Home Design

Kilim Rugs

October 7th, 2013



I might have a rug shopping addiction.    Starting to realize it.

I’ve been buying rugs and deciding they aren’t right for this house.  Most I’ve returned and a few I’ve used in my 1920′s cottage house on the Delaware River where they actually look great and do a fabulous job to cozy up the upstairs bedroom.

This antique kilim rug is a new find: I found it in a quaint store in Lambertville, NJ and loved the deep colors, unusual pattern and fringe ends.

Do we like for this living room?  Should it go here (and replace the rug underneath) or go underneath the coffee table by the fireplace?

Decision decisions…..

And I await my rug buying intervention in 3…2…1….

Readying for Fall

October 3rd, 2013


There’s been a crisp chill in the air here which means weekends are now spent getting the home ready for the Fall and upcoming winter months.

This large metal cart is something I bought almost immediately after I bought this house.    I found it online and when the company called me, they wanted to make sure it was really, truly going to home and not a corporate institution.   I guess they sell these carts mostly to warehouses and factories, but I think it works quite nicely here at my house.   It’s durable, too.

All the firewood has been drying out since last Fall when  Hurricane Sandy knocked down a few trees.    At least one good thing came out of that storm…sort of.



One other thing to prepare: moving the outdoor furniture back into storage under the house.

I made the mistake of assuming if it’s called outdoor furniture, you can leave it outdoors year round.    That’s not that case.    Each piece of furniture is scrubbed, washed and dried off with microfiber towels and then brought into the basement where it rests on top of wood blocks.    It’s a bit time-consuming, yes, but it’s worth it to protect these investment pieces I’ve been buying from antique stores and auction houses.

Okay, it’s almost the weekend!  Which means this weekend I’ll be raking the leaves off the roof of my house.   Yes, you read that right…. one of the perils of owning a square box-like home.

Outdoor Plants Indoors

October 1st, 2013



My outdoor ferns and plants are doing quite well in the new upcycled space in the back patio.   As you may recall, the Ash tree that once grew through the back porch had fallen due to Hurricane Sandy last fall.    But instead of chopping the whole tree down, I left about 30″ to create a table base and added a very heavy piece of scrap marble on top to make a table.   I love the look and will load the table up with local gourds and pumpkins in a few days.

But as I bring in some of the outdoor plants, many of us wonder this: are we also bringing in insects that may be hiding and lurking inside the leaves, soil and stems of the plants?

One tip to remove them without using insecticides is to literally “drown” them.   Fill an industrial sink (or large bucket) with water and submerge the whole plant: pot, leaves, etc.

Let it sit for a few minutes and a few things happen: one, it gets a good drink of water for the plant.   two: anything lurking in the plant will float up to get away from the “drown” of water.

Remove the plant and allow to drain before bringing indoors.

TIP: This does not work for arid-loving plants like cacti and succulents.  Obviously!

Night Lights

September 30th, 2013


Living deep in the woods on an unlit street with very few outdoor lights (not to mention the fact I painted the whole house black and the inside deep gray) leaves the inside of the home quite dark at night.   To some people, an almost pitch-black exterior would leave them creeped out, but for me I find it quite comforting.   Instead of illuminating the inside of my house with tons of lamps and overhead lights, I like to really just use accent lighting inside to get my way around.

This lamp, for example, is a HomeGoods find (Ralph Lauren I think) that I use in my hallway to illuminate my collection of mid century pottery.    And it’s the only light I keep on in the hallway, too.


The root of Earth bowl I carved out…. full of balled up LED Christmas lights is all glowy at night and looks warm, inviting and beautiful at night.


This Thomas O’Brien pendant light casts a soft glow near the oversized “Bedrock” fireplace.



And outside strings of white LED Christmas lights have hung for 5 years now, using a tiny fraction of the energy of traditional lights, and giving just enough glow at night… all year round.


Cabinets at Home

September 24th, 2013


These open book cabinets in my living room are constantly evolving.    I get bored.   I need things inside the cabinets.   Or I just want to mix it up and have something else to look at in the living room.

So, I rummaged around the house and brought all the white jacket books I could find and mixed in a bunch of flea market and thrift store finds I had scattered around the house to create something interesting.   What do you think?



Bowls full of gourds, crystals, shells and ropes… on top of a signed Annie Leibovitz book she signed for me when I was in my early 20′s.


Did I say only white colored books? oops.   Some vintage gardening guides (green, no less) mixed with vintage silver plated junk store finds..

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Books…gourd…books….gourd….more books….