Showing posts with label living room. Show all posts
Showing posts with label living room. Show all posts

Friday, March 3, 2017

Floral Living Room Refresh & Plate Wall Design

Hello lovelies! I'm so excited to share this post with you because I'm finally finished with my spring living room refresh and it has become my favorite space in the house simply because it puts me in a bright and sunny mood and I am SO looking forward to some warmer weather, I don't know about you. 

Since the last time I posted about my vintage plate collection, I scored a gorgeous original Alfred Meakin plate set for 30€!! Can you believe that? A set like this runs at least 250€.  I found the set online from a lady in Naples that was getting rid of a bunch of items from her previous marriage.  This set was a wedding gift that never even got used and was just sitting in her china cabinet. She was glad to get rid of it and I was glad to take it from her!

So on deciding the placement for the wall decor, I just played around with some different size pieces, mixing up the various styles. I didn't want them all the same style so I used some Blue Willow, some Liberty Blue and some of the Alfred Meakin plates and just laid them out until I found the placement that I was happy with. 

I knew I wanted to switch up my curtains with something lighter and brighter and I found a beautiful cotton fabric that I just fell in love with. I love all things floral and I found that this fabric print was neutral enough to match the rest of the decor without making things seem too busy. 

I made slipcovers for two of my Ikea Henriksdal chairs with the same fabric as the curtains and was debating on covering all six chairs but then I figured it would be too much. The white chairs keeps things neutral and they tie in nicely with the couch since it's an open space. 

Here is the Henriskdal cover pattern I used to make these if anyone is interested (it's not to scale I know... please don't mind my terrible drawing...):

Anyways, then I added frames to the canvases in my living room because I always thought they looked too unfinished for my taste. I love the lightness that a canvas brings to a room but it just looks much more complete by adding a simple frame. This was not the easiest project for me since it was the first time I used a miter saw but I don't think it turned out too shabby! Here is a before and after so you can see the difference. 




I switched up the art work that I originally had on the plate wall and found these two prints that I think go well with the rest of the room. 

I placed the old frames on the staircase which has a huge empty wall that needed some lovin'...haha

And that pretty much wraps up my spring living room refresh.  Hope you enjoyed the tour. 

Here's a view from the top of the stairs. 

Have a great weekend! 


Thursday, February 9, 2017

My Vintage Plate Collection

For some time now I've been collecting blue and white vintage china and have got enough pieces finally to decorate the hutch in my living room. I love the look, as I'm sure you know if you've been following me for some time, and have switched things up a bit creating a more romantic feel to the room by adding lots of florals and soft yellow hues as well. 

I love how the blue stands out against the white and the detail that these pieces have. I have never really actually collected anything before so I'm excited about starting this new collection. I plan on finding some larger plates to hang on the wall around the hutch as well. I've seen so much inspiration on the web and they all look so beautiful. 


Here's a close up of some of my pieces.

I particularly like the gold around this Blue Willow plate that seems to have faded some. 

I bought some vintage tea cups online and unfortunately I received two broken pieces. There was really no way I could have glued the pieces together.. That was quite upsetting. The guy could have done a better job packing.. ugh

How cute are these vintage Sake cups? Love these!

I also found three beautiful Chinese vases.  In this picture you can see my new curtains.  I made two matching slipcovers for the chairs in my living room and will get around to making the other four chairs when I have some time. 

I painted the bookshelf I have in my living room white to brighten up that corner which was looking a little too dark to me lately. That project only took me a day and what a difference it makes.



Here's another view of my collection so far. I'd like the plate wall decor to be around the cabinet on each side. Not too sure about placement yet though.

I'm not entirely done decorting yet, so it's still a work in progress. 
I will say though that Spring has officially sprung in my living room LOL. I'm done with this cold weather! Adding some fresh flowers to the space really warms things up.. I want to make a habit of always having fresh flowers in the house. Their colors are always so beautiful, don't you think?

I'll post more pictures once the room is complete and maybe I'll have enough plates for the wall decor! 



Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Guest Room Makeover Ideas

Hello everyone! Hope all is well with you. I have been MIA lately just because I've been recovering from a terrible flu (I have no idea how that happened!) Being sick really sucks....but being sick in the summer is the absolute worst! I'm feeling better now so that's a positive. Other than that my honey has been out of town a lot for work and I get sad when he leaves for too long... my sister gave us another scare and was back in the hospital but thankfully she's fine now and I've been stressing out about my trip to the US this summer. Don't get me wrong, I'm super excited about going but I hear so many scary things on the news that it's just terrifying to think about traveling overseas. I watched the news for five minutes the other night and it was 5 minutes of children dying, bombs exploding, guns shooting, etc. It was just awful.. Then we ask ourselves why all these light hearted reality TV shows are so popular. I would rather watch an hour of those shows than 5 minutes of what they show on the news. I guess I just can't handle it right now..I don't know.

Anyways on a more positive note...I have decided that my guest bedroom is in desperate need of a makeover! I mean really bad.. It's one of those rooms that I just throw stuff into (when we don't have guests obviously..) I tidy up in there when I do have guests over so it usually doesn't look this messy but you know what I mean.. It's the room where I put the laundry that needs to be ironed...the old dresser that I don't know where else to put ... the DIY piece gone bad, etc. etc. It's THAT room.

Here is a panoramic shot of it. Prepare yourselves...

On the other end of the room I have a small wardrobe that I'm probably going to replace with something bigger since I need the extra storage space like I need water..

I will be painting the room and changing the chandelier as well as the fabrics (bedding and window treatments).

