Blog Posts by cottages-gardens.com

  • No Space to Plant? Time to "Grow Up"

    From high to low, here are three inspirational takes on growing herbs and vegetables in any space.


    Wall of Nature | For those who love to grow their own vegetables or herbs, Green Living Technologies, LLC has created easily maintainable green walls and roofs. Their sustainable design can be assembled indoors or out, on a small or large scale for a touch of nature or a permanent statement. The walls are perfect for someone who wants to grow an abundance of fruits and veggies but does not have the space to grow them the old-fashioned way. Available through The LaurelRock Company, Wilton, 203-544-0062, laurelrock.com.

    See more green innovations in building and growing.


    Veggie Valet | Ideal for both country and city, this veggie valet holds small-scale crops. The easy-access vertical planters-no bending over required-make for convenient last-minute salad gathering.


    Raised Bed | If building a raised vegetable bed seems daunting, order the Scout Regalia raised garden kit, a set of

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  • The Perfect Cheese Plate for Any Occasion

    Love cheese, butnever quite sure what to pair it with or how to serve it? HC&G asks Lucy Kazickas, ofLucy's whey cheese shop in east Hampton, to come up with five cheese pLates thatare perfect for entertaining-no matter what the occasion


    CLASSIC

    WHAT'S ON IT (ABOVE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP)
    • Green Hill, a Brie-style, soft-ripened cow's milk cheese from Sweet Grass Dairy in Georgia

    • Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, an earthy, grassy, sharp, traditional English-style bandaged cow's milk cheddar from Cellars at Jasper Hill, Vermont

    • Dante, a nutty, sweet and dry Manchego-style sheep's milk cheese from the Wisconsin Sheep Dairy Cooperative

    Served with Anjou Bakery's Fruit and Nut Crostini and Girl & the Fig's Nana Mae Gravenstein Apple, Raisin & Fig Mostarda.

    WHY IT WORKS
    "These three artisanal cheeses are American versions of European classics. This is a wonderful progression, starting with a quite mild, semi-soft Brie- style cheese, then a classic, just slightly creamy cheddar, and finally

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  • The Beautiful Alternative to Fresh Flowers

    See how these beautiful flowers for homes, weddings, and more are made--not grown--in a Bronx apartment.

    THOUGH SHE HAS WORKED FOR SUCH MAJOR NEW YORK FLORISTS as Renny & Reed and Belle Fleur and styled countless floral photo shoots for Martha Stewart, Livia Cetti has always been smitten with paper flowers. She spotted her first specimens while trolling vintage markets with her mother, an antiques dealer, when she was growing up near Santa Barbara. "I started making paper flowers at age 13," she says, "though my calling took a while to develop."


    See more beautiful images of Livia's paper flower creations.


    Three years ago, when tasked with constructing "something tropical" for a Caribbean-based client, "I created a paper hibiscus cake-topper," and though the client didn't prefer it, "I still kept making more." (Her hibiscus blossoms have since popped up in everything from ad campaigns for Ann Taylor and Kate Spade to a state dinner at the White House.) Cetti constructs each artificial

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  • Beautifully Modern Wallpaper

    Check out this stunning wallpaper collection for a classy alternative to paint.


    Ms. Treat in Heron by GROW HOUSE GROW, NYC, (770) 883-2709, and Anthropologie, NYC, (212) 620-3116, grow-house-grow.com.

    Check out these gorgeous tile ideas for your home.


    Errai from TROVE, NYC, (212) 268-2046, troveline.com.

    Wallflowers: Flower and Nature Inspired Wallpaper


    Airheads, Floral Collection, by TRACY KENDALL, available through Ted Boerner (T), New York Design Center, (212) 675-5665, tracykendall.com.


    From GRACIE's handpainted SY-600 series, designed by Jennifer Gracie, silver and gold (T), D&D, (212) 924-6816, graciestudio.com.

    How to Decorate With Photographs


    Starglint in aqua designed by Josh Minnie for FLAVOR PAPER, NYC, (718) 422-0230, flavorleague.com.


    Quentin's ABC, Zagazoo Collection, designed by illustrator and children's author Quentin Blake for OSBORNE & LITTLE (T), D&D, (212) 751-3333, in Stamford (203) 359-1500, osborneandlittle.com.

    See more of the modern wallpaper collection.

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  • How a Shoebox Can Help You Choose Paint Colors


    Does choosing a paint color terrify you? Here are few expert tips on how to get it right. The owner of London's Paint & Paper Library and designer of the Stark Paint color palette, David Oliver talks about his favorite color combinations, what he's using in his home, and how to choose the right colors for yours.

    What is it about color selection for the home that sends people into a fearful frenzy? Color is one of the most difficult aspects of decoration to get right, as it has as much to do with light as with pigment, and neither are constant. Colors change according to the light that they are in, the surfaces they are laid upon and the method of application. But there are some easy tools and techniques to help predict the way colors behave that make the process of choosing color less stressful.

