DIY Christmas Decorations

Handmade Christmas decorations add a special touch to your home for the holiday season. Between baking, entertaining, and cooking, it can be hard to find the time to add “crafting” to you to-do list. These DIY Christmas crafts are as fast and easy to make as they are festive!

christmas kissing ball craft

Pucker Up

Encourage seasonal smooches with this no-fuss kissing ball. Wrap a 4-inch Styrofoam ball in a 14-inch fabric square; secure with a rubber band. Thread the end of 1 1/2 yards of ribbon down through the band, around the ball, and up through the band’s other side so ribbon ends match up (knot them to hang the ball). Wrap 14 inches of ribbon around the ball’s other side (crossing first ribbon, as shown); tuck ends into band. Hide band with a shimmery bow and festive sprigs.

wreath candle holder

Let It Shine

Sophisticated yet stress-free, this candlelit centerpiece will last until you ring in the New Year. Just place several snowy tapers in short candlesticks in the center of a store-bought boxwood wreath. To keep greenery looking fresh, spritz occasionally with water and dry overnight in the tub.

 christmas table runner

Put Bells On

Give pricey table linens a run for their money with this beribboned beauty. Start with nonfraying fabric, like felt or heavy wool, that’s sized as a runner for your table. Four inches up from the runner’s bottom and 3 inches in from the edge, cut a 1/2-inch pair of parallel vertical slits 2 inches apart. Make another pair of vertical cuts 3 inches away from the first set of slits. Repeat along the width of the runner. Thread a 1/2-inch velvet ribbon through the slits. Punch a hole through fabric to insert the end of the ribbon. Tie bells onto the end of the ribbon for a jingly finish.

 

mitten craft

Give ‘Em a Hand

Assist stockings with the annual gift-dispensing duties by transforming mittens into hanging holders for tiny treats — simply stitch on a loop of ribbon.

 

Deck the Doors

Dangle pinecones from every cabinet door: Form a 12-inch-long ribbon into a loop, and hot-glue to the pinecone’s base. Tie another 12-inch-long ribbon into a bow, and hot-glue over the ends of the first ribbon.

 

Go Nuts

Heaped with walnuts, cranberries, and kumquats, a cylinder vase displays festive flavors. Place a tall (8- to 12-inch) pillar candle and holder inside the vase; surround with fruits and nuts.

 

Get Star-Struck

For luminarias, cut red paper bags in half with decorative scissors, and trim the tops of white or brown bags. Pop out stars with a star-shaped hole punch. Insert taller bags into red bags; half-fill with sand; add LED candles or glass votives.

 
Source: http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/holidays/christmas-ideas/christmas-decoration-ideas#slide-7

Urban Timber: From seed to city

New England was built with timber. Were it not for the Great Fire of Boston in 1872, the urban landscape of glass, steel, and concrete that we know today might have been very different.

This exhibition celebrates wood as the region’s most sensible and abundant choice of material for urban building, highlighting its flexibility and technical qualities, including timber’s potential to combat climate change.

Yugon Kim, founding partner of IKD, Associate/Director of TSKP Boston, and co-curator of the exhibition explains “We now know that timber is a superior structural building material that should be considered alongside steel and concrete. The carbon offset and sustainability benefits of wood make it an ever-relevant and timely building material in the urban landscape.” 

Urban Timber: From seed to city shows that recent developments—including numerous successful implementations of timber as primary structural for midrise buildings in Europe—point to a different future.

The exhibition includes a number of case studies, examples of existing wood technology and recent material innovations in the many kinds of engineered timber available to the building industry today.

On display, and the result of an open competition, are four winning projects proposed by emerging architects featuring innovative structural uses of timber. The winners collaborated with mentor architects, engineers, and material suppliers to install their unseen installations in the gallery.

Duck-Work

Designers
Sean Gaffney
Christina Nguyen

Architecture Mentor
NADAAA / Nader Tehrani

Engineering Mentor
Lera / Benjamin M. Cornelius

Fabricator/s
CW Keller & Associates
Studio A+I
Kin & Co

Material Supplier
Plum Creek

Project Description
Duck-Work shows the three different properties of plywood:

  1. Availability in standardized dimensions and provides both workability and easy transportation.
  2. Resistance and allowance of bending.
  3. Composited of multiple layers and grains of wood, each performing a supportive role.

Standard practice requires that wood should be steamed, laminated or cut into a desired curve. Duck-Work invents a new type of wood construction method that integrates the tools used to bend wood directly into the assembly itself. It breaks down complex curvature into a series of smaller bends that can be assembled on site. Like plywood which is comprised of multiple layers of wood and glue, Duck-Work is made out of a series of plywood sheets formed by tension rods able to support large loads. The installation shows us that wood buildings can be easily modified and changed with little energy.