I want to do something creative with the nightstands and dresser as well as adding a large statement mirror  that is currently missing from the room. This is going to be a low budget makeover but I really want to create a nice space for my family and friends when they come to visit me. 

Here are some pictures that are inspiring me for the room.  I'm still not 100% sure on what to do yet but I would like a bold wall behind the white bed frame to make it stand out more. I love this bedroom pictured below. 

I still have not gotten over my love for blue and white decor though so I might decide to try it out in my guest bedroom. I love how in this room below the touches of yellow stand out. 

I am also thinking about playing it safe with a more neutral room that way I'm sure I won't tire of it too quickly. 

This one below is my absolute favorite. This room completely encompasses my style. 

I love that light blue wall color. 

When I come home from work I always watch this show called The Great Interior Design Challenge. It's a British Television Show that features amateur interior designers that are selected to make over rooms in actual homes all over the UK. 

I LOVE that show and it's so amazing what they are able to do on a low budget in such a short amount of time. Have you ever seen it? They probably don't show it in the States. 

So those are my plans for the next couple weeks. Hopefully I'll be able to show you some progress very soon. 

In other news... I bought new rugs for my living room / dining room area. I love how they look. 

It's the Ikea Valloby Rugs. Having pets in the house, I don't like to spend too much money on rugs because well...kitty claws... 


Moving onto food!

What's been cooking in my kitchen lately?

Cauliflower Rice with everything! It's low calorie - low carb - easy to make - and tastes great!

Just chop it up and coat in olive oil, salt and pepper and bake for about 10 - 12 minutes. 

I love to add it to a veggie shrimp stir fry. Sooo yummy!

Just mix everything, add the spices you prefer and you have yourself a healthy low carb meal. 

What have you been up to? How is everyone's summer progressing?

Be back soon hopefully to show you all my new guest bedroom :-)



Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Original Italian Ragù with Fresh Tomatoes

Ragù is made very differently in each part of Italy.  Up north ragù is usually made with ground beef whereas in the south whole pieces of meat are typically used creating one dish used both as a first course (condiment for the pasta) and second course (involtini or "braciole" as typically referred to in the south).

Today I am happy to share with you our original family recipe for freshly made tomato sauce and Braciole that is a main dish served almost every Sunday in many many Southern Italian households, as well as my honey's favorite dish of all time.

I have to be completely honest with you, this is not one of my preferred dishes simply because I'm not a big fan of tomatoes but it is always a hit and never EVER gets left over...

Ok so for this recipe you will need a sauce strainer and if you have a pressure cooker you with significantly reduce the cooking time.

I'm not going to be too specific with quantities because this really is a "taste as you go" recipe based on many variable factors such as sweetness and acidity of the type of tomatoes you use, the type of meat you choose to use, etc. 

In this case I used 5 thinly sliced pieces of beef making 4 Braciole and cutting up the 5th slice into 4 sections adding it to the sauce as I will show you shortly.

Begin making the Braciole. Lay out the slices of meat adding a small piece of Pecorino Romano cheese to the center. Add a dash of salt and pepper to each slice.

Now fold the meat in half and fold in the sides eventually wrapping it up and holding it in place with a tooth pick as shown here:

Now chop up half of a medium size onion and add to the pot with about three table spoons of olive oil.

Let the meat simmer and make sure the heat is on low because you don't want to burn the onion, you simply want it to soften up and eventually melt into the sauce so the heat has to be very low.

You should see that the meat will slowly release water during cooking.

In a separate pot add the washed tomatoes cut up into pieces, the rest of the onion and a few fresh basil leaves.  I used 2 San Marzano tomatoes and 5 vine ripened tomatoes. Do not add any water, any oil or any salt. You are simply letting the tomatoes cook on their own and you will see that they too release lots of water once cooked. The tomatoes should cook on medium heat for no more than 10 minutes.

This is what they should look like after 10 minutes on medium heat.

Once cooked you want to filter them using the sauce strainer. Just add the tomatoes to the strainer and filter into a bowl making sure to scrape the rest of the pulp off the bottom.

Now you have your freshly made tomato sauce that you can add to the meat.

In the meantime the meat should have released some water and once you hear it start to simmer go ahead and add the sauce.

Make sure to stir everything together and add a half a cup of water. At this point go ahead and taste it to see if it needs any extra salt, pepper and if you like you can add some chili pepper to spice it up.

You can now put the lid on the pressure cooker and leave it cook for about 30 minutes.  If you don't have a pressure cooker you will have to cook on very low heat for a good 2 hours. The meat needs to really break down and become super tender in order to have a good ragu.

When the 30 minutes are up let the steam out from the valve, turn off the heat and open up to see what you have.

Look at that delicious ragù! If the sauce is too thick you can add another half cup of water and heat uncovered until you reach the right consistency.
Now you will find the meat breaks down very easily and is extremely tender. With this sauce you can dress any type of pasta and it will be fantastic, I assure you.

On another note, I bought a beautiful hutch for my dining room over the weekend!

Now since everybody who knows me knows that the term patience and I have absolutely nothing in common.... I had to take it home with me immediately and would in no way wait for transportation and the people at the furniture store were very nice and totally understood my immediate need for this hutch sooo they put the bottom half in my trunk and the top half on top on my car....securing it with...tape.

Yes, tape.

I was a little worried I have to admit ...but the guy was like "Lady, we've done this a million works...just go slow..."

And that I did...I went very VERY slow.

You gotta love southern Italy...




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