Backyard Studios

Get Ideas for a Model-of-Perfection Artist's Studio

Every now and then my wife and I talk about what we’d do if we had the money to construct our dream house. What things do we include past the normal spaces for eating, sleeping and such? I am always partial to a library, however, my wife would love a pottery studio. Well a library is relatively easy — plenty of wall space and very little natural light — but an artist’s studio is a bit more demanding, bringing in considerations of surface and light but also ventilation, outside access and so forth. This ideabook looks at a few artist’s studios to find out what should be considered when building one into your property, make it for design, painting or some other medium.

Clayton&Little Architects

Let’s say that the artist is a painter. Ideally a painter’s studio could be removed from the rest of a house, so that paint does not get on couches, and brushes are not washed at precisely the same sink where folks cook or brush their own teeth. This studio takes that to the extreme by being a 500-square-foot structure separate from the first Victorian residence. The way the studio opens into the lawn is a great feature we’ll talk more later.

Traditionally, northern light (in the Northern Hemisphere) was desirable for artist’s studios, since the light could be diffuse instead of direct. In a feeling this mimics the states in galleries and museums, where a few indirect natural light may enter the distance, accompanied by a few artificial lighting. Website constraints mean that studios can’t always take full advantage of north light, therefore maximizing any available light is perfect, such as in the case of the studio with windows and skylights.

Dumican Mosey Architects

After the positioning of openings is varied to maximize the daylighting, shades can be used to block direct light when it is not desirable. Such is the case for this attic studio.

Pine Street Carpenters & Your Kitchen Studio

A fairly common way of producing a artist’s studio is converting a garage. Here, the present garage door opening permits easy access to the exterior. Other adjustments might include including skylights (I like the way they exposed the beams), HVAC and drywall on the interior. This studio makes it crystal clear that storage is an important concern.

Dave Adams Photography

Based upon the art one generates, the height of the space is important. Notice in this case the way the walls on the left is greater than the outside wall on the right, thanks to it being closer to the summit of the roof. This means that some fairly tall canvases can be installed to benefit from the extra room. Note also the skylights, the track lighting and the terrace access.

Ron Yeo, FAIA Architect

Similar to the previous example, but a tiny bit more intimate, is this studio with skylights, track lighting and sliding-door access to outside.

Canyon Construction

I would wager this generously sized studio faces north. Not only does this glass wall bring in plenty of light, but it frames a stunning view. I understand what I would paint!

RDM Architecture

I would also wager that those windows bring about some north light, though a bit western facing, given the sunset creating its way in. This little studio also contains some pendant lighting and a ceiling fan.

RDM Architecture

From the exterior, we can see the artist’s studio’s wing on the right. A little chimney exhaust is visible on the outside wall, maybe to get a kiln or another heating supply. If the former, it points to an important thought for a pottery studio: how to put in a kiln. Given the sort of fuel and also the temperatures necessary to fire plaster to rock-hard durability, an artist might have some issues installing a kiln in your home, based on the local authority. My wife trekked into the suburbs to use a raku kiln since it was close to impossible to own one in town.

RDM Architecture

On the opposite side of the same studio is an outdoor area with a few covered material storage in particular, long planks of wood. If you are seriously interested in an artist’s studio, then it’s good to think outside the box, if you will, and consider adjacent spaces as well.

To me, the perfect artist’s studio has immediate access to an outdoor room which would also be utilized for creating art. In good weather, this outdoor space could act as a place to paint, throw pottery, what have you; a link to nature and the elements is important in creating art. The retractable doors of the garage/shed make this building ideal for working indoors and out.

Domiteaux + Baggett Architects, PLLC

This last example shows an outdoor space can also be designed to a house to be used even in inclement weather. This studio can be expanded to the covered space near it just by opening the garage door, which also has glass to get natural light.

Domiteaux + Baggett Architects, PLLC

The view from the outdoor space then becomes just like a photograph frame, providing the artist plenty of inspiration.

More backyard escapes

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Eclectic Homes

Junk-Storing Garage Becomes a Cabana Getaway

Although this family of four enjoyed the cozy, cottage-like atmosphere of their house, they knew they had more room. “Our children share a room, which makes fairly tight,” says one of those owners. “We wanted some extra room for visitors and for when the kids get larger.” They didn’t need to look farther than their extra-large garage which wasted a lot of room on stored junk. “We needed some breathing room since our house is small and we’ve got two growing children,” the owner says. “We also wanted a bathroom nearer to the pool along with a secure space convenient for refreshments and shelter for the backyard. We basically needed a peaceful place to hang a sanctuary.” After the couple needed architectural plans in hand, they hired Bill Fry, whom friends were recommended, to construct it.

The garage structure is extra long and provided enough room for a living room with a wet bar and a complete bath, although the base needed some unexpected structural function to encourage the newest uses. While a complete garage stays, the rear provides room for your family to blend drinks, play games, read, get on the Internet, mix playlists for the outdoor speakers, have a film night, store snacks and grab a postswim shower, inside or out.

Space at a Glance
Location: Los Gatos, California
Size: Around 270 square feet
Year built:

Bill Fry Construction – Wm. H. Fry Const. Co..

Bill Fry Construction – Wm. H. Fry Const. Co..

The living room enjoys natural light in the large sliding doors that recall a relaxed Japanese teahouse.

A glance through the doors from exterior reveals a light and open area in addition to a perspective through the pocket door to the full bathroom.

Bill Fry Construction – Wm. H. Fry Const. Co..

Shelves behind the sofa provide ample area for board games, towels, magazines, DVDs and books. “I occasionally will read or see movies out here,” says the homeowner. “My children like to see MythBusters, read and play games with their buddies in the cabana.”

Bill Fry Construction – Wm. H. Fry Const. Co..

A sloped ceiling creates a cozy spot for your own couch and provided the opportunity to bring a skylight and a ceiling fan.

Bill Fry Construction – Wm. H. Fry Const. Co..

Cleverly placed wall niches are used for display and storage.

Lots of wet feet trample through the space; these are radiant heat floors that look like wood but are ceramic tile.

Floors: Parker Wood Porcelain Tile

Bill Fry Construction – Wm. H. Fry Const. Co..

From the wet bar area, custom open shelving rather than clunky upper cupboards leaves things more open and makes the room seem larger.

In addition to supplying a spot for mixology, this area comes in handy during al fresco dinner parties. “When we’ve got friends over during pleasant weather, we’ll eat in the backyard and we are going to set up a buffet within the cabana, which is quite convenient,” says the homeowner.

Bill Fry Construction – Wm. H. Fry Const. Co..

Clutter never gets it into the cabana in the first place, so open shelves didn’t present the typical troubles. “The nice thing is this tiny cabana serves as a ‘escape’ place — we don’t use it every day the way we use the rooms in our house, so it does not get cluttered,” says the homeowner. “The shelves have a smooth finish, so they are extremely easy to wipe down. Consequently it always feels clean in this area, even if our house feels disorderly!”

Bill Fry Construction – Wm. H. Fry Const. Co..

Another market offers storage for glassware. The background of mosaic tile may be enjoyed through the glasses and glass shelves.

The tasteful quartz countertops have been locally located remnants.

Bill Fry Construction – Wm. H. Fry Const. Co..

Moving into the bath, a clear glass shower enclosure retains the open atmosphere, which makes the bathroom seem larger than it truly is.

The shower is a steam shower by ThermaSol. The glass at the top tilts down to maintain the steam within the stall.

Tile: Tile Fantastic

Bill Fry Construction – Wm. H. Fry Const. Co..

A pony wall offers extra privacy around the commode. A mosaic tile edge continues throughout the whole bath.

Bill Fry Construction – Wm. H. Fry Const. Co..

A well-placed niche offers storage for bath towels.

Tip: When using open shelving in the bathroom, you truly cannot go wrong with white towels.

Bill Fry Construction – Wm. H. Fry Const. Co..

Yet another market in the shower offers space for shampoo as well as some decorative cubes.

Tip: When planning shower markets, make certain they are tall enough to accomodate your favorite products. If you prefer to buy shampoo in bulk, then look around those tall bottles.

Bill Fry Construction – Wm. H. Fry Const. Co..

The mosaic detail continues to the shower stall floor. A bench and a ledge offer room for bottles and using a seat.

Bill Fry Construction – Wm. H. Fry Const. Co..

When there’s no time for the full steam treatment, an outdoor shower provides a spot for a quick rinse.

Bill Fry Construction – Wm. H. Fry Const. Co..

The homeowner got a little overzealous when it arrived to tile indoors, but the outdoor shower benefitted. “I fell in love with too various kinds of tile so the tile designer tried to work them into the design — it seemed pretty darn good on paper, but if the tile man started installing the tiles, then the design was quite muddled and did not work at all,” she explains.

“After losing sleep over it, I decided we had to rip out a number of the tile he’d already installed and just go with a more straightforward design. The silver lining was that we ended up salvaging a few of those already bought, fresh tile by installing it in the exterior shower area, which turned out more tasteful than we were planning. It was a lovely way to use the substances.”

Bill Fry Construction – Wm. H. Fry Const. Co..

Finally, another side of the garage offers more play area in the kind of a giant chessboard.

“The chessboard thought was triggered from something that I saw in a landscape book and one I had seen at an upscale outdoor shopping mall,” says the homeowner. “My children had just begun to get into chess, and that I believed it’d be an enjoyable element to add to the lawn. I wanted to make it subtle, sort of like a surprise, and our landscaper did a great job with it.”

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Demilune Table

“Demilune” is French for half-moon. Meant to rest against a wall, this console table with a rounded shape fits nicely in small spaces.

Regan Baker Design Inc..

Traditional demilune tables work wonderfully in a little entry.

Craig Denis

A demilune table may quickly become a dressing table.

Beckwith Interiors

This modern demilune’s foundation has a contour that is smart.

Liz Williams Interiors

A demilune can pose as a nightstand, as this weathered timber version does.

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Tropical Style

California Gardener: Things To Do in July

Things are heating up During Southern California as June Gloom wanes in the coastal areas. Together with the hotter, longer days of summer here, we are entering summit fruit and veggie period. Active increase in the backyard means a lot of deadheading, fertilizing, mulching and watering.

As July stretches into August and outside, you will most likely create one of two attitudes:
You greet the summer months with enthusiasm — getting your hands dirty deadheading, mulching, watering, weeding, staking, suggestion pinching and picking out the bounty. You’re sick and tired of all the energy, water and time it takes to maintain those flower pots appearing amazing, your veggie garden generating along with your decorative plants in bounds. If only those hedges would trim themselves and these veggies and fruits would appear beautifully exhibited in a suitably rustic basket on the kitchen counter tops. . .It is time to specify which type of gardener you are and make a garden that works for you. The aim, particularly in Southern California, is to create your backyard as low upkeep and “unthirsty” as possible — together with plans like installing an efficient watering system, using heavy mulching and using a top dressing of compost which delivers nourishment consistently.

Alternatively, you could skip the standard garden crops completely and have this be the month you tear out high-maintenance, heavy-drinking plants and replace them with succulents, grasses, ornamentals, drought-tolerant natives and food-producing plants.

It doesn’t matter which group you end up in or if you are still on the fence — NOW is the time to rate your relationship with your backyard and produce a landscape which will thrive and look great with the total amount of resources and time you want to dedicate to it.

Margie Grace – Grace Design Associates

Water, water, water. Feed, feed, feed … The mantra for the summer months is “feed and water.” Tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplants, etc. require a great deal of nutrients and water as they pump out bunch after bunch of delectable taste — much more so if you’re growing in containers.

Nutrients often leach out after a few months, which makes it important to feed, feed, feed. We are talking about monthly applications of general purpose organic fertilizers, compost tea or your favourite pick-me-ups, such as bone meal and kelp. Or just top-dress your beds this month with approximately an inch of compost to supply a steady supply of plant nutrients — and support a healthy suite of soil microbes.

Margie Grace – Grace Design Associates

Keep herbs generating by removing blossoms: Pinch off blossoms on herbs to stimulate bushier and more streamlined growth as well as higher foliage return for cooking. The more you prune early, the bigger and bushier your herb crops will end up.

