Joss & Main LogoJoss & Main LogoI receive so many promotional emails every day from designers, design companies, design websites and design bloggers that it is difficult to keep up with them all! So many ideas, so little time… but there are a few that I sooo look forward to receiving, including Joss & Main emails, because I know that when I click on their link, something fanciful and wonderful will appear! For those of you not familiar with Joss & Main, they are a free-to-join, but members-only, online discount retail design store with a flash-sale concept…this week’s High Five for Friday!

Joss & Main Street Sign

From their website: “For those who delight in discovery, the thrill of the find, and a daily dose of design inspiration, Joss & Main is a premier members-only site that offers limited-time sales on the world’s best brands for your home and life. Our carefully curated events – usually lasting just 3 days – showcase distinctive designs and trends, along with the talents of noted influencers from the interior design community.”  Todays’ ad? An inspired collection of furniture and accessories based on the dreamy, brilliant colors and styles from the classic movie The Wizard of Oz.

Joss and Main Ad

I pulled a few of my favorite pieces to create a virtual room here, but to view and shop through the entire online store, click here. (you may have to join by adding your emails, but no worries, its free! And, if they ask, tell them Sue from Country Design Home sent you!)

Somewhere Over The Rainbow Rug by Dash and Albert-where my room gets its inspirational colors.

Joss & Main Rainbow Rug

Add a brilliant red Jasper sofa (it’s only $452.95!!!),

Joss & Main Jasper Sofa

this emerald green Leeds Cabinet

Joss & Main Leeds Cabinet

and these fanciful high back Bacall gold wing chairs (could you just imagine the wizard kicking back in one of these?!).

Joss & Main Bacall Wing Chair

This ruby red glass slipper toss pillow, along with the “No Place Like Home” pillow tell the story

Joss & Main Blossom Pillow

Joss & Main Pillow

and are the perfect accessories, along with these gorgeous Isis Glass Table Lamps.

Joss & Main Isis Lamp

And this Cowardly Lion Table Fan! (gotta say, loving this little guy)

Joss & Main Lion Table Fan

And back over at the Wicked Witch of the West’s abode, how perfect are these Distortion Candlesticks!?

Joss & Main Distortion Candlestick

So you see, design inspiration can come from anywhere, including an old favorite movie.

Joss & Main Balloon Rides

But just remember, no matter where your journey leads you to down your own yellow brick road ,

Rug

at the end of the day “there’s no place like home”. Susan

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Just sat down at my computer and my new March screensaver calendar caught me eye. Yellow, green and red tulips are sooo cheery!

American Greetings Wallpaper

Makes me happy that spring will truly be here in a few short weeks. Taken from nature, these bright colors work well together, in an analogous color scheme on the color wheel, meaning that they sit next to each other.

yellow color wheel

Although I don’t have any yellow walls in our house, I found a few inspirational spaces to share with you this morning- hopefully it will get you into the spring spirit too! This gorgeous country kitchen by Witt Construction is in a barn/art studio (oh, one can only dream…)

Yellow Witt Construction

This eclectic kitchen by Echelon Custom Homes is so bright and cheerful- who wouldn’t want to wake up and start their day with a morning cup of coffee in this space?!

Yellow Echelon Homes

 Speaking of kitchens, if you haven’t seen the new West Elm “Market” product line, you have to take look at this!!

 West Elm Market

Lots of vintage look, diner-inspired dishware and appliances in yummy colors.

West Elm Market Plates

Obsessed with these refrigerators! Can you imagine this brightly-colored SMEG Italian beauty as the focal point in your yellow kitchen-LOVE!!

West Elm Smeg Fridge
The decor on this porch by Dear Daisy Cottage Blogspot is vintage but so modern with its glossy painted furniture in more trendy hues.

Dear Daisy Cottage

This one is also from Dear Daisy Cottage– I sense a theme going on…cute, colorful, country pretty.

Dear Daisy Cottage setting

I am always blown away by interiors by Anthony Barratta– so dramatic and over the top!

 Modern by Anthony Barratta

Loving this clean and simple, yet rustic and fun interior featured on the Houzz.com pages of Kailey J. Fynn Photography.

Cafe by Kailey Flynn

And, of course, we cannot forget my favorite in this room by Savvy Southern Style– Buffalo Plaid!!

 Yellow Buffalo Plaid Savvy Southern Style

So whatever style of interior you favor, whether its sleek modern, victorian glam or country charming like this adorable bath by Crisp Architects

Yellow Bath by Crisp Architects

a yellow-red-green color scheme can make it pop!

Yellow Victorian Kendall Wilkinson

Have a “springy ” Saturday everyone! Susan

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Zazzle Thank You

So, I didn’t realize until Word Press (my host server) sent me a little congrats card that this week marked my one year anniversary of this blog-unbelievable!! What started as a simple marketing assignment has blossomed into a full-fledged, time-consuming, educational, inspirational, often-times ridiculous look into the daily lives of myself and Coach and my family and friends. At 150 posts and counting, some of my personal favorites have included guests spots for New England Home Magazine featuring the works of Interior Designer Rachel Hazelton

 Rachel Hazelton

and photographer Paul Granese,

 Paul Granese Photography

my work on the Glidden Project,

The Glidden Project

my posts from some of the amazing weddings we attended this past yearWedding With A View

The Whale’s Tale, a refurbishing D.I.M. story

Ann Whale's Tale

the special tribute birthday cake I created for my sister in Faded Photographs

Ann Faded Photographs

and of course, my most recent post about our mission trip to the Dominican Republic.