Four Corners

 

Designers
Yasmin Vobis, Aaron Forrest, Ultamoderne

Architecture Mentor
Waugh Thistleton Architects / Andrew Waugh

Project Description
Four Corners reimagines the traditional timber-framed New England Barn using cross-laminated timber (CLT). The team approached the structure as a material investigation. Mimicking the form of traditional barn gablesCLT is folded into complementary triangular shapes or bents cut from corners of a barn shape and reassembled. Four Corners shows us that unlike a traditional bent and gable structure that includes multiple elements, a single material (timber) is used to complete all the requirements, functioning as both the enclosure and structure. Notice the passages and space usually associated with a typical New England Barn.

Coopered Column

Designer
Timothy Olson

Architecture Mentor
Anmahian Winton Architects / Alex Anmahian

Project Description
The installation is an investigation into timber’s limits. It is modeled after a barrel with all of the connections done with fully threaded screws. The type of wood used is Port Orford Cedar, a tree commonly known as cypress.  The wood was chosen based on its smell to create juxtaposition between the sterile nature of exhibition spaces and the aroma of timber. Coopered Column illustrates how wood can affect our level of happiness. The presence of natural materials such as wood is associated with lower stress and positive feelings.

M2X3

Designers
Christopher Taurasi
Lexi White
Jeffrey Lee

Architecture mentors
Gray Organschi Architects / Alan Organschi

Project Description
M2X3 bends engineered wood to create segments that could serve as both the structural and surface elements of a building. When they are combined, it becomes a framing system that can be used instead of the traditional framing joinery. M2X3 shows us that wood is a highly malleable material that can be stretched, bended and shaped to serve all construction and design related requirements. Notice the multiple layers of individual timber pressed to produce an organic and curvaceous structure, swirling and dramatically flowing in between one another. When the wood is laminated together, it minimizes weakness.

Image Gallery

 

Source: http://www.architects.org/bsaspace/exhibitions/urban-timber-seed-city

Allied Works Carves a Winery Out of Cedar

Allied Works Architecture wrapped Sokol Blosser Winery’s new tasting room in grey-stained cedar. (Jeremy Bittermann)

Allied Works Architecture wrapped Sokol Blosser Winery’s new tasting room in grey-stained cedar. (Jeremy Bittermann)

Sokol Blosser Winery‘s Willamette Valley tasting room, designed by Allied Works Architecture, pays homage to its agricultural surroundings in its massing and materials. Nestled within a set of terraces scooped out of the Dundee Hills, the building plants roots with a below-grade cellar, on top of which its long, low first story spreads like grape vines along a trellis. Both exterior and interior are wrapped in locally-sourced cedar siding—rough grey boards hung horizontally on the outside, smooth clear wood laid diagonally on the inside—whose regularity recalls aerial photographs of the vineyard. “We went with wood for a number of reasons,” explained principal Kyle Lommen. “There’s a history of wood in the agrarian architecture of that region. There’s a history of wood in wineries as well. And there was a desire to create an atmosphere that is warm and had a material quality.

The rain screen system incorporates boards of three different sizes, flipped to provide relief. (Bittermann Photography)

The rain screen system incorporates boards of three different sizes, flipped to provide relief. (Jeremy Bittermann)

Though the open front porch and fissures between the building’s several volumes create a fluid interplay between outside and inside, Allied Works Architecture used texture and color to distinguish the exterior skin. “We wanted to create an expression of the outer crust, the outer envelope of the building, and have it play or pick up the daylight that hits the building,” said Lommen. The architects chose a few different sizes of cedar boards, stained grey, then flipped them around “so as the sun hits the wood it creates a shadow, a kind of relief,” he explained. “The wall has a very random pattern, but it’s created from only three different board sizes.”

Inside, diagonal runs of clear cedar change each time they hit a seam. (Bittermann Photography)

Inside, diagonal runs of clear cedar change direction each time they hit a seam. (Jeremy Bittermann)

The horizontal rain screen system on the tasting room facade contrasts sharply with the interior, where unstained boards set flush with one another travel in diagonal paths along the walls and sloped ceilings. Because the orientation of the boards changes each time they meet a seam, “it almost does this visual trick, creates a kind of complexity through a very simple concept,” said Lommen. The interior siding extends onto the ceiling of the porch and the walls of the gaps between rooms, suggesting a solid block carved into a succession of spaces. The architects used sketches and drawings to establish the basic design concept before moving through several iterations of physical models. “We created a digital model as well to create perspectives that helped us understand materiality,” said Lommen. “We did a number of perspectives to make sure that we weren’t creating an environment that was too hectic, too busy. Through studies we realized it would be quite calm.” The material studies, he said, were also helpful for the client, who had never worked on a project of this scale. Yet none of Allied Works Architecture’s renderings captured the impact of the built space, said Lommen. “When the project was close to completion I was on site talking to the client, and they said, ‘We never really understood what we were getting, even after all these models and exterior perspectives,’” he recalled. “Even for us as the architects, it ends up being more rich going to see the building.”

