Tuesday, April 21, 2015

All about the hedge with a lot of digging.

Firstly what a weekend, I was happily indulging my inner Labrador by not showering and rolling in dirt. Well kind off. The weather was spectacular. I was up early for a drive into Connecticut to pick up a beautiful sink I found on craigalist. More on that later and then to homodepot to get some more wood trimmings for the kitchen and some more rails. I got up to the house Friday evening and finished digging the holes for the posts. Then I had an electrician come to take a look at the dryer outlet situation. As I thought the panel needs upgrading. This was expected but one only hopes that it won't need to be done. Even though it's not urgent it's something that I'm going to take for the long run and just suck it up. Otherwise I will spend all my moey on plants and come winter I will have no dryer. 
Then my friend Courtney came to visit and it was amazing! 

On the to the main subject of this post. Hedging. So I have a very quiet road by the house. There is another 6 or so houses past mine. So I had been planning a privacy screen. You know in the summer when you drunk and rehearsing your next dance routine. Not everyone needs to see that. The photo above and below are willow hedges, something that i have been researching and love the look of.  Willow is fast growing, easy and looks great.

This is my true inspiration, the hedges that run by parents farm. They are years and years old and are a great mix of beech, holly, brambles and other classic british hedges row plants. This takes years and beech is very slow growing. I chose willow as its economical in price and is fast growing and won't be too dense too quickly. I'm not looking for a wall as the view on to the barn and other trees is great. Along with the willow I planted blackberries, raspberry and also some native brambles. Nothing like a thorn to welcome people.  I say I did but Courtney did the planting I was busy doing mans work( haha!) cementing posts in. 

there she is hard at work, the shovel is the same size as her.  We did a fun sunrise ritual of planting an apple tree that will hopefully grow and be there for years to come.  The willow is small now but will hopefully fill in and look great by next year.  There was some serious leaf raking that went on too (must get a leaf blower), my gym routine has taken a back seat so leaf raking is the new yoga.

Friday, April 10, 2015

My English roll arm sofa obsession...

Obviously i love this sofa, i have loved this sofa for years.  Not sure if you are the same but i find something i love then have to figure out how to afford it.  This house has been planned in my head forever.  You know what is always the challenge, the budget. As much as i would love to just go buy the RH destructed sofa it is not on the cards, and nor should it be in some ways.  So much money on something you sit on.  So the search, which as we all know is part of the fun started.  One of the key things with any renovation is reuse, remake and mend.  Then also know when to spend.  I always search craigslist, and ebay but a sofa, at some point if you can find the right one at the right price its great to but new.  Saying that there is always a restoration sofa on craigslist, its just finding the right one  in the right area and then getting delivery. 

Film still from i forget what, but the interior is amazing

This style sofa just wants to be curled up in, by me, by my friends, by my future Labrador.  So i had my heart set on it.  Obviously there is no way my tiny city apt can fit one in so that it had to wait until now.  Like anything its all in the planning so after searching i came across shopcomfortclub.com .  My go to's believe it or not are the likes of a jcpenny, macys etc etc as they always have some sort of imitation of these classics furniture pieces.  They were all still pricey, sofas in general are pricey, in the way that you would rather go on holiday for a week instead of buying a sofa.

You can see how deep these sofas are and how amazing are those navy walls!!

But after countless googeling and searching i came across the web comfort club web site (terrible name i know) .  You have to have some blind faith and also really look at the dimensions.  The cheaper ones generally are scaled down so it helps to look and know the dimensions of the one you really like such as the RH one.  After checking it all out and getting the fabric swatch (i ordered the fabric swatch and hoarded it for about 2 years in all honesty) i went ahead and ordered it.  It ships free and came in 3 days.  Amazing and its all that i hoped it would be. Its a times like this it makes sense to but new instead of searching craigslist then trying to get delivery etc etc.  Check out the web site, its limited in color but you cant beat the turn around time and also the free delivery and most of all the price.  Trust me there the best prices out there.  I think it could do with some better images of the product in situ on the site but the chap is super helplful and responsive and it worked out great.

