Kitchen of the Week: Contemporary Meets Rustic in Southern California

The brick-like tile, vintage lighting fixtures and reclaimed wood in this kitchen may indicate an earlier era, but the clean cabinetry and contemporary fixtures stage to its latest design. The owners, newlyweds in Southern California, needed a kitchen which would replace the obsolete old space without appearing blatantly brand-new. After reworking the design and shutting up doors that are unnecessary, designer Lisa Gutow professionally mixed both contemporary and rustic components to create a warm, welcoming and eclectic kitchen.

Kitchen at a Glance

Who lives here: A recently married couple
Location: San Clemente, California
Size: 130 square feet

Lisa gutow design

The white planked cabinetry gives the kitchen a low-key feel that is in accord with its coastal location. Gutow set up a reclaimed rough-sawn wood beam over the hood as a rustic accent.

The kitchen size and design didn’t allow for as much storage as the couple would’ve liked, so Gutow place glass shelves in front of one window to maximize space and allow for natural lighting. Since the little window just includes an opinion of a guesthouse next door, the client prioritized storage within the view.

Hardware: Restoration Hardware; range: Electrolux with concealed hood

Lisa gutow design

The rustic brick-style backsplash is really made from cement field tile. Gutow and the clients chose the tile with brick in your mind, so it’d seem similar to that kitchen has always been here. “We wanted it to seem like the drywall had been chiseled away and brick was discovered,” says Gutow.

Hand-painted Italian tile over the stove adds a more contemporary element and stays in accord with the remainder of the house’s Mediterranean undertones.

Backsplash tile: Hacienda San Felipe, Ann Sacks; tile over stove: Haveli, Ann Sacks

Before Photo

Lisa gutow design

The prior kitchen had been neglected for ages. Here is a view of the first distance, looking away in the smaller window at the rear of the kitchen. The big window over the sink was kept in the new design.

The kitchen outdated cabinetry had entire drawers and cabinets overlooking. The white and black pattern on the ground had worn in several areas, so Gutow sanded it down and used Annie Sloan chalk paint to create a low-contrast stripe.

Lisa gutow design

AFTER: Though Gutow kept the original appliance layout to avoid shifting plumbing and gas components, she reworked the traffic patterns.

Before Photo

Lisa gutow design

When looking into the kitchen, in which the little window exists now, there were two additional doors; one led to the courtyard, another to a laundry area. The empty wall is where the stove sits at the kitchen. Gutow closed both doors up, created another entrance to the laundry area and flipped the courtyard door right into a more compact kitchen window. Now foot traffic travels through the living room, rather than the kitchen.

Lisa gutow design

AFTER: Fixing the courtyard door using the smaller window on the left created room for cabinets, such as those below the window and the device which sits on the countertop, holding the coffeemaker and microwave.

The lively blue pendants include some essential colour; the client found these classic pieces on her, and Gutow had them rewired to your kitchen. The butcher block is. The excess surface area close to the refrigerator is the best location for putting together a cheese plate or a appetizer before carrying it in the adjoining dining area.

Blue bracelets: classic; sink: Rohl; faucet: Country Kitchen, Rohl; countertops: honed marble, Botticcino Classico

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Fall Is Calling: What to Do On Your October Garden

I like having options — from which taste of tea to drink after lunch to that course I’ll take to walk home. Gardening this month is just the same. Whether you’re after garden chores or perhaps some seasonal puttering, it is all about choosing your own route.

You can prep soil for spring planting, divide blossoms and transplant perennials, even tuck in more cool-season edibles. Alternatively, you can simply love fall’s grandeur and put off some of this year’s more tedious tasks. Let fallen leaves deliver hearty mulch for your own lawns and eliminate, for the time being, on cutting spent summer and fall crops. Instead, take some time and watch the leaves change. It is your backyard, so appreciate it. Here’s what you can do in your backyard this October.

Find your October backyard checklist:
California | Central Plains | Great Lakes | Mid-Atlantic | Northeast
Pacific Northwest | Rocky Mountains | Southeast | Southwest | Texas

California. Garden editor Bill Marken suggests potting shrubs and trees to get a permanent and festive seasonal touch.

