River Rocks

November 29th, 2015


River rocks are shaped by hundreds or even thousands of years of  rushing water giving them and inherent sense of longevity and natural time.  I really enjoy using river rock and pebbles in my landscape design.  They add texture and contrast as well as serve as borders or ground cover.   At the Portland Street of Dreams this year several of the houses had incorporated river rock.  I especially like how in some of these beds the river rock ends organically by tapering off.

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Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!

November 28th, 2015


I love Thanksgiving and cooking.  I attribute my affection for both of these to my mother.  My mom has always been a great cook and provided meaningful family time through meals.  So today I’m posting the recipe that my mom provided for the cook book I made a few years ago, Creative Spaces for Cooks.

Dorothy's Kitchen


Cook 2 large chicken breasts until tender in 4 cups water (add 4 chicken cubes to water).  Cube chicken.

1 cup uncooked dumpling noodles
1 cup peeled and cubed potatoes
1 cup cubed carrots
Add either 2 cups broccoli (or frozen peas).

When the above is tender, add a white sauce made from:

1/2 cube butter
1 1/2 cups milk
2 heaping Tablespoons of flour
2 cups shredded cheese (either sharp or mild, both work with white sauce)

When veggies and chicken are tender and white sauce, with cheese, to them.  Gently stir and serve.  You may decrease peas or broccoli if desired. 

Cook Book Cover

Goodbye to The Timothy House

November 22nd, 2015


At the end of this summer I said goodbye to the rental home I spent the last three years in and fondly referred to as, The Timothy House.  I moved in to this house anticipating a shorter residence, but this home and neighborhood were really good to me and I didn’t mind extending the stay.

more moving supplies grill in truck4 guys and a hutchcouch out up closemover in doorway with potunique deliveries van

I’d like to say, thank you to Unique Deliveries who always does a great job of moving me!


It so much fun to see this custom home under construction!  We started the plans almost two years ago, so the anticipation has definitely had time to grow.  It is going to be a beautiful home!

Charlesworth Construction 2

Charlesworth Construction 3

Charlesworth Construction



The kitchen  was light and simple with only one countertop material and cabinet faced appliances, yet there is enough black to still ground everything.  Notice all the different metal finishes used in the kitchen.


This wonderful space stretches from the entry to the kids bedrooms.


The placement of the wet bar around the corner from the kitchen is great for entertaining.

Living Room with TV and windowLiving  Room with all windowsIMG_6256

The more informal family room was very livable.  Notice how pretty the parquet floors were.


The black and white color scheme is also used in the powder bath with striking results.

Back door

The view out this back door just draws you to the courtyard.

TV RoomTV Room with credenza

This small TV room sits between the guest sweet and the two children’s bedrooms.

Guest BedroomIMG_6275

I really like the versatility of house plans with two master suites.


Wonderful paneling going down the stairs.


As much I didn’t want to exit the house, this was a nice mudroom to exit from.

Best of Portland Street of Dreams 2015

Yesterday I posted the exterior pictures for House #1, and today I am sharing the first half of the interiors of this beautiful house.  The interiors followed trends of the 1950’s really well while still accommodating modern day living.

The Shaw House main floor plan

This floor plan is really worth taking a good look at.  Every living space is full of light due to the floor to ceiling windows.  The house offers main floor living with the master bedroom separate from the guest suite and children’s room.  There is wonderful balance of formal and informal living space.

Lower Level Floor PlanFamily Room with Built-in sofa

This is the formal living room by the entry.  I really like the built in sofa.  Also, notice the panel wall with transom windows bringing in so much light from the entry hall.

Dual sitting areas50's furniture sitting areaOffice

The office had blue wool shag carpet and wood paneling walls and ceiling.  The period furniture in this room is so fun.

Master Bedroom

I loved the partition wall behind the bed. The tongue and groove wood from the ceiling continued down the wall creating a dramatic effect.

Master Bedroom ceilingMaster Bedroom toward fireplace

The peach is a great pop of color.

Master Bathroom vanity and tubMaster Shower

The Kallista plumbing in brass is rich!

Dinning Room

All the white in this room is really elegant.  The chandelier, drapery highlight the natural light.

Interior pictures to be continued….


The renovation home was truly phenomenal

House #1, which was a 1950’s renovation was awe-inspiring.  It was the first home I went through and then after 8 more homes I still wanted to just wander through one more time.  So I ended with this home as well.  Although this home went through extensive renovation and 1.2oo square feet were added the original architectural style and  many original materials were maintained.  IMG_6239

This is the view from the front of the home.  The architectural style of clean vertical lines and transom windows, seen in this courtyard wall, is carried throughout. IMG_6240Front courtyard

The front courtyard was serene with both mature growth and carefully placed new beginnings.  Every detail of the landscape received attention, as can be seen below in this detail shot of the walkway.


front door

Although visible form the street this front door is privately tucked away.

Front Elevation

Front Elevation with wall of windows


This side view of the houses shows the wrap around porch and clearstory windows.

Side patio

There were as many wonderful outdoor spaces in this home as there were indoor.

wrap around patioIMG_6264

As the  covered patio ended there were a few stairs and then this fire pit.

IMG_6263Stair design

Great step design.

Rear elevation from down below

The rear elevation of the home has a 2 car garage and back door at ground level, yet on the lower level of the home.

Rear elelvation from partially below

Rear elevation

Back yard and patio

Back Yard

This quaint courtyard with a gas fireplace is an amazing place to sit and enjoy the large back yard and the natural old growth surroundings.

Portland Street of Dreams continues to be one of my favorite home shows every year. As always this year had many fresh ideas and beautiful spaces. I love seeing the detail work that goes into these homes. Here are some pictures of great tile work from the show.

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These mosaic floors were phenomenal!


There were several showers that had a tile feature wall as oppose to stripes of accent tile.


A few fresh takes  on white tile.


I liked these fun graphic tiles.


This natural stone floor was beautifully laid in a classic herringbone pattern.


A couple of cool backsplashes.