Month: November 2018

12 Libraries That Lightened Up

When you hear the term”library,” what comes to mind? Professor Plum with the candlestick? For me it’s plenty of dark wood paneling, a deep burgundy Chesterfield couch, an oppressive amount of leather-bound novels, a heavy desk, brass lamps and perhaps a lot of judges having their weekly poker game, complete with lots of cigar smoke.

As a dark and cozy library may be a great part of a conventional home, I’m more excited about the ways designers are kicking heritage to the curb and producing airy and open library spaces. They have kept the comfy stuffed furniture but gotten rid of the stuffiness. Another exciting aspect is they are finding room for libraries in that which would otherwise be wasted space. Get ideas by a look at a number of library layouts that are fresh.

Griffin Enright Architects

This home includes a wood-burning floor plan, however, the contemporary library space is demarcated by a change in altitude and rich dark wood. Using shelves which go only halfway up the walls as well as glistening ivory floor keeps things light.

Watch the rest of this home

Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects

This library is also situated in spot using a transitional elevation within the floor plan. The architect must have taken careful notes on how best to maximize the natural light whilst maintaining the room sheltered from direct sunlight.

Watch the rest of this home

Mark English Architects

This spacious library provides a spot that is sleeping for guests around the contemporary sleeper couch and borrows light.

Studio Bergtraun AIA

This open and comfortable library is actually a portion of a kitchen renovation.


Instead of shutting the library off in the usual traditional manner, this spacious library keeps the space airy and leaves the entire first floor feel larger. Planked walls and a planked ceiling lend a cabin feel.

Chang + Sylligardos Architects

The upstairs hallway can be a wasted space; just a small addition to the thickness allowed for long bookshelves here. The walkway is available to the floor below.

Tip: Take notice of the monitor lighting, art lighting and library lamps utilized to spotlight the shelves in many of these photos. Shining light on your books and objects will change how you experience your library distance, especially at night.

Watch more ways to integrate libraries into other areas

Richard Bubnowski Design LLC

Here is another great library spot which makes excellent use of every square inch of space in this upstairs hallway.

Watch the rest of this home

Exedra Architects

Putting this library space in the end of the stair landing is just another brilliant use of space that is often wasted.

Emily A. Clark

This designer has made numerous moves I admire: the library desk complete with studying light (reminds me of faculty ), the oversize lantern, the light walls, the dark paint inside the shelves…

Tip: When figuring out furniture positioning similar to this, have your electrician put in a plug from the floor so you nobody trips over unsightly cables.

Chloe Warner

This bright library space is the best spot for hosting a contemporary salon.

Chang + Sylligardos Architects

There are no rules that say bookshelves need to hug the walls; they are also able to function as room dividers in a large, open space. This chamber can go out of breakfast area to research and homework area with one clearing of the table.

Belsey & Mahla Architects

This is a gorgeous illustration of a library that is transitional-style. It’s the bones of a conventional library but has lightened things up with paint colour, fabrics and light fittings.

Where and how can you store the books in your home? Let us know in the Remarks section.

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Designs from India Into Your Decor

I have never been to India, but I have always been drawn to Indian design. I adore the textiles — everything from brilliant saris to dull block prints — and the colours. I love the classical architecture, the garish billboards, the woodwork and the religious iconography.

Because India has been crisscrossed by so many people across the years, Indian design has components from the Middle East, China and Europe. It is a rich tapestry that has taken thousands of years to grow.

However, as with almost any modern design based in a place or a culture, you need to proceed with care, using the components of Indian design as inspiration or as a launch pad. To acquire an Indian appearance that is not overly “India World USA! ,” go less literal, more suggestive. Kind of like flirting.

All these 14 rooms are extremely different from one another, but all of them use India as their starting point. Some are diverse modern, while some are more overtly cultural motivated. All of these are beautiful.

Marie Burgos Design

Ornate Carvings

The ornately carved classic doors include thickness and a tiny grandeur to this plain space.

Lenkin Design Inc: Landscape and Garden Design

The carved doors leading to this breezeway are in abundant contrast with the modern building. To me they feel like a hot invitation to enter.


Indian Antique Damachiya – $1,095

If you can’t swing a large, classic architectural element, furniture can add the same richness and texture. A bit such as this could be the inspiration for an entire room.

