Toris Design Box

All Posts By:

TorisDesignBox

    6 Houseplants To Help You De-stress….!

    When your indoors are ready for a refresh, here are 6 houseplants to help you de-stress. Stuck at home during a pandemic, we all need less stress and anxiety in our lives these days!

    As a Designer, one could suggest a dozen different ways to achieve the same, but if you’re looking for something that doesn’t involve a lot of time and resources – two things that we’re all trying to preserve in these unnatural times – well then, turn to nature….! 

    Indoor plants not only add esthetics to a space, they also make your home feel more cozy and welcoming. Additionally, they’re good for our mental and physical health. According to a NASA study report houseplants can reduce indoor air pollutants such as benzene and formaldehyde. Some plants can remove high concentrations of indoor air pollutants such as cigarette smoke, organic solvents, and possibly radon. Moreover, recent research shows that plants have the ability to boost mood and creativity, as well as reduce stress. However, how to decide which houseplants are worth the care and investment and which to stay away from. Read on….!

    Gone are the times when having an indoor garden while living in a small apartment was not a possibility. We are all have been familiar with a room that was either too dark, or too damp, or an overly dry environment that is not exactly a suitable plant habitat. These days, a wide array of plant species are available that have been known to thrive in the care of apartment dwellers time and time again.

    However, before you rush out the door or off to your computer to start checking off your own list of top 6 houseplants to help you de-stress, sit down in the room where they are going to go and take some mental notes. Notice the way daylight enters the room. Indoor plants that prefer bright light generally need south-facing windows, where the most concentrated light is available. East or west-facing windows are also fine and here is where you put plants that don’t need a lot of direct sunlight. if you don’t have windows or sufficient natural light, nevertheless you can still own houseplants. Just get an LED grow light!

    Many different types of plant lights are available, including floor lights and lights you can clip to an end table or bookshelf. The good news is that plenty of plants tolerate low light conditions. Also, if your pets are nibblers, buy non-toxic plants.  So without further ado, here is my list of the top 6 houseplants to help you de-stress.

    Dragon Trees or Dracaenas

    These are very easy to grow tall indoor plants. If you are a plant newbie or a very busy person, this is the plant for you. These plants enjoy moderate to low light conditions. Do not place in full sun as it will burn the leaves. 

    Dracaenas are drought tolerant, so you don’t have to water them very often. Overwatering is one of the main causes of death for the plant. Depending on how much light this plant receives, you can water it every two to three weeks. 

    Dragon Trees are sensitive to fluoride – which as it turns out, happens to be a form of industrial waste product that humas are sensitive to, as well – so when it comes to your plants, it is always best to water them with distilled water if your tap water has high fluoride levels. This plant is an excellent air purifier helping remove formaldehyde, xylene and trichloroethylene from the air.

    Areca Palms

    These are different from palms such as the Parlor Palm, so try not to confuse the two because the level of care for each is quite different than the other.  Areca Palms thrive in well bright areas but with indirect sunlight. The leaves will turn yellow if exposed to too much direct sun. These plants don’t do well in low light rooms either.

    This is not your plant if you are a casual gardener with nary a green thumb because this one does do not do okay if neglected. It needs to be watered often enough to keep the soil moist in between waterings. Do not let its soil dry through.

    These palms look great as indoor tall plants adding a slightly exotic slightly tropical wow factor to your space at their full height of 6 to 7 feet. However, because of that, these can be expensive to buy but since they grow relatively fast – roughly 6″ to 10″ per year – you can probably purchase a table top plant and let it grow. 

    Birds of Paradise

    Aka Strelitzias are comparably easy to grow and maintain among all the indoor tall plants. They grow fast and is a gorgeous plant to display – with leaves that unfold as they grow.  It is a surprisingly adaptable plant that grows well in low light and direct bright light conditions.

    Bird of Paradise thrive in moist soil conditions but make sure the soil is not too soggy. It is okay to water once a week from spring to fall then let the top dry out just a tad in winter before you water it again. It is better not to soak it in too much water.

    Having said that, since this is a tropical plant, it will enjoy regular misting to increase the level of humidity required for this one to thrive.

    The African Milk Tree

    This is a low maintenance indoor tall plant. The only thing this one needs to survive is bright light. This is your plant if you have full time work or babies – or both!!

    Watering should be limited to once a month indoors but keep in mind this plant will die if watered too much.

    This is an ideal indoor tall plant for people who do not have green thumbs, or has a busy life with very little time to care for plants.

    Philodendron

    These trendy plants are not just favored because of their photogenic look but because they’re pretty easy to maintain. Expect to see a new leaf weekly in the warmer season. Moreover, you can propagate them – split off a leaf with a node and re-pot or gift to a friend to grow in their own home.

    Large-leafed philodendron plants, including the monstera – which is the most photographed one of them all – need water every one to two weeks, allowing for the soil to dry out between waterings. This is your plant if your place doesn’t get direct sunlight. This one just needs a spot that receives bright to medium indirect light.

    Monstera was among the most effective at reducing air pollutants, like benzene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde, in the Nasa study.

    The Fiddle Leaf Fig

    Last but not the least, of all the 6 houseplants to help you de-stress, this is my personal favorite and at Tori Black Homes we use it often in clients’ homes – either in groups with other plants or singly. They blend in subtly with most modern and/or traditional décor without making your living room look tropical or majestic. These may be sold as small plants or as tall indoor plants. 

    While the smaller size plants are widely available for purchase, the tall trees are a bit harder to find and perhaps because of it’s recent popularity, tend to be more expensive than Palms, Birds of Paradise or other tall plants.

    Fiddle Leaf Figs are easy to grow and care for but it works better if you find the perfect spot for it in your home and get the hang of the watering schedule. These plants need a lot of bright light so put it near a south-facing window and let it catch the morning light. Water it once a week.

