Sunday, December 31, 2006

Wood Rug from West Elm

Wood block rug made of ebony, $599.99 for the 8'x10' at West Elm. A great solution for a carpeted or concrete floor that you don't want to spend the money to redo with hardwood.

Friday, December 29, 2006

2007 Trends: Terrariums

I ran across this post about terrariums on Design*Sponge. Of course, it takes seeing something more than a few times before it really grabs my attention and I have seen tidbits about terrariums in more than a few design magazines over the past few months and I expect to see more in the coming months. I would guess that terrariums are the new succulents.

If you want to throw together a quick terrarium, try these hurricane candle holders and alabaster bases from West Elm. I saw them in the store during the after Christmas sale and really thought they were meant for plants. They have a vent at the top of the dome that will keep moisture in while allowing the air to circulate.

Glass Hurricanes $49-$69
Alabaster Slab, free but shipping is $12-$24

Kim Family Benefit

An auction of fine art and craft items benefiting the family of James Kim will begin January 3rd on eBay. Get a sneak peak at items, including this fairy take suitcase, on the Kim Family Benefit site. Bidding ends January 7th.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

I hope everyone's holidays were great.

We had the family over and tried to make rack of lamb. The meat came out about 30 minutes late, but was delicious, so I'm calling that a success. It's the kind of success I don't want to attempt to repeat until we get a nicer oven. I do have some new recipes that were real successes, which I plan to post this week. I'm also in the middle of reading The Improvisational Cook, which is marvelous. I'll post a review of that as well as my thoughts on Arabesque. And I promise I'll do all that right after I finish cleaning the house and hitting the after-Christmas sales.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Ikea Sale Has Already Started

Click here for more information or a location near you.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Furniture Sale at Hadley and Harriet's

The Dallas Morning News' shopping blog has this note about a sale at Hadley and Harriet's. It is the store in the old house on Lemmon Ave., next to the La Madeline. The store has 30-75% off on furniture.

Hadley and Harriet
3922 Lemmon Avenue

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Restaurant Review: Kitchen 1924

I recently ate a Kitchen 1924 in Lakewood. Despite their recent appearance in a Dallas top 10 list, I was not impressed. First, I found the restaurant to be quite loud and the service a little slow. I ordered the trout and my husband ordered the flatiron steak. We also ordered a side of mashed potatoes and a side of mac and cheese. The food was average - nothing better than what you would expect from a decent meal at a neighbor's house. The sides were extremely small as well, and were not cheap.

All and all, I ended up quite a bit poorer (at $25 - $40 a person) and feeling like I had eaten at home. I checked Guide Live's review for back-up on this opinion. Apparently I'm the only one who doesn't like this place.

Kitchen 1924
1924 Abrams Rd.
Dallas, 75214

Storehouse on Lover's Officially Closed

Driving by the Storehouse location on Lovers yesterday evening, I noticed that it is totally dark and empty. I'm not sure about the one on the Tollway, but hopefully someone got some good deals before the store was shuttered.

Their Web site also appears to be gone.

Ceramic Boat Cleats as Towel Hooks

A very cool towl-hook via Apartment Therapy. These would also make sleek coat hooks.

Where are Dallas' Horse Communities?

I stumbled across this NYT article about a Burbank, CA community that is fighting to keep Whole Foods out because they are worried about increased car traffic in a neighborhood where people are inclined to trot about on horse-back. What I can't believe is that LA has a neighborhood with a barn and Dallas really doesn't. I know there is a small barn near White Rock Lake and a few small barns in Garland (which is not on my list of places I'd love to live), and one in Las Colinas (which is sooooo expensive) but nothing like what is pictured here.

I've scoured new community listings and have yet to find a new equestrian-friendly community going up anywhere. What if you want to ride and enjoy the city life?

Has anyone run across a good near-town barn lately?

Monday, December 18, 2006

Modern Kiwi Sofa at

Grassroots Modern just posted this great modern sofa found on for $299! The matching chair is available for $179 and shipping is a mere $2.95.

