Archive for May, 2008
When Sherry and I heard that Linens n’ Things filed for bankruptcy last week, we panicked. Is LNT about to disappear a la Sharper Image?
Not yet. According to reports they’re just closing about 120 under-performing stores for now. You can check this list to see if your local LNT made the cut. Fortunately, ours dodged the bullet.
See, we registered at LNT for our wedding so just about all of our dishes hail from there. If they closed, you know what would happen, right? I’d break a plate or a bowl, we’d be short one place setting, Sherry would shoot me a death-look and then we’d have to replace our entire collection since we’d no longer be able to buy just one item. So we played it safe last night and purchased a few back ups:
Ok, we already had the spoon.
But for those who are wondering, these are 10 Strawberry Street dishes. They’re just about the perfect, nondescript white plates and bowls- and they’re also pretty affordable ($4.99 per plate, $3.99 per bowl). Plus you can get them for even less since LNT honors those 20% off coupons from Bed, Bath and Beyond that seem to multiply in our mailbox (we never knew this until we saw someone in line with about ten of them and they honored them all!). And now that we have a few extra plates and bowls we won’t have a nervous breakdown when one or two of them inevitably break.
Does a perpetually set dining table look fabulous or forced? Magazines and catalogs often feature fantastic dining rooms with sparkling settings- even with no one around to put them to good use. But in everyday life, does an always-set dining room table look sophisticated and coordinated or just plan strange when no one’s about to chow down?
Last Sunday we dodged sporadic April showers to check out the West Avenue Garden Tour in downtown Richmond. It’s in a neighborhood called The Fan, which is famous for its incredible, historic brownstones and townhomes- and as much as we love gawking at the beautiful houses from the street, we love it even more when they invite us to explore their back gardens.
Which is exactly what happens each spring when West Avenue residents open their back gates so the public can view their immaculate gardens (all housed in some very small but super inspiring urban spaces).
And its actually those very back gates that made an impressive first impression on us. These people clearly see the value in making a grand transition between the communal back alleyway and their private garden retreat.
So whether they’re teak and oversized or deep purple and latticed, each and every back entrance set the stage for the stunning garden just beyond the threshold.
This garden’s bold eggplant and raspberry color scheme might sound scary, but we felt right at home in the punchy haven in the middle of the city. And the colorful parasols wooed the heck outta Sherry.
The posh home below definitely did the best job of making us forget that we were anywhere near the booming Richmond metropolis. Rather than a simple fence with a swinging door, they used an entire two-car garage to separate their house from the back alley. Then they disguised the double garage as a guest house with a stone wall, some creeping ivy, a charming tin roof and a mirror-backed fountain. Talk about a sanctuary in the city.
We were also uber impressed by (and a little jealous of) how such small spaces enabled these folks to stuff every corner of their garden with flowers and shrubs for some major impact. Imagine how many flowers and bulbs we could plant if we didn’t have to spend so much time mowing!
Creative space planning was another thing that we noticed throughout the tour. From an outdoor fireplace to a built-in barbecue to this serene koi pond tucked into a narrow nook, we were constantly in awe of everyones ability to add beauty and function to every last inch of their garden.
So by the end of the tour, did we pine for our own secret garden in the city? Yeah, a little bit. We’re only human. But we’re also pretty happy to have lots of space for Burger’s daily bug-hunting expeditions. Which just might rival a koi pond in the entertainment department.