My Parent’s House a.k.a. The Ranch

My parent’s house (designed by my Dad’s firm) and more so my Mom’s gardens were featured yesterday in The Boston Globe Magazine.  So great seeing as my dad designed a gorgeous house (on a not to shabby plot of land) and my mom works her butt off on the gardens all by herself! They deserve a little attention for it! Sarah Winchester shot so many good pics I wanted to share more than was published!

The front patio and porch where we hang a lot.

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When I sit here it feels like I’m at a resort.



Back of the house. What a dump.


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Back garden.  This area is amazing.


My mom makes those birdhouses out of dried gourds her friend grows. So crafty.

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We have a thing for stars. You can see them all over in our old beach house on my dad’s site.


More details. I did not inherit Mom’s green thumb, not even close.

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Roses. Roses. Roses.


So lovely, no?


Prime wine time spot.


The back gate, complete with heart shaped stone they found and put at the entrance.


A flower the size of a dinner plate (no joke) and my dad’s vintage “accessory tractor”.  They have real tractors for use, and this one for decoration (you wonder where I got it from…. ??)

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Front of the house and garage.


Even the driveway is gorgeous.  I had some of my engagement shots taken under those trees and my brother (who just got married here) had some wedding pics taken too. Dramatic and lovely.

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The stone bridge, naturally.


This is Bax and Ollie’s favorite place to come for a swim in the summer (along with my Mom’s three- soon to be FOUR- dogs.)  This is why when I say the phrase “wanna go to Nana’s house?” they FREAK. OUT.

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Can’t post without this shot.  I came home one day and saw this in the middle of the driveway.  I figured my mom had also read the HILARIOUS Blogess post (READ IT!) about a giant metal chicken named Beyonce. She had not. She just likes big metal chickens (and yes, we now call her Beyonce and she looks over the house.)


And no, they are not looking to adopt any more children. :)





Brooklyn’s Finest

Can we please discuss the amazing home of landscape designer Miranda Brooks and her family in Brooklyn featured on It looks like they live in upstate New York!  But it’s in the CITY! How is this possible? And how are they all this cute? This whole thing has ripped a hole in  the space time continuum for me. Does not compute.


I know it’s hard to notice the floors when there is a HORSE in the room, but they are pretty amazing.



I want to go to there.


I will never tire of wallpaper like this. I hope to someday have a budget that allows it.


Can you even deal with this bathtub? Like, right in the middle of a room?





More cuteness.


Showing how kids art can be amazing when hung gallery style- with frames or without.


This is the roofdeck shed- now a potting shed. I’m serious.


They have bunnies. In Brooklyn. Hipster bunnies.




Oh, and their wedding. Yeeeeeeaaaaahhhhhh.

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Love her bohemian look in the first picture? Yeah, me too. Here’s a way to get that carefree “I live in Brooklyn” look for yourself:


jeans // top // boots // bracelet // earrings

Holiday Window Boxes

It’s really nice to come home.  With a little bit of money and a lot of sweat equity (which I think contributed to Andrew’s recent rotator cuff surgery), our little house is looking damn cute if I do say so myself.  Basically all we’ve done so far is paint the shutters and doors black and add window boxes, but what a difference it made! We got our window boxes from my Dad’s favorite source Walpole Woodworkers,  which is also an amazing resource for fencing, trellis and sheds. I want to replace our rickety old shed with THIS ONE! (If you had told me a year ago I would have a SHED on my wishlist I would have laughed at you).  My mom has generously been doing our window boxes for us so I asked her to tell me how she does them after being asked by some followers on Instagram for a tutorial. Initially her response was ” just cut stuff and jam it in the boxes!”  But after telling her that garden skills don’t come as naturally to all of us she ended up giving me a little more detail, and it is actually pretty easy!

 I put florist foam in the boxes first, then add potting soil. I cut various evergreens including leafy ones like Mountain Laurel, Boxwood, Rhododendron, Holly andWinterberry– whatever is available in the yard at the time (or your local nursery/grocery store).  Then you can add Red Twig Dogwood, or you can spray paint any twigs red, white or metallic and stick them in.  Add some pine cones too! I start at the outer edges with the longest, fluffiest branches, varying the textures, and end with the shortest in the center.  At our house I put a miniature Christmas tree in the center and pomegranates or apples on florist sticks for some natural color.  Anything goes! 

Here’s the front of our house decorated for the holidays- I need to add a bow to the wreath. Chartreuse, I think. I should probably get on that since Xmas is, like, in 5 minutes. Also of note, our new beeeeyooootiful lanterns from Northeast Lantern. **Please note, we have NOT replaced the bushes and such in front of the house. They are pretty ratty right now- but just you wait until spring!

Looking at this I am realizing I need new numbers. Hmmmm.

It’s so charming to come home to all this greenery- especially with a twinkly tree in the window!

Here are some others I’m loving for the holiday season!


