Author: Werhat

How to select the Size of Central Air

Back in the days of cheap electricity, correctly sizing residential central air conditioners wasn’t a high priority. Builders simply covered for any shortfalls by installing an AC unit significantly larger than needed. Now, homeowners can not manage to operate an over-sized air conditioner with half of the BTU tonnage than their home actually demands. On the flip side, nobody needs a unit that is too little, either. Sizing involves ascertaining the property’s heat load: The exact capacity in BTUs per hour and also cubic feet per minute of airflow to keep a 78 degree temperature from the home. Several methods are available — in the most exact to a general rule-of-thumb quote — to dimension the right central air conditioner for your needs.

Manual J Calculation

Developed by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America and integrated into applications used by HVAC contractors, Manual J is the gold standard for correctly ascertaining the heat load on your house. The program utilizes information about your climate and the size of your house, together with room-by-room data about the size and type of windows, the more air-tightness of the house, quantity and quality of insulation, the amount of residents and the varieties of appliances and lighting. The software generates BTU tonnage and airflow figures that permit you to correctly match an air conditioner to the particular requirements of the house.

Online Sizing Estimators

Available at many HVAC contractor and air conditioner sales sites, online calculators permit you to input a limited number of data about the size and setup of your house as well as its own Department of Energy climate. The calculator yields a rough estimate in BTUs and airflow to your ac unit that most closely fits your home’s cooling load. Since the precision of sizing calculations decreases as data is reduced, online sizing estimators are not as exact as a home visit by an HVAC contractor with Manual J software.

Compare and Contrast

Nearby homes in the exact same area or house development are often of equal size with similar floor plans. If a neighbor in a residence similar to yours has an air conditioner that produces adequate comfort and acceptable efficiency, request info about his AC unit including the serial and model number. This may give you an overall idea of what is needed to create similar benefits in your home.

Look at Your Existing Unit

If you’re replacing the air conditioner installed on your house due to malfunction, but it produced otherwise acceptable benefits in comfort and efficiency for your family, locate the manufacturer’s model and serial number plate, typically situated on the exterior condenser unit. Access the manufacturer’s customer support online or by phone to get sizing data concerning this unit, like its BTU capacity and airflow. With this information, you’ve got a starting point to make informed sizing decisions about upgrading to a new unit of greater or lesser ability.

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Removing Spaghetti Sauce From Table Linens

Spaghetti sauce served with a pasta dinner sometimes splatters its strategy to places it does not belong, like table linens. If undetected, then that sauce turns into a stain that may be hard to eliminate. Pretreat the saucy spots as soon as possible using liquid dish or laundry soap, water and vinegar to send them into oblivion. Then launder the blankets as ordinary.

Brand Areas

Take good care of new spills, for example, if a sauce-laden spoon falls upon the tablecloth, by instantly scooping up as much of the sauce as possible. Use a clean spoon, working from the outside of the spill toward the center to prevent spreading it. Once you’ve lifted the majority of the sauce off, blot the area gently with a damp cloth. Do not rub the place, or it may spread and become even larger.

Rinse It Away

Water helps eliminate a few of the spaghetti sauce residue. Pick out the tablecloth or cloth napkin to a sink or washtub. Run cool water over the rear or clean side of the cloth, so the tomato-based residue rinses away from the cloth, instead of becoming embedded inside it. Do not rub the cloth, because this may spread the stain.

Homemade Spot Remover

Create a homemade sauce-stain remover by mixing 3 parts water and vinegar with 1 part liquid dish soap or non-bleach liquid laundry soap. Pour the solution directly over small spots, or rub on the linen in the liquid if the stain is big. Leave the option on the linen for 10 to 15 minutes, and then rinse it in cool water. If the stain remains, pour a little liquid dish or laundry soap directly onto the stain and blot it gently with a sponge or dishcloth without massaging it. After a couple of minutes, rinse the soap off in water, and then blot white vinegar directly onto the place, rinsing it away after 5 to 10 minutes. If the stain is shouted but isn’t gone yet, duplicate the alternating soap and vinegar therapies.

Launder as Usual

Once you’ve treated the table linens with a homemade stain remover, clean them in the washing machine after instructions on the care tags. Use your favourite detergent together with 1/2 cup of bleach if the blankets are white, or even a color-safe bleach if not. Inspect the blankets carefully prior to placing them in the dryer, since heat will place the stains. Run the linens through the wash once again if sauce stains remain.

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Why Are My Joseph's Coat Roses Not Blooming?

Eye-catching “Joseph’s coat” roses (Rosa “Joseph’s Coat”) attribute shades of pink, coral and yellow on one blossom. This scaling rose grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9, where it can reach up to 10 feet tall and 8 feet wide. Bloom failure can result from many sources, however, a quick diagnosis and treatment program can help you avoid the disappointment of a terrible flowering period.

Cultural Issues

Deficiency of sunlight or inadequate soil can prevent a “Joseph’s coat” rose from producing flower buds or thriving efficiently. Check the website for appropriate drainage. If water stands on top the soil or if the soil feels muddy, then the rose might be a victim of the early signs of root rot. The soil must drain well but keep enough moisture that it doesn’t dry out entirely. Providing roses with 1 or 2 inches of water, or enough so that the soil remains moist to a 6-inch thickness, can enhance flowering. A 3-inch deep mulch layer helps conserve moisture. Supply the roses together with full, sloping sunlight, since “Joseph’s coat” will blossom weakly without enough sun.

Poor Nutrition

Roses need the appropriate nutrients to make flowers and buds. Too much hydrogen and not enough phosphorous in the fertilizer can cause healthy foliage growth but poor blooming. A high-phosphorous 9-18-9 formula, applied every three months from early spring during the summer, helps “Joseph’s coat” roses blossom better. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the fluid on top the soil, 6 inches away from the main trunk of this plant. Water following program so that the fertilizer soaks into the soil.