    Place your plants in a cluster to highlight a corner of your living room room or place one graceful tall plant in a pot or basket strategically placed near a large window. Decorate with a raffia coffee table or an indoor swing if you are going for the Boho Chic look.  Alternately, furnish the room with a deep cushioned velvet sofa and camel leather armchair with hints of aged brass if you want a glam Hollywood Regency look. Or instead, add one single tall plant to a room with streamlined Scandinavian furniture, linen or burlap curtains and soft fluffy cotton pillows for a minimal Modern European look.

    If you would like to learn about growing edible plants such as salad greens, cherry tomatoes, and microgreens in your indoor kitchen and herb garden, see my tips on How to Create an Indoor Edible Winter Garden.

    Happy decorating….and healthy eating!  

    Photo credits – Scandinavian sofa and plant image courtesy Toris Design Box – 7 Paths to Serenity in Your Home. Dragon Tree in window image courtesy – Trees.com. Bohemian bedroom with Palm image courtesy – My Domain. Blue dining room with pair of giant Birds of Paradise and African Milk Tree images courtesy – Balcony Garden Web. Living room with black & white striped rug and Fiddle Leaf Fig image courtesy – Decor Aid. Music Room with Eames chair photo credit Tori Black Homes.

    Category
    Garden
    Discussion
    Share on

    You Have The Best Home Office On The Block…!

    Best Home Office - Bedroom office

    Here’s to the best-looking and the most high-functioning home office on the block…yours!! Armed with this handy checklist, now you can. Furthermore, with American office workers forced to self-isolate and work from home – whether it be a spare room – or a spare corner – there’s never been quite such a demand for home office furniture and equipment.

    Firstly, let’s face it, before this, shopping for a home office would never really have us thrilled to bits, because generally speaking, office furniture – such as an office desk or a chair – does not score very high on looks. So also, the left and right brains are at odds like no other time. The left brain wants a home office that functions like the Oval Office and is high on comfort – albeit sometimes at the cost of looks. Conversely, the right brain sometimes yearns for a drop-dead gorgeous Instagram-worthy desk and chair – functionality and comfort be damned!

    Nevertheless, the good news is that Home Office furniture has come a long way finally having turned the bend. Consequently, we no longer have to compromise – or denounce comfort while going for good looks for the home office. Besides, neither wants to give up an arm and a leg to get there. Now, not only can both brains settle on a happy middle ground between looks and comfort, but also do so without paying astronimically high prices.

    Here are 6 of the best home office must-haves. The best home office on the block must do all of the above two things – look good, make you feel comfortable, and work hard – so you don’t have to – without getting you down in the dumps. In fact, four things, to be precise. I stand corrected.

    (1) Comfy Chair

    First things first. Let your home office chair be the most comfortable chair in the house. When you are the boss, you can do that.

    If you like modern furniture and are thrilled with Industrial style – this rough and ready office with a wireframe Bertoia reproduction chair is for you. As one of many seats designed by Harry Bertoia in 1952, the Diamond Chair made from filigree steel wire mesh,  is perhaps the most favored by manufacturers of modern furniture and is equal parts refined and edgy.

    On the other hand, if you are a worshipper of all things traditional – do it in style with an office wrapped in leather and gold, and marble. Dig around for sources to make the home office look like a million bucks – without spending a million – or even a fraction of it. Therein lies the trick.

    (2) Large desk –

    Buy the largest desk that your space can accommodate. Functionality means being able to spread out – there should be room on your desk for all your necessary doodads such as notepads, mail, to-do lists, a large enough computer monitor or two – for designers – and plenty of storage space close at hand. This office from scores big on that requirement.

    For instance, the above homeowner – or their Designer – could have chosen a smaller size desk and centered it along the back wall. However, they chose to go with an oversized desk that fills up the entire space – thereby providing plenty of space for working as well as making a bold design statement in the bargain.

    (3) Storage, storage, and more storage –

    These are the three buzz words of a high-functioning home office. There must be a place for everything and everything in its place. Organization is the key to winning the contest for the The Best Home Office On The Block

    The best-looking and most high-functioning home office

    If you are a neat freak – like yours truly – go for open shelving. Use some quirky storage ideas for all your books and things.

    The best-looking and most high-functioning home office

    If you prefer not to have open storage, invest in a cabinet that works as hard as you do to keep clutter out of eyesight and off your mind so you can focus on what’s more important.

    (4) Doors –

    Anybody who has had a zoom meeting interrupted by children, parents, and or dogs and cats will appreciate the need for doors to your home office. Shut those doors and you are the lord – or lady – of your own castle for 8 hours every day.

    (4) Good Lighting –

    Both ambient and task lighting is a must for a high-functioning home office. Light is a necessary ingredient for long hours of work. Think Task lighting that does not cause eye strain. In order for that, the light source must ideally be above your eye-line with ambient lighting behind. Ambient light is an important ingredient for robust mental health.

    If the room has large windows that receive adequate daylight during the day one trick is to push your desk closer to a window and then arrange the rest of the furniture around the desk as a hub – with the desk in the center of this hub.

    How does one create a hub off to one side of a room you ask? Here’s where your skills – or those of your designer – with creating a floor plan comes in handy.  Just remember to proceed methodically and take good measurements – it’s that easy!

    The best-looking and most high-functioning home office
    (5) A Floor Plan –

    A functional furniture layout with open traffic pathways is crucial to a well-designed space since it helps to de-stress other than promoting harmony and mental well-being. One of the most important steps to create the best home office on the block is to measure the space carefully – especially if you have a tight space. The floor plan must be drawn to scale. This is the design equivalent of measuring twice and cutting once. This step takes some time. However, It saves a ton of time and resources by helping to avoid costly mistakes later on – or worse – after the fact.

    This is the last piece of the puzzle that a lot of home office users forget or forego. Therefore, it results in a home office that makes you tired and lethargic or anxious and edgy – both obstacles to a high-functioning office.

