We asked Design Happens readers to tell us their plans for celebrating Earth Day in our April 22nd giveaway. Y’all are a busy group! Lots of folks are starting or expanding veggie gardens at home while others are launching and coordinating recycling programs at the office. Our winner, Noeleen, is “working with a local master gardener on a design to remove the front lawn and put in natives to save water and give me plenty of color. I cannot wait to see it completed.” Neither can we! Please send us pictures.
Noeleen wins a red cedar Urban Planter Box from Farmer D Organics, who are green superstars themselves. Noeleen has two weeks to reply to our messages before we randomly select a new winner.
I’m the kind who trusts a friend’s opinion far more than a celeb endorsement. When Anna told me how much she adores Atlanta’s Farmer D Organics, I knew I would too. Farmer D’s makes and sells some of the richest, most sustainable compost, fertilizers and organic pest controls. But they are much more than an organic gardening store — Farmer D’s is part of a growing movement. Their site and blog are chock-full of useful information and inspiration if you’re looking to start your own biodynamic garden to feed your family and your community.
Seeing as today is Earth Day, it’s appropriate that we’re giving away one of Farmer D’s Urban Planter Boxes. They’re made on site from sustainably-harvested red cedar, so you know they are good for the environment. (And smell delicious!) Leave us a comment before 12/11c Monday, April 25th to be entered for a chance to win.
This week’ question: How are you celebrating Earth Day? Putting in a rain barrel? Starting a bee hive? Planting a tree?
Click for official rules.
I ask because I’m wondering if there are others like me who are as passionately (my spouse would say maniacally) committed to an annual deep spring cleaning? In my home, by the end of the three-day weekend, I’ve usually gone through about 200 Q-tips, 3 gallons of vinegar and have dropped off a large donation of gently-used items to a charity.
I would LOVE to hear about your spring cleaning to-do list and tips!
ANNA’S SPRING CLEANING CHECKLIST:
- Pour boiling water down all sinks
- Run the washing machine with only vinegar added
- Move all large appliances and large pieces of furniture for vacuuming and mopping (and removal of dreaded dog hair dust bunnies)
- Wipe down all small kitchen appliances, including the power cords (you’ll be surprised what you’ll find stuck on the cord of your mixer)
- Wash all dog beds and refresh with cedar chips
- Take down all hanging art, mirrors and picture frames, dust and dust picture rails
- Wash baseboards throughout house
- Q-tip clean all corners and crevices (around sinks, faucets, light switch plates, doorways, etc.)
- Per HGTV.com’s Help Around the Home: swap out high wattage bulbs for energy-efficient 3-way bulbs
- Take all books off bookshelves, dust and downsize
- Take all rugs outside and beat them
- Use peroxide to whiten porcelain in the cast iron clawfoot tub
- Give all indoor plants a bath
Remember when I shared this bathroom inspiration board? Things are finally starting to look just as I planned. As of today, our master bathroom looks like this:
She’s pretty, yes? Ken has been hard at work laying our 360Flooring tile (with radiant floor heating), grouting, finishing the sauna, prepping trim and gearing up for the big plumbing finale: toilet, sink and shower.
And while he’s been toiling away for weeks, we’ve still got quite a bit of work left. Here’s our to do list, complete inspiration board, so you can envision what I’m thinking!
Honey, Do Check Out The List
I mentioned a few posts ago that my husband has always wanted a sauna. And I have to admit, the thought of a sauna in my house seemed really pretentious at first. Picturing giant glass doors, steam rooms and white subway tiles made me a tad queasy, especially when I thought of the price tag.
Build a Sauna in 5 Easy Steps…No, Really
Nothing says welcome home for the holidays like a fresh evergreen wreath. Enter to win this one, complete with pinecones, citrus and berries, from farm-direct florist FiftyFlowers.
We’re giving away three of these seasonal delights, so answer this week’s question before 12/11c Monday, Dec. 6 to be entered into the drawing. And we’ll ship it out ASAP, so you can enjoy the festive scent of juniper, Noble Fir and cedar in time for Christmas.
This week’s question: What single item of holiday decor most captures the spirit of the season in your home?
For inspiration, check out HGTV’s dazzling ideas for wreaths, tree trimmings, fireplace mantels and centerpieces.
Click for official rules.
Imagine a 5,300 square-foot home complete with cathedral ceilings, see-through floors and a Moorish wine cellar with LED lights. Impressive, yes? Now, what if I told you this was merely the detached pool house to an even larger home? You’d be stunned, no doubt.
Tennessee designer Jamie Beckwith went all out in this jaw-dropping space, custom designing the flooring, the decorative woodwork, even the wooden tub herself. So before joining Jamie’s tour of her personal oasis, best to super glue your jaw together.
Take A Dip
From the traditional cottage in Carmel-by-the-Sea to the modernist cabin built on a lava flow landscape, author Linda Leigh Paul’s new book, Cottage and Cabin, is both a meditative and jaw-dropping collection of 40 houses taken from five of her previous books. Each provides insight into structures that meet the specific needs of the owner, but where landscape (and the potential destructive force Mother Nature) is paramount in the design.
So take a blog-size tour of Cottage and Cabin based on our recent conversation with Linda, and enjoy stunning photographs that are sure to inspire you to start planning your idyllic refuge. First on our stop, an island getaway by a volcano.
Photographer: J.D. Peterson - Architect: Craig Steely
I loooove decorating bathrooms. It makes no sense, because the benefits are rarely reaped (except for last year’s bout with food poisoning, but that’s inappropriate to discuss in this forum). I think that’s why I love bathroom designs so much — they’re unexpected and often neglected spaces of the home. In fact, I tend to use as many non-bathroom furnishings as possible in my lavatories, just to make guests twitch. I’m surprising that way.
So naturally, my bathroom ideas are overflowing, (ha! pun!) and I’m absolutely thrilled to share them. We have two bathrooms: one for guests/future kids (not yet, Ma!) and one for ourselves, which happens to be bigger than my first Los Angeles apartment. I’m a lucky girl, indeed.
Care to see what I’ll be doing with each space? Here comes the style board for the master bath suite!
Click for Inspiration
I have a feeling that the second I hit “Publish” on this post, my mother will come bursting into the front door, scoring tool in tow, scolding me for even considering wallpaper as a viable wall treatment for our home. Yet I can’t help it, Mom, because wallpaper is back and it’s killing me.
This Charlotte Mann photo shoot sealed the deal.
Yes, I realize wallpaper can be painstaking to apply and, yes, even more ridiculous to remove, but for a gal afraid of pattern, it’s a must-do in order to conquer my fears.
One, Two, THREE Wallpapers