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Up on Primrose Hill

Happy December to you all! We’ve been keeping busy, but especially so getting the house decked out for the holidays. Usually around this time of year I just feel so stressed trying to beat the crowds, schlepping through the subway, the pressure of getting all my shopping done and I become a “scrooge” as my husband would say, but this year it feels different. It’s exciting. Our first Christmas in our new house. We’re starting our own traditions and making this home more us, which makes this year particularly special. One of those new traditions is cutting down our Christmas tree at a tree farm. This is not something Ryan or I grew up doing and with so many farms up here in the Hudson Valley it feels so good to contribute to the local community while taking in the beautiful scenery.

Since we’re newbies to the area a little research led us to Saltsman Christmas Tree Farm in Rhinebeck. We had our hearts set on going here. Ryan and I have consistently changing work schedules and we sometimes tend to do weekend activities on weekdays, so we were pumped to know we could visit on a Monday. We were all set driving through the smokey dense fog and when we pulled up to the long driveway there was a sign hanging, “Sorry, we’re closed”. We were crushed and soon after learned that most farms are closed during the week, especially on a Monday. We almost gave up and were going to postpone to later in the week until we found Primrose Hill Tree Farm. We took a chance and upon arrival found ourselves feeling slightly spooked since we were the only people there. Even the owners were missing and left a note stating to serve yourself! We were already so invested so that’s just what we did, served ourselves and it was perfect. Eerily beautiful with the weather in a foggy state, old red barns scattered around the property and the best part no crowds. It felt like we were in the English countryside and had all the trees at our disposal.

I immediately sighted a gorgeous Concolor Fir - the one with the long eyelash-like needles. It was perfect, but of course we had to roam around to scope out the rest. Very unprepared with no gloves and water soaked shoes we circled back to the first one, chopped it down and gave it a home. Standing close to 11 feet tall, we managed to do all the heavy lifting, netting and tying to the car ourselves. Quite an experience and a strong start to the holiday season with the initiation of this new tradition. Next year, gloves and waterproof shoes are a must!

(Side note: The history of the farm is incredible - read it here.)

Local Finds: Outside // Update

Our patio furniture project is finally complete and it feels great to have space to dine outside! This project was a bit more time consuming than we had anticipated and we openly embraced those trial and error moments, but in the end it was so worth it. At times I can be somewhat hesitant in making decisions, but sticking to this initial design concept was really fun and we were fortunately able to see it through without any major hiccups. I could go through the entire step by step process, but you can easily find that via YouTube or Google search. I will, however, provide a few words of advice. If you ever find yourself wanting to refinish wrought iron or anything that has been previously painted be sure to examine the current condition thoroughly. The most difficult part was sanding down the layers of chipped paint and rust the set had acquired throughout its lifetime to get a good enough base to cover with new paint. We used a combination of wire brush, sanding blocks, and a sanding attachment for our drill to smooth the surface. When choosing a paint, be sure to use a Rust-Oleum spray or similar because it covers really well, protects the furniture from the elements, and prevents future rusting. The color we used for this project was Rust-Oleum Champagne Mist.

As for the seat cushions, we scoured the internet for ready-made cushions that would fit the shape of the chairs in the fabric we envisioned and unfortunately came up short. Plan B - we'll just make them and by “we” I mean Mom! She is a fantastic seamstress, specifically when it comes to making clothes and LOVES when I give her upholstery projects. We luckily found a perfect black and white striped fabric at the local fabric store and ordered some foam online. Finding foam or fill in the exact shape and size of the seats was a little tricky so we ordered a roll and had to cut it ourselves. What did we use to cut three inch thick foam? Well, we hadn’t exactly thought that part through and made several failed attempts using ordinary tools. A bit of online research surprisingly led us to the purchase of an inexpensive electric carving knife and it worked perfectly! All in all it was a great learning experience and motivation to tackle more DIY projects. Our to-do list for autumn is getting lengthy and although we are definitely not looking forward to summer's end, we are excited to get moving on our interior projects and to experience Hudson Valley’s best season!

Local Finds: Outside

Can you believe this heatwave!? Really putting on the pressure to get our outside ready for summer. SO glad we bought our grill before Memorial Day. At least we had that!

This past Sunday was a solid day for furniture shopping. We found ourselves searching for vintage pieces starting in High Falls, NY and having the most success in Kingston, NY.

We found this great outdoor dining set at Milne, a fantastic antique shop on Broadway in Kingston.

We've been eyeing similar pieces in our online search and it's always exciting to find what you're looking for, especially in person. As you can tell from the photo above, this set is in need of a little love. I've never refinished furniture before and thought hey, why not have some fun with it?

I've been feeling super inspired by these images for a while. I love the bold black and white stripe, which would look great for the seat cushion and I know it might seem a little crazy, but I was really curious as to how this set would look in a light gold color. I did a test chair in Rust-Oleum Champagne Mist and...

I kinda dig it!

We'll see how the rest of it goes. Be sure to check back for updates.