Top 10 Native Plants for the Pacific Northwest

Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 12.27.03 PMMore than just gorgeous and adaptable, these standout plants convey a sense of place

The Pacific Northwest might just have the most accommodating gardening climate in North America. From coastal British Columbia to Northern California, it is possible to grow a wide variety of plants, from tropical-looking, cold-hardy palms and bananas to plants that require a significant chill to perform, including peonies, tulips, lilacs and apples. We are lucky indeed. Why, then, should we grow natives when we have so many exotic options?

Native plants have inestimable value in the landscape. They provide essential habitat and food for birds, pollinators, and all varieties of other creatures. Properly placed, native plants are naturally beautiful and grow lustily, with minimal effort on our part. Given the many microclimates and varied conditions in a typical garden, there’s a good spot in virtually any garden for Northwest native plants.

That said, some Pacific Northwest natives really stand out from the crowd. These are gorgeous plants: adaptable and uniquely able to evoke a distinct sense of the Pacific Northwest in a garden. With beauty, wildlife habitat and versatility in mind, here are 10 of the Pacific Northwest’s best native plants for regional gardens.

The sound of silence: how to soundproof your house

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8 Inexpensive Ways to Decorate Your Room

A variety of furniture in the room greatly affects the style of decoration as well as appearance the rooms. Move it or make a few changes to some of the furniture by repainting using our favorite colors are smart way to decorate the room as well as inexpensive. If you do it right as a whole will give a new look room decor and refreshing atmosphere. Including repainting some photo frame also makes viewing your photos look charming in the room…

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How High Should Your TV Be?

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 4.10.45 PMToday we look at an important question to consider when locating your television: How high should you set it?

A home without a television is like a castle in the clouds — it exists only in fairy tales. And that’s only a slight overstatement. The Nielsen Company reports that 96.7 percent of U.S. homes have television sets. In my experience, over the course of hundreds of home construction projects, I can’t recall a single instance in which one of our clients designed a home without the television’s location in mind.

This reality creates design challenges as home designers consider room orientation with the competing possible focal points of exterior views, fireplaces and televisions. Today we will look at one critical factor to consider when locating your television: height. It’s not the only thing you should think about, to be sure, but if you place your television too high in relation to its space and intended use, you might end up with regrets and, quite literally, a pain in your neck.

The Case for Hidden Storage

sotrageImagine how much more peaceful your home would feel with cleared surfaces. And that’s just one reason to stow your supplies.

It’s easy to fall in love with beautifully styled open shelves, and to feel swayed by the convenience of keeping frequently used items sitting on the kitchen counter, bathroom sink and desk — but are these methods of storing your belongings really helpful? While there’s certainly nothing wrong with keeping things out in the open, I’ve recently been discovering that making fuller use of hidden storage makes for a cleaner, neater, more peaceful and easier-to-maintain space. Read on and see if you become convinced to give the surfaces in your home a clean sweep.

15 Bright Ideas for Kids’ Bathrooms

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 1.05.36 PMSplash on the color and have fun with decor to make a child’s bathroom a cheerful place

Whether you have a dedicated kids’ bathroom or share space with the pint-size set, keeping track of whose soggy towel is whose can be made easier — and more fun — with a few smart design moves and cheerful touches. From double (or triple!) sinks to tub-side seats and rainbow-inspired color palettes, see which of these ideas appeals to you and yours.

How to Fix a Stinky Garbage Disposal

Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 11.17.01 AMNo plumber’s fee or even a trip to the hardware store is required with these easy solutions

Does this sound familiar? You’ve cleaned your kitchen to spotless hygienic perfection, but you catch a whiff of something rotten every time you pass the sink. There’s a piece of something you threw down there and ground up days ago that’s stuck in the garbage disposal, and the smell only gets worse no matter how many times you run it. Inspired by recent events in my own kitchen, I reached out to three experts to get their advice on how to de-stinkify the garbage disposal.

6 Strategies for Making Color Work for You

Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 11.14.51 AMColor can play up or play down architecture, create a positive experience and more. Here’s how to put it to work for you

We all want our homes to provide comfort and ease. And something instinctual tells us that color — whether a can of paint, a bright new patterned rug, maybe that sun-drenched painting you saw at the last art opening you attended — can change our world for the better.

Springtime home maintenance offers a new opportunity to add the color we crave. And picking the right colors for our homes is not magic. The process simply requires that we look at the physical qualities of our home’s architecture and apply color that will put the focus where we want it. Here’s how.

9 Tricks to Boost Your Home’s Appeal for Less Than $400

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 4.15.33 PMWhether you’re redecorating or just doing a quick update, check out these ways to enhance your home on a budget

Following my story on ways to boost your home for less than $75, I’m upping the ante and exploring some tips and tricks around the $400 mark. Even if you’re not planning to sell your home anytime soon, these touches could help you make a welcome change to your home environment for a relatively low price.