    Use a shoebox to help choose
    A common mistake is to choose a color from a small 2D swatch for a 3D room. The shoebox or storage box or any container that can easily be prepared for painting

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  • 4 Stunning Tablescapes You Need to See

    Want some ideas for the most amazing wedding tables? These four from the The Lenox Hill Neighborhood House annual fundraising spring dance are a little over the top but full of great elements. The theme this year was "Spring Fever," whimsically executed by the Design Committee with Honorary Chairs Bunny Williams and John Rosselli. Spring was in full bloom as designer's displayed dramatic centerpieces on each of the 45 tables. Here are a few as captured by Quintessence.


    THE SILVER GROTTO Christopher Stevens presented an elegant table with a showstopping centerpiece from City Aquarium.


    BRIGHT LIGHTS BIG CITY Designer Lindsey Coral Harper's tablescape featured the cheerful Lulu DK fabric and amazing flowers by Sebastian Li Designs.

    See amazing handmade paper flowers.


    TEN SWANS A SINGING Design Chair Christopher Spitzmiller's table was anchored by a dramatic antique ceramic swan. and fun swan masks.


    LITTLE THATCH NIGHTS Allison Hennessy's gorgeous umbrella and creative candle

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  • 4 Amazing Fixtures that Don't Look like Lights


    Dainty glass twigs are suspended en masse in this Mossy chandelier, turning your living room into a fantastical forest. YELLOW GOAT DESIGN, 724-422-5344,yellowgoat.com.au.


    Held by solid cast bronze stems, each tempered glass drop in OCHRE's Seed Cloud Installation houses a single-watt LED light. The delicate raindrops radiate calm. NYC, 212-414-4332, ochre.net.



    Inspired by natural forms as well as modern design, the Same Same desk lamp doubles as a work of art. The silk-over-metal design byAQUA CREATIONS offers warm radiance in a unique silhouette. NYC, 212-219-9922, aquagallery.com.



    The subtle glow cast through the Evolute Table Lamp's maple shade feels like natural light, while the chrome stand and bulbous top offer graphic appeal. Designer Matali Crasset is a master at creating interesting shapes from folded materials. AMEICO, New Milford, 888-350-8765, ameico.com.X

    PLUS:
    Follow us on Facebook
    Amazing One-Room Makeovers
    15 Environmentally Friendly Products
    Earth Friendly

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  • Taking a Home Off the Grid

    A traditional house goes off the grid with groundbreaking technologies and elegant eco-conscious design. See the exclusive gallery of images.

    The architect wanted to infuse the entire interior of the home with the water view, which led to a linear design with an emphasis on openness, to allow sunlight and views into the 12,200-square-foot home.

    The design also meant that the home would have a considerable amount of exterior exposure that would be an energy draw. The solution was the incorporation of such elements as spray foam insulation for all exterior and subterranean walls and roofs, energy-efficient windows, LED lighting, geothermal wells, and, most important, an onsite power generation system, the latter effectively taking the home off the grid.

    The idea of installing a cogeneration power system emanated from the mind of Daniel Gressel, an investment banker and economist, who has studied the efficiency of power plants. He hired Blueprint Energy Group of Westport to install the

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  • How to REALLY Taste Chocolate

    Tasting chocolate is a lot like tasting wine. With fine wine you simply don't grab the glass and gulp it down; with premium chocolate you never chew-banish the thought-and swallow.

    A proper chocolate tasting engages all five senses.

    1.The first is sight: Note that the chocolate is bright and shiny with no visible bumps or imperfections.

    2. The second is touch: Feel its smoothness and inspect it for flaws (there should be none).

    3. Next, listen: When you break the chocolate, it should have an audible snap.

    4. Then smell: Breathe deeply to detect an array of notes from berries and spice to earth and espresso.

    5. Finally, taste it: Let the chocolate melt in your mouth. Move it around your palate, give it a few moments and notice how it changes and releases flavors and complexity as it slowly dissolves.

    Now that you know how to taste, throw a party!
    Ann Czaja, a master chocolatier for Lindt-who trained in Switzerland and is also the company's national

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  • 6 Life-Changing Green Products for the Home

    Want to go beyond recycling to improve the environment? Check out some of these amazing new green products that will change the way you live.


    Smart House, There's an App for That | The Audiocom Group's integrated energy installations allow homeowners to control their HVAC and lighting systems right from an iPad. They can even set parameters on energy use to cut consumption; and installations can be retrofitted or built in. The Audiocom Group, Norwalk, 203-552-5272, theaudiocomgroup.com.


    A responsible shower | Shower responsibly with ROHL's ECOModern showerhead. It exceeds the Environmental Protection Agency's standard by .75 gallons per minute. $75, available through Klaff's, Norwalk, 800-552-3371, Danbury, 203-792-3903, klaffs.com, rohlhome.com.

    Plus: Amazing One-Room Makeovers


    Energy that pays you back | Installed in the Riverside home in "Power Play" Blueprint Energy Group's home energy system generates electricity at around 90-percent efficiency. Heat is made as a byproduct and

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