Month: September 2019

6 Water-Wise Perennials for Blazing High-Altitude Summers

Keep your backyard vibrant and your soul refreshed during the long, hot days of summer with the gorgeous blooms of those tough perennials. Gardening at high elevations — altitudes of 5,000 feet or more — presents a unique set of challenges. The intense glare and heat of sun, lean soils, sparse rainfall and low humidity may intimidate any gardener. The key is to concentrate on native plants and the ones that are well adapted to those tough growing conditions.

The assortment of plants presented here offers many weeks of gaudy flowers with very little care or water, after their root systems are created. They are particularly ideal for warm zones in the landscape — gardens situated from south- or west-facing building foundations or walls, adjacent to driveways and sidewalks, or even in the narrow strip beside the road.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Creeping Hummingbird Trumpet
(Zauschneria garrettii)

Vibrant orange-red trumpet-shaped blossoms create a mass of colour for months on end. A true ground cover and an incredible noodle jar, it spreads to form a living mulch. Let it drape over retaining walls one of large boulders. Plant this bold blossom with blue or purple ones for even more punch.

Globe thistle (Echinops ritro), blue oat grass (Helictotrichon sempervirens) and lavender (lavandula spp) are great companions for creeping hummingbird trumpet. It prefers a moderately enhanced, well-drained garden soil but will tolerate (and disperse less harshly in) a lean ground. It is deer resistant.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Where it will grow: Hardy to -20 degrees Fahrenheit (USDA zones 5 to 9; locate your zone); elevations around 8,000 feet
Water requirement: Low
Light requirement: Total sunlight; day shade at lower elevations
Mature size: 4 to 6 inches tall and 18 inches wide
Seasonal attention: Blooms July through August
When to plant: Spring

Read about a flatter species of Zauschneria

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Chocolate Flower
(Berlandiera lyrata)

Who can resist chocolate? You can keep your diet on track by forgoing the candy and enjoying the sweet treat of fragrance from these types of blossoms instead.

Bright yellow petals surround a mahogany-red center atop an open, sprawling form. This native perennial is best used in small groups or masses at a prairie or wildflower garden.

Put it near stones or paving — the surface warmth will enhance the blossoms’ aroma. Pair it with ice plant (Delosperma spp), dwarf Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia ‘Little Spire’) and Parry’s agave (Agave parryi). Chocolate blossom enjoys poor, dry dirt. It is deer resistant.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Where it will grow: Hardy to -30 degrees Fahrenheit (zones 4 to 9); elevations around 7,000 feet
Water condition: Low
Light requirement: Total sun
Mature size: 12 to 18 inches tall and 18 to 24 inches wide
Seasonal attention: Flowers June to September
When to plant: Spring or fall

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

(Alcea rosea)

This classic favorite sports 5- to 6-foot-tall spikes packed with big (4-inch-diameter) blossoms in yellow, red, pink or white. The blossoms bring both hummingbirds and butterflies.

Hollyhock is a short term perennial or biennial and will self-sow (without being weedy) when the flowers are allowed to ripen and place seed.

It is a stylish addition to a wildflower garden, meadow or mixed boundary. Blend it with lady’s mantle (Alchemilla mollis), bearded iris (Iris germanica) and tall sedum (Sedum spectabile). Provide well-drained, average to lean soil.

Where it will grow: Hardy to -40 degrees Fahrenheit (zones 3 to 2); elevations around 8,000 feet
Water requirement: Moderate to low
Light requirement: Total sun
Mature size: 2 to 3 feet wide and 5 inches to 6 feet tall
Seasonal attention: Blooms July to August
When to plant: Spring or fall

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Prairie Red Coneflower
(Ratibida columnifera pulcherrima)

deep red flowers that dance atop long, slender stalks and delicate, airy foliage create prairie red coneflower a terrific addition to a xeric mixed border or wildflower garden. Prairie red coneflower, also known as Mexican hat, is native to a large area of western North America. It is an important nectar source for native bees, butterflies and other insects.

Plant it using dotted blazing star (Liatris punctata), crazy four o’clock (Mirabilis multiflorus) and Missouri evening primrose (Oenothera macrocarpa). Although it is a short-term continuing (two or three decades), it is going to reseed readily. Plant it in well-drained clay to sandy soil.

Where it will grow: Hardy to -30 degrees Fahrenheit (zones 4 to 10); elevations around 8,000 feet
Water condition: Very low, but can withstand moist soil
Light requirement: Total sun
Mature size: 18 to 24 inches tall and wide
Seasonal attention: Blooms late June to August
When to plant: Spring or fall

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Yellow Pineleaf Penstemon
(Penstemon pinifolius ‘Mersea Yellow’)

A long-lived, native penstemon that blossoms non invasive, has evergreen foliage and can be bunny resistant — what more can you desire? Use pineleaf penstemon as a low edging plant for a shrub border or in drifts with blanket flower (Gallardia spp), red yucca (Hesperaloe parvifolia) and ‘Terracotta’ yarrow. Well-drained soil with low fertility is excellent for this penstemon.

Where it will grow: Hardy to -30 degrees Fahrenheit (zones 4 to 9); elevations around 8,000 feet
Water requirement: Low
Light requirement: Full to partial sun
Mature size: 12 inches tall and 15 inches wide
Seasonal interest: Blooms late June to July
When to plant: Spring or fall

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Here’s a zoomed-out look at yellowish pineleaf penstemon.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Big Blue Sea Holly
(Eryngium ‘Big Blue’)

Every backyard needs some architectural crops — those who are inflexible and sculptural — to contrast the ones that are soft and billowy. Enormous blue sea holly may be exactly what you have been searching for. Stiff blue stems using a 4-inch diameter and spiny, blue bracts make a distinctive metallic appearance.

Sea holly is deer and rabbit resistant, but appealing to butterflies. Include it in a cutting garden, since it’s excellent for both dried and fresh arrangements. Pair big blue sea holly with lavender (Lavandula spp), as shown, plus whirling butterflies (Gaura lindheimeri) and ornamental grasses. It adapts to average, clay as well as sandy soils.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Where it will grow: Hardy to -30 degrees Fahrenheit (zones 4 to 9); elevations around 7,500 feet
Water condition: Low (but water well the initial year to establish it)
Light requirement: Total sun
Mature size: 30 inches tall and 18 inches wide
Seasonal attention: Blooms July to August
When to plant: Spring or fall

More manuals to your best summer garden

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A Glimmer of Gold Leaf Will Make Your Room Shine

Gold-leafing, or gilding, has adorned everything from furniture to picture frames for thousands of years. Now, gold leaf may add a bit of old-world luxury that still feels modern — whether it’s peeking from underneath a pendant lamp or boldly glowing on cabinet doors.

The rich, deep hue of gold leaf is a far cry from the glistening brass of the ’70s, so don’t be afraid to experiment with this earthy metallic. Big, bold statement bits or a couple of shiny accessories will look beautiful.

Jerry Jacobs Design, Inc..

What’s gold leaf? Gold leaf is sometimes mistaken with metal leaf, but they’re different products. Metal foliage generally refers to thin sheets of metal (of any color) which don’t contain real gold. Gold leaf is made from gold. I use gold-colored metallic leaf for most jobs, as it might be prohibitively costly differently.

The outstanding display in this room probably uses genuine gold foliage, and provides an ideal dose of opulence to an otherwise serene and tranquil setting.

Heather Garrett Design

Gold leaf has its own challenges.

Here, a set of seats goes from quite to perfectly extraordinary with gold-leafed backs. The gold provides this sophisticated area a moody and alluring feel that would be missing if the seats were plain white.

But deciding to utilize gold leaf may be a large commitment. Beginning with something first is a safe bet.

I decided that a client’s giant, classic, Ming-style coffee table required to be gold, and it sounded like a very amazing idea when I explained it to her. I pictured this mass of previously unloved teak because a discovered treasure — something casually tossed besides a palace (yes, I really went there). We decided that the table should be gold-leafed, because there’s something incredibly special about the squares of gold which surpasses anything paint can achieve. Then I spent countless evenings applying delicate metallic sheets to a desk which seems to grow bigger with time.

Understand what you are getting yourself into when you decide to use gold leaf. Any surface can be gold-leafed as long as it’s prepared. Channel your inner alchemist and try some home-leafing. Most craft stores sell bundles of gold-toned metallic leaf and adhesives. But as I said, begin little.

Flat 46 for the Home

4 Strategies for Using Gilding in Your Home

Insert carefully selected accents. Gold gives off a heat that both absorbs and reflects light. Nearly every room may use some metallic, while it’s a gold-toned beverage dining table, a gilded mirror or the glint of a classic frame.

This classic Italian mirror is a timeless instance of gilding which works with almost any style. In a modern minimalist area, it would be the set bit. Within an eclectic home, it would complement surrounding treasures.

Denise DeCoster Architect

Play with scale. Today, gold leaf shows up in larger furnishings, like this elegant foyer cabinet. Adorning only the doorways, the gold makes a statement without overpowering the other items. It is the sort of laid-back luxe which makes a room special.

Jane Ellison

Highlight architectural features. Choose an architectural detail in your home to emphasize with gold. The door frame in this photo goes from hidden to front-and-center with gold leaf.

Leslie Hayes Interiors

Change your area’s light. Leafing the beautifully manicured ceiling of this dining room gives it a rich luster that educates the remaining furnishings underneath it.

More: Color Guide: How to Work with Gold

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IRS Rules on Sales

A short sale occurs when a lender allows a homeowner to sell his house for less than the mortgage balance to avoid foreclosure. The lender can accept a loss and then release the homeowner from additional debt liability, or the lender can pursue a deficiency judgment to collect the amount owed. If the lender not pursue a deficiency judgment following a short sale, however, the former homeowner is still totally clear and free. The lending company will issue a Form 1099-C and the deficient amount may need to be included as income on the former homeowner’s tax return.

Canceled Debt

According to the IRS debts are taxable income. If a lender releases a homeowner out of her debt obligation, the homeowner has effectively gained income, which usually must be contained on her tax return. Suppose a homeowner owes $100,000 on her house and finds a buyer that will pay $80,000. The lender agrees to accept the purchase price and compose the remaining $20,000. The lender will send the former homeowner a Form 1099-C for the deficient amount of $20,000, which the IRS may consider taxable income.

Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act

The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act allows homeowners to exclude canceled debt from income so long as the debt has been incurred to buy their primary residence, according to the IRS. This provision applies to debts discharged between 2007 and 2012 and is capped at $2 million ($1 million if married filing separately). Furthermore, this rule doesn’t apply for any motives besides a drop in home worth or a decline from the homeowner’s financial status.

Other Exceptions

Filing for bankruptcy may even absolve a taxpayer by paying a large tax bill because of forgiven debt. According to the IRS, debts discharged through bankruptcy can be deducted from taxable income. What’s more, demonstrating insolvency will even permit the citizen to exclude forgiven debt out of income. Insolvency occurs when a citizen’s total liabilities exceed total assets.

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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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