How Boulders Can Make a Statement

Backyard_Bungalow_Landscaping & Pergola

Obviously, boulders are not to be taken lightly! While they are large and heavy they also have an amazing ability to blend with the environment. In New England, we are lucky to have a great deal of boulders that have natural moss and lichen on them bringing history and depth to the landscape design. Here are a few ideas of ways to use these boulders:

1) Retaining System: if you need to change the grade and retain a patio or entryway, using boulders is an excellent and less expensive way to accomplish this.

2) Fireplace or Firepit

3) Buffer to protect important home equipment such as: air conditioners and vents

4) Interest Feature: bring in an element of fun to a patio or parking area and allow people to climb on the boulders for fun. A landscaper can also drill a hole in it to create a water feature.

Houzz has a few other ideas as well. Let me know if you are looking for design help for more ideas at your home.

Inspiration Boards Give Focus

inspiration board @

Do you have an inspiration board? Inspiration boards are very important to organizing your ideas and the plethora of visual ideas that are now before us with the variety of online resources. Houzz and Pinterest are both based on this idea.  I use shared online boards with my clients in order to bring visual focus to a project and get into my client’s heads to discover what they like both visually and emotionally. This tool makes me a more efficient designer!

I also highly recommend having a physical inspiration board somewhere in your life where you can keep magazine clippings, colors and fabric samples. Come by the office and I’ll share with you the many inspiration boards that we have surrounding our work environment.

When to Repot Your Plants

potted plants by amy dutton

Well, I hate to say it but it is definitely time to bring in your plants from outside. There are two kinds of potted plants – outdoor and indoor.

For the outdoor pots, you need to determine if your plant will come back like grasses. All you need to do is cut them back, move them into your garage or shed. Ideally, cover them with straw, mulch or moss.

For the indoor pots, I usually use the fall as a time to repot the plants, fertilize and let them add some O2 to the house for the winter. Especially Jade plants seem to like this attention and then preferred to be ignored. If your Jade is sprouting long tendrils, put those in small vases and let them find root that you can plant in the spring.

So, breathe deep and enjoy your plants this winter!

How to Create the Best Banquette!

dining banquette by amyduttonhome

There is no argument, banquettes are awesome! Why? They invite people to be comfortable and relax into the moment that they are enjoying.

These spaces allow us to introduce color in upholstery and pillows that accent the space. Here are some more ideas that might spark some interest for you. I love this photo of this client’s banquette that is a total of 26′ long and hold about 15 pillows.

What do you think? Can you find a place in your home that will accommodate a banquette?

Fabric of the Week: Sandy

SandySolid @

Sandy was designed and inspired by a sand dollar that I found this summer at York Harbor Beach in Maine. It was an old and tired sand dollar so most of the hard membranes were decayed and the outline remained. How amazing that it also looks like a flower!

Many people have commented that it looks like a Marimekko which is interesting because she is one of my favorite designers. It’s my intention with this design to be bold and have fun! Think of this as a pillow, shower curtain or wall covering!

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