“Pomegranates symbolize fall in Mediterannean climates,” Marken writes. “Like ancient Christmas ornaments, the fat, round reddish fruits hang heavy on spindly branches together with little leaves turning an autumn yellow. To get a container, look for a dwarf variety such as ‘Nana’, showing fall foliage and tiny reddish fruits if you’re lucky.”

Get his California October checklist | More hints for your California backyard

Donna Lynn – Landscape Designer

Southwest. Water management remains important this season. “Continue to monitor and reset the timers on any controllers you might have, especially in the low and middle zones. As temperatures fall, decrease the water required,” writes New Mexico landscape designer David Cristiani.

“In case you are planning a landscape to get a barren area or for a place outside plant roots, create water harvesting chances to gain plantings and a few visual interest by installing subtle basins, swales and berms away from constructions, where lush plantings are needed,” he says.

Get his Southwest October checklist

J. Peterson Garden Design

Texas. It is not too late for fall edibles. “Cool-season veggies are so plentiful and nutritious, so try to tuck in a few new ones this season,” writes landscape designer Jenny Peterson. “Broccoli, turnips, lettuce, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, lettuce, cabbage, collards and other greens can be planted today. If you are anticipating a hard freeze, consider adding some row cover to protect your veggies but otherwise these crops will take the crisper weather stride and give you months of create.”

Get her Texas October checklist

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Rocky Mountains. “Planning to put in a new vegetable or flower garden next spring? Now’s a fantastic time to prepare the dirt,” writes Colorado landscape designer Jocelyn Chilvers. “Use organic adjustments to boost water- and – nutrient-holding capacity and to improve aeration and water stream. Adding alterations now allows you to work in the backyard while the soil is relatively dry, thus preventing the possibility of soil compaction that can occur if you try to perform it during the rainy months of spring. Come springtime the dirt will be prepared to plant.”

Get her Rocky Mountains October checklist

Le jardinet

Northwest. “Refresh your container gardens with a selection of winter-hardy evergreen shrubs, perennials and seasonal colour stains,” says landscape designer Karen Chapman.

For a festive fall arrangement, she says that “little conifers, bright spurge (Euphorbia spp) and evergreen sedums are simple candidates for containers — especially when dressed up with a couple cheerful pansies.”

It is also time to plant spring-blooming bulbs — in containers. “Dwarf daffodils, hyacinths and crocuses are simply a couple of the options,” Chapman says.

Revealed: ‘Princess Irene’ tulips are stunning with ‘Peach Flambe’ coral bells (Heuchera).

Get her Northwest October checklist

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Central Plains. Wondering what to do with that dropped foliage? “Do not rake leaves; mulch them with a mower,” writes Nebraska garden consultant Benjamin Vogt. “Those finely ground leaves are free fertilizer for lawns. If you’d rather rake, toss the leaves to garden beds over winter and early spring, then they’ll break down completely and add rich topsoil. Perhaps you’ll even want to ‘steal’ unwanted bags of these from the neighbors’ driveways.”

Get his Central Plains October checklist

Barbara Pintozzi

Great Lakes. “While the fall colour often continues into November, the big show comes from October, as revealed with this sumac (Rhus copallina),” writes Illinois garden coach Barbara Pintozzi. “Foliage’s dramatic color change is the result of cool nights and bright days.”

Get her Great Lakes October checklist

Paintbox Garden

Northeast. Transplant and divide plants on mild, cloudy days. “Rejuvenate ornamental grasses through branch,” writes Vermont landscape consultant Charlotte Albers. “It is a big job — especially if they’re big clumps of grass (Miscanthus spp) — so be sure that you own a pruning saw for cutting through the dense root fibers. Discard the middle of plant and cut the outer parts into segments for replanting.”

Get her Northeast October checklist

Amy Renea

Mid-Atlantic. “Herbs are plentiful all fall, but they’ll disappear sooner than you can say ‘Jack’ when frost comes,” says garden author Amy Renea. “Harvest mint, lemon balm, rosemary and other people to keep them for winter. Dry the blossoms, chop and freeze them or use them in soaps for new herbs.”

Renea suggests “making your own tea mixes for winter. I combine stevia (revealed) with various herbs for exceptional and cheap teas. So long as I have new herbs, however, I’ll brew up a batch every single evening before my luck runs out.”

Get her Mid-Atlantic October checklist

Gardening with Confidence®

Southeast. When prepping the garden for winter, “Do not be so quick to clean up,” says North Carolina backyard author Helen Yoest. “The remains of this summer and fall garden give shelter, cover and food for wildlife, while also adding winter interest to garden beds.”

Revealed here “is a praying mantis egg case I discovered one year while cutting my backyard,” she continues. “It was at this point I learned to slow down my fall pruning before the spring, when the leaves were cleared away and overwintering wildlife was easier to view.”

Get her Southeast October checklist

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What's That Smell? Things to Do About Stinky Furniture

I moved and was dismayed to discover that the smell that plagued me in my previous home had followed me to the new one. The culprit? My sofa.

Upholstery odors are insidious and incredibly difficult to eliminate. “Upholstery isn’t a consumer-friendly, cleanable item,” says Alec Houle, a 51-year veteran in the upholstery cleaning industry, who services the greater Boston area at Alec’s Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning in Abington, Massachusetts.

Despite this, there are steps you can take to assess the problem and decide whether professional intervention is required.

Diagnosing pet odors. If you have pets, an ammonia-based smell indicates the presence of urine, as do telltale yellowish stains. If you have a dog, start looking for staining round the furniture’s skirt. Cat urine is particularly tough to treat, both because it is smellier and because cats prefer to pee in the cracks of their furniture, where their injuries are not immediately detectable.

Should you smell the pee but can not locate the stain, try shining a dark light onto the piece in a darkened area. (Black lights are available from tool rental companies.)

Other odors from living sources. Another culprit might be dog drool, which contains bacteria that can cause odors or that might react with soil on the furniture to give off odors. (Millie and Gabrielle, shown here, are innocent of any wrongdoing, as are the other pets in those photos)

And do not rule out your two-legged friends and yourself: The origin may be human perspiration, which is most commonly found on the arms of the sofa and where the neck comes in contact with the fabric.

Tracery Interiors

Stain treatment. As soon as you detect a stain, do not delay. “The faster you reach it, the better,” states Mike Hiatt, general director of D.A. Burns & Sons in Seattle. An over-the-counter enzyme-based cleaner such as Nature’s Miracle can neutralize urine stains, and it doesn’t need to be rinsed out, unlike the typical treatments for odor-causing stains.

If the stain is restricted to the top layer of the furniture, you can try daubing it gently with a white cotton cloth dipped in warm to hot water and wrung out. You might also use a solution of 10% white vinegar and 90 percent water, or blend a teaspoon of mild liquid detergent with two cups of water.

McCroskey Interiors

Cleaning caveats. Be aware that even plain water can render a ring, based on the fabric. Consult the cleaning directions that came with your furniture before proceeding with any home treatment — even water.

Only water-based cleaning solutions are powerful on pet pee, because urine is water based. If the urine has soaked into the cushion, you might need to clean the upholstery and then replace the interior cushion.

Tip: If you are shopping for furniture and own pets, think about buying pieces with washable slipcovers.

Smells from different resources. Mustiness is common with secondhand furniture and pieces kept in a cellar or storage facility. The humidity in those spaces can cause bacteria or mould to embed itself deep in the frame or stuffing.

“If it is a musty odor, typically you are not going to eliminate this,” says Houle. Cigarette odors are equally pernicious. Before calling a professional, make the furniture onto a porch onto a dry day to find out whether this helps.

Houle takes a dim view of the fabric deodorizers that are very popular in recent decades, claiming they just mask odors and do not reach the root of the problem. More effective are antimicrobials, such as those from Microban, but even people are most useful after a cleaning.

Calling the pros. There are two major kinds of professional upholstery cleaning: wet cleaning and dry cleaning. Houle estimates that 98 percent of upholstery cleaners use the wet process, as it’s normally more effective and less toxic, although it can cause fabric shrinkage, swelling or bleeding or even properly executed. “If all the proper steps are required, the outcomes can be superior,” he states.

