Showing posts with label kitchen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kitchen. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Is Your Kitchen Island a Proscenium?

With a client yesterday, below, huge vase of fresh peonies.


More amazing, not florist peonies.  Grown/cut from a local garden.  Atlanta !
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At a memorial gathering several of the tables had the same vases of peonies.  All from the same garden.
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Secret to these Southern grown peonies?  Shallow planting.
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Peonies need cold winters.
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In this house with children, dogs & life the kitchen retained this still life, above, without styling.
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Exactly what good design does.
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Living life beautifully, amongst 'real' life.
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
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Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
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Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
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Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
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Construction by Award Winning:
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Wendy Posard: Kitchen + Garden


When the garden is a feature of the kitchen I know the architect has gone beyond their education.  And delved into the realm of intuitive.


Flooring flows inside/outside and the scale is charming vs. large.  Other comparisons: happy vs. large, nurturing vs. large.......
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Necessity vs. luxury.
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"I can live without the necessities but I must have the luxuries.", a quote I first heard age 8, repeated by Miss Katherine Scott, a grand influence.
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Garden & Be Well,       XO Tara
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Pic is a Wendy Posard project.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Is Your Garden 'Art' on the Wall?

Every garden view should be 'art' on the wall.


2+ decades ago I visited a garden in Greensboro, NC with every window view taken into consideration.  Every window.
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Again, something learned from an 'uncredentialed' gardener changing the direction, forever, of how I design landscapes.  Not once during college did any instructor mention being inside a client's home to design a garden correctly.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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pic via Castles, Crowns & Cottages.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Kitchen with Porch

In the kitchen.


Simple, pretty, functional, evocative.  And, my favorite, not styled for a photo.  You're seeing 'everyday'.
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You can see the porch in yesterday's post.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Pic taken last weekend, same home as previous post.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Axis of Ugly: Views from this Gorgeous Interior

Interior attention to detail. 


Exterior attention to detail?
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A grill.  Swathed in vinyl, no less.  Perhaps to match the countertops?  No, to match the ovens.
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Axis of Ugly: Breakfast room window view.  Yard (yes, yard, obviously not garden) door view.  Window above the sink view.  And, probably dining room view, upstairs bedroom views.....
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Why is this acceptable?  Generally it's the person bankrolling the interior demanding the grill, hence, acceptable.  Until that person reads a post like this.  Go ahead, you know you want to show it to him.
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Garden & Be Well,       XO Tara
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Why so hard on this topic?  "Men come to build sooner than to garden finely as if gardening were the greater art." Pope, 17th century.  Beautiful pics of interiors that denigrate the landscape are harmful to my profession.  
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How to fix this?  Simplest? Hinged shutters, painted color of chair seats, above, in front of grill.  Fold & lean against wall when using grill.  
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Pic via Cote de Texas.
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Axis of Ugly.  Rather proud of that one !!  Would be a great lecture title for Puppet Barbuda.....

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Vanishing Threshold

Vanishing threshold's 2 questions: 1) Is the garden so fabulous I MUST see inside the home.


2) Is the interior so fabulous I Must see the garden?
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Casement windows, library thick with sconces, terra cotta pots looking 'as if' they were just carried in from the conservatory, I'm wanting to be in the garden looking in at dusk with all the lites on......this room & garden have me.
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Want to read every book, see all the ironstone, types of silver.   What types of pots does she cook with?
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More than narrative, this bit of vanishing threshold is mentoring.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Thank you Cote de Texas for another great pic on your blog.  Look at those library sconces again, notice the multiple layers?  No need to ask, I KNOW they are on a dimmer switch.
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Do you want to be in your garden at dusk looking into your home?  I do.  And adore what I see.
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pic via Bumble at Home.  In a small garden, for above, I would use #89 granite gravel instead of lawn less maintenance.
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If you want a garden that is a moat of grace around your home & life, contact me.
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Details about online design services.
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Learn action steps to creating your best garden & home when you hire me to speak to your group.
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Details about lecture titles here.
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I've written several garden books available on Amazon.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Big Green Egg & Design

Their home is classic architecture.  Her husband asked for ONE thing.  In my book, 'done'.


Every site with a Big Green Egg is a challenge.


The backside mimics the house siding & color.  The cabinet/counter top are


copies of the outdoor kitchen at the terrace level.
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Magic Man does it again!
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Garden & Be Well,  XO Tara
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Pics taken at jobsite last week.  This space is small & wonky & viewed from interiors, deck, & lower garden.  Had to be gorgeous from every angle & functional for the man who only asked for one thing!
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No, Big Green Egg did not sponsor this post.  And I wasn't about to do one of those rustic river stones, toss in the Big Green Egg & a rustic cabinet at this house with formal architecture.  Lunacy for this site.



Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Outdoor Kitchen Planning

At the pool an outdoor kitchen is planned under the new room addition.
 Yesterday's meeting included lighting choices. 
 And space planning.
 Kitchen island, yes you're sensing the presence of Magic Man again, will be on wheels & made of teak to match the cabinets.  A stone banquette in the corner will have her signature custom cushions with Magic Man making the table to her exact dimensions.
Outdoor kitchen yesterday morning!
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Client is an interior decorator with a specialty in space planning.  Quietly successful, she's word-of-mouth only. 
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Pics taken at jobsite yesterday morning. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Outdoor Kitchen

Belgard does outdoor kitchens, below.All price points.
Myriad styles.
Landscaped PROPERLY each is unique.
Alas, Belgard's marketing pics, above/below, create an entirely new meaning for Bad To The Bone.
Please, overlook the landscapes (I am, even as they harm my profession) and consider Belgard's fabulous outdoor kitchen options in both configuration & materials.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Landscape design with fabulosity & Bad To The Bone means what it's supposed to! Pics via Belgard catalogue, which you can order online at their site.
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If you are handy Belgard outdoor kitchens are a DIY project.
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Puppet Barbuda has a theory about bad Landscape Design (poor darling Puppet Barbuda, offended at the least infraction to her profession) in landscape marketing materials. Testosterone-on-wheels-mow-blow-go does most of the purchasing & construction. Companies cater to who is at THEIR cash register.
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Puppet Barbuda wants companies to cater to who generates many of their sales. Why overlook the Landscape Designer? Why overlook women, typically age 50+, putting in fabulous landscapes? Do you think women don't do hardscape? Do you think they don't grill? It's already known women are the dominate purchasers at nurseries.
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Puppet Barbuda thinks it's odd to sell a product bashing an industry, Landscape Design, that will raise sales figures. Puppet Barbuda wants to know, Is There Anybody Out There?
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FYI, I spoke with the fabulous guys from Belgard while lecturing at the St. Louis, MO, Home/Garden show earlier this month. Was totally Puppet Barbuda with them. Guess what? They listened. Hmm, no worries, Puppet Barbuda will keep at it, ha, just in case they were placating her.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Chandeliers In The Kitchen

Diminutive, my pair of chandeliers hang, as inspired by a blog years ago, over a harvest table. Many mornings I'm here, in my wicker chair,
reading & looking out 3 walls of windows, starting my day.A view out 1 of those walls, from my wicker chair this morning.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Did you notice my ceiling is not white? It's a faded blue/green, depending upon the lighting. Below the chair rail is a terra cotta type color. Both colors are within the wall paper. Susanne Hudson was hired to choose the colors. 25 years in this house & I still love the wallpaper.
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Pics taken this morning.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Nassim Taleb: 3 Views

From, The Bed of Procrustes, a new book by Nassim Taleb."Education makes the wise slightly wiser, but it makes the fool vastly more dangerous."
"You are only secure if you can lose your fortune without the additional insult of having to become humble."
"You are rich if and only if money you refuse tastes better than money you accept."
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Wesley Yang wrote about Taleb, "He made what he has called his "fuck you" money when his bets against the market made him millions on Black Monday in 1987." "...the content of his next book, Anti-Fragility, ...will be about how we can create systems that mimic the resiliency of nature."
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Taleb also wrote, The Black Swan, and, Fooled by Randomness. Both bestsellers. Both about Wall Street.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics taken this week, of my month old Conservatory, from my bedroom window. Poppets, you should see my VINTAGE 25 year old linoleum kitchen floor, with battle scars.
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Conservatories are for the soul, kitchen floors a necessity. Younger, I would have done the 'right' thing, the floor. This age is exquisite, bringing me the Conservatory.
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No doubt, fate will bring a new kitchen floor, including, of course, new countertops, backsplash, sink, faucet, stove, refrigerator. Last year in the kitchen was: ceiling reconfiguring, painting, 4 new chandeliers & cabinets. In the interim, I don't look down.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Something To Make You Smile


Last year when I designed her landscape her kitchen was sheet rock. Last week, below, still unfinished it's already fabulous. Sheepishly, she said, "I know it's ridiculous but it makes me happy to look at my new chandeliers."


A wise observation. Over a decade ago, in Penny McHenry's garden, I realized the same thing about things that made me smile. Her garden, tastefully, had many.

Near my front door, above, the cat. I bought the cat for no other reason than it made me smile.



Go ahead, give yourself permission. Choose things that make you smile.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

DIVA BRAIN vs. LIZARD BRAIN

POVERTY IS A GREAT PRESERVER. Unaffordable harvest tables led my conniving lizard brain to a table I already own. Hideous: oak, mahogany stain, carved clawfoot pedestal, terrible measurements.
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DIVA BRAIN took over from LIZARD BRAIN.
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Dahlings, I hired a man with a power tool, muscle & skill.
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Now, harvest table is an exact 30" wide.
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Soon, faded green stain, same as the teak in my garden, will fabulously display the triumph of DIVA over LIZARD..
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That hired man? He hung a pair of antique gilt/chrystal chandeliers over my harvest table. They've changed my life.
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Only 2 weeks & the chandeliers are a morning ritual. Arising before the sun, walking into the kitchen, along with cat entourage, I fire up those beautiful girls.
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To be continued....
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pic via City Sage via Isa's Little World
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To be continued? House in chaos. Painters into week 4. Clawfoot tub, now in my bathroom, still filled with vinegar/water soaking away stains from its former use in the garden. My kitchen is no longer the kitchen. Cut off a counter, moved ceiling lites, added chandeliers + 24" ceiling fan, harvest table added. Though painting debris litters the room it is potent enough, unfinished, to be called THE GARDEN ROOM.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

