Good morning! In the hectic days approaching Christmas this is just a quick update on the cottage project. As you may recall we first featured this project October 6. If you missed it read here. Cottage Kitchen We gave you another glimpse into the project and a cool industrial look in Cottage Guest Bath on October 28.
Well, just 8 weeks later the project is nearing completion. Hard to believe it moved along so quickly. The owner and I pulled together the subs and it has been on a fast track. The whole focus of the project was to keep it simple with clean lines. There are no decorative tile accents or bright colors. (Do you believe I can do that? Haha!) The accent color will come later with fabrics and accessories. Here are pictures of the project in process.
I wanted you to see the makings of a neutral space with a restful, quiet background for furnishings. Planned completion is before Christmas. I guess Santa is bringing this big present to the cottage by Christmas!
Santa could drop this big present at my house any day!
Working with you to create your lifestyles!
Having a heart full of gratitude leads to great things.
Wishing you and your family Thanksgiving love and joy.
Love to all!
Mary and Paul
Stop three on the “Where is Mary?” two week tour was High Point NC and a visit with my BFF, Patsy Cuthrell. I spent three days at the International Home Furnishings Center for the Fall market. I figured I have been to this semi-annual market about 55 times! OMG!
What’s “new at market” includes lots of mixed textures, subtle re-emergence of green, wood/natural accents and a peacock theme (maybe, not sure about this one).
Could you use any of these products in creating your lifestyle? Let me hear your thoughts!
Spending my last leg of my travels at our beautiful Lake Gaston home! Nice to be back by the water. My flower pots held on for me to see them. What a pleasure!
Keep the comments coming!
Until next week…
Working with you to create your lifestyle!
Mary Sherwood Lifestyles Inc.
As most of you know I am traveling to four different Eastern towns in the next few weeks. Just left our son’s new loft in Kingston NY. Loved the artsy little town on the Hudson River. Weather was amazing! Colors just beginning to pop. Loved the city murals and the lighthouses on the Hudson.
I have a few minutes in the Charlotte NC airport and am getting some walking in and looking for healthier food. Cinnabon just doesn’t do it for me anymore. 🙁 Found a place off the beaten path call 1897 Market (towards Concourse A). Yay! Lots of salads, yogurt with mixed fruit/nuts to add and a wide assortment of sandwiches. Nice to have some options in the maze of fast foods in the airport.
I’m running out of time between flights but found this cute chair attached to a rolling bag in a shop window. “As Seen on TV”or should I say “As Seen at the Airport” 🙂 This is a nice option to move a tired chid through the airport. I wish there was someone who would let me sit in one of these and move me through the High Point market later this week. (Haha)
This is all for now!
Thanks for reading, thanks for following, thanks for commenting! Love it!
I started working on a small house project in our new neighborhood. It will not be used as a full time dwelling but more like a weekend hide-a-way! The plan was to keep it simple but it continued to grow (as they all do). We are updating the entire 1000 sf but this week I focused on the kitchen. The client wanted white cabinets, white stone countertops and white subway tile. Somewhere along the way a 30″ red Viking range jumped into the plan. So cool!
Here are pictures of the exterior, the “BEFORE” and the proposed “AFTER”. There is still much to do but this is a start on the plans. Walls will be painted, hardware to select, etc., etc., etc. In case you are wondering; a few walls will be removed and the existing laundry room will be turned into a refrigerator/pantry space with counters for buffet service. More on that part of the project later.
The white kitchen needed that RED pop! It was the client’s idea. I can’t take credit.
Do you love or hate the red range? What would you do to add color to the space? Let’s hear your thoughts!
Happy dreaming and scheming about your next project!
PS: For the next two weeks I am traveling to NY, VA and NC including LKG. Really looking forward to it. After visiting our son in NY, my brother and family in Blacksburg, my BFFL, Patsy, for the High Point Furniture market I will take a few days to rest and recuperate with friends at Lake Gaston. 🙂 With all of this I will post a little on FaceBook but can’t promise the weekly blog (we’ll see). Until next time don’t stop reading and sharing this blog. I love your comments!!!!!
Mary Sherwood Lifestyles
Thank you for the tremendous response from last week’s cry for help. I have made thousands of paint decisions through the years but I became very indecisive about the MBR wall. From your responses I was spurred on to make a decision. It was a very close tie for these two colors, West Coast and Fun and Games. Although I loved the deeper blue color ( Downpour Blue) it was too dark for my intrinsic love of color. To read more about the paint color dilemma and all the comments check out last week’s blog http://marysherwoodlifestyles.com/help-me-with-my-mbr-design/ .
My choice was Benjamin Moore Fun and Games. Here is Paul coming to my rescue to finish the very tip-top part of the 10 high wall. Thank You PS!
Now I am changing the subject to something I am very passionate about…Lighting! Before you stop reading take a look at the before and after of the display cabinet I showed you a few weeks ago, with and with out interior lighting. (for the original mention of the display cabinets please see http://marysherwoodlifestyles.com/reclaimed-oak-works-it-way-into-this-design/ )
Love the LED ribbon lights! They can be incorporated in so many different lighting applications. We found this kit at LED Ribbon Lighting . It was very reasonably price and easy to install. Included in the kit was a touch control dimmer to control brightness of the LED’s.
Here are a few other things I used for display and to organize the interior of the the display units.
Enough for this week! More MBR finishing touches including an unusual head broad coming soon!
Let me know if you like my paint choice and the fabulous lighting in the display cases.
Happy creating your lifestyle!
Mary Sherwood Lifestyles
WOW-just got back from an awesome trip hiking in Glacier National Park! What an experience! Hiked about 50 miles in 5 days. Didn’t know my body could do it! If you ever have the chance to visit this place try to get out of the car and hit the trails. So many wonders await! (There are many short hikes with gradual climbs) Our travel guides, Angela and Caitlin with Backroad Adventures were the best! Thanks for making our trip the best! Here are some of my favorite pictures. (Check my FB page compliments of Brenda Morrison for more).
NOW-back to a design tip. Since returning from our trip we have unpacked all the cartoned art from the move. Working on where to put it. 🙁 More on that later. We were in need of light bulbs for several new lamps. If you have followed our earlier blog on lighting, Brilliant Lighting Ideas , you know I am a big LED lighting fan. I have found a new LED bulb which I love to use in lamps. It is hard to see the difference in these photos but trust me they are much better than CFL’s and earlier edition LED bulbs. This new Phillips bulb has a plastic cover and stay cool to the touch. The light is softer and more diffused than the CFL. Here are the pictures and bulb labels so you can try to envision the difference. Your light bulb investment will be greater but the results are worth it. Lighting is SO important.
Have you tried any new LED lighting you love. Let us hear from you! Always love your comments.
Have a great week!
Mary Sherwood Lifestyles
Working with you to create your lifestyle!
There is never a dull moment as we create our new lifestyle. We have been busy exploring new things, trying different food and working up our stamina for our upcoming hike in Glacier National Park the first part of September. Our newly found favorite hiking spot is Catalina State Park just about 5 miles from our home. 5 AM sunrise hikes help us beat the heat. Here is a recent picture of one of our favorite areas in the park.
Although we have found time to play and enjoy our new surroundings, project work must go on. Several months ago we told you about our project here in Tucson at Dove Mountain. If you missed that post or want to read it again here it is: http://marysherwoodlifestyles.com/design-inspired-by-the-mountains-of-the-southwest/. We are still working on additional furnishings and finishing touches. Here is a sneak peek of a few of the areas as they are coming together. (Please remember they are not finished and the photography if from my phone).
The living room fireplace wall is expansive with 20′ ceilings and great built-ins around the fireplace. The client wanted to bring in more light and color. The bookcases did not have lighting. The dark wood shelves and rich mocha brown walls did not work in the scheme of lightening things up. First the walls were painted with Benjamin Moore Monroe Bisque. I thought the back off the bookcases needed some oomph! I found this beautiful Candice Olsen wallcovering by York to add just the right amount of light, texture and sheen. Next came the installation of LED ribbon light strips on the underside of each shelf. WOW-what an impact. We are still working on the accessories. We used many of the owner’s glass art pieces. The placement and assortment will be tweaked and added to as we proceed. I will elaborate more on the fabrics, rug, etc. in a future post when I have better photography and the shelves are FINISHED.
Here is a small area which we bumped up a notch or two with another Candice Olsen wallcovering by York. This pale “aqua/teal” textured wallcovering set the tone for the rest of the bedroom fabrics, accessories and rug. We were lucky to find the accessories we used here in the owner’s stash. The only thing new in the niche is the wallcovering. Just goes to show what an impact wallcovering can have.
Here are close ups of these stunning wallcoverings. The pictures really do not capture the depth, sheen, texture and detail of these wallcoverings.
That is all for now. So much more to come.
Thanks for joining me here this week. Love the recent comments! Keep them coming!
Working with you to create your lifestyles!
Here is the new look for Mary Sherwood Lifestyles. The logo and site revisions were created by our son, Jake. He incorporated the abstract red tulip, my favorite flower, in the logo. Thanks, Jake!!! How do you like the new look? Comments please!
This week has been a full one! We traveled to Santa Monica to visit Jake and Elif. Always love our visits. Here’s a quick re-cap.
Getting close to sharing a few pictures of our new home. Still waiting for some furniture to arrive. Also, tying up loose ends at the Dove Mt home out here. More to come in a few weeks.
Would love to hear from you! Comments please!
What an incredible week! We have been in our little Tucson hacienda and busily preparing the house for our move. Here is just a few of the things we have been working on.
Customizing our closet was number one on the priority list. Scaling back on closet size is going to be a challenge but good storage will help. Here is the before, during and after.
We have been working with a painter that is rather slow. If you know me, then you know I want to move on and finish the project. The painting is near completion so I clean all the switch/outlet covers and gradually they are being replaced when the room is finished. Can’t believe how many plates there were!
