January, February, March, and for we who dwell in New England, oftentimes well into April, are ideal months for interior home improvements. During these more homebound months I am actively seeking home and garden design inspiration. And, too, with projects that were shelved during the summer months because of seasonal work and summer guests, winter is a great time of year to focus on home improvements. I was inspired to write this weekly series after a recent visit to our home from Joey, Jill, and their two darling daughters. The family stopped by for hot chocolate and story time. Joey was non-stop with investigative questions and curiosity, reminding me of the impetus for writing my book, Oh Garden of Fresh Possibilities!, which was originally conceived as a guide for young couples and new home owners (and someday, hopefully, for my children when they will one day have gardens of their own). My book grew to be more than that, but I am again thinking of the couples with young children that have recently moved to our East Gloucester neighborhood.
To think of it, we are following in an old Gloucester and northern seacoast tradition by tending to the interior of our homes during these winter months, in that of “house-pride.” The town’s carpenters, many of whom were master shipbuilders and shipwrights, would have had more free time during the winter months. Fine carpentry details are evident throughout our house, which was built in 1851. And, like many of Gloucester’s older houses, our home is graced with details created by the skilled plasterers that emigrated from Italy and settled on Cape Ann. Although a modest house, certainly by today’s “starter castle” standards, I wouldn’t trade our lovely 19th century home, with its quirky and elegant details (along with its all its foibles) for all the world’s McMansions.
I propose Antennae for Design will encompass home and garden design inspiration, home improvement tips, feature interviews with local business owners who specialize in art and design, and after visiting local, well-tended homes and gardens, sharing information found there. Let me know through the comment section or by emailing at firstname.lastname@example.org of your thoughts and any topic that you may find particularly relevant or of interest.