April 21, 2018

Reducing plastic in your home – Part I

It’s Earth Day, let’s celebrate our beautiful planet! But it sure isn’t feeling so lovely at the moment. Since moving to this country eight months ago, I have been astonished at the amount of waste that is generated. And I’m not just pointing the finger at everyone else, I’m pointing it right back at me. When I’m carrying my trash and recycling down the hallway I’m aware of how much waste I produce every week,

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January 26, 2018

How I Hygge

By now we are all familiar with the term hygge, right? A crackling fire, candles flickering in the dusk, friends gathered round drinking wine and playing Cards Against Humanity all while a light snow falls outside. Sounds like a great way to while away the winter months, right?

For some. While I can appreciate some time spent flipping through shelter magazines and sipping tea,

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January 17, 2018

My Gas Fireplace: Easy, Convenient and 100% Hygge

On the list of all things hygge, almost at the top right below candles, is a crackling fire. Picture yourself on a chilly winter afternoon: bundled in cozy clothes, fuzzy slippers on your feet, a mug of hot tea in your hand camped out next to a roaring fire. Sounds like heaven right? Now imagine if all you had to do to achieve that roaring fire was turn a knob. Thats right, I’m talking about a gas fireplace.

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January 10, 2018

Our Favorite Snow Shovels

It is January here in SOMA and winter is in full swing! The wind is blowing, the snow is falling and my thoughts have drifted to the exciting topic of snow removal. A New Englander at heart, I have done more than my fair share of shoveling. As kids, my brother and I used to roam around our neighborhood with shovels, digging out neighbors for a well earned $20. While no longer so enthusiastic about snow removal,

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May 12, 2017

Maplewood Garden Club Plant Sale

Each spring the Maplewood Garden Club puts on a plant sale and the deals are amazing. The sale is held in the parking lot of the Maplewood community pool. Last year I stopped by “just to look” and walked away with a dozen great plants to add to my garden for $130. Mature hosta for $4? Yes please! Large, healthy vinca for $6? Don’t mind if I do! At this sale a person could completely outfit a spring vegetable garden in one fell swoop and save a bundle in comparison to shopping at the local nurseries.

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May 05, 2017

Spring Rummage Sale

Twice a year, in the spring and in the fall, there is a fantastic rummage sale located about 30 minutes away from SOMA at the Far Hills Fairgrounds. The Far Hills Rummage Sale is put together as a fundraiser for the Visiting Nurses Association of Somerset Hills and it is an adventure!

It is best to go in the morning as the good stuff gets snapped up in a flash. Opening day is always a Friday and things tend to be priced a bit higher because that’s when the selection is widest and the dealers know it. 

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December 06, 2016

Waterproofing: French Drains

Last week the waterproofing began downstairs in the basement of 120 Oakview. We made the decision to have French drains put in so that the basement will be dry and, more importantly, so that we can create a room for our kids and all of their stuff. The basement and its water issues have been a long time source of stress for me and just having made the decision to go ahead with the work made me instantly feel better.

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November 24, 2016

Local Resources: Reclaimed Barn Wood

In one of the projects I have been working on we have decided to use a reclaimed beam as a mantle above the fireplace. While researching my wood options I stumbled upon a salvage yard in nearby Irvington called Real Antique Wood and went to pay a visit. I was not disappointed.

The yard is enormous and the wood is stacked miles high. You are welcome to go wander around and they have a showroom filled with knowledgable sales people.

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November 09, 2016

Light Fixture Love Affair

Back when I was in art school I spent a summer living in Copenhagen, Denmark. While there I ate a lot of hot dogs, drank a lot of beer, rode bikes down bumpy cobblestone streets, hung out in the twilight lit nights, made amazing friends, explored Scandinavia and generally had the time of my life. Oh, I also happened to study furniture design.

The program was based out of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen and the halls in the building where classes were held were lit with the iconic Poulsen Artichoke lamp.

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August 05, 2016

Color Story: Painting the Exterior of 120 Oakview (Part I)

This past fall I realized that the time had come to paint 120 Oakview. The thought of having to cough up such a large sum of money terrified me… but running the risk of the house being exposed to the elements without proper protection seemed like a bad idea. I worried that if we were to put it off another year or so we would end up having to spend more money on repairs for things like rotten corbels and weathered window sills.

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