Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Nellie Stevens Holly

In the two years since we've owned our house, our landscaping work has pretty much involved two dominant tasks: rip out and plant grass seed.  Remember this before and after of the side yard?

May 2010

June 2010
(in progress)

May 2011

And, now that we have a blank slate to work with, we're ready to create a landscape that involves more than just grass.  First on the priority list is a hedge row.  While we truly adore our neighbors nextdoor, we both need a little privacy.  So, we would like to plant a modest wall of planted shrubs along the fence line.  Nothing crazy, but something dense and manicured, that will give us a nice green border, and them some charming privacy.  It also had to be evergreen-- we don't want the hedges shedding their leaves every winter.  Once the hedge is grown and manicured, we'd keep it about 8 to 10 feet tall.

When we started researching hedges, we immediately thought of boxwood.

Martha Stewart's endless boxwood driveway

perfectly manicured mature boxwood hedges

However, we quickly realized that this will NEVER be a feasible option for us.  Boxwood grow only a couple of inches per year(!!!) and we hoped for a hedge wall that reached 8 feet someday soon.  Also, the cost of one 4' boxwood runs in the hundreds of dollars.  Since we need about thirty plants, the cost would have been astronomical.  So, we quickly crossed it off the list. 

From there, we went the other direction and looked into basic, cheap, fast-growing, dense shrubs.  This involved researching the varieties of Arbortivae and Leyland cypress.  Both are great trees for a hedge wall.  But, we're not in love with the foliage (it's a lovely evergreen, but can get mangled and messy if not properly cared for).   Also, they need a lot of maintenance if you want a create a manicured wall.  These trees have the ability to grow up to 50 feet(!!!), so we would need to keep them in check.  This would involve heavy pruning twice a year, and Dave on a ladder with a hedge trimmer.  :)

Leyland Cypress hedge wall, perfectly manicured.

Just before we were ready to commit to the Leyland Cypress, we did a bit more research and came across the Nellie Stevens Holly.  Let the heavens rejoice.  This seems like the perfect plant for us.  This evergreen hybrid grows about 2 feet per year, it's perfect for privacy screens, and it thrives on neglect.  Also, from an aesthetics perpective, it produces the most beautiful dark green, tiny waxy leaves (I love!!) and during Christmastime, we'll have bright red berries.  Yes, yes, and yes, please.  Also, it's cheap.  Sign us up.

Nellie Stevens Holly

Nellie Stevens Holly

holly hedge

holly hedge

We'll need to plant these babies in April.  Until then, I would love to hear from some of you.  Do you have experience with any of these plants?  Have you ever planted something that ended up growing differently than you expected?  Please share!


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Client Custom Pillows

Last week, I delivered some custom throw pillows for a clients family room.  I snapped a few pictures and thought I would share them with you today.  Overall, the room is grounded in a neutral color palette that features a mix of textures (and kid friendly fabrics).  Most of the color is concentrated in the throw pillows!  My client was inspired by the soft and soothing colors of the beach, so we used pale blues, aquas, and greens as accent colors.  The chocolate throw pillows add some contrast.

The drapes will be installed in a few weeks. 


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Good, Fast, Or Cheap?

I started my design career working with Betsy Burnham.  And when meeting with clients, she would often ask them about their top priorities: "Do you want the design to be good, fast, or cheap? Pick two, because you can't have all three at once."  And, I swear, it's totally 100% true.  Think about your top priorities...  good and cheap?  You'll spend hours and hours, weeks and weeks, trying to find the great deals!  Therefore, not fast.  Do you want the design to be good and completed fast?  You'll be spending money through the nose to get pieces off the floor, and expedited.  You might not shop around for better pricing, you might not get multiple bids for contracting work, etc.  You'll be pushed for time.  Therefore, not cheap.  See?  Totally true.  That being said, our definitions of "good", "fast", and "cheap" are all relative.  But overall,  Good, Fast, or Cheap? is a pretty good rule of thumb.

Betsy was recently interviewed by the gals over at Lamps Plus.  In the interview, she dishes over her favorite design tricks, her recent obsessions, and she provides some great design advice.  Read the interview HERE.


Friday, February 17, 2012

Happy Weekend!

Isn't this funny? 

Also, I thought I would hate Pinterest when I first joined.  Boy was I wrong.  Now, I love it and check it everyday.  I can't stop!  Pin it!  Pin it!  Pin it!

Have a happy weekend dear friends.  Thanks to everyone who participated in our Cup Of Jo giveaway.  I think I'll spend the majority of my weekend reading through the hundreds and hundreds of comments!  What fun.  Also, did anyone watch the Westminster Dog Show this week?  If you did, you saw this commercial.  I am one of the crazy dog lovers that cries when it comes on.

Happy Weekend!


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

$300 Cup Of Jo Giveaway

Hey guys!  Today, we're teaming up with our friend Joanna Goddard to giveaway a $300 High Street Market gift certificate!  So, what would you buy with a $300 credit?  New table lamps?  This bar cart?  Maybe a few pillows?  Or, a collection of vintage framed maps?

Also, in celebration of our giveaway, enjoy 15% OFF every High Street Market order until Friday 2/17.  Just enter "CUPOFJO" at checkout!

Happy Shopping!

the High Street Market team


Monday, February 13, 2012

Sometimes, We Need A Little Leopard

I love using animal print in controlled doses.  Think of it as a "neutral" ... and honestly, there's nothing quite like it.  A healthy dose of animal print fabric can really kick things up a notch.   You should try it sometime.  This winning "neutral" works with everything.  Start with a pillow, or an upholstered ottoman...  or, maybe even a rug!

I'm partial to leopard at the moment (especially after finding those amazing Jean-Michel Frank chairs for a client of mine).  Sometimes, we just need a little leopard...

And speaking of leopard rugs, I recently found this abstract version at RugStudio.com and I'm loving it...

I have one rule of thumb when it comes to animal print:

Try to select animal print in the color that it exists on the animal.  There are some exceptions to this rule, of course.  Kids rooms are exempt.  And, there are a few designer fabrics that do "blue zebra print" quite well.  But, if you're unsure?  Stick with the way that nature made it.  You can't really go wrong with that.


The Weekend

And, what a lovely weekend it was...

It snowed:

We made a trip to Terrain to get a little landscape inspiration (Springtime is right around the corner, after all)...  and I got distracted by the merchandise:

An antiquing trip through Bucks County ended with a visit to Linden Hill Gardens, and a strool through their gorgeous greenhouses:

And, we have a new project in the works for High Street Market!  Here's a hint of what we'll soon see stocked in our shop:

Happy Monday!


Friday, February 10, 2012

A New Radio

Dave got me this radio for Christmas and I love it so much.  First of all, it's tiny and adorable (I love the retro styling).  Second, it plays music off my iPhone and I can listen to FM & AM radio whenever I want.  Want to stream your favorite Pandora station?  It does that.  Want to listen to the news?  You can.  I love it! 

It sits in my office and keeps me company during a busy workday.

My newest obsession involves 70's music (it's the best).  And, I may or may not have entered a local radio giveaway for a vacation to the Caribbean.  I hope they call my name!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to turn the volume back up.  There's something I want to listen to...


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Domino Magazine Is Back!

Can you believe it?

Read the details HERE.


Monday, February 6, 2012

A Soothing Nursery

My sister, Alyssa, and her wonderful husband are pregnant with their first child.  And, it's a boy!  She's due in June.  We're SO excited to meet the little guy, and we can't wait to fill our roles as "Aunt Kelly & Uncle Dave".  When Alyssa asked me to help her with the nursery (wait-- did she actually ask me?  Or, did I just barge in and offer to help?  I can't remember exactly how it happened, but how could I resist this???  I MUST be involved, she can't stop me)....  So, Alyssa pretty much begged me to help her with the design of the nursery, and I said, "Really, are you sure? I would love to help!  I have so many ideas!  Let's get started."  Yes, that's how it happened.

Alyssa lives in Florida, so most of our ideas will be exchanged via email and text message.  Sort of an e-design of sorts.  Alyssa had one specific request: no bright over-saturated colors, the nursery should feel soft and soothing.  It should be a safe place for the baby to grow and learn.  We agreed on using a muted color palette, with accents of soft color.  Tiny, unexpected details and a mix of texture will keep the room interesting and sophisticated.  Then, as he grows, the predominately neutral scheme will allow the space to evolve.

These images served as some healthy inspiration when coming up with the design...

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