Blog Posts by Sunset Magazine

  • 9 Raised Bed Garden Ideas

    Free-form corrugated steelFree-form corrugated steel
    Free-form corrugated steel
    We love the look of corrugated metal as a raised bed. Here's how to make your own.
    How to build a corrugated metal bed

    Big-yield bedsBig-yield beds
    Big-yield beds
    Raised beds provide better drainage and aeration than in-the-ground beds and they make harvesting easier. In this garden, one 4- by 4-foot raised bed produces 80 pounds of tomatoes.

    Tiered lookTiered look
    Tiered look

    Plant herbs in a tiered raised bed for a great look and easy access.
    18 indispensable herbs to grow

    One-pot gardenOne-pot garden
    One-pot garden

    A watering trough becomes a great planting bed.
    How to plant a one-pot veggie garden

    Chic recycled metalChic recycled metal
    Chic recycled metal

    Turn scrap metal into super stylish raised beds.
    How to build edgy veggie boxes

    Easy starter gardenEasy starter garden
    Easy starter garden

    On a sunny, narrow stretch of land, newbie gardener Reed Davis installed modular boxes and then planted them, taking notes and photographing each step along the way. In spite of some glitches--like squirrels eating the watermelons--the project's success became abundantly clear within a few months. "I get so

    Read More »from 9 Raised Bed Garden Ideas
  • 12 DIY Salvage Makeovers

    Transform castoffs from your garage into cool accessories for your home or garden.

    A living table runner A living table runner
    Before: shipping pallet, After: outdoor table
    Shipping pallets lurk everywhere: abandoned behind grocery stores, stacked in the corners of big-box parking lots. Bay Area bloggers Matti Salomaki and Megan Speckmann decided to remake a piece of this suburban flotsam into something useful--and beautiful. Taking apart a pallet, they constructed a tabletop from its boards, coated it with natural wax stain, and attached legs they'd found at a garage sale. And the genius touch? A living table runner that consists of a sunken, succulent-filled box (complete with drainage holes) secured to the table's underside. Succulents grow slowly, don't mind being packed in like sardines, and need only occasional watering (which is unlikely to cause the wood to rot). We can't think of a better addition to an eat-in garden.

    Design: Matti Salomaki and Megan Speckmann, FarOutFlora, San Francisco (

    Earth-friendly, and it adds personalityEarth-friendly, and it adds personality
    Read More »from 12 DIY Salvage Makeovers
  • Taste the West: Las Vegas

    Gone are the days of discount buffets dominating the Las Vegas culinary landscape. See how Sin City has become a foodie's paradise.

    L'Atelier de Joël RobuchonL'Atelier de Joël Robuchon
    Haute cuisine within reach
    Joël Robuchon's main restaurant, Joël Robuchon at the Mansion, is famous for being the kind of experience doctors and lawyers need to save up for. It's still not a bargain, but the less lavish L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon offers the master chef's signature French dishes à la carte.

    Comfort food classics

    Chef Natalie Young's Eat attracts a discerning downtown crowd with breakfast classics like buttery pancakes and steel-cut oats with cinnamon roasted apples and pecans. Stick around for lunch with a Southern accent: soft and pillowy beignets, shrimp and grits, and the best grilled cheese in town.

    Chefs know best

    Chef Mitsuo Endo uses binchotan, a special Japanese charcoal, to grill mountain trout, pork cheek, and a long list of robatayaki at Raku, an elegant izakaya. But the big star is the agedashi tofu, silken housemade

    Read More »from Taste the West: Las Vegas
  • 10 Best Berries to Plant Now

    These tidy, small-space friendly plants give a big summer bounty.

    Consult the plant tags!Consult the plant tags!
    Planting and Care

    Shop for bare-root plants now. If you can't find what you want, ask your nursery to order from a grower.

    Store bare-root plants in moist newspaper ​until you are ready to plant; submerge the roots in a bucket of ​water the night before planting.

    Amend the soil with compost, then dig a planting hole that's wide enough for the roots to spread out evenly. Spacing varies by variety, so consult the plant tags; avoid overcrowding.

    Berries appreciate some afternoon shade. Give them all regular water.

    Thrives in a large container Thrives in a large container
    'Raspberry Shortcake' Raspberry
    Topping out at just 12 to 24 inches high and wide, this plant thrives in a large container without trellising.

    More on container gardens

    The essence of a strawberryThe essence of a strawberry
    'Mara des Bois' Strawberry
    Our Test Garden design assistant, Lauren Dunec, calls this variety's flavor "the essence of a strawberry." It's a favorite at Berkeley restaurant Chez Panisse.

    Read More »from 10 Best Berries to Plant Now
  • Great Ideas for Shelves

    Create the storage you need with inspiration from these shelves for kitchen, living room, hall, garden, mudroom, bathroom, and more.

    Built-in floaters of pine and red oakBuilt-in floaters of pine and red oak
    Floating book shelves

    Typical store-bought floating shelves are suitable only for displaying objects, as they have a weight capacity of 10 or so pounds. That's why California architect Stephen Atikinson created what might be called built-in floaters of pine and red oak, with seriously strong support.

    The total cost of the project was $500. Wood trim hides the brackets supporting the shelves, creating an elegant appearance reinforced by the larger display shelf at the bottom.
    Get the how-to

    Glasses, wine and cocktail fixings within easy reachGlasses, wine and cocktail fixings within easy reach
    Custom drink station

    The beverage center of our reader-voted dream entertaining kitchen keeps glasses, wine, and cocktail fixings within easy reach. The custom shelves ensure that all the drinkware fits perfectly in place. Open shelves and mirrored backs add interest.