Margie Grace – Grace Design Associates

Jam with buddies: Together with summertime fruits coming on hot and heavy this season, jamming season has officially arrived. It is apricot jam for me. My single backyard apricot tree typically yields 60 to 80 pints of jam each June. Look at rounding up your posse and pressing them into labour. You are going to get through the work more quickly and have more fun in the process. Most folks are happy to pitch in with jamming in market for a couple jars of “product.”

Check out more about maintaining fresh produce

Big Girls Small Kitchen

Share the bounty: I send out apricot jam to buddies early in the season and enjoy abundant produce throughout the summer in return. Canned pears and peaches; plum, tomato and strawberry jams; honey; dried fruit; bouquets; and bushels of fresh fare are only a couple of the backyard treats that come my way out of folks who’ve enjoyed the bounty in my backyard.

Margie Grace – Grace Design Associates

Off with their heads! Following June’s burst of color in the backyard, deadheading will promote continued flowering. Fertilizing goes together with deadheading. Long days and warm soil permit plants to take up nutrients rapidly. They will use those nourishment to add foliage, build a healthy root system and produce blooms throughout the summer if you remove spent flowers regularly.

Tip pinching types that tend to be leggy encourages fuller, bushier growth — easy to achieve precisely the identical time you are cruising the beds deadheading.

Margie Grace – Grace Design Associates

Water and feed a few more: At July’s heat, it’s important to give roses along with other heavy summer bloomers two to three deep soaks each week, depending upon weather.

Mulching these antiques with a layer of well-composted organic substance will keep roots cool as well as maintain moisture. (make sure you keep mulch away in the crown of the plant to prevent conditions that encourage disease.)

Use a strong spray of water in the early mornings to wash leaves and control sucking insects. Feed regularly with compost tea or organic fertilizer.

Rob Kyne

Water: Timing is all about. Cooler temperatures create early mornings and late afternoons that the ideal times to operate in the backyard in July. Water plants early in the day when evaporation rates are reduced nevertheless there is plenty of time for leaves and mulch to dry out, reducing fungal-growth ailments.

Land Design, Inc..

Water: Efficiency equals money in your pocket. Soaker hoses and drip irrigation are ideal. The slow rate and direct-to-soil program translates into decreased evaporation, overspray and runoff, which, in turn, translate into decreased water usage and weed development.

If you’ve already got an irrigation system, now is a fantastic time to give it a tuneup. Station by station, turn on the water and watch what is happening. Fix, repair and replace components as necessary to be sure that you’re getting the most out of your system. Why not switch to a wise irrigation timer now? You are going to receive plenty of savings at this summit water-use period of the year — and perhaps a rebate from the regional water provider.

Nicolock Paving Stones and Retaining Walls

Stake and train: July brings fast increase in the veggie garden. Stake plants regularly to maximize the plant’s vulnerability to sunlight, improve air circulation, keep fruits and vegetables out of the soil (where insects and plagues are lying in wait), also to make harvesting easier.

Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture

Plant colorful, drought-tolerant plants: If you are sick of large summer water bills, making the switch to drought-tolerant plantings is the way to go. Fear not — drought tolerant doesn’t mean you have to lose color in the scene.

Margie Grace – Grace Design Associates

Succulents: attractiveness without anxiety. Succulent containers can be a stunning and water-wise replacement for all those perennial and yearly containers that require a good deal of upkeep.

Read on growing succulents

Sandy Koepke

Want summers off in the backyard? Go xeric. Unlike large maintenance and higher water usage gardens, July at a xeric (low-water) landscape is mellow — with little to no work or water needed. Stone, topography and thoroughly architectural succulents in a assortment of forms, textures and foliage color make for a wealthy, drought-tolerant composition, reducing garden responsibilities this month to finding a shady spot to hang the hammock.

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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 Removal Services Little Rock Bucket – $54.95

Cocktails anyone? Keep your summertime guests refreshed by employing this monogrammed lucite Ice Removal Services Aurora 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.

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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.

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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.

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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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