Kitchen of the Week: Preserving Traditional Flavor in Moscow

The owners of this miniature 1920s kitchen in one of Moscow’s oldest districts needed to preserve its traditional appearance, but they needed the 55-square-foot space to be practical, too. Designer Irina Tatarnikova preserved the kitchen footprint throughout the remodel and employed little appliances, a white palette and custom cabinetry and furniture to take advantage of the room.

Irina Tatarnikova Decor

Although Tatarnikova wanted to create this little space practical for the family, she made sure that its history would shine through. Vintage, simple-looking stuff became a huge priority, such as marble counters and white MDF cabinetry. An all-white palette visually expands the little space.

The chandelier is a replica of a popular Russian art deco chandelier.

Cabinetry, shelving: painted MDF; countertop: Granite; carpeting: kilim, from Istanbul

Irina Tatarnikova Decor

The clients decided to conserve the kitchen footprint, therefore Tatarnikova chose extra-small appliances to fit into the tiny space. A range and oven in Italy nestle perfectly into an present cabinet nook. Originally the kitchen had no room for a complete refrigerator, therefore Tatarnikova carved out a market in a former closet.

Oven: ILVE; refrigerator: Smeg

Irina Tatarnikova Decor

The designer understood that ready-made furniture would be hard to use in this restricted space. Taking precise measurements and designing a custom made kitchen table allowed her to save on cabinetry space and match a little microwave and dishwasher into the panels.

Dining stools: Kartell

Irina Tatarnikova Decor

A very low ceiling made the room feel much smaller, therefore Tatarnikova picked a glossy white paint to raise it. The shine reflects light a bonus for a little room with one window.

Sink, fixtures: ILVE; Shop pulls: habit

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Decorated Houses Help Save a Detroit Neighborhood

Most of us decorate our front porches and lawns just for Halloween, the autumn harvest season and Christmas. But these homes in Detroit are decked out 365 days per year, thanks to the efforts of Tyree Guyton, creator and artist of The Heidelberg Project. Rather than being demolished, these mostly abandoned homes in Detroit’s oldest African American community are working out a powerful purpose as big canvases for eclectic, eye-catching artwork — and conserving a community.

“Detroit is worth saving. It’s a city most of us love for different reasons,” states Jenenne Whitfield, executive director of The Heidelberg Project. “The artwork on Heidelberg and Elba streets shows our efforts in restoring the spirit of a city and the hopes of this inner-city community.”

She can observe the way the arts community, both urban gardeners and farmers, and technology startups have convinced Detroit natives and other people to return Detroit and revive it from corrosion. “Residents in neighboring streets are now out crossing their sidewalks, fixing their broken homes one fixture, 1 shingle at a time and helping out a neighbor,” she states. “We prospered on a manufacturing industry that dropped, but we refuse to sit back and let Detroit fade off. We’ve got a responsibility to our city.”

Visitors to The Heidelberg Project stand on dotted street artwork with job founder Tyree Guyton (foreground).

“Detroit has ever been a race problem, a drug problem, a crime problem,” artist Tim Burke states. “But Tyree managed to do what no government agency has been able to do, which is to bring about dialogue concerning saving shameful, inner-city communities. Nowadays people from all around the world come here.” But just a few blocks of the arts community is not the same story. “nobody understands Tim Burke outside of this location,” he states. “nobody knows who you are if you are not from that street.”

The Heidelberg Project

Burke (revealed) owns a house on Heidelberg Street that he converted into his studio. “I lived there for 10 years before moving out,” he states. As in any inner city, “you need to make wise moves to make sure your safety,” he states. “And the plumbing and wiring of the house need a good deal of work.”

Burke’s industrial artwork fills the exterior of his orange house and the surrounding land. He’s usually within the house creating, maintaining and switching around his functions of art or welcoming visitors eager for a glimpse into his workspace.

The Heidelberg Project

Guyton climbed up in the Dotty Wotty house, the Most Well-known construction on Heidelberg Street. The house has been in Guyton’s household since 1947, and his mom still resides there.

