Thursday, March 26, 2015

Fabric Shopping!

We are working on a few projects that involve choosing multiple fabrics that work and play well together.  This can be a deeply personal decision, where a client will generally have a quick and firm reaction.  That's good!

It's always a good idea to hone in on several things before you start your search.  First, what is the purpose/intent of the project?  Is it for curtain panels, or to recover a chair?  Is it for a few accent pillows, or all the bedding on a king-sized bed?  What type of room?  (formal living room, relaxed playroom for kids)  These factors will help to influence how you go about choosing the fabric.  There are thicker fabrics, with a high synthetic fabric ratio, which are great for re-upholstery. Then there are the washable fabrics and linens, which are better suited for bedding and removable pillow covers.

We also ask our clients what colors they are drawn towards, and what types of patterns (paisley, stripes, damask) they generally don't like.  Of course, you also need to work with other existing elements in a room in most cases.

As an example, we were asked to find an updated but slightly formal fabric for roman shades for a bedroom, in blue. That meant that we were looking for a fabric that's not too heavy, with enough lightness that it will drape well as a shade, knowing the lining fabric needs to be considered.  Here's the results from our initial fabric hunt:

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Before/After :: Teen Lounge Makeover Begins!

Our mission?  To transform a kids' playroom into a fun teen hangout!  We are doing it slowly, as we take away stuff and add organizing systems into the space.  Here's a few before/after shots of just one corner of this large space.  We are excited to reveal the full room in a few weeks!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Fantastic Chicken Soup

I make this soup so much my kids are totally sick of it. But I don't care 'cause I can eat it twice a day all winter! And I've probably already blogged about it. Oh well. It's a classic chicken noodle/rice soup.

I use a roaster or broiler chicken - take all the innards out and dispose of however you want. Then place the chicken in a big pot of water that is heating up. How much water you use just depends on how much soup you ultimately want. Use a big pot! Bring water to a boil and then let simmer for about 45 minutes. You will notice that the chicken sort of begins to bob to the top of the pot - its done! I had always skimmed off the foam that appears on the water as it cooks - but then I read that this is full of protein so last time I made it I left it in and just stirred it to reincorporate it into the soup. Worked fine. Once chicken is finished cooking, turn off heat and remove the chicken from the water. Be careful to make sure there is no water in the cavity of the bird. Let chicken sit in another large bowl until cool enough to handle.

Cover the pot of water and let it sit until you add vegetables and chicken back in. Tear apart all meat from bones. This takes a bit of time and there is A LOT of meat on a chicken. Place torn chicken meat in yet another bowl and start to chop carrots and celery. I use about 10 carrots and 5-6 celery stalks. Again it really just depends on how much of each vegetable you want. I love carrots in my chicken soup - so I add a lot. And that's all that goes into it veggie-wise. Simple is best in my opinion. Bring the water back to a simmer, generously salt and pepper and add some chicken bouillon. About 1-2 tablespoons.  I really like to use Better Than Bouillon. You can find it in the soup section of the grocery store. It's a concentrate in a paste form. Easy to use.

Mix to incorporate and then add veggies and chicken. Heat until carrots and celery are firm but tender and you are done!! Serve with bread, rice or pasta. ENJOY OFTEN. And in the winter I store the whole pot on my screened-in porch. No need to put in fridge!

Very interesting website I found about bone soups - let you know when I try one!