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Sourcebook for Cultivated Living

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    Mrs. Hart was my next door neighbor on Long Island. She was what we called "an original owner," having moved into her brand new house in a brand new subdivision in the post-war exuberance of the 1940s. In the ensuing decades, she'd raised a son, outlived a husband, and cultivated magnificent rose bushes—big round powder puffs of flowers that dotted her front yard in June. She spent most of her time out there clipping them, wearing a housedress and a floppy hat to prevent sunstroke.

    One time I asked her how she kept her roses from going leggy and wild. Mrs. Hart looked up, stopped clipping briefly, and said, "It's easier to show you than to tell you."

    Photographs by John Merkl.

    Gardening 101 DIY how to prune a rose ; Gardenista

    Need to Know: A rose bush—as opposed to a climbing rose, or a tea rose—is a floribunda. A floribunda, which can be trained as a hedge as well as a bush, is a cross between a hybrid tea and the smaller, more compact polyantha roses often referred to as landscape roses.

    A key distinguishing feature: a floribunda's flowers grow in clusters rather than as single blossoms at the end of a long stem.

    Gardening 101 DIY how to prune a rose ; Gardenista

    Step 1: Gather your supplies:

    • Pruners
    • Gloves
    • Alcohol
    • Cotton swabs

    Gardening 101 DIY how to prune a rose ; Gardenista

    Step 2: Clean the blade of your pruners with alcohol on a swab to disinfect them and prevent the spread of disease from one plant to another (roses are especially prone to black spot).

    roses gardening 101 prune 1 ; Gardenista

    Step 3: Deadheading. As flowers fade, remove them from the bush to encourage new blooms. Grasp the spent flower's individual stem and clip it at its base, separating it from the plant.

    roses gardening 101 prune 1 ; Gardenista

    Step 4: Shaping the bush. Remove deadwood or errant or leggy stems to encourage new, fuller growth. When removing a stem, always make the cut at a juncture where the stem meets a grouping of five leaves.

    roses gardening 101 prune 1 ; Gardenista

    The Basics: Make a clean cut at a 45-degree angle; this will enable rain water to run off rather than collecting in the open wound.

    roses gardening 101 prune 1 ; Gardenista

    Wondering which roses will thrive in your climate? See our regional rose guides at A Rose for All Regions: Northeast US Edition, A Rose for All Regions: Texas Edition, and A Rose for All Regions: Northern California Edition.

    New to gardening? See our Gardening 101 archives, with tips on such basics as forcing bulbs, sprouting seeds, and drawing a garden plan.

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    Two Valentine’s Days ago, my very new boyfriend showed up to my apartment at 7:30 in the morning with a bundle of sunflowers and a bottle of Champagne. We made breakfast and drank mimosas before we went our separate ways to work and the sweet gesture stayed with me the rest of the day.

    Photographs by Olivia Rae James for Gardenista.

    a campari blood orange cocktail for valentine's day | gardenista

    Above: Winter citrus-inspired mimosas.

    Simple mimosas are one of my favorite cocktails to date, but I love to dress them up with a splash of Campari and the tang of blood oranges. The color makes it perfectly festive for Valentine’s Day—whether you’re drinking it alongside French toast in bed with your sweetheart or pitcher-style at a cozy dinner with your closest pals.

    a campari blood orange cocktail for valentine's day | gardenista

    Above: The ingredients. When it comes to bubbly, I'm not at all picky. This time I used Belstar Prosecco, but Charleston-based La Bubbly is my all-time favorite.

    a campari blood orange cocktail for valentine's day | gardenista

    Above: Blood oranges, sliced. I like to take advantage of winter citrus and make fresh-squeezed blood orange juice.

    a campari blood orange cocktail for valentine's day | gardenista

    Above: Dark pink blood orange juice; nature's food coloring.

    a campari blood orange cocktail for valentine's day | gardenista

    Above: For serving, I love these Stemless Champagne Flutes from World Market; $7.96 for a set of four.

    a campari blood orange cocktail for valentine's day | gardenista

    Campari Champagne Cocktail (serves 5)


    • 1 bottle dry Champagne or Prosecco
    • 1/3 cup Campari
    • 1 cup blood orange juice


    Mix campari and blood orange juice in a cold mixing bowl. Divide and pour evenly among five Champagne flutes. Finish off with Champagne or prosecco, and garnish with a sprig or two of thyme if you’re feeling fancy.

    Not to miss: Olivia's 5 Ingredient Cocktail Party and her very pink Raspberry Sparkler.

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    A retreat with a bed and sauna. What more does one need, really? Views of the North Sea and the surrounding piney woods.

    Parisian architect firm Septembre designed this Swedish getaway cabin for a couple seeking a pared down space for a yearly retreat. In a nod to the cabin's isolated location on the island of Trossö in Sweden, the firm calls the project Ermitage (French for hermitage). We agree that the simple-verging-on-ascetic architecture and interior appointments make the cabin look like the ideal place to head for a bit of enlightened soul searching. Thankfully, the architects included a sauna to remind us that a little indulgence is also welcomed.

     Photographs by Alphonse Sarthout for Septembre.

    ermitage cabin with sauna | gardenista

    Above: The cabin, which is made from Swedish spruce painted black, had to be built with materials transported via boat and carried on foot to the building site as the island is without roads.

    ermitage cabin with sauna | gardenista

    Above: The cabin and surrounding decks are elevated on cast concrete piers. Large plate glass windows and a sliding door break down the distinction between the exterior and interior.

    ermitage cabin with sauna | gardenista

    Above: Inside, simple rolled shades are kept open during the day, but can be lowered in the evenings for privacy. Plywood was used to cover the interior walls.

    ermitage cabin with sauna | gardenista

    Above: A raised platform does double duty as table and sleeping area. The pitched roof was designed to mimic the vernacular architecture of local fishing huts.

    ermitage cabin | gardenista

    Above: Underneath the bed, rolling storage compartments hide blankets and (we can only hope) other essentials needed for relaxation and comfort (L). A sliding door opens to a deck, doubling the livable space (R).

    ermitage cabin with sauna | gardenista

    Above: To the rear of the cabin, a simple sauna with bench and stove. The sauna is accessible through a side entrance with small porch and views of the surrounding woods.  

    For an additional look at outdoor retreats, see photographs of Garden Sheds and Outbuildings in our gallery.

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    It's a rare winter week when flowers take center stage. Thank you, Jennie and Erin, for growing them. Thank you, Rachel, for arranging them. And thank you, people, for buying them. Now we're ready for a weekend to enjoy them.

    Here's a collection of links we've loved this week:

    the week in review | gardenista

    10 Easy Pieces: Bird Feeders | Gardenista

      the week in review | gardenista

    Gardening 101 DIY how to prune a rose ; Gardenista

    For more from this week on Gardenista, see Love is a Rose.

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    The Scandinavian devotion to the sauna is well documented: this Nordic hot house, devised by UK-based Denizen Works for a family in Finland, has the added appeal of portability.

