What's Better to Grow With: Blackstrap Molasses or Organic Molasses?

Gardening is teeming with color plants: perennials or annuals, trees or shrubs, options or people that like sunlight. Make it easy on yourself when it comes to molasses in the garden, and remove unnecessary decisions. You do not need to pick between blackstrap and molasses: do your own plants and Proceed a favor.

Molasses at the Garden

Your grandmother could have told you molasses was great for you and, like so many of those old wives’ tales, the advice is currently proving on spot. Properly employed, molasses can provide nutrients, such as magnesium, calcium, potassium and iron , to your garden plants.

Benefits of Molasses

Plants, like people, need nourishment to survive and thrive. Molasses supplies those also adds natural sugar that promotes organic materials to be broken down by soil microorganisms and nourishment. You can use blackstrap molasses to encourage fruiting and flowering in hydroponics. Adding molasses also releases phosphorous in the soil, making it more difficult for weeds to sprout.

Organic Blackstrap Is Best

Molasses doesn’t come out of a plant that is molasses. It’s a byproduct of refining sugar. Sulfur dioxide is added to preserve it when molasses consists of sugar cane that was young. More sugar cane does not require sulfur, therefore the consequent molasses doesn’t contain that chemical. It can be termed organic and is better for the plants. After much of the sugar content has been boiled off, leaving more minerals blackstrap molasses comes from the boiling of the sugar. Blackstrap molasses is the ideal choice for your garden.

Applying Molasses

The blackstrap molasses before using it in your garden. Use 1 cup of molasses or drip it in your compost pile or your own garden soil. Alternatively, create a spray of 1 cup of milk, 4 cups of water along with 1/4 cup of organic blackstrap molasses and then use it to feed vegetable crops such as tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) and peppers (Capsicum spp.)

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Installing Resilient Flooring

By adding floors add a spring to your step in addition to a change of decor to your home. Vinyl floors and rubber are two common kinds of the floors, and both are available in sheets or tiles. Resilient flooring is acceptable for installation above and below level. Designs and the many colours enable you to use it almost any room of the house.

Subfloor Preparation

Because a concrete slab appears to be dry, don’t assume it is. Run a moisture test to both the new and older slabs. Tape a piece of plastic wrap pull up it to find out whether any moisture has collected. You must put a moisture barrier between the concrete slab and the flooring, even though concrete is resistant. If the slab has hardeners or some sealers applied to its surface, you must grind them off. 1 easy test to find out whether a concrete slab has sealers is to shed some water. If it beads, chances are good the concrete has other protective coating or a sealer. Remove all debris. Wood subflooring must remain dry and clean as well. Both concrete and wooden subfloors have to be flat and have no substantial cracks. If the subfloor is unlevel, make repairs prior to installing the flooring.

Acclimate the Floors

Do not plan on starting to put in it right away and bringing home boxes of floors. Resilient flooring requires time to acclimate in the room where it will be set up. Open the boxes and let the flooring place in the room for the time recommended by the producer. This is generally between 48 to 72 hours. The temperature of the room needs to be at or over 65 degrees Fahrenheit during and after.

Flooring Design

Depending on patterns and the colours you choose, the floors may or may not have a management that you need to incorporate into your plans. If you selected a colour that is monotone, you don’t have to worry about creating a pattern. Your layout should be designed by you, if you did choose colours. Produce a scale drawing of the room on chart paper. Identify the middle point of the room and split the workspace to quadrants. Plan tile placement in each of these quadrants, working in the middle of the room toward the walls. During installation, you need to cut the outer row of tiles to fit. A narrow expansion joint around the edge of the room provides room to the flooring contract and to expand.

Resilient Floor Installation

Installation of floors, either sheets or tileinvolves gluing the flooring. A DIYer can choose to put in other resilient floors or peel-and-stick tiles. These floor products have a backing that drains off to expose the glued side of the flooring. You press on the tile onto the subfloor. Some rubber flooring has structure, much like laminate or hardwood floors, that makes it possible for the individual pieces to lock to together to create a floating floor. It’s also possible to loose-lay vinyl sheet floors and secure it in place with molding and shoe molding.

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What Capital Improvements Are Tax Deductible?

