The Way to Pick the Perfect Bedsheets

Consider the most comfortable bed you’ve ever slept in, and what comes to mind? When it’s the sheets, you are in good company. Because they come in direct contact with our skin, sheets are as important as a quality mattress and cozy blanket in sending us off to dreamland.

The sheer variety of sheets on the current market, however, can throw you for a loop when you are searching. Here are our top pointers to help you decipher the labels and decide on the sheets that will suit you best.

Connected: How to pick the right pillow

Sightline Art Consulting


Back in the day, many sheets in the marketplace arrived in cotton and … cotton. And it is still the hottest sheeting fabric, because of its durability, comfort and breathability.

Cotton equally traps heat and allows cool air pass through summer time, so it is a great choice for virtually any climate. It may be mixed and feel. As with almost any sheets you buy, do a hand check to gauge how you like these combinations.

KUBE architecture

Egyptian, pima and Sea Island cottons would be the gold standard, so look for those terms on the packaging and check to be sure the fabric is 100% that material. Some growers use the term “Egyptian cotton” loosely, however — true Egyptian cotton is grown and processed according to specific stipulations. Be certain that you’re buying from a quality manufacturer and, feel the material for softness.


Bamboo blends are becoming popular in recent years, often combined with cotton or other materials. Because bamboo is sustainable and naturally antimicrobial, and sips up moisture, it is well worth considering.

Linen sheets, that operate well in hot climates because they wick away body warmth, are another option. Just be ready to do a great deal of ironing, unless you prefer the wrinkled look. Although satin sheets seem glam and feel intimate, they are sometimes too warm and slick for many people.

The Company Store

350-Thread-Count Supima Solid Sateen Bedding – $29

The signature name Supima, a hybrid of “premium” and “pima,” is employed to pick sheets of 100 percent pima cotton, developed in the United States (the title stems in the Pima Indians of Arizona). These luxurious versions, offered in a variety of rich colors are a fail-safe choice for any style bedroom. Have them monogrammed for a preppy, personal signature.

Inhabit | Plus Sheet Set – $182

This eco-friendly cotton, bamboo and rayon blend wears a low-key graphic pattern that will fall right in step with a contemporary space.

Ken Gutmaker Architectural Photography

Thread Count

including all the buzz around thread count — how many threads in 1 square inch of fabric — it’s easy to presume that greater means softer. But that is not the case. A lower-thread-count sheet produced from fibers that are softer by character, like Egyptian cotton, will feel silkier than a high-thread-count sheet produced from a lower-quality cotton blend.

Paul Rice Architecture

All other things being equal, higher thread counts can indeed translate to increased relaxation. Do not hesitate to buy 800- or 1,000-count sheets, however; you will do just fine using a design in the 400 or 450 range. The extra thread count does not produce enough difference in texture to warrant the purchase price. In reality, the highest-count sheets may even be rigid because a lot of fibers have been jammed so tightly together.

Pottery Barn

Classic Stripe 400-Thread-Count Duvet Cover and Sham, Sandalwood – $39

A broad, cheerful stripe highlights those versatile sheets, which would seem especially nice in a darkened space.

Crane & Canopy

400-Thread-Count Coral Scalloped Embroidered Sheet Set – $159

Dainty scallops plus a hint of coral give these female sheets an extra touch of elegance.

Thom Filicia Inc..


Crisp or soft? If you prefer your sheets with just a tiny snap, choose percale, which is a plainer weave than the supple sateen. Neither is inherently better; it is an issue of personal taste.

Jersey sheets — that you likely think about as T-shirt sheets — are all made using a flat knit that retains them soft but also means they can be more prone to slipping and slipping on the mattress. If you live somewhere that gets really cold, think about nubby cotton flannel sheets, unsurpassed for keeping you toasty.

Garnet Hill

Lilly Pulitzer Scarlet Begonias Percale Bedding – $50

Percale sheets at a bright, playful print awaken a mattress dressed differently in white.

Navy Gobi Embroidered Sheet Set – $145

These dignified sheets, bearing a contemporary twist on a Buddhist theme, possess a faint sheen as a result of their own sateen finish.

Su Casa Designs


In case you have ever attempted to wrestle a too-small fitted sheet on a mattress, then you know how important it’s to buy sheets that are the correct size. In case you’ve got a standard-size mattress, such as a double, queen or king, then start looking for features like elastic edging all the way around, which helps guarantee a smooth, comfortable fit.

Tom Stringer Design Partners

For extra-long twin, California king, pillow-top and other nonstandard mattresses, you will need to look for sheets especially marked for those sizes. Should you add a foam pad or alternative topper into your mattress, then assess the height, then buy an extra-deep sheet that corresponds.

And don’t forget about pillowcases: In case your pillows are under- or overscale (king pillows on a double mattress, for instance), buy fitted sheets, flat sheets and pillowcases as separates rather than as a same-size set.


Matouk Twin Extra-Long Fitted Sheet – $77.90

Extra-long twin sheets stretch comfortably within a mattress that accommodates taller sleepers.

Tailored Pinefore White Pillowcase Set, King – $63

Dressmaker details like pintucks and hemstitching grace this sharp king-size pillowcase.

More: 10 Quick and Easy Ways to Dress Your Bed


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Window Rail

On a window a railing is the horizontal portion of the frame at the top and bottom of the sash. Rails contain grooves that hold the window panes. Muntins extend from rail to rail.

Chris Hill

The term “rail” is not exclusive to windows — it’s used widely with furniture to reference horizontal parts.

Mathews Brothers Company

Window locks can be put on the railing.

Muntins extend up and down between rails.

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Smell This Shocking Flower in Your Own Risk

As someone who’s smelled more than one Titan Arum within her lifetime, Joan Leonard gets the odor nailed: “Roadkill with a little sauerkraut and dead fish blended” Leonard, program manager at Ohio State University’s Biological Sciences Greenhouse, observed the wonders of one Titan Arum blossom on May 14, 2013, and will experience another blossom this week, called on May 24.

The plant — many commonly called the corpse flower — is most renowned for its distinct and incredibly pungent odor. However, the remainder of its unbelievable lifestyle is not as well understood: Over decades what starts as an almond-size seed grows into a huge leafy plant or even an 8-foot flowering construction which can heat itself up to 100 degrees and develop more than 3 inches in 1 day. Not both — just one or the other. And you never know which way it goes. And, of course, there’s its startling shape. “Surely, the Latin name is very descriptive, since it is literally translated to mean ‘giant deformed phallus,'” says Leonard.

Woody — yes, that is this particular specimen’s moniker; it is named after Ohio State University’s beloved football coach, Woody Hayes — is a 12-year-old Titan Arum that bloomed last week. After a seed the size of an almond, Woody is now a 49-pound tuber that is 12 feet tall when in leaf stage. Woody has had one blossom. The most blossom, pictured here, reached higher.

Most people will smell the flower long until they visit it. The blossom often opens at night and provides a strong odor for approximately 12 hours afterwards. Blooms tend to begin wilting after 48 hours.

For Woody’s most recent blossom, nearly 1,500 people came to the greenhouse to experience the foul odor. “Someone compared the smell to the liquid slop at the bottom of the Dumpster,” says Leonard. “Another person told me they thought it smelled like a mouse which was regurgitated by a snake after a couple of days.”

Although corpse flower blooms are rare, they have become much more prevalent due to the germination of seeds from private collectors and institutions. The University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley, as an example, currently sells seedlings for $50 to $100.

The seedlings (one is pictured here) do little to signify what’s ahead. The corpse flower goes via various dormancy and leaf cycles throughout its lifetime, wilting down to its root each time. After each period of dormancy and regeneration, the leaf and underground potato-like tuber grow considerably. Sometimes (and seldom) the plant will undergo a gorgeous bloom cycle.

Here, Maudine — Ohio State’s next slated Titan Arum blossom — displays the plant’s appearing bud stage. Although Titan Arum is often known as the largest flower in the world, it is really a group of flowers, called an inflorescence.

The stalk in the middle of the flower, called the spadix, has thousands of female and male flowers at its base. After the plant opens, the female flowers open. They die, and pollen opens and create. This procedure helps prevent self-pollination.

Note:Maudine is named after Ohio State’s 1926 homecoming queen that was a cow.

The spadix component of this plant is what generates the oh-so-distinct odor. In fact, the plant itself really heats up — generally to around 98 degrees Fahrenheit — to help dissipate the odor. Combined with the blossom’s unusual color (“It looks a lot like rotten liver,” states Paul Licht, director of the University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley. “It is very flesh-like.”) , the corpse flower really imitates its namesake.

But why?

Based on Licht, wild corpse flower plants have been found only in Sumatra, an island in western Indonesia. Not only do they blossom seldom, but they have to be at least 10 years old until they do. Sumatra’s tropical climate doesn’t have seasons, so the flower can bloom at any time of year. The likelihood of it being near another blooming corpse flower is slender, so the plant uses smell and colour to attract carrion insects to pollinate it.

After it flowers the flower quickly collapses and rots. When it’s been brilliant red fruits — pictured here begin to grow at the peak of the stalk. Finally the plant goes back into dormancy, growing back after a few months with an even larger leaf or flower structure.

“Ninety-nine percentage of this moment, the flower isn’t blooming,” says Licht. “It is really a gorgeous, leafy plant.” After each dormancy, a single leaf emerges from the floor. At first it is impossible to tell if it’ll go into a bloom or leaf state. When it’s the latter, then the only leaf grows into a very long stalk that branches out into leaflets — shown here. The plant itself grows very quickly as much as 3 inches every day in some cases.

Despite the crazy life cycle, the smell remains the most memorable thing about this plant that is curious. “We did have a visit from someone who works at the morgue, and she confirmed that corpse flower was an apt moniker,” says Leonard.

Ready to sniff the corpse flower yourself? If you hurry you can take a whiff at the Ohio State University Biological Sciences Greenhouse. Maudine will blossom for 2 days beginning May 24, 2013.

Have a survey! Tell us exactly what stage of the corpse flower you like best.

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Outfit a Southern Plantation-Style Home — Paint to Porch Furnishings

With their gracious porches, well-proportioned rooms and rambling grounds, Southern plantation-style homes in the U.S. have a whole lot to offer. Whether you’re renovating a historic Lowcountry house or simply feel inspired by classic Southern style, this guide is here to help. Curated picks including paint colors, lighting, cabinetry and more make choice building a cinch — so you can spend more time relaxing with this tall glass of sweet tea on front porch.

VOH Architects

A distinctive blend of elegance and down-home practicality, Southern plantation-style homes exude charm and grace. Key features might include columns, broad porches (single or double), shutters and — even in case you’re lucky — older trees dotting a vast lawn.

Max Crosby Construction

Nothing conjures up comfort quite in addition to the Southern porch. Get the most out of yours with classic dividers in a darkened hue, lantern-style fixtures and easygoing porch furniture.

Dullea and Associates Inc..

Blue-green is the traditional color for porch ceilings at the South. Initially considered to ward off bad spirits, this hue likely has stayed popular due to its effortless charm and relaxing, tropical vibe. Maintain the mood mellow and stay comfortable in hot weather having an outdoor ceiling fan or two.

Paints And Stains

This paint has a classic quality. Like all the Farrow & Ball colors, it changes with the light, occasionally appearing pale grey, other times off-white. It’s not too creamy or yellow, and very sophisticated.

Duron Historic Charleston Green Paint

If you can get your hands on it, Historic Charleston Green is that the classic color for shutters. It’s available only from Duron, but you could also try having it matched by a different paint business to acquire a similar look.

Farrow & Ball

Studio Green No. 93 Paint

One other fantastic green-black, Studio Green from Farrow & Ball will be stunning on shutters, doors or ironwork.

Benjamin Moore

Palladian Blue Paint | Benjamin Moore

Palladian Blue from Benjamin Moore is the best colour of Haint Blue, traditionally used on porch ceilings.

Sussex Bracket Lantern – $1,260

Gorgeous and extra large, these lantern sconces will make a large statement on a plantation-style porch.


Cotswold Lane Outdoor Pendant – $193

Should you want your renovation dollars to elongate, you may appreciate the small price tag on this traditional lantern-style pendant.

Structures Building Company

Inside a plantation house, you may discover stunning details such as coffered ceilings. However, no worries in case your house is missing first details — it’s still possible to have them installed.

Mountain Lumber Company

Floors are essential. If at all possible, salvage your home’s first floors. If that is not feasible, recovered heart pine, a favourite flooring in older Southern homes, would be a lovely choice.

Acadia Shutters & Blinds, Inc..

A plantation home begs for antique plantation shutters — they could easily go in almost any room.

House of L Interior Design

“Traditional,” “classic” and “quietly lavish” would be good descriptors to keep in mind while designing your plantation kitchen. Lots of space and A great range provide room for celebration prep. Marble counters are a worthy splurge, particularly in the event that you bake a whole lot, as they are best for rolling out dough.

Linda McDougald Design | Postcard from Paris Home

Another combo to attempt: cupboards that were straightforward kicked up a notch using a ceramic apron sink black granite counters plus handles.

Pacific Coast Kitchen & Bath

Rohl makes classic apron-front farmhouse sinks that are wonderful. Pair one with a gleaming bridge faucet for a classic look.

Port Angeles Cabinet Co..

A plantation home wouldn’t be complete without plenty of storage space for an entertaining arsenal — beautiful glass-front cabinets such as these would suit the bill.

Hardware Hut

Schaub and Company Traditional Design Cup Pull – $19.95

The ultrashiny complete on these classic cup pulls will provide a significant style upgrade to older existing cabinets if you’re looking to rehabilitation rather than substitute.

Linda McDougald Design | Postcard from Paris Home

In the bath you can not go wrong with classic touches such as white cabinetry, mosaic tile, tongue and groove paneling, and a capacious tub.

Restoration Hardware

Chatham Train Rack – $235

This train rack is as practical as it is luxury. Stacks of towels on the top and hang bathrobes or towels below.

Vintage Tub & Bath

Town Square Faucet

This faucet has a style for a price that is reasonable. It would be right at home on a broad pedestal sink.

Kara Weik

If you’re lucky enough to have a grand old tree on your property, have a cue from this Dallas house and install an old-fashioned rope swing.

Tell us : Are you renovating a plantation home or working some of its components into your home’s style?

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11 Apartment Hunting Tips for Renters

I clearly recall one flat search that attracted me to tears. After sifting through dozens of not-right rentals, and together with our moving-out date , we thought we finally had the ideal place at the bag — just to have it awarded to another applicant in the last minute. If you have ever needed to search for an apartment, you understand the process can be stressful; much more so if you are new to a town or are looking in a competitive marketplace where hoards of people show up to every open house.

There might not be a way from doing the legwork, but these 11 tips can help you to get organized, set your priorities, search smart and stay focused every step along the way.

Valerie McCaskill Dickman

1. Narrow your search. Focus on a favorite area or 2, but be smart about it. Balance things like charming shops and a lively community with variables like cost and access to transport. Narrowing your search to a certain area will help streamline the process, since you can easily reach multiple open houses in one morning.

If you are only moving to a new town, there isn’t any better way to learn about the neighborhoods than to spend some time walking about — so get out there and research.

Laura Garner

2. Identify your top 3 priorities. Make the budget among your top 3 priorities; the other two may be anything important to you: excellent natural lighting, proximity to work or school, or even a washer-dryer from the unit, as an example. If you are having difficulty coming up with your top three, try listing all you need and cross off things one by one until you are left with your most important priorities.

mango design co

3. Keep track of multiple listings with a contrast checklist. When you are hitting half a dozen open houses in one morning, they start to operate together. Keep applicable info neatly piled on a single checklist and snap an image of each place to accompany it, if at all possible.

Annie McElwain Photography

4. Take your ducks in a row. Be ready to fill out application paperwork, plunk down a deposit or sign a lease before attending that open house. Bring the info that you need to fill out a typical rental application (contact info for company, present and past landlords etc.), plus your checkbook.

Also consider printing out a copy of your credit report — some landlords may insist on running their own check, but only having it to show could be reassuring and put your application ahead of others in a competitive market.

Casey Grace Design, LLC

5. Uncover hidden prices. Know everything you could potentially be carrying on, beyond the rent, by asking crucial questions if you look at a new place. A few to consider:
Are window treatments contained? Which (if any) utilities have been included?
Is there a fee to utilize building amenities or for parking?
Are there any cable hook-ups in which you want them, or will you need to get a new line put in?

Tervola Designs

6. Rely on your senses. Odd smells and sounds you notice during a revealing could end up being a significant problem when you proceed in. Natural lighting, or a lack thereof, can make all the difference in the world, so try to attend a daytime open home rather than looking at the flat after work.

Southern Hospitality

7. Don’t be afraid to be a bit nosy. Open the closets to find a realistic picture of the storage space. Turn on the shower, run the water from the kitchen and bathroom sinks, and flush the toilet. Check below the sinks for signs of mold and creatures — it’s a whole lot better to understand currently when there’s an issue.

Schwartz and Architecture

8. Combine methods for the very best search. Search online through Craigslist and similar websites, or contact a local real estate agent who handles rentals — but don’t forget to hit the sidewalk, too.

Even now there are loads of landlords that rely on a simple sign posted in the window, even a scrap of paper tacked up at the neighborhood café or word of mouth to rent their units. Keep your eyes and ears open wherever you go.

Andrea Schumacher Interiors

9. Planning to stay a while? Negotiate! When you have outstanding credit and a solid rental and work history, and you desire somewhere to call home for many years to come, you might be in a position to negotiate a much better deal. Finding excellent long-term tenants is the hardest aspect of being a landlord, so remember, you are a catch!

Whenever it is not likely any landlord would lower the rent, you could try negotiating to get a longer lease to lock in your current rent, request improvements to be made (and paid for) before proceeding in or get permission to paint and make improvements on your own.

CDA Interior Design

10. Quantify key parts of furniture… and check when they fit through the door. When you have not gathered much furniture or you don’t mind swapping a few things out, this might not be an issue. But if you have a distinctive piece, like a canopy bed, large sofa or piano, it would be dreadful to find out it won’t make it through the door after you have signed the lease. Bring a tape measure with you to each open house, and assess doorway and stairwell dimensions to be sure your cherished pieces will make it in.

Pour Toujours

11. Get everything in writing. So that your landlord guaranteed that the leaky faucet would be repaired, you can paint the walls any color you need and your kitty is allowed with no deposit? Get it in writing. If you and your landlord ever get into a disagreement down the road, having documentation is going to be a lifesaver.

Inform us Share your best apartment hunting tips and stories in the Remarks!

More: How to Steep Your Rental at Color — Without Painting the Walls

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12 House-Hunting Tips to Help You Make the Best Choice

In the hunt for the perfect house, it’s easy to get swept off with a home’s most charming details (a gracious front porch) and play down the major things you’ll be kicking yourself for after (the price is over budget). And if you’re touring multiple open houses each weekend, keeping everything straight can get complicated.

Set your priorities and streamline the house-hunting procedure early on, and you may breathe easier knowing you have a handle on things. It’s probably the most important purchase you will ever make, so take some deep breaths and make a plan before diving in — you’ll be glad you did.

These 12 tips can keep you organized and focused on the important things during your house hunt.

Matarozzi Pelsinger Builders

1. Set your priorities. Prior to having a peek at any houses, sit right down and write out whatever you want in a home, together with input from many members of their household. Then select your top five, or even best three, must-haves.

Once you start searching, all kinds of charming features are bound to influence you; maintaining your priorities record close at hand can keep you on track.

Terracotta Design Build

2. Make a comparison chart. As soon as you have seen a dozen or more houses, it gets rather hard to keep track of the features in each one. Make things a bit easier by making your own comparison chart or checklist to bring along to each residence, and make notes during or immediately after each tour.

Beyond the basics (beds and baths) contemplate including notes landscaping, the condition of the roof and exterior, natural lighting in each room, storage area and price per square foot. Consider this chart a personal tool — something you’ll be able to look back on to help guide your decision making, not a replacement for a fantastic home inspection.

Gridley + Graves Photographers

3. Walk once and let yourself soak it all in. If you tour a home for the first time, the excitement will make it hard to concentrate on … well, anything at all. I say, just go with it. Have fun, wander about and mentally note your initial impressions of the space. It’s time to get to work after the butterflies have expired.

Linda McDougald Design | Postcard from Paris Home

4. Then go back to the beginning and begin. Walk straight back to the front of the house and literally start your tour. This time, pull out your clipboard and pen, don’t rush and approach the home as if you were an inspector instead of a possible buyer.

Shirley Parks Design

5. Bring furniture measurements. Jumping the gun? Maybe. A deal breaker? Probably not. But if each room in the house presents problems with your present furniture scenario, you could efficiently be adding thousands of dollars to the price if you need to buy new furniture — something that’s likely better to know sooner rather than later.


6. Sketch a floor plan. You don’t need to have any real drawing skills to make a superbasic floor plan on paper, and using it to refer to later is priceless. Simply do your best. Starting at the front door, draw boxes such as rooms and indicate doors, windows, stairways and openings about where they’re.

Matarozzi Pelsinger Builders

7. Ask to take photographs (or even a movie). It’s amazing how quickly memory fades. Ensure you have backup by creating a floor plan and taking photographs or a brief video tour if possible — it will truly give you a full picture of exactly what the house looks like. Be sure to ask the Realtor for permission before taking any video or photos. And even then, it is assumed they are for personal use, so don’t post them to your Facebook page or site … at least till you own the house.

Terracotta Design Build

8. Open the closets and cupboards. Suitable storage is a really important element in the way the home looks and feels when you’re living inside. Note the quantity and dimensions of cupboards and closets throughout the house, and do not be afraid to glance inside. In the event the present homeowner gets them packed to the gills, which may be a sign that the house doesn’t have enough storage for its dimensions.

Lucy Interior Design

9. Lift the carpets up. While this isn’t something you necessarily want to do during a busy open house, if you’re back for a second appearance and are actually considering making an offer, then it is important to know what it is you’re getting into. Rugs (and even furniture) may be utilized to hide damaged floors, so you have a right to learn what’s going on under there. Just let the Realtor know exactly what you want to see, and he or she should adapt you.

Barnes Vanze Architects, Inc

10. Look high and appear low. It’s important to get a fantastic look at the house that could be your new home, so make a point of focusing on things outside your usual line of vision. Have a look at the ceilings, walls, floors, trim, windowsand roof and under the sinks.

Barnes Vanze Architects, Inc

11. Check out the home at different times of day. If you do come back for a second showing, create it through another time of day from the open house or initial tour. In the day, notice not just the fluctuations in light, but also the atmosphere in the neighborhood. Are individuals out sitting porches? Are children playing outside? Is it? You are bound to learn and discover unique things about the house each time.

Kerrisdale Design Inc

12. Have a moment to imagine how you’d use the distance. Simply because the present owner (or staging firm) gets the second bedroom setup for guests doesn’t mean that you can’t use it as an office, a home gym or a nursery. Paint colors, furniture structures and window treatments can also all be swapped out, so use your imagination and actually put yourself in the home.

Tell us : Share your own home-buying stories and suggestions in the Comments.

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5 Sweet into Spirited Pink Roses for an Enchanting Garden

Pink roses are so enchanting and endearing, softening any garden with their pale hues. Pink roses signify thankfulness, joy, admiration and joy, making them treasured tokens for parties such as birthdays, weddings and showers. This rose color is possibly the most gentle and innocent of all the improved shades, as well as all these varieties and forms to select from, it is easy to find one to fit your garden.

Stefan Laport Landscape Architect IFLA

Pink roses have a wide selection of hues, from sweet pastels to shocking brights, and your garden will have a very different feel depending on the colour you choose. An all-pink garden looks very feminine, as does a pink rose garden with other white blossoms. If you want to eliminate just a little sweetness and amp up the play, put pink roses with other flowers in shades of blue or purple. A Pink and red combo is much more monochromatic, while pink and yellow is a cheerful combination to brighten up any garden.

1. Best climber. ‘New Dawn’ was a favourite climber for years. It appears to be outstanding in just about any way a rose could be judged — it’s vigorous growth and abundant pink blossoms that fade to blush; it’s disease resistant and a repeat bloomer. It grows from 15 to 20 feet tall, can endure a bit of colour and grows well in USDA zones 5 to 9 (find your zone). And did I tell you it’s fragrant, too?

Photo by Flickr consumer paterson.ra

The New York Botanical Garden

Other pink climbers include ‘Weeping China Doll’ (syn. ‘Climbing China Doll’), ‘ ‘James Galway’, ‘Leander’ and ‘Eglantyne’.

Revealed: ‘Weeping China Doll’ (syn. ‘Climbing China Doll’)

J. Peterson Garden Design

2. Best cut flower. ‘Chicago Peace’ is a hybrid tea rose that grows up to 6 feet tall in zones 5 to 9. Its classic bloom form is striking, with petals tinged a blend of pink, orange and yellow on long stems, which makes it perfect for cutting and bringing inside. It begins blooming in late spring and will continue to blossom on and off, until late summer or even collapse.

More pink roses for cutting edge comprise ‘Betty Boop’ and ‘Nearly Wild’.