    Made from locally sourced timber and recycled windows, the structure cost less than $6,000 to build; during the winter months, it can be towed out onto the frozen lake aboard a wooden raft. During the warmer months, it sits on the land, perched atop removable concrete blocks. To see additional photos and to read more about the project, go to Dezeen.

    Photographs by Tiina Tervo.

    Above: The building sits on removable concrete supports.

    Above: A view onto the lake.

    Above: A narrow window offers a view of the lake beyond.

    Above: A sleek glass door adds a note of modernity to the structure.

    DW Sauna Finland by Denizen Works ; Gardenista

    Above: For a more communal sauna experience, see The Volcanic Powers of Iceland's Blue Lagoon Spa.

    N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on February 22, 2012.

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    With many things in life, the fantasy is not quite the same as the reality. I'm talking about coffee of course. Though I have a more than fairly discriminating palate, in the morning before heading to work I only have time for the bare minimum. Really just bare. I have one of those electronic-drip Cuisinart machines, the advanced kind—thing basically has an LCD screen—pre-set to start brewing at 6 am. When I wake up at 6:30 or so, my morning perk is waiting. The whole process takes five minutes: three to load the pre-ground coffee and filter the night before, two to add enough almond milk and agave syrup to drown the less-than-ideal flavor in sweet nuttiness. Unromantically, my beans are often sourced from Dunkin' Donuts.

    Enough with the confessions. This may be what I drink in the morning, but I also know how the perfect cup of coffee should look, smell, and taste. The question is: how can I make one?

    Enter the Chemex. The Chemex coffee maker is a wonky invention: a double-bodied glass sculpture with an hourglass curve cinched by a leather strap invented in 1941 by one Peter Schlumbohm. Considered one of the classic designs of the 20th century—perhaps you've seen it at the Museum of Modern Art?—the Chemex has not changed one bit in 73 years. Nor has the technique for using it. I am tempted to think that Mr. Schlumbohm had quite a bit of time on his hands as making a cup of coffee with a Chemex takes 20 minutes. Could it possibly be worth it? 

    To find out, I decided to pack up and head to the 1940s in search of the perfect cup of coffee. Who knows? I may come back with non-elastic stockings and an unexplainable love of Mahjong. But if I manage to make a perfect cup, the rest is collateral:

    Photographs by Nicole Franzen for Gardenista.

    Secrets to Make the Perfect Cup of Coffee Chemex ; Gardenista

    Step 1: Find the right beans. They mean the difference between diluted dishwatery yuck and a deeply concentrated aromatic blend, with that rich-great-coffee flavor (that am I crazy for saying is just the tiniest bit salty)?

    I purchased my dream beans from Ninth Street Espresso and from Brooklyn Roasting Company, my top New York contenders—going local here—for top coffee beans of the year. The beans are fervently brown and buttery. When I run my fingers over them, I can feel some of the pungeant oils seep into the pores on my hands. 

    Secrets to Make the Perfect Cup of Coffee Chemex ; Gardenista

    Step 2: Procure a Chemex coffee maker. These come in a variety of sizes, designed for a single cup of coffee, a duet, a trio, or a family of five. Chemex coffee makers are expensive—the one I bought cost nearly $75 with tax and shipping—but deserve to be considered as a double investment, since they are also works of art, with long, curvy bodies. Hourglass figures. And believe me, making coffee in them can fell like it takes that long.

    Step 3: Grind the beans by hand. (I used a Hario Skerton Grinder ($39.95 from Crate & Barrel). As a proud leftie, I needed a moment longer to configure the thing, but after I got grinding, it was easy.) You appreciate coffee for its own sake so much more when you do all the steps yourself. Grinding by hand, for instance, I found that there are more inconsistencies in the size of the coffee granules, and it is that human inconsistency that adds the magic, personal touch.

    Secrets to Make the Perfect Cup of Coffee Chemex ; Gardenista

    Step 4: Prepare the filter. Gently embed the circular filter into the rounded upper body of the Chemex, and heat a pot of water in a kettle on the stove. Pour a stream of boiling water onto the filter. It shouldn't be so much water that it starts to percolate into the bottom lobe of the Chemex, just enough to make the paper stick to the grounds.

    Secrets to Make the Perfect Cup of Coffee Chemex ; Gardenista

    Step 5: Put one rounded tablespoon of coffee grounds per desired cup of coffee into the top of the Chemex. Don't skimp on the 1:1 proportions here; you do not want watery coffee.

    So now you throw a bunch of boiling water over the grounds? Think again. This is a gradual process.

    Step 6: First and foremost, you need to "bloom" the grounds, extracting the best flavors from the coffee and getting the beans "acclimated to" the heat. Yes, it is like trying to bathe a small child. Pour enough water over the grounds (let's say, at 200 degrees) to cover them by about a quarter inch. You will see the "blooming" in progress as the grounds start to bubble and fizz with surprising energy.

    Secrets to Make the Perfect Cup of Coffee Chemex ; Gardenista

    Step 7: Now you can be freer with your distribution of boiling water. Keep pouring until you fill the top lobe of the Chemex. It's best to pour in a circular motion onto the sides so grounds are infused evenly and don't stick to the sides. As coffee percolates into the bottom of the Chemex, you can pour in more water. Trick of the trade: if the coffee is percolating super slowly—trust me, it will—use a spoon to swirl the grounds. This motion will allow the filter more surface area for the grounds to pass through.

    Secrets to Make the Perfect Cup of Coffee Chemex ; Gardenista

    Voilà! After all the water has passed into the bottom of the Chemex, toss the filter and drink the coffee. The liquid should still be hot and so thick and flavorful that it is almost entirely opaque when you hold it to the light. (You should be able to taste the subtle flavor of salt that I insist is present in the highest quality coffee.)

    Secrets to Make the Perfect Cup of Coffee Chemex ; Gardenista

    I can brew a cup of coffee with the hand grinder and the Chemex maker in about 20 minutes. Admittedly, this is far more time than I'd be able to allow myself on a weekday morning, but I find that the more that I use it, the faster it seems. And what better ritual than brewing a cup of fantasy coffee to set the stage for an extra magnificent kind of day?

    Secrets to Make the Perfect Cup of Coffee Chemex ; Gardenista

    This is me with my cup of coffee (and a knife collection somewhat ominously in the background). Here I am drinking it black; in the New Year I have decided to try to cut down on lactose and processed sugar, so I sometimes complete my coffee with unsweetened almond milk and a dash of agave syrup.

    Was it my perfect cup? Oh yes. It may have taken me 20 minutes to make. But the results blow my Cuisinart drip out of the water (so to speak). Mahjong, anyone?

    (What is your perfect cup of coffee? Tell us about your technique in the comments below.)

    Coffee lovers, unite. Visit the Greenest Coffee Shop in the World with us. And if you're in the Berkshires, be sure to stop in at No. Six Depot Roasters.

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    Just over a year ago, NYC-based restauranteur couple Zakary Pelaccio (he's the force behind the Fatty Crab and the Fatty 'Cue empire) and Jori Jayne Emde surprised everyone by pulling up stakes and moving to the Hudson Valley, with the intention of "combining farming and cooking." Their new venture, the Fish & Game Restaurant, is located in a 19th century blacksmith on the picturesque main drag of Hudson, NY (some are already calling it The French Laundry of the Hudson Valley). Much of the produce served at the restaurant, which offers a set dinner menu on the weekends, is sourced from the nearby Fish & Game Farm.

    This is no ordinary farm: with grounds designed by Rees Roberts + Partners, every detail is carefully considered, from the architected chicken coop to the minimalist fencing. Lucien Rees Roberts, the partner in charge of interiors and landscapes (with landscape architect David Kelly) at Steven Harris Architects, is known for taking a painterly, naturalist approach to landscape design. It's not surprising, considering that the UK-born, Cambridge-educated designer is a third-generation painter himself (see his work at the Foss Gallery in the UK and on his Tumblr, Lucien Rees Roberts).

    N.B.: Fish & Game Restaurant serves a set dinner menu from Thursday through Sunday in Hudson, NY.

    Photographs by Scott Frances via Rees Roberts + Partners.

    FIsh and Games Landscape Rees Robert/Gardenista

    Above: The rolling landscape is evocative of English landscape paintings.

    Fish and Game Farm/Gardenista

    Above: A classic stacked fieldstone fence borders a small pond.

    Fish and Game Garden Pond Rees Roberts/Gardenista

    Above: The pond, complete with a tiny island, is straight out of an English landscape painting.

    Fish and Game Garden Rees Roberts/Gardenista

    Above: A meadow of naturalized bee balm and day lilies. 

    Fish and Game Garden Rees Roberts/Gardenista

    Above: On the far side of the pond, a pair of silos sit at the edge of a trial garden "fenced" in by a line of shrubbery.

    Fish and Game Herb Garden/Gardenista

    Above: The espaliered shrubbery creates a windbreak to shield garden beds; Emde creates infusions and homemade bitters for the restaurant's cocktail program, using herbs she grows at the farm.

    FIsh and Games Landscape Rees Robert/Gardenista

    Above: A closeup of the exterior with sliding, barndoor-style shutters.

    Fish and Game Garden Rees Roberts/Gardenista

    Above: Barn as living space. Instead of a rug, a staircase ramp is carpeted in grass. 

    Fish and Game Garden Rees Roberts/Gardenista

    Above: Perennials and wildflowers grow beneath a pair of sliding barn doors that can be closed tight against the elements.

    Fish and Farm Porch/Gardenista

    Above: A bentwood settee and a view of the bucolic landscape from the barn. (For a similar look, we recently admired Thonet's Cane Seat Bentwood Settee.)

    FIsh and Games Fence Rees Roberts/Gardenista

    Above: A simple, minimalist wood fence encircles the property.

    Fish and Game Landscape with Chicken Coop by Rees Roberts/Gardenista

    Above: "We house a lovely group of free-range chickens who roam our pastures," the couple says.

    Fish and Game Garden Rees Roberts/Gardenista

    Above: Lawn as path; the grass cuts a walkway between perennial beds planted with Joe-Pye weed, bee balm, lilies, and daisies.

    FIsh and Games Landscape Rees Robert/Gardenista

    Above: A perennial border with white veronica in the foreground.

    Fish and Game Garden Path Rees Roberts/Gardenista

    Above: A sinuous path of wood planks leads to the pond.

    FIsh and Games Landscape Rees Robert/Gardenista

    Above: A pair of Adirondack chairs and a dock on the bank of the pond.

    Do you garden in upstate New York? For more planting schemes, see It's High Season in Grace Kennedy's Garden and read our review of Gardens of the Hudson Valley.

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    While some people have dream vacations, I dream of an organized garage. Here are ten storage accessories to help that dream become reality. 

    El Greco Ceiling Hoist, Gardenista

    Above: When I come in from a bike ride, the last thing I want to (or can) do is hoist my bike over my head to the rubber hooks in my garage ceiling. Here's a solution that I like: the El Greco Ceiling Hoist from Delta Cycle. Just hook the supports on your bike and use the pulley system to lift up and out of the way; includes mounting hardware and instructions and is $34 at REI.

    El Greco Ceiling Hoist, Gardenista

    Above: While designed to store bikes, the El Greco Ceiling Hoist works well for other equipment (up to a maximum of 50 pounds) including kayaks or ladders.

    Gladiator Gear Track Pack, Gardenista

    Above: From Gladiator Garageworks (who specialize in garage wall storage systems), the GearTrack Pack is a fantastic storage starter system. It includes two 4-foot pieces of GearTrack, an assortment of eight hooks of varying sizes that fit in the track channels and end caps. The set is $54.99 through Gladiator.  

    Red Powdercoated Steel Garage Shelf, Gardenista

    Above: I envision this this bright colored powder coated steel Go Rhino Garage and Shop Organizer shelf and towel rack full of gardening supplies and rolls of twine; $69.99 at Northern Tool and Equipment. 

    Yellow Industrial Steel Coat Rack, Gardenista

    Above: My son drags dripping wetsuits and other wet gear into the garage and drapes it over any available location (my car roof rack, for instance). How I would love this Industrial Steel Coat Rack mounted in the corner of the garage to catch and hold these items. Made to order in Portland, Oregon, it is $185 through the MC Lemay Esty Shop.

    Wall Control Galvanized Steel PegBoard, Gardenista

    Above: Leave the flimsy and rust-prone pegboards behind. The aptly named Wall Control Galvanized Steel Pegboard Organizer is ten times stronger than traditional pegboard, meaning you can hang more safely and securely. The kit includes two galvanized pegboard panels (32 square inches of coverage), a shelf, three plastic bins with bin hanger, a screwdriver holder, a hammer holder, 15 assorted hooks and brackets, and mounting hardware and instructions; $66.97 at Amazon.

    Garage Ceiling Storage Shelf, Gardenista

    Above: An instant garage attic for storing those items that don't get used often, the Suncast Adjustable Ceiling Storage Shelf mounts into studs (either directly or through drywall) and adjusts its drop to from 16.5 to 27 inches; $99.95 at Garage Cabinets Online.

    FlowWall Garage Storage System, Gardenista

    Above: For the minimalist's well-dressed garage, The FlowWall Maple Ladder and Bin Bracket Combo is more than just pretty. Able to hold 400 pounds of weight, it measures 4 by 6 feet and comes with three bins and brackets, a heavy-duty dual bracket hook, and mounting hardware; $249.99 through FlowWall.

    Red Steel Hose Holder, Gardenista  

    Above: Detangle with the Go Rhino Garden Hose and Extension Cord Holder made of heavy duty sheet metal powder coated in red; $38.95 at Auto Anything.

    Burgon & Ball Tool Rack, Gardenista

    Above: Burgon & Ball's Tool Rack has easy to use grip slots that accommodate the handles of different sizes of work and garden tools. It comes with five hooks, but more can be added to the 29.5-inch steel track. It is £14.95 at Burgon & Ball in the UK. A similar Powder Coated Steel Tool Rack is available for $19.99 at Williams-Sonoma.