Laundry on Barbed Wire

Over the years, I have always looked for new challenges and adventures-whether its traveling, cooking or creating art or design- and my motto is “I can do that”. Or, at the very least, I can try that (see Kayaking…The Launch)

Kayaking- The Launch

This blog has given me a voice, otherwise unheard, to share my successes and my abysmal failures (of which there are soooo many). Looking back over this past year, it is clear by your responses that you have enjoyed many of my posts about interior design, whether country pretty- yay Buffalo Plaid!

Buffalo Plaid

or chic and glamorous.

Green With Envy

Also big on the hit lists were my ventures to the SOWA Vintage Market

SOWA Market

and the Vintage Bazaar @ Pettengill Farm (can’t wait for that one again!)

Vintage Bazaar

and the Brimfield Antiques Show.

My Sister's Garage @ Brimfield

And, then, of course, there is that whole are you freaking kidding me, I dropped the whole can of paint?!?!” posts,

Hall of Shame Color Splash

where I have been sharing our crazy lives, living in, decorating and preserving our 1850’s farmhouse and barn- featured in Rejected and Dejected

Rejected and Dejected

and so many other posts. Those of you who know us personally have been hearing and witnessing those stories first hand for many years. For those of you in “blog land”, it has been great fun sharing those follies and receiving responses letting me know that you have been there too! For the coming year, I am hoping to expand my horizons and find new places, new spaces and new ideas to share both here and on my Pinterest pages. Endless adventures await, and I never go anywhere now without my camera and iPhone in my pocket. I love comments- so please feel free to weigh in on any subject and “like” a post (the button is at the bottom of the page) so I know you are reading! And if there is something you would like me to feature, check out or write about, drop me an email @ countrydesignhome@gmail.com. Thanks for following my blog everyone! Susan

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I just realized that it has been 2 weeks since my last post! Sorry about that, dear readers, but I was on a mission- literally. When I told people I was headed to the Dominican Republic for a quick vacation, their typical response was “Oh, lucky you, the Dominican is so beautiful!” The scenery was indeed, quite breathtaking, as this is a land of great beauty,

scenic vista

but also a land of devastating poverty,

Store front Puerto Plata

that which we experienced first hand during our week-long stay. Coach and I, through the Mustard Seed Communities, accompanied sixteen high school-aged boys from the north shore of Boston, to the Dominican Republic to work at an orphanage for developmentally challenged children: Hogar Immanuel in Sosua, just outside of Puerto Plata.

Mustard Seed        fairy

Anyone who is concerned about the youth of America need to look no further than these extraordinary young men to be reassured that the future of our country will be in good hands. These boys were funny, smart, energetic, engaging and very eager to pitch in to do whatever task awaited them, whether it was feeding the helpless, wheelchair-bound children

feeding Estevan

or cleaning and painting the village playground.

boys painting

Even the local villagers pitched in! (of course, it was rather difficult to explain, in Spanish, why they shouldn’t get oil paint on their hands!!! What a mess!!

locals painting                            painting the playground

While some of their classmates were hitting the slopes in the mountains or sunning themselves on some sunny island during their February vacation, these young men willingly gave up their precious time to volunteer for a cause they believed in. Through Mustard Seed, they were able to see first hand how the impoverished side-away from the fancy restaurants and resorts- of the Dominican operates, and how desperate the need for help is on a daily basis.

Mustard Seed LogoThe Mustard Seed Communities organization was founded in 1978 in Jamaica to service abandoned orphans, most of whom were either ill with HIV/AIDS or severely physically and mentally challenged. From their website: “Mustard Seed Communities has focused on abandoned children with disabilities for several reasons, the most obvious being that these children are the most defenseless in any community. Mustard Seed Communities provides care and shelter for children with severe disabilities”.

Hogar children

The Mustard Seed orphanage Hogar Immanuel in Sosua itself is quite bright and cheerful, and the twenty children that reside there are lovingly cared for by an amazing staff who spend their days feeding, dressing, bathing and entertaining them. The majority of the work is back-breaking, lifting heavy children in and out of bunks and wheelchairs, doing mountains of continuous laundry and preparing food in giant pots three times daily.

laundry

This is the work of angels, and the workers- primarily women- do it all with smiles on their faces and hugs all around. They use whatever available resources they have to create a warm and welcoming environment for the children and volunteers alike.

rug and basketball                               striped rug

These beautiful rugs were created from the leftover plastic diaper packaging- what a great idea! Brilliantly colored, sturdy and easily cleaned with a hose or sponge, they were perfect for blocking the sun, as well as using for mats on the floor.  The children of the village surrounding the orphanage-mainly in bare feet and hand-me-down ragged clothing-come from little.

village laundry

Some not privileged enough to even attend elementary school,  and living in the open shacks with barbed wire fences they called home, they were unfailingly happy and so excited to meet and play with our boys.

bball boys

One of the most dire areas we visited was Christ in the Garbage Ministries, located just a few short miles from the orphanage.

