Terra Cotta Pots With Salt Damage

A white crust marring the earthy finish of your terra cotta pots is a indication of deeper problems than a unsightly blemish. Fertilizers include soluble salts that could build up in the soil of potted plants. Over time these incisions leach through the permeable surface of terra cotta pottery, leaving a white crust around the rim, drainage holes or side walls of the grass.

Salt Sources

Fast-acting chemical fertilizers provide nutrients to plants but leave behind water-soluble salts in the soil. Using a slow-release fluid limits the amount of salt in the grass by decreasing the frequency of fluid applications. Tap water in areas with soft water is another common source of salt in terra cotta pots, but typically it only adds modest amounts of salt unless implemented frequently in huge volumes. Using bottled or filtered water eliminates this source of salt.

Salty Sand

Terra cotta pots cradling plants at a sandy, fast-draining dirt are more prone to salt damage. Sandy soils make it possible for the nutrients that they contain to leach from the dirt and in the walls of terra cotta pots more readily. Potting mixtures having a reduced of concentration of sand can hold more nutrients and are less likely to leach salt to the walls of a terra cotta pot. Frequently applying light doses of fluid over a span of weeks adds salt to the soil more quickly than it drains out.

Problems With Salt

Excess levels of salt may harm plants if left unchecked; typical signals of plants suffering from excessive salt include wilting and yellowish or brown discolored leaf that does not perk up following the plant is watered. The first signs of a plant suffering from salt damage are wilting and discoloration during its leaf tips. The damage also goes to the roots; salt-damaged roots often appear dried and shriveled.

Washing Pots

Flushing the dirt with water every four to six months is the simplest way to remove salts and stop them from accumulating in the soil and washing to the walls of a terra cotta pot. The best method to flush the dirt with water would be to take the plant out and remove any catch tray so that water can drain freely. Water the soil steadily until the soil is saturated. Wait 15 minutes for the excess water to drain from the soil and then water it. Water the grass slowly to avoid developing a pool of water on the surface. Soaking terra cotta pots in a solution of 1 part vinegar and 3 parts water helps remove salty buildup.

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Deck Your Containers With Holiday Cheer in an Hour

If you don’t live in a climate that is mild, chances are that your container gardens look somewhat drab during the winter months. Rather than emptying your pots and hoping to get an early spring, then make a holiday arrangement that can add a little bit of cheer through the dreariest of weeks. Employing natural winter branches and greens, you can create a playful splash of green in an otherwise empty container.

Follow this easy guide to creating an arrangement that’ll last through the holidays.

Kim Gamel


A container with dirt
Several evergreen boughs of varying heights
A few decorative branches and accents, such as pinecones, feathery grass and berries

Kim Gamel

Pick a container. You are able to use one that held your summer or autumn agreements. Rather than pulling out the plants and dirt, cut the tops of these plants in the soil line, maintaining the dirt and roots intact. These can help to maintain the greens stable. I’m going to maintain the Dorotheanthus (a yearly from summer) that is trailing over the borders here, since it looks good. If it expires with a future frost, I will just trim it away.

Kim Gamel

Add greenery. Several kinds of evergreen branches can make an enduring arrangement; walnut, spruce, hemlock, holly and cedar are all excellent choices. You can use as much as you like for variety and texture. With this arrangement, I’m using a mixture of white pine, with its short and spiky needles, and Port Orford cedar, which has shiny green, feather-like branches.

Kim Gamel

Start with the largest limbs. These are the foundation for the arrangement. Add one branch in the center toward the back of the kettle, sticking it down into the soil to keep it steady. Subsequently add branches on both sides, arching outward. Continue incorporating shorter branches round the perimeter of the kettle. Fill in any empty spaces with crisscrossing branches, continuing to arch them outward.

Kim Gamel

Add height and play with branches. If you happen to have a redtwig dogwood or curly willow in your backyard already, consider yourself blessed. Trim a few inconspicuous branches and you are all set. If not, many nurseries, crafts shops and even grocery stores carry cosmetic branches, either in their natural condition or painted for your vacations.

