Tuesday, August 26, 2014

So long summer...

While it certainly feels like summer today, for many of us on the east coast, our kids have already started back at school. If you are like me, there's a part of you that's just not ready to give up the playfulness of long summer days. However, I must admit, the other side of my brain takes a bit of comfort in the new, more predictable schedule that back to school brings.

For many years, I have sort of viewed back to school as a "New Years" celebration of sorts...new beginnings, a fresh start, a new season, you name it! It also makes me feel like it's time to get a bit more organized. Having just returned from vacation I found myself cleaning out my fridge, calling the carpet cleaner, then realizing it just can't be saved...so I called the carpet installer. You get my point, it's time to do a little "spring cleaning" in the fall! Take advantage of the good weather and get your deep cleaning done now. That way you can face Old Man Winter in the comfort of your clean and organized home. 

Since I'm a girl who loves a check list, just so I can cross stuff off as I go, I loved this handy "Fall Cleaning Checklist" from +Real Simple . Click here to see the list!

Or, if you are a real go-getter, check out the very thorough checklist from +Lil Blue Boo ...it's the "Mother of All Checklists" Click here to check it out!

Plan to use the days with cooler temps to take care of your outdoor chores. Soon you won't need your hoses or outdoor furniture (insert sad face here).

If the task of deep cleaning your home seems a little daunting, do what my assistant is planning on doing. Pick one day per week to be your "deep clean" day. Then pick a room or an area to focus on and get it done!

And don't forget to take care of your car. Vacuum out all the beach sand, get an oil change, fill the windshield fluid, etc. You want your wheels to be clean and ready for all of your fall decorating finds!

Good luck with your fall cleaning! Check back next week for more design tips from +Mandeville Canyon Designs!



Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Pool rules!

I have been lucky enough to get to work on several outdoor projects over the years. These are often times my favorite projects because I love the feel of the sunshine, but I also love the natural beauty and energy that surrounds us outdoors.
This summer I have had the opportunity to work on a pool and landscaping project which has been nothing short of exciting. Installing a pool is a daunting project and there is so much to take into consideration. Take a look at these before pictures and wait 'til you discover how we transformed this yard into an oasis!
Pool project "before" pictures:
Because of the pool construction and prior home construction, the soil was seriously depleted, so something I was equally excited about was bringing back nutrients to the soil. We brought in 14 yards of loam and organic compost and spread that under the sod and tiled it into all the beds.
I then hand fertilized all the plants and used root stimulator to help with the shock of some of the transplanted items. It was important for us to use what was already in the garden both with plants and boulders first and then augment from there. This helps cut down on costs and one can presume if it's there and it's alive, it must like it. 
Beautiful stone work at our recent pool project
I'm a little obsessive about the stone work. I believe that everything has an energy, especially stone due to it's ancestry. I spend a long time working with my clients to choose the stonework for a garden. I love to start with what exists on the land and then work outward, trying to mimic what might be found on the site. In this way we marry the old with, well, the old, but you get the idea.
We used a variety of plants in this design that add both visual interest, seasonal interest and year around color and texture. Two of my favorites are the Pinus densiflora 'Occulus Draconis' Dragon's Eye Pine

Dragon's Eye Pine
and the Maple Sango Kaku

Maple Sango Kaku
Always take into consideration your soil, your site. This site had more all day sun than I have seen in a long time. Add to that a nearly flat grade and it was just begging for a pool, drainage, and native opportunities.


Pool project "after" pictures:

Also, don't overestimate your interest. If gardening really isn't your thing, stick with the basics. Both you and the flora will thank you.
I've worked on several landscape and pool projects and am often asked about how to keep the plantings around the pool looking lovely longer. For that, I always recommend that you ask an expert, which is what I always do!

So, I have tapped into one of my favorite local garden centers, Churchill's Gardens.  If you live near Exeter and haven't yet visited them, you absolutely need to get there!

Here is some fantastic advice from Linda at Churchill's Gardens:

Now that it is later summer, people are often thinking that their gardens are looking tired. Often they are, but there are some things that you can do to keep them looking fresher. 

Tips for Perennials
  • Make sure they are watered if we do not get steady rain. When you water perennials, or trees and shrubs you want to make sure you are deeply watering so that the roots are really getting wet. This year we have had steadier rains and not the extreme heat, so plants are not so stressed as some years, but some rain has come down so hard and fast this year, that it has not soaked in. 
  • You do not want to be fertilizing perennials, roses, or shrubs at this point, as you do not want to push lush new growth that will not be hardy for the winter. 
  • What you can do though is go through your gardens and deadhead any gone by blooms, remove those gone by daylily stalks, etc. by cleaning up your garden it will not look so tired.
 Tips for Annuals

  • As far as annuals go, keep regularly watering them and most importantly feeding them. There is plenty of summer left and you will be surprised that they often make a resurgence as the days get cooler if you are still feeding them.
  • Use a liquid fertilizer at least once a week for plants in containers, and it does not hurt to feed several times a week.
  • Keep them deadheaded and cleaned up and they will keep going for many more weeks.
    Keep in mind that even if we have been a bit cooler, we have had some 100% sunny days that are just as drying for the soil and plants, so they need water and fertilizer to keep looking happy.

    Enjoy these last few weeks of summer, before school starts and fall brings us new energy. Soak in the sunshine and enjoy your yard!






    Tuesday, August 5, 2014

    Color combos that are safe but not boring

    I can honestly say, the most common interior design question I get from clients, friends, family (even strangers in the paint store!) is how to choose paint colors. No surprise here, but I am a visual person, so I thought I'd share some of the color schemes I have used recently. Hopefully it provides you with a bit of inspiration!  
    Sherwin Williams Scandia, Indigo, Cosmos & Icelandic
    I used these colors in a recent cottage by the beach that I designed. Since the cottage is rather small (less than 700 sq. ft.), I decided to use a monochromatic theme and then give each room a hit of color from the "other side". What do I mean by "the other side"? Well, I'm talking about the other side of the color wheel! Colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel are considered complementary colors. I love to use this treatment in a room when I really want something to stand out. The high contrast of colors creates a vibrant look, which I think fills a room with great energy! For this cottage, I chose orange to be my complementary color and I could not have been more pleased. Take a look at how wonderfully the blues & oranges play together!

    I used the same technique in another home I designed. This time I used very neutral browns with a hit of red. This suited my client well because they were able to take a few chances with the brightly colored accessories, but could also change them up quite easily and guilt free!
    Sherwin Williams Craft Paper, Believable Buff, & Cardboard

    Sherwin Williams Paint
    Of course, you can't go wrong with these colors either. It's a great color combination for staging your home. A touch of color without going too crazy! The colors I chose were all +Sherwin Williams paint; Copen Blue, Agreeable Grey, Toque White, Calico and Warm Stone. The paint color names alone sound soothing and peaceful!
    And finally, here's a sneak peak at the colors I am using in a home by the beach. Once again, I stay somewhat "safe" with the paint color choice and then had fun with some wallpaper and fabric. The colors here are +California Paints in Steamy Spring, +Benjamin Moore Paints  in Rattan and Soft Glow. Then a used Shore Thing wallpaper and  Thibaut Luzon fabric in Aqua and Coral. Beachy, but not boring!

    If you aren't sure where colors fall on the color wheel and which ones may complement each other, I recommend you hop on over to TigerColor.com and see what they have to say. There's a terrific post about color schemes, complete with pictures to help explain it all!