Grilled Chicken Fattoush with Za’atar Ranch

Grilled Chicken Fattoush with Za’atar Ranch

Reunited (with my camera) and it feels SO good! I haven’t picked up my equipment to photograph food since I shot my cookbook months ago and I thought I might be a little rusty but by George I think I’ve still got it! Shooting food today reminded me just how much I love what I […]
Article Source: Grilled Chicken Fattoush with Za’atar Ranch

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Cake & Craft Bas Mitzvah

Cake & Craft Bas Mitzvah

I always say it’s so ironic that I named my blog Busy in Brooklyn because when I actually started blogging, I wasn’t nearly as busy as I am these days. I am truly living up to my name! Thankfully things have quieted down a bit since the whirlwind post-book-release. Just a few days after wrapping […]
Article Source: Cake & Craft Bas Mitzvah

Weekend Reading

Weekend hellos! Thank you so much for your comments on this week’s article on sameness in design, I read every one and so appreciate your insight and observations. Again I’m off on another trip, this one is family focused, I’ll be in Boise and Twin Falls, Idaho for Matt’s family reunion. His cousins are hosting a down home good ol’ fashioned Fourth of July party, complete with BBQ and fireworks. Just what the 4th is all about. 🙂

Favorite links from the week….

 

A great small kitchen renovation (love that backsplash) 😉

Sweet remodel! This camper turned light filled home.

Bold and beautiful front door paint colors.

A very cool graphic backsplash and open shelf design.

Wow, that’s an amazing DIY faux marble table!

A breakdown of low cost airlines worth considering (I’ve flown several).

Love to travel and eat? Check out these city guides.

Designers share their favorite vacation spots.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s 7 life lessons.

Such a great feel good story!

I’ll be taking the next few days off to relax and enjoy the holiday week.

Wishing you all a fabulous Fourth of July!

xo,

Kate

 

Weekend Reading

Weekend hellos! Thank you so much for your comments on this week’s article on sameness in design, I read every one and so appreciate your insight and observations. Again I’m off on another trip, this one is family focused, I’ll be in Boise and Twin Falls, Idaho for Matt’s family reunion. His cousins are hosting a down home good ol’ fashioned Fourth of July party, complete with BBQ and fireworks. Just what the 4th is all about. 🙂

Favorite links from the week….

 

A great small kitchen renovation (love that backsplash) 😉

Sweet remodel! This camper turned light filled home.

Bold and beautiful front door paint colors.

A very cool graphic backsplash and open shelf design.

Wow, that’s an amazing DIY faux marble table!

A breakdown of low cost airlines worth considering (I’ve flown several).

Love to travel and eat? Check out these city guides.

Designers share their favorite vacation spots.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s 7 life lessons.

Such a great feel good story!

I’ll be taking the next few days off to relax and enjoy the holiday week.

Wishing you all a fabulous Fourth of July!

xo,

Kate

 

Weekend Reading

Weekend hellos! Thank you so much for your comments on this week’s article on sameness in design, I read every one and so appreciate your insight and observations. Again I’m off on another trip, this one is family focused, I’ll be in Boise and Twin Falls, Idaho for Matt’s family reunion. His cousins are hosting a down home good ol’ fashioned Fourth of July party, complete with BBQ and fireworks. Just what the 4th is all about. 🙂

Favorite links from the week….

 

A great small kitchen renovation (love that backsplash) 😉

Sweet remodel! This camper turned light filled home.

Bold and beautiful front door paint colors.

A very cool graphic backsplash and open shelf design.

Wow, that’s an amazing DIY faux marble table!

A breakdown of low cost airlines worth considering (I’ve flown several).

Love to travel and eat? Check out these city guides.

Designers share their favorite vacation spots.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s 7 life lessons.

Such a great feel good story!

I’ll be taking the next few days off to relax and enjoy the holiday week.

Wishing you all a fabulous Fourth of July!

xo,

Kate

 

Weekend Reading

Weekend hellos! Thank you so much for your comments on this week’s article on sameness in design, I read every one and so appreciate your insight and observations. Again I’m off on another trip, this one is family focused, I’ll be in Boise and Twin Falls, Idaho for Matt’s family reunion. His cousins are hosting a down home good ol’ fashioned Fourth of July party, complete with BBQ and fireworks. Just what the 4th is all about. 🙂

Favorite links from the week….

 

A great small kitchen renovation (love that backsplash) 😉

Sweet remodel! This camper turned light filled home.

Bold and beautiful front door paint colors.

A very cool graphic backsplash and open shelf design.

Wow, that’s an amazing DIY faux marble table!

A breakdown of low cost airlines worth considering (I’ve flown several).

Love to travel and eat? Check out these city guides.

Designers share their favorite vacation spots.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s 7 life lessons.

Such a great feel good story!

I’ll be taking the next few days off to relax and enjoy the holiday week.

Wishing you all a fabulous Fourth of July!

xo,

Kate

 

Weekend Reading

Weekend hellos! Thank you so much for your comments on this week’s article on sameness in design, I read every one and so appreciate your insight and observations. Again I’m off on another trip, this one is family focused, I’ll be in Boise and Twin Falls, Idaho for Matt’s family reunion. His cousins are hosting a down home good ol’ fashioned Fourth of July party, complete with BBQ and fireworks. Just what the 4th is all about. 🙂

Favorite links from the week….

 

A great small kitchen renovation (love that backsplash) 😉

Sweet remodel! This camper turned light filled home.

Bold and beautiful front door paint colors.

A very cool graphic backsplash and open shelf design.

Wow, that’s an amazing DIY faux marble table!

A breakdown of low cost airlines worth considering (I’ve flown several).

Love to travel and eat? Check out these city guides.

Designers share their favorite vacation spots.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s 7 life lessons.

Such a great feel good story!

I’ll be taking the next few days off to relax and enjoy the holiday week.

Wishing you all a fabulous Fourth of July!

xo,

Kate

 

Life in a Floating Home

I was catching up on a stack of magazines yesterday. One of my favorite publications is Sunset Magazine, and inside was an article about a family reunion on a houseboat. It’s a worthy read and a well written glimpse into a summer gathering on a rented vessel.

When I was visiting Seattle last month, I booked an afternoon sailing tour of Lake Washington where my captain sailed us past an entire community of floating homes, including the one made famous by the film Sleepless in Seattle.

It made me imagine living life on the water, where the bark of a seal is your wakeup call and you spend your evenings looking at a panoramic water view.

 

floating home in Seattle

People use the term “houseboat” loosely to describe both a mobile vessel and a moored residence, but there is a distinction. Homes that are permanently docked on the water are called floating homes. They are berthed indefinitely, and connected to city water and sewer. Houseboats, like barges and boats, are free to roam, and dock where permitted.

Floating homes all come with additional complications, government oversight, local regulations, community rules, and the engineering challenges of living in a residence that floats on the water. Just a 30 minute drive from my home is a thriving floating home community in Sausalito, California, similar to dozens more communities that exist around the world.

I’m a student of how people live, especially when it’s outside the box, so I find this lifestyle fascinating. I hope you’ll find these floating residences and houseboats equally as inspiring as I do.

A personal story of remodeling a houseboat in Marin County, California.

 

 

Read this couple’s story of building a family friendly floating home in San Francisco.

 

 

 

A minimalist and modern house on water built by Dirkmarine in Denmark.

 

 

 

I love the graphic patterns inside this rustic and refined barge docked in London.

 

 

 

Tour this luxurious and contemporary floating home, the The Solstice in Seattle.

 

 

 

Scandinavian influences are present inside this floating home in Copenhagen.

 

 

 

You’ll recall Chip and Joanna made this home famous on their show Fixer Upper.

 

 

 

You can buy a floating bungalow that can tie off at any private dock or marina.

 

 

 

Looking for a Florida vacay? Splurge on The Luxuria vacation rental in Ft. Lauderdale.

 

 

 

Stay in this floating home if you’re visiting Vancouver.

 

 

Here’s a modern home with wood tones throughout anchored in Portage Bay.

 

 

 

These Nautilus boats are crossovers, designed to live like homes.

 

 

 

If you have romantic notions about living in a floating home, read this insider article about the charm and challenges of this type of residence. You might also enjoy an architect’s perspective on how to build a floating home.

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A Sea of Sameness

I returned from Europe on Friday and took a few days to rest and acclimate to the time change. It was a whirlwind trip and I experienced so much, I’ll share more of what I saw in the weeks to come.

I noticed something during my trip, that the power of the internet is taking over the world of design. As we become more connected, elements of design are on exponential repeat around the globe.

I was sitting in a cafe in Brussels a week ago, and it struck me how I really could have been in anywhere USA. The ubiquitous elements were all present: white subway tile, metal Tolix barstools, black warehouse pendants.

 

cafe in brussels

There is an emerging harmonization of tastes, and globalization is the reason behind it. It’s as though people have come to expect a certain look when they enter a coffee shop or bistro. Edison bulbs, brick walls, reclaimed wood, industrial chairs. These elements are now commonplace around the world.

 

cafe in prague

I stayed in an Airbnb apartment in Prague last week, and immediately noticed that every single cup, pillow, piece of art and furniture came from IKEA. Clearly, the proprietor had taken the quick and easy route with the decor. It was clean and pretty, but it had no soul.

Brands like IKEA have heavily influenced the global design aesthetic making it all too simple to buy from big box stores to furnish a space, then call it a day. They sell products loved at first sight, but ones that eventually become boring once everyone else owns them. We love to shop IKEA because it’s cheap and mostly well made, but become blasé when we see the same products rearranged and photographed over and over again.

IKEA is not alone in the manufacturing of sameness. I stepped into a home store in Antewerp and thought, again, this could be anywhere USA, these homogeneous products are for sale to appease the masses. I saw several things I loved for my home, but knew I could find something similar back home.

 

zara home, antewerp, belgium

 

I stayed in an Airbnb loft in Brussels, the decor was curated and more eclectic, which I appreciated. The owner had filled the space with necessities, and had also taken the time to layer the space with interesting artwork and lighting. Greater effort had been made to mix classic and modern, old and new.

 

loft in brussels, belgium

 

When I ducked into the lobby of a hotel in Bruges in Belgium, I unexpectedly entered a room filled with dappled light and curvy wing chairs upholstered in luxurious velvet. I stopped to soak it all in because it was a medley of colors and shapes never seen before. There was no “sameness” present here. It was a unique and beautiful space filled with classic and thoughtful touches that made sense in this little place in the world.

 

hotel de orangerie, bruges, Belgium

 

Anyone who browses Pinterest notices this sameness I speak of. The safe choices. A herd mentality where people adopt the same look, over and over. Sameness swallowing uniqueness.

This is what I’ve come to appreciate about blogs with originality and sites like Apartment Therapy house tours. It’s refreshing to see people move away from a bandwagon style of decorating. It’s another reason why I love to travel, to experience both sides of design, to observe the effects of globalization and mass produced sameness, but also to encounter the uniqueness that still remains.

This is why we need creatives in this world, the artists and designers who beautify spaces with their talents and individual expression. As threatening as the internet is to uniqueness, it’s also necessary for innovation, so the same look doesn’t get rehashed over and over again.

If you’re like me, you look forward to reading blogs and design sites every day because it’s there where we’re stimulated, educated, and inspired about design. What are your thoughts on “sameness” in design? Do you get bored of the same look too?

 

 

DIY: No Sew Curtains and Pillow Covers

I brought the new summer fabrics (featured earlier this week) with me to Las Vegas to photograph because the light was better in that house, however I didn’t have time before I left to sew a sample curtain or pillow covers, so I made them there with a few rolls of fusible iron-on adhesive tape (find it at any sewing supply store or Hobby Lobby).

Iron on tape has been around forever and it’s a great product for making a basic curtain panel or pillow cover without the need for a sewing machine. You’ve seen this before in tutorials around the web, but I thought it worth revisiting, especially for those of you who don’t own a sewing machine or don’t know how to sew. You can still make your own rod pocket curtains and envelope pillow covers with this method!

