Goodbye My Sweet Boy

On September 27th we lost our 13 year old Weimaraner, Tucker…A.K.A. Tuckman, Tuckey, Big Boy.  It was a very sudden and traumatic loss as there was no warning and he had no illness. He passed away at home after suffering from complications from a very minor surgical procedure to remove a cyst on his eye lid.  Our family is heart broken as he was the the special one, the once in a life time dog, the dog “love of our lives”.

Tucker

In order to deal with my grief I felt I needed to dedicate a post to Tucker; not as a sad narrative of loosing him but to celebrate his wonderful happy and long life.

Tucker was my older son Ben’s 13 Birthday present. He had begged for “his own dog” for several years as his younger bother had claimed our first dog Maddy as “his dog”. This is Tucker the day we got him Sept. 7th 1999.

He was the cutest little puppy and adored our other dog Maddy (kind of looks like my younger son who’s in the photo is claiming both dogs as his).

He grew big really quickly and soon towered over our little Madddy… hence the nick name”Big Boy”, as Maddy was now “Little Girl”. He was such a big part of my boys life and was in every Christmas photo until recently when we stopped doing Christmas photos because the boys got “too old” for Christmas photos.

I am somewhat embarrassed to admit but Tucker was very spoiled and never shy about making himself comfortable on the choicest spot on the sofa. This usually involved his head on a pillow or two and his arms and legs stretched out.

I honestly don’t think Tucker knew he was a dog. He did almost everything we did and went almost everywhere we went. This past year my husband has worked at home and every single morning he and Tucker went to Starbucks.  Tucker would ride like a human right in the front passenger seat and patiently wait in the car while my husband got his coffee and Tucker got his petite scone or whatever yummy treat my husband thought he would enjoy that day.

Like all Weimaraners, Tucker LOVED to run. I can best describe him as bursting with joy when he was let loose in the woods or on the beach. He would run way ahead then run equally as fast back to us as if saying…come on…Let’s go! This photo is one of my happiest memories of him on the beach in the Winter when dogs are allowed to run free.

We had planned a hike with him this weekend but instead we are mourning his loss. I am grateful though for the memories and photo of the last hike we went on just a few weeks ago. It was a beautiful day and while visiting our son in Burlington VT we decided to hike Camels Hump. This is the last photo I have of him…glad it is such a happy memory…. He was one special dog and he will live in our hearts for ever.

Goodbye my sweet boy, you are now with Maddy once again…rest in peace.

NECN Room Makeover: How We Transformed The Room (part 1)

My NECN room makeover segment aired this morning so now I can show you all the behind the scenes and the process as it unfolded. This is what the room looked like on my first visit. (click on any photo to enlarge it)

room before

room before

Besides the clutter, the major problem with the room was that it was really dark, the furniture placement wasn’t working and the room did not reflect the personality of the awesome young family that lives there which is made up of Mom and Dad, 3 young kids, 2 big dogs and 2 cats!

My design plan for the room was challenging given we only had a budget of  $500.00:  Rearrange the furniture to get a better floor plan (free), lighten up the room with paint, get some art work up on the bare walls and replace the Taupe and Brown colored window treatments that were not working with the decor. I also needed to find seating to replace the over sized checked chair and ottoman that were the only 2 things not staying in the room.

The homeowners biggest complaint was that the room was too dark. The two windows in the room face into dark green trees so almost no natural light enters the room. The dark and dated brick wall flanked by the dark stained bookcases made the room even darker. I suggested we paint the brick a soft white as well as the dark stained built in book cases to lighten up that end of the room.

before

By pure chance, the husband is a carpenter so he chose to box out the brick with wood but painting it White would have the same “lightening” effect. Look at the difference in the after photo of this same wall.

bookcase wall after

bookcase wall after

After the book cases were painted I “shopped” the homeowner’s house to find accessories, collectibles and photos that I then used to style the bookcases (no more over stuffed and sagging shelves). We added inexpensive baskets from Homegoods to store Legos and small toys out of view.

The walls were originally painted White but as I blogged about in an earlier post that you can read HERE, the color White only comes to life in a room with lot’s of natural light. Since this room receives almost no light, the White only made the walls look gray and dingy. Instead, I chose an on trend soft neutral that added some depth and color and really livened up the room.

Since the Red sofa was staying, as was the Red, Brown and Orange area rug.  I chose to use Red as our accent color throughout the room. I  painted an old dresser that was being used as a TV stand Red to match the sofa.

Here is a photo of the dresser before:

 TV stand before

TV stand before

and here it is after after a couple coats of Annie Sloan Chalk paint…much happier don’t you think?

TV stand after

TV stand after

The walls were completely bare of art work so to add more color and a little personality I enlisted the homeowners children to create colorful art for an art wall. Each child now proudly points out their contribution to the room. The frames (originally Brown)were found at a yard sale for $4.00 and I painted them the same color Red as the dresser.

Here is a photo of that side of the room before:

before

before

and here is the wall after:

art wall after

What turned out to be another focal point of the room was the homeowners wedding quilt.It had been rolled up in a bag for over 10 years and it was especially emotional for them to finally see it displayed. She made the quilt herself and all the guests signed it. Here is the wall we hung the quilt on before:

before

Before

and here it is after. As you can see I put the sofa on this wall so that it is now directly across from the TV. The wedding quilt hangs prominently between the windows.

After

Lastly, since I posted all these “before” and “after” photos, I thought it only fitting to show a “during” image….just a small hint of how much work went into this $500.00 makeover.

“During”

In my next post I will share a few more low cost tricks we used in this makeover.

Would love to hear what you think? Do you like the transformation?

If you would like a makeover of your room give me a call!

