Monthly Archives: May 2010


After I discovered just how easy and efficient it was to create Square Foot Gardens for veggie plants, I had to build some more.  So, one night after work, I created an herb garden to line one side of my porch.  Now I have fresh herbs just steps from my kitchen door, and I’ve prettied up the side of the porch in the process.  

I built a box that is 7 feet long by 1 foot deep.  The 2×6 boards at home depot are 8 feet long, so all I had to do was purchase 2 boards and have a single 1-foot section cut off of each.  12 screws later I had a planter box!

I planted basil, lemon basil, lemon thyme, lime mint, apple mint, chocolate mint, oregano, tricolor sage, purple sage, parsley, cilantro, and some seeds for dark opal basil (a purplish plant).

But enough rambling about my herbs. . . I’ve gotta get back outside and build two more large square foot gardens.  I’ve got about 24 more vegetable plants to get in the ground!

Divine Decor: South Beach, part 2

Last Friday, when I shared some mid-century inspired photos from latest trip to South Beach, I promised to return with a peek into one of SoBe’s most famous hotels.

Here it is, the wonderfully white and oh-so-glamorous Delano Hotel:

Isn’t that lobby divine?  When you walk in, leaving the sticky Florida air at the door, you’re immediately cooled and refreshed – not only by the temperature but by the ambiance.  Towering white columns and floor-to-ceiling curtains that flank the entirety of the two-story lobby, lending a dramatic yet serene vibe to the space.

Little furniture vignettes are interspersed with bar and restaurant alcoves, providing ample seating for people-watching when day turns to night and the rich come out to play.  I absolutely love the drama of this high-backed sofa in the lime spring green alcove:

I’ve always loved how the marble sushi bar juts out into the lobby at an odd angle:

When night falls you can sip on a fabulous cocktail at the fabric-wrapped Rose Bar, under the light of these gorgeous chandeliers:

. . .unless you’d rather imbibe  while seated in a vintage Eames rocker (I know I would!):

Of course, if you’re in the mood for some fresh air, you can always  saunter right through that billowy white lobby to find yourself at one of the most beautiful pools in Miami:

The pool is, by far, one of my favorite night spots for those evenings when I’m in the mood for relaxin’ and people-watching.  No photos I took of the pool area at night do it justice, so you’ll have to take my word for it – or visit it yourself!  When you kick back on a poolside bed, champagne in hand, and look up to see the palms towering against the dark sky, you know life is good.

I’d love to take you inside one of the $900/night rooms, but frankly I’ve never seen one.  I’ve read oodles of reviews though, and it sounds as though they’re not that exciting when compared to the dramatic opulence of the hotel’s public areas.  Which is just fine and dandy to me.  I’d rather stay at a cheaper hotel and save all my money for partying at the Delano, and the other fantastic hotels in the Morgans group.

So what do you think?  Are you starting to see why I love the ambiance of South Beach so much?

*Photos 1, 4, 6 courtesy of Delano on Facebook.*

New Abode, Part 6: Guest Bath

Yesterday I shared my guest bedroom, but I didn’t share the full bath that my guests can call their own.  As mentioned before, the guest room is on one side of the basement rec room.  On the other side is a laundry area and full bathroom.  Here’s a view into the bath from the hallway:

Oddly enough, there’s a drawer on the bottom of the vanity.  Have you ever seen such a thing? I sure hadn’t.

As you can see, the same tiles used in the guest room are carried into the bathroom, making it anything but a dingy and grungy old basement bathroom as found in so many older homes.  Just as you saw in our upstairs bathroom, this shower/tub combo is enclosed by glass doors.   And guess what?  It’s not just any tub. . . it’s a jetted jacuzzi tub.

I’m going to carry over the beachy theme from the bathroom at my last apartment, as that decor was a gift from a good friend.  But when last-minute guests were arriving and I had no time to decorate, I snagged a few more fresh flowers, popped them in an old glass jar, and tied a ribbon around it.

A thrifted little white ramekin came in handy for corralling some guest toiletries.  (The other toiletries, such as shampoo, conditioner, etc, were all arranged neatly on a shower shelf.)

The way I see it, by giving my guests the basement room and their own full bath, I’m giving them some privacy and some space to spread out.  So far I’ve had no complaints!  Plus, a jacuzzi tub?  The basement guest quarters aren’t looking so bad now, huh?

Click here for Part 6:  Studio & Dressing Room

New Abode, Part 5: Guest Quarters

Q:  What do two pet-lovers do when they have guests with severe pet allergies?

A:  They stick them in the basement!

Just kidding!  Not really.  Yep, we’ve stuck our guest room in the basement.  No, it’s not as horrifying as it sounds.  Read on:

It’s not a huge room, but I’ve got major plans for this space.  When I’m done with it, it’ll be bright, colorful, comfortable, and just a little bit wacky.  In other words, just like me!

Of course today I’m sharing the space in its “just-moved-in” state.   It was tough deciding on its location.  We were torn between using the 2nd bedroom upstairs or the basement bedroom.  After much deliberation, Ryan and I decided to use the private room in the basement for the guest room.  Before you freak and say “basement, ick!” let me explain.  The space is newly renovated, and located off the TV room.  It’s got stone tile floors, new white molding, and a small, high window which actually lets in a good amount of light.  For a basement.  The space is small, but it’s adjacent to a large room, and is steps away from a full bath – which guests have all to themselves.

Here’s a view of the room as you enter through the french doors:

In the corner under the window I’ve placed a chair and a vintage steamer trunk.  I like to make sure guests have a seat as well as a surface to lay out their stuff upon.  Ideally it would be a low dresser with empty drawers, but hey – I’m working with what I have for now.

Next to one side of the bed a reading lamp and some fresh flowers sit on a small bedside table with drawers.   Fresh flowers add an extra dose of cheer to let guests know they’re really welcome.

And here’s a view from the back corner of the room.  Clearly I need to sew privacy blinds for the french doors.

Pet-proof solution: In order to make this a pet-free space in a very pet-friendly home, we keep the doors to the guest room closed at all times.  Seeing as both our mothers have severe pet allergies, we must ensure they have an allergen-free space to stay in when they visit us.  And regardless of their allergies, I think it’s preferable to offer my guests a hair-free space [if possible] just in case they’re not as used to the fur as we are.

Right now I’ve got my daybed in the room.  In the photos it’s expanded into its king-size form for a tall male guest.  When single guests (under 6′ tall) come to stay, the trundle is stowed away, leaving the room feeling more open.

Since it’s a small basement room with limited light, I want to use a color palette that is bright, cheerful, and a bit playful.   Remember the fun pink and green fabrics I was loving at Tonic Living?  I’d like to use those as the springboard for this room.  Back when I mentioned my love for these fun pink and green fabrics at my fave online fabric retailer, Tonic Living, this is one of the spaces I had in mind.  I can not wait to start playing around with those fun colors!!

Click here for Part 6:  Guest Bath