Month: February 2019

How Many Inches of Topsoil Do I Want for Grass?

Topsoil comprises most of the dirt action — it is where organic matter decays and beneficial microbes dwell. This creates a healthy atmosphere for grass roots to prosper over the less busy but often mineral-rich subsoil. When starting a new lawn, you can use your existing topsoil if the top 4 to 6 inches are rich with the organic matter that supplies nutrients and drainage, or you’ll be able to purchase a better quality topsoil if your garden soil is heavy clay or too sandy. Adding and preparing the topsoil properly can help establish a healthy, problem-free lawn.

The origin of the problem

The subsoil beneath the loose, nutrient-rich layer of topsoil doesn’t usually hold moisture or nutrients well. It may suffer from poor aeration, which prevents the roots from obtaining oxygen, or it may be heavy in stone, clay or salts that could damage or slow bud development. Grass only sets down superficial roots in a thin a layer of topsoil, which could lead to thin growth and nutrient deficiencies. It can also also make the lawn more susceptible to drought stress or need more frequent watering. Grass roots grow between 4 and 6 inches long, so a layer of topsoil that is 6 inches deep supplies enough space for the roots to grow.

Minimum Requirements

High-quality topsoil should feel slightly gritty when you rub it between your fingers, which suggests mineral content, while being dark to almost black in colour, which signals the soil is also rich in organic matter. Poor topsoil may feel and appear sandy, or it may have deep clay particles that induce it to clump and harden as it dries. The layer beneath the topsoil, called the subsoil, doesn’t usually contain as much organic matter and typically is not as high quality as topsoil, often being more rocky or sandy compared to the desirable dirt on top. If you have poor topsoil, you can buy topsoil so your lawn has a better prospect of growing well.

Work With It In

Placing topsoil straight on top of this subsoil produces a drainage issue. Prior to putting the topsoil, until the top two to three inches of the subsoil to loosen it, and level the lawn surface. Grading means leveling the lawn area to eliminate any low spots while sloping the lawn gently away from buildings and driveways. Apply the topsoil within a 4- to 6-inch layer and then until it to the loosened subsoil. This gives the grass a deeper rooting zone, while the more slow change to the indigenous subsoil allows water to drain and soak more deeply to the ground. If the lawn has reduced places, fill them using topsoil before inserting the regular 4- to 6-inch layer on top so the whole lawn has a level, gentle slope. After applying the topsoil, rake to grade the lawn again so it’s level and ready for seeding.

Some Improvements

Your garden soil may want the boost of additional organic matter, which you can supply by blending it with a 1- to 3-inch layer of compost. Clay topsoil is hefty and can impede drainage, while sandy topsoil drains too quickly and doesn’t support nutrients well. Mix the compost to the top 4 to 6 inches of existing topsoil. If you bring in fresh topsoil, add the compost in addition to putting it above the lawn area, and then until the compost and the topsoil to the top 2-3 inches of subsoil.

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How to Change the Colour of Pressed Wood Particle Board

It’s uncommon to see exposed particleboard as a building material; it’s more common to see that it covered with a plastic or wood veneer. There’s no rule against making tables and cabinets with exposed particleboard, though — although its shade when unfinished is somewhat unattractive. You can change that using a stain. Particleboard is quite porous, so it’s vital that you seal it to permit the stain to soak in evenly.

Clean out the particleboard with detergent and waterand rinse it with clean water and let it dry. You do not need a strong detergent — 1 oz of dish soap in a gallon of water will do.

Don safety glasses. Sand the surface, including the borders, with an orbital sander and 120-grit sandpaper. Clean off the surface using tack cloth when you’re done.

Ventilate the area. Don a face mask. Mix a 50-50 solution of varnish and turpentine to use as a sealer. Paint one coat of the sealer on the surface using a paintbrush and then wait for it to dry immediately.

Apply your selection of gel or liquid stain. Wipe it on liberally using a rag, let it soak in for approximately five minutes, then wipe off the excess with another rag.

Paint a coat of water- or even oil-based varnish, shellac or brushable lacquer to repair the stain.

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How to Clean Marker Composing From Leather Chairs

You might view a leather seat as a cozy place to sit down, but to a young kid, it is an art canvas. Writing, scribbles and stains left by markers can be removed from leather in many cases, particularly when the material is still new. It might take several options to take out the ink, depending on the leather and the type of marker.

Disappearing Ink

Blot marker ink up as quickly as possible, especially if it is fresh. Dab — don’t wipe — a paper towel over the composing to consume as much of the material as possible, followed with a damp paper towel. If the marker ink is dry, rub on a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol, then rub the needle, again following the course of the ink line to avoid smearing it. Swap the cotton for a brand new ball since it absorbs the needle. Examine the alcohol in an inconspicuous area of the chair by leaving an alcohol-soaked cotton ball on the leather for many minutes.

Ink Remover Remedy

If the alcohol doesn’t fully remove the ink, a special ink remover designed for leather, and available from many furniture retailers, might be used instead. Pour the ink-removal fluid onto the tip of a cotton swab, and then gently blot the cutter, replacing the cotton swab with a new one as it becomes covered in ink. Dab a bit of the fluid onto a sponge to blot up any remaining needle on the leather.

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How to Artfully Construct a House on a Hillside

If you’re thinking about building a house on a sloped site, allow me to indicate this headline:”No house should ever be on any mountain… It ought to be of the hill, belonging to it, so hill and house could live together each the happier for the other.” This notion from Frank Lloyd Wright continues to direct many architects challenged by a home under construction on a steep terrain. The target is to sit the house inside the landscape, as a portion of it, as opposed to controlling it. The hillside itself inspires the concept of the home.

Below you will learn more about how to manage building on a website with a slope. We will also look at many different completed project examples in which a home has successfully been nestled into the topography.

Jen Dalley ||||||||||||||

Strategies for Building on a Slope
out it.
Once you’ve discovered the mountain that you dream about, have a fantastic look at where it makes the most sense to split a space for a home. Go sit in your website for hours at a time. Camp overnight if you can. Talk to the website (it’s fine, nobody is viewing ). Where will the constructed structure meld most elegantly with the natural surroundings? Can this also align with the project’s other objectives, such as orientation for solar and views? Figuring out each of these ideas and observations.

The sketch shows a balance in reducing earth excavation, allowing natural water flow round the construction, preserving great southern exposure and providing opinions into the hills outside. Whew! That is a lot, right? Your architect is there to help.

Jen Dalley ||||||||||||||

Minimize cut and fill. Once the house is approximately placed, it’s time to find the best place that reduces excavation. A survey will accurately identify the amount ground removed (cut) and ground added (fill). Doing your assignments to research how to minimize excavation will imply less cost and a more joyful hillside.

Be ready to hire big-kid toys. Take a little time to think about the equipment required to move ground. Backhoes, loaders and rammers are crucial to excavating, filling and compacting soil. More time and energy is involved in preparing a steep site than a horizontal one. An extra area close to the website may be necessary to keep the excavated soil in until it’s required for backfill.

Arterra Landscape Architects

Strategy to re-landscape. When you are camping you leave no trace behind, right? Just take this same stance on your home as well. All the construction trucks and material deliveries may require staging areas and possibly temporary streets. After a project is complete, replant in the areas disturbed by construction. Patience is required here, because it can be a couple of years until the hillside appears natural .

Feldman Architecture, Inc..

Cases of Houses Successfully Melded With Hillsides
Terraced concrete outdoor paths create a cascading transition zone prior to flowing into the vegetated landscape . Alternating strips of concrete and grass allow natural and constructed environments to merge.
The top patio is perfectly set up, extending effortlessly into the rugged mountainside.

Watch more of this home

House + House Architects

Dark materials on the outside, especially enjoy this wood, further aid a home blend with its environment. The landscaping wood chips create a soft buffer between the house and natural grasses, while concrete retaining walls peel out of the house and hold the back the hillside.

The house itself can perform the heavy lifting keeping the hill in place. The base walls of this home double as retaining walls, allowing the ground to adopt the structure.

The grassy berms lead your eye toward a cleverly placed window on the lower level.

Feldman Architecture, Inc..

Although a challenge, a substantial grade change might provide easy access to rooftops. Roofs constructed adjacent to a mountain could result in complete expanses of occupiable vegetated landscapes. The entire footprint of this house, originally borrowed in the hillside, has been restored on the roofing.

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Bernard Andre Photography

Even if the roof soars horizontally above floor level, the foundation and a stepped retaining wall might help ground the home and connect it with the land.

Notice how the light-colored exterior material stands out against the landscape. This comparison is something to think about, along with seasonal changes, based on your location. The overall setting for your home’s appearance can differ radically in winter and summer.

Rockefeller Partners Architects

In a compact, urban scenario, an extra benefit of sloping sites is that they can allow for many levels lit by natural light. The smallest level of a home can have access to a wealth of daylight.

In this case the steep site and the setbacks required by code also help neighbors have views of the ocean.

Remick Associates Architects + Master Builders

Terraced strips of plant on the outside match the pattern of measures on the inside of this home. With translucent glass, this association between the exterior and interior is beautifully apparent and clear.

Daniel Marshall Architect

Small, easy architectural slices in the landscape can give clues to the site’s unique form. Inserting a concrete shelf within this hillside supplied a ledge for seats while recognizing the ethics of the grade change.

Wheeler Kearns Architects

Landscape immersion can affect terraced levels of dwelling spaces and give a way to incorporate playful elements, such as these staggered light fixtures at the stair risers.

Tate Studio Architects

With any slope, whether dramatic or gradual, architecture has the ability to reinforce the natural website. When the constructed environment coexists with the natural surroundings, if seems as if the construction has grown from the website, and we then feel more connected to the ground.

Watch more of this home

Inform us: How is your home incorporated with its topography?

More: Cliffside Homes Encourage Living on the Edge

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Rooms: Fire Warms a Pergola-Covered Pennsylvania Patio

“There was an awful acrylic hot tub here along with a big retaining wall, and that was about it,” states Robert Nonemaker, landscape designer and proprietor of The Outerspaces Group. To make better use of the space for this family of four, he created a new terrace that extends their living area outside. Thanks to some brand new exterior fireplace, they now have a living area and dining area that they can use until the temperatures dip below freezing. Local materials such as bluestone in the nearby Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania, also mica and wood milled by the Amish assist the terrace meld with its surroundings.

Fireplace in a Glance
Location: Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania (at Philadelphia’s Main Line region)
Size: Around 14 feet by 16 feet (region covered by pergola)

The Outerspaces Group

Bryn Mawr is very dense with home, and yards are tight, so making the most of one’s yard is overriding. The new bluestone terrace is situated just off the kitchen, along with the retaining wall on the left was present. Cushy outdoor furniture from Restoration Hardware makes it a very comfortable couch space.

The Outerspaces Group

Nonemaker matched the brand new fireplace’s stone into the existing retaining wall, with native Pennsylvania mica, a rock with a mixture of grays, tans and silver flecks.

The thermal bluestone hearth extends to create built-in seating, with room for logs underneath.

The Outerspaces Group

The mantel matches the pergola over the outside living room, made from hemlock in the Amish sawmill, treated to ward off germs. “We are lucky; you’re not likely to get this sort of timber at Home Depot,” Nonemaker states.

Due to a scarcity of deer in the region, they managed to plant hostas, climbing hydrangeas, ferns and other plants that thrive in the patio’s shade. The family uses the space the most in autumn, with the fireplace keeping them warm in the crisp air.

Your turn: We are on the hunt for cozy three-season patios. Please discuss a photograph in the Remarks below!

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12 Items Worth a Spot on Your Kitchen Counter

In particular areas of my house, clutter just shows up from the blue. The kitchen countertop is a dumping ground for random, misplaced objects left by children and a husband. On any given day I find junk mail, empty grocery bags, the ubiquitous pristine glass of milk and spare change.

I enjoy my countertops lean, so I take responsibility for clearing them every night. As a part of my nightly ritual, I clean that the countertops, wipe them clean replicate all the items for the next moment. I enjoy a combination of practical items and pretty things out on my own countertops, but I am quite picky about my selections. It is a working area, after all, so work comes first. Here are some ideas for countertop styling that looks great and is practical, too.

Chango & Co..

Kitchen scale. That is a useful kitchen tool, especially for people who track portion sizes. A scale can also be useful for baking and weight conversions. Scales can be found by you online in every colour of the rainbow and versions.

Shannon Malone

Fruit bowl. I maintain a bowl on my counter filled with fresh, seasonal fruit to encourage wholesome snacking.

Silverware caddy. We utilize a silverware caddy for three square meals per day and just leave it to the counter. It makes sense on a countertop near dishwasher or the table.

Rebekah Zaveloff | KitchenLab

Condiment canisters. You can put canisters for wheat and sugar, plus salt and pepper shakers, directly in addition to the counter. These canisters can be glass, tin or ceramic. The styling details are endless, but I propose airtight versions to keep out pests.


Mixer. I know an appliance garage is a useful thing, but I honestly like seeing pellets. I really like the colour and the technology of a mixer. We use ours all the time, so that it creates a counter spot in our house. Try out a baking corner using a mixer, measuring cups and a rolling pin.

Dresser Homes

Cookbook stand alone. The book stand is one of my preferred countertop accessories. Use it for a hard-copy cookbook or an iPad using a recipe app. The very best book stand is heavy enough to support even a large book. Consider a cast iron one with felt pads at the bottom to prevent scratching.

See how to make your own book stand

CR Home Design K&B (Construction Resources)

Oversize bowls. Here is an idea certain to appeal to some but not others. Oversize bowls can occasionally be difficult to shop, especially with standard-depth upper cupboards at 13 inches. I use oversize bowls a lot for pasta and salad. Find the best-looking and thickest one you could and leave it to the counter.

Marianne Simon Design

Herb plant. I like to maintain rosemary on my kitchen counter for the odor and standard softness it attracts to the hard surfaces in my kitchen. Obviously, I snip a bit here and there for cooking. Find a sunny spot on your counter and warm water your plant once a week. Other herbs to try growing are mint and basil.

Watch guides to growing herbs

Andre Rothblatt Architecture

Utensils and components. I actually enjoy a container for tall utensils directly next to my cooker. I use a slotted spoon just about every single time I cook, so why not have it at the ready? And I think it’s nice and intriguing to keep oils and salt and pepper directly within arm’s reach.

Andre Rothblatt Architecture

Coffeemaker. Another energy appliance in many houses, the coffeemaker does not need to be hidden away. Those who drink coffee daily ought to consider a coffee section for their counter.

Blender. Another kitchen tool available in any colour, a blender is useful for mixing soups, juices and smoothies. My favorite is that the Vitamix Professional Series 750.

Charmean Neithart Interiors

Toaster. My family enjoys toast. I bought the biggest toaster I could find, and there still is a line at breakfast time. The toaster definitely gets a spot on the counter in my kitchen. Keep yours alongside a bread drawer or bin for a complete toasting section.

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Roots of Style: Midcentury Designs Respond to Modern Life

While the architectural profession created several distinctive styles of residential design before World War II, it wasn’t till the mid-20th century which Americans embraced new lifestyles that caused a completely new architectural style. The war resulted in a housing shortage in the U.S., and Europe needed to rebuild. Europeans preferred to revive their historical past, while many gifted modernist architects moved from Europe to America (others had left prior to the war) and found an eager audience.

Regardless of the popularity and importance of contemporary design, mid-20th-century home building still contained a variety of fashions, though their form and nature evolved according to changing lifestyles and building practices. Colonial revival, Spanish diverse and several other designs were developed during this period.

These styles were more specifically influenced by contemporary design theory and new ideas for how contemporary families wanted to reside.

It’s important to note that, as always, elements of one style are often adapted to a different completely different fashion. Some designs may even be thought to have distinct tastes nevertheless remain a different single class — as is the case with minimalist conventional homes and split levels.

Chioco Design

Minimalist Traditional

These initial three homes resemble their predecessors largely in a couple of information or in shape, but are less specific in their articulation. Though this first house was constructed in the 1930s, it could easily be compared to a lot of vernacular examples throughout the country. Notice the double-hung windows, characteristic of colonial revival nevertheless lacking muntins (which split the window panes to smaller segments). Additionally, it has a lesser side-gabled roof pitch, but there’s a steeper forward-facing gable having an extension comprising the entrance, a trait found in American Tudor houses.

CG&S Design-Build

A long front porch and flanking gables, and a side-gabled principal body with dormered roof vents, give this house its own character. The windows are the double-hung type, as in the previous case. Clapboard siding and minimal trim are attributes common to dozens of homes constructed during the mid-20th century.


This two-story version feels darkened, particularly because of the shutters, but the entrance is not classically detailed, and the elevation is slightly asymmetrical. Its kind has a shed roof wrap the second degree to cover the entrance porch and part of a room, along with an extension of this single level into the right — characteristics which can be found on many suburban homes across the U.S.

Can You Live in a Minimalist Traditional Home?

Bud Dietrich, AIA


possibly the most common of 20th-century U.S. regional fashions is the ranch. Similar to other fashions of the age, examples could be contemporary, traditional, Spanish or rustic. The style originated in California around 1930; architect William Wurster is credited with producing a lot of its influence.

Most fascinating about the style is that it’s a synthesis of Spanish colonial, Craftsman and Prairie architectures incorporating a semirural lifestyle determined by the automobile. Its mid-20th-century proliferation coincided with the growth of the suburbs all across the U.S., when property was cheap as well as an expanding highway system created commuting a new method of life.

Emblematic of this style, this house rests peacefully on a wide, green lawn. Ordinarily, a long rectangular strategy is centered on a large square parcel with the extensive side facing the road, leaving a spacious front yard and backyard. Roofs may be gabled, like this one, or hipped, or even a mix of the two, in which a gable sits atop a hip.

Kaufman Homes, Inc..

This hipped version echoes the Prairie type with wide eaves and a huge, masonry chimney. Notice the half-height stone-veneer walls with wood siding above, further exaggerating the flat lines of this style.

Robinette Architects, Inc..

Important to the style is also a covered terrace on the rear elevation, as seen in this case. This was an obvious contrast to the Prairie and Craftsman homes, which frequently had generous porches facing the road. This terrace is much like the private-facing porches or loggias of Spanish colonial architecture.

The proliferation of air conditioning and swimming pools, in addition to the importance of a personal, fenced backyard, eliminated the taste for front porch.

Merrick Design and Build Inc..

Split Level

Although this style is more correctly a class and may be implemented in a number of fashions, it’s presented separately because of its kind, and its significance, for the numbers of regional variations which exist.

As suburban development quickly spread after World War II, builders adapted to rolling bucolic settings by putting garages, or less formal spaces, at lower elevations over the landscape. Putting another floor only a couple of feet higher and adjacent to the reduced degree produced a sensible transition from support regions to formal living spaces. Bedrooms and bathrooms frequently are placed on another level above the bottom, establishing a gentler connection between the public and private spaces of the house.

In this remodeled minimalist conventional split degree, a prominent entrance porch has been added to set up a more substantial experience for the visitor. Notice the crossing gabled roof types. Frequently in the split-level mode, the greater degree has a front-facing gable, while the lower part runs from side to side. This further enhances the branch of amounts.

WORKSHOP8 architecture planning design

This Denver split-level house has been converted into a contemporary and chic abode. Notice the single-car garage on the primary level, a variation of the previous case, though the first roof formation is nearly identical. Also smart is the stepped landscape, relating well to the subject of this split level.

KUBE architecture

This remodeled contemporary split in Virginia exemplifies the chance for vaulted ceilings on the primary level. This theme is frequently in California suburbs on contemporary and Mediterranean-style houses, in which you enter a foyer, locate a living room to a side and locate a center stairway ascending, with the vaulted ceiling into the top level.

Keycon, Inc

California Contemporary/Midcentury Modern

This style developed chiefly out of this Case Study House program started in 1945 in Southern California, also out of mid-20th-century improvements built by Joseph Eichler. Case Study architects embraced the contemporary motion, in which precedents were eschewed in favor of minimalism and efficacy, akin to International style.

Eichler employed several architectural firms to design wood post and beam structures which allowed the placement of large expanses of doors that were adjoining, open floor plans and seamless relationships with the outside. In the 1950s and 1960s, the Alexander Construction Company filled Palm Springs with hot and distinctive modern-style holiday homes that established a flourishing and fashionable desert oasis.

Although there were many different roof forms used in contemporary styles, this house indicates the common very low-sloped gable edition. Notice the mixture of substances: vertical groove wood siding, wood posts and beams, linear expanses of concrete and glass block walls (stacked), assimilated at a Mondrian-like composition.

Gary Hutton Design

Indicative of this style is structural transparency, as may be seen in this Eichler-built house. Exposed rafters encourage a gabled roof, where the tongue and groove roof decking becomes a key architectural element in the expression of its style. Further, beams supporting the flat roof portion extend from inside to out, detailed here with clerestory windows placed between them.

See more of this revived Eichler about the water

Bernard Andre Photography

Higher-style examples of this period involved expressive structures, as evidenced by this Rancho Mirage, California, home constructed in 1960. The open and free-flowing spaces of those houses symbolized the ambitious and progressive values synonymous with cultural changes as well as the prosperity of the times.

A fascinating side note to midcentury modern architecture is that Palm Springs hosts an annual modernism week every year in February that attracts fans from around the world. The week includes parties, displays, tours and lectures of important modern homes.

Malcolm Davis Architecture

Contemporary Fall

Sea Ranch, California, is the birthplace of shed-style dwellings. In the mid-1960s the MLTW partnership, which comprised noticed architects Charles Moore and William Turnbull, Jr., made a series of condominiums and homes for an isolated Northern California coastal development.

Responding to a regional aesthetic of big wooden barns with wood-shingled roofs, the architects cleverly borrowed native cues to mould their creations. The resulting architecture defined a particular type of contemporary design that departed from the rectilinear — and frequently cold — International fashion, offering a warmer and subtler contemporary theme.

This newer house in Sea Ranch follows all of the characteristics originally established. This style can be found across North America, largely in architect-designed custom houses constructed in the late 1960s through about the mid-1970s.

Liquid Design

The readily identifiable shed style is evident in this North Carolina house. The combination of several shed forms and other flat-roof portions is typical. Picture windows are placed to frame exterior views, and clerestories bring in daylight at vaulted ceilings.

Elliott + Elliott Architecture

This house illustrates the shed design’s suitability to a variety of settings and climates. Notice the shingled siding on this case, which nicely echoes the common materials of the region and differentiates the house from the California cousins.

What’s next: The consequences of conservation and market conditions. Trends in house design began to change around 1975, following the price of energy ballooned. The taste for contemporary architecture diminished, and more conventional styles began to dominate vernacular building. California embraced strict energy codes in 1978, which foreshadowed the taste or requirement of these codes for the remainder of the country.

Most house building for the last 30 years has produced some type of previously recognized style. It’s the exception that architects create an entirely new vocabulary for a client; they are more frequently limited by market conditions for most of their job, necessary to guarantee the achievement of the actual estate developers who employ them.

Notice that not many houses are actually designed by licensed architects. Most house builders follow an established native vernacular, which conforms to local building customs. Another important phenomenon is that now that there’s an enormous inventory of home that was constructed over the previous hundred years; remodeling existing structures comprises a considerable element of the home building market.

The recent enchantment with midcentury modernism has included another stylistic interpretation into a very long collection of fashions available to homeowners. Advances in technology and an increasing emphasis on sustainable design promise to invent still another specific architectural expression — and that definition has not yet been determined.

Tracing the Deep Roots of Design
6 Inspiring Midcentury Australian Homes

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Designed for Dogs: 5 Wonderful Dog Parks Across the U.S.

It does not require a lot to make dogs happy — a complete belly, a hot bed, a lot of love and plenty of space for drama are all they require. For all those living in crowded towns, dog parks have become the remedy to this third condition.

“In rural areas where there are acres and acres of open woods and off-leash allowed, there are dog parks,” says Christian Lau, author of The Dog Lover’s Companion to New England. “Dog parks are a safe, generally tick-free place for puppies which are cheap to build and create a sense of community and safety in the region.”

Have a look at five amazing puppy parks and the best way to get one started in your region.

More: 8 Garden Ideas to Delight Your Dog

1. Fort Woof, Forth Worth, Texas

Fort Woof, inside Forth Worth’s Gateway Park, was the city’s first off-leash dog park. It has different fenced areas for smaller dogs and larger dogs, with appropriately sized training gear, ramps, hoops and tunnels.

It offers picnic tables, chairs and shade for individuals, and watering stations with buckets and hoses close trees in which pooped-out pups can break in the shade.

More information: Fort Woof

2. Point Isabel Regional Shoreline, Richmond, California

The Point Isabel park, in the edge of the San Francisco Bay, is blessed with stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Marin County.

This inflatable playground includes 23 acres, and most of it’s available to off-leash dogs, which makes it one of the largest dog parks in the nation.

Aside from the beautiful views, Point Isabel includes two big draws for dogs and their owners. Mudpuppy’s Tub and Scrub, a dog washing machine and retail store, offers full-service and DIY dog baths, toys, treats and supplies for man’s companion. The Sit & Stay Café next door makes sure you receive all the treats you require, too.

More information: Point Isabel Regional Shoreline

3. Pilgrim Bark Park, Provincetown, Massachusetts

Though comparatively small for a dog park — 1 acre — Pilgrim Bark Park has plenty to keep your pup occupied. Much like Fort Woof, it’s divided into two segments for larger and smaller dogs. The off-leash park was designed to reflect the city’s appreciation for the arts. Local designers have designed and painted chairs, kiosks, signage and other attributes — such as this dog-friendly version of the pilgrims’ Mayflower.

More information: Pilgrim Bark Park

4. Bow Wow Beach, Stow, Ohio

Four acres of grassy knolls and forest are only a prelude to Bow Wow Beach’s most important attraction — a 3-acre lake, complete with sandy shores and a dog-dock leaping area. This dog park is a summertime staple in Stow, Ohio. But don’t worry, you won’t have to have a muddy dog house with you after every visit — dog washing areas round the park allow you to wash Fido up for your ride home.

More information: Bow Wow Beach

5. Freedom Bark Park, Lowell, Indiana

Ecofriendly dog park Freedom Bark Park includes 5 acres of landscape dedicated to off-leash dog drama. Solar-powered water pumps give your pet with water, recycled rubber mulch walkways lead owners throughout the park, and biodegradable bags assist with cleanup. The grassy regions separate big and tiny dogs — each has its own shaded area for dogs and owners, drinking water, tunnels, trees and a special digging area.

This award-winning dog park is the end result of 2,700 hours of service which local volunteers contributed to construct it, from the farmers who tilled the land to the teacher who painted that the fire hydrants. Every tree, plant, chairs and tube area also was donated by members.

More information: Freedom Bark Park

Thinking about starting a dog park in your hometown? Here’s how to make it happen.

Get support. Find a core set of people who are able to devote to the cause. Hold a public meeting and collect support. Encourage your neighbors and community members to write letters and make calls to town leaders.

Decide exactly what the park will comprise. The Association of Pet Dog Trainers’ list of what’s needed for a fantastic dog park comprises:Materials for cleaning up after dogsDrinking water and shadeEnough space to prevent crowdingSeparate regions for small and big dogsA two-gate system so dogs can’t escapeMore than 1 entry and exit — dogs quickly learn where newcomers enter, and congregate there.Agility gear, natural visual barriers and other interactive featuresProduce a funding. Once you obtain approval to get a dog park, odds are that you’ll need to boost the funds to construct and keep it. Produce a funding straight off the bat and set a goal for fundraising. Since town budgets may be tight, many dog parks are funded through private donors. See if your town has a nonprofit umbrella arrangement which you may work under which can expedite fundraising.

Find the land. Finding space in towns and cities tends to be the biggest hurdle for dog park activists. “Most cities and towns and the people there believe a dog park is a fantastic idea, and are willing to provide the land for it,” says Lau. “The problem is where to find this distance. Nobody needs it near their property, organization, sports or school field.” Since land is rare, many dog parks are added to an present park or become part of a larger plan to get a multipurpose park.

More: 8 Garden Ideas to Delight Your Dog

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Travel Guide: The Hague for Design Lovers

Home to His Royal Highness King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, and the official seat of government in the Netherlands, The Hague boasts majestic and illustrious architecture which reflects the city’s wealthy cultural and political heritage. A modern skyline dismisses a striking scene against a backdrop of centuries-old historical buildings which hug a popular North Sea surf spot.

For a town that has existed since the 13th century, The Hague has an array of museums that are overburdened. But while the typical tourist attractions are highly recommended — and showcased here this travel guide also attempts to encourage visitors to find the off-the-beaten-path spots. No matter what, the diverse architecture, modern art exhibitions and inspiring stores will amazement any design enthusiast.


Binnenhof: A complex of buildings which make up the Dutch center of Parliament
Location: Binnenhof 8a, 2513 AA
Noteworthy: This-13th century courtyard boasts spectacular medieval brickwork and architraves.

The political leaders of the Netherlands make each of the most important decisions within the confines of the Binnenhof. The gothic Ridderzaal (Knight’s Hall) is employed for the state opening of Parliament each third Tuesday in September on Prinsjesdag (Prince’s Day) — it’s on September 17 at 2013 — if the king has been escorted to Parliament in his golden carriage to deliver a speech from the throne.

Famous tours of the Binnenhof, Ridderzaal and the chambers of Parliament offer insightful insight to the Hague’s political history. Those seeking to get a fast retreat from the bustling roads should look for refuge in this silent square.

The Binnenhof is both the geographical and historical heart of the town, along with being home to the Dutch Parliament. This view from the Hofvijver pond at the city center looks toward the Parliament home and is a great example of The Hague’s old-meets-new aesthetic.

The stately light tan arrangement on the left is your Mauritshuis museum, in which the renowned painting”Girl with the Pearl Earring” by painter Johannes Vermeer is placed if it’s not on traveling exhibitions. Because of renovation work that the Mauritshuis is currently closed until mid-2014. Most of the Mauritshuis collection could be viewed at the Gemeentemuseum. The tower directly with the Mauritshuis has become the Dutch prime minister’s office as 1982.

More info: Mauritshuis

The Peace Prize: Home of the International Court of Justice, Permanent Court of Arbitration, Peace Palace Library and The Hague Academy of International Law
Price: 8,50 euros (about U.S.$11) to get a guided excursion
Location: Carnegieplein 2, 2517 KJ
Noteworthy: This year the Peace Palace celebrates its centennial.

Het Vredespaleis (The Peace Prize ) is The Hague’s most photographed landmark, and with just cause. The arrangement itself is as expansive as the thought that brought about its existence from the early 1900s, as it was built to foster world peace. Today the building is used for the identical function. A guided tour gives visitors a behind-the-scenes view at the goings-on of among the city’s most iconic and precious buildings.

More info: Vredespaleis

Noordeinde Palace: The functioning palace of the king
Location: Noordeinde 68, 762514 GL

Stroll across the elegant shopping street Noordeinde, and you can’t miss the neoclassical palace supporting expansive and gilded gates. Constructed in 1553 and inhabited by Dutch royals since the early 1600s, the palace is now the official working palace for King Willem-Alexander and his team. On Prinsjesdag (Prince’s Day), visitors and residents can observe the royal procession of the gouden koets (gold knob ) since it carries the king from Noordeinde Palace to the Ridderzaal (Hall of Knights) from the Binnenhof, where he reads the”Speech from the Throne,” outlining the government’s fiscal plans for the next year. The procession then returns to the Noordeinde Palace, in which the royal family appears on the palace balcony to tackle an adoring public.

More info: Paleis Noordeinde

The Hague

Lange Vijverberg: Tree-lined pathway overlooking Parliament
Noteworthy: A romantic spot for strolling hand in hand with somebody special

With more than 988 acres (400 hectares) of woodland, The Hague prides itself on being Europe’s town. Wear comfortable walking shoes and indulge in the numerous tree-lined walkways while admiring the city’s historical structure. The Lange Vijverberg flanks that the Binnenhof and the stately Mauritshuis and can be a beautiful spot where you can respect 13th-century structures and feed the ducks at the Hofvijver pond.

Scheveningen Boulevard
Location: Scheveningen
Noteworthy: Stroll beside the ocean prior to grabbing a cocktail.

This recently refurbished boulevard that stretches across The Hague’s seaside town of Scheveningen is just another lovely spot for a quiet stroll.

One of the city’s most notable contemporary sculpture museums, Beelden aan Zee, commissioned a gorgeous collection of 23 sea-inspired sculptures by American sculptor Tom Otterness, who has designed similar public installations in New York.

Pictured here is your largest sculpture, at 12 meters tall. Called”The Herring Eater,” it draws on the Dutch heritage of celebrating the abundant herring season.

More info: Beelden aan Zee

Steigenberger Kurhaus Hotel: Scheveningen’smost iconic architecture
Location: Gevers Deynootplein 30, 2586 CK
Noteworthy: Declared a national monument in 1975

Overlooking the North Sea is your expansive Steigenberger Kurhaus Hotel, located in the former fisherman’s village of Scheveningen; it dates back almost 200 decades. It was initially a wooden bathing home, and the seawater-filled baths were said to have a curative impact. Just eight years after its 1818 launching, it had been replaced by a stone structure offering more amenities. Centuries and many renovations later, the expansive building still welcomes patrons from all around the world.

Blend a stroll along the boulevard with a cocktail at one of the many beach huts throughout summer.

More info: Steigenberger Kurhaus Hotel


Kurzaal Restaurant: Main restaurant at the hotel
Price: 25 to 37,50 euros (about U.S.$32 to $49) to get a supper
Location: Steigenberger Kurhaus Hotel, Gevers Deynootplein 30, 2586 CK
Noteworthy: Classic meets modern cuisine

Do not simply admire the opulence of the iconic resort building from the exterior. Venture inside and gaze up at the frescoed ceiling, which was painted from the Brussels artist Van Hoeck at 1904. This historical backdrop is fulfilled with modern furnishings.

More info: Kurzaal Restaurant

Strijkijzer: Skyscraper nicknamed”Iron,” with the sexy new restaurant and bar The Penthouse
Noteworthy: Its nickname stems out of the sleek, triangular shape

The newest restaurant, bar and nightclub at The Hague is located in a skyscraper that’s 433 feet (132 meters) high, called the”Strijkijzer” (“Iron”); it had been designed by architect Paul Bontenbal. The next tallest building in the city uttered the Hague New City Prize and international Emporis Skyscraper Award because of its elegant reinterpretation of classic high-rise architecture. The building draws its inspiration from New York’s Flatiron Building.

The Penthouse Restaurant and SkyBar has a sleek and luxurious interior that provides sweeping views of the city by the 42nd floor of the building.

From the mood to soak up the views in style? Every Sunday, The Penthouse hosts a Sunday Lazy Jazz Lunch, including live performances by local jazz musicians. The music starts at 2:30 p.m.

More info: The Penthouse

The view from The Penthouse Restaurant and SkyBar.

De Boterwaag: Bar, restaurant, cafe
Location: Grote Markt
Noteworthy: Try the trademark bestselling Boterwaag Salade having an ice-cold Dutch beer.

This converted grand café dates back to 1681. Archways stretching around a vaulted ceiling and unique brickwork are reminiscent of neighborhood 17th-century architecture. In reality, you can admire an original old weigh scale out of 1682 that’s displayed in the restaurant. Its being located on the buzzing Grote Markt square signifies there’s always something happening.

More info: De Boterwaag

Lola Bikes and Coffee
Location: Noordeinde 91, 2514 GD
Noteworthy: Best new café from the nation

From the Netherlands, java and bikes are just two of the most prominent cultural activities, and this fresh café and bike shop gets both appropriate. Lola Bikes and Coffee additionally hosts bike tours each Sunday at 8:30 a.m., taking adventurous customers on a Fatbike Experience through forests, beaches and deserts.

More info: Lola Bikes and Coffee


Municipal museum
Price: 14,50 euros (about U.S.$19); 18 and under, free
Location: Stadhouderslaan 41, 2517 HV
Noteworthy: Houses the works of a few of the most prominent Dutch artists

If you are searching to soak up a few of the best modern art the nation has to offer, this is a fantastic place to get started. Produced by Dutch architect H.P. Berlage, referred to as the Dutch Frank Lloyd Wright, the low-set, sprawling 1930s brick architecture is built in art deco style.

More info: Gemeentemuseum

The museum holds an impressive collection of modern art by some of the world’s most renowned artists, including Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Egon Schiele, Wassily Kandinsky, Louise Bourgeois, Francis Bacon and much more.

Most importantly, the museum displays the world’s largest collection of paintings by Dutch painter Piet Mondrian in its permanent collection, including the artist’s famous”Victory Boogie Woogie” (displayed here). This piece was the abstract painter’s last, unfinished, work.

More info: Mondrian at Gemeentemuseum

Escher Museum: A palace-turned-museum for the works of graphic artist M.C. Escher
Price: 9 euros (about U.S.$12)
Location: Lange Voorhout 74, 2514 EH
Noteworthy: The palace chambers feature stunning chandeliers by artist Hans van Bentem

The former winter palace of Queen Mother Emma of the Netherlands houses the works of celebrated Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher within the confines of a beautifully maintained royal palace. Escher is most known for his geometric lithographs, woodcuts and wood engravings.

More info: Escher Museum

The Hague Sculptures: Sculpture exhibition
Location: Lange Voorhout
Noteworthy: The sculptures are swapped out yearly.

Here’s a second recommendation for strolling along the tree-lined boulevard of the Lange Voorhout. Summertime visitors are treated with an outside exhibition showing frequently enormous sculptural works by esteemed artists from around the world.

Must-Visit Shops

Antiques niches:
Books, antiques and curiosities for sale under the trees
Location: Lange Voorhout
Noteworthy: More Than 70 stalls selling high quality antiques as well as affordable knickknacks.

Another way to enjoy this beautiful part of the town is to wander in and out of stalls at the antiques markets. The markets are on from mid-May until mid-September each Thursday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Holly Marder

Sketch: Exclusive shopping
Location: Denneweg 4, 2514 CG
Noteworthy: Concept store on one of the oldest roads at The Hague

Rich history and exclusive shopping go hand in hand across the Denneweg, in which the street’s oldest building dates back to 1390. High-fashion boutiques, specialty stores, restaurants and pubs with stately flats above them line the road.

The most striking is that the glass-fronted building belonging to the concept store Sketch, which dates back to 1898. Inside is exciting style, art, curios and more.

The Passage: Indoor shopping promenade
Location: Between Spuistraat, Hofweg and Buitenhof
Noteworthy: The last remaining covered shopping street in Holland

The Passage is a beautiful historical building in the city center dating back over 115 years which houses a collection of boutiques and specialty stores. It’s Holland’s sole remaining covered shopping street; these roads found popularity in major American and European cities in the next half of the 19th century.

The Passage exudes a charm and ambiance rarely found in modern shopping malls. Do some upmarket shopping at the glass-covered arcade, but take a moment to gaze up and respect the stately facade and rich detailing in this national monument.

More info: De Passage

Edwin Pelser

Edwin Pelser: Design shop
Location: Piet Heinstraat 123, 2518 CG
Noteworthy: Interiordesign hot spot

Having worked extensively in the field of design at two notable Dutch design schools — the Design Academy in Eindhoven and the Netherlands Architecture Institute in Rotterdam — Edwin Pelser opened an advanced design boutique on a charming shopping street in downtown. Fascinated by each kind of design, he intends to demonstrate that design is accessible for everybody.

More info: Edwin Pelser


Resort Mozaic: Boutique hotel in the city center
Location: Laan Copes van Cattenburch 38-40, 2585 GB

Mozaic is a little boutique hotel housed in 2 renovated monumental buildings which date back to 1880. The suites and common regions of the hotel are tastefully finished in modern style.

More info: Resort Mozaic

Hilton The Hague

Hilton Hotel
Location: Zeestraat 35, 2518 AA
Noteworthy: Finest resort for service and location

The brand new Hilton is at a restored 1950s architecture that houses a distinctly modern collection of rooms. The striking Grand Café Pearl is a superb option for dining, with its own decor completely motivated by the famous”Girl with a Pearl Earring” painting.

More info: Hilton The Hague, Grand Café Pearl

Hidden Gems

F.A.S.T: Free Architecture Surf Terrain
Location: Strandweg 1A, 2586 JK, Scheveningen
Noteworthy: Hippest fresh surfers’ village, beach hostel, surf store, surfing lessons, bar and restaurant, art jobs, parties and museum

The Hague gets the best surf in the nation. Avid surfers or people looking to get into the city’s surf culture could head to F.A.S.T., the Free Architecture Surf Terrain, a cool new surf village which emerged as a response to silent building jobs and vacant land in the Scheveningen area due to the economic downturn. The camping site costs 15 euros (about U.S.$20) per person per night, and the hostel will set you back 20 euros (about U.S.$26). The village consists of various shipping containers to create a recycled aesthetic, and there is an open-air theater.

More info: F.A.S.T.

Palace Garden: A green oasis in town
Location: Behind Noordeinde Palace
Noteworthy: Public garden belonging to the functioning palace of the king

This almost-hidden 17th-century Palace Garden supporting the Noordeinde Palace is a charming public garden appreciated by locals. The park has a pond, walking paths, benches and precious old trees and lawns. Following a day of holiday and design searching, throw a blanket down and relax in this beautiful little hideaway.

Travel Tips

The Netherlands really is the land of bikes. Bicycling a great way to get around and watch The Hague fast and with ease, thanks to the brilliant infrastructure set up for cyclists. There are only a couple of basic rules in regards to biking: Keep to the right, use hand signals to let fellow cyclists understand your next move also, if necessary, use your bell to prevent collisions. If your biking skills are a little rusty, the public transportation system is excellent; trams, trains and buses are extremely punctual.

For your third-largest town in the nation, The Hague has a slow pace, so you’ll have a really relaxing escape. A majority of the Dutch natives speak English, also thanks to over 150 international organizations in the area, there are some 60,000 expats residing in The Hague and its surrounding towns. If you find yourself enjoying the business of the Dutch drinks, say,”Gezellig,” which loosely translates to”a pleasant time and decent business.”

Inform us What did we miss? Share your picks for design-minded items to do and see at The Hague.

More: City guides for design junkies

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