Company is coming next week and the porch needed a little attention. Last week Mary Ann was here and I managed to eke out one more week with mums planted in my front porch pots, but now they are officially done for the season. I thought about pumpkins, but really I’m in the winter mind set. I know….crazy! I went to Valley View Greenhouses in South Salem, NY in search of boxwoods, but they had containers filled with small shrubs and immediately I was smitten the idea. My ikea planters or pots are not very big….but I managed to cram three in each. I chose ones that had a variety of color and texture. On the 31st I’ll add pumpkins to the mix, but now all I have to do to get my porch ready for winter (and Thanksgiving) is decide what to do with the chairs and add a runner like this one from Home Depot. It’s less than $3 a foot and can be cut to your exact dimensions. It will make the porch a lot safer in the winter months. On to the next project…
I take my plant pot and liner so that I can be sure everything will fit. This is at one of my favorite nurseries, Valley View Greenhouses. During the summer months I’ll plant these in a shady spot in my backyard and hopefully use them again next year in my pots or window boxes.
Chamaecyparis Fillicodus “fern,” Juniperus Squamata “Blue Star”, Chamaecyparis “Gold Mop”
oh one more thing…I added stripes to my ikea doormat. It took about 30 seconds and I think I like it.
Today is Part 3 of the Gallery Wall Project that was started by Mary Ann of Classic.Casual.Home and Cindy of Rough Luxe. So today the group of bloggers will reveal their own gallery wall projects. I have learned a lot along the way. I am continually adding inspiration for gallery walls on my Pinterest board titled Beautiful Wall & Art.
In my own home I used a relatively narrow wall in my living room and basically filled the space with things I’ve been collecting. Since my entire house is shades of black, white, wood with gold and brass, I honed my gallery wall collection to that as well. My wall includes old photographs in black and white, silhouettes, a piece from Minted called Sedona, a mirror I found at a thrift store on one of many baseball weekends with my son, a small plate with a gold key that I have used in so many houses to collect keys at our entry. I found a page from an old book of poems that says, “It Can Be Done” Of course every wall has its challenges. A few mentioned things like outlets or light switches. Why do builders put them in the middle of a wall? This has never made sense to me. My challenge was a dated thermostat and a light switch. I bought a Nest thinking that would add a little something to my wall, but naturally this house does not have the right kind of wires to use this device. Nothing in a house built in 1900 is easy. So the outdated thermostat remains.
Since the living room gallery wall is not a new project, I decided that I would do something in our attic on another long narrow wall. My husband added molding and then I simply created a collage of palm tree photos inside the molding in a grid format. There are 55 to be exact and naturally there was an outlet. I went through my old photos from when we lived in California in search of palm trees, ones from vacations and Phoenix. Then I enlisted the help of my friends to send me a few of their favorites. Karen of Home Sweet Hollywood and Linda of Design in My View were kind enough to send me lots of palm tree photos and they both named each one they sent. Names like: Hollywood Sign Palms, Landscape Palms, Studio City Palm trees, Dana Point Palm Tress Through Dirty Windshield, Montage Palms, Beach Palms, Palm Springs, LA at Night, LACMA, Hollywood Post Office….it brought back so many memories. The funny things is….I don’t even like palm trees. Or at least I didn’t like them, but then we moved back east and all of a sudden I started seeing palm trees on Karen and Linda’s instagrams every day and I felt a pang of nostalgia. So now, I kinda love them. Funny how that happens. The quote by Charles Dickens sums it up pretty well. “One always begins to forgive a place as soon as it’s left behind”.
Thank you Mary Ann and Cindy for inviting me to join this project. Had it not been for you I may have never finished the Palm Tree Wall that I love so much! And now check out the gallery walls of these fabulous bloggers!
5th and State
Talk of the House
Driven by Decor
Classic . Casual . Home
I’m getting ready for Halloween. October 31st is a pretty big deal in our New England town, especially if you happen to live on an “in-town” street. Our house is black and white, very old and in the middle of town. Halloween decorations are quite perfect for this little house. The first thing I did was erase the usual “hello” from my front door and use a black sharpie water-based paint marker to write a new message.
I love this owl from west elm.
I found these treat sacks that are just the right size at the Container Store. I used tinyprint gift tag stickers and address labels to seal each bag. I love that they are personalized.
When our kids were little and trick-or-treating through town they couldn’t wait to get to the “cider house.” A house right in the middle of town would serve a cup of cider in addition to handing out candy. My kids loved this little treat so this year I’m adopting their tradition.
When Mary Ann of Classic.Casual.Home and Cindy of of Rough Luxe asked if I wanted to join of group of bloggers in a three week project about Gallery Walls….of course I said yes. I’m a pleaser, what can I say? The first week we posted about inspiration. Well I have plenty of inspiration and ideas….many collected on my Pinterest board aptly title Beautiful Wall & Art. Week Two is the tricky part. Well it’s tricky for me because I’m pretty sure I go about the practical side of creating a gallery wall all wrong. I start out okay….I collect things that will all look good together. I measure the wall where I’ll be putting this gallery of things. I tape a square the same size on the floor to get an idea of where I’ll put everything. I place the items on the floor and get a pretty good idea how they will look on the wall. Then I start hammering away….yeah, you may have noticed how I did not mention measuring again. So for each item I have hanging on the wall, there are at least four or five holes. When a friend at dinner recently asked if I could help her create a gallery wall….I was sure I heard my husbands thoughts….noooooo!
My living room right after we moved in a few years ago, walls freshly painted and nothing yet hung on the walls… There are some really great ideas out there. Mary Ann and Cindy have a Pinterest board with inspiration and the how to’s of creating a gallery or salon walls and the following bloggers have shared their ideas as well. Or for a sneak peek of everyone’s projects, check out #projectdesigngallerywalls on instagram.
5th and State
Driven by Decor
Talk of the House
Madeline’s dorm room has the typical block walls that call for a little softening with a combination of travel photos and pillows. The pillows add color, but also comfort since the bed is pretty much the only comfortable seating in a dorm room. A new addition to her pillow collection is a custom state pillow that places the heart in a location of your choice. For Madeline the heart signifies her birthplace in Dana Point, California. Uncommon Goods has tons of unique personalized and handmade items that make great gifts for every occasion. There are lots of ideas right here!
Thank you to Uncommon Goods for sponsoring this post. Thank you dear readers for supporting brands that help support this blog.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be joining Mary Ann of Classic . Casual . Home and Cindy of Rough Luxe Lifestyle and a group of bloggers with our tips on how to create a gallery wall. I have always admired the look of gallery or collage walls, but it wasn’t until my current home that I actually created one. I’ve been collecting images on my Pinterest board, Beautiful Walls and Art for a couple of years and that has been a source of inspiration. Before Pinterest I collected ideas in a binder full of magazine pages showing beautiful rooms featuring gallery walls. I’m really looking forward to seeing the how to of creating a gallery wall next week because for every picture I hang….there are about five or six nail holes behind each one. There has to be an easier way! Below is a list of bloggers that will be posting their ideas.
My sister Lynn’s wall of crosses that she has been collecting for years. This is only about 1/8 of her collection.
Classic . Casual . Home
Rough Luxe Lifestyle
Driven by Decor
5th and State
Talk of the House
Today is Good Neighbor Day. I have no idea how I know this stuff, but I happened to see it a few months ago and put it on my calendar. Mainly because I have the best neighbors and I wanted to let them know. I purchased a fall mixed bunch of flowers (my favorites….dahlias and zinnias) from the local farmer’s market and one bunch of roses from Costco. I added a few things from the garden including a little basil and thyme. Using salsa jars that I had removed the labels from, I added a piece of kraft paper tied up with bakers twine. I saw an arrangement this weekend while I was in Phoenix and that was my inspiration. You may have seen it on my instagram. It was from Camelback Flower Shop inside a wonderful restaurant, Chestnut Fine Foods.
If you didn’t reach out to your neighbors today, there’s still time. Some calendars list September 28th as National Good Neighbor Day.
I recently found a gorgeous rug at Ikea. Of course I couldn’t just buy it and be done with it. I had to go home and think about it. While I was thinking about it I was asked by Rug Pad USA if I would like to review a rug pad. I have to admit I have never really put enough thought into buying a rug pad. I have always bought the inexpensive non-slip kind that never stays in place, stains and discolors the wood floor underneath….your basic nightmare. Rug Pad USA has rug pads in every size or custom sizes and for every surface, like rugs pads for hardwood floors. They are all made in the USA and are guaranteed. They have a 15-20 year warranty! As soon as I received the rug pad and unrolled it and put it into place, I noticed a huge difference. I placed my new rug over it and have been enjoying it ever since.
Our new rug is just what I wanted, but it’s quite thin and so the rug pad gives it all the comfort and actually makes it feel more luxurious and comfortable. Check out Rug Pad USA right here and use pr15off code for a 15% discount!
I decided that I needed to do one more post on Italy because the place where we stayed deserves its own post. It was pretty amazing! I found it through the usual means of research….I googled “What’s the name of the resort in Letters to Juliet?” Yes, we are those Americans that went all the way to Tuscany to stay at the same hotel where the charming movie was filmed. Upon checking in and touring the grounds a bit, my husband asked, “How did you find this place again?” Since it was even more beautiful than I had imagined, I was okay with letting him know that my extensive research was basically a google search.
Borgo Scopeto Relais dates back to the eleventh century. Every building has been meticulously renovated and is truly magnificent. It is set up on a hill overlooking Siena. Upon entering the property you drive up a road lined with cypress trees. The buildings are made of stone and the shutters and doors are the perfect shade of gray blue. The rooms are gorgeous, many with their own terrace area. We had two rooms that felt really more like a small apartment with beautiful furnishings, stone floors and an iron staircase that separated the two rooms.
The property had everything from two pools, tennis, a spa, walking and bike trails along vineyards with gorgeous views. The cellar had a pool table and workout room. Breakfast was served on the patio each morning. The service was impeccable. As much as I love to travel to new places, I know we’ll head back to Borgo Scopeto Relais. The only question is when.