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What's in a Frame?

Deciding on the proper artwork for your house can be difficult, but for many of us, framing it’s the true puzzler. What color? What dimensions? Mat or no mat? And if you are anything like me, those choices can be so overpowering that beautiful paintings and photographs languish for months or even years in a cupboard, unframed and hidden. But here’s the good news: Once you break it down, the process really isn’t that hard. Follow these tips to choose the guesswork out of framing your art to its best advantage.

John Lum Architecture, Inc.. AIA

Consider the style of this art. The framework you choose should complement the piece inside. An impressionist-style painting may appear ill at ease in a contemporary stainless steel framework, even though a spare, modern work will not jibe with a detailed gilt one. Select materials and a profile that sense appropriate to what you are framing.

Sroka Design, Inc..

Consider the style of this space. The framing you select does not need to coordinate with your decor just, but it must at least feel as though the piece hangs in the right property. The conventional frames utilized for this set of paintings complement the area’s classic, understated style.

Pelletier + Schaar

Match the dimensions of this framework to the dimensions of this image. A thick, chunky framework can overpower a diminutive piece of art, and a skimpy one can fade away next to a solid, overscale painting or photograph. Pick one that will balance the job it surrounds.

Tobi Fairley Interior Design

Decide whether to use mats. Not all pieces require them, and it is largely a matter of personal taste. Hold mats and frame moldings against the job in question to ascertain the way you’d like it best. Art with a clean background, such as the shell prints in this bedroom, works especially well without a mat.

Allison Cosmos

Select a mat which contrasts with the color of this art. Generally, you can’t go wrong with classic white or cream (cool colors are a huge no-no, unless you do not mind swapping them out several years). But black and white photographs, line drawings and pen sketches are able to appear striking with a surround of black. Just be sure there’s a powerful contrast between the art and the mat a murky piece will disappear in a field of darkness.

Domestic Stories with Ivy

Select the kind of glass you want. If your piece is especially fine or sentimental, you might opt to put money into museum glass, treated to block UV rays that can fade colors over time. It’s costly, but it can pay off in the long term. Normal glass is a lower-cost choice, but it can be too heavy for quite a large part. In these instances, lightweight acrylic is often the best bet.

Kati Curtis Design

Make sure mats are broad enough. A mat that’s too skinny will not set off the piece it surrounds. Here’s a handy rule of thumb: To the best effect, create the mat two times as wide as the framework. You are able to go wider, but you should be sure the art doesn’t get lost.

Lauren Gries

Don’t be concerned about matching eyeglasses. Take your cue from art galleries and fit frames to the art, not to every other. Grouped on a wall, correctly framed pieces will complement each other beautifully.

New Year’s Resolution: Frame Your Pictures

Clever New Programs for Your Picture Frame

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Architect's Toolbox: Strike a Balance With Symmetry

Stand in front of a mirror and look at yourself. Now draw an imaginary line down the middle of your torso and face. Chances are good that your right and left sides match and that you’re symmetrically composed. Not too symmetrically written, mind you — there will be a small variation from side to side. Small gaps include interest and keep things from being too static.

In brief, is symmetry: each facet across the center line fitting its opposite side, bringing balance to the entire. This is extremely different from asymmetry, where each side looks to balance the other hand with gaps. We’ll leave the dialogue for asymmetry for a different day. For the time being, let us look at symmetry and the way that may be used in the design of the homes.

Witt Construction

Symmetry gives stature and significance. From the hipped roof and chimneys to the dormers and window positioning, everything about this design makes us focus on the middle, or center line. By drawing our attention to the center and then up to the Palladian window, front of this house looks prominent, elegant and, yes, inactive.

Richard Manion Architecture Inc..

Symmetry is restful and relaxed. There aren’t any shifting planes and overlapping volumes which cause our eyes to leap round, never settling in 1 spot. Instead, our gaze is allowed to relax, rest and find repose.

Lori Smyth Design

Symmetry extends into the landscape. Don’t stop at the house walls; bring symmetry to the backyard and plantings too. Use potted plants as dots. Hedges that buff out create a foreground; pencillike trees frame the entrance sequence. A crushed stone path, our center line, leads to the front door as reinforcement of their symmetrical massing and window layout.

TRG Architects

Symmetry knows no stylistic prejudice. Whether or modern, symmetry is a trustworthy remedy to create balance, particularly when you need a processional quality. Keep the cubic amounts and floating planes: simply arrange them in stasis as well as a center line.


Bring the symmetry inside. All that silent and tasteful equilibrium on the outside should find its way into the home. So keep the procession together with the architecture in addition to the accessories and furniture. Keep it all going and set something important and beautiful at the end.

Crisp Architects

Create a frame to reinforce symmetry. Establishing a foreground and producing a frame through which the space is viewed can reinforce the overall symmetrical layout of the room. The frame also has the benefit of developing a layering of distance, another part of the architect’s toolbox.

David Duncan Livingston

Emphasize symmetry using a motif. Employing an architectural motif, like an arch, can reinforce the symmetry and equilibrium needed. In many ways, this is a”painterly” approach, as it heals vertical surfaces (walls) as a canvas onto which the components are applied.

Use symmetry in most instructions. Start using a foreground and the two- dimensional picture, then extend the distance outside in a balanced manner. Use symmetry to create depth and the illusion of vast spaciousness, like in a Pirenasi sketch.

Schwartz and Architecture

Place furniture so it enriches the center line. The full impact of lace comes through when the furniture follows the architecture. When it’s a bed, sofa, table or other piece, placing the furniture across the center line of the room produces a robust and established focus.

Symmetry goes in the bathroom. From the ceiling to the windows to the vanities, tub and accessories, a bathroom that’s symmetrically laid out reinforces the notion of his-and-hers places. Placing the bathtub in the center underscores this symmetry and produces a spot where both equal halves join together.

Lisa Adams, LA Closet Design

Use symmetry even in private spaces. A walk-in cupboard, pantry or other low-traffic area in your home can benefit from the equilibrium made by a symmetrical layout. Does this approach create distinct halves which are independently used, but in addition, it conveys a feeling of careful consideration and design.

Aleck Wilson Architects

Use symmetry to enlarge small spaces. Don’t stop the symmetry at the exterior or in bigger rooms. Because a symmetrical layout is static and fixed, it may make even the tiniest of spaces feel bigger. Arranging the shelving and cabinetry in a symmetrical manner may give a little desk area presence and gravitas.

More Architect’s Toolbox:
Scale and Proportion

Beautifully Layered Spaces

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Garden Design Essentials: Color

Whoever has walked into a room painted in a dull or garish palette understands the power of color. Color intuitively influences our feelings, if we are at a soothing spa environment or a electrifying casino. In a garden landscape, color has an equally powerful role.

Our color choices can produce a garden that is nurturing, romantic, playful, tranquil or exciting. Even though you might have heard rigorous principles from different gardeners, such as”Never plant anything orange,” or”Don’t use blue, purple or crimson shades in your garden’s mattress and boundaries,” I love to think that any color can fit in a landscape.

Shade is highly subjective, and because it’s so private, you are able to design, plant and decorate your landscape along with your favorites. Let’s follow the rainbow — and lessons from the color wheel to make color choices that establish a disposition, infuse energy or define a theme in an outside setting. Maybe you’ll find new possibilities for your own landscape.

More in this garden design show: Lines | Rhythm | Shape and Mass | Space | Texture

Da Vida Pools, LLC, Andre Del Re & Lisa North, CBP


Vivid reddish commands attention. You can not dismiss this assertive reddish pool — it warms a natural landscape setting and radically defines the distance. The encompassing retaining wall is a milder shade.

Ana Williamson Architect

Interior designers have traditionally energized a quiet room using a splash of crimson — an accent pillow, a piece of pottery or possibly a single wall. In a similar manner, the exterior of this contemporary but neutral home gets a lift with a cherry-red front door.

Classic Nursery & Landscape Co. / Alan Burke, asla

The use of red in tiny doses gives the garden a lively attitude. If pure red is a little too extreme for your taste, try out a tint (lighter) or color (darker). Stretch your use of crimson out of gentle pinks to deep burgundy reds. All these terra-cotta-red Adirondack chairs are eye catching but don’t compete with the natural landscape.

Shirley Bovshow

Just past this garden’s entrance is a sanctuary of crimson flowering salvia planted in a crescent mattress to emphasize the space. Blue-green and turquoise — complementary colors across the color wheel out of crimson — show up at a glazed urn and in the succulent plantings to the right of the red border.

Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture

Just a little color goes a long way. Our brains respond more quickly to reddish than any other color, so even a little accent could energize a setting, such as the single red butterfly seat on this tiny covered veranda.


Orange is a vital accent in the garden; its presence naturally elicits a smile. This orange door is welcoming and also lends a moderating bit of warmth to the industrial charcoal along with concrete palette.

Colors Of Green Landscape Architecture

Tangerine touches add whimsy here, yet this landscape is also rather sophisticated. Less is more with orange, along with the designer perfectly balances the bright orange textiles, natural wood furniture and raised beds full of foliage plants. Variations of orange range from terra-cotta to cherry; you don’t need to use a hypnotic orange on its own.

Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture


Golden foliage can instantly brighten a space and produce a little garden appear larger. Variations of yellow range from warm amber colors to extreme sunflower. This design also shows a monochromatic way of shade. On your own garden, monochromatic might mean blooms, berries or bark in one key shade of the rainbow, such as an all-pink or all-golden border. Monochromatic color comprises all tones of one color, from dark to light.

Related: Focus Your Garden Palette

AMS Landscape Design Studios, Inc..

The simple inclusion of 2 marigold-yellow accent cushions makes a contemporary green and gravel garden shine.

