Water plants to get them established, but then water sparingly. A light application of a slow-release, balanced fertilizer a month after transplanting should be sufficient for vigorous growth. Don't be afraid to pinch or prune as needed to keep them within their confines. In containers let them spill over for a foot or more. If you can just let them grow until your comfort zone gets stretched. When they grow this far you'll probably have your neighbors over shooting photos.
— Norman Winter, MCT Information Services
Design for a diva: Black, soft, sexy
Q: There is a small room under the stairs in our new house, not "Harry Potter" small — it has a window and big enough to be a little "Me" room, as my husband would call it, with a dresser/desk and chair. It's my first chance ever to indulge myself — I love silk and crystal (our master bedroom is done in plaids and stripes in deference to my husband). Need some ideas.
A: Here's a roomful of posh ideas you could adapt, conjured up by designer Claudia Giselle Tejeda (firstname.lastname@example.org) for the 2012 Holiday House in Manhattan.
A seasonal feature on the New York design scene, this year's Holiday House raised funds for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation by celebrating every kind of holiday you can imagine, from Christmas to the Chinese New Year, the National Day of Norway, Halloween and Sweet Sixteen.
Claudia called her dark, sparkling and downright seductive room "Girls Night Out." But it was really about staying in, about cuddling up in what should be every woman's natural habitat, a glamorous blend of sharp and sexy/ soft and feminine.
Claudia framed her room — just off the entry of the East Side mansion that hosted Holiday House — with a glowing black ceiling and lustrous black tile floors. In between, she hung large mirrors to reflect the crystal light fixtures and vanity lamps that sparkled on the dresser/desk where glittery wallpaper (by Maya Romanoff) was showcased under glass.
Wall panels were cushioned in silky tone-on-tone damask, outlined with mini-chains in sparkly black. Lush "Baby Pink" velvet curtains draped luxuriously over the room's single window, and the vanity chair was a luxe gilt bergere, upholstered in black, parked in the middle of a deep flokati, black, of course.
"I wanted to create a place where a woman could feel glamorous and sexy," explained Claudia (who is currently president of the New York Chapter of the International Furnishings & Design Association, IFDA).
She certainly did.
— Rose Bennett Gilbert, Creators Syndicate