Week 6 One Room Challenge Mid Century Modern Lounge

house, One Room Challenge

I am getting close to the end of the Spring 2021 One Room Challenge and it’s all starting to shape up! I am actually writing this blog post from the space and it’s such a great spot to chill. Even though it’s not finished, we have been enjoying the hell out of it. Winnie is enjoying it too!

Winnie Cooper enjoying the MCM Carport Lounge

I was recently asked why I love orange and teal so much (because my house is already full of it) and I don’t really know why. I mean, I just love it. It’s the best color combo in my opinion, and I really should branch out a bit. I swear that I didn’t intend to make this space orange and teal, but when I uncovered the seat cushions and the orange/teal floral fabric was staring back at me, I had to keep it. I will eventually recover these chairs, because the fabric is not in ideal shape, but it still has some life left in it. Not everything has to be shiny and new and I like a bit of age to pieces.

Pillows made by me with outdoor fabric and outdoor inserts.

I made a few pillows for the space that I love. In all honesty, a lot of times it is more expensive and definitely more time consuming to make your own pillows. Trying to sell what you’ve made is even harder! It cost the same in materials to make them, if not more, than buying them off the shelf and of course it takes way more time. But this way I get to make them 100% unique and ‘me.’

Pillows and the original floral fabric that I uncovered.

The coffee table I decided to use I’ve had since college. My roommates and I bought it at a second hand furniture store on Baltimore ave (WAAAAYYY before Jinxed was there) and then carried it two blocks to our house. We rented an awesome row home in West Philly at 46th and Baltimore in 2000-2001. These ladies (both named Jen) are awesome and I’m so grateful for science that we get to hang out in real life again. Getting back to the coffee table, it needs some serious work. The middle is falling apart and it needs a coat or 10 of paint. But for now, it works.

It’s a great spot to have a bourbon.

This view is just simply amazing and I love the way the light filters through the trees and into this space. I already had the urn planter above and the two black iron hanging baskets. I just added an insert, dirt and some plants. I decided to use house plants in the hanging baskets and am going to try to overwinter them in the house.

Houseplants which I will move inside over the winter

It’s been hard to find an electrician (my usual one is on medical leave), so the new lighting will most likely not be finished in time. I will be replacing the light below with a ceiling fan to (hopefully) keep the bugs away and to keep it cooler.

The space is slowly coming together

You can see a bunch of the pieces of the design in this post, but remember it’s not all in the right place or finished. That wicker chair is going to be recovered and I can’t wait to see it! I am thinking of using the turquoise fabric. I also picked up a bamboo sofa today to add to the mix!

What do you think so far? You can see the general vibe, but once everything is in place (with all the plants added) it will look amazing.

Be sure to check out the other guest participants (that’s me) and featured designers.

*Brandi

Mid Century Modern Lounge-Week 5 Spring 2021 One Room Challenge

house, One Room Challenge

It’s already week 5 of the One Room Challenge and I still have a lot to do. This weekend we power washed the area so now I can put everything back into place and hope it stays clean until week 8 when I photograph it for the blog. 🙂

I figured out some of the seating arrangements and rug situation. I also half figured out the planting situation, but I just need to buy a few more plants. I also need to get the right drill bit to drill some holes in a couple of the hole-less planters that I have. It’s shaping up, but I don’t have a lot of photographic proof of it just yet. Stay tuned to next week when I will hopefully have much more to share with you of this journey. Life has been so busy, this is just taking a back seat.

The ‘hidden’ fabric underneath the covers just so happened to be my favorite color palette.

While shopping at HomeGoods I found these very cute gardening gloves. I wore a hole through two fingers of my last pair, so it was time to treat myself.

Gardening gloves

Be sure to check out the other guest participants (that’s me) and featured designers.

*Brandi

Week 4 Spring ORC Mid Century Modern Lounge

house, One Room Challenge

We are now halfway through the Spring 2021 One Room Challenge. I only have 4 weeks left to complete this space!

