Plants on Balconies, Terraces, and Rooftop Gardens

Whether they are placed indoors or outdoors; in yards, balconies, or rooftop gardens, plants have aesthetic, ecological, health, and psychological benefits. All of those benefits come together to create more livable and beautiful spaces. Especially when plants are used outdoors not only the occupants of those spaces but the whole surrounding area, the whole city, enjoys those benefits.

As usual, plants look their best and create more relaxing environments when their natural size and shapes are appreciated. Trimming them to specific shapes and fighting against your plants' nature to keep them at a certain size stresses them out, makes them more vulnerable, and creates a lot of extra work for you.

Sources: images 1 & 2, image 3, image 4, image 5

Lively hacienda tiles

Hacienda style tiles are an excellent way to add some color and beauty to otherwise plain areas. The bright colors and patterns help make the place more lively, friendly, and cozy. Since hacienda tiles are well-glazed they hold up to the elements well and are good options for outdoors use, as well.

^ When used outdoors, hacienda tiles' shiny finish creates a pleasant visual contrast with natural textures. That contrast of textures and colors also make hacienda tiles go well with saltillo tiles and rough stucco.

^ Just a border of hacienda tiles around a window add character and color.

^ The imperfect paint job and the huge bougainvillea pair well with hacienda tiles as well.

 sources: image 1, image 2, image 3, image 4

Cozy, homey, and practical home

When unpretentious elements like natural colors and textures, things that age well, and can take wear and tear come together in a practical way, you get a comfortable, cozy and a very livable home.

Creating a similar exterior may not be an option in cities but the interior elements would make welcome touches in any setting.

^ That green door, the covered porches, the easy-going landscaping, with the gravel and flagstone path are all cool touches.

^ I love the saltillo tiles, the kilim rug, and the big practical benches in this mudroom.

^ That rooster rug is nice. I also love those fabric covers. You don't always need the structure and the strength of rigid doors. Sometimes you just need a dust blocker, and efficiency is a good thing. The fabric also adds a warmer/softer touch. I like the painted cabinets and the DIY-ish kitchen island, too.

Image source

Interior and exterior inspiration

kitchen cabinets with blue paint job
 ^ The exposed beams on the ceiling are cool but what struck me was the easy-going and great-looking paint job on the kitchen cabinets.

Mediterranean landscaping
  ^ Mediterranean style xeriscaped yard with some French touches, specifically the carefully trimmed foliage.

cozy living room
 ^ Love the couch cover, the rugs and, of course, the huge windows. A cozy and casual room, for sure.
small and cozy front porch
^ Love the color of the door, the brick stairs, the potted plants, and the small front porch. Seems like a very cool and charming house.

Sources: image 1, image 2, image 3, image 4

Natural materials & textures, cozy rooms

Imperfection soothes the soul, and so does nature. Incorporating natural materials, textures in forms that will age well and acquire character with use, go far in creating cozy rooms. Natural light and visual access to outdoors help, too, as seen in this eat-in kitchen. Those elements also help create timeless spaces which I always prefer over investing in trends that will soon seem dated.
^ Cool cozy kitchen. I like the Thonet chairs, the exposed brick, and the tile by the doors.

^ I love this mudroom with its unpretentious, practical shoe racks, and ample space to hang coats. The art work over the coat hooks seem a bit too repetitive and impersonal though.

^ Love the texture and the warm color of the paint job on the wall.

sources: image 1, images 2,3,4, image 5

Simple DIY furniture: benches

Here are a couple of DIY benches that would provide casual and attractive seating indoors or outdoors. They would be easy to make, yet they are very good looking with timeless designs.

You could build this 2nd bench with armrests as well.
Images source

Praise for mismatched dining chairs

Even though it's the norm, I find matchy-matchy dining sets boring and really enjoy dining tables with mismatched chairs that go well together. I also really like the solid wood tables in these pictures; good-looking, easy-going and practical -built to serve its owners well for life instead of with an intention to impress.

Top image source, bottom image source


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