Shape and Pattern Set Gardens' Tone

Shape and pattern are easy words, but how can they relate to the way we design our houses and the design we make for ourselves?

Understanding the ways shapes relate to each other is in the very heart of garden design, for it is these underlying abstract shapes that provide the garden layout its own strength.

At the plan of smaller gardens it’s particularly important that the shapes used and the routines which these shapes make fit your circumstance. Curves, circles, right angles and squares are all shapes which we use in garden design, but how and where we integrate them makes all of the difference in establishing the tone of your backyard design.

Ginkgo Leaf Studio

The Use of Curves and Circles

The routines you would like to make have to tie together all of the functions of this garden. When designing a garden, you are not thinking concerning planting or paving, but how the shapes and patterns that they create will form and make the tone of this scheme you have in mind.

Curves and circles can be hard to use, particularly in tiny gardens where they may appear artificial and driven. Here, the use of arcs and circles entwines collectively the function of the terrace — the curved fire pit and the gorgeous curved bench seating.

Lark Interior Design

It is important that ample curves inside the layout have a purpose, possibly leading the eye to a feature inside the garden or perhaps to something outside the border, such as a vista.

The layout is enforced by the method by which the planting has been clipped to conform, but its essential character is based on its underlying pattern. Curves and circles operate of presenting in a grid.

Kingbird Design LLC

Utilizing Simple Geometric Shapes

The type of layout you use as the foundation of your garden plan will depend on its suitability to the website, considering degrees, views and the style of the building the lawn will adjoin. The easiest of all shapes in garden design is that the rectangle or square, as home walls and boundaries usually imply a 90-degree pattern.

The usage of a single type of shape generates a sense of movement. In this layout, it moves our eyes through the garden to front door.

McHale Landscape Design, Inc..

A normal pattern includes all of the way through this garden scheme with the use of differing heights, textures and materials, all with fundamental 90-degree geometric contours.

C.O.S Design

Differing dimensions of regular shapes may unify a layout and, in the event of smaller outdoor spaces, confirm its use as an outdoor room.

Giving contours differing heights will give definition, but the depth of this sunken also acheives the identical effect.

The Garden Consultants, Inc..

Bringing Two-dimensional Patterns into Life

Regularity of routine conveys during this garden, with the chaise longues fitting into the plot.

Two-dimensional patterns come alive every time a third measurement is brought into play. Definition is given by Box plants in this scheme to the shapes.

C.O.S Design

This asymmetrical layout uses both linear and rectangular shapes to make an abstract pattern which relates pefectly into the modernist building it fronts.

The ease of this planting, for instance, strong strip planting of Black mondo grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’), reinforces the contours and doesn’t detract from the routine.

Blakely and Associates Landscape Architects, Inc..

Materials Mold the Tone of Your Garden

The normal paved part of this layout could overpower the total appearance, but the use of green strips involving the blocks visually joins both regions and creates a composite pattern.

The substances you choose to finish your chosen contours will mould the tone of your garden. Both hard and soft landscaping materials complement the strong shapes made in this front garden.

Studio H Landscape Architecture

Dynamic paving patterns may produce a sense of movement, but here the use of regular paved squares provides a sense of restfulness.

The curve of the border planting of Horsetail (Equisetum hyemale, zones 3-11)as well as the cylindrical planters help emphasize the formality of the square emitting.

Sometimes nature gives us a hand in producing patterns from manmade contours. Standard square pavers on this patio and steps are given additional emphasis from the clipped evergreen runners. The strong, linear shadow outlines made by the overhead pergola add into entire layout.

Geometry Roots Great Garden Design
Garden Design Essentials: Shape and Volume
Garden Edging: Clean Lines For The Landscape

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A Manhattan Studio Opens to Flexibility

A loft-like apartment that’s 650 square feet but feels spacious, has ample mild and is efficiently created is a rarity in the dense landscape of urban sprawls. That is why you might need to pick up your jaw off the floor after seeing the architect Robert Garneau has transformed what was a rundown prewar studio into a contemporary and adaptable open space.

“Though size was certainly a struggle, this project isn’t what many typically call a micro flat. It is a compact space that has a loft-like feel, one that needs the customer to be selective in what he brings into the space,” says Garneau. The flat and all in it are extensions of the values behind the design: multifunctional, compact and semi designed.

in a Glance
Who lives here: A few in the design sector
Location: Chelsea area of New York
Size: 650 square feet
Design challenge: Finding a personal placement for the mattress that was discreet from the living area and the kitchen

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The sleeping quarters necessary to have access to solitude, not be directly near the working kitchen and have some sort of division from the living room, where the customers amuse.

Garneau’s answer was a habit Murphy bed. From the open position it provides the comfort and luxury of a queen mattress.

Murphy bed: habit, Studio Garneau

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A floor-to-ceiling sliding door creates privacy for your own sleeping nook. White on the outside and a luxurious oiled walnut finish on the inside, the wall immediately warms up the mostly white bedroom.

“We engineered the sliding wall and the neighboring inner walls to be soundproof; they are made from high-tech acoustic products, which has the additional advantage of developing a solid wall,” says Garneau.

Now you see the mattress along with the sliding wall …

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… and you don’t. The sliding wall may also close off and contain the living room area.

When tucked away, the sleeping nook may be utilized as an extension of their living room or just left vacant. The negative space provides visual relief to the adjoining living room, which makes it feel more open and reflecting more light.

Yanagi blossom stool: Hive Modern

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Garneau has great respect for the thoughtfulness of nautical design, and implemented its craftsmanship and meticulous detailing here. Each millimeter is accounted for in the unit. Rather than clunky bedside tables, markets were customized into the wall, giving the customers a place to store books and a bedside light.

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The toilet has a special area in Garneau’s heart. “Bathing in this feels a bit like you’re in a spa, together with the blue tile and double rain bath,” he says.

Water use in the bath is reduced via low-flow taps and showers and a dual-flush bathroom.

Tile: cobalt, Nemo Tile Company

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Most elements in the flat are multipurpose — even the toilet towel rack, which opens to reveal more cabinetry along with also a laundry hamper.

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Garneau created the most of each surface place by converting it into storage for books, art supplies, linens, shoes and bathroom toiletries. The contrast of blue tiles and timber cabinetry is stunning.

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“The flat shows how it is possible to extend the limits of customized design and actually utilize it to work for you. Every storage unit or furniture piece is meant to be a long-term solution; nothing here’s a quick, generic solution,” says Garneau.

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The flush cabinetry and intrusive drawer brings hide the shelving components. To the left of the picture is that the shower’s sliding glass door, barely marked by the pull’s hardware.

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The customers are by no means. Instead, they have chosen to pare down their belongings without restricting their daily rituals, which to them are still “both pleasurable and simple.”

Here we visit one-half of the closet, which conveys the entire wall; a slim cubby on the best even homes a steamer and an ironing table.

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The closet takes advantage of its depth by incorporating a shoe shelf on the doorway, a closet rod that automatically lights up once the door opens and side shelving for bags and accessories.

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As can be expected, racks have to go vertical; a hook makes the hard-to-reach blouses on leading accessible.

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Garneau was able to open the room visually while maintaining the kitchen in its first site.

Benches on brakes may be used together with the table or wrapped to a different part of the apartment to get entertaining.

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The sofas, consoles and benches are on lockable casters and comprise storage within them, making a large number of seating and table arrangements.

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“There were possessions that needed to be accommodated in the plan and stored in a logical and easily accessible way without overwhelming the distance,” says Garneau. Books and decor have their location in the home and therefore are flush against the walls; not once does a backbone or curve interrupt the visual plane.

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To fight the heat and humidity from New York summers, Garneau set up an energy-efficient ceiling fan.