Burnham Design

Cosmetic Furniture

This amazing inlaid dresser is at home in this modern eclectic room. The space is not obviously Indian, but this piece adds a little hint of spice.


Bone Inlay Chest

An ornate piece such as this could live comfortably into a white, modern room in addition to in a richly coloured, layered room filled with texture.

Chakki Dark Walnut – $450

This ottoman is a beautiful mixture of subtle, modern fabric and traditional Indian design. It may work almost everywhere.

Mac Free

Arches and Architecture

The corbel arch is one of the very telltale Indian architectural components. This chamber uses that shape, in addition to screened panels, intricate textiles and traditional furnishings to bring India to mind in a modern, Western room.

Louie Leu Architect, Inc..

White corbel arches and filigreed panels. It’s almost like the Taj Majal.


India is renowned for its textiles. Many modern designers (Madeline Weinrib, John Robshaw) and even firms like Hermès have turned to Indian textiles, in all their patterned, sequined, metallic-trimmed glory, for inspiration.


Blue Sari Tapestry – $860

A tapestry created from bits of vintage saris. Drool.


Indian Cotton Pillow Cover by ChezVies – $15

A block print in indigo. Simple, modern, Indian.

One Kings Lane

Kantha Handstitched Pouf, Patriot

A pouf created from bits of Indian madras and hand-stitched kantha cloth.

Calypso St. Barth

Elephant Tablecloth – $165

Metallics, either printed or woven, are common in India textiles, as are block prints of iconic Indian pictures, such as these elephant riders.

Carson Poetzl, Inc..


Just look at this blue. And ceiling! Swoon. So much of India is all about color — bold, vivid, mixed up-color. Oh, and a bit of bling too.

The Loaded Trunk

Indian Gujarati Bolster Pillows – $80

If you are not ready to go for full-on painted ceilings with glowing blue walls, then you can at least add a little shade with some throw pillows, right? India “lite.”

Trinetra Candleholder – $99.95

Elegant bling — it’s every woman’s dream.



Not all Indian textiles are glowing or blingy. This chamber is lively, airy, modern and definitely motivated by India. That is what judicious but still exuberant use of pattern can perform. I love this room.

Hand-Blocked Leaf Quilt + Shams, West Elm

A simple block-print bed set can add texture and pattern without adding more color than you’re comfortable with.

West Elm

Hand-Blocked Diamond Pillow Cover – $39

Modern, geometric pillows with block prints from India. They’ve an cultural vibe, but they’re still quite laid back.

French Colonial Mansion in India

Guest Picks: India

Moroccan Style

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Renovation Detail: The Chippendale Balustrade

In my search to replace the iron railings onto our front porch, I found that the Chippendale balustrade and fell in love. Affectionately inspired from the work of Thomas Chippendale, an 18th-century English furniture manufacturer, the fretwork is also influenced by Asian layouts trends.

The geometric pattern is typically placed inside a rectangular frame and is often repeated. With careful mathematical calculations, a skilled craftsperson is able to build the regimented balustrade, which is often found on porches, decks, widow walks and staircases.

The next time you end up in a historic neighborhood with well-preserved homes, have a look-see at the balustrades. You are guaranteed to stumble upon a Chippendale or two. Heck, even Thomas Jefferson used them at Monticello.

Acanthus Design-Denise Woolery

The Chippendale balustrade can function both decorative and practical purposes, as implemented with this exterior staircase.

Clifford M. Scholz Architects Inc..

Chippendale balustrades are combined with square spindles here in order to keep the rail system from being overly busy and also to allow the natural beauty of this seaside environment come through.

Tim Barber Ltd Architecture

The ground-level porch columns align with the upper-deck newel posts here in order to make a uniform outside facade. With good knee sides that the Chippendale balustrades help to make the second-story deck feel quite open.

Duckham Architecture & Interiors

Although only the only front and centre section of the New England porch rail is Chippendale, the jazzy geometric layout still manages to enhance the whole look of the facade. It is the great budget-friendly alternative.

Linda McDougald Design | Postcard from Paris Home

Used in conjunction with a screened-in porch, the Chippendale design enhances the interior as much as the outside of the home. The plan is also mimicked on the fireplace display.

