I became a gardener 17 decades ago when we bought our first house, a north-facing ranch set on a corner of a block in which the remaining homes faced east or west. We had two side yards and a small front yard. On the rear was about 10 ft of yard, which split the south side of the house by our neighbor’s driveway. There and on the west side, there was no garden in any way, just grass right up to the base.

The east lawn, on the other side of the attached garage, was ruled by trees. There certainly are a bit of earth cover and a few shrubs. Half the yard was thick and luxuriant, but the other was scraggly and more dirt than anything due to the colour.

The brunt of this landscaping was dedicated into the front lawn. Does that sound like an attack? There were 14 footprints jammed to the beds on either side of the front entrance, and they had been a hodgepodge of types, planted without any thought for layout or even reason.

Amy Martin Landscape Design

I was eager to start gardening but felt overwhelmed with just how much needed to be achieved; each lawn seemed to be yelling for attention. My husband, Paul, and I had been the parents of a kid, as well as new homeowners, and our budget was small. Paul had no interest in gardening and was dedicated to the most minimal of care: mowing. I was dreaming about creating a thing Garden of Eden–ish, or its own 21st-century approximation; never mind that I knew next to nothing about gardening.

I had a huge vision but no plan. I handled my yards with energy and passion, learning as I went, but I took the long way around and ultimately generated more work than was sensible for me to keep the point of life, if ever whatsoever.

If this is your very first season of lawn gardening and care, here’s the advice that I wish I’d been given when I was in your shoes.

1. Clean up. You may not want to listen to that, but it is in fact the very first and most important thing to do. Begin with the yard even in the event that you have more weeds than real bud; mow it and give it a good raking. Spring raking removes thatch and any debris in the fall and winter. When you look closely at this film, you are going to observe the yard is somewhat bare, and except for your trees and a couple of shrubs there are not many plants, but it’s beautifully kept and very gratifying — a lovely, peaceful place in which to unwind.

Watch more of this house, which has emerged on Portlandia

2. Pot any existing garden beds. If you are such a beginner that you are not quite sure you’ll understand a marijuana from a perennial, that is OK. Snap some pictures and take them into your local garden centre or post them in the Design Dilemmas section in Discussions, and also a kindly gardener will most likely help you.

guides to winning the marijuana war


3. Edge your garden beds. This is only developing a clean split between the bud and the garden place, as revealed here. Take a flat-edged spade and “cut” across the edge of your bed. If your beds are straight lines, then that is where you can get creative and add some curves.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

If your grass is thick, then this could become a really big job quickly, so I do not advise expanding existing beds your very first season.

Edging materials can be utilized, but I would not bother. I actually removed the black plastic ones from my very first garden, because I didn’t like the appearance and they didn’t do the job. I prefer the cleaner look of the yard meeting the soil covered with compost, which brings me to my fourth suggestion.

Kaufman Construction Design and Build

4. Mulch. If you don’t have many plants, this can be even more important. Mulch produces a tidy appearance, but even more important, it suppresses weeds and helps maintain moisture from the soil. Be mindful to not coating it any thicker than 4 inches, and then leave a little room around the foundation of each plant.

How to Decide on a Mulch — And Your Soil Requires It

Environmental Landscape Associates

5. Edge the yard along sidewalks and your drive. This is like eyeliner; it’ll make everything pop up. If the yard is quite overgrown, rent a gas-powered edger to perform the tough work, but after you do the significant cutting, it can be kept with an electric edger, which can be comparatively cheap. My mum mum (another story!) Enjoys to advantage by hand with a serrated kitchen knife. This works well for smaller tasks, but be cautious!

Dabah landscape designs

You could be asking yourself, but what about gardening? What about the flowers?

This is where things get fun, but you need to focus. If there are limits on your time or your budget — like you will find for nearly everyone — that is crucial.

6. Prioritize. When I reconsider my very first house, I understand that to begin, I should have ignored the west and south yards, where the bud moved right to the brick base. There are worse things than boring, and well kept goes a long way. The east yard, which was the natural play lawn, was not a priority, possibly because our baby was not even ambulatory. When I could do it all over again, I would have focused my very first efforts on the front lawn, the one I actually saw daily.

Pick where you need to begin. Your front lawn is your obvious choice, and also the job may be as straightforward as tidying everything up and flanking the front door with a couple pots of annuals.

It’s really OK to begin slowly. Getting things cleaned up and setting new lawn maintenance routines may be all you would like to handle your very first season.

austin outdoor design

Simply maintaining and cleaning, which is a great deal, you’ll learn whether you really enjoy gardening. If you end up just wanting to be done with it, give yourself a break and choose an easy-care approach. Plant a row of shrubs like hydrangea or boxwood. If you have gratifying foundational plantings, keep them preserved and call it good.

Garden Tech Horticultural Services LLC

If the cleaning gets your heart racing and you are excited for more to come, should you find you can’t wait to get to the planting, odds are that you are a gardener at heart. Now you need to:

Katia Goffin Gardens

7. Determine your own style. Would you like matters manicured and formal or informal? Would you love symmetry?

Or is your joyful “mess” of a cottage garden that which you crave?

Browse through ideabooks and images here on under the Outdoor Living category. As you make your own ideabooks, your preferences and style will emerge.

Maria Hickey & Associates Landscapes

8. Assess conditions. What type of light do you have? Whether your lawn is mostly in sunlight or in the colour, you’ll have to plant so. This can be a disappointment for new anglers, that have dreams of peonies and roses and lilacs dance in their minds. It could be disappointing to think about plants that could manage less sun; it certainly was for me.

I recall reading a variety of writings by gardeners who started with this frustration and discovered that colour gardening became their preference. I discovered this patronizing then, but with time that I too have adopted the special elegance of colour gardens.

7 Shade-Loving Rarities of the Plant World

Donna Lynn – Landscape Designer

As part of analyzing conditions, think about what you already have and what you may want to remove. On our existing property, there is an 8- by 80-foot mattress which runs the span of one our yards and borders the woods. The former homeowner set up a post and rail fence but planted nothing more than 12 inches.

Years ago a friend let me dig everything out and replant it with an assortment of shrubs and perennials. It was amazing, but I’m in the process of taking it all out. Our gardens have changed. I already have so much to keep, and such a massive bed at the border of our house isn’t a priority. We removed the weapon, and I’m in the process of removing the plants. Many I will Have the Ability to reuse, but some I will be offering to friends, which Is the Reason Why you should:

9. Put the word out. As you start to understand exactly what you would like and need, let folks know. What you are longing for — a row of peonies or even a bed of ferns — may be the very thing a friend, or even a friend of a friend is trying to part with.

Rebekah Zaveloff | KitchenLab

10. Appreciate the beauty. A gardener learns how to take the long view, and you must, or how could you bear to wait years for your vision to come to — sometimes literal — fruition? One of the hazards is the tendency to see just what’s wrong and to miss the beauty of now. Do not let that happen with you. Week by week, even day by day if you are able, take some opportunity to observe and appreciate all you’ve accomplished.

More: What to Do On Your Garden Today | Guides into Flowers

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How to Choose Your Interior & Exterior Doors Materials

Picking the right interior or exterior door should be an easy thing yet most homeowners tend to make many mistakes along the process. The type of door material you decide to go for is determined by many factors. However, overall weather conditions in your area, costs, and maintenance required tend to be the most important considerations.

Well, in this guide we are going to help pick the right exterior and interior window cleaning that meet the standards of quality and durability that you are looking for.

Exterior Doors

Let’s begin with exterior door options. To start with, it’s important to note that the exterior door will be will be exposed to all weather elements. Therefore, it’s important to choose an exterior door material that can withstand the bad weather. Wood, in this case, will not cut it. You will need something stronger like steel or wrought iron door designs.

Here are two common exterior door options that you can go for:

– Fiberglass Doors – The popularity of fiberglass in creating quality exterior doors has been on the rise. Fiberglass can be easily molded into any shape and this makes it easily customizable. In addition to this, the material is highly durable, highly synthetic, and doesn’t suffer from the warping that’s associated with wood. Because of these capabilities, fiberglass does offer the best material for exterior doors. Besides, window replacement are available in several colors. They can also be painted to suit the exterior décor design that you already have at home.

– Wood-Panel Doors – Although wood is not normally used for exterior door options, if it’s designed appropriately, it can do the job. Hardwood, in particular, is highly recommended. Wood such as oak is resistant to denting and it’s pretty durable too. Hardwood or wood panel exterior doors have an additional advantage. They have a beautiful and classic appeal that can easily revamp how your home looks on the outside.

Interior Doors

Since interior window repair don’t have to deal with tough conditions outside, you can choose any material that meets your design taste. Wood is the most common option for interior door designs. It’s easy to maintain from the interior and can be easily customized to meet the interior décor ideas that you already have. A variation of wood such as Stamped hardboard is also ideal. The board is often referred to as Masonite. The door will look beautiful for years as long as it’s maintained properly. If you are looking for something stronger and more durable for interior door designs, you may consider medium density fiberboard door options. These options are available in an array of designs.

Picking the right interior and exterior window installation shouldn’t be hard. There are so many options out there to go for, and the simple guide above will indeed help you.