    (6) Personalize –

    Finally, set up your office with accessories and decor items that are meaningful to you. Items that spark pleasant memories. Items that make you feel calm. If you and your office speak the same language – it will feel less of a drag when you are cooped up – and your workday will pass quickly.

    Resource Guide – Office under the stairs and Attic Home Office pics courtesy bobvilla.com

    Comfy Chair – pic courtesy homedesigning.com

    Desk – Pic of gray oversized desk courtesy Parisdesignagenda.com. Photo of Modern white laminate desk courtesy westelmworkspace.com

    Storage – Pic of modern open shelving storage courtesy homedesigning.com. Closed Storage cabinets in Office pic courtesy architecturaldigest.com

    Doors – Chocolate Brown office with pocket doors courtesy – lofty.com

    Lighting – Pic of Window office with guitar – courtesy houzz.com. Desk next to window office with yellow credenza pic – courtesy Architectural Digest

    Floor Plan – Pic of Floor Plan courtesy www.toriblackhomes.com

    Personalized Office – Orange chair and accessories photo courtesy https://www.torisdesignbox.com/7-pathways-to-serenity-in-your-home. Office desk styling with flowers – pic courtesy designbolts.com

    Category
    Home
    Discussion
    Share on

    How To Steal a Paris Apartment

    ….In 8 Easy Steps

    Before we get started on how to steal a Paris Apartment look for your own home, one thing to keep in mind is that most Parisian apartments start with more than we can hope for in a standard American apartment building – quite a bit more. Most American apartments start with a white box, whereas Parisian apartments already have great bones. Herringbone parquet floors and double windows down to the floor – with French doors –  that let in lots of light. Some apartments also have what is know as Trumeau. These are old original mirrors above the fireplace which are found in French châteaux as well as apartments.

    So that means we need to pay attention not only to what you put into your room but also what the frame of your room looks like.

    1) Walls

    ….In a Paris apartment – or home – are never plain. If you are in an apartment where you are allowed to re-paint, go for a layered look with a subtle tonal textured paint on the walls. However, avoid the sponge-painted look of the seventies as that may end up looking inauthentic and not Parisian.  If you are an expert – try rag glazing. On the other hand, if you are like most of my clients who are not – read on.

    For this, you will need:
    • Two 1/2 gallon cans of paint in two colors
    • A one-gallon paint can – empty
    • Paint thinner
    • Roller
    • Brush
    • Painter’s tape
    • Dropcloth
    • Step ladder if needed
    • Latex gloves

    Buy water-based or latex paint – not oil-based – in two very similar – as in next to each other on the paint deck – shades.  Get half a gallon of each – most standard-sized rooms need 1 gallon of paint.  I like the look of a flat finish so I would use flat finish for this.  Open the can of paint that is a slightly darker color – darker than the other. Using a roller – paint your walls covering them well.  Allow to dry.  Next, open the can of paint in a lighter color. Thin this down with paint thinner in a half and half ratio – half paint and half thinner.  Using a brush, paint over the wall using vertical and horizontal strokes. Do not worry about total coverage and do not worry about brush strokes. Let dry. Cover the entire wall with a top coat of clear acrylic – to make the walls somewhat consistent making it more resistant to smudges and fingerprints. Especially if there are young ones around. This particular paint treatment will give you a bold layered look. That is one way to steal a Paris Apartment style for your own home

    Milk Paint or Chalk paint produces a more subtly textured wall. Both paints give amazing rich and complex paint finishes. It comes in powder form and only needs to be mixed in with water so you can monitor how thick or thin you want the mix to be. Thinner coats produce the best results. Chalk paint finishes are thicker and more consistent, whereas milk paint is often less predictable. Milk paint ages beautifully, looking more polished with different levels of sheen.

    I like Milk Paint because there are no fumes during use, and is safe enough to go down the kitchen sink. If you want to learn more about using Milk Paint and all it’s advantages – I am going to do a tutorial on it soon, so stay tuned. For now, just know that mixed milk paint goes bad quickly so use it on the day it is mixed, or leave it overnight in the refrigerator and use it the following day. Milk paint soaks into the surface instead of forming a coat as regular latex wall paint does. If you have trouble with the paint not adhering to your previously painted walls, get a bonding agent like Milk Paint Ultra Bond for non-porous surfaces. 

    Hemp oil is a great top coat for milk paint. The oil gives your walls a darker, rich color and luster.  Top coats are optional but they protect paint from moisture and wear and are best for bathroom and kitchens.

    Chalk paint can also be mixed to create custom colors. You can uses Annie Sloan, or Websters Chalk Paint. Similar to Milk Paint you can apply this paint with a brush or roller. Brush strokes crate interest and add texture. Chalk paint distresses well.

    If you are doing a large room, the price of store-bought chalk paint like Annie Sloan may be prohibitive. However, you can follow my recipe below to create our own home-made substitute for great results.

    Home-made Chalk Paint Recipe:
    • One Cup Latex Paint (flat)
    • A 1/4 Cup Calcium Carbonate
    • An eight of a Cup Water  

    Depending on the size of your room, a gallon of paint could be more than enough. Do not worry about getting every lump out of your mixture, because that is what will give you the streaky look of a Haussman interior – that is my tip number one on how to steal a Paris Apartment style. Annie Sloan has tutorials on Chalk Paint but you do not need them for what we are trying to get done.

    If you’re really in the mood for that one-of-a-kind dreamy finish for the walls in your home (time and budget permitting), opt for a lime wash. That is the real thing, but that is a story for another day.

    If glazing or lime washing your walls like a Parisian is a no-no – you can think about adding statement-making wainscoting. For a modern take on the wainscoting concept, you can paint one wall of the room in a contrasting color from the rest of the room. Then install a grid pattern batten molding from baseboard to ceiling. It should be painted the same color as the wall where it is going. This is a nice way to create a feature wall – and one of my top tips on how to steal a Paris Apartment. Alternately, you can have batten or wainscoting only half-way up the walls from the baseboard to a chair rail going all around the room. Batten must be the color of the wall. Wainscoting looks best painted white.

    However, avoid shiplap – as that will not give you a Parisian or European look.  If you are in a home of your own and time and budget allow a remodel, spring for a wider baseboard. Most spec home builders go for the skinniest stock baseboards to avoid ramping up the cost of your home. So if and when you have a chance to add value to your home – as a Designer, one would suggest, go for it,

    2) Flooring

    ….Of original herringbone Parquet floors found in most Parisian apartments – cannot be found in most American homes and never in American apartments. However, the look can be substituted with wide plank engineered wood floors, to achieve a similar result. Having said that, if you bought a home and have the time and resources for a new floor, that is awesome. If not, most American landlords will perhaps not give permission to re-do their apartment floor. Nevertheless, we have a fix.

    The next thing would be to find out from the landlord if he might allow us to put down stick-on adhesive decorative tiles. Tiles that appropriate the look of French Limestone and slate tiled rooms. Octagon white tiles with smaller corner “cabochon” black tiles in between. That is what all the best Parisian foyers are wearing. Add a black border all around the edge of the room and viola…you’re there….!

    Lowes has a peel and stick parquet-look floor as well as Peel and stick versions of tiled limestone and marble floors. You can either go crazy, or restrained, according to your taste and sale. And that is one more way to steal a Paris Apartment. Peel and stick tiles adhere to most vinyl concrete and wood floors. Check the retailer/manufacturer’s instructions. 

    3) Crown molding

    …is a decorative element used for capping cabinets, columns, and, most often, interior walls at the point where the wall meets the ceiling. Often, crown molding is created of wood, but in recent years, plastic and foam options have become more readily available. MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) versions are popular as well.  The latter are more flexible, they paint nicer and they react better to fluctuations in temperature.

    Usually, apartments and some newer homes come with a standard 2 ¼-inch casing around windows and doors and a 3 ½-inch baseboard which runs along the bottom of walls and no crown molding.

    A modern selection of crown moldings currently available to consumers make it easier than ever to take a room from blah to beautiful. There’s an immediate impact that crown molding brings to a room. For homeowners, it adds value to the home – which is a selling feature. If there are two identical houses next to each other and one has crown molding and the other one doesn’t, the home with the crown molding will be worth more.

    Crown molding in both traditional and modern styles are available. Prices for moldings are reasonable and installation time is minimal. A seasoned DIYer should not have a problem installing their own crown moldings using a miter saw. If not, you can always go to Angie’s List and get a guy. 

    4) Curtains

    ….in Parisian apartments are opulent – both the material and yardage. To get the same look in your home, make sure you measure the windows. When ordering fabric yardage make sure it covers two and a half to three times the width of the window. Also make sure the curtain rod is wider than the window opening. There needs to be space to the left and right of the window opening to stack the curtains when they are open so as to let in light. This is the right way to get that true Parisian feel.

    In a room with regular height ceilings, the curtains must hang close to the ceiling – 2-4 inches from crown molding if you have it. Measure to the floor then deduct 1 inch to make sure your curtains wont drag each time you open and close them. If you want your curtains to puddle on the floor in true Parisian style, add 3 to 4 inches to the length. Make a simple diagram of your window and write down inches right and inches left. Measure the window – with trim – and note this number. Next, measure the inches above the window and inches below your window – skip the latter when measuring for French doors or patio doors. Now you are ready to order a window covering that shows off your sense of style – and establishes you as the new master on the subject of how to steal a Paris Apartment…!

    5) All that glitters

     ….isn’t always gold but it does always spell Parisian glamour ….and a little je ne sais quoi. A touch of gold makes the room glisten in the evening light when entertaining with friends and lifts your spirits on quiet nights while enjoying a glass of Prosecco as you mull your next move on how to steal a Paris Apartment.

    6) Antiques

    …especially one or two carefully chosen ones are a Parisian apartment must haves. Traditional antiques in the form of vintage accessory items or place settings, in a modern interior. Alternately have modern antiques such as a pair of chairs, an iconic sofa or a single case-good item or an accessory piece in an otherwise traditional setting. The trick is to mix in the old with the new or vice versa. A few vintage pieces add another layer to your re-created Paris flat.

    The trick is to make your antiques look as though they were in the family for centuries instead of being staged. The most important lesson on how to steal a Paris Apartment would be to shop for antique items that are functional and then use them everyday.

    7) Art

    ….is an important part of the Paris apartment decor. Parisians tend not to shy away from color. Think big bold pops – especially if your walls are neutral tones. Plan out color, size and theme. When it comes to size – here’s where you won’t go wrong with up-sizing.

    As for theme – this is where you get to infuse your own personality. Choose art that aligns with your hobbies, your travels your favorite color.  Trust your gut and trust your taste.  Avoid family portraits or your wedding photos on the walls of your living room or family room – those do have a valuable place in your home – elsewhere.

    Avoid generic prints that are this season’s favorites on Pinterest. When choosing a color – remember to mix but you do not necessarily have to match.  Shop for unique pieces with personality in eye-catching frames.

