Springing Forward; Roots in Tow

We are rapidly approaching that time again; that much anticipated moment when we move our clocks ahead one hour and “spring forward”.  Despite losing a much needed hour of sleep, I relish that pivotal moment because it means that I have made it over the hump of another cold, dark winter and spring and summer’s renewal are just weeks away. 

 

 

Spring is riding into town

 

 

The appearance of Green

 

Over the Hump

 

But as I rush to pack away the coats and boots anticipating days of shorts and flip-flops, I give pause and recall the greater appreciation I have for spring and summer because of winter.  It is Old Man Winter with his short frigid days, his bare limbed trees and stormy gray skies that instills within each of us endurance and strength, not to mention the ability to make great strides in difficult times and …immeasurable amounts of snow, sleet and freezing rain.

short frigid days

 

bare limbed trees

 

 

 

stormy skies

 

 

immeasurable amounts of snow

 

 

While youth and its vitality are enchanting and alluring and surely the hope of our collective future, after all, who can resist a cute baby, puppy or kitten?  Respect and esteem for the elders whose many contributions and sacrifices have made it possible for a new generation to flourish, must never be taken for granted nor overlooked.

  

Our cute baby

 

 

our cute puppy

 

We are reminded of that everyday as we scan the Gallery and see our CF Modern benches standing shoulder to shoulder with the icons that paved the way for their success.  We acknowledge the “Greatest Generation” of craftspeople whose skill and ingenuity made it all possible and embrace our Mid Century masterpieces and the new generation they have given birth to.

 

 

CF Modern Style GP 100 Bench

 

 

CF Modern Style GP 101

 

So, as we prepare to move ahead to the longer and more temperate days of spring and summer and the bounty of imaginable opportunities the future will bestow, let’s salute and honor all who came before us and planted the roots that afford us the opportunity to “spring forward” and blossom.

 

Firmly Rooted

 


Springing forward

 

 

Our Future

 

In A Flash

As I sit at the kitchen table staring once again at a gray sky and winds whipping leaves around the driveway I am reminded that although the calendar says spring, the thermostat says, well…something else. 

Spring is revealing itself daily

 

Feeling more like Thanksgiving than Passover/Easter, it is nice to see that despite the brisk temperature, spring is revealing itself daily.  And today, as we celebrate Earth Day, I relish the fact that I am privileged to be spending it in the country with Irwin, our youngest son and especially with Charlie. 

Charlie is delighted to be welcoming spring with us

 

Last Friday Irwin, Charlie and I left the Gallery in the early afternoon and headed for the country.  Although it was too cool to drive with the top down, I was just happy that the temperature was above freezing and no precipitation was in the immediate forecast.  The first blooms of the season were making their debut and we were anxious to spend some time drinking in the glorious weather.

After dropping our bags and putting away the food, we grabbed a couple of frosty beers and headed out.  On the way, as is my ritual, I checked on the nest outside our front door and was beyond thrilled to discover it had a new addition already built and a lovely expectant couple preparing it for the season.  This was a good sign. 

A new addition on last year's nest

We settled into our weathered Adirondack chairs and were transfixed by the cacophony of sights and sounds of the season.  I was struck by the seemingly simple yet extraordinary fact that each spring season, like a snowflake, looks the same, but in fact there are no two that are exactly alike.

Irwin enjoying communing with nature

 

A perfect place

 

Heading inside for a refill, I walked by my laptop and wrote:

 

And at that very second I heard Irwin scream “Charlie, come back here”.

