A Raised Bed Garden Production

Built in May and planted in June, the raised garden planter at the end of our friend’s wheelchair ramp has really enjoyed the hot and moist July we’ve been experiencing here in Maryland.

The lumber should weather over time to match the color of the ramp.

A raised planter made entirely from salvaged wood.

The inaugural plants are tomatoes (of course), peppers, cucumbers, and basil. Beans are being grown in large flower pots near the planter.

Ultimately the vegetables should be able to be harvested from the ramp behind the planter.

This is the planter in the middle of June.

Now in the middle of July our friend can harvest tomatoes, cucumbers, and beans from the ramp.

Some crops can be harvested without leaving the ramp.

Some crops can be harvested without leaving the ramp.

Peppers and basil can be picked from the yard side.

Peppers, herbs, and smaller plants are harvested from the yard.

Peppers, herbs, and smaller plants are harvested from the yard.

What really struck me, however, when I drove up was just how lovely it looked.

PlanterGarden

A feast for the eyes and for the table.

It's amazing how much a small garden can produce.

It’s amazing how much a small garden can produce.

Our friend, who is really a great cook, can add great gardener to his résumé.

What talent do you have that’s great? Are you doing it?

 

Old and New Inspiration for the Living Room

The living room ceiling is painted and I’ve begun painting the walls.  Maybe I’m halfway finished.

Edgecomb Gray on the ceiling, Revere Pewter on the walls.

Edgecomb Gray on the ceiling, Revere Pewter on the walls.

I started thinking about how I’m going to set up the furniture now that there’s no front door to consider.

The living room used to have 2 loveseats and 2 upholstered chairs set up so the front door which opened into the room on the right would not be blocked.

The living room used to have 2 loveseats and 2 upholstered chairs set up so the front door which opened into the room on the right would not be blocked.

I can put furniture anywhere I want. We used to have two matching loveseats in the living room but they’re destined to stay in the new conservatory so I’ll need a new sofa of some kind.

The front door has been moved to the center of the wall near the fireplace and the loveseats are in the conservatory.

The front door has been moved to the center of the wall near the fireplace and the loveseats are in the conservatory.

I don’t want to spend too much money on one at this time so I’m considering the Ektorp by Ikea.

Ikea's Ektorp in either grey or beige would work in the living room.

Ikea’s Ektorp in either grey or beige would work in the living room.

Maybe I should use a traditional size sofa and put it facing the fireplace.

I'm not sure I like the blue chairs with their backs to the front door and the kitchen.

I’m not sure I like the blue chairs with their backs to the front door and the kitchen.

Or maybe I should get a sectional corner unit and let it both face the fireplace and the large seascape I added here.

The seascape is on the wall behind the blue chairs.

The seascape is on the wall behind the blue chairs.

I am keeping the blue chairs

Blue living room chairs of which there are two.

Blue living room chairs of which there are two.

and the Pottery Barn glass coffee table. And the rug seen above and below.

Coffee table

Coffee table

I have started a living room Pinterest board so I can look at the things I already have along with the inspiration of other ideas.

I'd like to hang both portraits on one wall looking at each other.

I’d like to hang both portraits on one wall looking at each other.

In addition to various side tables, lamps and a secretary which may or may not stay in the space, I also have pastel portraits of my son and me when we were the same age.

Would love you to weigh in on the sofa size/shape. And the color: light or dark?

Have you rearranged your furniture recently? Is it a regular habit?

I’m Taking the Challenge

After seeing that Kit at DIY Diva found this website to help her sort out her clutter, I checked it out also.

The entire room is too scary to reveal but this corner in front of the closet door gives a good example of the depth of the issue.

The entire room is too scary to reveal but this corner in front of the closet door gives a good example of the depth of the issue.

This week’s challenge is to “deal with your “too much stuff” situation. Each day this week, find ten things you can get rid of. It can be legitimate trash, broken stuff, clothes that are unwearable, near-empty bottles of stuff that can be used up, whatever. The point is to find ten extra things every day and get them recycled, donated, or thrown out.”

The top of my dressing table has been rendered useless by uncategorized clutter.

The top of my dressing table has been rendered useless by uncategorized clutter.

I’m planning to give this a good try. This past weekend I moved a large painting from the back bedroom which has been my personal habitat since the renovation began and which is now a totally cluttered and almost uninhabitable spot.  I say almost because one (among very few) good habit is making my bed every morning.  That large, clear horizontal space seems like a haven in the midst of a storm. Now that the painting is in the living room I have moved the bed back to its original position which I like much better.

The bed is moved back against the main wall in the middle of the room.

The bed is moved back against the main wall in the middle of the room.

The bedroom floor is literally tiled with catalogs and books to assist me in the renovation.  Well, I’m ready to purge.  Yesterday I recycled 10 catalogs including Restoration Hardware and lighting books from fixture manufacturers.

Day #1 -- I had to grit my teeth and just throw these catalogs away.

Day #1 — I had to grit my teeth and just throw these catalogs away.

By the end of the week I should be down at least 60 items that are cluttering up my habitat.

Is there any reason I can't get this room into decent shape like it was in 2011?

Is there any reason I can’t get this room into decent shape like it was in 2011?

I’m also going to hang some temporary artwork on the megahooks that are screwed into the studs over the bed (where the large painting once hung).

These sturdy screws could use some artwork.

These sturdy screws over the bed could use some artwork.

