LIVing Design Tips

Read the latest trends and best practices  from our team!

MANTEL or MANTLE...Which is right?

Posted by Andrea Howell on

The other day there was a lot of confusion at my daughters spelling bee over how to spell the word mantle. Was it MANTEL or MANTLE? The definition they were seeking was for the ledge over a fireplace and no one could seem to remember which way to spell it.

 

Luckily, in  this day and age we have our friend, Google, to settle these matters quickly.  In this case, we learned that the piece of wood or stone over a fireplace is spelled: MANTEL.


 Thinking about this one little example of how easy it is to confuse words, their spellings and meanings, especially in an unfamiliar or specialized discipline, I decided to look more deeply into the matter. Several examples sprung to mind:   Is it shrubs or bushes? Contemporary or modern? Do you have a Chevron or herringbone pattern in your brick pathway? 


Here’s some insider information! 

 

As a landscape designer, the word bushesis thrown around a lot by people. I hear it used by my clients to refer to anything from a perennial to a small tree without real focused definition.


 A SHRUB, on the other hand,  is anything in your landscape that can be groomed, pruned, or shaped, while bushes are usually left to grow wild.  So to keep things simple, and to help when you  communicate when you  go to the nursery, think of shrubs as what you will purchase to be  in the landscape areas of your yard as opposed to BUSHES which  are more typically found in the woods and roadsides.

 

Contemporary vs modern suffers from some of the same confusion.  People tend to use these two words interchangeably when in fact they do have different meanings.  


Modern refers to a specific design period and  style  that came about in the 20th century.  Contemporary is a broader term that does not relate to a specific time period, but rather just signals  what is currently popular.

 

Lastly, there is the distinction between chevron and herringbone.  A chevron pattern is a continuous V” pattern with a 45 degree angle at the ends.  A herringbone pattern has a square end, which creates more of a zigzag effect.  To me a herringbone is always a little more classic, but either will make a beautiful walkway.


If you have questions or ideas about how you might like to create a  more meaningful landscape to make your statement, do not hesitate to contact me at Liv Design Partners so we can talk about it!


Keep growing! 


Sincerely, 



Read more

MANTEL or MANTLE...Which is right?

Posted by Andrea Howell on

The other day there was a lot of confusion at my daughters spelling bee over how to spell the word mantle. Was it MANTEL or MANTLE? The definition they were seeking was for the ledge over a fireplace and no one could seem to remember which way to spell it.

 

Luckily, in  this day and age we have our friend, Google, to settle these matters quickly.  In this case, we learned that the piece of wood or stone over a fireplace is spelled: MANTEL.


 Thinking about this one little example of how easy it is to confuse words, their spellings and meanings, especially in an unfamiliar or specialized discipline, I decided to look more deeply into the matter. Several examples sprung to mind:   Is it shrubs or bushes? Contemporary or modern? Do you have a Chevron or herringbone pattern in your brick pathway? 


Here’s some insider information! 

 

As a landscape designer, the word bushesis thrown around a lot by people. I hear it used by my clients to refer to anything from a perennial to a small tree without real focused definition.


 A SHRUB, on the other hand,  is anything in your landscape that can be groomed, pruned, or shaped, while bushes are usually left to grow wild.  So to keep things simple, and to help when you  communicate when you  go to the nursery, think of shrubs as what you will purchase to be  in the landscape areas of your yard as opposed to BUSHES which  are more typically found in the woods and roadsides.

 

Contemporary vs modern suffers from some of the same confusion.  People tend to use these two words interchangeably when in fact they do have different meanings.  


Modern refers to a specific design period and  style  that came about in the 20th century.  Contemporary is a broader term that does not relate to a specific time period, but rather just signals  what is currently popular.

 

Lastly, there is the distinction between chevron and herringbone.  A chevron pattern is a continuous V” pattern with a 45 degree angle at the ends.  A herringbone pattern has a square end, which creates more of a zigzag effect.  To me a herringbone is always a little more classic, but either will make a beautiful walkway.


If you have questions or ideas about how you might like to create a  more meaningful landscape to make your statement, do not hesitate to contact me at Liv Design Partners so we can talk about it!


Keep growing! 


Sincerely, 



Read more


Inspirational Images...the good, the bad, the truth.

Posted by Elsa Hoffman on

Why do we ask you to send images of looks and homes and rooms and objects that inspire you along with the images of your home as it is now? Because our job is to help you to create your ideal vision as we approach your project.

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Inspirational Images...the good, the bad, the truth.

Posted by Elsa Hoffman on

Why do we ask you to send images of looks and homes and rooms and objects that inspire you along with the images of your home as it is now? Because our job is to help you to create your ideal vision as we approach your project.

Read more


Winter Projects for Your Home

Posted by Andrea Howell on

Winter is just around the corner, so I thought it might be a good time to talk about the bones of your landscape.  It is easy to add a new pot of annual color or colorful shrub border, but sometimes you need to look beyond to make your garden come to life.

