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Best of Est 2018: Top Ten International Designers

Without further ado, we introduce our top ten international designers for the year, that starred on est and excelled in 2018.

Great design graces our screen daily here at est – so you can imagine how hard it was to refine our top ten international designers for 2018. Joining the high calibre crowd are; renowned Belgium designers Vincent Van Duysen, Hans Verstuyft and Nicolas Schuybroek, Denmark’s Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen, Britain’s Simon Astridge, Luke McLaren and Rob Excell and Sheena Murphy, and Canada’s Kim Pariseau, Alain Carle, Antonio Di Bacco and Cecile Combelle.

Call them the crème de la crème, these international designers are the names to know in 2018 and their ten out of ten design work has us assuming there’s only more success to follow. For some, their engaging and inspiring work may just be welcoming global attention, and for others, it’s but another year of design ingenuity that warrants international recognition.

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“Undoing the clutter and getting to the core; paring back to the bone and achieving an authenticity, simplicity, and purity. When you refine excess you engage with the fundamental aspects of life I consider most important – eating, sleeping, conversing.”

– Vincent Van Duysen

Vincent Van Duysen

It would be a disservice to the design community to not recognise Vincent Van Duysen in our top ten international designers for 2018. A perennial favourite, it’s a name admired and work aspired to by designers globally, seeking to emulate what he does best: curating ‘the art of living well’. Today he leads a team of twenty five and projects that span Europe, the Middle-East and in the USA, while also working across product and lighting design, appointed Art Director of Molenti&Co in 2016. In the same year this multidisciplinary approach earned him the title of ‘Belgian Designer of the Year’ and the ‘Flemish Culture Prize for Design’.


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Vincent Van Duysen

“Some say our interiors look empty. I think we focus on what’s important, and that’s why beauty is expressed more intensely. So it’s an invisible approach, rather than using explicit forms, objects and materials.”

– Hans Verstuyft

Hans Verstuyft

Another prominent protagonist in the Belgium’s brimming design scene is Hans Verstuyft, founder of his namesake studio. The maestro of minimalism has quietly turned heads with a care for his craft and its raw beauty, sticking to a traditional approach to reform. Alongside his firm of four, Hans focuses on process, to create not a new space or home, rather a new way of life. This approach has remained largely the same since the firm’s first residential project eighteen years ago – a home that is just as unapologetically contemporary today.


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“We believe in durability, in terms of aesthetics, materiality and craftsmanship. We aim at always arriving at the maximum of expressivity with the minimum of expression, and we believe that’s an eloquent gesture in a time where images, forms and sounds are ever so overwhelming.”

– Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen

Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen

Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen has led famed firm Norm Architects’ growth across industrial design, residential architecture, commercial interiors, photography and art direction. Taking us to some of the most rugged regions of Northern Europe, the firm are all about creating refined shelter from the elements, while cherishing its untouched beauty. But their name isn’t just engraved on the spaces we covet, it’s objects too — including the familiar Menu Bottle Grinders and Stand Washbasins.


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Jonas Bejerre Poulsen of Norm Architects

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“A home is for living in, and our clients’ specific needs are always central to our work. This means creating spaces which flow and work hard for their intended use, whether for a busy young family, or a couple building their ideal home.”

– McLaren Excell

McLaren Excell

Childhood friends and founding partners Luke McLaren and Rob Excell established their eponymous studio eight years ago, as a standpoint of British craftsmanship. We first discovered their British charm in the Park Corner Barn, demonstrating an artisanal pride in using natural, tactile and hard wearing materials. And it’s that passion for material and texture that has made their work covetable from across the shores.

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Robert Excell

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Luke McLaren

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 “I think my own personal life journey is what influences my work and what has seen it evolve. Rather than trends or travel, which do of course influence us all, I have seen a shift in my design preferences based on what’s going on in my life. Life is many things, and one thing it most certainly is, is a sensory journey.”

– Sheena Murphy


Native Brit Sheena Murphy, founder of nune (formerly sheep + stone) garnered experience in a number New York interior design firms, making a name for herself with a horde of commercial projects. Soon after it was time to start her own thing; to demonstrate her British eye for refinement, with a New York City zest. Recently returning to live in London and opening up another studio here, we’re excited to see what’s next for the global studio.

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Tor Sauder (left) Sheena Murphy (right)

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“We imagine projects as stories, or at least as decors in which the stories take place. We would say there is a cinematographic approach to design in our practice. And our clients are the protagonists. We always base our design on the sequences that will shape the way people live in the spaces.”

– Cecile Combelle

Atelier Barda

Antonio Di Bacco and Cecile Combelle, young graduates from Toulouse, France, founded the Montreal-based firm Atelier Barda in 2012. Clients were quick to point out Atelier Barda’s “French touch”, while they pushed the boundaries away from the average and accepted architecture paradigm. But as Cecile puts it, no matter what the design references are, it’s the emotion – being attentive to feelings – that inspires and interests them.

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“When you work with us, you gain access to these practised people and their craftsmanship. We believe in making, imagining, listening, learning, and empowering Workshop members, our collaborators and clients. Art, music, travelling, cuisine, words, wine, clothes, people and exhibitions inspire and inform our projects.”

– Simon Astridge

Simon Astridge

London Architect Simon Astridge and his studio first caught our eye in our search for clever extensions. But we are not alone – Simon Astridge Architecture Workshop have built a global reputation on both their conceptual approach and awareness of how to design to people’s everyday needs. Simon prides himself on the collaboration of a team of architects, designers and crafts-people, whom he credits as the defining strength of the Workshop for their wisdom, knowledge and dedication.


“To me, an appareil is an amalgam of things that contribute to its whole, to its functioning. That’s how I see my projects. Many different people are involved, like ingredients in a recipe. Each artisan and creator I work with lends their own personal touch, their own added value. The result is always interesting and unique.”

– Kim Pariseau

Kim Pariseau

One glance at Appareil Architecture’s designs and you’d be forgiven for mistaking their work as Northern European. The Nordic sensibility emanating from the Montreal firm’s work reflects the history and craft of founder Kim Pariseau, and her constant quest to simplify design.Founding the firm off the back of an architectural competition in Montreal, Kim is proudest of the team she has created under the name Appareil Architecture. And if you’re not familiar with their refined work, your Instagram feed may well be.

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“The use of raw, authentic, simple and noble materials, helps us create pared-down architecture that most importantly has a warm soul as well as a strong temperament. All in all, it could be summarised as a quest for in-depth substance and warmth.”

– Nicolas Schuybroek

Nicolas Schuybroek

Twice named as one of the world’s top 100 interior designers by French Architectural Digest, Belgian Architect Nicolas Schuybroek has long been on our watch list. In fact, like many others we’ve crowned him the monarch of reinvented minimalism – and for good reason. Time and time again his attention to volume, light and play on proportions is just as significant as his attention to detail.

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“[The home] becomes a device to perceive the landscape rather than a fixed, self-referenced architecture.”

– Alain Carle

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Alain Carle

Alain Carle

While some of our favourite houses have been striking, bold statements amongst their surroundings we have always held a soft spot for where architectural form melds into the natural landscape. Alain Carle Architecte is a designer well-versed in this earth-rooted design, sharing two stellar projects with us in 2018 – a chalet and a striking abode on a man-made island in Ontario. With a mutual affinity for black exteriors, we’re looking forward to what’s in store for 2019.

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The post Best of Est 2018: Top Ten International Designers appeared first on Est Living Free Digital Design Magazine.

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Top 10 Questions About Greenhouses

Here at Gardening Know How we get
lots of questions, and this includes greenhouses.
Our goal is to provide answers to these inquiries to the best of our knowledge.
The following information includes the 10 most commonly asked questions relating
to greenhouse

1. How do you get rid of bugs in a greenhouse?

Surprisingly, even in a greenhouse environment, insect pests
are inevitable. These greenhouse
pests may range from aphids and mealybugs to mites, whiteflies and
more. One of the easiest ways to monitor them is by using sticky pads, which
keep many insects under control or at least signal you when their numbers are
growing for further control. The use of insecticidal soap and neem oil are
additional methods of control and normally safe to use on edibles.

2. What is the ideal humidity for starting seedlings in a greenhouse?

Most plants prefer humidity between 50 and 80 percent.
Foliage loses water and wilts rapidly when levels are below 50 percent, but
high humidity can cause fungal diseases such as damping
off, which causes tiny stems to rot at the base. If high humidity is
a problem, you can provide a drier environment by watering plants from the
bottom, and by providing adequate heat
and ventilation.
If humidity is too low, improve conditions by misting plants, with cool mist
vaporizers or small humidifiers, or by placing pots on trays of wet pebbles.

3. How to get rid of mushrooms in greenhouse soil?

often pop up in potting mix, which indicates the substance is high
in organic material. Although the fungi are harmless, they tend to be
unsightly. If you notice tiny mushrooms, pull them up by their base and discard
them to prevent development of spores. Water plants from the bottom and be
careful not to water excessively. Provide proper ventilation to keep the air
moving. If air circulation is limited, a small rotating fan will help.

4. Why is soil turning green on my starter seed trays?

stuff on the surface of potting mix is probably algae or moss. While
the substance is generally harmless, a thick layer can prevent proper
absorption of moisture and nutrients. Often, you can remove the green by
breaking up the surface of the soil with a pencil or toothpick. Always start
seeds in fresh, good quality seed starting mix. Allow the surface of the
potting mix to dry slightly, and don’t water to the point of sogginess. Be sure
your greenhouse is properly ventilated to prevent excess humidity.

