Shannon Berrey

Following her dreams: A New York retreat

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Pretty gorgeous, right? It's been my experience that a beautifully landscaped yard generally means that the home beyond the flowers is as equally beautiful. Such is the case with this 1830's home of artist Kathryn Windley in Milan, New York. 

Kathryn got burned out and longed for a simpler life. She left her career as art director for a fast paced ad agency and bought the home back in 1998. Now she has a sunny studio in the homes ground floor addition.

Kathryn's oil painting depicts the homes 20-acre property. 


I love walls of bookcases! Don't invite me over and leave me in your living room of books by myself because I will read all the titles before you return with my sweet tea. You can learn so much about a person through the books they read. Agreed?!    

There is a laundry list of favorite things happening in this bathroom. The mirrors slide, barn door style to expose a recessed medicine cabinet. The chunky white sinks sit atop a countertop made out of a big thick slab of wood. Hand towels are conveniently held by undermounted towel bars. And don't get me started on that cast iron tub looking into that fabulous yard.  

Look closely at the reclaimed pine that covers the fireplace and you can see the hinges of the hidden storage, behind which the TV is stored. 


To see more visit Country Living.


images via Country Living, photography Mikel Vang 


River Rock Rug ideas

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

I shared my backyard plans for a River Rock Rug yesterday. If you follow me on Pinterest, you have probably seen several of these inspiration photos. I am excited to get started but not sure which pattern I am going to attempt. I love all of them.







What do you think? Do you have a favorite?


images: 1-3, 5 Jeffrey Bale Janetanne  6-7 Stone man mosaics BingBing


Backyard plans

Monday, April 02, 2012

When we moved into our home 5 years ago, we immediately got to work on our front landscaping. We enlisted the help of my friend Marsha, owner of Harvest Moon Gardens. She helped us with the initial install and we have been tweaking it ever since. Robert and I love working in the yard together--we are a good team. Robert is meticulous in taking care of it: cutting, mulching, fertilizing, pruning, and edging. And I like to design the new planting areas, deciding which flower combos best complement each other.

 We haven't done a whole lot to our backyard. We have built it up somewhat as it had a deep slope down to the creek. But, it has been  hard to really figure out exactly what to plant because it gets full sun in the spring before the leaves come out on the trees. But, once it's late spring, then it is pretty much full shade. So, I have had a hard time in deciding what would thrive in these conditions.   


2 years ago, it was time to replace the front landscaping mulch. We raked it all up and carted it to the back yard and spread it along the creek edge. It made a huge difference in the appearance as it was all just dirt before.

It's hard to tell in the pictures, but the yard was really steep from the mulched area to the waters edge. We wanted a more level area and so we decided this weekend to create a rock wall to bring the ground level up a good 4 feet. Our back yard is full of rocks and roots--another reason we haven't planted a lot in back. All the rocks we use are from our property. He started with a base layer, trying to get as level as possible.

After about 3 layers of rocks, we decided that this was a good height.

We back filled the top area with top soil up to the level of the top of the rock. This is the view from the top.

And standing down at the creek, looking up.

I am so happy with the new level area! It feels like it has given us an additional 10 feet of backyard. We also divided our overgrown front yard daylililes, tall grasses and hostas. They found new homes in the backyard. 

While Robert was stacking stones, I was creating a home for a new patio. Do you see my circle?


I dug down as far as I could before hitting some huge roots.

Then I started collecting my rocks and sorting as to size for my soon-to-be new River Rock Rug. This is probably about 20% of what I will actually need...  

I'm excited about the possibilities that our new backyard will give us. And so pleased that mother nature is providing us with almost all of the materials needed! 

Tomorrow I will show you my inspiration pictures of what I hope I can accomplish! 

I'm no {April} fool...

Sunday, April 01, 2012

I stayed in bed later than usual this morning because this face wanted to snuggle with my face. Seriously, is there a better way to start a new month??? 

Happy April!!

Shannon Berrey Bio
I'm an artist, interior designer, wife and mom. Join me here as I share projects, ramblings, and inspirations.
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