Rental Refresh Upgrades: The Comforts of Home

Continuing the rental refresh upgrades conversation:

Pulling back the reins on major decorative and design improvements to a rental is a financially sound practice if you are not renting to own, making improvements to the property in return for rent credit or taking up residency for the long haul.  Dave the Builder and I completely overhauled, remodeled, refreshed and spiffed up our first home, a darling mid-century cottage lease purchase property.  I loved the bones of the house, but the decor stood still somewhere in the 1950s.  In the beginning we remodeled and refreshed for the comforts of home sake with caution, choosing to update through lighting and color.  I cannot beat the color drum enough- it really is the most bang for your buck way to infuse style into a home.

kitchen_melissa-leeLove, love, love!  Design Sponge

rental-kitchen-color-palette

In the case of our son’s rental home, the kitchen is small but workable in regards to design, function and affordable possibilities.  Presently, the walls are painted red and the cabinets are white laminate with oak trim 1980s #throwbacks.  You know the ones!  Dave the Builder and I scrimped, saved and sacrificed to remodel the kitchen in our first house.  We thought this style of kitchen cabinet was the bee’s knees, and according to the kitchen design magazines and showrooms a whole lot of other people did too!

home-designHouzz

Millennials love retro, and although everything old eventually becomes a new trend again, the dated oak trim will be modified with paint and new cabinet pulls added.   Since replacing the cabinets is cost prohibitive laminate it is!  As I explained to our son the pros of laminate cabinet fronts and countertops, he came around to the practicality of keeping the original cabinets in play. Laminate is a very forgiving surface to work with. The upkeep is minimal, and that works in any kitchen.  No need to throw the baby out with the bath water.

The Comforts of Home

Strategic pops of color and an accessories mix of warm metals with a modern spin will complement the neutral paint palette and introduce that new kitchen look.

rental-master-bedroom-paint

Please excuse the poor quality of these images. The combination of bad lighting and a cell phone camera gets you a color distorted photo.  The master bedroom walls are painted with Benjamin Moore’s Museum Piece.  The color in the above image is no where near the true color that is Museum Piece, so to my sources I go for an image that does capture the true color.

BM-museum-piece-framedBenjamin Moore

Great color choice!

BM-muesum-piece-wallsBenjamin Moore PSP-Museum Piece ~ Renae Keller Interior Design, Inc.

Master bedroom furnishings and accessories with a hint of Louisiana coastal chic will literally offer the comforts of home.

rental-master-bedroom

Final suggestions for decor accessories and furnishings lean toward DIY chic projects, hacks and thrifted treasures.  His girlfriend scored a great coffee table and reinterpreted the style with paint and embellishments.  Our style council agreed a chic credenza with a Mad Men mid-century interpretation will mix things up like a dry martini.

“By acquiring all of your furniture from different eras and places and things that are expensive and inexpensive, it will make your end product have a great spirit.”

Kelly Wearstler

The treasure hunt is on for one in all Don Draper glory.  A fantastic period piece in great condition that comes with the extra added bonus of a quality finish, impressive lines, scale and focal point presence to die for is out there, and a can of Johnson paste wax and a soft cloth will put the period at the end of the very stylish and on-trend sentence.

modern-barDomino

I will end this post with an observation from my earlier Rental Refresh Upgrades post.  Does it makes sense and cent$ to make updates and improvements to a rental property?  Absolutely!  Focus less on the fact your new residence is a rental and more on the fact that your new residence is where you call home.  All things house that make a home come together to make the out of your own pocket rental refresh upgrades worth it in the name of the comforts of home, convenience and personal style.

Love your style!

A Most Fetching Friday

fetch·ing

/ˈfeCHiNG/

adjective

adjective: fetching

attractive.

synonyms: attractive, appealing, sweet, pretty, good-looking, lovely, delightful, charming, prepossessing, captivating, enchanting, irresistible

 

This week’s Fetching Friday is a visual shout-out to members of my furnish, tile, feature, FOLK, and photography circle of business and social media friends.

ff-Habersham-HomeHabersham Home

ff-Walker-ZangerWalker Zanger

ff-bathroom-DomaineDomaine

ff-autumn

FOLK Magazine

cottonPicture Mississippi

H&M-kitchenH & M

I hope you have a most fetching Friday.

