Designer's Touch: 10 Amazing Master Closets

For most people, an closet seems like nothing more. However, it does not need to be that way. These tips can take you one step closer to your fantasy master closet. Add value and convenience and extend the life span of your wardrobe with a beautiful and well-organized master closet.

Lisa Adams, LA Closet Design

1. Hot off the press. Install a pull-down ironing board on your master closet and you will never want to leave. This really is a space-saving and time-saving trick that you will love.

LA Closet Design, Lisa Adams

2. Mirror mirror. No master closet would be complete without a built-in floor-to-ceiling mirror.

J.A. Smith Construction & Design Studio

3. A affair. Getting dressed and using makeup all in the same area is really a luxury. Insert a beautiful freestanding or built-in vanity table interior of your master closet for that movie star feeling.

Leib Designs

4. Shoe therapy. Say hello to more room — which means more sneakers, of course. Install shelving around and over the whole master closet door for extra space and yet another reason to go shopping.

Monarch Renovations

5. Laundry master. A stackable washer and dryer in the master closet create laundry a snap. This is where the filthy clothes come off anyhow, and there is easy access to hang and put away clean clothes.

6. Less is more. Produce a one-of-a-kind closet with beautiful closet doors to encase your whole wardrobe. The only thing showing are the delightful elegance of cabinetry.

California Closets Twin Cities

7. Take a seat. Insert a quaint corner beneath the window interior of your master closet. It’s a great way to put on your heels and have additional storage.

Cabinet Innovations

8. Handsome closet. Organize awkward ties, belts and other accessories to a broad location. Having everything at your fingertips will make getting ready for the day easier in addition to faster.

Dave Lane Construction Co..

9. Center stage. A master closet with enough room to house a complete vanity is just wonderful, offering additional storage and a place to lay your fine jewelery and cell phone.

Harry Braswell Inc..

10. Chandelier chic. Dress up any master closet by installing a stunning chandelier for impact. This is an easy and frequently cheap way to create a change for the better.

Read more photos of inspirational closets

More Designer’s Touches:
10 Great Living Bathrooms
10 Fabulous Garages
10 Playful Nursery Bathrooms

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Steel Girder

A steel girder will be the principal framing element that supports the concentrated loads of floors or roofs. Frequent contours for steel girders are I-beams, C- or station beams and box beams. Used primarily for bridges and other commerical building jobs, steel girders are powerful over long spans despite their relatively small size.

Equinox Architecture Inc. – Jim Gelfat

Mixing horizontal and vertical steel makes a skeleton framework, making constructions like wide arches (and skyscrapers) potential.

Elad Gonen

The strength of steel girders makes this catwalk secure for walking.

Richard Bubnowski Design LLC

Steel girders can be connected with welded plates and rivets, or clamps and heavy bolts.

LDa Architecture & Interiors

This steel girder allows the wood beams above to be cantilevered, taking the load off the window .

Menter Byrne Architects

Steel girders seem right at home used as supports for this house gym.

Thomas Roszak Architecture, LLC

Very similar to I-beams are structural structural element beams (HSS), painted orange .

Read more steel girder photographs

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Elegant Florida Apartment

After having a kid and upgrading to a larger apartment, interior designer Arnold Schulman’s clients wanted his aid with another new addition in their lives: a collection of fine artwork in their part-time home on Fisher Island, Florida, once a one-family island home to the Vanderbilts.

Schulman’s clients wanted to make a smooth and accumulated look whilst resisting a Smithsonian-like feel. “This is a home that needed to reflect my customers’ discerning taste,” Schulman says,”without getting away from their warmth and personality.”

in a Glance
Who lives here: Part-time home for a household of 3
Location: Fisher Island, Florida
Size: 3,800 square feet
That’s intriguing: The apartment is located on a private island accessible only by boat.

Arnold Schulman Design Group

In its previous incarnation, the apartment had a dated design with large beamed ceilings that made the room feel smaller. Schulman eliminated the beamed ceilings and replaced them with 3-inch drop ceilings, allowing the use of low-profile recessed lighting that highlighted a clean, open area.

The transition from the dining area to the terrace is created seamless with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors that allow light in and provide an opinion of the surrounding palm trees and other plant.

Living room dining table, light fixture: DCOTA; sculpture: Corbin Bronze

Arnold Schulman Design Group

Schulman, an art gallery owner, felt enormous joy in assisting his customers select a few art pieces to match their own collection. “Art is a private addition to any area,” he states. “There are several key locations throughout the home in which the artwork becomes particularly important. The main hallway is a truly prime location.”

Schulman created a gallery-like feel in the apartment, devoting wall markets and surfaces to exploited photos by Richard Bluestein. Here, the mirror reflects among Bluestein’s”Lifeguard” photos in reverse; the partitions’ art pays homage to Fisher Island’s coastal setting.

Arnold Schulman Design Group

The stylish entrance is anchored by Jurgen Selleck’s oil on canvas”Connections 1 and 2,” using 2 individual elements. The topics’ bent arms soften what might have been a rigid and staid tablescape plus a static wall area. The entrance sets the tone for the remainder of the home and lets visitors know that art and exquisite pieces abound in the home. Schulman encourages his customers to mix media: oils, prints, photography and sculptural art.

“Consistency is achieved in the house’s art display when the collection reflects the design length of the area,” he stresses. In this case the design is modern with touches of art deco.

Arnold Schulman Design Group

Schulman averted framed artwork pieces in the primary living area near the sliding balcony doors. “The glass creates a glare and makes it difficult to love the piece within the framework,” he states. Instead he helped the bunch display their sculptures on shelves.

The neutral palette of creams and wood tones complements the deeper ocean colors, a refined resistance into the splashy Miami Beach lifestyle. Crema Marfil marble floors and chiseled limestone walls represent sand.

Arnold Schulman Design Group

The evocative lighting, decor symmetry, sleek and glistening curves of this table legs, and wood accents of this bar chairs hint in the room’s art deco influence, but the oversize his-and-hers art roots the interior design in modern style. Schulman’s customers love the leather club chairs fronting their bed; they are among”the most comfortable recliners in the world,” he states.

Chandelier: Boyd Lighting; club seats: De Sede

Arnold Schulman Design Group

Much to the customers’ delight, Schulman combined what used to be independent his-and-hers baths that felt obsolete to make one lavish space. He utilized chiseled limestone, honed French limestone floors and walls, and pecan wood accents to make a spalike atmosphere. A tubside still-life picture by Che Sandoval encourages meditative thoughts.

Toilet and bidet: Duravit; tub: Le Bain; place rugs: Kyle Bunting

Arnold Schulman Design Group

A backlit onyx counter bottom representing the colors of the sand and coastline heightens the modern look without overwhelming the pub, in which the homeowners can unwind and entertain.

Pendant lights: Xian, Estiluz

Arnold Schulman Design Group

One of Schulman’s favourite areas of the residence is this magnificent powder room, using a backsplash swathed in precious mother-of-pearl wall tiles. Elegant framed art deco–inspired art hangs on the wall adjacent to the mirror. “If you believe a piece could be appreciated in the powder room, then go for this,” says Schulman. “There are certainly optimal placement areas in the home for artwork, but there is no right or wrong place to display artwork that you just love.”

More: 10 Jewel-Box Powder Rooms

Mirror: DCOTA; sconce: Brand Van Egmond; wall tiles: Maya Romonoff; artwork: Jurgen Selleck, Ambiance Gallery; background: Phillip Jefferies; sink: Steel, Vitraform

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Firmly Planted Southern California Home

Outdoor accessories covered in gardening and brightly painted walls changed this 1930s home into a vibrant and energetic residence for Alicia Blas along with her loved ones. Blas, a backyard and product designer that has styled shoots for magazines, has a fantastic eye for detail and a flair for an eclectic design that embraces the outdoors. Each room in her home is subjected to natural light, and massive windows open up to views of her beautiful garden. Playful turf-covered accents made by Blas’ firm, Firmly Planted, give a unique touch to indoor and outdoor spaces.

Blas started designing products covered in faux turf if a feng shui teacher gave her some advice. “My instructor told me that if my home numbers are not loud and joyful and seen, the world won’t know where to find me,” she says.

at a Glance
Who lives here: Alicia Blas along with her two sons
Location: Valley Village, California
Size: 2,500 square feet

Alicia Blas Macdonald

Blas’ expansive backyard is her favourite part of the house. She often enjoys the lush backyard in her outdoor area — outfitted with her own designs, of course. The turf-covered frame helps define the line between the terrace and the yard but still lets in the complete beauty of the garden. “It resembles the excellent outdoors has only been framed,” says Blas.

Alicia Blas Macdonald

Blas is consistently inspired by nature, because her gardening accents and vibrant decor suggest, and is always drawn to color and texture. She utilizes turf because it’s durable, has tons of texture and is her favorite color — green.

Alicia Blas Macdonald

Almost all of Blas’ outdoor furniture has been found at garage sales, except for the Pottery Barn sofa. The mixture of styles provides the room warmth and character.

Alicia Blas Macdonald

“I’m about this inside and outside lifestyle,” says Blas. Each room in her home is full of natural light and open to the outside whenever possible. The deficiency of window coverings also maintains an airy feeling. The home is on a private lot and surrounded by landscaping, therefore there’s no need to fret about privacy.

Wall paint: Catalina paints; java table: HD Buttercup; carpeting: bought in Morocco; clock: Ballard Designs

Alicia Blas Macdonald

Much of Blas’ furniture is out of her childhood house and has been owned by her mother. All of it’s sort of a fantastic style, which she enjoys, but lots of the big pieces are extremely formal. “I’m so not formal,” she says. “I wanted my house to be really diverse. That’s why I used another wall color in every room.”

Alicia Blas Macdonald

The rest of the furniture is a small mishmash. Blas isn’t into furniture buying, but she knows what she likes and doesn’t want her furniture to totally match. “When something looks like me, chances are it will only work with my entire vibe,” she says.

Coffee table: Z Gallerie; rug: TJ Maxx; couches: Bloomingdale’s; armoire: classic

Alicia Blas Macdonald

The updated kitchen is simple but stylish, with granite counters that operate all of the way up the counter tops. Upper cabinets provide lots of storage, along with the glass cabinet doors showcase knickknacks. Blas painted and made the reddish “Delicious” sign herself as a vibrant accent.

Alicia Blas Macdonald

The home was built in the 1930s, so it’s all of the quirks and accidents of an older home. “However, the amazing old vibe is well worth the old pipes, roof and laminate flooring,” adds Blas. The black and white checkered tile in the guest bath is just one of these fun touches that Blas enjoys.

Alicia Blas Macdonald

The master bathroom has a very different vibe but nevertheless reflects Blas’ admiration for nature. Soapstone tile grounds the space, while walls in her favourite color contrast beautifully with teak accents.

Alicia Blas Macdonald

For your joint dining area and room, Blas covered the dining room chairs from her childhood home in outdoor fabric to generate cleanup quick and simple. “Messy boys will need to sit down on chairs with outside material when eating,” she says. “And I have two of these.”

Wall paint: Catalina paints; desk seat: Ikea

Alicia Blas Macdonald

A green turf doormat invites guests to wash their feet off before going back inside from the backyard. Blas’ love for turf-covered products started with the address numbers of the home. Following all those, cushions and other accessories immediately followed suit.

Photography: Shawn Cordon

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Set the Landscape: Southwestern Garden Style

The American Southwest is a land of extremes. Temperature is the most obvious intense element — there’s intense heat, particularly in the lower elevations, but with cool to cold nights and winter snow at higher elevations. The natural landscape is stark but striking, filled with bright blue skies, tan and brown sand, and also the dusty greens of the foliage. Water is rare, but where rivers pools or run form, they provide the welcome aid of an oasis of green.

Gardening in this climate demands adaptation. In some areas, the seasons are reversed — winter is your growing time, while summer is when you retreat indoors. The soil could be highly alkaline or saline. Water conservation is essential. The fantastic thing is that plants that perform well in this climate will flourish.

Here is the climate that gave us the 3 sisters: corn, beans and squash growing together. This is the house of chilies. This is also the home of several of the most amazing plants on earth: cacti.

Southwestern design is not for everybody or for each climate. Where it is appropriate, though, there are many alternatives for making the design your own.

Bess Jones Interiors

Pick Your Design

A natural or native garden is your obvious option. Not only will the plants thrive and survive, but the garden will fit in with the surrounding landscape. This design also works well with the predominant architectural styles, from adobe pueblos and Mission-inspired homes to Spanish-Mediterranean design to strictly contemporary.

Natural design includes elements like gravel trails, adobe and stone walls, wood beams and a range of desert plants. It blends with the surrounding landscape and is about as maintenance free as it is possible to get.

Here the gravel beamed with cacti, grasses and perennials is reminiscent of a dry streambed… that the notion of plain water encapsulated in a simple setting.

Gates & Croft Horticultural Layout

“Natural” doesn’t have to mean”barren,” nor does it have to be a manifestation of the landscape beyond. This garden has an almost cabin look, with masses of blossoms and perennials. The wagon wheels include an intriguing western touch and a few vertical height into the space. Even the stepping-stone path could be located in an English cottage garden.