The space that I am redoing is the carport and I am going to turn it into a mid century modern lounge vibe. The view from here is gorgeous and you see lots of wildlife around. Yesterday while working on clearing out the space, I saw the adorable fox baby who lives on our property. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I am obsessed with the fox family and I post IG story videos of them all the time.

Can you spot the baby fox?

Yesterday we cleared out the space behind what will be the seating area. It’s a storage area where we keep the yard equipment and trash cans. It was really disorganize and full of a lot of stuff. We got a bagster, which is a large bag that you fill with trash and they come to pick it up. It’s so convenient and it feels great to get rid of so much stuff. We had old building type material behind the shed and other stuff around that is trash.

When I was taking off the cover to see the condition of the fabric beneath I realize that there was a cool fabric underneath! Look how cute it is! This fabric contains my two favorite colors, orange and turquoise. Unfortunately, the back of the fabric doesn’t have the same fabric situation so I have to recover that portion. I actually have leftover outdoor fabric that is the same exact orange shade that I used for our camper cushions. I hope I have enough to redo the backs.

I love the lines of these bamboo chairs and how the two different designs have similar curves. This space is going to be beautiful.

Chair to the right to be recovered. I need to find fabric this week!

This past week was the peak of the rhododendrons and they really put on a show. I am still on the hunt for more white planters.

We still have to move this pile of wood to the back of the house. The plan is to build a cover for it back there, eventually. We may wait until the price of wood comes down. It’s crazy right now! In the meantime, a tarp will have to do.

The light here in the evening is just so pretty. The light filters through the trees and is so peaceful. I can’t wait to chill out here.

Be sure to check out the other guest participants (that’s me) and featured designers.

*Brandi

Week Three-ORC Spring 2021-MCM Lounge

house, One Room Challenge

It’s week three already for the Spring 2021 One Room Challenge. I was away for most of last week, so there aren’t too many updates this week.

My new lighting arrived and I found a cool white side table/garden stool at HomeGoods. I also picked up a new white planter, but need to find even more of them. I may have already missed ‘planter season’ at HomeGoods. They used to have SO many.

HomeGoods table with an auction find chair
Carport wooden ceilling

The ceilling in the carport is wood, just like the rest of the house. I will be swapping out the current lights with a similar style, but in white. I think they will pop nicely with the ceiling. I will also have white planters and I found that awesome white side table above. All of the white accents will look rad.

New lights for the ceiling
New light for the entry

The entry light is a lot larger, so it will make more of an impact. I still have to find a couple of rugs and fabric to reupholster the chairs. I got an estimate for someone else to do the chairs, but it’s more than I want to spend ($800, just for labor, nor even fabric) so I will try to DIY. I found some perfect fabric, but it’s back-ordered and like $70 a yard, so my search continues.

The door will also be repainted with a color to be determined. I’ll decide what color to use after I figure out the rug and fabric.

I recently read a blog post on Emily Henderson’s blog and it was from another designer that she is working with who designs completely differently from her. While reading it, I kept thinking, that’s what I do! While Emily (and most designers) start with a plan this other designer just starts buying things he likes. That’s exactly how I design for myself. If it’s for a client, I will put together a plan, but if it’s for myself I just start looking for things that I love and it all ends up working out in the end. I think that’s why most everything I buy will work in pretty much every other room in my house.

Be sure to check out the other guest participants and the featured designers for the One Room Challenge.

*Brandi

Week Two One Room Challenge Spring 2021-Mid Century Modern Carport Lounge

house, One Room Challenge

It’s week two of the One Room Challenge. You can find my last post here.

As you read last week, the room I am decorating is our carport, which is in desperate need of a refresh. Not much has happened in the last week, but I did decide on and order new outside lights. I decided to go with white, which I may regret when I have to clean them all the time, but I think they will look fabulous. Plus I plan to spend a lot of time out there, so it’ll be easy to keep them clean.

Here is a design mood board. This area will also have a lot of plants everywhere, which will break up all of the wood and brick.

I will recover the above chairs and keep the wicker/bamboo natural. I found a matching bamboo sofa on Instagram, but it sold before they saw my reply to buy it! I was so sad, but it just means something better will come along. Or at least, that’s what I am telling myself.

