HOUSE RENOVATION: THE STAIRS

Our house was built in 1992. One woman lived here until we bought it in 2010. We think she never, ever went upstairs (master bedroom is on ground floor) and thus the carpeting on the staircase and upstairs was barely used. So yes, this was a good thing for us. I guess. But was it our taste? Certainly not. The builder had installed same carpet in every house here and some houses even had it in the bathroom. Horrors. At least our bathrooms had vinyl tile! Here is the original bland carpet extending almost wall to wall on stairs and landing. It also covered the entire upstairs hall and guest room. We lived with said carpet for 8 years. We had carpet companies, carpenters, and builders all in about five years ago to see our options. We thought long and hard about how to move forward. Cost was a consideration in that I would have liked to sand and stain the treads. But the wood under the carpet was rough pine and would never have looked smooth or taken a stain well. So, short of removing the bannister and replacing all the treads and the entire floor on the landing, we were left to deal with the existing flooring. Paint would do be fine. A nice gloss finish. And I knew I wanted a [...]

2019-08-11T21:45:19-04:00By |8 McDowell, Shopping|

A Shout-Out to Garnet Hill

Do you know the retailer, Garnet Hill? They do actually have an outlet store in Franconia, New Hampshire, but most of their business is on-line. I have been a very faithful customer for years and years; I think I started ordering from them in the late 80’s! I will start this short post by saying HOW much I adore this “store.” Their sheets are, with maybe one exception, the ONLY brand I buy. Ever. And I don’t buy the Eileen Fisher or Wamsutta or anything else they actually do sell but rather I only buy their own brand. The percale sheets are superb. They fit beautifully, they wash superbly, they last for at least fifteen years (remember, I don’t own a clothes dryer!), and they iron easily.  Yes, you will see a set of their sheets hanging in my laundry room about every ten days. Recently I have had a yen for linen sheets. I looked and looked and researched and realized I wanted the softest possible fabric, as per many reviews. So, of course, I went to Garnet Hill. This is what I bought: These are the Solid Relaxed-Linen Bedding in Tourmaline Blue.   Well, you just never know, do you? I washed them and put them on the bed. After about five nights husband said he really DID NOT like [...]

2019-07-29T14:54:32-04:00By |Shopping|

FRIDAY FLOWERS: THE GARDEN MUSEUM

This is one of my favorite places in London.  And yes, if you are a long time follower here, I did a post about the Museum in this post. The Garden Museum   The Garden Museum is a lovely, quiet oasis on the South Bank across the Lambeth Bridge and just a short way from Westminster. Its Cafe is excellent; I highly recommend it if you go. The Museum is actually the renovated and redesigned Church of St. Mary-at-Lambeth. The building/church was due for demolition in the 70's and was rescued by Rosemary and John Nicholson. You can read all about it HERE.   Just a month ago I went to see the exhibition of Ivon Hitchens: The Painter in the Woods   And at the same time, an exhibition of  George Rowlett: Paintings of Sarah Price's Garden   But MOST IMPORTANTLY The Museum needs support and help from all of us.  A planning application for high rise...as in 28 stories.. luxury apartment building has been submitted for a very important (to the museum) property. If built, these towers would block almost all direct sunlight falling on the museum. This, of course, would affect all plant growth in all seasons, and not to mention how dark the entire place would be all the time. Here is part of the email I received, as a [...]

2019-07-11T21:09:14-04:00By |Garden, Travel|

VISIT TO CLIFTON NURSERIES IN LONDON

Our visit to Clifton Nurseries was an unexpected and delightful surprise. I had never heard of it, nor had I been to this part of London. It is near the Little Venice neighborhood and the tube stop is Warwick Aveneue. It is set back behind and between so many gorgeous and beautiful London houses and, if you didn't know about it, could almost be missed as it is set back like a private park. What a hidden gem it is! A bit like Petersham Nurseries I would say, on a smaller scale. And from their website it seems the main business is landscape design. But the variety of plants, furniture, garden tools of all kinds, baskets, topiaries, succulents and gifts is wonderful.  The selection of pots, garden tools, water features and furniture is amazing and a bit overwhelming!     I need this furniture!!!     Loved these wire animal topiaries!   I have been looking for ages to buy these metal plant supports but cannot find them anywhere in the States. If you know how to find them, please let me know!   The gift shop had unique and unusual items: And then, there is The Quince Tree Cafe We had just had lunch so really couldn't imagine any more food....but someday soon I am [...]

2019-06-27T16:50:52-04:00By |Garden, Travel|

A WEEK IN CORNWALL

We have wanted to visit Cornwall for a very long time. When our daughter was small we had started to plan a trip but thank goodness we never went. We a) didn’t really have enough information to make good decisions as to where to stay b) traveling with a child is very difficult; it would have been awful! c) we did not realize the energy involved in not being able to drive i.e. all those trains and buses and stairs and tickets. Now, with daughter in London and the many new friends I have made through the Makelight course based on London, we felt ultra prepared to go to this beautiful part of the world! I looked at many, many hotels. We are picky…but in a very certain way. I don’t spend a lot of money. Period. Yes, travel is quite expensive almost no matter how you do it. But to spend say $400 a night for a hotel is out of the question for us. Even $300. So that narrows the field. I know, these are “first world problems.” I am very aware of that. On the other hand, we are older folk. While we are very fit, we just do not want to climb flights of stairs or feel cramped and have no personal space. Not for a week and, really, not [...]

2019-06-23T14:37:10-04:00By |Travel|

TRENGWAINTON GARDEN IN CORNWALL

We're back from our two week trip to England! So much to say and show (of course) and so little time. I've thought about how to best show all that we did and saw while across the pond. Gardens and gardening are, of course, central to my travel plans so I am starting with this post. We moved around several times which we now realize was a mistake. It is tiring. Packing and unpacking, catching trains and buses, dragging suitcase up long hills and then trying to relax. We are not tour people partly for this reason; we prefer to stay in one place and really settle in. With that said... I will begin with our stay in Cornwall. Our longest stay was in Mousehole. Cute name, no? Well, it is NOT pronounced as it is spelled (much to my husband's disappointment) The correct pronunciation is mow-zel . Got it? This entire area, for those who are not familiar, is the southwest corner of England. To the west is the Atlantic ocean and to the south the beginning of the English Channel. So much to see! But without a car (we just cannot imagine driving on the other side of the road..)  we were somewhat limited; trains and buses are fine but can get long and tedious day after day. So we [...]

2019-06-20T14:11:16-04:00By |Friday Flowers, Garden, Travel|
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