Removed the dreaded vertical of 19__ something! I don’t even like new verticals, so these had to go. We replaced them with my favorite shading product, Silhouettes!
We have five smoke detectors, all of which were almond or very “yellowed” white. We took them all down. I carefully covered all the ports etc. with masking tape (not to interfere with the functioning) and sprayed painted them all white. (Left one is freshly painted) What an improvement!
One more project is to try to rehab some of the interior door hardware from worn shiny brass to a brushed nickel. I “only” have 13 sets. Wish me luck on this one!
Next on our agenda is driving back to Lake Gaston to purge, purge purge in preparation for the movers!
Have a great week!
I’ve been working on the interiors of a home in the Dove Mountain area of Tucson. We have selected the paints, wallcoverings and fabrics. It is all starting to come together. My client is very excited I will be back in Tucson shortly to start adding the finishing details. This has been a work in progress since my last visit in February. I am looking forward to adding the accessories which are the “jewels” of the project.
One accessory often overlooked is a fire screen to cover the firebox. There are three fireplaces in this home. All are gas-fired and different sizes. When selecting the screens to add interest to these “black rectangular” openings I considered several factors-size of the opening, the size of the hearth, the texture/color of the fireplace surround and the type of firebox, gas or wood burning.
Here are a few fireplace screen options I found for this project.
The fire screen above is a beautiful piece but the expense would have stressed the budget since we had three screens to source.
The screens above are wonderful options for a wood burning firebox. They are functional and decorative with mesh screening to contain the sparks. Because the fireboxes for this project are all gas-fired we did not need the screening.
Our objective was to provide a decorative screen in front of the fire boxes. With that in mind I explored options for using metal art pieces as fire screens. Here are two pieces we are having converted into screens for this project. Our local welder is adding metal feet so the wall art will stand.
Using wall art and converting them into fire screens is often very budget friendly even with the cost of the conversion. One word of caution…any material place in front of a fire-box must be fireproof. If the fireplace is wood burning, a screening mesh needs to be used behind the decorative front for safety.
Here is a fire screen we created several years ago with metal screening added for this wood burning fireplace.
Fire screens…safety first, decorative accent second. Which is your favorite?
I still need one more fire screen for this project…any suggestions?
Mary Sherwood Lifestyles-working with you to create your lifestyle!
Please accept my apologies for the “missed” Design Wednesday Wisdom. Technical difficulties just jumped in the way. So here is “Catch Up Thursday”!
I recently attended a textile fair and found lots of fabulous new fabrics that will be showing up in the next few months. But we stumbled onto something that has amazing possibilities far beyond simple nailhead trim for an upholstered chair.
Heico Fasteners could be equated to a “candy store” for a creative designer’s mind. Their exhibit had thousands and thousands of nailheads and adaptors with several ways to expand the use of the “sometimes” ordinary nailhead.
Five ways to use nailhead and doodads:
- Tufting buttons for headboard and cornices
- Embellishment for lamp shades
- Drawer pulls by adding an adaptor
- Napkin rings by adding an adaptor
- Add a few metal doodads to sandals and handbags
Here are a few pictures from their exhibit:
This is just a peek at the many uses of these fasteners, etc. When I get some parts and pieces I will show you how this all goes together.
Mary Sherwood Lake Living
This Design Wednesday Wisdom is a not much about design but a lot about my career in interior design.
I write this on the cusp of a new beginning for Mary Sherwood Lake Living. As of Friday, May 15, the business will change ownership. Charlotte Smith plans to keep the MSLL traditions alive as she takes over as the new owner. I am sure the business will evolve over time, but for now look forward to a re-stocked showroom, a new special events calendar and other great things. We will keep you updated over the next few weeks as the changes occur. I will remain here during the transition and to complete existing design projects, so don’t say your goodbyes just yet!
Many of you have read about my background on the bio page of our blog, so I am not going to bore you with all those details. Let’s talk about some of the steps that lead me to where I am today.
As early as age six or seven, I was cutting room images and pasting design ideas together from my mother’s McCall’s and Better Homes and Gardens magazines. These became my first color boards or “mood” boards. I still have the scrapbook and would love to share some of it with you, but I don’t know where it is stashed. I didn’t know then but I know now that I was destined to be an interior designer.
After exploring a nursing career and later starting a small folk art mail order craft business, I decided to get serious about exploring design. I took one course and I was hooked. Never did I dream it would turn into this wonderful life experience.
Here is a picture of the model, built to scale, I created as a budding design student in 1985. We fabricated every piece that went into the room. Actually, for that stage of my career, it doesn’t look too bad.
In 1987, I opened a small design studio over “The Shop”, a hair salon in Roanoke Rapids. Murphy Doyle, the owner, was my best form of advertising. She sent all her customers upstairs to my studio. What a blessing in disguise! When I started this venture I bargained with my husband, Paul. I asked that he not pursue relocation for his career for at least two years to give me time to spread my “design” wings. He never asked me to move. He has supported me all the way!