(via The Impatient Gardener)

Renovation Update: Blood, Sweat and Tears

This was our first full week in the house and it was a particularly trying one. Moving into a construction site is hard- you can’t unpack and settle, everything is filthy no matter how much you clean and if you are like me, you just start making lists of how many more additional things you want/need to fix.  While I know in my heart I am so lucky to have the ability and opportunity to renovate this house, I admit that I spent a good solid several hours last week absolutely losing my shit. I do miss the city. I know  I just moved and all change takes time to get used to. And I know that renovating takes time. A long time- like two years. Oh, and a boatload of patience is so crucial (which I don’t have in spades).  But these are all things that will hopefully test me and in time make me a better person. So Sunday I bucked up and worked on the house with fervor and enjoyed peeking around the neighborhood and spending time working on the yard with my parents and Andrew.

Andrew was also busy painting, like, everything in the house, so I focused on the stairs which were really bugging me because the previous owner had painted around the runner and they looked beyond ghetto and were the first thing I saw when walking in the door and set my mood on “foul”. I have one recommendation for those painting stairs with spindle balusters…. HIRE A PAINTER. Holy sweet mother of all things sacred, taping off and painting these things was one hell of a job. I nearly went cross eyed and lost most motor function in my right hand after FOUR hours of working on them.

Before I painted, but after I became intimately acquainted with blue painters tape… and a gallon of Benjamin Moore White Dove semi-gloss.


After, so so much better and cleaner. Also note Andrew has been making progress painting our hall Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist. And we hope that this year we will save enough to have the floors, stairs and banister re-stained a very dark walnut. Oh, and I’m gonna have a wool sisal runner made with banding for the stairs. Lots to do. Lots to pay for. :)

Looking down at the powder room you can see we still have to paint the trim but the new wood floors were laid in there and in the new hallway to the right where a closet used to be (awaiting poly)

See our new hallway- this small decision made a HUGE impact on light and flow. And because I love the original dentil molding so much we had to figure out how to finish this off. So we re-purposed molding from the walls in the dining room we plan to knock down when we do the kitchen next! Now we just have to paint the trim and walls and this space will be great!

But back to the powder room- pondering wallpaper for this teeny tiny space… really feeling the Hicks Hexagon on the right… the grey/blue colorway. I was thinking I’d do something crazy and huge scale and bright, but the more I see the house change the more I feel like it should be modern but subtle in color.

Also loving the new colorways from Cole & Son of the large scale diamonds, the large scale Hicks and the grey/tan smaller Hicks shown above…. decisions, decisions.

I have loved this paper my whole career so I feel like it would be a smart choice.

I also love this Phillip Jeffries Grasscloth in Chain Link pattern…. I have a client who has her powder room in it in orange and its adorable.

So gross before. UGH. That floor. Can’t wait for the new toilet and teeny, tiny pedestal sink to go in from Waterspot and the sconces from Lamps Plus!

Speaking of Lamps Plus, my Robert Abbey Bling Flushmount came for the master and I was so super psyched! Putting the individual glass drops on was quite a job though…. I poured a glass of white and rolled up my sleeves….

Two layers of individually wrapped crystals. On boy.

My fingers started to go numb at this point but I was loving the look.  Finding stylish flushmounts isn’t easy and this is such a great one!

TA DA! (Bedroom still not set up, styled or organized- that mirror has since moved)

My mom edged all my pachysandra with rocks my dad dug up from another part of the yard. Crafty folks.

The yard is looking SO SO much better!

Our view across to the neighbors from our chairs in the back (our wine time spot).

While out walking and exploring the neighborhood the other day I saw this adorable little sign outside a gorgeous house and it made me smile.

LOVE this house on our street. Columns make me weak in the knees.

Another house that made me drool. That PORCH!

Quite the entryway, eh?

Sweet Oliver LOVES our mulch. So much that he rolls in it and then runs up to my bed and rolls around in it making it look like I’m planning to plant a garden in there. But look at that face, how can I be mad?

And then there is my “first born”, who takes after his mom and is quite anxious about the move. We go splitsies on these.

And when I got in bed last night I found this book under my pillow with a bookmark it it to this page. I knew immediately it was from my dad who had been at the house working today. So sweet, I need to remember this.

Renovation Sponsors:

Table & Tulip

The other day Lindsey and I were walking to a client meeting in the South End and I was stopped dead in my tracks when passing this little alleyway that was transformed into a gorgeous garden!  Oooh-ing and Ahhh-ing I wondered aloud what it was- and then I saw a little box on the brick wall with business cards for, of course, a floral and event design company, Table & Tulip. I’d actually heard of Andrea Halliday, the owner, before after seeing some of her work at Chestnut Hill’s Portobello Road boutique, but this little slice of heaven in the middle of the city was awesome (my pictures do not capture it)

Here is some of Andrea’s beautiful work to brighten your day!