Debbie Ballentine

(408) 688-6521
bit.ly/NHGardenBlog

Services Provided
Freelance garden writer, speaker and photographer.
Specializing in California native plants, wildlife gardening and sustainable landscape practices.

Areas Served
California

Business Description
California native plants, wildlife gardening and sustainable landscape practices are joyfully shared with others through my writing, speaking and photography. Trained as a landscape designer at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, I’ve chosen to put my efforts into education rather than design. My articles and photography have been published in CNPS Grow Native Blog, Regional Parks Botanic Garden Newsletter, My Out & About Magazine (Silicon Valley) and I write my own Native Hearts Garden Blog. For high quality photos of California native plants be sure to check out my photography on Flickr!

Certification and Awards
Cedar Lane Garden, San Jose, designed by Debbie Ballentine:
CLCA of the San Francisco Bay Area 40th Annual Beautification Awards,
Excelsior Award for Xeriscape Installation
Location:
San Jose, CA US 
Contact:
Debbie Ballentine 
Type:
 
Address:
San Jose, CA 95110 
Debbie Ballentine bookmarked an ideabook

What Monarch Butterflies Taught Me About Garden Design

Thinking like a butterfly leads to fresh perspectives in the garden and in life Full Story
     Comment   on Sunday
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roxieks
Also use a terracotta base for pots and place a few flat rocks and 1/2" water the butterflies and bees will gather there to drink. Since the terracotta also absorbs water, using another base fill with about an 1" of water, the birds will gather too. Place them in the shade so the small amount of water does not get too hot before it evaporates. A few colorful objects will also attract the butterflies, bees and birds.
on Sunday at 8:20PM   
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errichiello
Hello Benjamin. I always enjoy an article on the butterfly. I wish you had included pictures of the eggs on milkweed and also the chrysalis. I see many different things in my garden and can't quite determine if they are good or bad. Should be removed or left alone. Maybe an article on the different stages and pictures would be nice. I have seen many swallowtail and monarchs in my garden this season. They are definitely attracted to my butterfly bushes, but also the phlox I have in the yard. Between them and the humming birds, it is really nice to see them. Every year they are increasing in our area in Illinois.
22 hours ago     
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Contractor Tips: Top 10 Home Remodeling Don'ts

Help your home renovation go smoothly and stay on budget with this wise advice from a pro Full Story
     Comment   on Sunday
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J LeBlanc
"Don't buy your own materials". - I would have to say that buying your own materials is not always a bad idea. There is no way I would have gotten want I wanted if I let the contractor buy it.
4 hours ago     
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Thank you for the good Tips.
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Debbie Ballentine commented on an ideabook

Great Design Plant: Firecracker Penstemon

Ignite a winter landscape with color and draw hummingbird visitors with this unfussy drought-tolerant perennial Full Story
     Comment   August 24, 2014
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suzn2105
Just know that this plant will reseed with vigor! I have new plants popping up all over my yard, almost like a weed. I judiciously thin out the new arrivals over the course of spring.
February 13, 2014 at 12:32PM     
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Debbie Ballentine
I love this plant! This plant is a native to California and the Southwest deserts. In my region, the SF Bay Area, this plant needs only a monthly drink of water. In fact in my local clay-ish soil it will rot if watered once a week. It grows really well here without amending the soil if it is on a mound or slope thereby providing it with excellent drainage. In sandy soil water it once a week in the summer, in clay-ish soil and a more temperate area water once a month. (Then there's everything in between.) In my home garden, Penstemon eatonii is easier to grow than our local SF Bay Area Penstemon centranthifolius. I have both and have had more success with P. eatonii. And I've don't think I've ever had a single volunteer from seed... what's with that?!
August 24, 2014 at 3:41PM   
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Debbie Ballentine bookmarked an ideabook

Bring in Warmth and Character With Reclaimed Wood

Got a hankering for that natural touch? Go rough or refined with these ideas for using salvaged wood indoors and out Full Story
     Comment   August 17, 2014
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villyol
Tête de lit
last Saturday at 8:57PM   
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pbenink
We love our wood countertop made from 150 year old reclaimed wood.
22 hours ago   
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Debbie Ballentine published an ideabook

