Archive for the 'Backyard' Category
By Deb Villeneuve
Filed under: Backyard,Casual floorplans,De-Clutter,Drummond House Plans,Empty nesters,Ensuite,Ensuite bathroom,Garage,Garage Plans with Apartment,Home plans,House Plan of the Week,Informal dining,Informal Living,Kitchen islands,Lifestyle property,Narrow lot house plans,Open concept,Organization,patio,Plan of the Week,Style,terrace
To update plan 3954 giving it a contemporary feel, the designer has developed a version that would be quite at home on a narrow lot or even in urban surroundings.
The extensive use of stone combined with siding in natural wood tones enhance the understated elegance of this home which will blend beautifully in rural or mountainous surroundings.
Inside, the first floor offers a large garage complete with workshop and storage, an 8 ½’ high ceiling and a second garage door on the rear wall with access to the back yard.
The upper floor offers an open floor plan and a surprisingly large kitchen, with island/dining/living area bathed in natural light and 8½’ high ceilings. The patio door opens onto a 16’ x 12’ terrace to which an outside staircase and a roof could easily be added.
The large, 15’ x 11’ master bedroom has ample closet space and a private bathroom with a separate shower and toilette/laundry area, functional features that enhance the urban feeling of this home.
By Deb Villeneuve
Filed under: Accessibility,Aging in place,Alcove,Backyard,Bonus room,Cathedral ceiling,Craftsman,Craftsman House Plans,Drummond House Plans,Ensuite,Ensuite bathroom,Foyer,Garage,Gas fireplace,Guest bathroom,Home plans,House,House plans,Informal dining,Informal Living,Kitchen islands,Master Suite,Master suite on main,New house plan,Panoramic View,Plan of the Week,Three-bedroom house plans
Inspired by numerous requests for the addition of a garage to our popular chalet, plan 2957, Drummond House Plans suggests this beautiful cottage with a revamped floor plan that moves the kitchen closer to an added garage.
From the outside, the addition of a garage gives plan 2957-V2 an appealing look to the front of the home while maintaining the same attractive features in back.
Significant changes have been brought to the inside appointment of the home from the relocation of the kitchen to the exceptional master suite with its private bathroom, double closets and view of the back through two glass doors.
The activities area with its ample fenestration and cathedral ceiling in the living room along with a fireplace in the living/dining rooms are features that are sure to please. The large kitchen island and a separate laundry area on the main level as well as a powder room just off of the main entrance also enhance the livability of this home.
Upstairs, two comfortable bedrooms and a separate bathroom with a shower and a hallway that opens onto a mezzanine and a bonus space that can be converted to a 4th bedroom if required.
By Vivian Martin
An English landscape is characterized by sweeping vistas across rolling lawns, distant groves of trees, natural ponds and lakes, discreetly placed Greek and Roman “ruins,” and a sense of pastoral peacefulness. It’s a parklike setting that represents the landscape of the English Isles and much of North America.This is not the English cottage garden look, with its masses of uncontained annuals and perennials, nor is it the French-style garden set in a strict geometric pattern. In fact, the first English gardens were designed in the early 1700s as a reaction to the formality of the latter. The goal was a natural landscape, albeit one that was prettied up and romanticized to conceal the mundane and unattractive parts.
While the gardens designed by Lancelot (Capability) Brown define the basic elements of an English garden, the style itself has grown and changed over the past 300 years. It’s been modified to include influences from China and Gothic Revival architecture, as well as the sweeping flower beds popularized by Gertrude Jekyll.
Although most of us don’t have grand estates, some basics of the style can be applied even to the smallest garden.
Follow this slideshow for a visual garden tour!
By Vivian Martin
Anyone who has walked into a room painted in a dull or garish palette knows the power of color. Color intuitively influences our emotions, whether we’re in a soothing spa environment or an electrifying casino. In a garden landscape, color plays an equally powerful role.
Our color choices can create a garden that is nurturing, romantic, playful, tranquil or exciting.Although you may have heard strict rules from other gardeners, such as “Never plant anything orange,” or “Don’t use blue, purple or red shades in your garden’s bed and borders,” I like to think that any color can fit in a landscape.
Color is highly subjective, and since it’s so personal, you can design, plant and decorate your landscape with your favorites. Let’s follow the rainbow — and lessons from the color wheel — to make color choices that establish a mood, infuse energy or define a theme in an outdoor setting.Perhaps you’ll see new possibilities for your landscape.
Follow this Houzz slideshow for a primer on the use of color in your garden!
By Vivian Martin
Having an outdoor room is like getting to have your cake and eat it too. Furnishing a protected outdoor space — whether that’s a covered terrace, a pavilion, a loggia or a cabana — lets you enjoy the fresh air with all the amenities of home. Whether your idea of the perfect outdoor room includes a place in which to dine with friends or family, a lounge area in which to kick back and take in the view, or a comfy spot for napping, this roundup of dreamy outdoor rooms shows luxurious places for relaxing in spectacular surroundings…
By Vivian Martin
Are you thinking of adding a water feature to your garden this year?
A water feature creates great Feng Shui by establishing a sense of reflection, depth and refreshing vitality in your space.
If a fountain, bird bath or small pond are in your future, you’ll want to place it properly and in the most auspicious location to encourage good Feng Shui.
According to the Feng Shui Garden Bagua Map, the best locations for your water feature are the Life Journey, Family/New Beginnings, or Wealth/Prosperity sectors of your garden.
These three areas are nourished by Water in the Five Elements cycle that drives Chi flow in Feng Shui.
The Water element represents your Life Journey and Career, the sector that’s located in the bottom center of your garden, near its entryway.
Likewise it nourishes the Wood element that’s associated with the Wealth sector in the back left corner as well as the adjacent Family and New Beginnings sector.
It’s just as important to make sure that your water feature flows in the most auspicious direction.
Any fountain or stream that you set up for good Feng Shui should flow inwards, towards the center of your garden. When its flow is directed outwards you will lose out on the benefits of its natural Chi energy.
Good luck with your new fountain!
(Feng Shui advice courtesy of Ann Bingley Gallops of Open Spaces Feng Shui)
By Vivian Martin
Are you wondering how to freshen up your outdoor furniture? Chances are, you have all the ingredients you have right in your home to do so.
The DIY Network shares the following advice:
Basic Recipe for Outdoor Cushions:
1 teaspoon dishwashing detergent
1 quart warm water
1 tablespoon borax
Saturate a sponge and use it to wash the cushions. You can put it in a spray bottle and saturate cushions on both sides, paying particular attention to the crevices and creases. Let the cushion sit for 15 minutes. Spray the solution off with a hose using a strong force of water. Stand each cushions on its edge out of the direct sun to dry. When almost dry, spray with a fabric protector. To remove dust between cleanings, vacuum as needed. Or, if the cushions are small enough, just shake them out.
Canvas Seats and Chair Backs:
If the canvas is removable, you’ve got it made. Most canvas is machine-washable. Just remember to put the canvas back on the furniture while it is still damp to maintain the shape of the canvas.
If the canvas cannot be removed, you’ll need a scrub brush and a bar of Fels-Naptha laundry soap. Run the brush back and forth across the soap, and scrub the canvas. Rinse well and stand cushions up on edge. This method removes bird droppings and many stains.
To clean plain aluminum (the old-style lawn chairs), you’ll need a plastic scrubber or fine steel wool soaked in detergent. Simply scrub the chairs, rinse well and dry.
1 gallon warm water
3 tablespoons automatic dishwashing detergent (contains a bleaching agent that will whiten the plastic)
Use a sponge or soft brush. Leave the solution on 15 minutes, then rinse and dry. Don’t use this on colored furniture.
Colored Plastic or Resin:
Clean colored plastic furniture with an all-purpose cleaner and water. Rinse well because sunlight and weather will hurry in fading process.
To clean aluminum with a baked-on enamel finish, keep in mind that the surface can scratch. You’ll need a sponge soaked in detergent or your favorite all-purpose nonabrasive cleaner. Just scrub, rinse and dry with a soft cloth.
To maintain the shine on plastic, resin and metal furniture, give it a good waxing. Remove the cushions first, if possible, because the wax can stain. Use a soft cloth or the applicator that comes with the wax to apply, then let the wax dry. Finally, buff it off.
Clean plastic webbing with an all-purpose cleaner. Your scrub brush will probably come in handy here as well for any stains. Rinse with plenty of water.
To clean your grill window, spray the inside of the glass with oven cleaner. Wait a few minutes and then scrub it. Rinse well when you are through
Remember, if you clean your patio furniture on a regular basis, you can expect it to give you years of comfort and good looks.
Visit the DIY Network site for many home improvement ideas.
By Vivian Martin
I know it is hard to imagine spring when many of us are socked in with snow so it is time to think happy, warm, springtime thoughts! Many cities are amending bylaws to allow laying hens to be kept within city limits. If you are going to have a hen house in your backyard, it should be something beautiful, should it not? Country Living Magazine contributing editor, Heather Bullard has featured her coop in her blog and it is a work to behold.
Being a country girl, I know that the basics of a great space for chickens are:
- Nesting spaces
- Roosting spaces
- Outdoor area
- Feed area
- Access for easy cleaning
- Easy access for collecting eggs
I have to say that Heather receives kudos for all of the above and does it with such grace and style that anyone would be proud to have a backyard structure like this.
You can learn more about this hen house and follow all of the hen news on Heather’s blog.
Check with your city by-laws before adding laying hens to your family. In most cases where hens are allowed, roosters are not welcome (for the peace and sanity of your neighbors). Fresh eggs are fabulous, but keep in mind that like all pets, chickens require a commitment and they can live for many years.
By Vivian Martin
I grew up in the country where our tradional “row garden” could not only put up preserves for a family of five for an entire year, but also supply most of our city aunts, uncles, and cousins with care packages and provide us with an income from our summer berry picking. As many rural children do, when I grew up I moved to the city but the love of gardening never left me.
More years ago than I care to admit, I was given a copy of the book “The Square Foot Gardener” for Christmas. I was tantalized by the idea of growing a garden in my postage stamp-sized yard. Over the cold winter, I read and re-read this book, preparing for the joys of spring. The essence of the square foot gardening practice is to utilize a grid pattern to grow a garden that uses only about 20% of the space of a “traditional” row garden and yet provides the same yield of produce. With the exception of a slug invasion (the book covers the remedy for that as well), the system worked admirably.
Fast forward to current date and it is time for the sequel to this book – the All New Square Foot Gardening.
The essential theories are the same but the author has added some new ideas and simplified others so that even a gardening novice should be able to achieve spectacular results. Rather than the “100-mile diet”, you can enjoy fresh produce mere steps from your backdoor with relative ease. Really, there is no excuse for anyone anywhere not being able to enjoy fresh produce. There are even suggestions for people with limited mobility.
If you are curious or serious about having fresh food that you can take pride in, this book is an excellent resource. Make sure to let us know how you make out!
By Vivian Martin
There is a long tradition of architectural opuscule, particularly in general and residential design. For example, there are the garden follies of the 19th-century landscapes. In more recent times, there are observation towers, tea houses, garden sheds, detached garages and more. What they all have in common is their small size and endearing quality.
So the next time you start to plan a new project, be it a new home or backyard play area, consider your own opuscule and, as always, have fun.