It Is Black and White and Fall All Over in a Holiday-Happy Home

Sarah Macklem’s kids have various thoughts about Halloween decorating than their mother has.

“The children love severed body parts and all of that stuff,” says Macklem with a good-natured shudder. A home stylist located in suburban Detroit, she forgoes disembodied limbs to get a seasonal decorating style that looks elegantly understated, but is sourced mostly from thrift stores and discount retailers.

To keep things complicated, Macklem builds upon her home’s black and white palette, overlaying touches of autumnal color in things like dishes and towels, while rendering familiar objects in unfamiliar ways. (White ceramic pumpkins, anybody?) Her seasonal handiwork extends up around Labor Day and culminates in a neighborhood Halloween party at her residence.

“Decorating is my entire life,” says Macklem, “and that I take advantage of every opportunity I have to take action.”

The Yellow Cape Cod

If it comes to seasonal decorating, Macklem exerts a mild touch. Color sets the mood in the dining area, where the basic black and white decoration is dotted with touches of autumnal color. Proportion plays a pivotal role in her convivial tablescape: Linens and dishes fill out the tabletop without making it feel crowded.

The Yellow Cape Cod

“I have a fascination with mixing and matching table settings for vacations,” says Macklem, who augments her regular dinnerware with paprika-colored bowls she sets out just for fall, and shameful dishes she picked up in a thrift store (eight place settings for $10).

The designer made the runner out of a sheet of tapestry-weight fabric, attaching grosgrain ribbon to the edges with fabric glue. The opposite side is black, black, red and gray, so she simply transforms the runner over for Christmas.

The Yellow Cape Cod

Macklem paid $12 with this vest in a thrift store. It was a little musty, so she removed the drawers spelled out that the piece for a week, then primed and painted the interiors of the drawers to eliminate any remaining odor.

She painted her favorite black (Martha Stewart’s Silhouette), and now employs the piece in her dining area to store serving pieces and business files. (The dining room doubles as her design office.)

The Yellow Cape Cod

Macklem focuses on her seasonal decorating on areas such as the dining area, living room and entrance. “We do a lot of Halloween parties,” says the mother of three, “so I try to focus the decoration on the chambers where we do our entertaining.”

The Yellow Cape Cod

Macklem forgoes that the skeletons and cobwebs, including orange cushions to a number of the chambers to pick up the seasonal theme.

The dining room walls are painted in Crevecoeur out of Martha Stewart Living. A gray with undertones of green, the color is among those in-between shades that appear to change based on what accents accompany them.

The Yellow Cape Cod

Ties composes the names using a liquid chalk mark, and chalkboard location cards at every plate round the napkins. When the party’s over, the tags could be wiped clean and used again.

The Yellow Cape Cod

For your centerpiece Macklem paired coloured sunflowers in the supermarket with hydrangeas cut out of her backyard. She likes using natural components like twigs and flowers in her holiday decorating. “That helps keep it from appearing kitschy,” she says.

The Yellow Cape Cod

Artificial pumpkins in the craft store are piled in a tiny basket out of Sam’s Club. If Macklem doesn’t have the time to pick up flowers, she simply places this in the middle of the dining table.

The Yellow Cape Cod

Orange throw cushions are inserted to the living room in the fall, as are the orange mats framing the silhouettes. Macklem painted the monogram on a piece of MDF, and paired it with a heap of artificial pumpkins plus a series of medallions that say “Trick or Treat.” The thrift store spider was a concession to the children’ desire for something creepy.

The Yellow Cape Cod

Macklem chose the home’s black and white color palette a part to make the interior more conducive to decorating. She just switches the accents out for every event.

The Yellow Cape Cod

If the holidays approach, Macklem turns the living room bookcase to an improvised butler’s pantry, filling it with supplies for entertaining. “This house is ready for a celebration at a minute’s notice,” she says.

The Yellow Cape Cod

The bottom shelf is filled with baskets of artificial pumpkins. Even storage could be amazing if you use the right container!

The Yellow Cape Cod

A black thrift store cat poses beside a vintage-looking sign. Macklem found that the seasonal homily on the world wide web, produced a replica on her color printer and added that the framework.

The Yellow Cape Cod

Colorful towels add a seasonal accent to the powder room. “I wanted a little pop of orange in the fall,” Macklem says.

The Yellow Cape Cod

Macklem was married in the fall. Her mum dried some of the flowers from the wedding and utilized them to make a wreath, which she introduced to the newlyweds when they returned from their honeymoon. The wreath still looks great and hangs proudly on the front door. “We think it’s a indication that our marriage was intended to last,” says Macklem.

The Yellow Cape Cod

The children are almost always late for the school bus, therefore Macklem suspended this helper in the hall. The clock is a reproduction from Pier 1, which was marked down to half price because it had been ruined. Since the end was already distressed, Macklem could not tell the difference.

The Yellow Cape Cod

Cornstalks are easily obtainable from farms and roadside stands — although some of those big-box merchants sell them. Macklem strapped a couple of to the pillars on her house (the origin for the title of her company, The Yellow Cape Cod) and paired them with other autumnal accents.

The Yellow Cape Cod

Seasonal plantings add a festive touch to the urns by the front door. This season Macklem used mums in the supermarket; final fall she planted boxwood.

The Yellow Cape Cod

A trio of loosely piled gourds adorns front stoop. The gourds are a nice choice to pumpkins, Macklem says. “They come in many more shapes and colors.”

The Yellow Cape Cod

Macklem picked up the lanterns at Sam’s Club. They came festooned for Christmas, so she removed the additional adornments for autumn. The candles are battery powered and are controlled by a timer.

The Yellow Cape Cod

Son Max gets to the autumn spirit in the yard.

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3 Buildings Maximize Nature Views

This Seattle artist desired to construct a house in Washington’s San Juan Islands where she could be inspired to do her job for the majority of the summer, but she did not wish to spend the entire time in isolation. Her house needed to have living space space for guests and studio space. Instead of constructing a large two-story house with all the identical water views, the architects split the house into three separate one-story structures. Which minimized the impact on the landscape while embracing every part of it. Presently a studio, guesthouse and chief house make the most of the perspectives of the water, the woods as well as the magnificent present madrona trees on the rocky bluff.

in a Glance
Who lives here: This is a Seattle artist’s summer and weekend residence.
Location: San Juan Islands, Washington
Size: Main house: 1,400 square feet; guesthouse: 650 square feet; studio: 500 square feet

Mohler + Ghillino Architects

“We carefully choreographed the entry order,” states Rick Mohler, of Mohler Ghillino Architects, that worked with project lead Rik Adams on the plan. Upon arrival one experiences a course of discovery, appearing from the woods to obtain the studio and then continuing along to the guest house and main house.

“Her job is more inwardly focused, so the studio’s perspectives are much different than people from the others,” Mohler states. The clerestory windows face north and let in the light in addition to the view of the woods. The studio doesn’t have big views of the water.

Mohler + Ghillino Architects

Next one walks past the guest house, which comprises two bedrooms and a bath. The distinct structure provides the guests privacy and enabled the architects to tread lightly on the landscape, nestling the constructions into the website rather than building one big two-story house with all the same views.

Having separate buildings also means that the homeowner may turn the heat off in the guesthouse when it’s not being used.

Mohler + Ghillino Architects

“There’s a rhythm along the path, made by the different shed roof orientations,” Mohler describes. Details such as rafter tails beneath these roofs break things up and increase the rhythm.

At the end of the entry order, one arrives in this entry court; it’s shared with the primary house and guesthouse and gets the first glimpse of the water views.

Mohler + Ghillino Architects

“We love to utilize corner windows; they tend to open up the space and the view,” Mohler states. Here, near the front door, a corner window cuts diagonally across the primary living space, revealing a dramatic view of the water and Vancouver Island.

Mohler + Ghillino Architects

You can see how this operates on the plan. The cap of the program is that the entry-court side; the base is that the water-facing side.

The architects also placed larger decks from your main house, using a narrow deck across the water-facing facade to maximize the views and expand the rooms out.

Mohler + Ghillino Architects

“The owner did not mind us pulling back on the website a bit, which enabled us to display the view through the gorgeous madrona trees; this made for much more interesting and lively perspectives,” Mohler states.

Mohler + Ghillino Architects

Breaking up the structures also allows the house to float atop concrete piers that are cast directly onto solid rock just below the soil. This meant very little excavation was required and thus there was minimal effect to the website. “The piers also make the house feel lighter inside the landscape,” Mohler states.

Mohler + Ghillino Architects

The main house’s magnificent butterfly roof soars toward the skies and opens the structure to southern light and the view off the rugged bluff.

Mohler + Ghillino Architects

Windows reflect the view; the trim color matches the grass and the ⅞-inch corrugated sheet metal siding; as well as the roofing and railings mix in with the sky.

Metallic end: Zincalume

Mohler + Ghillino Architects

The front of the main building is all one open living space and comprises the dining room, living room and kitchen. The master suite is tucked into the rear corner (on the left side of this picture), allowing a floating bathtub to feel like it’s from the woods.

Mohler + Ghillino Architects

“Lots of homes are just what we call see machines, with every room focusing just on the same view of the water,” Mohler states. “This website had an unbelievable diverse all-natural landscape, and also we needed to expose the structure to each of the land had to provide.”

Main accountable for Rik Adams, with Rick Mohler and Rick Ghillino
General contractor: JAS Design Build

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7 Reasons For Your Shower Floor Squeaks

There’s little that makes me crazier than a whirlpool shower flooring. As there are many reasons your flooring could be squeaking, it can be tricky to find out how to repair it or if it’s fixable. Your best bet is to prevent squeaks in your acrylic or fiberglass shower foundation from ever getting started. Here is what to watch out for.

Chris Snook

1. Subfloor flexing. Most of the time, a noisy shower enclosure is actually because of a plywood or shiplap subfloor bending on a screw or nail. If you step into the shower, the floor flexes along with the timber rubs from the screw or nail, which makes a squeaking noise.

