest in a set of blackout colors. Remove any devices that light up or blink, such as your laptop and cell phone. Put your alarm clock in the hallway or substitute it with a very simple analog clock that does not light up.

More about the benefits of darkness (and mild)

10. Do a sound check. Some people need utter silence to fall asleep, while others favor music or white sound. If you aren’t sure that you prefer, experiment with sounds (or too little sound) until you find something that really does the trick. For a quiet night, try earplugs, a white sound machine or an air purifier. If music helps you relax, create a bedtime playlist for yourself no longer than an hour and set it on lightly before climbing into bed.

Caitlin Wilson Design

11. Drift off. If your mind seems to begin racing a mile a minute as soon as you climb under the covers, then try “dumping” your ideas into a diary. Do not worry about the way the words come out; just write without raising your hands in the paper until your ideas start to slow down.

Turn out the lights, lie down and pay attention to your breath next. You could try counting your breaths (begin again every time you eliminate count) or concentrate on calming your body from head to toe, one part at a time, until you fall asleep.


12. Get back to sleep. If you awaken during the nighttime, first try using breathing or relaxation exercises to quickly drift off again. If that doesn’t work, get up and read for a couple of minutes in another room. Head racing? Pick up that journal and write them down. Just keep the lights low and get back in bed after 10 minutes approximately.

Tell us :
Are you an insomniac? Do you sleep like a stone? What works for you? Share your thoughts and tips from the Remarks.

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Southwest Gardener's August Checklist

From the time August arrives, it sometimes seems that summer will last forever. However, the days are gradually becoming shorter, and collapse will be here soon. In the meantime, summer rains and increased humidity are reducing our sexy temperatures for short periods and also helping to water our plants. If you are lucky enough to receive a half an hour or a lot of rain throughout the week, then adjust your irrigation controller to bypass a watering cycle or two.

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

The American Southwest is a vast place, covering most of Arizona and New Mexico as well as parts of California, Nevada, Texas and Utah. The regions of the Southwest are diverse and include low deserts, high deserts and mountainous regions, covering USDA zones 5 though 9.

For All U.S. Southwest Desert Regions

Fertilize container plants. Are the container plants appearing tired? To look their best, plants need to be fertilized when grown in containers. Use a slow-release all-purpose fertilizer, which lasts about three weeks, or apply a liquid fertilizer every two weeks. You will be rewarded with bigger plants and more blossoms.

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Enjoy the blossoms of summer-flowering shrubs. With the excess humidity that August attracts, flowering trees such as Texas ranger(Leucophyllum spp)respond by generating masses of purple blossoms. There are several distinct species of Texas ranger, with flower colors ranging from white and pink all the way to deep purple. Blooms look off and on spring through fall.

Revealed: ‘Green Cloud’ Texas Ranger (Leucophyllum frutescens‘Green Cloud’)

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Prune overhanging branches. Summer rains bring high winds. As a result, limb breakage is more common at this time of year. Prevent this from happening to a own trees by pruning back any overhanging branches that have a good deal of weight at the finish.

How to Help Your Trees Weather a Storm

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Spray off cochineal insects out of prickly pear cacti. Perhaps you have seen prickly pear cacti covered in white spots that look like pieces of cotton? Many people assume a fungus creates this cottony mass, but the spots are actually cochineal bugs, a kind of scale insect.

It is simple to eliminate them; just spray them away with a strong jet of water.

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Low Deserts (around 3,000 Feet)

Ensure plants aren’t getting too much water. With the greater humidity and rain the monsoons bring, your drought-tolerant plants may be getting too much water. Signals of overwatering can include yellow, wilting leaves. To avoid this problem, skip watering during weeks of heavy rainfall.

Revealed: Chaparral sage (Salvia clevelandii)

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Start broccoli and cauliflower seeds inside. It’s hard to believe that it’s already time to get ready for the fall vegetable garden. To get a head start, plant broccoli and cauliflower seeds inside, then transplant them out in the garden in fall.

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Mid- to High Deserts (3,000 to 6,000 Feet)

Freshen up flowering perennials such as coneflower(Echinacea purpurea)and rudbeckia by deadheading spent blossoms, which will encourage another flush of bloom in September until they begin to set seed.

Revealed: Purple coneflower

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Watch for signs of iron chlorosis. This time of year, you can frequently see signs of iron deficiency in plants — also called iron chlorosis (shown in this photo). Start looking for light green leaves with dark green veins on the more recent growth.

Heal iron chlorosis with chelated iron, available at the local nursery, after the package directions.

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Plant wildflower seeds today for flowers next spring. Colorful displays of wildflowers are a welcome sign of spring. California poppies, gaillardia, lupine and red flax are only a few kinds of wildflowers that you could plant seeds for today to ensure lovely blossoms in spring.

Before sowing seeds, deeply water that the planting area to a depth of 1 foot. This can help ensure even moisture, which seeds need to germinate. Spread the seeds and lightly rake them into the top inch of soil. Water daily to keep the soil moist (not soggy) until the seeds germinate. Then back watering to every three or four times.

Revealed: Red flax(Linum grandiflorum)

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Plant carrots and radishes. Would you like to enjoy fresh vegetables from the garden before winter arrives? Carrots and radishes are among the easiest vegetables to grow, and you are able to plant the seeds right in the vegetable garden.

Revealed: Radish seedlings

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Upper Elevations (Over 6,000 Feet)

Fertilize grass. Cool-season grass grows most actively at the fall. Fertilizing it toward the end of August can keep your grass green longer into collapse and will allow it to green up more quickly in spring.

Continue watering your lawn every four days. Skip a watering cycle if you get rain.

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Harvest and dry herbs. Preserve the flavors of summer by harvesting herbs such as basil, chives, rosemary, sage and thyme and drying them. Decide on the herbs, tie them with twine and hang them upside down into a dark, dry space. Within a week or two, they will be entirely dry.

Crumble up the leaves, put them in plastic or glass containers, and seal the containers tightly. Store them on your pantry and add the dried herbs into your favourite dishes during the winter.

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Plant spinach and leaf lettuce. There’s still time left to grow new vegetables in the garden this year. Sow seeds today for spinach and leaf lettuce; protect seedlings from harsh sun.

Get ready for September. Fall is the best time of year to add exquisite, fuss-free plants into your garden.

More: Month-by-month guides into the Southwestern garden

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Plantation Grandeur Rises at a Home's Back Addition

“Often farm homes needed to look striking from the front, and then whatever occurred on the back just occurred,” says architect Cameron Scott. The hodgepodge he struck along the back of his customers’ house in Jackson was no exception. When the house was constructed in 1904, another smokehouse had served as the place where servants could prepare the dishes. Haphazard renovations over the decades clumsily attached the abandoned smokehouse to the main home and added a cramped and dark galley kitchen elsewhere in the back of the main residence. The current owners needed a kitchen that could serve as the heart of the house, where they can prepare their foods, eat, relax and spend some time together.

Scott made a gorgeous 1,000-square-foot addition which gave the back facade a symmetrical and elegant look worthy of the plantation house’s grand style. Porch and A kitchen give a modern-day living space. Extending the back facade’s new formal style, he also sited and made a brand new garage with the home, providing room for elegant Southern gardens between.

The facade in front of the house, constructed in 1904, is quite impressive.


Out back the structure on the left was previously a detached smokehouse.


After Scott, of Cheatham Fletcher Scott Architects, came on the scene, a random walkway attached the smokehouse to the main house. Now the transition is smooth; the hip roof portion on the ideal side of this photo is your original smokehouse; the rest of the roofline is all the newest accession.

Scott used the smokehouse’s hipped roof as inspiration for renovating the entire back of the house. He mirrored the roof construction on the other side to make symmetry and extended the kitchen in the back of the main house into the smokehouse and supporting the new screened-in porch.

Also, the renovation created a formal plan which connects the main house to a different garage. The brick route marks the axis in the back of the house to the garage.


The brand new roof on the right contains a large screened-in porch which wraps the side of the home.

Historical details were closely matched to make the new structure appear original. These include a timber balustrade which matches with the one on the roof, a painted tin roof, shiplap siding, windows and shutters.


Within the last 150 decades, the kitchen had evolved from the original smokehouse into a cramped galley in the primary house. The brand new addition creates the kitchen the true heart of the house.


A huge island with counter-to-ceiling cabinets on each end separates the utilitarian zone in the kitchen. This helps hide the food-prep mess in the kitchen that is open.



There is a comfortable lounge place at one end of the room, which abuts the new screened-in porch. The knee wall on the right separates the breakfast nook, which occupies the old smokehouse area. French doors on the ideal lead to the backyard.

The brand new screened-in porch wraps around the side of the kitchen also goes down to an office in the main house.


The porch’s painted pine floors contrast with the white paint, although the stylish roof allows for an intriguing ceiling. Beadboard lends a historical look to the ceiling, making the porch seem as though it has always been there.


The couple now enjoys views of the new formal backyard from this end of the porch.


The office at the conclusion of this shooter also includes access to the side porch.


The ideal half of the plan shows the reach of the renovations.

This photo was taken in the doorway into the new garage and shows off the axial plan of the backyard. A round garden and fountain occupy the space between the garage and the main home, together with the brick route serving as a strong axis connecting the two.


The route extends up a few terraces to some new three-car garage. Boxwood hedges and brick walls define the space, while crape myrtles include shade, sculptural forms and flowers.


The new garage takes its style cues from the main home, including the painted tin hip roof along with colonial style.


The garage’s second floor is a big guest suite complete with a kitchenette and wood-burning fireplace.

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Get Spring-Like Hyacinth Blooms All Winter Long

Sure, hyacinths blossom naturally outdoors during springtime, but you can also fool them into flowering indoors in the dead of winter. Forcing bulbs isn’t reserved for growers. The indoor gardener can have a steady supply of stunning and fragrant blooming hyacinths from late December through April with only a little work. Here’s how.


Clusters of pastel blooms that emit a sweet fragrance characterize hyacinths. They have relatively short leaves and therefore can be placed in specialized forcing vases, such as the ones shown here.

LLC, Sheila Rich Interiors

Choosing bulbs. By mid-October it’s advised to buy bulbs which aren’t prechilled. If you are beginning in September or early October, buy the best-quality prechilled (ready) bulbs you can get which are big and blemish free. Make sure they’re firm and free of mould.

Storing bulbs prior to potting. Manage bulbs carefully constantly. They should not be dropped or exposed to extremely high or low temperatures. While it is preferable to pot recently bought bulbs right away (particularly prechilled bulbs), bare bulbs can be stored for several weeks in cool, moist sand till you are ready to induce them.

Keep the bulbs at a place with temperatures between 45 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures over 63 degrees must be avoided at all times prior to planting, so based upon your climate and time of year, fridge storage may be the perfect thing to do.

Place the bulbs in a mesh or paper bag with holes for ventilation. You can save them into a vegetable or skillet in your fridge, but don’t store them in precisely the exact same drawer as ripening vegetables or fruit, which give off ethylene gas which can damage the bulbs. Check them occasionally to make sure they aren’t molding or drying out.

Warning: Many bulbs, for example hyacinth, are toxic, so the fridge storage method is not recommended for families with young kids. Additionally, hyacinths contain oxalic acid, which can cause skin irritation for some people. Before planting, make sure you thoroughly wet the bulbs to decrease the impact of this oxalic acid, and also use gloves for protection.

Gardening with Confidence®

How to Force Hyacinth Bulbs
There are a couple of ways to induce hyacinth bulbs. I’m going to tell you about the water method, the dirt method and my simple (although not optimal) method. I favor the latter, however some may find that the other traditional approaches are more dependable.

The simple (although not best) way. This is great for people who reside in warm climates. It works best for Lady Derby or Gypsy Queen bulbs, each of which are known to induce readily.

Store the bulbs in a paper bag in your refrigerator for eight to ten weeks (again, in a place protected from ripening fruit).

Place the bulbs in vases or on a bed of stones in water, as you would for other bulbs.

Place the vases at a place with bright indirect light and give the plants more light as they grow roots and leaves.
Though many experts will tell you hyacinths won’t bloom indoors unless they origin in 48 degrees or below through a frightening period of eight to 16 weeks, experience has taught me this isn’t necessarily the situation. My results may have not been best — the flower stalks did are short — but we appreciated fragrant and lovely flowers.

Note: Among the downsides to using forcing vases is the stalks can weaken and fall over until the blooms have opened completely. In the absence of dirt, tie a flat bamboo skewer to the side of this forcing vase for support, or just liquefy the plant from a wall.


The water method.
Use forcing eyeglasses, vases or containers which can hold the bulbs only over the water and allow room for root growth below. Pick vases which won’t tip over when the big blossoms bloom.

Place a bulb in your container and then add water until it just reaches the base of the bulb. Change the water once or twice per week by tipping the liquid out and replacing it with fresh, lukewarm water.

Place the bulbs at a place that’s cool (40 to 55 degrees) and dark until the roots develop and leaves begin to sprout. Bulbs which were prechilled will show growth in about a few weeks, whereas routine bulbs take eight to 16 weeks.

Note: The temperature through this rooting period is crucial: 40 to 48 degrees is best. You can theoretically root bulbs in your fridge if you have a thermometer. Basements and garages often offer the ideal conditions.

