Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Favorite Finds for My Island Home

Sometimes it pays not to be so complicated.
Simple. Inviting. "Home."
(Note: a correction on     one of the photos. The dog painting was copied from a picture. The caption got a little convoluted.)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Kitchen Confession

Overall, it appears everyone thinks the kitchen depicted a few posts back offers "potential." I posted it as part of my "rate this space" mini-series.   Two or three suggested painting the plain-Jane cabinets white. Another advised dipping the paintbrush in a deeply dramatic color. Some went all out with their critiques, outlining specifically what they'd remove, replace and buy. I loved it, especially since this kitchen belongs to me! It definitely possesses some "spec home" qualities, as another opinionated visitor offered.  And, by the way, I wholeheartedly agree with her! However, once you see the rest of the space -- all in due time -- you'll see the contradiction. My husband and I always have seemed to gravitate to these "help-me" types of houses and spaces. As the wife of a newly retired husband, I'm approaching this kitchen differently than I would have in the past. (And part of what I'm about to admit to results from the sobering realization that we have way too much stuff. We just cleared out another residence. ugh.) We're currently all about "using what we already own."  I like the way this new thought process feels. I'm trying to work with what the kitchen offers . . . kind of like take the good with the bad -- plus the $2,000 budget I arbitrarily decided on.  OK. So, now that you're plugged in, here's what's up:  First, I just can't do a white kitchen here.  I'm really a green crayon-kind-of girl.  At least some shade of it attracts me every time.  Two things in this kitchen space influenced my decisions. The earth-colored stone and the interior honey-colored log walls (which I don't think were visible in the first broad Before shot shown in the previous post).  I like contrasts.  I chose Benjamin Moore's "Enchanted Forest," which provided the warmth and depth I desired. It's on the cabinets in the first image here.  I confess paint names sway me.  If it had been called "Wart Frog," I probably would have moved on. (I have nothing against frogs . . . just don't want them "splattered" on my cabinets.)  I did paint the stark white-white walls "Harvest Time."  It's Colorado -- doesn't that name just fit?!  Oh, changing gears, thanks to the ones who suggested adding molding atop the cabinets.  That's a really good thought!!  Well, I've got to get back to work.  I'll divulge more another time.....

The 3/50 Project. Pass it On!

After she read my post, "Salida Shopping Tour,"  For the Love of a House sent some information to me as reinforcement for what I had suggested visitors consider as they decide when and where to spend their hard-earned dollars. Bravo to Joan.  The 3/50 Project says it all. So, if you agree, become a supporter.  I have!  Check it out: 3/50 Project.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Salida Shopping Tour -- and a little food for thought

You know those quaint shops and boutiques you love to visit, especially in small towns?  Well, imagine if their awnings were drawn and doors closed, for good?  Suddenly, those charming main street shopping venues in Everywhere, USA, would offer little allure -- to tourists and local residents alike.  As a proprietor of one such little upstart, I can tell you we appreciate all the many accolades visitors give us.  It makes us proud to offer items people like.  One couple recently visiting The Green Plum even called us "the backbone of America."  Of course, this touring twosome to Salida actually were applauding all small store owners.  It's fun work but requires long hours.  Plus, it doesn't come cheap to launch such an adventure.  Each store owner pulls from their own pocket to establish.   Quite frankly, I didn't fully appreciate all of this until opening our own shop ... I do now!    I also support stores that compete with us.  I usually buy something, even it's a small item. I know every little sale counts. Even it's a porcelain acorn for $2, a colorful spool of thread for $2.50, notecards for $7, candles, socks, a little cap . . . . The next time you walk into one of your favorite shops -- wherever that might be, buy a token to express your appreciation.  (Or buy big; we like to ring up those!) Praise to the shop keeper for having good taste or for opening a cute shop is very, very nice. However, if you only repeatedly visit the store you love without buying, it doesn't help pay the bills or allow for growth.  Communicate with the owner; it's a win-win proposition when you ask if they would consider stocking this or that.  Shopping for good deals is smart, even if it forces you to buy on the Internet. I personally think that's also a good thing. Keep the economy healthy -- or strive to improve it, as it's so necessary in today's world. But, also maintain a balance with what you buy locally and outside your community. It's not impolite to ask shop managers and/or owners about discounts for multiple buys.  What can it hurt?  The main impetus for this post:  Keep your community healthy, prosperous and attractive.  (Who wants an abandoned building in their community?!) Remember, collected sales taxes come back to support the small towns -- and big ones -- you love.   Now, go spend some money and spread the word.  But first, I hope you'll enjoy this quick visual tour of some of The Green Plum's neighbors along F Street (main street) in Salida, Colorado, which, by the way, constitutes the state's largest, oldest historic downtowns.   (p.s. We have such wonderful supporters.  A very big thank you to all our customers -- from The Green Plum. We appreciate your business!!)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Finale: Thoughts about this Living Room?

