Dec 30, 2011

Custom Cabinetry from Princeton Design Guild

Here's probably the last piece of cabinetry that has been finished in the Carriage House nest.  Princeton Design Guild's Kevin Wilkes gave me a super idea to add a cork board to the cabinet.  I went to Stone Tec and picked out a remnant again of Calcutta Gold Extra Marble.  It has been the right decision for me to go with custom cabinetry for my space.  The weight of the doors alone are lovely to open and close!    We now will amend the walk in master closet next.   Shelves are being designed for this space. I am not a fashionista at all but I am a neat freak.  I prefer style in the garden and home.

Dec 18, 2011

Winter Containers for Princeton and Hopewell

It's that time of year for your winter pots to be filled with firs, cypress, hollies, junipers, kales and various winter clippings.   I love doing the winter installations but they are prickly!

These pots just arrived from Italy made for the client.   We pick them out together and they are some kind of Lovely! More pictures to come.

Dec 6, 2011

Leaf Online Home and Garden Rag!

I want to share this new online magazine for garden lovers and home dwellers.   It is really inspiring to see so many stylists  be open to the homemade artisinal  movement that has returned which is  similiar to the Arts and Crafts Movement hundred years ago.  This is Leaf's preview issue and I really like it a lot.
Check out the middle of the magazine and decide if you are Homespun, a Neo Prep or an Industrist!  Anyone that knows me knows I am mostly Homespun though I love creating different moods that work for my clients spaces.
The magazine nods a tribute to Ellen Biddle Shipman who was  known as America's best woman flower garden maker. Inspiring to read and nice to be validated with the feminine choices in a perennial garden like Peonies, old fashioned roses and irises and lillies.
 I planted Heirloom species Lilies today- L.tigrinum splendens circa 1870 which will have a radiant salmon orange with maroon garnet spots.  The carriage house was built in 1890 and it is lovely to have some plants that honor the time period.

I also will add Triandrus Narcissi variety Thalia circa 1916 which smells divine and usually bears two or more pendant of flowers per stem and can handle some shade.
I have chosen Rosalie as a tulip which is a Triumph Tulip and is a rose pink that looks will with the Nantucket grey cedar shakes on the carriage house.
For a ground cover I have planted Grecian Windflowers with a daisy like flower circa 1898. These can also be forced in pots though I have not ever done this.

Thank goodness that the weather has been on my side this winter so I have a few more days to complete bulbs in the ground for winter.   Christmas trees are up and so are my English boxwood wreaths.  I always grace the front of the carriage home with a super large Frazer Fir wreath and that is hung. Pictures to come. I promise!

Oct 5, 2011

Princeton Garden Design Pots Grow at Bell and Whistle

I had to share what one of my clients container pots looks like at the end of the fall season before there is a change to a different arrangement.  Coleus, Hibiscus, Sweet Potato Vine, Lantana, and Succulents to name just a few!

Italian Pots and Italian Furniture with Princeton Pots and Princeton Design Guild

Wow!I bet you are wondering where have I been this summer? Have I been gardening for clients? You bet I have.  It has been so busy that I have not been very good at keeping up with pictures at all.  Thought I would share a client's lovely bluestone patio designed by Princeton Design Guild and beautified with some Italian outdoor furniture that we picked out for the client. We have a few more pieces coming for this client that will compliment the patio dining furniture.
We selected some graphite grey Imported Italian pots and I jazzed them up with some annuals, tropicals and some perennials that will last until frost. Nothing nicer on a patio than to bring in some three dimensional plantings that work with the space and align with a client's decor.
I encouraged the client to go with a mandarine cushion for the chairs on this blue select patio and they look stunning.  Unfortunately the client took them in.  When the club chairs arrive I will photograph them with a few more Italian pots coming on the next container from Italy.
It is fun for me as a garden designer to work with an architect/builder during the project so that a client is left with a truly finished product that is now a "green living space" ready for entertaining and relaxing.