Strike a Balance: Stuff vs. Space in the Garden

I bet I know what you are doing at this time. You’re looking for ideas for your backyard, hoping to find that photo that starts your creative juices flowing. The one which ends in an “ah ha!” Moment and fractures a stubborn case of designer’s block.

I encourage my readers and students to analyze and deconstruct the design principles which underlie gardens that inspire them. Humans possess a powerful attraction to color (we do not have 6 million cones in each eye for nothing), so it may seem logical to focus your style energy on conjuring up amazing foliage and flower combos.

For me, that is the last step. Before you get carried away, zoom out and consider how that inspiring garden uses the overall space. Not to get too technical about you, but observe just how much space is left and how much stuff is in the backyard. “Stuff” is a not-so-sophisticated term for those plants, boulders, furnishings and assembled components which you’ll find in many gardens. “Space” refers to the unencumbered surfaces you are able to move through without bumping your shins or which you are able to look across: trails, lawns, paved areas or the surface of a pond. The principle of stuff versus space applies in several design areas; consider the way a graphic artist utilizes white space to bring visual balance to the text and images on a page.

Additionally, look at how both of these complementary factors are arranged and balanced. Are the people and objects officially aligned along an axis, or does the visual weight of the essay produce a less-deliberate atmosphere? This easy but frequently overlooked design principle impacts our basic spatial experience and needs to be considered whether you are designing a totally new garden or simply revamping a couple beds in your current lawn.

Let us see how this theory applies to a choice of gardens.

Schmechtig Landscapes

I find this space delightful. The grid instills sequence to this vignette but avoids the excessively static sense of bilateral symmetry, as there are just four grids to the right of this path and just one to the left. The fountain — that the dominant mass in this area — sits two grids away in the path but is centered between the seat and the loosely clipped boxwood hedge. The checkerboard arrangement of paving and plants is lively and enlivening, while serving as a repeating theme that binds the backyard together.

In the distance, the massive shrub at the gate is nicely balanced by an uninterrupted plane of lawn. Additionally, notice how your perception of this space is dictated by the arrangement of the components, not the color of the flowers or temperament of the plants.

Jobe Corral Architects

Whenever there isn’t a great deal of outdoor area to operate with, but the need for living room is a high priority, utility must come first. Consider the actions you need and the furnishings needed to encourage these activities. Be sure to include sufficient space enclosing the area for unimpeded circulation.

Since the tree here develops, it will form a mild canopy over the space, altering the proportions of space and mass, as will the leafy trees from the corner. Whether this arrangement of plants and open area feels too sparse for the liking, you could trade the gently cascading water feature for further planting beds. In terms of how the space is arranged, all the forms are parallel and perpendicular to the construction, making a somewhat formal sense.

Consider how the supply of space and stuff may look on a pie graph. I would call this about 80 percent space and 20 percent stuff, at least before the tree places on more expansion.

Jay Hargrave Architecture

This sparsely filled, narrow outdoor room gets the impression of a contemporary art gallery, with a small number of objects and plants breaking up the vacant corridor. The overall result is that of a still-life essay seen from inside the house, which is similarly supplied in a spare, uncluttered fashion.

The lesson here: If you are drawn to this type of garden, it’s likely a reflection of your own desire for an easy, Zen-like cosmetic. Continuing with the pie graph analogy, it’d likely look like 95 percent space and 5 percent stuff.

Debora carl landscape layout

Using my very unscientific analysis method, I would say this garden is 40 percent space and 60 percent stuff — hence the intimate appearance. The backyard has an obvious central axis, and the backyard components on all sides of the imaginary line mirror one another. With the exception of this creeping fig (Ficus pumila) on the walls, all of the plants will grow no taller than knee high, assuring that the beds will remain uncluttered. This strategy retains a sense of openness and focuses attention on the urn at the center of the “keyhole”.

Goodman Landscape Design

And now for something entirely different. My first impression of this garden is that it’s romantic and intimate. Why? It’s not the specific plants that the designer chose but the way that they overhang the path and encroach in the sides. There’s only enough room to pass, and the remainder is populated with a lavish, lush canopy and finely textured ground covers. Even though the massing of plants is more or less balanced on all sides of the path, the sinuous nature of the stepping stones creates a natural flow, in some instances obscuring the destination.

How do you carve this? I am comfortable calling it 10 percent space, 90 percent stuff.

I just looked up the definition of “cozy.” It did not have a picture of this exact backyard, but it could have. Cozy doesn’t occur by accident. How much space was allowed for the mattress behind the chairs. The back of this tree along with the shade pattern tell us that there’s a generous canopy sheltering this chill-out area, but it avoids seeming claustrophobic as the mass is balanced with a little, open lawn. Details thing: The positioning of colorful potted plants flanking the chairs raises the sensation of familiarity with compressing and embracing the space.