What was just a serene moment of enjoyment and reflection was instantly transformed into one of absolute panic and chaos. As I headed to the porch door, I caught a glimpse of Irwin running across the lawn and reversed directions heading out the mudroom door to the driveway.  While in hot pursuit, Irwin screamed that Charlie, our senior dog with disc problems, had taken off after a fox.  Charlie was nowhere to be found as Irwin headed past the future location of our garden and into the woods screaming Charlies name. 

into the woods

 

Thinking that Charlie might be headed for the road, I flew down the driveway, still in my heeled boots screaming his name, hoping that the approaching car did not hit him.  But there was no Charlie in sight and at that moment, the all too painful reality struck me like a boulder.

a long way in heels

 

I continued to scream Charlies name and Irwin’s as well because I could no longer hear him.  I ran up the steep grass covered hill thinking that perhaps Irwin, who had been having chronic back issues, might have injured himself while hunting for Charlie.  As my breathing quickened I hoped that my ascent would compensate for that morning's missed cardio session while not give me a heart attack.  Amazing what runs through your mind at moments like these.

the path of my troubled ascent

 

 

these boots were made for Walking NOT running

 

When I reached the top of the hill and still could not hear or see either Irwin or Charlie absolute terror set in and I had difficulty catching my breath (which I must say, in retrospect could have been caused by my poor cardio skills) and I felt almost as if I was having an out-of-body experience.

Back in the driveway, I was welcomed with silence and my panic ensued.  I continued to yell Irwin & Charlies names in vain while conjuring up painful images in my mind.

Just at that moment I heard Irwin shriek: “You get back here right now” and saw Irwin and Charlie emerge from the woods.  What in reality was less than five minutes seemed like painful eons.   It was hard to imagine Charlie, who has difficulty jumping on the bed sometimes, taking off at lightening speed, but nevertheless, he did.  It was even more difficult to comprehend that he could have been lost or worse.

 The lessons learned are plentiful and obvious but still worth repeating.  Savor each moment rain or shine.  Life is finite and even the best laid plans can change in a flash. 

As I sit here typing with Charlie at my side and our guest snuggled in her nest, the sun has made a brief appearance and the Magnolia is on the cusp of blooming.  And I am grateful to be able to share this happy ending.

Our guest in her nest

 

our beloved magnolia

 

Happy Earth Day, Passover & Easter!

 

A Garden of Dreams

It is late March and despite the subfreezing temperatures and the promise of snow later in the week, we just met with our gardener to discuss the vegetable garden we want to plant this spring.  The snow has finally melted, for now at least, and it appears as if some “early birds” are already nest hunting around the house, confirming that spring will arrive…eventually and our Garden of Dreams will become a reality.  The excitement is palpable.  Well OK, maybe it is not as exhilarating as winning the Mega Millions, which I tried unsuccessfully to do this weekend or even as stirring as the status of March Madness, but for Irwin and I and our slow home lifestyle, it is absolutely thrilling.

 

Irwin & our gardener measuring for the garden

 

An "Early Bird" Nest Hunting

 

We have been discussing the possibility of planting a vegetable garden for eleven years, ever since taking title of our home in the country. The thought of growing food along with caring for farm animals has been a dream of ours from the outset. It is almost impossible NOT to consider a slow home, farming life when surrounded by lush farmland, rolling hills and babbling creeks, but the reality of our weekender status never allowed us to move forward with either. 

 

lush Farmland, rolling hills

 

 

 

babbling creeks

 

 

However, that never stopped us from dreaming about as well as continuing to discuss it.  Early on, immediately following our first visit to the local county fair, I was convinced that raising animals was our destiny.  After looking at all of the beautiful farm animals brought to show at the fair, I knew that would be a part of our future in the country.  And while my dream of an Alpaca farm is still on the back burner, our dream of building a garden and growing our own vegetables is coming to fruition. Now that is progress, country style.

 

A Fair to Remember:

Howdy Cowdy

 

 

 

A couple of kids

 

 

This big piggy

 

 

Seriously, she's got Milk

 

 

Alpacas...on hold

 

 After sharing the fresh salad our neighbor Gloria, a master gardener, brought to our Road Party last summer, we revisited the possibility of planting a garden this year.  Gloria had offered to mentor us, which was just the impetus we needed to get the ball rolling.  While we had what we were hoping was the ideal location, there was still the issue of maintaining the garden during the week, when we are in the city.  That glitch was remedied when our wonderful neighbor Jeanne suggested that we collaborate on the vegetable garden.