    Garden Tool Rack from Williams Sonoma, Gardenista

    Above: Favor good old-fashioned hook racks? Consider the Garden Tool Rack made of powder coated steel. With ten hooks, it is 38.5 inches long; $39.95 at Williams Sonoma. 

    For more ideas, see Michelle's Garage Intervention with Stylish Shelving and more of our favorite Stylish Garage Storage.

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    As you might have noticed, we're having something of a coffee moment at Gardenista. So when we kept on seeing beautifully framed shots of cappuccinos and cortados pop up on the Instagram feed of one of our favorite New York City photographers, we had to get in touch.

    Alice Gao, whose work you can see in 'Of What Use is the Tuileries to Us..." shares photos featuring her discerning taste in coffee with her 695,000 Instagram followers daily. A photographer by trade, she's also a coffee aficionado in practice. We wanted to know: what does she look for in the perfect cup of coffee, and what are her tips for brewing a cup that lives up to her high standards?

    Photographs by Alice Gao for Gardenista.

    alice gao coffee tips | gardenista

    Above: The view from above; a morning scene in Alice's Manhattan apartment.

    GD: What's your current favorite spot to drink coffee when out and about in New York?

    AG: It's hard to say because it's constantly changing. For quality of coffee, I still really enjoy Blue Bottle. The one in Chelsea has a siphon bar on the upper level, which is my favorite spot to linger over a cup of excellently made drip coffee (the Belgian waffles are a bonus). For atmosphere and café design, I love Cafe OST in the East Village. Marble tabletops, Thonets, and beautiful afternoon light. Sigh. I also have a soft spot for Abraço since it was my neighborhood shop for so long. 

    alice gao coffee tips | gardenista

    Above: A cup of pour over, made at home.

    GD: When looking for the perfect cup of coffee, what are your criteria? 

    AG: Well, for one, the place needs to be able to consistently pump out a good cup of coffee, no matter who is behind the bar. One thing I hate is only being able to go somewhere when "that one good barista" is working. Because I am so precise at home with measuring beans and water, I look to see how the café is doing pour overs. Are they just ballparking it, or using a scale, timer, and temperature-controlled water? As for espresso drinks, it's all about taste and texture for me. I can't stand over-extracted bitter espresso, and don't even get me started on heaps of dry foam in my cappuccino. There should be a nice velvety feel to my cappuccino and a good balance of milk and espresso. 

    GD: Do you order the same thing every time, or do you change it up?

    AG: I do change it up depending on my mood. In the summer, I like iced cortados. Otherwise, I usually order cappuccinos or drip coffee. 

    alice gao coffee tips | gardenista

    GD: What are your essential coffee making tools at home coffee?


    alice gao coffee tips | gardenista

    GD: Any beans preference?

    AG: I personally prefer beans of Ethiopian origin—Yirgacheffe is one of my go-to regions. (A 1-pound bag of Blue Bottle Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Gelena Abaya Natural is $24.) When I can find them, Ethiopia Nekisse and Panama Gesha beans are a real treat, but they're rare (and quite expensive). I trust Blue Bottle and Stumptown the most when it comes to a proper roast. I can always find single origin beans that were roasted just a few days ago when I go to their locations in the city. I always, always check the roast date. If you want to get truly geeky about it, I especially like Blue Bottle's small lot roasts of Ninety Plus' beans, which are really special. But, I definitely encourage trying out all sorts of regions and roasters to find your preference. 

    alice gao coffee tips | gardenista

    GD: Coffee pet peeves?


    • Freezing beans. It's a misconception that this extends the life of beans. 
    • When people take so long to photograph or Instagram their cappuccino that the entire top bubbles over and really, the drink "dies."
    • Pre-ground beans. Just no. 
    • Inconsistency at cafés (as mentioned above).

    alice gao coffee tips | gardenista

    What do you think? How does Alice's routine compare to your daily cup of joe?

    Captivated by Chemex? See Amanda's 7 Secrets: Tips to Make Perfect Cup of Coffee.

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    We spend a lot of time lurking on Etsy, looking for vintage bentwood plant hangers from the 1970s. There's something refreshingly modern about the simple, graceful way they frame a dangling houseplant. But every time we spot one and try to buy it? We get there too late.

    Designer Justina Blakeney feels our pain. A collector of bentwood plant hangers, she studied the form to create her own diamond-shaped version; she has collaborated with Etsy seller WeareMFEO to offer the Jungalow Hanging Planter, made to order. Something about it reminds us (in a good way) of listening to Elton John sing "Tiny Dancer" while we sat on our beds and wove God's Eyes from colorful yarn and popsicle sticks:

    Jungalow planter via Justine Blakeney ; Gardenista

    Above: Photograph via Justina Blakeney.

    Made to order from clear coated maple plywood, the Jungalow Hanging Planter hangs from a metal chain and comes with a metal mounting arm. It is 22 inches high and 15 inches wide; it's $75 from WeareMFEO via Etsy.

    Jungalow hanging planter ; Gardenista

    Above: The Jungalow, which has a wooden harness to hold a plant pot, comes with your choice of brass or chrome hardware.

    The design harkens back to the Scandi-inspired bentwood plant hangers that were so ubiquitous in the 1970s (but relatively difficult to find nowadays).

    Vintage bentwood 1970s hanging planters ; Gardenista

    Above: Two vintage versions of hanging bentwood planters; Photographs via (Left) Gallivanting Girls and (Right) Ethan Ollie

    The two examples above of 1970s-style design can theoretically trace their lineage all the way back to the 19th century; they are descendants (a few generations removed) of German cabinetmaker Michael Thonet's original bentwood chair (created after he discovered a technique for wetting wood to make it pliable enough to bend). 

    Jungalow hanging planter ; Gardenista

    Above: Says designer Blakeney: "Jungalow style is tropical and's about bringing the eclecticism of nature and the wild indoors."

    Feeling an urge to dangle a houseplant? See 10 Easy Pieces: White Hanging Planters and Our Favorite Woven Hanging Planter.

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    Before Cary Bernstein got to it, behind this circa 1908 San Francisco home lay a two-story detached garage with a top floor for parking and a bottom floor that was barely accessible. The top floor, accessible via an alleyway around the back of the house, functioned as the entryway of the home for its full-time residents. 

    Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory member Cary Bernstein remedied this dynamic with a complete remodel of the garage, retaining parking while adding usable space in the basement. When they drive into the garage at the end of the day, the owners now see across a landscaped courtyard to the back of their home. Says the architect, "By giving the garage a real architecture, the owners are already 'inside' when they arrive home by car." 

    Bernstein led an extensive excavation in the basement, turning it into a playroom for the owners' two young children. In the courtyard, a useless patch of grass was replaced with ungrouted sandstone pavers better suited for tricycles and outdoor furniture.