Last Minute Gifts: Free $30 iTunes Gift Card

According to The Bargainist, Best Buy is offering a free $30 iTunes gift card with the purchase of select iPods and MP3 players.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Fun Can Opener

Well, as fun as a can opener can be. The Boston Warehouse Toucan Can Opener. $19.99 at

20 Best Food Books of 2006

If you are still shopping for gifts or just need some holiday reading, check out this list of the 20 best food books of 2006. Topping the list is The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollen. I just picked up the runner-up, Arabesque, by Claudia Roden, which covers the cuisines of Morocco, Turkey, and Lebanon and is beautifully photographed. I'm looking forward to learning a few new tricks for Christmas dinner.

More Cool Alternative Wreaths

Check out more unusual wreaths at Dress Your Nest, including this amazing antler wreath.

Thanks to Celee for the tip.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Holiday Decorating: A Modern Wreath

A very simple evergreen wreath in an unexpected shape. $60 from Jayson Home and Garden.

Via Apartment Therapy Chicago

Hooray for Horses

Perhaps because I'm from Texas, I absolutely love horses. I've never had many horse-themed items in my home because they tend to be Western or Country-Cottage in style. Not so anymore. Here are a few recent online horse-themed finds:

The just-about life-sized resin horse lamp from Front Design for Moooi. Via Apartment Therapy and Shelteriffic. $4,100 (ouch!)

The wild horse candelabrum from Fjorn. On sale for $279. Via Apartment Therapy.

The wilderness lamp from Eric Ginder. $1,024. Ok, so these are actually cast resin caribou hooves. Close enough. Via Apartment Therapy.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Finally, a Photo of Our Christmas Tree

Last week my laptop died a slow painful death, apparently due to a malfunctioning fan, but I have a new computer now so here is the photo of our Christmas tree I have been intending to upload. I couldn't get the lighting quite right (flash was too much, but overhead light wasn't enough), but hopefully it looks ok.

Customize Your Gifts with Old Magazine Photos

I have to admit I'm a magazine hoarder. I have stacks of old magazines in my cabinets and under the bed at my house. The reasons I keep them are varied. Some have a great recipe or ideas I hope to use in the future. Some just have an inspirational image, and to be honest, some I keep because I'm just in the habit of keeping them.

In an effort to avoid walling myself into my home with periodicals, I've devised a way to use old magazines to customize my gift wrap this year. I've simply pulled winter and Christmas themed images out of old and new magazines and cut them out. I then used rubber cement to glue the photos in place on wrapped presents. I haven't finished getting all of my ribbons and bows done, but I really like the way these are turning out so far.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Bargainist: Keep Track of Deals and Sales

Just ran across a link to this site on the D Home Blog. Now you can keep up with sales and deals via RSS feed.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Stocking Stuffer for Guys

Peter Holmblad bottle opener, $32.44.

A Better Wine Gift

A 12-piece set of wine tools to which you add your own bottle of wine.

Available here for $60.00

Via Product Dose

Martha's Tree Trimming Advice Tested and Approved

Last night I decorated our tree. Now that I think about it, I should probably post a photo of said tree, but I wasn't that organized last night.

We have a 5' artificial tree that is pre-lit. I know, blasphemy, but we live in Texas. It's usually warm here during the winter, which I think makes for more rapid wilting of the fresh evergreens. Plus, I can't stand my furry dogs tracking pine needles all over the house in their fur.

I did try out Martha's ornament separating advice to great success. I have traditional glass bulbs only, no figural ornaments. I started by sorting the ornaments by color: green, white/silver, gold, red, blue, and "other." I put the green ornaments on first since they blend with the foliage and make a better backdrop, being careful to cover the tree evenly. I then added the white/silver ornaments, followed by gold, then red, then blue, then "other," which included orange, hot-pink, purple, and glittery ornaments. The result was that the tree was decorated more quickly with less agonizing and moving ornaments around after the fact. My husband came in and said it looked professionally done. He might be exaggerating, but I was happy with the results.