This is the last one, at least for a while:  A space to rate.  As in previous posts, I've asked your honest -- yet kind -- opinion of  various rooms. This is a living room. It is quite large. A grand piano sits in the right-hand corner (you might see its edge), and another sitting area (with sofa and chairs) -- besides the one depicted here --  is located across from the piano to the left (unseen). I've enjoyed getting to know you, based on the comments you've left! 

Friday, June 5, 2009

What Would You Do With This Kitchen?

Same as previous posts: What do you think? What would you do? What do you like? What's not so hot? Hope this one ignites your creativity.  And thank you in advance for sharing your talents, thoughts, preferences and honesty.

Relax, Take a Break

I thought I'd take brief pause this morning -- enjoy a moment, while sipping my coffee -- to share some tidbits about the homes you've perhaps already seen and critiqued. In case you're reading this for the first time, I've been posting spaces to critique, comment on, judge, praise . . . . (Magazine editors do it when deciding which places to publish. So, why not the rest of us?)  Everyone accepting the challenge offered up such gracious and thoughtful comments. Go back and read them, if haven't already.  You-all sure know your stuff!! 

I will start my introductions with this morning's posted image. ( A perfect place to sip morning coffee.)  I used it for my "intermission image," as I figured who couldn't and wouldn't enjoy this serene outdoor setting . . .  Ya?  It looks out on an unruly yet beautiful garden. The shutters are old and open up from the kitchen. It belongs to a textile artist who lives here with his partner. 

The rather spare space posted here before this one belongs to a well known contemporary artist. He lives here with his wife. He isn't a young student or bachelor, as some of you had guessed. When showing me around, he did ponder getting better bedding (maybe I shouldn't share his confession). 

The second place I had posted (in this series) -- or third down -- belongs to a young couple with children. Kathy Chapman is the designer.  The bedroom with sitting room belongs to a builder and his wife. Design team: Bellacasa and Associates. I will say no more in case some of you wish to visit the previous posts -- either again or for the first time.   I will look for another, new space to show later today...... Something different. Stay tuned and hope you enjoy your day. 

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Rate this Space

Who lives here? Or, rather, what does this person do for a living? What do you think? Can you appreciate it? As noted in the previous two posts, I'm asking my visitors to tell me what they think.  How about this:  Pretend it's given to you to make your own, what would you do?  The only rule is to be nice yet honest.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Critique this sitting room

In my last post, I thought it would be fun to challenge everyone who stops by "to judge" the rooms posted.  The only rule is to be kind -- and honest. I'm showing today a sitting room. I'm also including two additional shots to help put the space in perspective for you. What do you think? What would you change? Do you like it? Is it your style? Is it balanced? Was a designer involved? Address the textures, the color palette, the layers -- anything you like.  To everyone who took the time to thoughtfully present their ideas for the first one: Thank you!  As you may have noticed, there was commonality in regard to what you-all might have done differently. I look forward to hearing from you on this one. Have fun....-s

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

What Do You Think of this Bedroom?

Wanna have some fun?  I'm about to challenge you.   But, no worries.... It's really just for kicks.  For the next week or so, I plan to show each day only one image of a room -- maybe two or three.  The additional photos will offer a different angle or closeup.  I want to know what you think!  Tell me what you like and don't.  What would you change and what not?  Is it your cup of tea -- or no?  Do you like the color palette?  The furniture?  Is the scale right?  How do you describe the style?  What does it say about the homeowner? Was a designer involved?  Hopefully my questions help stimulate thoughtful observations and impressions.   The only rule in participating is this: Be kind yet honest.  Thanks for your thoughts!
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