    Modern facade of converted garage, Gardenista

    Above: Painted siding on the remodeled garage. I asked Bernstein about the relatively modest exterior materials: "The understated materials are intentional," she said. "The clients have a strong sense of propriety, and the modest exteriors give just a few hints of the warm and articulated interiors." 

    The exterior materials are also intended to echo the early 20th century main house, but in a different, modern shape. Photograph by David Duncan Livingston.

    Light-filled stair from converted garage in San Francisco, Gardenista

    Above: A glass wall on the parking level is flooded with light from a skylight above the stairs, which makes an otherwise dark space bright and welcoming. The stair and its surrounding walls are made of ipe boards, which match decks at both ends of the garden. Photograph by Sharon Risedorph.

    Stairwell with Tree Fern, Gardenista

    Above: A glass-and-steel canopy over the stairway lends some protection from the rain. In the garden, fast-growing podocarpus and jasmine vines were planted along the perimeters to create soft, green walls. Photograph by Sharon Risedorph.

    Playroom in a converted garage, Gardenista

    Above: The outbuilding's basement level became a playroom outfitted with magnetic chalkboard walls and a foldaway bed for overnight guests. Photograph by Sharon Risedorph.

    Playroom in Converted Garage, Gardenista

    Above: A full bath and wine cellar will make the basement more usable when the playroom is no longer needed. Photograph by David Duncan Livingston.

    View across courtyard of converted garage, Gardenista

    Above: The landscaped courtyard. Only the two tree ferns were retained from the previous garden; the rest of the landscaping is new. Photograph by Sharon Risedorph.

    Bernstein thinks the interplay between the main house and the outbuilding is critical to understanding the home, saying: "Because of the unified architectural and landscape design, the garage feels as if it's part of the house with the garden being an incidental insertion between the spaces rather than a front and back building which share a landscape."

    Floor Plan of House with Garage Converted in Playroom, Gardenista

    Above: A detail of the floor plan across both the main house and the outbuilding; for reference, note the garage and playroom are at the bottom. 

    White Facade of San Francisco Home, Gardenista

    Above: The facade of the main home has a pedestrian-only entry. Bernstein notes that the home is "a builder's house: functional and direct in plan, clearly built with off-the-shelf details and trim." That's another reason to keep the outbuilding's materials modest. Photograph by David Duncan Livingston.

    For more cleverly designed parking spaces, see Designer Visit: A Carport Makes a Difference and The World's Best Carport

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    We love this sophisticated small home from Remodelista + Gardenista Architect/Designer Directory members Alterstudio Architecture, based in Austin. Architects Tim Whitehill and Kevin Alter shed some light on the materials they used for the facade, along with owner and contractor Richard White of Adobe Modern Homes

    N.B. Take a look at the home's interior courtyard, featured in The Cult of the Courtyard: 10 Homes with Amazing Interior Light

    Here, the elements to recreate the look: 

    Above: The house shows a modern but private face in a dense neighborhood.

    Board-Formed Concrete Walls, Gardenista

    Above: Board-formed concrete walls have the industrial look of concrete and the organic look of wood. Learn more in Architectural Element: Board-Formed Concrete Walls.

    Greenheart Wood, Gardenista

    Above: The highly varied wood is called greenheart, or Brazilian teak. Image via Stair Supplies.

    Benjamin Moore Jade Garden, Gardenista

    Above: The painted blue door is a slim door used for ventilation in the family room. The house's front door is off to the right. Approximate the color with Benjamin Moore's Jade Garden.

    Flat White Stucco Minimalist House, Gardenista

    Above: White stucco at the top of the house features a slight reveal between the vertical face and underside, allowing water to drain off and avoid staining the underside. Image via Clean Slate Living with Johannes Norlander.

    Neutra House Numbers in Aluminum, Gardenista

    Above: Neutra House Numbers in aluminum are $24 each from Design Within Reach. Here, the house numbers were installed on a steel plate using pegs, and the plate was inset into the concrete.

    Blue Atlas Cedar, Gardenista

    Above: A potted Blue Atlas Cedar is perched in a gold glazed pot at the edge of the porch. Photo via Danger Garden.

    Glazed Chinese Planter in Gold, Gardenista

    Above: We found this Glazed Ceramic Planter for $125 at Olde Good Things, but similar Chinese glazed pots can be found at nurseries.

    For more looks to steal, see Steal This Look: Black and White Indoor/Outdoor Terrace and Steal This Look: The Ultimate Outdoor Kitchen

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    Spotted via Williams-Sonoma Agrarian, a steel tool rack capable of holding 33 pounds. That's a lot of trowel:

    powder coated wall tool rack potting shed storage

    Above: A Steel Tool Rack powder coated in hunter green is suitable for a potting shed or garage; it's rust and weather resistant; on sale for $19.99 from Williams-Sonoma Agrarian.

    powder coated steel tool rack with five clips for hand tools

    Above: The tool rack has five adjustable clips to hold tools of different sizes.

    Janet put us in the mood yesterday to attack the garage; see her 10 Easy Pieces: Best Garage Organizers.

    For more of our favorite stylish storage ideas, see Stage a Garage Intervention.

    N.B.: This is an update of a post published May , 2013.

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    Why have we never taken a moment to consider the beauty of the mechanism that lifts the separate panels of an overhead garage door? There's really no faster—or elegant—way to eliminate the standoff between outdoors and in:

    Broadhurst shack at hinkle farm ; Gardenista

    Above: Washington, DC architect Jeffery Broadhurst's Shack at Hinkle Farm features a garage door opening.

    Chicken Point Cabin by OSKAR ; Gardenista

    Above: Olson Kundig Architects created the now-iconic Chicken Point Cabin, featuring an Industrial Revolution–evoking crank window. Photograph by Benjamin Benschneider.

    Above: An entire kitchen wall disappears instantly, courtesy of a simple system of tracks and rollers. Image via New York Magazine.

    Above: From Seattle-based Balance Associates, polished concrete floors, frosted-glass retractable doors, industrial pendant lamps, woodburning stove, stainless utility sink, and bicycle storage.

    Fernau & Hartman West Marin garage door ; Gardenista

    Above: This Northern California house in West Marin by Fernau & Hartman Architects features a spectacular indoor/outdoor lounge area; note the daybeds on wheels.

    Above: Borrowed from the garage: A picture window retracts to open a dining room to the sea in Cape Town. Images via Marie Claire Maison.

    Above: British Columbia-based Place Architects used an overhead garage door mechanism to open a kitchen wall.

    N.B.: This is an update of a post published August 12, 2012.

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    In Tasmania, a restaurant called Garagistes offers a pitch-perfect interpretation of its namesake.

    The name Garagistes is a reference to the space's former life as a commercial garage, a design inspiration for the restaurateurs. Its also an homage to the Garagistes, a group of rogue winemakers in France who produce wines in reaction to the dominant Bordeaux. Both interpretations of the word inspired owners Katrina Birchmier, Kirk Richardson, and chef/owner Luke Burgess. Les Garagistes used grapes that were considered sub-par by elitists. Likewise, the interior of Garagistes in Hobart features modest materials like concrete, form-ply, and polycarbonate to make an equally powerful statement: there is still uncharted territory in the "industrial inspired" design genre.

    Co-owner Kirk Richardson was one of the restaurant's primary designers, along with planning architect Paul Johnston. Richardson was kind enough to share some of his design perspective with us; continue reading below.

    Photography by Luke Burgess (yes, Garagistes' multi-talented chef), except where noted.

    Above: The design was partly inspired by the Danish concept of hygge; roughly translated as a shared experience of joy, often experienced over food and drinks. Says Richardson, "We liked the fact that through lighting we could create intimacy in quite a large space."

    Above: The back wall is clad in 16-gauge hot rolled steel, finished with a lanolin-based seal. The cutout window offers a glimpse into the restaurant's meat-curing cellar. The owners bolstered the existing clerestory polycarbonate panels, preserving the garage's excellent north-facing daytime light. The ceiling is EchoPanel acoustic paneling, made from recycled PET bottles.

    Above: The owners liked the idea that the space would be revealed to guests as they entered; a heavy door and simple signage don't give away the story. Photograph via Foodtrail.

    Above: Note the wall clad in black form-ply panels; look closely and you'll see the designers left some space between the panels, revealing the wood's factory-applied red edges. A painted red steel column at left echoes the accent.

    Above: According to Richardson, "The idea with communal dining is that the food sells itself; people look at what their neighbors are having." The Tasmanian oak tables each seat ten; custom design and fabrication by Tasmania-based Evan Hancock.

    Above: The chairs are custom designs by Sydney-based Dieu Tan, made of solid Tasmanian oak and marine-grade plywood with Tasmanian oak veneer.

    Above: The tableware is handmade by Kirk's father, Ben Richardson of Ridgeline Pottery. He designed a custom range for the restaurant made from clays and glazes using local Tasmanian materials.

    For more Down Under garden style, see Joost Bakker: A Dutch Eco Garden Genius in Australia and A Garden You Water Four Times a Year.

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    We all know that structure is good for us, like fiber in the diet. But it is flowers that most people want. The late, iconic British interior designer David Hicks, whose signature look was "simplicity and strength of line," didn't have time for flower beds. Structure was all. The garden he designed is still inhabited by the Hicks family and we take a tour to see how this flowerless garden idea works:

    Photographs by Kendra Wilson.

    David Hicks garden, Oxfordshire. Gardenista

    Above: The Pavilion at The Grove, Oxfordshire, the garden David Hicks developed from the 1980s until his death in 1998. A community of topiarized, containerized box jostles around the Pot Garden. The pots are bottomless to avoid watering and the gravel has a weed-preventing membrane beneath.

    David Hicks' son, designer Ashley Hicks, explains: "The inspiration was mainly labor-saving but also to give a look of orange trees at Versailles, albeit on a slightly smaller scale."

    David HIcks garden in Oxfordshire. Gardenista

    Above: This garden is all about vistas and the color green. However, snowdrops have crept in recently, though they are kept under close surveillance and form orderly lines.

    "What will never have space in my garden are herbaceous borders," David Hicks wrote in his 1995 book Cotswold Gardens. "When I plant flowers, they are never seen from the house and will only be used as cut flowers."

    David HIcks garden in Oxfordshire. Gardenista

    Above: Outside the drawing room, a parterre has been planted where there was once plain lawn. However, instead of enclosing roses and perennials, the rectangles of box surround more box. It looks like a David Hicks carpet but instead of wool, it's made of shrub.

    Ashley Hicks, whose design company includes David Hicks by Ashley Hicks, has a wonderful Instagram account for design voyeurs: ashleyhicks1970.

    David HIcks garden in Oxfordshire. Gardenista

    Above: Inside each rectangular box frame is a mattress of box.

    David HIcks garden in Oxfordshire. Gardenista

    Above: The view from the dining room to the swimming pool. Painted black and surrounded with smooth cobbles to imitate a canal, the pool is the beginning of a long horse chestnut avenue that is a third of a mile long and ends in open country.

    David HIcks garden in Oxfordshire. Gardenista

    Above: Farm buildings flank both sides of the pool garden. The whole is formalized and disciplined with pollarded horse chestnut.

    It is a peculiarly English tendency to compartmentalize a garden into rooms. The sense of enclosure between walls of hedging and pleaching is important, particularly in gardens which have been carved out relatively recently from fields. This is also true of some of Hicks' favorite gardens, Hidcote and Sissinghurst.

    David HIcks garden in Oxfordshire. Gardenista

    Above: Years of careful pruning. The horse chestnuts were planted about 30 years ago.

    David HIcks garden in Oxfordshire. Gardenista

    Above: Springing up here and there among the monochrome snowdrops are the all-green stinking hellebore.

    A grid of box-edged magnolia fills this part of the garden. The trees flower in spring but the petals are NOT pink, being the creamy white Magnolia grandiflora.

    David HIcks garden in Oxfordshire. Gardenista

    Above: Catkins provide some fluttery decoration in an area of hazel and other nut trees. Because of the strict form and color management, natural ornaments like this really stand out.

    David HIcks garden in Oxfordshire. Gardenista

    Above: One clipped hornbeam avenue leads to another, with a Gothic gate designed by David Hicks providing a break.

    David HIcks garden in Oxfordshire. Gardenista

    Above: Hornbeam is the favored hedging and pleaching plant in this garden, which is essentially a series of sparsely furnished rooms.

    Villandry and the great gardens of France made a lasting impression on David Hicks and he was also influenced by the work of John Fowler (of Colefax and Fowler), with his "wonderful hornbeam architecture" at the Hunting Lodge in Hampshire (the current tenant being another celebrated interior designer, Nicky Haslam).

    David Hicks garden, Gardenista

    Above: Box cubes hide pots of tree peonies, which emerge in spring. This is the appropriately named Secret Garden, hidden behind old walls and two closed doors (not locked). From summer the walls are adorned with old-fashioned roses, particularly Madame Isaac Pereire, and even cottage garden favorites are planted here: poppies, pinks, and hollyhocks. The Secret Garden is accessed via a small drawbridge.

    The Grove is not open to the public, but special visits can be arranged. Details, here.

    For England's most celebrated green garden, see: An Insider's Favorite: The Bliss of Visiting Rousham in the Cotswolds.

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    Why shouldn't storage units for the garage be among the most stylish accessories you buy for your home? Here are ten of our favorite options to consider for your garage, shed, or any place that needs tidying up.

    Martha Stewart Living Garage Storage I Gardenista

    Above: Leave it to Martha Stewart Living to come up with a smart and attractive garage storage collection (and to figure out a way to add 1970s avocado to our modern color wheel). The series includes an Under Bench 4-Drawer Storage unit ($249), a Tall Tower Cabinet ($199), a Wall Cabinet ($129), and a Tall Cabinet ($289). The storage cabinets and drawers are made from steel and offered in three different colors via Home Decorators Collection. 