The splashy dots represent Guyton’s carrying the path of artwork over the path of violence. “Tyree’s grandfather put a paintbrush in his hands after losing three of Tyree’s brothers into the streets. We are all happy that Tyree kept at it,” Whitfield says.

The Heidelberg Project

“We feel as if there’s a major arts and culture motion happening here in Detroit, and we are a huge part of this,” she states.

The Heidelberg Project

Donated stuffed creatures swarm the blue-green exterior of this home, dubbed The Party Animal House. The name stems from Detroit’s overgrown and abandoned tons, very similar to urban prairies. “You are able to observe foxes, pheasants and other creatures that aren’t typically found in city landscapes,” says Whitfield.

Although on and around Heidelberg you can purchase a home for $500, Burke claims that the inner city is not for everybody. “I understand that something new needs to occur for Detroit to go through the sort of rebirth that people want it to have,” he states. “Art’s a fantastic start, but it alone is not the answer.”

Understand About The Heidelberg Project here.

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On Trend: Globe Lights Give Bathrooms a Well-Rounded Appearance

A room layout now centers around a excellent light fixture. And you will see hanging light fixtures finding their way past the dining room and to the living room, bedroom, and kitchen these days. The simple globe pendant is appearing throughout this autumn.

Updated in every manner possible, new world styles are hanging pleased in odd materials and colors, or created by unusual practices. Sliced, squashed and changed, these fittings often have a reworked world shape to showcase its simple shape. All this variety means there is something for everyone among these excellent new bits from my favourite autumn lines. Whether your style is traditional or contemporary, you will find a light suited to your home.

West Elm

Perforated Globe Pendant – $149.99

Perforated iron with an antique bronze finish creates the stunning shadows of this West Elm pendant, although it may look like a basket weave. The illusion gives a softness, adding to the glow shine.

Contemporary Pendant Lighting – $395

Shell chandeliers have an upgrade with this world from Jonathan Adler. You can now enjoy the warm glow of capiz without the overt seashell ambience.


Hoyne Pendant Lamp – $349

The open weave of this globe from Crate & Barrel manages to be both traditional and industrial, thanks to its galvanized steel structure. Hanging this light in an entryway will set the stage for an eclectic house.

Vaster LED Pendant Lamp – $349.99

Not for the faint of heart, Ikea’s vivid blue bean necklace will make a statement wherever you hang it. The unique color would create a fantastic accent at a neutral room.

Room & Board

Hennepin Made Banded Globe Pendant – $299

Smoky coloring adds to the mystique of this glass pendant from Room & Board. Its smaller size could make this lovely as a pair of three — or hang one on your bedside table to get a rich midnight studying experience.

West Elm

Banded Glass Pendant – $129

The layered effect of this milky translucent glass with a transparent glass base allows light to shine through but simplicity to reign. I would really like to see this West Elm lamp at a couple hanging over end tables on each side of a couch.


Erich Ginder Dot Dash Transparent Lamp – $358

This beautiful pendant from Erich Ginder in 2Modern takes the geometric fashion and merges it with a world shape. The translucent material softens the hard edges, making it more flexible.

Restoration Hardware

Maritime Pendant – $795

This Restoration Hardware pendant takes a industrial warehouse light and makes it contemporary. Its matte oversized and finish accents will complement all that kitchen hardware you love.


Siren Pendant Lamp – $299

A bright new spin on the factory appearance, this siren red ring out of CB2 will be great at a contemporary breakfast corner or hanging over a kitchen island.

PS 2012 Pendant Lamp – $99.99

Bright in colour and in design, Ikea’s geometric pendant has a flattened horizontal form which works well in smaller spaces.

