The Portable Buffet

When it comes to talking buffets I immediately find myself wondering 'portable or built-in?' My home came with a built-in buffet and since my home was erected about a century ago it's no special feature, I find that most old homes have the built-in buffets. The built-in buffet has many great aspects to it, the most obvious one being you move into a home that already has a beautiful buffet in an alcove like setting. But a part of me so loves the portable buffet, afterall, you can't move the built-in buffet to a different area of the room and you can't pick the style of buffet you so desire, plus, there's just something so charming about a stand-alone buffet that was placed exactly there to house your beautiful China or other dinner-setting whatnots.

In the back of my mind I've definitely been toying with the idea of how great it would be to get a buffet, even though the fact that I already have a built-in one stops me from squandering money in such a way (my husband is in my head!) and for awhile there I did stop thinking about the buffet, but then I saw the Emmerson Buffet by West Elm with it's rustic charm and it's simple design... so now I'm back to fantasizing about portable buffets.

So the Emmerson Buffet inspired me to imagine a life with a portable buffet, a buffet that can charm me everyday with its rustic charms.  My honest opinion on the West Elm Emmerson Buffet? I absolutely love it! Price? Fair, but that fair price is still too expensive for me, especially for a piece that looks like it can be made in your garage (though I'm absolutely sure it is a lot harder to make than I give it credit for). 

So on I go with the hunt for an equally charming and rustic buffet!

The Cucina Pinot Grigio Sideboard by Crate & Barrel is priced at $1,299! While it is a beautiful piece the price is all I can pay attention to, although in the back of my mind someone or something is whispering 'you get what you pay for'- And while this may be the truth for some things is it true for the portable buffet? Hmmm. The Cucina Pinot Grigio Sideboard has plenty of space to store items with pegged shelving for extra storage for larger items, I can picture a set of beautiful collector urns all in a row sitting down below.

For $399.99 Cost Plus World Market has the Antique Black Verona Buffet. While I think that red would have made for a more rustic and charming look Black is, I have to admit, rather chic. The Antique Black Verona Buffet features an overall appearance of chic (via color) and rusticity (via design *ahem barn-inspired doors). With storage for wine, two exposed shelvings and enclosed cabinet space the Verona Buffet is very user friendly.

But my favorite buffet today is Ikea's Liatorp Sideboard. Not only is the price right but I've completely fallen for the side glass cases and the center exposed shelving. The white color lends itself to charm and a country-vibe. I look at the Liatorp Sideboard and I can imagine it in so many other places other than the dining room serving as a buffet (although yes, it would be quite beautiful there), but what about the bathroom? Even the nursery! - Oh~ that is exciting.

A sly trick for those living without Air-Conditioning: The Texas Summer

2012, Summer, Los Angeles - the days of unbearable heat are never-ending, and having just moved into a single-story, century-year old home with no air-conditioning the Los Angeles summer heat is  stifling, suffocating... sweaty, in a nutshell, absolutely terrible! Even my poor terrier-poodle tries to escape it by hiding in corners that never see daylight, there she will escape disappearing for hours as she sleeps in probably what is, no doubt, the coolest part of the house- 'if only I was as small as she, if only I was a dog', I think to myself.

I suppose with my daily complaints of the heat my husband decided to be proactive and do some research on how to keep an AC-less home cool. We tried a simple idea that is called "The Texas Summer", apparently this method is used in homes where Summer's are absolutely the worst, places like... Texas?

The Texas Summer method is done by keeping windows open in the evening and overnight to allow the cool evening air to enter and pass through the home, come morning all the windows are closed- the idea is to trap the cool evening air thus resulting in a cooler home.

This being a rather simple method, besides we really didn't have anything to lose, my husband and I tried The Texas Summer in our home. We kept the windows open all night and evening, come morning around 7AM when I woke to walk my terrier-poodle I closed all the windows. What do you think happened?

The Texas Summer really does work! This method will not keep your home cool all day as if you had an AC but it does make it much more bearable. The house will stay cool with the trapped evening air until about 1PM, beginning at 2PM I can feel the house becoming body temperature, by 3PM I open the windows, by 3:30-4:00PM the weather begins to cool which means I'm only in the heat for about a hour or so a day- this beats sitting in a heated home for 5-6 hours. The method is simple and financially sound as it doesn't cost a thing and obviously the better the insulation the better The Texas Summer will work.

Elle Moss for beautiful home wall art

The type of artwork you display in your home does wonders for the vibe your working to introduce into your space. Whether you are looking to hang photographs, paintings, prints and whether the style of the artwork is vintage, classic, romantic, edgy, hip and so on, finding the proper images to display is crucial to the overall look of a room, even the home as whole. But let's not allow the stress of finding the proper artwork rub the fun out of the hunt, let's begin by reminding ourselves that we can take our time as we do not have a specific deadline. And for starters, I can suggest beginning your hunt by taking a look at Elle Moss' photographs who's work is available at Etsy. Many of Moss' pieces are romantic while others vintage- there seems to be something beautiful and interesting for every type of person, take a look below for my top picks.

by Elle Moss, available at Etsy 

by Elle Moss, available at Etsy 

by Elle Moss, available at Etsy

Home Of: Nate Berkus

Name:  Nathan Jay Berkus
AKA:  Nate Berkus
Date of birth:  September 17, 1971
Place of birth:  Orange County, California
Occupation:  Interior decorator

Most famously known for his appearances on the Oprah Winfrey Show 
and his own TV show The Nate Berkus Show

*Pictures from Architectural Digest
The dining room that features a custom designed bookcase 

Family room 

Living room 

The office area 


Powder room

The Psychology Behind Colors

While many of us simply pick colors for the home based on how the colors appeal to us when we look at them, there is more complexly, a kind of psychology behind it all, lets call it "color psychology".

As we all are pretty much aware of there are certain connotations (given by our culture) that come with certain colors, the most widely known examples... Black is almost always linked to death, Red to murder, White to purity, Yellow to friendship, and so on.  Like these connotations color can also be linked to emotions and/or feelings, some of these emotions and feelings have nothing to do with mass connotations the colors are linked to, I think this is important to keep in mind, else why would we want to paint our walls black if all it meant was death, the truth is, certain colors although having negative connotations actually can have a soothing affect on us psychologically, emotionally.

Reading through the site Sensational Colors and their take on the psychology behind colors I was able to better understand why I wanted to paint my living-room walls gray, my office orange and my moldings black. I now even know why Green is my favorite color and why I've never really liked purple.

I found the psychology of colors rather interesting and can see how the information would help anyone picking out colors for their home, whether it's setting up a nursery or simply repainting your home. Read below the "quick read" of information below for each color and the psychology behind it (gathered from Sensational Colors).


is authoritative and powerful; because black can evoke strong emotions, too much can be overwhelming. Black represents a lack of color, the primordial void, emptiness.

Black makes one feel inconspicuous, provides a restful emptiness, and is mysterious by evoking a sense of potential and possibility.


is seen as trustworthy, dependable, and committed. As the collective color of the spirit, it invokes rest and can cause the body to produce chemicals that are calming. However, not all blues are serene and sedate. Electric or brilliant blue symbolizes a mystical borderland of wisdom, self-mastery, and spiritual realization. While blue is the color of communication with others, indigo turns the blue inward to increase personal thought, profound insights, and instant understandings.

Blue is the least "gender specific" color, having equal appeal to both men and women.

Blue calms and sedates, cools, and aids intuition.


says stability, reliability, and approachability. It is the color of our earth and is associated with all things natural or organic.

Brown supplies a feeling of wholesomeness, feelings of stability, provides a connection with the earth, and gives a sense of orderliness.


is the color of intellect, knowledge, and wisdom. It is perceived as long-lasting, classic, and often as sleek or refined. it is a color that is dignified, conservative, and carries authority. Gray is controlled and inconspicuous and is considered a color of compromise, perhaps because it sits between the extremes of black and white. Gray is a perfect neutral, which is why designers often use it as a background color.

Gray makes us feel unsettled and creates a feeling of expectations.


is the pervasive color in the natural world, making it an ideal backdrop in interior design because we are so used to seeing it everywhere. The natural greens, from Forest green to Lime green, are seen as tranquil and refreshing, with a natural balance of cool and warm (blue and yellow) undertones. Green is considered the color of peace and ecology. However, there is an "institutional" side to green, associated with illness and government-issued green cards, that conjures up negative emotions, as do the "slimy" or "bilious" greens.

Green soothes, relaxes us mentally and physically, helps alleviate depression, nervousness, and anxiety, and offers a sense of renewal, self-control, and harmony.


usually has a strong positive or negative association and true orange generally elicits a stronger "love it" or "hate it" response than other colors. Fun and flamboyant orange radiates warmth and energy.

Orange stimulates activity, appetite, and encourages socialization.


is youthful, fun, and exciting when bright, while vibrant pink have the same high energy as red; they are sensual and passionate without being too aggressive. Softer pinks are associated with romance and the blush of a young woman's cheeks. Pink is the color of happiness and is sometimes seen as lighthearted.

Bright pinks stimulate energy and increase the blood pressure, respiration, heartbeat, and pulse rate. They also encourage action and confidence.


embodies the balance of red's stimulation and blue's calm. This dichotomy can cause unrest or uneasiness unless the undertone is clearly defined, at which point the purple takes on the characteristics of its undertone. With a sense of mystic and royal qualities, purple is a color often well liked by very creative or eccentric types.

Purple uplifts, calms the mind and nerves, offers a sense of spirituality, and encourages creativity.


is recognized as a stimulant, red is inherently exciting and the amount of red is directly related to the level of energy perceived. Red draws attention and a keen use of red as an accent can immediately focus attention on a particular element.

Red increases enthusiasm, stimulates energy and can increase the blood pressure, respiration, heartbeat, and pulse rate. Red encourages action and confidence, and provides a sense of protection from fears and anxiety.


projects purity, cleanliness, and neutrality.

White aids in mental clarity, encourages us to clear clutter or obstacles, evokes purification of thoughts or actions, and enables fresh beginnings.


shines with optimism, enlightenment, and happiness. Shades of golden yellow carry the promise of a positive future. Yellow will advance from surrounding colors and instill optimism and energy, as well as spark creative thoughts.

Yellow stimulates mental processes and the nervous system, activates memory, and encourages communication.

Read more on color at

I Stand Behind: Proper Salad Tossers

I'm a foodie all the way, eating is what I do best, it really is but with this kind of lifestyle I eat right and healthy whenever I'm not facing a menu full of deliciousness that I can't help myself from ordering.  Because of this I naturally eat a lot of salad at home, it usually accompanies my fish.  And because I eat a lot of salad I naturally toss a lot of salad, usually with fresh home-made vinaigrette.

I bought a cheap wooden salad server at Cost Plus World Market, 'it's a salad server, how good do they have to be anyway?'- This was the attitude I had. Then I received as a gift about a month ago, the gift was a bamboo wood salad server set from Sur La Table, $20.00 (which I think is spending quite a good amount on a salad server).  That same evening I made a salad and tossed the salad with the new bamboo salad server I had gotten, "no, it couldn't be' I thought to myself, 'could it?'.  Why was it so much easier to toss the salad? Why was it so much easier to maneuver?  So, now a month later and many salad tosses later what I  have to say is, if you eat a lot of salad at home and so find yourself tossing a lot of salad then yes, spending $20.00 on a decent salad tosser will make your life easier.  I never noticed how clumsy and heavy my first salad servers were until I used Sur La Table's Bamboo Salad Servers, let me jus say... I don't find myself picking up accidentally flung salad on my kitchen counter anymore.

Sur La Table Bamboo Salad Servers, set of 2 $19.95

The Eco-friendly bamboo servers resists staining 
The set includes 1 serving spoon and 1 spatula  
Both serving spoon & spatula are 12" long

Spoonflower Wallpapers

Wallpapers are one of the most wonderful things , unfortunately it could be deal-breaker as well as a deal-maker.  Picking the right wallpaper for a room, an accent wall, whatever it may be doesn't have to be a hard task, Spoonflower makes this so with its endless amounts of wallpaper ranging from the cute ,to the classic, to the simple, to the modern, to the odd and... you get my drift.  Here are a few of my favorite picks from Spoonflower and a little note of where I'd use them and how.

BeauAbodes Top Pick for Nursery accent wall

BeauAbodes Top Pick for Hallway/Corridor with wood flooring

BeauAbodes Top Pick for Home Office accent wall

BeauAbodes Top Pick for Kitchen with black accents

Using Black

When I wanted to paint the doors of our house black my husband strongly urged me not to do so, so when I tried Plan B: to paint the moldings black, my husband once again urged me strongly not to do so.  When I asked him his reason for this definitive acrimony for the color black he simply stated that he felt black was a depressing color, a color of death and so on.  Black may be linked to many negative connotations and in many ways this link is very true but that doesn't mean black can't be a wonderful color for the home, in truth, using black in the home can be quite chic and even charming.


Painting the door(s) glossy black can be quite the way to make a chic statement and also a wonderful way to incorporate black with standing power without having to have black walls (which for many can be a bit over-whelming, especially if it's the first time your using this color).  With black doors a simple black accent here and there in forms of pictures frames, shelving and even a wall full of black and white photos can really tie the room into a black-color theme that is exciting and smart.


Using black as an accent to one large space is not only a great way to incorporate the color with the lease amount of work but it's also quite chic.  Try an accent wall or even better (as pictured below) accent flooring!  One of the great aspects of taking the route of accenting with the color is that you'll find that you have more options when figuring out the decor style of the room (ie modern, rustic, etc.) and it will also give you more free reign on incorporating a variety of other colors if you wish to do so.


The pairing of mahogany and black is glamourous and exquisite, pairing the two can cover a wide spectrum from rustic (pictured above) to eclectic high-end living (pictured below).


Although it's no favorite of mine modern minimalism is probably one of the most popular ways to use black in the kitchen.

Using reflective black (or better known as glossy black) in the kitchen can be quite exciting in that the reflective black can really amp up the look of the kitchen creating an almost futuristic vibe even in contemporary kitchens (as seen above).

When comparing the picture above and below one can compare and contrast the similarities and differences of the kitchen.  Both kitchens which have reflective black surfaces are switched in floor colors and ceiling colors; the kitchen pictured above has matte white ceilings and a reflective dark gray floor while the kitchen pictured below has a reflective black ceiling and matte white flooring.  The matte of the white ceiling creates a more closed-in atmosphere while the reflective black ceiling make the space feel more open and grand.  I find this comparison to be quite interesting since it is normally the darker colors that create the illusion of a smaller space, just goes to show the power of gloss.


My favorite use of black in the kitchen is pictured above, the rustic-styled kitchen.  I honestly didn't think using black to create a rustic kitchen was possible, but it is!  The two tones of black: the black walls and dark gray shelving and cabinets creates depth and a feeling of space, the black and white kitchen floor tiling are in a couple different styles, but the combination of different tiles being used creates the feeling of a fun, creative space.


Not all teens with black walled rooms are going through teen-angst.  There are plenty of youthful prints and materials out there to scream teen-chic rather than "I lock myself in my room and play tearful hate music on my free time" for example, the checkered print, a vintage yet youthful print that is fantastic for teen rooms. Silver or anything close to is a great material that is youthful and goes well black in teen rooms.  Pops of bright color is another great way to incorporate fun and teen rooms can totally get away with most colors that are simply strewn about.


And while some parents are debating with their teens about their black rooms these same mas and pas won't think twice about saying "NO" to their baby's nursery being black.  Who would want their little mini-me to be influenced by the negative nature of the dark color?!  Well, there are ways to brighten up black.  And there probably is no better way to make a statement than taking black and turning it around.  A few adorable, smart and chic ways to use black in the nursery are pictured here.

When using an accent color for the black nursery, yellow is always a great color; so bright that even black loses it's dull negativity, when paired together yellow is more robust and popping and black seems to be the accent.

Leaving the white ceiling is another common trick to keeping the space looking a little less black and more open.  Of course, fun prints and bright colors help a lot too.


And by golly don't forget about wall paper, stencils and other fun ways to use black.  Wall paper is a great way to incorporate print over a large space. 

The black and silver floral wall paper can catch people unawares but it is never-the-less quite beautiful in its non-traditional way.  Contemporary wall papers (such as the one pictured below) of the alphabet is fun and can easily transform a rather plain space.


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