Great Design Plant: Parry Manzanita Stands Out in Low-Water Gardens

Make a dramatic architectural statement and feed wildlife in woodlands and more with Arctostaphylos manzanita Full Story
     Comment   August 17, 2014
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sartarehare
Nothing makes me think of home more than these. We've got Madrona (tree) here in the Pacific NW, which comes close (and I love them also) but the manzanita is my fave. I would plant one in a minute in a dry patch.....if I had one.
August 20, 2014 at 9:36AM   
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diyer59
Now you're talking! One of my favorite California natives. I'm fortunate that I have many in my area to admire. The trunks are my favorite feature, they almost look like well-tanned human arms and legs to me!
August 20, 2014 at 10:07AM   
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Debbie Ballentine commented on an ideabook

Houzz Tour: Lofty Ambitions Transform a Manhattan Apartment

Thanks to a loft bed and clever features, this home’s compact footprint doesn’t cramp the owner’s style Full Story
     Comment   August 11, 2014
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Debbie Ballentine
Some fabulous ideas for small-space living. It's giving me some thoughts about my remodel project, particularly the storage under the stairs. Thanks!
August 11, 2014 at 4:13PM   
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mrachlin14
Tiny apt
August 21, 2014 at 8:56PM   
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TAG
Great use of space .... at 500 sft ...... you packed a lot in.
August 26, 2014 at 10:55AM   
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Debbie Ballentine commented on an ideabook

Great Design Plant: Try California Wild Grape for Interest All Year

Sure, it’s stunning in fall. But the spring buds, summer grapes and gnarled winter vines are gorgeous too Full Story
     Comment   August 9, 2014
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Debbie Ballentine
I have a friend who prunes my Rogers Red to keep it in check. There are pruning techniques that encourage growth and others that discourage growth. Knowing which technique to use and when is the challenge for anyone like me who's a pruning-novice.
August 9, 2014 at 4:13PM     
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Pamela Bateman Garden Design
In winter I prune the grape in my photo by shortening all the vertical growth to two or three buds and let the horizontal branches grow along the top of the fence. When it reaches the end of the fence I prune off any other growth that grows beyond that. Since you are not pruning for grape production you can prune to your desired coverage. Once a year pruning is all that is needed. Sometimes in mid summer if a new branch takes off into the sky to reach another tree - then that branch is pruned off. Pretty simple.
August 9, 2014 at 6:00PM   
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Debbie Ballentine bookmarked an ideabook

How to Bring Beige Walls to Life

Go for sprightly instead of snoozy by pairing beige walls with higher-octane hues Full Story
     Comment   August 9, 2014
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che_arcena
Lots of brilliant ideas here, thank you! We, too, had the same delima, house was so pale and almost clinical looking...so had to add a dash of dramatic colours (from cheap decals, quirky finds and personal art pieces and accessories) and natural elements here and there...
August 25, 2014 at 5:17AM   
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che_arcena
And one more...
August 25, 2014 at 5:56AM   
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Debbie Ballentine bookmarked an ideabook

8 Easy Ways to Give Your Home Quirk Appeal

Oddities and curiosities fascinate and tell your home's personal story — no major redesign required Full Story
     Comment   August 9, 2014
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Sharon Whiteman
So the fireman's pole house has "done away with stairs" huh? How do they go UP?
May 3, 2014 at 7:27PM   
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Francesca
@Sharon - I would say that they go up with a lot of arm strength and very slowly. *laughs*
May 3, 2014 at 8:51PM   
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Debbie Ballentine bookmarked an ideabook

12 Rooms That Revel in Bohemian Opulence

Swathed in rich textiles and colors perfect for fall, rooms with boho flair show a freewheeling spirit and an eye for irreverent design Full Story
     Comment   August 9, 2014
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gschneider
These spaces suggest vibrant personalities - appreciate the uniqueness of these spaces, Laura.

vee22 once commented on a prior Houzz feature - "Who cares about what the so called "trends" are and what some self appointed "designer" says...I do what I want and what pleases me, not because other people dictate what I should like." To discount others for their preferences suggests duplicity. Do you suppose others make their personal choices on where to live & how to live in their homes based on what pleases them & hopefully will continue to live in their spaces as pleases them - just as you do?

