July 13, 2010

That Is All

I've decided to suspend this blog. I'm going to make it private as it is a good journal of photos, and sources for me.

Thanks to all who have joined in the fun for the last three years. I'm so glad to have had the opportunity to meet you virtually, and in some cases, in person.


July 12, 2010

Life and Design

Years ago, I came across a design book by architect Sarah Susanka called The Not So Big House.

Susanka put into words what I had been thinking for years. She believes in designing homes “that favor the quality of its space over the quantity” not "the notion that houses should be designed to impress rather than nurture.”

I’ve always loved small spaces. The home we lived in for almost 18 years was a cottage built in 1925.

840 square feet on the main floor. I loved the intimacy it provided.

In the fall of 2006 we decided to move to the Central Oregon. We knew we wanted another house with a small footprint. We looked at house after house for almost 10 months. Half-way through the process, we realized moving to (at the time) the most expensive part of Oregon, wanting acreage, a house, and no mortgage was going to be a problem. We had to compromise somewhere.

With much grinding of teeth, we began looking at mobile homes on acreage. My husband asked me, “Can interior decorators really live in mobile homes?”

Living in a trailer, with fake paneling, plastic cupboards, shag carpeting, vinyl flooring, aluminum siding and metal slider windows held absolutely no appeal to me.

But after watching our formerly quiet country road in Silverton, sprout 200+ McMansions over the last 10 years, we knew we wanted the peace and quiet acreage would provide.

We bought 5 acres with views of the Three Sisters in Central Oregon’s High Desert.

We have 300+ days of sunshine a year, along with so much privacy I’ve yet to meet any neighbors....and we have a double-wide trailer. Life's funny, isn’t it?

It was late June of 2007 before we finally purchased this...home. A trailer. There was no beauty here. None.

This project has been my biggest design challenge to date. We gutted the entire inside…salvaging and donating items to the Habitat for Humanity resale shop, recycling wood and scrap metal as we went along. We tore out the cardboard and plastic ceilings, rewired and re-plumbed where necessary. We hired a crew to sheetrock over the existing paneling and then we coated the walls and ceiling with both low VOC (Devine) and zero VOC (Yolo) paints. We ripped out the germ-riddled plush carpeting and laid Eco-Timber solid bamboo flooring (using a non-toxic glue) throughout the entire house. We tore out (and recycled) aluminum slider windows, replacing them with energy efficient ones. We repurposed antique furniture into a vanity sink cabinet and linen closets rather than buying new pieces. The kitchen cabinets were purchased from a company who offered a green line of cabinetry. Paperstone (countertops made using 100% recycled paper and a non-toxic resin) was installed in the kitchen. Ten of the light fixtures we installed were found at second hand stores or purchased off Craigslist. We salvaged, reused and repurposed many items making our remodel as green as we could afford, and as beautiful as possible....and we paid cash.

Before and after photos here

July 10, 2010

Driving entertainment

"Carry laughter with you wherever you go. "

~ Hugh Sidey

More shadow shots at Hey Harriet

July 08, 2010

Walk into my parlor

...said the spider to the fly.

A Hobbit house at the Oregon Garden.
Lily pads and a place to rest weary feet.
A green roof gasping for breath in 97 degree heat.
Weird plant.
Other side of Hobbit house.

It is always interesting to view a place one has seen over and over, with the fresh eyes of one who has never experienced it. I walked through the oak grove at the Oregon Garden for the first time in 10 years. The children's garden is always a visual delight with weird plants, animal shaped topiaries, clay pot figurines and buried dinosaur (!) bones. But this was the first time I remember seeing the Hobbit house. How could I have missed it before?

Gardens on my mind

Got plans this Saturday?

If you're anywhere remotely close to Eastern Washington, I highly recommend Suzanne St. Pierre and Scotty Thompson's Art in the Garden show at Living in the Garden.

The best garden shop I've ever seen...

July 07, 2010

Off to the Oregon Garden

I'm taking a desert friend to my former hometown of Silverton for a tour of the Oregon Garden. We're going to stay overnight at the Oregon Garden Resort which offers a smokin' mid-week deal of guestroom with a private patio and fireplace, dinner at Oregon Garden Resort Restaurant plus one bottle of House wine, admission to The Oregon Garden and full American buffet breakfast...all for $89. Unbelievable.

July 06, 2010

Keeping the sun out

I recently found an Apartment Therapy article regarding the use of a transparent welding curtain as an indoor sunshade.

Being the wife of an artist blacksmith, I found this creative reuse intriguing. But I have to wonder about the off-gassing of sun heated vinyl. Perhaps if it was placed outside, rather than inside...

July 04, 2010

Time for Margaritas!

We finished the patio area!

Before shot:
After shot

Happily, it doesn't look like the back of a trailer anymore....
Last year before we built the deck & ramada:
The long, skinny, metal box.

Happy Fourth of July

"Let freedom never perish in your hands."

~ Joseph Addison

Vintage flags and image - Beryl Lynn

July 03, 2010


The sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers, but for the wide world's joy.”

~ Henry Ward Beecher

Free of the leash - elation sets in.

Click Hey Harriet for more shadow shots

July 01, 2010


Patio is coming along, but we ran out of pavers....and then it started raining.

Trux is looking mighty unhappy, but he wouldn't come inside. Silly dog.

June 30, 2010


I just finished a charity design project full of collaborators. The High Desert Design Council, specifically Mindy Lyman & Martha Murray, plus a handful of wonderfully talented volunteers and generous business owners, transformed the great room/kitchen of a women's and children's shelter.

We only had one week. And we had zero budget.

Amazing what can be done when people come together.

The biggest visual impact came from paint. Such a simple thing, really. But the WOW factor definitely comes into play when two gorgeous color are paired. No more white walls!
See more images here.
Huge thanks to Yolo Colorhouse for donating ALL the wall paint.