Design tip: Look for grasses and perennials, like penstemons, that are adapted to the climate and also will provide some colour to an otherwise green and brownish-red landscape. Another option, particularly with eastern exposure, would be to plant hardy annuals. Group them together and maintain the planting area small — even a little pop of colour will go a long way.

Shannon Malone

Against the brightly colored adobe walls, this contemporary residence needs only the native plants to make an impression. In this case, even the plantings are minimal, functioning as accent pieces, while the architecture takes center stage. This landscape is also a fantastic reflection of the realities of living in the Southwest — water is rare and should be used wisely.

Exteriors From Chad Robert

The clean lines and interesting plants of contemporary style work well in this contemporary space. In keeping with the demand for water conservation, the water-thirsty lawn areas are minimal. The plantings, in place of the lawn, give a lush feeling into the space.


Plan Your Hardscape

just like contemporary landscapes, the hardscape plays a massive role in the general design. Flagstone pavers in shades that suit the surrounding desert colours are a favorite choice; they make a seamless entry in the surrounding landscape into the house itself. The colour is the perfect foil for the foliage of these trees and shrubs.

Clemente style studio, llc

Adobe and tile are classic choices for paving. Combining them lets you break up the expanse of their adobe and include a pop of color. This planting space is modest but effective, and siting the seat opposite the fountain invites guests and residents to stop and relax somewhat.

Debora carl landscape layout

Another choice is gravel. In this small terrace, the soft grey of the stones is offset from the lush succulents and grasses that surround it. It’s almost like you’ve set your desk and chairs in the middle of a small, dry pond in the surrounding desert.

Design tip:Use stones and gravel within the landscape to mimic natural washes, curving them throughout the distance and then planting them. If the rains come, you’ll have a natural drainage channel.

vernardakis george – avantgarden athens

If traditional is not your style, then proceed completely modern. These bright circles of colour show the plants off in style.

Choose Plants Wisely

Native plants have evolved to survive in the desert extremes. As such, they are a natural choice for the garden. And as this garden proves, native and natural do not mean colorless. In reality, the bright colors of this desert are just one of its attractiveness.

Flea Market Sunday

This xeriscape garden might not have a large selection of plants, but the plants that are in place are so spectacular that the distance feels full. Setting each specimen in its own space instead of crowding them together allows the homeowner to enjoy the individual magnificence of each plant.

Debora carl landscape layout

If a lush appearance is more to your liking, though, it is still achievable. A cabin look is doable: simply use vibrant succulents, perennials and grasses that may still tolerate the warmth and low-water ailments.

Style tip: Look for Southwest favorites such as desert marigold, Mexican honeysuckle, native sunflowers, red-hot poker and yellow bells. More familiar favorites include cosmos, coneflowers, dahlias, gloriosa daisies, salvias and verbena. Or go , with bougainvillea, trumpet vine and trumpet creeper. You may even grow some types of roses.

Exteriors From Chad Robert

If you want some lawn to earn your landscape feel complete, use grassy areas as beams rather than as massive expanses. Group other high-water plants near them, preferably close to the home and where they could get some colour in the hottest days of the year, to cut down on your general watering.

Design tip: Consider using artifical grass. Not only will you save water, but you’ll also save on lawn maintenance, which may be tough in a desert climate where turf grass is anything but natural.

Tom Meaney Architect, AIA

Create a Position to Be Outdoors

The days might be sexy, but evenings and mornings are generally cool. That is the time to be outside.

In the Southwest, this exterior space is often in the guise of a courtyard. Here, a replica of a California hacienda stipulates the significant components: enclosure on four sides, deeply shaded patios, plantings along the edges, with a fountain in the middle of everything. Any or all of these thoughts are suitable, even in the event that you have to implement them on a smaller scale.

Layout tip: developing a sense of enclosure is not only traditional, but it allows you to make a microclimate within your larger landscape. Following is a fantastic spot to put your thirstier plants.


In a landscape extending for kilometers, an enclosed space also provides a human-size sense of scale as well as a feeling of security. Inside this space, the walls are large enough to provide a feeling of enclosure but low enough to allow you to take in the view.

Carson Poetzl, Inc..

An adobe wall along with a easy patio set might be all you want. The bright green stars on the corner in addition to the greens and blues of the roofline may seem modern, but bright colors are a frequent touch in traditional gardens. Notice the centerpiece of succulents and the cactus as an accent piece from the door. (make sure you place cacti far enough in the passageway that unwary guests won’t get assaulted.)

