May 20, 2018:

Hola!

Yesterday Prince Harry married American Meghan Markle and I couldn't get enough of the royal wedding. What a gorgeous dress, the bride was radiantly beautiful and the church at Windsor - oh my goodness, the flowers alone were soooo beautiful. There's nothing like a good love story to make one appreciate how precious we can be (and should be) to each other.

I'm glad the weather was perfect yesterday for the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex's wedding. I can't say the same for around here. Spring keeps teasing and then going away. This morning I woke up to a "balmy" 47 degrees F outside, rain, damp, and I turned the heat back on! It's May 20th, the heat. should. not. be. on. Period.

Last Thursday, however, was beautiful. I was able to get a goodly amount of yard and garden clean-up done over several days last week. I also took some photos of my flowering tree anchoring the north corner of my house and made the current collage. I think it's an ornamental cherry, and on the the other end of the house, I think that's called a purple sand cherry? I'll have to check that. The blossoms on the tree do not have a distinct fragrance, but the purple shrub that wants to be a tree (despite my hacking it back, back and back yearly - I'm losing, by the way) has myriad blossoms with a distinct fragrance. I can't decide if the scent is too beautiful to bear or too awful to smell, it certainly can be overpowering!

This coming week will be the third cut of the grass this season. We had rain late Friday night and then for several hours earlier this morning. This rain, on top of the rain we had over four days the prior weekend, and the grass is growing like nobody's business! I don't mind doing the grass, though, as long as it's not too hot, too cold, not raining, and not too windy. I'm not picky at all, am I...

I still have a lot of raking out of areas that suffered from snow mold over the winter, and have not yet really tackled cleaning out the north flower bed in the backyard. That will be a chore!

But Memorial Day weekend is coming. This coming Saturday I will be out with a friend (who has a nice large van - goody!) stocking up on potting soil, top soil to fill in never-ending low spots in the yard, grass seed, and lots of plants! For some reason, this spring seems busier than those in prior years. I can't figure out why that is...

Jan

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Look for Less: Ballard Design's Emerson Kitchen

Shopping for a look for less area rug:


Tonight I went online shopping for an area rug as part of the Ballard Design's Emerson Kitchen challenge.  I do not have a full image of the Emerson area rug because, wouldn't you know it, except for the runner, Ballard Designs is entirely out of stock of the Emerson rug!  I also have no idea of what sizes it came in or what the prices were.  So I guestimated since it was hand-hooked 100% wool (made in India) the size I'd need -- around 7x9 so one's chair would not "fall" off the rug when dining at the kitchen/dinette table -- would run between $500 to $700 and I selected the mid price of $600 as a budget point.

But then I got to thinking hmmmm, would I really want to have a 100% wool rug in an area where food would be eaten (and no doubt spilled and/or crumbs brushed off the table top) regularly plus there will be a lot of foot traffic from and to the kitchen through the dinette into the family room (and to the garage service door that is in the near corner of that room), not to mention that my dinette area hosts the sliding door to the deck!  So I selected a few of wool and synthetic, at varying price points.

The thing about rugs is that what appeals is so subjective!  I have a picture of the Emerson rug, yes, but to find one like it for a better price -- not so easy.  I have a color description:  DARK CHOCOLATE, PEWTER AND BUTTERSCOTCH.  As you know, there are almost always many more colors used in such rugs that are not mentioned in the description!   It's got a cotton canvas backing.  I looked at it several times online in close-up.  It's a floral pattern rug that could be classed as traditional, or transitional, and it's got a medium to dark brown background, grey, and varying shades of beige and tan. I think the photograph of the rug, above, from the Ballard Designs website, is misleading, because when I first saw it I thought the rug background was GREY, not brown!  I was surprised to read it was brown, actually!  Overall, the rug appears very neutral, but without being able to see just the rug alone and in close-up -- well -- who knows! 

Here are my choices. They came from Home Decorators Online!  I looked at Bed, Bath and Beyond, Target, and Overstock.com as well, but did not find any rugs that appealed to me within the price ranges I was looking for.  I also have to say that overall, Home Decorators Online had, in my estimation, prettier rugs, although out of the price range when shipping costs were added. 

And the winner is - ding ding ding ding ding:


This is the Heights Area Rug from Home Decorators.  I selected the larger size, 6'7" x 9'6" at a price of  $440.  I didn't think the smaller size, 5'3" x 7'3", would work well with a round table and four chairs.  The price for the larger size is $440; for the latter size, $269.  Shipping charges are $57 for the larger size and $34 for the smaller size.  It's color is "Dark Brown," but in close-up you can see varying shades and tones of beige/cream, tan, what appears to be a light rust color, and grey.  I thought this rug most closely looks like the inspiration rug in both design and color.  The Heights area rug is a machine-woven synthetic, in contrast to the Emerson rug's hand-hooked 100% wool.  Price differential:  Emerson ($600  price point ) -  Heights larger area rug ($440 +$57 shipping) = $103.

My other selection is:


the Finn area rug, in the 7'10" x 10' size!  It it priced at a meager $239 for that size plus $31 for standard shipping, a total of $270.  It is a synthetic machine-made rug.  As you can see, it is more colorful that the Heights Area Rug, but similar in design spirit to both the Emerson inspiration and Amboise II rugs.  Finn's border looks light blue, definitely not the "butterscotch" color of the Emerson border), and the rusty-colored tones in the floral field are pronounced and totally absent in the Emerson.  But it would be hard to beat this price for this size of rug.  Price differential:   Emerson ($600 price point) - Finn ($270) = $330.  Soooo --

Price differential between:
Emerson inspiration rug and Heights:  17% savings for Heights.
Emerson inspiration rug and Finn:  55% savings for Finn. 

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