Maria Hickey & Associates Landscapes

This may be a good backyard to wrap up this layout lesson with. It may seem obvious, but supposing you have at least average gardening skills, your plants will grow larger than they had been the day you installed them. Unlike interior layout, in which your coffee table or less stays the size it was when you brought it home, your plants will continue changing. That means that your stuff and space percentages will evolve over time. That’s not a good thing or something, but it’s well worth thinking ahead once you determine just how many plants to buy and how to them.

This giddy garden appears to be devouring the path. Anywhere you look flowers are bumping up against their neighbors, such as a mosh pit of perennials. It’s charming and ideal for the style of house and, I presume, suits the owner’s sense of fashion. The point is, even if your objective is to maintain a certain balance of space and mass, look closely at the mature size of every plant you choose, allowing adequate space to attain the size character intended.

Lay of the Landscape: Find your garden style

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On Trend: 9 Captivating Lights to Energize a Space

Sometimes a lamp needs to be greater than only a lamp. Paging through your ordinary catalog or browsing a house store tends to yield the same results: average table lamp, floor lamp or ceiling fixture. But designers have taken note and are providing us with ever-widening options for light sources. By mixing up scale, positioning, balance, material or colour, these new lighting choices will add something fresh to your interior.

Note: See Areti’s and Channels Design’s sites for supply information.

Atelier Areti

Mimosa Light

Forget straightforward bulbs in a row and adopt a more natural group of lighting that appears to mention buds on a spring division. This chandelier will provide ample light above a dining room table.


Bender Table Lamp – $199

This diminutive lamp provides the impression that it may fall over at any minute. Put it on your staid traditional desktop for a tiny moment of imbalance.

Green Big Floor Lamp Set – $254.15

Picking a bright colour is a surefire way to add pop to any room. But the very best thing about this lamp is the unusual scale: This is a desk lamp à la Honey, I Shrunk the Kids; its own oversize form is ready to lurk behind your average-size couch.

Atelier Areti

Alouette Bird Lights

Looking for a few subtle whimsy? These lampshades — accessible on table lamps, floor lamps and ceiling fixtures — manage to tip birds without looking cute or kitschy. Though they’d be perfect in a contemporary kid’s room, their simple forms would look lovely in any area near natural elements, like an entrance or a window-filled hallway.

Atelier Areti

Marguerite Flower Lamp

Brightly shining brass retains this ring the center of focus. Hang several together to get a lighthearted entryway or add one on your eat-in-kitchen’s nook.


Fuego Bio Firelight – $219

Craving a flickering source of ambient lighting? A tabletop fireplace like this may fit the bill. Best suited for outdoor patios, it is a unique way to bring a glowing, romantic look whilst retaining to a contemporary aesthetic.


Bocci 28d Light

All these handblown globes are customizable in so many ways — stop by Bocci’s site to see clusters hanging from the ceiling and draped in staggered displays, in addition to a large range of bright colours to pick from. The choices are practically endless, ready for whatever lighting need you may have.


Finnieston Light

The additional motion in this lamp provides a little bit of whimsy and great old-fashioned purpose. Additionally, the whole lamp is made out of wood, including the color (thanks to the coolness of LED bulbs).


NEB Brass Lamp

Simple, yet it is reminiscent of the lightbulb thought: a bulb suspended to remind you of the great things on your head. The brass base gives it a unique’70s vibe, perfect for a den or entertaining area.

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A San Diego Townhouse Gets a Bright Update

Architects Audrey McEwen and Jon Gaiser purchased this 1970s San Diego townhouse with the goal of using it as a blank-slate new abode. They made decisions carefully to keep costs down but still make an impact. Using the initial floor plan, adhering to the property’s footprint and searching for materials and appliances at great prices helped them stay on track with their budget. “What we can’t afford to purchase, we do not,” says McEwen.

at a Glance

Who lives here: Audrey McEwen and Jon Gaiser
Location: San Diego
Size: 900 square feet
Price of update: $38,000 (for appliances, materials, demolition, plumbing and electrical work)

Jon+Aud Design

Clean, light and chic materials give the townhouse a modern and glowing appearance. Most of the original structure remains — that the few was lucky to discover a room with a lofted ceiling and an open loft bedroom.

Both trained architects, McEwen and Gaiser measured the whole space and created a new plan using Google SketchUp.

Sculpture:”Seagulls” by Curtis Jere, eBay; wall paint: Swiss Coffee, Behr; upholstered chairs: Adrian Pearsall for Craft, Etsy

Before Photo

Jon+Aud Design

The 1977 townhouse had some interesting geometry, which interested the couple, but everything felt beige and dull.

Jon+Aud Design

AFTER: Handcrafted and refurbished decor and bamboo-clad openings add visual interest. The couple wanted a very basic material palette, and bamboo’s strength and ecofriendly nature made it a simple option. Used on all the wood accents and flooring, the bamboo generates uniformity.

Jon+Aud Design

The pair inherited some furniture however, discovered most of their midcentury bits on Craigslist and eBay, refurbishing most of them. McEwen made her own Alexander Calder–inspired mobile.

Some custom bits add for their minimalist appearance, too. McEwen’s father, Neal McEwen, is a talented woodworker who aided her design and build the living room console, hallway bench, dining table and other bits.

Sofa: Tazlow Sofa Bed, Madoka Modern; hardwood flooring: Morning Star Natural Strand Bamboo, Lumber Liquidators

Before Photo

Jon+Aud Design

A pantry between the kitchen and the dining area made the old kitchen feel shut off from the adjacent dining room and living area.

Jon+Aud Design

AFTER: McEwen and Gaiser moved the pantry to the other side of the kitchen entrance, creating a simpler entrance to the dining area and pub. McEwen made the table, and her father built it. The authentic Mies van der Rohe MR chairs were an extraordinary Craigslist find. Bamboo panels help offset the uniquely angled kitchen .

Jon+Aud Design

Not surprisingly, the kitchen updates ended up being the most expensive section of the remodel, costing roughly $17,000. The couple spent $13,000 on demolition, installing new drywall and plaster, cabinetry, appliances, and pipes and electrical work.

McEwen features most of their funding luck to timing. Since they started their remodel during the summer and spring, a great deal of semiannual and yearly earnings helped them cut down on prices.

Microwave, oven, cooker: Ikea; fridge: Whirlpool

Before Photo

Jon+Aud Design

Dark cabinetry, fluorescent light and mismatched appliances designed for a poorly lit and outdated-looking kitchen.

Jon+Aud Design

AFTER: One of the few splurges is that the kitchen countertop — that the Pure White Caesarstone price about $3,500. Integrating the stovetop using the countertop made for an extra-clean appearance.

Countertops: Pure White Ceasarstone; cabinetry: Ikea; backsplash : Arctic White subway tile, Daltile

Before Photo

Jon+Aud Design

The old staircase wasn’t very eye catching.

Jon+Aud Design

AFTER: Adaptive but strong 14-foot bamboo rods line the stairs for a straightforward but statement-making bannister. An affordable carpet remnant from a local producer’s warehouse outlines the measures.

Bench: made by McEwen, assembled by Neal McEwen

Jon+Aud Design

“We really love the appearance of bamboo,” says McEwen. “The grain is subtle, and also the mild end enhances rather than distracts from the glowing overall atmosphere we had been attempting to achieve.”

Before Photo

Jon+Aud Design

The old fashioned bedroom and bathroom felt too open to the main living room below. Only a very low half wall and a little but embarrassing column kept it from being completely open.

Jon+Aud Design

AFTER: A higher partition makes the bedroom feel more separated from the living room. The brand new wall now holds all of the wiring to the new Nelson Bubble Lamp hanging below.

Sideboard: inherited Danish teak credenza; ceiling fan: Artemis, Minka Aire

Jon+Aud Design

Next to the closet, the open master bathroom has his-and-her sinks, with a private shower and toilet area.

Jon+Aud Design

A small window in the bathroom lets extra all-natural light in.

Before Photo

Jon+Aud Design

Bland carpeting, bare lightbulbs and cookie cutter remover materials made for a drab and somewhat depressing master bathroom.

Jon+Aud Design

AFTER: With some careful budgeting, the couple ended up spending about $4,000 on the master bathroom. They found great deals on the cabinetry and sink, and also cut and set most of the tile themselves.

The price that ended up surprising the few — in the bathroom and in the rest of the house — was light and electrical work. They had all the present lighting replaced with LED (light-emitting diode) and energy-saving fittings, and upgraded all the outlets and switches. “It’s a pet peeve of mine when all the switch plates and outlets are mismatched,” says McEwen. “These small upgrades really add up.”

Backsplash tile: Creama River Rock Mosaic, Jeffrey Court; vanity: Godmorgon sink cupboard, Ikea; faucet: Braviken, Ikea; faucets: Vega in polished chrome, Pfister

Jon+Aud Design

McEwen always wanted a succulent garden, so that she made use of the tall cacti already in the backyard. A brick terrace helps keep the area low maintenance.

Jon+Aud Design

String lights hung from the arbor add to the outside space’s warm vibe at nighttime. An extra-large mirror makes the terrace feel more spacious.

Would they’ve done anything else? Even though they saved some money doing most of the demolition themselves, McEwen would certainly hire someone later on. The work itself was challenging, then they still had to haul off all of the junk. “You need to be emotionally emotionally and financially committed whenever you are doing a total renovation to your home,” she says.

Have you got a great DIY home? We’d really like to see it. Please place a photo below!

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What Is Your Designer Attitude Sort?

Here are a number of simple images to quench your thirst for a well-designed life.

See what I did there? I understand. I’m sorry.

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

Jody Brown Architecture

Jody Brown Architecture

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

Jody Brown Architecture

Jody Brown Architecture

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

Jody Brown Architecture

This explains a great deal, really.

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The Unofficial Academy Awards for Movie Homes

The 2013 Oscars are making us wish to give some movie-related awards of their own — Lifetime Achievement Awards for movie houses which have stolen our hearts through the years.

These are areas that have wedged themselves to our subconscious; they inspire us when we’re decorating our own homes and slide into our heads when we’re daydreaming about the perfect residence. (Side note: I’d like to thank the community for nominating a lot of these here.)

The considerate house collection designs in the movies below represent a variety of styles, each one attractive in its own way. Here are 10 movies with houses we’d love to walk the red carpet for — straight up the front walk and through the front door.

Most Beautiful Plantation House: Forrest Gump. The race was tight between this house and Tara, but Sally Field’s Southern house in this one is Gone With the Wind fabulous. We love the allee of trees which trickle Spanish moss, the dual porch, the method by which in which the breeze makes the curtains billow and the superb old tree where Forrest teaches Jenny the way to dangle.


Greatest Shingle-Style Beach House: Something’s GotId Offer. This is the community’s favorite movie house. The airy Hamptons beach house of Diane Keaton’s character has become the dream house yardstick. We want the kitchen, the trendy coastal shore, windows with transoms that look out to the beach and even the bowl full of accumulated stones (with all the black one on top). We’re not sure if we need the cigar-smoking emotionally stunted houseguest, though … really, we’ll take Jack Nicholson regardless of how obnoxious he’s acting.

By the way, we’re letting this you represent all of the enviable homes in director Nancy Meyers’ movies, such as The Holiday, It is Complicated and the LiLo version of The Parent Trap, which are er favorites when it comes to movie houses.


Under the Tuscan Sun (Widescreen Edition) – $10.66

Greatest Italian Villa: Under the Tuscan Sun. Diane Lane transforms her darkened life while mending a dilapidated Tuscan villa. We want the window boxes, the walls, the European antiques, and the quirky neighbors, the olive grove and the garden. We’ll leave out the large snake that comes through the window, though — that scene still gives me the willies.


Practical Magic – $5.97

Greatest Victorian House: Practical Magic. The turreted Salem, Massachusetts, home of witches performed by Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman is a great spot for casting spells, stirring potions and gathering a coven of all nonwitches. Just be careful what you bury in the yard and do not attempt flying off the roof with an umbrella on Halloween.


Marley & Me – $13.69

Greatest Farmhouse: Marley & Me. The idyllic stone Pennsylvania farmhouse featured toward the close of the movie is quite a contrast to the Miami ranch house at the beginning. Fall leaves, stone walls and Oriental rugs allow us want to flake out like a dog in front of a few of the roaring fireplaces and stay awhile.


Best Vintage Colonial: Father of the Bride. This lovely Los Angeles house is a standard American dream — it has white siding and black dividers, is full of cozy family-friendly spaces and has a basketball hoop for serious father-daughter bonding time.


Monster-in-Law – $4.99

Greatest Arts and Crafts House: Monster-in-Law. While Jane Fonda’s mother-in-law character turns the house into something out of a horror flick, the lovely woodwork and Craftsman details ease the terror. Also, the stylish interiors may very well cause the surge in demand for vintage black and white subway signals, which are used throughout the main floor.


A Single Person – $7.99

Greatest Midcentury Modern Home: A Single Person. You’ll be able to see the evidence of manager Tom Ford’s keenly discerning eye in every frame of the film. Colin Firth’s heartbroken character’s perfect modern house is a scene stealer, and the Hollywood Regency decoration of the neighbor throughout the road (played by Julianne Moore) deserves an honorable mention.


Sleepless in Seattle (10th Anniversary Edition) – $6.27

Greatest Houseboat: Sleepless in Seattle. We’ve been so charmed by living on the water as in this romantic comedy. We’ll take the views, the clean lines and the floating. It is a compelling setting for a single father raising his son.


Down with Love – $4.42

Best Swinging-’60s Manhattan Pad: Away With Love. We have a tie between Renee Zellweger’s character’s feminine model and Ewan McGregor’s character’s manly spin on the style.

Along with your winners are … ? ers, please inform us which classic movie homes you would like to get a Lifetime Achievement Award.