 

Gloria's fresh garden salad- helped make our dream a reality

 

The plan was simple.  We would house the garden on our property (Jeanne does not have an appropriate spot) and she would help maintain and water it as best she could, when we could not be here.  After initial costs were calculated, we would determine appropriate shares of cost and harvest and go forward from there.  All we needed to do was wait for spring.

And what a wait it has been.  Despite several glorious spring days, we in the Northeast, are still experiencing winter weather daily but are hoping that eventually, (and by that I mean before July) spring will indeed arrive.

So here are the basics of our plan:

A ten by ten or smaller sized garden with raised beds. We don't want to bite off more than we can chew, at least initially.  A fence eight to ten feet high surrounding the garden to keep out the deer that use that area as a thoroughfare as they head up and down the mountain and chicken wire under the beds to deter woodchucks.

That is it: Simple and sweet, at least for now.   Much like our life in the country.

We'll see how this plan pans out.  I am sure like most other things, it will be a process with many lessons learned along the way.  But have no fear, I will be sharing updates as they occur and spring’s renewal as it transpires.

Just wanted to leave you with these beautiful faces of Charlie’s friends in the country. They stopped by to say hello while we were out making plans for our vegetable garden.

Finnegan

 

collie

 

 

And share this beautiful pair of bouquets, which are always in full bloom.  All the proceeds from the sale of these spectacular chairs will go directly to Komen CT.

 

 

 the entire proceeds from the sale of these beautiful chairs will go directly to Komen CT

 

Spring's Bouquet Awaits

If you have been a reader of our blog, you know how much Irwin and I love our country lifestyle; how we bask in the glow of that simpler slow home life surrounded by the beauty of nature in every season.  And while we adore every moment we are able to spend there, I have to admit that returning to the country this past weekend was slightly depressing.  While we were the ones who practically hearkened the plague of Snow Days that befell us this winter, we have exceeded a point of satiation and are longing to see grass, however brown or soggy it may be.

When we arrived in the country we were greeted with exceedingly muddy roads bordered by massive banks of blackened snow.  Our patio, still buried in gray frozen matter, revealed the season’s wrath with our spun fiberglass table literally crushed from snow weight and the glass top of our bar precariously perched on winter’s muddled remains.

Remains of the season: Crushed

 

 

Design: Fallen Asunder

 

But the temperature was above freezing and although the pervasive dreariness seemed to hearken back to an early English Gothic novel, rain was on the way and with it the long awaited, much overdue disappearing act of the snow.

As promised, it rained throughout the night as well as the following day, which included our entire ride back to the city.  So imagine our surprise when the alarm company called us the following morning to advise us of a power outage in the country. It seemed that the rain turned into snow and ice, devastating our entire area and leaving almost three hundred homes without power.  The highly anticipated cleansing promised by the foul weather turned into an ice storm with trees and power lines down.

A bleak trip

 

 

a wet welcome

 

 

 

A Hauntingly beautiful yet destructive surprise

photo courtesy of  J.Debonis

 

Three days have passed and we are still awaiting power restoration, which has already been pushed back four times.  We are desperately hoping to avoid receiving that dreaded “low temperature” call from the alarm company and the possibility of frozen pipes as well as extensive damage.

Which brings me to my much-circumvented point: Life is unpredictable. There are so many things we have little or no control over on a daily basis.  What we do know for sure is that we must embrace all that we have, hold on to our seats and hang on for the ride, taking the wheel whenever possible and ALWAYS wearing our seat belts.

Despite the length and severity of this winter, spring will indeed arrive EVENTUALLY, and with it, the beautiful, bountiful bouquet of scents, textures and colors that remind us all that life, despite its unpredictability, is spectacular.

Spring's Bouquet: Arriving shortly

 

In celebration and in anticipation of spring, a season of rebirth and renewal, we are once again teaming up with Komen CT to raise funds and awareness for and about Breast Cancer.  Our pair of Pretty in Pink 4 Life Mid Century Bouquet Club Chairs in a bold hot pink floral print are available individually or as a pair, and as with the beautiful Pretty in Pink 4 Life bench, all the proceeds from the sale will go directly to Komen CT.

