The Great Outdoors

Basement to Back Yard

We recently decided that it was time to get organized and clear out some of our belongings in the basement. And, since a good chunk of the items stored in the basement are for the yard or garden, we thought, "Why not start there?" Add this to the fact that if I can find an excuse to purchase a new home improvement toy of some kind, I will, and... voila! Next thing you know, we're installing a new little shed in our little back yard. So, we thought we'd share with you our newest addition and show you a few snapshots along the way of the (relatively) easy installation.

The small brick patio for the shed to sit on.

A close up of the brick patio.

The black base of the shed.

The assembly of the shed.

Hayes enjoying the back yard!

The finished shed.

Anybody else have a recent update to their outdoor space? We'd love to hear about your projects too, so feel free to share in the comments!

A Rustic Garden Party

We are officially in the thick of springtime, with warm temps, rainy days and green growth everywhere! So, I'm day-dreaming of an beautiful outdoor shindig with friends and family. Rather than just dream, I was inspired to create a little "Rustic Garden Party" themed Etsy Treasury (a member-curated shopping gallery)! And, as usual, I'm sharing it with you here on our blog!

Check out what I've pulled together to create an inspiration board for a rustic garden party! I'm sure you'll get the idea by browsing my Treasury, but I envision a early spring afternoon soiree with family and friends in a beautiful, but slightly overgrown, lush garden with fun rustic touches. Hopefully you'll be inspired to host a springtime get together too!

Check out some of the details below, or visit the Treasury on Etsy! Here's a quick snapshot of it!

Etsy Treasury Snapshot

Here are some close-ups of some of the Treasury items!

Moss covered letters.

Outdoor pillows

Tree bark candles.

Watering can.

Garden markers.

Orchard basket.

Turtle.

Well, there you have it! Now, all I have to do is actually plan a party like this, right?

If you love any of these items, they can be found and purchased on Etsy! And, if you liked my Treasury, feel free to share it!

Tuesday Tip - Breathe Life with Fresh Flowers

Design tip header.

Tuesday Tip - Breathe Life with Fresh Flowers:


Liven up your space with the beautiful colors and textures of fresh flowers. Adding plant life to your spaces, whether it be fresh-cut flowers or potted indoor plants, will breathe crisp life and natural beauty into your home!


Whether it be lilacs in the powder room, roses in the bedroom or tulips in the dining room, fresh flowers also create lovely and inviting aroma to your space. Plus, they are a relatively inexpensive accessory that allows you to inject some fun and personality into a space. There are endless ways to arrange flowers to fit the look and feel of your space. For example, a small sophisticated arrangement for the corner of your executive desk or a organically arranged vintage bucket of wildflowers for your sunroom, just to name few.

Check out the images below of spaces that are alive with the beauty of fresh flowers!

Fresh flowers on coffee table.

Fresh flowers on coffee table 2.

Fresh flowers on coffee table 3.

Fresh flowers on vanity.

Fresh flowers on dining table.

So, go ahead and add life to your home this Spring!

Images found here!

Even if I Leave Empty Handed..

So, I wrote a blog post quite a while back on flea market finds.. but today's post is less about the finds and more about the journey. In talking with my aunt and uncle recently about flea marketing, I simply asked my uncle, "Well, what are you looking for at the flea market?" And his response, "I don't know yet". While my question was more curious of what his interests were, his answer quite simply explained the joy in flea marketing. My aunt went on to add to the answer, "Yea, I don't know what I'm looking for until I see it." I just love that statement, and I couldn't agree more!

Most flea market enthusiasts would answer the same way, because unlike shopping at the grocery store or the mall, you don't necessarily head to the flea market with a list or even an idea of what your looking to buy. Instead, you head there with the excitement that you never know what you might find and often leave with something you didn't know you needed, ha!

Male dress form at a flea market stand.

Garlic press bird.

Turquise owl necklace.

Anyway, though there are times I do head to the flea market with a "mission", as I like to call it, to find something I just haven't been able to locate, most often it's more about the journey - what will I come across today? who will I meet? what will I just have to buy? and sometimes even, what will I learn today? And, that's just one of the reasons I love stopping by the flea market, a yard sale or even thrift stores.