  1. Look UP.  Look for trees that need to be removed or limbed up to provide a better view of your home or let more sunlight in.  As trees mature (and decline) they can shade shrubs underneath and make them appear scraggly or thin.  Always look for a reputable tree removal contractor who is insured when working near your home.
  2. Mailbox that Delivers.  An interesting mailbox box bed full of Iris, Boxwoods, and maybe a clematis vine can ad instant curb appeal!  Consider upgrading your mailbox too.  There are so many interesting options from Copper, Traditional, and mid century modern, etc.  Look to your home’s dominate style to lead you to the best choice
  3. Front Door Redo.  Everyone wants a front door that pops!   Matching planters are a great way to accent everything, but consider a new front door.  Changing from a solid 6 panel door to a door with glass can change the whole feel of your space...or maybe just a fresh coat of paint is the answer.  From Black to a vibrant Green can liven up an entry!
  4. SEE the difference! Low-Voltage or Solar Landscape Lighting is an easy way to change the look and feel of your home at night!  It can make dark areas more safe and inviting for entertaining.  Also consider new accent lighting on your home.  Lights that are the wrong size or style can make your home look dated.  Also, notice the light color—always opt for warm shades of light over blues.

 

As always, we can help you LIVen up your space!!

Read more

Winter Projects for Your Home

Posted by Andrea Howell on

Winter is just around the corner, so I thought it might be a good time to talk about the bones of your landscape.  It is easy to add a new pot of annual color or colorful shrub border, but sometimes you need to look beyond to make your garden come to life.

  1. Look UP.  Look for trees that need to be removed or limbed up to provide a better view of your home or let more sunlight in.  As trees mature (and decline) they can shade shrubs underneath and make them appear scraggly or thin.  Always look for a reputable tree removal contractor who is insured when working near your home.
  2. Mailbox that Delivers.  An interesting mailbox box bed full of Iris, Boxwoods, and maybe a clematis vine can ad instant curb appeal!  Consider upgrading your mailbox too.  There are so many interesting options from Copper, Traditional, and mid century modern, etc.  Look to your home’s dominate style to lead you to the best choice
  3. Front Door Redo.  Everyone wants a front door that pops!   Matching planters are a great way to accent everything, but consider a new front door.  Changing from a solid 6 panel door to a door with glass can change the whole feel of your space...or maybe just a fresh coat of paint is the answer.  From Black to a vibrant Green can liven up an entry!
  4. SEE the difference! Low-Voltage or Solar Landscape Lighting is an easy way to change the look and feel of your home at night!  It can make dark areas more safe and inviting for entertaining.  Also consider new accent lighting on your home.  Lights that are the wrong size or style can make your home look dated.  Also, notice the light color—always opt for warm shades of light over blues.

 

As always, we can help you LIVen up your space!!

Read more


Vanity of Vanities

Posted by Elsa Hoffman on

BUT all vanities are NOT created equal--especially when it comes to choosing one for your home.This is where form meets function.

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Vanity of Vanities

Posted by Elsa Hoffman on

BUT all vanities are NOT created equal--especially when it comes to choosing one for your home.This is where form meets function.

Read more


Fall Color in Your Landscape

Posted by Andrea Howell on

As we watch the changing color of the leaves this fall, we are reminded of how dramatically everything in our lives has changed.  

 

And perhaps there is a hopeful message in this year’s leaves: that change is cyclical, inevitable and magical and nature is painting a whole new canvas for us to create our new lives: we are in sync with nature.

 

In the past many of us took road trips to the mountains or forests to celebrate the fire of fall, but this year many of us will be staying closer to home which will allow us to stay even closer to nature as we create our own beauty.

 

Trees and shrubs are the best ways to add fall color to your landscape. 

Be a little selective with the types you choose in order to extend the color in your garden to its fullest. Color palettes  run from bright gold to warm reds, and you can set the right tone for cool fall temperatures. 

Perhaps, choose 1 or 2 tree types and  try to group 3 or more of the smaller trees and shrubs around them for maximum impact. 

Large Trees include  Sugar Maple, Red Maple, Bald Cypress, Tulip Poplar, Ginkgo, River Birch, Hickory, and Beech 

Small Trees and Shrubs include Japanese Maple, Crabapple, Smokebush, Witch Hazel, Blueberries, Red Twig Dogwood, and Redbud 

Let me know your favorites and if I can help you place a few of these beauties in your yard, I would love to do so!..

 

With fall warmth...

Read more

Fall Color in Your Landscape

Posted by Andrea Howell on

As we watch the changing color of the leaves this fall, we are reminded of how dramatically everything in our lives has changed.  

 

And perhaps there is a hopeful message in this year’s leaves: that change is cyclical, inevitable and magical and nature is painting a whole new canvas for us to create our new lives: we are in sync with nature.

 

In the past many of us took road trips to the mountains or forests to celebrate the fire of fall, but this year many of us will be staying closer to home which will allow us to stay even closer to nature as we create our own beauty.

 

Trees and shrubs are the best ways to add fall color to your landscape. 

Be a little selective with the types you choose in order to extend the color in your garden to its fullest. Color palettes  run from bright gold to warm reds, and you can set the right tone for cool fall temperatures. 

Perhaps, choose 1 or 2 tree types and  try to group 3 or more of the smaller trees and shrubs around them for maximum impact. 

Large Trees include  Sugar Maple, Red Maple, Bald Cypress, Tulip Poplar, Ginkgo, River Birch, Hickory, and Beech 

Small Trees and Shrubs include Japanese Maple, Crabapple, Smokebush, Witch Hazel, Blueberries, Red Twig Dogwood, and Redbud 

Let me know your favorites and if I can help you place a few of these beauties in your yard, I would love to do so!..

 

With fall warmth...

Read more