Decorating inspiration, architecture, renovation ideas and more.

Going Solo

 Here are 4 easy and imaginative ways flower fanciers have interpreted the fashionable one-bloom-per-container idea.

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CREATIVE SOLUTIONS | When it comes to indoor arrangements, of course we love the look of an armful of random cottage garden flowers tumbling loosely out of a vase. But we also love the opposite: a single flower displayed creatively on its own. Read more

Socttie-Pug Dudley Rule - Carolann Rule

GOING CLEAR

This DIY acrylic barrier will stop canine escape artists without stopping the eye.

Socttie-Pug Dudley Rule - Carolann Rule

DO IT YOURSELF  | We love our Scottie-pug dog child, Dudley (pictured here), but he does have one annoying, potentially life-threatening habit. When we accidentally leave an outside door open, he bolts. While this is never a good thing, it is particularly troublesome at my husband’s garden design office where Dudley earns his kibble working as a greeter.

To foil this behaviour, senior landscape designer Kim Stuart came up with an inexpensive all-but-invisible system that eliminates the need to install those supremely unattractive but highly effective baby (a.k.a. dog) gates. Read more

drops Collage Frame - IKEA

You Will Love The Drops Frame From IKEA

How to get family snapshots out of Cyberland and into your living room.

drops Collage Frame - IKEA

 

CHEAP & AWESOME | Although they did not confirm this number themselves, Buzzfeed reported last year that humans take 380 billion photos a year. To that figure I would like to add my own unsubstantiated statistic: 99.99 percent of these photographs will forever reside out of view, most of them in Cyberland.

And maybe that’s a good thing, but displaying some printed photos in your home does keep good times and good people visually at hand without logging into a computer or staring at a digital flip screen. My new favourite way to display snapshots on paper is in an inexpensive Drops collage frame from IKEA. Read more

ikea-regolit

4 Ways To Dress Up Plain Paper Lanterns

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Tissue Paper Stars
Kate Daudy - NYTimes
ikea-regolit

Peel and Stick Letters - The Swell Life


DIY | While inexpensive paper lanterns used en masse contribute enormously to the festive mood in a room (try imagining the space pictured above without them), a plain pendant lantern used on its own can easily look like an uninspired afterthought.

Of course a single Noguchi Araki light sculpture would be beautiful, but shades like these, which are fashioned from handmade washi paper and authentic bamboo ribbing, are anything but cheap.

If you are going to use a cheap Chinese paper lantern alone in a room, why not personalize it in a way that makes it distinctive? Here are four of our favourite eye-catching ways to embellish paper lanterns, plus a how-to video from Martha Stewart that covers some of the basics. Read more

Dan Pearson's Posy - Howard Sooley

Why Gardeners Should Make A Bouquet Every Day

Superstar designer and planstman Dan Pearson explains why you should make a garden posy every day.

Dan Pearson's Posy - Howard Sooley

 

WHAT THE PROS KNOW | There’s plenty of great how-to in Home Ground: Sanctuary In The City, British designer and writer Dan Pearson’s 2011 gardening book that will surely become a classic, but the author’s suggestion that keeners make a daily bouquet from whatever’s in bloom in their garden seems like a particularly good idea. Could there be an easier way to become more observant outdoors or to study the blooming habits and idiosyncrasies of the plants that grow right under your nose? Read more

Kraft paper tablecloth - Vicky Tang

Make A Great Kraft Paper Tablecloth

In the right hands, cheap Kraft paper can be the thing that turns a dinner table from plain to poetic.
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DO IT YOURSELF | If you want to host a long table dinner this summer but don’t have enough matching tablecloths (or matching tables for that matter) to create an attractive, cohesive setting, Kraft paper can be a lifesaver. Read more

IKEA Sink, Moen Faucet-C. Rule

Tips To Make Tiny Bathrooms Feel Larger

Tips and tricks to make even the tiniest bathroom feel much larger.

IKEA Kitchen Uppers In the Bathroom - C. Rule

 

GAINING SPACE | How do you make a dinky five-foot-square powder room feel larger? Mirror is one obvious solution, which is why I installed a giant, counter-to-ceiling sheet of it in my recently renovated loo. Another is to replace a traditional, space-hogging vanity with shallow cabinets. I gained a valuable nine inches on the floor across the width of my tiny room by replacing the boxy 21-inch-deep vanity with five linear feet of plain-Jane IKEA kitchen wall cabinets that are a mere 12 inches deep. Not only did I maximize the amount of open floor area, but I gained infinitely more—and more useful—storage as well. Read more

Stack Of Cloth Napkins shutte

Why You Need To Use Cloth Napkins Daily

Here’s why you should use cloth napkins every day—and how (and where) to sew beautiful mitered-corner ones for yourself. (VIDEO)

Stack Of Cloth Napkins shutte

 

MONEY WELL SPENT | You should be using cloth napkins every day not only because doing so will save you money by cutting down on paper waste but also because you deserve nice things, and cloth napkins are nice all around: better next to the skin than paper ones, generally larger and more absorbent. Read more

Painted slingback chair by Brendan Power - Clinton Hussey

How To Paint A Canvas Slingback Patio Chair

Transform this plain canvas beachside staple into a chair with style and presence.

Painted slingback chair by Brendan Power -  Clinton Hussey

 

THE CREATIVE SOLUTION | Being fashionably dressed is expensive enough, but imagine the financial damage you can do creating the “latest look” for your home—which is why most of us play it safe with our furniture by sticking to classics. The trouble with this approach is that sometimes safe can mean boring. Fortunately there are ways to be current without taking a vow of poverty.

I suggest using quick changing accent pieces to modify your décor. Here I put my DIY skills to work transforming a classic—and already attractive—slingback patio chair—into something more topical and unique. Read more