Browse Month: December 2018

Great Design Plant: Astilbe

It isn’t simple to find a showy plant that thrives in shade and looks great even as the flowers die. That’s why I’m such a fan of astilbes. These gorgeous plants possess feathery plumes that make them look spectacular en masse and let them stand out in a combined garden.

Astilbes originated in Japan and China in the 1800s, and German and Dutch botanists could not get enough of crossing them producing new cultivars and brightening up their color. While astilbes today come in a range of pinks and purples, we’re going to look at the very first astilbe colour the Europeans saw back in the 1800s: white.

Botanical name: Astilbe chinensis or other special variety
Shared name: Astilbe, false spirea
USDA zones: 4 to 9 (find your zone)
Water requirement: Regular watering. Soil ought to be moist, so rich in organic material and well drained.
Light requirement: Light to medium shade; filtered light or three to four hours of light each day are ideal.
Mature size: 24 inches high up to 18 inches wide
Benefits and tolerances: It is a brassy shade plant that thrives in moist/damp lands. It cannot tolerate drought or sun. Astilbes are mostly insect resistant, such as deer and rabbit resistant. The exception is that the black vine weevil.
Seasonal interest: Beautiful base of leaves in summer; gaudy summer blossoms. The spent blossoms seem good in the fall and the dried blossoms can decorate the house.
When to plant: Mid-spring or after the last frost

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

Distinguishing traits. Astilbes possess delicate, feathery plumes that blossom over the base of the leaves in June or July, based on your zone.

When not in bloom, the plant’s fernlike leaves are appealing. The flowers are fragrant and attract butterflies.

Summerset Gardens/Joe Weuste

Since the blooms begin to fade in the fall, their structures still add a unique texture to the backyard that a lot of individuals find lovely. Actually, astilbe is known to be a blossom.

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

Astilbe is a versatile plant. Here are the best ways to use it:
In a combined perennial gardenIn a cutting garden (those were originally grown in Europe for because of their worth as cut flowers)In all-white gardens, such as moon gardensFor foundation plantingsIn an all-astilbe border gardenEn masseAs a woodland border

Planting notes. Astilbes prefer neutral or acidic soil. Add organic material to any soil that’s lacking in nutrients. Space 12 to 18 inches apart; dig holes as deep as the container or about 6 inches deep for bare-root specimens.

Keep plants watered and soil moist; extremely hot weather and shortage of water will quickly kill astilbes. Otherwise, they are quite tolerant and powerful.

Split every three to four decades.

More Great Design Plants

See related

11 Shutters to Enhance Every Window

The architectural detailing of standard shutters can boost the exterior and interior of a home. Often custom made, shutters offer you full privacy with the capacity to manipulate the person louvers to the down or up position. Shutters can insure any window or door, let in as much or as little light as needed and also serve as a spectacular companion to any fabric best therapy. Full of personality, shutters are durable investments which can boost a home’s resale value.

Jennifer Orne

Arched Top Shutters

These tall contemporary living room windows have plantation shutters (dividers with individual louvers which are 2 1/2 into 4 1/2 inches wide) using the specific same styled shirt.

Style suggestion: Don’t be scared to use different styles of dividers on different windows at the same room. In this picture, full-height shutters mix with partial-height shutters.

Baysix Design

Painted Shutters

Beautiful black painted shutters create an instant focal wall within this comfy family room.

Design suggestion: Have your shutters painted in a neutral color that is suitable for your home’s interior. Use a gloss sheen to reflect light and catch the eye.

Soorikian Architecture

Café-Style Shutters

Café style dividers protect half of this window, offering privacy while still allowing the light.

Design suggestion: Use shutters made from plastic from the kitchen — this substance is very easy to clean.

Picture Perfect Interiors

Clerestory Shutters

Windows found high above eye level are referred to as clerestory windows. Place shutters on such windows as well as their kin to attain a single cohesive look throughout your home.

Design suggestion: Use dividers with of the windows in a room for a very traditional, Cape Cod–such as feeling.

Melbourne Plantation Shutters

Contemporary Shutters

Often shutters have a more traditional feel — but maybe not at this kitchen. The simple fact that this shutter goes all of the way into the ceiling produces this window treatment feel very contemporary.

Design suggestion: The bigger the louver, the more light you can let in.

Clifford M. Scholz Architects Inc..

Door Shutters

A shutter is the ideal remedy to any doorway with a full glass panel. Inside this bathroom, the shutter permits for privacy when the room is occupied and permits light in when it’s vacant.