    8) Chandeliers

    ….are a homeowner’s – or renter’s – best friend. Statement chandeliers are a great idea when you feel you only have the strength to go for a big impact piece and call it a day. Shop for chandeliers that work with your style – whether it’s a traditional French number dripping with crystal,

    …..or a modern chandelier – unique and distinctive. Sometimes a single stylish ceiling pendant can spell the difference between a half- finished room and a well-designed one. If you chose the right one it can say a lot about your style by not saying too much. And that is how to steal a Paris Apartment. You can also check out some of my favorite recipes here. Let me know how they turn out. I love hearing from you guys. As always, if you have any questions about my E-design packages (the basic e-design package is currently 40% OFF during the pandemic) or want to chat about anything else design, you can always contact me at toriblackhomes.com

    Photos courtesy : 

    Walls – Paris apartment living room with sofa and black leather chair – from Curbed.com – photo courtesy https://archive.curbed.com/2017/12/13/16772948/paris-apartment-renovation-diego-delgado-elias Living Room with lime washed grey and white color-blocked walls from dwell.com -– photo courtesy https://www.dwell.com/home/drab-lancaster-city-row-home-gets-a-pear-colored-facelift-b1c4fdab/6511315640289697792 Dining Room with woodland mural from – Architecturaldigest.com – photo courtesy https://www.architecturaldigest.com/gallery/parisian-apartment-french-decorating-ideas Lime washed gray bedroom walls – Photo courtesy Emily Henderson – https://stylebyemilyhenderson.com/blog/limewash-paint-mountain-house-ask-the-audience White dining room from Curbed.com – photo courtesy https://archive.curbed.com/2017/12/13/16772948/paris-apartment-renovation-diego-delgado-elias Photo of Board and Batten wall courtesy Pinterest. Living Room with mustard yellow sofa photo courtesy Living Room with mustard yellow sofa from Apartmenttherapy.com – photo Courtesy https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/minimal-and-modern-decor-apartment-photos-266003

    Flooring – Paris Interior with parquet flooring from onekingslane.com – photo courtesy https://www.onekingslane.com/p/4722965-tufa-wall-mirror-gold.do Photo of black and white marble floor at YSL new Headquarters courtesy of wsj.comhttps://www.wsj.com/articles/exclusive-step-inside-ysls-new-parisian-headquarters-11550238900 Peel & Stick tile flooring photo courtesy lowes.comhttps://www.lowes.com/pd/Achim-Retro-20-Piece-12-in-x-12-in-Geometric-Peel-and-stick-Stone-look-Commercial-Residential-Vinyl-Tile/1001824298

    Crown Molding – Courtesy homedit.com  – https://www.homedit.com/paris-themed-room/ Crown Molding – Photo courtesy decoholic.comhttps://decoholic.org/gorgeous-modern-french-interiors-40-pics/?subscribe=success#507 Living room with fuchsia sofas and crown molding from 1stdibs.com – Photo courtesy –https://www.1stdibs.com/blogs/the-study/parisian-apartments/

    Curtains – Blue curtains photo courtesy – houseandhome.comhttps://houseandhome.com/gallery/hilary-swank-paris-apartment/attachment/2-hillary-swank-paris-apartment-living-room-blue-sofa/ Orange curtains from 1stdibs.com – photo courtesy – https://www.1stdibs.com/blogs/the-study/parisian-apartments/

    All that Glitters – Photo courtesy thecuratedinterior.com

    Antiques – Antique copper cookware Photo courtesy https://kasha.paris/architecture/the-collectors-eye/ Tulip chairs and gramophone photo courtesy decordemon.comhttps://decordemon.blogspot.com/2014/01/apartment-in-marais-paris.html

    Art – Living room with oversized art photo courtesy Decordemon – https://decordemon.blogspot.com/2014/07/muriel-reuss-eclectic-apartment-in-paris.html

    Chandelier – Traditional crystal chandelier from homedit.com – photo courtesy https://www.homedit.com/paris-themed-room/ Art Deco chandelier – photo of Jonathan Adler Nixon cocktail table courtesy jonathanadler.com

    Category
    Home
    Discussion
    Share on

    3 Easy Breezy Fall Salad Recipes

    Easy breezy fall salads
    3 Easy Breezy Salad recipes

    Here in southern California, although we do not have much of a season change. Even so, we can tell Fall is in the air when the days begin to get a little shorter as evening temperatures start to dip a little. While Autumn may be around the corner, we nonetheless want to hold on to the final days of summer with these 3 Easy Breezy Salad Recipes. Perfect for when you want to rustle up a hearty combination of the freshest greens from the crisper bin of your fridge to prepare a large bowl of cold salad for brunch.

    Arugula Avocado and Smoked Salmon Salad with Ginger Dressing Recipe

    A favorite brunch menu of mine is lox on toast. Likewise, another favorite is avocado on toast but with sliced avocadoes instead of the spread. Consequently, one decided it was time to combine both brunch preferences with one’s favorite salad green Arugula to create a main meal salad that is not only healthy but also equal parts yummy. I love arugula because it has a slightly peppery flavor which adds a zing. In addition to that, the Asian Ginger dressing adds an unexpected twist thus making it exciting.

    3 Easy Breezy Salad recipes- Arugula Smoked Salmon and Avocado salad

    Both Lox and avocado have mild – not strong – flavors. Even though ginger dressing is not a traditional choice likely to be paired with lox, I like it this way because it makes an otherwise predictable meal such as a main dish salad, more exciting. FYI the first time I was served this salad was with a champagne vinaigrette dressing. You can try that as well.

    SALAD INGREDIENTS:

    Fresh Baby Arugula – 4 cups or I bag
    Microgreens (you can use any microgreens like Kale) or watercress – I cup
    Smoked Salmon – (look for wild Alaskan smoked salmon) *see note
    Avocados
    Red Onions
    *Most smoked salmon packages come pre-sliced. Buy fresh and get good quality salmon.

    INSTRUCTIONS:

    Tear the smoked salmon into bite-sized chunks
    Chop microgreens
    Slice avocados
    Cut the red onion in half then slice lengthwise into thin slices

    Blog-Lox_on_Bagel

    Easy Breezy Recipe for Ginger Salad dressing:
    DRESSING INGREDIENTS –

    1 cup sweet onion, such as Vidalia, chopped
    4 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
    ¼ cup celery, chopped
    ½ cup carrots, chopped
    1 teaspoon fresh garlic minced – (I use from the jar)
    2/3 cup rice vinegar
    ¼ cup water
    2 tablespoons ketchup
    2 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
    1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
    ½ teaspoon kosher salt
    ¼ teaspoon pepper

    ASIAN GINGER-DRESSING

    INSTRUCTIONS

    In a food processor place the onion, grated ginger, celery, carrots and garlic and puree until the vegetables are fine and grainy but not pureed.

    Next, add the vinegar, water, ketchup, soy sauce, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Then pulse a few times to mix the ingredients.

    The mixture should be well-blended but a bit grainy and not totally pureed. Yield: 3 cups. Pour into a container such as a glass jar with a lid or a bottle. Refrigerate leftovers.

    Firstly add all the salad ingredients in a bowl. Then drizzle the dressing on top, when you are ready to eat. Toss salad at the table, right before serving. Additionally, you can serve the dressing in a gravy boat or glass jar for those who want to add more dressing to their individual plate or bowl.

    Couscous Salad with Chickpeas Cherry Tomatoes & Feta Cheese Recipe

    SALAD INGREDIENTS :

    1 cup uncooked whole-wheat couscous
    1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper,
    1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 cup boiling water
    3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
    Dash of sugar
    1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
    1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
    Pinch of paprika
    1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
    8-10 cherry tomatoes, halved
    3/4 cup (3 ounces) crumbled feta cheese

    3 Easy Breezy Salad recipes-Cous Cous cherry tomatoes and chickpea salad

    INSTRUCTIONS:

    Rinse and drain the Chickpeas in a colander
    Place couscous along with 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cinnamon in a bowl.
    Stir in boiling water.
    Cover and let stand 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
    Combine oil then lemon juice, garlic, and sugar in a bowl.
    Add oil mixture to Cous Cous.
    Now add remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, mint.
    Next, add green onions, paprika, chickpeas and cherry tomatoes
    Sprinkle with cheese on top.

    Toss at the table, right before serving. This is perhaps the easiest one of all the 3 Easy Breezy Fall Salad recipes because its quickest.

    Fiery Chicken Salad with Yogurt Dressing

    SALAD INGREDIENTS

    Fiery Chicken Wings – from the deli counter at your grocery store – I get mine at Ralphs.
    8 cups chopped lettuce
    One 1/2 sliced cucumber
    1/4 cup roasted cashews
    1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
    1/4 cup chopped cilantro

    INSTRUCTIONS

    Toast the cashews on a roasting pan or baking sheet until crisp.
    While that is getting done, use your fingers to pick the chicken from the bone and set aside. FYI I tried to save this step in the past by substituting with variations such as cooked boneless fajita chicken strips, but it tasted vastly different. It did save time but it turned out to be not as yummy. The flavor of the chicken is what makes it a hit in my family.
    Next, chop the lettuce.
    Slice the red onions in half, then lengthwise into thin slices.
    Peel the cucumbers but in alternate strips not fully. Halve them lengthwise then roughly scrape out the seeds. Next, slice the cucumber into half rings.
    In a large bowl or serving platter, place a bed of lettuce. Then add chicken, cucumbers, onions. Sprinkle with toasted cashews and chopped cilantro.

    3 Easy Breezy Salad recipes-Tandoori chicken salad

    Easy Breezy Recipe for Yogurt Dressing :
    DRESSING INGREDIENTS

    1/2 cup greek yogurt
    1/4 cup mayonnaise
    3 to 5 tablespoons water
    1/4 cup finely chopped mint
    2 teaspoons lime juice
    1 clove garlic, grated
    1/4 teaspoon salt or as required

    INSTRUCTIONS

    Mix together all salad dressing ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to serve time. Add water if needed, to get the desired consistency. Drizzle dressing on top of the salad immediately before serving.
    Bon Apetit!

    Let me know if you try out any of my 3 Easy Breezy Salad Recipes or previous recipes that you can find here and as always it is a pleasure to hear from you guys as to how it turned out.

    Credits: Arugula Smoked Salmon & Avocado Salad pic courtesy https://downshiftology.com/ Lox pic courtesy https://en.wikipedia.org/ Asian Ginger Dressing pic courtesy https://cooking.nytimes.com/ Fiery Chicken Salad pic courtesy https://www.bhg.com.au/

    Category
    Food
    Discussion
    Share on

    10 Hallmarks of Maximalist Design

    More is more…and MORE is in…!! If the words Maximalist Design conjures up visions of over-the-top, stuffy rooms cluttered with tchotchkes and keepsakes gathered over the years, then you are in for a pleasant surprise. This is not your grandmother’s maximalism….!

    I have put together 10 easy tips on how to create a joyous oasis of maximalist luxury in your home, without it looking cluttered or busy. Maximalism is not so much a style as it is an escape from a world and culture that at times seems bleak and boring since it was born out of a reaction to the minimalist movement.

    A Maximalist space can be in any period, style, or trend. It can be applied to a small room, making it look like a luxurious little jewel box or a large room where it makes a statement. The basic elements of a maximalist home are pretty much the polar opposite of a minimalist interior. The minimalist preference for white walls and quiet color palettes are a no-no for maximalism. The bolder, brighter, and more color-splashed it is, the better.

    In the words of Jonathan Adler, “minimalism is a bummer. When you’re about to kick the bucket, you don’t want to look back and see an endless haze of beige.” I have worshipped at the altar of both. I have lived through my minimalist period and celebrated my unabashedly maximalist phase and reveled in the joy of each, at different phases of my life. Here are some quick tips on how to create a maximalist oasis. Let your soul spread its wings and have its own maximalist moment.

    COLORS – Take a look in your wardrobe for cues on what colors make you happy. Painting your walls the same color as your favourite skirt or summer jacket or pantsuit will make you feel empowered and confident working in this Home Office and walking through that stylish Indigo hued Art Deco style Hallway, every day. Against this rich backdrop, the white and occasional black of the furniture in the foreground is what makes the walls pop but yet does not overpower the room.

    LAYERS – This is a little tricky to pull off – but not if you follow the simple rule that I have followed a hundred times with clients and am sharing with you now. Select an item of clothing in a bold color from your closet. At the paint shop, match the color of the wardrobe item to a shade on the paint deck (or what’s closes to it) and note down the name. Now, on the same paint chip go to a shade that is 1 or 2 or 3 steps up or down from your original selection to start building your color scheme. Note down the names of each shade. These will be the colors for your wall paint and the dominant color for wallpaper, rug, sofa, and curtains but, remember not to stick to solids. For instance, layer a solid color sofa on a self-patterned rug and curtains in bold patterns against the backdrop of small-patterned wallpaper on one wall or two. This will give you a wonderfully layered look that is luxurious and comforting at the same time, like this Traditional style green-on-green Drawing Room, steeped in eye-catching opulence.

    DRAMA – Add red in measured doses and you can never go wrong. However, an entire bedroom with red-painted walls may not be the ultimate relaxing space. In the bedroom below, the bold red Art Deco style headboard against the dark blue walls are softened by a lavender lamp shade. Clever blending of all the different colors together stirs in excitement into the space without making one feel anxious or irritating. Bear in mind, lavender is red and blue mixed together but in inequal ratios. As I always say, it’s all in the details.

    BOLD CONTRASTS – To create this effect, pull colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel in a split-complementary or tetradic color scheme. The blue, watermelon, orange, green, pale yellow, and brown contrast with as well as complement each other well in the living room below. As do the patterns (stripes with large scale prints) and textures (plush with shiny finishes), to create a sophisticated, eclectic interior space that you will not easily tire of, no matter how long the stay-at-home lockdown lasts.

    LARGE SCALE – The oversized scale of the artwork, the floor to ceiling bookshelves and the plush overstuffed sofas against the floor to ceiling window coverings in the room below, joyfully plays up the maximalism in this Eclectic style home.

    PATTERN PLAY – The prints on the wallpaper, the fabric canopy, the bedspread complement each other and work well in this pattern-on-pattern blush themed English Country style bedroom below. By varying the scale of the prints on the furnishings, as well as by contrasting dark and light wood finishes, It feels calming and serene despite the use of multiple patterns.

    GLAMMED UP – Walls clad in luxe wallpaper and velvet-upholstered chairs with brushed nickel finish detail gathered around the burnished wood dining table with a rich, dark sheen topped with a stylish chandelier, ups the glam factor of this Modern style maximalist dining room below.

    BLACK IS A BEAUTIFUL BACKDROP – A rich glossy black finish instantly dresses up this jewel-like kitched with mirrored backsplash – like wearing a string of black pearls paired with a white silk blouse to a posh but fun gala.

    ANIMAL PRINTS IN SMALL DOSES – Animal prints are a great way to add pattern and instant glamour to a space – but in small doses, such as an ottoman, a pillow cushion or…. if you dare…an area rug.

    A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING AND EVERYTHING IN IT’S PLACE – Maximalism is not about rooms packed wall to wall with furniture and accessories. Rather, it is about curated collections carefully edited with a keen eye and a disciplined approach. The Transitional style Family Room showcases the homeowners’ collected treasures from travels around the world separately on the built-in bookshelves and in an antique chinoiserie armoire so it still manages to look neat and orderly by following the rule of – a place for everything and everything in its place.

    Photo credits – Maximalist Interior photo courtesy Daunenspiel. Jonathan Adler flagship store NYC photo courtesy Jonathan Adler. COLORS – Electric Blue Home Office and Art Deco style Hallway photo courtesy 1st Dibs, design by Sasha Bikoff. LAYERS – Green-on-green layered Traditional style Drawing Room photo courtesy One Kings Lane. DRAMA – Hollywood Regency style Red headboard in bedroom photo courtesy Chairish. BOLD CONTRAST – Blue, orange, brown and pale yellow Mid-Century Living Room photo courtesy Architectural Digest. LARGE SCALE – Eclectic Living room with oversized artwork photo courtesy Architectural Digest. PATTERN PLAY – English Country Cottage style blush bedroom photo courtesy Country Life magazine. GLAMMED UP – Dining Room photo courtesy Ellie Koleen photography, Design by Erin Melkonian Designs, Light fixture courtesy Corbett Lighting. BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL – Bathroom photo courtesy The Tile Shop blog. ANIMAL PRINTS – Leopard Print rug in Mid-Century style bedroom photo courtesy Chairish. A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING – Transitional Style Family room photo courtesy Tori Black Homes Interior Design.

    Category
    Home
    Discussion
    Share on

    Summer’s Top 5 Color Trends in Fashion & Home

    According to Pantone, the color experts, the hot new colors this summer range from Grape Compote, a muted purple tint – to Flame Scarlet, which is perhaps the brightest, boldest shade of fiery red, just like the name sounds.

    In between these two extremes, is dovetailed, the easier to live with shades of Denim Blue, Coral Pink and White White, all of which have remained ever popular summer go-to shades for Fashion as well as Home Decor through the years.

    As you work these trending colors into your everyday outfits this summer, here’s a cheat sheet on how to mix and match like a Pantone expert creating color-schemes tying together walls floor, furniture and accessories for each room in your home using this year’s trendiest tints.

    PURPLE – This year’s purple is a yummy hue called Grape Compote which when cleverly paired, will look as dreamy on you, as it will in your home.

    The trick is here to pick the exact Pantone prescribed shade on the paint deck or color wheel and then go upwards and outwards when selecting the paint for the walls or upholstery fabric or curtains.

    WHITE – Easy breezy white is a perennial summer favorite of one all. What’s not to love about a summery white dress in soft gauzy cotton?

    To make a white on white room look easy-going and refreshing instead of bland and inconsequential, add a dash of texture and mix in a subtle pattern in a complementary hue or make a bold choice with contrasting black wood and metal finishes.