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A London Townhouse Seduces With Luxury

Interior designer Kelly Hoppen resides in a glamorous world of neutrals. Taupes, blacks, whites and grays predominate supreme in her London home, where pinks and florals make rare appearances in blossom petals or a lipstick hue. And her frequent houseguests (Victoria and David Beckham, stepdaughters Sienna Miller and Savannah Miller, to name a few) don’t obey the monochromatic feel. “It’s actually quite difficult to have visitors to depart,” Hoppen states.

With its eclectic mix of furnishings, custom layouts and abundant supply of natural light, Hoppen’s townhouse exudes a sort of glossy, sexy trendy that befits a city home for one of Britain’s most well-known interior designers. “While I really like the home’s Georgian shell, I had to gut it completely, because I actually wanted to put my stamp on the interiors,” she states.

at a Glance
Who lives here: Kelly Hoppen
Location: Notting Hill area of London
Size: 2,500 square feet
That’s intriguing: Hoppen, who entered the world of interiors when she was 16, became a member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 2009 for her work and services to interior layout.

Kelly Hoppen London

Hoppen desired a huge living room that “leads into a kitchen that leads into a dining room that leads into a backyard,” she states.

Kelly Hoppen London

“You have to ask yourself your personal questions based on how you live and with whom you live,” she states. “The home actually reflects how I choose to live my life — surrounded with all of the beautiful things and people I love.”

Dark hardwood flooring, lingerie-satin drapes, couture couches and upholstered cushions give the living room a lavish look and feel. Like strands of jewelry, floor lamps and crystal light chains add drama and throw a soft light.

Sofa: couture, Modernature; coffee table: classic, Talisman; side tables: Christian Liaigre; armchairs: classic, Paris markets; crystal light chains: Kelly light by Spina; floor lamp: Mark Brazier-Jones; flame sculpture: BD Designs

Kelly Hoppen London

Portraits of Marilyn Monroe and an African tribeswoman perch over the buffet, symbolically calling attention to 2 of Hoppen’s muses: her native South Africa and also the screen siren.

Buffet: Talisman; Cases: Michael Hoppen Gallery

Kelly Hoppen London

Ambient lighting coming up from behind the walls complements the townhouse’s natural light. Silk carpet runners lineup the staircase and set a stunning tone at the entry.

Mirror: B & T Antiques; flowers, vases: John Carter Flowers

Kelly Hoppen London

Muhammad Ali looms big in the hallway, behind a custom staircase that showcases Hoppen’s luxury touch.

Kelly Hoppen London

A custom Boffi kitchen produces a place where guests can gather and consume — gluten-free cuisine, even should they like. A quartet of pendant lights hangs over the kitchen island but does not obstruct the view of this custom fire sculpture.

Island: custom, Option Plans; fireplace surround: Kelly Hoppen; flame sculpture: BD Designs; pendants: Robert Clift Lighting

Kelly Hoppen London

“I really like my kitchen. It draws people in, and it is a great meeting place for my friends and family,” states Hoppen.

Stools: classic, Talisman

Kelly Hoppen London

A Peter Beard photograph hangs opposite an oak live-edge table.

Artwork photography: Michael Hoppen Gallery

Kelly Hoppen London

Hoppen made her bedroom about all things lavish. Sirocco fabric in Hoppen’s signature neutrals covers the Duxiana bed. Her side table homes her most prized possessions: pictures of her loved ones.

Kelly Hoppen London

Hoppen’s muse Monroe inspired the ebony Spencer Fung dressing table, which houses among the few subtle pops of color in the home: a jewel-toned vase plus a petite bouquet of roses with only the smallest hint of yellow.

Kelly Hoppen London

“It’s so hard to choose between my kitchen, bedroom and bath, but I do love my bath! It’s my very own little escape,” states Hoppen.

The white walls in the master bath create a tranquil bathing area to the designer, who is also an author and an entrepreneur who runs a successful company and brand, a clothing line, a design college and a ton of other local and global projects. A black wood route contributes to the soaking tub, which Hoppen raised on a platform. A modern washbasin adds the finishing touch.

