Want Compelling Garden Minimalism? Think 1 Plant, One Pot

It feels like choices for planter filling are very very polarized these days. Gardeners either decide on a stiff boxwood ball to impart minimalist European flair or an ever-more-complex assortment of carefully researched annuals. I’m proudly guilty of both approaches. Yet I, too, like to change the idea of one plant per pot — a lot of boxwoods could be blah.

Based on context, style and exposure, I’ll pick one particularly charismatic specimen and bring it up to eye level. Without fitting companions, without flowery trim, this lucky one then takes an entirely new dimension. Against a backdrop, it pops like never before. Let us look at seven instances of the plant favoritism.

CYAN Horticulture

Well past Quebec City in Canada, the cold maritime climate of famous backyard Les Quatre-Vents matches this old dwarf pine tree. Perched on a dry-laid stone wall full of alpine plants, a white painted concrete planter hosts a single walnut, probably put in decades ago.

Having a bit of summer watering and some thoughtful design, this pine nonchalantly eyeglasses a magistral vista of the surrounding areas. Restraint is the only thing to do here.

CYAN Horticulture

In this simplest combination of a Ghostbuster-green chair and a cabbage tree (Cussonia paniculata), nothing detracts from the gardener’s intention: plant collector’s whimsy.

This amusing-looking cabbage tree is a choice South African native generally restricted to under-glass botanical collections. Wheeled inside for the winter, it has happily adapted to the Washington state climate.

CYAN Horticulture

One plant per pot could end in the boldest vignettes. In a temporary garden installation in Montreal, a quartet of huge agaves dresses up glistening urns. Their highly charismatic silhouettes, here contrasting against pearl-colored exercise balls (of all things), are radically put on show. Less is more, they say …

BLUE Renovation & Landscape

If diversity is kept out of our cards, repetition can considerably improve our hands. Here a series of equal planters, smooth and sleek, forms a regiment along a beautiful wall. Every planter is topped with an extremely contrasting variegated yucca to make a powerful contemporary scene. By the simplicity, maintenance is kept to a bare minimum.

CYAN Horticulture

Brought out from the open and hence deprived of any smoldering competition, this cute cape rush (Chondropetalum tectorum) takes centre stage. It’s a mesmerizing native of Cape Province, South Africa, which looks like an alien cross involving an ornamental grass and a horsetail. Isolated and raised upward, this cape rush gets the enviable quality of a museum piece perched on a plinth.

CYAN Horticulture

Actual plant fans and collectors often favor, for practical reasons, to keep their specimens in individual pots. Yet a simple researched category of these collectors’ items can become a really satisfying garden makeup. In the excellent Plant Delights Nursery in North Carolina, a few of named cacti achieves that.

CYAN Horticulture

Sophisticated or trivial, rare or common, most crops will grow dramatically in perceived value propped up at a wonderful pot. As a last proof, I challenge anyone to really downplay this case: a variegated sanseveria, the ultimate pedestrian indoor plant, in a simple terra-cotta pot as the centerpiece of a Chanticleer Garden installation in Pennsylvania. Yes, less is often more. And not a bore.

More: Simple Container Plantings for Intriguing Garden Design

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A New Breed of Space Heaters Helps You Stay Toasty in Style

When it’s been years since you’ve considered a space heater, it’s time to provide these little workhorses a fresh appearance. The designs on the market nowadays are sleek, stylish and efficient, enabling you to conserve energy and keep your sense of style.

Why use a space heater? Turning your thermostat and using a space heater to give additional warmth in the room you’re using can be much better way to warm your property. To get the most from your space heater, be sure to close doors to any rooms not being used.

Florent Bouhey Fayolle

Sun Container

French pupil Florent Bouhey Fayolle made this “sun container” to collect energy from sun during the day and heat the atmosphere once the temperature warms. It’s not yet available, but it’s encouraging to see elegant green innovations like this one being designed. I hope we will see more mobile solar technologies like this later on.