All funding improvements to your home are tax deductible. You can’t claim the deduction until you sell it when the cost of developments and other improvements are added to the cost basis of your property. The IRS defines a capital development as a home improvement that adds market value to the home, prolongs its useful life or adapts it to new uses. Minor repairs and maintenance tasks like changing door locks, repairing a leak or repairing a broken window don’t qualify as capital improvements.

Home Additions

New additions to your home are the most noticeable capital improvements. Adding a new bedroom, bathroom, garage, porch or even a satellite dish into your home are valid improvements, according to IRS Publication 523.

Heating and Air Conditioning Systems

You may deduct any expenses expended towards the installation of a new heating system, central air system, water filtration system, a central humidifier or even a fireplace.

Improvements for the Elderly and Infirm

Declare any improvements which produce your home more accessible and helpful for older or infirm individuals, for example bathoroom handrails, stairlifts or ramps.

Outdoor Improvements

Landscaping your garden raises your home’s curb appeal, an excellent means of improving market worth. A new driveway, walkway, fence, retaining wall or swimming pool are tax deductible.

Plumbing Improvements

Plumbing additions like fitting a new water heater, installing a septic tank or attaching a soft-water filter system are considered permanent improvements to the home, according to the IRS.

Substantial Remodeling and Repair Projects

Painting your home and regular maintenance repairs aren’t considered capital improvements. However, the IRS may allow you to deduct them if you are able to prove they are part of a larger project, such as remodeling a kitchen. Extensive repairs to your home after a fire, flood or other serious incident will also be deductible.

Improvements into a Company

All repairs, developments and improvements to your property used in connection with a company, or one which generates income, such as a rental, are tax deductible, regardless of whether they are capital improvements. The businessperson must announce the expense as depreciation to recoup the cost.

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An oculus was initially a round opening at the center of a dome designed to attract light from over to a space. The most well-known oculus is at the Pantheon at Rome. Since then “oculus” has come to mean any round opening in a ceiling. One of the fascinating things about an oculus is the circle of light generated and how that ring goes about the inside throughout the course of a day.


An oculus can be utilised within an exterior canopy as a way to brighten an entryway. The positioning of this light beam throw from the oculus will change during the day as the sun moves across the skies.

Sutton Suzuki Architects

An oculus is also a great way to bring light deep into the inside of a house, particularly when it’s situated above a vertical component, such as a stairway.

Chang + Sylligardos Architects

An oculus is a superb method of introducing a rotating shaft of light which enlivens a space.

Andrew Skurman Architects

It may also provide a glimpse of the sky above.

AIA, Mark English Architects

A round opening at a ceiling allows an abundance of light to fill a room and can become part of this layout’s motif.

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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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On Trend: Fall Seating Takes an Unexpected Turn

You would think the newest fall furniture will be full of fat and cozy winter-ready options (I am currently starting to dream of ideal fireside seating). However, to the contrary, fall 2012 is full of linear and light furnishings, taking a significant page from the midcentury modern design books.

Take a look below at a few of the new product offerings from some favourite online retailers. Each layout focuses on a discreet profile, so giving your cozy winter rooms a little more room to breathe this coming winter.


Ikea PS 2012 Chair – $89.99

Ikea’s new PS 2012 capsule set is a celebration of 60 decades of superior layout — however in all-new products. This chair’s extra-high back and armrests exemplify great functional design with excellent visual results. Add a thick sheepskin throw (also from Ikea), and this chair is ready to combine the family room, also.


Morgon Chair – $399

CB2 has its hands on the pulse of emerging design trends. The clean lines, raw timber and gray colours of this Morgon Chair are at their height right now. Bring this into any space for a punch of modern design.

West Elm

John Vogel Chair – $299

South African designer John Vogel’s cooperation with West Elm has produced a contemporary classic: the woven-seat Vogel seats. The handwoven seats highlight amazing textural details, although the easy bent backs keep the overall look contemporary.

Restoration Hardware

Oviedo Leather Chair – $1,995

Restoration Hardware has introduced a line of small-space furnishings that feature all of the luxury details we expect from this brand. The graceful lines of this chair are part lounger and part retro club chair. The combination results in beautiful and lush comfort.

