Introducing the Topic

What thoughts and considerations go into our spaces in order to encourage placemaking outcomes? That is, a purposeful strategy to factor people into the planning process of making public spaces (What is placemaking, 2008).

What relates is an article I read about third places (not home or work) from a library perspective. My takeaways were:

  • We plan our spaces. Organizations strategize to create holistically appealing settings.
  • We learn from each other. What one institution strives to accomplish in one way or another certainly pertains to other businesses and/or organizations.
  • We care about people. Why else work with the public–be it library or small business–than to ensure beneficial experiences for all staff, customers, and visitors?

In addition,

  • “People Appreciate Opportunities to Linger…lingering is what you do after you’ve done what you came to do” (Malczewski, 20123, para.3).
  • People Yearn to Be around Others. (It pertains that this human back and forth duality has its own expression: face-to-face aka f2f.)

So people make places matter. Do better places make better people? And, where do the two intersect?

diamond center masonry pavement

This diamond pavement seems interesting yet static without walkers (Photo: BuddingCo).

two legs with two shoes on brick walk

These bricks were made for walking as the action begins (Photo: BuddingCo).

Making A Masonry Supply Small Business Connection

Small business can be a microcosm of its larger counterpart–a village or a city–and a macrocosm of what’s smaller. Visitors see and touch stone textures while meandering in a masonry supply yard. Often they behave similarly on a larger scale in a national park or on a smaller scale in their own backyards. (Hey, is this lingering?)
At Budding Co. we interface with others outside in our yard, inside the store, at the design center or online right here. Everywhere however we’re in the building places business: trying to carry value over and above the sales transaction. There’s a bigger picture.

Involving Other Parties

Yes, a people-first movement is afoot. Architects and designers are getting on the placemaking bandwagon (Archinect, n.d.) as are contractors, masons and other building tradespersons who construct their projects. And, let us not forget artists and crafters (CraftsCouncil, 2014, video below).
We find it very motivating and an honor to be in the masonry field when these supplies are used for the betterment of people places. Indianapolis’s Cultural Trail, a prime example, was constructed with 11.25 acres of pavers! (Indianapolis Cultural Trail Inc., 2016, para. 6).

people walking in copley square boston

People invigorate Copley Square in Boston while strolling about (Photo: BuddingCo).


Personally Reflecting on the Topic

I believe in a very real sense you and I are community-building when we maintain, repair, enhance, and restore——by helping to improve spaces that bring people together——be it commercially in the town center or residentially around a patio fire pit.


This article is the first about what inspires us at Budding Co. BTW what’s your take on placemaking?


Archinect. (n.d.). News: Placemaking. Retrieved August 9, 2016, from
CraftsCouncil. (2014, April 1). Place making [Video file, 7:03, YouTube]. See below.
Malczewski, B. (2013, October 17). Mantras of library design. Public Libraries Online: News & Opinion. Retrieved August 5, 2016, from
What is placemaking? (2008 [Date of website]). Placemaking Chicago. Retrieved August 5, 2016, from

Further Reading & Watching

PPS (Project for Public Spaces). (n.d.). 10 principles for successful squares. Retrieved August 5, 2016, from

Recently we delivered some products to downtown Silver Spring Maryland. Since the turn of the 21st century the town has seen a huge regrowth in development. There are a plethora of new shops down main street such as next day blinds.  If you’re on your way to the capital stop by and check out this hidden gem.

The bedroom is arguably the most important room in the house – mainly because of its mentally and physically stimulating qualities; sleep, rest, comfort, relaxation, privacy, intimacy, romance and leisure. It’s the one room in the house that only you need to appreciate. and really take to town on the personal effects. However, without organizing the aesthetics of your bedroom, you are missing out on a great opportunity to live a joyous life!

You spend around 8-10 hours a day every in your bed when you’re sleeping, waking and drifting into dreamland, not to mention the times you bring snacks up to cozy into the pillows and watch a film, or get ready for an evening out and have to try on 50 outfits before you successfully leave…or even those days off when all you want to do is sip tea and read your favorite novel.

A bedroom is at its best when it is tidy, clean and full of textural comfort. Of course, the color scheme, fixtures, furniture and accessories bring it to life. Themes are great for working these features into one. So take a look at these bedroom design ideas about how to follow the 2016 trends and make them your own!

5 Bedroom Design Inspirations for 2016


Ever been to one of those World Heritage sites or National Trust homes and fallen head over heels for their details? It’s easy to bring such historic elements into your contemporary space by using reclaimed wood and rustic furniture or adding beams on the ceiling and walls to create that country-village effect.

