Month: October 2019

8 Creative Accents to Establish Your Holiday Table Apart

8 Creative Accents to Establish Your Holiday Table Apart

It is the time of year, when dried leaves under the soles of your boots, the day air is crisp and it is time to gather with family and friends to get food and drink.

I recently asked a few experts — including a stylist, a florist and a chef — to discuss their insights and strategies for hosting this year. Their simple, cheap jobs can brighten any holiday get-together and add a private, fresh touch for your fall table.

Corynne Pless

Gina Sims, a photo stylist (one of many other creative titles), offers the following guidance for styling your holiday table: “First comes the theme, the vibe and the colours,” she says. “Afterward the items which will make the largest impact.”

I chose a neutral palette to match with a rustic theme and added a few splashes of bold colours throughout the plates and florals. Title tags include a personal touch. “I love to label everything,” Sims says. “It makes your table look thought-out and unique.”

Corynne Pless

Project: Title Tags

Create name tags with a few series and card stock. Look outside or on your kitchen for alternative place card holders. I tested a few distinct choices before picking simple string tied around a cloth napkin.

Corynne Pless

Project: Chalkboard Tray

Coat a metal plate using chalkboard spray paint and write your personalized message in addition to This undertaking can be used yearlong.

Note: Avoid placing food directly on the surface; the menu functions best for exhibiting wineglasses, candles or jars.

Corynne Pless

Sims suggests adding layers and height to your table to direct the gaze upwards. “Using the whole wall makes the setting really intriguing. I almost always hang something from the ceiling or from trees if we’re outside, if it be a garland, banner, lights, pom-poms or lanterns,” she states.

In order to add height to my display, I hung a window and then dressed with a colorful garland.

Job: Paper Garland

Produce a simple, colorful garland by cutting paper using vintage floral prints to triangles and threading them on a string. Old art books or textbooks with thick pages may provide decorative alternatives for your garland as well.

Corynne Pless

Project: Outdoor Bar

An easy table made from hay bales works perfectly for a temporary outside pub. Whether you’re hosting dinner out or gathering around a flame, it is an easy way to keep drinks close at hand.

I made my pub by stacking a couple of hay bales together and including a vintage wooden sign at the top. I also turned a wooden crate into a cooler by stapling a transparent plastic bag to its inside.

Corynne Pless

These colorful projects and a hay bale or 2 can easily transform your table, patio or backyard into an unforgettable setting for fall entertaining.

Corynne Pless

“To get a fantastic fall table, step out,” Sims says. “I enjoy using leaves, nuts — au naturel or spray painted a fantastic metallic shade.” Copper is especially powerful in the fall, she says.

“I send my kids outside to hunt for acorns with shirts still on,” she adds. “You can’t go wrong with nature.”

Corynne Pless

“I like large-scale items like vases or cloches, and use varying heights to include more attention,” Sims says.

I took Sims’ guidance and increased a few of the blossoms and accessories to vary the elevation. Extended sticks from our lawn are accumulated in a simple, big vase, which adds texture and height to the display.

Corynne Pless

Project: Illustrated Clipboards

Clipboards are an affordable and effortless way to upgrade a blank space on your wall. Start by prepping your space and outlining your letters in pen.

Insert paint and you are done! If you want to reuse the clipboards later, consider using colorful Japanese washi tape to spell something out instead.

Corynne Pless

Project: Natural Flower Arrangements

John Cooper and Celia Barss handle Woodland Gardens, a farm which grows over 80 types of certified organic vegetables, fruit and cut flowers. Cooper provides a few hints for organizing a seasonal, low-key bouquet.

He suggests collecting items like grasses, leaves or herbaceous wildflowers from your yard or even a neighbor. The white tuberose blossom is among Cooper and Barss’ favored seasonal blossoms. “They are simple in look and so fragrant, so that they are one of our favorites. We dig and store the bulbs for the subsequent year,” Cooper says.

I spotted those coniferous branches on a hike and included a few sprays of greenery from our tiny garden, such as lavender, spiked celosia and dusty miller.

Corynne Pless

If you are not certain where to start, Cooper suggests looking around you outside. “The natural world provides the best inspiration,” he states. “See what grows or blossoms in groups and attempt to replicate — see plant communities and work these into natural structures.”

Cooper also promotes simplicity. “If you’re doing more than one bouquet, find a pattern and repeat — not too many distinct types, textures or colours.”

Corynne Pless

Job: Engineered Water Resistant

This thought was inspired by many of my favorite restaurants in Nyc and by this DIY project by Molly Jacques. I relabeled the wine bottles with enamel paint and a small bristle brush.

Try recycling clean wine bottles and using them for water. Scrape off the label paste with hot water and a flat utensil, and completely clean the bottle. Fill the clean bottle with water, chill it in the refrigerator, and put it on the table until guests arrive for a chic alternative water pitcher.

Corynne Pless

Project: Dipped Spoons

Give your serving pieces an upgrade by painting the grips. I followed this comprehensive online tutorial in House of Earnest. Use them to serve something like this fall-perfect side dish:

Roasted Carrot and Beet Salad With Feta, Pulled Parsley and Cumin Vinaigrette
(from A New Turn in the South, by Hugh Acheson)
Serves 6

1 tsp salt 1 lb baby carrots, peeled, 1/2 inch of green top left on1 pound baby beets, washed although not peeled1/4 pound feta1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil1/4 cup cumin vinaigrette (recipe below) 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, pulled1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a vigorous boil, then add 1/2 tsp of the salt, and then the carrots. Blanch for 1 minute and remove the carrots, placing them into a bowl of ice water to halt the cooking. As soon as they’re cool, eliminate them.

2. Place the beets in a big pot of cold water. Bring to a boil, then add the remaining 1/2 tsp of salt and simmer until the beets are tender. Gently the beets and pare them with paper towels to rub the skin off. This is easier when they’re still warm. Crumble the feta and set it aside.

3. Toss the carrots using 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil and set them on half a baking sheet. Toss the beets with the remaining olive oil and set them on the other half of the skillet. Roast for 15 minutes.

4. Remove the beets and carrots in the oven and set them in separate bowls. Add 1 tablespoon of the cumin vinaigrette and 1/2 cup of the skillet to the beets and toss. Add 1 tablespoon of the vinaigrette, the remaining parsley and the feta to the carrots and toss.

5. Divide the carrots evenly among 6 plates. Then divide the beets evenly among the plates and then gently mix them with the carrots. Drizzle with a bit more of the vinaigrette.

Cumin Vinaigrette
Makes 3/4 cup
1 tsp Dijon mustard1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil1 tsp lemon juice2 teaspoons sherry vinegar1 teaspoon cumin seed, toasted in a skillet and then pulverized1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mintSalt and pepper to tastePlace the Dijon mustard into a bowl and whisk in the olive oil, then the lemon juice and the sherry vinegar. Add the cumin and the mint. Season with salt and pepper.

Used with permission from A New Turn in the South, by Hugh Acheson. Copyright © 2011 by Hugh Acheson. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc..

Inform us : Have you been making your very own tabletop accents this year? Share a photo below!

More: Additional Thanksgiving decorating ideas

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Great Design Plant: Ogon Spirea for Radiance and Texture

Great Design Plant: Ogon Spirea for Radiance and Texture

I’m always on the lookout for easy-care shrubs with great foliage that are drought tolerant and deer resistant. Ogon spirea is that and much more — it’s among those earliest-blooming shrubs in my garden and among the past to lose its leaves.

Its wispy texture highlights bolder plantings, while its bright colour makes it effortless to unite with other garden plants, including sparkle to warmer colors and high contrast to richer purple and burgundy tones.

I’ve utilized Ogon spirea in foundation plantings, combined with Japanese maples in a woodland garden and beneath a Katsura tree (Cercidophyllum japonicum) in a large mixed border, where its orange autumn color echoes that of the tree’s caramel-scented leaves. Do consider the autumn color of any company plants — finely textured Japanese maples with yellow blossom foliage won’t look so striking as those with larger leaves that take on fiery colors of orange and red, for instance.

Le jardinet

Botanical name: Spiraea thunbergii ‘Ogon’
Common names: Ogon spirea, syn. Mellow Yellow spirea
Origin: Native to Japan and China
Where it will grow: Hardy to -20 degrees Fahrenheit (USDA zones 5 to 2; find your zone)
Water necessity: Average to non
Light requirement: Full sunlight for smartest colour but will even grow in partial shade
Mature dimension: 5 ft tall and broad but can be pruned smaller
Benefits and tolerances: Drought tolerant; deer resistant; will grow in a Wide Selection of soils; attracts butterflies
Seasonal interest: Spring through autumn
When to plant: Spring or autumn

Le jardinet

Distinguishing traits. Clusters of white flowers decorate the twiggy branches in early spring even before the leaves have unfurled. The wispy, feathery foliage opens gold yellow before maturing to chartreuse in summertime and then warm colors of crimson in autumn.