Jonathan Adler

Mrs Godfrey Chair, Limitless Linden

The discreet profile of this retro chair from Jonathan Adler keeps with the”simpler is better” strategy that fall. A bright chevron print upgrades it beautifully with just the ideal touch of layout. Place two of these chairs by the fire for a posh setup.

Restoration Hardware

Larsson Lounge Chair – $595

Match the bottoms of your back into the gentle swoop of this Larsson chair from Restoration Hardware. Inspired by midcentury classics, the slender form and curved angles will not detract from the bigger elements of the room.

Pottery Barn

Archer Leather Chair – $799

Pottery Barn’s brand new, clubby Archer chair appears like a classic reproduction. Even though it would look right at home in a stylish home office, it is possible to keep it current by putting it alongside some contemporary sofa on your living room.


Julie Chair – $1,901.20

Julie Mifsud collaborated with Crate & Barrel to make this chair, inspired by the theme”chair as accessory” The combination of print and leather makes it ready to accessorize the corner of a bedroom or living area.

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Meet the Inventive Lighting and Furniture of Peter Bristol

After I first saw a photograph of the Peter Bristol–designed Corner Light just a couple of months before, I had been struck with its logic, simplicity and elegance. Of course there should be a light which only nestles at a corner and illuminates a space, I believed. It is one of those things that causes you to wonder why it did not exist before. It works so cohesively in a space it seems it can fit with almost any architecture or decor.

Bristol is a Seattle designer that creates lighting, furniture and other home goods and is also a lead industrial designer at Carbon Design Group. His work has received accolades from the form of design awards, patents, rave media and recently a judging position for I.D. magazine.

I talked to him recently about his Corner Light and other cool products, the impetus for some of his designs and also the intersection of practicality and creativity.

Peter Bristol

Q. Since its launch at the Milan Furniture Fair at 2011 your Corner Light has generated a Great Deal of interest. Do you think it has had allure?
A. The Corner Light takes part of the room that’s overlooked. It is very simple yet at the exact same time very unique. It only became something which I believed needed to exist. It is fascinating that Sebastian Wrong and Established & Sons felt exactly the exact same way and were able to help it become accessible.

Peter Bristol

Q. What are some tools you use in your own work?
A. Obviously your head is the most significant tool. The rest of the tools have a tendency to aid recognize, iterate, refine, define and communicate the job done upstairs. Thumbnails capture ideas and explorations; bodily mock-ups help understand ergonomics and scale quickly. Computers are invaluable for invention, refinement and communication along the way.

Peter Bristol

Q. How did your American Standards Light come about?
A. I had been doing a workout looking at regular icons. The wall and switch plug have been the icons. But then I realized that the manner in which many 2-by-4 walls are made is also recognizable. Referencing the entire drywall construction strategy became interesting. Putting elements collectively, the extra socket and also called switch strategy combined to make a pretty neat light.

Peter Bristol

Q. How much do older designs and new trends become involved?
A. You cannot help but be affected by what you know. The context of what has happened and is happening is always there. However, it seems good solutions have a tendency to be less about what others do or have done, and more about what should be done now.

Peter Bristol

Peter Bristol

Q. In case your Training Dresser had been around when my kids where growing up, they would have adored it. But then I realized: Hi, I could use that now. I am always loosing track of socks. What inspired you to style it?
A. Not certain where it came from. The usage of these clothes images outside is a too literal usage of iconography and a playful way of highlighting what is inside the dresser.

Q. I understand that it’s made in Washington state.
Right, its own handmade and packed in southern Washington by the team at Mountain View Cabinetry.

Peter Bristol

Q. The Cut Chair is indeed sculptural. It appears like it’s drifting. Can you sit on it without tipping over?
A. Yes, it’s pretty stable. The carpeting a part of the piece, and there’s a steel plate underneath that allows the seat pan to cantilever off the one leg.

Q. It seems like a departure from the more practical designs.
Yes, I agree. Not sensible. … I guess it’s a little more art than merchandise. That line is always a little fuzzy.

Q. Do you differentiate between layout that serves a particular purpose and design that’s great to check out?
A. That’s sort of the traditional form-function conversation, right? I am not certain that those two could be separated. Context guides good layout, but there are many interpretations of context. Something such as a medical merchandise has to be usable first, although other regions of design can let the item character take the lead. Function is beautifully distilled at the work of Dieter Rams, but there’s a whole different kind of attractiveness in the opinionated function of Marcel Wanders. Though the processes vary, there’s awesome work at both ends of the spectrum.

Peter Bristol

Q. Will there be a particular equilibrium you like to strike with experimentation, study, cooperation and other procedures?
I think each project takes on a life of its own. Those procedures all exist to help generate and find the ideal ideas. The manner in which they are mixed along the way is always different. It is tough to attempt to induce a rigid structure around such a fluid kind of work.

Q. How much does production affect your designs?
A. How things are created and how they go together always affect a layout, just like use always affects a design. Occasionally manufacturing methods define a item, and at times they enable it. It is typically difficult to separate the design in the engineering on nice products. Ultimately is the layout.

Q. Is it sometimes difficult to discuss your own work?
A. Occasionally it’s tricky to talk about attributes without seeming sales-y. I guess I think design must speak for itself, so any communication concerning the job should only confirm your natural intuition.

Q. Thus, just to torment you, here’s the dreaded query. How would you explain your outlook on layout?
A. Honest? Succinct? Appropriate? All these are things I try for.

Q. Can there be a Seattle or Northwest style?
A. There are probably several perceived Northwest fashions. I’m hesitant to explain any, since the web world tends to let things to happen anywhere and everywhere simultaneously.

Q. How do you approach designing and decorating your own house?
A. (Laughs) No real time to Be Worried about it. We obviously curate with things we like. Set up your house to suit the way you live, and the result will be good. It’ll be pleasurable for living and a true representation of you.

Learn more about Peter Bristol and his job

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11 Lighting Fixtures That Rethink the Flush Mount

When you live in an older house like I do, you tend to think of the big picture when it comes to renovations: marble, landscaping, master bath. But it’s the small details that can take a bite out of your time and budget.

Take, for instance, the many flush-mount lights that scatter my ceilings, all of outdated and in need of replacement. It is going to be expensive to upgrade all of them, but having stylish fixtures rather than those stodgy old ones are going to be well worth every penny. Check out these 11 lights that take the flush mount into fresh territory.

Joel Kelly Design

Sleek and chiseled, this fixture falls right in step with all the area’s angular, manly design.

Wm. F. Holland/Architect

Rows of semiflush-mount pendants blend the best of both worlds: the visual allure of pendant lighting and the low profile of a flush mount. As a result of their orderly placement, these additionally enhance the design of the coffered ceilings.

Karr Bick Kitchen and Bath

A pretty, yummy fixture takes the place of a classic over-the-sink mild and adds a note of gentle elegance.

Michael Knowles, Architect

I am not sure I’ve ever seen flush mounts in cobalt blue. These seem like drinking goblets turned upside down, a fun spark in a neutral setting.

Erica Islas / EMI Interior Design, Inc..

This space-age fixture feels completely of the moment — there’s nothing old-fashioned relating to it.

AIA, dSPACE Studio Ltd

A sinuous semiflush mount underscores the slick, sexy aura of the little bath.

Charlie & Co.. Design, Ltd

All these drum-style fixtures punctuate the ceiling like buttons on a tee top. Their big scale feels suitable for the quantity of the corridor and helps to make it cozier.

Bruce Kading Interior Design

This sculptural standout is far more interesting than a typical crystal chandelier.

Inform us : What do you think of flush mounts? Share your ideas in the Comments section.

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American Architecture: The Components of Craftsman Style

What it’s : Craftsman houses were largely motivated by the function of 2 builder brothers — Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene — who worked together in Pasadena, California, in the turn of the 20th century. The Greene brothers were influenced by the English Arts and Crafts movement (a response against the Industrial Revolution in an attempt to promote the work of craftsmen and the handmade within the system made), as well as by Oriental wooden architecture.

Where to locate it: The earliest examples are in Southern California, but due to popularization of the style through national periodicals like House Beautiful and Ladies’ Home Journal and the following access to design books and kit houses, Craftsman bungalows became the most popular style of small house throughout the country from about 1905 through the 1920s.