Fissures between the building’s volumes are covered in clear cedar, suggesting a single block carved into several pieces. (Bittermann Photography)

Fissures between the building’s volumes are covered in clear cedar, suggesting a single block carved into several pieces. (Jeremy Bittermann

 

 

Source: http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/archives/88842#.VBolq6NTUjv

Oriental Warehouse Loft by Edmonds + Lee Architects

Oriental Warehouse Loft was completed in 2010 by Edmonds + Lee Architects and is located in the historic Oriental Warehouse Loft Building in the South Beach neighborhood of San Francisco,
is a complete reconfiguration and renovation of an existing loft apartment.

 

Oriental Warehouse Loft by Edmonds + Lee Architects 01

In order to maximize the spatial experience of the loft, traditional notions of domestic privacy were abandoned in favor of open and transparent relationships. Opaque guardrails at the sleeping mezzanine were replaced with frameless glass guardrails in order to provide a direct visual connection to the living room below. A large over-sized sheet of transparent glass further eliminates privacy in the master bathroom by allowing views into and out of the bathroom to the rest of the loft beyond.
In contrast to the existing heavy-timber and rusticated brick structural shell which are left exposed, sleek new interior finishes were replaced throughout including wall and floor finishes, kitchen and bathroom millwork and a new steel cantilever stair that connects the living areas on the ground floor with the sleeping areas on the mezzanine. Photos by: Bruce Damonte.

Oriental Warehouse Loft by Edmonds + Lee Architects 02

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Oriental Warehouse Loft by Edmonds + Lee Architects 08

Oriental Warehouse Loft by Edmonds + Lee Architects 09

Oriental Warehouse Loft by Edmonds + Lee Architects 10

Oriental Warehouse Loft by Edmonds + Lee Architects 11

Oriental Warehouse Loft by Edmonds + Lee Architects 12

Oriental Warehouse Loft by Edmonds + Lee Architects 13

Oriental Warehouse Loft by Edmonds + Lee Architects 14

Oriental Warehouse Loft by Edmonds + Lee Architects 15

Oriental Warehouse Loft by Edmonds + Lee Architects 16

 

Source: http://www.myhouseidea.com/2013/07/22/oriental-warehouse-loft-by-edmonds-lee-architects/

5 DIY Projects for Indoor Gardening

I don’t know about you, but where I live, it isn’t easy having a garden. The weather is unpredictable, and the seasons never want to behave themselves. It gets colder earlier and stays that way longer. You think that Spring has really sprung with days of warm sunshine and singing birds, and then you get freezing rain or even snow the next morning.

When you live in a somewhat unpredictable climate, it can be truly frustrating to try and deal with a gardening routine. Many plants might even die if you accidentally plant too soon. That is why it can really pay off to do an indoor garden or, at least, prepare for it indoors until you are really sure a garden is workable outside.

Here are five simple DIY projects for those who want to begin some indoor gardening. But the best part is that upcycled materials are used to do them!

1. Light Bulb Greenhouse

Light Bulb Greenhouse

If you have something really tiny you want to grow for decoration, you can use clear light bulbs to do it. Otherwise, this is better for initial sprouting. The domed glass of the bulb makes the perfect isolated and enriched environment for your seeds to begin to grow. Once they outgrow it, you could very carefully transfer it to a planter or garden, making it ready for when your weather actually permits. Don’t worry about oxygen, as the closed-off area allows it to create its own ecosystem.

 

2. Phone Book Seedbed

Phone Book Seedbed

Who actually uses phone books anymore? Despite their lack of use thanks to the Internet, which everyone and their grandmother now have access to, they keep showing up on every doorstep once a year. Don’t just toss them out – turn them into a gardening tool! Being biodegradable, they make a great addition to any garden as a seedbed. Just cut out portions to fill with dirt for planting starter seeds. It will help keep the plant straight as it grows.

3. Recycled Terrariums

Recycled Terrariums

These are adorable terrariums made out of recycled apothecary jars. Using small nursery plants and any lidded jaw you can find at a craft or secondhand shop, you can make your own. The blog owner has a number of photos on her site to give you ideas. She also has a little how-to guide there, but it is pretty self-explanatory, really. You should be able to make your own with both real and fake plants without much effort.

4. Windowfarms

Windowfarms

If you want something truly unique and also attractive, you will love these cool windowfarms. They work by creating a beautiful hanging collection of plants that are attached in a kind of chain running downward from the top of the sill. They capture light well, which is their main positive. This particular type is for edible plants, such as herbs.

5. Indoor Succulent Garden

Indoor Succulent Garden

 

Source: http://sustainablog.org/2012/05/indoor-gardening-diy-projects/

11 Living Rooms with Modern Flair

Modern living can be described as minimal, clean lined, artistic and intellectual. The few pieces that you do find in these homes are typically the result of superior art and design. There is almost always a dashing focal point and the furniture is sleek and glossy and not so children friendly. Methods and materials are usually mixed and contrasted texturally to add interest and make up for the lack of color and clutter in a space. The living rooms below are all examples of interesting modern spaces that were designed by creative virtual artists of the sort. And HD has hand picked a few great spaces for you to see for yourself the sure fire elements of a successful living room.

modern-living-room-wood

by Kim Stapleton

If you are looking out for ideas for fireplaces and mantelpieces check out our article: Fireplace mantels and surrounds.

by Fernando di Gasperi

by zigshot82

by 4Dragon84

by sedatdurucan

by pressenter

by eja87

 

by Alexandre Guilbeault

modern theme living room

via Houzz

by modelight

by Zulu Cal

 

Source: http://www.home-designing.com/2010/09/11-living-rooms-with-modern-flair

Small Backyard Landscaping Design

the ultimate refuge Backyard-Landscaping-Ideas-Hilgard-Garden-by-Mary-Barensfeld-Architecture

“Landscaping is both science and art, and requires good observation and design skills. A good landscaper understands the elements of nature and construction and blends them accordingly.”
by Wikipedia
The small backyard landscaping design ahead is wrapped around a very small backyard in Berkeley, California. It has been envisioned by Mary Barensfeld Architecture and it`s extraordinary because there is little to no flat space and as a result the vast majority of space has been offered to green lush vegetation. This small outdoor living and entertaining area can be also accessed trough a seating spot on the top of the site. The green refuge is also eco-friendly, an extraordinary example for designers and owners a like.

Backyard Landscaping Ideas Hilgard Garden by Mary Barensfeld Architecture HOMESTHETICS 2 Small Backyard Landscaping Ideas Hilgard Garden by Mary Barensfeld Architecture
The architects are further relating: “The garden traverses a steeply sloping site to provide access to an upper level patio with views of Sutro Tower and San Francisco. To avoid swallowing large swathes of the backyard square footage with a conventional stair, angular, board-form concrete walls with occasional steel armor slice their way up the hill while providing terraced planting areas. Visible and accessible to the existing townhouse living room, the lower level white granite patio unfurls its reflecting pool to greet visitors. Water-jet cut, patterned weathering steel screens serve as both bamboo planters and screening between the neighboring townhouses’ rear yards.”

Backyard Landscaping Ideas Hilgard Garden by Mary Barensfeld Architecture HOMESTHETICS 3 Small Backyard Landscaping Ideas Hilgard Garden by Mary Barensfeld Architecture
Backyard Landscaping Ideas Hilgard Garden by Mary Barensfeld Architecture HOMESTHETICS 4 Small Backyard Landscaping Ideas Hilgard Garden by Mary Barensfeld Architecture Backyard Landscaping Ideas Hilgard Garden by Mary Barensfeld Architecture HOMESTHETICS 6 Small Backyard Landscaping Ideas Hilgard Garden by Mary Barensfeld Architecture Backyard Landscaping Ideas Hilgard Garden by Mary Barensfeld Architecture HOMESTHETICS 8 Small Backyard Landscaping Ideas Hilgard Garden by Mary Barensfeld Architecture Backyard Landscaping Ideas Hilgard Garden by Mary Barensfeld Architecture HOMESTHETICS 9 Small Backyard Landscaping Ideas Hilgard Garden by Mary Barensfeld Architecture Backyard Landscaping Ideas Hilgard Garden by Mary Barensfeld Architecture HOMESTHETICS 10 Small Backyard Landscaping Ideas Hilgard Garden by Mary Barensfeld Architecture
 
Source: http://www.homesthetics.net/small-backyard-landscaping-ideas-hilgard-garden-by-mary-barensfeld-architecture/

10 Fabulous Ideas to Decorate with Tree Wall Stickers

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1. Decorate the Fireplace Wall

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2. Adorn the Bedroom Wardrobe

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3. Make it an Alternate Headboard

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4. Add a Cute Theme to Kids Room with It

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5. Embellish Floating Shelves

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6. A Source to Bring Color

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7. Choose a Color That Goes with The Bedroom Theme

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8. Make it a Place to Display Family Photos

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9. Match it with The Furniture

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10. Create an Accent Wall with a Huge Tree Decal

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Source: http://www.amazinginteriordesign.com/10-fabulous-ideas-decorate-tree-wall-stickers/