Green area rug: ABC Carpet & Home

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Here an image is projected from the back of the room. A wireless speaker program on the floor can be transferred to various locations in the home.

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The floor plan shows how each space in the attic is connected. For Garneau, the apartment’s design boils down to some quality-of-life matter. “Small-space living naturally restricts our consumer trends and forces us to consider what we genuinely love or like.”

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Emerald Green Pulls Nature Inside

Emerald green made a bold statement at the 2012 Kips Bay Show House in New York. While different colors of green are popular in interiors for quite a while now, emerald green represents more than only a chic, rich colour of green — designers are using it to bring the outdoors in. Make your visitors green with envy by updating your house with this season’s hottest shade.

See rooms from the Kips Bay Show House

Imagine Living

The truest way to say this trend is employing emerald green to relate to the outdoors. When you have big windows which have perspectives of beautiful plants, it’s easy to outfit an area in all shades of emerald green and combines indoor and outdoor area together.

Hint: in case you don’t have windows that are fantastic like those (I certainly don’t!) , the trend remains within your reach. Consider planting trees or other greenery right outside your windows, then accessorizing your area with emerald green to create that cohesion between outside and in.

Tracy Murdock Allied ASID

Use indoor house plants in a creative manner. I don’t have any idea if this enormous leaf is real or faux, but it certainly creates a controlling statement which goes beyond your daily houseplant.

Suggestion: searching for an affordable way to incorporate more of a colour trend into your house? Fill affordable glass jars from Michaels or even T.J.Maxx with vibrant candy — like with this particular coffee table. Who knew your sweet tooth may benefit your design sense?

Cristi Holcombe Interiors, LLC

Use emerald green vases for your houseplants to choose this colour even further throughout your property.

Hint: Should you see lush greens when you’re out and around, snap a photo. Blow it up, stick the shot in a framework and you’ve immediately got yet another affordable way to sneak bold emerald green and also a sense of the outdoors in your house.

Laura Britt Design

Consider painting a wall with windows a bold shade of emerald green. This works especially well if the windows look out onto plants or greenery, as it pulls the color inside.

Hint: Accenting emerald green with crisp white results in a fresh and clean aesthetic.

Rikki Snyder

This photo is from the 2012 Kips Bay Show House. Emerald green walls create a bold background which operates together with neutrals and jewel tones.

Hint: If you would like to really up the ante with an emerald green wall, then use high-gloss paint and continue the shade throughout the ceiling.

Rikki Snyder

Here is another shot from the 2012 Kips Bay Show House that features emerald green walls. How juicy is this distance?

Hint: Accessorize with complementary colours, like these purple and red throw cushions, to create the emerald green truly pop.

Cristi Holcombe Interiors, LLC

If green walls are a little much for you, think about emerald green drapes. Even if your opinion isn’t of a lush yard, the sun hitting the green will remind you of the outdoors.

Hint: Should you accent your chimney with emerald green, pull the shade in your area by accessorizing with green throw pillows or knickknacks to create a visual connection.

Alexander Johnson Photography

Look around your house for other components which are character based and think about how you can enhance them with this on-trend colour. Perhaps you can add an emerald green backsplash into your hearth so it feels as if you’re enjoying your passion at a cozy campground beneath the trees.

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design Inc..

Considering a reclaimed timber wall? Sneak the trend in by painting a couple planks emerald green.

Hint: Painting a couple planks whitened as well not only will create that fresh juxtaposition with emerald green, however, will lend additional visual dimension.


If your kitchen cabinets need an upgrade, a dab of emerald green paint might be just the answer.

Hint: Consider painful and painting them for a more textural appearance.

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Architecturally, the expression “soffit” generally refers to the final cover material that’s attached under the rafter borders and bridges the space between the exterior wall and the edge of the eaves. It can also refer to the enclosed region often located above the top cabinets in a kitchen or along the ceiling in other rooms in a home. Architecturally appealing, soffits are often used as a room for concealing pipes, pipes or recessed lighting.

