Sunday, April 29, 2012

Coverlet Crazy!

For those of you stopping by for the first time....I have been on a retro, vintage, mid century, mad man KICK!

Soooo, I am channeling my recent obsession into the master bedroom. This is it in some past and present forms.....

Retro Dixie Dresser

Retro Dixie Chest

Thomasville Mid Century Side Tables

Lane Acclaim Cedar Chest

I also have thrown in some vintage and Hollywood regency accessories.....

So after all that, there is still a list of furniture, accessories, and soft furnishings I of them being a bed cover.

Well I might be crazy, and it might not be from the fifties exactly, but I found one I like.

Retro Coverlet

I almost didn't buy it because I thought it was a little pricey. It was $20 at Salvation Army. I was in a funk that day and was second guessing myself but I bought it anyway because it really caught my eye and was in great shape.

I didn't put it on the bed and left it folded up for a week before it was taken to the cleaners...I was torturing myself because I had buyer's remorse because I thought I paid way too much!

After more heart palpatations from the drycleaning bill, I got over myself and put it on the bed....AND LOVED IT!

Now $35 total dollars later, my buyer's remorse is vanished and I feel it is worth every cent. The fringe is worth it! The designs are worth it! I think it is so funky!

Speaking of funky, I sifted through many a pile of not so pristine bed covers at yard sales, estate sales, goodwill, salvation army, and nursing home tag sales. Patience paid off in my opinion and the thrill of the hunt ended in victory!

Now I need to do a little more searching and find out when it was made/sold.  The tag says "Penneys" with no apostrophe. Not JCPenney's. Hmmm, interesting....I will start by researching the logo.

Then I guess I will have to find some pillows and window dressing to compliment. That will be fun, huh?

I was thinking one accent pillow. We'll see about that. I can't decide.

I will also have to recover the chair for a third time...I probably have something in my fabric cabinet.

But for now, I will just enjoy it!

southern hospitality

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Must Be In The Front Yard!

Our Front Yard Before And After....FOUR Years In The Making.


Buy the worst house in the best neighborhood. Everyone does it on all the DIY shows, right? Sooo.......we did.

Maybe it doesn't look that bad...but it certainly doesn't look that good.
Left side of yard is eroding away into the woods. Random evergreen planted in the public utilities easement by the front curb. White porch and black door and shutters are too starkly contrasting. Mailbox is too short and leaning. The rest of the landscape is blah.

Grass was nonexistent and soil was gray, unhealthy, and eroding badly.


Poor unappealing little curb. I knew this would never do. And the transformations began.

Just expanding, mounding, and edging the bed made a difference. The vinca annual plants added color but of course weren't permanant.

Annuals were beautiful, but to really make an impact, I needed some evergreen shrubs and perennials. I was leaning toward a woodland/cottage theme. I thought this fit the setting of the house next to the woods.

I began raiding the plant clearance racks at Lowe's and surfing Craigslist for cheap and free plants.


Now creeping phlox flows gracefully over the curb and the yellow blooms of the coreopsis float color over the low growing juniper evergreens.

Buying your evergreens small and on clearance is economical and takes patience. Everything filling in around them can be transplanted and divided later when the evergreen grow larger. Salvia, coreopsis, creeping phlox, daylillies, candytuft, and red hot poker.



My husband used free pallets to retain the flower bed next to the woods.

It was difficult to walk on such a slant next to the house. We will be adding dumptruck loads of dirt here for years to recover an unusable area of our property.


Euonymus shrubs are now healthy and provide me with seedlings and rootings to transplant around the rest of the yard for free plants.


We picked truckloads of river rocks from a horse farm next to the James River. This covered the patch of dirt under the front porch that was a bed of weeds.


Shade plants now blanket a once weedy and eroded spot. I transplanted hostas that came with the house and bought seedling Hellebores on Craigslist. Hellebores cost $20 a piece at big box hardware and nurseries. I bought them for $1 a piece as seedlings.


Medium size boulders hold up the low end of the bed. I love rocks and ask for them for my birthday every year. I always find listings on Craigslist where people just give them away! Alot of hardscaping companies have a discard pile you can pick out of for a discount.


The azaleas will add more height every year helping fill the expanse of brick wall. I have also added a fringe tree and a native holly which both are evergreen for winter interest and height.


Everyone in the neighborhood has this front porch....kind of colonial. I wanted more cottage/woodland bungalow.



All clay and rocks on the right side of the house.

We have an extra curb entryway that was a service road. The previous owner bought this section after it was no longer in use. Eventually we will fix the curb but it is a red tape process. There were drivway gravel rocks embedded in the soil and it was impossible to do anything to the soil except build on top of it.



We added wood and dry-stacked stone retaining walls to deal with all the slopes and erosion. Grass would have been a constant battle and the flower bed helps separate our yard from our neighbors.


Native mountain mint helps hold the slope and to hinder erosion.


The side yard leading back to the shed was the most dramatic change.





Four years is really a long time...long enough for me to forget what we started with and all the work we put into it.

 I now find more earthworms than grubs which is a big enough reward in itself. Then there is all the wildlife to watch that now finds food or shelter in our yard. Not to mention all the blooms and sweet smells.

I don't know if I could do it all over again but I do know I enjoy it now that it has been done. I think it well worth it!

DIY Club