With this container I’m likely to stick with a couple of dogwood branches. Their reddish color will last through winter. How many you’ll need will be based on the size of your pot. Start with a small odd amount — say, five or three — and add more if desired.

Kim Gamel

Create interest with accents. Juniper berries, winterberry, crabapples and fountain grass can spice up an arrangement. I’m utilizing blue-berried juniper and yellow-tipped incense cedar for a festive winter look that doesn’t read also Christmas-y. Alternatively, the red fruits of winterberry and crabapple would offer a nice merry touch.

For a focal point, I’m using a large sugar pine cone, but a bow or small wrapped present could also add some glitz.

Kim Gamel

Put in a finishing touch. I’m including a few branches tipped with LED lights for illumination at night. These indoor-outdoor lights need an outlet, but you can find battery-operated alternatives online.

And there you have it! With only a couple of components and about a half an hour, you can make a warm, inviting entryway to your guests all winter.

Show us Please discuss your holiday container tips and photos below!

More: Create a Mini Christmas Tree in a Pot

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Renovation Detail: The Awning Window

On a recent weekend in my family’s lake house we had a marathon talk regarding awning windows and their advantages (we’re crazy conversationalists, I know). Awning windows are a member of the casement household, although standard casement windows are side hung, an awning is hinged in addition to start out from the floor.

On account of their ingenious top-hung sash, awning windows could be open while it is raining without letting water into your home. This is particularly attractive at our lake home, where rainstorms flood the valley with little warning and the sound of rain on the water is really a welcome orchestra.

Rain or shine, awning windows are also an easy way to boost ventilation. With proper positioning they will greatly enhance your home’s air flow and most surely its charming appearance.

Ply Gem

If launching a window wants a reach (like when it is over a mantel), awnings are a great option, because they start from the base.

TEA2 Architects

Awning windows are fantastic for welcoming in fresh lakeside air, even if it is raining.

Richard Bubnowski Design LLC

Designer Richard Bubnowski perfectly paired an awning window with exposed rafters, knee braces, cedar shakes and square tapered columns, to create the quintessential Craftsman seaside home.

Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects

This contemporary Texas house is situated on a mountain, and the low awning windows enable breezes to develop and in, increasing ventilation. The window design also allows for an unobstructed view.

Richard Bubnowski Design LLC

Awning windows provide excellent ventilation and increased air flow in an attic.

Whitten Architects

They belong at this fully equipped woodworking shop in Scarborough, Maine, if awning windows belong anywhere.

Group 3

Awning windows welcome Southern summertime breezes at this vacation home on Daufuskie Island, near Savannah, Georgia.

Rockefeller Partners Architects

Awning windows can help alleviate steaminess when you are having tub time.

Dale Browne

Awning windows along with a clipped-gable roof are an aesthetic match made in paradise.

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Red Doors Spice Up Home Fronts

Elizabeth Arden was on something when she painted the doorway to her Fifth Avenue salon a bright, bold crimson. A red door is a fantastic welcome for any home or business. Even more welcoming is a red door with a window adjacent or embedded in the doorway; the glass provides a sense of openness and lets light into the interior.

When painting an present door crimson, be sure to test several colours to discover a red that complements your house colour. You should use the best-quality exterior paint which you could manage for a durable finish (high-gloss paint is a common option). Red doors can also be made from red-stained wood, metal or other composite materials.

I rounded up photographs of 11 front doors in a variety of shades of crimson and a huge array of fashions. From trendy and contemporary to cottage cute, there’s a door for each home.

Debra Campbell Design

This red door is so quaint it almost hurts. With an arched top, paned glass along with a Dutch cut, it is a ideal selection for its place: picturesque Carmel Valley in California.


A red door adds to the charm of the house’s elegant entry. The geraniums and other scarlet-petal blossoms near the entry add even more welcoming colour.

Ana Williamson Architect

Red goes contemporary in this bold door on a house by architect Ana Williamson. Frosted glass is a great selection for allowing in natural light while still retaining privacy.

Goforth Gill Architects

A cardinal door paired with sunny yellow siding makes for a particularly inviting entry. This doorway has panels on each side and a single pane of glass in the top third of the doorway.

Union Studio, Architecture & Community Design

The facade of the home, set in a neighborhood of affordable artists’ home, respects its rural New England surroundings. Red is a standard colour for agricultural constructions, and the area includes working farmland.

Rauser Design

This kitchen with Rauser Design opens right up into the outside through a red door which is more glass than wood. It’s painted with Redwing by Sherwin-Williams.

EAG Studio

A dual door with brushed glass insets along with a stained glass transom is in keeping with the Victorian architecture of the San Francisco house lovingly rejuvenated by EAG Studio. Brass kickplates prolong the life of this doorway.

Pllc, Swaback Partners

Red is a natural selection for this barn-style doorway of a contemporary cabin by Swaback Partners. A nearby selection of walking sticks adds to the woodsy charm.

TEA2 Architects

A porthole-style window is a lively option with this arched cherry-colored door. It hints at the nautical theme that continues inside this carriage house.

Artistic Designs for Living, Tineke Triggs

Even apartment buildings and offices can benefit from a welcoming entrance doorway. Designer Tineke Triggs snapped this photo of the entry for her Artistic Designs for Living office. The zebra-patterned carpet gives the hallway a feeling of Hollywood glamour.

Ground and only

Cranberry-hued doors aren’t only for New England. This California dwelling maintains a distinctly West Coast vibe with its slate and river stone course, potted palms, native grasses and midcentury-style red entrance.

Brand New Start: Paint the Front Door

How to Select a Front Door

What Does Your Front Door Say?

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Have a Shine

Does your home need more romance? Would you need to add relaxing touches? Are you interested in finding a litte fire? Turn a wall to candle-based art using large sconces in a deep end, or go simple with milder finished sconces. It is possible to locate a candle sconce to match any size, and if you get a scented candle or two, you can have fun with fragrance. (Of course, always track burning candles for security.) Here are some excellent ways to use sconces in your property.

Alicia Ventura Interior Design

Pretty up the powder room. Candles add a gorgeous touch to your powder room, and scented candles can continue to keep the room clean and aromatic through a party. Install sconces on either side of your mirror or over the bathroom so there is no possibility of anyone knocking them over.

Grandin Road

Laurent Floor Lantern and Wall Sconce – $39

I adore this wall sconce. It has a excellent shape that works with almost any style, and the candle is surrounded by glass to security. I would love to use a pair in a powder room or foyer, on either side of a mirror.

A.S.D. Interiors – Shirry Dolgin, Owner

Create play with multiples. Purchase a few of the exact same sconce to fill more of this wall so you can get a lot of twinkling when the lights are turned off.


Boxes Wall Sconce – $49.95

Get the appearance of the dining area in the former picture with this wall sconce.

Xstyles Bath + More

Romance a master bathroom. Turn a bathtub wall into a flickering vision of light. Install numerous sconces or a huge iron wall one, switch off the lights and enjoy a relaxing bath by candlelight.

Coral Reef Wall Candelabra – $45.99

Insert this large wall sconce to a nautical theme. It will also look great in any seaside space. Use bright yellow candles for a big, bold look.

Life in the Fun Lane

Emphasize a focal point. Boost the visual appeal of your art by installing a pair of candle sconces on either side. Pick a finish that complements the art. To keep the candles from stealing the spotlight in instances like this, select white or white.

Inside Avenue

Progressive Ring Sconce – $248.40

Ensure it is contemporary. Mount this on a dark painted wall and the shiny finish will shine. This would look great in a contemporary dining room.