Duxbury Architects

If you have only a lot of space, then a simple wall can suffice. It also serves as an accent for the plantings it backs.


Add Water

In a hot climate, water is obviously welcome, both for splashing in and also to get ambient cooling in the surrounding space. Near this house, the pool is more formal, with room for entertaining and relaxing. On the other side, the surrounding space gently blends into the landscape.

House + House Architects

A lap pool in the entry courtyard does double duty, providing a”splash” of colour to lead one to the door and a fantastic spot for cooling off or exercising. The high walls will keep heat, warming the distance in the mornings and evenings, but will shade the pool out of some of the intense afternoon sun.


At first glancethis looks more like a tiny native pond as opposed to an artificial pool, with the sterile gravel streambed leading to the water beyond.

Arterra Landscape Architects

Even a little water can be sufficient. Even a recirculating fountain, particularly when it’s working, is the perfect solution for a more compact space.

Nunley Custom Homes

Fine-Tune the Details

This fireplace, according to a traditional kiva design, is both traditionally suitable and functional. As the weather cools in the evening, a bit of warmth out of a fire is a welcome addition.

Carson Poetzl, Inc..

A more formal appearance, but the exact same idea. The whitewash sides maintain the appearance traditional.

A simple fire pit will work. Add some lighting and you have the perfect spot for relaxing in the evening, particularly with the built-in seats.

Carson Poetzl, Inc..

Patio outlay with thick wooden beams might be traditional, but if you want some colour (and who doesn’t in this climate?) And do not want to add a permanent overhead construction, a simple shade sail could be magnificent.

Style tip:Plant trees around the home. It will help cool the adjacent areas as well as the home itself.

Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture

Sometimes the details can be easy. The profound terra-cotta steps turn what would be a plain flagstone terrace into something special.


Of course, if you’re going to get sunsets like this, then you ought to make the most of them. This iron sculpture enhances the view. It’s intriguing through the day and magnificent with all the sky on fire because the sun goes down.

Sandy Koepke

Finish With Color

The American Southwest is not the location for light pastels and mild clogs. The bold landscape calls for equally bold colours for both walls and accessories. This is the location for bright turquoises and chili-pepper reds, whether on pots or on doors.

Elad Gonen

Pale blue won’t cut it when the sky is a deep azure. Because blues are cool tones, they are relaxing and relaxing even when the hues are this intense.

Nunley Custom Homes

If you’re not prepared to paint an whole wall, consider simply painting the gate along with the overhead.

Greg Logsdon

Navajo-inspired blankets are another fantastic option, particularly when paired with a faux-plastered wall.

Prideaux Design

Turquoise water, blue and orange walls and a bright red kettle highlight the pool area. With tan and sand outstanding in the home and the hardscape, these accents include a sense of fun and whimsy into the space.

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Architect's Toolbox: Bridges That Unite Home and Land

What’s it all about bridges that fascinates us? Perhaps it’s their ability to connect two things. Or maybe it’s their potency (Brooklyn Bridge), majesty (Golden Gate Bridge) and sophistication (Sunshine Skyway Bridge).

Just enjoy their big-scale brethren, bridges that connect a home to its land can evoke the identical sense of joy and wonder. While some are tenuous and ethereal, others are all about force and motion. At times the power of the bridge splits the home in 2, and sometimes the home is sufficiently powerful to force the bridge to change direction.

Whatever the case, bridges that connect a home to its site have always intrigued me. So let us look at some home bridges.

Randy Brown

A celebration of light and elevation, a luminous bridge connects a radiant home to its site. Entering the tube-shape bridge, with its translucent skin, reinforces the idea that one is leaving the planet at large to enter a world of light and geometry.

Axis Mundi

Can it be an observation tower, sculpture or a home? In any case, the bridge supplies that ever-so-tenuous connection to the ground and continues on, dividing the home into up and down while forming an overlook.

Ian Moore Architects

This bridge becomes a walkway that creates a dynamism that splits the home in 2. With a hint of what’s past, the bridge beckons us to start the travel and charge full speed ahead.

Joseph T. Deppe, Architect, P.C.

Although this bridge draws us in, the stairs up ahead block our view of what lies outside. Can it be a view of the sea? Maybe it’s a view of a preserve. In any case, the puzzle won’t be solved until we traverse the bridge and climb the staircase.

MN Builders

While the simple, shallow gable roof juts ahead to invite us in, this simple and elegant bridge helps us browse the abyss. And there have to be some pretty pleasant views of the town from indoors, given the views we receive from the bridge as we all journey to the door.

