Sunday, January 30, 2011

New Year, New Decor

It is common to start moving things around in the beginning of a new year. Desires for change and transformation, gets the ball rolling for the ultimate redo, come Spring. Enjoy the article below from Buffalo News on trends for 2011 and how you can give your ideas life.New Year New Decor

Fresh and fashionable home decor

By Susan Martin

January is the time when many people get the organizing bug. Once they get that out of their systems, it's time to think about freshening up the decor.

Much joy can come from seeing new colors, new patterns and new ideas for the home. There's nothing like a splash of fresh fabric or an eye-catching accent piece -- even a refurbished one -- to breathe new life into your living quarters. And a few familiar signs of spring -- bird or butterfly motifs on pillows, perhaps -- can always do wonders to beat the winter blues.
As for some trends, this is just a preview of things to come.


For home furnishings, it's all about coming together. Media entertainment centers were a very hot item during the holidays, said Bob Caruso, managing partner of Calvin's Furniture in Clarence. Going along with this is growing interest in sectionals. Although sectionals never really went out, they're very popular again, Caruso said. It's as basic as this: "People want more family time," he said. They want to get together, kick back, watch movies on their big-screen TVs -- and they can do so comfortably by creating a sectional that works for them. Customers can pick an arm style, choose between loose- or attached-back styles, add a chaise and so on, Caruso said.

That same customization moves into the kitchen, where a table-and-chair set comes with a number of options including a selection of leg styles, finishes, etc., he said. Other trends he noted: silver and gray (including mirrors and mirrored accent pieces; silvery textured items such as Bombay chests, and -- still popular -- nickel hardware on espresso- or chocolate furniture finishes). People also are choosing bold pairings, such as transitional pieces mixed with Tuscan-inspired ones (a sleek white sofa paired with a Tuscan-style coffee table, Caruso said).


You have to love the predictions. The word from Benjamin Moore paints: Purple reigns. "From deep smoky wine to wildly pumped-up fuchsia, purple promises to be a predominant color in home decor in 2011," the color pros pronounced. Shades of gray will continue to make themselves at home as well, including a subtle blue gray color called Smoke.

This from "The chameleon among colors, gray is a classic, refined neutral that works well with any color scheme. Depending on the shade, it can be cool and calming or, with a little bit of silver, energetic." And let's not forget about honeysuckle, a dynamic reddish pink Pantone named as its color fo the year. For home interiors, it goes like this: "Honeysuckle is upbeat and dynamic when used on large areas like the entry area of a house or an apartment. It is an appetite and conversation stimulant when used on the dining room walls. In the kitchen, it adds a fun touch on the table in place mats and other linens (patterned or solid), colored glassware, candles and small appliances," according to Pantone.


Be bold. Strong graphics and fearless florals done up in fresh colors already are out there -- especially as accents. Look for them on lamp shades, storage bins, area rugs and dinnerware -- and expect to see more in the coming months. Pier 1 is mad for roses. Pottery Barn's new pillow covers feature some mighty big butterflies. And the February issue of Martha Stewart Living shows classic damask "blown up to new proportions" on rugs, carpets and more. Patchwork is something else to watch for.

Wall covering

A word on walls? "People are definitely going toward more plain wallpapers -- more earth tones and natural-looking wallpapers, such as grass cloths, and eclectic looks such as alligator skin," said Jim Black, from the family-owned Eade's Wallpaper & Fabric in Olean ( Going this route enables one to easily change the look of a room by adding a few new accessories or accent piece without spending a lot of time or money. Wallpapers known as "embossed paintables" also are popular, Black said. "If you have a rough wall in an old house, you put on the wallpaper and let it dry and it covers all the bumps and imperfections," he said. Once it's dry you can paint it with your own paint -- or leave it white. These embossed paintables can mimic wainscotting (picture one in a rich color such as copper) or stucco, for example. They're popular for ceilings as well, with some resembling tin or swirly leaves.

Some ideas to consider in the new year? Perhaps.

But, first, about those messy closets ...

