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“Why I Wake Early”

 

flowers-over-pond

Sanvitalia in a pot cascades over the lettuce water plant in the pond.

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Starlight Petunia, new this year, dances above the hedgehog statue known to bring good luck upon ones doorstep.

 

frog-on-rock

“My” frog holds very still as he gets ready to leap for a bee on a flower in my garden.

“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!”

 

chatham

View from the beach at the Chatham Bars Inn.

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!

 

chatham-staircase

 

 

 

 

 

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My clients Brittany Spaniel, Noodle, strikes a stately pose for the photograph I was taking.

 

 

 

 

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.

hardwood-colors

Five hardwood floor stains were painted on my clients floor so we could visualize the colors that we were contemplating.

 

 

 

 

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!

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Remi keeping a close eye on me as I worked in my office.

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

erie-canal

The beautiful colors of fall inspired me to take a picture on one of my many walks along the Erie Canal.

Sharing Bits and Pieces

Remi under fabrics

Remi, my Abyssinian cat, seems quite content buried under fabrics being shown to me by one of my fabric reps.

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season.  With all the disturbing events happening close to home and overseas, I linger longer than normal looking at the small, individual efforts that people make to embrace the season.  These efforts seem to touch me the most….The single lit tree outside, the Christmas tree peeking out through a front window and candles reflecting in the windows for us all to see.  I look in those windows and imagine families gathered around the dinner table laughing and sharing stories and the little ones anticipation of morning to come.  Excitement and peacefulness fills the air while all the while shutting out the world around for that brief moment of time.

Visiting from Massachusetts, my grandniece and Godchild, Kaleigh, spent the morning with me. We had fun making ornaments for Mommy and Mimi (Grandma).

Kaleigh making ornament

 

As winter settles in, I dream of the afternoons my husband, Rick and I played golf.  Enjoying the game of golf and becoming more proficient at it, I found myself taking an afternoon and playing nine holes by myself.  To me it’s not about the game but about a chance to walk and get exercise, to enjoy the fresh air and de-stress as I’m focused on the game and surroundings.  Lucky were we when, my husband and I donned in shorts, played golf at The Links at Erie Village on December 24th.  That was a memorable day.

We were able to get away the first of December to celebrate my sister’s birthday.  My sister, her husband, Rick and I flew into Miami and stayed at the beautiful Thompson Miami Beach Hotel where we sat on the beach soaking in the sun’s rays.  As Rick and I strolled down the beach, we happened upon the Miami Beach Art Fair or commonly known as the” Art Basel Week” that was taking place.  There were amazing exhibits.  One exhibit, showcased wooden crates placed sporadically around the beach.  Upon opening them, one could select a free art poster showcasing the various artist’s work.  Continuing on our walk, there was an actual rollerskating platform that had been erected on the beach.  With skate along music playing, one only had to put on rented skates and skate along with the music and rolling waves.  Being that it was a year ago I had broken my toe so badly, I opted out on venturing into the arena.

The next day, the four of us jumped into the car and drove the Overseas Highway sometimes called, “The Highway that Goes to Sea,” to Key West.  As we came upon the island, I felt an urge to sing Jimmy Buffett’s song, Margaritaville.  Noting this to the other three in the car, don’t you know shortly thereafter, as fate would have it,  the song came on the radio.  As the four of us sang along; I think they were singing…I know I was… we had now entered into another world.  We stayed off island at the Sunset Key Cottages.  A seven minute taxi boat ride from Key West.  You felt as if you were in paradise.  Life was good as we had our own cottage on the water complete with a hammock and a beautiful view of Key West in sight.  Every morning I walked the brick lined streets passing homes that reminded me more of the cape than Florida.  Being there during the holiday season heightened the senses to overload.  Awaiting us on the front porch every morning was a basket filled with fresh fruit and homemade muffins.  Can I retire here!!??

Below are a few pictures from the cottage we stayed in.

Sunset Key view 2

 

Sunset Key View 1

A few of the homes on the island where we stayed.

Sunset Key House

 

Sunset Key House 3

 

The beautiful lobby at the Sunset Key Hotel.

Sunset Key Lobby

So different was the Island itself.  With so many bars, restaurants, stores and wild chickens and roosters roaming around.  We, of course, had to take a tour of the Ernest Hemingway House Museum complete with 57 polydactyl (six-toed) cats.  About half of the cats at the museum have the physical polydactyl trait but they all carry the polydactyl gene in their DNA.  Ernest Hemingway was given a white six-toed cat by a ship’s captain and some of the cats who live on the grounds are descendants of that original cat.  We also visited the Butterfly and Nature Conservatory which I loved.  I told my husband when and IF I ever retire, that would be something I could do.  As I meandered around the conservatory, three butterflies decided to hitch a ride on my legs.  After seeing the butterflies on me, one of the employees came up to me and said, “they don’t land on people very often but, when they do, you know the person has a gentle and soft spirit.”

One of the polydactyl cats poses on a rock while the tour guide wraps up his speech.

Sunset key Hemmingway House

Butterflies clinging to my legs at the Butterfly and Nature Conservatory.

 

Sunset Key Butterflys

Very soon my photographer, Jonathan Beach, will be photographing a few of my client’s homes for me that were recently completed. Keep your eye on my site on www.houzz.com to view the photos.  One of the beautiful homes I completed recently will be photographed in February as my clients were recently married and are off on their honeymoon.  My husband and I were in attendance at their wonderful wedding.  We wish them much happiness in the years to come.

Brad and Erin's wedding

I love David Bowie’s wife, Iman’s Instagram she posted after David’s death, “Sometimes you will never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”  Enjoy every moment!!!

Wishing you a Wonderful and Glorious 2016!

Marcia

 

 

 

 

 

New and Inspired Fresh Summer Garden Colors

 

A glimpse into Benjamin Moore’s refreshing colors will inspire you to repaint.  Their fresh pales awaken the senses.  The light muted tones of grays, lavenders, blues, yellows and greens invigorate us all.  Benjamin Moore’s 2015 color of the year is called Guilford Green which, has a hint of mint just in time to be inspired by the summer garden.

BM color of the year

Benjamin Moore’s color of the year 2015

 

dried flowers

Dried flowers from my garden mimic the colors of Benjamin Moore’s Guilford Green.

 

Benjamin Moore Colors

 

With all the rain this summer, my small gardens live large with an abundance of flowers dancing in the breeze.  Light colors of yellows, purples, whites, and a collage of greens intermix with  deeper tones while the grass and sky  seems to become their scenic backdrop.  

dogwood tree

My small front garden lives large this year with the abundance of rain.

 

front garden

The front garden flowers dance in the breeze while the grass and sky become it’s scenic backdrop.

 

front porch

My front porch invites people in with flowers cascading over a stone hedge hog meant to bring good luck within.

 Not only do textures add interest to the garden, but in furniture and on the walls as well.  Making a grand comeback are natural wallpapers such as: natural palms, bamboo, grasses and paper weaves.

Recently remodeled, our master bath, has a light colored textured paper weave by Thibaut Wallpaper. In contrast to that, I recently installed deep colored Java Grass on the walls in my client’s lower level media/bar room above the judges paneling.  The Java Grass boasts deep rich colors of blues, grays and browns adding a rich color and texture to the contrast of the white trim, Benjamin Moore’s Acadia White OC-38. Natural wallpapers not only look great on the walls but also installed into the sections of  coffered ceilings or on the walls behind a bookcase.

Brad lower level

In the process of being built, I installed java grass wallpaper in tones of blues, grays and browns against the backdrop of white trim in my clients lower level media/bar room.

Master Bath 2

Our recently remodeled master bath has a light colored textured paper weave by Thibaut Wallpaper.

Textured furniture, when mixed in with non-textured not only adds interest but invites the senses to be alive.  Lexington Home Brands, Ivory Key, is finished in a crisp white coloration with subtle parchment highlights.  Drawer fronts and a headboard of woven raffia create a natural look and also create a wonderful room for a backdrop in a bold color such as Benjamin Moore’s, Carter Plum CW-355 or a beautiful rich beige tone such as Pale Oak OC-70. 

BM HC

Featured as a back drop against a graceful fern, Benjamin Moore’s color Carter Plum CW-355 would create a wonderful contrast against white or cream furniture.

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Lexington Home Brands, Ivory Key adds texture to the nightstand and headboard.

If bold color is not to your liking, try an elegant airy gentle white color from Benjamin Moore such as powder sand OC-113.  Lexington Industries new line, Oyster Bay, captures the style and feel of the new whites in a light oyster shell coloration.  Lexington states in their catalog that, “Today’s casual transitional styling blends lighter wood tones, natural textures and relaxed shades of ivory, taupe and gray, with designs that embody a feeling of laid-back sophistication.”

BM Gentle Whites

Benjamin Moore’s gentle whites

 

Lexington Oyster Bay

Lexington Home Brands, Oyster Bay, ” Blends lighter wood tones with natural textures and relaxed shades of ivory, taupe and gray, with designs that embody a feeling of laid-back sophistication.”

Whether your desire is lighter walls with rich toned furniture, a more monochromatic feel or darker walls with a lighter natural feel in furniture, the combinations abound.  This summer and fall, get inspired by the backdrop of the earth and sky mixed with the colors of a beautiful garden with textures from grasses, ferns and plants and colors naturally created from the earth, sky and flowers.

A blog just wouldn’t be the same without a picture of one of my abyssinians…..My star photogenic Aby, Sami, recently posed for me.   In the heat of a 90 degree day, she was looking for relief on a cool glass top in our summer screen room……Loving my new camera….(visit my blog prior to this)sami on table