    Edsal Basic Modular Workbench I Gardenista  

    Above: The Edsal Basic Modular Workbench doubles as a counter and storage. It features a maple top and two adjustable shelves, and measures 60 inches wide and 30 inches deep. Depending on your workplace needs, sliding doors or drawers can be added to this versatile work bench; $699 from Amazon. 

    Ikea Varde Base Cabinet Unit Gardenista   

    Above: Ikea's Värde series (generally used for kitchens) works equally well in a garage setting. This Base Cabinet Unit has three drawers, open storage, and a birch counter; $379 from Ikea. 

    Geneva Five Drawer Mobile Garage Storage Cabinet I Gardenista  

    Above: The 5 Drawer Mobile Garage Storage Cabinet by Geneva Garage Gear will keep track of tools, hardware, and nails; $549.80 via The Garage Store. The cabinet features five stainless steel drawers, a wooden top, rolling casters, and a lock.

    Salsbury IndustriesMobile Wire Shelving in Chrome from Home Depot I Gardenista  

    Above: The Salsbury-Industries Industrial Grade Welded Mobile Wire Shelving in Chrome is available in several different sizes and sourced from Home Depot. A shelving unit that measures 48 inches by 69 inches by 18 inches costs $179.

    Max Wood 6-Shelf Unit by Crate and Barrel I Gardenista  

    Above: On the prettier side, the MAX Chrome 6-Shelf Unit with Wood Shelves is part of a modular chrome shelving system called MAX from Crate and Barrel. The unit shown above is $299.95 from Crate and Barrel. 

    Gorilla Rack Five Shelf from Home Depot I Gardenista  

    Above: The Gorilla Rack 5-Shelf Free-Standing Storage Unit is made from steel and features adjustable shelves measuring 48 inches by 24 inches by 72 inches; $79.97 from Home Depot. 

    Ivar Storage System from Ikea I Gardenista  

    Above: The Ivar Storage System from Ikea is available in several shelving combinations. The shelves are made from solid untreated pine. This combination shows two sections with shelves and costs $247.

    Gorm Shelving Unit from Ikea I Gardenista   

    Above: The Gorm System from Ikea offers simple shelving solution for the budget-minded. The Gorm 3-Section Shelving unit is made from pine and spruce; $81.96 from Ikea. 

    Do you like the look of the MAX shelving from Crate and Barrel? Check out our post Stage a Garage Invention with Stylish Shelving

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    There are three ways to reach Machu Picchu: by hiking the Inca Trail hike, flying in by helicopter, or most commonly, by train. The train leaves only from the town of Ollantayatambo, making the tiny hamlet nestled in the Sacred Valley of Peru a destination as frequented as Machu Picchu itself.

    As the oldest hotel in Ollantaytambo, El Albergue is planted right along the train tracks. The inside of its restaurant is an ideal spot for enjoying a glass of wine, and on a recent visit I took advantage of the location for prime people-watching. Seeing tourists going to and from Machu Picchu is a funny thing—on the departing trains, it’s all nervous energy and excited chatter; on the arrivals, everyone is sunburned, haggard, and asleep with their faces pressed against the glass.

    The hotel was originally built in the 1920s and was turned over in the '70s to a young artist from Seattle, Wendy Weeks. Weeks and her husband lived there alone for a bit—painting, enjoying the views, and listening to the hum and whistle of the train going by—before restoring and reopening the property to the public.

    They couldn’t have made it any dreamier if they’d tried. Hummingbirds, passionfruit, and bougainvillea fill the courtyard, and their candle-lit dining room serves gorgeous Peruvian fare grown primarily on the organic farm they maintain out back.

    Photographs by Olivia Rae James for Gardenista.

    el alberque en route to machu pichu | gardenista

    Above: The hand-painted sign outside the hotel, adjacent to the train platform.

    el alberque en route to machu pichu | gardenista

    Above: Agave plants and bougainvillea are nestled into various corners of the El Albergue courtyard.

    el alberque en route to machu pichu | gardenista

    Above: Pots of succulents line the pathways throughout the property.

    el alberque en route to machu pichu | gardenista

    Above: Narrow passageways lead to secret gardens and courtyards.

    el alberque en route to machu pichu | gardenista

    Above: A wall engulfed in blossoms inside one of the hidden gardens.

    el alberque en route to machu pichu | gardenista

    Above: A view of the Andes Mountains from my room. The hotel maintains 16 guest rooms, smartly appointed with simple furnishings and Peruvian blankets. Room fare includes a full breakfast of fresh fruit, yogurt, and granola, eggs, espresso, and juice. 

    el alberque en route to machu pichu | gardenista

    Above: The red tin roof of the hotel below the Andes Mountains.

    el alberque en route to machu pichu | gardenista

    Above: The hotel’s organic farm which supplies much of the restaurant fare, against the backdrop of the Andes Mountains. The farm operation opened in 2011, and guests who aren't too weary from their travels can volunteer to help with farm chores. If chores aren't your idea of fun, consider heading to the wood-fired eucalyptus steam sauna instead.

    el alberque en route to machu pichu | gardenista

    Above: A greenhouse, used primarily for growing tomatoes and peppers for hungry guests. The hotel maintains the farm without the use of synthetic fertilizers or agrochemicals, relying on oxen for plowing and crop rotation for soil health and pest management.

    el alberque en route to machu pichu | gardenista

    Above: One of El Albergue’s sheep grazing near the corn field.

    el alberque en route to machu pichu | gardenista

    Above: The train to Machu Picchu.

    The hotel restaurant is open daily from 5 am to 9 pm. For more information and lodging options, visit El Albergue.

    See the map below for the precise location:

    N.B.: Hunting for even more adventure? See Earn Your Wilderness Stripes at the Minam River Lodge and browse all of our Hotels & Lodging posts.

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    We love a good garage, and to us, a good garage is at home with the architecture of the house around it. We spotted ten garage facades worth appreciating, from members of the Remodelista + Gardenista Architect/Designer Directory

    Feldman Architecture Remodeled San Francisco Cottage with New Garage Addition, Gardenista

    Above: Feldman Architecture added a 10-foot wide garage to the left of this 1860s San Francisco cottage during a renovation, but made the design discreet due to historic concerns. From the back, however, the addition is a modern two-story glass tower. For more from the architect, see Feldman Architecture: Cottages in the Mill Valley Forest.

    Santa Cruz Barn Garage by CCS Architecture with Reclaimed Wood, Gardenista

    Above: This barn garage by CCS Architecture is part of a Santa Cruz "country compound" belonging to a San Francisco couple with six children. The family wanted a rustic feel for their second home and versatility among the buildings for each member's various activities. For more from the firm, see Architect Visit: Leroy Street Studio and CCS Architecture.

    Finne Architects Snow Covered Modern Sloping Cabin in Washington, Gardenista

    Above: Located in Washington state's Methow Valley, this 1,500-square-foot cabin and garage by Seattle-based FINNE Architects is the guest quarters to a larger main house on the property. Read more about the Mazama Cabin at FINNE.

