Cozy House Plans

Living Room

Living Room
My Little Cottage

Sunday, July 27, 2008

What's In/Out

Happy greetings, cottage buddies!!! I hope you are all having a great day and soaking up all the summer sun you can in those lovely cottage gardens. I have just a small "patch" in front of my little home and the "August Lilys" (an old fashioned name for Hostas) have finished blooming their pretty purple blooms and the tall stalks need to be cut back. Good activity for a Sunday afternoon, huh?

In my spare time (whatever that is==LOL) I love to read magazines and articles by others interested in design and decorating. I often come on articles with lists of what is "In" and what is "Out" in popular culture in reguards to materials and furnishings used in homes. I tend to chuckle a little at these lists as they always seem to guide the reader into thinking that they need to drop everything, shovel out the contents of their homes this very minute and rush down to the local home supply and furniture store so that they wont be outdone by their more contemporary, hip and happenin' neighbors. (Yes, child of the 60s that I am, I said. "Hip and Happenin'-sorry-heehee). I always have to wonder if anyone that read the list has done just that, hmmm. It really rubs my fur the wrong way when I find "the list" in well established interior design magazines as these should, above all others, hold to the time honored philosophy that design is more than just what is "popular" at the time. Here's what I mean; GOOD design is timeless, it is the combining of elements in a seemless flow. The very heart of good design is defined as the client works with the designer to create a space that is not only pleasing to the eye, but works well for the client after the designer has finished and gone on to the next project.
The design should encompass the classic principles of scale, harmony, rythm, balance and unity as well as the elements of line, color, shape and form. The materials selected should be those that add to the balance and are pleasing to the client and conductive to their intent of the way the room or rooms will be used at any given time.

You can see, then why it bothered me a great deal to see hardwood flooring mentioned in the "Out" column on one of these lists this week. WHAT were they thinking, timeless, beautiful, durable, re-cycleable, renewable, linear, wonderful hardwood flooring. I couldn't imagine a cottage without it!!! I think you all know me well enough by now to know how I feel about the cold, all concrete and steel world of post modernism--leave that stuff for prison design. Give me a home that is warm and welcoming with plenty of warm wood tones and natural materials around me (as well as my well-placed tchachkis and trinkets and books). Hardwood flooring-"Out"--INDEED!!! (Harumph). Oh well, to each his own...I think I will go tend to that garden patch now and then have some tea on the porch swing. After my rant I am pretty well spent.

Enjoy your Sunday,
Charlotte

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Teas for Summer Sippin'

Hello to all and I hope that everyone had a WONDERFUL 4th of July Celebration! I have been having a calm, quiet Saturday morning and enjoying one of my favorite "guilty pleasures"--a good cup of tea! I wanted to share some of my favorites with you:

Bigelow and Celestial Seasonings lead the pack in my book by way of variety, availability and price. Here are a few suggestions for warm weather sippin'.

Lemon: Need I say more? This classic summertime favorite is perfect with little cucumber sandwiches--quite refreshing!
Camomile: The light, honey-like flavor of this floral based tea is just the ticket to sooth an upset tummy or sooth jangled nerves--aahhh.
Blackberry: mmm, remember picking blackberries in the summer? This tea always takes me back to my childhood and stories of Peter Rabbit. If you decide to share a cup of this wonderful tea with a little one you might want to read the classic Beatrix Potter story with them as well. Treat yourself to a little Bunny Carrot Salad (recipe below) to round out the experience.

Bunny Carrot Salad

1- 8 oz pkg Cream Cheese (well chilled)
Parsley Sprigs (1 per salad for looks)
Finely shredded carrots on a plate
Lettuce or spinach leaves

Shred the carrots as fine as possible with either a grater or food processor. Place them on a plate for later. Cut the cream cheese into four equal portions (2 oz each)
and shape into "carrots". You may want to wear plastic gloves for this step. When you have finished shaping the cheese, roll each one in the shredded carrots. Place a parsley sprig in the end of each to complete the "carrot". Serve on a bed of lettuce or spinach leaves. This is as much fun to make as it is to eat--especially for children; of all ages.

For now, Stay Cozy,

Charlotte