The Inside Scoop at CellularWindowShades.com

Archive for the ‘Beautiful Views’ Category

In reading Kelly’s comment to the prior post on “What’s Your Dream Home…?“, my memory went back to an article read in 7 Days. Kelly’s dream was a Swiss Family Robinson experience in a Treehouse – and if she can get to Lincoln, Vermont, she could live out that fantasy at Tiny Fern Forest. The ad is on AirBnB.com (which was the topic of Katherine Flagg‘s 2012 “Home Away from Home” article in 7 Days).

tiny fern forest

It must indeed be a “Vermont Thing,” for I have found other treehouse rentals!

For instance, in Waterbury, Vermont, there is Moose Meadow – which features a log home AND this TREEHOUSE:

moose meadow

Country Living has an online photo gallery which opens with Moose Meadow, and includes EIGHT other Treehouse accommodations — From Oregon, to South Carolina, and even Hawaii.

NB: the BIG SUR Treehouse might even appeal to PoshPedlar, who also commented on the “What’s Your Dream Home…?” post. W-o-W!

And RelaxShacks.com makes mention of Tiny Fern and another Vermont cabin that’s perched so precariously I’ll give it a nod here — in Barton, Vermont (also listed on AirBnB).

If you’re interested in the “Tiny House” movement, do check out the RelaxShacks blog – and Derek Diedricksen‘s book (take a deep breath, for it’s a LONG title:) Humble Homes, Simple Shacks, Cozy Cottages, Ramshakle Retreats, Funky Forts (and Whatever the Heck Else we could squeeze in Here).

So, Miss Robinson (aka Kelly), there are indeed treehouses out there for you to try!

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… just looking at the exterior of THIS home, featured recently in the New York Times – here’s the one _I_ wouldn’t mind inhabiting:

exterior

Writer Elaine Louie‘s article is accompanied by nineteen photos – though most of them treat objects found within this Stockton, New Jersey home. How I wish they had included more interior shots of whole rooms. Although antiques are lovely, and antique-hunters will be glad to see the ‘from where,’ ‘how purchased’ and ‘prices,’ the rooms of this place would have been more meaningful!

The exterior shot shows the balance exhibited by this facade. How inventive to included ONE brown door. It really propels you up the walkway and to the “front” door. As do the twin – very big, very bold – lamps. Can almost see the candles flicker in them, from this distance.

What melts my heart, though, is the stone work. There is a town in the southern part of our state that is quite famous for its stone buildings: CHESTER DEPOT, Vermont. On the National Historic Register!

So, I was already predisposed to enjoy the looks of this property.

The owners – John and Judy Hobday – date the house to 1810. Hear the clop of hooves…? The swish of skirts, and the click of boots on the walk…?

outbuilding

Even their “outbuilding” has great character — something of that wistful “enchanted cottage” look, especially with the creeping vine.

 

 

 

 

simon pearce handblown lamp

And, inside, a Simon Pearce Handblown Lamp – One of the main Simon Pearce sites being located in Windsor, Vermont (in the southern part of our state).

Spring and Summer is a time of year that MANY municipalities encourage owners of historic or unusual houses to open their doors for viewing. I cannot say that this home is open for visitors, but I did run across a listing – another New York Times article entitled (appropriately!) Gawkers, Welcome. Tickets prices run the gamut of not-bad to pricey – but their list encompasses the whole country. How could it not start off in the Metro area, but it does then meander up to New England (brief stop in Vermont), down to the south, and over towards the west.

I encourage readers of The Inside Scoop at CellularWindowShades to “show & tell” about YOUR dream place. It may be a locality – it may be an architectural style. You can include a photo, or a link – but especially, tell the story of “why you love it”. Give us something to add to our Pinterest boards, for instance What’s Your Style? or Favorite Places & Spaces.

 

 

This year, to honor ARBOR DAY, our company has decided upon planting a tree

CellularWindowShades.com has been in our “new” home three years now, and our plot of land has slowly taken on a new character. There are a couple of keen gardeners in our midst! So among the thoughts on what type of tree we might plant came such thoughts as:

  • I’d like to see something flowering.
  • It must produce something edible – cherry? pear? apple?
  • It should be something that can survive with little maintenance; it must be something that survives long and cold winters.

Current thoughts are leaning towards this little beauty:

apple blossom

One WordPress Blogger has this particular specimen in the garden. I was so happy to find Gardening in the Lines: A Diary of Gardens because I have so little desire to garden, but LOVE looking at the work of others. Flowers, shrubs, quiet spaces in cool corners – all call to me (though do I heed that call by doing anything myself?? Does raking in the fall count?). Alas, it may not be an active blog – but the photos are still there for all to see.

Some of my favorite pins on Pinterest involve “the garden”. Our board for “GARDENS & FLOWERS” shows a broad range of applications, from potted plants and cut arrangements, to vast public gardens. And don’t discount the whimsical: find our hollowed log planter or mosaic stone swirl walkway. FUN!

There is one thing about being in the window shades business: Windows look out on the world. And whether you cover your windows for light control or privacy, when you look out you hope to see something that makes you smile…. And flowers – with their bright colors and pungent scents – are the ticket. Here in Vermont we’ve had a recent snow storm, but we’re told that “spring is just around the corner”. Our Arbor Day Tree — whatever variety it might in the end be — will soon herald that blossoming season: spring cleaning, new decorating, open windows, garden parties.

 hero-gift-trees

 arbor day

 

Spring is a time to move house as well as clean house. News broadcasts LOVE to publicize the latest home starts or housing sales. So the houzz article on APARTMENT HUNTING FOR RENTERS seemed quite timely. The “customer comments,” however, resonated with me as never before — and I’ve been in my home for more than fifteen years!

SanFran

The houzz article is firmly aimed at big city apartment hunters, but the comments hone in on the worldwide dilemma of finding somewhere to live — and loving where you land. Some of houzz’s tips include

  1. Focus on a FAVORITE neighborhood or two, if possible (might depend on the size of the municipality).
  2. Beside budgetary concerns, what two other priorities must your new home have?
  3. Open House overkill? Keep a checklist (of likes and dislikes) or snap a photo or two. (One commenter suggested that snapping a photo of each front door helped immensely.)
  4. Be prepared! in some markets, housing will go fast. Be ready with pertinent information to convince the seller or landlord you’re the person for their property (references; credit history information; mortgage pre-approval; etc).
  5. Hidden costs? Are those window treatments included? how much are utilities? is parking available, or cable / internet hook-ups?
  6. Odd smells? Noises? lack of natural light? add those to your list so you’ll remember your reactions later.
  7. Be nosy! You might be living here soon: peek into closets, run the water, flush the toilet.
  8. Search online, newspapers, dedicated publications — but don’t forget word of mouth.
  9. Negotiate price. It’s worth a try.
  10. Will Grandma’s armoire fit? Bring a tape measure.
  11. Did the seller / landlord makes promises: Get it in writing. Don’t rely on memory…

My take-away from some of Comments:

  1. When talking ‘utilities’, don’t be afraid to ask how a bill is assessed; beware hidden ‘fees’ charged to tenants.
  2. Likewise, be leery of ‘application fees’ or leave-taking ‘cleaning’ fees.
  3. Check out the yard (if applicable), especially if the prior owner / tenant had pets. (think: clean-up…)
  4. Think twice about the flat near the elevator or garbage chute. Do bedroom(s) overlook an alley where the trash is kept? a busy street?
  5. Be on the look-out for signs (for rent / for sale); tell co-workers about your hunt for a home. The more, the merrier.
  6. GREAT idea: Check the neighborhood during commute times on a weekday. Cruise the neighborhood between 10pm and 3am [I personally would extend this to the likes of 7am] “to see who and what is out at night”.
  7. Pertinent to renters: is there a waiting list for a building you want to live in? Get on it!
  8. Really concerned about safety: contact the local police department and ask about the area.
  9. Moving in or doing a walk-through before closing? Take pictures and document.
  10. “Don’t be shy about asking a friend or relative to accompany you” – a second set of eyes can often help.
  11. Do baking cookies hide an odor? Does music mask street noise? Visit more than once to be sure.
  12. Looking near a school – but don’t have children? Be aware of increases in (road and foot) traffic; additional noise; parking or trespassing problems.

houston

Now to add a few thoughts of my own. I live in what could be termed a “small city”, certainly an urban area. The housing is predominantly single-family homes, a few condo units, only downtown has some “lower” high-rises. Downtown has exceptionally few amenities, so I can start my list with

  1. Is your area walkable? How’s the public transportation? Do you need a vehicle no matter what? Depending on your lifestyle, you may want to think twice about where to locate.
  2. If you like nature, are there public parks, scenic areas easily in reach?
  3. Would you prefer an area where everyone has children, or are professionals, or all retirees?
  4. Consider that the No. 1 business of businesses is to grow: that college up the hill will not be content with a student body of 2000 students in ten-years’ time; that airport will add run-ways and parking garages – or change flight patterns to entice larger jets; that highway may be two lanes now, but what if it became wider or faster?
  5. How close are your closest neighbors? Be aware of basketball hoops, barking dogs, loud cars or loud music. All have the potential to impact your enjoyment of your own home.

I’ve personally have lived through loud neighbors, barking dogs, early morning airplanes, a backyard daycare. I remember reading once about a woman whose neighbor was a chatterbox; ultimately, the writer resorted to diving into her car in the garage, just to avoid the neighbor. The spring after I purchased my home, the state ‘upgraded’ highway bridges – and now you hear traffic thumping over expansion joints; sometimes you feel them too, especially once the potholes begin to crop up again. In the end, you may have little control over what happens over time.

My city used to be tree-lined, but decades ago it lost that attribute to a two-lane / four-lane road through the center. Places change over time. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge when it’s time to cut your ties and move on.

* * *

Whether you’re new to your home, looking for updated decor ideas,
or setting up some “must haves” for a dream home,

The big news today from the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy:

David Wright House

The deal closed 20 December 2012 on the purchase of the “David Wright” House!

When developers threatened to demolish the property for their building schemes, proponents had already moved to save the house from the wrecking ball. See our earlier post about the battle for the Wright House. News sources will be celebrating as word gets out.

wright1The New York Times has already pipped most other sources to the post. Oh, to have been a fly on the wall during some of those City Council Meetings…

We at CellularWindowShades.com – former art students who’ve studied architecture – are cheering the great news (and booing the villains…, who claim not to have known who Wright was).

Phoenix should be happy that some un-disclosed philanthropist stepped forward to save a piece of American history that could never be recovered, once lost.

A miracle, perhaps? In this mercurial atmosphere, it makes a pleasant change. The Conservancy will be seeking help with renovations, once the property is transferred to an “Arizona not-for-profit organization”. Learn more at SAVE WRIGHT.ORG.

I don’t know if this fits into an “In My Dreams” category, or relates to the “possible” inherent in Home Decorating, but there are some gorgeous houses out there — around the world — and even something simple can be taken away from nearly every picture I’ve seen lately.

Today’s web find is a site called Simple Everyday Glamour:

simple everyday

The glamour found on the site can be described as

Elegant – Tasteful – Inspiring.

simple2

The style here is decidedly European – with that tall, slim doorway and the carved mantel. But what inspires me is the ghost-pale palette of whites, beiges, and silver-blue. The golden mirror, echoed by the golden hardware on the door, lends just a little bit of glitter.

Do you have a favorite decor-based website you’d like us to discover?
Just leave a comment!

Blog by Michelle, one of the customer care duo at CellularWindowShades.com.

Many Vermonters would agree that Fall is a beautiful time in our state (even with the impending winter, which some of us do not gleefully look forward to).  Occasionally I will be driving along on my way to work or some errand and catch a glimpse of a stunning view.

I’ve made it a habit to have a camera in the cup holder when I’m driving around, just in case. I’m going to share a few photos with you from this year in this post.  They may not be high autumn color, but I think you may appreciate them. Click the photo for a larger view. (No lives were endangered in the taking of these photos.)

Geese flying southwest over South Burlington, VT 10/7/12

Geese flying southwest en masse on October 7

View of Lake Champlain and Shelburne Bay

View of Lake Champlain and Shelburne Bay

View of Lake Champlain from Spear St in Shelburne

Another view of Lake Champlain and Shelburne Bay

Allen Road in October

A photo of a Vermont Road on an Autumn morning

Check out Michelle’s other Guest Blogs!

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