Why you will love it: Just like most of things that come from California, there is something distinctively American about this fashion. Outside you will find details galore but inside, there is a simple, wide-open layout that makes the most of typically limited square footage.

Lawrence and Gomez Architects

What Makes It Craftsman

A low-pitched, gabled roof. The low-slung rooflines signify the effect of Oriental architecture on the style. These roofs typically possess a broad, unenclosed eave overhang with ornamental supports.

Roofs with a very low pitch are typically better suited to warmer climates, in which snow and ice aren’t likely to accumulate. They do require regular maintenance to make sure debris like leaves does not build up with time.


A front porch. It is rare to find a Craftsman bungalow that doesn’t have a porch, even when porch only covers the entryway. Porches are either full (like this one) or semi width, and therefore are either sheltered under the main roof or under a separate, extended roof.

Porches are a terrific investment — they expand the livable space of small houses and make it feasible to spend time outside.

Melaragno Design Company, LLC

Tapered columns. This is one of the most distinctive characteristics of Craftsman houses, despite the version in detailing. Tapered columns, which support the porch roof, are typically brief and break upon massive stone or brick piers that extend into floor level, both of which convey a certain solidity. Not all columns are pliable; yet another popular variant is the double column.

Borrowing the exact comfy porch supports from the Craftsman style is a great way to find a touch of the look without rebuilding your home from scratch.

RW Anderson Homes

A partly entrance door. One great authenticity test of Craftsman bungalows is the way their doors are all styled. Almost all original models have glass panes in the top third of the doorway, separated by the underside paneled portion by a thick piece of trim.

Swapping out your door to get a Craftsman one is another way to incorporate a bit of the style into your home. There are lots of excellent sources for brand new Craftsman-style doors.


Multipane instead of single-pane windows. Just like a few other Craftsman details, this window style originated with the Prairie architectural style. The most common configurations are either four-over-one or six-over-one double-hung windows. The windows are usually grouped together and cased in broad trim.

This window style is a terrific traditional or historical style for houses with an opinion, since the single-pane lower sash has no mullion obstructions.

WINN Design+Build

Earthy Colours. Craftsman houses are usually painted in a nature-inspired palette of greens and reds to assist the low-profile bungalows blend seamlessly with their surroundings. Despite the mostly muted palettes, one or two contrasting colours are generally used to highlight architectural features like trim or decorative supports.

Put your best foot forward. Irrespective of the manner of your home, painting architecture comes with a contrasting colour is a great way to highlight your house’s best features.

Gardner Architects LLC

Single dormers. When Craftsman houses have dormers, they are usually wider and stick out on their own, unlike the pairs of dormers that typically appear in Cape Cod–fashion cottages. Single dormers are usually broad enough for two to three windows.

Dormers, especially broad ones, can change unused attics into livable space by adding square footage (sometimes an entire room’s value ) and ushering in organic light.

Joe Carrick Design – Custom Home Design

Stone details. Craftsman bungalows almost always feature a mixture of materials. The siding is typically wooden clapboard (though shingled siding can also be common), but porch piers and bases are usually made of stone. Brick, concrete block and stucco are also occasionally used.

Take a page in the Craftsman stylebook and combine stuff publicly. Think about cladding a small addition in stone or brick, even if your home has clapboard siding.

Dorothy Howard AIA, Architect

Exposed rafter tails and beams beneath heavy roof eaves. This another one of the distinctive qualities of the style; it reflects the influence of the Arts and Crafts movement, which sought to make visible the handiwork that went into design, on the style.

Adding exposed rafter tails and beams does not need to involve reconstructing your house, let alone replacing your roof. These details are usually decorative and may be added under any heavy roof eave.

Christopher Templeton

Knee braces. These triangular supports are a structural solution to exposed rafter tails and roof beams. Like beams and rafter tails, they are usually decorative and may be added under any heavy roof eave.

Tell us: Do you love the visible craftsmanship of these houses? Or does it feel like overkill, particularly if you know that so much of the identifying characteristics are decorative and only made to look like engineering demonstrated?

Browse photos of Craftsman-style houses

Find guides to home designs

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