More: 10 Leading-Role Movie Homes

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Rocky Mountain Gardener's April Checklist

Planting is the title of this game in the April garden. Plants in all kinds could be installed whenever the soil is workable and warm. At the meantime attend the final of the spring cleanup chores and get your yard in shape for the coming season. Appreciate the symphony of greens that’s being played right now by all of the emerging new foliage.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Plant bare root plants. Roses, clematis and young fruit trees are commonly available for sale in our area this month, as well as asparagus, rhubarb, berries and grapes.

Bare-root planting is a cheap alternative that accompanies a little window of time to execute, so take advantage of this opportunity. Select plants that have not leafed out yet using a well-developed, healthy root system (not dried out or rotted). Plant them as soon as possible — if not — after purchasing and keep them moist until the root system is created.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Transplant or divide crowded perennials when new growth emerges. Summer and fall bloomers such as asters, hummingbird flower (Zauschneria spp), Maximillian sunflower (Helianthus maximiliana), gayfeather (Liatris spp), tall garden phlox (Phlox paniculata), coneflower (Echinacea spp) and ornamental grasses might need attention.

A plant using a dead heart or a lack of blossoms last year might indicate that it has to be divided. Here’s how.
Use a sharp spade to dig the plant using just as much of its root system as you can (6 to 12 inches beyond the drip line). Remove some of the soil from the root ball and pull on or chop it into big sections that include both stalks and roots. Replant the divisions — or discuss them with a friend — and water completely.

Beertje Vonk Artist

Plant cold-tolerant annuals in containers as a brilliant welcome to spring up. Good flower choices include pansies, violas, English daisies, snapdragons and sweet alyssum. Prep any previously used containers by cleaning them completely using a solution of one part bleach to nine parts hot water. Fill your pots with a growing medium made especially for container gardens, a that’s lightweight and well draining yet moisture retentive.


Cut back woody perennials and subshrubs to over a couple inches of the ground. These include: Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia), Powis Castle sage (Artemesia), bluemist spirea (Caryopteris spp), butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii), leadplant (Amorpha canescens), rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus nauseosus) and St. John’s wort (Hypericum spp).

Amy Renea

Sow cool-season vegetable crops right into the ground when the soil temperature is at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Plant potatoes, peas, Swiss chard, kale, turnips, lettuce, lettuce, radishes, onions and lettuces. Keep frost blankets and cloches convenient to protect seedlings in the inevitable April snowstorms.

Your guide to developing spring edibles

Get your lawn off to a fantastic start.
Core aerate your yard before fertilizing it midmonth. Leave the plugs on the lawn to decompose and add nutrients to the soil.Overseed thin lawn areas having high-quality grass seed when the soil temperature reaches 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Rake the area to be seeded to expose the soil, then scatter the seeds in a compact, single coating. Cover the seeded areas using a scant 1/4 inch of compost and water thoroughly. Keep the area evenly moist until the seeds germinate. Note: Don’t use preemergent weed controls, such as corn gluten, in regions that have been recently seeded.Tune your lawn mower and sharpen the blades. Sharp blades not just make your task easier (especially if you’re using a push or reel mower), but a crisply cut blade of grass is not as susceptible to disease harm than one that is torn and ragged by a blunt mower.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Install plant affirms — such as circular cages, loop bets and grow-through grids — to support tall, floriferous perennials as soon as they come into blossom. Placing supports today will permit the plant to grow into and throughout the structure having a more natural appearance. Peonies, catmint (Nepeta spp), baby’s breath, delphiniums and tall types of yarrow (Achillea spp) are all great candidates for assistance.

More regional gardening guides

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Global Souvenirs and All-Around Amenities in Montreal

Like most parents, Bela Xavier and Andres Escobar wanted to get their family out of an urban setting and into a roomier house with distance where their kids could roam. After locating a house near the water off West Island in Montreal, the couple started to overhaul the entire mess. “We removed layers of wallpaper, an old smelly olive green carpeting, as well as old ceilings which were rotten with water damage,” remembers Xavier. Except for one small stairway wall that contributes to the basement, the international couple — Xavier has Mozambique roots, and Escobar includes a Colombian background — revamped everything, including their own diverse, global style on the way.

in a Glance
Who lives here: Designer Andres Escobar, Bela Xavier and sons Joshua and Corey
West Island, Montreal
Size: 5,000 square feet; 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and a basement having a wine cellar

Esther Hershcovich

They maintained the general layout of the home’s original structure from the living area but enlarged the openings between spaces. Metal stair frosted glass keep the room open and railings.

The wall of masks in the entryway was motivated by a prototype for a restaurant Escobar designed. Since the pair travels, the set grows. The shelving to the right used to maintain Escobar’s office; today it displays travel mementos.

