CHL-The Kitchen Gets Started

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The kitchen, before today. 

Budget and timing are big factors at this point in the game. Phase one of the Carriage House Lane renovation needs to be “quick and dirty”. Make the place livable and get Char in as soon as possible, so she can get her things out of storage and nest a bit. We don’t have all year to leisurely put additions on and gut the place. Plus, we don’t want to- we love the charm of the old bead-board and cabinets… if she wanted a new house, she would have bought one.

One of the biggest problems with the house is the cramped kitchen. It was more like a butler’s pantry than a kitchen. So, working with the space we’ve got, we are taking one wall out (non- structural) and moving the cabinets back to add another 3-4 feet of space. No major plumbing or electrical moved. The rest is cosmetic. Easy peasy! It won’t be a dream kitchen with immense “openness” and counter space for miles, but it will work. It will be quaint, with it’s original cabinetry, and newly modernized with new appliances and a new island. Plus, if Char ever decides to put her dream addition on the place, this reno won’t be wasted (waste is something we both abhor). It will serve quite well as the new butler’s pantry.

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There used to be a door way here, at the end of the countertop. 

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The old layout. You came in the back door and right into the fridge. (The room to the right was the dining room but will be come the mudroom.)

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The new layout is only slighter bigger but much more functional. The previous kitchen had a nice walk-in pantry (the small space behind the fridge in the old kitchen), but it was more important to have space is the main kitchen, so sadly it went “bye-bye”.

Shout-out to my brother, Reeves, for the quick CAD designs. Good job, bro!

-Chelsea

Carriage House Lane- The Story Begins

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My favorite street in Saratoga has always been Carriage House Lane. When we lived at “Grey Gables” at 14 Clement Avenue and later in the big red barn at 53 Greenfield Avenue, I used to walk my dogs down Carriage House Lane and pine over the adorable white carriage house on the corner. I would even periodically put notes in the mailbox asking the owner that if they ever were to consider selling, to please contact me first (that is how I purchased my last home- sometimes it works!).

One evening this fall, Chelsea, the biggest real estate scout I know (she is always scouring the web, looking at homes and markets all over the country) called me practically screaming. After my initial heart attack, she finally got it out that my favorite house had just been listed on the MLS. I was ecstatic and could not sleep that night over the reality that I was FINALLY going to get an opportunity to see my Dream Cottage.

I made an appointment the next morning and immediately wrote an offer. I closed on the home on Monday, December 14th and I am over the moon with excitement over all the plans I have to restore and renovate this “cutey patooty” home. Also, fun fact, this was the carriage house for Inniscara, the home of Chauncey Olcott, who wrote the beloved Irish ballad, “When Irish Eyes are Smiling”. Even more charming!

The street side of my new home.

The street side of my new home.

I always enjoyed the series in House Beautiful titled “The Bee Cottage”. It was the story of the renovation of the author’s CT cottage after the end of a longterm relationship and the re birth of a cottage that she loved. I hope to do a similar series and hope you will enjoy following the progress of my journey in the “C Cottage”.

Happy New Year!

-Charlene

A few of our favorite things: Halloween

Halloween Picks

It’s hard to believe that Halloween is right around the corner! Since we are just a week away, we’re featuring our favorite Fall items that stretch from Halloween and beyond. Our pumpkins and candles are perfect for your Thanksgiving decor and our little “whimsy” LED lights are great under a cloche almost any time of year- just swap out a festive item to celebrate each new season or holiday. Right now, we’ve chosen some faux fall leaves and a hand-decoupaged faux pumpkin to give it an autumn feel. Stop in to Silverwood in Saratoga and check out our Fall decor while it lasts! (Bonus: mention this post and we’ll give you 15% off any full-priced fall decor item!

-Chelsea

Sneak Peek: One of the best backyards in town.

Hogan 1For this year’s Home and Garden issue of Simply Saratoga, Mark Hogan and Rob Saba invited me into their little in-town oasis, otherwise known as their (epic) backyard. This is by far one of the most gorgeous residential outdoor spaces in Saratoga (and indoor spaces as well- remember this house from the Fall Showcase of Homes issue?). The layout, the stonework, the pergola, the fireplace… just amazing. I have utter and complete backyard envy. When you see the article, you’ll see why.

The Home & Garden issue of Simply Saratoga comes off the press shortly- don’t miss it!

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And Jamison for the finale. Because who doesn't love a cute golden retriever?

And their dog, Jamison, for the finale. Because who doesn’t love a cute golden retriever?

-Chelsea

Sneak Peek: Timber Frame Stunner

DSC_0143I am so excited about this month’s Simply Saratoga issue. For this issue, my friends, Ed and Nicole, let me shoot their gorgeous new home just outside of Saratoga. Not only did they design a super cool house but Ed and Nicole also have great eyes for collecting. This house has been years in the making, and so have the furnishings- Ed says he’ll buy something years ahead, just knowing where the piece will end up. My personal faves? The vintage dixie cup holder and gum-ball dispensers in the kids bath (if you’re the parent of a toddler, you can probably guess what the gum-balls in the bathroom are for…). And the kids bedrooms? Like a Land of Nod catalogue come to life- Lawrence and Penelope are some lucky kiddos!

