Autumn advice on using mirrors to brighten rooms

I was in London last week and found a spare hour to visit the Sir John Soane Museum in Holborn. I loved it just as much as I had as a student, and wondered if I had been unconsciously influenced by the memory of its rich red walls when I chose the paint for our offices--and in fact the color we now call "Berkshire red" for my company's logo and stationery. I wish I could decorate my home with pieces of Roman ruins, as Soane did. But I did get [...]

October 6th, 2005|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |

Independence day: how about energy independence?

I've always thought a lot of the US magazine (and now online information service) Consumer Reports, but only just heard about their Greener Choice website--available free (Consumer Reports itself is a subscription service--it's the equivalent of the UK Which?). Greener choices are vital, given the challenges we face if what James Howard Kunstler calls "the long emergency" comes to pass. Put down the papers and read this article: "The End of Oil" from April's Rolling Stone (thanks, Margaux, for giving this to me!).

July 4th, 2005|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |

New Year’s cleaning

While we still talk about "spring cleaning," I notice that autumn's a time when a lot of people get rid of junk, and I feel the urge to clean about now. It's ridiculously cold so I can't throw windows open, but there's a lull between Christmas and New Year that makes me feel domestic. And I like the idea of starting 2005 with clean moulding and shelves rearranged. And with clean ovens, too, after the Thanksgiving and Christmas baking. Like you, I've read those Green tips about cleaning an oven [...]

December 28th, 2004|Categories: Oddments|Tags: , |

Cost to benefit ratio

On a busy Monday morning it's tempting to throw the clothes into the dryer. Hanging them on racks in the spare room (it's below zero degrees F. outside) just takes too long. But I compromise, because I know it's silly and wasteful to dry heavy clothes with fossil fuel derived electricty when they'll dry just fine without it. I hang 'smalls' on the little rack over the dryer (see photo), put big heavy things in a basket to go to the spare room rack, and toss the rest of the [...]

December 20th, 2004|Categories: Oddments|Tags: |

Snuggle Up

Winter's here, and it's cold in the Berkshires. We have a big Victorian house and the only reason our oil bills are fairly low is that we keep it so damned cold. When we first got an adjustable thermostat (something I definitely recommend) I set the temperature to 60

December 4th, 2004|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |