Before and after bathroom tub2

Land, glorious land!

These 5 sublime wooded acres outside Washington DC are the reason we bought this… ahem… less than ideal house. I may have mentioned that our last house, though it served us well, was crammed with hundreds of other houses in a community of tract homes. All of the homes looked similar and we were literally less than 6 feet from our neighbor’s home. While we enjoyed our old community amenities, like a pool and a small gym, but we longed to have our own private versions of these perks. Oh, and we also had one more not so exciting desire, a 3-car garage. We don’t have 3 cars but we have accumulated some fun toys like a jet ski, a kayak, and my husband has a grown-up Lego, a Jeep, which has parts that go on and come off routinely.  This land is lush and extensive and surrounds this contemporary home just perfectly.  Check it out.

1980's contemporary front

Our new house is on a quiet street.  I cannot hear traffic noise from my home, just the sound of bugs, birds and frogs.  Each home on our street has several acres so when the leaves are on the trees I cannot even see my neighbors.  Time will tell how much we will be able to see them as the leaves fall off the trees this autumn.  The house is at the end of a street with no outlet which means even more privacy.

driveway

Most of the 5 acres are woods.  One side of the property is bordered by a bridle trail – yes – some people in this area keep horses on their property!  There’s probably less than half-acre of our yard  property that is mow-able grass but the plants, gardens, ponds and waterfalls are plentiful, so we will have a significant amount of landscaping to keep up with.  There are 2 large ponds, 2 small ponds a wooden footbridge, a land bridge, and 3 man-made waterfalls.  The house also has various levels of decks and patios including the one that surrounds the free-form shaped pool.  In this county, installing a pool can be really expensive, especially on a sloped lot like this one.  It’s one of the major reasons we selected this house.

wooded acres

ponds

pool

hidden paths

The trees and plants are plentiful and wide-ranging.  We have a variety of pines, oak, boxwoods, azaleas, yucca, ivy, juniper, ferns and even flowering waterlilies.  The learning curve for caring for all of these plants is huge, but a fun challenge.  I look forward to one day erecting a small greenhouse and growing veggies or maybe figuring out how to capitalize on the 4 ponds for hydroponics.

ponds

We’ve already started opening up some walls so we can see some of the supporting structures and ultimately adequately determine how to safely remove some walls.  Next week see more of our demo!

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Before and after bathroom tub2

Summer Patio Styling

So yesterday I wandered the aisles of HomeGoods just trying to kill time until my car was finished getting tires at the nearby service station.  I know, this is a dangerous combination, free time and HomeGoods… the potential for frivolous spending was high.  I rounded the corner in the kitchen/dinnerware section (a section in which I had no business being in, since I don’t need anything for my kitchen) and there it was.  It was an oh, so, cute display devoted to a number of items covered in flamingos.  They screamed summer (my favorite season).  In particular this set of Isaac Mizrahi melamine flamingo plates really caught my eye.  But I showed restraint.  I left those plates at HomeGoods, but thought about them for the rest of the day.  They were still on my mind this morning so I thought I’d dedicate the blog to them today.  I’ve put together a summer patio styling based on these adorable plates, just in time for the unofficial start of summer this coming Memorial Day!

The Inspiration

Summertime plates

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fun Patio Styling in Time for Memorial Day

Summer patio styling

  1. Isaac Mizrahi Flamingo Melamine Plates       $4.99 ea      Available at HomeGoods
  2. West Elm Soleil Metal White 42 in. table and 4 chairs       $1295
  3. Capri Blue Scalloped 9 ft. Umbrella Canopy        $69.99
  4. Eamonn Aqua Blue/ White Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug        $74.10
  5. Bormioli Rocco Rock Bar Set of 6 Highball Glasses – Pink             $29
  6. Shore Tall Polyterrazzo Planter         $99
  7. Grand Nain ‘Naine’ Banana Tree        $24.95
  8. Kate Spade New York All In Good Taste 20-Piece Flatware Set        $59.99
  9. Fiesta Bistro Large Serving Bowl              $38
  10. Pink Melamine Pitcher, 1L         UK 12.75
  11. Flamingo Bird Napkin by Mannzie     $29.36

Maybe if these plates stay on my mind I’ll go back and pick a few up.  Is there anything out there that you totally don’t need but can’t resist because it’s just so darn cute?  Let us know, we’d love to hear about it!