Shutters: Shutterly Fabulous; basin: made by Kelly Hoppen for Marble City; bathtub: Alternative Plans

Kelly Hoppen London

The cellar guest bedroom includes a more classic feel in relation to the master bedroom. Sliding doors in the guest area lead in the backyard.

Chair: classic, French bergère

Kelly Hoppen London

Hoppen did away with the standard bedside table lamp, going for a set of hanging world bracelets by Tom Dixon. Impeccably styled sheepskin ups the heat.

“My home is chic and glossy. But I also think the design is timeless and classic,” Hoppen states. “I love that every room, every room, is a sanctuary.”

Bed: Beds R Uzzz; mattress throw, cushions, headbord: Kelly Hoppen; bedside table: Spencer Fung

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Great Design Plant: New Zealand Flax

New Zealand flax brings texture, colour and foliage to the scene yearlong — particularly proficient in otherwise barren autumn and winter gardens. While falling leaves, a visible cue of the shifting of the seasons, are always a visual treat, the end result is frequently a landscape full of bare branches. Flax fares nicely together with its deciduous neighbors with no foliage, its big leaves improving the landscape in each season.

Ubiquitous to New Zealand, flax became called the West using a James Cook expedition in the 18th century. It has just continued to grow in popularity as. Showcased in the gardens of Paris and made popular in today’s California backyard by noted landscape designer Thomas Church, flax has established itself as a major player in the lawn. And thanks to science and technology, the development of colorful and variegated hybrids may help to energize interest in this hardworking garden accent.

Shades Of Green Landscape Architecture

Botanical name: Phormium cultivars and hybrids
Common title: New Zealand flax
USDA zones: 8 to 11 (find your zone)
Water necessity: Small to moderate
Sun necessity: Full sun to partial shade
Mature dimensions: 1 to 9 feet tall and wide, depending on species
Advantages and tolerances: Tolerant of coastal states, soil and end
Seasonal attention: Year-round foliage; blossoms in summer or spring
When to plant: late spring or summer

Brian Maloney Design Associates

Distinguishing traits. Flaxesare defined by rigid leaves of a substantial size, attaining heights of around 9 feet. Primarily upright, the leaves slightly in the tips and clump to epic proportions. Erect blossoms emerge in spring or summer, but it is the foliage which provides most attention.

Shown: Phormium ‘Wings of Gold’ with Echium fastuosum

Dig Your Garden Landscape Design

Colorful and variegated varieties of Phormium tenax in addition to hybrids created with another Phormium, Phormium cookanium, have revived and reinvigorated flax’s popularity. While P. tenax is more of a vertical plant and P. cookanium arches greatly, hybrids can fall anywhere in between.

Shown: Phormium ‘Jester’

Shades Of Green Landscape Architecture

The best way to utilize it. New Zealand flax acts like an ornamental grass on steroids — it is a garden focal point towards the extreme. It has a commanding presence in the backyard and should be implanted with that in mind. Surround flax with grasses, plant it in containers or even showcase it alongside pools and water features à la Thomas Church.

Phormium’s tolerance of sea-coast states and end makes it an excellent windbreak solution, particularly along the coast.

Shown: Phormium ‘Firebird’

Debora carl landscape layout

Planting notes. Another New Zealand native that is springy and easy to grow, flax can survive in most situations which typically will be botanical deal breakers, such as poor soil conditions, salt and wind. It will grow in full sun or partial shade. It’s vulnerable to rot, however, if the soil doesn’t drain nicely.

Temperatures far below 20 degrees Fahrenheit may cause the plant to expire — if you are on the cusp, consider planting it in a garden spot that will receive additional protection. Cool weather and full sun intensify its own color. Be sure to eliminate spent foliage and blossoms.

