A Beautiful Living Room

Here’s a beautiful room that reminds me of summer. I love the dark wood floors, the white walls and furniture, the wood accents (coffee table and chair arms), the fireplace, and the wall of windows. This is a great example of bringing nature inside your home. Isn’t it inviting? The pet dog seems happy enough.

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Summer’s Abundance

Photo of the Day
September 11, 2012

This is my second food photo this week and it’s unusual for me to post food photos. I’ve been the recipient of home-grown vegetables this week and I can’t resist the brilliant colors and the beauty of this food. My own basil plants are growing like weeds. Many of us use our homes for cooking and eating. This is the perfect time of year to cook, making the most of the summer harvest. Bon appétit!

A medley of zucchini, red pepper, garlic, slivered almonds, fresh basil, Parmesan cheese, sea salt and pepper.

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Green Tomato and Silver Fork

Photo of the Day
September 8, 2012

A friend gave me this tomato from her garden. I love tomatoes. This was a feast for both the eyes and the palate.  It’s not everyday I get a green tomato; I loved the color as much as the taste.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Merge

What do you think of when you contemplate the word merge?

A piece of art becomes a moon on Nicollet Island

A view of the Minneapolis skyline through bridge supports

Merging nature with a man-made structure

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Modern Style in the Big Apple

An Award-Winning Design:
New York Penthouse Apartment with Rooftop Garden

I love this New York penthouse apartment. It’s open, full of light, and opens to a rooftop garden. Numerous green and sustainable components were used in this renovation. The lines are clean and linear and yet there is a sculptural aspect to the space as well. This is an excellent example of why it pays to hire an architect for renovations, a remodel and new build jobs. If you get a good architect, you just can’t go wrong.

Hmm, I have to take that last statement back. I’ve seen some homes “designed” by architects where the owners actually dictated more of the design than the architect. The relationship between owner and architect is certainly a collaborative one; however, owners with no design sense are better off leaving key design decisions to the professional. Note the adjective “good” used above to describe which architect to hire.

If I lived in New York City I would want a rooftop garden.

What do you think of this apartment? Would you want to live here? Are you a fan of modern architecture? Read more and see more photos at the websites listed below.

Awards include:

Interior Design Best of Year 2008 Eco-Residential Winner
AIA NY State Award of Excellence 2009

Learn more about the architect: JoelSandersArchitect.com.
All photos from JoelSandersArchitect.com

Read more about this award-winning design at Architizer.com

More photos, and text if you can read French: Un Green Penthouse  It appears the rooftop also has an outdoor shower. Très amusement!

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The Bike in the Bathroom

Interior Design or Art?
Both.

Art Prints

Artist Benjamin Bullins has taken a discarded bike and created a bathroom vanity. Bullins doesn’t stop with the bike vanity. The mirror has been fashioned from an old trombone case. A snare drum has been made into a ceiling light fixture. The bike’s handlebars are now towel bars (not shown). And what’s not to love about the basket as a towel holder?

Bullins aims to create sculptures that reflect the culture of his hometown of New Orleans. He successfully achieves this here and manages to be creative, functional and green at the same time.

Sell Art Online

What do you have around your house that can be re-purposed and re-used in a new way? I suspect many of you will love this bathroom bike vanity design. If you’re not the Do-It-Yourself type, contact Benjamin Bullins about buying his mixed-media artwork. Yes, artwork. And vanity and mirror. Both are available for purchase through the artist. Contact him at his artist website.

Read more about the very talented artist and photographer Benjamin Bullins.

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Irish Blessings

Happy St. Patrick’s Day
March 17, 2012

There are many people who have a blessing ceremony for their new home when they move. Are you one of them? What did your blessing ceremony consist of? As a student studying Feng Shui, I participated in a blessing ceremony for one of my fellow students who had bought and moved into his first home. There’s more to be said on the topic of house blessings and I’ll save that for another day.

Today is St. Patrick’s Day. I’m Irish and I’ve always liked Irish blessings. Here are a couple I particularly like:

May you always have
Walls for the winds,
A roof for the rain,
Tea beside the fire,
Laughter to cheer you,
Those you love near you,
And all your heart might desire!

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May your neighbors respect you,
Troubles neglect you,
The angels protect you,
And Heaven accept you.

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And lastly, a bit o’ green, golf course style!

“St. Patrick’s Day is an enchanted time–
a day to begin transforming winter’s dreams into summer’s magic.”
–Adrienne Cook

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Home and Garden Show in Minneapolis

Home and Garden Show

February 29-March 4, 2012
Minneapolis Convention Center

$2 Off Discounted Tickets to the Home and Garden Show

The Home and Garden Show is taking place at month’s end. This is an opportunity to get lots of ideas and advice on these two topics. Hundreds of exhibits and displays will be placed throughout the Minneapolis Convention Center. Show highlights include:

Innovation Avenue

Green Scene

The Ultimate Backyard Lounge

Glorious Feature Gardens

The Idea Home

The Chandelier Fashion Show

Taste on Third Avenue

Shop the Marketplace

The Annual Plant Sale (5pm on Sunday)


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What show would be complete without celebrity guests? Here’s a partial list of celebrities at the show this year:

Chip Wade of HGTV’s Curb Appeal, The Block and Designed to Sell

Mark Brunetz of Style Network’s Clean House

Pat Simpson, nationally recognized home building and remodeling expert

Marjorie Johnson, a national star in the world of baking (and a Twin Cities native)

HOURS:

Wednesday Noon – 9pm
Thursday 10am – 9pm
Friday 10am – 10pm
Saturday 9am – 9pm
Sunday 9am – 6pm

ADMISSION COSTS:

$13.00 adults;
$4 children 6 to 12
5 and under free

More information on the Minneapolis Home and Garden Show

Maps – Minneapolis Convention Center

More information on Gardens

Here’s a link to Entertaining–Green/Eco Tips–Recipes | Tips Trends and Tools for those who can’t make the show in person.

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It’s a Bright Time

Photos of the Day
December 24, 2011



Is time on your mind today? One of the things I love about this time of year is all the decorations with light. It adds so much to our shorter days. The clock(s) in the photos above are in Chicago along Michigan Avenue. They provide light year round. I took these in July. May your days and nights be merry and bright.

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Nature: A Home for the Soul

Photo of the Day
June 30, 2011


I thought this bug would fly away when I brought my camera so close to it. I took numerous photos from different angles. It never moved despite my movements and proximity.  I love the variety, beauty and uniqueness of nature.

Another weekend is nearly upon us. It’s a holiday weekend for many. Summer is here. Enjoy a walk. Take in nature in all its glory. Experience the wonder of the world around you and find yourself relaxing and being refreshed.

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Detour to Beauty

Photo of the Day
April 17, 2011


Friday night and Saturday morning brought yet more snow to what has been a long winter here in the Twin Cities. I had been dreading this spring storm. I’m ready for sun and warm temperatures. I awoke to find the trees covered in snow, always a beautiful sight.

I headed out in my car to start my day and took a wrong turn. I traveled the road for some distance. I’d been on the road before so it wasn’t unfamiliar. I came upon this pretty site and wished I had my good camera. Alas, the sun was starting to peek out, the snow was melting and dropping blobs on my windshield, and I knew I had to snap the photo or lose the opportunity. The cell phone camera won out in this race against time and temp.

The wrong turn became the perfect detour. What a great start to the day!

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Get Paid to Recycle Your Fridge

Going Green-Twice!

If you’re replacing a working refrigerator in your home to improve the energy efficiency or due to a kitchen remodel, get paid for recycling it. No hauling required. They’ll pick up. Incentives and requirements vary between power supply companies. Here’s what Xcel Energy in Minnesota will do:

Excel Energy Refrigerator Recycling Program

800-599-5795

$35 incentive check
Must be cooling and capable of making ice
Must be a secondary unit in the home for at least 6 months
Must be 10-30 cubic feet
One unit allowed per calendar year
To qualify for the program, you must:
1) Be a residential electric customer of Xcel Energy.
2) Own the refrigerator and it must be picked up at
a location listed on the billing account.

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This is a nationwide program. I called to inquire about the secondary unit and learned that I could replace my primary (and only) refrigerator to qualify for this program. Learn more about the program by clicking on the links below.

Appliance Recycling Information for United States

Appliance Recycling Information for Minnesota

Sign up for the Xcel Energy program here.
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Curb Appeal: Home and Garden

A Garden Full of Curb Appeal: Part 2

There is a wide variety of front gardens in view as one wanders around town. I find myself drawn to arbors and white picket fences with plenty of plantings. Here’s another example of an abundant front yard, complete with fountain, bench seating, trellises, zen rock sculpture, and blooms a-plenty! Enjoy.

A welcoming entrance to the front yard.

Whimsical twig star overhead.
(Click on smaller photos to see in larger size.)

A most interesting plant. Anyone know what this is?

A pretty bench to sit and enjoy a pretty garden.

An attractive and colorful brick-paver path leads to the front door.

A lily pad pot and a fountain.

A corner amassed in blooms.

Lilies

Blooms on both sides of the fence.

A blend of English, formal and zen feel on this side.

The side yard gets green thumb treatment as well.

A wide mix of elements adds much charm to this garden.

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See this related post:

A Garden Full of Curb Appeal

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