If you are performing a complete remodel and can observe the toilet floor framing from the space beneath, you can usually see where the floor goes and squeaks when someone walks on it. A couple well-placed screws can remove the squeak. Gluing plywood to either side of squeaky floor joists can lessen subfloor flex, also.


Alessa shower base

2. Gaps between the pan and flooring. Sometimes, squeaks are caused in which the flooring tile meets the shower pan. Normally, there should be a small gap between the shower enclosure along with the flooring tile. This gap is filled with silicone, so the grout does not touch the skillet itself. Without the proper quantity of silicone, the pan will probably squeak.

If you become aware of a squeak after the flooring installation, you can eliminate additional grout and thinset carefully with a grout removal tool so there is no grout or thinset linking the floor to the shower base.

Architect, Michael Knowles

3. Inadequate thinset. Look for a shower pan that lets you use a mortar, or thinset, underneath it. Not all producers allow this, but it can result in a sturdier shower pan. Adding mortar or thinset under the pan adds a bit more weight to the installation (which helps weigh the floor down) and fills the voids beneath the pan to keep it from rocking. No motion signifies no squeaking.


4. Pans screwed into wall studs. Shower pans may also squeak when they’re screwed into wall studs. I see this happen all too often, and seldom is this process recommended by shower pan manufacturers. Rather than screwing throughout the shower pan, indicate that your installer use no-drill clip attachments.

Jan McQueen

5. Wet wooden floors. Make sure to waterproof the area outside of your shower. When hardwood floors get too wet, the wood swells and expands, which may cause motion under your shower pan.

Perhaps not all the building codes in North America require waterproofing around the shower (although they do in Australia), so you’ll want to speak to your installer about this specifically.

Holly Marder

6. Heat expansion. Darker tile absorbs more heat than lighter tile. If you’ve selected a dark-colored tile for your bathroom renovation, be sure to ask for a thinset that has a little flexibility for heat expansion. You may discover your shower and toilet squeaks come and go because of weather and humidity levels.

T Russell Millwork Ltd..

7. Subfloor damage. Watch out for the quality of your toilet’s remodeled or original subfloor. Often, a bathtub is eliminated to make way for a brand new shower. After the pipes and drain lines have been transferred, the subfloor has to undergo repairs that may impact its structure favorably or negatively. Ensure that your subfloor is scrutinized for squeaks and the region around the drain is totally supported prior to any installation.

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Herb Garden Essentials: Boost Your Parsley

Parsley is making its way from your deserted garnish to a necessary part of an herb garden. Not only have hamburgers found that the yummy flat-leaf Italian parsley and intriguing varieties of the curly-leaf French kinds, but gardeners have found that the plant is a decorative annual for filling in areas in pots or edging a garden bed.

Though parsley is a biennial, treat it like an annual. It is a good summer crop in colder winter climates and a year-round favored in warm-winter zones, however too much heat may do it in. Various varieties are becoming much more easily available, and you can grow them from seeds or crops.

Missouri Botanical Garden

Light requirement: Sun to partial shade

Water requirement: Frequent

Prime growing period: Spring through autumn; year-round in warm-winter climates

When to plant: Fall or early spring in warm-winter climates; following the last frost date in spring from colder climates

Favorites: Dark Green, Gigante d’Italia (Giant Italian), Single Italian, Titan (flat leaf); Extra Curled, Favorit, Forest Green, Moss Curled, Triple Cured (curly leaf)

Glenna Partridge Garden Design

Planting and maintenance: pick a site with loose, well-amended soil in full sun to partial shade. If summers are hot, you might have to give afternoon shade.

If you are planting seeds, soak them for 24 hours. Plant them 1/4 inch deep and 1/2 inch apart, then thin to 6 inches apart for curly types and up to 18 inches apart for flat-leaf kinds.

Parsley can be quite slow to germinate, so you might want to begin with seedlings (this way you’ll be able to taste test before buying too). Set plants out around 6 to18 inches apart, depending on variety.

You can also grow parsley in containers indoors or out. Containers can even be small enough to fit on a windowsill. Chose a container at least 6 to 8 inches deep to curled parsley and 10 to 12 inches deep to flat-leaf varieties.

Feed in spring with a complete fertilizer and midseason with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer, particularly if the plants are yellowing. Water regularly therefore the soil is evenly moist.

Sow successively for a more crop.

Harvest: when the plant reaches approximately 6 to 8 inches tall, snip or clip the external sprigs to crop. Parsley adheres well but does not take to drying.

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Discover the Unstoppable Benefits of Cork for the House

Although it’s related mainly with wine stoppers and pinboards, cork is a natural material also known for its elasticity, buoyancy and close to impermeability. Cork is also very mild and ranks highly because of its insulation properties, making it a fantastic material to use around your home.

This totally natural, renewable, biodegradable and biodegradable material has a raw and timeless allure. Since bamboo comes from nature itself, no bit is precisely the same, offering a multitude of grain, texture and color choices.