 

 

When the Color White is Just Right

As a Boston area Color Consultant I am obviously someone who LOVES color; so when I tell a client that White is the best choice for their room they always look at me surprised. There are situations though where I do believe White is just right.

#1.   A contemporary space with large windows and lots of natural light.

white loft

iHomee

In spaces with lots of natural light the color White will bring the room to life. I know it seems backwards because you may think it is better to use White in a dark space but just the opposite is  true. Color master Donald Kaufman puts it like this.

“A light color will never come to life in a dark room but a rich, deep color can make a dim, somber space feel warm and luminous – even though it receives no natural light.”

berkshire-lr-rich-holben

Rich Holben

 

White highlights the architecture and the light streaming in through the windows is an ever changing art show.

#2.    Kitchen Cabinets

There is just something about a white kitchen. White kitchens convey cleanliness and freshness.

white kitchen

Pinterest

White kitchen cabinets are timeless and by simply changing out the accessories you can update your kitchen for a lot less money than it will cost to replace dated Oak, Orange Cherry wood, Espresso, Pickled, Bleached or whatever color wood you originally chose.

white and red kitchen

Pinterest

#3     Beach houses

white beach house

Coastal Living

There is nothing more beautiful than a coastal view so why distract from it? Paint the walls white and let the view take center stage. Also White is unfussy and simple, usually just the look and feel you want in a beach house.

coastal Living

Coastal Living

#4        when surrounded by bright pops of color 

The color trend today finds lots of bright color in furnishings, fabrics and accessories so White walls can be the perfect neutral to give the eye a place to rest.

brights with white

Pinterest

The general rule to follow is the brighter the brights then the more White you need to support them.

Pinterest

White walls are the perfect compliment to all the different pops of color around the table.

Horchow

Horchow

The most important thing to remember about painting your walls White is that you absolutely must have lots of light in the room. Otherwise, white will just look flat, gray and cold.

So what do you think about white? Would you ever consider white walls in your home?

Sneak Peak of My Room Makeover for NECN

Recently I was challenged by producer Leslie Gaydos of NECN (New England Cable News) to do a room makeover on a budget for her weekly segment called Money Saving Mondays. Well I love a challenge and I had all sorts of ideas for the room. The room was dark and cluttered and in desperate need of help for the wonderful young family who lives there. We taped the “before” segment a few weeks ago and the “after” segment is being filmed today. I will post a link to the segment on this blog once it airs.

I can’t give too much away until the show airs but I can give you a little sneak peak of one of the things I did.

bookcase before

bookcase before

Above is the dark, and over stocked bookcase before and below if the “after”.

The finished room looks amazing…now I just hope I am a little less nervous today filming the “after” than I was when filming the “before”.

Don’t you just love room makeovers?

If you would like help with your own room makeover give me a call.

 

Art For the Love Of Dogs

This past Labor Day weekend we made a visit to a very special Chapel that I have heard about for years.

If you have ever loved a dog and especially if you have ever loved and lost a dog, you must pay a visit to the Dog Chapel in St. Johnsbury VT. Located high on a hill called Dog Mountain the Chapel was the final masterpiece of artist Stephen Huneck.

dog chapel 1

My husband and I own two prints by Huneck and actually met him many years back when he owned a gallery on Nantucket. His artwork was centered around dogs and the chapel was a culmination of his art and his lasting tribute to all dogs everywhere. Built completely by hand starting back in 1977 Huneck completed his dream and opened the Chapel in 2000. The Chapel resembles a 19th-century New England church from the outside, apart from the steeple topped by a winged Labrador.

Stephen Huneck Dog Chapel

Situated on 150 scenic acres Dog Mountain is a paradise for a dogs (and their human’s) with walking trails, a dog play ground and plenty of free doggie treats. There is even a swimming hole that is clearly marked “swimming for dogs only”.

Stephen Huneck Dog mountain

When you approach the Chapel you are greeted by a medley of dog breeds and a sign that proclaims: “Welcome: All Creeds, All Breeds. No Dogmas Allowed.”

Stephen Huneck Dog Chapel

Once inside, prepare to have a very moving experience. Soft spiritual music plays and visitors are encouraged to leave notes honoring their dogs that have passed. As you can see every wall is covered with photos, notes, stories and memories of loved and lost dogs.

Stephen Huneck Dog Chapel

The pews are supported by Huneck’s iconic Black and Yellow Labs.

Stephen Huneck Dog Chapel

The stained glass windows were my favorite part of the Chapel and I love Huneck’s color combinations. Each window features dogs doing what they love: eating a bone,

Stephen Huneck Dog Chapel

sharing ice cream cones,

and getting lots of love.

Stephen Huneck Dog Chapel

Reading some of the moving tributes to the dogs was difficult for me as our current dog Tucker is over 13 years old and we lost our 12 year old dog Maddy to Cancer just over 3 years ago.

Stephen Huneck Dog Chapel

We pinned a note to the wall honoring Maddy and attempted to introduce our Weimaraner Tucker to Huneck’s Weimaraner but he wasn’t too interested.

Huneck dog chapel

He was actually spooked by the whole experience and just wanted to go back outside…or go eat some more treats.

As moving and beautiful as the Chapel is there is a very sad story associated with it. In 2010 after some serious financial struggles Stephen Huneck took his own life. His wife Gwen is doing her best to keep the chapel open but without her husband to keep his art going she currently owes thousands in unpaid taxes. The State of Vermont is threatening to close the Chapel and sell off the land in an auction. We did our part by making a small donation and buying a “Good Dog Bad Dog” reversible bandanna.

After such a moving experience we did cheer ourselves up by taking photos in front of the World’s Largest Maple Syrup can. How happy is that!

How about you are you a dog lover like me? Have you ever heard of Dog Mountain and the Chapel that Huneck built?

 

If you would like help decorating your house or choosing color give me a call.

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