Archive for February, 2011

February 28th, 2011
By Vivian Martin

Would you water your garden with what goes down your shower drain or out your washing machine? In Tucson, Arizona, and an increasing number of water-starved western cities, more and more residents are saying yes.

If you’ve never contemplated what happens to the water that gets you or your clothes clean, you’re far from alone. But for cities and environmentalists trying to head off the growing threat of drought and rising water costs, so-called graywater — differentiating it from the “black water” that goes down the toilet — is getting a lot more attention. A decade ago, Tucson, which has about a million residents in its metro area and is a liberal and environmentally conscious oasis in a red state, convinced Arizona legislators to make it legal for homeowners to irrigate their trees and plants with the water that was going down their drains or out of their washing machines without a permit. Now, graywater use is not only legal in Tucson, and indeed the rest of Arizona, but promoted, and, in some cases, required. In 2007, the state rolled out a tax credit of up to $1,000 for homeowners who install graywater systems. Last year, a law — believed to be the country’s first — went into effect in Tucson that requires builders to include graywater plumbing in new construction.

(Article source: Time article series on Intelligent Cities. Read full article here…)

February 27th, 2011
By Vivian Martin

Classic Vines Add Fragrance, Color and Romance to Garden Designs

Every spring, I see wisteria blooming on fences and pergolas, and every spring it surprises me all over again. Its twining vines have an ancient freeform look, and those clouds of blossoms add romance to backyard hangouts. Get ready — young plants will be showing up in nurseries in March. Plant as soon as your ground can be worked to give roots time to get settled before summer. Then stand back; your wisteria will be surprising you every spring, too.

Follow the slideshow for more information and pictures on this dramatic specimen…

February 26th, 2011
By Vivian Martin - Plan # 3718 - Plan # 3718

This stately modern design features strong geometric lines subtly enhanced by a blend of wood, brick and fiber cement panels.

Once inside, modern conveniences abound – a spacious foyer, ample closet, and convenient powder room. Beyond the foyer, light intersects from living room, dining room and staircase windows ensuring well-lit spaces all day long. The back of the house features a kitchen with 8’x3’ island and patio access and an adjoining conversation room. The plan includes a proposed pergola off the back for architectural interest and protection from the sun. - Plan # 3713 - rear view - Plan # 3713 - rear view

Upstairs, there are three bedrooms all of appreciable size. The laundry is conveniently located on the sleeping floor where it is closest to the greatest need. The generous bathroom includes a double vanity, bath and 42”x60” shower.

This home is sure to become a landmark on any street.

For more details on this plan, click here… 

Looking for other modern and contempory house plans?  Check our Modern and Contemporary Design Collection or Create  a “New House Plans – Latest Trends” Alert to receive all of the latest designs direct to you by email!

Thanks for visiting the DrummondHousePlans Blog!

February 25th, 2011
By Vivian Martin

Blue has seen a lot of hype over the past few months, and now many people believe honeysuckle is the next on-trend shade. Still, it’s citrine that I can’t get enough of! I’ve spotted this warm yellow shade everywhere these days, and the more I see it, the more I love it!

Citrine works great as an accent, or even as a paint colour. It’s a versatile colour because it’s bold and crisp, yet still earthy, allowing it to mix well with both warm and cool palettes — I love it with grey-blue, chalky-whites and taupey-greys.

Read the full article to find ways of using this versatile colour for a bold statement or dramatic pops of colour.

February 24th, 2011
By Vivian Martin

Structural defects occur in trees for a number of reasons, and even though a tree may be structurally compromised, it could live on for years. One example is a tree with a hollowed-out trunk. Since fluids are conducted upward in the outer rings of wood and downward in the tissue just inside the bark, a tree can be big and green yet be mostly hollow. Physiologically, this tree is still functioning, but it may not be structurally sound. One stiff wind could send it toppling.

Sometimes solving the problem a hazardous tree may pose is as simple as moving the target that makes it a hazard. For example, if a limb is in danger of splitting from a trunk and falling on the picnic table below, moving the picnic table or cabling the limb may mitigate the hazard. In other cases, a health-care program designed to increase a tree’s vigor may help it overcome minor root damage or the stress caused by insect or disease damage.

Seven reasons to call an arborist

1. Cracks
2. Splits
3. Mushrooms.
4. Hollows
5. Dead wood
6. Hangers
7. Tilting

For photos and more information on each of these conditions, continue reading.

February 23rd, 2011
By Vivian Martin

Pendant Lights: An Introduction

Suspended from ceilings by rods or chains, pendants bring light down to the places we need it, and they do so with attention-grabbing grace we can’t help admire, even after the electricity is turned off.

Simpler than a chandelier with its multiple outstretched arms, a pendant is little more than a bulb hidden under a shade swinging on the end of a cord. Yet there’s a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and styles, ranging from 4-inch-diameter mini cylinders to massive 30-inch domes. Some wash light over a big area, giving your foyer or stair landing a welcoming glow. Others focus bright beams onto one strategic spot: a sink or cutting board on a kitchen island, a family photo on the living room credenza.

A pendant’s purpose is often defined by what its shade is made of. Glass ones, whether colorful mouth-blown Murano flutes or industrial-style ribbed globes, as well as most fabric-covered drums throw off ambient light. Shades fashioned from enameled or hand-hammered metal, for instance, confine light in a downward path.

Pendant Anatomy

Mounting strap: Anchors fixture to outlet box in ceiling.

Canopy: Decorative cover hides electrical hookups.

Nipple: Threads into mounting strap.

Hanger Loop: Connects chain to nipple.

Chain/Rod: Shade must hang at least six inches from ceiling to be considered a pendant.

Socket: Powers bulb. Porcelain sockets stand up better to heat than metal ones.

Shade: Controls direction, spread, and color of light.

Washer: Supports shade. Threads onto outside of socket.

Bulb: Wattage should not exceed capacity on fixture’s label.

Read the full article for information on differences in quality, how to install, pendant light care, design ideas and more.

Article source: This Old House

February 22nd, 2011
By Vivian Martin

It may seem hard to imagine with the current conditions outside, but now is the perfect time to start thinking about backyard season. In addition to planning your gardens and picking patio furniture, it might be time to start considering taking on an outdoor project. To that regard, may I suggest a playhouse?

The one I had when I was little seems more like a play-shanty when compared to the ones here, which offer plenty in the way of inspiration. Imagine how much fun a kid — or, hey, even an adult — could have in these pint-size works of art? And for those of us without kids or grandchildren, I’ve added a grown-up option or two as well.

Article courtesy of Houzz. Enjoy the slide show below or click on the image to access original article.

February 21st, 2011
By Vivian Martin

Out of all the necessities for your home, your appliances are some of the most expensive items to purchase. Regardless if you are buying the cheapest models or the top of the line, appliances help us be able to cook, store our food, clean and all around make our lives easier, daily. Saving money when you buy home appliances is always a goal for all home owners who want to get the best deal, but also want quality in their appliance investments. Here are tips to save money when buying appliances for your home.

Photo Credit: Freshome - How to save money when buying appliciances

Photo Credit: Freshome - How to save money when buying appliciances

  • Look for discontinued appliances: Many manufacturers and appliance stores will offer discounts on discontinued brands, models and appliance lines. For extra value visit appliance stores that have floor models or offer clearance areas on their online appliance stores. You would be surprised the savings that are offered for discontinued models. Ensure that full warranties and manufacturing service options will still be available before purchasing discontinued models.
  • Shop at outlet stores: Similarly to discontinued appliances, outlet stores offer models that are no longer in production, as well as scratch and dent selections, or appliances that home owners have returned but are in good working order. Consider looking in your local area for appliance store brands that offer outlet stores. They usually will be located away from mainstream shopping centers, and they usually will still hold up to their warranties and servicing options on the appliances they sell. Outlet stores are a good option for house renters!
  • Shop small local appliance stores: Depending on your locality, small appliance stores that are owned by a family or a small organization tend to have better prices than big appliance stores. Many small appliance stores will receive discounts from the manufacturer to sell older models and should be considered when trying to save money on buying home appliances. You may have to visit several in your area to find exactly what you’re looking for, but the money you will save can be big.
  • Shop around the holidays: For many countries, the holidays are the perfect time for home improvement stores to put appliances on sale. In the United States – Presidents Day, Fourth of July, Memorial Day and Labor Day are big weekends for appliance shopping. Many will offer specials for buying the appliance during the holiday, and may offer advanced incentives if paying with store credit or credit cards. Around the holidays, look in your newspapers and online home improvement store advertisements to see what deals your local store may be having. Also check with department stores located in shopping centers or malls. They too, may offer holiday appliance deals to compete with home improvement stores to vie for your business.

Saving money on home appliances can be easier than you thought with the help of these useful tips. From discontinued product lines to catching great deals around the holidays, there is always a way to save green for your pocket! Before you go and buy a high priced appliance, check the internet, browse your local newspaper, or ask your coworker if they know of any deals on home appliances. You just might save money, without even trying!

Article Source: Freshome – read original article and related articles here…

February 19th, 2011
By Vivian Martin - Plan # 3620 - Plan # 3620

The main body of this efficient rancher is a mere 1073 sq. ft. but there are no amenities missing here. In fact, this attractive home has a luxurious little secret – a fully private master suite in bonus space over the garage! Sloping ceilings add a special style to this secluded master loft complete with master bathroom and walk-in closet.

The main body of the house features a semi-open concept with the living room oriented to the front of the house but within easy reach of the kitchen. A combination of shower room and laundry room ensures quick recycling of laundry at source. This plan includes a full undeveloped basement or change it to a crawlspace and gain space in the living room. A double garage is the final feature, but one that is sure to be appreciated.

For more details on this plan, click here… 

Looking for other 3-bedroom designs?  Check our 3-Bedroom Design Collection   or Create  a “New House Plans – Latest Trends” Alert to receive all of the latest designs direct to you by email!

Thanks for visiting the DrummondHousePlans Blog!

February 18th, 2011
By Vivian Martin

Is everyone baking pie, or is this a design detail of which I was unaware? It must be the latter, as there would have to be some sort of pastry pandemic to warrant all the Granny Smiths we’re seeing around Houzz. Not that I’m complaining, mind you; the crisp green brings a punch of color to a room, whether piled in a bowl or as inspiration for a coat of paint.

Although I wouldn’t mind them in a slice of pie either.

Enjoy a hit of green apple courtesy our our friends at Houzz!


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