We quickly outgrew our 400 square foot studio. So I made the big move to the “very quiet” Lake Gaston in 1991. My Roanoke Rapids customers felt like I was moving out to the “Wild, Wild West” of the lake county. It was the best move we ever made.
I also became a contributor to the Cruisin’ Round Lake Gaston published by C-Line Graphics in 1991. That was truly my first endeavor as a writer.
That inspired me to start our monthly newsletter which was sent out by “snail” mail. Some of you may remember this, The Best of Lake Living. It contained design tips, special event details and company happenings such as the birth of the first baby amongst our staff family. This newsletter was published for many years until it became too costly to print and stamp for distribution.
Then we entered the digital age! We progressed on with the Mary Sherwood Lake Living website. Just a few years ago Design Wisdom Wednesday (DWW) was born. DWW is opened regularly every week by many loyal followers. I am so touched by your loyalty.
I have been very fortunate to be a contributing columnist to the monthly The Lake Magazine. Each month it is a challenge to find a topic and photos to make it an “enjoyable” read. Thanks to The Lake Magazine, published by the Daily Herald, for the opportunity!
So technology has changed our world but not our approach to our customers and friends. There has never been a time when I haven’t welcomed seeing you walk through our door. (Well “almost” never…except when deadlines were looming.) We have remained small in numbers but big in heart and soul.
After opening the first design studio in 1987, we have moved, expanded and grown in so many ways. Some of you have seen us through all the changes since the very beginning. It is all of you that have made this such an incredible journey! Thanks cannot express my appreciation enough!
So, look for exciting new beginnings for Mary Sherwood Lake Living and for Paul and I as we embark on new adventures.
Love to all of you!!!
Spring has officially sprung! Here on Lake Gaston, it looks like Mother Nature’s highlighter exploded! Pollen shows that everything is coming back to life, but how can you enjoy life on the lake when all your outdoor furniture is coated with a yellow haze of pollen?! Here are some cleaning tips that will help cut through even the most caked-on outdoor filth on your cushions. Then you can get back to the fun of the season!
Fresh pollen can simply be rinsed away with a garden hose, but for heavy layers or pollen mixed with dirt, dust or other messes, you’ll need to do a bit more work. For a deep down clean, follow these steps.
You Will Need:
- Dishwashing detergent
- Warm water
- Clean spray bottle
- Scrub brush
- Garden hose with running water
Steps to Remove the Pollen:
- Fill the spray bottle ¾ full of warm water. You can use hot water if you’re not concerned it will cause color run on your cushions.
- Add a good squirt or two of dishwashing liquid.
- Shake well until suds begin to form inside of the bottle.
- Remove the cushions from the chairs if possible. This will allow you to clean both sides thoroughly. If the cushions are attached to the frame, work with the surfaces you can see.
- Rinse loose pollen or debris off with the garden hose. This will prevent you from scrubbing the grime through the cover and into the cushions themselves.
- After rinsing, spray the entire surface heavily with the detergent solution.
- Follow with a good scrubbing with the brush. Use care around any ripped, torn or weakened areas.
- Continue until all surfaces have been cleaned.
- Rinse thoroughly with running water.
- Repeat with a second spray down and scrubbing if necessary. Rinse thoroughly once all of the grime has been removed.
- If cushions were removed from the chair, try standing them on their sides to dry. If you can’t do that, replace them on the chair only if there’s room for them to drip through. If they can’t be removed from the furniture, and the furniture has a solid bottom, turn the entire chair on its side to allow them to dry thoroughly. Water pooling under the cushion will cause mold or mildew to form.
- If possible, set the chair in the sun to speed up the drying process.
Additional Tips and Advice
- To keep the mess to a minimum, wipe the exposed surface with a sponge soaked in warm soapy water at least once a week. Hose off to rinse.
- Finish with a fabric protectant, if desired.
- Always try to dry the cushions as quickly as possible. It may even help to press some of the water out. If moisture remains, it quickly becomes a breeding ground for mold and mildew, which is very difficult to remove from cushioning.
(Instructions provided by www.howtocleanstuff.net/. See the original article here)
Now you can sit back and enjoy the season! Happy Spring!
Mary Sherwood Lake Living -Working with you to create your lifestyle!
There are so many ways to take a piece of furniture and make it your own. I am not a big Pinterest user but that is a great resource for inspiration.
Here is a fun piece made by Hooker Furniture that we had in our showroom a few years back that may give you inspiration on how to “make it your own”.
Paint, wallcovering/fabric, interesting hardware and creative application are the supplies.
Happy “make it your own”.
All of you probably know how crazy I am about tulips. I dutifully order in the fall, pre-chill in our extra refrigerator until late December or early January and plant on the first “not too cold” day. Tulips need several months planted in cold, dark soil. Because of our unpredictable winters, pre-chilling helps to give them the “cold” they need to produce in the spring. But don’t wait too long to plant or they will not have enough time to set their roots. You can also plant earlier but who has time before the holidays!
