A little this and that

Fall gives me the same boost of cleaning and organizing that spring provides.  One of the items on my to-do list is going through photo storage (computer, phone and random photographs that end up in a drawer or box).

So, as promised…my renewal of landscape business (since retirement) has been busy.  I’ve not taken as many photographs as I thought I would.  Some of my lapses are due to being tired after the install.  So, here’s a yard that I’m especially happy with.  

This yard had good bones but was in need of some pretty.  

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That’s my update on Bunch Garden Design.

We also moved into a new (to us) home, a rental, and I shared a few of the pictures of the living room and dining room, with the promise of more images of other rooms in the home.  So here’s our guest room.  The fun thing about the little writing desk in the second image is that it was used as an end table in the last 2 houses.  Our home of 35 years and the first rental we took after the move.  In this house, I was worried I’d have to donate it due to lack of space…

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Guest Room

…but as it turns out the little table fit well under the window in the guest room and the small French chair fit as if it was meant to be paired with the table.

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I absolutely love this hanging rod for the picture gallery. Heather Chadduck Elements of Style (below)

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Southern Living Idea House 2019

I discovered a new (to me) designer that I love…Maine House Interiors, Amy Spargo

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Blue and white touches always make me smile.

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Desk top vignettes to please.

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Amy Spargo

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So that’s it, my friends.  Now that the heat has cooled a tiny bit, I’m going to have more energy.  I hope you’re enjoying every single tiny bit of summer left in your neck of the woods.  I’m always more than ready for autumn this time of year.  I’m tired of summer food and ready to bake a few sweets and maybe a casserole or two.  Until next time.

xoK

 

The color of autumn

The color orange had a big moment in the seventies…yes, I’m that age.  Back in a time when chocolate brown, “harvest” gold, and orange were very popular.  Not that orange hasn’t been an important color to designers and folks alike throughout the decades.

But I remember in the seventies when I was planning the decor of my first apartment I wanted orange to be part of my color scheme, and it was.  That is possibly why I dismissed it for so many years as a passe color.  But we all know trends come around again and there are so many pretty examples of orange in design, fashion and in the garden.

Orange combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It is associated with joy, sunshine, and the tropics. Orange represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation. … In heraldry, orange is symbolic of strength and endurance.

Most of all I get excited about orange this time of year.  It’s the last week of August, Autumn can’t be too far away.

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As I red-haired girl, for years I didn’t think I could wear orange, thinking it might make me one big blur of orange.  But I’ve found it is an uplifting color for me.  I feel good in an orange sweater or accents of orange in a scarf and I believe we should wear what we like and feel good in.

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I like this seasonal transition outfit.  Still layered to work if the day warms up, but warm enough for a crisp fall day.

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Small doses of orange…a pretty front door.

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Even the lone pumpkin in an otherwise neutral garden says happy autumn.

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This pale shade of orange is relaxing in this pretty bedroom.

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This orange wall is the stuff of the Hermes boxes, so pretty with the silver tray gallery.

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Persimmons in a vintage trophy make a statement.

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Inspiration for an urn planting this fall.

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Roses with touches of blue.

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This toile image is years old but still warms my heart when I see it.

Do you like orange?  For those of you that avoid the color at all costs, I don’t have to tell you about the great array of colors pumpkins can be found in!

Just a few more weeks for the calendar to actually read “first day of fall”.

xo K

Wall Art Inspiration for our bungalow

We’ve moved…again.  When we sold our family home of 35 years we initially decided to rent close by to give some thought about where we might want to “settle”.  So we started our new adventure [part 1] with a rental in Irvine.  We’re renting again and I’ll post about the pros and the few cons of that (at our age) in an upcoming post.IS6mcqj6jn8omr1000000000

-our family home of 35 years-

Irvine, California had been our city of residence for most of our married life and we love it.  Still, just a few miles down the freeway our youngest son, his sweet wife and our granddaughter reside.  I’m not talking about a long drive from our Irvine home to the front door of our family, but as our granddaughter grows we thought it would be nice to have a shorter distance to pick her up from school or attend her sports events and other activities.

So, June 1st we packed up our rental in Irvine and moved down the freeway to Laguna Woods.  More on living in a community of seniors later.  This is a post about wall galleries, after all!

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For me, the “fun” in moving comes when I get to start the decorating process.  Everything is moved into the new place and I can begin creating a new nest with my art, furniture, and accessories used in new ways.

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As we’ve downsized a little it forces the decisions on what to use and what I either will donate or store.  Thanks to the Konmari method I’ve pared down to only the things I’m certain I’ll use, or love too much to donate.

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Art for the wall has been one of the more challenging aspects of the move I’ve had to face.  Inspiration is always just a few clicks away.

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I’m fortunate to have a talented daughter-in-law who, along with her mom, came the day we finished moving in and assisted with wonderful ideas and opinions, which truly helped me.

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No more excuses about my lack of photography skills…here are a few of the wall displays we put together.

We had this plate rack custom made years ago.  It’s resided in a room with each move but I believe I like it here more than any other location in any other home we’ve lived in.

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The mirror over the small entry table was a bathroom mirror in our family home.  You can’t see much detail but the frame is patterned with an acorn chain.  I’ve always loved acorns.

The equestrian-themed oil painting in the dining room was once over our family room sofa in our home.  

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The small gallery over the daybed is a work in progress, but it’s where some odds and ends of artwork have landed.

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More on our recent home and the rooms within later.

Enjoy your summer!

 

Project Design: Outdoor Living Spaces

I was thrilled to be invited to participate in another Design Project post.  This feature is the brainchild of Cindy Rough Luxe Lifestyle, Mary Ann classic • casual • home and later Annie Most Lovely Things.  Today’s topic is one that is relevant to me. Not only because we’re knee-deep in summer around here, but because in Southern California warm months always include outdoor living.  In addition to the ideas and talents of Cindy, Mary Ann, Annie, we’ll get to be inspired by Kerry Graham Hill Design and Marie Marie’s Home and Garden.  I hope you’ll visit all the team contributors for summer inspiration for outdoor living.

It’s official.  Summer is here.  In our “neck of the woods” Southern California, summer means enjoying activity outside.  In 2017 we downsized from our family home of 35 years. We had several outdoor “rooms” that gave us a place to dine, escape the heat and entertain.  The area below was situated in a corner of our yard where three very large trees provided shade nearly all daylight hours.  Even with a/c indoors, this was a favorite place to escape and relax for a few minutes on a very warm day.  Our granddaughters enjoyed the pea gravel and treated it like a sandbox.

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Our home had an atrium and that provided another place to bring outdoors in.

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The patio was in the back yard and had a teak dining set.  We later changed out the chairs for the wicker Kooboo chairs.  (The chairs are now called All Weather Capistrano chairs)

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Sorry for the shady photographs.  Photography is not my strong suit.

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We’ve since moved twice.  Our first move offered a lovely backyard area with Saltillo tiles.  I failed to photograph details of the courtyard (other than the flowers – below) so we’ll move on to our latest home (moved June 2019).

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We have a patio that has been tiled.  I confess I wasn’t sure I’d like the tile, but it’s grown on me the past week as I placed furniture and I enjoy the ease of sweeping up any dirt or leaves.  Mr. B enjoys sitting out here watching the world go by.  It’s shaded by a patio roof and very comfortable.

Mariposa courtyard

The other side of the patio (above) is a work in progress.  It receives a lot of sun exposure and the black half-circle you see on the floor in the picture is the umbrella base.  We put the umbrella up for the warmest days.  More to come as I complete this space with a few new plants and such.

You can create outdoor living almost anywhere…

The table set in a corner of this yard is inviting in part due to the canopy of leaves from nearby trees and large shrubs. Rustic and simple, a favorite combination for me. 🙂

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A smaller porch offers the opportunity to make an inviting dining space (you could even use a card table for a setting like this.  I’d love lunch with friends at this location!

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If you’re lucky enough to live on or near water…this would be a favorite spot for any relaxing activity.

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If your preference is to enjoy dining outdoors during beautiful weather days, here is an example of some simple tabletop additions.

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I always try to use plants I might have already potted.  These topiaries would make a fun centerpiece grouped.

I hope you have been inspired to enjoy the season of outdoor living.

For more ideas be sure to visit:

Cindy Rough Luxe

Mary Ann classic • casual • home

Annie Most Lovely Things

Kerry Graham Hill Design

Marie Marie’s Home and Garden

 

Down the Garden Path

As mentioned I’ve embarked on my new [revisted] gardening business, Bunch Garden Design.  I’ll be posting more of my inspiration photos along the way, I hope you’ll find some inspiration for your garden as well.  My interior design friends should know I will still be doing posts on wonderful rooms that make me happy, and will hopefully make you happy too.

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Today I’m researching options for garden paths created with various materials.  I have a client who is requesting some ideas for enhancing her stepping stone path to her backyard.  Currently the path is made with irregular blue stone on dirt.  Ugh, we both know it can be more.  In California, smaller lot size means every inch has possibilities.

We have a path in our small cottage garden in the rental we’re living in…we didn’t install the Mexican pavers, but they work just fine with this small garden space. [Madison, my constant furry companion]

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In our former home of 35 years, we developed this pea gravel space in our backyard.  The trees served as air conditioning in the summer…not a path but it shows the versatility of gravel.

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Ground cover is an option for my client, but I seldom find it covers 100% around every stone.  So many paths with ground cover have dead patches of plant growth. If any of you have had great success with ground cover around stepping stones, I’d love to know of the plant name.

Garden, Home and Party: pareing down

The more permanent path [below] is certainly an option.  I especially like this one that includes a border of different stones as an edge to the planting area.

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Decomposed granite is a surface I particularly love because it reminds me of this exact kind of formal/historic garden.  One thing the client needs to know is that decomposed granite will need to be reapplied every few years.  I sure love the way it looks in the setting below.

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Flagstone gravel [below] is a color option for the right yard or garden.

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Brick is always welcome in the garden, this pathway stands the test of time and is classic.

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If you decide to add a garden path to your yard, here are some steps recommended to prevent weeds from trying to take over your path.

  1. Step 1: Mark out the design. …
  2. Step 2: Level the ground. …
  3. Step 3: Cover the area with weed blocking fabric. …
  4. Step 4: Add a layer of aggregate and compress. …
  5. Step 5: Add a layer of sand and level. …
  6. Step 6: Lay pavers. …
  7. Step 7: Add your gravel or plants

I hope you’re having a pleasant spring.  We’re experiencing one of the coolest springs I remember. I don’t mind, summer will be here before we know it and it may be blazing hot!

xo

 

 

 

Inviting rooms

For as long as I can remember, I’ve found visits to favorite blog sites, a good shelter magazine, design books and actual visits to pretty homes, comforting. They are not just inspirational but they seem to transport me and lower my blood pressure.  🙂

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Sometimes it can be a vignette that catches my attention and I’m happy.

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Discovering a well-designed room, by a designer that is new to me, makes me smile.

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Jared Hughes Design is an Atlanta designer.  His projects include a traditional design with a global influence.  I love the two rooms below, just the right about of blue and white beauty.

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I only recently discovered Amber Lewis.  Her website All Sorts Of is filled with inspirational ideas.

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Rooms with a splash of blue and white always catch my attention.

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Gardens have once again taken a large amount of my attention, but pretty rooms will always be a happy place for me.

xo

 

Pretty California Gardens

I have a weakness for formal gardens.  I realize they aren’t for everyone, but to me they are classic and I love the orderly appearance they provide.

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Some of you may remember the formal garden I installed in our house of 35 years and while I don’t miss our old house (fond memories keep me happy), I do miss my formal garden.

When someone has a space that could use some structure and they don’t care to add hardscape to their yard, I recommend Japanese Boxwood buxus microphylla or Boxleaf Euonymus eunoymus japonicus ‘microphyllus’.  So pretty!

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Then there’s the beauty of an English garden where plants are allowed to fill in garden space and ramble a bit.  My California clients don’t often have room for this look.  We’re notorious for our postage sized lots, still there’s room in most yards for a little ramble, non-structured area of the garden.  The garden below is the yard of on of my favorite blog sites, Trouvais.  Trish may have retired her blog, but it’s still active.  If you’re interested in seeing some beautiful gardens, take a look.

Peonies, roses and lavender gardentrouvais

I’m sure you’ve heard of Velvet & Linen.  This is a kitchen garden they had in a house they owned when I first started reading their posts.  Now they live on beautiful grounds in Ojai.  You will want to visit their site and be amazed at the beauty of the home and grounds.  Inspiration is everywhere, including the charming farm animals they have.

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Velvet and Linen

I love a rustic look and this outdoor dining space makes me smile.  I think the right vine can add to and patio cover, creates an inviting dining space.

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Maybe I should dress the part of garden designer…garden design for homes or hats! 🙂

via S G GENEVA – my good friend Debra of 5th and State

Do you enjoy gardening?

xo

A New Direction – Bunch Garden Design

If you receive an email that I have a new post, don’t faint.  I know it’s been awhile.  I will explain it all…

During my years blogging at this site some of you may know this, some will be surprised to learn that I was working full time as an Executive Assistant until 2017.  Then I went to work part time at a design business.  In January of this year I officially retired but knew I wouldn’t be able to sit around for long without getting antsy.  I’ve always been a little hyper active and possibly a little OCD.  So before I gave notice I did some soul searching for my next “career”.

For 13 years before getting a full time job, my partner and good friend and I ran a landscape business.  We planted cottage gardens and gave people options for renovating their yards and gardens.  We both loved the work (and that has never ended) and we grew our business with word-of-mouth referrals.  I decided to try my hand at this work once again.  I have had 2 very large jobs (referred by friends) and know I’ve made the right decision.

I thought somewhere down the line I would revamp this site and focus on inspiration images of beautiful gardens, as well as post pictures of my work.  Note:  Photography has never been in my strong suit, but I’ll attempt the process anyway.

I received an email from someone referred to me and the first thing she said was, I couldn’t find a website for you, do you have one?  It’s time…I need to get this party started. 🙂

I am now, officially  Bunch Garden Design

So,  I will be ‘blogging’ again.  It will mostly be landscape inspiration, but I confess, I’ve never stopped loving interior design as well so you can catch a few of my favorite design inspirations as well.

I hope you’ll join me in this new chapter.

xo

Karen

Wild for Birds

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Historically birds have always had a place in homes.  They add beauty and charm whether in the form of a pet bird, framed prints from the Audubon collection, bronze or porcelain figurines, birds depicted in fabrics and wallpaper, or neighborhood birds enjoying a meal at a bird feeder in your backyard.

Garden, Home and Party: Audubon Park

I was recently contacted by Audubon Park with a kind offer to provide me with a bird feeder and special seed to attract most varieties of birds in our neighborhood.  An instruction book and journal was included.  {Thank you, Audubon ParkYou may remember our foray into feeding birds from my posts HERE and HERE.

Garden, Home and Party: Bird feeder

I can share with you that it has been a relaxing and enjoyable experience and we have marveled at the visits by some of the most colorful birds, most we had no idea were in our neighborhood.  Should you wish to embark on this peaceful pass time, and with winter fast approaching it’s a great time to feed birds, Audubon Park not only provides these Tips for feeding birds but their site has information on where to buy their premium food and more:

  1. Know your local birds. [We happen to have a Field Guide to California birds].
  2. Feed them their favorite food
  3. Make them feel at home with trees, shrubs, flowers and a bird house
  4. Give them bath and drinking water
  5. Keep them safe: Make sure your seed, suet or nectar is made-in-the-USA and place feeders away from windows and predators

Because I can’t pass up an opportunity to showcase a pretty room, here are some additional ways birds find their way into our hearts and homes.

A chandelier ready for autumn, complete with a pair of faux American Crow perched on attached moss-laden branches…

Garden, Home and Party: Audubon Park

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Love this wallpaper with birds in flight…

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Hotel Van Zandt, Austin, Texas displays birds made from old LP vinyl records…

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a favorite room by the talented Holly Mathis, dressed for Christmas, features some wonderful Audubon prints…

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Love the needlework peacocks in this bedroom…

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How sweet is this flamingo wallpaper for a baby girl’s room?…

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Classic beauty in green and white…

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I hope you’ve enjoyed this visit to the world of our feathered friends.  I’ve definitely had fun bird watching from our kitchen window.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autumn flora in the home

Good morning, my friends!  So much for getting back to regular posting, right?!

Garden, Home and Party: Autumn Flora

I am an avid fan of fresh flowers and plants in my house year round.  I’ve used branches from shrubs and trees in the yard, and flowers from the market for our home most of my married life.  I also have several living plants in my home.  Ivy topiary, Peace Lily ‘spathiphyllum’ and a large pothos live in various rooms of the house.  When Christmas rolls around I’m happy to use faux garland, embellished with live cedar and pine.

Garden, Home and Party: Autumn flora

Garden, Home and Party: Autumn Flora

Garden, Home and Party: Autumn Flora

So it was with some hesitancy that I returned the kind email I received from Silk Plants Direct.  They were offering me a shopping visit of their site, where they would ship a product of my choice (with a generous pricing limit) for my honest review.  Still doubtful, I visited the link and found many of their plants to look very believable.  The item I selected reminds me of bittersweet, something that is sold live per stem by florists this time of year in our area.  I’ve always loved the look of bittersweet in autumn arrangements and wreaths, but couldn’t always find fresh stems.

I emailed my contact with Silk Plants Direct and was thrilled with the speedy delivery and the quality of the stems.  The flowers filled the large porcelain blue and white vases and finished the mantle decor for the season for me.  Thank you Silk Plants Direct!

Garden, Home and Party: Autumn Flora

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Garden, Home and Party: Autumn Flora

Silk Plants Direct, a Silk flowers and plants retailer, has a user-friendly site and provides a column on their home page that allows shoppers to narrow their search by topics such as category, size, price, color, variety and season.

If you’re a die hard fan of real live plants and flowers, as I consider myself to be, you may be in for a surprise. I urge you to take a look at Silk Plants Direct.

Disclosure:  I received a free product sample in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The honest opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.