Target Watch: Cool Stuff on Sale

Bowling on Brown Art Box, $14.99 at

Thomas O'Brien Round Leather Serving Tray, $7.49 at

Thomas O'Brien Vintage Modern Mosaic Table with Chairs, $ 146.98 at

Thomas O'Brien Modern Bi-Fold Shelf, $239.99 at and in stores.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Ikea's Alta Bike is Pretty Enough for the Wall

If I lived in a city where I actually could ride my bike to work, this is a bike I would love to have, at least for the looks. I don't know what the ride is like as this is a fixed-wheel model, but the Alta is certainly refined enough to hang as art. The two-wheeler is already being called an affordable design classic by the bloggers of "This Next." Read more here.

Click here for the Alta Bikes Site.

Hostess Gifts: Books for Cooks

'Tis the season to party, and all that party attending leads to the question of giving an appropriate host/hostess gift. The easiest gift is always a nice bottle of wine or bubbly, but how about a great cook book for the chef? Here are a few suggestions:

If you're not sure what books they already have, you can't go too wrong with the 75th anniversary edition of The Joy of Cooking. Available at for $18.

For those who refuse to be a slave to the recipe, The Improvisational Cook gives ingredient-driven recipes and teaches you how to improvise based on what you have on-hand in your kitchen. $23.07 at

For the adventurous chef, one of my personal favorites, The Sultan's Kitchen. Of the Turkish cookbooks I have, which are many, this is the most beautiful. The recipes are a little complicated and labor intensive, but well worth the work. $13.57 at

Tree Trimming How-To

So Martha isn't known for her mod decorating tastes. The woman knows how to decorate a tree and the advice is good regardless of what the ornaments look like.

From the Martha Stewart Living Web site:

Our Secrets for Trimming the Tree

There's no wrong way to decorate a tree, but if you want to emulate our style, follow these steps.

1. Place tree stand in a watertight planter (ours measures 18 inches square) to yield a more tailored look than a tree skirt—and create extra room for presents.

2. String up the lights first, running them around individual branches to create a sense of depth.

3. Lay out ornaments, and consider a palette. Hang dominant colors to establish a rhythm, and then intersperse them with accents in other hues.

4. Use simple ornaments to create a backdrop for more ornate antiques as well as homemade, sentimental favorites.

5. Take a step back while decorating to see which areas need filling. Hang ornaments inside the tree—not just near its edges—for added dimension, and don't neglect the back of the tree.

6. Hang fragile ornaments near the top, where they will be less likely to get knocked off by pets and passersby.

7. Emphasize the vertical shape of the tree by hanging long, dangling ornaments—for example, icicles and teardrops. Suspend icicles at branch ends so that they look as they do in nature.

8. Keep lightweight clip-on ornaments (such as birds) on hand; they're useful fillers at branch ends.

9. Turn the lights off (or down if you are using a dimmer switch) when photographing, because excessive glare will make the tree look flat.

10. When taking down ornaments, organize them by color in boxes. Keep them in a cool, dry location, such as on the top shelf of a spare closet.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Are You Ready for See-Through Appliances

I'd rather the sins of my moldy leftovers be left unseen, but this is very cool to look at. In someone else's house.

Via Apartment Therapy

Feliz Navi Mod - Cool Stuff at Pier One

Feliz Navi Mod is Pier One's holiday slogan and they mean it. I was searching away for a more modern take on the holiday decor, and I honestly didn't even consider the Pier One site. Thanks to Modern Cottage for the tip.

Pier One even has their holiday stuff divided by color and I was pleased to see that the site has finally gotten a much needed make-over. Finds include wrapping paper, ornaments, and decor. I will definitely be making a visit to the store this weekend for the first time in years.

My favorite: the glass cone trees above. $11.25-$15 on sale through 12/24/06.

Also, this bird ornament on sale for $4.50 through 12/24/06.

Off Topic: Light a Candle and Donate to AIDS Causes

Bristol-Myers Squibb is donating $1 for every virtual candle lit on their Light to Unite site in honor of World AIDS Day. Please take a few minutes to make a visit and spread the word. Over 300,000 candles have been lit so far.