Love your style!

A Most Fetching Friday

fetch·ing

/ˈfeCHiNG/

adjective

adjective: fetching

attractive.

synonyms: attractive, appealing, sweet, pretty, good-looking, lovely, delightful, charming, prepossessing, captivating, enchanting, irresistible

This week’s Fetching Friday features impressions and inspirations associated with the star of the moment, October.

fall-leaves

Hello, October.  I’ve been anxiously waiting your arrival.

ff-tureen-and-apple

Berthe Morisot Tureen and Apple

Cucurbita_pepo_small_edible_White_Pumpkins_9.16via

ff-blanketsStyle Me Pretty – Photography by Judy Pak Photography

Seatings and settings.  Crisp evenings set the tone and texture for seasonal tablescapes with attention to cozy details.

rolling-pinRustic Olive Wood Rolling Pin

Currently craving.

ff-apple-pancakeApple Pancake

I hope you have a most Fetching Friday.

Love your style!

A Most Fetching Friday

fetch·ing

/ˈfeCHiNG/

adjective

adjective: fetching

attractive.

synonyms: attractive, appealing, sweet, pretty, good-looking, lovely, delightful, charming, prepossessing, captivating, enchanting, irresistible

This week’s Fetching Friday features decorative and delicious details, perfect pairings, decorating advice from one of the best, Paris, Canada and a classic fixture of kitchen and craft.

ff-hardwareNever underestimate the power of decorative details, for they complete the look!  Traditional Home

ff-foyer Perfect pairings from foyer to ceiling. Cote de Texas via Pinterest

ff-Albert HadleyA wise man and stylish designer once said… Albert Hadley 

ff-Seeded-Whole-Grain-Breakfast-Bread-110September Mornings – Seeded Whole Grain Breakfast Bread from the culinary talent that is  Half Baked Harvest

travel+leisureTravel Often!  Travel + Leisure

Last month when our son traveled to Canada he and his girlfriend spent an afternoon at the Journey to Churchill exhibit at Assiniboine Park Zoo.  May I introduce you to Hudson the Polar Bear.

fetching FridayJourney to Churchill – Assiniboine Park Zoo Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

494701_MASON JAR MEASURING SPOONSAdd these to my Kitchen Gotta Have It List!   Mason Jar Ceramic Measuring Spoons

I hope you have a most fetching Friday.

Love your style!

A Splash of Style and Taste with Coffee-mate and David Bromstad Designs

Starting the day with a splash of delicious and stylish inspiration puts the day in proper perspective and gets the creative process going.  This statement comes on the heels of an entire weekend spent styling my kitchen for an updated our home page.  Inspiration is everywhere and I found a splash of weekend decorating inspiration over many cups of strong Louisiana coffee. Who would have thunk it?

Coffee-mate and David Bromstad Designs

As I sipped and studied flow, balance and placement, I took a thought inventory of the kitchen counters, tabletop and marble top sideboard and the decorative accents and utilitarian wares soon to be placed upon them.  I kept in mind the kitchen is first and foremost a working space based in design and style.  Think of it this way- from prep to serve we “design” a meal.  I’ve even been known to color coordinate the food to the china to the serving bowls. I’m just designed that way. If we meticulously select decorative accents, color, flooring, lighting, cabinets and counter tops that reflect and inspire our tastes and style, doesn’t it make sense to select items that make a style splash, keep it style simple and complement our design and decorating choices?  From taste to tastes, it’s all in the details!

Bromstad-mobile

Look who’s designing, inspiring and making a delicious style splash!   Design star David Bromstad has partnered with Coffee-mate and Target, making a splash with limited edition bottle designs inspired by coffee and Coffee-mate.   The new David Bromstad designed bottles (French Vanilla and Hazelnut flavors) will be available exclusively at Target stores nationwide.