How to use it:
Foundation shrubWoodland edgeMixed borderColor accentLow hedge

Alyson Ross Markley

Combination Ideas

1. Purples. Chartreuse and purple consistently make an exciting colour combination, and there are many purple-leaved plants to pick from.

Inside this garden Ogon spirea contrasts beautifully with all the foliage of Velvet Cloak smoke bush (Cotinus coggygria‘Velvet Cloak’), Japanese maples and black mondo grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus‘Nigrescens’), as well as the vibrant magenta rhododendron blooms

The wonderful lime green of the spirea is replicated in Golden Spirit smoke bush (Cotinus coggygria‘Golden Spirit’) and Bowles’ golden sedge (Carex elata‘Aurea’).

With splashes of bright green implanted in a zigzag fashion along the length of the pathway, the garden travel grows more interesting and the distance looks larger than it truly is.

Form and Foliage

2. Blues. Inside this landscape the designer has added soft blue to the color palette with a prostrate coniferin the foreground and an vertical blue conifer behind. This brings out the blue tones in the dark foliage of the Grace smoke bush (Cotinus coggygria ‘Grace’) and softens the overall plot.

This is a beautiful example of a low-maintenance yet colorful landscape layout.

Westover Landscape Design, Inc..

3. Pastels. Softer colors can at times seem washed out, particularly as the season advances. Nevertheless, if pastels are paired with a dash of chartreuse, the combination looks refreshing and can span the seasons with style.

Inside this edge Ogon spirea adds structure to the layout as well as supports and enhances the paler lilac and blue tones of the adjoining perennials.

Notice: Ogon spirea may be invasive in some areas. Check with your regional cooperative extension or county extension office prior to planting it.

Find more amazing shrubs

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Modern Materials: Copper, Architecture's Natural Beauty

Modern Materials: Copper, Architecture's Natural Beauty

Copper is one of the most distinctive, yet infrequently used, exterior materials. Its allure owes to the natural patina that takes hold and transforms it from orange to brown to green about ten decades. Used most frequently for tiles, roofs and details such as gutters and downspouts, copper is actually alloyed with calcium in architectural applications. Another ratio of copper to zinc results in brass, whilst bronze results from copper being alloyed with nickel, aluminum, or silver. This ideabook focuses on copper and its own defining green patina, both for inspiration and also some practical hints for incorporating the material.

Travis Price Architects

An architect with a clear preference for copper and its own patina is Travis Price, who practices in Washington, D.C.. The houses he’s designed in the region mix into their wooded surroundings, especially his own, which even notches around a shrub.

Travis Price Architects

The fact that copper is soft and expensive yet powerful means that lean sheets are ideal, and they can be shaped easily — a fantastic combination. In a different D.C. house by Cost, the gentle curve of this copper wall is not a issue, even with extremely long bits.

The cost of copper is balanced by the fact that it has the highest recycling rate of any engineered alloy. Three-quarters of copper in architectural software is recycled, matching the rate at which it’s extracted. Specifying recycled copper can decrease cost and save on the energy needed to mine the material.

Travis Price Architects

Copper is highly resistant to corrosion, making it ideal for outdoor applications, but it will rust when it comes in contact with cedar. Therefore installations such as the one pictured here require a separation between the wood and the copper.

Similarly, but to a greater level, aluminum corrodes other metals, such as steel, aluminum, zinc and cast iron. Therefore mechanical fasteners, when needed, must be garnished with copper in order not to be corroded.

Travis Price Architects

As I said, the green patina that forms on the surface of copper takes approximately ten years to grow when left to character. Acids and finishes can expedite the process, but an artificial patina is not an exact match to a normal one, which provides the material a subtly different look with time.

This home in West Virginia resembles the preceding examples, but Cost turned the panels to parallel trees.

Travis Price Architects

A close-up of this facade reveals that the green stripes on the copper panels, but we could also find the vertical standing seams along with the way the panels float.

Given how aluminum may corrode different metals, and the fact it can be folded, soldered and welded easily, most programs have a welded instead of mechanical assembly, which also helps deals with the material’s great degree of expansion.

Travis Price Architects

Copper’s patina can stain adjoining materials, such as rock, stucco, concrete and other light surfaces. Staining would have been an issue within this improvement by Price, thinking about the light-colored stucco of the existing structure, but the dark shingles immediately adjacent to the copper take care of it.

WNUK SPURLOCK Architecture

This house, designed by Wnuk Spurlock Architecture, has two amounts of prepatinated copper positioned astride a centre segment of Cor-Ten steel, a material that gains its own sort of different patina.

WNUK SPURLOCK Architecture

This glance of these panels reveals the variation that can be found; what looks consistent from far away is anything but close.


For the sake of contrast, it’s excellent to see copper siding which hasn’t gained its patina. This project, by CCS Architecture, has three piled volumes, similar in size and shape but every coated in different materials. Over time the middle portion will take on a patina that will raise the home’s integration into the site.

Takt | Studio for Architecture

The aptly called Copper House at Sydney from Takt | Studio for Architecture displays that the combination of colors that happens as the material oxidizes.

Takt | Studio for Architecture

Copper’s patina is made by sulfur compounds in the air, accelerated in marine and industrial environments, as well as regions with high temperatures or humidity.

Coates Design Architects Seattle

This previous instance, by Coates Design Architects Seattle, illustrates how weathered aluminum could be a style statement, bringing attention to a single place, in this case the entrance. Though the copper section is a lot smaller than the concrete and wood, its own color grabs the most attention.

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Experience Your New Home — Before You Build It

Experience Your New Home — Before You Build It

Reading construction plans can be hard. In case you miss something, there is a chance you’ll spend your money on something that isn’t exactly what you wanted. Be sure you understand what you are getting before you pay to get it built. Fortunately, the modern architect can take the guesswork out of design with the modern technology, utilizing photorealistic renderings that will help you experience your home before you take the leap of faith to get it constructed.

Photorealistic renderings do require more time and different software than normal 3-D models, so ask your architect up front if he or she can offer the service. Price and quality of photorealistic renderings vary widely, so it’s always a fantastic idea to do your research and see examples until you’ve got them done. Businesses that specialize in these renderings may charge around a few hundred bucks per picture.

Dylan Chappell Architects

You shouldn’t hire an architect just because their digital arsenal consists of photorealistic 3-D renderings. It is a lot more important to have experience doing projects like yours and also to come highly recommended, that you’ve seen and enjoy the other projects, which you work well together. The technology on the planet will not compensate for these fundamentals! Read and search the skilled listings on to see portfolios and reviews and locate an architect whose work you love. If your architect doesn’t specialize in photorealistic renderings, you can always possess the rendering outsourced into a photorealism specialist.

Find photorealistic rendering specialists

When the total design, scale and style of your home have been determined, it is time to start working on the facts the fun things. Photorealistic renderings are a great way to compare and contrast multiple substance choices, colors and other finishing touches supplied by your designer.

Photorealistic renderings are different from 3-D renderings. Photorealistic renderings illustrate the color, texture and materials of a structure. Three-D images show the size, width and placement of a structure. Think of it this way: 3-D would demonstrate the thickness of kitchen cabinets in relation to the diameter of a counter; photorealistic renderings will demonstrate the wood grain and drawer pulls of their cabinets as well as the colors of the terrazzo tile countertop.

How to tell the difference between a photo and a rendering

Aloha Pools Pty Ltd

The most difficult and time-consuming sections of designing a new home are often deciding on most of the fixtures, materials and “fun things.” Once construction begins, altering the finish materials frequently contributes to change orders and construction delays — and of course a spike in prices. Present-day clients of mine just decided they wanted to change their entry porch from timber decking to rock. We all agreed the rock would look better, and we hadn’t framed the deck yet, since the floor joist needed to be 3 inches lower to accommodate the rock. It would’ve been far more costly and time consuming to produce the change if the flooring joists already had been in place.

3 Matters Photorealistic Renderings Can Help You Do
1. Visualize the finishes.
No matter how much you use your imagination, there’s not any better way to understand what your finishes will look like in your house than by viewing a photo of your house using the real materials. There is a reason for the oft-used adage “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

Aloha Pools Pty Ltd

2. Compare and contrast. If you are anything like me, you generally have at least a couple of ideas for each space in your home. Seeing each option in front of you is the easiest way to create a determination. Photorealistic renderings effectively compare and contrast different material choices right before your eyes. Will the darker soapstone look better using the cabinets, or should you use a white Carrara marble?

Lewis Aquatech

3. Reduce change orders. Want your job to remain on budget? Eliminating as numerous change orders as you possibly can make a huge impact. Different end materials can influence wall and floor thicknesses, overall building weight and other structural elements. By having all your finishes picked out before you begin construction, you can drastically lower the odds of change orders down the road. Remember the stone-versus-wood-entry-porch illustration from one of my recent clients? The identical principle applies to other projects.

What is great architecture? We tend to think that great architecture is giving clients the very best design for their specific lifestyle and price range. Employing photorealistic renderings is one of the numerous tools a modern architect can use to make that occur.

More: Find an architect or designer near you

Tell us What tools have you used to picture a home job?

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