Panache Interiors

Environmental factors. Cork is a 100 percent natural material that is obtained via an environmentally friendly harvesting procedure. Cork trees aren’t cut down to harvest the saltwater — rather, the bark is harvested by hand every nine decades. Cork trees can live up to 300 decades, so they may be chosen about 33 times throughout their life span. The cork’s processing is relatively straightforward — even waste scraps are collected for use.

Kristin Petro Interiors, Inc..

Pros of cork. Cork’s antistatic surface makes it resistant to toxin and dust absorption, making it a fantastic selection for people with allergies. Its soft, cushioned surface makes it a fantastic flooring choice for anyone who have knee issues or anybody who wants a little additional support. Cork’s naturally anti inflammatory and water-resistant attributes also help combat mold and mildew.

More about bamboo floors

Monica Ewing

Cons of cork. Although cork is water resistant, it’s not waterproof, so take care to seal your java correctly. It might have to be resealed every few years or so. Without proper protection, cork will blot. Sharp objects may also result in significant damage to bamboo flooring.

Approximately 6.6 million acres of Mediterranean cork forest covers Southern Europe and Northern Africa, which is where most of the world’s cork supply originates. Some argue that the negative ramifications of shipping into North America from so far off outweighs the ecological advantages.

But Nora Berrahmouni, Mediterranean woods unit director at the World Wildlife Federation has invited consumers to purchase bamboo floors. Since there’s a decrease in the worldwide marketplace for cork wine stoppers (many are replaced with less eco friendly screw-top and plastic stoppers), other bamboo products can help support this sustainable form of agroforestry.

Lisa rubenstein – rooms design

Programs in the Home

Acoustic backing. Cork’s compressive strength and acoustic and thermal attributes make it a popular backing for many other materials in commercial buildings. It’s even utilized to insulate some parts of space shuttles! These very same attributes make it an perfect selection for exterior walls or walls in children’s play areas, where it might help block sound and maintain temperature, and can also double as a pinboard.

Wall coverings. Wall tiles made out of bamboo were popular in the ’60s and ’70s and are now enjoying a resurgence due to their eco credentials. Cork wallpaper is now readily available too. This Phillip Jefferies wallpaper is made of natural cork with an underlay of silver metallic paper for a stunning outcome.

CG&S Design-Build

Backsplashes. Cork is one of the ecofriendliest alternatives for wine stoppers. Rather than having wine corks recycled, think about making an upcycled and durable backsplash once you are done with your favorite whites and reds.

Chris A Dorsey Photography

Cork’s gorgeous all-natural grain could be tinted and stained by manufacturers to create vibrant and patterned finishes. Rolls of cork could be cut and painted, as for the backsplash in this novel kitchen.

ZeroEnergy Design

Soft furnishings. Cork is floor, shaved and applied to soft furnishings. It comprises a waxy, naturally naturally-occurring substance called suberin, which protects cork trees from forest fires.

Note: Cork is generally considered fire resistant instead of fire retardant, and thus don’t place it close to an open fire. But, it will make a good selection for something like a lampshade.

Jonathan Schloss / Architect

Many designers will also be experimenting with cork furniture, because the materials is really lightweight, and furniture made from it’s easy to move around. Cork is buoyant, which explains the reason why sailors frequently tie their keys into a cork ball — the keys will not sink.

More: Cork Flooring: Heat to a Natural Wonder | Pictures of cork in design

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Homes Away From Home: 10 Charming U.S. Bed-and-Breakfasts

Somehow an experience stops feeling so adventuresome the minute you step inside a plain-Jane, ordinary dinning room. If you are prepared for a trip across the USA, consider another kind of accommodation. Today’s eclectic bed-and-breakfasts are cozy, one-of-a-kind havens for travellers of all ages, budgets and styles. Have a look — a cozy tepee in Washington, a historic farmhouse in Virginia, an ecohouse in Texas or some former college in Illinois may be calling your name.

Related: Should You Open a Bed-and-Breakfast?

1. Veritas Farmhouse
Afton, Virginia

This 1836 farmhouse includes six bedrooms with en suite baths. The Derby Bedroom, shown here, includes a downstairs sitting area; there’s a lofted bed near the top of the spiral staircase.

Downstairs, on the house’s main floor, a gathering area with a pool table and fireplace and a living area for lounging are available to all guests.

A wraparound porch invites guests to lounge with a glass of wine on warm nights. Inside, the home fighter prepares breakfast and private dinners in the communal kitchen.

The home sits at the base of the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Afton, Virginia, in walking distance of the Veritas Winery.

Price: $150 to $250 each night | More information

2. Cherrywood Bed and Breakfast
Yakima Valley, Washington

It is hard to miss the herd of tepees in the middle of rural Yakima Valley, Washington. The B and B is part of this functioning Cherrywood Farm, where apples, pears, cherries and grapes are chosen every year.

Each personal, 20-foot tepee is equipped with a small fridge, a nearby grill, a bed, and a sitting room, an outdoor shower and independent, updated water closets, which makes it an original “glamping” destination.

Pendleton blankets, Southwest-inspired rugs and antlers create an authentic, rustic vibe.

The pet-friendly location also hosts trail rides and wine tours and tastings at local wineries.

Price: $245 per night | More information

3. Park Lane Guest House
Austin, Texas

This unique ecohotel is located in both quirky Austin, Texas. Place in the historic SoCo district, these cottages have been remodeled using recycled and salvaged materials for an eclectic look.

In the garden, a pure pool is surrounded by live oak trees. The Vicky Tiny Texas cottage includes a lofted king bed and a classic pedestal tub in the bathroom.

In the main house’s kitchen, innkeeper Shakti Khalsa sits at the counter using all the inn’s mascot, Olevia.

Khalsa made the kitchen recycled glass countertops and mesquite cabinets. The home still has its own original classic southern pine floors.

The bed-and-breakfast includes four homes — the Carriage House, shown here, using its stained concrete flooring and rock pool deck; the Main House bedroom; the Garden Cottage; along with the Vicky House.

The ecofriendly materials are not the only thing that makes this hotel green. Each morning a natural walnut is made with fresh eggs in the house’s hens — their coop, built from salvaged materials, is shown here. Vegetables and herbs in the Park Lane backyard frequently accompany the meal.

Price: Doubles from $179 | More information

4. Flemish House of Chicago Apartments

This 1892 construction, just steps from Chicago’s Michigan Avenue, was originally built as a single-family row home. Over time it was divided into many flats, although fortunately most of the home’s original features remain.

Wood-paneled walls, fireplaces, inlaid wood floors, moldings and high ceilings all reflect the home’s unique age. The owners have carefully decorated every en suite apartment in a traditional English-inspired Arts and Crafts style.

Though breakfast is served each morning, every apartment has its own remodeled kitchen, complete with utensils and cookware.

Price: $200 to $379 per night | More information

5. Cass House
Cayucos, California

The Cass House is a five-bedroom home and water tower that once belonged to the town’s founder, Captain James Cass.

Each morning breakfast is made in-house, together with locally sourced ingredients, frequently by the home’s organic garden.

Each en room has a special luxury. Some have antique fireplaces; others have sea views; others possess large soaking baths or private terraces.

Price: $175 to $365 per night | More information

6. The Davie School
Anna, Illinois

Constructed in 1910 for the kids of Anna, Illinois, The Davie School served as the local public school before it closed in 1996.

Once the current owners purchased the old school in 2002, they restored and remodeled the historic building to create an 11-suite inn. While every room has all the modern necessities of a hotel, the area still feels as a 20th-century schoolhouse.

First chalkboards and bookcases sit in each room. The hardwood flooring still reveal marks from pupil desks.

Even though the rooms have lots of components from the classroom, they also each have spa baths and upgraded baths.

Price: $100 to $285 per weekend | More information

7. Savannah B&B

Place on a row of 15 brick homes out of 1852, the Savannah B&B fits right in with all the Georgia town’s historic district.

Cottages and guest rooms unite in this bed-and-breakfast. Each room has components from the original arrangement, like the brick fireplace and walls inside this guest area.

Tea, olive and mulberry trees line the courtyard gardens. A communal courtyard in the centre hosts guests for breakfast and afternoon snacks.

Price: $179 to $259 per night | More information

8. Red Caboose Getaway B&B
Sequim, Washington

Even if you’re not a train fanatic, it’s hard not to enjoy this unique bed-and-breakfast in Sequim, Washington. Six renovated cabooses are available for overnight rentals.

Circled around a central duck pond on the home, the Red Caboose Getaway also includes a renovated Zephyr dining car, where breakfast is served every morning.

Each car has a queen bed, gas fireplace, spa tub, TV and other amenities. The enthusiastic innkeepers have contributed the cars individual railroad-inspired topics — there’s the Circus automobile, the Orient Express, Casey Jones and more.

Price: $175 to $195 per night | More information

9. Waypoint House
Berryville, Virginia

This cheerful Virginia house feels warm and joyful both inside and out. Within walking distance of historic Berryville, Virginia, the Waypoint House is surrounded by gardens on a half acre, using a large backyard and patio for guests to enjoy.

The 1884 house spent a lot of its life for a bed-and-breakfast. Even though most of the original details have been maintained, simple but contemporary furniture brought it to the 21st century.

Price: $125 to $225 per night | More information

10. Dwell 912
St. Louis, Missouri

This establishment takes a really contemporary approach to the classic bed-and-breakfast. Attached to a house in St. Louis’s historic LaSalle playground, a personal apartment serves as a bed-and-breakfast for one party.

On the main floor, an open lounge has original St. Louis artwork all around the 13-foot-high walls. A fireplace, artwork library, TV lounge area and dining room can easily accommodate a small group.

Though there’s a full kitchen for those who wish to cook, breakfast is sent to the apartment every morning.

The second-floor bedroom, balcony and bathroom can be accessed via the home’s original wooden staircase, held together with hand-forged claws.