Alternative Holiday Decor: Whimsical Tree Pillows

These hand-made tree pillows are decorated with ribbon, beadwork, and applique. Available at Garnet Hill for $18 a piece. Each has a hanging loop on the back and could be used in place of a wreath or hung on the wall inside for the season.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Plant Sale at the Texas Discovery Gardens

Also from the Shop Better Here blog:

Sprucing up your casa for the in-laws this season? Don't forget the curb appeal.

Shop the holiday plant sale, now through December 31 at Texas Discovery Garden at Fair Park.

What's growing? How about trees, shrubs and a variety of gorgeous flowering plants. Perfect gift option for the "Green" peeps in your life as well.

Get special treatment by calling ahead and making an appointment: Beverly Hayes, Director of Horticulture, 214-428-7476, option 5.

3601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Free Holiday Decorating Class

From the Shop Better Here blog:

Needs some tips for making your mantle beautiful for the holidays? Or how about a few tricks for dressing up the dining table?

This Sunday, the Knox Henderson Pottery Barn is hosting a free holiday decorating class from 11 to 11:30 a.m. More than 100 people have already signed up, so hurry and call 214-252-9106 to book a spot.

Pottery Barn, 3212 Knox St.
--Brittany Edwards

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Antiques of the Future

I'm a little late getting around to this post, but Apartment Therapy linked to a site called Antiques of the Future a few weeks back. The site and a book by the same name are authored by Lisa Roberts, collector of future antiques. Here are a few of her criteria for the objects included in the collection:

1. The object must have strong and immediate visual appeal.
2. The object must be massed produced.
3. The object must have been designed and produced in the past 50 years.
4. The object should not be produced with the intent of it being "collectible."
5. The object may have been exhibited in museums or galleries.
6. The object may be in a museum's permanent collection.
7. The object may have been published.
8. The object may have won design awards.
9. The object's designer may have been recognized for preceding designs.

More info (and pictures of the entire collection) at

From what I can tell I don't own any future antiques, but I really wish I owned this knotted chair by Marcel Wanders.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Urban Outfitters - Xmas too Edgy?

I keep thinking I'd like my Christmas decorations to be a little more interesting, maybe a little more modern, but has Urban Outfitters' crossed the line in trying to put a little edge on Christmas? I don't find this gun ornament offensive, but I do find it ugly and pointless. With the quality and aesthetics of this glittery gun, I don't think U.O. can claim this is about design.

I love the idea of the edgy black ornament, but it can be and has been done better.

This crown ornament is out of stock online, but available in the West Elm store at Mockingbird station.

Via Adfreak

The Lucky Online Gift Guide

Lucky Magazine's site has a small gift guide which includes a few fun items for the home under $50

Naoko Tea Maker, $49.95 at Bodum

Espresso Cup and Fig Leaf Saucer, $24 at The NY Botanical Garden Shop.

Baker's Edge Brownie Pan

Excellent news for those who enjoy the delicious, chocolatey, crispy, buttery brownie crust. Baker's Edge has created a pan that gives you more edges to savor. No more fighting your family for the corner piece, this pan is all corners. Available at the Baker's Edge site as well as

Via not martha

Monday, November 27, 2006

10% off at Bluefly Starting Tomorrow

From the Dallas Shops blog:

We love for its below retail priced selection of DVF, Frette, Pucci and more. Today though, we really love the fashion and home site.

From now until 6:30 a.m. tomorrow, it's marking down (almost) everything an extra 10 percent. Don't worry about whipping out the calculator, reductions are reflected in the sale merchandise prices.

We suggest checking out the Dwell bedding section...
--Brittany Edwards

Dish-up's Take on the Plain, White Plate

Ran across these very interesting dishes on the Stylehive Blog. They wouldn't be any more interesting than any other modern take on the plain, white dish if it weren't for the fact that they can store on their sides. I'm not sure that storing dishes on their sides instead of in a stack makes better use of space, but I think it might look quite nice in a kitchen with open shelving or glass cabinet doors.

Dish Up
Designer: Chaiyut Plypetch
Price: US$39.00 at Generate

Corrections: Contact Info for Rakku

If you are looking for the Rakku shoe wheel I posted a few weeks back, please use the updated contact information below:
800-51-RAKKU or 800-517-2558

Cyber Monday

Didn't get enough deals over the weekend? Shop from work on the sly today for additional savings as it is Cyber Monday - kick-off of the online holiday shopping season. For a list of savings from, check out the Cyber Monday site.

Holiday Cookies

I've always felt that we get started a little too early thinking about the holiday season. The last several years, I've seen Christmas decor out next to the scant Halloween displays in late September. I've also never been a fan of fluffy Santa figurines and resin angel statues. I like my holidays a little more toned-down. But I do love holiday baking. Nothing conjures up fond childhood memories faster than a house warmed with the smell of holiday sweets.

To that end, here is a link to the Martha Stewart Cookie Glossary to get you started. I always float the idea of a cookie exchange at my office. You'd be surprised how many people are actually interested. It's a fun way to put together gifts if you enjoy giving baked goods but aren't in the mood to prepare 10 different cookie recipes at home by yourself.

Online Coupon for Casa Mexicana

From the Dallas Shops blog:

Experience the sounds, the colors, the smells and the taste of a Feliz Navidad. Starting today, the day after Thanksgiving, Casa Mexicana will be open every day until December 25.

Mention this blog posting and receive 20% off one item in the shop.

Casa Mexicana, 2710 Live Oak, 214-747-7227
Monday-Saturday 10 am - 6 pm; Sunday 12 noon - 5 pm

Photo: From left to right, Tom Hickey and Larry Sanders, owners of Casa Mexicana shot by Kye R. Lee
--Christopher Wynn

Off Topic: Dallas' Top Ten Restaurants

A list of Dallas' top 10 restaurants was posted to the D Home blog over the weekend. I obviously don't get out enough, I don't recognize half of these. Sounds like a good excuse to eat out.

Top 10 New Restaurants of 2006
By Nathan Stull, Dallas

What were the top new dining spots this year? Make reservations at the hottest restaurants that opened in 2006, read users' opinions and create your own list to share.

The Top 10
1. Bijoux 5450 W Lovers Ln, Dallas, TX Chef-owned, Park Cities eatery draws inspiration from classical French cuisine.

2. Shinsei 7713 Inwood Rd, Dallas, TX Celebrity chef spouses Tracy Rathbun and Lynae Fearing operate this pan-Asian fusion restaurant and sushi bar near Park Cities.

3.Trece Mexican Kitchen and Tequila Lounge 4513 Travis St, Dallas, TX Knox-Henderson Mexican restaurant's name is Spanish for 13.

4. Craft 2440 Victory Park Ln, Dallas, TX Chef Tom Colicchio opens famed Manhattan eatery in first Texas W Hotel.

5. Bice Ristorante 400 Crescent Ct, Dallas, TX Internationally renowned Italian chain operates a Dallas location in elegant Crescent Court.

6. Kitchen 1924 1924 Abrams Rd, Dallas, TX Intimate and casual restaurant nestled in the Lakewood offers a neighborhood feel and appetizing new
American dishes.

7. Grill on the Alley 13270 Dallas Pkwy, Dallas, TX An Art Deco motif provides the backdrop for upscale American food at this Dallas Galleria restaurant.

8. Amuse 1326 S Lamar St, Dallas, TX Late-night menu and Southside on Lamar location draw trendy downtown revelers.

9. Coal Vines 2404 Cedar Springs Rd, Dallas, TX Tiny matchbox of a spot in Uptown serves authentic New York-style thin-crust pizza.

10. ZEA WoodFire Grill 8100 Dallas Pkwy N Ste 115, Plano, TX Casual but upscale American restaurant, part of a small chain birthed in New Orleans, specializes in grilled and rotisserie meats.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

More Guy-Approved Gift Ideas

Here are a few more gift ideas under $50 for the guys on your list:

A laptop case or bag

A decanter

A nice bottle of liquor or wine (mentioned by almost every guy who responded)

Bar stuff

A new wallet

A watch (hard to find anything good under $50. Pictured above, the Edge from Fossil. $65)

A framed poster of his favorite movie

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Setting the Table

A little refresher from Apartment Therapy NY. Once you get into their post, click the Farmer's Almanac link for a key to decipher the diagram.