Use neutral palettes to make the rustic wood stand out and select natural fibers when choosing soft furnishings such as blankets, rugs, towels and curtains. This theme is perfect for guest bedrooms of a Bed and Breakfast or Boutique Hotel, as it works well with minimalism, ensuring that the wooden beams or furniture are the main focus. Definitely a quaint appearance to comfortably welcome many travelers looking to rest their weary heads!


Take inspiration from exotic hotels around the world when designing the look of your bedroom. Think about it. When you travel abroad, what is it that makes you choose those specific spots? Other than the obvious price and location, aesthetics generally influence your decision making process. What kind of luxury are you wanting to experience? What colors excite you? Is it Instagram worthy if you took a photo of it? Would your friends and family back home be swooning over it too?

Then you should take those qualities and add them into your own room, so you always have that feeling of wanderlust! Go for Ottoman silhouettes, African prints, Greek pottery, ethnic rugs and lots of woven textures!


If you want something completely modern, then opt for a style that we’ve dubbed ‘Blogger Chic’. You know what I’m talking about right? That very clean cut and minimalist bedroom with metallic accents, geometrical shapes and pastel shades? You can imagine a stack of Vogue magazines piled on a bedside table next to some fake roses and a scented candle.

Greys, pinks, creams and nude shades are big this year in interior design – particularly for the summer! With rose gold and copper being the metal of the moment, you’ll be wanting colors that stay warm yet subtle. Think about the layout of your accessories, the levels that your lights hang and the angle that your chair is facing… it’s all about having your space a photo shoot creating the illusion of perfect balance.


Who’d have thought you could pull androgyny out of the fashion world and into the realm of interior design. Androgyny is the ideal compromise if you and your partner have different tastes and ideas about what the bedroom should emulate. Perhaps your boyfriend isn’t a fan of your fluffy cushions and fairy lights, or your girlfriend detests your tarnished rock band posters or blue tacked all over your last bedroom. Tt’s time to bring all the gender neutral forces together and create a space you can both be comfortable in!

It’s important to consider the things you both like – and decide on neutral palettes that can work with all your personal accents. If your partner loves a piece of art work but you prefer photo frames, get both and work them in together! Add a couple of prints and textures here and there – after all, it should be romantic and cozy too.

What if we were in Rome? (Maybe you are!) We’d saunter over to Trevi Fountain seeking skin-cooling relief at its water’s edge. Surely this architectural beauty would additionally radiate spiritual solace and admiration of a bygone era.

Daytime View of Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain (Credit: Verch, Marco)

Trevi’s timeline began in 19 BC when a spring fed by an aqueduct became a Roman bath. Between 1629 and 1762 different architects under the guise of different popes fortified and enhanced the structure in the popular piazza we see today. (Yes, it’s the coin-throw fountain.) The latest 2015 restoration with improvements (e.g., LED lighting) was financed by the Fendi fashion house. I find their masonry facts compelling:

3,900 square meters restored travertine [limestone] and marble…
340 square meters of restored stucco
320 square meters of restored basin
100 square meters of restored plaster
80 square meters of restored bricks…
26 restorers
” (Reddinger).

For non-metric folks, picture 340 square meters being just under half the width and a quarter the length of an American football field.

If you’re wondering why I made this comparison, wade through (or skip) these equations:

1 meter = 3.281 feet
square = area of length by width
1 square meter = 10.76 square feet (3.281 X 3.281)
340 square meters = 3,658.4 square feet (340 x 10.76)
3,658.4 rounded to 3,600 = 60 feet by 60 feet
3 feet = 1 yard
60 feet x 60 feet = 20 yards x 20 yards
53.3 yards wide x 100 yards long = 1 US football field
approximately less than 1/2 width x 1/4 length of a football field = 340 square meters

Sorry if my minor calculating seems confusing, but can you imagine actually tackling major monument-building back in BC! What’s much more interesting (than my math) is a video lesson in Chapter 4 of an online course entitled: “Roman Engineering and Architecture.”

In closing, I’ll share that yesterday on Facebook we briefly melded the same medley — summer heat, Roman history, and masonry buildings. I wanted to expound here especially, BECAUSE it’s 103 degrees Fahrenheit outside AND wouldn’t it be DIVINE plunging a toe or two into TREVI right this moment?!

Works Cited

Reddinger, Paige. “Fendi Unveils Their Restoration of the Trevi Fountain in Rome.” The Daily Front Row. Nov. 3, 2015,

Verch, Marco . Trevi-Brunnen [Image attribution]. Jan. 10, 2016. CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons.