So today, I “tiptoed through the tulips” and created this spring bouquet.
Another find in my garden this time of year were a few Hellebores, commonly called a Lenten Rose. These grow only in shade and pop up around Easter. I have very little shade and often forget to look in this spot for these little gems. Spied them this year!
Sometimes I like to play with the tulips and make them look like red poppies. Watch the video to learn how!
Leave me a comment and tell me how you are enjoying the spring flowers and send pictures of how you use them in your home!
Happy, glorious Spring!
I follow a blog called HomEdit. Here is one of their blogs about some incredible uses of mosaic tile that really got my creative juices flowing. http://www.homedit.com/top-uses-mosaic-tiles-around-house/
Which is your favorite? Do you have any creative ways you have used mosaic tile? Please share!
Recently we completed a wonderful master bath suite renovation which included this amazing “closet to die for”.
Here is the picture of the “before” closet desperately needing some organization.
The highlights of this closet installation include the double stack of jewelry drawers, the pull out ironing board with electrical outlet, and the deep and shallow drawers, long/short hanging, and lots of shoes shelves (not shown).
No more will you need to guess whether your slacks are navy or black. Other lighting features include the remote motion sensor that turns the LED lights on as you walk into the space. The LEDs turn off automatically after 3 minutes without motion. Four recessed can lights provide general illumination and are controlled by a dimmer switch.
Here is the finished project with “HIS” and “HER” sides!
What do you think?
Do you agree this is a “closet to die for”?
More to come on the bath of this master suite.
Working with you to create your Lake Gaston lifestyle!
Paul and I are posting our lake home for Sale by Owner. Please take a look at the link below. If you know of anyone that may be interested please share the link. We really appreciate anything you can do to help us.
The asking price is $695,000. The web site lists the details and shows lots of pictures.
Thanks again for everything!
Mary and Paul
It’s me… Autumn! Back from maternity leave and I have an incredibly handsome little man I’d like to show off. It seems fitting with Valentine’s Day this weekend that I share the new love of my life. So, here’s a bunch of photos of Ethan Campbell Wenger to get your “cute” fix. (WARNING: Possible Adorable Overload!)
I think that’s enough showing off for now. Back to my mommy duties – have a Happy Valentine’s Day!
Mary Sherwood Lake Living -Working with you to create your lifestyle!
Hey guys! Whose ready for more design critical thinking? I got such a great response with the last project preview which focused on a kitchen design decision: whether to expand or not expand. I decided to share another design project that I’ve been working on: The Quirky Fireplace.
The Quirky Fireplace is exactly its name, just plain quirky. Let’s take a closer look.
Here’s the existing fireplace. It’s a very small wall. The master bedroom entrance is to the right and to the left is a wall of windows with a gorgeous view of the lake. The small area doesn’t seem to be working, its elements are not in sync. The niche seems high and the TV is too close to the fireplace. The fireplace also has very little presence.
Here’s the design dilemma: How do you marry the fireplace, TV and the mantel/niche area to make it more functional and cohesive?
What would you do?
Here’s my solution. My first thought was to create a mantle that could house the TV and eliminate the extra piece of furniture. The mantle would extend from the left corner of the left wall back towards the wall above the fireplace creating an obtuse triangle. The left side of the new mantel would be deep enough to house the TV.
Now you’re wondering, what about the area below the mantel? There will be a void under the mantel to the left beside the fireplace. Yes! However, we thought it would be ideal to tile this entire area. We went a step further to expand the hearth with tile that would mimic the shape of the mantel. This would really sync this area together and create visual interest.
What about the niche above the fireplace? This has many possibilities. First, I would lower the niche to meet the new mantel. Shelves could be added to create a small bookcase to display momentous. Or, it could be used to create a feature wall. Mary loves to use glass in her design projects. This niche area created a perfect spot to display blown glass art which would also add a pop of color that would in return balance the bulk of the TV. I did leave a small shelf above the mantel to create a home for electronics below such as cable box, DVD player, etc.
What do you think of the design solution?
Would you do anything differently?
This is only a preliminary design I created with a program called Sketch-Up. None of the details are set in stone. This is only a suggestion to help the client get a feel of the possible solution to her quirky fireplace wall dilemma.
I can’t wait to hear what your design solution is!
I promise I will share the final design solution!
-Dixie K (Happy Birthday to me!) =)
Mary Sherwood Lake Living
I always get excited about exploring future trends. Based on High Point photos from October here are a few trends I see going forward in 2015. Some of the highlights of the following pictures include textures, colors. natural elements, and multi-tasking furniture.
These furniture pieces have several of the elements above-color, texture and multi-tasking. I love to use chests of all sizes and styles because they are so versatile. A chests can be used as a night stand, entry console, and table linen storage, just to name a few. These chests have texture, color, style and so much more. Chest A, from Couture, is made with a mother-of-pear veneer in a leafy tropical design. Chest B, from Couture, has an egg shell blue melange inset which has amazing visual and tactile texture, color and pattern. Chest C, from Palu, with it’s ribbed vertical texture, is available in several custom color choices. How would you incorporate a chest into your design scheme?
Trendy, preppy, traditional styles with throw backs to the 60’s and 70’s are evident in these two bedding collections from Thibaut and Eastern Accents. The Asian elements, fretwork, topical motifs and colors of pink and green are cropping up in many areas of home fashion. Are you ready to go back in time with this new version of pink and green?
The application of vertical trims and contrasting fabrics in upholstery is just beginning. Look for more ways to mix it up with this and other upholstery details.
Large art and animal images continue to be shown, coming forward from 2014.
Greenery in the form of succulents and tropicals are the latest in permanent botanical trends.
Looking back and looking forward shows an unending movement of the trends. What do you see as some of the upcoming design trends to watch?
As a gardener, although it is the middle of Winter, some days you just have to get outside and get your hands in the dirt. Sunday afternoon the skies had cleared and the sun was shinning. I couldn’t resist.
Most of you probably have enjoyed our tulip display in the Spring in our large flower box under our sign. Those bulbs were planted the first of January after chilling a few months in my extra refrigerator. I didn’t quite finish the tulip planting chore that day and stuck the rest back in the frig. Finally, I had a day to finish the planting and hope I didn’t get them in the ground too late.
Here is a picture of the Fall window boxes attached to the front of our building. They were planted in October with some hardy and some tender plants that I knew would not survive the first frost. I liked the combination and knew some could endure(the pansies and ornamental cabbage). With the colder temperature the ornamental peppers and spider plants gave up the ghost.
I planned to used these boxes and plant the tulips around the hardier plants but I had a lot of open bare areas showing. Years ago my friend Patsy Cuthrell showed me the reindeer lichen growing along many of our roads. It’s also called reindeer moss and often used in floral arrangement and terrariums. Reindeer moss is really a lichen: a combination of a fungus and algae that have a symbiotic relationship and form a new plant. The moss is spongy when moist, but dries out when removed from its natural habitat. It can be preserved with glycerin and dyed with fabric dye. How to Preserve Reindeer Moss Since I was just using it for a short time in the boxes I left it natural.
I am lucky to have access to this lichen right at the end of my road. Harvesting the plants is so simple because it spreads on top of the other ground cover. Here is my harvest spot and bounty. It took all of five minutes to collect.
Some years I have better luck than others with the tulips in these boxes because they do not get a lot of sun in front of the building and the deer find them very tasty. Here is a picture of the boxes in 4/2012.
Next I cleaned up the dead plants out of the flower boxes and planted twelve tulips in each of the three planters.
Here is where I used the reindeer lichen to dress up the boxes and hide the bare spots until the tulips poke through and do their thing.
Keep your fingers crossed I didn’t plant the tulips too late.
On the warmer winter days do you head to the outdoors? What do you do? Garden, exercise, hike? Let us hear about your winter outdoor adventures around Lake Gaston. I am sure some of you sneak in a leisurely boat ride on the lake while the sun is bright! Send us your Winter outdoor pictures to share.
Happy Winter! I have visions of the Spring to come!
We are working with a client who wants to renovate her kitchen to be more functional. She loves to entertain and cook. I thought it would be neat to share some of our preliminary planning for this kitchen that you may not always get to see. We often share before and after photos, but we do not always share the in-between parts that get us to the final layout.
It is our job as interior designers to come up with the best possible scenarios that meet all or most of the client’s needs. This is not always an easy task. A lot goes into this design development and planning phase before presenting design options to the client.
First things 1st: Before sketching and drawing up new plans we first take measurements of the existing space.
Mary and I met with the client to go over their initial needs and take measurements. These measurements include interior dimensions, window and door placement, outlets, and appliance sizes (if keeping). Here are the rough on-site sketches taken for this project! (I always hope we can make sense of all these doodles!)
After the initial consultation with the client and the site visit, it’s to the drawing board. With this we have all the information we need to move forward to create possible scenarios to improve this kitchen. The client was also open to exploring an option of expanding the kitchen with an addition off the back of the house. The first plan features the kitchen and total first floor renovation. The second plan features a large expanded kitchen off the back of the house facing the lake! (Ooh la la! This expanded plan helps the client to visualize the possibilities!)
Voila! Here is all the scribbles and doodles converted into a more manageable form. Above is the client’s existing first floor plan.
Here are the Two Preliminary Plans:
Plan 1: (without expansion)
Includes a spacious new kitchen, wet bar and relocation of the dining and living areas. The living area was relocated because the existing space was very narrow and limited the furniture arrangement. A small conversation seating area (shown as Living II) in front of the fireplace works better in the narrow space. The relocation of the laundry area opens up the kitchen. Additional windows were added to the back of the home for maximum views of the lake. The added wet bar will increase the ease of entertaining. By taking down a few walls, we opened up this kitchen and created a well-functioning living space for entertaining.
Plan 2: (with expansion)
The addition off the back of house facilitates the expansion of the kitchen with a large island and additional storage. This plan keeps the formal dining area and central area (around the staircase) as drawn in the original plan. The living space is rearranged to include a TV viewing area adjacent to the lake and a small seating area in front of the fireplace. The laundry room is expanded slightly for more storage. The kitchen is the focus of this renovation. This plan also includes a large bar/buffet area for entertaining. Large windows are added to maximize views of the lake. An additional less formal dining area is placed off the kitchen. This plan truly is for a host that likes to entertain and cook!
After viewing both plans which do you prefer? Would you Expand (Plan 2) or Not Expand(Plan 1)?
Leave a comment below telling us which is your favorite! I can’t wait to see what the client decides! Stay tuned to see!
-Happy Design Wisdom Wednesday!
-See you next week!
What a great year it has been for MSLL! It would not be possible without the love and support of our wonderful families, friends, and especially our awesome customers! Cheers to you & the new year! Thank you for making 2014 an amazing year!
Let’s take a look back at highlights of 2014 before we ring in 2015!
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!
Autumn participates in The Crossing at Eatons Ferry, Autumn & I enjoy lunch on the front patio, and Mary, Autumn & I enjoyed this homemade salsa from Jeff Miller of Phoenix Finishing Solutions! It was delicious! Thanks again Jeff!
Market trips are always so much fun! We visit Atlanta and High Point twice a year! Atlanta is my favorite, even though Autumn would say High Point is hers! Chef Yvonne goes with us to Atlanta to bring back awesome tastings and gadgets for our showroom and cooking classes!
Project, Installs & More!
Installs can honestly be a designer’s least favorite part and absolute favorite part at the same time! I only say this because installs are a lot of hard work but the end results are totally worth it! We had some exciting projects this year! Thank you for the opportunities. We hope you love your new spaces as much as we do!
Skin Care, Make-up Demos, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Sales, Tacky Christmas Sweater Party & Autumn’s Baby Shower-just to name a few of the many special events we held this year at MSLL! They sure did keep us busy! Lots of planning and prep but it was all worth it! Who doesn’t love to party?
Classes were awesome as always this year! I’m beginning to think Chef Yvonne can get me to taste just about anything if she prepares it! There hasn’t been much I have tried that I absolutely didn’t like! She is an awesome Chef. We are very thankful for all she brings to the table here as MSLL! Thank you Steve and Peggy for being awesome assistants in classes, as well!
And the award goes to….
The Reader’s Choice Awards were held at the Lake Gaston Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center, Inc. earlier in 2014! We received not 1, not 2 awards but FIVE!
1st Place Favorite Interior Designer
1st Place Favorite Place to Buy a Gift
1st Place Favorite Home Decor
Runner Up: Favorite Place to Buy Jewelry
Honorable Mention: Place to Buy Furniture
This is the icing on the cake in 2014! Thanks to our wonderful customers that made this happen! I can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store! Maybe, just maybe 2015 will top 2014! Fingers crossed! See you next year!
Happy New Year!
Mary Sherwood Lake Living
As I anxiously await the arrival of our sons and daughters-in-love I am reminded about how important family is at Christmas. I am so very fortunate to have such a loving and close family. We are spread out across the country but we make the effort to be together for Christmas. I am truly blessed. Here is my playful family last Christmas at Lake Gaston!
Over the years my family circle has grown. The MSLL gang is a large part of that circle. This is the gang at our annual Christmas dinner along with our new addition, Ethan Campbell Wenger (being held by Ryan, his proud Dad)
My extended family goes much further than just our team. It encompasses the wonderful friends that grace our showroom, our design clients that invite us into their homes and all the talented contractors that support us. We get to know them and their families as part of our amazing family circle.
So whether you spend Christmas with family, friends or neighbors it is the people that make Christmas magical. Embrace the moments!
Merry Christmas to you and all your family circle!
Love to all,
MSLL has constructed the ultimate Holiday Gift Guide to make your shopping experience a bit easier this Holiday season. We promise with these amazing gifts there will be no returns or re-gifting if you stick to our guide! The following MSLL Holiday Gift Guide features 12 perfect gifts that are sure to bring happiness and make you the best gift giver ever! Move over Santa, I’m giving the best gifts this year! Oh! Not to mention you will have the best wrapped presents around with our fabulous complementary gift wrap!
Mary Sherwood Lake Living Holiday Gift Guide 2014:
1. Fashion Apparel: This year’s apparel seems to be the best we have ever carried! It’s been hard to keep the racks full. We have wonderful travel wear, bright tunics and palazzo pants that have been super popular this year. Our travel wear is wrinkle free, perfect for your next getaway! $38 – $78
2. Don’t forget the Captain! Our Captain Rodney’s Boucan Glaze and Peach Barbecue Boucan Sauce are a crowd pleaser! These would make perfect gifts for a neighbor or take a bottle as a hostess gift for your next holiday party your attending. This sauce is delicious! The bottle has a recipe attached for an amazing appetizer dip! Even someone that tailgates would love this for their next sports event! You can’t go wrong here. $12
3. Magnolia Casual Indoor/Outdoor Swings: I always have people telling me their child would love this in their bedroom or they are planning on hanging one on their boat dock! Which is a perfect idea for these gorgeous swings! All our swings come in a set which includes: The swing constructed in indoor/outdoor fabric, a seat cushion, back pillow and matching carrying bag which is easy to stow. $189
4. Sweet & Saucy Caramel Sauce: This happens to be our Salted Caramel Sauce which is my favorite! = ) We have: Spicy Mango Madness, Rum Caramel and even a Raspberry Fudge Sauce! This is a great gift for anyone! I would pair my jar with an ice cream scoop for the perfect ice cream sundae package! Simple & Easy! You could always add cherries on top! $11
5. Lake Gaston Picture Frame: Here is another great gift idea! I’m sure mom or grandma would love this in their lake home! Take it step further and actually put a photo in the frame of the family or grand-kids! The picture corners in the frame make it easy to change out the photos each year! $49
6. Mary Sherwood Lake Living Gift Card: The perfect gift! Our gift cards do not expire and can be used towards anything in our showroom! You could even give a gift card for $25 or $35 for someone to attend one of Chef Yvonne’s cooking classes held here at MSLL! Absolutely Perfect! $ – $$$
7. Lake Gaston Christmas Ornaments: We have several different ornaments to choose from this year. Some even have Lake Gaston printed on them! How cool is that? These would be great if you know someone that gets an ornament for their tree each year or for an ornament exchange party. $18
8. Jewelry: Our Jewelry display has just everything from necklaces, earrings, bangles, brackets, watches, rings and a few necklace/earring sets. Various style to choose from. We even have a handmade line from a young lady in Virginia Beach! $10 – $148
9. Handbags: We have the look you want but not the price. Our gorgeous bags look similar to a Micheal Kors’ bag but not the ticket price! I love our bags I think they are age appropriate for anyone 20-something to someone 60-something! We have various sizes and style for fit any ladies taste. $14 – $123
10. Scribble Cloths: Have you seen these yet? Scribble Cloths are amazing! Great for parties, children and events! We have runners that can be scribbled on with chalk! We have used these several times for events here at MSLL! We used the large runner for our food display, labeling all our delicious delights! What a great gift! $38 – $50
11. Lake Gaston Coasters: We have several sets of Lake Gaston Coasters! My favorites are the Lake map and Lake Rules! We have sets of two and fours! Perfect for anyone that loves and lives on the lake! $32 – $57
12. Add-A-Kid Bibs: Don’t forget the little ones! We have an array of items in our children’s area but, these have to be the funniest! These bibs are one of a kind designs for little guys and girls! All bibs have Lake Gaston on them as well! Such a great keep sake too! $13
Just follow our Holiday Gift Guide for the perfect Christmas presents this Holiday season! Need more ideas? Just give us a call (252-586-2437) or ask me! We do our best to meet the needs of our customers. We are always willing to help! We even suggest gift ideas for no charge! =) Join us this Holiday season and Shop Small here on Lake Gaston! Don’t forgot the complimentary Gift Wrap!
Mary Sherwood Lake Living, Lake Gaston
There’s so much to be Thankful for here at Lake Gaston! We have the absolute BEST Customers, Clients, Co-workers, Cooking Class Foodies, Chef, Friends and Family anyone could ask for! This year thus far has been amazing! We have the challenge every year to try and “out-do” ourselves for our customers. Without the local support of friends and family it would not be at all possible! We are truly grateful!
Thank you for all that you do for us! We love our Mary Sherwood Lake Living family, you all mean so much to us! We would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!
Here’s just few things we are so grateful for!
We are grateful for the ability to have our special events throughout the year for our customers to enjoy! Christmas Open House, Mother’s Day, Veteran’s Day, Beauty and Skin Care..just to name a few!
Of course we are Thankful for our amazing, awesome, special, wonderful Clients, Cooking Class Foodies & Customers! We have the best of the best! You guys rock!
We are Thankful for our design projects and the amazing team of guys who help us get the project from a sketch to reality! Our design team is top notch! Here is one from earlier in the year! We are working on a few now hoping to finish up before Christmas!
I am thankful for our MSLL Team! They deserve a Huge Thanks! They are the engine of our little machine out here at the lake. They are my support system, my friends and certainly my family! I thank you for all you do for me!
Last but not the least…. We are Thankful for the safe arrival of Autumn’s sweet new baby boy, Ethan Campbell Wenger! He was delivered early Tuesday morning! Both Mommy and baby are perfect!
Congratulations Autumn & Ryan!
Again, we hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoys this special time with their family and friends! Don’t get to stuffed, leave that to the turkey!
Love, Dixie K
Mary Sherwood Lake Living, Lake Gaston
Take a moment to tell us what your are Thankful for this year!