Monday, May 17, 2010

The Search for Exterior Sconces

House projects were stalled for awhile around here because everything takes three times as long when I have my little one in tow and I just didn't have three times the energy. But then I had to host my book club last week and I think it ignited a new abundance of energy and motivation in me. I absolutely LOATHE the thought of people seeing my space in a state of disarray. It made me so uncomfortable to think that my friends were coming over to see a house that did not look the way I wanted it too.

Another source of motivation is Reis's quickly approaching 1st birthday party. Again, it is an event where people will be coming to see the house for the first time and I have high expectations for how I want my house to look. I can't help it. It is an obsession.

This has led to a LOT of time on the laptop searching for light fixtures. Why light fixtures you ask? I'm not sure. No, I take that back, this is how it started.

Last week I gave our mailbox a facelift. We had bought some house numbers from Home Depot, similar to what you see above, but in black. Originally we had wanted to mount them under a light fixture near our front door but that meant drilling through brick and in the end we decided against it. So the only other reasonable place for the new numbers was on our mailbox post near the street. Besides, the existing numbers were old, ugly and rusted and the mailbox was painted a terrible red to match the shutters on the house (which will also be updated soon!).

So I painted the post gray to match the siding, mounted the new floating numbers and painted the mailbox black. It looks great and I should post a picture but Andrew is paranoid about me posting a picture of our address on the internet so alas you will have to use your imagination.

Once the mailbox looked made the rest of the house look like crap. Sad, but true.

The quick and dirty updates that would make the most difference in making the house look as great as the mailbox are painting the shutters and getting new light fixtures. This is what lead to me obsessing about light fixtures, the search for exterior wall sconces.

This is my favorite, Quoizel Ontario. I really need it in the medium or large size...but I can't even really afford the small size at over $100. Drool.... I love it.

So then I found this one at Lowes. Not as fabulous as the first but somewhat similar. The angled back plate on this one makes me hesitate. While it will compliment the angled frame on the garage....I actually hate the angled frame on the garage and don't really want to compliement it at all. However... at $30 it is hard not to at least consider it.

My second favorite option is this beauty. Again, it is on the expensive side, but not as bad as the Quoizel and it is also a bit larger in size. Right now...this is the front runner.

And to cover all my bases....I am also thinking about these two. I have always liked this style of fixture. Some call it "seaside", some call it "harbor", it is a classic yet a little bit industrial. Can you guess which one is "high" and which one is "low"?

Option 1 = $30, Option 2 = $129 Crazy right!? Keep in mind that I need at least 2 of these fixtures since I have two on the front of the house. I also have a third fixture on the back of the house but it wouldn't absolutely have to match. I can not in my right mind spend $400 on outdoor sconces!

So weigh in...which do you think is the right balance of modern and classic? What says suburban modern farmhouse to you?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Cascadilla Farm

One of the things that we were most looking forward to in our new home was a better gardening space. Back in the city Andrew struggled for three years trying to grow food in a heavily shaded yard with a LARGE population of grey squirrels. Shade and squirrels do not equal high yields, they mostly equal a very frustrated husband.

So when we were looking for a new house a large, sunny backyard was a requirement. This house had it and Andrew wasted no time getting the garden started. Our house already had a small garden plot in the backyard. The problem was that it hadn't been used in over 15 years! It was over grown with grass, weeds and a small tree. Week 1 Grannie Apple helped us get out all of the existing plants. I wish I had a picture but I tend to always forget the "before" pictures.

Week 2 Andrew went to visit our new friend Justin at Yellowtree Farm who had been growing starters for us. We borrowed a tiller and Andrew's Dad helped get the plot ready. Then in went the plants!

We have onions, broccoli, peppers, cucumbers, celery, basil, thyme, salad greens, oregano, and several varieties of tomatoes. So far so good. Other than a couple bunnies and a major infestation of crabgrass the garden is growing great. Most weekdays we can find Reis and I in the backyard weeding or hooking up the soaking hose. We can already see some tomatoes and have used the oregano a few times. We are looking forward to a summer full of homegrown veggies!