Bonick Landscaping


Although it’s relaxing and serene, blue was considered an unattainable garden color as it’s rarely found in nature (consider the pursuit of the rare blue Himalayan poppy or the rose industry’s obsession with breeding a blue hybrid ).

The persuasive presence of blue can appear in your garden with help from a can of periwinkle paint, a turquoise-tile pool or aqua cushions.

Blue cools us down. If you don’t have a swimming pool to attract the serene presence of blue into the landscape, then paint the interior of a birdbath, exhibit a grouping of glazed blue pottery, or put a route with blue tiles.

Smith & Vansant Architects PC

As soon as you’ve given particular flower and foliage colours a starring role in the landscape, then use them to guide your decisions for nonplant materials too. Edit and enhance the palette with painted structures, furniture and artful objects. 2 sky-blue rocking chairs make this front porch just as important to the backyard color story as its blooms.

Kathleen Shaeffer Design, Exterior Spaces


that I really like the way this setting reads: It starts with a little cluster of purple blossoms (looks like Geranium‘Rozanne’) and then proceeds to the purple front door and accent shade. A triple-treat! A number of our most cherished garden flowers, such as lilacs and hydrangeas, are purple. But purple is not only an conservative, nostalgic shade. It can be very contemporary in its program. Color experts say that since it is a mix of both energizing relaxing and red blue, purple is a complex color that works well with both warm and trendy schemes.

Lewis Aquatech

Basic Rules of the Color Wheel

Art lessons start with the fundamental principles of the color wheel. Red, blue and yellow are main colors, whilst secondary colours are made from combinations of 2 primaries: orange (red plus yellow); green (blue plus yellow) and purple (red plus blue). Tertiary colours combine one main color with one secondary color.

Adding white to a color creates a tint; adding black to a color creates a colour.

The principal palette of the vibrant blue pool shown has yet another primary accent in the yellow-chartreuse Japanese maple tree, uplit for accent.

Westover Landscape Design, Inc..

Enliven a quiet spot with complementary colors opposite each other on the color wheel. In color theory, opposites are energy-packed visual adventures. Red is contrary green; blue is contrary orange; yellow is contrary purple. From the landscape, green and red are opposites, but the use of turquoise rather than true green bends the rules while making a vivid statement. The horticultural equivalent might be a plant using lime foliage paired with a maroon or wine-color plant.

Exteriorscapes llc

The medium-tone purple wall is an interesting backdrop to the Japanese blood grass (Imperata cylindrica‘Rubra’) planted in front of it, showing use of tertiary color.

Exteriorscapes llc

Tell Your Own Color Story

Define your garden with massed plantings of a popular perennial to echo colors that appear elsewhere (both in your own garden and out of borrowed viewpoints ).

You are able to keep the color palette more extreme in certain areas, allowing dominant colors to define a focal point or announce a transition area in the landscape. Muted tones assist the eye move calmly between the bolder components, giving a calming visual pause.

This container is a study in complements, using a cinnamon-color coleus and peach dahlia occupying the warm end of the spectrum along with the turquoise glazed pot and trailing foliage supplying the cooler notes on the scale.

S / Wiley Interior Photography

Find Your Color Design

We can find volumes about color through observation and experience. When you visit a public garden, look at local nurseries or have a tour here on , detect which colours please your eyes.

It’s clear the Tiffany blue makes the owner of this cabin very happy. That is the power of color.

The Stories Colors Inform

Potted Plants Perk Up the Streets of Coastal France

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Neighborhood Walkability: Get the Score

Five years ago I learned about the website Walk Score, which utilizes Google Maps to figure out the walkability of a location based on local shops, restaurants, schools, parks and so on. Input an address or a neighborhood, and the Website ends up a Walk Score on a scale of 1 to 100, from “Car-Dependent” into “Walker’s Paradise.”

The scoring and programming are far from ideal. Distances are as the crow flies; the tool doesn’t consider street design and terrain. Climate, safety and neighborhood quality are not considered, either. But the site is still beneficial in determining the ability to do things with no vehicle.

I looked in many different homes on to ascertain their various scores. They all are ones that I could ascertain the exact address or at the block on which they’re situated. Neighborhood scores are potential, but I noticed that scores can vary by plus or minus 10 points inside a neighborhood. So they need to be taken with a grain of salt.

To have the ball rolling, I will offer up the scores for where I grew up and where I live today. I grew up in an old suburb of Chicago using a gridded design in addition to proximity to the commuter trains and “village green.” It scores 69 (Somewhat Walkable), but newer suburbs certainly score lower, as they’re developed based on proximity to freeways, not trains. I live in Astoria, Queens, a 20-minute train ride from midtown Manhattan. My speech scores 88 (Really Walkable), but other areas of the area closer to the shopping roads venture into Walker’s Paradise.

Kendle Design Collaborative

Desert Mountain, Scottsdale, Arizona
Walk Rating: 3

Golf course developments are easily the very car-dependent parts of suburbia. This home on a large lot benefits from the controlled scenery of this course, but one must push past the boundaries of the evolution to do anything besides play golf.

Belzberg Architects

Beverly Glen, Los Angeles
Walk rating: 34

It’s not surprising that L.A. is a very car-dependent city, although a lot of people may not understand that its ancient, comprehensive streetcar community enabled the sprawl now served by freeways. These broad rights of way cut up the city, so even short trips need circuitous travel by car. That circumstance is also the end result of the landscape, especially the hills overlooking the city’s sprawl. The allure of this house in the Hollywood Hills is clear, but walks are likely restricted to exercise.

Resolution: 4 Architecture

Throggs Neck, Bronx, New York
Walk rating: 37

It may be a surprise that a home in new york would score just marginally above the previous case. This home, beside the Throggs Neck Bridge from the Bronx, is just about as secluded as you can get in NYC while still being at the city limits. This means you have to drive even to reach public transport, typically the best way of getting about the city.

Kaplan Thompson Architects

Deering Center, Portland, Maine
Walk Score: 52
Somewhat Walkable

With this “in city” home, we venture from the Car-Dependent and into the Somewhat Walkable realm. The architects testify to the proximity of universities, dining and shopping, but the home is tucked near a cemetery and a park, meaning the places to walk are not inside a 360-degree circle of the location.

Make Architecture

Manhattan Beach, Los Angeles
Walk rating: 65
Somewhat Walkable

Elsewhere in Los Angeles, nearer into the Pacific, the rating is about twice as Large as at the Hollywood Hills. This home illustrates one attribute (although not a mandatory one) of walkability: density.

Universal Joint Design Associates

Brentwood, Austin, Texas
Walk rating: 65
Somewhat Walkable

When we compare this home in Austin into the previous one in L.A., the simple fact that they have the identical score may be surprising. One is essentially a rowhouse, and one is a freestanding home on a generous lot. Each owes its relatively high score into a gridded network using a mix of uses within an easy walk. This Austin home, it needs to be pointed out, is located in the midst of a brief block, which could typically be vacant or used for a garage. It is a way of infilling the suburbs to include more density while decreasing sprawl, 1 piece at a time.

Kenny Craft, CNU LEED AP

South Main, Buena Vista, Colorado
Walk rating: 66
Somewhat Walkable

An ideabook centered on walkability needs to incorporate a brand new urbanism development. South Main occupies a 41-acre region between the town of Buena Vista and the Arkansas River. The programmers envisioned a “walkable, pedestrian-friendly community” with “tree-lined roads, mixed-use homes, green construction and also a conscientious land-use layout” The effect clearly has more density compared to a typical suburban area but not enough to reach Very Walkable status.

Dean Nota Architect

Hermosa Beach, Los Angeles
Walk Rating: 71
Really Walkable

Near Manhattan Beach sits Hermosa Beach, a compact community that includes a “boardwalk” (The Strand, really paved and not made of wood planks) on the Pacific. Here we enter the next kingdom, Very Walkable. This home benefits from proximity to Pier A Avenue, which runs perpendicular to The Strand and that is where most of the community’s commercial offerings are located.

Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects

Windsor Road, Austin, Texas
Walk Rating: 72
Really Walkable

This multifamily project is located near the University of Texas in Austin and, more immediately, near a boulevard with a Great Deal of commercial amenities. This means the project is still somewhat suburban, with a lot of trees on a large lot, but I can’t help but wonder how walkable the boulevard is, or whether it’s geared more to cars than pedestrians.

Nic Darling

Kensington, Philadelphia
Walk Rating: 74
Really Walkable

This LEED Platinum project lies north of Philadelphia’s Center City district, however is only a few blocks from a subway line that connects the residents to a lot of this city. Walk Score does offer a Transit Score as well, but it’s limited to cities whose information is open source, if they have public transit to start with. This usually means that Transit Scores are not available the majority of the time. Regardless, proximity to buses and trains is equally as crucial as walkability for anyone seeking to live someplace with little to no car usage.

John Maniscalco Architecture

Cole Valley, San Francisco
Walk Score: 74
Really Walkable

San Francisco is a hilly but still very walkable town, particularly taking public transport into account. This home is located near Golden Gate Park, one of the city’s best amenities.

Kaplan Thompson Architects

Westover Village, Arlington, Virginia
Walk Score: 75
Very Walkable

Created by the exact same architect as the Portland, Maine, home revealed previously, this “subway green” house is west of downtown Arlington. The home is very close to the core of Westover, which is home to lots of commercial amenities.

Searl Lamaster Howe Architects

Lincoln Park, Chicago
Walk Score: 80
Really Walkable

Having lived in Lincoln Park (carless, as is still the case at Astoria) for a number of years, I can attest to the area’s walkability. This home is located a little bit farther from commercial strips compared to other parts of Lincoln Park, but it’s nearer to the elevated train that connects the area into the Loop and different areas of the city.


Sawtelle, Los Angeles
Walk rating: 89
Really Walkable

So where must one go in L.A. to reach Very Walkable standing? In this case, it’s West Los Angeles, which is between Beverly Hills on the east and Santa Monica around the west coast. It is a somewhat compact and built-up area with a number of commercial strips.

Schwartz and Architecture

Potrero Hill, San Francisco
Walk Rating: 89
Really Walkable

Launched in San Francisco, we see a higher number resulting from more density and an immediate mix of applications — a little grocery store is next door to this home.

John Hill

Upper West Side, Manhattan, New York
Walk Score: 98
Walker’s Paradise

This Upper West Side town house designed by workshop/apd eventually gets us into the Walker’s Paradise. It’s not surprising that Manhattan is where it happens. This residence is located less than a block from Broadway and its own commercial amenities. It’s also about halfway between Riverside Park and Central Park, making it an perfect location for walking as well as other diversion.

John Hill

Fort Greene, Brooklyn, New York
Walk rating: 98
Walker’s Paradise

But other boroughs score just as high, most notably Brooklyn. Fort Greene is just one of several neighborhoods in the borough that has been gentrified into a greater or lesser degree in recent decades. This home is a little bit of a trek from Prospect Park (Brooklyn’s answer to Central Park, also designed by Frederick Law Olmsted), but it’s very close to the neighborhood’s own Fort Greene Park.

John Hill

West Village, Manhattan, New York
Walk Score: 100
Walker’s Paradise

The ideal Walk Score appears back in Manhattan, at the West Village and neighboring Greenwich Village. Individuals who have visited the region definitely understand that its walkability is the end result of greater than proximity to shops, restaurants and so on. It is also because the area is a beautiful urban place, using a mix of short blocks at bizarre angles, a small scale and older trees. The area was home to author Jane Jacobs and motivated her influential Death and Life of Great American Cities. The social diversity has changed in the 50 years since she published it, but the physical personality has been staunchly preserved, making the area a delight to walk in and, for people who can afford it, to live in.

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Guest Picks: 20 Ways With Agate

Adding agate in your home’s decor allows you to bring a wide variety of colour, and may have healing properties as well. Many customs imbue this gorgeous stone with magic protective attributes, including the capability to cure the stings of scorpions and the bites of snakes, soothe the brain, stop contagion, still thunder and lightning, promote eloquence and secure the favor of the powerful. I mostly love the organic beauty these slices of stone bring to the home. — Jami from Imagine Design Blog


Eclipse Agate Chandelier

This chandelier combines a sleek, modern look with a raw, earthy vibe. I love the delicate lines of the piece. It would look great in many different dining settings.

Matthew Studios


Oh, hello lover! This is one good looking table. It’s unique, the perfect size to get just a small side table and that colour is stunning!


Agate Rug, Amethyst

Can you like this flooring jewel? It’s really a stunning carpet from Studio Bijoux. This is bold and beautiful rather than for the person who is afraid of colour.


Agate Napkin Rings – $65

I really like these agate napkin rings add a touch of natural elegance into the tabletop. I enjoy the blue agate paired with the freezing glass ring. You can design a chic tablescape using these as inspiration.


Agate Coasters – $60

Supposedly, these agate coasters possess supernatural powers that protect and bring pleasant dreams. Sign me up! I will try them, not just for protection, but to bring some stunning sparks of colour throughout my home.


Agate Slice Knob – $14

How pretty is that this agate piece knob? This would be the perfect addition to any dainty dresser or nightstand. It also comes in a cream colour, but I really like this bright blue.

Jayson Home

Agate Cheese Plates – $60

These aren’t the most colorful agates, but they are entirely sophisticated. They’d work well for serving a tasty cheese plate. I totally love the raw, earthiness of those.


Agate Cheese Spreaders – $60

Here is a few more agate that will help you serve your cheese up. Not only are they naturally amazing, they’re virtually indestructible!

Paper Mojo

Agate Marbled Paper, Pink And Black

This agate decorative paper is handmade in Bangladesh and will be perfect to add to an acrylic tray onto your coffee table or as a pad in a frame. Pink + gray + black = perfection.

West Elm

Agate Silk Pillow Cover – $34

Who says all agates are rock hard? This silk pillow cover is something I would really like to see in my guest bedroom. It’s modern and I really like the complementary colour scheme.

Eduardo Garza

Fuschia Lucite Box – $595

Whoa! If color is what you enjoy, then colour is exactly what you get here within this ideabook. Consider this brilliant fuchsia. Store your treasures inside this oil box or only keep it on display by itself. This really is that accessory that will make your guests say, “Ooooh!”

Craig Van Den Brulle

Willy Daro Bronze And Agate Lamp

This is one stunning lamp. This would really look just right in my living room along with all the chocolates, creams and caramels happening. I would really like to see it lit with a warm, soft glow.


Agate Candle Holders – $110

This set of candleholders is one polished agate split in half. Each set from this shop is exceptional, because they’re made from stones found in character.


