Most people can’t seem to find enough time in the day… I know I’m guilty. I’ve been trying to find time to write my blog and download photographs on Houzz of a new home I recently completed. I worked on so many wonderful projects last winter that continued into spring. A personal project of mine included my husband, Rick, painting my workroom. I decided to pick a new soft white tone. Sherwin Williams SW9119 Dirty Martini….I promise I didn’t pick it for the name although it sure could have persuaded me. It’s a soft beige/green. You can see on the photo below the old color on the left wall and the new color on the back wall where the door is. The next photo shows the newly painted walls and the room rearranged from the way it was originally.
My approach to the Industrial style home labeled by my clients as the “Dream Lodge” which, coincidentally coincides with the first initials of their last names, was to celebrate the home’s views and uniqueness. Wrapped in charm and character, the home dons corrugated walls, wood ceilings, multiple paint colors in a room with contrasting trim, metal railings and so much more. An antique kitchen table draws you in for conversation in the open space while the furniture in the family room from my upholstery company, The MT Companies, beckons you to enjoy the view, read a book, watch television or take a nap in front of the fireplace during the cold winter months. Please visit my site on Houzz.com to see the rest of the professionally taken photographs. Another project I worked on was a new cottage style home in the Timberbanks development. Comfort and function were the key to this home. My builder clients, who have been building beautiful homes for many years, decided it was time to downsize from a large home to a more manageable size home.
Windows and a door line three walls in the great room/kitchen area for wonderful views of the golf course. I angled the fireplace on the wall for interest and created a television/bookcase unit next to it. Ceilings are no less important than walls and their ceiling was no exception. Created to add depth and dimension, the coffered ceiling shows what the builder’s trimmer can do. Adding to the senses of bringing the outdoors in, the walls and inside the coffered ceiling were painted Sherwin Williams, SW7696 Toasted Pine Nut, (not yet painted on the walls in the photograph below) which is a warm rich beige/yellow.
The topic of conversation always seems to be opened up by the weather……Ok, I am a bit sick of the rain too but, it’s BECAUSE of the rain, the wetlands next to us are filled with wildlife including new born painted wood ducks that are an amazing array of colors…hence, the name painted wood duck, it’s BECAUSE of the rain, I’ve learned to take my walks in it and I never run into anyone else except for birds, turtles and deer, it’s BECAUSE of the rain we appreciate the warmth upon our face when the sun does come out and of course, it’s BECAUSE of the rain my garden is a watercolor painting waiting to come alive on canvas. What is your “it’s BECAUSE of the rain” feel good thoughts?
My beloved garden pond was refurbished recently. It’s been leaking for years and needed a little TLC. “It looks better than ever,” my husband said. The frogs who have joined me this year think so too..
Sometimes stars just align. Overwhelmed and in the midst of work, Remi’s recovery and Chairing the Greater Manlius Chamber of Commerce’s 2017 Spring Dinner Auction, my friend, Patty stopped by with lunch for Rick and I on a Saturday morning with a picnic basket full of warm fresh bread she had made, homemade minestrone soup – best I’ve ever tasted even with the substitution of Turkey sausage (recipe below), the trimmings for the soup and yummy brownies. Enter aligning stars….I met Patty over 20 years ago when she walked into the design firm I was working at and needed decorating. We have cultivated a special friendship and share the same interests in gardening, cooking and so much more.
I leave you, as always, with pictures of Remi and Sami…..Abyssinians are known to have bad teeth and Remi was no exception. In April, he had 16 of his 20 or so teeth pulled. It was very painful I am sure and my heart ached for him. We “lost” our boy for about six weeks. He became very unsocial which, was the complete opposite of his personality. Feeling so much better now that his infected teeth are gone, we’ve got our Remi boy back again. For those of you that know Remi, you know he loved to suck on his tail for comfort. Now not having any teeth to hang onto it in his mouth, he no longer sucks it. He seems alright with it but every so often he grabs for his tail but then let’s it go when he realizes he can’t hang onto it. I loved it when he did it but, I suspect I will get over it as well. I’m just glad to have my boy back again.
With the difficult time in the US right now, we approach the holidays unsure of what the future holds so let us capture the beauty that surrounds us and as American author, Carolyne Roehm recently stated, “When in doubt, or sadness, I still think the beauty of nature is always inspiring and restorative – whether it encourages you to go on and fight for your beliefs, or promote the intention that we will go through a hopefully peaceful transition.” And so, I offer some recently taken photographs to hopefully bring some much needed peacefulness to your soul.
The wonderful mix of voices creates the incredible harmony of the group Pentatonix. I leave you with they’re beautiful rendition of “Mary, Did You Know?”
“A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams” John Barrymore…..May 2017 bring all of us peace, harmony and dreams come true.
“Why I Wake Early” by Mary Oliver, is a book of poems a dear friend of mine gave me many years ago. She knew I loved the early mornings. This summer, rising as the sun was barely coming up over the Green Lakes hillside, I would make my coffee and head out into my garden to water my plants. A twice daily chore this past summer that was a reminder of how precious rain is. The early awakening of wildlife is my love…and the shenanigans were all so present this year. I happened to glance out of my kitchen window one morning and witnessed two baby chipmunks emerging from their home in the ground among my garden flowers. They were very apprehensive as they took in their new surroundings. Their eyes blinking from the now bright sunlight upon them. This year, as in the first year I had my pond installed, there was a frog that “grew up” in my garden. He went from tiny to medium sized in no time. Ever present as I worked in my garden daily, he was there with me on his various perches in and out of the pond. He loved one rather large rock where numerous flowers cascaded over the rock providing the frog with his daily intake of bees foraging on the flowers pollen. Sometimes jumping up to grab an insect flying by and landing on the ground with a thud and no insect…I swear he’d look up at me saying, “I was practicing!”
My husband and I traveled to Chatham, MA the end of September for my birthday. A wonderful time of the year to travel to the Cape as the crowds have all gone, leaving behind a peaceful sanctuary of fishing boats, empty beaches and time standing still. We stayed at the Chatham Bars Inn a delightful place recommended to me by a client. Being that it was a slower time of the year, we were graciously upgraded to a suite for my birthday. Arriving back from a golf outing or a walk along the wildlife refuge shore I would flip on the gas fireplace while I worked on emails and phone calls. I sat at a small table next to a bay window that faced the ocean off in the distance. When we first arrived, we ventured out for a walk. Heading towards the beach, I heard what I thought were dogs howling. As we approached the beach, there were hundreds of seals on a small sandbar near shore. Some playfully swimming and some bathing in the sunlight. A wonderful sight to see.
Except for the color, the staircase runner to our room was the exact carpet I installed on my staircase to my office last December. It is very durable and very forgiving in a high traffic area. But so beautiful!
So many interesting projects this past summer. One I completed this summer was a beautiful “cape” home that longed to be on a beach somewhere. Fabrics of neutral canvas, soft blues mimicking the oceans hues and furniture so casual it begged to have sand upon its seats. As the furniture was being delivered, I was “staging” the new coffee table to send a picture to my client so she could see it. Her Brittany Spaniel, Noodle, decided he wanted to be in the picture and proceeded to jump up on the sofa where he struck a most stately pose…
Displayed below are the five stain colors we were contemplating for the hardwood floors. We selected the second from the left as it was just dark enough to contrast against the light feel of the home.
Soon to be completed is the Industrial Style home I mentioned in my last blog. It was a project so full of new and creative ideas it made my heart sing. Acid washed corrugated metal walls in the mudroom; the builder, Don Petrocci, informs me they actually use toilet bowl cleaner with acid in it to create the look, instead of cabinets above in the kitchen, we did free floating black walnut shelves on the walls; creatively made and installed by Cazenovia Cutblock, a metal railing with squares in the loft balcony, wonderful paint colors of navy, brandywine and shades of a cozy foggy day. I am planning on photographing the home in the spring. I’ll keep you informed.
I was recently informed by Houzz.com that a photograph of a kitchen I did had reached 1000 saved hits on it. I now have a banner button on my site stating that. If you haven’t already, please visit my site on Houzz.com to view the many wonderful photographs of homes I’ve decorated.
As always, I either start or end my blogs with pictures of my photogenic Abyssinian’s. While spending a rare full day in my office cleaning out files, organizing and doing paperwork my Aby, Remi, never left my side. He desperately needed a nap but, he was afraid he might miss something….Finally he got up on the sofa and curled up in a little ball. I turned around to look at him and as you can see by the picture he was not going to let me out of his sight no matter what!
Here’s to a wonderful fall…..Enjoy the beauty of the colors that nature blends so beautifully together. It’s a time of inspiration, a time of coming indoors, of gathering around the dinner table and nights by the fire. Let the beauty inspire you to define a new space that’s not used, paint a new inspiring color in a room or just redecorate by rearranging. I’d love to hear from you. Marcia