So, summer is coming to an end, and as the chilly weather begins, most flea markets start to dwindle. So, before that happens, I wanted to make sure I got out there. This time, I went to the Williams Grove Flea Market that I had mentioned in that old post, for a lovely day of "flea-ing" (that's a good term for it, right?) and also, finally took a few photos of the interesting old amusement park grounds to share with you.

Oh, and for the record, though some part of me really wanted each of the items in the above images, I didn't buy any of them.

Shot of the mid-way.

Shot of the wooden roller coaster.

The old basketball shooting game.

Shot of the old train tracks.

Showing the old bumper car pavilion.

The bingo building.

The old water slides..

Used furniture under the old concession stand.

Another thing of beauty at flea markets is the retail merchandising, or lack there of, hehe. I'm always a fan of collections (or piles) of items. Not sure why, but my eye always goes toward them, and so does my camera!

Collection of antique skeleton keys.

Collection of antique boxes.

At the end of the afternoon, though my belly was full with the yummy homemade soft pretzel stick you see in the photo below.. my hands were empty. I didn't buy one single thing, but I was still leaving with some new ideas, lots of inspiration, and of course, having had a nice journey!

Me with my soft pretzel stick!

Spring Has Sprung!

With spring in the air, Valerie and I decided it was time to spruce up the front of our house with our annual re-planting of our window box and planter and re-mulching around the tree. This year, we decided to plant some perennials instead of all annuals so that we can enjoy watching the new growth (or regrowth) of the plants and flowers next spring.

Side note – while the names can be misleading, if you want plants and flowers that return year after year, make sure you pick up perennials. Annuals, on the other hand, only bloom and last for one season/year. One of our very good friends just made the mistake of thinking that annual meant year after year and purchased a whole carload of annuals for the flowerbeds she and her husband are creating. Once realizing the misunderstanding, she ended up back at the store returning the annuals and picking up the perennials she meant to get. Oops!

Our planting process started with a trip to Lowe’s to pick out this year’s flowers and to grab a few bags of mulch. We made sure to purchase enough flowers to fill our planters as well as show variety in size, height, type and color. Once we had what we needed, we used our CR-V, equipped with the handy-dandy shelf, to haul our finds home.

Flowers in trunk of car.

I actually did most of the planting while Valerie was off at another job, so I failed at taking some in-process photos. So, check out some pictures of our finished products!

Flowers and plants laid out before planting.

Upclose shot of colorful planter.

Flowers in wooden flower box.

Close up of flower box showing the planter in the background.

Close up of purple flowers in flower box.

Planter and flower box at the entrance of our house.

Any of you green thumbs out there have any pictures of your plant or flower creations that you’d like to share? E-mail them to info@studiovbdesign.com and maybe you’ll see them in a future post! Happy Spring!

It's Snow Beautiful!

I may have mentioned this previously, but throughout the cold winter months, my creativity, productivity, etc. slows down considerably. The cold, wet, grey days, one after the other, just put a damper on my energy, motivation and (though, I hate to admit it) overall attitude. But, in a moment of positivity, I said to myself – that’s no excuse! So, today, I decided to blog about one little thing in particular that sometimes brightens my mood, and often delights my eyes, during this otherwise seasonal downer. That thing is the soft fall of a light snow as it gently lay on, well, everything. It adds a certain beauty to things we see everyday, and turns things that are ordinarily 'nothing to write home about' into lovely vignettes.

So, I've included a few shots that I thought made the winter a bit more pleasant! Some of them are shots of the recent snow we’ve had around here, but I’ve also included some photos I’ve snapped over the last few years, as well as one I snagged browsing the web.

So, if you’re like me, and feeling hum-drum with all this cold weather, take a break and enjoy the beauty found in it!

Railroad bridge in the snow.

Trees covered in snow.

Car tracks in the snow.

Tree covered in ice.

Close-up of snowflakes on the windshield.

Snowy street.

These next few pics are from our time in NYC - they are views from our 3rd floor terrace (a tiny luxury in our 400 sq. ft. home) during one of New York's big storms.

Snow covered fire escapes.

Snow stuck to an ivy covered tree truck.

Snow filled backyards.

Well, hope you enjoyed them and hope you are staying warm.. hang in there ‘til spring!