Ken Gutmaker Architectural Photography

As we cross this bridge, the inside of the residence is laid out before us. We get to understand where we’re moving nicely before we arrive and know that we will be thrilled with the views of the town outside.

Though the medieval drawbridge was not meant to welcome, now’s version can, with a more friendly and welcoming layout. This one traverses the stream bed below.

Sagan / Piechota Architecture

So what happens if the bridge does not make it all the way over to another side of the ravine? Maybe all of the movement’s energy binds itself into a coil that unwinds as it finds its way into the floor.

Jeff Luth – Soldano Luth Architects

Maybe the bridge is a decompression chamber that allows one to relax before getting to the destination. An elevated and floating platform with a ribbon to get a roof and an articulated structure that creates a different rhythm all fortify the bridge as only such a chamber.

Levy Art + Architecture

Last, what goes on below the bridge is at least as important as the bridge itself and what it connects. So if a garden or a patio or a water feature lies under, make that distance special. Don’t, as T.S. Eliot bemoans at The Four Quartets, allow the “large, brown god” river below the bridge be “almost forgotten.”

More Architect’s Toolbox:
Roofs That Connect Earth and Sky

Locating the Space Between

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Global Architecture Style: Victorian

For most people, the term “Victorian architecture” defines a diverse but singular style. The reality is that this term encompasses several architectural styles, all which were used throughout the mid to late 19th century. The name, of course, comes from the dominating British queen at the time: Queen Victoria.

Victorian homeowners were very social; dinner parties happened several times a week and consisted of pre- and postmeal pursuits. For these socialites, acquiring a home that has been impressive and constructed in the latest style has been key. (The ornate look was shortly spurned, however, by the evolution of new construction technology, especially the availability of affordable wood and the ability to incorporate steel into buildings.)

Though Victorian design is suspended in England, it rapidly spread globally as British architects began to emigrate to Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the USA. Eventually, improved communications in the 19th century began to notify global architects of the most up-to-date and greatest styles and trends, and the Victorian influence grew.

Still, the exact Victorian period of time and names of architectural styles differ from country to country. In the USA, Victorian style was popular from 1860 to 1900. San Francisco in particular is well-known for its Victorian architecture. In Australia, the Victorian period has been recognized from 1840 to 1890. Melbourne’s world-heritage Royal Exhibition Building and Rialto Building are both good examples of classic Victorian architecture in Australia.

Most Victorian-era homes unite several different styles and attributes, but the following is a basic principle for the most popular Victorian architectural styles.

Dijeau Poage Construction

Second Empire
This style developed as American towns began to expand in the size and style. The Second Empire represented a new kind of urban architecture, inspired in fantastic part from the apartment buildings in Paris and other western European cities. Often, these were highly ornamented buildings with a tall and horizontal facade, topped with a mansard-style curved roof. Long dormer windows frequently sat at the peak of the building, and bay windows were common too. These homes generally had a rectangular floor plan with a central hallway and double entry doors.

Gothic Revival
These ancient Victorian houses reinvented the basic structures of medieval temples and churches in a more approachable way. They frequently have the stereotypical Victorian attributes: multiple colors, textured walls, steeply pitched roofs and complex vergeboard (also referred to as gingerbread) below the gables. Board-and-batten siding was a popular feature, but it was generally used vertically rather than in the more traditional flat style.

Queen Anne
The Queen Anne style is thought to be the most recognizable of the Victorian-era houses. These houses were very popular from the 1870s through the 1900s and were heavily influenced by British architect Richard Norman Shaw. The style is often characterized by ornamentation and surplus — steep rooflines and porches with decorative gables, circular towers, decorative windows and entry doors, bay windows and a huge array of colors and textures.

Between Naps on the Porch

Stick Eastlake
As materials became more accessible and affordable, craftspeople became more creative with the uses of framing and wood, which can be understood in Stick Eastlake houses. These homes have more decorative trusswork with a mix of horizontal and vertical planes. The roofs normally have a steep pitch and easy gables. Shingle style is quite similar, due to the unusual utilization of affordable wood products. In these houses, the entire exterior can be coated in shingles.

HartmanBaldwin Design/Build

Folk Victorian
As substances became less expensive, working-class families were able to build and design their own houses. Victorian romanticism was combined with classic English cottage and American homestead style to create the Folk Victorian. These homes, usually found in more rural settings, blend functionality with ornamentation, including gingerbread-accented wraparound porches and the vibrant use of local materials. Nonetheless, these homes are often more simply designed than urban houses of the same period.