Pruning and Training

“Joseph’s coat” needs pruning in late winter, till it begins setting flower buds but following cold weather has passed. Pruning too late in the summer eliminates the developing flower buds and effects in few, if any, blooms. Wipe the jump pruning shears with a cloth soaked in rubbing alcohol to disinfect them before you prune. Cut diseased and broken wood back to your nearest healthy stage, making cuts in 1/4 inch of an outward facing bud. You may also head back overlong or crowded comes with the exact same pruning approach. As a climbing rose, “Joseph’s Coat” flowers best on horizontal divisions, therefore prune the plant to only two or three upwards canes and train the remaining posterior divisions horizontally along a trellis. The plant might have sparse leaves and leaf near its base. It is natural for “Joseph’s coat,” but it is possible to camouflage the bottom of the plant by surrounding it with summer flowering annuals.

Powdery Mildew

Serious infestations of powdery mildew, especially the year previously, can inhibit flowering. Mildew forms as a white, powdery growth on leaf surfaces, but it can spread to stems, unopened flower buds and blooms. In acute cases, the foliage dies from lack of sunlight and buds may fall without opening. It thrives in 60- to 80-degrees Fahrenheit in shady conditions. Good air circulation helps prevent mildew, so keep “Joseph’s coat” pruned and trained upright against a trellis to allow it to remain healthy. Prune out infected branches with disinfected shears and sprinkle the rose with water once daily in the morning to manage minor infections. Mix 1 teaspoon of neem oil and 1.2 teaspoons of liquid dish soap in a quart of water, and spray infected leaf till it is drenched to destroy more severe infections. Duplicate applications at 10-day periods may be necessary if the mildew persists.

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Why Does My Mandevilla Drop Its Buds?

Evergreen tropical vines, mandevillas aren’t shy about blowing their own trumpets — trumpet-shaped flowers, that’s. With blooms in shades of red, pink or white, the plants are often sold as potted annuals, because most species are only perennial in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 to 11. The exception is the Chilean jasmine (Mandevilla laxa), which may survive outdoors in USDA zones 7 to 11, but will die back to the ground during winter at the colder end of the range. Although they churn out a lot of buds, mandevillas sometimes shed them too, for an assortment of reasons.

The Light of Day

Mandevillas need sunlight to bloom well, but full sun all day, every day may be too much of a great thing for some plants. Based on GrowerTalks magazine, “high light throughout the summer can lead to bud abortion .” If your plant looks somewhat bullied, shift it into a place where it receives full sun only in the morning rather than during the brightest hours of midday.

A Long Drink of Water

Too much water or too small may also lead to your mandevilla to discard buds. It’s tuberous roots which decay readily when compelled to endure constantly soggy conditions. In case your mandevilla is growing in a pot, be sure that container has drainage holes and is filled with a light and porous potting soil rather than heavy clay, so that excess water does not linger. On the other hand, you shouldn’t allow the soil to become parched either, or even the plant will cast off buds that it can no longer sustain.

A Chunk of Change

If you opt to bring your mandevilla inside in the autumn to preserve it to the subsequent summer, then it will almost inevitably lose buds due to the shock of this transition. The environment in most homes is much lower in both humidity and light than that which the plant will have experienced outside. As opposed to attempting to keep it growing under these conditions, you can force the plant to semi-dormancy over the winter. To accomplish this, cut it back to about 10 inches, then put it in a cool, dark area with temperatures in the 50s or even 60s Fahrenheit, and water it only enough to keep the soil barely damp until spring. Be sure to disinfect your pruning tool blades by wiping them off with alcohol prior to pruning. This will decrease the chances of infecting the mandevilla with any diseases still clinging to the blades from a previous pruning job.

Left Out in the Cold

Regardless of the shock your plant might need to endure when brought inside, it is not a fantastic idea to leave it out too late in the autumn, either. A sudden freeze will destroy most mandevillas, with the exception of Mandevilla laxa, and they aren’t fond of temperatures in the 40’s F, either. Most types will begun to sulk — and also possibly cast buds — once night-time temperatures fall below 50 degrees F., and they should be brought inside at the moment.

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8 Effective, Amazing Lighting Types for Front Yards

A lot of us have landscape lighting at the backyard, since it is where we grapple with family and friends. And landscape lighting at the front yard is exactly the same, right? Yes and no. While the technology is exactly the same, there are different reasons and goals for utilizing lighting at the front yard. Lights on your front yard not only direct visitors to your front entry, however they accent your garden, highlight your house’s structure and supply security for your property — considerations the garden doesn’t necessarily need.

Mary Prince Photography

1. Entryway lights. The entryway can look to be an obvious starting spot, but it is surprising just how many people neglect to satisfactorily light it. Lighting not only assists individuals know where to input (important if you have a huge home with multiple doorways ), but increases security as you answer your door at night.

Opt for lights on both sides of front door in addition to overhead ones onto the pool or landing, and be sure to check regularly for burned-out bulbs.

Colors Of Green Landscape Architecture

2. Step lights. How many times have you tried to access somebody’s front yard steps at night and nearly taken your life in your own hands? Do not do this to your family and friends, especially in the event that you have a number of terraces or landing areas that have many measures.

Illuminate another measure (as shown) and have some garden lights onto the sides so everybody understands where their next step is. You will minimize spills and drops in addition to your liability from somebody’s getting injured on your property.

More ideas for lighting your outdoor steps

Integral Lighting

3. Wall and column lights. Got front yard courtyard walls, stucco walls on your parking space or lower walls lining the borders of your yard? Add some lighting to set them off, provide security or act as guides for night visitors.

Lights like the ones displayed here work best if you have a more expanse of wall mounted, but if you have one short wall, one well-chosen lighting fixture may work really nicely.

Root Design Company.com

4. Uplights for architectural plants. Uplights can turn potted crops into night works of art. Architectural plants are those with strong forms year-round, like agaves, Italian cypress and yuccas; put in uplights in the foundations of those plants to shine the light up onto them.

Choose a grouping of trees or particular focal-point plants to illuminate, rather than every plant in your backyard.

Noel Cross+Architects

5. Garden lighting. Even though you might shine lights especially on your prized crops, the remainder of your backyard needs a little love, too. Soft lighting to show leaves off and create a welcoming night ambience is a thoughtful touch for individuals visiting your house, but it is also a excellent feature in the event you wish to walk through your garden at night without a flashlight.

Sorensen Architects & Interiors

6. Toilet lighting. Ever tried to access your garage from the front at night, without lights? If you are lucky, you might find a little illumination from nearby lighting, but it is more helpful to have lights right where you want them. Who wants to fumble around in the dark whilst pulling trash cans from the face of the garage or inspecting something on the driveway?

Ana Williamson Architect

7. House number lighting. It’s frustrating if people can not see your home numbers, especially at nighttime. Whether your address numbers are on a front fence, columns or the front doorway, use adequate lighting to make them visible.

Make sure, though, the angle of your lighting does not create a shadow effect, which may further confuse your visitors by obscuring the numbers. You want your speech to be clearly lit, not overdramatized with particular effects.

Lite4 Outdoor Lighting

8. Security lights. Houses that are well lit make it even more challenging for undesirable visitors to hide. This home has not only entryway lights, but also a variety of other lighting around the home and property that banish the shadows. A figure moving in front of that kind of lighting would be instantly noticeable. Some lighting could be motion activated for those areas where you might not want illumination in any way occasions, like a utility space, a carport and an outlying yard.

Pedersen Associates

String lights light a front-yard patio in Mill Valley, California.

Additional tips:
Make sure that your lights fit the type of your home.Use a variety of lighting for the best effect.Don’t forget small light sources, like lamps and candles — these are particularly perfect for intimate porch spaces.Low-voltage landscape lighting are a great alternative for front yards.Solar lights vary widely in their effectiveness and quality. Do not rely on them for security purposes, since the quantity of light provided isn’t adequate.Avoid spacing lights too closely together — your lighting practitioner needs to be able to distance them out to offer you the light you want without moving overboard.LED lighting, rope lighting and Christmas lights may all create more special, subtle effects for your backyard. More: The 3 Top Ways To Light Up Your Landscape

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Roots of Style: French Eclectic Design Continues to Charm

Original French diverse architecture began in the early 20th century and remained popular for about 30 years. Americans romanticized the types, details and shapes that they saw in France, borrowing themes from a very long and rich history of domestic architecture.

Because of this there are three principal subtypes of the style.

Symmetrical layouts, the first, developed out of Renaissance styles and were frequently inspired by manor homes and even royal palaces. The preceding extravagant Beaux-Arts and chateauesque fashions also provoked the appetite for French architecture in the following generation. Asymmetrical examples sometimes married Renaissance detailing and a formal medieval massing.

Towered variations were motivated by French regional fashions in regions such as Normandy and Brittany. Most interestingly, medieval kinds persisted through Renaissance influences in each one these subtypes. The unifying distinction in this design is a prominent, and frequently steep, stylish roof.

Reynolds Architecture- Construction & Design

Early-20th-century examples could be scenic, mimicking the nature of country cottages and farmhouses, or else they could be quite formal, with Renaissance classical detailing and carefully arranged and proportioned elevations. A number of the scenic examples have characteristics very similar to those of medieval English structure, while formal illustrations share characteristics with Italian Renaissance buildings.

In the middle of the 20th century, the design dissipated in fame. French design returned in the 1960s and ’70s in the form of the mansard roof. This cousin to French diverse more frequently appeared with little focus on correct detail and proportion as found in first French diverse illustrations. Not until the late 20th century did carefully considered French diverse return to prefer, among many other revivals of standard styles as modernism waned.

Symmetrical French Eclectic

Although less dominant a fashion as Spanish diverse or colonial, French diverse was revived in all its first forms before twenty years. All these neoeclectic examples are located across the nation and are often commissioned individually, which adds to the variety.

The stone-clad symmetrical example here seems balanced and ordered, however its intimate scale and magical details relate well. Note these French diverse details: prominent chimney, round dormers with oval windows, flared eave, Renaissance classical detailing, segmented arches and casement windows. Special to this house is the prominent arched pediment with a comprehensive relief.

Reynolds Architecture- Design & Construction

Similar in scale to the preceding case, this stucco-clad house varies in a couple of details but has the same belt line and prominent chimneys. The arch-topped dormers reflect the shape of the lower-level windows.

The upper-floor windows are uniquely grouped but nevertheless carefully balanced in the front view. The classical entry porch farther designates its formality. The modest proportions of these windows and the entry design keep the scale amorous.

E. B. Mahoney Builders, Inc..

Roof materials could be slate, horizontal wood or tile, as in this house, giving it a country taste. Notice the use of dividers compared to the other cases, placed just on the principal set of French windows. These French doors extending into the ground evolved to what we commonly refer to as the French door. The remarkably shaped dormers further individualize the house.

Spacecrafting / Architectural Photography

As in the first instance, this symmetrical layout (not considering the commonly added wings to both sides) builds a highly organized set of components. The quoins frequently found in French diverse layouts formalize the outline of their exterior perspective, or elevation. The stylish dormer, a third kind found in the design, rests beneath the principal roof, while an arched wall dormer pierces the eave line of the second level.

