Design snapshot: Flower bed

Here's another clever object-turned-planter à la the planted bench that I posted not long ago. What's especially brilliant about this intervention is that the bed frame isn't actually planted. It's merely placed such that the plantings appear to emerge from the frame and spill over like generous bed clothes. Our expectations of what a bed is and how its frame might be planted enable the gardener's slight of hand.

Plus, it's fun to see a well-realized pun flourish.

by Katie Hutchison for House Enthusiast

Design snapshot: Potted garden bench

I have a weakness for re-purposed objects in the garden. Years ago, one of my favorite features in my mother's garden was my grandfather's antique side chair that my mother transformed by replacing the tired seat upholstery with a planted seat of moss and meadow flowers. This sweet bench with curvy arms, curvy back, and a curvy heart cutout punctuated by five offset terra cotta flower pots strikes a similarly charming chord. (BTW I spotted this bench at The Victorian Inn in Edgartown, MA.)

Re-purposed garden objects sited outside the garden can also be a delight. You may recall the wheelbarrow planter I featured some time ago.

There's simply something about the garden that invites us to play with expectations -- by transforming an object that's generally found indoors, into a strictly outdoor object, or re-imagining something meant as a work tool into a decorative display piece. What object might you transform as a foil for your garden? I'm thinking an old, galvanized watering can might make for a nice planter; just remember to drill drainage holes in the bottom. Drop me a note with your ideas over at the KHS Facebook Page.

by Katie Hutchison for House Enthusiast

Design snapshot: Tale of two garage doors

Rarely will you find a better side-by-side garage-door comparison than the one contained on this simple two-stall garage.

The left-hand door befits a typical suburban home, and the right-hand door a more rural outbuilding. Hard to know how these two doors came to be side by side, but I suspect that both openings once sported doors like those in the right-hand opening, but that the door in the left-hand opening was ultimately replaced with an updated overhead door for ease of use. 

It will come as no surprise to fellow House Enthusiasts, that in the case of informal, more rural, or more traditional outbuildings serving as garages, I'm partial to the door style -- which I would describe as carriage-style doors -- in the right-hand opening. Such doors often swing open, or in this case, slide open. Both types of operation are seen as somewhat laborious today, so many current manufacturers, such as Designer Doors, create carriage-style doors that are built in sections (like the more suburban-style door in the left-hand opening), so they, too, can open overhead for convenience.

I'd love to see a new overhead door in the left-hand opening designed to match the carriage-style doors in the right-hand opening. It would be win-win in terms of the look and function. Now if only one would materialize.

by Katie Hutchison for House Enthusiast