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Stencil Your Stair Runners

Looking to play with color and pattern on a manageable scale? Try stenciling your stair risers. “Stairs can take up significant real estate in a home, and a custom treatment like this brings a tailored, sophisticated finish to an otherwise utilitarian feature,” says Chelsea Conrad of One Kings Lane Interior Design. “Plus, because you’re dealing with small, discrete areas, even though this project looks ambitious, it’s easily digestible.”Repeated shades of blue and coordinating stencil motifs—these are from the Indian Inlay Furniture Stencil Kit ($35; Cutting Edge Stencils)—keep the look cohesive. Balancing the placement of the largest design elements, such as…

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10 Things Nobody Tells You About Plaster

Above: A fireplace surround treated in tadelakt. Photograph by Dustin Aksland, courtesy of Elizabeth Roberts, from A Warm, Minimalist Duplex in Brooklyn by Architect Elizabeth Roberts. 5. And it’s not just for walls.Think beyond walls: You can use plaster to create texture and sculptural effects on everything from stairs to fireplace surrounds. See just a few ideas in 7 Ways to Use Lime Plaster (Hint: It’s Not Just for Walls). 6. It’s environmentally friendly. Unlike many types of paint (the other alternative for covering walls), “plaster is an environmentally sound natural material: breathable, and free of chemicals and VOC,” writes Margot in Remodeling…

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Beautiful Deer-Resistant Plants

Deer are creatures of habit. Once they’ve claimed your garden as their favorite lunch spot, it’s difficult to persuade them otherwise. And while there are all manner of foul-smelling repellents and deterrent devices out there, perhaps the best solution is simply to landscape with plants that deer don’t like to eat.That’s easier said than done, of course. Many garden stalwarts—including roses, daylilies, tulips, rhododendrons, and hostas—are favorites of deer, too. All produce the tender foliage and plump buds that deer salivate over. Plus, almost any plant can be enticing in spring as it’s sprouting soft new growth. More challenging still,…

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Italian Spring: A Villa in the Puglia Countryside, with Rooms for Let

For us, nowhere has more exemplified the ideal rustic-chic Italian getaway than Masseria Moroseta. For the past three years, since we first covered it, we’ve pored over the whitewashed rooms, designed by architect Andrew Trotter, on a working olive oil farm, with low-key, white slipcovered sofas and windows looking out at an open courtyard. Now we have another Italian getaway to dream about: Villa Castelluccio, Trotter’s latest, renovated in the countryside of Puglia, and soon available to rent via Moroseta Villas. Join us for a walk through. Photography by Salva López and Marcelo Martinez, courtesy of Andrew Trotter. Above: The villa…

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Bath Makeover for $189

First, she went to work repainting the walls, as well as the dingy vinyl flooring that was otherwise in good shape. To give the builder-grade oak vanity a more rustic look, she sanded off the shiny finish and protected the raw wood with a matte clear sealant. Since tiling was not in the budget, a roll of subway-tile-print wallpaper went up to achieve a similar look. A can of matte black spray paint unified the existing hardware and light fixture with some new knobs, pulls, and a mirror. Cynthia shopped her house for the rest of the decor, and clocked…

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Urban Jungle: Prado, a Restaurant in an Abandoned Factory in Lisbon

As though The Lisboans—a bright, apartment-style hotel in Lisbon’s city center (see Apartments in Portugal with Vintage Style, Breakfast Included)—wasn’t already charming enough, here’s another reason to book a stay: Now you can venture downstairs for dinner at their restaurant, Prado Restaurante, housed in a portion of a former 19th-century candied fruit and preserves factory. When the team—architect Marta Fonseca, who also worked on converting a former factory into The Lisboans, and designers ArkStudio—found it, the factory was roofless, crumbling, and overgrown with vegetation. Though they enclosed it and restored the interiors, they kept a sense of the wild and overgrown, leaving…

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