CML_32oz_FrenchVan_TB

The Art of Coffee by Bromstad limited edition bottle design brings a splash of style to the table, and Coffee-mate brings a splash of flavor to your favorite coffee beverage and recipes.   coffee-mate-Hazelnut Did someone say recipes?  Fall, football tailgating times and Holiday cheer time is upon us, and it’s easy to get recipe inspired with Coffee-mate.  Impress and inspire the crowd with a specialty coffee, hot chocolate beverage, cake or bread pudding flavored with Coffee-mate French Vanilla or Hazelnut flavored coffee creamer.  The versatility of Coffee-mate flavored coffee creamer from cup to counter is the Art of Coffee- a distinct look designed to complement a great taste. giveaway goodness Coffee-mate is generously helping me spread the coffee love to one of my lucky readers.  

Poster

The giveaway prize includes 5 mini journals, a pack of colorful pens, a coffee poster and 2 full-value product coupons ($45 ARV).

Journals

The giveaway period begins August 12 and ends August 20, 2014.  The giveaway is only open to US residents age 18 and older. Pens

More Chances to Win!

For more inspired fun, snap a photo of the newly designed bottles and share it on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #CMInspiresSweepsEntry for a chance to win a year’s worth of Coffee-mate, $500 Target GiftCards, and a signed print from David Bromstad!

You’re Invited!

Don’t miss the Coffee-mate #CMInspires Twitter Party on Thursday, August 14 at 7pm Central, co-hosted by Courtney Whitmore of Pizzazzerie and David Bromstad

 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

A Most Fetching Friday

fetch·ing

/ˈfeCHiNG/

adjective

adjective: fetching

attractive.

synonyms: attractive, appealing, sweet, pretty, good-looking, lovely, delightful, charming,prepossessing, captivating, enchanting, irresistible

 

Week two of  A Most Fetching Friday features color, texture and pattern- the decorating trinity.

picklingExpert Pickling Tips – Williams-Sonoma Taste

kitchen-brass-hardwareFarmhouse Brass via Martha Stewart – Photo: Eric Piasecki

lipstick-GHColor palette inspiration – Good Housekeeping

pink-dining-roomCountry Living’s editor, Sarah Gray Miller’s Upstate New York Home

bird-girl-statueIn the Garden of…  Bird Girl Statues

I am a complete sucker for vintage animal prints, and have the perfect frames ready for this and the vintage cow printable. These are perfect- not too kitchy, not too busy.

Vintage-sheep-Drawing-wVintage Sheep Drawing Printable – House of Hawthorns

blue-brown-black The Hotel St. James,  Paris – Apartment Therapy

Pink Lemonade Cake makes everyday A Most Fetching Friday.  It’s a little pink piece of summer sweetness, and a lovely image to end on.

pink-lemonade-cakePink Lemonade Cake – Better Homes and Gardens

I hope yours is a most fetching Friday.

Love your style!

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas Guide

Placing much I wouldn’t mind having that thought into it, may I present to you the Places In The Home Mother’s Day gift ideas guide.  These Mother’s Day gift selections range from the uh oh, those summer nights out on the town chic accessories, sparkly and bangly lovelies and color rich applications to practical kitchenwares with the accent on delicious, downtime essentials and blooming beauties.   Click on the images to enlarge.

Mother's-Day-Gifts

 

Personally Yours

Ivanka Trump Lauren Crossbody Satchel

Victoria Wieck Absolute™ “Princess Peak” Tennis Bracelet

Bangle Bracelets

Rose Water

Metallic Mixture Earrings

Ombre Cateye Sunglasses

Jack Rogers Hampton Sandal

Lancome Vernis in Love Nail Polish

Pajama Set

Garnier® Skin Renew Anti-Puff Eye Roller

Ralph Lauren Big Pony #2 Eau de Toilette Rollerball

Front Door Key Fob 

Stila Summer Lip Glaze Trio

Great Barrier Chic iPhone 5/5S Case 

Crabtree & Evelyn Rosewater Hand Remedy

Pretty in Pink 

 

Mother's-Day-Gift-Ideas

Home & Heart

 Faberware New Tradition Cookware

Pink and White Ceramic Pitcher

Endless Summer® Traditional Hydrangea

French Gray Floor Lamp

KitchenAid Ultra Power 4.5 Quart Stand Mixer

Earl Grey Linen Tea Towel

Savannah Bee Company Honey

Wendy Garden Statue

House Proud: Unique Home Design, Louisiana

Royal Albert Rose Confetti Teacup and Saucer

Honey Dispenser

Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust

Love your style!

