Back in 2019 my husband received an indoor, hydroponic, LED AeroGarden planter from his mom, and it has become my favorite addition to the kitchen. We have grown multiple seasons of kitchen spices and lettuces with great success. At the moment we have edible flowers germinating since we have most of our spices in our outdoor summer garden. More on that later.
Below is a picture of the planter as the spices start to grow, followed by the spices in full bloom. In this round we had Basil, Dill, Savory, Thyme and Mint. I chopped some of them up and froze them for future use because the plants were more prolific than what I could use on a daily basis. As you can see, the dill really took off. And that basil was big and fresh and perfect for caprese salads (which we ate a lot of).
The AeroGarden that we have is round and has room for six seed pods at a time. You can order them pre-made on Amazon or directly on the AeroGarden website. We’ve done the heirloom salad, gourmet herbs, and assorted Italian herbs. This round we are using the “grow anything pack” to germinate my edible flowers for baking, salads and teas.
The Heirloom Greens Kit made for some terrific salads. Here is one that I put together with a scoop of Curry Chicken Salad (which I recreated with the recipe from Garnish and Gather) in the middle. It was fantastic. I bet this would just as yummy with a scoop of Julia Child's Tuna Salad as well!
I would also like to give a shout out to my husband, Mike, for the fabulous outdoor garden that he creates for us each year. Here is the “beginning” shot. The front left quadrant is all tomatoes and jalapenos, the back left is comprised of my spices (lavender, basil, dill, thyme, and tarragon) and zucchini, the back quadrant on the right is cucumbers and melons, and the front quadrant is green peppers and cherry tomatoes. The pots in between the quadrants are blueberry bushes, and the two planters by the gate have heatmaster tomatoes (it is hot in the South, after all!). I’ll keep you posted on our progress and harvest as the season goes along.
We have done a number of big DIY projects to our house during Covid, not unlike everyone else. We landscaped a pathway in our side yard, and decorated multiple home offices. But I am most proud of the complete overhaul we did in our basement. We turned it from a movie room/beige and brown man-cave with leather recliners to a stylish space for entertaining. And I added some secret girl power, too. More on that later.
My husband and my older son did the heavy lifting on this one. Literally. Once we pulled up the wall to wall carpet, they got to work on laying ceramic tile with a dark koa wood feel to it. We had been inspired by similar tile in our condo during our vacation in Hawaii, and wanted to replicate it here. It continues the vacation vibe as you transition to the pool area outside, and since it is dark it doesn’t show the Georgia clay as easily. This was the hardest part of the project.
We painted the walls a light grey with blue undertones to help brighten up the space. After many paint chips from every brand you can imagine, we decided on Behr’s Misty Coast from Home Depot. And we replaced the very worn leather recliners with a grey sectional. Now it is much more cozy and comfortable for family movie nights. We decided on one from Ashley furniture due to their great warranty (since this space will have lots of kids and dogs in it), and the dimensions of their sofa fit our space better than any other one we were considering. We needed to add some additional seating as well, so I decided on a fun pop of color and added a groovy teal velvet swivel chair in the corner, with an arc light overhead. One bonus of the arc light are the very cool shadows it casts across the room. To finish off the furniture we added a grey mango wood coffee table and side table. The swivel chair, arc lamp, and tables are all from Overstock.com which helped to keep the project on budget.
I found a rug on ruggable.com called "Watercolor Waves" that had all the right colors to pull the space together while also complementing the contemporary feel of the space. It has the added bonus of being machine washable (as all ruggable rugs are), and the rug pads are made of recycled soda bottles. Since this is where the dogs spend the majority of their time, a machine washable rug was an amazing addition.
The finishing touch to any space is the art. I made a commitment to myself to support female gallerists and artists in this space (my secret girl power vibe in a former man cave). The first piece I purchased is the RGB print, “I Dissent”, which you’ll see over the middle of the sofa. This is from the incredibly talented Atlanta artist Julie Torres, and I purchased it from the awesome Jennifer Balcos at the Jennifer Balcos Gallery.
Once this piece was added, I had my palette for the space thanks to its bright pink print. The next piece I added is from the young and super talented Atlanta artist Lauren Pallotta Stunberg entitled “Good Vibes.” You’ve probably seen a lot of her public art around the city, but I love having some of her little birds to ourselves. The last piece is one that captures the joy of childhood and growing up in the South, and as the artists states, "celebrates Southern black women and girls." It is entitled “Jump” from Alabama based artist Lynthia Edwards. Both of these piece are from DK Contemporary Gallery in Marietta, owned by one of my favorite people – Donna Kruger.
The importance of art in a home cannot be underestimated. I always challenge people to support local artists and galleries whenever possible. I hope you’ll keep that in mind for your own redecorating projects. And please share artists and photos you’d like me to check out. I am always looking to expand my horizons.