Now that summer is here, we hope you can all relax a little more (hooray, no more homeschool!) and enjoy the longer days with your family. Whether you have a deck or outdoor patio, we’ve rounded up some inspiration to help you love your own outdoor space.…
Designer Jill Lawrence, whose home is featured in our December issue, shares one of her family’s beloved holiday cookie recipes with us—along with a few fond memories of the treat’s namesake.
Like many Southern ladies, my grandmother was a HUGE influence on my life. I learned to read, bake, swim, over-dress for every occasion (she would often pick up my mother and, later on, me from school in her fur coat and heels), manners, the proper use of every kind of obscure silver flatware (grapefruit spoon, anyone?), and to live life to the absolute fullest. She was my everything, and catching the scent of these cookies around the holidays brings me right back to her. My entire family will tell you that there are two scents associated with our beloved Mimi: Chanel and Molasses Sugar Cookies. It describes her perfectly. Here’s the recipe for her famous sugar cookies.
It’s August, and you know what that means…school is back in session! I thought this would be a perfect time to review the elements and principles of design regarding current trends. This month we will learn about the elements of design and shift into the principles of design in September. Just as an artist uses brushes, paints, and pencils, an interior designer utilizes the more abstract “tools” of line, shape, color, value, form, texture, and space….
As I was walking around Cobblestone and Vine looking for the next book to feature, I found an oldie-but-goodie! In 2011, two years after being published, Suzanne Kasler did a book signing at Cobblestone’s Heights location for her debut book Inspired Interiors. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend, but I did receive an autographed copy as a gift! Entranced by the furniture sketches on the inside front cover, I flip the page to see this sweet, simple note….
After sharing the construction and design progress of the Howse House renovation on the blog this year, it’s now complete and featured in our November issue (read the full story here). It was so fun to share a behind-the-scenes look throughout this entire renovation process. The Howse team did an amazing job bringing this house back to life with lots of style! Here’s a fun look back at where it all started compared to the beautifully finished spaces that you’ll find featured in our current issue.
Living Room, Before:
Living Room, After:
Dining Room, Before:
Dining Room, After (wall was removed that separated living & dining rooms):
Kitchen and Breakfast Room, Before:
Kitchen and Breakfast Room, After (they switched these spaces):
Master Bathroom, Before:
Master Bathroom, After:
Master Bedroom, Before:
Master Bedroom, After:
Upstairs Bonus Room, Before:
Upstairs Bonus Room, After:
Became an Office, After:
Back Exterior, Before:
Back Exterior, After:
You’ll find more of the finished interior in the full story online here or in our November issue. Can you believe that is the same house? The Howse Team did an amazing job with this renovation and it was a blast following along.
Want to recreate this look? Howse offers free in-house design services to all customers. Their services currently include furniture, art, and accessory placement but they are willing to help with referrals for other needs and plan to increase their offerings in the near future.
Hooray, the Howse House is nearing completion! The Howse team has been hard at work getting the project wrapped up, so we can photograph and feature it in our November issue (so exciting!). Here’s the latest (and last) behind-the-scenes look at how they’ve transformed this house into a beautiful new Howse House.
And, if you’d like to take a trip down memory lane, click here to see all the Howse House posts we’ve shared over the past several months and if you want to skip right to the before images, click here.
Lighting has been installed and the flooring is now finished (it’s beautiful). They’ve installed some amazing bathroom fixtures and tile…there’s just so much to see!
Scroll thru to see the latest!
The breakfast area that is opposite the kitchen features beautiful new painted built-in cabinets, lighting and a sliding door.
They added this reclaimed wood as an accent in the bar area that is under the stairs…
The bathrooms, which were completely gutted, have new tile and shiny new plumbing fixtures that are beautiful and carryout the new color scheme quite nicely.
And, even the laundry room got a pretty new sink and cabinetry…
New basin sinks were installed…
This tub is just dreamy…
And, here are some updates on the exterior of the Howse House…the crew is getting ready for the front sidewalk.
Here’s a look at the back patio areas.
This amazing tongue and groove ceiling is such a nice touch to this outdoor patio…
One of our favorite details are these exterior shutters!
Well, there’s your last look at the Howse House! Don’t forget, we are featuring the completed Howse House in our upcoming November issue, so be on the lookout for the issue in the next month. It’s been such a treat to share all these behind-the-scenes images and progress shots of this house. Thank you, Howse team, for allowing us to take our readers along for the ride!
The Howse team did such an amazing job transforming and updating this project. Thanks for following along!
‘Tis the season! Spring brunches, graduation parties, or wedding and baby showers are likely to be on your agenda this month, and let’s not forget about hosting family and friends on Memorial Day weekend. If you’re hosting, try this simple—and delish—recipe from entertaining maven JoBeth McElhanon.
Honey Lavender Fruit Salad
Yield: Approximately 6 servings
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon dried lavender (culinary grade, available at specialty markets)
- About 6 cups fresh fruit (JoBeth used a precut fruit bowl of honeydew melon, cantaloupe, pineapple, strawberries, and grapes; available in your grocer’s refrigerated produce section)
- juice of 1 lemon
- mint leaves
Combine honey and water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Add lavender and simmer until reduced and thick, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool and steep for approximately 30 minutes. Strain the lavender from the honey mixture.
Wash and cut fruit, if not using a precut selection. Combine with lemon juice. Drizzle with lavender syrup to taste. Garnish with fresh mint to serve.
*JoBeth notes that any of your favorite fruits will work in this salad. She suggests a combination of nectarines, peaches, and blueberries to make a pretty mid-summer fruit salad.
In our May “Before & After” issue, we featured the Little Rock home designer Miguel Newberg shares with her two young daughters and her husband, Andy. As someone who works in the field and who was undertaking a full-home renovation of her own, Miguel knew how important it was to give each family member a dedicated space of his or her own. Inspired by his love of the Razorbacks, Miguel created a sports-themed man cave as a retreat for Andy to enjoy.
To create the space, they enclosed the home’s carport. Built-in cabinetry surrounds the room’s main attraction—a television for watching Hog games—while plush furnishings create a comfortable environment.
The surface of the brick bar is covered with souvenir ticket stubs from some of the most memorable events Andy has attended. “We kind of came up with the idea together, but he still couldn’t believe I went for it,” she recalls. Easily accessible to the kitchen and the main living room, the space is a now masculine getaway for the man of the house without being too far away from day-to-day activities.
See a full tour of the Newberg’s remodeled home >> online here.
We all want our houses, yards, and work spaces to evoke our personalities and to highlight our interests and energies, right? But I think we may spend so much time paying attention to the big items, that we sometimes forget the key to energizing—and personalizing—those areas may literally be in the small stuff.
A great way to infuse your home with real warmth might just be stacked right in front of you: your bookshelves. Instead of lining up best sellers and that old set of World Books in dust-catching formal rows, occasionally punctuated with a formal photograph, why not jazz it up? Add some light, color, small art objects, and yes, the occasional book, to create a sensational view of who you are at a glance.
It’s actually quite simple; make each shelf a little world of its own, by incorporating what you already have. You’ll want unifying elements for every shelf, such as candid group photos, unusual books, or at least books with interesting covers, found objects, little art pieces, and one or two colors you really love, which can be found in ceramic pieces or vases. By using the same sort of item in each shelf, you make it all look that much more important, even though the pieces you use are pretty small, and maybe not especially noteworthy by themselves.
But when used together, and in just a few shelves, they rev up your room and brim with warmth and personality.
Utilize photographs with settings and activities that are informal, ironic, or just plain fun, instead of showing formally posed subjects. Translation: if it’s a photo from Olan Mills or Sears Portrait Studio, you probably don’t want to use it.
Look around your house for small, insignificant pieces of art, crafted items, things you’ve picked up on vacation. And don’t forget unusual found objects. Each one can be a focal point for a shelf. I bet as you pick them up and place them on shelves the fond memories of the trip or purchase will come back to you, and these little artistic finds will become that much more special, that much more personal and vibrant.
Look at your books as sources of interest, and not just to read. This time, think about how that book can be used as something artful or interesting on a shelf. Old books, parts of antiquated sets, hand-me-down volumes, unusual titles, covers, or typeset are what you should look for. And you’re not going to line them up platoon-style, either. Lean, tip, stack, prop. Position your volume any way except the way it was lined up on the shelf before. And don’t forget a book can make a great riser for a little art piece or candle.
Find a single color or pair of contrasting colors to use in what you already have, such as vases, ceramic pieces, pottery, and maybe something you’ve put away and forgotten about. And don’t forget geological possibilities, either. That little fossil, crystal, geode, or even a lowly—but unusual–rock you picked up can make a powerful statement on a shelf, when placed along with a photo, book, candle, or other small object.
Don’t forget your decorating trinity; three objects make for the best design. And carry out your theme on each shelf. When you finish, step back and gauge your work. Does each shelf ‘pop’? When looked at as one piece, do your shelves all of a sudden make a statement? The same shelves that just a short while ago did little more than act as ordinary storage? If you can answer ‘yes,’ then I’ve done my duty. You now have another unexpected source of personality, color, and design, a place for your friends to admire and enjoy when they visit.
Chris Olsen is a nationally known home and garden guru, designer, author, TV personality and public speaker. In his book, Chris shares his landscape and gardening knowledge along with his unique flair for home decor and design.He is also a member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers. Learn more about Chris and all of his work at chrisholsen.com.