A few weeks ago I pictured the wedding of the lovely Jonathan and Joanna Daykin. There were vintage flavours throughout the day so i ended up bringing a similar look to many of the pictures.
The house where Joanna got ready was full of vintage-ware and i couldn’t resist adding it all in as props…
My favourite was the original Dovedale kitchen units…just the place to showcase the bridal shoes!
Arriving at the church in style in this beautiful Rolls Royce….
The flower girls adorned the aisle with rose petals.
The groom catches a glance at his bride…
The marriage ceremony…
Dad looks on wistfully…
Remembering loved ones…
The happily (just) married couple…
And onwards to the reception at Samlesbury Hall…
Father of the groom…
The problem with having about 40 ongoing projects is finding the time to document them all, something i enjoy doing here for interested others to but also as a kind of ledger of my (at times frenetic) activity. I thought, maybe if i group them by time, my blog output might improve. So here’s what springs has brought to The Gardens.
I bought this antique footstool at my first auction experience in Bo’ness. I’d say it was a classic first time buyer’s piece – paid too much, not in great nick, and sort of regretted since. However in Hailes Street it worked well as a wee perch for little people if they had a TV breakfast at the coffee table. Sadly the fine beadwork didn’t stand the test of time, and Kath and I spent more time hoovering them up than possibility benefitting from them through decorative appreciation and foot support. The new living room here appears to be moving in a pink direction so i decided to reupholster it and cover up the tired red.
I realised that this fabric is another Sanderson print, for which i seem to possess a homing device. I purchased a black binbag-full of it at a Stockbridge ‘colonies’ sale for £1, not knowing it was high quality stuff which had originally been made into a sofa slipcover. I combined it with some pink velvet, and linen piping. Then its a simple matter of attaching it on using a staple gun (strictly speaking, not an upholstery technique, but a great shortcut.) The stool works well as a mate for the two window chairs.
Sticking with Sanderson, my vision for the living room, with it’s wonderful new sofa.com, is to create a laid-back but traditional floral feel. Here’s another Sanderson remnant i picked up in a charity shop.
Yes, i know there are too many cushions already, but i do have a longstanding penchant which sadly cannot be assuaged by mere logic alone.
Not satisfied, I made another one with the leftovers from the footstool.
I make most of these kinds of things at sewing night on Mondays with Kath. We used to do it at Hailes Street and have worked, at times against the odds, to keep it a regular commitment.
Vintage maps are fast becoming the must-have decorative item these days. Lucky for me, my husband loves maps so this latest wee project is something we can both enjoy. I found this 1961 map of Northern Ireland in a lesser visited but very delightful charity shop in Leith called St. Columba’s, where my pal Jules used to find all sorts of envy-inducing things when she lived nearby as few years ago. I handed over my 50p (everything is 50p…apart from on that day this rare Piquoware kettle at £65, which I unwillingly resisted). The frame came from the salvage yard, an ugly gold affair which i reincarnated with a lick of white paint. The map was pretty badly creased so I spray-mounted it onto the board. Whilst Malkie took great pleasure examining the alternative driving roots to the M1 which wasn’t then built, and the source of the River Bann, I admired my £5.50 design piece now adorning the hallway!
The other major work of April was re-arranging the kitchen to accommodate a dining table in the window. After a long but futile search for the usual rickety old victorian, turned leg, pine affair, I happened upon this Ikea offering. Having rid myself of nearly every other gratuitous Ikea piece within the house (apart from the actual kitchen, obviously!), it was with reticence that i went to buy this one. However i reasoned that it was the perfect size, was sturdy, had a mid-century feel, and an interesting bamboo top. One flat-pack later, and we were sunning ourselves at breakfast, feeling quite pleased that sacrificing the beautiful handmade oak shelves originally in their stead to the bedroom had been worth it. I have a couple fo Ercol chairs which bring it more towards the mid-century look. This week i am going to be pushing out the boat and painting the chairs scarlet red. I usually opt for fairly safe greys and whites for furniture painting, but at the risk of an entire house full of French Grey, i’m taking the plunge…
There are two phrases used with reasonable frequency in our house, both of which seem to have particular relevance to this most recent project. For the quick-witted amongst you, the reference in the title relates to a favoured scene in monty python when he begins by saying ‘One day, lad, all this will be yours’, gesturing to the land beyond the window, and the rather pathetic son says….as above.
