Archive for November, 2008

Jean and Andrew’s Design Dilemma

When this cute couple wrote to us for help with their front room and entryway, we were excited to create something light and welcoming for a house that says “why hello there” every time they enter. Here’s their letter:

We’re looking for beachy, light and airy entryway and front room with clean lines, kid-friendly style and a fair dose of whimsy. We’re big fans of relaxing colors and things that make us smile. The rug in the front room can go and we also would like a runner for the entryway (maybe jute for both rugs?). We’ll also need new end tables and lamps for either side of the couch, and we need decor for the walls, a chair, a coffee table, etc. Only the beige couch, entryway piece (bench with long, upright mirror), and hallway credenza have to stay. We’d love a new wall color, not only for the front room but also for the adjoining stairway wall. We favor greens and blues and I probably overly avoid patterns and tend to stick with monochrome blocks of color — to a fault. One challenge is figuring out how to store the shoes at the entryway. Without fail, either the floor of the coat closet ends up being a pile of shoes or there is an ever-expanding array of neatly-placed pairs of shoes flanking the entryway bench and it just gets out of hand. I’d also like a small entryway table that I can hide two backpack hooks underneath. Oh and I’d love if you could work a star into the space (even subtly as it’s a symbol of my children and my husband). Thanks so very much, in advance.  – Jean & Andrew

This space is already open and flooded with light- two things that really help to create a welcoming and inviting vibe from the second you step through the door. So here’s our handy dandy mood board full of colors and pieces to bring out that beachy & whimsical style that Jean and Andrew seek:

Here’s the mood board breakdown.

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Our Airtight And Odorless Compost Container

Composting makes us happy. I know it sounds geeky, but you know that feeling you get when you find someone the perfect gift or mail off that check to charity? That’s kind of the feeling I get when I stick a banana peel in my compost container under the sink. It’s one little thing we can do each and every day to keep unnecessary items from filling up our garbage can and living on as landfill. And in return we get rich, fabulous soil for bigger plants and that super sweet feeling that says “one more karma point” every time we add an eggshell or a lettuce leaf.

And since most people think composting is smelly and gross, we thought it might be wise to visually demonstrate how un-scary and un-nasty compost can be. We had to take a picture of this particular batch of veggies and eggshells because it almost looked like a rainbow:

We should also mention that the compost container that we keep under the sink (shown above) is air-tight and 100% odorless (we snagged it at Target for around 8 bucks). All we have to do is walk it outside to add the latest collection of peels, pits, and tea bags to our super simple exterior compost bin (picked up at Lowe’s for 7 clams) a few times a week. Easy peasy.

So if you’re in the market for a bit of quick karma and some free organic soil, check out our step-by-step tutorial for making a sweet little compost bin of your own. Everyone thinks it’s this huge commitment that takes hours to do (even I thought it was a big step when John suggested it) but composting has honestly made our lives easier, not harder. We take out the kitchen garbage half as much, we don’t have to drag the garbage can to the curb nearly as often, and we never have to haul home garden or potting soil anymore. Life is good. Happy composting everyone!