Rasmussen / Su Architects

Not often seen on interior staircases, the Chippendale balustrades within this Philadelphia home complement the daring white trim across the home.

Hendel Homes

Constructed out of white iron, all these Chippendale balustrades are more and leaner than normal wooden rail systems.

Cory Spencer Partners

This expansive home uses the Chippendale balustrade as a protective barrier for double-hung windows on the second floor.

The Chippendale layout is highly prevalent in this garden garden: It could be located on the decorative rail system along with the patio seat.

Tim Barber Ltd Architecture

Chippendale balustrades unite with a custom pergola and garage doors to make an outside millwork montage. Also say that the rail height is low enough that it does not interfere with the view out the deck .

The Diagonal Cross Balustrade

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Kitchen of the Week: Two Islands in Colorado

Was among the things on their listing As it came time for this Cherry Hills, Colorado, couple to redesign, expanding the kitchen. Exquisite Kitchen Design was hired to centre the space in the house and provide the family of five room to spend some time together. The 400-square-foot kitchen was outfitted with a somewhat strange design: 2 islands and refrigerators divide the space according to work. Eliminating a walk-in pantry allowed for a design.

Exquisite Kitchen Design

The client wanted an distance to prepare family meals, hence the 2 islands. One is for cooking and prep, the other is for cleanup and eating.

Floors: white oak in mahogany finish; primary kitchen counter: tidal white granite in leathered finish

Exquisite Kitchen Design

The island includes a raised eating area, taking the place of a breakfast table. Each island has its own fridge space but stocks the joint pantry and freezer space.

Raised bar countertop: custom walnut slab

Exquisite Kitchen Design

The owners wanted heavy-duty appliances to take care of their ever-growing crew. The challenge was figuring out how to incorporate the appliances without using too much cabinet and storage space. A separate pantry hutch and 10-inch deep cabinetry around the rear of the islands offer plenty of space for dishes and canned goods.

The pale blue finish on the glass backsplash tile was chosen to coordinate with the leather bar stools and the furniture in the adjoining living area.

Cabinetry: Quality Custom; array counter: Pebble, Caesarstone; array: Wolf; hood: custom

Exquisite Kitchen Design

The family gave the first pantry up to open the space and work inside the design. The brand new built-in pantry is simply beyond the second island.

Sink and taps: Franke; light: Howard Kaplan Designs; bar stools: Kravet

Exquisite Kitchen Design

Freezer and the pantry were combined in a custom made hutch for a look.

Freezer: Sub-Zero; dishwasher: Asko

More Kitchens of the Week:
Simply Refined in Massachusetts

Smart, Elegant Atlanta Addition

White and Black Elegance for 7

How to Remodel Your Kitchen

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10 Faves: Designer Jeff Andrews

Designer Jeff Andrews at Los Angeles is known for his casual and playful but glamorous and classy interiors. With a client list that includes the Kardashians and Ryan Seacrest, he has learned to balance lavish with a more casual California style. Here, he lets us in on some of his favourite things.

For Andrews, livability is crucial and comfort is the largest priority. But if he is picking food, films or tourist stops, Andrews has a flair for all things fabulous.

Photo by Edward Duarte

1. What without?
Simplifies tape. I keep one in my bag, one in my car and at least 10 at the workplace.

2. Have you got a favourite hotel?
The Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris is the best destination due to its classic, traditional layout. It is in one of Paris’ best places, right from this Champs-Elysees, with an remarkable Michelin-star restaurant, Le Cinq — in all a real Parisian landmark.

3. Where would you go to unwind?
Palm Springs is ideal for a quick, relaxing escape, and I love all of the vintage shopping.

4. Any favourite tourist spots in Los Angeles?
I really like shopping at all of the flagship designer stores on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, but it’s also great for people watching. From tourists to celebs into the elaborate, Rodeo is glam with a splash of humor.

5. What’s the 1 item in your closet you’ll never get sick of?
One of my customers gave me a Gucci leather jacket while I had been working on his project in Rome. At this point I call it. It is so soft, comfy and worn-in. Fits like a glove. When I wear it I feel quite Italian chic.