Esther Hershcovich

Escobar designed the Macassar Ebony media wall unit so that the TV would be flush with it.

Seating: designed by Andres Escobar, made by Mirage Upholstery; ottoman: cowhide, Natuzzi

Esther Hershcovich

A wood chest with ivory details hails from Xavier’s birthplace in Mozambique. Atop it on the far right is a precious pot given to Escobar by Princess Amira al-Taweel of Saudi Arabia.

Lamp: Fringe 5, designed by Edward van Vliet for Moooi; wall treatment: silver-gray Venetian stucco

Esther Hershcovich

Wanting an alternative-style fireplace, Xavier and Escobar purchased one from a regional antiques store. A flat mirror provides a sense of thickness and bounces light around the room.

Esther Hershcovich

The living area leads to a stunning kitchen and dining room, the site of several dinner parties.

Chandelier: Swarovski; flooring: Earl Blue granite; cabinets: cherry

Esther Hershcovich

The kitchen is a mixture of wood and shiny surfaces, two of the couple’s favorite finishes. The backsplash is constructed of beveled mirror mosaics. What was a window is now an open passing into a sunroom.

Esther Hershcovich

In the winter the cedar-framed sunroom, or conservatory, is an excellent location for enjoying the opinion of this snow-filled pool and yard.

Armchairs: Poltrona Frau; round sofa: suede, designed by Andres Escobar, made by Mirage Upholstery

Esther Hershcovich

Escobar left the exterior structure as is, opening the doors and window into the sunroom and adding the same stone walls used within the home.

Esther Hershcovich

In the remodeled master bath, a top horizontal mirror hangs above an ebony vanity to add definition. This area was a small bedroom, and the entry was closed off from the main stairway.

Tub: Cube Series, Wetstyle; faucet: VC848A, Cube Collection, Wetstyle

Esther Hershcovich

The couple transformed what was the garage into a guest suite. A recessed ceiling with semiflush lighting solved a low-duct problem.

Esther Hershcovich

The guest area is often employed by Xavier’s mother. White and white family images in matching frames create a gallery wall opposite the bed.

Esther Hershcovich

A pocket opens into a 5- by 8-foot guest toilet.

Esther Hershcovich

A stairway leads from the guest package into a split-level basement full with a family room and wine cellar. The remaining side of the stairs is the sole remnant of the home’s original structure.

Esther Hershcovich

Both use this refrigerated cellar when entertaining and then have pride in their own wine collection. Whale-tail wooden stools made of laminated timber sit with a console pub they bought in Indonesia. An alabaster lighting fixture casts a soft glow.

Large decanters have an impressive collection of corks from bottles enjoyed over the previous three decades.

Esther Hershcovich

The couple built a double-car garage, where they often host parties in summer. The back wall holds a collection of mirrors and license plates.

Esther Hershcovich

A Trevi barrel sauna from the terrace is used both in summer and winter. The terrace also has a spa and barbecue grill, and to the right is a treehouse Escobar constructed for both boys.

Esther Hershcovich

The garage into the left was inserted to replace the one they turned into a guest suite.

Esther Hershcovich

Andres Escobar and Bela Xavier will celebrate their 30th anniversary in 2013 and are excited to share many more years into their dream home.

See more photographs of the house

Prove us Are you living in your dream family residence? We want to view it!

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Show Us the House You Grew Up In

Is it true that the home you grew up in effect your design style today? Maybe you had a conversation pit, wall-to-wall carpeting in the bathroom or one of those intercom systems in the ’70s that never really worked, and you avoid it (though I’ve always secretly coveted a conversation pit). We would love to find snapshots of your home; shots with people in them will be even greater!

Please place a photo in the Remarks section below and share your memories of what your childhood home was like. We would love to find the outside, but when there’s a distinctive feature you recall from inside, please include it also. Please include the title of town or the city. Your photo could be used in a coming ideabook about childhood houses and what they mean to people.

Maybe your parents were to midcentury modern style or were one of the millions of baby boomers who made their dreams come true by buying a brick ranch. When I was a kid, split levels with carpets were all the rage. Were sinks randomly placed in family rooms and known as bars.

Soorikian Architecture

The only thing missing from that American-dream Cape Cod–style home is a white picket fence. The flag reminds me of my grandfather, Pop, who would put one out every fair-weather morning then fold it up the appropriate way each night, such as Clint Eastwood at Gran Torino.

Westover Landscape Design, Inc..

Dutch colonial is just another timeless style that’s been popular in America for almost a century.

While these three are all houses and are typical American fashions, I hope you’ll share all kinds of houses and that you worldwide readers will tell us about your childhood houses, too!

Your turn: Please upload a scan of your childhood home and tell us about it!

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