Asian Culture Centerpieces

The photographs displayed were from the Asian Culture Festival. The arrangements were created with fresh flowers and various parts of stems and twigs , and a lovely assortment of beautiful vases! These are gorgeous.. Enjoy!

What great ideas for centerpieces, these could also be created using silk floral . I love the dramatics of the height and unusual flow of the stems and foliage.

Clean Lines and Light

Maybe it’s the less than exuberant state of the economy, or perhaps the nation’s growing affection for all things organic, or the imperative to go green. Whatever the drivers, the latest crop of coveted kitchens and baths gives a definitive nod to soothing simplicity. Clean lines, natural finishes, and economical choices were once again bountiful in this year’s Watermark awards, and daylight remains a central ingredient. In the quest for serenity, many designers and home buyers are stripping away the excess and embracing elemental palettes of glass, metal, stone, and wood. They’re also dispensing with some of the old ideas (about work triangles, galley kitchens, and cabinet configurations, for example) and rethinking the rules. This year it’s not so much about what’s hot in kitchens and baths; it’s about what’s functional, essential, and cool.

Spring Fever

I don’t know about you, but I, for one, am ready for spring. I have trudged through enough snow, sleet and 5 degree temperatures to last me a lifetime! It has been the coldest in NC in 30 years so enough already!!!!
I've purchased my first ferns and flowers and WOW would love this patio design...think about it...remove the plants in this photo and it doesn't have the same feel of warmth and serenity. Plants, plants and more plants surround you with nature, which is why we go outside in the first place..creating that garden room inside your home calls for the same go ahead bring nature into your rooms...add a waterfall for effect, inside or out. Don't forget the bird feeder and birdbaths, right now we are visited by birds, squirrels, and even a rabbit..... take the time for meditation in the garden you create....a reflective morning outside with your favorite book and your first cup of coffee is the perfect way to begin any day and celebrate life with a new day!!

Glass Houses

Talk about a room with a view!!!!!!!!!!

A home with an open atrium is such a focal statement, talk about serenity!!!

Don and Jeanine Cooksey worked with architectural designer Wallace Cunningham to conceive a house for their La Jolla, California, land—a lot that was thought to be unbuildable. The structure, which has four bedrooms and six baths and is done in white concrete, stainless steel and glass, straddles a dramatic coastal canyon. Above: The master suite’s lounge overlooks the courtyard near the center of the building. Cunningham situated it in an enclosed bridge, giving the outdoor room an open sightline to the horizon. Embedded in the courtyard-terrace floor is a line of glazed blocks that light an underground parking area.
I've always been a frustrated architect at heart and designed two homes which consisted of mostly glass but nothing like this architectural dream. I hope you enjoyed the glass house tour. This was found on the architectural digest website. Nothing less than breathtaking with a view from every room. Adopted from the Frank Lloyd Wright style of design, where every room must have a focal point and an extraordinary view, I do believe they achieved that goal in these spectacular designs.

Talk about architecture....view this slide show from Egypt!!!

Featured Home for April 2009

I am featuring my sister's home this month which displays her Pennsylvania style living and a few room makeover ideas which should inspire you for that spring home project.

Quaint Pennsylvania architecture defines the setting as we tour my sister's traditional style home which is surrounded by a local golf resort community. The view from the garden room patio located on the second floor of the home overlooks the golf course, which she and her husband frequents. The lower level is an exercise room/wine cellar/lap pool/guest room combination. The top level is the master suite/offices/and guest room.
 Of course the featured room in the home is the kitchen/living area, which is rich in reds, turquoise and deep tans to compliment the walnut stained cabinets.
 This is a before picture of the kitchen/dinette area before she added the beautiful red/tan stripe to the seating area. Look at the picture again before this one, WOW, now it pops!!

The garden room patio, is on the second level mentioned above, which is screened in offering a comfortable setting to relax and view the golf resort grounds and her own personal gardens. The white wicker gives the feel of a fresh spring morning throughout the year.