6. Any books on your nightstand?
Wisecracker, regarding the life span of William Haines, is a biography of one of the greatest American decorators who ever lived. His intriguing and inspiring career started when he was a silent movie star who later reinvented himself into a decorator, designing for some of Hollywood’s most elite. I could not put it down.

7. What recent movie has become one of the favorites?
The Descendants was Great.

8. Have you fallen in love with any new house product lines recently?
That I really like the timeless quality of this Chatham bathroom accessories set in Waterworks. Made of simple white porcelain in natural shapes, they are the perfect accessories to function in any style of bathroom.

9. What do you love most about your present home?
My bed — it’s my refuge. But I’m in the process of buying a new home, so I’m sure I’ll have a different favorite shortly. Stay tuned.

10. Have you got a favourite comfort food you want to whip up in your home?
Turkey meatloaf. I took my grandma’s recipe and made it healthy by substituting turkey for ground beef. It tastes just like Grandma’s with the exact same comfort-food allure. Every person I’ve given the recipe to loves it.

Photos courtesy of Patricia, Claudine Maret, Marcie Pierce-Colleary, Marty McFry, tbroen, Grey Crawford and Jeff Andrews

Asaf Weinbroom, Lighting Designer
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Raised Beds Lift Any Garden

I’m not positive if you’re feeling it quite yet on your neck of the woods, but where I live, spring has sprung. Trees are starting to blossom, and the sun is shining and the hardware stores are pulling out the seed packets and planting materials. All this gets me into the mood to plan our garden and prepare to your growing season.

Garden boxes are a simple way to add dimension into your yard when growing your own vegetables. They may be made from several substances and can fit into any landscape. Read on to find out how horse troughs and wooden planks can add excitement to your landscape — and your kitchen.

Connected: How to Construct a Raised-Bed Garden

Rob Kyne

Traditional raised garden boxes operate double duty, as they also give a bit of seating along these neat garden paths.

Huettl Landscape Architecture

In case you have a modern landscape, think about ditching the lumber and use metal instead. The rusted patina adds a nice contrast to this gray cement stone path.

Banyon Tree Design Studio

Metal horse troughs are easily available at most feed and supply stores and would be a nice conversation piece in your yard.

Shades Of Green Landscape Architecture

Grouping four raised beds in a corner is a superb solution for smaller yards. It creates garden space when conserving as much lawn as you can.

Andrew Renn

These slender garden beds are fantastic for all those who have narrow landscapes. The homeowners here are reaping the benefits of homegrown food without giving away too much of the precious yard space.

The Great Canadian Landscaping Company Ltd..

If patio space is coveted, think about putting tall, narrow boxes along the perimeter. Guests may love smelling the fresh herbs during dinner.


This fenced-in place keeps out deer, and also the alloy culvert pipe is a great alternative to traditional square and wooden garden beds.

Arterra Landscape Architects

Terraced garden boxes are a terrific solution for anyone who have uneven or sloping backyard spaces. Just make sure you install a suitable drainage system. If water does not drain properly, it is going to stagnate and damage your terrace structure.

How to Construct a Raised-Bed Garden
Unexpected Edible Gardens

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Select a Perfect Color Palette

When it comes to colour, it’s easy to consider a tiny too away from the box, simply because there are several color options to fall in love with today. A cohesive whole-house Colour may easily go astray, for example, when you use a paint colour in a lone room that doesn’t mesh with the rest of the home.

Interior designer Charmean Niethart makes an important distinction:”There are colors that people like and colors that people wish to live with — there is a major difference between both.” She says it is important for customers to find colors and also to decide on their colour palette prior to the sourcing begins. “A palette is more than just about a can of paint. It is lighting, rugs, fabrics, tile, accessories and artwork — a home made colour,” she states.

Niethart and other professionals are turning to programs and websites dedicated to colour, but none are as gorgeous to check at and as easy to use as Leslie Shewring’s A Creative Mint and Jessica Colaluca’s Design Seeds.

A Creative Mint

Shewring’s articles about colour on A Creative Mint are inspired by many different sources: a vase of hyacinths and ranunculus, chart paper and, in this film, a beautiful vignette made by vintage ribbons.

Fitzgerald Studio

This living area and the one below fall inside Shewring’s vintage ribbon palette and, with the exception of a couple accents (green and yellow ), demonstrate how colour palettes influence everything: paint colour, accessories, décor details.

