Garden Inspirations as Easter Arrives…

The signs of Spring abound…we have had incredibly warm weather, the Canada Geese and Robins are back, and the Easter Bunny will soon arrive!

 Photo Courtesy of Style at Home

I have been excited about the arrival home of my two college aged kids…for a short stint at Easter, and then for summer as they take a break from their schooling.  And then the fear of God set in, as they both bring home with them the contents of their temporary college homes…argh…my already crunched-for- space garage will be filled to the brim!  Some current paint and decorating projects will have to be shifted around, and a Garage Sale may be in order…but til then, let the preparations for Easter begin!!

Photo Courtesy of Riches to Rags by Dori


The addition of fresh flowers to your home always gets everyone in the feeling of Spring.  Raised in the home of a perennial (literally!) gardener, the appearance of Easter Lilies or fresh bouquets adorning our dining table was an annual tradition.  On a recent trip home to my parents, I was amazed at my dad’s ability to over-winter Geraniums, Amaryllis, and a huge variety of house plants.  A skill I have never been able to master, I save my gardening abilities for creating outdoor beds and tending to my ever-changing design plans for my yard.  A process always in motion, I find it a relaxing time that proves to be very rewarding, even during our very short growing season!!

Photo Courtesy of Sagewood Design

One of my largest garden projects completed was my grouping of shrub beds created to take up space on our former acreage!  Low-maintenance was the main focus…we surrounded the beds with large rocks, and filled in around the shrubbery with gravel.  To keep weeds from peeking through your landscape fabric, use layers of newspaper after you have removed the sod.  Yes, the people at the recycling bins will think you are crazy…but it is all in the name of keeping life simple!  We had a well-head and a septic cover that we needed to conceal.  We used Dekorra Rock, supplied by our friend, Diane, of  Ezee Rock, to blend in seamlessly with all of the real rocks.  Pictured below is one of three huge rockery beds we created…in the background you can see the large circular fire pit area.  Designed specifically to house all seating within the area of the rocks and gravel, we no longer had the hassle of moving heavy lawn furniture each time we needed to mow.  It was a dream to keep this area looking neat and tidy, and safe because all sparks from the fire landed on the stones, rather than the grass.

Photo Courtesy of Sagewood Design

Whatever your Spring gardening projects are, save yourself time and money by planning ahead.  Just as you would inside your home, draw up sketches and plans.  Remember that those tiny trees you plant may some day be huge…so placement of those is imperative.  Consider the views from your interior out to your garden area.  Create focal points, and build up layers around these areas to highlight them from both inside and outside your home.

Enjoy the warm spring weather,  and your family this Holiday Easter  Weekend!



Creating a Suite Retreat…

We talk often about creating the whole package when designing your home…you’ve got to pull all aspects together for a peaceful and harmonious balance in your life.  So what better way than keeping this philosophy in mind as you go about designing and decorating your Master Bedroom.  It often is the last place in your home that you tend to…it’s understandable that you want your public living areas to be finished first as this is where your guests gather.  But it is so important to have a restful, peaceful area to go to at the end of a busy work day!  So don’t cut yourself short…whether you are living in a tiny apartment, or enjoy the luxury of a large estate home, be sure to pay some attention to your Master Suite…a sweet retreat!

Photo Courtesy of Design Connection, Inc.

In choosing your color palette, as always, choose colors that envelope you with a peaceful feeling.  So popular now are the pale aquas and silvery greens, or a shade of champagne…what could be more relaxing (and romantic!) than champagne…whatever your choice, choose colors that you love.  Layer on shades of similar color choices in your bedding and accessories  for a serene look.  Different textures of materials will add interest, but keeping the same colors sends a relaxing message of not being too busy and crazy—the last thing you want at the end of a nutty day!

Photo Courtesy of Beyond Drapery

In choosing materials to finish and furnish your bedroom, check out the ever increasing range of allergen-free products.  If you’re prone to allergies, you are better to eliminate carpet out of your plan, and go with a hardwood surface.  If hardwood isn’t in your budget, check out the many great alternatives…there are some vinyl products that mimic hardwood that are fantastic.  Blackstock Leather is a fabulous eco-friendly product that I am considering using my own Master Bedroom.  It can be applied as flooring, or onto walls (yes, walls!!)  How about that for a feature wall behind your bed—even as a headboard it looks just great!  I am NOT in love with my current shag carpeting that was existing in our recently purchased home, and think this might be a great replacement option.

 Photo Courtesy of Candice Olsen

As a long time fan of Candice Olsen, the above Master Bedroom Suite is a perfect inspiration for a restful, luxurious retreat.  Layers  of patterns and textures in shades of blues.  Carrying the draperies right to ceiling height add height to this already grand room and highlight the architecture of the ceiling.  It is always nice if you can incorporate a chair into your bedroom if you are lucky enough to have the space.  Can’t you just picture having morning coffee here?

Photo Courtesy of Style North

Don’t have enough in your re-decorating budget for all new furnishings?  Consider spraying your current furnishings to coordinate the look.  Many people have collections of mis-matched nightstands, dressers, and such.  Choose which pieces you really love that will fit in with your new design plans, fitting your storage requirements, and furniture layouts.  Have your pieces all painted in one color coordinating with your room.  By keeping the color consistent, you maintain a cohesive look, and you have done a great thing for both the environment and your pocket-book!

Wishing you Sweet Dreams!


Time for Redesigning your Home…and your Life!

Make this year the year to get yourself on track.  Set some goals, do some good, make it happen.  Enjoy life more.  Learn lots.  As we enter 2012, let’s think about what we can do with “this” year. Some things in our life happen by chance, and some things happen by design.  So make this year the year that everything counts…it’s the year to “re-design” your life.

Always forefront in my mind is to create a home.  Really.  Be proud and grateful for your home, everyday…and make it a great place to be.  Tackle your rooms, one by one, and address the problems presented to you.  Choose soothing paint colors that you love!  A good scrub-down and a fresh coat of paint is great to lift your spirits.  If that room is a dumping ground for old furniture, kid’s outgrown clothes, and paper piles–guess what??  It’s time to de-clutter.  Set up a system to remove the stuff you don’t need.  Love your recycling program.  I am so happy every Thursday when my guys come to pick up all that junk that just clutters up my garage…and my life.

Challenge yourself to re-use articles in your home in a new and fun way.  Up-cycle some photo frames, a night stand, or even a lamp with a few coats of paint.  Need new decor??  Check out vintage and second hand stores for some steals.  On a recent stroll through a store filled with vintage stuff, I found two designer frames and a small woven tapestry.  Sooo exciting!!  With a plan to decoupage beautiful paper into the picture frames, I am assured to create items that are unique and gorgeous…all for $15.00!

When we talk of creating peace and harmony in your home, its important to work on that for yourself, too.  There are many great life coaches and sevices to help you with creating personal happiness.  Take time each day to sit quietly.  Make a concious effort to have some quiet time. There is a very real problem with being tuned in all the time to all the electronics and technology available to us…so it is imperative for your health and the health of your children to make time for quiet.  Try something new…take a yoga class or maybe that photography course you’ve been thinking about for so long.  Reach out to a friend or neighbor that may need your support.  Volunteer some time to help others.

Realize that all of these steps are the building blocks to building your happy, peaceful life.  You get back what you put out.

Make 2012 fabulous!!


“Cheers to a New Year, and another chance for us to get it right!” –Oprah