GARDEN SPECIALIST

Doctors, lawyers, engineers & more have specialties. ELLEN OGDEN is the KITCHEN GARDEN specialist.
Whether you have acreage or a tiny city apartment you can have a kitchen garden. Beautifully & easily.
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Ellen & I spoke at the same symposium in Vermont a couple of years ago. Wow. Author, speaker, gardener. She's been living a kitchen garden lifestyle for decades.
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No, dahlings, kitchen gardens aren't boring or ugly. Think potagere. The French concept of vegetables-herbs-fruits-flowers-flowering shrubs in lovely combination.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics from Ellen's site, Kitchen Garden Designs.
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Note: You think a kitchen garden will be too much work? The work my garden does on me is more important than the work (playing*) I do in my garden.
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* We don't say, "I work tennis, I work football, I work golf." Ha, "I play tennis, I play football, I play golf." However, with thanks, my garden does, indeed, work on me.

Monday, June 29, 2009

SPO: HOME, GARDEN, TEA

SPO's home was under construction when I drew her landscape design several months ago. I knew from descriptions it was going to be scrumptious. A small house is what she, & her husband CAPE COD, wanted with great details, antiques, art, books and a garden. Look at the tea she served. Cava, ha, isn't she wonderful? County restrictions & certificate of occupancy played a role in the initial landscape. A dastardly lawn HAD to go in. Soon much of the lawn will be flowering shrubs, groundcovers, understory blooming trees, paths, rosemary, lavender & more wildflowers.
SPO's first wildflower meadow, above.

Lawn now but just you wait, hydrangeas, azaleas, viburnum, mondo, jasmine, tea olive, cryptomeria, gardenia, camellia, forsythia, & etc......


SPO sourced most of the materials for the house. The working shutters are on all sides of the house. The living room, above, with 2 pair French doors leading to the back porch and, below, a door from the master bedroom to the back porch.

Well chosen downspout, below, it's round. The stones are faux. On site, from 3', you can't tell they are faux.

The kitchen, family room, master bedroom, upstairs office, & porch, below, overlook an amphitheater with a mature woodland backdrop. You would not believe the birdsong.


Natural terracing, below, forms the amphitheatre. Faux stone tops the retaining walls.

Textured blocks, below, even cheaper than the faux stone, comprise the retaining walls. Not seen, why spend more?

A delight in the carriage house, the Cadillac. SPO & CAPE COD drive for pancakes each Saturday in the Caddy. Yes, I've asked them to stop by & pick me up some Saturday.

SPO adores cooking and found her kitchen online at Yestertec Kitchen Works. Simple, compact, functional and charming.

The oven, below, is in the cabinet under the stove.

And the armoir, below, is not a pantry.
It's a cooking center, below. Delightful, just close the doors and it's a clean look.

In the library, below. Moving into this house they decided to forgo cable. And are loving the change in their lives.

Between kitchen and living room, below, the desk. The house is one room deep in these rooms and full of natural light. And views, views, views.
Keeping it small, below, SPO knew to go high with the living room ceiling.

SPO & I dreamed, before she moved in, about having a tea party on the back porch, below. Alas, dear ones, we were weak. Do you know how forsakenly hot/humid it was?


SPO & CAPE COD have successfully down-sized from their large home yet already feel the difference in living larger, richer, simpler, lives.
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Enjoying the cava, conversation, house, garden and scones with fresh fruit/jam it was difficult to comprehend they have only been in their home for 3 months. It felt like E. M. Forster. The solidness of Howard's End. A place to fill the spirit.
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You'll be getting more of SPO & CAPE COD because I didn't get any pics of their corgi, who really owns the place. And of course, as the garden goes in.
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Garden & Be Well, XO T

Friday, June 26, 2009

KITCHEN COUNTER BLOCKING FENG SHUI OF LANDSCAPE

For my landscape ( & sanity) the Feng Shui of the kitchen must change. Kitchen counters form an 'L' blocking easy access to the backdoor & garden. Disliked, strongly, for years it's now unbearable. Changing the kitchen will change my life. Bold? No. Energy must flow easily, vanishing threshold.
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The stupid kitchen counter can't block me from my garden anymore. How's that for a mission statement?
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It's ridiculous what's involved removing 4.5' of kitchen counter:
* Replacing the floor
* Replacing old appliances
* New counter tops
* New sink (I like the one above)
* Reconfiguring the ceiling
* Painting
* New light fixtures
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Timeline for action is winter. I've begun getting quotes & sourcing materials.
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Garden clubs, occasionally, meet in my garden for a lecture, tour & box lunch. But I haven't sought greater numbers. Why? The ridiculous kitchen.
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It's time to live my vanishing threshold; house, garden, life.
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Sink, above, from House Beautiful magazine, I think.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara