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Creating a Better Yard

When we say “yard’, it usually has another word in front of it, such as “front”, “side”, or “back”. Those descriptors aren’t just locations, either. They usually imply a function as well. Front yards are the face we present to the world. Back yards are where we live our lives. Side yards connect those spaces. The Front Yard Does the Welcoming Work Our ideal front yards are public spaces with a green lawn, a welcoming entry, and some well-tended shrubs to anchor our houses to the site. It’s here that we often put the most thought into walkways and foundation…

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All About Building a Workshop

If you do any work around the house, you need a workshop. What that workshop looks like depends on several factors, but none is more important than the kind of work you’ll do in it. A mechanic’s shop looks very different from a carpenter’s. Size and Location are Major Factors No one ever complains that their shop is too big. Stake out as much space as you possibly can. Shops can be in the basement (near the door if it’s a walkout), or in the garage, or even in a garden shed. It is a big advantage to have a…

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Outside In: A Multi-Generational Retreat on Whidbey Island Welcomes Nature Inside

When architects Eric Walter and Steve Mongillo, principals at Seattle-based mwworks, were in the planning phase of this family retreat on Whidbey Island, they met often with the owners to go over their designs. Many times, the clients’ three adult children would attend—and, sometimes, even their teenage grandchildren. Walter and Mongillo were unfazed by the unusual number of stakeholders who weighed in on their plans. The weekend home, after all, was to be for the entire family to use. And thankfully, there was consensus: What the family wanted was a design that was modest, low-impact, and respectful of the landscape…

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Trend Alert: Piped Pillows of All Hues (Plus Nine to Buy)

Noticed the past few weeks: throw pillows with pretty, prominent piping, both two-tone and monochrome. From Zara Home to CB2, every design shop and retailer out there seems to have its own version; then I spotted on Instagram that Remodelista fave Evangeline Linens debuted their new collection at NY Now this week. Among the new wares? Velvet pillows with contrasting piping. Here are a handful of piped pillows I’ve been admiring, eager to add to my couch, and bed, and armchair… Above: Zara Home’s Velvet Throw Pillow comes in two mirror colorways: cream with camel piping and camel with cream…

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Healthy Home | Clearing the Air

Most of the common contributors to poor indoor air quality are right under our noses. They include many items we welcome into our homes, from synthetic furnishings and fresh paint to gas ranges and steamy showers. Learn more about these and other potential sources of indoor air pollution, plus how to control them below. Photos: (clockwise from top left) Will Stanton/Alamy; Jose A. Bernat Bacete; Daisy-Daisy/Alamy; Noelia Vidal/Eye Em; Sergey Mikheev/Alamy; George Caswell; Ekaterina Minaeva/Alamy; B.A.E. Inc./Alamy; Magdalena Bujak/Alamy We all want homes that are comfortable and energy efficient. But all our efforts to replace drafty windows, seal up air…

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Kitchen of the Week: A Katrin Arens Design in Sardinia with 250-Year-Old Wood

We’ve been followers of German designer Katrin Arens, an Italy-based master of old-as-new, for a while now. Arens, who is both a furniture and interior designer by trade, has been giving new life to castoff materials for more than 20 years through her furniture, kitchen, and object designs—long before the reclaimed wood trend came about. Today we spotlight a kitchen that Arens designed for her favorite client: a Florentine family, makers of wine and olive oil in Tuscany, with whom Arens has collaborated for almost 15 years. (“They want individual solutions and they trust in my designs completely—so they are…

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