    Two under-counter GE Monogram wine refrigerators each keep up to 57 bottles at

    Read More »from Great Ideas for Shelves
  • 12 Best Cabin Getaways

    Cabins are all about relaxing, reconnecting, and repairing the soul. Here are the most extraordinary cabins around the West that will keep you coming back, time and again.

    Sierra National Forest, CASierra National Forest, CA
    Far Meadow, Sierra National Forest, CA
    Yosemite may be only 12 miles away, but Far Meadow's Base Camp, in some ways, trumps the iconic park. No valley floor swarmed with bus tours or crowded cafeterias--just you, your friends, and family tucked into a 750-square-foot pine cabin, with 5 glorious High Sierra acres all to yourselves. The Base Camp cabin--undamaged by the 2013 Rim Fire, which actually stopped 100 miles north--was remodeled in 2013, with the addition of a second bedroom and French doors that open onto the deck. In autumn, you'll find the kind of Technicolor fall foliage that'll make you think you've landed in New England. A bit farther east, above Bass Lake (and the snow line), Far Meadow maintains five additional properties in the Sierra National Forest: a new A-frame was added this season

    Read More »from 12 Best Cabin Getaways
  • 8 Ways to Use Edibles as Ornamentals

    Planning your garden? Mix it up by choosing edibles in place of the usual suspects.

    Strawberries from spring into fallStrawberries from spring into fall
    Instead of an evergreen ground cover...
    Plant: Strawberries for berries from spring into fall.

    How to grow: In mild climates, start from bare-root plants in late winter or early spring, or from plants in late summer or fall for a spring crop. In colder regions, grow from bare roots or plants in early spring. Space 18 inches apart, in rows that are 2 to 2 1/2 feet apart. All zones. (Don't know your zone? Look it up here.)

    Rhubarb for piesRhubarb for pies
    Instead of a common perennial with showy leaves...

    Plant: Rhubarb for pies.

    How to grow: Start bare-root plants in late winter or early spring; in zones 10 and 11, plant in fall as a cool-season annual. Plants reach 3 feet tall. (When harvesting, eat only the stalks; leaves are poisonous.) Best in Sunset climate zones A1-A3 and 1-11 but may do well in 14-24.
    More on designing your edible garden

    Loose-leaf lettuce for just-picked saladsLoose-leaf lettuce for just-picked salads
    Instead of annual front-of-border foliage...

    Plant: Loose-leaf lettuce for

    Read More »from 8 Ways to Use Edibles as Ornamentals
  • 10 Ideas for Headboards

    Ready to give your bed a fresh new look? Sink into our slide show of headboard designs.

    Update your upholstered headboardUpdate your upholstered headboard
    Headboard quick-change
    Update your upholstered headboard with a pretty new fabric.

    Have enough fabric to generously cover the front of your headboard and the back side about 5 inches in. Wrap the fabric over the top edge of headboard and secure with a staple in the center, about three inches in from the edge.

    On the opposite edge, pull fabric taut and staple to secure. Repeat on remaining two sides, then staple all around the edges, pulling cloth tight. Stop 3 inches from corners.

    Fold the fabric at one corner into a neat finish by tucking the excess underneath and smoothing the top down. Secure with three or four staples, keeping the folds flat and even. Repeat for each corner.

    This striped headboard fabric is available at Beach House Style.

    Frame your bed with custom cubbiesFrame your bed with custom cubbies
    Shelves and cubbies headboard

    Take a leaf from the Murphy bed book: Frame your bed with custom cubbies, forming in the process a

    Read More »from 10 Ideas for Headboards
  • 9 Fittest Towns of the West

    Whether you want to win a gold medal, want to look like you did, or just want to surround yourself with people who take their exercise seriously, here are the top towns in the West for fitness.

    Near-perfect weather year-roundNear-perfect weather year-round
    San Diego

    With beaches, ample green space, and near-perfect weather year-round, it's no wonder the San Diego area--specifically, Chula Vista--is home to one of only three U.S. Olympic training centers. Grab a kayak at La Jolla Shores (rental places abound) and explore the sea caves of La Jolla Cove. Or take a walk or run along Pacific Beach. Save time for a stroll around the San Diego Zoo, too.

    Where the athletes eat: Fuel up with a hearty, no-fuss breakfast at Kono's Surf Club Café (858/483-1669), next to Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach, where you can eat right by the water. And be sure to hit one of the many farmers' markets around town.

    A world of active possibilitiesA world of active possibilities
    Long Beach

    One of Long Beach's advantages is its proximity to L.A. and Orange Counties. What's more, you have the beach and the mountains, which opens

    Read More »from 9 Fittest Towns of the West
  • 10 Winter Garden Spruce-ups

    Discover how to keep your garden vibrant during the cool season.

    An edging of white cyclamenAn edging of white cyclamen
    Supplement existing plants
    Supplement existing plants, such as the azaleas and ferns pictured, with an edging of white cyclamen. Tuck lamium or a similar variegated plant between the cyclamen to add a lacy skirt of frosty-looking greenery.

    Wrap tree trunks with white lightsWrap tree trunks with white lights
    Add lighting

    For a soft glow at night, wrap tree trunks and branches with strands of white lights.

    Define borders by placing small candles in glass holders along mow strips, walls, and walkways.

    Enhance beds with potted plantsEnhance beds with potted plants
    Plant a border in pots

    Enhance narrow in-ground beds with a row of potted plants.

    In the small, shaded side yard shown, cylindrical chocolate brown pots filled with white cyclamen line up against the raised border's low brick wall, making the fern-filled planting appear deeper than it is.
    More on winter container gardens

    Flank the entry with potted plantsFlank the entry with potted plants
    Accent the front entry

    Flank the entry with potted plants.

    Fountainlike burgundy cordyline plays off white cyclamen and plum 'Palace Purple' heuchera in

    Read More »from 10 Winter Garden Spruce-ups


(419 Stories)