Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Transforming spaces

I'm deviating from my normal "house" blogging to write about an event I'm involved in this year, and every year for the past eleven years....my children's school auction. Over the course of a few days St. Joseph's Wyckoff gym is transformed into a spectacular venue for Saturday night's Auction and Gala.

Last year's auction theme "There's No Place Like Home" found my co-chair Anne Cunningham and myself wanting to transform the gym into the Emerald City. We enlisted the help of Blue Danube Productions, whose talented team of a/v professionals executed our vision to perfection.  

We added greenery/poppies to the boulders, a yellow brick road for fun and lit the exterior in green

The gym's vestibule was transformed into a field of poppies using green drape, over sized poppies and green lighting

The poppies were absolute "perfection"

40 tables were draped in luscious emerald green linens from Choice Linens and the entire room was draped in shimmering white 20' panels then lit so the room glowed a beautiful emerald green....gorgeous. Our three screens were 20' rounds which continued and fully executed our orb theme.

We added dangling crystals and incorporated our orb theme by adding round lights. Can't you just imagine Glinda popping out of one of these?

We found an artist in Arkansas who hand blew 40 glass orbs from emerald green glass

We nested them in reindeer moss and anchored them in a tin vessel...out of respect for the tin man

Every year there is a special VIP table...this year we played with the good and the evil by using Glinda's crown on one end and the Wicked Witch's hat on the other. We added lots of mercury glass for sparkle and Anne designed a spectacular wand

Anne also designed and created Glinda's beautiful crown 

The tables sparkled

Glinda's crown designed and crafted by Anne

Incorporating our orb theme, local graphic artist Mary Cunningham designed the wine labels, table numbers and other signage for the event

The Dessert Dash was an enormous success

Anne Cunningham and I, decor co-chairs for last year's event
This week finds me at it once again. Our theme is La Ville-Luminere, or City of Light, the Magic of Paris. Ah, crystals, gold gilt, Monet, Chanel, shimmer and champagne - now that is truly C'est Magnifique

Until next time.

la chasse au bonheur

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fall maintenance plan

Many of you know I would rather be posting about all the wonderful and creative ways to decorate your porch for fall but I know how important it is to have a solidly maintained home and how critical it is to have a regular maintenance plan.

OK, I had to add at least one photo for inspiration

There is a chill in the air and it's clear fall has finally arrived which means it's now time for some fall maintenance. If you follow a regular plan your home stays a healthy living environment and you save costs by avoiding big "surprise" maintenance issues down the road. As I always say "you pay now or you pay later but either way, you pay".

So grab the kids, some gloves and head outdoors this weekend.
Check the outdoors

  • Clean out debris from gardens, pots, and areas around the house.
  • Clean out gutters and check downspouts and the roof for any signs of leaking.
  • Check and repair all exterior caulking. Look around windows, doors, and under the eaves.
  • Trim back any limbs or shrubs that are touching the house or roof.
  • Inspect and clean windows and install storm windows if you have them. 
  • Clean out window wells. 
  • Clean out under decks and porches.
  • Drain and cover exterior hose bibs.
  • Drain and store hoses before the temperature dips to freezing.

Check the inside

  • Have the furnace serviced and change the filter.
  • Check and replace any worn weather-stripping.
  • Check crawl space for any broken ducts, excess moisture or inspects. 
  • Replace any fallen insulation. 
  • Check chimney and have it cleaned, if needed.
  • Clean the garage and put away equipment no longer needed for this year.
  • Find and check snow shovels and snow removal equipment and replace now, if necessary.
  • Prepare lawn mower for winter storage after the last mowing. 

If you keep your home in good condition with a regular maintenance plan your property will:
  • Maintain its property value
  • Sell more readily and usually garner a higher price
  • Be more comfortable to live in
  • Have few expensive repair bills

Until next time, 

la chasse au bonheur