In addition, round mid-ulster parts one would say ‘You’ve got tickets on yourself’ when attempting to rise above your station. Such was indeed the case when i decided, without prior basic experience or expertise, to make the curtains for our enormous drafty bay window. It pretty much fits with my usual rules of thumb when appraoching any new sewing project, as follows:
1. Choose the most complex level of the project you are embarking upon
2. Don’t seek the careful advice of wise and experienced others, just do a bit of cursory googling
3. Use inadequate equipment eg a wood off-cut to mark out straight lines on your material
4. Take lots of shortcuts so that the project doesn’t drag on and get really boring.
I started out about 4 months ago with choosing the material. I tend to fear spending too much on such a DIY project in case it goes miserably wrong so i economised and bought the material on ebay. A plain colour is the way to go for a novice, no matching up patterns etc. I bought 20 metres of plain un-dyed irish linen, assuming this would work with most furniture (as yet un-purchased for our living room). The lining also came from ebay, and is draft-excluding (in theory).
Probably the most tricky bit is cutting out. In fact there’s very little complex sewing involved, just straight lines to piece together all the sections, and straight lines to attach the heading tape. Each cut piece needs to be near enough a perfect rectangle, so that when sewn together it all lines up in one big square. Sadly straight lines aren’t my forte but I seemed to get away with it and only ending up with one piece far too short, but that’s easily remedied.
Fast forward a few months, after the arduous process of trying to get a decent curtain rail attached to crumbly walls, and the curtains have been hung! Aside from practical issues in getting them to slide along the pole (another story), i managed to achieve a number of key objectives, namely
1. They cover the window panes
2. They are long enough
3. They hang from the hooks without falling off
4. They meet in the middle.
For a beginner’s project, i feel this is a reasonable achievement of goals. But i’m not sure that would tempt me to undertake such a mad project again! Some pictures so you can decide for yourself….
I’ve been awaiting the coming of spring with anticipation. Yes, to escape the Siberian trade-winds, and plant flowers, and drink tea outside, but mainly so I can re-paint my front door. It was black gloss originally and whilst this might look good at 10 Downing Street, I felt it wasn’t giving a warm enough welcome. Yesterday it was beautifully sunny on my route home from work and so by 6.45 i had the first layer of undercoat on the door. I was half tempted to re-consider my colour choice having seen how good the slate grey undercoat looked….
But I had my heart set on Country Green, and wasn’t disappointed when it came to the moment of truth the following day (ie the moment you first discover whether the paint therein looks remotely like the front label).
Ok, so we don’t live in the country, but that’s just semantics. A very delightful afternoon was thus spent painting the door and reminiscing about all the painting Gemma and I (and Ryan) used to do when we were kids. I was thinking how we have whitewashed the entire farmyard at least 3 times over the years. It was great fun (initially) as there’s no careful brushstrokes involved, you just get a big massive horsehair brick of a brush and slap the lime paint on, or near the stonework walls. Very messy and fulfilling. Then there was the time right before my wedding when we branched out and painted all the green tin roofs. I recall sitting on top of the green roof with Ryan drinking tea and talking about the best way to get efficient coverage with a paint gun. As an aside, writing about this has just made me go in search of the photos. Please indulge me…
Here we are in 2005, doing what people do just before a family wedding…
Not even visitors could escape.
Nor 96 year olds! Nanny wasn’t to be outdone by all the hard work going on in the yard.
When i was 15 i repainted my bedroom, choosing yellow for the floorboards, orange for the walls and purple for the skirting and woodwork. Let us return to the present and see if i have managed to garner any more taste since then….
Having finished the first coat on the front door, i felt so pleased with the whole affair that i got all paintbrush-happy and impulsively decided to neaten up all the surrounding paintwork. I found an ancient old tin of red doorstep paint (as one does); applying this glue-like substance didn’t even threaten to dampen my mood. I then undercoated all the door and fan-light frames, the first step on the journey to ridding the entire house of yellowing gloss-work, which sadly is everywhere.
My little helper Ruby make a cool sign for the postman.
Not satisfied with all that, i proceeded on to the next project, these little bedside cabinets for the guest room. I figured it would be good to see what all the fuss is about this Annie Sloan chalk paint, so I did them in ‘French Grey’. On reflection, i wish i had bought some slightly classier hardwood pieces than these chipboard items. Its probably true, in this case, that you can’t polish a turd.