Design suggestion: Safe the louvers at the closed position for continuous privacy.

Visbeen Architects

Toilet Shutters

These dividers are more of an architectual component than a functional window treatment within this bathroom. The horizontal lines the person louvers create is soothing to the eye.

Design suggestion: Use vinyl shutters in the bathroom to prevent warping because of steam and moisture.

Diana Rodriguez

Transom Shutters

Many doors have smaller windows on top called transom windows. Transoms can be difficult to cover, but those were medicated with custom-made shutters that match perfectly.

Design suggestion: The louvers of those transom shutters have to be exploited one by one to either an open or a closed position. Adjust them into the center position so that they block just partial mild — then you’ll not ever need to adjust them.

Pepe Calderin Design- Modern Interior Design

A Wall of Shutters

however big or small your dividers are, shutters from floor to ceiling and wall to wall make the look of a slatted wall.

Design suggestion: This program is another way to take a more contemporary approach to window dividers.

ROMABIO / Interior & Exterior Mineral Based Paints

Paneled Shutters

These folding dividers have solid panels set up of conventional operable louvers. The panels fold back on themselves when they’re in the open position.

Design suggestion: Replace traditional hinges and hardware using more decorative options in your preferred finish to accentuate the camera’s uniqueness.

Modern Shutters

This modern take on the timeless shutter was attained by replacing human louvers with tree branches.

Design suggestion: depending upon your own design style, insert other things instead of branches. Try colored glass painted dowels or coordinating fabric.

See related


A grove is a small grouping of trees, yet striking in its appearance due to the absence of undergrowth. A grove could be found naturally in the landscape or planted as an orchard or portion of a designed landscape feature. From the U.K. that a grove is a circular road, similar to a cul-de-sac.

Murphy & Co.. Layout

What makes a grove different from a woods is the absence of undergrowth: scrub, weeds, bushes and saplings.

TRG Architects

A blanket of bark mulch covers this hillside grove.

Landscape d.o.o. Slovenia

An orchard is the greatest grove, where undergrowth is removed to ease access to this fruit.

Designs Northwest Architects, Dan Nelson

This grove sets a dramatic backdrop for the backyard seats and provides a wind barrier to your own flame pit.

David J Frank Landscape Contracting Inc

An ivy ground cover is planted onto a berm with a grove of trees, forming the centerpiece of a circular drive.

Cul-de-sacs or streets, as shown on this map, are known as groves in the uk.

See related

Frame Your Garden

This garden arbor is simple to build and has a beautiful end result — the very best of both worlds for a do-it-yourselfer. The foundation of this arbor is made up of simple structure which can be as simple or as elaborate as wanted, and also the piece may be utilised in many ways outdoors. Use it to showcase a walkway, create a transition from 1 place to another, pay for a bench or gate, or frame a stunning view.

Meg Padgett

Our arbor was both inexpensive and easy to build — to not mention that it’s a beautiful addition to our lawn. It cost less than $150 and took us to construct, such as concrete drying period.

(4) 4-by-4 10-foot-long pressure-treated posts(two ) 2-by-6 8-foot-long bamboo planks (1) 2-by-4 8-foot-long bamboo plank (3) 2-by-2 8-foot-long pressure-treated ballusters(two ) Premade wooden ladder trellises(8) 60-pound bags of concreteRustproof deck screwsGravelMeasuring tapeLevelShovelScrap 2-by-4sLadder

Meg Padgett

Plan the Website and the measurements for the arbor. We built a 2-foot-long, 5-foot-wide and 7 1/2-foot-tall arbor at the end of our winding pathway.

Mark the center of the four pole holes. Start with one corner of the arbor and then assess the width and length with that corner. Make sure your holes are perpendicular using either a T-square or a 3-4-5 or 6-8-10 triangle. The diagonals should be the exact same length.

Dig four pole holes based around your marks to a depth of 2 1/2 ft — dig a few more inches deeper to permit dirt — and one foot in diameter. This depth will offer a solid foundation for the arbor.

Meg Padgett

Build a service which will keep the posts standing straight, plumb and square while the concrete sets. We built ours with four 2-by-4s and attached them to one another with deck screws so that they were easily adjustable.

Don’t overlook that the holes have been measured center to center, so when you are building the service make certain to include the added width of the posts. We added 3 inches to every dimension because we used 4-by-4 posts.

Meg Padgett

Next, add about 3 to 4 inches of gravel to every hole. Place the posts in the holes against the corner of every service. Make sure that all posts are the exact same height; remove or add gravel if necessary. Check again that are level, plumb and square.