Italianate Victorian houses were considered a combination of classical and formal styles, and were frequently inspired by state villas from the Old World. These houses were constructed in rectangular segments to mimic the look of Italian-style villas. The arches of traditional Roman architecture were often blended with the detail which became possible with new construction technology of the moment. Other common features include large porches with decorative eaves, paired arched windows, Corinthian columns, horizontal or low-pitched roofs and a central square tower or cupola.

Read more photographs of Victorian style

More Victorian Homes:
A moderate and Intelligent Victorian
The Green Gambrel House
Mission District Row House

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Provide Your Little Garden Some Room

Garden design has evolved through the years to suit our changing lifestyles, however we could still learn in your timeless garden layout of yesteryear. Although the dimensions of gardens and upkeep time have been reduced, and the way we utilize them has shifted, the ideas from past designs can be extremely important now.

Fixing a small garden or parts of a bigger garden for a room did not only occur in the late 1960s with the work of British designer John Brookes. In the early part of the last century, the designs of the partnership of Gertrude Jekyll and Edwin Lutyens and the job of American garden designer Lawrence Johnston, that created Hidcote gardens in England, were based around the compartmentalizing of areas — creating, in actuality, the first”garden rooms”

Following is a peek at some small gardens that use compartmentalizing along with other ideas previously to create a beautiful complement to houses now.

Arterra Landscape Architects

Structuring garden rooms. The potency of compartmentalizing lies in blending the powerful structure of hard landscaping with gentle plantings. It is evident even in this latest of garden designs.

Outer space Landscape Architecture

Structure is the most important factor in regards to designing a small garden. The bones of the garden hold it together in all seasons and weather conditions. The squared paved area here combines different parts of the garden through its structural use of powerful lines.

Jobe Corral Architects

Creating the bones of the garden. The designers of yesteryear used paving, walls, pergolas and rills to create these bones. Now we’re more inclined to use decking, gravel and elevated beds. Within this yard the powerful blocks of gravel along with the proper water characteristic hold the design together.

Tobin + Parnes Design Enterprises

Softening the outlines. Once the arrangement is set, plants may soften outlines and hard edges, and include colour and year-round interest. The crops in this strategy add to the proper paved layout without overriding or hiding it.

The Garden Consultants, Inc..

Selecting crops to fit the design. Restricting the range of crops can help strengthen the layout. Small garden design needs discipline in plant choice. Too many forms will lead to a fussy design that doesn’t feel easy on the eye. In this garden the use of a few species enables the plants to combine with all the paved areas and walls.

Blasen Landscape Architecture

We could take ideas from topiary gardens of yesteryear and only use evergreens trimmed into shapes that will unite the small garden layout. Or seem to famous gardens such as Vita Sackwell-West’s Sissinghurst, where her white border is a great lesson about how to restrict planting to one colour to unify a small space.

Bright Green

Utilizing focal points. One of the final lessons to be learned from the gardens of the past century is that the use of a feature or focal point within a small area. Most small gardens are enclosed by a hedge, fence or wall, so they don’t have any natural focal point leading to eye through your garden. A sculpture, water feature or, in this case, a stunning outdoor couch creates an internal focus.

Arterra Landscape Architects

Looking back to move forward. This small garden brings together all we’ve heard from the past. The construction is very powerful, linking all areas of the area. The hard landscape is softened by the restrictive plantings, along with the lime green chair provides a great focus. By return we could move forward in the way we design and utilize our smaller outdoor spaces.

Garden Edging: Clean Lines For The Landscape

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Spring Blossoms Burst Into the Big City

A temperature of 70 degrees in early March? Yes, please! Spring has come early to New York City, and all of the usual signals of the season have appeared well ahead of schedule. While the Northeast would generally need to wait for a couple more weeks to get blooming magnolias and short-sleeve weather, this year we’ve said good-bye to chilly long before the first official day of spring. (Hopefully, there isn’t another freeze around the corner.)

It appears the whole city is embracing the sudden warmth: Gardeners can be watch puttering in their yards; hardware stores are swapping their snow shovels and ice melt bags of potting soil and garden shears, and parents are happily bringing their kids to the park. On top of that, everything is blooming or beginning to bud. Here are some of the signs of spring.

Timothy Sheehan, ASLA

While everybody loves a host of golden daffodils, these two-toned daffodils with white petals surrounding a dark yellow trumpet are a new alternative to the usual all-yellow blossoms.