Dry cleaning uses a solvent, so colors and fabrics are guarded. But the surroundings aren’t: respirators and venting are required, and steps need to be taken to minimize the chance of explosions.

For both kinds of therapy, the upholstery cleaner will come to a home. The average cost ranges from approximately $75 to $100 to get a sofa, $60 to $75 for a love seat and $40 to $50 to get a seat.

No warranties. Hiatt says professional cleaning will usually improve the circumstance. But there are no guarantees that it will solve that, so you’re always taking a risk that you could shell out the cash and the smell might still be there. Or your partner might not smell it but you will.

“The tricky thing about odor,” notes Hiatt, “is that it is in the nose of the beholder.”

More: Baking Soda: The Amazing All-Natural Cleaner You Already Own

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Parents' Places: Suggestions for Integrating an In-Law Suite

Lots of people leave the family nest, but sometimes parents fly in their children’s nests. With retirement facilities costing an arm and a leg, an increasing number of households are adding in-law units to their houses to cut down on costs and enjoy an integrated family life.

Sybil Jane Barrido, ASID, CID – SJVD DESIGN

A flat over. Sybil Jane Barrido remodeled this family beach home for a client who wanted to give Mom her house above the home’s present two-car garage.

Sybil Jane Barrido, ASID, CID – SJVD DESIGN

“Two significant basics to think about,” says Barrido, “are privacy and integration of spaces, both inside an present structure in addition to within the household.”

Sybil Jane Barrido, ASID, CID – SJVD DESIGN

Barrido made a garden space to ease a private entrance for the upstairs unit. This terrace space doubles as a gathering place for the family.

Sybil Jane Barrido, ASID, CID – SJVD DESIGN

Barrido suggests intending on about 1,000 square feet for a complete kitchen, bedroom, bath and living area, but a great deal of relaxation can be packaged into less square footage than that. For this limited space over the garage, she made an efficient kitchenette-office setup.

Armstead Construction Inc..

Transform a cellar. Armstead Construction created this 850-square-foot living area in a customer’s unfinished basement. The one-bedroom unit includes plenty of open area and natural light.

Watch more cellar conversions

Armstead Construction Inc..

Armstead additional a Heat & Glo gas-powered fireplace add which takes up no floor space. According to the builder, these brand new fireplaces are perfect for this sort of space since they can be installed at any height. As a bonus, consumers can select their preferred flame shade.

Armstead Construction Inc..

The kitchenette in the cellar unit spans 11 feet and comes complete with an undercounter pullout microwave and an integrated mini fridge. The entire kitchen upstairs is available to Mother anytime she needs it.

12 convenient kitchenettes

Metzler Home Builders

A package with a garage. This in-law package, constructed by Metzler Home Builders, comprises 550 square feet of private living space and a brand new garage which matches the present home’s details. The device connects to the remainder of the home by means of 225 square feet of shared space, which comprises an entrance and a foyer. The suite has one bedroom, one bath and a combined kitchen, living and dining area.

Nominal measures, large doorways and handrails create this distance easily accessible for numerous generations.

Metzler Home Builders

Questions to ask about your in-law space. There is no one-size-fits-all alternative in regards to designing in-law spaces. Here are some questions Tim Zehr of Metzler Home Builders advises folks to ask before they proceed on an extra living unit:
Who is the choice maker in the process? This needs to be established early to avoid butting heads. “An experienced builder can aptly fill the role of a seasoned mediator should become necessary,” Zehr says. Which areas of the home will be shared spaces? “Some areas that can go either way would be the kitchen, laundry and entrances. This can be challenging for the various generations, particularly because most parents do not want to be an intrusion in their children’s lives,” he notes. Make sure everybody has a voice in the matter. Is a kitchen needed — or not permitted? “Make sure to research your local municipality’s requirements and zoning legislation for in-law suites or multifamily dwellings,” he says. “Early communicating with your municipality is always better.” More:
More Living Space: Making Room for Family
Hip Midcentury Style for a Mother’s Backyard Cottage
How to Generate a Full Nest Work Happily

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Herb Garden Essentials: Grow Your Fragrant Lavender

If any plant can be said to possess it all, or at least a fantastic portion of it all, it’s lavender. This Mediterranean native is easy to grow even beyond its preferred growing conditions, is mostly pest- and disease-free, is fragrant and attracts bees, butterflies and birds.

It’s equally at home as an accent plant, trained into a hedge or grown in a boundary, blending into a garden or suppress strip planting bed, dangling over a stone wall or climbing into a container. If you’ve got a bright window, you may even grow lavender for a houseplant.

Lavender can be amazingly easy to crop and use. Use fresh flowers in to taste ice cream, teas and lemonades, cakes and cookies, salads and sugars. Dry the flowers to use in wreaths, swags and arrangements or to put among clothes or in closets to add some fragrance and also help deter moths. Oils from the plants can be added to soaps and perfumes.

Barbara Pintozzi

Numerous types of lavender are available, but those grown most frequently are English lavender (Lavendula angustifolia or L. officinalis), lavandin (L. X intermedia) and Spanish lavender (L. stoechas).

English lavender, given its common name because of its prevalence in English gardens and not its region of origin, is the hardiest and the best choice for edible flowers. Lavandin is the famously fragrant lavender found in Provence, France, used for soaps and perfumes. Spanish lavender looks rougher, with its larger flowers, but really is a little less hardy than lavender.

David Buergler Architecture

Lavender flourishes in drought and poor soil; humidity and wet toes are its nemeses. If you reside in a humid climate or possess poor-draining soil, consider growing Spanish lavender or French lavender (L. dentata). It is also possible to plant it in a raised bed or on a slope, expand it in containers or treat it as an annual.

Derviss Design

It’s best to buy called nursery plants to make sure to get exactly what you would like. Seeds have a long time to germinate and may not develop true to variety.

Huettl Landscape Architecture

Light requirement: Full sun

Water requirement: Routine to establish, then minimum

Prime growing period: Spring to summer

When to plant: Spring through autumn, except during the hottest summer days

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Jean Marsh Design

Monrovia

Favorites:

L. angustifolia:Alba, Hidcote, Lady Lavender, Munstead, Nana Alba, Sharon Roberts
L. xintermedia: Grosso, Provence, White Spikes
L. stoechas:Dark Eyes, Hazel, Ruffles show

Zeterre Landscape Architecture

Planting and care: select a place in full sun with very good drainage; add sand or compost prior to planting to improve drainage. Lavender does best in poor soil.

Place plants 1 to 4 feet apart, depending on their eventual height and spread. If you reside in a humid climate, be sure to permit for plenty of air flow between them. You can even put in a mulch of sand or pea gravel.

If you are growing it into a container, choose one that’s only an inch or two larger than the root ball, eventually reverted right into a 12- to 16-inch container. Provide adequate drainage water and fertilize somewhat more often than for a plant in the floor.

BE Landscape Design

Water regularly during the first year to establish the plants; in subsequent years allow the plants dry out before watering again. Insert a light fertilizer in spring when growth begins.

Verdance Landscape Design

Shear back the plant by roughly twenty five to fifty after the blossom; you may get another harvest. In spring, after growth has begun, prune lightly to remove dead and broken growth and to shape the plant.

If the plant has woody in the middle, cut those branches out and permit new growth to fill in. Lavender isn’t long lived; you will probably have to replace it every 10 years or so.

Gardening with Confidence®

Lavender will be fine during most winters. If you reside in an area subject to ground freezes and thaws, mulch with gravel or sand to protect the roots. From the coldest climates, pay for the plants to protect them.

JMS Design Associates

Pests and disease are rare. There could be an occasional spider mite infestation, and fungal infections may be a problem in humid climates or where the soil is always wet.

Dig Your Garden Landscape Design

Harvest. Start choosing flowers before they open for the best odor. Harvest randomly throughout the plant to help keep it appearing full (every third branch is a fantastic way to go).

Hang the flowers in a cool, dark place with good air flow to dry.

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