A lush outdoor rear courtyard beckons guests on warm summer days. When the apartment is booked, the hosts also offer an extra third-floor studio in the main home, with many of the very same amenities.

Price: $150 to $175 per night | More information

Have a favorite bed-and-breakfast? Please inform us about it in the Comments.

More: Should You Open a Bed-and-Breakfast?

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Yurts are around, portable tents traditionally used by nomads traveling throughout Asia, created with texture, leather or fabric. They have been developed to be dropped and carried on the backs of camels or yaks. Any domed and round tent can be called a yurt nowadays.

Elad Gonen

The domed shirt of A yurt has a hole in the middle, allowing to escape.

Shannon Malone

A ceiling of beams is compacted by the weight of the fabric. The compression makes the structure rigid.

Elad Gonen

A typical yurt consists of materials which may be removed and reassembled easily and often.

Denise Mitchell Interiors

Modern-day yurts might be semipermanent and constructed to withstand rugged conditions.

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Designing Nemo: 30 Fish Tanks Create a Decorative Splash

It requires a dedicated individual to maintain a fishtank. I’m not talking about a child’s softball-size guppy bowl or even a tiny flower vase containing just one beta fish. I’m talking about a sizable, teeming saltwater tank pumped with exotic, vibrantly colored fish and coral.

The aversion to the upkeep on this scale is clear. It’s like adding a part-time job to your hectic schedule. Architect John Black says when you’re planning for a large fish tank, an important consideration is the monthly maintenance cost. He designed and set up on a 9-inch-deep, 16-inch-high and 110-inch-long tank at Manhattan Beach, California, that he says costs about $500 per month only for cleaning the tank and caring for the plants and fish. (A maintenance-cost estimate for a koi pond he’s designing under a glass floor is $1,000 per month.)

Of course, not all tanks have to be so grandiose. Small and midsize tanks are easily managed by diligent seekers, especially when family members split the responsibilities, and the benefit of owning a serene, undulating, colorful bit of liquid art is priceless.

And of course, you can colour coordinate the finely manicured blues and greens and rainbow of tropical fish along with your home’s decor — and vice versa.

Markay Johnson Construction

Home bar areas are popular places for aquariums. The cool blue lights and flickers of swimming shade are a more complicated alternative to a neon sign or lava lamp. This layout also knocks down the belief that fish tanks have to be rectangular. Cylindrical fashions, which supply 360-degree views, are becoming much more popular.

Arc Design Group

A large cylindrical tank at a well-trafficked place makes moving via an expansive space feel much less isolating.

Lapis Design Partners

The homeowner of this 9-inch-deep, 16-inch-high and 110-inch-long tank needed it to have the “look of a piece of art hanging on the walls,” architect John Black says. A structural engineer made the steel-column service system that’s connected to the exterior wall of the aforementioned floor. This allowed the massive tank to be suspended 48 inches from the floor, putting it at eye level. “It was interesting to observe how people at a dinner celebration tended to line up across the tank to check at the gorgeous saltwater fish,” Black says.

The tank has been gorgeously framed in teak to match the woodwork of the space.

Budget: $11,000
Care: $500 per month

DSA Architects

A well-planned aquarium may work at any decor design — yes, even a desert-inspired one. Here, a calm horizontal tank amazingly elevates the rustic weathered inside.

InHouse Design Studio

A strategically positioned tank on a bookshelf helps break up the mess and unwind the eye.

Mega Builders

A swath of electric blue steals the show in a stark white living room. Aquarium colors can easily be built on, as evident from the planter pot’s dollop of blue.

Urban Colony

Meanwhile, blues, greens and yellows in aquariums work wonders in abundant, wood-filled spaces.

Archipelago Hawaii Luxury Home Designs

This towering rectangular aquarium can help soften the prosperity of timber.

Level Design Studios

In home theaters the cool glow of an aquarium provides just the perfect ambience.

Phil Kean Design Group

Nothing punctuates contemporary decor over the potent statement of an imposing wall which captures sea life.

Alpha Design Group

Even a straightforward contemporary dining room is enhanced using a crystal-clear fish tank.

Master Pools by Dominion Pools Canada

Placing tanks near water features and pools is a no-brainer for eye-catching layout.

Abramson Teiger Architects

A low-slung tank spanning the duration of this pool brings fresh meaning to swimming with the fishes.

Mercury Mosaics and Tile

With that in mind, among the greatest places to get a fish tank is still near the tub. Comfort has never been swimmingly serene.

InterDesign Studio

Here, a plant-filled aquarium is in excellent harmony with its outdoor surroundings.

Phil Kean Design Group

But consider any room in the home for a fish tank. The calming effect is very good for kitchens, also.

A single horizontal fish tank adds depth and motion that many other wall art can’t.

Mark Scott Associates | Landscape Architecture

Here, aquarium and art match each other on opposing walls.

Doreen Le May Madden – Lux Lighting Design

Adding water plants to insides is difficult. With an aquarium that they immediately become a part of the decor strategy.

Elad Gonen

A very simple fish tank within this kids’ room adds a little wonderment and colour.