Once the foliage starts to develop, move the bulbs to a warmer place (65 degrees). Some growers urge a bright north-facing window, but some specify bright light but not direct sunlight.

Switch the vases every day to avoid leaning, and change the water regularly. After about two additional weeks, you ought to have stunning, fragrant blossoms that can last another two weeks or so in a cool place.

Once the blooms have browned and expired, throw out the bulbs. Water forcing utilizes every scrap of electricity a bulb offers, hence the bulbs won’t rebloom.

Rossington Architecture

The soil method. Use clean 4- to 8-inch diameter baskets with adequate drainage holes. If they had been formerly used, wash and wash them thoroughly. Make sure the holes at the base of fresh plastic pots are open. Should you use clay pots, soak them overnight in a bucket of water so they won’t draw moisture from the planting medium.

The planting medium anchors the bulbs and retains moisture. It must be well draining and yet maintain adequate moisture for growth. A good example of a acceptable planting medium is really a sterilized mixture containing equal portions of loamy soil, peat and sand. Fertilizer should not be added to the mix.

Tamar Schechner/Nest Pretty Things Inc

Add dirt to the base of the kettle, then place three or four bulbs in an 7-inch kettleplant or plant a single bulb at a 4-inch pot. The bulb shirts must show above the soil. Do not press on the bulbs to the planting medium; it should be loose so rooting can take place quickly. Do not overfill the pot. Fill it just to inside 1/2 inch of the surface so the plants can be easily watered.

After planting, water the pots thoroughly and place them in a fridge that’s 35 to 45 degrees, or in a place with a similar temperature range. A cold, dark basement room, basement or garage would work well. Keep the medium moist throughout the rooting and cooling period. After five to six weeks, roots must grow out of the holes of their containers, and shoots will begin to emerge from the very top of their bulbs.

After having a minimum of 10 to 13 weeks of cold treatment, the first bulbs could be placed in the home. Longer cold storage will result in taller flowers, whilst storage intervals shorter than 10 to 13 weeks will likely result in more compact plants and at times aborted or malformed blossoms. For a constant supply of flowering flowers, fill as many pots as you have room to put away during cold treatment, then bring a few pots indoors at weekly intervals.

Place the pots in a 60-degree place with subdued lighting to get a week or two until yellow sprouts at the peak of the bulb turn green.

Transfer the pots to a brighter, slightly warmer place, like a windowsill, but avoid direct sunlight for best results. Continue to keep them at a relatively cool place to mimic temperatures outdoors in early spring, and also remember to flip the pots slightly every day so the stalks will grow right back.

Once the buds open and the plant is in full blossom, proceed to a somewhat colder place without direct sunlight to prolong bloom life. Display flowering plants during the day when you can enjoy them then move them in to your coldest room at night to preserve the blooms.

sherry hart

Care of bulbs later blooming. As mentioned before, bulbs made in water will very seldom have the capability to blossom again. Bulbs forced in dirt, however, can possibly blossom again, though the blooms won’t ever match the beauty of the first ones, so most seasoned anglers choose to throw them. Or you can proceed as follows:

once the blooms turn brown and die, cut the stalks off in the bottom but continue to take care of the plant using frequent watering. Come spring, plant your bulbs outdoors, where they will often recover and blossom again, though not always another year, rather than using the identical vigor. If you don’t have room in your garden for the outcast hyacinth bulbs, or you don’t have a garden, just remove your bulbs and start again next year with fresh bulbs.

More: learn to induce narcissus and amaryllis bulbs too.

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Great Escape: A Tiny Hideout in the California Woods

Looking down from the top of the hill, you won’t find this tiny house at first glance. The 90-square-foot construction is tucked on a tiny ledge overlooking the Pacific Ocean, coated with redwood bark along with a dwelling roof to blend in with all the coastal California hillside. The clients’ most important house is higher up the mountain, however they wanted designer Alex Wyndham to design a special off-grid place for their adolescents.


The hideout’s folding glass front doors and hinged side walls available entirely, exposing the house to cool breezes along with the ocean view. “You can observe whales swim by while lying in bed,” says Wyndham.


“Usually when you go to a site, you clear the site. In the end, it will become a detriment to the landscape,” Wyndham states.


Wyndham seeded the roofing using a mixture of California poppies, silky lupines, baby blue eyes and many native grasses.


The dwelling roof’s indigenous wildflowers and grasses increase the natural habitat for local pollinators. Eventually, the ocean wind will blow the seeds off the roof and then disperse them down the hillside.