Cabernet White Wine Glass – Holmegaard – $40

The Max is a cute space heater and fan combo with character to spare. Available in red, yellow or white, it’s a fun, contemporary apparatus it’s possible to use year-round.


Stadler Form Anna Ceramic Heater – $99.99

With its slim profile and white and silver finish, this heater from Stadler Form appears like it’s a part of a fancy audio system. Past the elegant look, this heater contains a powerful ceramic heating element and contains an automatic safety shutoff feature.


Econo-Heat E-Heater, White – $84

This sleek little wall-mountable heater could be painted to match your walls, making it virtually invisible. Additionally, it’s safe for children, and you don’t ever have to worry about it tipping over.


Crane Space Heater, 600/1200 Watt – $34.99

I love the decorative curves and chunky flow of the miniature heater out of Crane. Some reviewers warned that the device gets fairly hot to the touch, and thus don’t use it around children or pets. It could be just the thing to receive your master bedroom or home office nice and toasty, however.

Japan Trend Shop

Plus Minus Zero Fukasawa Heater – $294

You would never guess these vibrant little pods are heaters. Produced by Naoto Fukusawa, the Plus Minus Zero heater comes in 3 colours. Be advised that it ships out of Japan, so shipping costs may be steep.


Sunpentown Mini-Tower Ceramic Heater – $49.88

This small, slender Sunpentown tower can easily be tucked on a shelf or counter to heat the room with oscillating heat. Safety features include overheat protection, cool-to-the-touch casing along with a tip-over switch.


Dyson AM04 Fan Heater, White/Silver – $299.99

Dyson’s futuristic-looking fan heater projects enough heat to heat a whole room in winter and can be used as a powerful fan in summer.

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How to Set Out a Master Bedroom for Serenity

It may look easy enough — what do you actually need in your bedroom besides the bed? However a master bedroom can be as complicated as a living room or living area to plan and lay out, largely due to precisely that one huge feature: the bed. Make the process easier with these tips from design pros.

Robin Pelissier Interior Design & Robin’s Nest

Placing the Bed

Deal with the bed first. “The bed is like a giant wolf that does not want to budge,” says Minneapolis designer Lucy Penfield. Nashville designer Kippie Leland suggests attempting to get the head of the bed on the wall opposite the bedroom’s entrance. Do not fret too much if that signifies your headboard will be facing windows — that the positioning is more significant. Leland also suggests avoiding having the negative of the bed create a visual barrier if you’re walking to the space (though it may be inevitable in certain spaces).

Austin, Texas, designer Allison Jaffe enjoys to place beds opposite the door but always makes sure that the bed is not right up against a wall or on the diagonal. A diagonal position takes up unnecessary space, and it is hard to tuck sheets on a bed that’s put against the wall.

Penfield suggests thinking about your bedroom priorities. Would you like to look out a window? Or do you wish to confront the TV? How do you prefer to enter the room? Private preference should, above all else, make the last call in the master bedroom. “This is your escape and your feel-good everyday space,” she states. “So often this will be the last room we have asked to design — create it the very first and spoil yourself.”

Tiffany Eastman Interiors, LLC

Buying Nightstands

What size nightstand do you need? Easy figure out what you want to keep on top of it. Would you like to have a pile of books, a bottle of water and a reading lamp at hand? Decide on with a bigger surface. But if you prefer a more minimalist path, something bigger with drawers may fit you better.

Kerrie L. Kelly

Jaffe enjoys to get nightstands that sit at the height of the mattress when the bed is completely assembled — about 27 to 28 inches high around 30 inches for extra-fluffy beds. Stylewise, both she and Leland suggest thinking creatively. A nightstand is excellent to work with as an accent of color or texture. “I feel that the room is more interesting when each nightstand has its own character,” says Jaffe. “Provided that the nightstands speak to one another or relate to one another in the plan, then you’ll be bold and select something different for each side.”

If you opt for a wall-mounted light as opposed to a conventional table lamp, Penfield recommends waiting until you understand the elevation of your mattress and headboard before hardwiring the fixture.

How to Bring Off Mismatched Nightstands

Fredman Design Group

Traffic and Chairs Areas

It’s tempting to have as big a bed as possible, but ensure that it does not feel overwhelming in your room. “Most master suites can take care of a four-poster mattress,” says Jaffe. “But if in doubt, select a queen.”

Size and place your bed so there’s space for additional furniture. “A pair of nightstands and bed crammed wall to wall gives no visual relief,” says Leland. Want an excess seating area in your bedroom? You do not need a ton of space. According to Leland, a seating area can be as little as 4 by 4 feet for one chair and a little table. In case you’ve got the space, a loveseat and two end tables can normally fit in a 10- by 5-foot location.

Jeremy Harnish Designer Finishes

Jaffe suggests ensuring you’ve got at least 2 ft of walking room around the perimeter of the bed, particularly if you’re adding a different seating area nearby. Do not cram in additional pieces if you do not have the space. Ensure that you are able to get to the bed without maneuvering about a bunch of furniture or shimmying through a narrow walkway. “Negative space is just as vital in a bedroom as it’s in a painting,” says Leland. “Your eyes will need to rest every so often.”

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10 Terrific Stocking Stuffers for Your Design Minded

A chocolate some socks and Santa just won’t do. For all those design hounds in your own life, stocking stuffers must be cute, clever, stylish or beautiful. Preferably all four at once.

Here are 10 ideas for the discerning design fan on your list.

The Urban Set, School Blue, by CircaCeramics – $65

A little bit vintage-y, a little bit colorful plus a great deal of cute.


Squirrel Nutcracker – $18

Why go to your normal old soldier nutcracker when you’re able to split your nuts with a nutcracker concealed as a squirrel?

Fishs Eddy

A coaster place for architects and interior designers.

Bulbrite 134020 40-Watt Edison Quad Loop–Style Bulb – $3.99

Old-school lightbulbs for that Thomas Edison glow.

Mini Air Plant Pod, Gray, by Seaandasters – $11

This little beauty is like a room.

Design-nerd chic at its very best.

See Jane Work Basic Pencils – $7

White for the modernist, orange to the Jonathan Adler fan, blue to the girly girl, green to the midcentury enthusiast and black to the real designers.

Chevron Washi Tape by Swigshoppe – $2.99

All designers love chevrons, and most of DIYers love washi tape. All these are facts of the world.

Colombina Salt and Pepper Shakers by Alessi

Alessi salt and pepper shakers that look like white stones. For the minimalist in your lifetime.

West Elm

Swedish Dream Sea Salt Soap – $6

You might wash with this. Or you might just use the box.

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Summer Crops: How to Grow Corn

The sweetest corn is that which is chosen and instantly cooked. Therefore, if you want the best-tasting corn, consider raising it yourself.

Traditionally, corn contains demanded warmth, long summer days and a lot more space than many other vegetables, which makes it a bad selection for cooler climates or people with short growing seasons and tiny gardens. Fortunately, there are new hybrids bred for cooler summers, short summers and even tropical island living. As for the distance required, that’s still needed, however with planning you can create your own “cornfield” a highlight on your own garden. You may even find some new types that can manage being grown in a container.

As soon as you’ve decided to have a cornfield, then you get to pick on how impatient you are for the first ear. (Maturity dates are just more than 50 days to around 100 days.) You’ll also want to choose if you’re going traditional with white, yellow or bicolor kernels or branching into green, red, black or blue corn. And then there’s the question of just how much sweetness you want, since there are now quite sweet varieties available to home growers. To guarantee a long harvest or test out numerous types, plant successively or select early-, mid- and – late-season varieties.

For something different, develop your own popcorn. It’s slow to older but often boasts colorful kernels. Plus, you can enjoy your harvest well into winter.

Notice: Corn can easily cross-pollinate, so if you want a particular selection, plant it individually, at least 100 feet away and not downwind from other corn types, or select varieties that mature at various times.

Land Design, Inc..