The whole task is an effort to ratchet my serenity up a notch.

Got clutter?  Whatcha gonna do?

Got Windows, Need Curtains

I have never had more than window shades at The Glade.

Just roller shades at the windows.

Just roller shades at the windows.

First of all we live in the woods, nobody lives beside or behind us so there is no privacy issue.

The east side of the yard

The east side of the yard

Also, I like simplicity. Charlie, on the other hand, likes curtains.

The casement window over the long counter in the kitchen.

The casement window over the long counter in the kitchen.

Now we have almost twice the number of windows we used to have so I am considering  simple window treatments but a little more involved that roller shades.

Windows in the kitchen bump-out.

Windows in the kitchen bump-out.

One morning in the kitchen bump-out I hung the napkins my sister sent me by putting push pins into the window frame.

Napkins push-pinned to the window trim

Napkins push-pinned to the window trim

Charlie loved it so I knew I was on the right track.

I surely don't want to obscure the view or the light from the windows.

I surely don’t want to obscure the view or the light from the windows.

However, the colors and design in the napkins, while really pretty and a perfect match in the kitchen didn’t seem to go with the kitchen rugs and the color scheme in the rest of the house which has an open plan.

The kitchen rug pattern is bold.

The kitchen rug pattern is bold.

After looking online at lots of fabrics I decided on an Indian block print in my true blue color on a white background and a wide border.

I love this print from Saffron Marigold.

I love how this print from Saffron Marigold ties into the kitchen rugs.

I’m not going to hang traditional curtains at the kitchen windows and I’m certainly not planning to block the view so I’m working on a design. You’ll know when I do.

Where do you stand on curtains, shades, blinds?

Window to Wall

In the renovation lots of small but essential changes happened in the living room.

This living room window which looked out over the backyard has been removed.

This living room window which looked out over the backyard has been removed.

In addition to the front door and a window changing places we also removed a window.

From the conservatory side the window ended up in the closet.

From the conservatory side the window ended up in the closet.

After the conservatory was built on the other side of the living room, the window backed up to the conservatory closet.

Studs were added to the window opening so a piece of drywall could be added.

Studs were added to the window opening so a piece of drywall could be added.

Our contractor filled it in with drywall. He had to add a small strip of wood on the studs to make the almost 70 year old drywall at the same level as the new patch.

The window filled with drywall.

The window filled with drywall.

The drywall crew came back especially to mud the seams so it could disappear.

The large area of drywall mud is where a window was removed.

The large area of drywall mud is where a window was removed.

Yesterday I painted that wall Revere Pewter. The ceiling is Edgecomb Gray.

The room is considerably darker with that window removed.

The room is considerably darker with that window removed.

Since we now have a very bright and sunny conservatory the living room is more moody and cozy.

This very large painting won't seem so high off the ground when the furniture is moved back into the room.

This very large painting won’t seem so high off the ground when the furniture is moved back into the room.

I also am happy to finally have a wall big enough on the first floor to hang a favorite painting which has been hanging in the back bedroom.

Do you find change exciting or exhausting?

Taking Back the Living Room

Even though minimal work was done in the living room during the renovation it has been a wreck. The actual changes were removing a window and exchanging places with the front door and another window.

The living room before the renovation.

The living room before the renovation.

The same angle as the photo above -- the door has been replaced by a window.

The same angle as the photo above — the door has been replaced by a window.

For a while all our furniture was in the living room covered with dust sheets.

The living room was the catchall for everything including our king size bed.

The living room was the catchall for everything including our king size bed.

Now the walls have been repaired and spackled.

The large area of drywall mud is where a window was removed.

The large area of drywall mud is where a window was removed.

Last night I gave the unpainted areas a coat of primer so I would be ready to start this morning on the actual painting.

The fireplace wall before the renovation.

The fireplace wall before the renovation.

The fireplace was really discolored and dingy.

The fireplace was really discolored and dingy.

My plans for today are to:

Clearly only a superwoman could get all of that finished.

The front door and central window in the living room have exchanged places.

The front door and central window in the living room have exchanged places.

The front wall of the living room.

The front wall of the living room.

I’m hoping for the first and last items to be completed before I collapse.

Plans for the weekend? Exciting? Drudgery?

Diminishing Returns

Even before our formal renovation began Charlie started to demolish our stone terrace, concrete porch, and brick walkway.

The demoed terrace which ultimately became our new kitchen

The demoed terrace which ultimately became our new kitchen

The result of all that jackhammering was a 40-ton pile of rubble.

Tons of rubble at the back of our driveway divided the cottage from the house.

Tons of rubble at the back of our driveway divided the cottage from the house.

Both our excavator and contractor thought I was crazy when I said I would get rid of it by listing it on Craigslist.

Our ad on Craigslist has elicited some interest.

Our ad on Craigslist has elicited some interest.

Over time the pile has reduced

Using the grey stones as a size gauge the pile was once enormous.

Using the grey stones as a size gauge the pile was once enormous.

and reduced

The volume of rubble is definitely diminishing and we haven't paid anyone to take it yet.

The volume of rubble is definitely diminishing and we haven’t paid anyone to take it yet.

and now I would estimate half a ton left — almost nothing.

Now the rubble pile is much smaller than the gravel we're saving to spread on the driveway.

Now the rubble pile is much smaller than the gravel we’re saving to spread on the driveway.

I think I’ll list it one more time before we call it gone.

What have you given away for free?