IMAX Harmony Chandelier Candle Wall Sconce – $107.98

Mix with glitz. Install a bold wrought iron candle sconce which includes crystal for a dramatic feature in a bedroom or bathroom.


Warm a gathering area. Install wall candle sconces in a family room and make a cozy haven. Your room will get a relaxing glow from the lamps and candles. Use big wall sconces so you can go larger with the candles.

Capizia Wall Candleholder Set – $55.99

A great look throughout the night and day! Add fun and color to your walls using these artsy wall sconces. Select up on the blue or brown color for your candles.

Heather Garrett Design

Boost the chic. Insert more flair with wall sconces over your fireplace. Silver and white finishes look great against pewter-hued walls.


Wellfleet Sconce – $350

Take the appearance of the wall sconces in the living room over for this one. Would you believe it is made from shells?


Four Season Iron Sconce – $64

Add outside elegance. Light up the night for this particular iron sconce. It is a good size and comes in many different finishes.

Read candle sconces in the Products section

How to Use Wall Sconces

20 Sconces for Under $100

Using Candles to Make Your Home Warmer

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Barn Doors Slide Into Style

If you do not shut a door, you can find yourself subjected to the timeworn “Were you raised in a barn?” remark. But, there’s absolutely no need to disparage barn doors. In reality, a sliding bar–style door can be a choice for a inside.

A traditional door may use up to 9 square feet of space (a set of French doors, much more). While that might not seem like a lot counts. Installing a door means that it’s going to take only a few inches of floor space up. The disadvantage? Sliding barn doors occasionally afford protection that is noise than doors, which close tightly.

A sliding door is not the answer for all small rooms. You have to have enough wall space adjacent to your door to slide over the door. Distance market that is similar is offered by A pocket but demands demolition to install. A fairly handy DIY-er can tackle installing a sliding barn door, but if you are unsure of your abilities, employ a professional to ensure your door slides smoothly and safely.

Browse sliding barn doors in Products

Artistic Designs for Living, Tineke Triggs

A sliding door shuts off a bedroom in this house in Mill Valley, California, made by Tineke Triggs. Here the walls, door and trim are all painted the same white colour so that the door blends with its environment.

See the rest of this home

Van Wicklen Design

While this bedroom is barely short on space, a barn door is a charming nation inclusion. Designer Jeanette Van Wicklen ordered the hardware from Barn Door Hardware and had the door is designed by her builder.

See the rest of this home

Andre Rothblatt Architecture

A close-up view shows you how a sliding door monitor works: Typically, the door is hung from a piece of hardware with a wheel that rolls along a track attached to the wall.

Su Casa Designs

The team at Su Casa Styles of Newton, Massachusetts, knows that a barn door is a practical choice for a kitchen space, where swinging doors may get in the way. Three panels of glass allow natural light.

Feldman Architecture, Inc..

A lime-green hue brings the eye to the front door of this home by Feldman Architecture, but it is the oversize sliding door to the left that is the real showstopper. In this instance, the sliding barn door acts as a room divider.

TruLinea Architects Inc..

This sliding door is designed to tuck into the adjacent staircase — a true space saver. It’s clad in the same wood as a nearby wall, giving the door a smooth look when closed.

Flea Market Sunday

This slider does double duty as a door along with a makeshift gallery for children’s art. There are a few magnets all you have to use your door if you install a metal door.

Find more ways to display your child’s artwork


Barn doors are a contemporary alternative to traditional doors and take floor space up.

See the rest of this home

Feldman Architecture, Inc..

A door may be used for over closing entrances between chambers. Here, Feldman Architecture installed a slider to pay up an office space when it isn’t in use.

Murphy & Co.. Design

A barn door can feel at home in a cupboard. In this generous walk-in by Murphy & Co., a sliding barn door can be pushed to one side to pay behind.

Barn Doors: They’re Not Just for the Farm

Sliding Doors: Transition in High Design

Opening Acts: Folding, Sliding and Pivoting Doors

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