To maintain the posts plumb, attach two scrap 2-by-4 supports with screws to the bottom of every post, as revealed. Again, check that are level, plumb and square.

Measure the outside dimensions of the article and make sure all the corresponding measurements are equal, such as the diagonals. Adjust as needed. Use one of the 2-by-6 cedar boards to make sure all of the faces are flush to one another by placing it against every pair of posts.

Meg Padgett

After the posts are set, add concrete to the holes. Follow the instructions on your bag of concrete for special mixing recommendations. We mixed ours at a wheelbarrow and added water in small increments. We lasted blending and adding water till it reached the consistency of crumbly cake.

Meg Padgett

Fill each hole with concrete and confirm that everything is level, plumb and square one last moment. Let the concrete dry and fix for the suggested time as listed for your concrete bag.

Meg Padgett

Next, prepare front and side cross-pieces. Cut the boards to a preferred length. Ours were 7 ft long for front and back cross-pieces, and 43 inches long for both side cross-pieces.

Add interest to the arbor by making a layout cut on each end. There are lots of design options to pick from — such as the simple dog-eared style, which could be cut with a circular saw, to a cut like the one , which requires a decoration. Use a template to ensure your cuts are the same. Sand every piece until it is smooth and even.

Meg Padgett

After the concrete has cured for 24 hours, then attach front, side and back cross-pieces, beginning with the sides. Start by attaching one side cross-piece 4 1/2 inches in top of the tallest post — due to settling, the posts may not be the exact same height. The space from the end of the cross-piece to the outside of this post should be equal. This will ensure that it is centered. Check that the cross-piece is level and attach it to the pole using deck screws.

To make sure that both side cross-pieces are level, rest a leading cross-piece on the attached side cross-piece and correct the unattached side piece till it reads level. Mark this place. Place the side cross-piece on the mark and attach it together with deck screws when it’s centered and level.

Note: The cross-pieces look best when they are to scale with one another. We attempted to utilize cedar fencing which we had available for the sides, but the board seemed too thin compared to the 4-by-4 posts and 2-by-6 boards, so we swapped the fencing out for 2-by-4 cedar, that gave the arbor a cohesive look.

Meg Padgett

Next, attach the front and back cross-pieces by resting each on the side cross-pieces. Make sure that both are based and level and that they extend over every article. We used rustproof deck screws to attach the front and back cross-pieces. Typically, lag screws have been used.

Meg Padgett

Together with the cross-pieces set up, cut the 2-by-2s to your preferred length. We made two top rails with 45-degree angles on each end out of one 8-foot-long balluster. To do so, mark the balluster at 47 1/4 inches and then cut away from that mark at a 45-degree angle. Cut each end’s angle to reflect the very first cut, making sure to cut on from the end to maintain the span intact.

Use a miter box and a hand saw or miter saw to cut the angles, unless you are adept at cutting edge angles together with the circular saw.

Twist the best railings perpendicularly to the top of the front and back cross-pieces with deck screws. For an open texture, place the top rails farther apart, and for a cozier feel, place them closer together. We mounted six 47 1/4-inch-long top railings 1 foot from each end and one foot away from one another on center.

Meg Padgett

Feeling inspired? You may try your hand at building your own trellis. Then attach a premade trellis to every side of this arbor with galvanized nails.

Meg Padgett

While the building of this arbor is finished, the overall finish remains open to personal preference.

Consider staining or painting the arbor to match your home or other garden decor items, or leave it as is for a more natural and weathered look as time passes. We stained ours together with Behr’s Premium Weatherproofing Semi-Transparent Stain at Cordovan Brown to match our deck.

Meg Padgett

To utilize the arbor’s trellised sides, then put in a climbing plant like this climbing hydrangea.

Don’t be discouraged if your plant is not climbing as fast as you would like. Newly planted climbing hydrangea vines are slow to grow and blossom but make up for this when they attain maturity with beautiful green leaves and aromatic, lacy blooms.

Meg Padgett

Add evergreen hanging plants, like this creeping myrtle, for a yearlong increase of color. Complete the look off with a stainless-steel outside lantern to illuminate the arbor at nighttime.

See related

Great Design Plant: the Bluestar of Hubricht

Stay cool in the backyard with Hubricht’s Bluestar (Amsonia hubrichtii), a billowy Southeast United States perennial that requires humidity and heat in stride.

