10 Landscaping Mistakes to Avoid

With winter comes hope and optimism that if you put the effort into it, you’ll have a beautiful yard come spring.  And you should, if you shun the following design blunders.

 

Lush Landscape

 

1. Plant Only Evergreens: We all like green. After all, that’s the color of money. But in your landscaping, it gets tedious. Shop for perennials that bloom in different seasons to add pops of color to your garden and shower the garden with different textures.

2. Dismiss a Basic Color Scheme: Experts suggest including just three harmonizing colors in your landscape instead of going for the rainbow effect.

3. Let Hedges Go: When these bushes hide your home and block the view through the windows, you need to prune or even remove the hedge.

4. Sow Invasive Species: People don’t always know they’ve planted invasive species because some retailers actually sell them. Do your own due diligence by searching on the internet for invasive plants in your area before going shopping.

5. Plant Too Much: Don’t crowd your landscaping by including too many trees and plants. Remember most of them grow out as well as up, so allow for that. When you squeeze plants in too close together, they have to fight for sunlight, water and nutrients and not everyone will make it.

6. Over or Under Fertilizing the Lawn: Giving your grass too much nourishment burns it, while not enough fertilizer also damages your lawn. Find out which products protect and preserve and then adhere to a regular feeding schedule.

7. Countless Pots and Yard Décor: Items that don’t come from nature like signs, statues and decorative pots can easily overwhelm a yard. You want the focus to be live plants and grass and decorations to just be an accent.

8. Not Limiting Hardscaping Materials: Bricks, pavers and stones should complement your house, front door and roof. Hardscapes also need to emphasize the growth in your yard, not overshadow it.

9. Ignoring Your Zone: Not all plants grow well in all locations. Everyone lives in their own hardiness zone. Don’t be tempted by photos in catalogs or on the Internet to buy flowers or seeds that won’t survive your climate.

10. Allow Weeds to Run Wild: Stop these pests before they germinate if you can by applying a pre-emergent. Otherwise, pull them so they don’t take water and food away from the good vegetation.

 

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10 Landscaping Mistakes to Avoid was originally published on Southern Classic Realtors – Nivla Calcinore – Bringing You Home

“Where Should I Keep My…?”: Solving the Ultimate Small Space Dilemmas

When you’re renting, square footage is something to be savored, not squandered. It’s hard enough finding a home for your everyday must-haves, let alone bulky, infrequently used, or offseason items like snowshoes,  pool toys, and holiday decorations.

Whatever your hobby or collection, there’s an organizational hack to help you store it. Here are some clever storage tricks for six of the toughest, bulkiest space-takers you may own.

Offseason wardrobe

Tuck those bulky winter sweaters (or shorts and flip-flops) in plastic bins under your bed. If your bed’s too close to the ground, lift it up with sturdy wood blocks. Even a few extra inches create enough space for a sizable storage container.

If elevating the bed isn’t an option, maximize your closet space with a few sets of cascading hangers. Put blouses on one set and T-shirts on another, and you’ll most likely double your closet space.

Extra linens

Extra pillows, comforters, and bedsheets are great for guests, but not so great for your small space. Try vacuum storage bags – stack your items inside, and use your vacuum cleaner to remove the air. Your items will shrink significantly so you can store them under your bed or on a shelf.

Shoe collection

A burgeoning shoe collection can take on a life of its own if not properly corralled. Take it back to dorm-room days with an over-the-door shoe organizer. These college favorites are popular for a reason – they store a dozen pairs of shoes or more, plus scarves, baseball caps, belts, and chunky necklaces.

Bikes

Bikes can be one of the most difficult belongings to stash, especially if you don’t have a deck or basement. Try installing a strong hook in the wall, and hang your bike by the front tire. Pro: It’s a great way to get the bike off the floor. Con: It still protrudes into the room.

For a less invasive option, hang your bike flush against the wall – like you’re hanging a piece of art. The hardware can be as simple as two wooden dowels that support the bike’s horizontal bar. )(Just make sure you anchor the supports in the wall’s studs so they can hold the weight.)

Exercise equipment

An inflatable exercise ball is a great workout aid – and a real space suck. You could always deflate it, but the hassle probably isn’t worth it. So, why not get creative and make it a usable piece of furniture?

Repurpose medium or large exercise balls as dining room chairs, and store them under the dining table when you’re done.

No room for a dining table? The bike trick applies here, too. Install a couple of dowels high up on the wall, and set the ball there until you’re ready for a crunch session.

Decorations and keepsakes

Have a collection of things you just can’t get rid of? Maybe old photo albums, holiday decorations, or crafting supplies? Strategically placed shelves are your storage lifesaver when seeking space for infrequently used items.

There’s often a wealth of unused space above and behind your hung clothing in bedroom and hallway closets. While shelves in these locations may require a footstool or flashlight to access, it won’t matter if you only need the items a few times a year.

Top photo from Zillow listing.

Related:

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“Where Should I Keep My…?”: Solving the Ultimate Small Space Dilemmas was originally published on Southern Classic Realtors – Nivla Calcinore – Bringing You Home

3 Design Tricks That Will Make Your Small Space Feel Big

Do you have a small space in your home that you’re unsure what to do with? Or is your cramped apartment forcing you to be creative in your living arrangements? You’re not alone.

Make your small room or living area fit your needs with clever solutions that will streamline your life and maximize your space.

Paint can work wonders

Choosing the right paint color for your small room can instantly give the impression of more space or emphasize it’s cozy feel. Traditional neutrals like whites, creams and light grays are a great choice because they provide a clean and streamlined look, while making the room feel brighter and more expansive.

Painting the ceiling white to draw the eye upward is an easy way to create visual openness overhead. You’ll have an airy and inviting space in no time.

paint it white
Courtesy of Orlando Soria.

Conversely, if you want to play up the small space vibe even more, go bold with dark colors. It’s a fun and unique design choice to emphasize the smallness of a room by making a cozy den-like atmosphere with colors like black, dark gray and navy.

paint it black
Courtesy of Allison Lind.

Whether you decide to go light or dark, adding paint to your small space will help you get the effect you are going for in a quick and budget-friendly way.

Savvy storage

With tight spaces, there isn’t always room for all the storage needed for belongings, clothing, office supplies and more. By incorporating creative and flexible storage solutions, you can easily keep clutter out of sight, while still keeping everything you need handy.

For example, the kitchen is a great place to implement clever storage. Roll-away islands and pantries create an adjustable cooking area to fit your needs.

kitchen storage
Courtesy of Sandra Bird.

Add storage by using the space beneath your cabinets for hanging spices or wine glasses, and attaching holders to the backs of cabinet doors to keep foil and cleaning supplies neatly out of sight.

Don’t forget about uncommon spaces like ceilings for hanging items like bicycles out of the way, or adding shelving high up in closets for rarely used items.

Multi-tasking furniture

When you have limited floor space, it’s important to make your furniture work double duty. Choose pieces that have hidden storage and multiple functions, or can be compacted and stored when not in use.

Photo from Zillow listing.

If you can’t fit a dresser in your bedroom, try using drawers or crates under the bed for clothing and extra linens. A pouf or leather ottoman can easily transition from a seat to a footrest or side table.

Add function to your entryway by employing a bench with storage inside to hide extra shoes, gloves, and scarves. And if you have wall space to spare, hang a fold-down dining table.

folding table
Photo from Zillow listing.

Using modular pieces that can serve different purposes or fold out of the way frees up room to make your space comfortable and livable for you and your guests.

Limited square footage doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice function and style. Small space living is a great way to lead a simplified and streamlined life. With creative thinking, you can go from a cluttered, cramped mess to an organized and inviting space with room for all.

Top image from Zillow listing.

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Originally published August 19, 2015.

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3 Design Tricks That Will Make Your Small Space Feel Big was originally published on Southern Classic Realtors – Nivla Calcinore – Bringing You Home

8 Budget-Friendly Farmhouses For Sale

A farmhouse occupies a special place in the American psyche. The word alone conjures up images of a simpler time — well before screens, sprawl, lengthy commutes, and the general stress of modern life took over. A time, perhaps, when an old-fashioned apple pie was a treat and not something your Paleo friends would avoid like the plague.

