Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Living room design ideas (link)

Ideas include using color combinations spaced randomly on bookshelves or in throw pillows with different designs. And some of the ideas just may make you appreciate your own living room design and layout... Link: 10 Can't-Miss Living Room Updates : Rooms : Home & Garden Television

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Shelving and storage ideas (link)

You can use bookcases as divders and for storage, and you can turn a tall, narrow bookcase on its side. There are also floating shelves, though I don't think they're very efficient, and I removed them from our new house and put a cabinet there (in the bathroom). There are some spaces where they may be useful. For more ideas, check out this webpage: Organization Basics: Shelves Home Made Simple

Sparkle note: If you drag a treat from the box, and click on it again, Sparkle will jump up and catch it!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Office design ideas (link)

Here are some ideas for making your home office practical and beautiful. You can make it as simple or ornate as you wish. Link:
Home Office Storage From Designers' Portfolio : Rooms : Home & Garden Television

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Home and garden ideas

There are some lovely backyard living and garden ideas in the June issue of Southern Living, including a pool house, a conservatory, and an English folly, along with articles on home design, Acadiana (southwest Louisiana) music, and entertaining.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Fireplace design ideas (link)

Here are some beautiful fireplace designs, though I don't like the elevated gas fireplaces because I enjoy sitting on the floor in front of a fireplace. There are horizontal, linear fireplaces now too. And some beautiful surrounds, but even though I like glittery, shiny things, I think the sparkly surround detracts from the fire. And if you must stick your TV over the fireplace, you can use a remote-controlled piece of art to hide it. Check out these beautiful and trendy fireplace ideas here: 9 Fireplace Design Ideas From Candice Olson : Decorating : Home & Garden Television

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Patio ideas (link)

Here are some beautiful and practical ideas for making a patio. Stamped concrete is good. We bought beautiful stones for a patio once and used them because we had them, but before we put them down, we thought we didn't have to do this! The concrete slab looks good! But we used the rocks because they were there, and the patio had lovely rocks, but it was uneven and ants built homes in the spaces. Dressed rock or pavers would have been better. Link: Patio Ideas: Building Tips and Design Trends : Slideshow : HGTV Pro

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Buying our house: Report #17

Last week our friend Bob came over, and we spent most of the morning working on the sprinkler system. (You can only find some sprinklers when they pop up. The yards are full of sprinklers of all sorts.) Now we can water without worrying about wasting water and washing away passersby. Fixing and/or capping all those sprinkler heads has really made our life easier. Before we only used it when we got so far behind with watering all our new plants and trees that we worried about losing them.

After doing errands the other day, we got home to find the plumber's truck in the driveway,. He was here to do one of the two last remodelling projects, which was to replace the dryer vent hose. After he left, two guys came to measure the office window sash again 'cause it doesn't fit. We should get a new one in a week or two. Then we're all done with them, and we'll focus on landscaping and a few other things. The location and acreage (a lot less) is good, but the land is challenging; and we need to take pix of the bare strip where the new drain line is. That will help in the future when you need to know where the lines are. 'Course we've got so many irrigation lines. Between them and the tree roots, it's hard to plant...

I was expecting we would be bored on this little property--compared to our five acres at our old home. We're getting lots of hardscape at Lowe's and, of course, plants from everywhere, including the Farmer's Market. And we'll have to mark all the sprinkler heads before the sod is laid. We're planning to get one or two pallets of sod from our yard man. We're getting our mulch from him, and we're working on the second load he dumped in the corner of our driveway; he also hauled in and spread dirt for a number of big holes and ruts.

We've certainly upgraded the house--but we don't have stainless steel appliances, a gas range, and other things that we should have, according to some designers. We watched Bang for Your Buck on HGTV recently, in which several kitchens were remodelled--three for $90,000 each and three for $50,000 each. Then the kitchens and owners are critiqued--often for not being trendy or spending more money on higher end upgrades. Americans are encouraged to be wasteful!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Window treatments (link)

Here are the basics for deciding on your window treatments: Getting Started on Window Treatments : Decorating : Home & Garden Television

Some good suggestions here, but I confess that our new house came with blinds in all the rooms except one, and I used curtains forom our old house for that room. Except for the kitchen window bliinds, all the blinds are vertical, and the dogs have a good time pushing through them.

Sparkle note: If you drag a treat from the box, and click on it again, Sparkle will jump up and catch it!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Regatta (May's color of the month)

This is a beautiful, deep shade of blue from Pantone. Check out how it's used in these rooms: http://blog.hgtv.com/design/2011/05/02/color-of-the-month-may-2011/?nl=HGIdeas_v410_TB1

One description: "This color makes me think of desert skies, Caribbean water and delphinium blossoms. The shade suggests serenity in an age of tumult."

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Kitchen storage (link)

Here are three categories for choosing where to store your kichen dishes, pans, etc. I definitely need to put my French fryer and French bread pan in C because I'm not ready to give them up even though I haven't used them in months and years, respectively. And then there's Mom's old potato ricer... Link: The Rules of Kitchen Storage : Decorating : Home & Garden Television

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Buying our house: Report #16

Saturday, April 30, the painting crew came; they painted the front door, door frames, the new porch pillars, the kitchen ceiling, and the kitchen walls. We love the look of the new kitchen! And the next day, Sunday, the cleaners came. I was so glad that I didn't have to clean the insides of the cabinets! Since the cleaners were in the kitchen, our friends, Bob and Cheryl, brought us lunch from McDonalds. That was appreciated too.

No, we weren't quite done. Usually the painters and the cleaners are the last ones to finish up, but we still had a hole in the laundry room ceiling from when the dryer vent was changed from the attic to an outside wall, so the drywall crew had to come back and patch that on Tuesday, May 3; then the painter came back Thursday to paint that and decided that the kitchen walls needed another coat so he ordered more paint and had another painting crew take care of that. (We now have lots of Compatible Cream.) And after that Tim came back to finish adding the remaining cabinet pieces--a door and four skins.

But on Friday we knew that we were almost done because the building inspector came and approved the house, and then we gave the contractor, Mike Hickman, of Hickman Homes, the final payment. We're done!!

Well, almost completely done. Larry returned to rehang the kitchen blinds and put up our old spice cabinet. We shelved the spices, and that took care of the last box that needed to be unpacked! And, of course, we had to change the two AC filters again; they were clogged! (We have two zones.) Having the house to ourselves is so nice, though the plumber has to make a fix, and a window sash needs to be replaced. And we continue to landscape. But we have a beautiful home, and we appreciate everyone who contributed to that.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Landscape ideas (link)

Here are some lovely landscapes with lots of plants, hardscape, and water features; and I like the idea of using large statues on pedestals to separate garden areas. Our yard could use more hardscape and plants to keep the water from flowing down the slopes and washing away the soil... Link: Landscaping Designs : Slideshow : HGTV Pro

Sunday, May 1, 2011

How organized are you? (quiz link)

I love these kinds of quizzes, although sometimes they don't have an answer that fits you. Link: HGTV Quiz: What's Your Organizational Personality?