As you last saw a few weeks ago, we removed our shoddy screen door and painted the door behind it a brilliant lipstick red. Then we ripped down the scalloped header with vigor and shared the victorious results. But Project Pimp My Porch is far from complete. We still need to relay the front walkway, because it looks bad (really bad). But while we work up the energy to tear up the jagged slate and create a wider and more level pathway, I took it upon myself to get going on some much needed front landscaping.
See, after azaleas look spectacular for three long weeks in April, they’re immediately supposed to be cut back when the flowers begin to fade. So I got to work trimming all of the bushes the obligatory three inches or so. Observe:
And then I did something that John and I have been talking about for two whole years. I cut the three bushes on either side of the front steps waaaay back. So far back that I was left with six giant piles of leaves when the smoke cleared. But it had to be done. As gorgeous as the jumbo azalea bushes look each spring when they show their stuff for 20 straight days, the rest of the year they’re just giant green bushes that obscure the porch railing, making our house appear even more squat and encircling the perimeter like a solid wall of unvaried color and texture. And viola… we have our porch back.
It’s open and inviting and the house looks taller and more, dare I say it, updated. The old wall of unbroken bushes is no more. And the azaleas will still fill in and flower, but we’ll never let them get so overgrown that our cute porch railing is hidden like gorgeous hardwood floors under a grody old carpet. And now we even have space to pop some annuals into the mix for a splash of new color and texture to boot. So as soon as my forearms stop burning and my biceps stop twitching, I just might talk John into helping me tackle that new walkway. Stay tuned…
This decorating doozie is all about accent pieces and accessories that can completely alter the style of a room. Manisha dreams of a lighter and more contemporary family room, and gosh darn it we love to give the people what they want. So we whipped her up a custom mood board to solve her problemo. Here’s her letter:
Dear Sherry & John- Your home and design choices are really beautiful and inspiring and your blog is a favorite daily read of mine! Where I need your help is in our family room. I purchased a sofa set that had red, gold, and mustard pillows and thought I’d try for a fun global eclectic look but boy was that a horrible idea. The room started to look really confusing and gave me a headache whenever I entered it. I’d like to stick with neutral colors but move away from a more global and traditional look to something much lighter and more contemporary. With that in mind, I’d like to purchase a sunburst mirror for over the fireplace, a new rug, some lamps, window treatments and a coffee table – any suggestions you have would be great. Thanks!! – Manisha
The bones are all there. The creamy tan wall color and camel couches are the perfect starting point along with the deep wood tone of the side table. And those white shelves are particularly reminiscent of our own dining room shelves- which are über clean and modern. Manisha’s room is primed for a light and bright transformation, so let the fun begin.
Here’s the mood board breakdown.
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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.