May 30, 2011

Tuscan Hills in Kingston for Imported Italian Pots

I work  with Tuscan Hills in Kingston/Princeton for clients that want pots imported from Italy.  Their selection is lovely whether it be contemporary or old world in taste.  I can help with  tasteful selections  and help clients with proper plant selection for the exterior space.  I  take into consideration the sun exposure or lack thereof and a clients skillset in maintaining these plants.   .
Remember the easiest way to make a small space alive is with some container pots on  a patio. terrace or porch!

May 23, 2011

Step in Stone Container Pots

Sometime the best thing you can do as a store owner is some containers for landscape.   I love working with black containers for contrast.  It is important to make sure that plants chosen suit the site and have water needs that are very similiar.  Also these annuals need to be fertilized throughout the season for abundant blooms. I chose hibiscus, exotic geraniums , succulents and grasses.

May 10, 2011

Spring Perennial Garden in Hopewell Carriage House

Spring is here in Central Jersey!  I love planting Creeping Jenny because of her chartreuse color that pops in the shade and looks wonderful in container pots as it cascades down the sides. It returns every spring  because it is a perennial.

This is only a wee look at some of the containers that I have on my property.  Many,  I plant  dwarf specimen hostas  that return every year and even ferns in some of the pots.

Don't forget to add some things that are special so that visitors will know that they are invited into your space.  Wrens are my most favorite birds for many reasons and it is some folly to see one in the garden all of the time.
Copper sundials hearken back to another time and I take any opportunity I find to place a pot!

Sometimes simplicity is at its best with some violas for spring in an aging pot.

May 6, 2011

Containers Pots for Bell and Whistle

It is that time of year that if you are a gardener for a living or pleasure you are busy!  Hopewell is lucky enough to await The Bell and Whistle coming to town and I have started their container plantings as we all wait for them to open.   I love to install container plantings for my clients either for commercial or home pleasure.  Things to take into consideration are location of the sun or lack thereof, mood of installation, maintenance,  and differing heights of plants and textures.  I love doing them!!

Apr 16, 2011

Saums Interiors and Paint Shop and Carriage House Interior

So it has come to the point where I have been deciding on paint colors for the carriage house.  I tried numerous samples of greys to compliment my marble slabs.  I tried sample after sample without getting it right.  Luckily I had the help of my most favorite Color Consultant from Saums Paint Shop and Interiors, Sharon Saums!  She is enthusiastic  and knowledgable about colors and their effect on our living spaces.  I was picking greys that were too cool for my environment and she helped to steer me towards warmer greys.
The warmer greys compliment the polished nickle fixtures nicely as it is warmer than chrome with the vanities.  Balboa Mist Benjamin Moore is in the downstairs bathroom and Cumulus Cloud Benjamin Moore is in the upstairs bathroom.  Linen White Benjamin Moore is throughout the house which was decided before I arrived. It is a restful  neutral that works easily for most spaces.   I also decided with Sharon's help to change the front door color from a basic black to Wrought Iron Benjamin Moore Black.  It is a bit of a softer black with a grey base and artsy and a bit urban. Christine Lemieux founder of Dwell used it in a bedroom makeover.  Check it out. I am also loving the vintage beveled mirror I got as a gift which works in this bathroom!

Apr 5, 2011

Perennial Gardens with Wildflowers of New Jersey

I am working on a perennial garden for a client this week and wanted to share with you all that at the Historic Hopewell Train Station there will be a talk on Wildflowers!  Rachel Mackow will be bringing a slideshow.  These are some of the nicest flowers to bring in your garden.  They are native, easy and suppose to be here!  No sprays to put on them and nothing to baby!  Wild geranium and Jack in the Pulpit to start!  Join me.  We can talk plants and homes. It starts at 7:00pm.

Mar 13, 2011

Hopewell Carriage House and Veined Marble

This is a sweet way to update a half bath. You remember this bathroom with the rest stop sink.  I felt I needed a bit of storage,  hence the vanity but I wanted it to look like a piece of furniture so that is does not feel too heavy for the space. Still love those English faucets and Marble!

Mar 7, 2011

Baldwin Door Knobs and Details

I can't tell you how many times I go into preview a home for a client and notice the little things.   Hardware should be first quality when a seller is bringing a home to market.  It is a bit strange to me to present a home well over the million dollar mark with knobs that are light and ten dollars at best.  A quality knob might run you about fifty or sixty dollars but it is when worth the investment for you as the home owner to enjoy and on the other end when selling, it adds a lasting touch.  If your knobs are scratched up yellow brass keep in mind that many of todays buyers are attracted to satin nickel,  chrome, oil rubbed bronze or polished nickel.
It is an easy thing to change out and can really update your doors and cabinets.
I just changed out all the knobs at the Hopewell Carriage House and put in Baldwin Oil Rubbed Bronze Eggs knobs. Oil Rubbed bronze is a living finish.  Simply put,  it means that over time the finish can change to have some coppery overtones.  It will age the fixture naturally by the oils in your hands touching it over time. This is not a surface for a client that wants everything to look the same.  The bronze will fit my old home and the egg shape will feel not so predictable as a regular knob.  This house is traditional yet I have some contemporary pieces inside.  I wanted a classic feel with a nod to design.

Feb 23, 2011

Hopewell Carriage House Progress

Just sharing a bit of custom vanity installation today! It will be nice to have hot and cold water coming from the same faucet finally. I chose an Edwardian Perrins and Rowe English faucet again in  polished nickel.  All of the exposed pipes have been boxed in, so the look is cleaner now.  Simple things like that make all the difference in an older house.  Notice that the cabinets are flush not overlayed.  Much nicer in the end product. Nothing like the feel of a custom cabinet,  smooth bins and doors with some weight to open.  Knobs are here and are also polished nickel.  They are egg knob pulls, very comfortable on the hand. Price point is similiar to Restoration Hardware but custom quality is worlds apart.  Thanks to PDG on this. I definitely do not have a strong contemporary aesthetic but after interviewing  firms I knew that I was most happy with PDG who makes every cabinet in house!

Feb 13, 2011

Custom Cabinetry for Hopewell Carriage House

Check out how the jigsaw pieces of a vanity start out at your custom cabinet makers shop.  This was sprayed three times and Princeton Design Guild used a Benjamin Moore paint that is a low VOC paint. They will allow it to cure and then ready for install.
This will put a very nice finish on the end product and feel worthy of real pieces of furniture for both bathrooms.

Jan 5, 2011

Edible Jersey Magazine and the 3 R's Reduse, Reuse, Recycle

 I was so pleased to be browsing Edible Jersey's Winter Issue and to find the article "Green Heart" by Heather Jones.  I discovered that I  was in the midst of a new trend in the kitchen.  I feel as if I could have written this article because it is exactly how I approached renovating my carriage house kitchen. View her article on page 46. Some of the commalitities I found were as follows....

 I  reused existing cabinetry, replaced some trim, and added quality custom cabinetry with PDG who is local.
          I upgraded the hardware to higher quality hardware.

        We both replaced old inefficient appliances with new energy-effecient models. I chose a  Miele dishwasher to conserve water. I downsized to a smaller refridgerator to conserve energy.  Heather and I  choose the  same oven, GE Cafe which has two ovens in it and it is  better priced than a Wolf oven.
We both replaced the sink and faucet. I chose a Rohl Sink and Perrins and Rowe British fixtures for enduring love and quality. I replaced my countertop and backsplash with luxurious Calacutta Extra Gold Marble.

I admit I am a bit of a fresh food aficionado.  I love to eat organic food that is in season. This has been a personal trend for me for over twenty five years.  I am thrilled that so many of us are pursuing this trend and are looking towards a  more sustainable direction for our planet.   I am proud to say that most days my daughter is able to visit the lovely pigs at Double Brook Farm (view on page 18 of Edible Jersey). It  is  stunning to see these pigs live a life in the shade of trees with a forest to forage.  I think it is important to remember that when you are choosing a home, you are choosing a lifestyle that hopefully jibes with your values.   Hopewell allows us the joy of country living with farmers that are commited to sustainability, and spirituality for their animals,  and a strong splash of small town living.