31 July 2010

garden rebirth

I've recently chronicled the spate of deaths in our little container garden, both from incompetent gardening and from blatant attacks.

But the good news is: the garden is fighting its way back to life. Some evidence...

The rogue tomato plant has at last revealed its identity: Sun Gold! (I was secretly hoping that's what it would turn out to be.)

The okra plants are showing some tiny little okra pods... though not much actual plant growth.

We're still getting a few strawberries a week.. not enough for a pie, but enough for a little treat here and there.

And there are lots of little flowers blossoming, which help to cheer up the place.

30 July 2010

a home that energizes or a home that soothes?

Apartment Therapy recently ran this great piece, adapted from Maxwell's book, about "warm people," and "cool people," and what their homes say about them.

Image from BHG

Maxwell's basic thesis is: warm people care a lot about their homes, tend to have too much stuff because they love stuff, and are social by nature (home bloggers, he's talking about us); cool people have more spartan homes, aren't as attached to stuff and thus don't have as much of it, and are less social. And his whole thesis is that warm people should focus on weeding things out while cool people should focus on allowing things in ("planting"). In general, I totally buy this idea.

(Note: this isn't about warm or cool colors necessarily. More like warm and cool attitudes.)

But I think there's another way to think about what your home says about you and also, more importantly, what it does for you: Do you want a home that energizes you, or a home that soothes and relaxes you?

I think if you answer that question honestly, it's much easier to design the home that's right for you. But turning that answer into the home of your dreams is about more than just color palette and contents.

Take all of these rooms, for example (from Room Remix blog)...

They're all done in pretty neutral color palettes, which should read as "soothing," right? But the effect in each is actually more energizing. Why is that? Answer: the letters, numbers and words.

My theory: Letters, numbers, words, maps, etc. are all stimulating to the mind, and are therefore energizing. Spaces without any of those allow the brain to avoid thinking (within reason, of course), and are therefore more relaxing. You can have a totally relaxing home done in warm colors, or a chaotic, energizing home done in cool colors. It's all about the other mental stimuli.

Any guess what our home is designed to do for us???

(UPDATE: You can see our latest home pictures, including some more vibrant colors, here.)

I recently had a bunch of vintage-style travel posters framed, with the intention of hanging them in the bedroom, but with this new realization, I'm thinking that perhaps they belong elsewhere in the house, and not in our uber-comfy, super-soothing bedroom.

Some of the framed prints

The inspiration, from Apartment Therapy and BHG

So as far as the bedroom goes, it may be back to the drawing board. But at least I know that I won't accidentally spoil our peaceful sanctuary.

What about you? Do you prefer your rooms to wake you up or settle you down? Or do you prefer a mix throughout your home?

Better yet, think my theory is total hogwash? Do share! 

29 July 2010

eating well in denver

I make no secret that I pretty much plan all of my travel around meals, and then think about things like shopping and touristing only in between. Since we were visiting two of our favorite people in Denver (Mark's brother Jeff and my should-be-sister Jenn), meals had to fall to priority #2, but we still ate extremely well during the trip. It may not be considered a top foodie city, but there is a lot to make a foodie happy in Denver (see my last trip for further evidence if you are not convinced).

Some of the highlights...

Brunch at The Kitchen -- my fave -- in Boulder (cafe mocha, curry chicken salad, maple pecan French toast before and after)

Sushi lunch back in Denver... the yellowtail collar ($5!) and soft-shell crab ($6!) in particular were fantastic (jalapeno yellowtail, soft-shell crab, yellowtail collar)

Roasted duck with cherries at Argyll in Cherry Creek (light was too low to capture everything)

Sunday brunch at Second Home in the Cherry Creek Marriott... comes with a full newspaper (donut holes with many dipping sauces, crab eggs Benedict, breakfast burrito, amazing maple bacon with side of potatoes... sadly, the chicken and waffles would have taken 25 minutes, and I'd already had French toast the day before)

It may have been an all-you-can-eat place, but love that retro marquis

Coming back down to Earth... Denver quiche (crustless... wha??) at the airport

28 July 2010

jenn's amazing new pad revisited

For those of you who've been reading for a little while now, you may recall my visit to Jenn's gorgeous new ranch home in Denver, back in April. (It's actually only new to her, and is really a great update on a classic ranch home.) I love her eclectic glam sense of style, and how she's slowly amassing an impressive collection of art and posters.

Well I was never very happy with how those pictures came out (and I'm never happy going very long between visits with Jenn!), plus I missed lots of important things like, oh, the EXTERIOR, so this past weekend while we were in Denver, I snapped a better set of photos. Enjoy!



Dining Area

Living Room


Keep reading after the jump to see the little details that help make her place so stunning...

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