Monday, April 8, 2013

Greenish Thumb

What glorious weather we are having! In order to prepare our yard for a proper spring welcome, my husband cleaned out all the dried leaves, dead branches, and pestering weeds.  (24 big lawn bags full!)  Then he aerated and fertilized the dreadful looking lawn.

Tackling a yard, like any big project, is overwhelming, so we are taking it one flower bed at a time.  Here are the two  front beds we completed this past weekend.

It took two exhausting hours to dig up this scraggly azalea bush.  We posted it on Craig's List and it was gone within hours.  

In it's place we planted holly, surrounded by new guinea impatiens, laurel, and a small hydrangea (far left).

On the other side of the house we planted heather and Scarlett O'Hara.  The box woods and camellia are original.  I found some old slate pieces in the back yard to make a path from the porch.  My kids love it because they think it's a secret path.  I love it because it keeps the kids off the plants.  The ferns are in new planters I found at Lowes (especially the reasonable price tag - $39.)  

We transplanted some rhododendron to the side yard and filled in the space with another holly tree, heather, Scarlett O'Hara, and creeping phlox.  A freshly edged and mulched yard make me smile.     

Begonias for the planters on the steps.

We have a long way to go, but the hardest part is getting started, right?


"Why try to explain miracles to your kids when you can just have them plant a garden." 
 ~Robert Brault

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Friday, March 1, 2013

Perfectly Imperfect

Yesterday on Little Green Notebook, Jenny blogged about the infamous Circa Lighting's "Goodman Hanging Lamp."  The DIY queen shared a budget-friendly lighting substitute she used in her kitchen.

When I stumbled upon this fabulous kitchen by Athena Calderone, I immediately thought of Jenny's kitchen.  Both designers have the unique ability to mix colors, textures, and the not-so obvious, perfectly.

Everything about this space is spot on.  Keeping the color palette of the walls, cabinets, refrigerator, and pendants the same unifies and opens up a small space. The warm undertones of the grays, mixed with organic touches of wood,  keep the sophisticated kitchen from feeling sterile.  To top it all off, brass accents and gleaming white counters add a touch of glam.   


"Great blends of pattern, like great dishes, must be carefully tasted. And constant tasting is what teaches a cook how to taste."  ~Billy Baldwin

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Basement: Before & During

Our basement is a respectable size and soaks up a decent amount of natural light considering it's below ground level.  However, the basement is in dire need of a makeover.  Here are some shots before we moved in.

Untouched knotty pine paneled walls +  a few coats of paint = instant gratification

SO much brighter!

 Just one coat of special wood  primer brightened the space.  Two  coats of paint down and, fingers crossed, one to go.  Please note, most of the paint application requires a brush which is very time consuming   

The color is Benjamin Moore "White Heron."  I apologize for the iPhone photos.  Here is a professional image of a foyer painted "White Heron."  The crisp, bright white, with gray undertone is exactly what I wanted.

As evident from my photos, the basement houses the majority of the kids' toys.  A portion of the space is intended for a family/TV room use.  Once the ceiling and lights are replaced, the carpet is installed, and there is some sense of order, I will take some after photos.


"The flowers that sleep by night, opened their gentle eyes and turned them to the day.  The light, creation's mind, was everywhere, and all things owned its power."  
~Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Ikea Etagere

In previous posts I've alluded to my affinity for books. Our old house had tons of built-in storage, something our new house lacks.  A few months ago, in an attempt to create a new home for my collection, I enlisted my carpenter.  Together, we fashioned a design of  bookcases and window seats  to run the length of the (fireplace) wall in our living room.  

The hold up is the pending kitchen/breakfast room renovation.  While I'm desperate for built-ins, there is a greater sense of urgency for previously mentioned project.  Looking for a cheap and quick fix, I copied this Vittsjo shelves Ikea hack.    

You can't beat the $70 price tag.  

Please excuse the photo quality.  There is something wrong with my lens.

I spray-painted the two shelving unit metallic gold.  (One on each side of the fireplace.)  Immediately after, while the gold paint was still wet, I strategically sprayed brass paint that created this fantastic cracked, patina-like finish.  

Gives it more depth, don't ya think?

My only complaint is the weight capacity of the units, so many things are still in boxes.  


“I love walking into a bookstore. It's like all my friends are sitting on shelves, waving their pages at me.”   ~ Tahereh Mafi 
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