The Great Plant Wall

We've got one big wall in this joint.  I've had a lot of ideas come and go while trying to figure out what to do with it... it could house a big hodgepodge of art and old family photos, a giant macrame, maybe dramatic wallpaper? But in an attempt to overtake the house with plants (I'm shooting for 100) I settled on a living plant wall.  The plan is to put a skylight in over the stairwell in the next year, which will help train the plants up and keep them nice an healthy.  I used the Wooly Pocket system in a skewed 3/3/2 pattern about three quarters of the way up the wall, with the lowest container just above head height. The containers have a well at the back that sustains the plants for 2 weeks before needing a refill.  Here's a little picture tutorial of how I put it together...

Wooly Pocket provides the hardware to anchor the system to drywall along with a template for spacing, with different options for spacing. I followed the line of the stairs and drew the lower level out a bit. Yes, I took my life in my hands scaling the interior of the stair rail to get the screws in the wall. 

I chose plants that were suited for the current lighting, filtered. I mixed different green, gray and plum tones, some variegated, different leaf shapes, some vines, some tree types. I place those a the top to grow taller and packed the middle with ferns and vines. 

Here's a picture of the container system, the well at the back permeates the roots for 2 weeks. 

Eventually the vines should hang down and cover the majority of the container, for now its almost like wall sculpture. I love how they protrude up and off the wall of the stairwell and greet you when you walk in the door, bringing the outside in...

Small Space Entryway

Small Space Entryway

I think the thing that bothered me most about our house, the thing that brought me down about it and made me question why we bought it in the first place was the entryway. The front door opened directly into the hallway that flanks the staircase, there was nowhere go but downstairs to the boys rooms or down the narrow hallway to all the living room. There was nowhere to put my purse down, let alone house a piece of furniture or even a wall hook for my coat. The interior garage door entrance was on one wall, a single paned etched glass floor length window flanked the front door. I knew that we couldn't bump the wall out very far if we wanted to stay under the existing roofline, but I knew there must be a way to make the space slightly bigger and more useful, to give it a focal point and a purpose,  and to make me smile when I walked into our home.  

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Tomato and Summer Squash Gazpacho

Tomato and Summer Squash Gazpacho

With an egg on it. When we returned from our long road trip across Oregon our vegetable garden was overgrown. There were zucchini the size of firewood, patty pan squash the size of dinner plates and probably upwards of 300 ripe tomatoes. We spent the better part of an afternoon cutting it back and harvesting, giving it away to anyone who happened to stop by, prepping and freezing yet more and making it our job to eat some with every meal. There must be something in the soil because they just keep coming, especially the tomatoes. Our favorites are the Sun Gold cherry tomatoes, which basically taste like sunshine and rainbows. 

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5 Ways To Make The Most Of A Small Kitchen

5 Ways To Make The Most Of A Small Kitchen

When we first looked at this house, a little over a year ago I squinted my eyes, cocked my head to one side and tried to picture what it could be like if we just knocked all the walls down and made it one big room. Adding up to about 640 sqft, the living room, dining room, and kitchen make up all the common space in the house, and taking out the walls would give us access to all of it, and the natural light from the large windows that look out into yard and a beautiful view of the valley.

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Reconstructing Home

Reconstructing Home

OH MY GOSH, are you still there? I had to take a BIG break during construction, and then we went on a lazy summer road trip across Oregon. The last thing I showed you was the completion of demo, and the beginning of drywall which seems like a million years and 50 projects ago. What happened next involved a lot of elbow grease on my part, some steep learning curves, lots of power tools, and a few wrenches in the plan. I did manage to snap some pictures to share with you along the way. At long last, here we go...

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