    CORAL PINK – When wearing pink be specific as to the exact shade – because all pinks are not created equal. Pink must always be worn in tandem with either a stronger color – for dramatic effect – or with a softer color for subtlety. Keep accessories to a minimum because less is more.

    Coral Pink is a beautifully soothing but tricky color to decorate with. It can end up looking too washed out and wimpy or too intense and fake looking. The trick is to let nature be the inspiration when choosing pink. Pick the variations of pink that are found in nature and you won’t go wrong.

    DENIM BLUE – Nothing says summer more than blue denim – be it dark stonewashed indigo- blue or a soft faded chambray blue.

    ….and nothing conveys summer decor better than baby blue walls and washed blue fabric upholstered furniture.

    SCARLET – It is the perfect choice for a statement-making summer dress. Alternately, pair a red-striped white top with a fun pair of red shoes. This is one of those times when you do not want to match the shoes with the bag.

    A bold red-walled room makes a unique statement. One that visitors and guests to your home will be hard put to forget and dying to re-create. The trick is if you’re going to go red, go bold and don’t drop the ball. Adding an equally bold contrasting color in the same tone will make it work. Another refreshing alternative is to bring in white to contrast with and play off the red in a fun, energizing combination which is at the same time very livable.

    Image credits: Purple Top courtesy Zara, White Dress courtesy Venus, White on white Living Room courtesy House Beautiful, Pink Pants courtesy Express, Coral Pink Bedroom courtesy Verandah, Blue Chambray Summer Dress courtesy Farfetch, Blue Bedroom courtesy Verandah, Red Dining Room with high gloss walls Courtesy Elle Decor,

    Category
    Fashion, Home
    Discussion
    Share on

    How To Make Your Home Feel Like A Luxury Hotel

    Isolating at home in this time of Coronavirus has gotten some of us fighting cabin fever by now. Having said that, considering oneself to be among the lucky ones for not showing symptoms of anything worse than that, I decided to stay put for a bit longer and instead, make a list of the ways we can make the home feel like a luxury hotel – and make the forced isolation feel just a teeny bit, like a holiday in one of those exotic locations far far away, that is on our bucket-list.

    SOFT SHEETS – THESE DAYS MORNINGS ARE FOR LOUNGING IN BED as we remind ourselves of the well-known fact that worry has no outcome and the other well-known fact that we spend 1/3 of our lives in bed, replacing your bedsheets is the easiest, and most cost-effective way to upgrade your bed to a hotel bed. However, 800 thread count sheets – the kind you sleep on at the best luxury hotels, can be pricey! So catch a sale this summer and wake up with a smile in your home-hotel room, feeling like a million dollars.

    NOTE – while a higher thread count sheet stands for better quality, it’s the thread or fiber quality that matters most. A sheet of a better-quality fiber with a lower thread count will often feel softer and stand up to washing better than a sheet made from a lower-quality fiber with a higher thread count. Make sense?

    BLACK-OUT CURTAINS. It’s no fun if your bedroom windows are so bare that the very first rays of the sun hit you straight in the eye even as you are trying to decode that happy early morning dream as you wake up. If you wouldn’t pay for a hotel room that robs you of precious sleep, why put up with it at home? Am I right?

    OH SO FLUFFY TOWELS!! FOR A HEAD-TO-TOE PAMPERED FEELING. Shopping for towels is best done by feeling and touching but when that does not seem possible in the short run – let’s talk about something called a ‘gram count’. The density of a bath towel is measured in grams per square meter (GSM). This number varies between 300-900. A 300-400 gram towel is thinner and lighter and is quick-drying – so this is best suited for a gym towel or a kitchen towel. A 400-600 GSM is a medium weight towel – that works great as a beach towel or an everyday bath towel. A 600-900 GSM is dense and absorbent, making it score high on the “fluff” scale but it requires a bit more drying time. Be sure to pick one that strikes a good balance between thick and absorbent, yet light enough to be quick-drying.

    Egyptian and Turkish towels – Everyday towels are often made of standard cotton. Choose Turkish cotton if you prefer a thick, luxurious feel. They also become softer and fluffier with every wash. To keep your towels soft and fluffy, avoid using fabric softeners when washing. For a true Hotel look and feel, choose white towels, which look timeless and work with any style or color scheme. Stack your towels in an open-weave basket or tray for a spa-like bathroom experience.

    GOOD LIGHTING. Staring into that blue computer screen is murder on your eyes. Your home-hotel needs good task lighting (a) at your desk…

    …and (b) mood lighting for relaxing in the intimate areas of your home such as bedrooms. Keep in mind, for reading or working in bed the light source should be above and behind you for minimum eye strain.

    A STURDY AND COMFORTABLE DESK CHAIR. Working from home on a regular basis as we are forced to, for some time now, you deserve more than a makeshift chair at the kitchen table. On top of everything else you are dealing with, you don’t have to be cramping from sitting on an uncomfortable chair for 12 hours every day. Pick one that looks as good as it feels nice and say goodbye to being a clock-watcher waiting for quitting time, even for a day!

    PLAIN WHITE OR BLUE-AND-WHITE CHINA. When it comes to lifting your mood, the aroma of a wholesome home-cooked meal served on a set of pristine white platters, bowls, and plates soothes one’s soul like little else. What about you?

    While blue and white dishes remind one of a very nice (but unpretentious) hotel in Bloomsbury where both the food they serve as well as the plates they serve it in, are simply ……Yummy! Stay safe, all!!

    Resource Guide – Hotel Room With a View pic courtesy Brisbane Marriott Hotel, White Towels pic courtesy The Turkish Towel Collection, Colorful Towels pic courtesy Designer Living, Task Lighting pic courtesy New York Times, Bedroom Wall Sconces pic courtesy YLighting, Home Office pic courtesy Wall Street Journal, White Dinnerware pic courtesy Costco

    Category
    Home
    Discussion
    Share on
COME JOIN THE CLUB....!Best of Home | Garden | Food | Fashion

Tout le monde...!