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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

Springing to Life

I think Charles Dickens said it best in Great Expectations when Pip described the day this way: 
“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.”
Despite the chill in the shade, I'm loving the warm, sunny moments this weekend. The forsythia, Bartlett pear and cherry trees are blooming, and the daffodils and hyacinths are putting on a good show, too. I haven't seen any tulips yet, but they can't be far behind. It's only two weeks until Easter, so I decided to spruce up the house with a few spring touches.

 Let's start in the front hall. This room has been painted Ralph Lauren's Dressage Red since shortly after we moved here. I want to paint it a more persimmon-y color, but I haven't found the right one yet. Suggestions are welcomed!

topiary bunny

I kept the spring decor pretty low key here, with a few moss rabbits nestled close to a concrete bunny and some blue and white decoupage eggs along with a bowl filled with blue, green, and lavender eggs.

topiary bunnies

Directions to make the decoupage eggs can be found here.

old keys

These speckled eggs fill this old blue and white bowl nicely.

stick leg sheep

 My flock of Putz or stick leg sheep hang out in the living room.

daffodils in blue and white pitcher

In the family room, I started off "styling" the coffee table with a blue and white pitcher filled with daffodils from Trader Joe's. I'd love to grow daffodils in our yard, but sadly we don't have enough sun.

glass honey dish

I filled this glass honey dish with speckled robin's egg candies. The honey pot was my grandmother's, so I'm especially fond of using it.

forsythia in blue and white containers

Some forsythia and a few sticks fill the blue and white ginger jars on the mantel, and a garland of eggs and a metal bunny wreath decorate below.

chocolate bunny display

Collected over the past few years, these "chocolate and candy" bunnies gather on an old tole tray to make a whimsical display.

chocolate bunny display

Whenever I set this up, I always imagine that someday I'll have grandchildren who will be enthralled by these little bunnies.

moss rabbits

An old wooden tray lined with moss and filled with bunnies and eggs welcomes guests in the kitchen.

eggs in hurricanes

So far, things are pretty simple in the dining room, with speckled eggs filling two hurricanes. I've been scheming on how I'll set the table for Easter brunch. A lot depends on what's blooming in two weeks.

white tulip poplar blooms

Simple tulip poplar blooms and a few magnolia stems decorate the sideboard. I really like how these look in front of the screen.

glass baskets

One Saturday afternoon, the Mister and I stopped into our neighborhood pharmacy, which still has a soda fountain, for a quick lunch. Next door to the drugstore, in a space that was for rent, there was a little sign on the door that said, Sale Today, and I could see that there were some lamps and other odds and ends set up on card tables inside. So we wandered in and talked to two older ladies, who were downsizing and had talked the landlord into letting them set up shop for the weekend. I bought the two skinny glass baskets for five dollars each and later bought the more shallow basket at an antiques fair to kind of round out the trio. I plan to fill them with flowers later, but for now, it's eggs in shades of blue and pink.

Do you decorate for springtime and Easter? Sometimes I think it's more trouble than it's worth, pulling things out and putting other things away, but I'm always glad once I start making the changes. For one thing, the house gets an extra good cleaning and feels a bit refreshed. And, for another, it gives me time to reflect on the season just ending and the new one beginning. Lastly, even though none of these things have any real value, they're sentimental to me, catalysts that release fond and funny memories of past Easters and springtime birthdays in our family's history.


  1. Love all your spring time touches, and I am jealous of all your blue and white pieces. :) That tray of bunnies is precious. Yes, I do decorate for the season, and Easter brings out bunnies and yellow at our house too. Thanks for all the inspiration!

    1. Thanks, Kelly! I know your decorations are amazing! I'm always inspired by your seasonal touches, and so jealous of your fabric/curtain "wardrobe"! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Love all your spring time touches, and I am jealous of all your blue and white pieces. :) That tray of bunnies is precious. Yes, I do decorate for the season, and Easter brings out bunnies and yellow at our house too. Thanks for all the inspiration!

  3. Very charming...the mantel is my favorite! It is wonderful to decorate for Easter...wishing I hadn't done an attic purge.

  4. Thanks, Karen. I know what you mean about that attic purge--that's always my dilemma, figuring out the value of storing some stuff versus the value of clean and simple. Glad you like the mantel!


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