Laurel, your assuming "correctness" continues to puzzle - it's truly a matter of preference.
January 28, 2013 at 5:33PM     
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amandahindson
Love this idea book! Any idea the brand and color of wall paint in the second picture? Love the blue wall.
December 22, 2013 at 3:37PM   
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Debbie Ballentine bookmarked an ideabook

Save Old Furniture with Bohemian Chic Decor

Recently I've taken an interest in the bohemian chic style of decorating. The idea behind this type of decor is that you can combine eclectic... Full Story
     Comment   August 9, 2014
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November 8, 2013 at 10:13PM   
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How to Achieve the Bohemian Effect

Bohemian inspired interiors have a certain pull to them. It could be their romantic European roots, or maybe these eclectic spaces attract us... Full Story
     Comment   August 9, 2014
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AliciaTappDesigns Images on Tiles
I love the elegance and decay image at the top. The walls are fab. My bed was bought and auction 10 years ago and has a French baroque inspired look to it.
AliciA
January 16, 2010 at 8:27AM   
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chookchook2
Music is essential for the right ambiance


March 26, 2014 at 6:20PM     
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8 Bohemian Bedrooms Trek Effortlessly Into Style

True boho style seems effortless and authentically artful, and bohemian bedrooms are no exception. But don't worry, you can fake it Full Story
     Comment   August 9, 2014
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Fl!p Breskin
Buffy - Thank you! Glad you like it. You can see more of it here if you're curious:


September 30, 2012 at 8:35AM     
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reesip
This reminds of when Nirvana influenced grunge hit the runways. If you have to define this style by rules, I think your missing the point.
October 16, 2013 at 3:16PM     
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Look Up and Dream: 11 Ideas for an Inspired Ceiling

Think beyond the standard coat of paint, and make your ceiling pop with unexpected materials and glamorous finishes Full Story
     Comment   August 9, 2014
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We live in a 1960 ranch "box", so when we redid the fireplace, we added a bit of architectural interest to the ceiling as well....
August 17, 2014 at 10:31AM   
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solider5
Ceiling
August 25, 2014 at 6:54PM   
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10 Marvelous Ways With Mezzanines

Whether you have just a sliver of space or a whole floor’s worth, you can create an extra living area by looking up Full Story
     Comment   August 9, 2014
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Valerie Pinard-Jain
I am expecting a telephone call from my mother regarding picture #10 (the one with the "zebra" rug) as I know that she will be shocked to see her beloved French Oak Louis-something dinning-room table painted blue!
August 11, 2014 at 1:45PM   
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jmcno
I love these ideas! However, I would never be able to get a book from the bookshelves atop the glass floor! My palms get sweaty even thinking about it!!
August 25, 2014 at 6:43PM   
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Bulletproof Decorating: How to Pick the Right Kind of Paint

Choose a paint with some heft and a little sheen for walls and ceilings with long-lasting good looks. Here are some getting-started tips Full Story
     Comment   August 9, 2014
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Glennis Houston
An interior decorator advised that the Ben grade, from Benjamin Moore, is sufficient - it's about mid-grade I think (not 100% sure). It was ~$50/gal, and had I had my painter purchase it, it would have been less yet. For ~$300 to paint almost my whole house with good-quality, colour-dense paint, I consider it good value.
August 18, 2014 at 11:44AM   
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trishatz
I disagree with the use of Behr paint. The very light colors seem to be ok, but the darker colors are awful. Our neighbor had a professional painter paint her living room wall a burgundy color. It took 5 coats to get it to look correct. He said he never used such horrible paint. My husband painted a room a darker blue and the paint actually ran down the walls in layers. He had to go back and sand the whole wall after it dried. My husband started painting homes with his father at 12 years old. He knew what he was doing. A professional painter once explained to me that he will only use Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore. He said with the box store paints, they could be good one year and terrible the next. They send out bids for the paints to put their name on. Some years, the paints may have more water added to them so they can come in at a lower cost. Makes sense to me. This is just my opinion that comes from my experiences
last Wednesday at 12:02PM     
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12 Deadly Decorating Sins

Are your room designs suffering from a few old habits? It may be time to change your ways Full Story
     Comment   August 8, 2014
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Lynne Mysliwiec
There are sins of scale and sparseness and asymmetry that will be displeasing to the eye without regard to trends...example: giant sofa sitting on tiny rug. It will look wrong in 100 years and it looked wrong 100 years ago.
August 8, 2014 at 8:41AM     
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Bearcubus
Mr. Cyr, you have very good taste, and I appreciate this article.
I only object to the leopard print. That can't possibly be witty any more.
August 8, 2014 at 2:53PM   
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12 Key Decorating Tips to Make Any Room Better

