Not only are Agaves extremely easy to maintain and have an excellent sculptural quality, they also add drama to any garden. They grow best in Mediterranean and Southwest climates, but can also be grown in containers in colder climates as long as they are protected in the winter. Agaves are incredibly versatile and look gorgeous in many different garden styles from Mediterranean to traditional. They are possibly one of my favorite plants to add to a garden.

via C Home

Agaves look fantastic planted with ground cover like sedum or simply planted in gravel, as in the above photo.

 Scott Shrader Design

 Scott Shrader Design

 Scott Shrader Design

I love the contrast between the blue agave and the dark green boxwood.

via Elle Decor

They are also very fun in containers

via Casa Cook

I bring them indoors as well

One of the most impressive things to see is when an agave flowers


Some of my favorite Agaves to use in a garden or in containers —

Happy Thursday!


 From beautiful bowls and cutting boards, to plants & pottery, there are some fabulous ways to organize your countertop clutter and add style at the same time. Below, are some of my favorite examples.

via Heather Bullard

I love how Heather Bullard stacks her collection of cutting boards and displays her silverware & linen napkins in pottery and platters.

Adding a painting or piece of artwork can add a touch of personality, as well as connect the kitchen to the rest of the home.

via Jean Stoffer Design

Jean Stoffer’s use of plants in the kitchen brings a lovely polished greenhouse feel to it — very nice!

via local milk

Above, Beth Kirby’s beautiful kitchen with all sorts of fabulous objects in it.

via One Kings Lane

via instagram (@dreamywhitelifestyle)

via Local Milk

via The Style Files



1 .cutting board   2.Earthenware Pan  3.Copper Jug,
4. Jar  5.Triangle Cutting Board 6.Marble Bowls
7.Painting 8.Porcelain Cup  9.Marble Objects
10.Platter 11.Footed Plates 12. Marble Vase

Have a great day!!


Recently, I’ve been posting BEFORE + AFTER photos of a California Cottage that I just completed in Reseda, CA. Today, I’m sharing the transformation of the backyard.


It took almost a week to clear the overgrown brush, two dumpster trucks to remove it and almost another week to dismantle the chain linked fence with the 40 + year-old ivy intertwined between it.

It was a debate whether or not to keep the pool, but with temperatures reaching 100 + degrees here in the San Fernando Valley, we decided it would be a worthwhile bonus.




I decided to keep the design very simple. The pool would be the main feature, then I added a bocce court and low-maintenance plants. I added ‘Blue Gem’ Westringia around the bocce court with boxwood and iceberg roses at the back steps and around the pool equipment. When matured, they will disguise the equipment nicely.


 As with the front yard, we removed all the old concrete, which took up most of the backyard and replaced it with sod and blue flagstone. 



‘Blue Gem’ Westringia line the bocce court.



Happy Friday!


One of my favorite places to visit here in Southern California is the Desert Garden at The Huntington in San Marino. The garden has one of the largest outdoor collections of cacti & succulents in the world with more than 2,000 species.

An amazing Cereus xanthocarpus

Golden Barrel Cactus + Agave Parryi

Aloe arborescens (Torch Aloe)

Golden Barrel + Cleistocactus


My favorite — Agave Parryi

Torch Aloe


Some of my favorites to add to the garden….

Have a great Thursday!



 Designing exteriors is one of my favorite things to do and when I get the opportunity to design an exterior, my first step is to determine the overall style. Once this decision is made, it really sets the tone for the rest of the project — including the landscaping and what happens on the interior. A couple of days ago I received a project in Santa Clarita, a city just north of Los Angeles, and below are several style options that I’m considering. Which is your favorite?


via Daniel C. Cuevas Interior Design



A simple, yet elegant, approach for an exterior — with beautiful light fixtures and a couple of potted plants, this may be the winner.

In a couple of weeks I’ll post the winner plus the before + after photos. Happy Wednesday!

~ Shannon


Last week I shared the photos of the front of the Reseda Project. Today, I’m excited to share the before + after photos of the kitchen!

 Initially, the kitchen felt closed off from the rest of the home with only a small opening from the dining room into the kitchen (above).


I knew that I wanted the kitchen to be bigger and brighter, so the first step was to gut the kitchen and to remove the wall between the kitchen & dining.



Even with gutting the kitchen, I was still limited on square footage and really needed to maximize this 200 sq. foot kitchen/laundry. In order to gain more storage and counter space, I eliminated the 2 smaller windows in the back corner, as well as the window on the left. To bring in natural light and a view of the backyard, I added a large picture window on the back wall, as well a full light glass door to the backyard.






 Some Elements from the Reseda Kitchen


Happy Wednesday!


~ Shannon

 Happy Monday! The Reseda project is done and today I’m sharing the front of this California cottage.



Although, the home needed extensive work on the interior, I knew after walking around the property that the exterior was going to be the bigger issue. The home was hidden behind years of overgrowth, the pool had ivy growing in it and the backyard was one large concrete slab.

In order to soften up the exterior, I eliminated all the concrete and replaced the pathways with pieces of large blue flagstone. I painted the entire home ‘Milk Glass’ by Dunn Edwards and added black accents to give it a clean classic look.

I also moved the the porch light from the back wall, where it was hidden, to the ceiling to add extra charm from the street.


Sometimes I debate whether or not to keep existing plants but whenever I come across an old rose bush that has remained prolific, even through so much neglect, I know it’s a keeper. This hybrid tea, Mister Lincoln, flourished despite its neglect and the fragrance is amazing!



  Design elements + my favorite go-to plants for a cottage-style garden.

Next time, I’ll post the before and after photos of the backyard, and with 40 + years of overgrowth it turned out to be quite the transformation.


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