Sunday, February 23, 2014

Dress Up Your Bookcase

These house-bound days during the long Ohio winter make me feel a bit antsy and I am frequently looking for something to do inside that will add a bit of spark and light to life.

Lucy Interior Design

I love the feeling of a good bookshelf purge and organizing session and I thought I would share a few ideas for dressing up shelves and bookcases to make them appear more interesting, unique, and vibrant.

Anna Melnikova

I’m a minimalist at my core – I adhere to the “less is more” philosophy so most of what I am drawn to are things that I think are treatments that are fun and designs that will endure over time.

Source - unknown via Pinterest

Paint, wall covering, leather and fabric are all great ways to treat the inside of bookcases.  

I especially like the wall covering idea because it is an easy way to incorporate some texture and pattern.

Marcus Design Inc.

Why would you ever have a boring bookcase when you can kick it up a notch and create something interesting???

Martha O'Hara Interiors

Marika Meyer

Be on the lookout – I'm predicting more painted finishes on furniture, mill-work, and BOOKCASES.

House of Turquoise

Painted bookcases with a contrasting interior – I think it’s coming back into fashion. 

Better Homes and Gardens

What do you think?  Ready to open a can of paint or buy a roll or two of wall covering. I say -  be bold, and just go for it!

La Belle Vie

Have fun with it - happy decorating!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Chicks in the Yard

We are 2-1/2 years into our city chicken adventure and it feels like it is time to share a quick update on "The Girls" and their progress (or should I say our progress) with chicken life in the city.  We adore them as do most of our neighbors and the neighborhood kids.  Some days I go out to check on the girls and the children have lined up their little chairs against the fence to chat with the chicks. I love opening the nest box and letting the kids reach in and collect eggs to take home for their breakfast the next day.  How great!  Making memories.

We currently have 11 girls comprised of mostly Heritage breeds:

Morning in the yard
2 - Delaware
2- Buff Orpington
2- Dominique
2 - Easter Egger
3 - Barnevelder

The breeds, and then the individual girls, each have their own characteristics and personalities.  Mostly adorable due to their endless antics but then there are the occasional times when I would like to tweak someone's beak for picking on their sister.  Sound familiar?  

Here's where the design comes into play - picked the breeds for a lovely egg basket

On a typical day the girls give us between 4-7 eggs.  We share with neighbors, co-workers, and happy clients. A basket of fresh eggs is a thing of beauty and wonder. The eggs are rich with deep yellow yolks and make the best omelettes, deviled eggs, egg foo young, quiche, frittata, eggs in hell, scotch eggs, potato salad, ... the list goes on.

Birds of a Feather - The 3 Barnevelders - Sable, Suri and Sasha

Bella waiting for me to take her off the roost
We have lost two chicks so far.  I have been to the Aviary vet twice - once for a crop issue and once for a sprained wing.  Every summer a few girls decide that they would like to be a Mom and they start brooding and sitting on the eggs.  Persistence is required to break the brooding and get them off the nest.  While brooding they sit inside the coop on the next box day in and day out waiting to hatch little ones - not eating much and not drinking.  In this heat it could spell disaster.

The mad rush for breakfast
We worm them occasionally.  I sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth on the roosts to protect their feet.  We give them oyster shell and grit all the time.  The breakfast buffet usually consists of pasta, a little cheese, ear of corn, kale, yogurt and some scratch.  I check them in the afternoon and they run to greet me, excited for their snack of greens. 

Lately Steve has been letting them out in the big yard to roam and scratch for about 10 minutes before bedtime.  11 chicks will eat every blade of grass in their enclosure so they really need some good grass time.  Just before bed (sunset) is ideal because they will always go home to roost - it's easy at dusk to get the 11 bodies to come home. Ever try to chase a chick that wants to stay out and play?  Not an easy task.

We have three levels of containment for them. 

THE COOP - most safe (designed by my wonderful architect husband) so far the coop has the best security with 2 wire covered vents at the top for air flow, a window, a pop door, a service door, a man door, three nest boxes, and two roosts with 2 layers of open wire below (easy clean up.) 

Our coop with attached run
THE RUN - semi-safe  - wood framed, wire covered sides, with a poly-carbonate roof.  We attached wire on the outside at the bottom edge, bent it out 15" or so, and then let the grass grow up through it.  This technique makes it much harder for animals to dig under and get to the girls. In the winter we add poly-carbonate panels to the outside walls providing  protection from the snow and wind.

THE FENCED YARD - day safe - large chain link fenced area with two pine trees, and aviary netting over the top of everything.  The man door on the coop opens out into the fenced yard.  They hang out here all day, scratching away, sitting under the trees, and enjoying life.  We have trapped two raccoons over night in this area and we had a small hawk find its way into the yard. This part is not safe at night but works pretty well to protect them during the daylight hours. 

They are a blast.  We love having them. They give us yummy eggs and crazy, amazing fertilizer for the garden. 

The garden with chick compost

Now for the biggest challenges or draw backs:

We have to be home at dawn and dusk - always, always, always.  Lock them up or loose them.  Who doesn't like to eat chicken???  Predators abound in our neighborhood.

Ella Fitzgerald
It's just about impossible to vacation - it's not like you can take 11 chickens and board them. We are home bound.  Be late to lock them up, forget to close the window or a's trouble. It's a lot to ask of a friend or someone in the family. We haven't figured this part out yet...and the beach is calling me....

We love them.  Ella will nuzzle into my neck and sit with me for hours. Come on, how can you not love that?

Send us questions if you have any.  We are not experts but are happy to share what we have learned so far. 

Thanks for reading about our "girls" and our chick adventures!

Happy Chicks!

PS - let us know if you would like to know about how we worked with our city to keep our girls. The city was awesome - they just needed a bit of good info to work with.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Beginning My Love Affair...with linen

I have a new obsession - it's with linen fabric.  I love it.  I am totally smitten. Why??  Because it is FABULOUS!!!  The look, the "hand," the durability, the softness, the breath-ability and the renew-ability all contribute to making linen a wonder fabric.

Why haven't I noticed how amazing linen is before now?  I have linen drapes in my office.  I have a few antique linen table cloths that I use from time to time.  I have one or two linen shirts. So why the sudden obsession?  I haven't seen the "good stuff," the really, really "good stuff," until now - Belgian Linen.  I didn't know what I was missing.

Why is linen a wonder fabric??  Let's review a few of linen's inherent qualities.

Linen is a long staple fiber from the flax plant which yields a strong, durable fabric. Remnants have been found in tact that date back to Egyptian times and beyond.

Photos from Libeco-Lagae
Linen is smooth, lint free and does not pill. It is stronger when wet and the more you wash it, the better it feels.

Linen can absorb up to 20% of its weight in moisture before it begins to feel wet and quickly releases moisture, drying rapidly so that it works to keep you feeling cool.

Linen is a rapidly renewable plant with short growing cycle - just 100 days between sowing the seeds and harvesting the plant - root and all.  

And then there is the simple beauty of the linen fabric. Gorgeous as a set of drapes, beautiful on a piece of furniture, comfortable as a set of sheets or duvet, super durable as a tote bag - the uses are endless - the finished products are just lovely.

Libeco-Lagae fabrics

It's now my "go to" for everything!  I believe in Belgian Linen so much, and specifically the Libeco-Lagae product that I am now offering their wonderful products and their yummy fabrics to clients, family and designer friends.  

Please contact me or visit my on line store if you would like more information and I would be happy to share my new found passion for this wonder fabric that is Belgian Linen and the Libeco-Lagae product.

Peace and Beauty.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Best Chair for a Tete-A-Tete

Growing up my parents had an unspoken rule.  The minute my father walked through the door we children knew that we were to "disappear" to allow our parents time to chat and catch up on the day. 

Heart Shaped Mua Swing
I don't ever remember being told to stay away for awhile - it was just understood.  Most times I would linger just out of ear shot waiting for the signal that it was alright to join them.

In the spring and summer Mom would wait on the porch swing for Dad to arrive.  In the fall and winter she would be waiting for him in the living room with a cozy fire burning, ready to share our successes and on some days - our antics.   

It was such a wise thing that they did; reconnecting each evening, sharing their stories and being a couple.  We learned from this to make time for our partner and to focus on spending some special time together each day.  What a great example they were!

Today is Valentine's Day and my thoughts turn to romance and sharing my parents did each day...and because I have a fascination with chair designs...I would like to share some fun pieces to consider for that special tete-a-tete.

Love this piece just for Valentine's Day - Christopher Guy

Japanese Dragon Tete-A-Tete Chair at auction

Flamenco Tete-A-Tete Chair

Anthropologie Axel Three Seater

What a great day dream -  to be sitting here with my sweetie this Valentine's Day

North Bali - Villa Akasa Segara

Union Tete-A-Tete

Love, love, love this classic - Warren McArthur's "Tete-a-Tete," 1932

Wrought Iron Tete-A-Tete at auction

A classic Windsor - this would be the prefect style for my Mom and Dad

Happy Valentine's Day!!!!   


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

It's a Red Thing

Valentine's Day is quickly approaching and I am feeling drawn to all things red. 

For years my dining and living room were painted Ralph Lauren Barn Red.  I loved it! 

Here are a few images to get us in the mood for romance. 

Happy Valentine's Day!!!




Chocolate Covered Strawberries - my favorite Valentine's Day goodies
Red glasses add romance to a place setting

Fluted Red Roccoco Tulip
Scalamandre Zebra Print Umbrella - my FAVORITE!!!!



 Cute red side table from Pottery Barn - just a pop of red