The New York Botanical Garden

3. Easy-care favorite. ‘Blushing Knock Out’ defies all the rumors about roses being fussy. This one takes the warmth, is drought tolerant once established, resists pests and diseases, and does not require deadheading. It features single light pink blossoms and is perfect as a small shrub rose in a perennial garden or container garden, growing to about 3 to 4 ft tall for gardeners in zones 5 to 11.

The New York Botanical Garden

More easy-care pink roses comprise ‘Carefree Delight’,Rainbow Knock Out’ and ‘All the Rage’.

Revealed: ‘Carefree Delight’

The New York Botanical Garden

4. Best scent. ‘Memorial Day’ is just another all-around great improved, but it’s particularly notable because of its strong damask rose fragrance. It’s a bigger shrub rose, growing up to 6 feet tall in zones 7 to 10, and it’s remarkable warmth tolerance. The blossoms are fully petaled in tones of pinkish lavender and bloom freely throughout the entire year.

Additional pink blossom roses comprise ‘Gertrude Jekyll’, ‘The Alnwick Rose’ and ‘Mortimer Sackler’.

The New York Botanical Garden

5. Best color variant. ‘Scentimental’ is extremely fragrant, since you can tell by its title, besides sporting unusual dark pink stripes and spots on white petals. ‘Scentimental’ is a shrub rose, growing up to 4 feet tall and wide with double blossoms, and has excellent disease resistance for gardeners in zones 6 to 9.

The New York Botanical Garden

Other interesting color variants are found on ‘Portrait’, ‘Carrousel’, and ‘Latin Lady’.

Revealed: ‘Portrait’

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12 True and Tried Paint Colors for Your Walls

Many people understand what general paint colour they want but struggle with envisioning the exact shade. Others are just afraid to devote to colour because they are not sure what works best with their own furniture. Among the points about paint I like to make with clients is that the colors you may like may be very different from colors that you want to live with.

Some colors translate perfectly to walls. Some, although beautiful, are much better saved for fabrics or rugs. Here are some colors of popular, tried and true paint colors alongside their exact name and brand, that I think translate nicely to walls.

Aquidneck Properties

Blue. Among my favorite options for a bedroom would be really a gentle sky blue with a subtle blossom undertone. Blue is relaxing and a logical selection for slumber-inducing relaxation.

This bedroom is painted in Benjamin Moore’s Silent Seconds 1563, which is paired with a crisp white.

Crisp Architects

Green. I’ve long admired the shade of green in this particular kitchen. I think that it’s perfectly paired with the white cabinets and does a good job of incorporating heat.

This mellow color of green is Farrow & Ball’s Ball Green 75.

FORMA Design

Red. When a customer asks me to pick a red for them, I like to go with a pure, fire engine red. I paint a couple of walls and toss in some more red in rugs or cloths. I like pairing red with blue or brown as accents.

This stylish TV place is painted in Sizzling Haute AC119R by Duron.

Tom Stringer Design Partners

Yellow. Among the trickiest paint colors to get right is yellow, but this shade is just perfect. A tip for picking a yellow from a paint enthusiast deck: Select something that appears nearly beige. Yellow is obviously considerably brighter on a wall than on a paint chip.

This sun-filled dining room is painted in Benjamin Moore’s Mushroom Cap 177.

Carolina Design Associates, LLC

Brown. My favorite neutral colour for walls is brown. There are many beautiful colors of brown that are so flexible. Brown works excellent with crimson, green, white, red and other neutral colors.

I really like the usage of the distressed cream armoire contrary to this perfect color of brown, which is Sherman-Williams’ Tea Chest SW6103.

ScavulloDesign Interiors

Greige. A made-up colour, but significant enough to mention because I use it. A soft grey with beige undertones that’s the perfect complement to most white marbles, for example Calacatta. It is a wonderful solution for people who feel grey is too cold.

This tasteful bathroom is painted inside my favored greige, Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter HC-172.

Regan Baker Design Inc..

Beige. A simple beige is a must-have for my paint arsenal. I really like beige all through the house punctuated with bold colour and other neutrals. Loved for its flexibility, beige is also a excellent choice as a background for an art collection.

This elegant entrance is painted in Sherwin-Williams’ Accessible Beige SW7036.

MANDARINA STUDIO interior design

Lavender. I understand some loyal lavender fans. A gentle, barely there shade of the colour is stunning and looks best with a crisp white trim. I love mixing lavender with robin’s egg blue or grey.

All these lavender-kissed walls are perfect in Benjamin Moore’s Organdy 1248.

Pink. Not just for little girls’ bedrooms, pink can be very sophisticated in the right shade. My favourite pinks are tender and purely pink. Pink looks great paired with gray, white, green and blue.

This bubbly pink is named Bella Pink SW 6596, by Sherwin-Williams.

Tara Bussema – Neat Organization and Design

Gray. A favorite colour for modern and transitional interiors, grey is a unique neutral. I adore a soft charcoal grey paired with creamy whites and beige. Try grey with a punch of chartreuse for a sudden combination that really works.

This dramatic great room is painted in Dunn-Edwards’ Baby Seal DE 6361.

Patrick Sutton Associates

White. White is really among the most asked-about colors. The perfect white is sought after for cabinets and trim. Undertones in white paint are all significant and can really change a palette.

My Treasured pure white is White Dove OC-17, by Benjamin Moore. This white, displayed here in this stunning kitchen, is crisp with no undertones. It looks good against any colour.

McCroskey Interiors

Black. A remarkably tasteful selection for any room, black looks fantastic against many colors. When employing black, consider contrasting it with crisp white trim and punchy colors in fabrics or rugs. I prefer to see an eggshell finish on walls, and black seems particularly complex in eggshell.

This royal bedroom boasts a gorgeous shade of black called Beluga, by Behr.

Your turn: Please show us a room together with your tried and true paint pick from the Remarks below!

How Light Affects Your Interior Paint Color
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Decluttering — How to Get the Help You Want

My friend Jane is one of those peculiar people who receives energy from yanking out of chaos. She runs and owns a bed-and-breakfast within her house, a hundred-year-old Georgian mansion. Her kitchen is a miracle of business; even her label manufacturer is labeled. After we fully remodeled our kitchen, I told her I’d love her expert help in coordinating it, however it was just years later, after my epiphany about decluttering, that we actually made it happen.

My kitchen wasn’t even in terrible form. The counters were apparent, there wasn’t a ton of clutter, and I actually had some systems in place, but I knew Jane would allow me to maximize the distance. Eleven hours later, the kitchen was totally reorganized, as was the very small pantry and small linen closet down the hall in addition to my toilet vanity, because this led to this and that .

At the conclusion of the afternoon, I was tired, but I knew I never needed to even consider organizing a room without Jane leading the charge. She had been a force of character, but powerful. After that we went room by room, every few weeks or so, decluttering and reorganizing before the day my home burned down.

Jane and I couldn’t be any different if we tried, but we worked well together for a variety of reasons. Here are the qualities I recommend searching for in a gifted friend or skilled organizer.

The secretary”gets” you. Jane is a writer and contains a massive personal library, so that I knew she would not fight me about my books. Her butler’s pantry is larger than many flats and is filled with crystal, china and glass. She loves antiques and knows sentimental attachment to things, therefore there again I knew she would not force me to get rid of everything, but help me to prioritize and organize.

Indefatigable energy. Decluttering is exhausting work, physically and mentally. Like I said before, some people get energy out of pulling order out of chaos, and this is a nonnegotiable. There will be moments (hours!) When you would like to crawl into the fetal position because the job is really overwhelming, but this is when a naturally organized person has become fired up and gaining momentum.

A sense of comedy. That is really for all parties involved. If there is ever a time you want in order to laugh, it is when you are knee deep in boxes and bags and the conclusion of everything is nowhere in sight.

Creativity and versatility. Jane’s fire is”systems,” that are personal patterns that establish and preserve order. We needed to find compromises between her ideas for an perfect world and our day-to-day living for a household with several members not inherently arranged — among whom is me!

Basic respect and kindness. To put it , Jane is not a social worker, and her attitude is often,”What’s wrong with you?” — that is not always helpful. I came to decluttering with a healthy self image; I knew I had been bringing several things to the desk, but coordinating was not one of these. I also knew that Jane cared for me and believed a lot of me generally. Mutual respect overall is imperative.

Just as important as finding a good match with a friend or specialist is making certain you’re ready. Ask yourself a few questions:

Am I willing to try something new? Should you satisfy every proposal ,”That won’t do the job,” you are not going to profit from another individual’s wisdom. You may think you’re being functional, but it is really a form of defensiveness. “Try it on,” as the entire life coaches say. Before you reject a new method of doing something, try to envision how it could function and then refine it for you and your loved ones if needed.

Am I willing to get rid of a good deal of stuff? Of course there are exceptions to this; you understand who you are, and please continue. However, by and large, the majority of us have too much junk. It isn’t important how much you paid for it or how priceless it’s, sentimentally speaking. If it’s covered with dust and stacked in a pile — and you are overwhelmed — you want to get rid of it or a lot of other things to make adequate space.

In case you can not emphatically answer yes to both those questions, it is an indication you are not quite ready to get outside assistance. It’s exactly what it is; just don’t expect someone to help you rearrange deck chairs on the Titanic. It is OK to be nervous and not quite sure you are going to have the ability to get everything done. That’s normal. Recognizing you want help and being ready to ask for it’s an enormous step.

Initially it could possibly be stressful. You’ll be making a lot of decisions and may be feeling ashamed of the status of things. This should pass. As you gain momentum you should feel hopeful, more confident and even excited. If the stress is only rising, this is a sign that the person helping you is not a good match or, again, you aren’t ready yet.

Tom Stringer Design Partners

Special tip: if you’re able to possibly avoid it, decide on a helper other than a person to whom you gave birth or that gave birth to you. The dynamic between parent and child when one is neat and organized and one is… not may be very stressful.

Hire a skilled or call on a friend and, unless it is a dire emergency, leave your parents or your kids out of it, other than to put dibs on household heirlooms.

4 Obstacles into Decluttering — and How to Beat Them

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Southwest Gardener's March Checklist

The American Southwest is a vast area, covering all of Arizona and New Mexico and Elements of California, Nevada, Texas and Utah. The areas of the Southwest are diverse and include non deserts, high deserts and mountainous areas, covering USDA zones 5 though 9.

It’s difficult to believe that winter is almost through and spring is just around the corner. Soon gardens will be awash in varying shades of green with brightly colored blossoms. In the desert areas, it is time to start pruning and dress up the landscape by adding some fresh flowering shrubs and vines. Gardeners in high elevations can get an early start on vegetable gardening by planting seeds indoors.

Desert gardeners should check their irrigation system for any leaks, broken sprinkler heads or drip emitters. With warmer temperatures on their way, plants will require reliable watering to grow their very best. Don’t wait until you start seeing dead plants in your landscape to realize you have a problem. Check your irrigation today. Grass will soon turn green, so it is time to ensure that your sprinklers are functioning. Replace any damaged heads and fix any leaks. Turn on the drip irrigation and then walk around, checking each emitter. If there isn’t any water coming out, or when there is too small, it is time to cut the old emitter away and add a new one.

More regional backyard guides

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Low Deserts (up to 3,000 Trainers)

Spend some time evaluating your landscape. Is it looking colorless and boring? March is a good time to add color and attention by planting summer-flowering shrubs and vines.

Flowering vines are a great way to dress up an entryway or to add color to a weapon. Consider developing these pink-blooming vines: Queen’s Wreath (Antigonon leptopus), shown here;pink bower vine (Pandorea jasminoides) or pink trumpet vine (Podranea ricasoliana).

Red bird-of-paradise (Caesalpinia pulcherrima), Baja fairy duster (Calliandra californica), Texas sage (Leucophyllum frutescens), chaparral blossom (Salvia clevelandii) andArizona yellow bells (Tecoma stans stans) are big summer-flowering shrubs that add great color to the landscape.

Large footprints, 5 ft and higher, should be planted toward the back of the landscape. Shrubs are a great way to conceal a boring wall or fence. They are also effective at hiding air-conditioning components and pool gear from view. Plant lower-growing shrubs and perennials in the front of taller shrubs.

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Do you love citrus? March is the best time of year to add a fresh citrus tree to the backyard. Any pruning your citrus needs must also be done this month. Citrus trees do not need much pruning. Focus on eliminating dead or crossing branches.

Whilst eliminating lower branches of citrus therefore they have a much more traditional tree shape is popular, try to avoid the temptation. Lower branches of citrus trees bear the sweetest fruit, and also the most of it. The branches also help to protect the trunk of this tree out of sunburn.

Revealed: Grapefruit

How to Maintain Your Citrus Trees Well Fed and Healthy

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Prune frost-damaged growth. Make sure to wait to prune before the danger of frost has passed. Not certain when your last frost date is? Check out your town’s average frost dates.

Frost-tender plants, like lantana (Lantana spp), look their best when pruned severely back to 6 inches. This sort of pruning rejuvenates the plant by stimulating new expansion, which will produce more leaves and blossoms than the old branches.

Revealed: Pruned ‘Radiation’ Lantana (Lantana camara ‘Radiation’)

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

When you’re pruning frost-damaged trees and shrubs, it can be difficult to tell which parts are dead and which parts are still living. Often when plants are frost ruined, they lose most of their leaves. But although a branch might be leafless, it doesn’t signify that the entire division is dead.

The hint to knowing which parts are living is to look closely at the branches, which will inform you where to make your pruning cut. The region of the branch that’s still living will start to leaf out, while the parts that are dead won’t. Make your pruning cut 1/4 inch above the point where the new growth occurs.

Wait until new growth appears prior to pruning.

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

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

Would you enjoy the notion of having new fruit growing in your backyard? How about growing apples, apricots, peaches or plums? This is a superb time to purchase bare-root or container fruit trees and plant them in your garden.

For many fruit trees (apples, apricots and plums), you will get the very best fruit production should you purchase at least two distinct varieties of each type of tree. This is due to the fact that fruit trees cannot pollinate themselves; they rely on pollen from the same type of tree but another selection.

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Woody, overgrown shrubs will benefit from pruning. Focus on eliminating nonproductive old branches by pruning them off near the bottom of the tree — loppers or a pruning saw work nicely for this type of pruning. Since the temperatures warm, fresh growth will appear.

Revealed: New growth emerging from a severely pruned woody shrub.

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Upper Elevations (Over 6,000 Trainers)

Before you know it, it is going to be time to go outside and start planting your vegetable garden. To acquire a jump-start, grow vegetables and flower seeds indoors approximately eight weeks before the final frost date in your area. By that time, you will have eight-week-old seedlings ready to plant in the backyard.

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Prune deciduous trees. Pruning ought to be done before the leaf buds begin to swell. The exclusion is walnut and birch trees and shrubs that flower in spring. Don’t prune them today; wait until they have finished flowering.


Get your soil ready for planting in later spring by working 2 to 3 inches of compost into the top 6 inches of soil. The advantages of compost in the garden are many. Two major ones are that compost adds nutrients to the soil and enhances the feel of both sandy and clay soils.

Don’t worry if you do not make your own compost. You can purchase some at your local nursery.

Prepare for April. Warm spring temperatures are a great time to include succulents to your garden.

Tell us : How are you preparing your Southwest garden for spring?

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