House and Life

House and Life

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Snow Day

Hello my friends. Has it really been this long since I blogged? Well I thought I would take this snow day to bring you up to speed if you would like! Remember last time we spoke we bought another big ole house in the Hill Section of Scranton? We also in the meantime sold our little lovely nest. We knew that would be a temporary move, but buying another large renovation was not quite as expected. We love it. This is our 5th home we have gutted, renovated, whatever you want to call it. Its not easy and without major obstacles, but we apparently have passion for it and where there is passion there is proof. Remember the lobby area? Well here it is where we are as we speak: This house came with a whole lot of wallpaper. I mean every wall in the house. We resurfaced all the walls with fresh sheet rock. We meaning Floyd, our guy we have worked with for years. It was a major undertaking, including all the ceilings. All the electrical, plumbing, lighting was all changed and added. Big project. But its worth it. We bathed the far dining room in grasscloth which I use so much professionally (known as the grasscloth QUEEN). But I use it for a reason, adds lots of dimension and texture to a box of a room. We recently added the star in entry. A little theatrical effect, love it. Next up, some custom built in work in living area which we have planned for some time. Can't wait to add a little more interest! My Gigi and James are getting big to say the least. They are happy and having a great year with school and friends. They have settled into the new digs. I have moved Gigi quite a bit and she has always been up for the challenge, but she's asking to stay in this house, which I think I must give in to. But remember we also took on a farmhouse renovation in the Catskills? That too has been an exciting and challenging experiment. I have learned quite a bit on this type of house ownership. Nothing comes easy or is at your fingertips in vast country. You must be careful and go slow with your choices, practically is essential up there. I love the simplicity of the house, and cannot wait to greet Horseshoe house in the early Spring. This is a picture from the hardest day we ever experienced up there: Looks like a fun,summer day right? Well it turned out pretty good for the kids... haha. I had the bright idea to bring them up to the house under construction and painting shortly after its closing. Didn't think about nails, paint, and a mess everywhere. We worked hard that day as I drug a sofa out into our gorgeous, expansive yard for them to relax as we ripped, cleaned up, and basically starved the kids for 6 hours. I think they had some chips... hehehe. I look back on this picture and smile because it has become much easier and rewarding on our visits. We painted the whole house white and filled it with simple, industrial, and primitive furnishings we have collected over the years. This year we plan on painting exterior and adding a new window and roof, plus looking to take on the kitchen. I can't wait for that one. And my business has definitely gathered steam again which as my fellow bloggers know definitely puts a grand ole kink in your time for blogging. Add two kids on top and POOF!!! But I miss you my friends if you still might be listening a bit. I hope to hear from you soon. xoxo Ali

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Country Version.

I have taken my show on the road. This farmhouse is on a gorgeous piece of property in Upstate New York in Western part of Sullivan County. A pond in the distance, views of pastures, hills, and stone walls abound. It does however have possibly the most ugly living space in history: I am inspired by Shawn Henderson's farmhouse in Hillsdale New York with its exposed raw ceilings and simple wood furnishings: So with thissmallofabudget, the nasty yellow ceilings have been pulled down, the nasty orange carpet has been pulled up, and the walls have all been painted Ben Moore White Dove. I find this to be a very good start.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Bar Hill

Hi everybody! I wanted to say hello and let you know work is quite busy these days which results in a neglected blog. But I thought I would share a recent completed project we did here in Scranton. I was commissioned by dear friends to design a wine bar for my Hill Section neighborhood! It was very exciting and daunting in the same token, lots of consideration went into the planning of this beautiful, petite space. I chose to go with a handsome custom built glossy black bar with unconventional butcher block tops. They are so beautiful! We did a food grade poly which keeps them looking fresh. The little brass lamps are Ralph Lauren and the french wine boards are from Pottery Barn. I also had a custom banquette bench built with hidden storage. This is my dear friend Jack who filled the walls with all the custom art. Isn't he cute??? We added a stripe on the brown grey walls to add some dimension. The lights are black barn lights and little cage ones were placed over the bar. Here we are with added tables and chairs (Eames inspired) Chalk board paint was added to back wall for easy menu changes and handsome leather stools paired nicely with the brass rails added to our bar. I hope you like and when you are in Scranton, come check it out! Bar Hill 1431 Ash Street Scranton PA 18510 Images courtesy of Tribal Media and Jack Puhl.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Keep rollin..rollin...rollin...

Howdy my friends! I know its been like forever. Last I reported we sold our fixer in Scranton and moved into our little nest. Its been lovely. Then my husband showed me the Sunday paper with a house for sale a street up. I wasn't really interested in taking a look, but I agreed. After one walk through, we put an offer in basically walking out the door. It's going to seem like de-ja-vu for you who went with me for the ride of the last renovation. Yes, its pretty much a mess. But the reason I wanted it was for all its lovely bones. Butler's pantry, working fireplace, leaded glass windows, large lobby with a great staircase. And we haven't given up our hunt for a country place, but we thought we would up the anty for our little city life. Here are a couple initial photos. I hope you'll come along for this journey too. xx Ali

Monday, April 9, 2012

Pears Bears and Hares.

I got a bunch of emails asking where I got the two outfits for the kids for Easter. They are from my favorite designer and friend Kayce Hughes of Pears and Bears. Have you seen her Spring Line? I'm in love. I want a tunic in green and the cuts on the little one's dresses and shorts are so old school. Did I mention she has seven(yes seven!)beautiful children and manages to run this incredible business. And girlfriend runs great sales!!!

Kayce actually emailed me to blog what is on TOP of my dining room table. I found this cage at a local floral shop and then filled it with golden straw, some Pier 1 eggs, and a ceramic rabbit. People have walked in and thought the bunny is real. Lol. The kids are constantly in and out of it, I love how much of a kick they get out of it.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


I hope my dear readers you had a wonderful day.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Something to Digest

The new AD features the stunning New York Duplex of Writer Brad Goldfarb and Alfredo Paredes, a major creative force for Ralph Lauren. The contrast of warm browns, white, and black are so gorgeous. And is the terrace not to weep for? Really the whole April issue is definitely worth picking up at the newstand. I love the direction AD is taking under the helm of Margaret Russell. Perhaps a little more attainable design peppered in would really inspire me further.
To see the whole article go here

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


I do always have the best intentions to be a TERRRIFIC blogger.

Then work, two little ones, husband, houses, always seem to take a front seat.

I thought I would just share some random pretties from the files.

I did tell you we are on a second house hunt, right? We are circling around Upstate NY,Berkshires, and Litchfield County. I know its kind of a large circle.

I'm ready to plant a garden too. I have this little patch in our house now. I put in a pea gravel bed right before the end of the season last year. Can't wait to share.

I feel like Winter is never coming to an end even though it barely snowed. But you know what its like to be stuck inside? Unless you are reading this in Florida.

That's all for now.

Images from Elements of Style, Chic Coles, Emerson Made, Unknown, Lonny Magazine.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


My babysitter asked me what I am doing for Valentine's Day. With James on my lap trying to garner my attention by pulling on my face and Gigi asking for a bowl of cereal, I replied, You are looking at it." Love takes on many different forms as we all know. I am grateful for the love of my two kiddos, a sweet husband, a job that inspires me, my dear readers of this blog, and oh a pair of leopard Louboutins could always go on the "love" list. I hope you have a terrific day. Wasn't my Gigi cute oh too many years ago in her red cape? Where does the time go. Love this day, it will go fast.

Photos Martha Stewart, Elements of Style, Tobi Farley, Myself, Unknown.