Friday, November 29, 2013

A Chic Table

You know, you don't have to go broke trying to recreate a high-end look on a budget. I'm currently in the process of making my living room ooze elegance, but I want to take my time and make sure that I'm madly in love with what I buy. My goal is to fill my rooms with things that I find over time and love, instead of rushing purchases to complete a space.

In one of the past issues of Better Homes and Gardens, Danielle Colding, who was the winner of season 7 of HGTV Design Star, gave a great decorating tip. She said, "Ground a space in classic, timeless pieces and then go wild with fun accents that reflect who you are."

With that said, I found this little bench at TJ Maxx and I knew without a doubt, that it was coming home with me.

Right away, I knew I wanted to use it as a coffee table in my living room. It was affordable at $59.99 and the small size was perfect since I have such a limited amount of space.

Originally, my plan was to do without a coffee table because it was too much of a challenge to try to squeeze one in such a tight space. When I measured from the couch to the island, it was only 44 inches. That's not even four feet. An average sized coffee table would have just over-powered the area... oh and forget about room to walk around. It simply wouldn't have worked.

... But what do you know, it's almost like this little bench was made for this spot... and look, there's even room to walk around it. Also an extra bonus is that when we have company, the coffee table can do double duty and be used for additional seating. I'm really pleased with this purchase and I feel like I made a very wise choice.

I also like that the black and white colors in the cushion of the bench go well with the black and white colors in the throw pillows. Everything is in sync.

... And I just love the elegance of the table. The sophisticated way the table legs curve along with the iron beaded detail. I just love it!

Now for purchase number two. Okay, I'm always hunting through decorating magazines and watching HGTV and I'm constantly seeing designers using trays on tables. I love that look and I think it oozes elegance. So, I went to Pier One to see if I could find something chic. They had so many to choose from. Of course I wasn't entirely sure what I was looking for, but I felt like I would know it when I saw it.

Okay, so in keeping with the green accents that I've been using, I found a tray that I simply had to have it. Can you see it? It's the rectangular one, on the second shelf from the top.

I liked the round trays, too, but I'm more of a streamlined kind of gal. Not to mention, those handles had me at 'hello.' They make the tray even more sophisticated.

Sorry the price tag is blurry, but just so you'll know, it was $24.99. I could have easily gone to a different store and found a tray for less, but there's a certain look that I was going for and I figured that I couldn't go wrong at Pier One. Next to Home Goods, Pier One is my second favorite store.

Soon, I'll post how my two purchases work together. Will they harmonize or be totally off key? I can't wait to see. Until then...

Monday, November 4, 2013

Home sweet home?

My husband knew how much I loved the Oprah show, (this was before it ended, by the way), so a couple of years ago, he surprised me with a subscription to the Oprah magazine. Just recently, I asked him not to renew my subscription for a third year mainly because I just never got around to reading most of them. They're all stacked up on the bottom shelf in the living room (along with a few others).

It didn't start out that way, though. In the beginning, I was always excited when a new magazine arrived in the mail and I would start reading it right then as I was walking from the mailbox. Somewhere along the line my interests changed... somewhat and I just start reading books every day instead, which I also have a ton of. I love mysteries, but I'll read just about anything if it's a good story. Anyway, I've been making myself look through at least one magazine every week.. okay maybe every two weeks. My point is, I was finally reading one of the more recent issues and it turns out that Oprah is redecorating her home, too... see below.

Oprah Winfrey's New Home Photos

"I knew my house was impressive," the talk show host writes in the March issue of O magazine. "I mean, just about every guest I ever invited for dinner told me so as they perched on the edge of the opulent sofa, trying not to get fingerprints on anything. I owned a stately home and I poured my heart and soul into making it perfect. The gilded mirrors, marble urns, the lavish carpets and sherbet palette – it was all very grand, but it wasn't very true to myself …," she wrote. "Maya Angelou once told me you can become either an old female or a wise woman. All I can tell you is that I'm evolving, my taste is, too, and someday soon this room will represent the person I've become."

Okay, I know... I know... we're talking about Oprah here, so remodeling is a piece of cake for her. With a simple phone call and her check book, she can summon a handful of contractors and designate a different interior designer for each floor of her house...LoL. Yeah, my story, (along with my small budget), is a little different, but she shared some information that surprised me. She said that her home never really felt like 'home' to her. When her home was being decorated, she did what she thought people would expect a woman of wealth to do and decorated accordingly.

She also mentioned that someone told her that, 'where you live should reflect who you really are.' I soooo agree with that and that's actually what I'm in the process of doing. I may not have Oprah's millions in my bank account, but I'm going to take my time and truly make my house a home. I've found some really great pictures of home decor at it's finest that really inspire me.

For instance, I would like for my home to have at least one eye catching piece like the picture below. I am so in love with the chandelier below and those chairs are rocking.
Space Sophistication
I also want people to feel welcomed from the time they first step through the door.
everything LEB
...until it's time to leave.
I want my home to be chic but cozy...
So cozy looking!
 Have loads of personality...
Gettin' busy.
 I want it to be elegant and comfortable...

... where people can curl up with a book.
Have a good day!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Romanesque cauliflower anyone?

I love going out to dinner. It means that at least for one meal, I don't have to cook or clean up afterwards. I'm sure a lot of you out there can Well this morning, my husband told me that he was taking me out to dinner tonight... my pick... it could be any place I wanted to go. My first thought was, who are you and what have you done with my husband? My second thought was... really? I mean, it's not like I hear those words often, but right away one place in particular came to mind. For about a year now, I pass by this restaurant that I've never been to before, but I always think... now that looks like a quaint little spot to eat. Believe it or not, I kept saying over and over again that one of these days, I'm going to check it out. For whatever reason, I just never got around to it. Well, it's called Tapenade Bistro and tonight was the night that my husband and I finally walked through the doors.

Okay, I was right about one thing, it was a cozy, intimate setting with only 13 tables in all.... yeah, I counted. I couldn't help myself, it was just sooo cute. Now, it was a little pricey and the menu choices were different than most restaurants which was a pleasant surprise. As usual, they started us off with bread. I didn't even think to take a picture because it was only two pieces and we were both really hungry so it disappeared pretty fast. Then I had a Caesar salad.

My husband and I both ordered the Harvest Pork. It's two center cut pork chops seared and finished with an apricot, cranberry and brandy sauce. You guessed it, I copied that directly from the menu which got a weird look from my husband. The pork chops were very good, but here's where dinner got... interesting.

The side dish next to the pork chops, is vegetables. Yeah, I was surprised, too and I don't mind saying that it actually freaked me out a little. I mean, I've never noticed anything like that at at my local grocer before. Anyway, it's called Romanesque cauliflower. Okay, Wikipedia, you're going to have to help me out here:

Romanesco, also known as Romanesque cauliflower or Romanesco broccoli, is an edible flower bud of the species Brassica oleracea. First documented in Italy, it is light green in color. Romanesco has a striking appearance because its form is a natural approximation of a fractal. When compared to a traditional cauliflower, as a vegetable its texture is far more crunchy, and its is flavour is not as assertive, being delicate and nutty.

Now folks, brace yourselves for a close up.

It reminds me of something I'd stick in an aquarium so the fish would feel more at home. At least it was chartreuse Now for the record, I should probably add that it actually tasted a lot like broccoli and cauliflower which I love. To me, there wasn't a whole lot of difference in the taste.

Now tell me, do you think you'd be brave enough to try this?