Cathleen Curtin Architects PLC

Sleek and refined, an aquarium is a wise way to break up an overwhelming wall of cupboards.

Jeannette Architects

A saltwater aquarium warms up this crisp and clean kitchen.

Marcson Homes Ltd..

A window-style aquarium adds playfulness to an otherwise rigid wine cellar.

Natalia Skobkina

Masculine living room decor softens just the correct amount with shimmering ocean life.

Red Ridge Millwork

This metal-drenched kitchen will feel chilly with no reflective colours cast by the hanging aquarium.


Even darkened spaces benefit from a splash of submerged color and light.

Jeannette Architects

With an otherwise dull white workstation, marine life brings this room to much-needed life.

Electronics Design Group, Inc..

The calming effect of aquariums can help rejuvenate the mind, making them exceptionally sought in home office spaces.

Arc Design Group

This indoor-outdoor space shows that even from the most luxurious locations, aquariums can nevertheless stand out.

Electronics Design Group, Inc..

“Tank” is an understatement for this lavish, huge aquarium. That is because when it comes to designing fish aquariums, the ocean’s the limit.

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Bathed in Color

I may not have been a pink-loving girly woman in my younger years, but lately I’ve seen some fantastic uses of the colour in bathrooms, and they’ve given me a fresh appreciation for the dramatic hue. Pink doesn’t need to be limited to little girls’ bathrooms, either. A deep raspberry color can look supersophisticated in a guest or master bathroom. If you put it with crisp whites, strong grays or even jet black, it will have an edge to it.

Check out seven stylish bathrooms that are pretty in pink, together with tips on how best to work with this daring colour choice.

Jennifer Ott Design

I tend to prefer bolder pinks, but if you do go milder, find a color that has some coolness to it — it will look less like cotton candy.

Pink paint selections for toilets (from left to right):
1. Razzle Dazzle 1348, Benjamin Moore
2. Gala Pink SW6579, Sherwin-Williams
3. Foxy Pink 110B-4, Behr
4. Quite Berry 1002-1A, Valspar

DesignLine Home Transformations

This saturated hue is grown up. It is a wonderful background color for your crisp finishes in the room. The barn door that is charming actually stands out. Regardless of the extreme hue on the walls, the space feels open and airy.

Begrand Fast Design Inc..

If you prefer a subtler touch of pink, then take inspiration from this beautiful bath with its soft pink mosaic tile backsplash. I think pink looks best paired with white and cool neutrals, but incorporating wood tones to the palette is a great way to help warm it up.


Hot pink and black make for a sexy and dramatic color blend. The daring accent-wall color and also the fetching framed mirror are the eye-catching components in this room. Keeping the ceiling, counter tops, floors and lower part of the walls white has made the space feel open and light.

LTD, Gristmill Builders

Here is evidence that pink doesn’t need to look too fussy or sour. This handsome bath gets a great boost in the berry-pink tiled counter and backsplash. Tile is typically a more economical option than stone or walnut for countertops, so why not have a bit fun with all the colour?

Holland Rogers Company, LLC

This is a daring color choice to get a bathroom cabinet — I adore when a homeowner is ready to break with secure neutrals and exude a popular bold colour into a space instead. This would be less successful if there were rival colors or components in the space. But because the space has an otherwise controlled color palette and it is not overly cluttered or decorated, I think it looks fantastic.

Don’t be scared of using your favorite eye color. It is possible to make it work if you balance it with all the other colors and components in the space.

Greenbelt Construction

Hot pink and daring orange make for an enjoyable and lively duo. It is a high heeled color combination that isn’t particularly relaxing, but it functions nicely in a space in which you will not be spending lots of time lounging around, like a powder room or guest bathroom. This would also be a wonderful palette to get a pink-loving teen’s bathroom. Because wall paint and towels are easy and inexpensive items to change out, this bathroom can be easily transformed down the street, if someone outgrow the pink.

Carey Mudford Interior Design

Pink with spring green is just another of my favorite colour combinations. This soft and pretty bathroom shows how to use pink in a manner that doesn’t hit you over the head and doesn’t feel too sugary sweet. It strikes the ideal balance of soft, pretty and soothing yet stylish.

Tell us What would you think about pink?

colour guides: More tricks to working with daring colors at home

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Summer Plants: How to Grow Strawberries

Juicy and ripe strawberries are one of the sweetest treats of nature. They’re also one of the easiest and most versatile additions to your garden, providing blossoms in spring, fruit in summer and spring, and ornamental green leaves for most of the season — what could be better?

You can take the standard approach of building long rows or hills, but in many home gardens, blossoms function well as ground covers or even a boundary’s edge. If you don’t have good soil, try out a bed that is raised; they’ll thrive and will be easier to harvest. If your space is limited, know that but musk berries are happy in containers, out of standard pots to strawberry jars into hanging planters. Just don’t plant where you’ve recently grown eggplants, peppers, potatoes or tomatoes, to stop issues with verticilium wilt.