Tigela Agate Bowl – $60

These beauties are carved from character and oozing with colour. They are perfect for serving snacks or putting in your dresser to maintain earrings or rings.


Concetto Semi Precious Blue Agate Stone Surfaces

This really is a blue agate slab from Caesarstone. They advocate it for conference or meeting rooms where people gather to emphasise as seemingly it “can lead to intensely original thinking” I’m loving this! Natural cut stone to improve creativity — I need a desk made from the stuff.

tuell + reynolds

Santiago Sconce

This set of agate sconces is the perfect addition to light up any space. I imagine them at an entryway (to ward off bad spirits) or maybe in an office or library setting (to stir the creative juices). I’m sure these have a gorgeous soft glow when lit.


Lee Jofa Groundworks Kelly Wearstler Agate, Grey With Blue By houseofpemberley – $109

This really is a 20-inch throw pillow out of Etsy. It’s made from Kelly Wearstler’s Agate fabric. They also have a few different colors to choose from. I really like this as it is a picture interpretation of an agate — a bit more bold and modern.

Taylor Llorente

Unusual Hand Sculptured Bronze And Agate Cocktail Tables – $42,832.13

Examine this set! These small stunners are hand-sculpted and very pricey. They are one of a kind, although they’ve a high price tag. The sculptural base is bronze.


Agate Clocks – $85

Sprinkle some color around your home with a potpourri of brightly colored agate clocks. Be sure to place one in your nightstand to keep those good dreams coming!

High Street Market

Agate Bookends – $49.50

These silver foliage agate bookends would dress up any shelf. I really like this colour combination; silver and peacock blue perform nicely together and make any space instantly glamorous.

Next: Alternatives to Granite Countertops

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Eclectic DIY Décor, Texas Style

Blogger Dana Frieling made her home to tell a story about her loved ones. “A stranger could walk into our house and immediately start to know us,” she states. “Natural elements show our love for the outdoors, and personal artwork shows the gifts of my dad and our daughter.”

DIY answers were often the best way to get what she desired and remain within her budget. See how she personalized her home with everything from an ambitious midcentury-style wall paneling to a faux arbor in her kid’s room.

at a Glance
Who lives here: Dana Frieling, her husband and two children
Location: Round Rock, Texas
Size: 3,000 square feet; 5 bedrooms
That’s intriguing: The DIY dining area wall installation comes with a midcentury-inspired diamond layout created from 1×4 boards.

Dana Frieling Interiors

Black spray painted frames above the fireplace hold scrapbook paper at a pattern Frieling loves. To get a 3-D effect, she installed the mirror with L shaped brackets.

Dana Frieling Interiors

A leather sofa, an industrial coffee table plus a cowhide rug signify Frieling’s rustic design. The special piece against the wall was a tithing booth at an old churchnow the household uses it for storage and as a prayer box. Art on the gallery wall is a combo of Frieling’s father’s pencil drawings and various prints.

Couch: Rooms To Go; coffee table: Pottery Barn; cowhide rug; Overstock.com

Dana Frieling Interiors

“I enjoy the challenge of the hunt,” Frieling states. “I shop at places like Marshalls, T.J.Maxx and Salvation Army.” She made the picture curtains using discount fabric.

Dana Frieling Interiors

DIY wood paneling and a cute chevron pattern transformed this formerly awkward corner right to an integrated TV center. “It’s fun to have something really different that can not be purchased in a shop,” Frieling states.

Read about how exactly she upgraded this built-in here.

Dana Frieling Interiors

The entryway is Frieling’s preferred area. “The curved walls which create the rotunda are somewhat unexpected and help to make it dramatic,” she states. Stripes, which Frieling painted, exaggerate the curves.

Wall paint: Senora Gray, Benjamin Moore and Early Morning Mist, Behr; rug: The Rugstore; table: Pottery Barn; spectacle: Charlotte’s

Dana Frieling Interiors

An amazing breakfast nook in the kitchen gets a dab of midcentury-modern design with DIY wood paneling, made by Frieling and her husband. The twosome carefully measured bits of walnut strips, attached them to the wall and painted the entire thing in the exact same gray hue from the entryway. See how they did it.

Interior paint: Senora Gray, Benjamin Moore; table and chairs: The Dump

Dana Frieling Interiors

Frieling installed a few subtle wall shelves to hold rows of dainty vases and prints at the dining area. An elaborate chandelier and picture floral chairs give the room a fun and feminine touch.

Table: Four Hands; bamboo tray: Tuesday Morning; chandelier: Z Gallerie

Dana Frieling Interiors

The curved countertop in the kitchen serves as the perfect spot for after-school weekend and snacks lunches. Frieling stayed to the exact same neutral palette, accessorizing with brighter shades for the table and chairs at the eat-in nook.

Countertops: Taylor Morrison; color under pub: Bayleaf, Benjamin Moore; pub stools: Star Furniture

Dana Frieling Interiors

Frieling went cooler and brighter as it came to her two kids’ spaces. The heavy freezer playroom feels grown-up but can also be lively with a vibrant arts and crafts screen.

Wall paint: Restless Sea, Behr; pillows: Burlington Coat Factory

Dana Frieling Interiors

In the master bedroom, a conventional framework gets dressed with mirrored side tables and zebra-patterned ottomans that the family’s pugs find comfy.

Interior color: Stamped Concrete, Sherwin-Williams; bed framework: Drexel Heritage; side tables: Bombay

Dana Frieling Interiors

Frieling just finished redesigning her daughter’s room. While she wanted the room to function with the remainder of the house and for years ahead, she carefully considered her daughter’s passions while designing the distance.

Frieling gave a simple desk chair a new coat of blue-green paint, and a bare wall got a makeover with blue paint and cork circles to get a vibrant and trendy bulletin board.

Wall paint: Rhino, Behr; desk: World Market; desk chair: Pottery Barn (repainted)

Dana Frieling Interiors

Mother and daughter worked together to get a theme that would be enjoyable and private. Frieling’s daughter loves being outside and playing with animals, so they took their theme from character. An”arbor” of artificial greenery hovers above the bed, and a hammock becomes the perfect reading spot. Nature-inspired artwork and bedding round out the appearance.

Hammock: Bonanza.com; bedding: West Elm

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Stucco Smooths Modern Home Exteriors

The Museum of Modern Art’s 1932 exhibition “The International Style: Architecture Since 1922,” curated from Henry-Russell Hitchcock and Philip Johnson, set aside societal ideals and promoted modern architecture as a fashion. Now-familiar elements like horizontal ribbon windows, flat roofs and planar, unadorned walls prevailed in the primarily European examples gathered for the exhibit and companion book.

Planar walls were often accomplished using a little deception: Walls of brick or some other substance were often whitewashed or covered with stucco and painted white. This gave the buildings that the appearance of machinelike precision, but they were nearer to conventional techniques of production than the industrial, assembly-line products (cars, boats) which lots of the architects loved and emulated.

Architects have many more materials in their disposal today to achieve the clean lines of modern architecture, but stucco still finds a place, especially in climates conducive to it, for example California or the desert Southwest. Nevertheless the homogeneity of last century’s International fashion is eschewed in favor of modern forms balanced with vernacular considerations, for example climate, perspectives and color. Stucco is often also used alongside other materials on the outside surface.

Kanner Architects – CLOSED

To begin with, a home that follows the global style. This one-story residence in Malibu, California, by Kanner Architects is almost completely covered in stucco painted white. An entrance canopy juts into the ideal side of this photo, but the sun otherwise strikes the outside walls directly to light a collection of exterior spaces. What’s more, the wood window frames at a trim-free opening stick out in the white composition.

HMH Architecture + Interiors

This home in Colorado uses stucco for the majority of the exterior walls, in addition to a solid wall which defines the front of the property. But notice the rock wall which bisects the home; this wall continues inside to become an “art wall.” It takes on further importance by being of a different substance and color compared to white stucco walls.

TRG Architects

A similar type of idea can be seen within this award winning, ecofriendly house: Two stucco volumes are split by a space that’s further contrasted from the former by a wood cladding. The same wood is apparent in the space on each side of this stucco.

Given that stucco is basically plaster for outside uses, it’s therefore the perfect canvas for color. White may be ordinary, according to historical precedents in modern structure, but homes that respond to local issues — notably climate and the impacts of the sun — may benefit from some type of color. This home in San Francisco has grey walls with variation that shows the method by which in which the plasterer troweled the surface.

Architects Magnus

Here is another home where the variation on the outside gives the layout a particular character. It seems to work well with wood, a substance that his its own natural variations.

Griffin Enright Architects

The dark grey of the stucco exterior creates an imposing presence on the road.

Nick Mehl Architecture

Based on a number of variables — climate, backup structure, form — stucco can be implemented without control joints. This home is covered in various materials, such as Ipe wood (bottom left) and HardiePanel siding (centre), but notice how the stucco in the very top left and in the ideal uses vertical and horizontal control joints to divide the expansive walls, bringing the scale closer to another surfaces. The traces relate to the windows, a way of anchoring them to the stucco, rather than having them appear to float.

Neiman Taber Architects

More control joints can be seen in this Pacific Northwest home. Though each opening is unique, the horizontal and vertical lines show that an underlying grid is in the office.

Janof Architecture

The control joints on front elevation of the house fortify the difference between the small windows and the larger ones to the best. The joints create a kind of abstract composition about the wall.

West Architecture Studio

Look closely at the stucco expanse to the left of the bluestone box: Vertical and horizontal control joints are based on the square window, a different tactic than the prior illustrations.

Arcanum Architecture

This traditionally styled single-family residence near San Francisco uses stucco to provide clean surfaces and lines, instilling some modernism to the conventional form.