Every time a refreshing summer breeze blows through the landscape, soft, willowy chartreuse foliage ripples in the wind, creating an ephemeral — if only emotionally — cooling effect. Being pushed about is a fantastic thing in this circumstance. And with three seasons of backyard interest that is distinctly different you will never find yourself looking at the landscape.

J Biochemist

Botanical name: Amsonia hubrichtii
Common names: Hubricht’s Bluestar, Bluestar, Arkansas Amsonia, Hubricht’s Amsonia
USDA zones: 4 to 9 (find your zone)
Water requirement: Medium
moderate requirement:Full sun to partial shade
Mature size: 2 to 3 feet tall and wide
Benefits and tolerances:Flowers attract butterflies; bull tolerant
Seasonal interest: Blooms spring through summer; autumn foliage
When to plant: Plant seeds in autumn or spring; divide in spring

J Biochemist

Distinguishing attributes. Bluestar’s bright, feathery foliage is a voluminous and bushy existence in the backyard. It is a vertical noodle plant that becomes showier and more attractive with age.

Petite sky-blue blossoms arrive in late spring and summer, topping the narrow evergreen foliage. Attractive and decorative seedheads follow. The bright green foliage of Bluestar excels in the landscape during the summer, creating a cooling atmosphere in the breeze as its willow-like foliage blows.

Brighton Plants

The foliage becomes a radiant gold in autumn, making it considered one of the Bluestars.

J Biochemist

How to use it. Bluestar is a superb plant to have in your arsenal, because its distinctive texture, blossoms and brilliant fall color create a exceptional garden view through three seasons of the year.

Scatter Bluestar one of grasses or other finely textured plants to create a soft meadow-like landscape that would make Piet Oudolf proud. And when other plants go dormant or show their own seasonal colour, Bluestar’s transparent golden color is an attractive backyard foil. Bluestar creates a juxtaposition against the tough texture.

Bluestar’s capacity to grow in moist soils makes it an perfect candidate for a rain garden, where tolerance of intense humidity and drought is essential. The plant grows naturally in the Southeast United States and can be an attractive choice for a native woodland garden. Mass for effect.

Van Swearingen

Planting notes. Bluestar can be left to grow once it’s launched. It is tolerant of moist, well-drained soil but may also do just fine if you don’t remember to water it every once in a while. Vibrant foliage colour is enhanced when it’s planted in full sun, but the blossoms survive longer in partial shade in extremely hot climates. If planted in shade stems will flop more than.

A long-lived plant, Bluestar appears best after a couple of growing seasons. If you looking for more of a quick massed effect, consider buying more mature specimens.

When it flowers, cut back the plant several inches to maintain stems upright and to keep an attractive overall form. There are no significant pest or pest problems connected with Bluestar, but it may be susceptible to rust. Discard infested foliage immediately, before it may contaminate other plants.

More: Great design blossoms and plants, grasses and trees.

See related

DIY Friday: Paint a Dishtowel for Kitchen Colour

Occasionally a fast spruce-up is we will need to make our home feel inviting and fresh. Something as simple as a fresh and colorful kitchen towel can instantly brighten a room. See how a bit of paint, cloth tape and medium may transform fundamental flour sack towels from boring to beautiful.

Flour sack towels are great in the kitchen because of their functionality, but plain white ones don’t add personality or colour to the space. That may be altered by mixing some cloth moderate with your oil paint colour of choice. All of a sudden, you have opened up a universe of possibilities!

To tackle this project you will need to collect:
Flour sack towelsPainter’s tapeSponge brushFabric mediumAcrylic paintSmall bowl for mixing paintScrap bit of cardboard

Start by wrapping your flour sack towel round the bit of cardboard. You’ll want the middle section of the towel to be exposed. The cardboard helps protect your work surface and will keep the paint from bleeding into the other layers of this towel.

Employing the painter’s tape, then create line sections. Be sure that the tape is secured to the towel securely.

Hint: It helps to carry the tape above the work surface, securing the cardboard and towel to the table in order that they can not move around.

Once you’ve created a pattern with the tape, then mix two parts acrylic paint to one part cloth medium in the small mixing bowl.

Use the sponge brush to paint within the lines you created with the tape.

Be sure that the shade is all the way round and reaches the borders of the towel.

When you are done painting, remove the tape carefully. You don’t have to await the paint to dry to remove the tape.

Permit the paint to dry thoroughly (usually a few hours), then heat set it with an iron.

Your embellished flour sack dishtowel may be customized to fit your design aesthetic. If stripes aren’t something, how about polka dots? Chevron? Get creative with your patterns.

