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  • Sprucing up the living room? A fireplace adds approximately 12% value to a home.
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    April 16, 2014
    DIY Floor Lamp

    I found this great industrial floor lamp DIY via How About Orange (via Lamps – especially stylish ones – can get so so expensive, but they’re not something I usually think about doing myself. This one, however, feels totally doable. I’ve done four or five projects using black metal plumbing pipe and found it really easy to work with. You can even order the pieces online at Home Depot and have them set aside to pick up.

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    April 15, 2014
    Locked Down

    I love this distressed-chic refurbished locker I found on Pinterest. The addition of the mirrors in the doors really gives it some razzle-dazzle. I checked around the web for vintage lockers and found some on Etsy (though I’d hate to think what it costs to have them shipped). Overstock also had a surprisingly large selection of new lockers. You’d definitely be better off scouring your local thrift stores and flea markets. See more vintage repurposed lockers here.

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    April 14, 2014
    Flower Power

    Lovely Flower Tea Chimes from Anthropologie, $28-$68.

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    April 11, 2014
    Fer-tile Ground

    Awesome bathroom tile inspiration from Ikea’s Livet Hemma blog. I love the herringbone pattern and the occasional splashes of pastel.

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    April 10, 2014
    Things are Looking Up

    This upward-facing Basin Floor Lamp would be a fantastic way to highlight art. On sale for $300 at Anthropologie.

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    April 9, 2014
    Etsy Find: Buy 2 Get 1 Free Prints at Pigeon Editions

    Pigeon Edition is having a great sale on all of their lovely prints. I especially like the prints showcasing collections of vintage items. 16″x20″ prints go for $39 each.

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    April 8, 2014
    Cat’s Meow

    These cat puffs from Boramiri – a French seller on – have to be the cutest thing I’ve seen all year. They’re 15″ in diameter, so probably more sofa cushions than floor pouf. I can’t tell if they will deliver outside of France, but the poufs sell for €75.00 each.

    Via Elle Decor Sweden (I think).

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    April 7, 2014
    Double Duty

    This retro-styled AM/FM radio doubles as a speaker for your portable devices. And – bonus – it comes in four candy colors. Crosley Songbird Radio / Speaker, $50 at Urban Outfitters.

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    April 4, 2014
    Weekend Test Kitchen: Lemon Rosemary Cake

    A good friend and colleague of mine recently left our office for a fantastic new job. I decided to bake a cake for her going away party (nothing beats homemade), and knowing lemon is one of her favorites, I hunted down a lemon buttermilk cake recipe from Martha Stewart.

    I decided to make a few adjustments – 1) I added rosemary to both the batter and the lemon syrup; and 2) I used cream cheese frosting instead of the whipped frosting recommended.

    Now, I don’t usually go in for fruit-flavored cakes, but this is one of my new favorites. Here’s the recipe (adapted from Martha Stewart’s Lemon Layer Cake):

    Lemon Rosemary Cake:

    For the Cake:

    1.5 cup (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
    3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pans
    3/4  teaspoon baking powder
    3/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1.5 teaspoons salt
    1.5 tablespoons lemon zest
    3 cups sugar
    3 large eggs plus 4.5 large egg yolks
    1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
    1.5 cups low-fat buttermilk
    1 sprig rosemary (or more if you want strong rosemary flavor)
    1 lemon, thinly sliced and seeded

    STEP 1
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour three 8-by-2-inch cake pans, tapping out excess flour. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, chopped rosemary, and lemon zest.

    STEP 2
    In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and 2 1/4 cups sugar until light and fluffy. With mixer on low, beat in eggs and yolks, one at a time. Beat in 3 tablespoons lemon juice. Alternately beat in flour mixture and buttermilk beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix just until combined.

    STEP 3
    Divide batter between pans; smooth tops. Bake until cakes pull away from sides of pans, 32 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pans 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges of pans and invert cakes onto a wire rack.

    STEP 4
    While cakes are baking, bring remaining 3/4 cup sugar and 3/4 cup water to a boil in a saucepan. Add lemon slices and rosemary sprig and simmer 25 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer lemon slices and rosemary to a waxed-paper-lined plate. Stir remaining 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice into syrup.

    STEP 5
    Using a toothpick, poke holes in warm cakes on rack. Brush with lemon syrup (add several layers). Let cool completely. Prepare frosting (see below). Frost cooled cakes and top with candied lemon slices.


    For the Frosting:

    3/4 cup of butter (1.5 sticks), room temperature
    12 oz of Philly cream cheese (1 package), room temperature
    3 – 4 cups of powdered sugar
    2 teaspoons of lemon juice

    STEP 1
    With an electric mixer, mix the butter and cream cheese together, about 3 minutes on medium speed until very smooth. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure even mixing.

    STEP 2
    Add the vanilla extract and mix. Slowly add the powdered sugar. Keep adding until you get to desired sweetness and thickness.


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    April 3, 2014
    Late to the Party

    A few days ago, I found a post on Coco & Kelly (image above) about these gorgeous woven jute rugs. Of course, I was way too late and the prettiest and most affordable option from World Market had long since sold out. Luckily, a little googling turned up some reasonably priced alternatives.

    The 5′ diameter Serena & Lily rug pictured above is still available for $125.

    And so is this handwoven 5′ jute rug from Great Home, $269.

    This lovely, but smallish, 39″ version is available from Exotiflora for $95.

    Also on the smallish side, this 28″ rug from Camille Designs, $48. By the way, this store offers custom designs, so you might reach out if you are interested in a larger piece.

    And, finally, a 48″ Mandala rug from Twisted Thread & Hook for $200.

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