Each room in the house feels lovingly curated, not impulsively bought for. However, it also feels homey and comfortable, just as a young family’s home should. Thanks, Ed and Nicole!

Side note- this is also my first issue shooting the photos myself! It was a lot of work, but I absolutely LOVE having total creative control. Here are a few images that didn’t quite make the cut for magazine (and trust me- I jammed as many as I could in there! There were just too many to choose from).Hope you enjoy!

Just a pretty little still-life at the Pieper's... no big deal.

Just a pretty little still-life at the Pieper’s… no big deal.

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The napkins are by Nicole and Josie Hollander (aka Pipe and Holly). We also carry some of their adorable baby onesies at Silverwood!

The napkins are by Nicole and Josie Hollander (aka Pipe and Holly). We also carry some of their adorable baby onesies at Silverwood!

The barn doors for the kids rooms were a Craigslist score. They backed their son's with a wallpapered panel to help keep sound out. The massive orb light-fixture is Restoration Hardware.

The barn doors for the kids rooms were a Craigslist score. They backed their son’s with a wallpapered panel to help keep sound out. The massive, orb light-fixture is Restoration Hardware.

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"Amore" is right!

“Amore” is right!

Never under-estimate the power of the bribe when you're potty training...

Never under-estimate the power of the bribe when you’re potty training… (and yes, this actually takes coins to work).

The Pieper's are big Phish fans and Ed has had all of their local concert posters framed from over the years.

The Pieper’s are big Phish fans and Ed has had all of their local concert posters framed from over the years.

Vintage Saratoga signs. What's not to love?

Vintage Saratoga signs. What’s not to love?

Awesome light from Potterybarn.

Awesome light from Potterybarn.

-Chelsea

 

Score! Cute equestrian sheets from Land of Nod.

equestrian-beddingI was just doing a little online retail therapy (pretty much the only kind I get these days) and I happened upon this darling sheet set at Land of Nod. I don’t have a 6 year-old daughter that worships horsies, so the complete set is probably a little juvenile (even though I do covet the “Equestrian Ribbon Sham”…), but decided the horse bit sheet set would actually work with my bedroom decor as a fun, unexpected pop of Saratoga-style and prep. So I went for it!

(I’ll post the finished product once I get these bad boys on my bed. Thinking they will look great with my Thomas Paul horse pillow from the store. This and my natural linen duvet will be a great grown-up alternative to the set-up at LoN.)

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Available at Silverwood for now, but sadly have been discontinued by the company…

-Chelsea

 

 

 

Hot Tubbin’ and it Feels So Good…

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SONY DSCOk, winter… you got us! Unkle! Unkle!

This winter, like the last, has been one for the books, in terms of temperatures. I feel like we don’t even reference the “Polar Vortex” anymore because it’s just become the status quo. It’s now just “winter”. The snow has been pretty unrelenting, but at least it makes the cold feel a little more legitimate or justified…right? Right?? I mean, if it doesn’t start getting above 30 degrees soon, I’m pretty sure I’ll be digging a path to my grill for our Memorial Day BBQ. Ugh…

As I once again let the the dog out onto his sad, pee- stained, shoveled pathways in the backyard (gross but true), I gaze out at my frozen tundra of a yard and always wish for the same thing during an Upstate New York winter- a hot tub.

Yes, Josh and I are hot tub folk.

Hot tub Ferrell

 

Yup, I’m fairly certain this will be Josh and I in 20 years… minus the creepy swinger vibe. And maybe less food/ more beer in the hot tub.

I think I read somewhere that looking at images of warm places actually made people feel warmer (sure, why not), so here’s a little dream hot tub round-up for your Saturday morning consideration. I want to go to there…

I've seen a couple versions of this image, so I'm not even sure it's real, but it should be. Almost NOTHING is better than a soak after skiing.

I’ve seen a couple versions of this image, so I’m not even sure it’s real, but it should be. Almost NOTHING is better than a soak after skiing.

The great outdoors aren't for everyone, but this hot tub is. You can feel like you're part of the snowy abyss without venturing into it. Plus, there's a fireplace- we could literally roast marshmallows from the hot tub.

The great outdoors aren’t for everyone, but this hot tub is. You can feel like you’re part of the snowy abyss without venturing into it. Plus, there’s a fireplace- we could literally roast marshmallows from the hot tub.

Just, yes.

Just, yes.

Less probable for a Northeastern climate, but dreamy nonetheless. (Also, I love anything with moss around or near it. It is one of the prettiest things in nature, in my opinion.)

Less probable for a Northeastern climate, but dreamy nonetheless. (Also, I love anything with moss around or near it. It is one of the prettiest things in nature, in my opinion.)

This one is less fantasy, more realistic for a Saratoga backyard. Also, love that this could sort of stand-in for a small pool in the warmer months.

This one is less fantasy, more realistic for a Saratoga backyard. Also, love that this could sort of stand-in for a small pool in the warmer months.

For the sources on these hot hot tubs, you can find them here on my Pinterest.

-Chelsea

 

Little Sissy, All Grown Up!

The lucite tray, mirrored coffee table, potted succulent, and stack favorite design books? On point all the way.

The lucite tray, mirrored coffee table, potted succulent, and stack favorite design books? On point all the way.

My sister, Madi, recently graduated from college and just landed her first Big Girl Job, which also enabled her to rent her first Big Girl Apartment in Boston with her boyfriend, Luke. This is their first time living together and it seems to be suiting them! Madi has a new-found interest in housekeeping and decorating that has paid off. Their cute flat in the Allston area of Boston is sweet, homey, and a perfect example of what an apartment should look like in your twenties. They “splurged” on the sofa, getting a quality, grey velvet one from West Elm, while saving on some of the other pieces like the unique bar cabinet and a couple of side chairs from a Craigslist “store-closing” sale. The coffee table was a Target find and their kitchen table and chairs were graduation/ Christmas gifts from me (a pair of Ghost chairs) and our brother (who MADE their table!!). My stepfather made their bedroom dresser, also helping the couple minimize the financial burden of furnishing their first place from scratch. She accessorized the apartment with cute, original Etsy art and some of Mom’s hand-me-downs, which give the place a personal, eclectic, youthful feel. Take-aways for your first place: don’t forgo  style and quality for budget, but keep it modest. Just get creative with your sourcing, splurge on a few anchor pieces, and get family to pitch in when they can!

Bravo, Madikins! Love you! xoxo

This cool piece makes a perfect bar area. She scored this from Next Summer's closing sale... a great find, but sad to see them go!

This cool piece makes a perfect bar area. She scored this from Next Summer’s closing sale… a great find, but sad to see them go!

Did I mention my brother MADE this table?? I am impressed!

Did I mention my brother MADE this table?? I am impressed!

Her favorite, macaroons, done by an artist she found on Etsy.

Her favorite, macaroons, done by an artist she found on Etsy.

Madi round up

 

– Chelsea

Wee Home Update

A year or so ago we did a post on the “tiny home” movement, which we LOVE. In theory. The movement has kind of exploded- there has even been a week-long series of House Hunters devoted exclusively to tiny home hunts. After seeing the House Hunters specials (especially the shows’ conclusions, where they show the new home owners living in their tiny homes after a month or so), I think I’ve decided tiny homes are ultimately just not super practical, especially if you live with anyone or anything else (I mean, we own a home design store… how could we live without at least some superfluous decor?). Although I love what tiny homes represent- moderation, scaling down the excess in our lives- I think perhaps they go a little too far the other way. That being said, for those that can make it work, I salute you! Cue, this clip from the hilarious show, Portlandia, staring Fred Armison (formerly of SNL). I think this says it all… Enjoy! -Chelsea

An Equestrian Christmas

Equine ChristmasThere is something innately “Christmasy” about English-style equestrian things. The red jackets worn for the hunt, the traditional black velvet helmets, the shiny gold and silver of the tack, trophies, and horns… I mean, just picture pretty much anything Ralph Lauren (the couture king of equestrian chic) and doesn’t it conjure that classic Christmas feel and look? Doesn’t it just make you want to curl up in a plaid chair, near a roaring fire, with a fur blanket (it can be faux!) on your lap, while you sip a hot toddy and read a little Frost? Being in Saratoga, we’ve gotten to scratch that English country design “itch” that we’ve always been drawn too (our other is classic Adirondack style, hence our store in Bolton Landing, NY). Come Christmas time, we tone down the horsey a little and opt for more traditional Christmas, but the two just work so well together, there really is no need to leave the horse behind. You also don’t need to be a rider to love the equine style. I don’t ride now, but I truly appreciate the aesthetic. It’s timeless and beautiful- what’s not to like?

Here’s a few of our in- store pictures of an “Equestrian Christmas”. And check out our Pinterest page “Equestrian Christmas” to see inspiration from others!

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A detail from above.

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Those canvas and leather riding boots are my cousin’s great aunt’s boots from the 1920’s.

 

This was actually taken at another house for a photo shoot, but the trophy came from Silverwood!

This was actually taken at a house for a photo shoot, but the trophy came from Silverwood. Trophies make the best vessels any time of year! They add instant sophistication and charm.

Plaid and a little bling... what's not to like?

Plaid and a little bling… what’s not to like about this bag?

One of our horse lamps with a sweet little clutch of pheasant feathers.

One of our horse lamps with a sweet little clutch of pheasant feathers.

These equestrian napkins and napkin rings make the most elegant country table.

These equestrian napkins and napkin rings make the most elegant country table.

Ok, so this doesn't look very festive from the picture, but there was a tree on this table, I promise. But really, the point is that these would look beautiful with any Christmas accouterments. Shiny...

Ok, so this doesn’t look very festive from the picture, but there was a tree on this table, I promise. But really, the point is that these would look beautiful with any Christmas accouterments. Shiny…

-Chelsea

 

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