 

Our Mid Century Bouquet Chairs: Pretty in Pink

 

 

A Beautiful addition...for life

 

Help us celebrate the beauty of springtime and the gift of life itself.  Please share this  so that everyone can be Pretty in Pink for Life.

 


Today's Forecast: Let's Put Winter on Ice

After an extended holiday/weather delay, I am back with our first post of the not-so New Year.  With yesterday’s ice storm behind us and another wintry mix scheduled for the weekend, I am taking a moment to sit back and relax before welcoming yet another Snow Day.

The beauty of a Snow day

 

Yesterday was Groundhog Day and while some of the furry forecasters of spring canceled their previews due to inclement weather conditions, it seems that two local favorites, Punxsutawney Phil and Staten Island Chuck emerged and did not see their shadows, indicating an early spring this year.  While I am not endorsing the power of their predictions, I can only pray that they are correct and that I can rid myself of the excessive guilt that has plagued me.

 

 

  Welcome to Groundhogs Day

(photo courtesy of freecomputerdesktopwallpaper)

You see, Irwin & I feel somewhat responsible for this winter’s worrisome weather patterns.  I can’t help but wonder what the past six weeks might have been like had we opted for a tropical inspired holiday for Holiday House NYC this past December, rather than our family’s beloved non-calendar Holiday: Snow Day.  

 

 Snow Day at Holiday House NYC 2010

 

While "Everyone Loves a Snow Day", this season to date has proven to be too much of a good thing and after learning that age old lesson, “be careful what you wish for”, I am going to press my luck and return to the well one more time to request that a freeze be put on winter.

 

Yes, I am digging my way out of winter’s glaze and setting my sights on a different kind of ice to carry us through the balance of this brutal season. I am focusing on the crystalline beauty and majestic glow of these timeless gems that offer us sparkle and warmth and put a positive spin on the phrase “ice in the winter”.

Winter's Icy Glaze

 

The Dark beauty of a winter's gloaming

 

So, as we wait patiently for spring and additional daylight hours, feeling the warmth of the sun baking through our windowpanes please accept our apology for the awful weather and join us as we enjoy the icy beauty of these Mid Century masterpieces.

I am substituting this glistening beauty:

Crystalline remains of an ice storm

 

With theses glistening beauties:

Amazing Mid Century Glass & Chrome Chandelier

 

Spectacular Venini Doria chandelier

 

And these icicles:

droplets frozen in time

 

with these icicles:

 

Icicle sconces attributed to kamer (one of a pair shown)

 

And these super-sized frozen wonders:

a weighty discovery

 

with these super-sized masterpieces

Large Mid Century Lucite Sconces

 

And, as we forge ahead galoshes in tow, ever ready for the next relentless, bone-chilling blizzard or ice storm, a glimmer of color and the promise of springtime are always within reach.

As Irwin welcomed spring into the gallery with these:

 

yellow tulips: a preview of what lies ahead

 

We welcome you to begin to conjure up spring-like thoughts with these:

Sascha Brastoff Covered Egg

 

 

 

Figurative Silkscreen by Xavier

 

So stay safe and warm and remember, as winter's reign comes to an end and spring emerges, the warm glow and beauty of our favorite brand of ice will remain.

As the moon set I set the alarm for two am, yet by midnight I was still awake.  I could not shake the events of the past few days and I could not get this phrase out of my head: “More being, less doing.”

 

The moon setting over "our" mountain

 

It is no secret that we love our life in the country. We have managed to rebuild a slow home that we have furnished with vintage and mid century pieces and live an intentionally slower life that we fully embrace.  We even held off bringing internet into our home for over ten years, fearing that it might inhibit the quality of life we enjoy here.  I write about it all the time, the slower pace, the thoughtful lifestyle, paying attention to the little things, making memories, taking the time to smell thethe rebirth of spring, but never had the importance of this lifestyle become clearer to me than this past week.

I attended the memorial service of a friend’s sibling, an extraordinary individual who passed away too soon. Although the situation was tragic, the celebration of his being was stunning and I walked away wishing I had known him in life. His wife’s words resonated in my head as she reflected upon their life together, wishing that there were “more being and less doing”.