When to plant: Begin planting about two weeks after your last frost date, when soil temperatures have reached at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius); in hot desert regions, plant early enough to harvest from early summer.

Days to maturity: 53 to more than 100

moderate requirement: Full sun at least eight hours per day

Water requirement: Regular

Bodacious, Country Gentleman, Golden Bantam, How Sweet It Is, Honey and Cream, Illini X-tra-Sweet SH2, Indian Summer SH2, Kandy Korn, King Kool, Luscious, Miracle, Northern Xtra Sweet, Peaches and Cream, Silver Queen, Trinity, WhiteoutShort-season: Earlivee, Early Sunglow, Fleet, PolarVeeIsland: Hawaiian Supersweet #9, Hawaiian Supersweet #10, H68Popcorn: Bear Paw, Smoke Signals, Strawberry, Tom Thumb, White CloudContainer: Blue Jade, On Deck

Ecocentrix landscape design

Planting and maintenance: Choose a well-drained website in sunlight. Mix compost or manure into the soil 2 to three weeks before planting. Set up any irrigation furrows or drip systems before planting too.

To maximize pollination, plant corn in a block containing at least four rows of corn which are 3 feet apart (the most productive method) or in a collection of hills ( less productive but easier to do). Water the soil thoroughly before planting.

If you’re planting in a block, then sow seeds 1 to 2 inches deep and 4 to 6 inches apart. When seedlings reach 6 inches, then thin them to 2 1 1/2 feet aside.

To plant in hills, mound up the soil a few inches high and 3 feet apart. Sow five to six seeds per hill, 1 to 2 inches deep, then thin to three plants per hill.

For best container effects, plant in four or three 20-inch containers. Make three holes per container, sowing two seeds in each hole. Thin to one plant per hole once seeds have germinated and reached about 1/2 foot tall.

Ecocentrix landscape design

Keep the soil moist but not soggy water deeply once the silks form. Feed the soil when plants reach 1 to 2 1 1/2 feet tall and if they are 2 to 2 1/2 feet tall.

Weed carefully around the roots but don’t bother pulling the suckers, as they will not impact growth.

Numerous insects may damage corn, such as aphids, flea beetles and moths. Good gardening practices can help alleviate some of these problems. Covering the ears with panty hose can protect them from some harm, and applying a few drops of mineral oil to the tip of each ear after the silks appear can stop corn earworms. Corn may also be subject to damping off.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Harvest: around three months after the silks appear, the corn should be prepared to harvest. Once the silks are brown, sliced the outer husk in a ear or 2 and pinch a kernel; when the juice which squirts out is simmer, the corn is ripe. For the best results, crop when the water from the cooking kettle is boiling, though some newer and sweeter varieties will maintain their glucose more. If you harvest ancient, store the corn unhusked from the refrigerator.

For baby corn, crop shortly after the silks appear.

For popcorn, wait until the silks and husks are completely dry; rub or cut off the kernels and store them in a dry location.

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So That Your Is: Darkly Romantic

What is darkly romantic? It’s a style that evokes overcast afternoons cocooned under thick blankets perfumed with incense. Colors are deep and saturated and range from black and navy to silver and gold. Walls are adorned with moody artwork that sends your mind wandering, and the air seems full of keys. Rooms are sensual — simple or luxuriant — and have a vibe that feels equally soft and subtly hazardous.

Rich textures and fabrics are layered to make a decadent, introspective atmosphere. On the point of hot sadness, accents have an edge or otherworldly quality. Applying to a lot of styles, from traditional to modern, lavish and low shapes, ambient lighting and glints of metal and mirror create a darkly romantic surroundings that invites you to forego pretense and relax into a daydream.

Paul Craig Photography

What it is not, however, is a Gothic macabre dungeon. Think sexy not frightening, and fascinating not intimidating. It’s not about a topic so far as a sense — a sultry, dark undertone to the regular rooms you occupy. Go ahead. Here is the way to get darkly romantic in your home.

Why it works: Darkly romantic spaces envelop you in a sense of mystique and elegance eliminated from the daily challenges of the world. They embody a sense of introspection and long-lost memories. It’s a misty-morning perspective of the world from a window framed in velvet curtains.

You’ll love it if … Your favourite time of the day is your dusk before nightfall, you’re entranced with shadows thrown by flickering candlelight, you read Pablo Neruda poetry and retain old love letters stashed for rainy afternoon recalling. You’ve got a somewhat subversive side that plays well with your own well-tailored exterior, and the idea of bold, bright colours or country cottage chic gives you the shivers.

Jason Dallas Layout

Style tip: Pick a palette. A darkly romantic space is based on a foundation of deeply saturated colors that set the tone for those kinds of furnishings and accessories that will work best.

Although dark colours work the most magical, lighter colours, such as the toffee colors chosen for your bedroom revealed here, can also be effective if paired with darker tones in precisely the same color family, like espresso-colored timber or chocolate-tone negative tables.

Once you’ve chosen your foundation colour — the beginning point for your room — layer in furnishings, fabrics and lighting in precisely the same colour family to achieve a calming, cocoon-like feel.

Here, the patterned carpet adds curiosity while the moody lighting keeps it hot.


Experiment: Go darkly romantic in subtle ways. A bit of noir can alter the mood of a space. Try a lampshade with an unexpected interior print which leans to the left of sweetness. Here, the conservative exterior belies the prickly purple thistle inside.


Rose J’Adore Fine Art Print by A.F. Duealberi – $25

Change your artwork. Start by altering like for like when it comes to artwork. Replace prints or acrylic paintings of roses such as haunting modern-day photos of these blossoms. Melancholy flowers are best in small bunches instead of on a pub wall and can promote a daydream-like texture in a space.

Ballard Designs

Languishing Drifters Giclee Print – $249

Go daring with large scale prints. Black canvas prints like these add a bit of darkness. Instead of gently colored botanicals on a cream background, the giant sea monsters shine against a jet black background, drawing you in with their fluid and dangerous shapes.

Studio William Hefner

Style tip: Pick mirrors with a feeling of past. Mirrors define the style of a space through their dimensions, shape and patina. At a darkly romantic space, mirrors should feel like they’ve come from a bittersweet fairy story.

Antiqued or distressed mirrors look as though they’ve seen a lifetime of reflections. Black dots, scratches and missing areas are all part of the charm. Mirrors who have dropped their silver mercury coating or paint onto the trunk have an almost inexplicable patina.

Foxed mirrors also are a beautiful selection for a darkly romantic fashion. Less intense than a mirror that is distressed, foxing is a “fogginess” that occurs in older mirrors when moisture gets involving the mercury silvering and glass, causing reflections to appear in soft focus.

Slesinski Design Group, Inc..

You might also have an antique-style mirror custom-made. Scour antique stores and flea markets for lovely old plaster and gilt frames that will give a mirror that an instant sense of history.

Many glass stores carry a selection of classic and distressed mirror glass which can be trimmed to fit a frame or application of your choice.

Experiment: Try using distressed mirrors in an unlikely location, like on this particular kitchen backsplash. It adds an unusual richness and dark love in a place you would least expect it.

Lucid Interior Design Inc..

Style tip: Dim the lighting. Lighting changes the mood of a space more than any other aspect. At a darkly romantic distance the light is usually low and ambient, making everything look more luxurious. Your selection of lighting should offer a warm glow which complements a burning fire or the flicker of candlelight. Placing your existing lights on a dimmer switch is a good place to get started. Also make sure your space has lighting choices, like table lamps, floor lamps and sconces, that permit you to control the ambiance.

Flat 46 for the House

Shadows on the walls and ceiling will inspire you to another world since the shapes shift and move. While the Forms of Nature chandelier by Thyra Hilden and Pio Diaz may be a bit too spooky for some others will be transfixed by how the tangled branches and roots throw 360-degree shadows. When hung in an area full of lush fabrics, sparkling crystal and profound, inviting furnishings, this piece is truly transformative.