 

DIY No Sew Rod Pocket Curtain Panel

This curtain panel I made with my Watercolor Leaf print (in the Peacock blue) with just an iron, ironing board, and iron-on adhesive tape. Make sure you have enough yardage to run not just the length from the rod to the floor, but also an extra foot to form the pocket up top and and the bottom hem below.

 

 

For those of you who’ve never used this product before, it looks like a roll of tape, but it’s soft and pliable and the adhesive is only activated with the heat of an iron. Every package will tell you how it works, each roll costs about $2-3.

 

Start first by making the vertical hems down both sides. You have two choices, you can fold the edge of the fabric over once, this is totally fine, but it will leave the raw edge of the fabric visible on the back. Use the iron-on tape as instructed on the package to fuse the edge to make the vertical hems.

 

 

A raw edge is not a big deal but if you like finished edges like I do, roll the fabric under not once but twice, then use the fusible web to create that cleaner looking hem. I apply the iron-on tape in 8 to 10” sections working my way down the length of the fabric.

 

 

Once you’re done with both vertical hems, you’ll next form the top pocket which will hang on the rod. To form the top pocket where the curtain will hang, fold over the top of the fabric allowing plenty of room for the rod to slip through. I usually allow about 3” for a 1” curtain rod so it will slide back and forth on the rod easily.

Use the iron-on adhesive to fuse the fabric together to form the pocket. I like to fold under the corner at the edge and use a small piece of iron-on tape to secure it so that the corner is nicely tucked away and invisible.

 

 

Once you’ve finished the two side hems and the top pocket, hang your curtain on its rod in place, there should be several inches of extra fabric for you to play with and decide where you want the bottom hem. I recommend using a pin to indicate where you want the final edge to be so you don’t cut too much fabric and end up with a curtain that’s too short.

 

 

 

The nice thing about this method (compared to sewing) is there is no need to remove the curtain panel like you would if you were sewing the bottom hem, you can simply cut the panel in place on top of the iron board, then bond the hem with iron-on adhesive tape in place.

 

Create the bottom hem just as you did the side hem and rod pocket, using the iron-on tape.

 

If you’ve never tried this product, you’ll be shocked how easy it is to make your own curtains with any fabric yardage. For those that don’t sew, it’s a whole new world! 🙂

 

 

 

 

No Sew Envelope Pillow Covers

 

The above envelope pillow covers was made using the same iron-on adhesive tape, this is the Watercolor Leaf print in Spa blue.

I’ve published and easy DIY envelope pillow tutorial before and sometimes questions arise as to how the fabric is laid out, so I think it’s helpful to show how this works. Here’s the visual. You need a piece of fabric that’s wide enough to wrap around the entire pillow insert (whatever size you’re using, I typically use a 20” pillow insert). You’ll also need a few extra inches  of fabric above and below the top and bottom of the pillow insert, like this:

 

 

Note how the fabric completely wraps around the pillow insert – allow for a few inches of overlap to create an envelope opening, shown below:

 

 

 

 

When piecing the pillow cover together with iron-on tape, remember you’ll flip the fabric around and fuse the fabric together inside out. The above is just a visual to show you how the envelope opening is formed on the back of the pillow cover.

First step, create the hem of the envelope with the iron on tape, do this for both sides of the envelope.

 

 

Next, flip the fabric inside out to fuse the top and bottom seams together to form the envelope. I borrowed this diagram from my other envelope pillow tutorial to demonstrate:

 

Inside out, the fabric looks like the image below. Before fusing the fabric together, double check the width of your pillow cover by placing the pillow insert on top.

 

Layer the tape inside to form the seam. It’s not shown but I recommend doubling up the iron-on tape with two strips one on top of the other to create an even stronger bond to avoid any risk the fabric would pull apart.

 

Use the iron to fuse the seams with the iron-on tape to form the pillow cover. When complete, allow a few minutes for the tape to cool completely to ensure a strong bond.

 

Flip your pillow cover so the fabric is right side out …..

 

….and stuff it with your pillow insert. Super easy.

 

 

That’s my easy way to make both a rod pocket curtain panel and a envelope pillow cover without touching a sewing machine!

 

 

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