While we might be far from those halcyon days, there’s something inherently appealing about classic farmhouses. These eight affordable homes for sale in Luzerne, PA, Wisdom, MT, and other bucolic settings have captured our hearts and imaginations.

farm houses for sale in Luzerne, PA

Fields of dreams: $ 275,000, 229 Thompson 1 Road, Luzerne, PA 18709

Rolling hills create a beautiful backdrop for this hobby farm. The four-bedroom home has down-to-earth curb appeal (if there was a curb to be found on the 14-acre property), with solid brick construction and a modest porch. You’d never guess from the unassuming exterior that inside you’d find such incredible features as a grand staircase, wide-planked floors, and exposed beams. In addition to this endearing residence, you’ll get a bonus milk house and a large equipment building.

farmhouses for sale in Edinboro PA

Country charm: $ 275,000, 8520 Pageville Road, Edinboro, PA 16412

Built in 1849, this four-bedroom home looks as if it came from the pages of an old-fashioned storybook. The exterior is accented with timeless dark green shutters, a roomy porch, and wide front steps. Around the incredibly expansive grounds — it totals 44.17 acres — you’ll find a beautiful, rustic 12-stall barn. Though picturesque, it’s a working property, with a grain and tack room, hayloft, training paddock, and three pastures. Maybe it’s time to get those ponies you wished for as a kid?

farmhouses for sale in Wisdom, MT

Big Sky beauty: $ 249,000, 1900 Steel Creek Road, Wisdom, MT 59761

The Montana countryside is essentially like living in a painting. You’re completely surrounded by jaw-dropping scenery, whether it’s the simple beauty of a blue sky or majestic mountains. So, first things first, don’t even bother hanging curtains in this one-bedroom, one-bathroom cabin. Second, don’t mistake the low bedroom count for lack of space. The home has a loft that can accommodate up to six people. And if those guests start to test your patience, send them out to experience nearby activities such as skiing, fishing, and, if you’re so inclined, hunting. Third, with more than 20 acres to call your own, you could expand this energy-efficient home as you see fit. Or just soak it all in: There are heated floors, a wood-burning stove, Jacuzzi tub, and a self-draining water system that sounds very unsexy but does prevent pipes from freezing.

farm houses for sale in Hazel Green AL

Southern comfort: $ 219,000, 3228 Bobo Section Road, Hazel Green, AL 35750

Down in Alabama, luxury and the country lifestyle combine in this custom three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bathroom house. What else can you say about a home that boasts a porch that overlooks a pond, and a master bath with a Jacuzzi? Actually, there’s a lot more to say. The rooms are huge, which gives you maximum flexibility when it comes to decorating and redecorating. Nooks, a few angled walls, a fireplace, and moldings add a little architectural interest. Outside, the sweeping green space offers up a relaxing view, which is best enjoyed from the comfort of the porch swing.

farmhouses for sale in Marshfield

A barn of ones own: $ 199,900, 4446 Brinkley Road, Marshfield, MO 65706

Don’t be fooled by the unusual exterior — the interior of this three-bedroom farmhouse includes a great room with a soaring ceiling and character-filled exposed wood beams. Yet this home’s quirky façade adds much of the appeal, along with wood floors and simple decor throughout the first floor. The bedrooms and bathrooms have some personality for sure, with windows that overlook the huge 10-acre wooded property. An ideal property for those who are far handier than the rest of us, the home comes with a metal horse barn, a large shop, metal machine barn, and a potting shed.

farmhouses for sale in Wellington KY

Remotely rustic: $ 179,900, 5503 Highway 1693, Wellington, KY 40387

Built in 2007, this three-bedroom home has the charm and character of an older home. We admire thoughtful features such as the corncrib door, hand-hewn floors, and a geothermal heating/cooling combo system. But with additional features such as the promise of “no visible neighbors,” “3-foot-thick walls,” and a distance of 300 feet from the nearest road, you’re guaranteed peace and quiet here.

farmhouses for sale in Polkton NC

Classic Colonial Revival: $ 180,000, 8597 Ansonville Polkton Road, Polkton, NC 28135

A wraparound porch is a sought-after feature that’s very hard to find — and this home also comes with 6.75 acres. Just take a long drive up the tree-lined gravel driveway to this grand four-bedroom, two-bathroom home. Though it was originally built in 1900, the house has been updated with granite countertops, custom cabinetry, and stone showers with seats. The home’s historic charm still shines through, with wood columns, decorative moldings, and built-in storage in the dining room. We bet there are some hardwood floors underneath all that wall-to-wall carpet too.

farmhouses for sale in Albion PA

Sweet home Pennsylvania: $ 114,900, 14880 Tracy Keepville, Albion, PA 16401

This farmhouse in small-town Pennsylvania (Albion’s population: 1,616) is surrounded by 5 acres. The four-bedroom Amish-built home was made to last and features an adaptable, classic design. If a farming career appeals to you, several outbuildings are on-site to accommodate your needs.

Do you live in a farmhouse? What’s your favorite aspect of country-style living? Share in the comments!

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8 Budget-Friendly Farmhouses For Sale was originally published on Southern Classic Realtors – Nivla Calcinore – Bringing You Home

5 Retro Decorating Trends That Deserve a Comeback

Some home decor looks are just too good to let go. The boldly colored kitchen cabinets of the ’50s are taking on a sophisticated modern look. The late ’80s country kitchen look is enjoying new life – minus the gingham frills and bonneted goose motif – in today’s farmhouse chic trend, and mid-century design has taken over the home furnishing offerings of retailers at every price point. Rattan furniture and velvet upholstery, both popular in the ’70s, are showing up in designer collections again.

Our pick for the decor trend  most deserving of a second chance? The brightly colored bathroom fixtures (and sometimes even matching tile) that became popular beginning in the 1930s, and evolved from cool pastels to the much-maligned avocado and harvest gold hues of the 1970s. We’re not seeing these offered new yet, but salvage stores are a great resource if you simply must have a mint green or bubble-gum pink sink for your bathroom renovation.

Photo from Zillow listing.

Here are some of the blast-from-the-past home decor looks designers are happy to have deja vu over.

’50s-style dens

We are loving the reemergence of the den or the basement as a gathering space. Instead of having family and friends centered around a 50-inch television in the living room, we’re seeing people move toward intimate areas like listening rooms for their favorite vinyls, or casual seating in the den with headphones and their iPads. This setup is more conducive for connecting and catching up, or simply taking time for one’s self – think wood paneling, updated and re-imagined bean bags in designer fabrics, and high-quality retro audio sound.

– Kerrie Kelly, Kerrie Kelly Design Lab

Photo by Brian Kellogg.

Macrame textile art

Macrame from the ’60s and ’70s, but with a whole new twist. I love the beautiful heavy knotted textile hangings as art, or the thin delicate hangings for room screens. [They can hold] hanging flower vases and even light fixtures. This time it’s all about texture with a Scandinavian vibe.

Susan M. Jamieson, ASID, Bridget Beari Designs, Inc.

Conversation pits

We want big living rooms with circular, sunken conversation pits. They need custom built-in sofas, space-age floating fireplaces hanging in the middle, and plush shag carpeting deep enough to swallow your foot. Give us this dedicated zone for hanging out with friends and family, a space that isn’t centered around a TV screen. Give us bold colors and wild graphic patterns on pillows. And, most importantly, give us a live-in housekeeper, because those shag carpets are a nightmare to keep clean.

– Chris Stout-Hazard, ROGER+CHRIS

Photo from Zillow listing.

The home design trend from the past I’d love to see make a comeback is the conversation pit. Our technology age has created a digital life and physical separation. The classic conversation pit promotes togetherness and community. The conversational pit arrangement organically encourages people to face each other with comfortable deep seating. It also can be an advantage in design strategy, with a flexibility to promote a stylish streamlined modern feel or a casual bohemian aesthetic. Inspiring our clients to ditch the television and engage with family and friends is part of our design practice, creating space as experience.

– Elena Frampton, Frampton Co.

Timelessly practical kitchen features

Two of our favorite features making a comeback lately are banquette seating and library ladders, especially in the kitchen. A lot of our projects are in the city, where space is at a premium. Banquette seating works great in a tight space, plus it creates additional storage opportunities under the bench. Same goes for the ladder: It’s all about space. If you don’t have to haul out a clunky ladder to access everything out of reach, you can double your kitchen’s storage capacity with cabinets or shelves that go all the way up to the ceiling.

– Jeff Pelletier,  Board & Vellum

Photo from Zillow listing.

Brass hardware and fixtures

Used in smaller doses like pull handles and faucets with a more sleek and modern shape, [brass hardware and fixtures] can really up your design game in a cool classy way. My favorite bathroom look right now is dark navy cabinets with Carrera marble quartz counters, oversized white sinks, and printed cement floor tile incorporated with brass pull handles and faucets.

– Christina El Moussa, HGTV’s “Flip or Flop” and SuccessPath

Photo from Zillow listing.

Top image from Zillow listing.

Related:

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5 Retro Decorating Trends That Deserve a Comeback was originally published on Southern Classic Realtors – Nivla Calcinore – Bringing You Home

3 Steps to Creating an Organized Entryway (Even If You Don’t Have the Space)

Drop zones, mudrooms, utility rooms, entryways, “places to leave your stuff.” Whatever you choose to call them, these spaces are invaluable as a spot to kick off your shoes, drop your keys, and keep everything you’ll need for the next day right where you left it.

Sometimes these spaces can be hard to come by, especially if you live in an apartment or studio. Without organization, shoes usually end up piled in front of the door waiting to trip an unsuspecting victim, and an array of backpacks, mail, dog leashes and knickknacks can clutter your home to the point of embarrassment.

Photo from Zillow listing.

But having a dedicated, organized and stylish drop zone for all of your daily needs – and to welcome your guests – is absolutely achievable, no matter the size or design of your living space.

Try these tips to establish a functional entryway in a home of any size.

Make a little room

Since it’s generally not possible to remodel or add on to a rental apartment, you must work with what you have.

Try a narrow console table for tight hallways as a place to drop your keys or leave your outgoing mail.

If space is really tight and all you have is the wall behind your door, hang hooks for coats and bags so they stay off the floor.

Another small-space trick: Temporarily remove your coat closet’s door, and add a stool or small bench inside as a place to sit and take off your shoes – and still have room for coats.

If your apartment is inside a secure building, you may be able to leave out a basket or tray for shoes in the shared hallway.

Add functionality

A mirror can also go a long way in opening up and brightening tight areas by reflecting light and giving the illusion of more space.

Retailers like IKEA sell modern pieces that can be modified to fit narrow spaces or hung on the wall. Measure your desired entryway space, and find furniture that will make the most of the room you have.

Having dedicated spaces for accessories also will make your drop zone a functional center. A devoted bowl or hook to hang your keys, a folder to sort your mail, and a basket to keep your shoes in really makes a difference in the flow of your day.

Leave a message

Bump practicality up a notch by having a message center in your drop zone where you can pin important reminders or leave messages for family members. It’s a great way to keep everyone connected as they go in and out.

A docking station to charge all your electronics can also be useful here. Look for compact and small accessories that will fit your space, yet serve the purpose you need.

By customizing your drop zone with features you need that will fit your home, you’ll keep everything streamlined and easy to find when you need it.

See more entryway inspiration.

Related:

Originally published December 3, 2015.

Home Improvement – Zillow Porchlight

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3 Steps to Creating an Organized Entryway (Even If You Don’t Have the Space) was originally published on Southern Classic Realtors – Nivla Calcinore – Bringing You Home

Designer Lookbook: Jessica Helgerson’s Authentic Mid-Century Remodel

When Portland interior designer Jessica Helgerson faced the daunting task of renovating a mid-century treasure, her first question was: “What would Saul do?”

The residence in question, the Feldman House, was designed by local architect Saul Zaik in 1956. The wood-clad home, which features a sensationally low-slung gable roof and floor-to-ceiling glass walls, was suffering from a bit of an identity crisis: The kitchen with cheap white laminate cabinets had been raised so it was not level with the adjacent floors, and the ceilings in the bathroom were taller than in the master bedroom.

And that was just the beginning. “There was a real disconnect between the front and the back of the house,” Helgerson recalls. “The living room was lovely and relatively unchanged, but the back of the house got progressively funkier.”

The interior floor plan, which had been altered over the years by a series of misguided remodels, lacked cohesion and seemed to detract from Zaik’s original vision – an experimental but harmonious marriage of indoor and outdoor spaces.

Helgerson made it her mission to be authentic to that vision, “to use materials that felt of the area” and make it feel as if the home had not been remodeled. “We weren’t slavishly recreating the past,” she says, “but we really were trying to think about the vintage of the house, and the goal of the house, and to be respectful of that when we were designing.”

A significantly different plan

Presented with three design plans, the young family who had purchased the home decided to go with “the most significantly different plan, which was the one we were advocating for,” Helgerson recalls.

That meant replacing the wooden shelves that had been removed from the living room wall, adding new windows, and overhauling the kitchen with new birch cabinetry and a custom screen that mimicked the original front door.

 

A mud room, which solved the problem of a front door and garage door that met in the same spot, was later added, along with a carport entry.

As the family oversaw the progress, Helgerson studied up on the little details that characterized Zaik’s work – his use of brass, and how his doorjambs climb past the doors, then meet a panel. The family room, which had an awkward post in the middle, was ultimately shrunk back to its original size, which in turn allowed the master bedroom to be relocated away from the noise of the children’s bedrooms. Speaking of those bedrooms, all were resurfaced to be in sync with the rest of the house.

“We don’t try to put our stamp on it,” Helgerson says of the vintage home remodels she tends to take on, “but then I hear, ‘Gosh, I can tell it’s one of your projects.’” This time, the original architect might disagree.

Get the look at home

  • Hire a professional. Renovating a vintage home is “tricky, and not everybody gets it,” says Helgerson. “We see a lot of funny stuff.”
  • Hold back a bit. “Some restraint is a good thing,” says Helgerson, who aims to have all the materials she’s picked for a home “fit into a really small bin, and all look good together when we dump it out.” Even for a really big house, “ideally the palette is consistent enough that it all looks nice.”
  • Embrace the space. “I advocate for letting spaces be … what they are,” says Helgerson, who doesn’t believe in painting a dark basement “sunny yellow” or trying to create a moody room in one that gets a ton of natural light. “Let spaces speak to you and dictate what they want to be.”

Related:

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Designer Lookbook: Jessica Helgerson’s Authentic Mid-Century Remodel was originally published on Southern Classic Realtors – Nivla Calcinore – Bringing You Home

8 Beautiful Home Projects Using Reclaimed Wood

Reclaimed wood can be recovered from a wide variety of sources, but it most frequently comes from timber framing and decking used in old barns, factories, and warehouses. Some tell-tale signs of reclaimed wood include nail holes, manufacturer stamps, and markings. Other unique qualities, like variation and depth of color or unusual patterning, can be a result of it being stored in vessels like wine barrels, beer casks, and other containers.

Additionally, reclaimed timber is usually cut from strong, mature trees (unlike the younger, weaker trees used today for lumber), and is less prone to splitting. Because of these aspects, many designers choose to use reclaimed wood rather than virgin timber in their projects.

Here are eight different projects that incorporate reclaimed wood in distinct ways.

Ceiling turned to walls

Salvaged wood from multiple origins come together in this project in Buenos Aires by architects Teresa Sarmiento and Nicolas Tovo. They designed the home for their own family with the intention of celebrating recycled materials-floor boards of repurposed Brazilian pine and wall boards from the ceiling of a tenement in a local Buenos Aires neighborhood. The boards were cut down to size and oriented vertically to bring the eye upward to a clerestory window and small white beams.

Photo by Cristóbal Palma.

Repurposed staircase

A small, efficient home in Seattle designed by SHED Architecture & Design incorporated wood on the exterior and interior of the home, and even used salvaged wood from the residence that had previously stood on the site. Although the 100-year-old bungalow was demolished, the treads of one of its staircases were repurposed in the new home as a modern, open-riser stair that lets in light from the windows beyond.

Photo by SHED Architecture + Design.

Entryway elegance

Even a few pieces of salvaged lumber can have a big impact. This entryway in a Brooklyn townhouse, renovated by Bangia Agostinho Architecture, reused hemlock fir joists from the existing building structure as casework around the main entry door. The trim has a simple, modern profile, ensuring that it makes a contemporary statement. In the entryway is another repurposed piece of wood that was charred in a fire more than 100 years ago. It has since been painted and repainted – creating a unique patina and texture – and transformed into a bench.

Photo by Pia Ulin.

Accent wall and headboard

In a project in Quebec, Canada, a 1924 building was renovated by Bourgeois Lechasseur Architects. The renovation sought to modernize the apartment while preserving the historical elements – in particular, reusing wooden boards that were salvaged during demolition. The unfinished boards act as a rustic, earthy accent wall and headboard, while the surrounding white walls and crisp bed linens keep the room contemporary.

Photo by Adrien Williams.

From flooring to doors

This loft in Brooklyn, New York, used almost all reclaimed, recycled, or diseased wood for everything from the flooring – salvaged from a barn constructed in the 1800s in the Allegheny Mountains in Ohio – to the doors, which were saved from a mansion in Greenwich, Connecticut. Shelving, walls, and ceilings throughout the apartment are covered with wood that came from butternut trees in a blighted forest in Vermont, where worm infestations created intricate, unique patterns in the diseased wood. Although the apartment is located in New York, the different pieces of lumber inside come from all over the country.

Photo by Kevin Cooley.

Structural elements and beyond

Different types of reclaimed wood, each from different sources, steal the show in this residence in the Scottish countryside by Glasgow-based architect Andrew McAvoy of Assembly Architecture. Thick, deep oak beams were reclaimed and reused for structural elements, while the maple flooring was salvaged from an old school in the nearby rural village of Aberdeen. The reclaimed wood was a critical contributor to the goal of sustainability in the home.

Photo by Andrew Meredith.

Posts and beams

As barns become obsolete, they become fruitful sources of salvaged wood, like this house in the Catskills in Bovina, New York. Architect Kimberly Peck designed a home for a Norwegian couple that was looking for the perfect mix of warm, Scandinavian design and mid-century modern. The wood boards on the walls and the posts and beams are all reclaimed, but from different sources. The structural elements were recycled from a barn built in 1840, and the reclaimed planks on the walls were stained with a gray wash to match the other wood.

Photo by Torkil Stavdal.

A fine library

High ceilings and natural light prevent this small library that’s clad in reclaimed wood from feeling overwhelming or oppressive. The wood, a salvaged spotted gum, is a durable wood that’s native to Australia and is often used in structural, exterior, and interior applications. It ranges from a deep, reddish tone to a much lighter, almost yellow-white color. The library was part of a renovation of a family residence by Melbourne-based architects Andrew Maynard and Mark Austin of Andrew Maynard Architects.

Photo by Peter Bennetts.

This article was written by Kate Reggev and originally appeared on Dwell.  Check out more of their content on Dwell.com.

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Home Improvement – Zillow Porchlight

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8 Beautiful Home Projects Using Reclaimed Wood was originally published on Southern Classic Realtors – Nivla Calcinore – Bringing You Home

Designer Lookbook: VW Fowlkes’ Simple-Meets-Sensual D.C. Home

In early 2011, VW Fowlkes, principal and founder of Fowlkes Studio in Washington, D.C., was struggling with a conundrum.

His clients, a husband and wife in their mid-forties, didn’t see eye to eye on the new design for their two-story, three-bedroom home in the historic Cleveland Park neighborhood.

The husband, who works in tech, “was a committed modernist who wanted everything white and super clean,” says Fowlkes. And the wife, who runs a public relations firm, “wanted everything organic and sumptuous and sensual with a natural patina. So we weren’t sure how to reconcile the directions we were getting.”

Bold patterns, rich textures

Choosing to tackle the kitchen first, VW chose a Mediterranean-style concrete tile that had a “timeless quality to it,” he says. “The graphic print was so bold, you could do nothing else to the space and it would still feel visually rich.”

The husband saw nothing modern in it, dismissing the rope-tie print as fuddy-duddy, but in the end, the pattern won out, and the solid walnut cabinet came next.

The wife “claimed to be super picky about the kinds of grains and wood species” she liked, Fowlkes says. “She said she wanted something natural, but she didn’t want it to look like a condo.”

After locating a woodworker who collected trees uprooted by Hurricane Irene, Fowlkes visited the property with his client, who walked around and chose the walnut tree of her choice for the cabinet.

The Maryland-based woodworker placed the wood in a drying kiln for four months so it wouldn’t warp, cup, or check while crafting the cabinets. Fowlkes also reinforced the back of the slab with steel rods for additional protection against curling.

“It’s clean and modern, but it’s also very sensual,” Fowlkes says of the cabinets, which feature a live edge on the bottom that reflects the tree’s shape. “We wanted to really express the nature of the material we were using. You can see some marks from the chainsaw at the edge where it was cut.”

The same woodworker provided the materials for the kitchen’s window seat and sliding barn door. The light pendants, made by Sundance Company, were chosen for their transparency, since they wouldn’t block the view of the cabinets from the dining room. “They’re not overly or self-consciously modern,” Fowlkes says, adding that they were hardly expensive.

Spacious room, warm accents

Upstairs, Fowlkes converted the tiny three bedrooms into a single master suite, which features the same walnut millwork and custom bronze hardware as the kitchen. In the closet, a little bronze hook pulls out for hanging up clothes, and the wide-plank pine floors lend warmth to the airy, white space.

Nature meets modern

For the bathroom, Fowlkes sourced a porcelain-style floor from Architectural Ceramics that resembles a concrete material. The bathtub and raised sinks are from Montreal-based company WETSTYLE. As with the kitchen, the plumbing fixtures have a living bronze finish that appealed to the wife’s interest in nature.

“We wanted it to feel like the whole room was a white box, and we brought in the vanity and closets almost like we’d bring in a Steinway or your grandmother’s Chippendale,” Fowlkes says. “They weren’t necessarily things that had always existed in the house – they’re more like furniture.”

Get the look at home

Fowlkes explains how to achieve a streamlined look in your own home.

  • Protect the wood. “The trick with using slabs of solid wood is to keep it from warping or cupping,” he says. “It needs to be very dry. Our slabs were in a kiln for several months.” Another tip: Make sure your hinges are sturdy enough to handle the extra-thick doors.
  • Spend wisely. Of course you want to love your home, but you don’t have to break the bank for every doorknob, drawer pull, or faucet. Noting the Brazilian slate tile in the wall of the shower, Fowlkes says, “You can use simple materials, and you can find things that’ll look great and kind of recede that are inexpensive.”
  • Hide the cable box. This is a common mistake that many homeowners make, Fowlkes says. “We forgot about them, and we had to go back and figure it out after the fact.” Not fun.

Related:

Home Improvement – Zillow Porchlight

Featured East Metro Atlanta Homes

Designer Lookbook: VW Fowlkes’ Simple-Meets-Sensual D.C. Home was originally published on Southern Classic Realtors – Nivla Calcinore – Bringing You Home

This Pool Noodle DIY Puts Summer Refreshment Within Reach

Create your very own swim-up bar in the backyard pool with this floating cooler – perfect for those dog days of summer when you just don’t feel like getting out of the water.

Here’s how to make this buoyant bar.

1. Gather some rope, a plastic bin, and a pool noodle.

2. Cut the noodle into four pieces that will cover the perimeter of the plastic bin.

3. Thread the rope through the cut pool noodles, ensuring that each noodle is snug against the sides of the bin.

4. Knot a handle in the rope, leaving about a foot between the bin and the knot.

5. Tie noodles tightly around the plastic bin to secure.

6. Fill with ice and drinks to top off your day of fun in the sun!

See more ideas for summer fun!

Related:

 

Home Improvement – Zillow Porchlight

Featured East Metro Atlanta Homes

This Pool Noodle DIY Puts Summer Refreshment Within Reach was originally published on Southern Classic Realtors – Nivla Calcinore – Bringing You Home