Let’s Talk Thanksgiving Turkey

It’s T-be here before you know it days until the first leg of the holiday season, Thanksgiving.  Speaking of a holiday leg, are you thinking Thanksgiving turkey yet?  Local grocery stores are preparing large areas in the freezers for the arrival of  this traditional dinner star, and I’ve got my eyes out for the sale circulars. Timing is a big consideration in regards to the Thanksgiving turkey.  We time the purchase, defrosting, roasting and serving of the bird.

Thanksgiving turkeyvia

In this pre-Thanksgiving dinner calm before the storm period, I am utilizing my time to gather the roasting pan, carving set, kitchen essentials and necessary information.  I thought I might offer a few suggestions to lend a holiday helping hand.  Let’s talk turkey.

Roasting the Bird

Roast/bake the turkey at 325 °F using the chart as a guide for approximate roasting times.  The turkey is done when the internal temperature reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165 °F. Use a food thermometer to check the turkey in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast.  The minimum internal temperature should reach 165 °F for safety.

how-long-to-cook-a-turkey

I’m a fourth generation fan of the granite ware oval roasting pan. Traditions rule in the Places In The Home holiday kitchen, and roasting a turkey like my great grandmother, grandmother and mother did requires a granite ware oval roaster.  It speaks holiday to me…

granite-oval-roasterGranite Ware Oval Roaster

 but I could be swayed by this copper roasting pan beauty.

copper-roasting-panSur La Table

Time saving multitasking marvels of kitchen efficiency are my kind of holiday helping hand!  Equally as important as a well-stocked holiday pantry is a well organized holiday baking, cooking and entertaining kitchen.

orleans-kitchen-island

 

A cook is only as good as the kitchen and cooking essentials, tools and accessories he or she uses.

Love your style!

 

 

 

The Main Ingredient: Kitchen Essentials

Layouts, lighting, placement, finishes and function top the list of kitchen essentials kitchen design considerations.  Recently I was asked my opinion on key kitchen essentials.  The first order of business is to place the stamp of you on the space.  It’s the main ingredient in the recipe of optimum kitchen design.  What works for one tastes or space will not translate to another.  Personal decor and culinary style throughout, favorite work with me kitchen wares and products, a prep playlist, and plenty of storage and work space prove to be my key kitchen essentials.

nordic-ware-platinum-60th-anniversary-bundt-pan-50037

Nordic Ware Platinum 60th Anniversary Bundt Pan

grater zesterMicroplane Grater ~ Crate & Barrel: $16.95, $14.95

Convenience, chalk and conversions create culinary 3 part kitchen harmony!  This printable kitchen conversion chart from Shanty 2 Chic is ready to print, frame and consult.

measurement conversion chart

Kitchen cabinet or cupboard availability is not always a bountiful blessing.

heritage-hill-glass-jars-with-lids

Heritage Hill Glass Jars with Lids 

Enter a kitchen essentials classic storage solution.  The Heritage Hill glass jar with lid is a clear, versatile, and affordable kitchen storage choice.

Mason Chase bowlsMason Cash Mixing Bowls

Prep station solution with the ooh la la factor!

French kitchen tableFrench Kitchen Table 

Kitchen Safety 101:

Washing your hands with soap and water is the first defense in eliminating  the spread of bacteria.  Handling onions?  Now there’s a delicious aroma when cooking, sauteing, or caramelizing, but not so much as an unpleasant leftover on the hands. Problem solved with the clean, fresh scent of Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Lemon Verbena liquid hand soap.

 kitchen essentials

 Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Lemon Verbena Liquid Hand Soap 

bose-sound-systemBose SoundTouch 30 Series III Wireless Speaker

Here’s my Now We’re Cooking playlist.

It’s the perfect sous chef in the Places In The Home test kitchen.

art in the kitchenvia

I bought this framed masterpiece of an anonymous woman at an antiques fair years ago.  Dave the Builder thought I’d lost my mind and still thinks so today, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  There could be a bit of so ugly it’s pretty at work here, but I absolutely love this portrait.  The distressed frame, subject matter, and countertop art placement receives far more compliments than panned comments.  Expect the unexpected to garner rave reviews.

framed art

What’s on your list of key kitchen essentials?