Sunday, October 4, 2015

Wyoming Trip and French Door Installation

We couldn't wait to make the return trip to Wyoming!
It had been ten years ago since we found this beautiful part of the country.
Visions of the wild west danced in our heads as the date approached.
But first we had other matters to attend to.
Seems like this month was jam packed with so many events, including putting in our French door off the dining room.  It has been a dream of mine for a while now, and it was finally happening!! In true husband and wife DIY fashion, we did indeed install this thing together.  A first for us both.  Since the door weighs a thousand pounds at least, hubs used his skill and genius and put straps around the doors and attached them to his excavator and lifted the massive French door into position. I had the important job of guided it carefully onto the sill that hubs had created with his sawzall.  Ha! Don't be afraid peeps, just cut right through your house and keep your fingers crossed.  As we like to say around our house, "Better Lucky than Good" and it seems to be how it rolls for us.  We didn't have to deal with an wiring issues as this house was a prefab and the wiring was put underneath the floor construction, instead of inside the walls!  So no wiring to deal with, just get the hole the right size. Weatherize it and insert door, then all that remains is to seal it up and fix the siding and then interior.   But seeing as we had scheduled a trip to Wyoming and the door had come a few days earlier, we couldn't leave it outside to the weather.  So we put it in and did a temporary seal, until this week, when I hope we get a chance to finish it properly.  
This was the scary/fun part...haha. 
That is my dining room with my husband/fearless DIY contractor inside
 figuring out how to pull this off.  Formerly a window opening, it will now be a doorway
 we will use a lot.  Of that I am sure.  So stay tuned for the finished photos, 
hopefully sooner than later.
 The other hard part of leaving on the trip was our new aquisition, Colby.  So we lined up help from Colin, my mother in law, my neighbor and a doggy daycare.  Between the village we had it covered!! I wrote up lists of how to do this and that for him and taped it all to the fridge.  He had been having digestive issues so the day before we left I took him to a good vet and they gave me all kinds of medicines that our caregivers were going to have to administer.  They did the trick too, as he is 100% fine and was so in just a day.  Good vets are PRICELESS I tell ya!
 Hubs buttoned up the inside of the door the night before we left...
and within hours we found ourselves in one of our most favorite places, 
Jackson Hole, Wyoming!
We stayed for three nights at the Rusty Parrot Lodge, and what a treat that was.  It is a very small 30 room hotel and it caters to those looking for a quality experience with almost a fancy home lodge feel.  The beds were out of this world comfortable and the decor was just beautiful. 
Our arrival was delayed so it wasn't til midnight that we got to the Rusty Parrot. We found the front desk closed but a small envelope with our names addressed on the front.  I felt like Alice in welcomed us and instructed us to phone the night manager to show us our rooms.  And quick as a wink we were set up in our rooms, and tucked in for the night.  We were exhausted from the entire day of traveling from Boston to Texas and finally Wyoming. In the morning the first thing I wanted to do was go hit the coffee bar in the library and head out onto the roof deck.
 A full coffee bar is set up here, 24/7.  Hubby liked this feature very much.  I liked the decor~from the burberry plaid rug to the leather furnishings and paneled walls. This was Western Style with a luxe twist.  I could get used to this!
 The sun was coming up and it was gorgeous outside!  There was a chill in the air and so an attendant lit the fire pits for us.  We settled into the sofa and sipped our coffees taking in the majestic views. What a great way to start our vacation! We had many things planned and so without dragging out this post, I will post a few of our highlights with a brief description. 
 We started the day off at the Saturday Farmers Market in downtown Jackson.  We shopped and walked around the square listening to a local band serenade the crowd.
 We posed for pics next to the most touristy of traps, including this big Moose.  Soon we found a pair of cowboy hats to buy....and then it was time for lunch.  This was easy living, and we were having a blast.
We spotted this roof top lunch place opposite the famous town square, 
a perfect spot for people watching.
Fall was in the was a crisp 68 degrees and the leaves of the Aspens were falling.
 This park has four elk antler archways and are a favorite spot for picture taking.
 We returned to our hideaway hotel and hit the roof deck again for cocktails before dinner.
It was three days of shopping, eating, walking around town and a few activities like bike riding and rafting too. We were ready to relax and take full advantage of what Jackson had to offer.
The Rusty Parrot had complimentary bikes. Since it was one block away
 from the happening downtown square it was fun to take advantage of that option.