Marcus Gleysteen Architects

The exterior soffit under this flat roof is lined with recessed lighting that illuminate the terrace.

Quality Edge

A traditional instance of a soffit: a groove and tongue covering under the eaves of a gable roof.

Bunker Workshop

A kitchen is another normal location for a soffit, though one which sits below the ceiling itself and even contains the hood to the range is unusual.

Brian Dittmar Design, Inc..

A soffit that closes the gap between the surface of the cabinets and the ceiling of the kitchen is much more prevalent, but in this case the curve and extension over the full space are exceptional.

Mark English Architects, AIA

The living area is made comfy with a design that outlines the outline of the whole space and is filled with recessed lights.

Crisp Architects

Just the rafter tails are visible on this eave, without a soffit covering them.

Read more soffit photos

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Guest Groups: Get That Kitchen Organized!

When I am in the kitchen, among my greatest priorities is staying organized. An kitchen helps things run smoothly so that you can focus more on creating great meals. Here are a few things that I believe would help organize a kitchen without making it look too industrial. — Natalie out of Perry’s Plate

Lillian Vernon

Peel and Stick Chalkboard Panels – $22.98

I am a big fan of boards. All these Peel and Stick Chalkboard Panels would be ideal for menu planning.


SmartShopper 301 Digital Grocery List

This is an excellent little gadget for recording, organizing and printing your grocery list.


Slide Out Lid and Pan Organizer – $34.99

This lid and pan organizer slides in and out of the cupboard, which means you can stay away from unsteady heaps of cookware.

The Container Store

Portochef Recipe Easel by Umbra┬« – $29.99

This would be a great addition to your own menu planning. Put all of the recipes to be applied during the week within the organizer, and it keeps them dry and clean while you work.


Maple Peg Drawer Organizer – $59.95

This pegboard allows you to customize the way you want to organize your cupboard.

The Container Store

Fridge Binz – $7.99

Use these bins to organize items in the freezer or fridge. These would be great for oddly shaped items that don’t stack well.

Pottery Barn

Cucina Wall-Mount Kitchen Roll Organizer – $49

This handy kitchen roll organizer makes even a roll of paper towels appear elegant.

Lillian Vernon

Sure-Grip Tool Holder – $9.98

Keep your brooms and mops standing vertical and ready to wash with this handy tool holder.

The Container Store

Hermetic Glass Storage Jars – $2.99

Glass jars are so much more interesting to check in plastic containers.

Pottery Barn

Behind the Door Wire Storage – $59

Use that area behind your pantry door for keeping oft-used accessories, freeing up valuable counter space.


Stainless Steel Recipe Divider Magnet – $9.99

There is no need to perform complicated fractions from the kitchen. I love this particular magnetic recipe divider that really does all of the grunt work for you.


Compost Pail – $59.99

If you are in to composting, this would be a sleek way to hide smelly dinner scraps. Thank goodness for odor absorption.


Exact Spice Rack – $49.99

This place for your spices also keeps measuring cups and spoons.

Pottery Barn

Stackable Fruit Crates – $119

I love these stackable crates. They’re a great way to get a farmers’-market feel in your kitchen.

Pottery Barn

Vintage Cleaning Caddy – $79

If I had all of my cleaning supplies stored in one place, I am prepared to bet that my home would be tidier. Well, at the very least cleaning supplies would look cute in their caddy.

Pottery Barn

Pot Rack – $99

Clear up some cupboard space and store your pots on a pot rack.


Castela Milk Crate, Large – $35.69

These baskets would be ideal for storing cookbooks, magazines, as well as onions and potatoes.


Bakers Cooling Rack – $19.99

I really like that this cooling system not only saves counter space, but cupboard space too.


Bamboo Turntable – $25.69

A turntable such as that one makes corner cabinets useful again! You might even use this to hold condiments and tiny dishes at the dinner table.

Next: 12 Ways Toward a Nicer Kitchen

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A Hideaway for All Ages Perched Among the Trees at Maine

“I went through this place in a boat once, and I couldn’t even find it,” says architect David Matero, that sited this playhouse so nicely one of the spruce trees that it’s practically invisible by a hundred yards away. The architect made the contemporary Adirondack-style structure to be a place where his clients can play games, read, have fun sleepovers and even find a little privacy when the main home is crowded. A brand new rope bridge joins the tiny home — they call it a treehouse because of its placement among the trees — to some zip-line platform. From the stage the main home is a zip ride away.

David Matero Architecture

Interior photographs by Darren Setlow Photography; exterior photographs by David Matero

At a Glance
Who plays here:
A family from California and their buddies
Location: Harpswell, Maine
Size: 350 square feet (32.5 square meters)

The home is not literally a treehouse but is perched one of the trees so nicely that it has earned the name. “There really aren’t trees in Maine that would support a construction in this way,” Matero states. While this side matches the ground, the home sits close to the edge of a cliff. The long fall from the back of the home and how it’s nestled among the spruces give it a treehouse feel.

David Matero Architecture

“The site is really lively,” Matero states. The back of the home faces the water and can be high above the ground. A cliff outside it makes the height seem even more spectacular in the 2 balconies. One is off the main living space, and the other is off the sleeping loft.

This rope bridge joins the treehouse to the zip-line stage, which is just out of view to the right. Originally the family needed to create the treehouse atop the existing stage, but after working on a few proposals using engineers, Matero found it was not possible. Instead, relatives run across the rope bridge to the stage and zip down to the main property.

Here the home is concealed.

Every one of those western redcedar shingles was hand dipped in Australian timber oil. This gives them an appearance that aids the house blend into the woods. “I wished to give it a contemporary Adirondack-camp look,” Matero states. Pictured here is Mark Parker, caretaker of the property.

David Matero Architecture

Inside, a round window that came from another home that once stood on the property has been repurposed. The inside of the room is rough-sawn natural Douglas fir. Even though the treehouse is electrified, it doesn’t have pipes, insulation, heating or ac. It is strictly a summer hideout.

The built in window seats along the right side may double as double beds. The mahogany table folds down from the wall.

David Matero Architecture

The table is a superb place for eating snacks, playing games and doing puzzles, even while the window seats provide comfy spots to curl up with books, visit or watch out for ospreys and eagles. “The homeowners intended to utilize the treehouse themselves also. It is not just all for drama,” Matero states.

David Matero Architecture

When planning the space, the homeowners needed a sleeping loft of their own. They could use it like a fun little getaway or let guests use it.

“The homeowner was quite conscientious about mild,” Matero states. Skylights and windows open up the loft to as much light as possible.

Light fixture: Artecnica Midsummer Light by Studio Tord Boontje; bedding: Chinoiserie Pearl, DwellStudio

David Matero Architecture

The sleeping loft has its own balcony.

Here’s the view out to the water. It’s easy to understand why the home has been deemed a “treehouse” in this picture.

All windows except the window: Anderson

Architecture: David Matero Architecture
Builder: Brent Akins, Housewrights & Craftsmen

5 Fantastic Homes Having a Treehouse Feel
11 Amazing Home-Away-From-Home Treehouses

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Kitchen of the Week: Historic Queen Anne Renovation

Homeowner and architect Geoffrey Gainer of True Size Architecture Resides in a Queen Anne in San Francisco’s Mission district. While renovating the kitchen, he did not like the notion of attempting to hide new appliances behind wood paneling, but he didn’t want to look a modern space that would jar with the rest of the home. See the way he solved this layout dilemma by using materials that would show gentle wear with time.

Actual-Size Architecture

Gainer took out a wall between the kitchen and dining rooms to unite the spaces. The salvaged Douglas fir shelves come in the original 120-year-old wall, making the kitchen and historical home more cohesive. All these shelves, the cork floors and also the paper-based countertops will all ding, dent and darken over time to meld with the home’s old charm.

Gainer discovered the classic chandelier and made two kitchen pendants to match. Located parts from Ohmega Salvage along with the hardware store help tie the dining and kitchen area collectively. The massive steel post in front of the island serves as a structural support beam in the ceiling and functions as a conduit for the shelf lights’ wiring.

Metalwork: Wendell Jones; sheet metal (except hood): stainless steel, Pacific Coast Stainless

Actual-Size Architecture

The open cabinets are a great way to solve the shortage of lighting in the kitchen. Since this type of historical residence, Gainer could not expand the windows or transfer them. The floating glass cabinetry allows the light to filter through the full kitchen. Gainer bought knobs at Ikea and painted and sanded them to get a luxury appearance.

“Two sinks result in a fantastic marriage. It is seriously worth the additional couple million bucks,” says Gainer. He and his wife understood that it’d be hard for both to find room in the stove too, so they found a set of two electric burners in a garage sale and put in them below the window facing the porch.

Cabinetry and shelving: habit by David Brunjes; cabinetry completing: Ciarlo Brothers

Actual-Size Architecture

The lower cabinetry has been kept open to make obtaining everyday items easy. The kitchen island is open to the dining space, but Gainer did not want his guests to observe a kitchen mess while eating, so he wired the kitchen lighting and dining lights separately. At night, when the kitchen lights are off, the distance feels completely different.

Countertop: Richlite; fridge: GE Profile; range: Viking; hood: Stack, Rangecraft

Actual-Size Architecture

The space-saving island layout is Gainer’s favorite thing about the kitchen. The top drawer is a knife rack and the third drawer has a pot-lid rack using adjustable steel rods, which he designed. The distance between the sink and the cabinet walls was just big enough for Gainer to devote a drawer for tall bottles of olive oil and other cooking essentials. The front of this sink is truly a tilt-out tray to keep items easy, and there’s a habit swing-out trash can for easy cleanup.

Actual-Size Architecture

Gainer and his wife have two young brothers, so child friendliness was important. “Keeping them at the counter is much easier than attempting to monitor the mess in the table, and they like it better there too,” he says.

Oven: Miele; wall spout: Elkay; faucets: Chicago

More: How to Remodel Your Kitchen | More Kitchens of the Week

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Searching for 'Live-Apartners'

We’ve been visiting examples of his-and-hers bathrooms and vanities for quite some time today on . (Some say that the excess sink space does wonders in terms of maintaining the peace of a married couple.) And we recently featured a lodge in Oregon, in which a retired couple maintain both his-and-hers sinks and separate master bedrooms.

Renewal Design-Build

This Oregon couple isn’t alone. Even the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that 1.7 million married couples were living apart for reasons aside from legal separation: commuter marriages, a challenging economy that’s forced couples to carry jobs wherever they are available and personal tastes. Across the pond, the Office for National Statistics has set the amount of “live-apartners” from the U.K. in 1.2 million, citing high-profile celebrities Helena Bonham-Carter and Tim Burton as an instance of a happy married pair residing in adjoining flats in Hampstead, North London.

Alan Mascord Design Associates Inc

This picture shows half a shared bathroom (with different his-and-hers sinks and a tub that is used just from the woman of the home). 1 door leads to her bedroom …

Alan Mascord Design Associates Inc

… and yet another leads to his.

Tracy Murdock Allied ASID

Interior designer Tracy Murdock met a client’s request to design a custom double queen-size mattress for this bedroom setup. She says, “The clients requested a special bed that would permit each of them to get their own space nevertheless still be together, so we created a large platform bed with two queen mattresses on the stage, each on its own control for adjusting firmness.”

Prove us Are you currently part of the growing “live-apartner” trend? Do you and your partner keep separate bathrooms, living spaces, sleeping quarters or homes? If this is the case, please post an image in the Opinions section and inform us. Your distance could appear in a follow-up feature on .

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