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Countertop Review

This time last year I was packing up our house to prepare for our down-to-the-studs renovation in our kitchen, family room, and master bath as well as the addition of a screened porch. The family room wasn't originally part of the plan, but that's a post for another time. The kitchen was where I really had to plan and scheme, and, yes even fret, to stay in our footprint and budget and to get the function and look I wanted. I love a challenge like this, though, so despite some occasional frustration with my client (aka me! ), I enjoyed the process. A key "want" of mine was honed marble countertops. There are dozens--maybe hundreds--of blog posts, articles, and showroom sites that compare various types of countertop materials and their pros and cons. I read most of them and took notes from a lot of them in the months leading up to our start date. One of the most helpful things was visiting a sweet friend's kitchen, where I was able to ask questions about cleaning, a

Decked out

The Mister and I have spent the past few summers mourning the great screened porch we left behind at our old house.  Brick floors, wide white wooden framing, ceiling fans, a seating area, and a dining area—it really was a great porch, and we spent a few minutes there on all but the chilliest mornings saying prayers together and drinking coffee.  We ate lots of family suppers there as well, and it was the place we started with appetizers and drinks whenever we had company.  It was the perfect spot for napping and it was where we carved pumpkins and dyed eggs.  Our present house has a deck, two actually, with the primary one about 20 feet off the ground below, which is quite steep.  In other words, we will not be turning this deck into a screened porch.  Nevertheless, we have finally decided to get over ourselves and to pay our deck some attention.IMG_1952 So, we found an iron mesh table and chairs to seat six at—where else?—Target.  I’m not sure these pieces will stand the test of time, but they’re classic, and they’ll surely last as long as the deck.  Our lot is wooded, and the deck is well-shaded most of the day, so we did not buy an umbrella—yet.
IMG_1955Hydrangeas in big weathered clay pots fill out the corners of the deck and soften the spaces between some old Adirondack chairs, where we sit in the mornings.  The flowers above are the Nikko Blue variety.  Below are the Annabelle hydrangea, which are tinted the palest pink that darkens and eventually turns a lime green, if left on the plant.
IMG_1953  The only other plants on the deck are boxwoods, which do well in containers and don’t seem to mind the shade.   

Funny, we’ve already carved pumpkins and dyed eggs out here.  Now, we’re drinking coffee and saying prayers.  Come Memorial Day, we’ll grill out and share family supper with friends.  And that’s when we’ll be all decked out.


  1. It takes a long time to get used to a new home - I hope you come to love this space as much as the last one!

  2. I just love what you have done with the deck. Really looking forward to 'decking' out our new place in AZ...ah the wonders of succulents and cacti, a long way from lupins, bluebells and daffs.

    Have a stunning weekend.

  3. Wonderful plants on your deck! We need to get a table and some chairs on ours... just been too lazy. We also have a Kimberly Queen Fern as it stands the test of lot of sunlight. It is stunning and looks just like the Boston Ferns on our front porch.

    We are at PI right now for Memorial Day Weekend, but I may get working on our deck a little more when we come home... Thanks!


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