The funny thing was the huge fed-ex van couldn't fit up the road, so there was an interesting off loading at a petrol station on the back of my truck.  It was definitely an interesting load to drive home, half hanging off the back.  Thankfully my friends daughter was around to help me shove it through the front door in the house.  

Furniture Buying Tips:
1. Check craigslist for the item you want, then work on the added cost of picking it up or hiring a man with a van.  Always search with fewer words and suck it up and look through all the listings, people are lazy when it come to listings.  Just put in restoration hardware or pottery barn, instead of restoration hardware sofa.  You will be amazed what else you find.  Let go of the fear of used as well.  You can go look at it and see if you still want it, it a really great way to buy the thing you have always wanted.  Im all about it with appliances..

2. Look at the ones you really love in real life for scale and dimensions, this can inform you when buying sight unseen on line.  Let the brands that can afford it pay for the showroom

3. Research get that cup of tea (coffee also works for this exercise) and sit in-front of the laptop and really search, not just page 1 and 2 of google but page 5.  Theres stuff out there and you just have to find it.  Grit and determination are the best friends of a budget.  Also think of brands that you wouldn't normally shop at, you never know.

4. Conviction in your decision.  Inevitably the one you buy online may not be as perfect as you wanted, but know you chose the best in your budget and make peace with it.  So the cushions are not full down filled, eh the world keeps turning. It looks great and your happy so thats the best outcome, and most importantly you didn't over extend your self financially. Thats a way worse feeling than sitting on a 50/50 blend cushion :-)

...last option, shoot me an email im happy to help with any furniture conundrums 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Weekend in review..Fencing, and a few odd jobs

This weekend i had a few people up on Friday so it was a good excuse to slow down a little and start enjoying the house.  Of course i didn't do that.  I picked up a dishwasher, a security camera and then realized that i hadn't been to the grocery store or the liquor store and they close at 7 (well the liquor store does, who cares about the groceries).  SO friends arrived to a empty pantry and dwindling booze.  Luckily they travel with booze so all was not lost, and pizza and beer are close at hand. 
Saturday everyone was put too work, cleaning, painting and doing home depot runs.  Good times for all.  The MAJOR accomplishment was the fence starting to go in.  What a pain this was.  The enthusiasm for digging lasts for about 2 holes, then the largest boulders turn up and it takes the two of us to roll them out.  David was amazing! he worked like a maniac digging with me until it started to rain.  Great progress was made, cementing as we go, and tamping down the ones that are not. I can't believe how good it looked.  We even planted some raspberry and black berry brambles to get the thing started to be covered. The road is really quiet there is 6 houses past mine, and the neighbors were all stopping to say hi so its not really for crazy privacy, i just wanted more a boundary.  It creates a feeling of security, this is my little spot. Its a British thing, you know staking out your land, great British empire and all that! There is a lot of wild brambles up in the hills so they will get transplanted down as well.  The look is going to be a rambling english hedge.  Full of brambles and cow parsley and other things over time.  The birds will love the fruit and in essence they become a nature corridor.  Not that there isn't anywhere for the birds right now, the house back on the Appalachian preserve.  I would love beech but they are incredibly slow growing and $$$, but i may pop a few in and see what happens.  I am thinking about some willow as this mixes in well and will be a nice back drop to the flower beds that will eventually go in-front.  Willow has an amazing flexibility to it so it can be grown in to arches and all sorts of shapes, over time.  This garden gets so much sun and the soil is amazing.  I can't wait to get into it more.  As much as i love the interior my heart is outside in the soil.  What i love about gardening is like the opposite of painting a room.  It take patience and time.  Something that happens over years and you can see it unfold.  You remember when you planted something, you see it grow up.  Theres something really rewarding about it.  My plant file is long and way beyond my budget.  I keep answering the home depot questionnaires in hope that i will win the gift card! Fingers crossed.

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