Woodstock CT Historic Homes: Roseland Cottage

Beautifully situated across from the Woodstock town green is Roseland Cottage built in 1846 by Henry Bowen with its colorful array of flower gardens. A classic example of the Gothic Revival architecture that was just becoming popular in the mid 19th century characterized by a steep roof line crowned with ornamented chimney pots, intricately detailed gables overhanging diamond leaded window. The siding has always been painted in a vibrant coral pink that has given the cottage its popular name as the “Pink House.”

Henry Bowen grew up in Woodstock and built a successful dry goods business in New York City specializing in silks. He and his wife Lucy enjoyed summers away from the city and Roseland Cottage was their country house where they entertained friends and powerful political connections including four United States Presidents. Henry and Lucy Bowen had ten children and Woodstock with its rural atmosphere and Henry’s long family history rooted in the area was the perfect retreat from the summer heat and congestion of the city.

Joseph C. Wells was the architect commissioned by Bowen in 1845 to design the 6,000 square Foot Gothic Revival Cottage for his growing family. The layout and design were deeply influenced by the principles of Andrew Jackson Downing who was a leading 19th Century landscape architect. The grounds include a garden house, carriage barn, an icehouse and aviary, but most notably an extensive 3,000 square foot boxwood parterre garden.

After 1850 when the Bowens began spending each summer in Woodstock, they planted the garden that graces the front of the cottage. It’s comprised of 600 yards of boxwood hedge surrounding twenty-one beds of spectacular annual and perennial flowers that have been a central feature of the cottage and Woodstock ever since.

According to family legend, Roseland Cottage was named after the family’s favorite flower, the rose, and it has always been painted pink. A scientific analysis by Historic New England identified thirteen shades of pink in the layers of paint over 160 years with the current coral pink being the color in the 1880’s that’s consistent with other decorative details in the restoration of the house.

Bowen was a political activist, an abolitionist and early supporter of the Republican Party which was the liberal party at the time that fielded the first abolitionist presidential platform in 1856. His dry goods business went bankrupt leading up to the Civil War due to his anti-slavery activism which caused irreconcilable differences with his Southern clients. He refused to support the Fugitive Slave Law and told Southern clients they could “Buy my goods – not my principles.”

After his business failed, he co-founded a successful insurance company, as well as founding and becoming editor of a popular anti-slavery newspaper, The Independent. With this newspaper, he became an important player in politics as the Republican Party grew stronger throughout the later part of the 19th Century.

Lucy Bowen tragically died from complications of giving birth to their tenth child in 1863. Henry remarried two years later Ellen Holt who became a loving mother to his children, and gave him a son. As his family continued to grow and his children had grandchildren, Bowen expanded Roseland Cottage and purchased lots surrounding the cottage until in 1870 the property was approximately six acres.

Beginning in 1870, Henry Bowen began hosting Fourth of July Independence Day parties as a way of promoting patriotism that drew hundreds of distinguished guests and thousands of attendees every year for the next twenty-five years. Four United States Presidents including Ulysses S. Grant, Benjamin Harrison, Rutherford B. Hayes and William McKinley took part in these festivities.

The Fourth of July parties eventually grew to be so big that Bowen purchased sixty-acres in Woodstock to develop a public park to host the celebrations. Roseland Park featured a windmill that pumped water from the lake into 3 marble fountains with statues, there were fields of hitching posts for the “parking” of the horses that people rode in on.

It had a two-story bathing shed that were changing room where you could rent a woolen bathing costume weighed 20 lbs when wet, with a band-stand above it where bands would play music to the gathered picnickers. Roseland Park was first opened in 1876 during the centennial celebrations and in keeping with Bowen’s will has been open to the public ever since.

Roseland Cottage is open to the public between June 1 and October 15. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1992, and widely regarded as one of the best preserved examples of Gothic Revival architecture in America makes Roseland Cottage one of Woodstock, Connecticut’s most important historic homes.

Tips To A Cheap Bathroom Remodeling

Most homeowners think of remodeling their bedroom and bathroom at least every year but they neglect to see the importance of remodeling a bathroom. This part of the house is most likely to be neglected even if it is one of the most important room in the house. The bathroom is the only place wherein homeowners get to clean themselves not only that but the bathroom can be a solitary place wherein one can relax and get cozy after a hard day’s work or after a stressful day with the kids. So, why neglect this part of the house? If you plan to remodel your house but do not have enough budget to include the bathroom do not worry because you can still remodel your bathroom even if you are tight on budget.

Those who have smaller bathroom are lucky because it is easier to remodel smaller bathroom compared to larger bathrooms. The only problem with smaller bathrooms when remodeling is the trick in making the room look larger than it actually appears. The good news about remodeling smaller bathrooms? it cost less compared to giving a larger and luxurious bathroom a facelift. Here are simple tips on how to maximize your small amount of money so that it will go a long way in bathroom remodeling:

-Know what you want in a bathroom. Know if you want a powder room, a sauna room/bathroom, bathroom in a dressing room or a full bath. Big or small bathroom these two need almost the same thing: you need to take into consideration the type of flooring you want to have, ventilation of the room (this would include the exhaust fan as well as the windows), decide on the type of bathroom cabinetry you would want to bring in the bathroom and other bathroom furnishings. A tip for those homeowners who have smaller bathrooms is to use furniture or furnishings that are either multi-functional or that can be hang on the wall to maximize the space.

-Remodel the bathroom yourself. If you do the job yourself you can save almost 50% of the total amount from the expenses. Research through magazine and online articles on tips on how to remodel a bathroom. If you are unsure about the task you can do the easy ones like the demolition, flooring and painting and you can hire a pro to do the rest of the job.

6 Great Reasons to Visit Grenada in the Caribbean

Grenada is a beautiful island that sits close to Trinidad and Tobago. Most famous for it’s beaches, almost perfect weather and people, it’s also got a ton of great tourist delights. There are many incredible reasons to visit Grenada including the beautiful vegetation, the carnival and laid back vibe. Whatever your motivation, here are the top 6 reasons for visiting the Spice Isle.

Beaches

If you want beaches and you want them with white sand and warm crystal clear waves lapping on the shoreline, then you’ve got the right island. The strongest point of most islands, you get a lot of beaches! Grand Anse is beautiful but then so are the other beaches further north such as Levera, Sauteurs and the one on Sandy Island is truly unbeatable!

The People

Friendly, polite and generally very considerate, the locals like to meet tourists. They are very helpful and will go out of their way to ensure that you know where to go and what to do. Their warmth and generosity of spirit will come across rapidly.

The Food and Drink

The fresh produce is fantastic on this very fertile island. Of course, the climate has a bit part to play in this. Make the most of trying the more exotic items on the menu such as friend breadfruit, avocado juice, soursop and papaya. You’ll get a true taste of local life – and it’s good for the body!

Grand Etang

This nature reserve is part of the rain forest. You can opt to hire a professional guide who will show you the most interesting points of the reserve. Look out for Mona monkeys, hibiscus bushes, hummingbirds and other rarely seen fauna.

Sandy Island

Truly a paradise island, this trip should not be missed. It’s a 40 minute boat ride away but you’ll think that you’ve landed on a tropical nirvana. Whilst you snorkel your fish will be seasoned and cooked on the open fire. There is also a hurricane damaged resort. Take sun protection with you.

The Leatherback Turtles

These astounding pre-historic marine creatures will blow you away. They swim up to 10,000 miles every year to feed and mate. They weigh over a tonne and will land on the beach, dig a hole for their eggs and then make their way back down. If you want to be touched with nature – this is the trip for you.

Grenada is a beautiful island and is one of the quietest large Caribbean islands. Be sure to visit and enjoy it’s wonders.

Car Rental Coupons

Rental cars have become quite popular during the current economic slowdown. People who plan to buy a used car or even a brand new car is getting attracted to different car rental agencies because of the tough competition, cheap prices and unbelievable options car rental companies offer. Several car rental agencies offer car rentals coupons throughout the year for various reasons. Some of the agencies want to promote their business during off season while some other agencies offer car rentals coupons so that their service will be cheaper than that of their competitor who offers similar services.

Once you finalize a rental company suiting well to your needs, you can check on their official website for ongoing discounts and rental coupons. These coupons come with different offers. Some of the coupons offer a discount on rate from 10-50% while some others add 1-5 extra days to your booking period without extra cost. It is up to you to choose the right type of discount. If you plan to rent for long term, a discount on the rental price will be the right choice for you. If you plan a trip for 7 days and find a coupon offering ‘book for 5 days and get 3 extra days free’ will be the right choice for you.

There are several websites that compare different car rental services and their rates. These websites also highlight the ongoing discounts and coupons available. Such comparison websites are a good choice to know what is going on in the neighborhood but always watch out for scam. Try to rent your car from a reputed car rental agency but also check for any hidden costs. Then check for car rental coupons offered by such reputed agencies.

Some coupons also provide free insurance coverage for a selected number of days and some additional accessories like GPS or child seat for free of cost. Such promotional offers may or may not be useful for you. For example, if you are planning to travel somewhere you are not very familiar, a coupon offering free GPS navigation system can be a great choice for you because you hardly will ‘get lost’ somewhere. Similarly a free child seat is good for you only if you are travelling with a child. Car rental companies design their coupons targeting different customers and their various tastes.

If you are planning to rent a car for your vacation trip or for your everyday requirements, check with different agencies for their specialized coupons. Don’t assume that you will not get a discount coupon because its holiday season. There are several service providers and several offers throughout the year and you will not find the best for yourself without constantly checking for them. Websites such as carrentalmomma.com and rentalcarscode.com have coupons throughout the year with a wide array of offers. Even Google is a great place to find information on best deals available.

Three Great Design Tips For Bathroom Remodeling!

One of the most often home improvements is bathroom remodeling by most homeowners because it can help make life more enjoyable and it can also improve the value of your home if you are considering putting it on the market soon.

It does not make must difference what state you may live in or the reasons you want to remodel your bathrooms. But you do need to know the most popular and best bathroom remodeling colors and designs to make your project successful.

You will have many options to research for the different types of designs and numerous colors for your bathroom remodeling project. You have to balance out your personal taste with your family lifestyle as well. You will certainly need a functional layout with whatever design and colors you may choose. In order to get the proper layout, the correct design and colors you will need to consider just how and who uses the bathroom.

Moving the plumbing in your bathroom remodeling will be much more costly, but you will gain a great deal of flexibility and it will open up all kinds of design options. But most of us may not have an unlimited budget so we will have to make do with the existing plumbing drains and hook-ups. You will just have to work with the current design.

Whatever design you choose, whether you kept the current layout or go for a new one, you will have to make sure you are aware of the local and state building codes. The following 3 bathroom design tips and color schemes should be helpful to you to make your bathroom remodeling a success.

1. You should if all possible use universal or standard design such as curb less showers, make you doorways wider, increase your floor plan to make it more spacious, and also installing taller toilets will help. It is best to use neutral colors if you are going to go with a universal design. The type of design has and will continue to stand the test of time in the future.

By using the universal design you will not have to worry about remodeling your bathroom for a long time and this will of course save you money in the long run.

2. Another popular design is the vintage style. This type of design will remind us of the great craftsmanship of yesteryear that was popular way back in the early 1900’s. The vintage style of bathroom remodeling will use vanities, bathtubs, and sinks to create a focus point in the bathroom.

Another one of the most often used design options is patterned wallpaper. Two of the classical vintage looks are white and black and also wood items with the distressed look.

You will also find period and muted shades in the color choices of the vintage style of design.

3. A modern day style of bathroom remodeling is the contemporary style. This style will use the combination of simple, clean lines, the integration of current technology and high quality materials.

With the contemporary style you will find neutral colors for bathroom fixtures and the tile, but you will find much bolder colors for other items in the bathroom.

Bathroom remolding can be an enjoyable and a great return on your investment and your time but you do have to do the necessary research. The best place to start your research is the Internet. You will find numerous websites that will help you to find the right designs and colors for your bathroom to make it the showpiece of your home!