We also geared up for a trip down the Snake River with the Jackson Hole White Water Co.
The wet suits were recommended for the trip as the water was freezing! 
After our Whole30 we were feeling slimmer and it was a pleasure to try on clothes 
and these wetsuits too.  
We had a blast cruising down the Snake with Ian, our guide, at the helm.  
 We shopped for HomeDecor stuff too.  This shop had the best Western stuff and it was hard to resist.
We were falling in love with the Western lifestyle...we even started looking at homes for sale!  But then we got to realizing that a vacation here every now and again will do just fine.
One last night in Jackson meant a lovely dinner at the Wort Hotel in their Silver Dollar Bar and Grill.  It was easily our best dinner all week, and its in the oldest hotel in Jackson!  
Then after dinner we enjoyed more shopping on the boardwalk... I loved this window display by Pendleton.  My son's shop Pioneer Goods Co in Boston also sells Pendleton decor, like these amazing keep sake blankets.  I think they are incredible, and I gave one to my husband for Fathers Day.  Its an heirloom blanket, and if you ever get a chance to see them, you will see why. This one in the window caught my eye, in its pretty color combo of aqua and brown.
We would return for one more night at the Rusty Parrot and then head for the Teton Pass
to spend the next four nights in a log home in Idaho.  Before we left Jackson
we visited the Elk preserve which was an incredible place created to protect the Elk population.
 After almost losing the Elk to the harsh winters at the turn of the century the local people and the government finally did something about it.  The Elk preserve was created to defend against poaching as well as to offer supplemental feeding when weather was harsh.  
 Leaving Jackson WY towards Idaho, one heads through the mountains in a cut out rode called the Teton Pass.  Its the most incredible road with fabulous vistas.  At the very top of the pass is this sign and we stopped for a photo op and a look at the views.  
 We arrived 30 minutes later at our incredible log home in Victor Idaho.  I found this place on Airbnb. We have rented the most fabulous homes through this website....and never been disappointed.  We found a custom log home with 5 bedrooms, even though it was just us two.  A water fall and a pond along with a hot tub under the stars was all right here for us to enjoy.
 Something so perfect about staying in a log home on a visit to the west!
A large deck faced the southern side of the property, and had a line of Aspens offering shade. We were thrilled to be in Idaho!  It was completely gorgeous.
 The next day we set out for Yellowstone Park.  We would enter through the west access point, which meant driving north through Idaho, entering Montana and then back again to Wyoming to the West entrance.  
 It was a splendid day and we had a major league road trip on our hands.  Luckily hubby likes to drive, and I got to look out the windows at the view. We saw potato fields and farming operations in Idaho, and then finally we arrived at Yellowstone.
 It was more majestic than I recalled and it had incredible sights and smells of the sulfur pools and hot springs. We spent all day and into the evening touring Yellowstone and put 330 miles on the car.
 The following day we enjoyed a low key visit to the golf course across the street from where our log cabin was located.  Can you imagine playing golf in a place like this?  It was amazing!
Our log home host, Ben, suggested we have lunch with him at this golf resort.
 No arm twisting needed.
  The last thing in our weekly docket was to fit in a horse back ride, which we did at Spring Creek Ranch.  They had a professional photographer take pics which was really nice to have as a keepsake.
We all got saddled up and were assigned horses based on our various sizes.
Hubs was the first one put on a horse, and I was the last out of the group of 9.
And finally we were off...
It was a cloudy day and it made for a pleasant ride. 
 The views were spectacular, and like being on the raft, we felt so much more
at one with the environment, being out on horseback. What a great way to see this area.
It was a true highlight of our trip.  
We only took a one hour trail ride but we had view that looked across to the Grand Tetons
 as well as down into the valley of Jackson Hole.
 We were in a group of other riders that all turned out to be in a wedding party from Boston!  
So that was pretty funny, and we shared a few laughs along the trail.
Dave followed the guide on his horse, Chester.  
Chester was a big ole slow horse.  My horse, Nugget, was a finicky filly in a hurry.  
She had her nose up Chesters behind the entire ride, once kicking out her back legs
 as the guy behind me approached. Woah!! I was not in my comfort zone really,
 as I hadn't been on a horse since I was twelve.  So one hour was plenty of a trail ride for me.
 We left Spring Creek Ranch, which also happened to have been the place Dave and I stayed when we were here ten years ago!  My parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary and took their entire family out to Jackson Hole for a week!! It was such a great family vacation, one we will never forget.  These are the things that are so important for families, taking time to do things
and creating memories that will last a lifetime. Thanks mom and dad. 
You did that for our entire lives and it was awesome. 
Here is the pic of us all ten years ago in Jackson on the Snake River.
 My son Colin sits on the front of the raft in the "bull" position at age 13. 
 I am right behind him in the white ball cap, with Dave to my left padding in front of my dad.
My other two sons, Justin and Brandon are on the opposite side of the raft, 3rd and 4th in line from the lead paddler, my brother in law Tim, and my brother Brian behind him.  My two sisters flank my mom who is drenched, seated int he back of the boat.  This was simply a blast!
 After we left Spring Creek, we visited the Teton Village and had lunch.
The Teton Village is the ski resort and there are tons of condos and hotels and 
places to eat and shop.  Its a little village nestled at the foot of the mountains.
Lunch was followed by a nap and then back out to eat again.
 Dinner at Gun Barrel, which was filled with taxidermy of all types, which
lead to these silly pics.
If you want to feel small, look at a bison or a moose.  
 And in a blink it was over....
7 lovely days with my husband spent in the wild west had come to an end.  
Life was waiting for us back home.  
We had a French door to finish and a puppy to hug.
and train.....

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Friday, September 25, 2015

Project Design:How to Create a Beautiful Bed

I was asked to join some fabulous design bloggers on the Project Design series. 
This series is "How to Create a Beautiful Bed".   Sounds pretty elementary, but actually
more goes into making a lovely looking bed than even I realized.  After doing
the post on my own bedding, I found out that making a bed look beautiful took 
a few tricks.  I have two beds to share, so take a look at how they came together.
So lets get started with some analysis and solutions.
How to approach dressing up a bed:
STEP 1. A bedroom starts with an established color palette, so that is a basic beginning point. Next up is the foundation, your sheets.  I have various collections of sheets in florals and plain white. I like to mix and match things and many times will use a different top and bottom sheet on purpose. In this case I had a set of lovely embroidered sheets with a green leaf detail.  Since the bedroom is blue I wanted to coordinate the two colors together.  That is where the next step of layering comes in.
STEP 2.  Layering means just that, adding layers to create interest.  Since I had green sheets in
the blue bedroom, I added blue and white buffalo check shams from my Ballard Designs set
behind the white pillowcases.  Next I added toss pillows in front and I tried various pillows to 
see which ones looked the best with the new sheets.  A pale blue floral chintz pillow that I created
with poms on the border for extra detail was the accent pillow that would tie the two color groups of blue and green together. 
STEP 3.  Pillows are the key to making a bed feel dressed and beautiful.  I had more than 
these on the bed at first, but I felt it was too busy for the restful look I wanted.  So I pared
down the pillows to just two, using the green toile to reinforce the green on the sheet set and then the blue chintz floral lumbar pillow to be the personality piece that finishes the look.
STEP 4. Do you Duvet?  I can remember when it was only the Europeans that used
Duvets on beds.  But now they are common place and most people either are duvet lovers or firmly in the bedspread or quilt category.  Of course you can layer both if your choose.  In the warmer months I take off our duvet and store it until the weather gets cooler.  During these months I often use an empty duvet cover as a simple covering draping the bed, or sometimes I will layer a large vintage
embroidered tablecloth over the bed, like I did in this case.  Its a fun way to add interest to your bedding and I feel it gives my bed a more european look. 
 I could have easily added the Ballard Designs Buffalo Check duvet folded at the foot of the bed, so consider your options for your bed's top layer.  Or add a woven blanket at the foot of the bed in your color palette for another layer that will add texture for interest.  
Perfectly made beds don't seem to photograph as beautifully as slightly 
rumpled beds, so if you are looking for your bed's beauty shot, pull back the sheets and 
mess it up a bit!  Lets take a look at another bed I styled for a recent photo shoot
I did in Newport with Matthew Mead at the home of Lydia Langston.
 This bed was done in a color palette of white with the luxurious looking duvet as 
the star. Ok, maybe it was the dog that was the star!  Haha!
But overall this was a very simple bed to do, as the huge puffy shirred duvet really
was all that was needed in addition to adding some pillows.  

STEP 5.  I didn't forget this step, I just wanted to show how beautiful this bed feels, and in large part it is due to the lovely accents that surround the actual bedding. This is a great example of how bedside accents can play up the mood of the bedding. Lovely soft colored accents in the way of a sunset oil painting and some pale pink roses added romance and sophistication to this bedroom.
 Some toss pillows echo the rooms neutral palette.  In this case, we really went
for the rumpled luxe look. We even tossed pillows onto the floor.
 Just makes you want to dive in under the covers!
 Since there was no headboard, large white euroshams were used resting against the wall.
The bedding and pillows, from Homegoods,  made a luxe statement at a reasonable cost. 
 So make up your beautiful bed with my 5 easy steps!  
And make sure you make it your own way, in your own style, using lots of what you
already have and maybe a few well chosen pieces for a wonderfully beautiful bed!
Please visit the other Project Design bloggers to see how they Create a Beautiful Bed.

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