Highgate Builders

Asymmetrical French Eclectic

This second subtype contains most examples of the French diverse homes you will see. Endless variations unite under the signature hip roof shape and the use of many types and dimensions of dormers.

Handsomely covered in stone and topped with a slate roof, this elegant house achieves a moderately formal air but provides exceptional visual interest with its varied window shapes and dimensions. Notice the oval windows put in round-top dormers and the delightful play of the roofline.

A mansard-shape roof component cleverly draws attention to the centered location of the entry with lovely arched French casement windows over. The huge chimney and multiple eave lines exemplify other components common to the bronchial subtype.

Fergon Architects, LLC

Combinations of stone and brick like this are typical during the design. Nicely detailed gutters and downspouts further contribute to the home’s character. Few fashions accept a combination of complex elevations and rooflines without feeling filthy.

Michael Abraham Architecture

Also, few styles encompass wide variations of the motif suited to both city and country structure. Certainly inspired by French country homes, this beautiful Norman-style cottage includes a carefully dominant roof and beautifully scaled dormers of 2 types and dimensions, all placed atop a simply stuccoed rectangular frame with little windows (in this case, two leaded casement windows) and a romantic entry.

Fusch Architects, Inc..

This complex example joins symmetry, asymmetry and several French diverse elements to get a sumptuous experience. Unified by a redbrick exterior and fine black trim, a central symmetrical block simplifies the makeup. Signature elements such as segmented arched windows, flared and varying eaves, and also a classical entry surround are all found here. Note that stylish, gable and arch dormers are all current.

Orren Pickell Building Group

Towered French Eclectic

The towered variant, the least-common kind of French eclectic design, reaches back into the medieval past for inspiration. These components were inspired by medieval reinforced compounds found in French rural settings.

Most possess the tower as the main entry, with easy wooden arched doors together with a segmented arched inset. In this case stone clads the tower also is mixed with stucco on additional exterior walls. All other elements found in the asymmetrical type are here too. Notice the stucco with the stone unturned to attain an old-world look.

CLEMENS PANTUSO Architecture

Normal components apply to this contemporary version. On the other hand, the towered elevation is symmetrical, in stark contrast to normal designs. The architects have also produced a exceptional element with the eyebrow roofs over the two bay windows.

This house references the English Tudor design, which shares a number of the qualities of French diverse. The forward-facing gable is found less frequently, but half-timber components and patterned brick exteriors can be discovered in early-20th-century originals.

Peter Zimmerman Architects

Here the architects have combined a tower component with an otherwise symmetrical primary elevation. Massive brick chimneys, stucco with brick detailing and hipped dormers contribute to the French diverse motif.

The French eclectic design persisted through much of the 20th century, though it was less popular than many different styles. Most homes in this fashion were custom built during times of wealth, since the complexity of the style adds to the price of building. More recent cases are often located on independently developed parcels in luxury areas. A couple modest early-1900s homes exist in popular places.

Because of the mix and variants of these components, these homes rarely appear to resemble one another. As mentioned earlier, the prominent hipped roof signals the style’s designation, combined with appropriately scaled details. Because of these features, the design continues to charm and encourage lots of homeowners.

More: Where Can Your House Get Its Look?

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Ultrahigh-Definition 4K TVs Sharpen Their Sights on the Home

A new generation of exceptionally high-definition TVs came out there in 2012. But these were priced beyond what is reasonable or affordable to most people, starting at about $20,000. The technology is known as 4K since the settlements are 3840 pixels × 2160 pixels (the higher pixel row approaching 4,000). These screens have four times the pixels as a regular HD (high-definition) screen.

Frequent HD TVs look great — until, that is, you visit 4K. The 4K experience could be literally stunning. The facts look more real than reality. It’s very difficult to find any pixelation however close you look at the monitor. Once you’ve observed it, 4K is a very desirable thing.

store.sony.com

Sony 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD TV – $4,999.99

But let us face it: That is not a very compelling proposition, especially since 4K content is so hard to come by. For today just a very small selection of 4K movies is available on the market. YouTube and a few other online streaming video services support 4K. And there are prosumer (producer-consumer) and extreme-sports cameras that capture content in 4K resolutions. But most 4K TV owners are only watching Blu-ray movies upscaled in software to 4K. That is a personal computer suggestion that 4K TVs can do this makes HD movies higher quality, although not 4K quality.

New alternatives appearing

The content situation is slowly improving, but the cost of 4K is getting better quicker. Just recently new options for 4K have emerged and they’re far more affordable. If you disregarded 4K as a hopeless luxury for the very wealthy, it is time to take a second look. Here’s what’s new.
Sony is in the forefront of bringing down the price of high-quality 4K TV sets. While its flagship 84-inch collection cost $25,000 in its debut, its newest 55-inch TV retails for $4,999.

The Sony 55-inch 4K Ultra HD TV has a sleek, minimalist, modern look, with 65-watt speakers built into the chassis on either side of the screen. The set also plays upscaling, which displays average Blu-ray movies in a higher resolution than they appear on HD sets.

Additionally, it comes with four pairs of 3-D eyeglasses.

store.sony.com

Sony 4K Ultra HD Media Player – $699.99

Content is a problem for 4K TV sets, specifically that there isn’t much. And becoming exactly what does exist is hard and time consuming since the files are gigantic. Sony offers help in the shape of a separate product that operates with its (and just its) 4K sets by streaming and storing those huge 4K movie files onto a 2-terabyte hard disk.

The Ultra HD Media Player even comes with 10 4K movies already downloaded into the drive, including The Amazing Spider-Man, Salt as well as the classic Bridge on the River Kwai. It works with an upcoming Sony paid streaming service that uses compression technology from Eye IO.

asus.com

Asus PQ321 4K Computer Monitor – $3,799

Another option for becoming smaller and more affordable 4K in your life is to buy a 4K PC screen. Asus planned as of this writing to establish its own PQ321 screen, a 311/2-inch 4K monitor screen. The screen offers a resolution of 3840 by 2160 pixels in an aspect ratio of 16:9 and a gorgeous pixel density of 140 pixels per inch. It has built-in stereo speakers, and it is wall mountable. It’s thin, too — only 35 millimeters.

One device for TV and calculating

This creates a lot of sense for some folks, especially those who want really great high def for both calculating and TV viewing, but don’t want to purchase two expensive apparatus. Additionally, it helps since most of the 4K content is on YouTube and other internet services.

Although at the retail price of $3,799, the Asus 4K screen is far more affordable than larger TV sets, that is a very expensive screen by PC screen criteria. A normal price for a high-quality, conventional-resolution screen of this size would be about $600.

Naturally, that the PC you plug in this monster to will need to encourage 4K output, which newer graphics chips from Nvidia and AMD are ready to do.

It’s apparent that the costs for ultrahigh-definition 4K screens for entertainment and productivity will continue to return. But it’s also apparent that the age when these awesome displays are within reach is already here.

More: Switch Your Kitchen Counter Into a Touch Screen

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More Space 5 Spectacularly Converted Garages

I guess some people actually park in their garages. We’ve been in our home for 15 years and have never used it for the intended function. Which explains why I dream of converting it to a family room one day shortly.

The very best thing about converting a garage into living space is that the construction already exists. Typically all you will need is a little creativity to change the interior into a comfortable, pretty, livable space. (An architect can be very handy when it comes to creating space in which you believed there was none).

These five examples — a studio, two living rooms, a mini home and guest quarters — have interpreted the humble garage in vastly different but both inspiring ways.

Urban Oasis

This is an exterior shot of a little studio that was a garage that is not-so-lovely.

Before Photo

Urban Oasis

This is in its original state: a dim and jumbled mess of space with some arbitrary storage thrown in.

Urban Oasis

AFTER: This is the same space reinvented as a bright studio apartment with a view to the pool. A crucial for a successful garage transformation is light, light, light. Because many garages begin small with relatively brief ceilings, natural light makes all the difference in the way in which the space feels.

Watch more of the garage transformation

Dark, windowless and arranged. To put it differently, your normal garage.

Smith & Vansant Architects PC

AFTER: This is one of my preferred renovations. It’s light and modern, with incredibly clever uses of distance. The architect managed to have a living room that was bright intriguing inside that garage.

Smith & Vansant Architects PC

Large windows and half walls increase the sense of space and openness, but also separate the entrance hall in the living area.

Watch more of the renovation

Michelle de la Vega

You may imagine what is in here: a broken lawn mower and a great deal of spiders.

Ira Lippke

AFTER: Artist, welder and designer Michelle de la Vega’s whole home is in this 250-square-foot former garage in Seattle. But for the addition of a bathroom, the footprint didn’t change.

Ira Lippke

A room of one’s very own, complete with sleeping kitty and loft.

Get the whole story here

Before Photo

It might be a dumpy garage in this shot, but those high ceilings are of what is to come a good omen.

Susan Jay Design

AFTER: Susan Jay Design transformed the garage of a ranch-style California home to a swinging midcentury living area. It’s still recognizable as the same structure since the architect maintained that open, magnificent ceiling.

Before Photo

Rossington Architecture

BEFORE and AFTER: Rossington Architecture in San Francisco transformed this shadowy, under-the-house garage common of the area to a bright playroom and guest quarters. Natural light comes from 1 wall only, however light colours and a great deal of pot lights help brighten the space.

See more photographs of the endeavor

Perhaps you have found extra living space in the garage?
Please show us an image and tell us about your project in the Comments!

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Owners Locate Their Bliss in a Wine Country Ranch House

When a San Francisco couple was looking for a second house in Sonoma, California, they saw past the dark and embarrassing areas in this 1940s ranch house, the former home and office of a dear local physician. They knew a renovation, master suite addition, rear courtyard and pool would make it the retreat of their dreams. The results were fantastic, the couple left their city attic behind to live full time.

in a Glance
Who lives here: A couple who works from home
Location: Sonoma, California
Size: 1,900 square feet prior to the remodel; 2,500 square feet later

Before Photo

Since the house had served as a physician’s office and residence, the entryway was quite strange. “It was similar to the Winchester Mystery House,” architect Amy Alper says. “You walked into this very little room with three doors to choose from.” The whirlpool hallway foreshadowed the rest of the house, which was divided into little rooms.

Architect, Amy A. Alper

AFTER: “For those who have lived in the region for a long time, while they detected the construction, they did not see anything other than the beloved physician’s former house being refreshed using an elastomeric finish to the stucco and new energy-efficient windows selected to resemble the older,” Alper says.

Before Photo

The kitchen has been among the more cramped rooms at the house.

Architect, Amy A. Alper

AFTER: Alper opened the kitchen, dining room and living room to create one large, light space.

Architect, Amy A. Alper

A brand new skylight plays a massive role in brightening up things. Additionally, it is operable, bringing in fresh air and letting out heat. The kitchen has an updated traditional style, combining shaker cherry cabinets and Richlite counters, contemporary pendant lighting and glass backsplash tiles.

Another neat trick: Two rows of fluorescent lighting tucked to the ceiling cove add ambience to your kitchen when meeting California’s codes requiring more fluorescent lighting than incandescent.

Architect, Amy A. Alper

Alper place the bar countertop 42 inches to conceal any kitchen mess in the dining area. Translucent glass doors split the long expanse of reduced cabinets. New oak floors were stained to match present hardwoods.

Curved doors just off the dining room open to the outdoors.

Before Photo

From the back the house resembled a pair of pavilions, which inspired Alper’s renovation plans. The doors on the far left are the old dining room doors, which Alper replaced with the curved doors in the prior picture.

Architect, Amy A. Alper

AFTER: The arrangement in the far left is the rear of the original house (displayed in the last photo) using its own new roofline. The present two-car garage, using another story for storage and also a ground-floor workplace, is about the far right, in the conclusion of the new fiberglass pool.

The master suite addition in the middle feels as though it has been there. A courtyard that serves as an outdoor living room is created by the new layout.

Architect, Amy A. Alper

And here is your master suite addition’s opinion to the courtyard. It’s not tough to comprehend why the owners fell in love with Sonoma and have moved here full time.

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Travel Guide: Montreal for Design Lovers

Residents of Montreal did not need UNESCO’s crowning it the City of Design from 2006 to reaffirm their love affair with their city. Referred to as Canada’s cultural capital, Montreal can claim bragging rights to your summer full of festivals together with world-renowned architecture and stylish restaurants and bars.

When you read through this guide, put together by myself and fellow Montreal native Laura Garner, visualize yourself admiring the unique art installations of every subway station, walking through over 32 kilometers (20 miles) of tunnels in the Underground City or riding in an horse-drawn carriage through the cobblestone roads in the exact European area of Old Montreal. No matter how you decide to get someplace in town, Montreal always has a way of surprising you on the way.

More city guides for design junkies

This perspective of the St. Lawrence river shows off the beauty of the Montreal skyline at night and includes the Bell Center (in which the Montreal Canadiens play hockey). This photo was shot from one of the bridges that connects Cité du Havre (a strip of property in which the Habitat 67 community is found; see below) to the Île Sainte-Hélène, which homes La Ronde amusement park and is home to the popular indie music festival Osheaga along with the Formula 1 racetrack.

A few notes on the information that follows: We have included the closest metro stop and have emphasized design destinations by locality.

Must-Sees

Mount Royal Park: A 200-hectare (about 500-acre) park in the heart of the city
Location: From Côte-de-Neiges Road to Park Avenue, between route des Pins and Voie Camillien Houde (subway: Mont-Royal)
Noteworthy: Lookout points throughout the park offer the finest views of the city, day or night.

Produced by Frederick Law Olmsted (the designer of New York’s iconic Central Park), Mount Royal is a yearlong congregating place for tourists and residents alike. Summertime brings long walks round the pond and picnics under the trees, while chilly offers ice skating.

If you are in Montreal on a Sunday in the summertime, head to the Sir George-Étienne Cartier monument to observe the complimentary, unofficial event known as the Tam-Tams, where hundreds of people gather to drum and dance under the sun.

Laura Garner

Habitat 67: A stunning 12-story apartment complex designed by architect Moshe Safdie
Location: 2600 route Pierre-Dupuy (close to the casino)
Noteworthy: The apartments are designed with lots of solitude, terrace gardens along with numerous degrees that confront the St. Lawrence river.

Produced in 1967 by Montreal architect Moshe Safdie for his master thesis, also debuting at the Expo 67 world’s fair, the revolutionary 146-residence housing complex areas single-family dwellings in an urban atmosphere.

More info: Habitat 67

Laura Garner

Palais de Congres: Montreal’s convention center
Location: 159 rue St. Antoine West (subway: Place-D’Armes)
Noteworthy: Located between the downtown center and Old Montreal, the Palais includes 113 rooms and venues. Its multicolored glass facade consists of 332 coloured glass panels and 58 transparent panels.

More info: Palais de Congress

Laura Garner

Grande Bibliothèque: Montreal’s biggest public library
Location: 475 boulevard de Maisonneuve East (subway: Berri-UQAM)
Noteworthy: Constructed in 2005 and located in the bustling Latin Quarter downtown, with direct access to the subway and Underground City, this modern six-story construction has large horizontal plates of glass running along the complete exterior.

The space includes an exhibition hall, a theatre and a complete floor for children in addition to top-of-the line audiovisual equipment.

More info: Grande Bibliothèque

Laura Garner

Notre Dame Basilica: Centuries-old basilica
Location:
110 Notre-Dame Street West, corner of Saint Sulpice Street (subway: Place D’Armes)
Price: $5 Canadian (about U.S.$5) for adults; $4 for ages 7 to 17; free for children 6 and under
Noteworthy: Its opulent and vibrant interior hosts about 100 weddings every year, together with Celine Dion being one of those who have tied the knot.

This really is a beautiful illustration of the Gothic revival style of architecture; it had been the very first of its type to be constructed in Canada. The basilica displays stained glass windows that feature the history of religion in Montreal, which is not typically done.

More info: Notre Dame Basilica

Esther Hershcovich

Must-Eats

Le Confessionnal: Stylish bar
Location: 431 rue McGill in Old Montreal (subway: Square Victoria)
Price: From $9 Canadian (about U.S.$9) per cocktail
Noteworthy: Seductive red decor and dim lighting from chandeliers Result in a darkened setting

After a few beverages, Old Montreal does not neglect for foodies. The area is a design lover’s paradise. Try the three-course lunch menu for $28 Canadian inside the black-painted walls of the favorite Les 400 Coups (400 Notre Dame Est). If you are lucky enough to find a reservation, make sure to eat dinner at Garde Manger (408 rue St. François Xavier), owned by star chef Chuck Hughes.

Apart pub Le Confessionnal, try an after-dinner drink at the Philemon Bar (111 rue St. Paul Ouest)famous for its laidback yet trendy ambience. Don’t forget to respect its decoration, done by Montreal interior designer Zébulon Perron.