Being in the masonry field, our eyes are drawn to hardscape surfaces wherever we go. That is, brick, stone, tile or concrete building that purposely or decoratively “resides” within designed or natural landscapes.

It’s summertime and we’re intent on exploring once again Hildacy Farm Preserve. Fields abound with nature. Interspersed are also man-made structures — lots of mortared fieldstone. Farmers likely found these stones in fields and by streams.

Fieldstone wall at Hildacy

Colorful fieldstone wall at Hildacy (BuddingCo).

These facades remind me of a cairn image I recently saw in a book. A cairn is a “mound of stones piled up as a memorial or to mark a boundary or path” (Memidex online). At first I thought of our Cairn Terrier. (Sending her breed out in packs to forage in rock piles was Scotland’s solution for hunting small prey.) More important, this photograph highlighted the stonemason’s artistry of creating outdoor sculptures. “Whenever I had a free hour at the end of a day, I unwound by working on this satisfying expression of my appreciation of stone” (Reed, 2013, p. 211).

Stone Entrance at Hildacy

Arched stone entranceway at Hildacy (Buddingco).

Stone wall with ironwork gate at Hildacy

Mortared fieldstone wall with ironwork gate at Hildacy (BuddingCo).

Could we replicate similar formations? Which tools are used? Now might be time to rummage for finds around your local stone yard.

Hildacy in Media, PA encompasses 55 acres that were originally part of 300 acres of property that William Penn was granted in 1683. Thanks to the Natural Lands Trust these spaces are being conserved for our enjoyment. Like us, surely posterity will marvel at the notion that masonry lasts.


Reed, D. (2013). “The complete guide to stonescaping: Dry-stacking, mortaring, paving & gardenscaping.” New York, NY: Lark Crafts.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s latest issue of Preservation (magazine) is out with a trendy topic for summer: National Parks.


Obviously the National Park Service (NPS) — existent since August 25, 1916 — oversees the parks. Did you know that this federal organization also administers historic preservation and restoration?


Take its smallest site, for instance. Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial in Philadelphia requires routine maintenance and repairs. Compare the brickwork before and after masonry restoration in 1972 (image next) versus now.


Historic brick house in 1972 (Thaddeus Kosciuszko, HABS, public domain, LOC)

Historic brick house in 1972 (Thaddeus Kosciuszko, HABS, public domain, LOC)

Via their Technical Preservation Services (TPS), NPS provides a series of Preservation Briefs. A few masonry-related examples are:


  • 2  Repointing Mortar Joints in Historic Masonry Buildings
  • 5 The Preservation of Historic Adobe Buildings
  • 22 The Preservation and Repair of Historic Stucco Buildings

These reports are detail rich with straight advice summaries and informative reading lists. The four treat approaches especially interested us. That is, Preservation, Rehabilitation, Restoration, and Reconstruction.


The National Park Service is a treasure trove of more than parks. We appreciate its masonry side of things. Happy Centennial Birthday, NPS!

The demand of having cheap living room furniture is increased from time to time. Due to the unlimited need of life, the homeowners must be smart with their home decorating expense. They should be a smart shopper to make the living room new, fine and nice without using a lot of dollars. Since furniture is considered as the primary element in the space, they should get the comfortable and stylish one. The budget constraint is no longer a big problem if you choose the living room sets under 1000.

The living room set usually consists of two chairs, loveseat, two end tables, a coffee table, a TV stand, and sofa table. Those pieces can be accommodated well if you have a very large living room design. If you only have a small living room, place a sectional sofa set with a coffee table. Skip the sofa table, end table, cabinet and loveseat.

How to Get Living Room Sets Under 1000
The homeowners who have limited budget under 1000 can get the brand new furniture set. There is no need for you to go to the secondhand furniture stores. The brand new one is more appealing and stylish for a living room. Check the products in the discount furniture stores to get the affordable pieces.

It is okay to have the old model of living room furniture sets as long as they can fit the current living room decoration. It is recommended for you to opt for the neutral styled living room furniture set such as the modern couch, contemporary coffee table and classic chairs. They are timeless and can be fitted in any kinds of living room setting. Therefore, the living room will never look old fashioned.

Look at the design of the living room furniture set carefully. You should choose the low priced furniture pieces in high quality material, construction and design. Get the sectional sofa set upholstered from leather. It is exclusive and durable. It can feature the wooden construction and adjustable features. The coffee table can feature glass and metal material. This set is nice to spot inside a minimalist and small living room design.

The living room sets under 1000 options are not always associated with the modern and contemporary style. The traditional Victorian ones are offered too by the notable manufacturers. They are available in ornate, decorative and majestic design. The back and arms are rounded with bulky shape. If you are fascinated with a traditional living room set, make sure that you have large space.

High Quality Living Room Sets Features
It is not tricky to find living room sets under 1000. Consider Bobkona Miranda living room set. The customers will get an ottoman sofa set with a three-piece reversible sectional. It comes in chocolate finish. You have to pay $988 to get this set. The upholstery is made of the high quality microfiber corduroy material. It has unique patterned look. The sectional is very flexible for it can face any living room setting due to the reversible loveseat or chaise. The frame is sturdy for it is made of wood. The fabric is durable and wearable. Enjoy the comfort when you sit on the top of the sectional because the cushions are made of the high quality lite weight formed cushion.

Lifestyle Furniture is another manufacturer in the market which offers the customers with living room furniture set. Pick the dark chocolate Urbania Right Hand Facing Sectional. It is sold in the price at $639.99. You will get a faux leather sectional and an ottoman coffee table. The latter product is equipped with large storage space that you can use to hold blanket, magazines, or books.

The homeowners who live in an English cottage or country home design can opt for rustic living room sets under 1000 specification from Better Homes & Gardens. This manufacturer is famous in the world for producing the high quality furniture. The furniture set consists of a TV stand set, an end table and a coffee table. All of them are made in rustic look. You just have to prepare the cash around $425 to get it. The finish is available in two options. The buyers can choose between the antique pine and antique black finish. The rustic TV stand can hold the television up to 52 inches.

The living room at home will never look plain if you have a bold or vibrant colored living room furniture pieces. Kings Brand Furniture serves their loyal customers with a red sofa and loveseat set made of microfiber upholstery. This product costs $899.99. The family and friends who spend their time in the living room will be comfortable because they can sit on this fluffy sofa. The back of the sofa is flexible since you can remove it. The dimension of the loveseat is 55″ W x 31″D x 37″H, while the sofa has the dimension at 75″ W x 31″D x 37″H. If you purchase the sofa, you have to do a simple assembly process at home.

If you are not interested with leather, linen, and microfiber fabric for the loveseat and sofa, Flash Furniture has an alternative for their customers. The cobblestone fabric is used as the upholstery for their Ashley Darcy Living Room Set. It comes with a loveseat and sofa set. Both provide the people with sufficient amount of seating area. This piece is nice to spot inside the contemporary and midcentury living room design because of the streamlined shape. The features of this living room furniture set include the pillow back cushions and plush upholstered arms. They can maximize the comfort when you sit on the sofa or loveseat for a long period of time. The frame construction is sturdy enough to hold the weight of the people.

Whether you have to choose a microfiber, linen, or leather sofa, consider the living room design as well as the budget in the pocket. Select the living room sets under 1000 based on the need and function. If you have a modern living room, avoid the bulky and heavy sofa. Pick the sleek and streamlined design.

Yesterday we toured Henry Mercer’s astounding concrete feat: Fonthill Castle in Doylestown, PA. You must go!

Close up of Fonthill Castle Concrete Dormer

Concrete Dormer

Closeup of Fonthill Castle Tower.

Concrete Tower

Although we deal with masonry topics every day, constructing an entire house seems overwhelming. What also comes to mind is what industrious individuals are doing in the 21st century.

Inspiring is how two brothers built stone dwellings. Whereas one used the slipform method, the other applied a tilt-up technique by “pouring stone walls flat on the ground and setting them in place with a crane” (Elpel, 2015, para. 5).

An enterprising artisan expounded in a series of videos about tilt-up constructing his very own castle (thecastleproject). We didn’t see it finished, but being in the building supply business, the materials and tools he used interested us.

Following the stages of these masonry projects is fascinating and brings new meaning to the idiom: Your home is your castle.


Elpel, Thomas J. (2015 [Date of web page]). Tilt-up stone masonry: A technological lift to the ancient art of stone work. Sustainable building and living: Resources for building earth-friendly, low-cost, high-efficiency homes. Retrieved June 15, 2016, from

thecastleproject. (2010, March 31). Tilt up monolithic stone masonry explained – The Castle Project [Video file, 5:43, YouTube]. Retrieved June 15, 2016, from

Summer time is here which means the house will be opened up to more foot traffic. This will contribute to the amount of dirt and grime getting tracked into the house from outside that will settle into the carpets. Also, increased foot traffic will cause more wear on a carpet regardless of the amount of dirt that is tracked inside. However, there are some simple tips to follow to try to minimize the damage to your carpets throughout the summer months.

The most basic tip to follow to keep carpets clean is removing shoes before walking into the house. Shoes are the most common source for tracked in dirt and mud and they can also wear down a carpet the way excessive foot traffic can wear down patches of grass. Removing shoes before coming inside every time can get obnoxious, but it will help keep carpets clean and extend their lifespan. With all the in and out traffic that a home experiences in the summer, enforcing a “no shoes” household can be rather difficult. Fortunately there are other ways to protect a carpet without having to strictly enforce a “no shoes” rule.

If you have pets in your home, always make sure that you remove the pet hair, and the smells that your loved pets leave behind, as the summer heat can make the smell worse. This site is a great resource if you are looking for more tips on how to select the best carpet shampooers for pets, which is the most efficient way to keep clean after your dogs or cats.

Putting down mats and runners over high traffic areas is another way to protect your carpets. Putting doormats at every entrance of the house helps protect a carpet by encouraging guests to remove their shoes. The presence of a doormat not only acts as a reminder to take your shoes off, but also allows guests to at least wipe them on the mat before entering the house. Runners can act as carpet protectors as well. They can be placed right over the carpet to protect it from the effects of moisture and high foot traffic by providing a buffer between feet and the carpet. Putting runners over carpets in food areas is also a good idea to help protect the carpet from food stains.

While protecting the carpet can help avoid some dirt and stains, enough of the carpet will still be exposed to collect dirt and debris. If the dirt is not removed, it can quickly wear a carpet down and get mashed into the fibers. Vacuuming regularly is the best way to remove dirt and dust before it gets mashed deeper into the fibers where it is more difficult to be cleaned. Another helpful vacuuming tip is to spread some baking soda over the carpet before vacuuming. Baking soda absorbs the odors from the carpet and can easily be vacuumed. It is easy to overlook the importance of vacuuming but vacuuming once a week can help keep carpets cleaner and in turn, extend the life of the carpet.


When it comes to air conditioning there is no denying that Panasonic know what they are doing. Along with their competitors, Panasonic and their team of designers and engineers strive to break through the breaches of innovation and claw their way to achieving the ultimate goal – to create the most efficient air conditioning unit available on the market.

From years of battling through, we can finally say that Panasonic have gone one step further than their competitors with their latest innovation of 2016 – the all new Commercial Air Conditioning unit range designed specifically for office space. We have sat on the bleachers of this on-going battle between the world’s leaders in technological innovation, patiently waiting and keeping score of what each electronical technician can surprise us with next.

ac-panasonicThe industry of air conditioning units receives a lot of back lash from environmentalists for being energy wasters, an inefficient source of electricity and a factor in causing global warming however, tech leaders such as Panasonic, LG and Daikin strive to create air conditioning units out of the latest technologies to fight this conspiracy.

Set to be the world most efficient air conditioning unit to date that reduces energy costs, Panasonic have dished out a true winner with their latest range of commercial air conditioners that will be sure to get you through the blisteringly hot summer that is hopefully coming our way!

Energy Saving

The use of energy saving designs for the structure of fans, fan motors, compressors and heat exchanges has resulted in a high COP value, ranked as one of the top classed in the industry. In addition, use of highly efficient R410A refrigerant reduces CO2 emission and lowers operating costs.

Perfect for Server Rooms

Keeping at an appropriate temperature no matter the circumstances, Panasonic have specifically designed their newest range of commercial air conditioners so that they will be perfect in keeping a server room at one temperature that does not fluctuate even when outdoor temperature comes in.

More Compact

The new slim line, lightweight design ensures that the stereotype of big clunky air conditioning units is broken so that your air conditioning unit will fade into the background and blend in with all the other furniture and equipment in your office. There is nothing worse than the sight of a big clunky machine staring at you in the face when you are trying to work but with Panasonic’s new commercial air conditioning range, you will be guaranteed to not even notice that there is an air conditioner in the room!

New Remote

Although it doesn’t seem like much of a great new feature, you will actually be surprised at how seamless it will be to use the newer range of commercial air conditioners with this new remote. With a cleaner design, easier functionality and controls and lower energy consumption this remote is completely different to what we have seen before.

Quiet mode

Apart from being big and clunky, another annoying stereotype of air conditioning units is that they make a lot of unnecessary noise. Trying to concentrate with a running machine churning in your ear can be nothing worse for efficiency which is why Panasonic have ensured that their new commercial range have a quiet mode so that you can work happily in a quiet and cool room.