Brenda Olde

A Creative Mint

Shewring’s neutrals and reds scrapbook colour…

Lucid Interior Design Inc..

… can be seen in this dining area and the entryway beneath, a symbiotic union between dull nude colours and red accents.

Giulietti Schouten Architects

design-seeds. com

Niethart frequently sends customers to Colaluca’s Design Seeds for much-needed color treatment. “Design Seeds is a fantastic and easy notion for colour artwork,” she states. Colaluca is obsessed with colour, a fire that started when she”melt[ed] crayons into little colour sculptures” as a kid. This teacup palette is just one of its own creations.

Harrell Remodeling, Inc..

This fireplace setup shows how the teacup colour palette stretches through the couch, armchairs, coffee table, area rug, lighting and art.

design-seeds. com

Design Seeds’ palettes are supposed to inspire and may be applied to projects like wedding motifs and home remodels.

Busybee Design

A bedroom in Design Seeds’ sunflower blue palette. Colaluca believes you can be”fearless in colour when you’ve got a grounded and laid-in-tone base shade.”

design-seeds. com

Using the Design Seeds site is easy. “Go to the palette you adore, mouse over the swatch you want the HEX code , and the code should appear. Then input the HEX code within this colour picker,” Colaluca writes in her website’s”What’s That Shade” tutorial.

Shirley Bovshow

Color palettes can be applied to the exterior…

Cardea Building Co..

… and interior of the home. You may search by colour or theme (“global,””holiday,””the sea,””monsters” and so on) or simply browse Design Seeds’ refined real-world palettes, like Venetian tones, sushi colours, spring antiques and popsicle tones.

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Art Dealer's Modern-Native Mix in Canada

When discussing native artwork, the word traditional might come into mind. However, contemporary first-nations art dealer Douglas Reynolds of the Douglas Reynolds Gallery shows how nicely the historical artwork form fits into modern settings. This summer he plans to host an exhibition titled Modern Edge, that will showcase the development of Northwest coastal design. At home, his contemporary décor blends seamlessly with his private art collection.

Reynolds sold his prior condo unexpectedly, and the buyer desired all the furnishings, therefore Reynolds started his home search using a clean slate. The first real estate he looked at was love at first sight. Reynolds says, “I knew I needed it the minute I walked in, and have had no regrets because.”

at a Glance
Who lives here: Douglas Reynolds
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Size: 1,525 square feet (main level); 1,400 square feet outside living (upper level)

Heather Merenda

“I like relaxation, I like modern furnishings and I despise mess, at least for this home,” says Reynolds. He just stopped renovating and refurnishing a different property in Mexico and says, “If you compare Vancouver into my home in Mexico, you would think they were owned by two unique men and women. Everything in Mexico revolves around frescos on the ceilings and thick ornate furnishings and curtains. Although the areas are very different, they’re both very comfortable to be in.”

Art preceding fireplace: Robert Davidson

Heather Merenda

The simple beauty of this Alder dining table by Brent Comber brings an interpretation of this Pacific Northwest aesthetic into the space.

Coffee table: Alder around, Brent Comber; couch: B&B Italia

This polka dot etching is a special art piece signed and given to Reynolds by artist Damien Hirst as a Christmas gift. If you like the look but do not have personal ties to Hirst yourself, try Hirst-inspired wall decals from Blik.

Table lamp: Miss K by Philippe Starck for Flos

Heather Merenda

One of Reynolds’ Most Up-to-date artwork pieces is Gunarh and Whale, a bronze sculpture by Don Yeomans. “I always emphasized a houseguest will knock their thoughts on the underside of the stairs,” Reynolds claims of this sculpture’s positioning.

Heather Merenda

Luckily for Reynolds, the finishings inside the condo by Townline Developments were to his own liking. He did not have to touch the kitchen, baths or tile flooring.

Heather Merenda

The silver-tile backsplash is a nice contrast to the wood finishes in the kitchen.

Kettle: Richard Sapper for Alessi

Heather Merenda

The wood bar stools at the kitchen were imported from Italy.

Heather Merenda

The massive Dancing Frog canvas by Shawn Hunt injects a playful personality to the contemporary dining room.