Crocuses are often the very first blossom to blossom in Brooklyn. The educated anglers of the New York City Parks Department understand that planting them makes for a bigger impact than single scattered bulbs could.

The Home Editor: City & Small Space Consulting

The branches of most trees are still bare, however, the first indications of life are beginning to look, such as these small blossoms. You can cut a couple budding branches and then bring them inside, where they’ll pop open in a few days.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Magnolia trees are near blooming in much of New York. In only a couple of days they’ll seem just like these fine specimens from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

The Home Editor: City & Small Space Consulting

An unusual, green-petal Helleborus foetidus is a chic alternative to the anticipated spring bloomers such as daffodils, crocuses and tulips.

The Home Editor: Small & City Space Consulting

Perennial bushes are about to come into bloom. What is apparently a rhododendron is showing signs of life with buds and new development.

The Home Editor: Small & City Space Consulting

Pots of narcissus are prepared to be scooped up by gardeners who want a quick spring repair. These pretty plants are fantastic for display both inside and outside. Start looking for ones with unopened buds to find the maximum bang for your dollar.

The Home Editor: City & Small Space Consulting

Planted tulips haven’t come into bloom yet, but it does not mean that you can’t enjoy them. This flower shop is prepared with cut tulips and potted hyacinths, so even nongardeners may enjoy a jolt of spring.

Dreamy Whites

If you’re bringing spring blossoms inside, there’s nothing prettier that blossoming branches. Be sure to generate a fresh cut at the branch’s foundation and crush the end with a hammer to allow more water to put in the stem. Change the water every couple of days to keep blossoms blooming.

Dreamy Whites

Forsythia’s slender branches are so plentiful that a few will not be overlooked from the bush. Cut the stems on an angle and then remove any floral matter or leaves that will sit under the water line prior to putting them into a vase.

What is blooming where you are?

Garden Musts for March

City Gardener: Winter Window Boxes

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Get in Line

Whether your look is classic or contemporary, stripes are a blueprint that may work for you. In the bedroom, striped walls add interest and order into a space without creating too busy a look at the location where you rest. Soft and vibrant in neutral hues, stripes go virtually unnoticed, but painted in vivid, contrasting colors that they take centre stage.

You are able to add stripes into a room with wallpaper or paint. Wallpaper is a simple way to guarantee your stripes are tidy and regular. After painting, make sure you be meticulous about taping off directly, level lines. This may be trickier than you may suspect, so call in a professional if you are unsure of your DIY skills.

Wish to test stripes in your bedroom? These nine rooms offer inspiration.

Alfonso DiLauro

Here slim vertical stripes add drama and height to this sleeping package. The extra-tall headboard increases the feeling of height, while the solid-hued mattress linens ground the appearance.

Browse bedroom layouts

The Virginia House

This infant’s room may do double duty as a guest bedroom when equipped with a spare bed. Keeping the d├ęcor neutral and sophisticated in beige and cream stripes prevents visitors from feeling like they’ve been annexed into a romper room.

Marie Burgos Design

Vertical lavender and white stripes make an airy texture in this loftlike bedroom. The color of this wall stripes also echoes the hue of this bedding for a coordinated but not too matchy-matchy appearance.

Amy Lau Design

The vivid colors of the eclectic children’s bedroom reflect its Miami locale. Designer Amy Lau shows that irregular painted wall stripes can be a lively way to add interest to a room.

Scheer & Co..

Bright blue and white stripes give this room a distinctly nautical feel. If used in a bedroom, this daring wall remedy should be tempered with silent, strong or patterned bedding.

The Lettered Cottage

The smallest of bedrooms may benefit from the inclusion of subtle stripes. Here the lightly hued bands of color draw the eye upward, giving the illusion of space at a decidedly cramped room.

Erika Ward – Erika Ward Interiors

Orange and blue lie opposite each other on the color wheel, and as this chamber shows, complementary colors are always a powerful pick for stripes. Consider experimenting with yellow and purple or green and red stripes — but obviously be cautious with the latter to prevent looking Christmasy.

Overhead stripes and the architecture of the space play . The result is to focus on the area’s sloping ceiling and add a feeling of height. The designer was clever not to stripe the walls as well, which may have made the room seem like a circus tent than a calming bedroom.

Stripes feel modern in this modern-looking bedroom. The pairing of numerous pastel colors with elephants and dark forests is a unique choice.

Flat Stripes: Blond, Beautiful and Easier Than You Think
Nice Lines: Decorating with Stripes
Stripes Forever

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