Shown: Phormium ‘Amazing Red’

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Cool-Season Vegetables: How To Grow Asparagus

Asparagus is a springtime treat that you plant in winter or early spring, a garden perennial having two- to three-month harvest season. While its fernlike foliage might appear to indicate a fragile plant, asparagus is sturdy, often found in ditches along the street. In much of the Earth, green asparagus is common. In northwest Europe, white asparagus (which is blanched) is what you’ll usually find in restaurants and markets. Additionally, there are purple kinds, which usually turn green when cooked.

Though you are able to plant seeds, crowns tend to be more commonly used to start plants. When there are both female and male plants, larger spears come from the male hybrids.

Be prepared to wait. You won’t see your first spears until the next spring, and even then there will not be many. As soon as the plants are created, you’ll be harvesting spears.

More: How to grow cool-season veggies

When to plant: Winter or early spring

Time to maturity: 1 year into the first small crop; 2 years to a full crop

Light requirement: Full sun

Water requirement: Regular

Favorites: Apollo, Atlas, Guelph Millenium, Jersey Gem, Jersey Giant, Jersey King, Jersey Knight, Jersey Supreme, Mary Washington, Pacific Purple, Purple Passion, Sweet Purple, Teissen, UC 157, Viking

Planting and care: Choose your site carefully. The plants will probably reside from 15 to 30 years and reach 5 feet tall, so they are a noticeable presence in any garden.

Careful soil preparation is essential. Weeds and grasses can quickly crowd out the plants, so get rid of all extraneous plant substances; having an ancient enough head start, you can even sterilize the soil to remove any seeds. The soil ought to be rich and fertile, with a pH above 6. Sandy soil is best, as it ought to drain well and quickly. Grow asparagus in a bed if need be.

Dig a trench 12 inches wide and 8 inches (for warmer climates) to 12 inches deep (for cold-winter ponds), slightly shallower if your soil is thick. Place the soil you removed to the side. If you’re growing the plants in rows, then create the following trench 3 to 6 ft away. Add 2-3 inches of manure to the base of the trench, then a full fertilizer that’s high in phosphorus. Mix the fertilizer and manure in with loose soil to build a mound 2 inches high in the trench’s centre.

Place year-old crowns, spreading out the roots, about 12 to 18 inches apart across the mound. Cover the crowns with about 2-3 inches of loose soil. As the shoots appear, keep adding loose soil until the mound sits just above the surrounding soil level.

Maintain the mattress well watered and be diligent about keeping it weed free; incorporating a thick layer of mulch will allow you to satisfy both goals. Apply a complete fertilizer in fall after harvest time and again in spring until the shoots arise.

Though the plants are sturdy, there are lots of pests and diseases that may affect them. Asparagus beetles might be a problem; keep the garden mattress clean and pick off any beetles or larvae. Other common pest issues include aphids, cutworms and gophers. Rust, rot and fusarium wilt can be problematic too; seem for disease-resistant varieties.

Permit the shoots grow undisturbed the first year following planting. Once it expires, in warmer climates, eliminate the foliage. In cold climates, then let the foliage stay to assist hold snow in place and insulate the plants, then remove the dead foliage in spring until the first spears emerge.

Harvest: You are going to get a couple of spears following the first full year of growth. Most experts advise just leaving them be, but if you can not wait, snap or cut them under the spears when they’re between 5 and 10 inches; render a white snub. Quit harvesting when the spears seem feeble. The following year, the crop should continue for two to three weeks; stop reaping after the spears start to wane in size and strength.

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Rooms Reign Supreme With Roman Shades

The Roman color is a lined or unlined amount of drapery fabric sewn to inner rings for operability. When drawn to the vertical position, a Roman color creates a string of concentrated folds. Whether used in conjunction with a different window treatment or left by itself, these flexible colors have reigned supreme for a long time, accommodating everyone’s personal design style, from shabby-chic and conventional all the way to modern. Have a peek at some of my favorite uses to see if any could be an opportunity within your interior spaces.

Munger Interiors

Relaxed, Banded Roman Shade

This version of the classic Roman shade is known as relaxed as the underside sags. The applied fabric banding seems to be a component of construction but is just a detail.

