Mortise and Tenon

A mortise and tenon joint is the most basic joint in wood frame construction. Used for thousands of years to connect pieces of wood in a 90-degree angle, the mortise is a slot cut into the wood, and the tenon is its corresponding projection. It is quite simple but strong. Endless variations of this joint make construction with minimal or no nails or adhesive potential.

Alice Lane Home Collection

A square mortise hole and its corresponding tenon projection is observable on the bottom of this table. A peg retains the tenon out.

Sutton Suzuki Architects

You can view cuts . It is probably salvaged from a timber-frame building where it had been used structurally.


Mortise cuts have been exposed by this lintel and post door.

Murphy & Co.. Layout

Ordinarily, a mortise and tenon joint is hidden between the timbers it joins, using a groove and slot cut to fit seamlessly together. The peg in this beam marks where the tenon exists inside the hole.

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Guest Picks: 20 Outside Pieces for Less Than $100

Summer is almost here, which means it is time to get your outdoor area prepared for get-togethers, relaxing weekends, and plenty of fun. Spruce up your patio or porch without breaking the bank using a bit of assistance from such essential outdoor bits, all priced under $100. — Maria out of Layers of Meaning


Astro Bird Feeder – $48

My son just discovered how to make bird sounds and he’s completely fascinated by these. This contemporary bird feeder would deliver a lot of entertaining evenings in the home.


BROMMÖ Deck seat – $59.99

No one does affordable midcentury-inspired furniture better than Ikea. I’ve had my eye with this deck seat for a while, and I’m so excited they decided to bring it back to their summer collection.

Cost Plus World Market

Timber Cove Ottoman – $79.99

World Market makes some of my favourite affordable pieces, and also this comfortable ottoman is among my favorites. Ideal for indoor or outdoor use, it is the ideal option for extra seating.

Cost Plus World Market

Pompeian Red Metal Accent Stool – $59.99

Adding color is one of my favorite techniques to bring a room to life. This bright metal stool brightens any space, while being operational.

Jonathan Adler

Jonathan Adler Jet Set Coasters – $48

The master of daring images, Jonathan Adler has created the ideal summer coasters featuring some of the planet’s best beach destinations. I’ve already been to 2 them — maybe I need to make a point to go to at least once again by next summer.


Pop Swirls Pillow – $39.95

While I have a look at this pillow, I envision late afternoons lounging on comfortable chairs, sipping a cold drink and relaxing with a fantastic decor magazine.

Home Decorators Collection

Modesto Fire Column – $95

I’ve been wanting to buy a tabletop fire pit for my back porch for some time now. When those summertime soirees continue into the night, just light this baby up and continue the party!

Cost Plus World Market

Red Ikat Rio Indoor-Outdoor Rug – $79.99

My favorite feature about outdoor carpets is how simple they are to stay clean; simply hose it down and you’re done!

Cost Plus World Market

Ipanema Ikat Slanted Party Tub – $19.99

This Ikat-print party bathtub (a necessity for any party) is currently my favorite outdoor thing and costs less than $20. You can’t beat that!

Cost Plus World Market

Coral Lobster And Crab Plates – $13.98

If you can’t entertain by the sea, then bring the sea to you with these hand-painted crab and lobster plates.


Orange Outdoor Pillow Cover By Mazizmuse – $75

By now you probably know I’m a massive fan of handmade and Etsy; I really like to encourage local artists and small businesses. While this graphic pillow cover is for outdoor use, I don’t see why you couldn’t bring it inside during those cold months.


Basil Mint Rosemary Thyme Silverware Garden Marker Set By Beach House Living – $30

For the last few decades, my husband and I’ve planted our own vegetable and herb garden. There is nothing better than eating fresh, organic produce every day. This four-piece classic spoon set are the ideal addition to our contemporary garden.

The Monogram Merchant

Elephant Lucite Ice Bucket – $54.95

Cocktails anyone? Keep your summertime guests refreshed by employing this monogrammed lucite ice bucket.


Navy Chevron Dog Bowl – $39

Do not forget about Fido while relaxing outside. This hand-painted dog bowl features my favourite routine: chevron.

Jonathan Adler

Blue Positano Highball Glass – $11

Jonathan Adler is at it again! This Mediterranean-inspired acrylic highball glass is among my favourite pieces of his newest collection. Insiders tip: Use it like an outdoor vase.


Sierra Platter – $58

This terracotta fish platter isn’t merely the ideal summer serving piece, but it also doubles as an outdoor dining table centerpiece.


high-gloss square white tray – $29.95

I’ve always been a fan of lacquer home accessories and also this simple tray is no exception. Use it as a serving tray, or put it together with an ottoman to hold candles or small potted plants.


ENHOLMEN Table/Stool – $59.99

I always gravitate toward furniture with numerous functions. It is possible to take advantage of this handwoven plastic sheeting piece of furniture as a table or as a stool.


Monogrammed Outdoor Pillow Cover In Daffodil By Designs By Them – $23.95

During the summertime I really like adding burst of color. This pillow cover features an embroidered initial in a mildew-, stain- and water-resistant cloth.

West Elm

Claude Planters, White – $16

I feel that no outdoor space is full without planters. These onyx and white ones add just the ideal quantity of boldness and contrast.

Next: Rich Seems for Thrifty Outdoor Bathrooms

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Tropical Style

Garden Tour: Colorful, Serene Woodland Close Boston

Six years back this backyard in Massachusetts was a failed landscape overrun with invasives like poison ivy, bittersweet and euonymus. But a few having a 2-year-old kid and a dog saw beyond the tangled lawn, attracted to the property’s woodland setting in addition to the city of Belmont Hill’s proximity to Boston.

Soon after purchasing the house, they called upon landscape architect Matthew Cunningham, who had a vision of a principal entry route through a colorful front lawn perennial garden and a calm backyard woodland garden. “My clients desired a rural feel with modern elements that could contrast with the simple and tasteful traditional lines of the house,” says Cunningham. They also desired for low-maintenance, drought-tolerant, critter-resistant and colorful plants at front.

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

Sneak peek! Salvia, miscanthus and peonies combine cool and warm colors.

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

“As soon as I saw the house, I had a vision of a perennial garden with a walkway route cutting it through,” says Cunningham. The front lawn enjoys full sun for the majority of the day, which produces a perfect microclimate for all these plants.

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

At the end of the entry route, a breezeway connects the main house into the garage and functions as the most important threshold to the house. The back side of the breezeway is all glass and enjoys views of the garden.

Two big pots of miscanthus flank the front door. “We play with all the plants in those containers seasonally … we have also used big boxwoods and fuchsia to add color, texture and elevation next to the doorway,” says Cunningham. “The backyard is constantly evolving.”

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

The mounded forms and spires of the perennials, ornamental grasses and inkberry comparison with all the boxy shape of the house.

“The plantings are seasonal,” explains Cunningham. Waves of color from various plants bloom during the season, whereas glistening and silvery leaves provide comparison for the majority of the year. The plant selection includes Russian sage, giant alliums, salvia and white peonies.

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

Catmint and geranium rozanne add ever-blooming shade down the front street throughout the summer.

The walkway and the driveway are made from Chip and Seal, which comes with an asphalt base, then a layer of liquified tar topped with a layer of embedded crushed pea stones. This gives the look of stones without the scatter brought on by shoveling and plowing in winter.

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

Purple coneflowers, Russian sage and ornamental grasses bloom through July and August.

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

Astilbes, geraniums and caramel coral bells show the vast array of color and texture in the blossoms and their own leaves.

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

“The recognized canopy at the backyard means that it enjoys dappled color all day long,” says Cunningham. Compared to this explosion of color out front, the garden takes its cues from its tranquil woodland setting. Plants like mountain laurel and ferns increase the softness and lush green surroundings.

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

Large elements of the yard’s new layout include this dining patio and a yard patio, created by dry laid stone retaining walls.

“From the garden, we utilized the brick to make texture and patterns that were not too loud,” says Cunningham. While the house has a running bond-brick pattern, the bricks at the garden were turned on edge to make contrast and tone down the busyness of their routines.

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

“I utilized manganese iron place brick to the backyard. I adore these particular bricks since they take on various colors,” Cunningham says. “In the morning, they have a rich mahogany color, while in the day they provide off iridescent purplish blue hues.”

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

Beneath the dining patio is a yard patio that overlooks the surrounding woodland. No mortar was used in building these walls, and Cunningham raves about the landscape building company that finished the renovation, Gardenform.

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

A hand-picked rock stairway connects either of the terraces into the remainder of the lawn. “The clients really wanted to use a local stone,” says Cunningham. Thus, he discovered this Goshen stone, a granite in a nearby quarry.

Pops of purple from catmint and allium tie the back garden to front.

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

The terracing and use of stone walls provides crisp changes in quality.

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

“The garden’s geometry pulls in the house and channels views to particular plants and areas on the property,” explains Cunningham.These horizontal bands of brick slit through an herb garden. “The voids between the bricks comprise creeping thyme, culinary thyme, rosemary and chives … the kind of plants that are aromatic underfoot,” says Cunningham.

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

A narrow gravel walkway through the herb garden channels the opinion to a grove of existing paper birch trees. “All these beautiful trees function as living sculptures,” notes Cunningham.

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

Carefully placed punches of color in the foreground have a dark cricketing background provided by conservation woodlands.

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

Sedona, main critter of this garden, loves to hang out in this beautiful landscape, and seemingly likes to fit his Pucci-esque accessories into the perennials.

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

This house’s landscape continues to evolve, and Cunningham is currently trying to establish bud on the boccie court. Following is a glimpse at the plan to help you put each the photos into their higher context.

Landscape Tour: Two thirds of Rural Hillside at Maine
Focus Your Garden Palette
Virginia Wine Country Cottage

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More Room Guides

The Family Home: Corral Kids' Books

Having five kids who love books is fantastic. A few days is sounds like each surface in our home is covered in board books, easy readers and young adult literature of some type or another.

But while I realize that there are a lot worse things, coming to terms with all these novels along with the storage that they need has compelled me to think creatively. Each kid has a bookcase in her or his room, but that hasn’t been enough. While hunting around for a few attractive techniques to store and display our ever-growing library, I found a couple of thoughts from fellow ers. They have me inspired, and I am sure they will inspire you also.

Displaying children’s books on a shelf for this not only keeps them off the ground, it highlights that the lovely covers. Plus, younger kids are more apt to see when they can pick from their favorites readily.

Jeanette Lunde

It’s easy to heap books on a shelf, but corralling them inside a wooden crate adds much more interest. This is an especially fantastic solution for brightly colored covers that will pop inside the darkened wooden interior.

colorTHEORY Boston

This screen is a similar idea, but the device is carried from floor to ceiling, providing kids room to cultivate their library.

Erika Ward – Erika Ward Interiors

Developing a novel pocket such as the one shown here is easy with a bit of cloth, two or three dowels and a few mounts. Not only can it hold your child’s current favorites, but it can add color to the space also.

I like it, I love it!

When keeping children’s books on a bookshelf, think about integrating some ornamental things just as you would in more grownup distances. They’ll add interest and keep the area from becoming too boring.

Look around your house for things such as baskets and crates where you can store novels. These things can easily be placed near the sofa or your favorite chair for suitable storytimes.

Lucy McLintic

Children’s books come with all the most fantastic covers in the most vibrant shades. Why not arrange them according to color to spice up the bookcase a little?

The Painted Home

In our home, the kids read in their beds until I announce lights outside. An easy shallow shelf such as the one shown here will be ideal mounted on the walls beside their beds.

Get Organized: 5 Ways to Keep Toys Tidy

Toy Storage That’s Child’s Play

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DIY Projects

The Family Home: 8 DIY Projects for All Ages

I am a sucker for a DIY project. There is something about developing a practical, beautiful object with my own hands that invigorates me. As our family has grown, I have noticed these same feelings in my children. Nothing makes them more excited than hearing me announce we will be working on a project. So here we will be discussing ways to create with your children. From pillows to original artwork, there is something for every age and every aesthetic.

Just a Girl

Adding trimming to an current lampshade is only the type of thing my 10-year-old daughter would really like to perform. Buy a yard or so of rickrack and pom-pom trimming and get out the paste.

Cosmetic Outburst

Bring spring inside with bird centerpiece and a branch. Let your children choose brightly colored birds from a crafts store, and you may help wire the birds onto branches you locate together outdoors.

Natalie Myers

Some of my happiest childhood memories have been afternoons sewing together with my mother. If you have been thinking you’d like to teach your children to sew, this very simple pillow cover is a great project to start with. You may start by picking out fabric together and finish with a helpful thing you created.

Erin Lang Norris

If you’ve got a kid who is interested in building and you’ve got some basic tools, you could consider building a bench like this Erin Lang Norris made from reclaimed wood.

If you have earrings scattered on your bathroom countertops, creating an earring display like the one shown here may just get things in order. Grab some lace, a classic frame and your daughter. Just remove the glass from the frame, put in the lace and have fun arranging your rings together.

The Yellow Cape Cod

If sewing isn’t your thing but you’d really like to update your family room drapes, this DIY is for you. Sarah from The Yellow Cape Cod shared her tips for elevating so-so curtains into showstoppers with simply a little fabric, ribbon and fusible fabric webbing.

Michelle Hinckley

If your children require a place to flaunt their keepsakes, make a bulletin board together. The one shown here was created with foam-core board and an old potato sack.

Lauren Donaldson

My children are way more tech savvy then I was at their age. This tutorial from Lauren showing how to create original artwork from favorite quotes is something we’d enjoy doing together.

Spruce Up the House With 50 Intelligent DIY Projects

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