    Olson Kundig Modern House and Studio in Spain with Parking Gate, Gardenista

    Above: This live/work space in Spain designed by Seattle-based Olson Kundig Architects meets the street with an almost intimidating modern facade with a retractable gate for car storage. At the back, however, the home relaxes into the landscape. Photograph by Nikolas Koenig.

    Harrison Architects Green Garage with Living Roof, Gardenista

    Above: Translucent panels at the top of this garage by Seattle-based Harrison Architects allow plenty of light into the sometime workspace. What's more, the building has a living roof. Learn more in Architect Visit: Harrison Architects Garage

    Deborah Berke Tulip Avenue House with Modern Garage, Gardenista

    Above: Deborah Berke & Partners Architects made use of brick, stucco, stained wood, and aluminum to unify the exterior of this 5,400-square-foot single-level home in New Jersey. See more of Berke's work in Palette & Paints: 8 Colorful Exterior Stains and The Cult of the Courtyard: 10 Homes with Amazing Interior Light.

    Olson Kundig Converted Garage, Gardenista

    Above: Though it's now used as a guest studio, this onetime garage in Washington's San Juan Islands still features a weathered steel facade and sits at the end of a gravel drive. After a renovation by Seattle architects Olson Kundig, the garage doors now open onto a living room. Read more about the project, called The Garage, at Olson Kundig. Photograph by Benjamin Benschneider.

    Balance Associates Garage with Lofted Ceilings and Frosted Glass Doors, Gardenista

    Above: This two-door garage from Seattle-based Balance Associates features polished concrete floors, lofted ceilings, and frosted glass doors. Read about the project in Architect Visit: Balance Associates Garage. Photograph by Steve Keating

    Modern Douglas Fir and Copper House in Wisconsin, Gardenista

    Above: We love this wall of Douglas fir against the copper paneling on this modern house in Wisconsin by Vincent James Associates Architects (with landscapes by directory members Coen + Partners). Read more about the project in A Copper-Clad Modernist Gem in the Big Woods. Photograph by Don Wong

    Kennerly San Francisco Remodeled Modern Facade, Gardenista

    Above: Kennerly Architecture & Planning renovated this 850-square-foot San Francisco row house, adding a screen of western red cedar on the home's facade to tie it in nicely with the garage door to the left. Read more about the project in Architect Visit: Owen Kennerly Renovation in San Francisco

    Keep exploring exterior architecture in The Cult of the Courtyard: 10 Homes with Amazing Interior Light and Garden Sheds and Outbuildings from the Gardenista Gallery

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    In the creation myths of some of this country's most celebrated entrepreneurs, the self-starting heroes begin their journey within the humble four walls of the family garage. Rock bands, tech companies, and media conglomerates make claims that their über-success was first fostered among dirty work benches and half-empty oil cans. 

    For Sarah Winward, a Salt Lake City-based floral designer, a garage is where she took her business to thrive. A year ago, Sarah moved her floral design studio, Honey of a Thousand Flowers, to a garage in downtown Salt Lake City. But instead of toiling away among abandoned cardboard boxes and rusty paint cans, Sarah's made her home base decidedly more welcoming. 

    Photographs by Britt Chudleigh.

    sarah winward's floral studio in salt lake city | gardenista

    Above: The open studio door.

    Before launching her floral design business, Sarah was a student studying the Middle East and worked answering phones and sweeping floors in flower shops, but never a floral designer. After pitching in to help friends design their wedding flowers, Sarah caught the design bug and began arranging with flowers growing in her yard and wherever she could find them. Sarah explains, "Soon friends of friends were asking for me to do flowers for their weddings so I made a blog that I posted my photos on, and then I made a website. And suddenly I started taking clients. It all felt so fast and fluid." 

    Today, Sarah works in her studio space Thursday through Saturday on the week of a wedding and typically spends another one or two days a week in the space meeting clients, cleaning, and organizing. 

    sarah winward's floral studio in salt lake city | gardenista  
    Above: Inside the studio, a table and chairs on a plush carpet create a multi-purpose space for client meetings and evening dinners.

    After Sarah decided to move her business into the garage studio, she spruced it up with fresh paint and new lights. Together with her husband, Sarah built wooden tables and cabinets for the space. Outside the studio, Sarah planted a cutting garden that she can harvest from for her bouquets. 

    But aside from these improvements, Sarah's quick to explain that the garage was kept mostly as-is: "Working with flowers is messy and I find it's best for me to just have open space to spread out in; it's pretty utilitarian."

    sarah winward's floral studio in salt lake city | gardenista

    Above: Sarah's cutting garden, where she grows zinnia, lamb's ear, and heuchera for her arrangements.

    sarah winward's floral studio in salt lake city | gardenista

    Above: Back inside, the studio is home to shelf after shelf of props.

    As a floral designer who collaborates carefully with clients to design the overall look of their events, props are an essential part of the business. Some of Sarah's props come from wholesale floral suppliers, but many are vintage and have been collected one piece at a time. "I am a hoarder by nature, so I feel that my job is the best and the worst thing for me," she says. "I get my fix by buying new vases and displaying them on my shelves."

    sarah winward's floral studio in salt lake city | gardenista

    Above: More props, organized by material.

    Some of Sarah's vintage pieces came from thrift stores or eBay; others were collected on travels in the US, Morocco, and India.

    sarah winward's floral studio in salt lake city | gardenista

    Above: Sarah at work, designing.

    Perhaps unsurprisingly, Sarah is inspired by the natural world when she designs an arrangement. "I love the way flowers look out in the gardens and on the mountainside, and I like to try and let the flowers feel natural when arranged." 

    sarah winward's floral studio in salt lake city | gardenista

    Above: An arrangement of pear tree foliage, maidenhair fern, peegee hydrangea, Echinacea or (white coneflower), and bunny grass.

    Color is another integral part of the design process for Sarah: "I usually start with one flower and build a palette around it." Sarah's not a fan of too much contrast in her arrangements, so she works to blend colors together by finding the right shades to create color bridges.

    sarah winward's floral studio in salt lake city | gardenista

    Above: Sarah at work in the studio.

    The overall floral aesthetic for each wedding that Sarah works on is created by thinking about the couple, the season, and the location for their wedding.

    sarah winward's floral studio in salt lake city | gardenista

    Above: Sarah opens the studio to the street.

    The studio sits on the edge of Salt Lake City's downtown, across from Pioneer Park, which holds the biggest Salt Lake City farmers' market. During the summer when there are concerts in the park, Sarah opens the front garage door and hosts barbecues with friends. 

    sarah winward's floral studio in salt lake city | gardenista

    What does Sarah love most about the studio? "It’s a great space that can transform from a workspace to a nice space where I can host a dinner or a workshop." Sarah even has hosted an actual wedding in the space: "I love that is a space where my friends, family, and associates can come and we all feel welcome and comfortable."

    Maybe best of all, Sarah's currently looking for a studio mate. For more information, see Sarah's blog entry about the studio. For more of Sarah's floral designs, see Honey of a Thousand Flowers, and to set up a consultation, head directly to Sarah's Contact Page.

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