Style suggestion: Set a design emphasis in your shade by adding a vertical ring in a contrasting colour and texture.

Hendel Homes

Arched Roman Color

The perfect solution for an arched window is an arched Roman shade. The inner mechanisms (rings) are inset far in the edges to make “tails” for high visual attention on the sides.

Design suggestion: Coordinate the cloth to your kitchen window treatment with the colors and design of your backsplash. It is a terrific way to create design cohesion.

Anna Lattimore Interior Design

Roman Shade With a Valance

These streamlined, classic Roman shades are all put under matching box-pleated valances, which can be in reality attached.

Design tip: Considering these colors are mounted onto the outside of this window frame, it is possible to raise up them to make the window look taller than it really is.

Robin Muto

Matchy-Matchy Roman Color

Utilize the specific same cloth from the window therapy around the bed’s headboard and footboard as well as on the pillow of the window seat. It is a fun and vibrant way to style a little girl’s room.

Style suggestion: Cut fabric prices by making everything from bedsheets, because the girl will soon become a teenager. I do it for my customers all the time.

Giannetti Home

Burlap Roman Shade

Burlap is a perfect low-cost fabric to produce a Roman shade from for your craft space.

Style suggestion: Save money by creating your Roman shade nonoperable for rooms where the funding is tight. This window therapy could easily just be a valance but has the sophistication of a Roman shade.

Stonebreaker Builders & Remodelers

Masculine Roman Shade

Flexible for any room, this comfy Roman shade is manly sufficient for “his” den but nevertheless shows personality.

Design suggestion: Utilize exactly the exact same cloth of this Roman shade for adjoining draperies to tie the whole room together. He will be so happy you did.

Kevin Malone

Embellished Roman Color

No window in any powder room is complete without interjecting a level of opulence for all your guests to relish. This comfy Roman shade has fringe, a monogram plus a top button close that do the trick.

Design suggestion: Install the Roman color all the way to the peak of the ceiling for additional chic flair.

Kathy Bloodworth Interior Design

Romantic Roman Color

Traveling back in time to the Victorian age with this stylized, relaxed Roman, also referred to as a London shade. It is a perfect match to any boudoir.

Design tip: For that extra-full look, pick a fabric that is thicker than conventional drapery fabric. A satin-sheen finish will also play an energetic role.

Lizette Marie Interior Design

Modern Roman Shade

Produce a stunning modern inside with a very streamlined Roman shade in a high-contrast black and white geometric pattern.

Design suggestion: select a fabric that’s more like artwork than like cloth and there’ll be no demand for artwork in your walls.

Layered Roman Color

This really is the best illustration of how it is possible to layer your Roman color under functioning coordinating drapery panels. High design is achieved by the fringe in the base of the color and the rod near the peak of this draperies.

Style suggestion: Layering your window treatments enable you to block more light — great for people who are easily awoken by sun.

Roman Color With Wall Covering

“Wow” is exactly what you get when you pair your high-powered Roman shade with a matching tight wall covering. Some say that it is not done until it is overdone!

Style suggestion: Align the wall covering precisely with the cloth of this shade, and when the color is in the downward position you may fool yourself.

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A Basement Remodel Sets the Stage for Flexible Play

Builder-designer David Amundson had a very special request from a Minnesota couple with two children: no more fixed furniture placement at the walk-out basement, please. Sofas, ottomans and storage options required to shape transition and shift from 1 space to another effortlessly. “My clients wanted to be able to push everything readily out of the way so they can make room for whatever play could happen,” says Amundson. The homeowners wanted the basement to be open and light filled, with designated areas for crafts, play, dining and entertainment. The outcome is the addition of 800 square feet of living area that’s versatile, vibrant and bright — and used by both children and adults.

TreHus Architects+Interior Designers+Builders

The clients picked the Ligne Roset Togo couches and ottoman due to their iconic layout and movability; the children can shift the seats according to their play and television-viewing requirements.

