Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Best Work Gloves (for girls)

THE BEST work gloves for girls: Tuff Chix by Ironclad (signed by Paige Hemmis from Extreme Home Makeover).  I've gone through quite a few pairs of work gloves since we bought this house, and I can honestly say that these are by far the best.  I used to pay $10-$20 for a good pair at Home Depot, and most were MENS, size small.  Then, I bought these babies and everything changed.  Here's why I like these gloves....

  •  They fit.
  •  They're SO durable.  My old gloves would start showing holes in the fingers after average use.  These last forever.   
  •  Great grip.  Perfect for grasping heavy objects (most recently, cobblestones)
  •  Padded knuckles.  Need I say more?
  •  They breathe.  No sweaty palms.
  •  And one of my favorite features: the backside of the thumb is made of soft black terrycloth.  I'm a girl, and I don't like to have dirt (or any other unfavorable object) on my face.  That black terrycloth is perfect for wiping away any unladylike debris.  :)

They don't come in any other colors, except pink.  I'm not usually a pink person, but now I kind of like feeling girly in pink work gloves.  I'm a girl.  :)

workin it.

Perfect for serious home renovators and weekend warriors alike (I also use them for gardening-- they're great).  You know your girlfriend that just bought her first house?  These would be perfect for her too.  :)

*this is not a sponsored post.  I'm just crazy about these gloves.  However, if Paige Hemmis would like to send me free gloves, I will gladly accept them as payment for advertising her product.  :)


Monday, July 23, 2012

Reclaimed Cobblestones

Our driveway materials have been delivered! 

We decided to go with a combination of cobblestone + crushed stone to pave the new driveway.  Living in the Philadelphia area, we had the option of buying new cobblestones (cut uniformly and ready for installation, like these)...  or, we could go with reclaimed cobblestones (recycled from paving projects around the area).   As you may have guessed, Dave and I opted for the reclaimed.  They're about the same price as new cobbles, and we love the worn surfaces and irregular shapes.  Fast forward to this week, and there are 1500 reclaimed cobblestones sitting in a pile in the middle of the backyard.

This weekend, we spent some time sorting our new (old) cobbles.  Grouping them by size and stacking them smooth side up.  Each block is made of solid granite and weighs about 30 pounds!  So, needless to say, I'm feeling pretty strong this morning (and quite sore...  where's the Advil?).

sorted cobblestones


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Potted Lavender

lavender, potted in my vintage McCoy planter

My husband Dave knows that I love this specific McCoy pattern (I believe it's called "bead and leaf").  So, whenever he finds a "bead & leaf" planter at a flea market, he brings it home for me. :)   At this point, I have a small collection going (mostly holding fresh herbs).  Recently, I decided to take this particular planter and fill it with lavender.  I love the soft tiny leaves, and the scent is heavenly.   

They say that lavender aromatherapy helps relieve stress (among a million other things).  I think they're right.  :)


Friday, July 20, 2012

In the Store: New Hardware & Home Decor

This week, we had a High Street Market mini photo shoot and we added a few new products to the store.  Among the newbies is this super chic Giant Cast Iron Jack...

We've also added these crazy amazing wall hooks (available in shiny gold, glossy black, or white)...

And, last but not least: this Victorian-inspired brass hand door knocker is a showstopper.  It's made of solid brass (excellent quality) and we're loving the tiny details (like the square backplate and ball knocker)...

And, here's a sample from our recent shoot...


Thursday, July 19, 2012

New Sidewalk!

And, there she be.