I reckon its almost a rite of passage in furniture painting, having a towel rail in distressed grey. Walk into any vintage/gift/shabby chic shop and there you will see one, i guarantee it. Not to be left out in the cold, i did one for the guest room, again in Annie Sloan French Grey.
I’ll go down to Anthropologie tomorrow to get some fancy knobs, and at some point distress the cabinets. In the meantime, i’ve had a new distraction! See subsequent post for details…
We have now finished redecorating our bedroom post-blaze, so thought i’d do a wee tour. In a deliberate attempt to move away from the usual vintage/floral/junky look, i decided on a blue/grey theme with some attention to texture and detail. The overall aim was a simple but indulgent, luxury look.
We painted it in two Farrow and Ball colours, the chimney breast and recessed press are ‘Oval Room Blue’ and the walls are ‘Light Blue’.
My husband is a tolerant guy but i reckon i might be pushing him to the limits with this undeniable cushion overdose. I wanted to introduce different textures and shades within the colour palate, so tweeds, velvets and natural linens are good contenders. As you can see, tweed cushions make great bedfellows, i made all the covers and the bedspread is from Tullyroan. Poor Malcolm makes the bed every morning and indulges me by placing them all as below! Putting 3 alongside make the bed appear bigger (common hotel trick).
I picked up the gold gilt mirror in a charity shop, which links in well with the traditional brass filial bed. The blue bowl is from Tullyroan, and is filled, usefully, with fairy lights. The picture was £1 from the salvage yard. Malcolm frequently says he doesn’t like it but i think the attraction for me is because it reminds me of walking the shores of Carlingford Lough at Rostrevor, where some of our family live. I’d love to paint the drawers a grey shade but its a bit of a moral dilemma proposing to cover over lovely stripped antique pine.
We invested in this traditional bed from Feather and Black a few years ago, and haven’t regretted it.
We have gathered up some great pictures in recent years. These two both came from the CCE Art Exhibition which i administrate. The first is by a friend Miriam McWilliam and suits the mood of the room perfectly. The next one we bought last year, its by local artists Alan Kay and is the exact scene where we got engaged, at St. Leonard’s Bank.
And a few vignettes. Not sure why i have 3 non-working pocket clocks but i like them grouped together. The press is full of knick-knacks picked up over time. My current favourite is the pair of wooden vintage shoe trees. Followed closely by the enamel shoe polish box, which i picked up beside a bin.
Onwards to the dressing room. This was a big seller for us when we viewed the flat. Basically, there is no denying that i have a lot of clothes, and to fit them all into a shared wardrobe would simply be a recipe for marital disaster. As well as physically impossible. I painted it in a Crown shade called “Rosy Cheeks’. I wanted a dusky pink and surprisingly, F&B didn’t have much in their pink palate.
Essentially the whole color scheme is based on this vintage Sanderson curtain fabric.
I re-upholstered the chair in the same fabric. The shelving was a bit inadequate so i added a few extra to house all 50 of my cardigans. I still need to paint the apple crates in grey, and they are stuffed with scarves (another of my excessive fetishes).
Vintage tins feature everywhere in this house, including here, where i keep my ‘daily’ make-up.
I blogged about this old type-drawer before, which i turned into a rather decadent earring display/hanger.
Just need my beautiful charcoal grey velvet curtains to arrive from the seamstress (not me this time thankfully) and we’re all set!
(With thanks to Heather McMurray for lending me a decent lens for this post!)
Its mother’s day today and also the anniversary of our mama’s death in March 1997. She was the first and foremost dalzell salvage sister and the inspiration for much of our activity on this blog. Our first ever blog post in May 2010 was this newspaper article below from the 1970′s, detailing some of her projects at Tullyroan House. Since then i think we have gained a wider readership so i am posting it here again as an homage to her talents which wisely taught us (begrudgingly at the time) the ways of the salvaging underground! I recall countless trips as children to old junk yards and antique shops. One in particular always seems to stick in my mind which was The Hole In The Wall in Armagh. I used to hate going to that dank cellar which had a musty stench and seemed every week to feature a collection of odd people skulking quietly around, handling all the ‘rubbish’ laid out on tables and creaky shelves. I used to try and interest myself in the books but they all were about ancient queens, local geography, or old maps, of no interest to an 8 year old. Of course that is exactly the kind of place i myself now love to frequent. The smellier the better, in fact. Then there was Hueys in Loughgall, and an old worn-out stately home somewhere off the M1, with several floors of antique furniture.