TreHus Architects+Interior Designers+Builders

Amundson abandoned the east side of the basement open so that no one would feel restricted by furniture placement. The distance promotes imaginative, unobstructed play. White walls signify plenty of light brought in by large windows, which makes the space feel especially big and bright.

“The most frequent reaction that the homeowners buy is that it’s a basement that does not possess that dungeon texture to it,” says Amundson.

TreHus Architects+Interior Designers+Builders

The homeowners chose a neutral colour palette of gray, blue and forest green. The colours are complicated enough for the adults but can also hide spills, messes and crayon marks.

Green storage drawers beneath the banquette work difficult for the whole family.

TreHus Architects+Interior Designers+Builders

“The movable drawers, painted in Benjamin Moore’s blue spruce, are unique and fun. Kids tend to be very mobile, so instead of carry an armful of toys from 1 end of the space to another, they can just roll up the storage container to their play area, dump everything in and roll it back to the drawer nook, and voilà — cleanup is completed,” says Amundson.

Media storage system: custom built, cherry spot, DuraSupreme

TreHus Architects+Interior Designers+Builders

There are two workstations in the craft area, marked with counter area that wraps around two partitions. Wall area is used for artwork display, storage and an accessible wrapping paper station.

Casters about the island make it to be moved directly next to the countertops or put in the middle of the craft room. The island’s stainless steel top makes cleaning up after finger painting and cutting a breeze.

Wall paint: Cloud White, Benjamin Moore; staircase legs and base paint: Fresh Olive, Benjamin Moore

TreHus Architects+Interior Designers+Builders

The floor is really a remnant of the basement. The floor sustains ping-pong matches, trains, roller-skating and other play activities; it had been stained a warmer brown colour and sealed in expectation of daily wear and tear.

Pendant: Classique Round by Stonegate, Lumens

TreHus Architects+Interior Designers+Builders

The kitchenette enables the family members and their houseguests to play and eat all in precisely the exact same place. The whole basement is a distance that both adults and children can control and maximize.

TreHus Architects+Interior Designers+Builders

The household can move the seats, rearrange furniture, and get a drink close by, do crafts and have a bathroom break — all without needing to go upstairs.

More Living Room: Making Room for Family

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An Architect in Search of a Tag Line

Some architects are not that proficient with language. At least not the type of language that other folks understand. We are apt to ramble on a little, gesticulating strangely, while a succinct, well-placed phrase clearly illuminating a design concept becomes an increasingly improbable occurrence. Just reread that last sentence, for instance. Exactly.

But sometimes architects need to use words. Case in point: I recently changed the title of my company, which consists mostly of words, or names, or letters, or maybe words, letters and some, and maybe the French phrase for”studio.” Do not judge. This all seemed like a good idea at the moment, but after days of redesigning my site, and redesigning my company cards, and relinking my blogs, and redoing my Facebook page and email accounts, I’m beginning to dislike keywords, and I’m starting to think this was a bad idea. Now all I must do is produce a new business model.

Or maybe I’ll just add a new tag line for my incoming emails and call it a day. Maybe something similar to these.

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

This may be too subtle. Would I continue to work on a design nicely after my customers ran out of cash? Certainly not. Maybe I’ll just try one more concept.

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

Architecture is also available in expensive.

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

Wait. I might have gotten that backward. No, actually it works either way.

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

I’ll let you in on a secret: It’s taking longer than I thought too. I must bill for additional services.

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

Additionally, this is my architectural marital status on my new company Facebook page. I’ve three followers up to now. Winning.

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

Actually, I enjoy this one.

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

I told you we are not good with language, didn’t I? Additionally, I was only kidding about the”more colour” part. I’m an architect, so we’ll use white.

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

Note: Architectural egos may seem larger than they actually are. Quite a bit bigger.