Our new sidewalk was poured yesterday-- we're very excited.  It's the first official step in creating our very own private driveway.  Everything turned out perfectly.  :)

*that hole will be capped (it gives access to the sewer) and the wooden forms will come down today.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Driveway Design & Excavation

To give you guys a better idea of what we're trying to achieve with our new driveway, a drew this lot plan for you.  Landscape Designers: please don't judge.  I'm not a landscape designer.  I have no idea if trees are supposed to look like this, but this is the way I drew them.  You get the idea, right?  We have an acre-sized lot, and as you can see, we've designed a driveway that opens at the street and extends along the sideyard.  We gave the driveway a little bit of a curve (to preserve our trees), and I think that this detail provides a great opportunity for flower beds in the future.  You'll see (lavender! hydrangea! the possibilities...).  Anyway, like I mentioned before, we've decided to go with a combination of cobblestone and crushed stone.  You can see that we'll have a 25 foot apron of cobblestone at the driveway opening, and then that apron will repeat in front of the garage doors.  The body of the driveway will be trimmed with cobblestone and filled with white crushed gravel.  It should be nice.  (Please don't pay much attention to the walking path from the garage to the house.  This material is still TBD).

So, here's an update on the project:

Our sidewalk inspection passed with flying colors yesterday.  Next step: excavation.  This involved a lot of hard work, and sincere engineering (on the part of my brainy husband).  Our property is situated about 3 feet above street level, so a bit of digging was in order.  We measured everything, and marked.  Measured, and marked. 

always wear festive yard-marking attire
(my poor attempt at the neon trend with this workout top-- I ended up being as bizarrely bright at as the yard marking paint.  this was very funny at the time).

So, a full day of this...

Turned into this...

And socks that looked like this, after you've removed your shoes.  Dirty dirty dirty.

The new sidewalk is being poured as we speak.

More updates tomorrow.



Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Goodbye Sidewalk

Goodbye, sidewalk!  Hello, the beginnings of a driveway!

This happened this weekend.  Our contractor ripped out about 185" of our front sidewalk to make way for our future driveway.  Yippee!  Up until this point, we've been accessing our property through a shared back alley.  And, we don't like that.  So, we decided that now was the time to install a private drive (we're building a carriage house, so why not make things even better and install a driveway to go with it?).  Also, it must be noted that the majority of homes on our street have private driveways.  So, the new addition will blend in with the neighborhood.  Dave and I applied to the township and designed a private driveway that extends along our sideyard.  Our designs were approved and with permits in hand, the work has begun!

Our inspector is coming today to give the a-okay on the demolished sidewalk (fingers crossed).  Tomorrow, the concrete driveway opening will be formed.  Here's one of our sketches, showing what the future sidewalk will look like:

I'll update on the progress this week!


Friday, July 13, 2012

Around Town

I dropped by a Philadelphia client's home for a little visit on Monday, and snapped a few photos...

we can't get enough of Peter Dunham's "fig leaf"
(how cute is this chair?)

her new credenza arrived (topped with 1960s brass table lamps);
and I love her vintage runner in the entry

I presented some new designs for a master bedroom...

and, a little boys room (love the twin beds)

I managed to get myself downtown this week...

new haircut (at Jason Matthew Salon on Chestnut Street, in case anyone is interested-- ask for Kathy.  It took me two long years to find her)

After that, I stopped by the Philadelphia design center...

loving this purple ombre velvet stripe;
and, I'm also digging that ruffle trim.

Yesterday, I dropped by another client of mine for a quick visit...

she has the prettiest backyard,
complete with bluestone patio (I love the pea gravel detail!)

this is the lovely view from her family room window.

Happy Friday everyone!  I have a date with my husband tonight for a competitive round of mini golf.  :)  I hope your weekend is as equally joyful.




Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Driveway Ideas: Cobblestone & Crushed Stone

With the build of the new carriage house (happening within the next eight weeks), we'll also be installing a 300 foot driveway. It's a major project that I'm simultaneously dreading and eagerly anticipating. We'll hire out some of the work, but the majority of the labor will be done by us.  So, after vigorously researching driveway materials over the last few months, Dave and I have both settled on obsessed over the combination of cobblestone and white crushed stone. I LOVE THIS COMBINATION, and I can't be swayed.  I think it could be the perfect look for our 1890s home.

While researching this subject, I've officially become the neighborhood stalker.  It's only a matter of time before someone calls the police on me (I swear).  Here are some driveway photos I've snapped and shared on Instagram this week...

cobblestone apron + crushed stone = total driveway perfection

another lovely cobblestone apron (this time, stretching into asphalt)

white crushed stone

round cobbles with white crushed stone beyond

And, then I found even more inspiring images on Pinterest, to really seal the deal. 

I like the pattern of the cobblestones, where it meets the crushed stone.  Very interesting.

loving this cobblestone edging.  I wonder if we can do this?

pretty cobbles, up close.

white crushed stone.

Gwyneth Paltrow's Los Angeles house with a stunning crushed stone driveway.

more cobbles...

love this sweeping drive, trimmed in stone.

What do you think?  Do you like it?


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Carriage House Elevations

We're building a carriage house (ie: 2 story garage) this summer.  I've mentioned our plans on the blog before, but haven't really updated you guys on the progress.  Over the last few months, we've cleared the space where the carriage house will be built, we've leveled it, and laid down a base of crushed gravel.  It doesn't sound like much, but trust me, it was crazy hard work.  We've obtained all of the necessary permits, and now we're waiting for our contractor to pour the concrete foundation (this will happen in the next couple of weeks). 

Here are a couple of elevations of the future carriage house:

front view:
Two-car garage with an upstairs room.  Love the tiny dormer windows.
*we will be upgrading to carriage-style garage doors (with windows and carriage-style hardware); also, we will be installing three large lanterns, alongside and in between the garage doors.

side view:
To give ourselves a little extra space in that upstairs room, we decided to go with a shed dormer on the backside of the carriage house (as you can see in this elevation above).  You won't be able to see this roofline from the front of the carriage house (so, it's sort of discreet).  Trust me, I agonized over this decision.  I'm not a huge fan of shed dormers.  But, in the end, it provides the most heavenly (and much needed) space in this upstairs room.  If we ever want to make this an office, or even a guest house, a shed dormer was a total necessity.  So, it's happening.
*our side door will not look like this one; we'll also be adding a wall-mounted lantern near the doorway.

back view:
The shed dormer in all it's glory. 
*this drawing shows two windows on the backside, but we'll be using four (a pair on the left and a pair on the right).  The extra windows will make the room feel brighter and happier. :)

One more note on the carriage house:
Even though it's not pictured in the elevations, we're adding a cupola! 

I never thought I would want a cupola, but I do. So, a cupola will also be happening here. :) Maybe we'll get a cute weather vane too.

UPDATE:  About a month after this post, we replaced the gable dormers on the front elevation with two larger, hipped dormers.  See the new elevation here!  :)

Thursday, July 5, 2012


I've recently discovered the wonders of Instagram.  This little iPhone app is pretty fantastic (and somewhat addicting).  Are you on Instagram? 

Dave and I had a very relaxing 4th of July holiday.  We spent the afternoon walking around some of our favorite Philadelphia neighborhoods (taking notes on wonderful landscape and hardscape ideas).  I snapped these pictures and posted them on Instagram...

hydrangea, in the most sensational shades of pink and purple

can you believe these ivy swags??

I love the pattern on these brick steps

charming little entry

I'm posting on Instagram more often than the blog... so if you want to follow me, my username is kellyrobson.  I've also added a window along the right-side column of this blog-- it updates regularly with my Instagram pics.  :)

I hope you all had a Happy 4th of July!


Monday, July 2, 2012

We're Proud Of Our American Made Products

Did you know that most of the products we sell in the store are 100% American made?!  They are!  And, we're proud of it.

We love working with skilled craftsmen all around this great country (from Seattle to Scranton!), creating new and unique pieces for High Street Market.  Providing our customers with affordable, American-made products (that are also chic!) will always be a top priority.  :)

Happy 4th of July!

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