Dining table: Brent Comber; chandelier: Brand Van Egmond

Heather Merenda

Intense tasteful elegance is interjected by this bold avant garde lighting palaces hand-picked by Dutch design duo Brand Van Egmond.

Heather Merenda

The custom closet doors at the main hallway are carried through in the kitchen area into the bedroom.

Custom Closets: A.J. Drury Custom Millwork

Heather Merenda

Kelly Deck made the space. “I met Kelly socially a couple of years before we started the renovations on my condo, and we worked together in designing the space,” Reynolds says. “In my bedroom, I told her I needed a low bed with a headboard that ran the length of the wall. I wanted the mattress to be drifting with lights lifting it off the floor. Kelly took that notion, made the mattress frame and indicated we pad the wall to finish the look off.”

Heather Merenda

Lamps: Josephine from Jamie Hayón for Metalarte

Heather Merenda

Outdoor space was a priority however Reynolds had no idea he’d discover a condominium. Since he entertains frequently, he took complete advantage of their private rooftop and gave it a makeover. The pergola was customized with glass to weatherproof the lounge area, and an integrated barbecue pit and pub area were inserted.

Coffee table: Paul Tellier

Heather Merenda

Above the pub outside is a bronze item Named Bear Panel by Beau Dick.

Heather Merenda

The Canasta Outdoor Lounger by Patricia Urquiola has been a welcome addition to the rooftop.

Lounger: B&B Italia

Heather Merenda

Close to the back of the room is a den with a TV and a couch.

Couch: Flexform

Heather Merenda

A remarkable white raven sculpture by Jim Hart graces the rear patio from the master bedroom. Reynolds considers this one of his pieces that are main. Hart is one of the Northwest coast’s most accomplished Haida artists; his work is found in collections throughout the world and is appreciated for its beauty, ethics and innovation.

In-ground LED Lighting: DGA Italy

Heather Merenda

Architectural features such as the rooftop pergola are highlighted by LED lights.

Heather Merenda

With crops, an outside fireplace, furniture and lighting included, the rooftop became an enviable, fully livable outside space, rain or shine. Reynolds says, “Although I’m surrounded by high-rises, once you are sitting in front of the fireplace onto the roof, it appears very private.”

Reynolds told himself that this renovation could be it for awhile, but only last week, he started to go over a new job with his contractor. The plan is to rip off the front of his gallery and reconstruct it, giving it a modern edge. “I feel the modern facade I have in mind will create an impact into the South Granville area of Vancouver,” Reynolds says, “and will tie into the modern artwork I carry and juxtapose the historical”

Eclectic Vancouver Loft
Vintage Charm at Vancouver

Browse countless inspirational homes

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All-White Gardens Light Up the Night

Have you ever wandered through a backyard at night? While the sounds and scents seem to intensify, it is usually difficult to enjoy any of those sights without a flashlight. A white backyard is a different story: You will want to leave the flashlight behind and revel in how the white blossoms glow. Not only are those luminous blooms beautiful to check at, but many have intense night fragrances and bring wonderful white nocturnal pests for its whole sensory experience.

Here you will find ideas for plants with beautiful white blooms, how to arrange them and how to work them in your garden’s style.

Hydrangeas are perfect in formal gardens but work just too in more informal settings. A path lined with those beauties is the best sidewalk manual for nighttime strolls.

Amy Renea

Spiraea is a great choice for a snowy spring bloomer. It conveniently blooms at precisely the exact same time as tall white iris and midsize white peonies. Combine these 3 plants to get an easy-care, high-impact garden.

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

Working with a shady place? White astilbe is your solution. Brightening the darkest color with waving plumes of white, astilbe is a timeless, easy-to-grow shade perennial.

Tips to get a White-Blooming Border

Produce a mix of heights that will bloom at precisely the exact same moment. This boundary does a fantastic job of spreading the blooms to create a balanced appearance.

Deborah Cerbone Associates, Inc..

Imagine what this walkway looks like at night — small dance blooms all along the left side and a wave of glistening white softening the fence to the right. Pure magic!

Glenna Partridge Garden Design

Consider situating white plants round curves from the backyard. When you’re strolling through a garden at night, it is helpful to observe the twists and turns forward, so use white blooms as a natural type of fluorescent arrow.

Glenna Partridge Garden Design

Your white backyard doesn’t need to be expansive. Plant a few white flowering plants close to the entrance of your home. When people approach the front door at dusk, they’ll be greeted by observable blooms.

Working White Blooms Into Every Garden Style

Conventional. White gardens may go ubertraditional with row after row of white blooms perfectly set in geometric arrangements.

Lenkin Design Inc: Landscape and Garden Design

Another option is to encase a sea of white-blooming showstoppers in boxes of trimmed hedges.


Rustic. Go to get a more organic, woodland appearance by integrating minimally pruned trees and naturalistic plantings.

Aiken House & Gardens

Victorian. Charming at the daytime and enchanting at night, this snowy backyard is full to bursting with blooms. Choose white furnishings iron, wicker or wood to add to the theme.

Whether you are gilding the lily of a classic trimmed estate or beginning a nation garden from scratch, consider the effect white blooms can have on your space. Create an all-white backyard, add a few white bloomers around curves, or line paths that night travelers will be taking.

Tell usCan you have white blooms in your garden now? Show off them below!

See more great design blossoms and crops

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Contemporary Split-Level in Chicago

“Peachy” normally means something great, but for Michael and Karen Hohman, it described the outdated pastel hue of their 1950s split-level house in Chicago. In the exterior trim to the walls and ceilings, almost all lace the bright hue. The Hohmans understood that, despite the color, there was great potential in the structure of the house. With the help of designer Lynn Hertl of LKH Design, they started with a fresh coat of paint and renovated the living area, family room and sunroom, altering their midcentury space into a modern home.

at a Glance
Who lives here:
Michael and Karen Hohman, kids Kate and Grant and their four chihuahuas
Where: Highland Park suburb of Chicago
Size: 3,500 square feet; 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms; two half-baths
That’s interesting: The lively ceramic egg-head sculptures by LaGardo Takett at the living room have been marketed and used as condom holders in the 1960s.

Cynthia Lynn Photography

A fresh new color palette made a huge difference in the overall appearance of their living space, formerly marked by weathered floors and cherry walls. The Hohmans used the high ceilings and built-ins to their advantage, painting the ceiling white to create a light-filled, inviting space.

Sofa and chair: Sofa, Roche Bobois; java table: Instructions; corner table: Altura

Cynthia Lynn Photography

The brick chimney shaft is first to the house, and the Hohmans additional new built-in cabinetry to tuck the TV away.

The timber chair and ottoman beside the fireplace were rescued from a curbside garbage heap. A self-described Dumpster diver, Karen watched beyond the shabby cushions and asked Hertl to provide the chair brand new life by refinishing and reupholstering it.

Cynthia Lynn Photography

The couple’s inside style comes mainly in their artwork and found objects. Karen says,”I feel that an eclectic mixture of elements makes an intriguing, cursory look to a house. We started collecting quirky artwork, not knowing their initial function.”

The egglike sculptural heads are by ceramicist LaGardo Takett. “Little did we all know that these humorous pieces had a goal beyond decoration,” Karen says. “They were created and marketed through Playboy magazine as condom holders in the 1960s.”

The suspended flying guy is by Jonathan Forrest Read. The couple found this bit at the St. Petersburg Clay Company in Florida. “We enjoyed his job according to his unconventional thought — a human figure drifting through the atmosphere without care,” Karen says.

Cynthia Lynn Photography

Cynthia Lynn: Where are your favourite places to buy artwork?

Karen Hohman: Mike and I love to locate unique galleries once we travel, and we look for emerging artists wherever we go. We once bought a number of bits in Canada during one vacation. Mike and I enjoy encouraging gifted artists who are building their careers. We regular certain galleries like Vickers Gallery at Aspen, Colorado, along with the St. Petersburg Clay Company in Florida.

One of our favourite musicians, Mark Winter, created the large sided animal-like sculpture at the corner of their living area. We’ve gathered a range of Mark’s impressive bits. He incorporates scrap metal and recycled components and manipulates them into sculptural forms. Mike and I see his Wisconsin studio to watch him at work.

The mantel painting is from my grandma, who had been an avid art collector at the’50s and’60s. The painting is titled Ghost Rider, by Thomas Strobel. Our family has lots of the paintings using natural landscape themes and eye-fooling, antitraditionalist abstract geometric patterns.

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CL: What did you do to make it yours? What is your decorating doctrine?

KH: First of all, we painted all, because the whole house was painted in coral tones. That alone made a big difference. We then replaced the timber floors, the carpet, the tile and all the window treatments to liven up the space. We installed all of new lighting fixtures throughout and additional cabinetry in the living space, then completed the modern look with our artwork. Our philosophy was to pick a color palette which pulled away from the existing look. Our designer, Lynn, found an entirely different color palette which complemented the existing hard stuff.

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This bronze sculpture, Ladder — Seven Climbers, is by artist Bill Starke, bought through the Vickers Gallery. Karen says,”We loved that his job created compositions of figures that depicted the beauty and sophistication of the human state.”

CL: How would you complete these sentences?

If I could have four famous people over for dinner… I would encourage Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Steve Jobs and Chris Rock.

My mum moment was… taking a look at the before and after images of the house and realizing just how far we have come in altering the distance.

My advice to other homeowners would be… to enjoy and utilize all of the space in your house. Don’t create a space unlivable as it’s too overdone.

My house is… my way to express my personality and flavor through layout and artwork.

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New lighting fixtures were added across the house along with new window treatments. The Roman blinds update the space and allow more light in.

Karen bought the dining room celebrity sculptures when she had been a student at Indiana University. She states ,”They have an wonderful art college, and I had been lucky enough to buy them from a gallery that sold and featured pupil work.”

Living room table: Instructions; chandelier: Nido; seats: Altura, Bergamo cloth

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The kitchen needed the smallest quantity of renovation. Other than changing the paint color and also the kitchen faucet, the Hohmans left the space as is. Karen says their next design job is to reestablish it.

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High ceilings make this the perfect spot for enjoying breakfast.

Table and seats: Crate and Barrel

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The living room renovations also started with an entirely new color palette. The Hohmans awakened the old laminate floors, replacing them with hardwoods. The cherry wood warms the space without overpowering it, unlike its own peach predecessor. The formerly peach walls have been painted a neutral color. The first fireplace surround featured patterned tiles, and also the Hohmans replaced them from Ann Sacks. A signed Picasso lithograph hangs over the mantel.

The snakeskin chair is another one of Karen’s recovered objects, found on the curb in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Hertl refinished and reupholstered it.

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CL: What was or is your main style dilemma?

KH: The area spaces were awkward, and it challenged us to design each room creatively with furniture and artwork. We tried to salvage some of this challenging material that existed in the house, like the granite and the cabinets.

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The sunroom also failed a color transformation. Formerly, dark colours on the ceiling and dark furniture dulled the space, along with the Hohmans chose a soothing sage green and replaced the outdated chairs with vivid and inviting furniture. The sunroom overlooks the backyard and joins to the family room.

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The glass doors are original to the house. The cozy sectional serves as the perfect rest spot for the Hohmans’ four chihuahuas.

CL: What’s the first thing you’d grab if your house were on fire?

KH: I would grab our four chihuahuas.

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Pitched ceilings and strange layouts throughout the house presented a creative struggle. A personalized photo collage by Karen hangs in the master bedroom; it comprises photographs taken of her family, travels and everyday environment.

Bed: antique; nightstand: Instructions

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Karen and Michael chose a subtle color palette for the master bedroom, while the kids’ rooms obtained bolder choices.

A reading chair sits at the corner of this area, opposite the bed. Light from either side makes it an ideal reading spot. Karen says the master bedroom is where they feel the most at home:”It’s the ideal place to sit back and relax.”

BEFORE: The bath

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AFTER: The bathroom countertops and sinks have been replaced with contemporary faucets, and rainforest marble adorns the his-and-hers sinks.

Light fixtures: Lumens

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The Hohmans completely gutted the shower, removing the doors with chrome trim and replacing them with glass panels. They incorporated new tile and fixtures and painted the ceiling white.

CL: What is your ultimate dream house thing? What is your latest splurge?

KH: An art studio with many windows will definitely be my dream house thing. We completely gutted our master bath, and it was worth it.

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