Wednesday, December 18, 2013

     Merry Christmas from our house to Yours!!!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

 Yep - I've been blogging for 5 years- well semi-blogging at least- when the spirit moves me!! It's been fun and I've "met" and met some great people who have been much more diligent in keeping up with their blogs! I admire their stick-to it ness!!!  Well may be I will get better this year- heading to Maine this Thursday for some Thanksgiving fun- will take some photos and maybe a video or two!  Hope everyone has a great holiday and I promise to be a little better!!! 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

 Flowers flowers everywhere!!!    This year we have had some success with our window boxes but we are not anywhere near perfect yet- The water side boxes did much better than the front of the house. I think that's all about the sun. So much sun in the front the swedish ivy just went crazy and really crowded out all the other colorful plants.

You can see how much more colorful the window box is under the awning versus the monotone color of the upper boxes.  

 Here is that Swedish Ivy that crowded out everything else- it certainly grew like crazy and does hang beautifully.

 This mandevilla plant is a true success in the urns on either side of the front entry. It grows like a weed and is colorful and boom heavy. This will be repeated next year!

 Here is a close up of the boxes on the water side - that coleus is positively huge and does a great job- I think next year I want the coleus to be of the pink variety - more color is our goal.  The biggest problem with our window boxes is that they are so high up! You really can't see them from the street - they look great as you look down on them from the window but we are always judging them from their street view.

A subdued color palette is NOT what we want - this is how the front boxes looked at the end of the summer! Goal for next year is bright colors!  We'll try harder! 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Redecorating with your own things!!!

My dear friends Kip and Nan paid their yearly visit to Maine and you know what that means- redecorating!!!! I think they need to start a business that uses your own things to spruce up your spaces! They did a beautiful job and as usual I draped myself over the couch and watched!!  :)

New wooden whale we found in a Camden antique shop has found his perch about the front door and the many books on the round table have been reorganized.

The moving of books and plates from the living room take on a whole new dimension when arranged in the foyer!

 We went on a great antiquing expedition to pick up some of these buoys! They look great in the Chinese bucket but I am looking for a mussel basket and that would really display them nicely!

 The dining room mantle got a new look- but the USN sword remains in place!

 Yes, I should be polishing silver but the new arrangement looks great!

I asked Nan to "beach up" the living room mantle and she did a great job! Now I have to add a few Fall accessories since the weather is getting colder!!!

 I love the desk with the doors open and moving the John Derian whale plate to a stand shows it off beautifully!

We had so much fun and all this work got done too!!! Love it when they come to visit!

Finally an update...

I thought since the summer was just about over we might give you an update on the butler's pantry- When last we spoke we had discovered the sink underneath all that yucky countertop. See last blog entry!!!

 We are still working on the pantry- we have to get the black and white marble floor installed and that is why the dishwasher is temporarily in place. We have used a Fisher-Paykel drawer model since the original height of the counters is too low to install a regular dishwasher.  When we start on the main kitchen I'm planning on 2 Bosch regular size dishwashers.

 Can you believe the difference in the counters and cabinets - it's amazing!!!  I probably will have a new wall color when I finally do the main kitchen over but until then we are sticking with our old butternut shade.

 The opening is still a white and I don't mind it - the cutting of the middle cabinet (done before we owned the house) doesn't allow us to make the side panels stained as the wood is not the original. I was planning on laying a veneer of the original wood over the white but that might have to wait.

On a very sad note all this work was done by our painter/woodworker and over all house manager, Michael Barrett who tragically passed away this summer.  Michael died in his sleep in August. He was only 58 years old. We are so sad and only now realize all he did for us. Many of our projects will be put on hold until we come up with a plan. As you can see Michael was an artist and did beautiful work - He will be missed by many up here in Maine.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

In the Middle of a Mid-Winter Project

This was our pantry before the start of the project. The previous owners cut the archway in the cabinets in order to open up the view through the lobster room down to the water. Great idea that worked beautifully- one thing that didn't work however was the painting of the original wood cabinets and the covering of the wood counter tops with a cheap laminate.  The color of the window trim was what we were going for.  Michael, our painter, spent last winter stripping and sanding the cabinets. Then he worked on staining them to match the trim.  He did a fabulous job.  Now to work on the counter tops!

Surprise surprise - when we pulled up the laminate we saw a fabulous tin sink hidden underneath.  The drain lines that come out of the sink were a nice surprise too! They add a decorative touch to the counter.

 A little closer look- quite a bit of work to sand and stain.  Michael needs to get to busy :)

Will be needing to pick out a faucet and get to work on polishing the tin.

 Now in February he has done a lot of sanding - the wood really looks fabulous. Now we have to wait until he starts the staining - all we have is these small pictures as we haven't been up to Maine since Christmas.  By spring we will see a big difference.  We also have to remove the bottom cabinet doors on either side of the sink to install drawer dishwashers. We thought that would solve the problem of the very low height of the counter. A regular size dishwasher doesn't fit under this 100 year old counter!

 Can we pretend that this is what we are going for ??? Maybe not so fancy but we are trying.

One thing I have planned is to replace the very boring tiles with something along these lines. Black and white check floor will really jazz it up!

Stay tuned for the spring update - I can't wait!!!