Saturday, October 29, 2011

Awesome Zucchini Bread


Here is the recipe (this is the best zucchini bread EVER):


Monday, October 17, 2011

Replacement Furniture for Family Room

Quite a few months back, I posed about the worn leather sofa in my family room.  It was starting to really look bad, but my wonderful husband conditioned the leather and it perked up for a while.  However, a small tear in one of the arms morphed into a huge hole by summer's end where the leather had just worn too thin.  We went back and forth on justifying the cost to repair it when it was really getting too shabby, and we got depressed looking at the price tags of some beautiful high end leather pieces! 

One day I happened upon a leather sofa and chair set through Overstock.  The color was right and the quality appeared good....even 8-way hand-tied interior construction (you actually learn quite a bit in design school!), BUT I was scared to death to purchase something we had not yet sat on!

Fortunately, there were 5-star product reviews for the set and I took the plunge.  To our great surprise, we are very happy with the purchase.  The sofa is firm but comfortable, the furniture is masculine (the theme for this room!) and classic, and the room is much improved.  We also repainted and I took down my $15 window treatment. 

I happily donated our old sofa and club chair.  Probably could have sold the chair, since it was still in fairly decent condition, but blessing someone else with it seemed so much better.

Below are some shots of the new furniture.  Pillow by IKEA. 

 The ottoman below was reupholstered by my mom.  We found the fabric in downtown Los Angeles at the fabric mart for next to nothing.

Wall paint below is new and fairly accurate in this shot.  It is called Harvest Brown by Behr Premium.

Here is the sofa.  The leather is a very, very dark brown, almost black.

Yes, that black lampshade needs to go!  :D

Here is another shot of the new paint color (it is in the bulk of the lower floor of the house now...we have an open concept floor plan so it is difficult to paint different colors for each space...). 

Overall the new paint adds a lot of richness to the interior and is less boring than the very light taupe we have had for years on end!

Hope everyone is doing well.  Our weather has been a bit bizarre (we had a heat wave last week with a couple of days in the high 90s!), but today is a nice, cool fall day.  :D


Sunday, October 2, 2011

A little more Fall Decor...

Well I tweaked my fall mantle a little bit (you may click on any photo to enlarge).....

Last week it looked like this (here is my post from last week!):

but then I spotted these little wheat bundles for 99 cents each in front of an Asian market while walking by with my younger son on Friday:

So I bought them and simply adorned them with my orangey-rust fall metallic ribbon and voila!  I think they look great.  All for 2 bucks!

Next I added a simple wreath to our black front door....  

As time has moved forward, I have become much more restrained in my design and it has been a huge improvement since things are more classic, simple, and always less cluttered now.  I mean, why must I display every little orange item from the Halloween collection in my garage each October?  Many times, restraint is the key to good design-I have a longstanding history of getting it wrong, so it's nice when it feels "right."

And for fun, I added a small bit of fall to our large front yard urn:

It's not a great photo, but you can see that the front yard is growing since it's installation (which you may read about here if interested).

It's been very hot here lately (I was quite tempted to use the AC this weekend), and not feeling at all like fall, but these little changes help us get in the mood just a little!

Have a wonderful week!

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