Get a great result even without an experienced touch by following these basic design guidelines Full Story
     Comment   August 8, 2014
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rouxb
Primarily California. Google you like his style and are curious.
August 6, 2014 at 9:31PM   
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Tara Tompson
Thanks for all the decor tips! I want to get my room re styled. I've had the same furniture for ten years so it's time for a change. I love some of these chairs and sofas! http://www.ncfurniture.com/LivingRoom.inc
last Wednesday at 2:06PM     
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Pick-a-Paint Help: How to Quit Procrastinating on Color Choice

If you're up to your ears in paint chips but no further to pinning down a hue, our new 3-part series is for you Full Story
     Comment   August 8, 2014
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Shelly Becker
What would be a suggested color for a room with 3 browns that aren't changing? We have a chocolate brown sofa(#3) golden oak floor(#2) and a medium brown trim (#1)
July 30, 2014 at 11:13AM   
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qofmiwok
I'm liking white more these days, but still, that first photo would look so much better with colored walls!
July 30, 2014 at 10:34PM   
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Pick-a-Paint Help: 11 Ways to Mine Your World for Colors

Color, color everywhere. Discover the paint palettes that are there for the taking in nature, shops and anywhere else you roam Full Story
     Comment   August 8, 2014
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Peggy Tupper
To Elizabeth Dobbs: yes some 70% of men are color blind to some degree. They can differentiate bold colors but not pale or pastel colors. I do not have a source for the 70% statistic.
January 12, 2014 at 8:33AM     
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Alice Costa-Sievert
Very inspiring article. Now I will look at everything with a different eye ;)
February 3, 2014 at 8:47PM   
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Pick-a-Paint Help: How to Create a Whole-House Color Palette

Don't be daunted. With these strategies, building a cohesive palette for your entire home is less difficult than it seems Full Story
     Comment   August 8, 2014
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Brian M
Paint article
last Thursday at 6:35PM   
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It's the paint that makes it feel so great!
last Thursday at 8:01PM   
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9 Fashionably Cool Living Room Color Palettes

Chill out in a living room decked in cool-spectrum shades straight from the runway Full Story
     Comment   August 8, 2014
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pwilliams5
My wall color is called a cup of coco I just purchase a living room couch in a smoke grey how can I design around my wall color
last Wednesday at 5:19PM   
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pwilliams5
Will this color go with smoke grey
last Wednesday at 5:20PM   
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How to Use Color With an Open Floor Plan

Large, open spaces can be tricky when it comes to painting walls and trim and adding accessories. These strategies can help Full Story
     Comment   August 8, 2014
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Cynthia Celenza
How do you transition paint color when one room runs into the next? My kitchen runs into the main hallway with no break. I'd like to get some color in the hallway but can't come up a method.
June 27, 2013 at 2:57AM     
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maryk218
Like color od cabinets
May 14, 2014 at 5:35PM   
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8 Color Palettes You Can't Get Wrong

Can't decide on a color scheme? Choose one of these foolproof palettes for a room that feels both timeless and fresh Full Story
     Comment   August 8, 2014
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Lauryl Kays
Lyndagary - have you thought about yellow?
January 12, 2014 at 7:37PM     
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lyndagary
My "pop" color will be a celery green. Thanks for the idea Lauryl Kays.
January 13, 2014 at 9:01AM     
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No Neutral Ground? Why the Color Camps Are So Opinionated

Can't we all just get along when it comes to color versus neutrals? Full Story
     Comment   August 8, 2014
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greengirl
So I added color! The office I painted a bright green. It was fabulous but too much. Redid it (within 1 week) in a slightly different tone. Much better. Wall behind tv - navy blue. Chairs are terra cotta.
I'm just not sure my colors are working the way I thought they would. Yes, I did large samples on the walls before painting.
Never had this issue before. I think neutrals too are easy because the nonprofessional decorators here have more experience with them. I don't think they're 'afraid' of color, it just too much $$ to make a mistake ie terra cotta chairs w ottomans.
June 21, 2014 at 10:45PM   
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qofmiwok
I like the look of well decorated neutral rooms (with lots of different tones and textures), but after living in one I became color starved and it kept creeping in.

I also think the vast majority of homes across America that have white walls would look so much better if they had colored walls. Because let's face it, the majority of Americans don't hire decorators and don't know how to decorate, or they have dated and not great quality furniture. And there's nothing wrong with that, because face it, not everyone is rich and can afford a great remodeled house and all new furniture. But in cases like these, I think color on the wall would make a HUGE difference. Notice how tv homes are never white; even a family that has old stuff and no money (such as on The Middle), has brightly colored walls and that saves it, keeps it from being depressing. I always say that if I lose everything and have to live in a tiny apartment, just give me some cans of colored paint and I will be OK. Can't say that about white paint.
July 30, 2014 at 11:01PM   
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8 Great Kitchen Cabinet Color Palettes

Make your kitchen uniquely yours with painted cabinetry. Here's how (and what) to paint them Full Story
     Comment   August 8, 2014
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For anyone with contemporary acrylic cabinetry, here are some Step-by-step instructions on how to care for your acrylic cabinetry... Whether you are purchasing a home or remodeling with this kind of cabinetry it's important to understand how to clean and maintain your cabinets so they continue to look beautiful for years to come.

July 9, 2014 at 7:06AM   
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Jean Jones
My home is over 100 years old, the kitchen was remodeled in the 70's with hand built plywood cabinets that are nothing special. When we purchased our home 20+ years ago they were painted a flat beige color. After discovering a rotten floor joist from a previous dishwasher leak, my husband had to rip out the base cabinets in order to replace the floor joist. He rebuilt the plywood base cabinets to match the upper cabinets. I've painted the cabinets twice in 20+ years and preparing to repaint them again. It's a time consuming job but worthwhile since painting is almost instant gratification and so much cheaper than having the entire kitchen gutted to install factory built cabinetry. My home is modest and I feel these hand built cabinets match the overall aesthetic or as my husband says it would be like putting cadillac cabinets in a vega stationwagon house... My last paint job was with very tendy colors of burnt pumpkin walls and toffee crunch cabinets and dirty cream trim... Only took me 6 years to get sick of those colors lol This time I'm going with a SW gray for the lowers, white for uppers and killim beige for the walls. And we're DIYing a white subway tile back splash as it's always just been dry wall. Thanks to all Houzz contributors for continuing to share their ideas and photos, as it's definitely helped me to narrow down a more neutral design that I think will last me longer than my last colorful choices.
Yesterday at 8:26AM   
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Two-Tone Cabinet Finishes Double Kitchen Style

Love 'em or not, two-tone kitchen cabinet treatments are still going strong. Try these strategies to change up the look of your space Full Story
     Comment   August 8, 2014
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diyher
it's not dead. To me it's a classic look. We had to replace 3 of our 8 lower cabinets. There was no way to match the lowers, or the uppers without replacing all of them which we could not afford with a kitchen that has 18 cabinets. We opted to paint our uppers antique white, paint the island, and are now in the process of ordering wood stained lowers around the perimeter of the room. Already the room looks so much more open and brighter than before, and we have a sunny southern exposure kitchen. I think some people on here just like to make a claim that something is dead as far as decorating when in fact it is not. Just like the people claiming that white cabinets are already dated. Give me a break. White/cream cabinets have always been an option for probably more than 100 years and will never go out of style.
January 21, 2014 at 11:20AM     
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Dura Supreme Cabinetry
Deandra Stachura - Here are a few great examples where designers mixed light and dark stained cabinetry. Maybe this will help you with your plans...
Project: Mix it Up Kitchen
Project: Is There Any Place You'd Rather Be?
January 29, 2014 at 9:10AM   
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Transitional Style: A Bit of Modern and Traditional

Balance Old and New With a Mix of Simple Lines, Neutrals, Warmth and Light Full Story
     Comment   August 8, 2014
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Beth Maconochie
It's nice to know my style has a name! Transitional is definitely me.
April 25, 2014 at 11:12AM   
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retrofool
I never had a name for it, but I am definitely it!
May 15, 2014 at 2:16PM   
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Decorate With Intention: Could a Mission Statement Help Your House?

Identify your home's purpose and style to make everything from picking paint colors to buying a new home easier Full Story
     Comment   August 8, 2014
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cmarquardt1
Laura, this is an excellent article that everyone needs to read...and the timing is perfect as we are contemplating the building of a new house...which needs to serve kids that are getting ready for college and parents who in a short time will be empty nesters...really working on how we want a house to function for near and long term! I don't think people really think too deeply about their homes and therefore buy the wrong house and are unhappy shortly thereafter...thank you for taking the time to pull together this article because I feel that if more people did the upfront planning and discussing, they would end up with a better product!
November 22, 2013 at 10:35AM     
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gmh123
Loved this article too! I just bought a new house I will close on in three weeks. I knew what I wanted, but had not really articulated it. Sunlight, open floor plan with cozy comforts, beautiful views out my windows and lots of creative space for painting, yoga, and fabric art. Amazingly, I found that house! I cannot wait to move in and make it mine! I have just loved the Houzz ideas and advice that helped me really figure out what I wanted different from what I had before.....less living space and more creative space since I live alone and am in a stage of life when I can create a space perfect for me. Laura, I LOVE your articles!
February 25, 2014 at 5:49PM     
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How Arts and Crafts Style Beautifies Today's Interiors

Based on beauty and purity, this movement from more than a century ago is still influencing design elements in home interiors Full Story
     Comment   August 8, 2014
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dreva
I did a double take when I saw the frieze in the dining room, I thought it was my house. Love the bookcase and bay window.
December 11, 2013 at 12:07PM     
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bethwray
lazylady215 I am putting a white kitchen in my 1923 Craftsman home. My home's woodwork was partially stripped but mostly painted white when we moved in. Stripping is so much work that I'm still deciding on the staircase. When we moved in we wanted an all-wood true Craftsman kitchen but the more we live in the house we see that we need the light and brightness of white. Also, we discovered that white kitchens are appropriate for the era and as long as you stick to Shaker or Arts & Crafts style cabinets it will fit right in. We plan to use natural materials, like wood for floor & soapstone for countertop, and either a beautiful Craftsman tile or simple subway tile for backsplash (not just a now-trend; it's also age-appropriate for the house). To get some warmth we will add a hand-crafted wooden farmhouse table and a rug from the Middle East. Here's a Houzz photo of a kitchen which uses both the white and the natural wood. Hope this helps, and good luck with your kitchen
!
May 10, 2014 at 7:05PM   
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So Your Style Is: Rustic

Refreshing in its simplicity, rustic style highlights natural beauty and a rugged, resilient spirit. Is it a match for you? Full Story
     Comment   August 8, 2014
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Cheryl Biermann
We have rough cut cedar in our home, dust magnet and you can't wipe them or clean easily. When you don't stay on top of it they get gray and fuzzy, not pretty. With a sick kid, I just don't have time, so I am slowly sanding them down smooth, putting them back, one by one. We need it very clean here as we do home infusions, dusty wood isn't an option. I live in a Gastineu log home and that's the only thing I can complain about, which was a builder's suggestion for window frames and base boards. Long time ago now.
August 21, 2014 at 6:39AM     
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So Your Style Is: Arts and Crafts

With a dual focus on nature and craftsmanship, Arts and Crafts home interiors have a wholesome, organic appeal Full Story
     Comment   August 8, 2014
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bosslugger
what I would give to live in either of the homes in the first two pictures!! LOVE
August 10, 2014 at 9:40AM   
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bosslugger
Doyle, come to Oakland, you can see Craftsmans EVERYWHERE. It's one of the many things I love about living here.
August 10, 2014 at 9:43AM   
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Debbie Ballentine bookmarked an ideabook

So Your Style Is: Eclectic

This playful, personal home design style shakes up conventions and bridges the gap between other looks. Here's how to master the mix Full Story
     Comment   August 8, 2014
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mindcaviar
Yes, I admit it. I do adore room that is decorated to within an inch of its life. Not in every single room, mind you. I like an edited kitchen and bath, but for living spaces I like this lively look.
May 18, 2014 at 3:49AM   
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Pam Moore
I have to call my style eclectic, because I've never been married to one style, and my tastes have changed over the years anyway. Much of my earlier furniture is more traditional, while more recent purchases are more contemporary. If my funds were unlimited, I'd throw out the traditional pieces and replace them with more casual pieces with cleaner lines. But since that isn't the case, I just try to update rooms by mixing the traditional pieces with more contemporary accessories, side tables, lighting, etc. In some rooms I've been more successful than others, but that challenge is part of the fun of it. If I ever actually got that "perfect" room, I'd probably want to change it within 6 months! And speaking of change, nothing is more boring to me than a room that is static. When I go to someone's house and everything occupies the same place it did 5, even 2, years ago -- it just seems so stale! I feel that the eclectic style, more than any other, allows the flexibility to change things up, to introduce the unexpected. While my tastes are more restrained than that pictured in most of the rooms here, I like most of them. My favorite is the next-to-last, the one with the totally 'unmatched' facing sofas. It just looks so inviting.
July 21, 2014 at 12:08PM   
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Debbie Ballentine bookmarked an ideabook

So Your Style Is: Transitional

This sophisticated look hits the sweet spot between traditional elegance and contemporary cool for harmony in your home Full Story
     Comment   August 8, 2014
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Turkish-T
Really enjoyed this post! What a great blend of style for more modern decor. Wouldn't one of these cozy throws look fabulous in these photos?
July 22, 2014 at 12:53PM   
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noreenmeyer
Like furniture
August 9, 2014 at 2:21PM   
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Debbie Ballentine bookmarked an ideabook

Decorate With Intention: Define Your Style

Creating a clear vision for your home design starts with defining your style. Here's how to begin Full Story
     Comment   August 8, 2014
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tewy
Thanks this is helpful. I am about to decorate our brand. New house. Nervous about getting it right. I am drawn to French classic accents. I like roses and long stemmed white lillies my words are 'classic' 'chic' not traditional. Have chosen simple silver chandeliers For Entry and living room, walls white with grey tone, woodwork white, wrought iron on Stairwell, Yips I haves whole house to furnish. We gave our well worn furniture to charity so we could do a whole new thing. Any thoughts would be welcome, thanks:-))
September 16, 2013 at 12:00PM   
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alistmenow
Gosh Laura. I thought your article was quite helpful. Appears some people didn't get that what you wrote was gospel, i.e., we take what we can use and interpret it in a way most suitable to our lives, style, etc. Nevertheless, I get it and appreciate your efforts, article and suggestions.
July 30, 2014 at 9:15AM   
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Debbie Ballentine bookmarked an ideabook

15 Ways to Enhance Your Cabinets With Grilles

It looks decorative, but metal mesh on cabinet doors has a practical side too Full Story
     Comment   August 8, 2014
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Carrie Kelley
I just built doors for our custom fireplace surround, and I used metal mesh panels for them. I love the look!!
August 1, 2014 at 5:31PM   
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mrachlin14
Bright. Eclectic.
August 6, 2014 at 9:23PM   
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Debbie Ballentine bookmarked an ideabook

9 Ways to Bring Moroccan Flavor to Your Interiors

Get a rich and exotic look minus the souk haggling, using these shortcuts to Moroccan style Full Story
     Comment   August 8, 2014
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atyg
Thanks bubblyjock - the Anglo-Indian - should be in the Raj article, though some of the Mogul design pieces can match with here.
August 2, 2013 at 6:13PM     
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justj
What an elegant curation. Thanks for this article!
August 5, 2013 at 12:38AM   
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Debbie Ballentine updated their profile
August 8, 2014
Debbie Ballentine commented on a discussion
   Comment   August 5, 2014
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Debbie Ballentine
This specimens is 30 years old. It takes about 10 years to get to a moderately large shrub of 10-12 feet. The one in the photo is about 12-15 feet. Does that help?
August 5, 2014 at 6:20PM   
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Debbie Ballentine commented on an ideabook

10 Top California Native Plants, Trees and Grasses

Enjoy a fuss-free, water-wise garden in the Golden State by growing plants naturally in tune with the climate and wildlife Full Story
     Comment   August 5, 2014
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Debbie Ballentine
Love all the comments! Keep your eyes open for many more Ideabooks on California Native Plants, and happy gardening!
August 5, 2014 at 8:37AM     
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pperez83
I ripped out the grass in 2011 and now I love the sight, sounds, and scents of my mostly Cali Native yard. First photo 2011 second photo summer 2013.
August 7, 2014 at 12:15AM     
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chobyjs1
Zeus
August 21, 2014 at 8:43PM   
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