Friday, June 12, 2020

the last of the lilacs

The last of the lilacs have been clipped, just before the last blooms fade. Most have turned in the afternoon sun, or dropped their petals, but there are still a few late blooms lingering.

Another short but glorious season.

The lilacs usually give way to the peonies, but sadly, there are no peonies growing on our property. That will of course change as I intend to plant rows for cutting, but for this year, at least there are a few local growers taunting us with photos of their swelling buds so close to blooming.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

apple blossoms in bloom

The town we live closest to is named "the apple capital" of Nova Scotia. As a result, we have an abundance of orchards around us and over the past couple of weeks, the apple blossoms in all of our nearby orchards have been in bloom. 
It's quite a spectacular sight - rows and rows of trees completely covered in soft pink and white blooms. Even more beautiful, is actually stopping to walk through an orchard in bloom. It's like a sea of petals that cling to the branches in some inexplicable way, so fragile and delicate. It's a wonder the slightest breeze doesn't carry them off. Their scent is subtle, but sweet. And the sound? At first you hear it before you see them, this low humming that fades in and out. As you look closer, you begin to see them - the bees, hovering, then dancing from one blossom to another, never stopping, always searching.

The blooming of the fruit trees, like so many other early blooms, is short and fleeting. It's something that I look forward to from the first signs of the trees come back to life. It's when everything seems to come back to life. Worthy enough a sight that I'll risk trespassing just to walk up and down the rows, taking them in, knowing in a day or two, or after the next heavy ran, or breezy day, they'll all be gone. Luckily, I have yet to meet a farmer who wasn't friendly enough to grant me the pleasure.

And as this is our first spring in our new home, and after so much had already faded by the time we purchased our property in the fall, it was the first time we were really able to see what was growing.

To my delight, there are two large, unruly apple trees down at the river's edge. Their branches are covered in lichen, gnarled and wild. Despite their age, beautiful blossoms covered them once more this spring.

Planting fruit trees is on our list of projects to do over the next few years, but not something that we will tackle any time soon, so I was thrilled to know that we had some already established.

Walking through the orchards was lovely, but this year, seeing my own white blossoms was something that brought me joy every time I looked out my kitchen windows.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

design - kitchen inspiration

[ nine & sixteen for Victoria Magazine]

I wanted to share some of the inspiration behind my design for the kitchen. It was the hardest room in the house to design, by far, because I had never stepped foot in it. Having to design an island and figure out how the layout would function was so challenging for me. I really feel like you need to live in a space before truly understanding how it functions best, hence why a lot of it has yet to be finished. We decided to build the island, as we needed that to function, but hold off on any other cabinetry and just re-purpose what was existing.

It was also important for me to have some antique pieces incorporated into the design and it takes time to find those perfect pieces. I love the cozy feel of the space Tessa designed (above), and it was what convinced me to keep our small antique table.
[de Vol via @cotswoldsinteriors]

I love the look of unlacquered brass, especially with marble.

[de Vol Kitchens]

I also love the warmth and character of exposed beams. This kitchen from de Vol also convinced me to commit to a darker island, and by darker I mean not white. The colour I selected was Edgecomb Grey by BM.

[de Vol Kitchens]


This kitchen was a huge inspiration in the designing of our island. I just love the simplicity. This, and the kitchen above, were also very influential on the style of the island - simple, shaker style feeling very English.


Catherine of In The Fields is always so inspiring. From how she uses antique finds to bring beauty to the everyday items, to the lovely open shelves of her former  kitchen. I'm looking forward to seeing how she finishes her new one.

[Julie Blanner]
I also always love the simplicity of Julie Blanner's kitchen. She probably convinced me to commit to the brass faucet. I also love her hood and plan to design something similar, but in reclaimed pine from the original floorboards.

[dreamlightforyou - Etsy]

I'm waiting for this Etsy shop to reopen so I can order the pendant lights for above our island.


Another lovely sink - this one from June Home Supply. I also love the very simple open shelves.

[@cat_in_france - Rabbit Hill]

Cat's beautiful home, filled with all of her lovely antiques, is also a huge inspiration. To me, it embodies a personal kitchen; one that functions according to it's owners needs and style of cooking. I plan to add a wooden piece for between my range and fridge..

[Martha Stewart Living]

On top of the wooden piece by the range will be a set up similar to this one in Martha's Kitchen. I love the urns filled with cooking tools and the storage underneath. Functional and beautiful. I also love the putty-beige colour of her kitchen with the gorgeous marble tops. Again, a kitchen curated around how it's owner uses it.

[Barefoot Contessa]

I also need to find a large basket, similar to this, but to conceal my garbage and recyclables.

While I love a good, satisfying before and after, the designing of our home is something that takes time. It evolves as we live. I'm okay with that process. In fact, I enjoy it. And I have a feeling so many of you enjoy seeing the process just as much as the final reveal.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

kitchen tour

Lately I've been spending quite a lot of time in the kitchen, and have been attempting to document it more. As I've been posting more of this room, as well as more tours of the rest of the house as it currently is, I've started getting a lot of requests for more. I know that I've already shared a tour of the kitchen with sources, but I thought I would walk through it again. For now, I will go over the details that still need to be finished and then tomorrow, I will show the inspirations for what the rest of my plans are for it's design.

Currently our appliances are in place, but not finished off. I am on the hunt for a larger piece for between the fridge and stove. It will serve as mainly storage, but also a workspace. I'm hoping to add a runner down this side of the island and we're hoping to be able to build the fridge in, and add a cupboard to the top for storage. This will help draw the attention away from the fridge.

We will also add open shelves above my baking counter and I need to find shades for these windows, as this one in particular is Western facing, and the sun is extremely bright when we sit down for dinner.

Lighting wise, we are waiting to order two pendant fixtures for above the island, as well as two sconces for the back wall, on either side of the picture window. I actually ordered two different sets of fixtures for here, and neither came in the right finish I wanted. Eventually there will be bench seating under the window, but for now, it's fine as it is. I also want to add some peg hooks beside the door to the porch.

I have some salvaged floorboards, from the original floor we had to remove, and I'm saving them for a vent hood above my stove. It will be in raw wood, to match the exposed beams.

I'm also still waiting to find four stools for this side of the island. This was an old one we had, but unfortunately, Ikea no longer carries this same style. I had found two sets of nearly identical wooden stools with cane seats, but I wasn't sure about painting them. We'll see.

This is the view of the kitchen from the living room couch. I always think it's a pretty one.