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Bright Cottage in France

Lifestyle blogger Stephanie Brubaker wakes up daily to a view of a castle next door. “It’s surreal. I don’t care too much the church bells ring at 7 every day. The opinion over makes up for it,” she states. She fell in love with Beynac, France, along with the rustic cabin, La Maisonnette, nearly immediately. “It might sound strange, but we felt more at home in Beynac than we did nearly everywhere else in the world.”

It’s been four years since its love affair with the area and the house began, yet the small-town appeal of the village is still going strong. “All it took was 24 hours and my spouse was already making arrangements to see La Maisonnette with the regional realtor,” says Brubaker. “And there’s only one in this very small village.”

in a Glance
Who lives here: Stephanie Brubaker, her husband and their children
Location: Beynac-et-Cazenac, France
Size: 1,100 square feet
That is interesting: The cabin is located in a protected heritage place within first medieval city walls, which means the Brubakers would need the approval of the chief architect of France should they opt to change the exterior.


La Maisonnette is your gable-roof cabin on the left of this picture; next to it’s a well-maintained chateau built in the 12th century.


Lush vegetation gives the front entrance a vibrant punch of pink and green while providing privacy.


A basket of groceries stays by the door. The bread and create were all purchased from the city’s farmer’s market. “The Monday marketplace is the best time to look for components. But if you need a simple item or 2, the little convenience shop is the place to go,” says Brubaker.

This exact same kitchen area used to house the village town oven, where village serfs would pay their lords a charge for use of the oven when baking bread. Brubaker, an avid baker and cook, loves this historical component of the cabin.

Pendant lights: Titan 1, Design Within Reach; hardwood kitchen cabinets: village carpenter; counter tops, backsplash: Pierre de Burgogne


Tolix chairs paired with what used to be an old church pew make an eclectic ensemble complemented by a live-edge dining table. The mix of chairs along with the roominess of the bench are ideal for the family members and their guests.


Brubaker maintained the limestone walls along with also the beam ceilings on the floor level of the cabin; the home’s exteriors and floor level blend perfectly with all the other historic houses in the village. But the rest of the cabin has been upgraded to reflect the contemporary needs and global travel patterns of their household.

“The sideboard [this picture] came with the home and dates to the 17th century — we can not bear to move it,” says Brubaker.


This picture shows the master suite on the third floor, a converted attic. The practice of “squeezing the furniture up the narrow stairs” required knocking down a little area and building the whole floor round the bed — and round the claw-foot bathtub, which Brubaker really desired in her bathroom.

“Placing the bed and bathtub on the third floor — and installing an air conditioner required efforts of epic proportions. No wonder only a couple individuals have AC here,” says Brubaker.


The claw-foot bathtub sits by the window, making an ideal soaking and also reflective nook. The view outside the window looks out on the lush, castle-dotted valley. Just one house throughout the valley is observable from the bathtub, so privacy is not a concern.


Terry-cloth bathrobes along with the day’s clothing usually hang coat hangers by the bath. Walls are stored bare and free of pins.

“I could finally breathe after the bath and the queen bed were in their rightful places. There’s no turning back now,” says Brubaker.

Emily McCall

The Brubakers, that travel through the entire year, live here on and off. Vacationers who lease the area on a weekly basis ensure that the residence is always occupied.

Here the guest bedroom comes alive with a bright summertime quilt folded by the foot of the bed.

Emily McCall

Twin beds in the guest room optimize the room and make space for a shared finish table; the ‘ beds’ placement also gives easy access to the window. Brubaker points out that most of the armoires, tables and wood furnishings in the house were purchased in antique stores around town.


“I sometimes crack open the window and allow the breeze out of the valley go through the space within an owl hoots nearby. It’s incredibly calm and peaceful here,” says Brubaker.


Every corner of the house can inspire your inner artist, Brubaker says. The town has served as an artists’ mecca, hosting artists like Camille Pissarro and Henri Cartier-Bresson.


The home’s picturesque location means the Brubakers often find themselves exploring little paths round the village, dining al fresco on regional cuisine or even touring a nearby castle or 2.

So Your Style Is: French Country

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