Monday, October 05, 2015

The Study Lounge

Our home is a 2 story colonial with the bedrooms all on the second floor. One of the bedrooms is pretty small at 9' x 9 1/2'. It has always served as a home office. We had a pretty large desk/wall unit in there that 3 people could easily work at. Instead it was a dumping room with piles of books and supplies on the desk...always a mess. And where did the kids (all 4 of them) end up doing their homework? They would work on the couch, kitchen table, dining room table or their bed! Which meant more backpacks and schoolwork spread all over the house. So, I had an idea to put the small couch from the playroom in the office and relocate the desk....creating a study lounge. They love it!
Come on in!

Since the room is so small I will rotate the photos around the room.  A lounge is not complete without a TV...only for when HW is done:)

I will show you inside the closet in a minute. I think my honey did a great job on the window molding! We may get around to changing the door molding too, but the window was new so we were working from scratch.  One of my favorite vintage folding chairs is a perfect extra seat. Also LOVE the color of the blinds. I will share all resources at the end of this post.

We went with a rustic theme in this room. There are tons of tutorials for plank walls. We used 1/4" plywood ripped into varying widths and lengths and just nailed them up. We did paint the wall behind the planks a much darker grey so any spaces between the boards would not be so visible. I used a combination of stains and paint to achieve the weathered finish.

Planning on a large clock for this blank wall on the right. It's on my long to-do list:)

Not enough room on either side of couch for an end table so we built a small shelf on each side made of pallet wood.
 Perfect for the phone, remote or a drink. And pumpkins too!

I had fun with the gallery wall. A combination of favorite vacation photos, and inspirational words (it is a "study" lounge).  But I also wanted it to be a room the kids could relax in. What's nice about it is that they can come up here, close the door and get their work done without being in the middle of the house during dinner prep and all the rest of the chaos going on downstairs. And for the ones working late at night, we can go to bed and feel better about the kids being upstairs while they finish up their work.

It took a while but we found the perfect picture for over the couch. There was a fine art photographer next to me at a recent art show I participated in. We had a view of this photo the entire weekend and couldn't stop looking at it. The one we saw was about 4ft x 4ft and $3600. We were happy to find a much smaller print of this peaceful shot of a crab farmer in China. My husband made the perfect frame for it and I think it helps to give that relaxed feeling in the study lounge.

I still felt it necessary to have a small desktop for when the kids wanted to work on a computer. The closet was a perfect spot for this and to store all of the supplies needed for getting homework done.
 Shelves above hold baskets of extra supplies and textbooks and study guides. The shelf below the desk holds each of their laptops. Everything has a place...yay!

A charging station is on the left...I never knew these USB outlets existed!

And a custom made shelf/pencil cup holder is perfect for keeping the desktop free of clutter.

This room has been amazing. We finished it just before school began and they've been enjoying it ever since! The couch also opens up to a bed so this room also serves as a guest room. Couldn't do that with the big desk in here before!

Resource list:

Wall and ceiling color: Sherwin Williams Light French Gray

Trim: Benjamin Moore Linen White

Sofa: Ikea

Throw pillows: H&M and Michael's

Gallery wall: Inspirational signs-Hydrangea Home, Industrial Metal number 6-Country Living Fair, Galvanized M-Michael's Craft Store

Photo over couch: John Deng Fine Art Photography

Baskets in closet: Michael's Craft Store

Lighting: Lowes Outdoor lighting department - Portfolio Ellicott Galvanized Outdoor Wall light

Blinds: Home Depot - Home Decorators Collection - Driftwood Flatweave Bamboo Roman Shade


Friday, September 04, 2015

Fall Tablescape Styling Idea

Now that school is back in session, fall will be here soon. Yay! My favorite season! I don't know which I love more, the food or the decorating. So I want to give you some styling ideas for a fall inspired tablescape. This one is set up for a cocktail hour. So fun to create and very simple. 
Come on in!

Looks like a lot of work, but it's a very simple menu. I picked up almost all of it at Trader Joe's. 

A small charcuterie board served on slate includes manchego cheese, chianti salami, apple slices, mango chutney, dried cranberries, and farmhouse cheddar with a honey drizzle. 

A few appetizers from the frozen dept....mushroom turnovers, chicken parm pops, pastry bites with carmelized onions and feta cheese. Yum!

I found some delicious pumpkin salsa from my local Fresh Market store, served with blue and white tortillas. 

Some dipping pretzels with stone ground mustard and a bowl of mixed nuts.

I used a box of butternut squash soup for these mini tasting bowls. I love the little spoons! I added a dollop of greek yogurt and sprinkled a little berbere spice for color and a kick! 

Some wine and pumpkin ale of course! I rimmed these small tasting glasses with a cinnamon sugar mix. So good!

So that's the food, now for the decorating. I always start with my layers...trays, platters, platforms, crates.  I lay it out keeping the flow in mind and the reach. You want it all to be easily accessible. 
You can use tablecloths too but I prefer some linen napkins here and there, I like to see the wood of the farm table (not just because my husband made it ;)  

Now for the the fun stuff! Flowers and props! Keep it simple. I have one large centerpiece down the center and I just coordinated everything else with the green/burgandy preserved hydrangeas.  These pears were the perfect color and I love decorating with produce. You can eat the decorations after! These artichokes are dried however, so no consuming.

Just a few paper mache pumpkins from the shop (because I couldn't find any real ones yet:)

I hope I gave you some ideas for your next dinner party, get together or holiday! Would love to see your tablescape photos. Please share!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Meatless Meal - Cauliflower "steaks"

First of all, I can't believe I haven't posted here since the end of June. There are so many social media sites to keep up with and I obviously am not that great at it. My favorite and where I post most often is Instagram so if you want to keep up with us I recommend looking for @myhydrangeahome on IG. It's quick and easy and very interactive so you can see why I love it there.
Ok, back to the recipe.

Roasted Cauliflower "Steaks"

Roasted Cauliflower "steaks" over lentils with a little fresh parsley. A great meatless dish.
Cut cauliflower into slices at least 1/2" thick so they stay together.
Brush with olive oil and season with s&p and your choice of spices.
I used an adobo spice blend from Tainos Sofrito.
Roasted in a 425 degree oven 20-30 min (flipping once half way through).
Would have been nice with a bit of plain Greek yogurt too. Yummy!
Lentils were just prepared as indicated on package. I added a little adobo seasoning to the finished lentils too. 2 heads of cauliflower served 4 people with a bunch of loose pieces of cauliflower leftover. When you are cutting the head into steaks, you only get about 4 good size pieces that stay intact. I also seasoned and roasted the loose pieces on a separate cookie sheet.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Dining Room - Source list

My brother and sister-in-law spent a lot of time choosing the materials for their new dining room (formerly a covered patio - see previous post HERE). I put together a list of sources for you.
First of all, the contractor, Infinite Home Improvements really did a great job in here. I think he's going to receive a lot of referrals from this project - he does beautiful work. Click HERE for his facebook page (website under construction).

Dining Table and Chairs: Gallery Furniture in Medford, NY
Wicker end chairs: Pottery Barn
Chandelier: Shades of Light
Roman Shades: Smith and Noble
Wall color: Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter
Herboriste sign: Local home decor shop in St. James, NY (name coming soon)

Recycled Brick Flooring: Vintage Brick Salvage

Faux wood beams (I can't believe how realistic they look!): Home Depot

Hutch: a local buy-and-sell find
Accessories: Homegoods and local shops

Paris jug: Homegoods

Rustic French photo canvas art: Hydrangea Home

Let me know if you have any questions about this project or the sources. I love their new space and all of the french touches of course:)  See more photos of this room HERE.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

and the after...Covered Porch ----> Dining Room Conversion

Last month I introduced my brother and sister-in-law's home renovation project. They had a covered porch off of the kitchen and were having it converted to a dining room.  They chose some really cool materials so I thought I would share some photos with you.

A reminder of the before:

My sister in law has a great eye for decorating. I think she should go into business. I love her taste. And was thrilled when she wanted to decorate with some of my photography. She chose a grouping of 6 photos all taken on our trip to France.

So the night we went to their home to deliver the frames and photograph the room, my brother and his wife prepared a great meal for us! Just have to share a few of the dishes.

crackers with carmelized red onions and goat cheese spread

grass fed beef crostini with gruyere

pasta with fresh tuna, arugula and lemon  

and the beautiful tablescape!

I am working on a resource list and will share in another blog post for you!  Let me know if you have any questions!

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

zucchini blossom heaven...

While in Rhinebeck, NY this past weekend (more on that in an upcoming post), we visited the Rhinebeck Farmer's Market. While waiting for the market to open, I spied a photo on the market's Instagram feed of beautiful zucchini blossoms. I LOVE them! So I of course was on a mission to find them! And there they were at the Taliaferro Organic Farmstand. 

First time I had them was at Francine's, a great restaurant in Camden, Maine. We made them at home one other time and have thought about them often! I just don't see them too often for sale.  So tonight my son (the almost 17 year old that wants to be a chef!) made them as a starter for dinner. Stuffed with basil ricotta and fried.  So yummy!  I love when he cooks!

I found the recipe HERE. Enjoy!

Monday, June 01, 2015

a few of my favorites...

I only create and curate things for my shop that I would love for my own home.
Here are a few of my favorite things:
  • a display piece I created from an old door, textured paper and cast iron brackets (it also serves as a great backdrop for product photos)
  • a painted sign representing my love of farmhouse style
  • hydrangeas and my new line of canvas art from my own photos
  • ribbons, burlap, wooden spools and scissors pretty enough to leave out especially in a special bowl or basket
  • boxwoods look good always
  • and finally European linen tea towels
Can you relate?
All (except for my display door) can be found for sale in my shop here: