Washington state garden offers useful inspiration for Sonoma County front yards

For Sandra, a “hands-on” person, it was tough to stay out of the way as a contractor and workmen gutted and completely renovated the 1950s house she and her husband, Howard, had just bought in Walla Walla, Washington.

New to the area, Sandra was keen to get to know the neighborhood. So while the men upgraded her new home to a more modern aesthetic and condition, she turned to the front garden. Each day, from a rental house a few blocks away, Sandra would come over and labor in the garden in an effort to make progress on the house and to begin to meet her neighbors.

The garden was not a garden when she started. Her first efforts were directed at a steep bank along the sidewalk, a discouraging mass of rocks knit together by a dense mat of Bermuda grass. She progressed incrementally, each day removing a few more rocks and clearing a little more area.

On the strip of land between the sidewalk and street, sheltered under an old weeping cherry tree, Sandra placed a cheerful red rustic table and chairs saved from her garden at her previous house, in Seattle. She used river-washed natural gravel to cover the soil. A big water dish for dogs and a beautifully planted pot on the table, a garden in miniature, were the finishing touches. In effect, she created a street-side living room, a place to sit and visit. The tables and chairs had provided the same function at her former home, and many conversations, cups of coffee and glasses of wine had passed over its brightly colored surface.

The steep bank took shape with plants Sandra brought from her Seattle garden, chiefly low-growing succulents like groundcover sedums, low-growing grasses like fescues and American millet grass milium effusum ‘Aureum’ — all sparely punctuated with yuccas.

“I’m not a professional gardener, but I know what I like,” Sandra said. She wanted a low-maintenance, drought-tolerant garden with a modern aesthetic that would correspond with that of the house. As the plants grew and spread, she pulled off small pieces of the sedums and planted them around the yard to limit the number of plant species used and the number of others she’d need to buy. The garden is densely planted and the succulents now merge into a solid carpet.

In the winter, the pattern made by the low-growing succulents, gray fescues, golden grasses, lamb’s ears, coral bells and gray yucca is like a soft and vibrant Persian carpet draped over the bank, with the bright and soft greens and gray and yellow hues repeating in a tapestry of color. In early summer the succulents bloom and the bank turns into a miniature meadow of little white and yellow flowers, heavily visited by tiny native bees.

The strip between the sidewalk and street, a very difficult place to garden, has been turned into a gravel garden. Sandra used the same grey-white washed rocks as under the table and chairs to cover the ground,

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This Pink Kitchen Is Major Renovation Inspiration

Location: Though the address is technically on the bustling Brixton Road, the house is set back as a refuge from the action. “When you come off the street, which is really busy and hectic and polluted, and there’s this very quiet, high-walled, green garden out the back, it really does feel like a little oasis,” Rosie says.

The before: Prior to the renovation, the kitchen and living room were combined in a cramped, gloomy box. With just a single barred window, the area was so dark that Rosie needed to keep all the lights on during the day. The finishes were also rather cheap.

The inspiration: “The building itself is Victorian, but because it’s a basement flat, there are no original features—no cornicing, no historical fireplaces. If I had had those things, I probably would’ve gone for a more classical look, but I thought it would be quite nice to go for something that had echoes of modernism. I wanted it to have a slight midcentury feel, but also be quite contemporary.”

Square footage: 4 square meters (approximately 43 square feet)

Budget: £70,000 (approximately $89,700)

A smattering of artwork hangs above Rosie’s dining table. She isn’t embarrassed to confess that the California image is just the picture that came in the IKEA frame.

Main ingredients

Cabinetry: Pluck Custom Birch Plywood Cabinets with Ruskin Blossom Laminate and London Plane Veneer Fronts and Pill-Shaped Recessed Handles. “I went for the pink, which is obviously an incredible millennial cliché, but it is really lovely, soft, and easy to live with,” Rosie admits. “The wooden-fronted ones are London Plane, which is a native tree that’s found all over the city. They have a very beautiful lace grain.”

Countertops: White Corian. “I was obsessed with having really bright things because my last kitchen was so dark,” says Rosie. “I wanted it to feel really clean and fresh.”

Flooring: Granorte Cork Tiles. “The cork floor is very ’70s, but I love it,” Rosie says.

“The really lovely thing about a cork floor is if you drop something, it doesn’t break,” Rosie notes. “I was originally going to go for a poured concrete, but I’m so glad I didn’t. The cork is really soft underfoot and always feels quite warm.”

 “The great pleasure of having a glass roof is that the plants are so happy and grow really well,” Rosie says.

Windows and Roof: Futureglass.“There’s an aluminum frame with panes of triple-glazed glass, so it’s got really good heat retention. It’s quite cool as well,” says Rosie.

Wall Paint: Little Greene French Grey Mid

Lighting: Hans Due for Fog & Mørup Pendant. “That is an eBay find,” Rosie reveals. “It’s a ’70s Danish light. The half-mirrored bulb gives it an interesting element.”

Faucet: Nivito RH-300 in Brushed Steel

Appliances: Bosch Electric Range and AEG Oven

Most insane splurge: The custom Pluck cabinetry system was Rosie’s most expensive purchase.

Sneakiest save: “I try to never buy new furniture,” Rosie says. “Obviously the appliances were new because

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Colorful Kitchen Inspiration | Markets Insider

MISSION, Kan., Oct. 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — (Family Features) The kitchen is the heart of many homes, and careful planning is a necessity when it comes to redesigning this essential living space. Picking out cabinetry – and a color for those cabinets, in particular – can be a challenging process.

Photo courtesy of Wellborn Cabinet

Everything from the style of your cabinets to the amount of natural light your space receives are key factors to consider when choosing an updated hue. While white cabinets are an everlasting choice, and wood-stained cabinetry once held 70% of the market, painted cabinets now account for 70% of sales, signaling a significant shift among homeowners and their preferences.

While there are virtually no limitations when it comes to the paint, stain and glaze options available to complement your overall kitchen design, the current stylings reflected in Wellborn Cabinet’s annual color trends provides an opening to a range of impactful colors, such as grays, blues, blacks and wood tones, and a mixture of these on-trend hues.

A Gray for Every Mood

While gray cabinets have been a popular design choice for several years, much like shades of white, no two grays are exactly alike. Cabinet colors live on a color spectrum that ranges from warm to neutral to dark; warm grays have yellow or brown undertones while cool grays have hushed hues of blue.

Neutral gray, or Ash, is a true black and white mixture of colors. However, many homeowners are opting for warmer or cooler shades instead. For example, light gray cabinets can create a chic, modern motif for homeowners looking to liven up their space while avoiding completely white cabinetry. One of the latest gray trends is a warmer gray that can look almost beige, earning the nickname “greige.” Shades of dark gray – whether painted or stained – are also options for making a luxurious, traditional statement that can span ever-changing color trends.

A Sea of Blue

One of today’s hottest trends in kitchen cabinetry is the use of shades of blue, which provide calming and restful effects and the feeling of harmony and serenity. Pops of blue can be used as an accent color on islands or on either upper or base cabinets. To balance out these dramatic darks, many homeowners are opting to pair a bold color choice like a navy hue – such as Bleu – with neutral to warm whites, such as wool and bone white, to create a crisp, clean look. Gold hardware can be used on navy cabinetry for an upscale and regal look while silver-tone hardware provides a contemporary finishing touch.

While lighter shades of blue, like aqua, are perfect for keeping spaces light and airy, one of the latest colors to emerge is a mid-tone classic blue. A balanced option like Sapphire from Wellborn Cabinet, which is a classic, mid-tone royal blue available in the Premier and Estate Series framed cabinetry, as well as the full-access, frameless Aspire Series, can help create energy and inspiration for dining or

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Bathroom design ideas, inspiration & pictures l homify

The style of bathroom that you choose will depend not only on the size of the room you have to work with, but also on the colours, tones and themes that appeal to you personally. Generally speaking, there are six styles (we take a closer look at these below) that we recommend choosing from, however there is also the possibility of mixing and matching to create the ultimate space that reflects your personal taste to a tee. The broad categories are modern, classic, eclectic, Scandinavian, rustic and country and with homify you can find countless examples in each category, to help you get a better idea of the styles that you actually like and how you might implement them into your own bathroom. 

Each style has key features that make it unique or noteworthy, Scandinavian bathrooms are, for example, defined by use of light wood tones and white finishes, while a rustic look will likely feature exposed brick or darker wood. The style that you choose doesn’t necessarily have to reflect the theme of the rest of your home and as many of us have a penchant for various approaches, it can be fun to mix-and-match from room to room. A country style kitchen and a classic-look bathroom? Why not! An eclectic approach overall can give a home more energy, but sticking to one theme is also no problem if you have a clean and clear goal.

Can I renovate my bathroom myself?

Whether or not you can renovate your bathroom yourself depends on the specific renovation or improvement that will be taking place. If it’s relatively simple and you’re not a DIY newbie, then it’s completely possible to be able to undertake the task yourself. If, however, plumbing or moving of installed pieces like the sink, bathtub, shower or toilet are necessary, then you’ll almost always need to call for professional help. Essentially, if there’s water or wiring involved – steer clear. Finding a professional can also give you a fresh perspective on any design choices and confirm what is or is not possible, so we always encourage it.
If you’re looking for some DIY projects that you can easily do yourself, homify has plenty of options and guides to help you. Things like building shelves, installing a mirror, re-decorating, painting and tiling are all improvements that you can likely manage yourself – as long as you have the right materials, tools and plan. 

What are some practical bathroom design tips to keep in mind?

Wiring: Ensure that you or your designers consider replacing any out-dated wiring with a dedicated circuit and plenty of outlets for all the appliances you use, from electric razors and toothbrushes to hair-straightening irons. 

Accessories: Think about how high you want to hang towel rails and hooks. Designers often have their own dimensions in mind so it can be a good idea to decide where to put things early on to ensure that the height is practical as well as aesthetically pleasing. We all

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The dark attic lit up by a little interior inspiration

In a world where remote working is fast becoming the norm, living beyond the capital’s commuter belt and retaining a small city pad might well be the shape of things to come. For a business owner in the Midlands, keeping a city pied à terre has long proved a wily move.

“We live in the country and in a quiet little place, but we have business interests in Dublin,” says the owner, who has a boutique hotel business in the midlands. Having bought the four-storey building on South Frederick Street in Dublin 2 as an investment property some years before, she decided to rent the accommodations on the first three floors and retain the attic as a bolthole for the family. But the 55sq m flat felt more pokey than cosy.

South Frederick St. Photograph: Thomas Leggett
South Frederick St. Photograph: Thomas Leggett
South Frederick St. Photograph: Thomas Leggett
South Frederick St. Photograph: Thomas Leggett

“We didn’t actually spend much time in it as it wasn’t all that nice,” she admits. “We decided to spend a little bit of money to do it up properly. We wanted to get advice on how to do up the place properly – because of the angles and the sloped ceilings it was difficult for me to visualise doing it on my own.”

With a budget of around €35,000 in mind, the property owner engaged interior designer Caroline Flannery (interiorsbycaroline.ie) with a view to putting “more architectural hand” on the project. The brief was deceptively simple: maximise the limited living space.

“It was a really awkward space, with lots of slopes and nooks and crannies, which are notoriously difficult to design anyway,” Flannery recalls. “It’s hard to get furniture that fits into the nooks and crannies – it can end up looking a bit hodgepodge and cluttered. We had to figure out a way to make the space work for an owner, who wanted to use the flat to socialise and relax.”

South Frederick St. Photograph: Thomas Leggett
South Frederick St. Photograph: Thomas Leggett
South Frederick St. Photograph: Thomas Leggett
South Frederick St. Photograph: Thomas Leggett

Flannery’s first port of call was to build usable spaces into the nooks. “We built a breakfast bar into the living room, and on the other side, we created a library with a little bench that works as a versatile space.”

Mindful of creating the illusion of space, Flannery used the motto “the eye has to travel”. She removed the existing dark wooden floors for a lighter wood, and removed pendant lighting in favour of uplighters and downlighters built into several of the nooks.

“In the hallway, the brass light fittings now draw the eye up, and painted the ceiling with the darkest colours in the wallpaper that was already there. The trick is to create a sense of wholeness and bring your eye to the ceiling,” Flannery explains.

South Frederick St. Photograph: Thomas Leggett
South Frederick St. Photograph: Thomas Leggett
South Frederick St attic. Photograph: Thomas Leggett
South Frederick St attic. Photograph: Thomas Leggett

Bold colours dominate the formerly neutral space, and cohesion between the different rooms was key. Aside from the enlivening Down Pipe paint (Farrow & Ball) in the hallway,

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Mercedes-Benz EQS interior shows S-Class inspiration in spy photos

We’ve known for a little while now that the upcoming all-electric Mercedes-Benz EQS would take some inspiration from the company’s newly unveiled flagship S-Class. That’s understandable considering the EQS borrows a letter from the distinguished sedan. New spy photos give us a better look at the interior and just how close it is to the biggest and best Mercedes.

The most obvious connections between the two cars are the instrument and infotainment screens. A smaller, horizontal display shows the instruments, and a long, cascading vertical screen handles infotainment duties. The dashboard behind the displays also has a gentle curve downward toward the occupants, and center air vents sit at the top above the infotainment screen.

There are some noteworthy differences, though. Unlike the S-Class, there’s no little cubbie behind the infotainment screen. Instead, the dash stretches, unbroken, behind the screen and flows into the center console. We can also catch a glimpse of the outer air vents, which are circular, rather than rectangular slots. This particular car also has an interesting patterned metal finish on the top of the dash.

The outside of the car is of course very different from the S-Class. The EQS is all flowing curves and smooth surfaces compared to the more traditional large sedan. It also appears that the EQS will be a hatchback. The powertrain will be the other major difference. The concept had dual electric motors making 469 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque. The battery was rated at 100 kWh with an estimated range of 435 miles. These seem like reasonable production numbers considering competition such as the Tesla Model S and Lucid Air.

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5 Awesome Gardening Tips for Inspiration

Gardening for some is a hobby, for others it's a passion. Either ways, gardening demands patience, carefulness and a positive attitude. But knowing some tips and tricks always comes in handy. If you are a beginner looking for some guidelines or if you're an expert who is trying to figure out where have you been going wrong, this article is for you. We have gathered some expert gardening tips that will help you take your gardening experience to a whole new level.

Prepare the Soil well

Plants grow in soil, the soil is what nourishes and nurtures them and provides support to the roots to grow. Therefore, it is very important that you carefully prepare the soil before planting anything in it. Take into account the demands of your plant and the soil type that it tends to do well in. if your soil is not up to the standard, treat it. Divide the soil among different kind of plants that you are planning to grow according to their requirements. The best kind of compost to feed your soil is leaves. Leaves make for the best fertilizer and are totally natural. Also, they are abundant in any garden, so use them to your advantage.

Plan ahead

It is important to plan ahead of your plants. Take note of their growth period and the maximum size that they can achieve once mature. This is because a plant, planted without planning can lead to size constraints and no one wants to go through the hassle of relocating their plants. Moreover, plan the location of your plants in your garden according to their life cycles. If you are growing vines, plan what you want them to climb; this will increase the symmetry and will add to the beauty of your garden.

Tool cleaning is important

Sharp and clean tools make gardening easier and faster as compared to blunt and dirty ones. Always keep your tools in shape so that they may come in handy in case of a garden emergency. Allocate some time from your gardening time to clean and sharpen your tools regularly.

Regularly check for pest infestations

Pest infestations are always easier to avoid if a gardener is able to identify harmful pests before they have reproduced tremendously in his garden. Therefore, it is important that you schedule regular inspections of your garden. If you notice any signs like wilting plants or eaten leaves, take them into account immediately. Look out for pests that may be causing them and do your research on finding and controlling them.

Keep evolving

You just cannot keep growing the same thing over and over again forever, as a gardener. It will not only bore you out of your socks but will make any extraordinary garden seem dull after a little while. Find new varieties that may interest you. When a plant dies, look out for a replacement that you have never planted before. Try new techniques of planting like grafting. Experiment with your garden. This …

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