More info: Le Confessional, Les 400 Coups, Garde Manger, Philemon Bar

Amielle Clouatre

Bar Pullman: Upscale bar
Location: 3424 route du Parc, corner of Sherbrooke downtown (subway: Place des Arts)
Price: From $4.50 Canadian for a 2-ounce glass of wine to $5 Canadian for tapas
Noteworthy:
Upscale yet understated ambience

This wine bar is something of a hidden gem in the downtown core of Montreal, offering wine samplers and tasty tapas to accompany them (try the foie gras).

If you want a casual dinner, have a look at Lola Rosa (545 rue Milton), a cozy vegetarian eatery from the McGill ghetto that’s very popular with college students.

Across the city are several places of the crisp white tea shops called David’s Tea, recently recognized by Oprah. Make sure you smell all of them.

More info: Pullman, Lola Rosa, David’s Tea

Laura Garner

L’Ambroisie: A popularFrench restaurant
Location: 4020 St. Ambroise, in the historic Chateau St.-Ambroise, Little Burgundy and St. Henri (Sud-Ouest) area (subway: Place St. Henri)
Price:
From $19 Canadian for a table d’hôte supper
Noteworthy:
The hall of this building leading to the entrance displays quirky classic items such as suits of armor along with a carnival caravan.

Housed from the Chateau St.-Ambroise along the Lachine Canal, this enchanting restaurant displays an eclectic mix of industrial architectural elements combined with Greco-Roman features. Offering French cuisine, this restaurant is something that you need to try at least once.

Other noteworthy suggestions for a gourmet meal in the neighboring areas of Montreal include Joe Beef and Tuck Shop — make sure to make a reservation.

If you are in the mood for a picnic, then be sure to stop by the Atwater Market farmer’s market to pick up fresh fruits, meats and cheeses.

More info: L’Ambroisie, Joe Beef, Tuck Shop, Atwater Market

Esther Hershcovich

Baldwin Barmacie: A design-minded bar
Location: 115 avenue Laurier Ouest in Plateau and Mile End (subway: Laurier)
Price: Drinks start at $7 Canadian
Noteworthy: The design evokes a modern pharmacy motif.

If you would like to feel transported back to the Mad Men era, the decor and drink list at Baldwin Barmacie are sure to please. Midcentury modern decor has an upgrade with neutral colours and clean lines.

If you are a fan of cocktails, then a must-try is your trendy pub Distillerie (with three locations in central Montreal). The biggest hit? Delicious and creative cocktails presented in mason jars.

If you are on the hunt for a breakfast spot from the Plateau, look no further than Resto Fabergé, a breakfast place with a lounge setting. The interior design, performed by the architects at laroche et gagné, is bright and entertaining and take a peek. Try the breakfast poutine.

Additional info: Baldwin Barmacie, La Distillerie, Resto Fabergé

Les Enfants Terribles Brasserie

Les Enfants Terribles: Restaurant and bar
Location: 1257 Bernard Ouest in Mile End/Outremont
Price: Cocktails start at $10 Canadian, tartare plates start at $14 Canadian
Noteworthy:
Rustic wood, chalkboards and murals all add charm for this brasseries and its own terrace, designed by architect Louis-Joseph Papineau.

If you are up for rich French pastries, a walk up the block will take you to Boulangerie Cheskie. On the must-try listing is your chocolate babka. St.-Viateur Bagel is just another timeless stop in the area. Open 24/7, this legendary shop has been mentioned in a variety of books and movies.

More info: Les Enfants Terribles, St.-Viateur Bagel

Must-Dos

Position des Arts: A performing arts center
Location: 175 rue St. Catherine Ouest (subway: Place des Arts)
Noteworthy:
The center holds festivals throughout the year, including the Jazz Festival, Just for Laughs and Montreal’s Nuit Blanche.

Want to watch Marie-Antoinette performed by les Grands Ballets Canadiennes? Head to one of Place des Arts’ 10 halls. The Symphony Hall, with an interior made almost completely of light beech, is the most recent addition to the complicated.

A subway ride away, on St. Laurent, is your Society for Arts and Technology (SAT), a nonprofit center featuring cutting-edge audiovisual experiences for everybody.

More info: Place des Arts, SAT

Laura Garner

Canadian Center for Architecture
Location: 1920 rue Baile, downtown (Rene-Levesque Boulevard and rue Saint Marc), (subway: Georges Vanier)
Price: $10 Canadian for adults; $7 Canadian for seniors; free for children and students; free for everybody on Thursday evenings
Noteworthy: The Canadian Center for Architecture (CCA) has been constructed in 1979 with the objective of raising awareness of the function of architecture in society.

Across the road you can find the CCA Garden, a public sculpture installation by Montreal architect Melvin Charney.

Additional info: Canadian Center for Architecture

Esther Hershcovich

Architectural Bike Tour: A guided four-hour adventure through the streets of Old Montreal
Location:
27 rue de la Commune Est (subway: Champ de Mars)
Price: Rental starting at $6.50 Canadian
Noteworthy: You can also see it on your own by downloading the Architecture Walking Tour app.

Relax after a long day of exploring at Spa Bota Bota, a serene five-deck boat anchored on the St. Lawrence river.

Additional info: Architectural Bike Tour, Spa Bota Bota

Esther Hershcovich

Must-Stays

Hotel Gault
Location:
449 rue St. Helene (subway: Square Victoria)
Price: From $178 Canadian
Noteworthy: Minimalistic design contrasted by big French windows onto a corner located steps away in the downtown area.

This luxurious 1871 hotel has 30 suites and a restaurant. Spend some quiet time in its library, complete with a hot fireplace for the chilly nights.

More info: Hotel Gault

Laura Garner

LHotel
Location: 262 St. Jacques West in Old Montreal (subway: Square Victoria)
Price: From 135 Canadian
Noteworthy:
The collection of artwork on display is fit for a museum.

This boutique hotel is in the heart of Old Montreal. Owned by Georges Marciano of clothes brand Guess, the LHotel has become the permanent home for Marciano’s extensive personal pop art collection, including works by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Damien Hirst.

More info: LHotel

Hotel St. Paul

Hôtel St. Paul
Location:
355 McGill Street in Old Montreal (subway: Square Victoria)
Price: From $195 Canadian
Noteworthy:
This was Old Montreal’s first boutique hotel.

Employing the four elements of fire, ice, earth and sea as inspiration, this Old Montreal boutique hotel has a monochromatic color palette and organic textures that provide the decor a soft, relaxing feeling.

More info: Hôtel St. Paul

Laura Garner

Loft Hotel
Location: 334-336 Terasse St. Denis in the Plateau (subway: Sherbrooke)
Price: From $125 Canadian
Noteworthy:
The building was once used as storage space for Canadian Armed Forces tanks.

Completed in 1920 by notable Montreal architect Ernest Cormier, the building that houses the Loft Hotel is one of Montreal’s enduring art deco landmarks. The building was recently converted to loft-style hotel rooms, which can be as spacious as they are trendy.

More info: Loft Hotel

Esther Hershcovich

Must-Visit Shops

Les Touilleurs: Cooking provide shop
Location: 152 avenue Laurier Ouest in the Mile End (subway: Laurier)
Noteworthy: Get a free recipe-of-the-week card.

The big, spacious chalet-style kitchen is where you’ll discover the very best cooking supplies for your culinary needs. It was created by architect Luce Lafontaine with big, open cabinetry to make you feel at home. Courses are offered onsite 3 nights weekly by local chefs.

A walk round the corner will take you to Jamais Assez, where you’ll find a huge assortment of locally made furniture and creative accessories. Le Boutique Artisanal Une Monde is a warehouse on a side road that carries a choice of Asian-inspired and revived furniture at affordable prices. If you would like to scout for some more boho home accents, Buk&Nola will have everything you’re searching for. This shop is well known for its casual elegant decoration. The owners offer a decorating service as well.

More info: Les Touilleurs, Jamais Assez, Buk&Nola

Esther Hershcovich

L’Affichiste: Classic poster gallery
Location: 471 rue Saint François Xavier in Old Montreal (subway: Place D’armes)
Noteworthy: The largest collection of original vintage posters in Montreal is housed in this gallery, attached with underground tunnels to the Notre Dame Basilica. A storage room is housed in a walk-in vault.

If you are still searching for that perfect piece of art, have a walk down to La Rue des Artistes. It might be where you are going to discover that coup de coeur, French for “favorite uncover.” Keep walking and you’ll arrive at the big indoor Marché Bonsecours marketplace, where local artisans sell everything from furniture to clothes and unique umbrellas.

More info: L’Affichiste, Marché Bonsecours

Esther Hershcovich

Style Labo: Shop selling vintage and new things
Location: 5765 St. Laurent Blvd in Plateau/Mile End (subway: Rosemont)
Noteworthy: The classic lights collection

If you’re searching for a big collection of industrial-style vintage and new items, this is the place to visit. The shop’s decor transports you to another moment.

If you’re trying to find a design experience, Les Commissaires doubles as a boutique and gallery, selling daring designer pieces from around the world. It’s continually restocked with a mix of innovative, occasionally provocative things attesting to the city’s flair to the mix offered in its own design. Monastiraki is just another vintage shop; it also serves as a community art center. Search via its cabinets for vintage and locally made prints.

More info: Style Labo, Les Commissaires, Monastiraki

Surface Jalouse

Surface Jalouse: Printing store
Location: 2672 rue Notre-Dame West in Little Burgundy (subway: Lionel Groulx)
Noteworthy:
Surface Jalouse can print pictures (the store’s or your own) on virtually any surface — such as furniture.

Component furniture shop and part studio, this boutique offers funky and thoroughly unique home decor items.

As you’re on Notre Dame street, head west to explore the strip of antiques shops and curiosity shops.

More info: Surface Jalouse

Esther Gibbons

Hidden Gems

Gibeau Orange Julep: Landmark and fast-food restaurant
Location: 7700 Decarie Boulevard (subway: Namur)
Noteworthy: On Wednesday nights during the summer, the lot fills with classic vintage cars and bicycle lovers.

Since the 1960s the Julep has been one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks, with its distinct fiberglass orange form and coloured party flags dangling off the side. Roller skating waitresses initially brought food to the automobiles, but they’ve been replaced with a top fast-food service. The Gibeau Orange Julep (an orange drink), offered when the shop opened in 1932, remains what attracts most customers.

More info: Gibeau Orange Julep

Réne Lévesque Park: Sculpture park
Location: 1 chemin de Musee, (subway: Angrignon)
Noteworthy: Admire 22 enormous sculptures at this park, located off the Lachine Canal bike path and offering panoramic views of the Saint Lawrence and Saint Louis rivers.

Enjoy a picnic with your loved ones, rent a kayak or enjoy the green and open 4 kilometers of walking paths.

More info: Parc René-Lévesque

Esther Hershcovich

Spazio: Antiques shop
Location: 8405 boulevard St. Laurent (subway: Jarry)
Noteworthy: Architectural detailing from several time periods are readily found in this two-story shop that was formerly a renowned tavern.

It is divided into neat sections, so it’s possible to find a room filled with antique doors or sections for stained glass windows, vintage knobs or handles. The owner is constantly expanding as the collection grows.

More info: Spazio

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