While berries are perennials, you’ll discover that production slips after a few years. Many strawberries every three to five years to be replaced by strategy. You might need to deal with them as annuals in extreme climates.

Sage Ecological Landscapes and Nursery

Varieties: June-bearing strawberries are the most familiar. These varieties produce large fruits over a two- to three-week interval in June. These are fairly aggressive plants, spreading runners out readily.

forms are tidier while still producing a couple of crops over the season. Rapidly gaining in house garden popularity would be the day-neutral forms, too smaller and less aggressive, with the incentive of producing berries from spring through fall.

Kate Michels Landscape Design

If you would like to attempt something more exotic, consider alpine berries and musk berries. The small, highly ornamental alpine varieties can easily be grown from seed and also make their miniature fruits all summer long, however as their name suggests they don’t handle heat well. Musk berries, that make a spring crop only, have. They do best if there is a male pollinator.

Colors Of Green Landscape Architecture

When to plant: In cold-winter climates, plant when the soil can be worked in spring around three weeks to one month before the last frost date; plant in winter and early spring or fall in warm-winter ponds

Climate: Strawberry varieties are available for every climate condition, from cold to hot, from dry to moist or humid. Check with your nursery or cooperative extension for the best varieties for the climate, and make sure you purchase resistant plants if infections are a problem in your area.

Light requirement: Full sun or partial shade for Alpine berries; full sunlight or partial shade for musk berries

Water necessity: Regular

June-bearing: Allstar, Annapolis, Benton, Camarosa, Chandler, Earliglow, Guardian, Honeoye, Hood, Jewel, Puget Reliance, Rainier, Seneca, SequoiaEverbearing: Fort Laramie, Ozark Beauty, QuinaultDay-neutral: Albion, Fern, Seascape, Selva, Tribute, TristarAlpine: Alexandria, Alpine Yellow, Alpine White, Fragola di Bosco, MignonetteMusk: Capron, Profumata di Tortona

Amy Renea

Planting: Nevertheless you intend to plant, choose a site with very rich, well-drained (even sandy), slightly acidic to neutral soil. If your soil is alkaline, develop the berries in raised rows or beds, or consider using containers. Work a complete fertilizer to the soil, and if you would like, build small hills or mounds to elevate the plants slightly and make watering basins or furrows.

Place the plants in place, spreading the roots out and then spacing them around 1 1/2 to two feet apart for many berries, 8 to 12 inches apart for alpine strawberries.

Keep the base of each plant crown level with or just slightly above the soil; plant too deep and the crown will probably rot. Cover the roots completely with soil and firm it in place. If heavy frost is expected, shield the crops with row covers.

If you’re placing in a container or increased bed, start looking for one which is at least eight inches deep. Hanging planters should be at least 12 inches deep.

Gardening with Confidence®

Care: In case you’re growing the plants in rows, lightly cultivate the soil for two to six weeks (fourteen days to get everbearing and day-neutral forms; six weeks for June-bearing) allowing runners to disperse. Remove any weeds and ramble runners. Keep weeds down with straw or a different light-colored mulch throughout the growing season.

Pinch off the earliest blossoms to let the plants focus on development instead of fruit production. Pinch blossoms on June-bearing strawberries for at least the first two weeks they appear; you can also pinch off all flowers the first year to get better production in later years. Pinch off the first everbearing blossoms. Remove the blossoms for the first six weeks to get varieties. Do not remove blossoms on alpine strawberries.

Keep the soil consistently most while the fruit is forming, supplying about 1 to 2 inches of water each week. Pinch off June-bearing strawberry runners which are spreading out of boundaries to make sure fewer but bigger berries.

Feed June-bearing, alpine and musk strawberries plants as they begin to grow in spring with a balanced or low-nitrogen fertilizer; feed intensely after you harvest. Lightly feed everbearing and day-neutral berries throughout the season once the blossoms have set.

Strawberries are subject to a number of pests, including aphids, mites, snails and slugs. Strawberry root weevils can be a problem in some regions. Much more of a problem will be birds. Use netting to keep them and any household dogs or other creatures in the growing fruit. All of them love strawberries just as much as people do.

Diseases such as blight, fruit rot, leaf troubles, powdery mildew and verticilium wilt may also lead to problems, although if you keep a close watch and remove any diseased plants, you need to be able to keep things in check.

If you live in a cold-weather climate, cover the plants with straw mulch by late fall. You can reuse the mulch the next spring in case a late frost threatens.

Gardening with Confidence®

Rejuvenation: This is vital for June-bearing strawberries.Once the plants have finished fruiting, thin out older, weak or diseased plants, leaving about 6 inches between the rest of the strawberries. Mow over the foliage, about 1 to 4 inches above the crown. Spread a layer of soil over the plants and include fertilizer.

For all other berries, split the plants in spring.

Laara Copley-Smith Garden & Landscape Design

Harvest: When they’re bright red, they’re prepared to eat. Home-grown strawberries are fragile. To prevent crushing or bruising the fruit, then pinch or cut the stalks.

Plant guides: How to grow the top summer crops

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