Her home office setting is once again decorated with the reds and turquoise complimenting the wood in her furniture. The walls are painted a lighter shade of turquoise for a defining mix of interest. Carrying the color scheme throughout your home creates a smooth transition while allowing change in decor, accent colors, wall colors and fabric which adds interest and gives the room it's own individuality. In her husband's home office for example, she painted the walls a deep mocha color adding turquoise and brown dupioni silk drapes and accents, creating a more masculine feel to the room.
The lower level encompasses, the wine cellar/exercise room/lap pool patio/eating area and sitting room. The home has over 4,000 sq. ft, needless to say showing all of the lovely rooms would make this a never ending me it is all GORGEOUS!!!!!!!!!

Sis, great job, keep the home fires burning, I plan to visit soon!!!!!!!!!!!

If you would like to be a featured home of the month, feel free to email me pictures and a description of your home project.

Latta Plantation

Between the period of time James Latta and William A. Sample owned the home is when my Aunt lived in the house which we referred to as the"Sample" house.

In the early 60's my family lived at the now, Latta Plantation, which has been restored to it's original state in historical history. When my family lived there it had a wrap around porch and a large kitchen that has now been removed for the restoration . It was the years of Buddy Holly , Chubby Checker and Doris Day movies, we wore poodle skirts and had wiener roast with bonfires on the lawn. And, yes, I can say we picked cotton in the local fields , which was for fun, yet in it's time it was a productive cotton farming plantation. Now this part of history displays it's natural historical heritage and is a Nature Preserve. There is equestrian center and trails for riding throughout the preserve. The Catawba river surrounds the preserve on three sides where you can walk or rest at your leisure. It is located in Charlotte NC, for more information visit their home page below.

Latta Plantation Nature Center serves as the gateway to the 1,343 acres of Latta Plantation Nature Preserve and is the source for educational programs and information on the preserves natural communities, flora, and fauna. The preserve, Mecklenburg County's largest, forms a green peninsula extending into Mountain Island Lake and protects a natural heritage site and several endangered plants.

History of Latta Plantation
From the Late 18th Century to the Present Day
1797 - 1799Hayes
Moses Hayes purchased and homesteaded 100 acres of land in Mecklenburg County. The property had changed hands several times previously.
Note: This time period and the lifestyle of the yeoman farmer during the early 19th century is represented in the current living history museum by a replica cabin.
1799 - 1841Latta
The Lattas owned the property and expanded it into a plantation.
In 1799, James Latta purchased Moses Hayes' 100 acres containing a log cabin. In 1800, he built the Federal style home that is now known as Latta Plantation. Latta made additional purchases of adjoining lands in 1800, 1813, 1816, and 1817, eventually owning more than 700 acres, much of which was planted in cotton.
Latta was a slave owner. He owned two slaves in 1800 and, at the height of his plantation's prosperity, owned 23 adults and 11 children. These Latta slaves contributed greatly to the success of the plantation.
In addition to raising cotton, the crops and livestock required to support the plantation community was actually produced on the property. Latta also had a mill, quarry, and part interest in a fishery called Penney's.
After Latta's death in 1837 at 82 years of age, his widow Jane (Jane's gingerbread recipe) remained at the plantation until 1839 when she moved to a small house across from one of her son-in-laws and his children.
1841 - 1853Harry
David Harry purchased the house of James Latta and 420 acres from Rufus Reid, Latta's son-in-law and executor, on March 6, 1841.
1853 - 1922Sample
William A. Sample purchased the house and land from the heirs of David Harry on July 26, 1853. He renamed the plantation "Riverside." In 1877, the property was willed to his son, Hugh Sample.
1922 - 1973 Duke Power (originally Catawba Manufacturing)
In 1922, the Samples deeded the tract of land to the Catawba Manufacturing Company, a subsidiary of Southern Power. In 1927, Duke Power merged with Southern Power, thus obtaining the property.
1973 - 1975 Latta Place, Inc.
Crescent Land and Timber Company, a subsidiary of Duke Power, donated the house and three acres of land to Latta Place, Inc., a non-profit organization.
The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
1975 - today Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation
In 1975, Latta Place, Inc., deeded the house and land to Mecklenburg County. The county also purchased the additional acreage that makes up Latta Plantation Park. Latta Place does still run the living history museum.
Restoration work continued. The Latta Plantation big house was restored by 1976 and again in 2004.