Celebrating 16 years of Chalet Life!

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Today marks the Anniversary of the day we took ownership of the Chalet! 16 years ago today … we signed the papers on this quirky little beauty. The Chalet was the first home built on property subdivided in 1924 from the Leaycraft Estate. Our street bears the name of that Estate.

July 24, 2003

July 24, 2003

Chalet: a wooden house or cottage with overhanging eaves typically found in the Swiss Alps.

While driving with a friend we stumbled upon a For Sale by Owner sign that soon turned into our destiny. A home for sale in my old neighborhood! My dream location full of quiet streets, unique architecture and close to the park. I knew the house - while growing up a few block away I trick or treated here and rode my bike by what we called “The Red Schoolhouse” because it was painted red and the center chimney looks like a bell tower. You can see it here in the 1968 watercolor by artist Nat Lewis. This painting was gifted to us by a former owners daughter. We are so very blessed to have this hanging on our wall.

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We started calling it “The Chalet” soon after moving in. Built as a vacation home by Austrian craftsmen brought in specifically by Dr. Morgan the original owner. At roughly 1400 square feet it’s not overly large - it has three-bedroom and although we were originally moving to gain space we have forgiven the Chalet for only offering us one small bath. It has wonderful unique features such the hand cut railings and multiple sets of French doors throughout - there’s so much to love.

Our Pink Upstairs Hall

Our Pink Upstairs Hall

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We’ve so fortunate to enjoy open-concept living in a home which is almost 100 years old. We’ve jokingly coined the phrase Step-Saver to describe our Kitchen because if you stand in the middle of the room you can reach out and touch everything without taking a step!

Diningroom looking into Livingroom

Diningroom looking into Livingroom

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Adding to the homey feel, is the fireplace with it’s beautiful carvings in the center of the house.

Porch

Porch

One major change we’ve made to the Chalet was enclosing our porch. It was an open air galerie - you can read more about it here. Hands down the best thing we’ve done. Both the Master bedroom and our son’s bedroom are above this space. The Chalet is weather tight and quieter!

We love sleeping in the tree tops!

Hallway from The Master Bedroom

Hallway from The Master Bedroom

I love these images - the middle is when we still had the humongous American Beech out front. We loved that tree but, it started loosing limbs. You can see it in the image that was published in a local history book in 1976.

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Steven, Liam and I have filled the Chalet with many treasures but, the best part of the Chalet is sharing it with others!

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We feel so very blessed every day to be able to call this jewel home.

Til next time!

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Spring Around the Chalet

This Spring was long in coming here in Northern New Jersey. We had buckets of rain and the temperatures stayed pretty chilly until just the end of last month - but friends it came and how lovely it all looked! We are on the cusp of the Summer Solstic and temperatures have remained pretty mild. Now, of course we want it to warm up so we can enjoy the swim club! ha!

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We have a small Peonies bush.

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The Bearded Irises spread every year.

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These Siberian Irises were a gift from my sister - she brought some over from her garden!

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Nothing better than these old growth Rhododendrons and Mountain Laurel.

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Our Cherry Blossom Tree is gorgeous - to think this was an add-on when we redid the landscaping in 2014.

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We have two lilac bushes on the side of the house between the kitchen door and driveway and on the side of the garage - the blooms are many and they smell glorious! If only they didn’t make my nose run I would bring some inside.

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These pots by the kitchen door are filled with chives and day-lilies.

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Til next time - I hope you get outdoors to enjoy the weather and some beautiful flora!

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Artistic Artery

I ‘m SO very happy with the design changes we made to the Chalet’s Hall.

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Let’s remember what the space looked like… We enjoyed the Benjamin Moore Hawthorn Yellow for 10 years but, it was time for a change.

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Everyone who views this understands why my signature tag on IG is SayNoToEmptyWalls and my second IG feed bears that same handle @saynotoemptywalls.

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Pink was first used as a color name in the late 17th century. It is the color most often associated with charm, politeness, sensitivity, tenderness, sweetness, childhood, femininity and romance.

Although this was my project everyone got involved. Liam helped from the first trip to Home Depot for swatches to the final paint purchase Pink Prism and you can see he even did a bit of painting! After I spent two weeks cutting in around all the windows and many doors - Steven took pity on me and rolled the paint.

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This lovely Egyptian Lady was the first piece I rehung. If you don’t think light plays with wall color… just look - it reads as two different shades. From here I moved around the space towards the stairs - rehanging the local history images and for the main stair wall I decided on a portrait gallery.

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I was restrained as I worked my way around. I was determined to have it be purposeful and not hodgepodge. The Man With The Golden Helmet - a copy on canvas of the Rembrandt is always a focal point and he went right back on the same nail he was hung on before.

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If you’re not familiar with the Chalet’s architecture - we have a center chimney which means we have two hallways upstairs around that chimney. The first has entrances to the bath, linen closet and L’s room - and here on this side we have this hall to the master. I left this space blank for a few weeks. I mean come on .. I am sooo in love with this color and I also needed to give myself time to map out the installation.

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I knew this fine lady Camille (Camille Doncieux (1847 - 1879) the first wife of Claude Monet and the subject of - La Japonaise (Camille Monet in Japanese Costume) 1876, was coming out of storage to be placed in the center and that everything would radiate from her. - The original work is on display in Lorna and Robert Rosenberg Gallery #252 in the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. A dear friend was there recently and sent me a picture of the original. (thanks so much Alison!)

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Again, I was taking my time - Mrs. Monet sat here alone for well over a week… I had to feel what it would be. It had to evolve. I didn’t want to rush the process and be unhappy in the end.

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I LOVE how it turned out. What seemed like such a large area was quickly filled but, I’ve managed to squeeze in 2 small pieces since this image was taken.

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Til next time - go grab a hammer and hang up some art or paint a space something unexpected!

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