I confess I’m a bit crazy-clean when it comes to my house. But I’m also practical because I don’t have a week to focus on pulling it apart for cleaning then putting everything back. So this year, I compiled some really simple Spring cleaning tips that won’t take long to do. This is not about home-made products or basic maintenance like deep-vacuuming furniture and draperies, dusting book cases, window blinds or light fixtures. It’s a room-by-room alcohol-based approach to getting rid of hidden dirt and germs on common surfaces.… Continue Reading
Tours of Jane’s and Allison’s houses
Minor changes make major visual improvements.
A few things have changed in our main level laundry room since moving into our Alabama stone cottage. It’s my “pretty” (and functional) laundry room, a well-deserved space after occupying a corner in the unfinished basement of our last house for 20+ years. I started looking for the perfect Soumak runner a bit too late – when I finally found Mr Perfect it had been discontinued and the twelve foot length runners were sold out. After a few months of sulking, I started searching again and decided on this brown and ivory hand knotted flatweave by Kalaty. … Continue Reading
I was able to have our beaten up floor properly repainted before all the autumn leaves fell.
The project began last Spring when I noticed the 10-year old boards on the front and sides beginning to rot. The culprit, I believed, was the water-based porch floor paint which didn’t properly seal the surface. Our porch faces west and takes a beating from snow blowing across it in winter and sun beating down directly during the summer. Five years ago I had the posts, newels and trim repainted with white Fine Paints of Europe Dutchlac brilliant, a high-gloss oil-based coating that’s generally considered to be the best of its type on the market (and priced accordingly).… Continue Reading
Antique shutters brought much needed color and texture to the dining room.
Three years ago, Jane gave a tour of my Alabama Stone Cottage. Several rooms have been tweaked since then – accessories from antiquing and traveling have been added, upholstered pieces moved and artwork shifted. I’ve always had a thing for painted pieces, and when the paint is chipped, it’s even better. I snapped up a pair of antique shutters painted a color similar to our French Gray island knowing they would be perfect in the dining room [before photo, below]. The shutters also bring out the green in the soumak rug.… Continue Reading
Two years ago I began clipping magazine pages to use on a picture wall inspired by botanical prints.
Shortly after we moved into our house, we sold most of the contemporary art I’d owned for years. My walls were happily bare. My aim was to find low-cost replacement art from the high-quality English magazines I favor — they print frame-worthy full-page photos on fine paper. I posted a few of the initial Magazine Pages for a Picture Wall and I continued collecting them. In truth, I’d prefer to have a suite of fine botanical similar to those in the original inspiration photo for my dining room [top].… Continue Reading
Changing to energy-saving bulbs isn’t as easy as the old jokes. It’s tricky, technical and $$$$. Here’s my story.
Last Spring I began looking for ways to make our house more energy efficient. New York State has an excellent home energy conservation program and through the NYSERDA website I was able to locate a contractor to do a free home energy audit. Many states have similar programs offering rebates and low-cost loans to homeowners willing to insulate, upgrade the furnace and install more efficient lighting to help lower electric bills.
The contractor I chose, Bill Mc Knight, of Energy Conservation Specialists, arrived with his infrared camera and blower-door apparatus to determine how much air was leaking out of our house, and where.… Continue Reading