Chicago and Vertical Inspiration

Oh my goodness! I tried my best to keep up with the blogging while I was away, but eventually time got away from me and so did the posting. 

girls at the beach

Fortunately, it was all worth it to enjoy special time during each of our weekly visits. Chicago was no exception. We had an amazing  time. Seeing family and friends, lots of drive-bys (our old house, twice, Tessa's school, etc), hitting favorite spots (Chalet Nursery, nail salon, restaurants, parks, the beach and more). We even managed to squeeze in a night downtown -- no rare feat for a suburbanite -- dining at a french influenced steak house called, Bavette's Bar & Beouf. So good.

us at Bavette's

Old, dear friend's of ours (our first daughters were both born in London just 3 months apart!) had us over for a lovely BBQ on Saturday night- we loved touring their new-to-them Evanston home. Their home has so many interesting architectural details, but one detail really stopped me in my tracks. 

Check out their vertical garden! 
They were looking for a solution to pretty-up their garage doors, which they no longer use, and came up with something amazing - in my opinion. 
A vertical garden, on casters, made from stair treads.
Isn't that smart?

Here's a better look at the details. 
Two sets of treads stacked, per side, backed with plywood. They attached boards across the front to create the planting pockets. Fill with potting soil, add plants - the options are endless. I could see herbs, hanging plants, bright colors, all greens, succulents even - literally anything!

Not only has our road trip been so great in terms of spending time with family and friends, but it's also provided loads of inspiration, too - fairy gardensinflatable jet skis, French inspired plantings, and now vertical gardens. 

Thanks to everyone in Chicago, especially my SIL and BIL for putting up with our crew, for a great visit!

until next time, 
If you'd like help designing your home, please contact me on

Don't forget to check out the new SHOP section on Designing Domesticity!

Week 2: Michigan

We're well into the 3rd week of our epic road trip and time is really flying. So fast, I realized, I hadn't even popped in to share some of the details from week 2, spent in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan. 

While we enjoyed our full week in Michigan, there was one day in particular that was most memorable. A day spent on the small lake at my brother and sister-in-law's home. 

They are so lucky to live right on a lake. And, our kids took full advantage. They loved jumping off the dock, relaxing in the flotation station, swimming to the floating island and most of all - scootering around on the inflatable jet skis.

Truth? The jet skis are the entire reason I'm sharing this post. They are just so cute and the kids loved them! They only hold up to 100 pounds so I just had to trust them on this one :) 
A tiny motor powers a small fan under the jet ski that scoots them around at a snails pace. Just enough for them to think it's fun, and slow enough for us to feel like it's safe.

Oh, one more thing. We discovered a new cookbook while we were in the Detroit area called, Ribs, Chops, Steaks and Wings by Dr. Ray "DR.BBQ" Lampe. We made several recipes from the book and they were all amazing. We'll be adding this book to our collection soon. 

We're in Chicago now - having a great time catching up with family and friends - more details to come, including a feature on a cool vertical garden a friend made. I also heard the final stage of construction on our back porch makeover is starting this week. Hoping it will be done by the time I get home… a short 8 weeks after the project started. Zoinks.

until next time,
If you'd like help designing your home, please contact me on

Don't forget to check out the new SHOP section on Designing Domesticity!

Porch Spinning

Last week we were in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan spending time with family. We were busy, busy spending a week in the life of our family there - more on that later - because what I want to share today really has my wheels spinning.

My SIL took me to this amazing store, Detroit Garden Works. It's a very high end garden and home shop with some of the most beautiful garden items I've ever seen. I didn't take nearly enough pictures, sadly. But, I did gather a lot of inspiration. Particularly for our back porch. 

You see, I had originally envisioned the porch with bright and bold patterns and potted tropical and exotic plants.

Black, white, turquoise and green. 

But then I visited the Detroit Garden Works and suddenly my ideas changed. Maybe the porch should be more European influenced…

Potted boxwood in antiqued terra-cotta pots with more neutral decor. 

Oh, my wheels are spinning…

 until next time,
If you'd like help designing your home, please contact me on

Don't forget to check out the new SHOP section on Designing Domesticity!

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