Posts Tagged ‘Farmington’

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

local and lovely — farmington kitchen & garden tour

The 13th Annual Farm­ing­ton Kitchens and Gar­dens Tour hosted by the Friends of the Farm­ing­ton Library was held Sat­ur­day at six pri­vate homes and seven pub­lic gar­dens and muse­ums. The old­est home dates back to 1659 and most were in the Vil­lage, as we refer to the cen­tral, old­est part of Farm­ing­ton CT.
An incred­i­ble vari­ety of both kitchens and gar­dens, from mod­ern to stately to eclec­tic pro­vided a draw for many despite the early rain.

I can't tell you much about the event other than my lit­tle cor­ner of it. We were on the tour for the first time. Imag­ine hoards of gar­den lovers drop­ping in to see your out­door spaces, and then check­ing out your kitchen too. I'm a designer, and I was stressed out ahead of this event!  But, as always, I have a team I can rely on to make things happen!

First, the delight­ful and fun Cyn­thia Dodd from Plantscapes arrived to design and exe­cute stage 1 of "The Plan". For me, hir­ing a designer for the first time was a novel expe­ri­ence. As we dis­cussed choices, I made a con­certed effort not to ask for changes that would com­pro­mise the design — even when I could not visu­al­ize the fin­ished project. I will admit I did hem-and-haw about the foun­tain color, but we laughed through the whole thing and we even­tu­ally com­pro­mised on a color that suits us both. Hav­ing some­one else dress up my home was a won­der­ful expe­ri­ence! I can't imag­ine why every­one doesn't hire a designer!

Some peeks at the garden:

the new fountain

the new foun­tain in the foun­da­tion gar­den — this bed was com­pletely renovated

one of the planters on the front porch

one of the planters on the front porch

love this green planter!

love this green planter!

more greenery beside the front door

more green­ery beside the front door

some new gems in front of the studio

some new gems in front of the studio

the kitchen garden - I can't handle more than 3 tomato plants!

the kitchen gar­den — I can't han­dle more than 3 tomato plants!

these ligularia will spread in the shade behind the studio

these ligu­laria will spread in the shade behind the studio

more new perennials behind the house

more new peren­ni­als behind the house

new wall planters beside the kitchen doors

new wall planters beside the kitchen doors

new planters complement my panton chairs on the back patio

new planters com­ple­ment my pan­ton chairs on the back patio

Stage 2 of the new gar­dens will bring even more color and energy to our land­scape. And maybe in 3 or 5 years, as the newest plants mature and fill in, we'll be on the tour again.

To add some flo­ral zing to my kitchen, I called on the über-talented Robin Weir of Haworth's Florists. She is amaz­ing! I show up with a vague con­cept ("give me funky"), and a fab­ric sam­ple, she deliv­ers orig­i­nal, ener­getic and all-around fab­u­lous arrange­ments. Here are the three she designed for my kitchen:

in a corner behind my kitchen table, I set this on a chair atop a table for height

in a cor­ner behind my kitchen table, I set this on a chair atop a table for height

on the island, this arrangement garnered many compliments

on the island, this arrange­ment gar­nered many compliments

detail from the arrangement on the kitchen table

detail from the arrange­ment on the kitchen table

A few details from my kitchen — I'm a lousy pho­tog­ra­pher, so can only show snippets!

new pillows on my thomas o'brien (swoon) thompson chairs

new pil­lows on my thomas o'brien (swoon) thomp­son chairs

newly reupholstered side chairs

newly reuphol­stered side chairs

my crow foot table in the seating area

my crow foot table in the seat­ing area


tibetan chest from kips bay quickly accessorized from around the house!

tibetan chest from kips bay quickly albeit scant­ily acces­sorized from around the house!

I under­stand from the orga­niz­ers the Farm­ing­ton Kitchen & Gar­den Tour was a suc­cess and hope sig­nif­i­cant funds were raised for the libraries in town. Many thanks to the vol­un­teers who looked after my home!

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

tuesday musings: green decorating

Imag­ine if you will a room, not overly large, rec­tan­gu­lar in shape.  Now add into this space five win­dows, three door­ways, six built-in book­cases and one fire­place.  This sounds like a room with quite a lot going on, doesn’t it? As some of my read­ers may remem­ber from an ear­lier post, I was con­tem­plat­ing paint­ing my home office all one color, in high gloss. Yes, this is the room in ques­tion, and yes, I finally did it.

Once upon a colo­nial time, rooms were mostly painted one color, before the advent of “white-trim-and-colored-walls” as an Amer­i­can design mantra. Recently pre­mier shel­ter mag­a­zines have shown more and more rooms with­out (gasp!) white trim – beau­ti­ful rooms with walls and trim all wrapped up in one rich shade.  Libraries, offices, liv­ing spaces with tra­di­tional or eclec­tic décor — I will admit I was both intrigued and a tad envious.

My office, with its white wood­work, tiny sliv­ers of painted wall and numer­ous por­tals, was a visu­ally dis­tract­ing expe­ri­ence. But the view out the win­dows is lovely and green. Ah, inspi­ra­tion!  Could I erase the line between indoors and out, set­ting my desk in the yard, at least virtually?

Out came my fan decks, search­ing for the per­fect green. But this one is too yel­low, this too blue, this too gray — I felt like Goldilocks.  I decided to use the custom-blended olive green (in Ben­jamin Moore's Aura, nat­u­rally) pre­vi­ously rel­e­gated to those tiny bits of wall — a color I loved, but never had enough of. Green dec­o­rat­ing, with the color green — two favorites rolled into one task.

Down came the five enor­mous bal­loon shades left by the pre­vi­ous owner. Even design­ers need an incen­tive to replace what were clearly cus­tom, albeit weighty and grand­moth­erly, win­dow treat­ments. (Those win­dow treat­ments I hap­pily donated to a fel­low designer's tag sale to raise funds for Komen CT). The influx of light was astounding.

Some­times paint­ing a room sim­ply means mov­ing all the fur­ni­ture into the cen­ter and cov­er­ing it with a tarp.  But is my case, every­thing was already in the cen­ter of the room.  The desk had been nigh impos­si­ble to get through the nar­row door­way, so it was stay­ing. And if it was stay­ing, I was stay­ing too, with files and com­put­ers and projects, oh my!

And those six, over­stuffed book­cases?  All needed to be emp­tied, onto the floor of this not overly large room. Stacks and stacks to be nav­i­gated around, sorted through and even­tu­ally re-shelved.  Surely I can endure the dis­rup­tion for a week? A lit­tle voice in my head is won­der­ing if there really is any­thing wrong with white book­cases and trim. Hun­dreds of books made their way to the town library. Part­ing is such sweet sorrow.

But I car­ried on – and the result is truly… lush.  That’s the best way to describe my home office’s new aura (no pun intended), like sit­ting in a rain for­est.  Those of you who thrive in all-white spaces may shud­der, but this room now embraces me in glo­ri­ous, warm, con­tem­pla­tive color. The new, spare Roman shades, in Quadrille’s Conga Line (moss & aqua on tint) trimmed with Robert Allen’s Cabin Weave (surf), add a funky vibe with­out being cliché. It feels so like work­ing out­side, I’m tempted to swat the mosquitoes.

cabin weave Robert Allen

cabin weave from Robert Allen in surf

Roman shades in Quadrille's Conga Line

roman shades against rich mossy trim

Sorry, can’t show the rest of the room with­out blow­ing the mys­tique that design­ers live in pris­tine spaces. It’s a work­ing home office that looks like total dis­ar­ray – and not in an art­ful, dressed-for-a-magazine way!

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