These make lovely housewarming gifts.

See related

Rough Hewn

The expression “rough hewn” describes a beam that’s been shaped about and hasn’t been sanded or completed. The surface is not easy and the grain is very clear and rough.

Apropos Design, Inc. / Green Home Design Source

Rough-hewn beams frame the area with this rustic wine cellar.

Jeffrey Dungan Architects

An unusual and charming choice for a staircase railing, these rough-hewn pieces are likely salvaged wood.

A post and lintel wall opening showcases rough-hewn timbers that provide structural support. It’s a rustic touch in an otherwise polished area.

Richard Bubnowski Design LLC

The teeth of a saw blade left visible cuts on this rough-hewn wall paneling.

Browse more photographs of rough-hewn pieces

See related

Kitchen of the Week: Gorgeous and Green at California

“This family is not afraid of color,” says interior designer Alison Glen. An apple-green countertop may scare off some homeowners, yet this family of four in Venice, California, wanted to revive their kitchen make it bold and joyful. Obviously, a countertop that vibrant meant that all the additional materials needed to be picked about it. Glen stuck with a simple palette for the remainder of the space, installing ecofriendly concrete floors and zebra wood cabinetry as a fresh contrast to the glowing green. The result is a modern but homey kitchen. “It is so cheerful, even a sunken soufflé won’t bring you down in this kitchen,” says Glen.

LA Dwelling

The zebra wood cabinetry is the perfect colour to contrast with all the apple-green countertop. Glen says it is worth it to invest in the materials that matter, such as countertops and cabinetry. “But durability doesn’t have to be boring,” she adds.

Glen and the family spent a great deal of time exploring what the top materials would be for this particular kitchen, picking materials that are stylish but eco friendly. The zebra wood is both those things — it is formaldehyde free and was harvested from renewable forests — and durable to boot.

Cabinetry: Bradco Kitchens and Baths; countertop: Caesarstone, Apple Martini

LA Dwelling

Glen had additional storage put to the seat seats in the dining area for rarely used fine serving pieces and partyware. The table and the benches were both custom made by a local carpenter. Radiant heat keep the stained cement flooring from feeling too cold.

Lighting: Rejuvenation; floors: Montanari Construction; floors stain and conclude: EcoCrete Soy Stain

LA Dwelling

A small desk area is nestled near the oven, set lower than the countertop to get a sense of division. A massive foundation drawer retains the printer, which helps to keep the table uncluttered.

Glen filled the kitchen with plenty of useful features that the owners adore, such as an integrated filter in the sink faucet, vertical storage for baking sheets and a pullout trash and recycling bin.

Oven, cooktop, dishwasher: Bosch; hood: GE Profile; refrigerator: JennAir; fittings: Kohler; faucet: KWC; hardware: Hafele

LA Dwelling

The long, narrow shape of this kitchen limited that the client’s layout wish list. A comprehensive island would have taken up too much space, so Glen installed a combined bar and prep space on one of those walls. The sink, stove and refrigerator are not laid out in the conventional labour triangle, but it still works well for your household. The current configuration leaves space for entertaining and helps remove traffic jams.

Backsplash: Trend Mosaics; bar stools: Crate & Barrel

LA Dwelling

“Details typically come at a cost,” says Glen. “To be able to pay for the visual extras, like a metal strip from the counter, we scaled back a number of the upper cabinets and utilized open shelving instead.” She also installed big foundation drawers around the perimeter.

Browse more Kitchens of the Week

See related

Open Web Steel Joist

An open web steel joist (OWSJ) is a lightweight steel web between beams which utilizes the strength of a triangle; the beamed trusses are conducted parallel to one another to support the ground above.

PLACE architect ltd..

The open web steel joists are steel beams with steel webbing. This style is an alternative to steel girders or big wood or glulam beams.

Ryan Group Architects

These joists have the benefits of being inexpensive, lightweight and constructed offsite, and ducting and electrical function can be run .

Centre Sky Architecture Ltd

See related

Contractor Tips: 5 Easy Ways to Get a Greener Home

If you hear the term “green building,” you may first think of solar panels onto the roof or compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs. Then you may begin to think of bigger concepts, like walls constructed with straw bales. However, while CFLs certainly have their place in every home, and straw bale walls are fantastic for insulation in certain programs, solar power is one of the last things you should consider.

First, you need to shrink your home’s energy use as much as you can, manage your lighting and heat gain and loss, make sure you have good air quality and also assess to make sure that you have well-maintained surfaces inside and outside. Then crown your green masterpiece using a photovoltaic array. It’s important to prioritize your wants and needs during a green remodel, as with every other project. Below are five places to get started.

