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Sunday, July 2, 2017

Then And Now

It's July 2, Sunday, very warm and sunny, a Sunday afternoon and I've gone to church, eaten leftover phantomberry ice cream from last night's run to the Beach Plum with Dan and Caleb, read from my library book on the back porch, lain in the grass near the long border next to Scotty the mini schnauzer while gazing at gorgeous flowers in bloom, played in the yard a lot with said schnauzer, daydreamed in the hammock while looking up at the sky through the very tall maples, eaten steak and salad and my cold beverage of choice - Diet Mtn Dew mixed with Diet Dr Pepper and now it's time to play catch up.  I have several before and afters to show you.  I'll start with this chair above.  It's an old chair that comes from Dan's former home and life and we gave it a new life here in Rye in the smoking room (aka family room) in a bold new pattern and with new feet.  We just got it back from the upholsterer.  I love it!  Here's a before -
It's the beige thing if you haven't already figured that out.  The vibrant blue print is a great contrast to the oranges and yellows in that cozy room.  I didn't take real before pics of the chair - that's why you're getting these lame ones.

The dining room also got a makeover.  While the red walls were really lovely as were the drapes, the house came that way (kinda - I repainted the red - it was super raspberry red before and I made it more bricky red called Segovia Red by Ben Moore) and we wanted to make our own.  I found drapes online and had some customized to fit and then I customized the rest myself stapling them to cornices and adjusting widths and lengths.  I had painted more test paints than you see on the picture below - jars of Benjamin Moore, Farrow and Ball and Sherwin Williams samples and none were right.  I was looking for a french blue I had posted about that I saw in a french country house.  I happened to go to Lowe's for some gadget and browsed their paint section and lo and behold I found a paint chip called French Blue Room and it appeared to be what I had been searching for so I tried it out and it was the winner!  Glidden Diamond  French Blue Room.


 The inspiration color

 Aren't those paintings just delicious on the blue paint?
 As are those plates and that blue on blue painting.

 I probably put too many pics up but I want you to see every perspective.  I walk through that room dozens of times per day and it really makes me happy.

I've been over at the Kingston house almost daily for the past few weeks painting and washing windows and some yard work.  The place is fresh and sparkling now and I have a carpenter and a painter doing some repairs to the exterior.  I found out that the septic system to the main house failed its test so I have to have a new one installed (gulp) and the oil tank is underground so that is being dug up and new tanks installed in the cellar.  There'll be some scars to the landscape from these two projects but it can't be helped - hopefully just involving grassy areas and not many shrubs or trees.  Here are some pictures of the empty house.

 The former tenants had painted one bedroom this emerald green and another a very pale pink.  I repainted them a blue gray and a green gray.
This green here looks minty but it is not at all - I had flood lights on so I could see details on a cold dark rainy painting day.  Below are the afters.

 The new gray green.
 Dane's former room.

 The blue gray (Heath's former room)

 Here is my former bedroom below - it is two rooms connected to each other and includes a master bathroom as well.  I had my old office painted a lavender color and the bed part a periwinkle blue.  Here is one before of the former lavender color and the afters.

 the photos make this paint out to be a bit more lavender than it really is.

 My daughter's former bedroom - she was into pumpkiny - orange and I have just left it as it is and only refreshed the wood work.
 Looking in to the dining room and living room - that color is Guilford Green by Benjamin Moore - I kept that color and just repainted it and all the wood work.

 The library.
 The family room - a very large room with a fabulous soapstone wood stove.  

 I'll post pics of the rest of the house after the carpenter switches out a few lighting fixtures and it's turn key pretty.  Not bad for a house built in 1765.
Above and below - the barn yard is tidy and pretty.
 Look at the yellow cottage reflected in the barn window.
And the lavender is just about to bloom.  Actually, it's blooming now - I took this a week ago and I was there yesterday and it is a solid haze of deep purple right now and I'm ready to harvest.  The raspberries are starting to come on and the fruit trees are so full and weighted down that many branches are resting on the ground.  It's like a mini farm over there!  Now, here's what I did in my Rye yard recently.  I tore out the very front pre-existing shrub border (that we hated) that fronts the circular driveway and I put in a very pleasing (to my eye) design.  The original border when we bought the house was a rhododendron flanking the porch, three miss kim lilacs (they bloom and smell divine for five minutes and then they are just an ugly shrub the rest of the growing season so I don't like them), a hosta, and another rhody bookending the border and they all seemed the same height.  I took out the hosta and last rhody the first season and added a carol mackie daphne and a burgundy japanese maple while I contemplated what I would eventually do.  I took out the miss kims, moved the daphne over a bit, enlarged the area by digging up some grass and rebricking and then I went after a design with varying heights, texture, color, and differing blooms time.  I put in some zinnias at the very front for color since the new shrubs are just youngsters as some filler was needed until they all eventually grow and flow into one another just a bit.  Here are the pics.
 Before the final re do.

One final Before above - now look below - so much better!

 They're all small right now but when they grow up it will be fabulous!

 This hydrangea paniculata type is called "Bobo" - not too tall - squatty and so floriferous!
Doesn't sun king aralia look divine underneath the purple ghost japanese maple?

 We painted all of our wicker porch furniture a fresh coat of white about 10 days ago.
 I'll explain the red thing in a second.
 In the mudroom we had been keeping our frequently worn shoes in this antique box - sneakers, flip flops, yard shoes etc.
 I came home from working over at the Kingston house the evening of our anniversary a couple weeks ago to find that Dan had built me a shoe case!  I was so thrilled and surprised!  So we painted it red and here it is and all is organized as we like things to be.

The top bedding was changed to the summer season ensemble June 21 - see below.  Blue, white and mint green.  The white always remains but the pillows and coverlet change each season.

And here are some pictures of what the yard is doing although it changes daily - these pictures are from last week and everything is way bigger and lusher.

 The Monet nasturtium area has grown 3x as large since this picture but remember what it will look like next month (as it did last year)?

 So that's it for now folks!  I also have one more before and after that I won't really post much about as it's really only discernible to me (and probably Dan) but I've lost 15 lbs in the last 9 weeks from a combination of some effort and major seasonal physical activity at the Kingston house and my own place.  I had a bit of discomfort around my waist area (like back waist fat!) and felt a little more curvy than I wanted to be (winter travel eating!) and it's a situation totally in my control so I said enough!   I'll tell the story of the motivation in the very near future - when I get back from the place that was my driving force.  I love stories like that!
I get pretty embarrassed to do stuff like this but here I am in Sunday dress.  Dressed in red, white and blue (and red shoes too) for America's birthday.

Yard peony (with some yard dirt) in a tiny japanese bowl.  Good bye for now!