Be sure to check out the other guest participants and the featured designers for the One Room Challenge. Check back next week when I will reveal more about the design plan.

If you’d like to check out my past ORCs, they are linked here: Dressing RoomPowder Room (this one was my fave)Guest BedroomMaster Bedroom.

*Brandi

Spring 2021 One Room Challenge-Mid Century Carport Lounge

house, One Room Challenge

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know I LOVE to participate in the fun event called the One Room Challenge. Well, it’s that time again and this time I have 8 whole weeks to redesign a room. I decided to tackle the FIRST thing you see when you come to our home, the carport.

Although it is technically a carport, we have never parked a car in here. It has become a place where junk is just accumulating. Since the past year has seen much fewer visitors due to COVID, I really didn’t care. But now that we are VACCINATED and ready to hang with people and have visitors, it’s time to re-imagine this space! It has a lot of potential and doesn’t deserve to be this ugly and junky.

House with carport BEFORE

It looks ok from far away, but once you get a little closer you walk into this modge podge of wood and smokers and grills and a giant ax.

The ‘before’ of our carport
carport storage area
storage area overflowing

The storage area should be large enough to store everything, but we just have accumulated too much stuff and need to do a serious edit and reorganizing. This area doesn’t have a light so this will be remedied.

view from carport to entry

The view from this spot is very cool and I can’t wait to be able to sit here and watch the wildlife walk by. I have seen foxes and deer from this spot, as well as the usual neighborhood cats (who will also probably enjoy this area), chipmunks and squirrels.

View from carport

This wood pile will be moving to a location TBD.

This area will become a comfy lounge spot
Brick and blacktop

The ideal plan is to break out the blacktop and carry the brick all the way through. That would look DOPE and we already have the brick. The problem is this will be a lot of work. The ORC has to be complete by June 25th, so this may or may not happen. Either way, it’s in my long term plan.

My design plan is slowly coming together in my head. I bought this chair online at an auction a couple of months ago to use in a design project for a client. When I saw it in person I realized it wouldn’t work. So now I get to keep it for myself.

This chair was an auction find

I also picked up this set last week at the same auction (Briggs) and am picking it up today, whoohoo. I just need to recover the cushions to a fabric that is more my style.

Here is the list of things I have to do, which is subject to change at my discretion. 🙂

  • Reupholster chairs with new fabric (fabric TBD)
  • Find and add an outdoor rug
  • If time permits remove blacktop and add brick (huge project, time will probably not permit)
  • Replace light fixtures
  • Add lots of planters and plants
  • Possibly add a bar cart or bakers rack

Be sure to check out the other guest participants and the featured designers for the One Room Challenge. Check back next week when I will reveal more about the design plan.

If you’d like to check out my past ORCs, they are linked here: Dressing Room, Powder Room (this one was my fave), Guest Bedroom, Master Bedroom.

*Brandi

Dave’s Short Rib Ragu Recipe

Cooking

If you’ve been to our house for a dinner party, you may have been lucky enough to eat this divine dish. It’s rich and delicious. Everything my husband Dave makes is delicious, but this is a stand out. It was frequently the main dish of dinner parties, back when we could actually have people over! For now we will enjoy it by ourselves and you can enjoy it too. Here is the recipe for you to make at home.

onion, carrots, garlic, salt, pepper, berbs

Ingredients:

  • Short Ribs (1.5 -2 lbs)
  • Two carrots diced
  • One large Onion diced
  • Three cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • Herbs (rosemary, thyme, parsley)
  • 1/2 c dry red wine
  • 1 c beef stock
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Pasta

Directions:

Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a dutch oven. If you don’t have a dutch oven, use a heavy bottom, oven proof dish. Generously rub salt and pepper on the short ribs. Add short ribs to the hot dutch oven with heated olive oil and brown all sides of the meat. Remove the meat from the pan and set it aside. You can remove some of the fat in the pan at this point if it seems like a lot. You will need enough fat in the pan for the next step, sauteing the carrots and onions.

Lower heat to medium and add onion and carrots to the dutch oven. Cook them until they are translucent, then add garlic. Cook a few minutes more. Add tomato paste and flour and stir/cook for a few more minutes. Add red wine and beef stock along with the herbs (you can tie them together or add to a cheese cloth package, so it is easy to remove at the end). Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Add the short ribs back to the dutch oven and bring to a gentle boil. Place the dutch oven in the oven and cook for around 2-3 hours.

Remove the short ribs and separate the bone from the meat (you can save the bones to make a stock). Use two forks to shred the meat and then add back to the pot.

Serve with your choice of pasta. Some of my favorite pastas with this dish include pappardelle, fusili, or rigatoni, but anything will work. We decided to make our own rigatoni.

Here are some photos of it being made. Let me know if you make it and if you have any questions.

salt and pepper the short ribs
brown all sides of the short ribs in a dutch oven
browned ribs

Cheers.

How to Choose Wallpaper

Design, house, Wallpaper

Do you love wallpaper, but get overwhelmed when you try to figure out how to incorporate it into your own home? It’s easy to admire it in a restaurant or someone else’s home, but taking the plunge in your own home may be daunting. I personally love bold wallpaper and have used it in my own home as well as in client’s homes. This blog post will guide you through the considerations you need to make in order to find your very own perfect wallpaper!

Wallpaper samples from Wallpaperdirect

Before you start searching every website out there, narrow down your search by considering the following topics.

Click below for the full post.

Cookie Recipes for Pignoli and Shortbread

Cooking

This year has been far from normal, but we’ve been embracing it and staying home as much as possible. I’ve missed getting together with my friends, so I organized a cookie making video call with them. We each made a cookie or two and then got together a few days later (outside and masked) to swap.

I made two cookies that I never made before, and luckily they both turned out to be delicious. Are you familiar with the Italian cookie called Pignoli? It’s our favorite cookie from Termini’s in Philadelphia and I decided to try to make them. Pignoli means pine nut in Italian, and they are covered in them. The base is an almond cookie and they end up being a bit expensive since the ingredients are pricy, so just be aware of that. I think the ingredients were around $20 for a batch.

I used the recipe from Lidia, linked here. The majority of the cookie is almond paste and in a few recipes people mentioned using it from a can and not the tube. I found it in a tub from Sam’s in Willow Grove and it seemed to be really fresh.

Pignoli Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb almond paste
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1 cup pine nuts

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Crumble the almond paste into a mixing bowl with the paddle attachment. Mix the almond paste to break it up. Add the sugar and continue to mix. Add the egg whites one at a time and continue to mix until incorporated and batter is smooth. Place the pine nuts into a bowl or plate. Roll a tablespoon size portion of dough in your hands to form a ball and then cover in the pine nuts. Alternately (and to save a few bucks) you can just add the pine nuts to one side (the top). Place on a cookie sheet and (optionally) smoosh with a glass to flatten them a little bit (I saw this part on a youtube video of an Italian grandma making them). They are also delicious without the nuts, so if you run out of pine nuts just bake them without.

Bake for approximately 18-20 minutes, until golden on the edges. 18 minutes is perfect for my oven. Bake longer if you want them crispy, less if you want them softer.

Shortbread Cookie with Chocolate Chips and Cherries

I made an adjustments to this recipe (less cherries).

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped cherries (I used half maraschino and half fancy pants bourbon cherries)
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 325. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • Beat butter with a mixer. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy cream.
  • Combine the flour with salt and sift. Add to the butter mixture and mix the dough.
  • Remove the moisture from the chopped cherries with a paper towel and add to the dough. Add chocolate chips, mix.
  • Put the dough on saran wrap and mold to form a log. Wrap the saran wrap around the dough and continue to form into a log. Place in the refrigerator for an hour and up to overnight.
  • Cut the dough into round cookies, put on a baking sheet and bake in the oven at 325 F for about 15 minutes.
  • Cool the cookies completely, then remove them from the baking sheet and serve.

I’d love to know your favorite cookie recipes and holiday traditions. Are you doing things differently this year? I like to re-imagine old traditions and do new things so I’m embracing that this year will be different from past holiday seasons.

Happy Holidays.

*Brandi