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Collaboration Grows Shopping Experience Downtown Rockingham

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In a new column in the Richmond Observer, contributor Cleve Baxley will showcase a local business in Richmond County each week. The question-and-answer format is to highlight what local businesses are doing in the community, and the RO being a large supporter of small businesses, encourages you to nominate a local business to be featured in this new weekly column.

Published in Local News

Having a nice-looking yard and outdoor space to enjoy is important to me. I don’t have a lot of extra time for maintenance so I always choose low maintenance plants and décor for my outdoor living spaces.

Retro metal furniture is very popular now.  I have a set that is surprisingly comfortable without cushions.  This definitely cuts down on maintenance and having to worry with the pollen and dust getting on cushions.  If I have company coming I just rinse it off with the water hose and I am all set! Sometimes I add a few simple accent pillows for a change of pace.

Galvanized tubs, old watering cans, pails and old wooden crates are the latest craze for planters.  These are easy to find in various sizes and are very affordable.  These will certainly out last most of the plastic planters available today.  I also love the idea of using an old dresser or chest of drawers on the porch as a planter.  Just pull out a few drawers and set your pots inside.  This is seriously southern but is gorgeous with the right accent pieces like an old chair with bottom cut out for plant.

Adding some wall décor is an easy way to dress up a boring wall on your deck, porch or patio.  An old wrought iron gate with a wreath, an old window, windmill blades, or metal artwork are all ways to add character to your outdoor living space.  There are some great looking rustic signs on the market now that will hold up well outside.

I see shutters and old doors used as sun shades and privacy “fences” these days.  This is a nice way to add a cozy cottage feel to your outdoor space.  Burlap and cheese cloth are an easy and inexpensive way to dress up an outdoor area for entertaining.  These can be used on the back of chairs, as ties or table runners for a down home elegant look.  Burlap makes for a great sun shade if your outdoor area gets the late evening sun. 

Outdoor rugs make a cozy and inviting space. Lanterns with battery operated candles or citronella candles work well for sitting areas. An old chandelier hung in a nearby tree sets the mood for a quaint outdoor gathering.

I love to fill my outdoor spaces with loads of vibrant plants but I do not spend a lot of time on watering so I always choose drought resistant plants for my outdoor spaces. 

Coleus adds beautiful bursts of color and comes in a nice variety of shades and sizes.  These grow like crazy in the heat and can be easily rooted.  You will need to pinch the tops out occasionally or they will become lanky and not so pretty by the end of summer.

Firewitch Dianthus is one of my very favorite perennials.  This plant offers a unique blue-grey foliage so it is a nice addition even when not in bloom.  I don’t do any maintenance on mine although I think it is recommended to trim the dead blooms to keep it blooming all summer.

Purple Heart is a type of wondering jew that grows with a vengeance.  This one stays pretty no matter how hot it gets.  Purple Heart is easily rooted so I add to my outdoor garden all summer long by pinching pieces off and sticking it down in the ground.

Sedum is a hardy drought resistant perennial that also works well in cut flower arrangements. This plant has succulent leaves and clusters of small star shaped flowers.

Citronella plants are a definite for an outdoor sitting area.  They smell good plus the help keep the pesky bugs away. 

Ferns are a must for outdoor spaces in the summer.  These require the most attention because they do need a little water everyday if planted in pots. 

Blue Rug Juniper is a simple way to have a nice green foliage all year long with little to no maintenance.  I keep these trimmed near my walkways but that is it.

Crape Myrtles add a pop of color and these will bloom most all summer. These do have to be trimmed up a couple of times a year but they are worth it. 

English Ivy is a nice addition to my shady areas.  This can also be grown on a trellis easily.  English Ivy has to be trimmed or it will grow out of control.

When I entertain outdoors my colors must flow so I create centerpieces from the same plants I have growing in planters and in the yard.

I take clippings from every plant I have listed above and create simple centerpieces and side table arrangements.  I like to use old drink bottles or mason jars for centerpieces and side tables.  I sometimes add food coloring to the water if I am using clear containers for my arrangements to add even more color.

Enjoy the dog days of summer!  They will be over before you know it.

Published in Lifestyle
Monday, 03 July 2017 08:07

Down Home Decor: July 3, 2017

What is your decorating style? I am often asked what my personal style of decorating is.  My style is me.  I don’t base my choices for home décor on what is “in”.  It has to fit.  Don’t get me wrong, I like a lot of the “in” things but I believe your home should be a reflection of you and tell the story of who you are.  This certainly doesn’t mean you can’t have someone help you with your décor but it definitely should be a expression of you, your family and your life style.  There are so many ways to make your décor your own style and incorporate current trends.  All it takes is a little bit of imagination!

So here we go, this is our blank slate.  This is my hall bath after the cabinets were glazed.  The space is done with a medium neutral wall color, white trim, white floors and off white cabinets.

First off, I glazed over the off white cabinets with a dark espresso brown to accentuate the craftsmanship.  The glazing makes the details in the cabinetry pop and adds a warm rustic feel.  Glazing can be tinted to any color and adds depth and character to plain painted cabinets.  It is also really easy to do with a little practice.

Next, I gathered together an assortment of pieces that I have been collecting.  I chose things that are sentimental to me but also, that I also genuinely like. At this point, I started narrowing down my selections to the pieces I could meld into my bathroom. It really is that simple!  Most people would never put any of these things in a bathroom but I am crazy about it!

This “work of art” is my Grandfather’s mule collar, AKA towel holder.  I have been saving this gem for years.  I have limited storage space so this worked out perfectly after it was cleaned up!

This gorgeous buttermilk pitcher was used by my Grandma’s family.  Yes, a buttermilk pitcher in the bathroom.  Pottery is one of my weaknesses so this is right up my ally.  I added peacock feathers from my wedding for height and the cross as the finishing touch.

To balance out the vanity I chose to make use of this old rugged wrought iron candle holder.  The imperfections just add more character.  I selected neutral candles, as I am drawn to understated earthy colors which are very elegant.

To top off the bathroom project, I brought in old family photographs! I adore old photographs.  These photos were enlarged from the old originals and put in matching frames.  They are not anywhere close to perfect but they but they are so charming.

This is the completed project and I think I nailed it!



Published in Lifestyle