HighCraft Builders

1. Buy a bath fan. What is the most significant thing in a bathroom? It’s hard to argue with a bathroom and some water. But after those (and before you include a shower), then you require a bath fan. I am amazed at how many baths I move in that don’t have you. A window is not sufficient, and a small noisy fan that no one wishes to turn on is not going to do you any good.

Buy an excellent, silent bath fan, and if it does not have an occupancy sensor, cable it with another timer switch. A fan should operate for at least 10 minutes after you leave the space for odors and 20 to 30 minutes after a shower. Make certain it vents to the outside. Though it’s important to get a specific degree of moisture in the atmosphere in your home, it is bad to have it all in one area. Vent your bathroom and your paint will last longer, you won’t encounter the danger of mold growth and cleaning will be easier.

West Architecture Studio

2. Handle the light. Handling the light that enters your home is a way to save on utility bills and make your home a more cheerful location. Strategically placed awnings and roof overhangs can help you do so. In the summertime, if you don’t want as much light or heat, sunlight is higher in the sky. Because the light strikes your house in a steeper angle, the exact same awning that blocks out light in summer time will allow the low-angled winter mild in if you need it most.

The awning pictured here serves another purpose. Because it’s set down below the top of the window, so it reveals light upward on the ceiling inside, making a nice ambient glow inside instead of a glare.

Buckminster Green LLC

Another fantastic way to get light in your home without earning a lot of unwanted heat is to install a solar lighting tube. These capture the low-angled winter using reflective coatings within a roof-top dome, and are much easier to set up than a skylight since they require no structural headers. Also don’t feel limited to rooms right beneath the roof. The reflective tubes could be run down in the second floor to the first floor although closets or thick walls, and they are even able to make minor turns.

Hilti Spray Foam Gun

3. Insulate. If you spent a lot of money getting the most efficient windows you could afford, don’t let the heat escape all around their sides.

If you have ever used a can of foam, however, you are aware that it can be a tricky, messy process, and some is inevitably wasted if the could dries up. Therefore, in case you have a lot of foaming to perform, put money into a foam gun. The foam does not dry out, and you can control the flow rate, so the application process won’t be as messy and less wasteful.

Geocel 84101 Quick Shield White Sealant – $5.19

As soon as you seal up your house using foam and caulk, you don’t want to trap harmful pollutants inside. Indoor air is generally much worse for you than outside air, and thus don’t make it worse by using home improvement products that release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the atmosphere.

Many of you have probably heard of no-VOC paints. However, what about the painter’s caulk? I’ve tried many “green” caulks, and many are not as easy to use as standard painter’s caulk. This product from Geocel is solvent free and VOC free, and it works amazing.

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design Inc..

4. Use reclaimed materials. Most metropolitan regions now have several architectural salvage shops. While materials manufactured from recycled materials are great, remember that it’s decrease, reuse and then recycle.

Reclaimed materials are a great way to reuse. Proceed to the local salvage yard and think creatively. Here a wall is dressed up with old planks, some with the original paint on them. Reclaimed doors, light fixtures and tile are all fantastic ways to give a room character. Don’t be afraid to use something for a purpose other than that which it was intended for; my coffee table in your home is made of an old outside shutter.

Nansulate LDX Clear Lead Encapsulation Coating for Lead Abatement – $84.95

I know what you are thinking: “Kenny, you just got done telling me to not let my airtight home be full of VOCs, and now you are telling me to bring crusty old construction products into my house and leave the old lead paint onto them for allure?”

Yes, however there’s one more step. If you would like to safely coexist with surfaces that may be covered in lead paint (and some other painted surface out of before 1978 should be considered a hazard), you are able to encapsulate the lead by using a product similar to this one from Nansulate. It has quite a low amount of sheen, so that you won’t even know it is there. And you can get that rustic appearance without endangering your family.

Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects

5. Pick quality materials. Eventually, think about every part of your project with that first “r” — decrease — in mind. We are currently renovating a house in Philadelphia constructed in the 1700s. The floors are first; the plaster is first; the brick front is first. By using materials that last, such as brick, we decrease the number of times a home needs to be renovated. So less waste and less energy used making new materials (and less work for contractors such as me). Of course, there will always be work construction for an increasing people and serving people’s changing needs and preferences. I just hate tearing out a cheap flooring that lasted just ten decades.

More guides to green construction

See related

  • 1
  • 2