Christ in the Garbage

Here, local Haitian immigrants spend their days in the blazing hot sun picking rotting food, discarded clothing and anything recyclable to sustain themselves and their families. The sight of young men, old women and even some children dressed in rags walking over mountains of fly-infested garbage and filth was overwhelming, to say the least. Through the Mustard Seed Ministry, we spent one afternoon packing up a hundred food packages, then distributing them to these poorest of the poor.

Food Packages

A small contribution, indeed, to these starving and desperate people, but Mustard Seed continues to provide for them, and has set up a school for the local children as well.  To learn more about Mustard Seed, and possible ways to help and contribute to their extraordinary programs, click here        Mustard Seed Logo

So, that’s where I was on my winter vacation.

Palm tree sunset

Restful and relaxing? Not. Amazing, enlightening and incredibly rewarding? Absolutely! Was I happy to return home to clean, hot, running water, a microwave oven and snow? You bet! The greatest lesson I learned this week? Don’t sweat the small stuff, and don’t take anything for granted- we have so much more than so many. Have a sunny Sunday everyone, no matter where on earth you are! Susan

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…same old song and dams!! After a day of shoveling and clearing off snow-covered paths and cars, Coach and I were resting our weary bones next to a roaring fire last night, having nachos and beer and watching reruns of Pawn Stars (I know, but how many on demand movies can you watch in a day when you are trapped inside!?!) When all of a sudden, I hear it: drip, drip, drip. Like Edgar Allen Poe’s Telltale Heart, the sounds grow louder, pounding into my consciousness with each drop until the deafening waves can no longer be ignored! (well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the idea…) Looking up, I notice the tiny drops along the ceiling moldings that are slowly spiraling their way down my freshly-painted walls!

Ceiling Drips

Ice Dams!!!! For those of you blissfully unaware of this natural phenomenon, according to Wikipedia: “An ice dam (or ice jam) occurs when water builds up behind a blockage of ice. Ice dams can occur in various ways which include a glacier blocking an unfrozen river and a thawing river being blocked by a still-frozen section further on.  This is a pic I took in Alaska from a ship- beautiful, right?!

Alaskan Glacier

On a small scale the term can be used for ice blockages of gutters and spouts on buildings.”  Not so pretty.

roof ice dam diagram

In above diagram you can see how the ice dam forms on a building:  inadequate insulation, incorrect pitch in the roof, no ridge or soffit vents, multiple roof lines causing areas of built up icicles- all of those conditions are present in our old house. What you don’t see is Coach up on the lower roof with a hammer and a roof rake removing the glacier of snow that piled there during the storm on Friday night.

roof hammer

roof rake

These pics are taken from my upstairs bath window. I think Coach takes some kind of pleasure taking a hammer to our old house.

roof coach

Yes, much like the House of Seven Gables of Nathaniel Hawthorne fame, we have many roofs-or is that rooves-hmm…

roof gables

Our original 1850’s home was a small cape with a deeply pitched roof. Add a few rooms and a porch, and you have a recipe for ice dam disaster. This is Coach on the roof, shoveling off the six foot snow dune sitting over my family room!!! Now you may wonder where I was during all of this roof-climbing and snow raking…I was inside taking care of the dog. She is scared by the sound of pounding on the roof! Right.

roof dune

The confluence of roof lines causes large icicles to form on the upper roofs, which then drip down onto the lower roofs, resulting in multiple areas of built up ice dams that then leak back into the house and leads to the drips down the inside walls.

roof ice

Damn!! We have tried caulking, adding a rubber ice shield roof, heating cables, but nothing has prevented the return of the ice dam after a big snow storm. Now, looking at the front of the house with the gigantic icicles dangling ( just waiting for some unsuspecting mailman), you would think that would be the problem area.

roof icicles

Not so, because those just melt and fall harmlessly to the ground. Which in the spring leads to another problem, the leaky fieldstone foundation. But that’s a story for another blog. Of course, in the overall scheme of things, a bit of a drip is not a big deal, while in other places folks are being evacuated as their homes along the coastline are being swept out to sea.  And we have had a reprieve of sorts, with the weather being so mild the past few winters. So, it’s time to venture back downstairs to see if there was more dripping overnight. And do a bit more digging out.

roof view of street

And wait for spring, which is just a few short weeks away!! Have a (hopefully) sunny and safe Sunday everyone!! Susan

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Inspired. Rustic. New Country Style.

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Welcome To Country Design Home!

Inspired. Rustic. New Country Style...in the suburbs. Because you don't have to live on a farm to create a warm and inviting country-styled home. Follow my DIY junkin' journey as I give tips of the trades and inspired fresh country design ideas to create your own Country Design Home.
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