The living roof functions with the main home’s layout, also. “The slope is so intense, and the main house is over,” states Wyndham. “A green roof makes it so that you can’t find the tiny house very nicely. It’s only a tiny square of flowers.”

More about dwelling roofs


Salvaged redwood bark covers the structure’s walls. A nearby lumber mill had intended on burning piles of this leftover bark from felled redwood trees, therefore Wyndham snagged the substance for free.


The bark acts like a rain screen over the interior plywood walls. Wyndham carefully trimmed 18-inch-wide bits from the large slabs of bark, placing them side by side for a continuous, seamless appearance.

After installing the siding, Wyndham cut on the back part of the walls at an angle, installing hinges so that the walls can lift up and out for ventilation. When the walls have been closed, a peephole in 1 wall makes for a clear view of anyone coming down the hill.

Before Photo


Here is a snapshot of the house in structure. Wyndham oriented it to optimize active and passive solar practices. The arrangement faces southwest for a perfect sunset view. The roof overhang along with a sizable nearby tree shade it in the summertime. In the winter the house is totally exposed to sunlight. The double-pane 5 and windows inches of dirt on the roof assist moderate the temperature.

The getaway is completely off the grid, lit only by candles at night. Finally, Wyndham plans to install a simple solar panel and LED lighting.

We would really like to see that your creative getaway. Please post a picture in the Remarks!

Next: More backyard getaways

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Get the Hang of Hanging Flower Baskets

Who does not love a hanging basket filled with a profusion of foliage or blossoms? This sort of container gardening is a magical addition to your deck, patio, arbor or deck and it’s simple, as long as you know a few tricks of the trade. Below are some ideas on planting your hanging baskets and maintaining them lush and flourishing all year.


The Fundamentals. Hanging baskets can be created using plastic hanging planters, wire baskets lined with cherry cubes, rattan baskets or perhaps glazed pottery containers with attached hooks. There isn’t one appropriate substance to use — it’s mostly about aesthetics and the look you are trying to create. Keep in mind, however, that each kind of container may result in varying watering programs, as the soil dries will probably dry out differently in each.

Rebekah Zaveloff | KitchenLab

Nearly any kind of smaller plant which may be grown in the floor may be utilised at a hanging basket. The crops that typically appear the best, however, are the ones which have a soft downward observation or mounding habit as opposed to a stiff upright growth pattern. Elect for crops such as ivies, pothos, ferns, succulents, vines and annuals such as petunias, impatiens, geraniums, calibrachoa, lobelia and fuschias.

Avoid plants with an extensive root system, shrubs and trees — even if they are dwarf — and plants which are too large, as hanging baskets are inclined to be 1 foot to 2 feet in diameter. Also avoid those that have very particular or catchy maintenance requirements, such as orchids, tillandsias and bromeliads, which would make maintenance an issue.

Travis Knoop Photography

Drainage. Drainage will be very different depending upon what kind of hanging basket material you’re using. Wire containers with cocoa liners will drain almost too freely; hanging pottery can retain too much moisture; and vinyl supplies a joyful drainage medium.

If you’re using cocoa liners, consider putting a plastic saucer at the bottom of the basket prior to adding plants and soil — this can keep some of the water from the dirt, where roots can get it before it drains out.

When employing pottery, add a layer of dirt into the ground before adding plants and soil, water sparingly to prevent rotting and select plants that just like a little extra moisture to counteract the shortage of drainage holes.

I’m not a huge fan of plastic pots, particularly in hanging planters where the bottoms of the plastic pots and the plastic stoves are on display. However, there are a few tricks that I use to disguise them at the event they are the ideal option. I use long trailing plants such as ivy, petunias, calibrachoa and sweet potato vine to pay the plastic kettle, and that I eliminate the plastic hangers and replace them with decorative chains. Just a few minor tweaks may turn a pedestrian plastic kettle into something more attractive.

Rikki Snyder

Watering. The dirt at hanging containers will dry out much more quickly than dirt in your backyard, so be prepared to water daily unless you are using plants that are very dry. Plants which are in more direct sun might even need a twice-daily watering (once in the morning and again in the evening) to keep them well hydrated.

In the event that you inadvertently bypass a day or two and discover your soil is bone dry as well as your plants are wilted, consider the basket down and attempt gradually mowing the planter, repeating several times as the dirt rehydrates. You may need to reduce your wilted foliage and blossoms to reinvigorate plants should they’ve gotten really dried out.

It is possible to hook up drip irrigation into each hanging basket — this option works best if you’ve got a number of hanging baskets in a row to keep irrigated. Tubing hooks up to your water spigot, and emitters branch away the tubing into each basket, providing water efficiently. You will have black tubing that is exposed up the aspect of your porch or terrace post, but so if this kind of appearance bothers you, this may not be the ideal option for you.

Ron Brenner Architects

Fertilizing. Plants which are in any sort of container will require regular fertilizing, particularly if you’re using hungry annuals. Nutrients in the soil leach out much more quickly in containers, which means you’ll need to supplement your crops’ feeding program to make sure their health. Avoid overfertilizing, though, as that may actually harm plants and stop them from blooming. Utilize an all-purpose water-soluble fertilizer or a fertilizer that is formulated for the particular plants you are using. I like to add slow-release fertilizers into the soil at planting time when I’m using heavily feeding annuals; this gives them an excess boost to draw on throughout the growing season.

Fertilizing may be done monthly or, if the solution is combined at half strength, weekly. This is particularly true for flowering annuals, that are heavy feeders. If you are utilizing ferns, succulents or cacti, follow the instructions on the package, but in most instances monthly fertilizing will be sufficient.

Aiken House & Gardens

Planting notes. Make sure to always combine crops which have the same growing requirements for water and sun. You would never plant thirsty impatiens next to a drought-tolerant cactus, do you? While these plants represent the extremes, each plant has its own taste for light and water, so be sure to plan accordingly.

Some experts suggest using a good-quality potting soil in your hanging baskets, while some suggest utilizing outdoor planting dirt. It is important to use dirt that is formulated for the kind of plants you’ll be using — if you’re using cacti or succulents, be sure to use a fast-draining soil mix that is proposed for those kinds of plants, for example. Never use dirt right from your garden bed, however, as this kind of dirt won’t drain correctly in any kind of container.

For a casual, cottage-y appearance, try mixing a variety of leaves and blossoms together in 1 basket, but for a more elegant or modern aesthetic, elect for a single kind and colour of plant . A row of fitting plantings will look much more cohesive than combined plantings, however there’s not any denying the allure of hanging baskets filled to the brim with a lush mixture of tracking flowers.

Frederick + Frederick Architects

Designing. There are a couple of different ways to mimic a designer if putting together your hanging baskets. 1 method is to choose a single plant (purple petunias or asparagus fern, for example) and plant which en masse in each of your baskets. The block of colour and precisely the same planting scheme pack a punch in the distance and look more elegant or modern than combined plantings.

Exquisite Ceramics

If you prefer to use many different crops, however, there’s an easy rule of thumb which designers follow. Go for an upright plant which has some blossoms and bright color (such as red geraniums), then add some tracking blossoms that dampen the edge of the basket (such as lobelia) and finish off with some cascading foliage (like ivy or sweet potato vine). The varying heights, growth patterns and colours create a complete”chunk” of plants which is charming and arresting.

The Secret Formula for Grouping Plants at a Pot

Debra Kling Colour Consultant

Where to hang a basket. The advantages of a porch are an ideal place, as are fencing posts, deck borders and patio covers. Avoid hanging flower baskets at which people may walk into themas in the middle of a ceiling or from entryways to your home or other structures. Always combine hanging baskets on beams or posts which may handle the weight, as watered-in planters are often very heavy. To get a uniform, clean appearance that plays off your home’s design, evenly space out hanging baskets at a porch opening rather than randomly hanging them here and there.

Julie Ranee Photography

Hanging your basket. Plant hooks and brackets are readily available at hardware stores and home improvement stores — make sure to read the weight limitation for each size hook or bracket and purchase according to the anticipated weight of your basket. Most medium-size baskets are not going to weigh more than about 10 pounds, but it’s always good to use hardware which could handle a bit more weight than your planter. Use hooks for crops which will hang from an overhead horizontal structure, such as the edge of a porch, and brackets for plants which will hang out from a vertical construction, like a fence or a wall.
Using a drill with a bit that is slightly smaller than your hook or bracket screw, drill a pilot hole prior to installing the screw. This will avoid cracks or splits in the surrounding wood, and ensure a tight fit, which is important for security. Then push the threaded end of the twist into the pilot hole, turning clockwise to tighten this up until the hook is flush against the ceiling. Use the same process with brackets, except use a drill or screwdriver to tighten the screws into position.

So what to plant? See 6 superstar annuals for baskets and pots

have you got a hanging basket at full glory? Post a photo in the Remarks!

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