Randall Mars Architects

This massive residence overlooking the Potomac River is articulated in five interlocking pavilions. Stucco is a way to tame the composition, which could be unwieldy with the several roofs, chimneys and openings.

Randall Mars Architects

Up close it’s apparent that the stucco walls are not independently; poured-in-place concrete walls are interspersed among the pavilions.

Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects

This last example shows the potential of color, harking back to Mexican architect Luis Barragån, in place of the European architects who Hitchcock and Johnson promoted. A stucco wall defines a border of the property, and acting as a background for a number of sculptures. It’s carefully composed to be viewed from this terrace.

Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects

Up close, it’s clear how nicely the earthy orange-brown wall functions in it context. It hovers between blues and greens: between the green grass and blue sky, and instead the leaves over and reflecting pool below.

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Product Watch: Spanish Tile Gets Technical

Technology from embedded lights into ink-jet printing was behind some of the most fascinating offerings in the 2012 Cevisama tile expo in Valencia, Spain. Not to be outdone, three-dimensional tiles wowed with their architectural aspects and discovered new, creative uses.

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Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS

Here you see technology integrated into tile with LEDs, which are long lasting, energy efficient and versatile. This Natucer combination would work well in kitchens, bathrooms, even home theatres.

Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS

This TV mounted onto a crochet wall facade by Tau hides sophisticated capabilities. Using a system such as this from S3 to get Tau, you can control your websites, audio, lighting, heat and air filter via touch sensors installed from the tile.

Photo by Kenn Busch

Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS

Using ink-jet methods to render a client’s artwork onto tile lets Ceracasa to create nearly infinite designs. This custom look was originally created for industrial architecture.

Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS

This Natucer arrangement looks like basic tile right? It is really a mix of glistening indoor tiles and exterior tiles using a slip-resistant finish. Thanks to excellent digital technologies, they seem almost identical. The combination is excellent for creating a mixed indoor-outdoor space.

Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS

I really like the 3D trend that was widely seen at Cevisama. The powerful dimensionality in this wall design from Natucer is.

Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS

You could consider this dimensional tile steroids! Here it serves as a space divider. Shallower versions of the same shapes, too by Natucer, can function as shower niches.

Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS

Here, Natucer reveals what it could do with 3D for furniture, with bamboo tile as table legs. Dimensionality gives tile an entirely new location in the house, bounded only by your creativity and distance.

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2012 Design Forecast: Not-So-Mellow Yellow

Lemony yellows were all over the runways when spring style collections surfaced — and since the interior design world is not far behind, start looking for these joyful hues to begin showing up in houses next year. Their sunny character is just the right antidote to tumultuous times. They could overpower a distance when used too broadly, however, so a little goes a very long way. Here is a baker’s dozen tips for adding a spritz of citrus into your surroundings.

Elad Gonen

Dining seats upholstered in yellow just glow. The colour elevates an extremely compact, subtle room and accounts the dark tones.

Atmosphere Interior Design Inc..

A grid of art is a just-enough hit of colour. Wide black and mats eyeglasses stop the yellow from dominating an otherwise restful dining room.

Atmosphere Interior Design Inc..

For a soda of lemon yellow, you can not do better than the source. A bowl of brilliant fruit, set off with a stack of carefully selected novels, provides an affordable dash of colour in a neutral kitchen.

Cristi Holcombe Interiors, LLC

Kelly green, one of glowing yellow’s natural spouses, is another huge trend for spring. This pillow pairing seems as happy and fresh as a daffodil.

Tara Seawright Interior Design

If you have ever wondered just how much difference a painted ceiling could make, simply cover that part of the photograph with your thumb for a moment. Isn’t it amazing how much life the space loses without a crowning touch of yellow?

Eileen Kathryn Boyd Interiors

For me, the flanges on these curtains are the high point of the space. It would have been easy to leave the yellow accents into the cushions and seats, but taking it up the draperies energizes the layout.

Just Grove

This bargain mirror from a chain store obtained a coat of paint which highlights its showy scrollwork — a creative way to give yellow a test run. And you’d get a mood increase each time you peeked in your reflection.

Just Perfect!

The lemon-color throw across the foot of the bed adds a cheerful high note.

Each time that I believe I have seen it all when it comes to inexpensive wall art, someone has another surprise for me. These plaster ceiling medallions, painted pale lemon, have the same collective effect as a screen of dishware or mirrors.

Michelle Hinckley

Evidence that glowing color sometimes works best in small packages: an eye-catching tray which corrals night-table requirements.

Beckwith Interiors

It is not for commitment-phobes, however this lemon-yellow countertop is a refreshing alternative to natural stone or neutral laminate.

Rethink Design Studio

Yellow can be a tough colour for baths, since it doesn’t always make skin tones look good in the mirror. This can be a more palatable way to work it in: a painted vanity table and seat, echoed by the tubside stool.

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Do not forget flower power! A bunch of tulips waving in the coffee table adds depth into the blues in this living room.

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