Flat 46 for the House

Experiment: Open-work lighting fittings such as the one pictured here would be the best for casting shadows. To get a bulb which faces downward, you should use a mercury-dipped bulb (available at the hardware store for about $5). They not only prevent you from having to delve right into a bare bulb, but they also compel the light upward through the lamp and create stunning shadows.

Gaskin Designs

Style tip: Strike a game. I feel as if candles were created to set a romantic mood. Some of my fondest memories are long, languid nights in Amsterdam spent listening to audio from the light of a million candles. In my experience, Europeans always have a bag of tea lights at the ready for any type of get-together. Every trip to a buddy’s inevitably led to a glass of wine as well as the lighting of candles. Grouped together they’re pure magic. Lining the windowsills, ledges and book shelves, they immediately make a room feel as if any keys shared would be ones worth maintaining.

West Elm

Manzanita Candelabra, Silver – $99

Though a lot of individuals prefer LED candles because of their longevity and for security reasons, in my view nothing beats the flickering of a candle that is real. If you are concerned about the candle wax dripping onto surfaces, then try drip-less candles or place them in candle holders, either on trays or on top of location mats as a precaution.

West Elm

Ceramic Matters Candleholder, Aloe – $899

Look for candle holders which have a little advantage to them, such as the branch taper holder pictured or ceramic white aloe.

Grouping pillar candles of various sizes and heights together in a very low marble bowl or on top of a cake plate is also amazing. The bulk of flickering candles is magnificent.

Flat 46 for the House

Experiment: Personally, I really like the look of melted candle wax dripping down the sides of candles and pooling across the group. It’s a modest medieval-castle, but that is the beauty of this. Try massing candles together in a rock planter filled with an inch or so of sand to maintain them in position. Enable them to drip, mix and perform their thing. (I group pillars in an antique stone birdbath beside my fireplace hearth.) When the candles have finally burned down, replace them without taking away the wax. Over time, when the wax becomes too high or threatens to float anything they’re sitting, clean out the wax and begin anew.


Style tip: Sneak in a little serpent. The rendering of a serpent adds a dark beauty to an area that images of different animals simply cannot. A snake could strike fear or revulsion in a lot of individuals, but in style they include a somewhat subversive tone into a distance because they’re so unexpected and reaction to their image is obviously rather strong.

This bronze serpentine sink in Kohler is a unique way of incorporating a darkly romantic touch to the toilet, among the most widely used rooms in the home. The delicate amalgamated bodies are extraordinarily comprehensive and would be stunning paired with slate gray partitions and, of course, candlelight.

Experiment:If you want your serpent a bit less front and center, try serpent bookends. Nestled on a shelf, the silver kind will be more sculptural than literal.

Accents Lighting

Style tip: Take it out. A darkly romantic vibe isn’t just for the inside. Make that edgy loveliness outside, where you can take advantage of the dusky night skies, crisp air and moonlight.

All the indoor components are equally as significant outdoors. Whether your outside space is big or small, then you can create an intimate space with a small bistro place tucked in a quiet corner. Insert a few hanging lanterns, a plethora of candles and a few soft and lush throws so which you could wrap yourself in heat should the nighttime get too cold.

SchappacherWhite Architecture D.P.C.

Any space could be darkly romantic. What sets the style aside is the subtle feel of mystery and intrigue it provides. This outdoor space is a fantastic case with its dark paint color, billowy netting over the bed and placing among the greenery outdoors. It’s an area that invites naughtiness (in addition to naps) and in the day, a good dose of tea lights would turn the space into a sultry little version of heaven.

Flat 46 for the House

Experiment: Mix candles and candle holders on an outside dining table, very low ledge or even in among the plants. Drape a couple of coloured blankets over your outside chairs and place some softly scented flowers in some mismatched crystal vases onto the tabletop. The love comes in the setting — candles, textures. The darkness comes in the nighttime itself.

More: Quiz: What’s Your Decorating Style?

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