Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day and HGTV's Green Home

Today is Earth Day and I thought I would focus on HGTV's Green Home. You can enter to win this home along with $100,000 cash and a new GMC SUV HERE. Good luck and enjoy the photos of this beautiful home!

I like the more modern interpretation of a classic New England style home

Complete with a traditional porch

And outdoor kitchen & patio. I thought it was very clever idea to protect the outdoor grilling area by making it part of the garage and hiding it discreetly when not in use with those great sliding barn doors!

The home has an open floor plan with a great room. Linda Woodrum was the Interior Designer for this home and has designed most of the HGTV's Dream Homes in the past. She's a favorite of mine and I'm glad she took this home and made it more contemporary and fun. She used some strong colors & patterns in the house but it's toned down by the white walls and traditional features of the rooms such as the hardwood floors and clapboard walls.

The kitchen uses traditional cabinetry but Linda surprisingly used a vivid red quartz countertop for the kitchen island.

The dining room has some more traditional features with the wicker chairs and beadboard ceiling, but she reused an antique factory basket with a cotton duck cover as the light fixture. Very clever!

The back hallway leads to a small powder room and the laundry room. Linda Woodrum used a neutral grey color on the walls but punched up the color in the powder room and hallway table.

The laundry room cabinets were painted an unexpected dark grey but it works well with the traditional beadboard cabinets and the pop of red of the washer/dryer.

So on the second floor are two bedrooms and a master bedroom sitting area. Again, I love the neutral white clapboard siding along with the bold blue walls next to it.

The master bedroom is a lighter blue color but again has punches of color and pattern with the bed and the pendant lights hanging on either side.

Surprisingly the master bathroom has a more neutral palette which gives is a more relaxed feel to it. The wall mounted faucets are pretty cool!

Now on to the kid's room. I'll admit the color palette isn't my favorite but I bet kid's would love it!

The bathroom has vivid colors in it as well with the burnt orange colored tiles and horizontal stripe.

And the best part of the home? The tower! It has enough space to paint/draw, work on the computer, or best yet...just relax and read!

So get on over to HGTV and enter this contest!
(all photos from HGTV)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Community Supported Agriculture

My husband and I have been vegetarian for 3 months now and I've realized I need to get more organic vegetables in our diet so I'm signing us up for Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). The closest farm to us is Chinook Farms. How it works is I pay an annual fee of $495.00 which will cover 22 weeks of the farm's growing season (June-October) and every Friday I pick up a box of vegetables/fruit/herbs/flowers from the farm and it's enough vegetables to feed 1-2 people. I think it's a very clever and wonderful idea to promote purchases locally and from farms that are certified organic. Call me crazy, but I'd like to know where my food comes from.

(image from A Country Farmhouse)

If you'd like to find a farm close to you, click HERE.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Source of Inspiration

If you ever are in need of inspiration for your home, you should always visit the website Houzz. While brousing through their website today, I came across this beautiful home built by Brennan + Company Architects.

a house in a garden traditional exterior

a house in a garden traditional exterior

a house in a garden traditional exterior

a house in a garden traditional powder room

a house in a garden traditional bathroom

a house in a garden traditional staircase

a house in a garden traditional staircase

a house in a garden traditional staircase

a house in a garden traditional kitchen

a house in a garden traditional exterior

Butler's Pantry

We've lived in our home for four years now and one of the first "rooms" I remodeled was the butler's pantry. Unfortunately the original photos of the pantry are lost, but imagine a small room with white/red gingham print wallpaper with chipped 4" x 4" bathroom tiles on the counter and floor. I walk around barefoot and the second I sliced my foot open on a chipped tile, that was it. I donned a mask and went to the floor to break up all the tile. I discovered several layers of flooring and was ecstatic to see fir floor underneath it all! So while my husband was away on a business trip, I got the blow dryer out and a scraper and slowly peeled away the vinyl flooring/glue after the tile was removed. I'm not sure what chemicals I inhaled (don't want to know either) but it took me an entire week to remove the vinyl. I rented a floor sander and sanded the floors to the original fir wood floor.

My husband was thrilled with the results when he returned home but hated the fact that the floor was still 3/4" higher than the dining room floor. So after all my hard work, he grabbed a crow bar and ripped up the fir floor. We found another layer of fir floor underneath and were perplexed why they covered it up until we realized that the wood floor was very thin in that area. So it all got ripped up to the joists and we installed (new) handscraped teak flooring. All that careful work I went to scraping up the glue was for nothing. Damn.

But I'm happy with the results as the floor doesn't "flex" when you walk into the room, I raised the height of the counter by 6" (how short were the original owners?) and added granite counters and subway tile. I removed the gingham wallpaper and installed new sheetrock and painted the walls "Green Tea" by Devine Paint. I was able to salvage most of the original hardware but was missing the cabinet latches but found exact reproductions of it from Antique Hardware.

I still want to add a bar sink as there is plumbing hidden in the cabinetry, but for now I'm happy with the results.