Blog Posts by Sunset Magazine

  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 12 Gorgeous Winter Wonderlands

    Behold our online fans' stunning photos of their favorite winter scenes around the West.

    Tabernash, COTabernash, CO
    Devil's Thumb Ranch, Tabernash, CO
    "Captured on an early morning walk at Devil's Thumb Ranch in Tabernash, CO." - Tanya Chotibut, Shreveport, LA.

    Yosemite National Park, CAYosemite National Park, CA
    Tenaya Lake, Yosemite National Park, CA

    "The dry, cold winter and absence of snow this year has presented ice skaters with a bounty of high elevation frozen lakes and unprecedented access to them. It is unheard of to be able to get to Tenaya Lake in Yosemite in January, let alone skate on it. The patterns of frozen bubbles in the ice of the lake are fantastical!" - Allison Brooker, Los Angeles, CA.

    Kauai, HIKauai, HI
    Kauai, HI

    "Panorama of sailboat visiting the beautiful northern Na' Pali coastline, Kauai, Hawaii. How better to escape the cold winter?" - Brian Wong, San Mateo, CA.
    More warming winter trips

    Yosemite National Park, CAYosemite National Park, CA
    Yosemite National Park, CA

    "A pack of coyotes greeted us on the side of the road shortly after entering Yosemite National Park." - Lina Vital, Pacific Grove,

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  • Your Best Valentine's Day

    Sweep your special someone away with flowers and a romantic getaway--though not necessarily in that order. Here are a few of our favorite floral and vacation pairings--but feel free to mix and match your own Valentine's Day package!

    The velvety petals, which come in red, pink, purple, or white, are perfect for those who love romantic hues.
    Valentine's bouquets

    Sedona, AZSedona, AZ
    L'Auberge de Sedona, Sedona, AZ
    With red-rock views and dazzling canyons, a drive through Sedona is a surefire way to get hearts aflutter. To really get things going, stop for lunch at L'Auberge de Sedona on the banks of Oak Creek, a place so romantic that a grass-stained knee doesn't signal an accident but a proposal. Share wine, a grilled chicken-and-brie crisp, and the warmth of the stone fireplace at the inn's creekside restaurant. Get even cozier by spending the night either in one of the 31 cottages along the creek or up the hill in a lodge room.

    Tazetta daffodils Tazetta daffodils
    Tazetta daffodils (narcissus)

    To a fragrance

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  • 15 Fresh Ways to Display Your Art

    Don't let your collection just sit in a closet--start enjoying those paintings, posters, and photos right now.

    Just the right amount of cheekyJust the right amount of cheeky
    Let art imitate life
    Who says that art has to be serious? Hanging a picture of a bed, above the bed, is just the right amount of cheeky.
    24 ideas for headboards

    Brought together by a shared colorBrought together by a shared color
    Provide a common denominator
    Diverse mediums and frames are brought together by a single, shared wall color.

    A sweet surpriseA sweet surprise
    Embrace unexpected placement

    Art is a sweet surprise when hung for the benefit of those with their head on the pillow.

    Gives the eye somewhere to landGives the eye somewhere to land
    Interrupt the pattern

    A boldly graphic piece gives the eye somewhere to land in a room full of patterns.
    Decorating with patterns

    Corners are notoriously difficult Corners are notoriously difficult
    Use negative space

    Corners are notoriously difficult places to fill. Take the opportunity to make your own curated corner gallery.

    Mood lighting fixtureMood lighting fixture
    Create a mood

    A moody vintage oil painting ties together a heavy wooden mantel and a wrought-iron candelabra.
    Decorating with family finds

    Pale art on a pale wallPale art on a pale wall
    Create balance

    By hanging a pale piece of art on a pale wall, it becomes an

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  • 15 Great Snowy Getaways

    Find snow, solitude, and shopping on a fun winter getaway.

    Jackson, WyomingJackson, Wyoming
    Winter wildlife safari
    In winter, there's nothing like hitting the slopes in Jackson, Wyoming. However, there's more to this snowy valley than skiing. Mingle with the thousands of elk on the nearby National Elk Refuge by two-horse open sleigh. Then head back into town and discover its Western ranching roots.
    One perfect day in Jackson Hole

    Mammoth, CAMammoth, CA
    Low-key ski scene in Mammoth, CA
    New flights to an Eastern Sierra mountain will revolutionize your ski weekend. No chains required.

    The mountain is king at Mammoth, and pulling into Mammoth Lakes, 8 miles from the airport, is the proof. Since there's no central downtown, it's easy to have an "are we there yet?" feeling, but gems can be found if you look around. Download a map at

    Hood River, ORHood River, OR
    Ski on the cheap in Hood River

    Just an hour from Portland, Hood River offers a buzzing restaurant scene and proximity to Mt. Hood, all at an affordable price.
    More on Hood River

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