More Bee-ing

 

So simply stated, it was profound: More being, less doing. Which brings me back to Friday night.  Setting the alarm and getting up at 2am would probably have not been a priority two or three years ago.  I would have probably set the alarm with good intentions and then shut if off and gone back to sleep.  I now know better.  Given the finite amount of time we are privileged to be here and how quickly it flutters by, every day & every experience is a gift to be savored. The time spent “being” is why we do all the ”doing” in the first place.

Life Flutters by

 

Although I know that inherently, and write as well as talk about it, I often forget to do it.  My children remind me of this all the time and to be honest, I am not always the best at practicing what I preach, but I am going to try each and every day as I chant my new mantra: More being, less doing.

So, Irwin and I took a blanket outdoors after 2am and lay under several more as we faced the Northern sky awaiting a five thousand year old event that did not disappoint.  We spent over three hours gazing at the meteor shower and the enormity of the heavens; just being, not doing.

Perseid Meteor Shower

 

The Sweet Smell of...Roses

I can’t help myself.  When springtime explodes in the country and we are on the cusp of summer my heart literally skips a beat.  When hummingbirds visit while I have my morning coffee on the porch and fireflies light up the night time sky like fireworks, I am in heaven because I know that this is the season when we become more than transient guests in our own home.  This season, however fleeting, is the one that literally forces us to stop whatever we are doing and smell the roses.

While Irwin and I try to get away for at least one night a week during the year and spend part of the winter holidays in the country with the family, it is not quite the same as the late spring and summer when we afford ourselves the luxury of spending considerable blocks of time in our rural retreat.

And…what better way to welcome us for the season than to be greeted upon arrival on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend by a sweet little bird finally building the nest I had been pining for since the start of spring; the nest that has been there every spring/summer since we bought the house, the nest I was so disappointed not to see on Mother’s Day.

 

The perfect building project began on Friday-moved in on Sunday

 

It is part of my ritual.  When I arrive at the house, I walk around and examine the changes in our plantings and check on our seasonal guests including the Robin’s nest in the gutter and the other in our beloved Dogwood.  Imagine my utter surprise and sheer glee when I saw the first specks of mud on the porch roof. At that moment I exhaled, knowing that all was right in our little piece of the universe.

We all know that is so easy to get caught up in the complexity of daily living and lose sight of the time we need to spend enjoying the beauty we are surrounded by.  But acknowledging it and doing something about it are two incredibly different things.  Just the other day, I had that very discussion on Twitter with two good Twitter friends, @tandemantiques and @jonathanlegate.  We all acknowledged the fact that because summer is fleeting, we must take time to “smell the roses”, a priority that we often overlook.  I said that I needed to enjoy EVERY moment of this precious season and take it one day at a time.  Hilary (@andemantiques) agreed adding “It's true - I know that I sometimes squander my now because I'm focused/worried about down the road”, something we are all guilty of and Jonathan added: I’m “always thinking of the future but taking time to enjoy the present while respecting the past.”   A truly beautiful statement that says it all and is something we should all allow ourselves to do.

So, here is to summer and the beauty it reveals to us everyday.  Let’s all make a commitment now to stop and enjoy "the sweet smell of... roses” this season before it is just a memory.

Some of "the roses" we have stopped to smell this season so far: Enjoy!

Superb Spirea

 

 

colossal Catnip

 

Color-fusion

 

 

relaxing Goldfinches

 

A statuesque Iris

 

 Breathtaking Day Lilies

 

A humble bumble bee

 

The beauty of another sunset

 

The Golden glow of evening's approach

 

 

The warmth of a tea light

 

Only nature's song can be heard

 

the dance of the flames

 

Waxed beauty

 

 

Our mentor Charlie, who inspires us everyday & reminds us of how sweet the roses can be!

 

 

 

Last Wednesday night we had the pleasure of premiering Irwin’s interpretation of Breakfast at Tiffany’s at Spring Awakening, a Broadway inspired Tabletop Show to benefit the Summer Theatre of New Canaan.  Charles Pavarini III and Randall Tarasuk assembled an amazing collection of Connecticut, New York and New Jersey designers who displayed settings that rivaled any Broadway opening night.  We were humbled and honored to be included in such an auspicious group.

Immediately upon entering the spacious room at Le Beau Chateau, Irwin knew exactly what he wanted to do.  The space and the show (a musical that never made it past previews in 1966) buoyed his imagination and the magnificent Stroheim fabric became the inspiration and the foundation of the scene he began to build.   Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a very NYC story; elegant and sophisticated, with a sense of humor that Irwin made sure to reflect in his interpretation.

So please, make yourselves comfortable and turn off all cell phones as we raise the curtain on Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

The scene begins with George Ratkai’s oil on canvas entitled Man & Woman symbolizing Holly & “Fred” the main characters of the show, who in reality, need no names.  Below them is an Edward Wormely for Dunbar Bench and a Lucite and chrome cigarette table

They find themselves on Fifty Seventh Street, just around the corner from Fifth Avenue where they are greeted by a Frederick Weinberg horse cart offering up bubbly along with the sweet smell of spring’s flowers in Central Park.

The MCM floor lamp graces a custom handmade shade reminiscent of a Hepburn chapeau.

The beauty of NYC surrounds them and Norman Mercer’s incredible Lucite sculptures atop the mirrored pedestals represent New York’s majestic skyline reflected magnificently by our scrolled mirrors.

 

 

The massive Tiffany doors stand erect, beautifully built and faux finished by our wonderfully talented friend Fabrizio, of F & F Faux Finish Painting and are accented by our brilliant glass rod sconces placed strategically as handles.

The Baughman Love Chair is covered in hot pink and is …well, it just is and does not require any further commentary; you can just let your imagination go wild.  It is marvelously comfortable covered with splendid pillows, a copy of the work and a vintage piece of Marcy Feld Jewelry.  It is paired with a white Sculptura floor lamp and the "Atomic Scientist" lithograph by John Brunsdon, along with a Pace end table.

The inspiration for the setting, the striking Stroheim fabric covers the unique barstools which Irwin has re-sculpted to mimic the shape of a woman’s body and appear as incarnations of Holly sans the sunglasses: The peaked corners are our homage to Cat.

The “Tiffany” table is our custom designed MCM inspired piece that Tiffany’s purchased several of for the fifth Avenue store and is flanked by our sexy Grosfeld House chairs covered in dazzling Donghia fabric.  The entire scene is set upon the exquisite Yardo Silk Rug courtesy of Kooches.

And the tabletop?

It is brimming with painstaking details from the layered Juliska “fountain” topped with our little MCM rooster to the coffee bean filled cups.  Breakfast treats, including Tiffany box inspired petit fours adorn this magnificent mercury mirrored table with baguette edges and iron base.

 The table, trimmed with Tiffany blue ribbon, is set with glorious Juliska crystal and our personal Bernardaud Limoges china designed by Josef Hoffmann.  The cereal bowls are filled with pewter coco puffs and Juliska napkin encircled by our “Engaging” napkin rings designed by Irwin. 

 The details are unending and may require several viewings so please feel free to enjoy the visual feast and remember no flash photography is allowed during the performance.

It is often said that you can never go back, that it is best to allow memories to remain as memories because all to often, when revisited, reality pales in comparison.  While this is true most of the time, sometimes, if the stars are aligned, some memories are well worth revisiting.

Irwin & I returned to the country for one night last weekend, because although we knew we needed to be in the city Sunday, we just could not bear to miss a weekend of spring’s continued revelations.

Upon arrival, I was shocked and disappointed to find the addition the robins had added to the nest featured in last week’s post, The Best Nest, torn down and laying in shambles on the ground.  I was not sure if the original builders returned and reclaimed their nest or something catastrophic had happened since neither bird family appeared during our short visit.  The burning bush guests were still in place, but there were still no tenants in the roof of our front door porch and it remained beautifully repainted and nest-free for the first time since we own our house.

Nest remains

 

 

pieces on the ground

 

Still Vacant

 

While Irwin was thrilled with the prospect of clean front steps for the first time in ten years, I was struck with a bout of melancholy.   As silly as it may seem, I love having these guests every year because they are a reminder of life’s promise and renewal.  While I began to grapple with my sense of loss, I walked around the perimeter of the house, desperately seeking some new affirmation of life, when I noticed our budding lilacs.


 

lilacs in bloom

 

Lilacs are one of my favorite flowers.  Their scent takes me back to my childhood, when my grandmother, who truly had a green thumb, tended the small garden that surrounded our house.  While we had fruit trees and a grape vine along with her prized roses, my favorites were the enormous lilac bushes in front of our porch.

 As I stood there, feet firmly planted on our soil with my eyes closed, memories of my childhood flooded my mind.  They were so tangible and life affirming, that I found myself smiling. 

The “green thumb” gene was not one that I inherited from my grandmother, as evidenced by the number of plants that have died under my care, still my appreciation for all things green runs deep.  As the lilacs of my childhood signaled the beginning of spring along with the promise of summer, our lilacs in the country perpetuate that affirmation each year.  It is no coincidence that our lilac bushes usually reach full bloom around Mother’s Day, showering me with fragrant memories.

 

Summer's promise

 

We returned to the country yesterday to celebrate Mother’s Day with our children and as promised, the lilacs were in full bloom. As we sat around the table enjoying our first barbecue of the season and reminiscing, the fragrance of the lilacs wafting through the air reminded me to step back for a moment and drink in the new memories we were creating.

 

Full Bloom

 

And….as it that were not gift enough, to my surprise and delight, when I looked out the kitchen window this morning, I saw that the robin’s nest was rebuilt.  Still in true robin’s nest style with a multitude of branches and leaves hanging over the side, but seeming more finished and polished than the last incarnation.  I’m assuming this time they consulted with an interior designer!

Re-designed nest

 

 

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

 

The Best Nest

When we awoke yesterday morning and saw what a glorious day it was, Irwin and I were excited to hit the road for some R&R in the country.  But after dallying far too long, and with the expectation of bad weather the following day, we toyed with the idea of blowing off the two-hour drive and just chilling in the city. However, when Irwin and I realized that obligations the following weekend would probably not allow us any retreat time, we grabbed a bag and headed out despite the late hour because the idea of missing two weeks of seasonal transformation in the country was more than either one of us could accept.

We could not wait to get back and see what had transpired over the previous six days and we were not disappointed by the array of changes that welcomed us. 

As we pulled into the driveway a single daffodil that had bloomed by the magnolia greeted us.  Further up the driveway, our fragrantly blooming cherry tree welcomed us right outside the mudroom door.  We found a new guest preparing for residence in a sweet nest located in a burning bush next to the porch while another feathered friend was considering a flat in an architectural trellis.

Daffodil

 

 

Cherry Blossoms

 

New Guest

 

Architectural Trellis
  

But the most profound change was the drastic addition to a nest that seemed complete last week and was in fact last Monday’s Photo of the Day, "Perfect Project".  A once neat nest had been transformed into something much more extravagant and I couldn’t imagine why.

 

the nest last week

 

The nest when we arrived this week
 
 

This morning the explanation was revealed .  Last week's guests had abruptly departed and ownership of the nest had flipped.  The new nesters were a pair of robins who, despite the wet weather, were busy making some additions to suit there own needs and tastes; not so dissimilar from what we do when we want to make our homes our own. Fortunately for the robins, they were left a nest with a solid foundation and good bones to build upon, which made the transition easy.

New Nester

 

The rain continued to fall throughout the afternoon as the robins maintained a low profile, making it difficult for me to capture their DIY project in action, but the lesson that they shared with me was very clear.  A solid foundation is the key to good design.

The latest incarnation of the nest

As we create and personalize our living spaces it is important that they be built on a solid design foundation that can adapt to both our changing needs and tastes as well as the needs and wants of others who may inhabit our nests after we leave.

Who could argue with the simple truth that a little birdie shared with me?

 

 

More Entries

IRWIN FELD DESIGN COPYRIGHT 2009 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED  Contact Blog Owner