Mum was notorious for re-arranging furniture. Not only was there mounds of it to move around but as there was a lot of space in Tullyroan, things frequently got carted off to different rooms, or just a simple re-organisation room-by-room. It wasn’t uncommon to disappear off from a task and come back shortly afterwards to find the sofa you were sitting on located on the other side of the room, or 3 inches from the fire. So as young girls we thought nothing of taking a sofa between us and transporting it to various trial venues under her tutelage.
It seems fitting to speak of all this now as Ryan and Marianne put the finishing touches just this month to their very own version of Tullyroan House after a 3 year arduous salvage project of epic proportions. One day we will get a blog post detailing it all on here i hope!
The rendition of the article isn’t great but if you can zoom in or pull out your magnifying glass you will read about Chesterfields, french polishing, auctions, bedspreads, crocheted blankets and other such topics familiar to any reader of our own blog. I chuckled to read the phrase about auction ‘finds’ – still a term widely in use in the business but more recently attached to the word ‘vintage’.
If you knew her, what memories or stories of mum’s salvaging might you have?
So we had a fire. In our bedroom. Which meant 2 things. 1: A valid excuse to expedite its re-decoration, just 1 day after the kitchen was finished. And 2: The need to find a new way to clear the smell of little sleeping people doing an innocent poop in their nappy, that does not involve tea lights set in precarious proximity of the sheets. Thankfully, the little person in question was sound asleep in her own bed by the time the fire got going. We managed to limit the damage to just the bed and surrounding items, by dragging the burning stuff outdoors. (“That front door just paid for itself”). Most things were replaceable but perhaps the most annoying loss was this huge and luxurious bedspread which i picked up years ago and now can’t replace.
So i decided to try and salvage it by making things from what was reasonably left. This turned out quite well in the end, as i had been looking for inspiration for our large window and fancied a long fabric seat to go with the plethora of scatter cushions. I have a weird sensory sensitivity to foam (makes me shiver!) so i didn’t fancy the thought of having to handle a big wad for the project. I was therefore pleased to find an old window seat at the salvage yard and stripped off the cover to reveal this cotton-covered foam piece.
A word about piping. For most projects i try and convince myself its ok to skip piping, owing to the time involved in making it, and then having to fiddle around with getting it all in place and sewing through huge wads of fabric layers. But for a window cushion i reckon its pretty indispensable, so i made some out of an old skirt lining in a similar shade.Here we are with the basic shape taking form. Adding a zip somewhere is a good idea so that you can turn it all inside out at the end without having to do a magic trick. Also good for washing it at some point.Here it is in situ, alongside all its other little cushion friends.The middle turquoise one was a pleasing find, its a vintage William Morris print for Sanderson. The blue floral ones are from a (more recent) Sanderson remnant, and the grey floral is an Ikea fabric. Sadly this pic highlights my wonky piping.
The window seat used about a quarter of the fabric, so i decided to motor on and make some bolster cushions too. I’ve made them before but obviously had forgotten how annoying they are to make. After one failed attempt, i worked out the basics. This time, to cut a corner (i love cutting corners, especially in sewing, which is overall quite a time-consuming pursuit), i cut off the edging to use as piping.Turned out quite well in the end!
There seems to be a revival happening in the world of painted furniture, but its not like the good old ‘changing rooms’ days of the early 90′s. I recall aged 13 painting my first two-tier table. By today’s standards it would be viewed as positively twee, but back then it was all about the pattern (stencils? everywhere, please), shine and colour. For this particular project, I stripped both the table tops, did a strawberry vine hand-painted decorative border on each, painted the legs gloss forest green, and finally varnished the whole thing. This gets 3 black marks by today’s standards. The ‘chalky paint’ look has come to dominate the scene, the more unfinished looking the better. When painting furniture, one must try their best to miss as many corners and edges as possible, if not achieiving this then attacking your carefully painted piece with a healthy dose of sandpaper and strategically positioned chips, the more the better. As my pal Ali said the other day, don’t forget to start off with a truly gawdy colour which you then allow to peek forth, reminiscent of some long-forgotten era where green gloss and strawberry vine might actually have been considered fashionable.
Painted furnitiure is quite handy for the thriftily minded like me; buy an ugly old thing cheaply and liberally apply some Annie Sloan paint and wax til it wouldn’t look a bit out of place at any French brocante. Of course, Farrow and Ball or indeed the recently discovered Craig and Rose 1829 range will do just as nicely but for the purist, the chalkier the paint finish the better. I haven’t done a huge amount of furniture painting within the current trend but i recently did this project and i think its given me the bug! Mainly because of the joy in working with the beautiful paint range and textures from Craig and Rose. I have prevously used Crown or other standard range eggshell finish but working with a more finely made paint makes a remarkable difference for both durability and overall look. Not to mention the simple pleasure of reading the paint charts (sounds almost as appealing as watching paint dry, but read on….). For example, choose Porcelain Blue and you will discover that it is ‘a colour inspired by an Adelaide Alsop Robineau 1865-1925 porcelain vase.’
This bentwood chair was a street find. This doesn’t happen often so when it does i get all a-flutter. Harking back to the good ol’ days again, we had a series of Bentwood chairs at home in Tullyroan, mum had painted them all white gloss (same mistake as me it seems) and i remember being less than fond of them. So here i am investing an afternoon’s work in doing just about the same, but 25 years later. The apple doesn’t fall far…
Firstly i applied a layer of standard undercoat, i have skipped this in the past but you end up wasting more of your actual paint by having to do additional layers, so best to do this when working with untreated wood. If you are impatient like me you can thin it down to make it more workable, but make sure to use a nice attractive tin of pomodorini cherry tomatoes for doing so in case you suddenly decide to take pictures of the whole operation.
I then applied lavishly in two coats this delightful colour given to me by Gemma called Moonstone Grey. (“Originally named after a semi-precious stone from Sri Lanka”). Its a classic ‘of the moment’ shade; grey and blue and green all wrapped up in one.
Now here’s the bit that i rarely get around to. Go over all the edges and corners with fine sandpaper to create a distressed look. I fought my anti-commercialist tendencies and bought some of this Annie Sloan soft wax, this protects the finish against proper wear and tear chips which annoyingly never look that good or intentional.
I am not a fan of distressing the hell out of the item so as you can see here it’s quite subtle. In fact, come to think of it, you can’t see it at all but we’ll just blame the photographer for that.
Not satisfied with just one chair, i decided to re-vamp a former project which didn’t quite stand up to the test of time and community living. Incidentally, i bought this chair for 50p at an auction so not much is lost if it all goes wrong. I followed the same procedure again and then replaced the seat cover. All you need for that is a staple gun and some nice fabric.
There are a few categories of furniture that it seems every self-respecting home decorator should have. Some chippy paint pieces. Something industrial. A Chesterfield. Maybe a persian rug somewhere. And a couple of outsized lamps. Then there’s the mid-century stuff. Get the lot and you may as well just phone up Homes and Antiques right away and have your house featured.
So after my most recent purchase, i reckon i am ticking most of those boxes. The teak sideboard seems to be one of the classic mid-century must-have items. If its Ercol so much the better. Well preserved sideboards are going for around £200 on ebay at the moment. But who needs ebay? I picked up this cute wee thing from a YMCA charity shop for a tenner.
It sits in our hallway, which is a dark place so we need lots of lamps to brighten things up. None of the things on top are actually useful for a hallway, but i wanted it to be more display and also in keeping with the ‘old stuff’ theme. An old typewriter, some random lamps, plants etc. I haven’t found a good place yet for the Nicholas Mosse pottery collection, it feels unsatisfactory to have them all hiding away down here, but as you can see from the previous post, display space is rather at a premium around here. The two chairs on either side proved to the bain of my dad’s recent stay here, when he crashed into them each night en-route to the toilet. But he doesn’t quite appreciate that form over function wins every time!
This old typewriter seems to turn up in every corner of the house!The top compartment opens up and provides an ideal place for putting letters you want to forget about for a few weeks.My original plan was to paint the cabinet, but Gemma put me out of the notion. What do you think?
Planning and implementation complete, let us move to the kitchen finale.