Monday, February 8, 2010

Coupon Alert

Here are this week's finds...

Coupon code: twitter50082010
20% off your order

Coupon code: VA1019751
20% off your entire order

Coupon code: new1729
15% off through February 13, 2010

Coupon code: Visit the store, no coupon needed
$10 off your first order, and every time a friend you referred, makes a purchase.

In the spirit of Valentine's Day.....
Coupon code: FACEBOOK
15% off your order through Valentine's Day

Monday, January 25, 2010

New Year, New Luck

The last quarter of 2009 was a difficult time for my family and I. After gripping with the news of a loved one battling cancer, and slowly watching him wither away, we learned to deal with their passing in the first week of 2010.

While I am in mourning at this time, I am trying to focus on life and work, as these are the only ways that we can push ourselves to look forward. It is easy to immerse yourself in darkness but it is our responsibility to look up, and move forward, if not for ourselves, for our loved ones around us. Truly, the only healing to such pain, is with time.

For the holiday season, I had ordered a handful new aprons for the site and added some beautifully designed tea for one sets. They have been extremely popular and I'm looking forward to replenishing my inventory very soon.

I am offering $5 flat shipping on the following items for the week of January 25-31, 2010.
The year is still dealing with a very shaky economy, thus, let's start it with some special discounts. Enjoy and may you all have a wonderful 2010.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Gearing up for the holiday season

Too soon you may say? Well, I'm like a little child when it comes to Thanksgiving and the Christmas holidays. I believe it is the most beautiful time of the year, where everything seems perfect (people angrily pushing at Target to buy the hottest gifts), people are sweet (rambling on top of one another for sales) and, I don't know, that special spirit is in the air (last minute shopping stress). Awww, you gotta love the season to be jolly.

Well, I have to start looking around for new additions to Brentwood Kitchen to gear up for the holiday season. Although it's another 4 months away, if you have any special suggestions for gifts that I should offer on the site, I would very much welcome them.

And of course, they will always be below the retail value!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Something a little different, and yummy

I may not be a food blogger. However, in the last few weeks, I have made the same new recipe about 3 times and I must say, it has become my new favorite dinner item.

I was at my parents' home on a regular Sunday, waiting for someone to get ready (it feels like eternity, waiting for either one of my siblings or parents to get ready to go anywhere), and watching the Food Network. I sometimes watch the Barefoot Contessa, although I think her food is not the healthiest, she prepares it with such elegance and passion, it's really a viewing pleasure.

She got my attention when she started using lime, avocado and big piece of tuna steak for her recipe. Three items, I love, love, love. After reluctantly waiting a week (different plans came up), the evening finally arrived where I would get to make it at home. I tweaked it a little bit of course, like every cook would, by adding a little more lime than recommended and not serving it on rolls (too heavy) but rather with tortillas.

I am sure you are going to love it.

Here's the recipe, I "borrowed" it from


  • Good olive oil
  • 1 pound very fresh tuna steak, 1-inch thick
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lime, zest grated
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (2 limes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon wasabi powder
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 5 dashes hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco)
  • 1 firm, ripe Hass avocado, medium-diced
  • 1/4 red onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced scallion, white and green parts
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 9 hot dog rolls, grilled or toasted
  • 1 bunch baby arugula, washed and spun dry


Heat a charcoal grill with hot coals. Brush the grill with oil.

Brush both sides of the tuna with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Cook the tuna over the hot coals for about 2 1/2 minutes on each side. Remove to a plate. The tuna should be seared on the outside and raw inside. Allow to cool and cut into cubes.

(If you don't want to heat a grill, you can sear the tuna in a dry saute pan over high heat. Heat the pan for 2 minutes, add the tuna steaks and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on each side until seared on the outside and still raw inside.)

For the dressing, whisk together 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the lime zest, lime juice, wasabi powder, soy sauce, hot sauce, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Toss the avocado in the dressing and then add the tuna, red onion, scallion, and sesame seeds. Line the rolls with arugula leaves, fill with the tuna mixture, and serve.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin