Thursday, August 30, 2012

Driveway Update: Cobblestone Apron (Progress)

Last Friday, Dave & I took the day off and got to work laying our cobblestone driveway.  The fact that we are delusional enough to do this project ourselves just shows you how crazy we actually are (and let me tell you, we're nuts).  This D.I.Y. ain't for the faint of heart.  It's really hard work.  We've prepped for this project over the last eight weeks-- excavating, laying down gravel, and building our retaining walls.  We've also spent a great deal of time sorting these reclaimed cobblestones by size.  Why sort them by size?  Well, every single jumbo block is a different size (they were salvaged from an old Philadelphia street).  The irregular sizes will give the finished look even more vintage charm, and we like that.  But, if you want the rows to line up and create a smooth installation, you need to sort them.  We had groups of block measuring 6" wide, 6.5" wide, 7" wide, 7.5" wide, and so on...  The length doesn't matter.  Just as long as we could control the width of each row, we were happy. 
So far, we've finished about eleven feet of our cobblestone apron.  Three days of work, and eleven feet of cobblestone.  It's slow going, but the finished product is BEAUTIFUL and we're so proud of ourselves.  Here's what we've done over the last week...
Friday, August 24th -
 sorted cobblestones, ready to go.
Spirits are high and we're ready to begin work.  I've promised to be a good assistant and let Dave run the show (can't have two bosses on this project... and I tend to be very bossy.  So, on this project, Dave is the manager and I am the helper).  We're hoping for a productive day.  :)

the first row is complete.
We decided to run one decorative row of vertical blocks, then the rest of the driveway would be done in a running bond pattern.


more progress

Dave, following the string lines and making everything level.

end of the day-- six feet of the driveway, done.
Sunday, August 26th -
No photos of this work day.  We worked a half day and installed three more rows. 
Wednesday, August 29th -
Dave installed about fifteen feet of our raised edge. 
This simple trimming has turned into our favorite detail.
I busted out a new pair of Tuff Chix...

And, we continued to lay ten more rows of cobblestone...

at the end of the day, we were left with this!
We've completed 11 feet of the cobblestone apron.  Only about 19 more feet to go.

close up of the cobblestone block and the retaining wall (made of Pennsylvania fieldstone), just after we hosed everything down.
We'll be making more progress over the next week.  I think we have about 2-3 days of hard work ahead of us, and then the apron will be complete.  God, I look forward to that.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Weekend Installations & Project Sneak Peeks

Saturday was a very exciting day.  If you follow me on Instagram (@kellyrobson), you'll know that the day was filled with back-to-back client installations.  I posted pictures throughout the day as we hung custom drapery panels and roman shades in two clients' homes.  I'm lucky to work with a team of exceptional craftsmen, and it was really fun to see these projects come to fruition.  Here are a few sneak peeks from Instagram...
polished nickel rod & rings-- so pretty.
eight custom panels made from 100% linen, trimmed in grosgrain ribbon... waiting to go up.

our new double width, inverted pleat drapery panels
our new drapery installer (my clients 3 year old son), he approves of the new drapery.
how cute is this one??

quick shot of the room with the new panels.
We hung a custom roman shade in the powder room...
new faucet & mirror
marble floors & pedestal sink
By 3 o'clock, we were all finished with house #1...  now, onto house #2!
sneak peek of my clients lovely dining room, just off the kitchen. 
 new relaxed roman shade over the kitchen sink, installed.
(amazing hydrangeas outside her window)
and, a second shade over a smaller window went up.
The rest of the weekend was spent working on our new cobblestone driveway. 
Progress photos coming soon.  :)
Happy Monday!



Thanks for asking-- the credenza is actually from our shop. Link HERE.  /  The faucet is from Restoration Hardware... the handles read "HOT" & "COLD" respectively. :)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Carriage House Update: Hipped Dormers

A couple of weeks ago, Dave and I met with our builders.  We finalized some basic things, paid our down payment (gulp), and discussed the building schedule (we're planning on mid-September).  Then, we made a huge impulsive choice to change the front elevation of the new carriage house.  And, I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT IT.  We decided to kill the original gable dormers, and replace them with hipped dormers and double windows.  Here's what we're getting...

image from our builders portfolio


We made the decision on impulse and left the office feeling good.  Then, for the next 72 hours, my mind raced.  Are we making the right decision?  Will the hipped dormers complement our house?  Gabled dormers are a classic, but will we love the hipped-style dormers just as much?  The answers are YES YES and YES.  The more I thought about it, the more I was sure we made the right choice.  The hipped dormers give us more headroom.  The double windows give us more light in the second floor.  And, the style is perfect for our 1890s Four Square house.  I'm pumped about these hipped dormers, you guys.  :)

Here is an updated front elevation of our new carriage house.  I added the lanterns because giant lanterns make everything look better.

You like it right?
Happy Weekend!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Recent Happenings

Things have been very busy lately, and if you check this blog regularly, I apologize for the lack of postings!  Last week, an anonymous commenter asked me to "post more frequently!"  I read that and immediately thought, "How nice! Someone likes to read my blog.  I must post more frequently."  And, then I neglected to write a post for an entire week.  Sorry, Anonymous. 

So, while I try to get a good post together, I'll leave you with some images of this busy week.  Last weekend, we ran up to New York City for some meetings and while we were there, we managed to drop in on the New York Gift Show.

pretty shells

the Anglophile in me looooooved this chair, and I think it could be a fun DIY someday.

I seemed to be digging vintage glass bottles (since there were many images similar to these on my phone)... well as anything covered in rope. 

me, with my post-gift-show-glass-of-wine / our view from dinner
The very next day, I had a meeting in Berks County, PA...
stunning Pennsylvania sky / lots of lovely corn fields
Yesterday, Dave and I met with some of our local craftsmen, developing some new products for the store....
weighing our wool

the workshop
In our free time, we managed to decide on a grout color for the cobblestone apron of our new driveway...
I like the one in front
and, we're still sorting cobblestones by size...  an endless job.
And every night, I watch 30 second videos of my infant nephew (my sister's baby)....  over and over and over again.  I'm so in love with him, I can hardly stand it.
His name is Mickey and he's so perfect.  I can't wait to finally meet him next month.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The House on First Street

The September issue of Elle Decor is on newsstands now, and while everyone seems to be talking about covergirl Reese Witherspoon's Ojai retreat (it's lovely), I went CRAZY over this Greek Revival renovation in New Orleans.  Purchased almost one year prior to Hurricane Katrina, the renovation journey was, needless to say, filled with extraordinary challenges.  So much so that homeowner, Julia Reed, wrote a book about her experiences (and her newly adopted city of New Orleans) called, "House On First Street."

The Elle Decor article--written by Julia herself--is charming.  Her friend, interior designer Thomas Jayne, worked with her to design the interiors of the home with input from other friends, Suzanne Rheinstein and Patrick Dunne(!!).  And, one thing that resonated with me, as a fellow home renovator, was how Julia took her time with the restoration.  She saved money for things she wanted (Waterworks fixtures everywhere!), and held out for items on her wishlist.  The result is nothing short of remarkable-- A Greek Revival stunner in the heart of New Orleans that oozes historic charm.  Thanks for the inspiration, Julia. 

 but wait, there's more...

The landscape and courtyard design was done by Ben Page of Page Duke Landscape ArchitectsHoly moly.  What a talented firm this is.  Here are just a few snippets from the Page Duke portfolio (which is pretty mind blowing).  For more, please visit their gallery HERE.

Visit their websites for even more design inspiration..


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