We shall start our tour in the main ‘work-zone’. We replaced the induction hob (very modern, but can’t beat gas) with this nice 5 burner. Plenty of room for tea-pots with hand-made cornish-blue inspired tea-cosies. Behind it you can see the subway tiles and grey grout. Very fashionable. The cupboards are split in the middle by the hood, on one side housing all the crockery and the other, all food stuffs. These extra tall cupboards have 4 shelves, but if your a shortie like me that does pose a slight problem for access.
Enter the stool. My dad made this many years ago, and my mum painted it for our bedroom as children. I spied it at Tullyroan at Christmas in a shed and its now doing a great job in the new kitchen, giving just the right amount of extra height for top-shelf-reaching. Stretching for an item does usually result in it, and me, toppling over, hardly ideal for children but sentiment is worth more to me evidently.
I aim to keep a fairly clear worktop (not sure i have quite achieved it yet!) so have tried to keep the appliances to a minimum. As you can see there is a red theme going on. I got the Kitchenaid for my 30th birthday, and the Magimix was a wedding gift, I mention them both because despite the cost, i would say these are two frequently used and highly worthwhile appliances if you are in any way cooking- or baking-inclined.
The knobs are a mixture of oak, and brass cup handles, sourced on ebay. I wasn’t sure about mixing them up but it seems to work ok. We had a little extra space in the corner here so the joiner made the wine rack to fit.
To maximise storage, we looked into the possibility of plinth drawers under the units, but then realised that abandoning kick-boards and using baskets was much cheaper and more pleasing to the eye. The free-standing look keeps the whole style a bit more informal. We were pleased to find these lovely golden, if slightly woodwormed, pine boards under the old lino, which we had sanded, sealed and finished in a durable matt varnish.
Moving over to the washing-up zone. We sacrificed a full-size dishwasher to be able to fit this delightful double ceramic sink. Underneath is a very indulgent drawer with lots of bins for recycling and waste. But i guess it all has to go somewhere!? We were able to use the extra space underneath for a cubby hole for my plethora of trays, and one of those retracting towel rails that i’ve always fancied. All the sink paraphernalia is tucked away in the white buckets, for some reason i am intolerant of cloths and sponges etc lying around so this pleases me greatly.
The shelving above the sink is a personal favourite. This is the dish-rack i mentioned earlier, purchased in a charity shop, which is sandwiched between painted pine shelves. I then went all-out on the english theme here, with my Cornish Blue collection, and Queen Elizabeth coronation mugs, displayed on hooks to give the area a ‘dresser’ feel.
We had hoped to fit in a small seating area by the window, but when it came to putting all our stuff in, i realised we really would value as much ‘bench’ space and storage as possible. This oak unit was originally a shop fitting and is handmade. It fits perfectly under the window, and is a nice sturdy place for cookbooks. The Roman blinds were originally hangings i found in a charity shop, i then converted them into blinds although strictly speaking they are a bit narrow and possibly not quite horizontal either!
Behind the door, where the radiator is situated, i had these rails put in for pots and pans. This saves loads of cupboard space and utilises an area that is essentially a waste of space, plus leaving them readily accessible for grabbing mid-recipe. We had considered a central hanging unit for pans etc but with such a high celling it wasn’t really practicable.
Last but not least, the shelving. The brackets are from Ikea but painted white, and the timber is pine which i then stained oak-coloured using a brushing wax. Not a substance i am familiar with but highly reminiscent of the few times i have applied fake tan, the stuff that you lather on all messy and then wash off for a nice smooth finish. The theme here seems to be storage tins and more red again. I LOVE vintage tins, the more kitsch the better. I’ve mixed them up with modern vintage in the form of 5 Orla Keily cake tins and my most recent addition, a sugar bowl given to me this Christmas. Possibly my most favourite collection is the green french enamelled tins, all the way from the flea markets near Paris. They were a gift for doing some wedding pictures, the couple drove to france and filled the car from the markets for their honeymoon. How dreamy and romantic!
The total cost of all materials and workmanship came to a grand total of £6700. We also flogged the old appliances for another £400 so that knocks a bit more off the price. I know its not polite to talk about money but i have done so to highlight that it is possible to do a decent kitchen on a budget. The secret i think is mixing cheaper base products with extra details from elsewhere, avoiding an Ikea-mania visual outcome.
In summary, a little country in the city. A place for everything, and everything in its place!