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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8 Moats Which Float Our Boats

Water in the garden is magical; more so if it’s adjacent to the house, requiring us to cross it to get to the front door. Maybe the magic stems from youth tales of castles and moats, but moats surely don’t exist only in castles.

Traditionally moats were crossed with a simple raised drawbridge, while modern moats are generally spanned by decked walkways or even concrete stepping stones. Using water near our houses may give us a few of the historic advantages of medieval moats — a sense of safety, controlled access to the house as well as the aesthetic pleasure of being near water.

You might believe that many of these examples aren’t moats in the literal sense, but undoubtedly those water characteristics have their roots in our medieval past.

Raymond Jungles, Inc..

If your home security does not involve gates and fencing, there must be something reassuring about having any visitors cross a drawbridge to your front door. Perhaps this reassurance is built into our bodies following our ancestors, that gained a sense of safety from being surrounded by water that kept both wild animals and enemies.

Controlling the access to your house may be an important safety benefit that the modern moat can supply, even if the moat is within the home’s perimeter, as shown here.

These randomly shaped stepping stones direct across the moat, fulfilling its original goal of obstructing the entrance but with more of a visual awareness of a barrier than a practical one.

Dick Clark + Associates

Modern moats don’t always fit to the medieval pattern of fully surrounding the house, but instead often abut the house on a couple of sides.

Again we see how accessibility to a house is controlled by using stepping stones that appear to float; those cross an underlit moat.

Exedra Architects

Even in the easiest of gardens, a moat could be both practical and ornamental. This basic timber-decked drawbridge creates easy access over the moat, once again bringing echoes previously.

In medieval times a more peaceful use of the moat was supposed to supply fish to the table. Within this modern setting, cosmetic fish now fill the moat, rather than carp or pike.

Coupard Architects and Builders

Not all moats contain water; a few ancient versions were only ditches dug around fortified buildings. Dry moats were used from the early-American colonists in New England to guard their forts. In certain respects the ha-ha, or sunken ditch, served the same purpose.

This raised bridge gives a spectacular entrance, as it crosses woodland surrounding the deck house.

Birdseye Design

Not all modern moats are used for the technical purposes of offering safety and suitable access; most are made only for aesthetic impact.

Large sheets of water, sometimes artificially darkened with dye or using dark structure stuff, beautifully reflect the construction and the landscape that surrounds it, blending the two together.


Reflections in moats could be enlivened with motion, producing patterns in the mirrored skies and landscape.

The easy tube waterfalls not only create motion in the moat, but also add atmospheric noise, while once again a boarded walk mirrors the drawbridges of the past.

Gregory Phillips Architects

In the end, a fantastic example of a minimalist moat. Pared down to its bones, this layout provides the advantages we’ve looked at: The walkway provides accessibility, and the sheet of water provides a sense of safety and beautifully reflects the garden.

More: Gardens Tap Into Rill Water Characteristics

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Tricky Yellow — Friend or Foe?

Sunny yellow can conjure up happy, warm feelings, but it can also represent cowardliness, betrayal, jealousy and duplicity. Regardless of what the consequence, yellow grabs attention and grabs the eye. In poorly lit halls, yellow shows the way. In bedrooms it lifts the mood. But be cautious — bright yellow can look too strong and become an irritant. Don’t let that scare you from using this color, however! Here’s some expert guidance about how yellow can better your property.

Contemporary house architects

Yellow represents glory, joy, wisdom and royalty in China — it was worn with the emperors of ancient times. It is also considered a masculine color — utilized to depict the yang, while white and black symbolize the female yin.

Mixing the masculine yellow and feminine black collectively gives this Asian-inspired room equilibrium.

Cristi Holcombe Interiors, LLC

Feng shui practitioner Rodika Tchi states, “Golds and yellows are the darlings of a good feng shui home. Gold is very popular in feng shui because of its association with wealth and money, and yellow is your complete color of warmth and happiness. The ideal use of these colors will bring a lively, warm but also energy.”

Potter functions beautifully with contrasting blue to give a relaxing and cool vibe to this elegant bedroom.

Paula Grace Designs, Inc..

In Hinduism yellow is the color of the solar plexus chakra, which is representative of energy and will. The notion is that when this chakra is open, it functions to empower a person to find personal advantage.

These lovely soft yellows and golds are very easy on the eye — a perfect backdrop for rejuvenating at the end of the day.

LDa Interiors & Architecture

Yellow is the easiest color to see in the distance — that is why taxis are usually yellow, along with the yellow flag in automobile races signals caution. Historically, girls across many cultures utilized to tie a yellow ribbon in their hair or around a tree to welcome their guys home from war.

Make your home welcoming with a yellow front door. There is no way your visitors will unintentionally drive past your house!

Story & Space – Interior Design and Color Guidance

Despite all of its advantages, the pros at Color Matters inform us that yellow is the most fatiguing of colors. More light is represented with this bright shade, too stimulating the eyes. Try using bright yellow in tiny amounts, especially in job places.

Yellow is a bright and cheerful color in milder colors. In this office it works superbly as an accent to turquoise.

Crisp Architects

Artist and University of Alberta, Canada, professor Harry Wohlfarth conducted study in the 1980s that showed that blood pressure, pulse and respiration rates increased the most under yellow light.

If you like those bright lemon yellows, then maybe book them for a powder room, where you are not likely to devote enough time in order for it to become an issue.

While older wives’ tales claim that babies cry more in a yellow room and partners will argue more in a yellow kitchen, but they’ve yet to be scientifically proven. I say if you want it, go with it — but perhaps exercise caution and steer clear of those vivid lemon yellows.

Vanni Archive/Architectural Photography

Vincent van Gogh was a particular admirer of yellow. In 1888 he wrote to his sister in the South of France: “Now we are having lovely hot, windless weather that’s quite beneficial to me personally. The sun, a light which for lack of a better word I can only call yellow, bright sulfur yellow, pale lemon gold. How beautiful yellow is!”

Certainly the sun makes us feel better. There’s nothing like a warm yellow for producing a Mediterranean aesthetic with terra-cotta tiles and warm woods, as shown here.

See how to work with bright yellow

Inform us Is yellow your friend or foe, and how have you used it? Inform us from your Comments!

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Fantastic Design Plant: Winter Daphne

As unmistakable and memorable as the smell of a leather baseball glove or Chanel No. 5, the first whiff of winter daphne lets you know that the seasons are changing and that it’s always good to be in a backyard — even on a cold winter morning, once the odor of this tiny pink blossoms looks even stronger. The evergreen shrub is handsome, too. A lot of people would agree: If your climate allows it, do all you can to grow daphne. Obviously, there is a caveat: The plant is a entire diva. And there is no sure way to keep it alive and healthy. But try.

Botanical name: Daphne odora
Common title: Winter daphne
Origin: Native to China and Japan
USDA zones: 7 to 9
Water necessity: Moderate; do not let the soil dry out
Light requirement: Partial color, especially where there is midday sun
Mature size: 3 to 4 ft tall and wide, and bigger
advantages and tolerances: Small but potently fragrant flowers can fill a backyard with odor; some sprigs attracted indoors will perfume a room. The lustrous-leafed tree matches into many landscape conditions. It is generally free of insect pests but is susceptible to often-mysterious origin maladies, creating its reputation as an unpredictable malingerer.
Seasonal curiosity: Blooms in mid to late winter and early spring
When to plant: Plant container-grown plants almost any time of year, though spring and autumn are generally the best times.

Distinguishing attributes. Daphne is a handsome evergreen with dense foliage and glistening green leaves; ‘Aureo-Marginata’ is a popular variety with variegated leaves. Fragrant pink flowers appear in tight clusters at the branch tips.

Growing tips: locate a place in partial shade where you can enjoy the smell and sight of the blossoms. Amend the soil thoroughly with compost and do not bury the cover of the main ball. Don’t overwater in summer — this promotes soil diseases. If your plant dies, try another place. Try it into a pot.

To control the shrub’s size and form, you can prune, or even shear back, a few inches after bloom. Cut bouquets of flowers liberally — this is all the pruning required to maintain bushy growth.

How to utilize it. Squeeze in a single daphne tree where people hang outside or walk close to the back or front entrance, near a patio, in the border of a shady border (be sure at least half a day of sun is available). Daphne looks great in a mixed border, in a bed that is raised and in a container. Or plant a set of three in a curve or corner on your backyard. Shown here is the typical size and form of a gently pruned seven-year-old plant: 3 ft tall and 5 ft wide.

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Have It Your Way — What Makes Architecture Successful

The architect’s job isn’t to use the client as a way to accomplish their very own creations, but to design a party of their client’s life by meeting all the essential program requirements with creativity and imagination. A sheet of architecture may look great in a magazine, but if it does not satisfy the client’s requirements in a beautiful and practical way, it’s failed.

How does one create architecture that is successful? The answer lies in its very purpose.


First, by means of background, I participated in a ideabook discussion centered around some odd elements of a project I had recently completed. The layout was provocative and elicited many comments, some sort and some not.

As far as I love a compliment, I was most absorbed by the remarks that began, “If this were my house, I’d have … ” Or, “If it had been me, I would have done … ” This discovered a common stereotype of an architect’s work: that we are arrogant egomaniacs who bully customers into building our very own visions. I will agree that those architects do indeed exist (that sentence might have just cost me some future American Institute of Architects membership), and I often have to fight this back stereotype early in my client relationships.

But rather than talking stereotypes, let us talk about what structure should be. My answer to these remarks? Obviously. Obviously it could be different. Obviously it might reflect you.

When I had been a musician, and individual A from a small town in Michigan hired me to write a piece of music which has been a party of her life, that piece of music could be significantly different than a piece of music composed to celebrate the life of individual B, who lives in Los Angeles. That is the way it should be, and structure is only frozen music ( or so said Johann Wolfgang von Goethe).

Bruce Wright

Too frequently a work of design is judged unfairly since it is supposed to be the product of a ego-driven architect bullying a client into building the architect’s vision. But the very best design is in reality a product of a client eager to talk about her or his eccentricities and an architect who’s willing to integrate those eccentricities into a unique and imaginative structure.

Spry Architecture

As I said in my remarks, if this were your house, possibly the fireplace shown here could be wrapped in steel. If the house belonged to Colonel Sanders, the fireplace could be wrapped in chicken feathers.


That’s the best thing about design: individualization. A detail which arouses a personal thought or feeling for the homeowner.

Spry Architecture

This floor plan is for a client who dislikes right angles. In her words: “If my house has one right angle, I will be very unhappy.”

What a professional architect misses by not picking up on a client’s small eccentricities is an opportunity for individualization that is likely to produce the structure special and bring it to life.

SeARCH Architecture and Urban Planning

Architecture isn’t about perfect universal solutions. Those do not exist. It is about solutions appropriate to the context of the project. The context is the client’s requirements, site conditions, climate, budget and so on.

Kuhl Design Build LLC

I really like this example of individualization, since it resembles a kid in a giant washing machine. Architecture is always best viewed through the eyes of a youngster’s imagination.

Spry Architecture

I really like the giraffe head in this house since it provides a whimsy to the space that reflects the client’s comedy. It is amusing, and modern structure frequently takes itself too seriously.

And I really like the stone fireplace in the third picture from the top since the stone is personal to the homeowner, a piece of the past. The stone makes that house her house.

That is architecture.

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Summer Plants: How to Grow Taller

There is no competition: Homegrown tomatoes, freshly harvested, flavor best. Given that, including them at a summer vegetable garden is a no-brainer. The following question is, which to grow? There are tomatoes for every single region, from Alaska with its short summers to the cool Pacific Northwest to the hot and humid South.

However there are other considerations besides climate. Would you like giant beefsteak tomatoes, salad tomatoes, miniature cherry tomatoes or sauce or adhesive berries? Are you dedicated to “traditional” dark reddish fruits, or are you intrigued by berries that are rosy pink, orange, yellow, green, striped or so dim a purple they seem black? Do you want to come back to your origins with heirloom varieties, plant one of the newer hybrids or mix and match? Finally, do you want a single crop or one which lasts from summer until frost kills the plants?

You may even decide if you want a tidy and neat, though less prolific, manufacturer, called a determinate variety, or one of the more sprawling, bigger indeterminate (vining) types. Determinate varieties generally reach only about 3 ft, need minimal support and produce a harvest all at one time. Indeterminate varieties can spread to 16 ft and do best with assistance; they create a harvest over an extended season. Semideterminate varieties have attributes of both kinds.

More manuals to developing your own vegetables

Margie Grace – Grace Design Associates

When to plant: Establish starts or nursery plants when the soil is warm and there’s no danger of frost. To grow from seed, start seeds indoors five to eight months before your intended planting date.

Days to maturity: 50 to 90 times when the plants have been set out

moderate requirement: Total sun

Water requirement: Regular and deep watering, but let dry out between waterings

Favorites: Amish Paste, beefsteak, Better Boy, Big Beef, Big Boy, Black Krim, Brandywine, Caspian Pink, Celebrity, Cherokee Purple, Dona, Early Girl, Fourth of July, Green Zebra, Homestead 24, Isis Candy, Kellogg’s Breakfast, Mortgage Lifter, Oregon Spring, Ozark Pink, Paul Robeson, Roma, San Marzano, Siberia, Siletz, Stupice, Sub Arctic Max 1, Sun Gold, Supersweet 100, Sweet 100, Viva Italia

To grow from seed, start indoors five to eight months before your intended planting date. Plant tomatoes in the earth after they have at least two sets of mature leaves.

Planting: Wait until frost is past and the soil has warmed up before planting berries outside. Choose a website with rich, well-drained, neutral or slightly acidic soil; amend your soil when it is either alkaline or quite acidic. If fusarium or verticillium wilt is a problem in your area, do not plant where you have planted berries in the previous two decades. Start looking for a website in full sun for at least six and preferably eight hours every day. Cherry tomatoes may take less sunlight, but the sunnier the spot, the better the results.

If you don’t want to start from seed, you can generally find a good choice of transplants at nurseries, including unusual and heirloom varieties. Start looking for plants which are short and sturdy rather than tall and lanky and that haven’t yet set blossoms or fruit.

Ways to Get Your Garden Launched With Seeds

Andrea Meyers

Infection notes: Tomatoes are highly susceptible to a range of ailments. Seeds which are resistant to the common and destructive of these diseases are labeled as follows: A (alternaria leaf spot), F (fusarium wilt), FF (Race 1 and Race 2 fusarium wilt), L (septonia leafspot), N (nematodes), T (tobacco mosaic virus) and V (verticillium wilt). Check to see whether these diseases are a problem in your area and select seeds so.

Remove the bottom two sets of leaves from every transplant, whether nursery purchased or started from seed. Dig a hole deep enough to cover the stem up towards the bottom of the rest of the leaves and then add amendments. Place from the plants; insert dirt and business the plant set up.

Leave 2-3 feet between plants whenever they will be staked or in cages; 3 to 4 ft if you would like to let them grow unfettered.

If you are growing in pots: Look for containers which are at least 20 g; a half barrel is a good choice. Cherry tomatoes can be grown in slightly bigger containers, but select as large a size as you can. Some folks swear by upside down containers; others find they are not as productive.

Whatever you choose, make sure that there is good drainage. Fill the container with well-amended potting soil and plant as described above.

Steve Masley Consulting and Design

Nicolock Paving Stones and Retaining Walls

When you’ve planted the berries, whether from the ground or a container, then water them thoroughly. If you reside in a place particularly vulnerable to cutworms, put collars around the seedlings at this time.

This is also the ideal time to bring any bets. They may be traditional tomato cages, stakes or any sturdy support, including a woven service of branches. Nonmetal stakes or cages won’t burn the plant if they get hot. Determinate types need little to no staking. Other forms can be left to sprawl, but getting them off the ground helps prevent foliage and soil-borne ailments and keeps the fruit from rotting or bringing pests.

Erin Ponte Landscape Design

Growing-season care: Water regularly, directing the water to the base of the plant rather than using overhead sprinklers, and allow the soil dry out between waterings. You might want to water only every week to ten days, depending upon your climate. Attempt to prevent seesawing on water programs — too much one time, then excessive drying out — as this may lead to fruit split along with other issues. Cut back on watering as the fruit sets.

Tomatoes do not need an excessive amount of food. If you have rich soil, you are probably alright. If your land is not as rich, just lightly put in a low-nitrogen fertilizer every couple of weeks from the beginning of blossoms until you finish picking. You might also apply controlled-release fertilizer or utilize a diluted foliage fertilizer. Many experts recommend worm tea.

As plants grow, utilize soft ties to attach the stalks to the support. If you are using a cage, keep the branches indoors. Some people propose slough off the suckers that brow between the stem and the branches. It is not necessary; doing so will result in bigger fruit but a general smaller crop.

Note: Lightly brushing the blossoms with your palms or a paintbrush can aid in pollination.

Managing fleas: The pests that bother other vegetables will not leave tomatoes alone either. Aphids, Colorado potato beetles, cutworms, flea beetles, leaf miners, melon flies (in tropical areas), nematodes and whiteflies can all cause problems. Tomato hornworms are several other common pests.

Practice good gardening techniques and look for organic solutions to the typical problems, including picking off the hornworms and ruining them. Gophers and other tiny animals — like raccoons, birds, rodents and, in my own case, a cocker spaniel who considers just-ripe tomatoes the ideal bite — may also wreak havoc on your harvest.

Gopher cages may be effective, and good fencing may different dogs and other hungry creatures in the fruit.

Amy Renea

Diseases can be more of a problem. A laundry list includes late blight, leaf roll, blossom-end rot, wilts and tobacco mosaic virus.

Proper garden care, particularly if watering, will help prevent problems, but when the illness is severe, you will need to destroy the plants, keeping any diseased plants out of your mulch.

Gardening with Confidence®

Harvest: select the fruit when it’s business and fully ripe (which can be a struggle to ascertain with berries which are still green when ripe). Store it where temperatures remain above 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) — in other words, not in the refrigerator.

If frost threatens, select unripe tomatoes and allow them to fully ripen indoors or use instantly in specialty dishes. You might also pull the entire plant and hang it upside down in a sheltered spot until most of the fruit ripens.

Do you grow berries? Please discuss your favourite variety for where you live.

More: manuals to developing your own vegetables

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The rivet is a metal fastener used to attach a substance such as timber, sheet metal, leather or plastic into some other substance. It’s an industrial look and the capacity to connect materials having a shear-force strength. Other metallic fasteners include screws, keys, pins, rings, nuts and clips.

Heather Merenda

For blending materials such as wood and steel, adhesive or screws can perform the job, but using rivets the old-school way is gaining popularity. The heated metal gets soft and is squashed to shape the head, and the layers it combines are tightly squeezed together when the metal cools and shrinks.

STRATAap Architecture

This garage door resembles the riveted boards of an airplane or a massive tanker, in which the layers of metal wouldn’t be pulled apart (pressure force) but need to withstand water or wind movement (shear force).

Jamie Laubhan-Oliver

Rivets can be secured with warmth and a hammer, or using a rivet gun, which smashes the trap without heat. Both methods create a button that is bigger than the hole it passes through, making a lasting connection.

Georgetown Development

Welding gained fame over riveting from the 1920s and’30s. Riveting demanded several workers to take on the functions of heating, tossing, catching, putting and hammering the rivets into place. Welding was a quieter process and demanded less teamwork.

GM Construction, Inc..

The placement of rivets is quantified and spaced evenly, allowing for curved and bowed surfaces such as airplanes, boats and this custom-made kitchen hood.

Beinfield Architecture PC

Rivets can have a pan head, a snap head or a mushroom head, or be countersunk, which means that the top of the rivet is flush with the surface it links. These rivets extrude, or extend outside the sheet metal.

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Contractor Tips: What Your Contractor Truly Means

Contractors did not become contractors because they like to convey. If they did they’d have become speechwriters or newscasters (or get a gig writing ideabooks for ). Sometimes what they say seems completely evident for them, but makes no sense for you. And a builder might talk euphemistically to dance about difficult topics. This advice should help you translate some of the euphemisms and somewhat curt statements you might hear, so that you get the maximum out of the client-contractor relationship.

1. Nothing. If he doesn’t call you back, he’s just not that into you. You do not need to chase a builder who is too busy to return your telephone, unless you have given him cash.

2. Let us do it my way rather. Odds are, your builder has more experience doing things a certain way, therefore he may want to urge that procedure. It’s usually best to go with it rather than having him try something for the first time on your job.

Buckminster Green LLC

3. I’ll begin late next week. If your overall contractor sets a beginning date, then he ought to have the ability to retain it. But a lot of times the tradesmen (electricians, technicians, etc.) juggle many jobs simultaneously and often have to take care of emergencies. You need to expect them only to come close to their beginning and completion estimates.

4. The cost will be…
Unless you’re changing the range of work, a builder won’t expect to negotiate a lump sum cost estimate. If you think the cost is too high, get the following quote for comparison. While prices vary because of differences in approaching the undertaking or overhead expenses, a builder won’t stay in business unless he prices competitively.

Uptic Studios

5. I’ll do my best. There is a good chance a contract will fall short of your expectations. If you hear this, then hear your gut. Have you been asking for a great deal? Perhaps you have added work to the extent, but asked for the job to be finished by precisely the exact same date? Are you anticipating a brand new look from a remodel with existing elements?

There are 3 elements to any project: The level of quality, the cost and the time it requires to complete the undertaking. Pick two of these that are most important to you. Should you need everything ideal by a certain date, be prepared to pay more. If you’ve got a fixed budget but need a certain look, give the contractor time to be inventive and make it work.

Anthony James Construction

6. But I can not make a recommendation. Most builders prefer that you just work. Should you request your general contractor for their plumber’s name and number and he provides it to youpersonally, thank them. By enabling you to work directly with a subcontractor your contractor requires a risk by giving up control of the situation. In addition, he gives up the power to indicate the cost of the work that the plumber does, and this is just one of the ways builders get paid.

Buckminster Green LLC

7. The layout had some tweaking. Frequently, this means that the plans were unbuildable. Sometimes what is drawn on paper just can not be constructed. A stairs you would need to crawl on your knees to utilize, “existing” spaces that don’t exist, a pocket door that would slide through a switch box along with the shower enclosure — I have seen all of them.

8. I don’t think this is a good fit. If a builder declines to estimate a job it could be for a whole lot of factors. Perhaps he has concerns regarding the budget. You and your contractor will be speaking a whole lot, so perhaps he just did not think you clicked. It could also be that he’s too busy, and that he won’t have the ability to devote enough time for your job to do it right.

Buckminster Green LLC

9. We will have to do some value engineering. You have got caviar dreams on a cheese and cracker budget. Value engineering is as soon as the team thinks creatively about how to rework the job to do the exact same or similar extent for less, like by changing material selections.

10. Let us walk through and make a hit list. A contractor wishes to know everything you need done to be satisfied with the work. Every visit to your project prices your contractor, therefore make an effort to think of a comprehensive punch list –a list of to-do things which have to be done for your job to be considered complete — instead of sending it bit by bit as time passes.

Next: 10 Home Projects That Probably Need a Guru

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Fantastic Design Plant: Kousa Dogwood

Cornus kousa (kousa dogwood) is a beautiful ornamental shrub that is not quite as common because its popular comparative, Cornus florida (flowering dogwood). If you’re looking for a spring bloomer for your lawn, a kousa dogwood will provide you amazing bracts for four to six weeks, some downright Dr. Seussian berries in summer time, some vibrant fall color and, as it ages, gorgeous exfoliating mottled bark to admire during the winter. Continue reading if you want to get to know the kousa dogwood better.

The New York Botanical Garden

Botanical name: Cornus kousa
Common titles: Kousa dogwood; Korean, Chinese or Japanese dogwood
USDA zones: 5 to 8 (find your zone)
Water condition: Consistent moisture
Light requirement: Full sun to partial shade
Mature size: 20 to 30 feet tall with an equal spread since it matures
Benefits and tolerances: The biggest tolerance of notice is that the kousa interrupts anthracnose disease, which plagues flowering dogwood. It prefers moist, and well-drained soils but may withstand dry and compact soils.
Seasonal interest: Lovely bracts in the spring, fruits in summer, reddish-purple foliage in fall
When to plant: Following the last frost in the spring


Distinguishing traits. Kousa dogwood is famous for being more upright than its comparative, flowering dogwood (C. florida). But as it ages, it will spread out from a vase shape into a round form. Those blooms you know and love are now bracts underneath smaller yellow-green flowers.

The New York Botanical Garden

These bracts show up at the spring and last for about six weeks since the tree leafs out, eventually turning pink with age till they drop off.

From the late summer or early fall, kousa sprouts pink edible fruits. They’re bumpy-looking berries around 1/2 inch in diameter. Once mature, they aren’t too bad. (Could you tell they’re not my personal favorite?)

As they ripen, they make more pink, turning into a dark cherry shade. These berries are the easiest way to differentiate kousa from other dogwood species.

From the fall, kousa dogwood’s leaves turn a brilliant reddish-purple. In the winter, the absence of leaves reveals lovely bark that exfoliates with age, which is just another distinctive trait.


How to utilize it. Kousa dogwood is a wonderful ornamental tree to your lawn. Use it as a specimen tree or in a grove. Because it is tolerant of shade, you might also use it at the edge of a woodland.

If you would like to maintain your dogwood’s flowering season going as long as possible, utilize it with flowering dogwoods, as kousas will bloom about a month later than flowering dogwoods.


Planting notes. Make sure that your soil is loose, fertile and well drained. Till a nice area that is at least three times the size of your root chunk.
Dig a hole twice as wide and as deep as the root ball. Loosen up its roots and place it in the pit. Fill the remainder of the hole back with soil and tamp it down. When the remainder of the pit is half filled with dirt, add water and let it drain before filling it the remainder of the way.Water it thoroughly and add a couple inches of mulch; nonetheless, don’t let the mulch touch the trunk of this tree.
More: Read more great layout plants

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Embrace a Hot Trend With a Kitchen Warming Drawer

Warming drawers have been sweeping kitchens across the USA! These independent appliances permit you to keep prepared meals warm, to heat dishes and to slow to evidence bread dough. Often installed with a fitting wall mount, a warming drawer can be coordinated with other kitchen appliances to obtain the look and feel of a streamlined, high-functioning kitchen.

Since the countdown to my cookery renovation continues, it seems as if I’ll be adding yet another appliance to my wish list. I love a piping-hot plate of food, so it sounds a built in streamlined warming drawer is the perfect answer for us.

What about you? Take a look at these examples and let me know what you think.

Steven Miller Design Studio, Inc..

Viking’s warming drawer beautifully matches the side-by-side fridge and microwave in this San Francisco kitchen.

Dzignit, Patrice Greene

As opposed to consume wall cabinet space, this warming basket tucks easily into normally unused space on the kitchen peninsula.

Aquidneck Properties

Warming drawers are separate appliances and are often installed to coincide with the wall mount, as exhibited in this country-style kitchen.

The Furniture Guild

It is possible to disguise your warming drawer with a custom cabinet panel.

Farinelli Construction, Inc..

The brief end of a kitchen island typically goes unused. A warming drawer is a intelligent use of the distance.

Greenbrook Homes

Put a warming drawer next to the oven, so when a dish is finished baking you can immediately tuck it away for warming.


Kitchen warming drawers are intended to supply a low warmth that’s excellent for keeping meals dishes and hot warm. They can even evidence bread dough.

Glenvale Kitchens

To save space, you can stack wall mount with a warming drawer in a cooking tower cabinet module.

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