5. Should cloches have an air gap top prevent over heating?

A greenhouse provides sunlight that warms the soil and
protects plants from frost. However, an air gap is essential, as too much heat
in an airtight greenhouse can quickly cook tender greenhouse plants. Be sure to
close vents at the end of the day when cool temperatures are expected, then
open them in the morning while the air is still cool. Automatic vent systems
are available. The same applies when using
cloches in the garden, either by tilting it to allow for some air to
enter or removing altogether when warmer day temps are expected. Just remember
to reposition the cloche in the evening.

6. Do you have instructions on attaching shade cloth on the inside of a greenhouse?

Greenhouse experts recommend that exterior shade is more
effective than interior screen systems because light is blocked before it
enters the greenhouse. Once light is trapped inside, it becomes difficult to
remove the excess heat. However, if you want to install interior shade
cloth, it’s best to invest in a retractable system that allows
sunlight to enter on cloudy days. Mechanized systems, consisting of support
cables, motor and shade, can be opened and closed as needed. You can also
install a less expensive indoor system consisting of ropes and pulleys.

7. Can I grow herbs in my greenhouse in the winter without a heating system?

If you live in a cool northern climate, it will be difficult
to grow
herbs in a greenhouse. Most herbs will struggle when temps drop below
40 to 50 F. (4.5-10 C.), while many prefer consistently warm temperatures of 65
to 70 F. (18-21 C.) during the day and 55 to 60 F. (13-16 F.) at night. You
can, however, get a jump on spring growing by starting many herb seeds in an
unheated greenhouse, but you may need a heat mat for germination. Herbs that
tend to be cold hardy include lavender, garlic, rosemary, winter savory, catnip
and oregano.

8. How to choose the best greenhouse?

If you want to grow tropical plants, you’ll need a
greenhouse capable of maintaining steady temperatures of 65 to 70 F. (18-21 C.)
or higher. Most flowers, vegetables and herbs need temps of around 55 F. (13
C.), while a “cool” greenhouse is suitable for germinating seeds and raising
starter plants in spring. A greenhouse with clear panels provides warmth and
light for sprouting seeds, while a diffused or glazed covering provides
balanced levels of light heat for growing plants to maturity. Additionally, look
for a greenhouse
that is adequately ventilated and insulated to prevent plants from excess heat
and cold.

9. How to keep greenhouse cool in hot weather?

A shade
cloth, either internal or external, will help block the intense rays
of summer sunlight. Make sure shade is in place before the heat of the day,
then remove the cloth on cooler days. Ventilation,
in the form of roof or side vents, keeps air moving and prevents buildup of
heat. If ventilation is limited, you may need to run a fan (or two) to
circulate the air. Be sure to
keep greenhouse plants well watered during hot weather. A light
misting can cool plants on hot days, but mist judiciously, as too much moisture
can promote disease.

10. What plants/vegetables grow in a greenhouse?

can grow nearly any plant in a greenhouse, but it’s all about
determining the needs of particular plants. For instance, you can germinate
seeds and grow starter plants in an unheated greenhouse, while tropical plants
need consistently warm temperatures year round. You can easily start most
flower seeds and cool season vegetables such as peas, broccoli and lettuce in
an unheated greenhouse, but tomatoes and peppers need plenty of sunlight and
warm temperatures between 55 and 85 F. (12-29 C.).  Some flowers, such as impatiens and ferns,
thrive in shade, while geraniums and daisies need bright sunlight.

We all have questions now and then, whether long-time
gardeners or those just starting out. So if you have a gardening question, get a
gardening answer. We’re always here to help.

The post Top 10 Questions About Greenhouses appeared first on Gardening Know How's Blog.

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2018 Top 10 Projects

Happy New Year! 

We are so excited about this coming year’s projects and can’t wait to start building again!  But we wanted to take a quick second and appreciate what we worked on in 2018.

The baby sure kept us busy in 2018, but we still managed to tackle quite a few projects!  If you liked any of the projects and might be inspired to build, here’s the links to all the projects shown –

  • Master Bath (All Projects)
  • Modern Farmhouse Bed
  • Modern Farmhouse Nightstand
  • Ladder Bookshelf Cubby Nightstand
  • 2×4 Hall Tree
  • Barn Door Pantry
  • Laundry Room (All Projects)
  • Skate Shack Benches
  • Skate Shack Tables
  • Skate Shack Trash Holder
  • Outdoor Planters with Steps
  • Guest Room (All Projects)
  • Mudroom 2×4 Drawer Bench
  • Mudroom Hutch
  • Mudroom Wall Organizer with Hooks
  • Mudroom Bench with Boot Drawers

Did you build any of these projects?  Please do share!

Here’s to another busy year! 

XO Ana


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I want to buy a coffee table but change the top – where can/should I buy the right top?

This is the table in question. My GF and I love it but we want the top to match our dining room table which is more of a stained walnut. Anyone have any leads on how I could go about acquiring a top that would match that for this table? Ideally it would accommodate the window as well…

I would be more than happy with a laminate top, but I don't even fully understand the terminology to get one. Am I looking for a "laminate sheet" and then getting it cut?

submitted by /u/chrltrn

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