The Foundation

The Foundation …From the pages of House & Home…

Home Front: Divine Dining
Dining rooms are often in the limelight when major holidays roll around, pulling their weight for huge feasts. But on any given weekday they are commonly overlooked for the more convenient in-kitchen dining. This month we’re shining the spotlight back on this room, showing how some carefully chosen pieces can set a table for two or 12 any day of the week.

A Seat at the Table
The centerpiece of any dining room is the table and this one makes quite a statement. Inspired by tables used in Middle Age monastery dining halls, this Sayer Extension Dining Table from Ethan Allen can seat up to 12 and features pedestal legs and a plank top. Available in four distinct colors, it’s the perfect foundation for your next meal. The Benham Side Chair, also from Ethan Allen, provides a simple silhouette that won’t compete with the table. This chair is available with upholstered leather or fabric cushion in a variety of colors and designs. ($2,499 for the Sayer table, $399 for the Benham chair,

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Andrews FCU Nov 728X90

Daisy Dream
Pay homage to spring’s flowers with these whimsical daisy napkins from Crate & Barrel. Crafted from crisp white cotton, these napkins will add fresh inspiration to your table all spring long. ($4.95 at

Sunny Side Up
It will be impossible for guests not to smile with this cheery dinnerware. The 16-piece stoneware set from the well-known French cookware maker Le Creuset in Soleil—French for sun—is just what your next dinner party needs to welcome in the warmer weather. Durable and oven-safe, this dinnerware has a tough enamel finish that resists chipping, scratching and staining. Bon appétit. (Available at for $230)

Put a Ring on It
Z Gallerie’s Meridian napkin rings add a certain je ne sais quoi to any table. The set of four features a modern quatrefoil design, and is available in a gold or silver finish—the perfect mix of detailed design and modernity. ($19.80 per set at

Gold Fancy
Add a touch of luxury to your table with West Elm’s faceted gold flatware set, crafted from stainless steel with a luxurious gold finish. The set features detailed, faceted handles, making for one table addition that will wow any guest. ($79 for 5-piece set and $299 for 20-piece set,

Simplify: Tips & products to declutter and de-stress

More Enjoyable Chores
Spring is here and many of us would like to spend our precious weekends outdoors instead of cleaning the house from top to bottom. There are ways to simplify the cleaning process by breaking it up room by room and sharing the load with the family. Here are a few tips to get you on the road to a clean house and more enjoyable weekends:

* Schedule chores like appointments: When chores are allowed to pile up, that’s when they get overwhelming. Pick one or two weeknights to accomplish a specific chore, such as cleaning the bathrooms on Monday or mopping floors on Thursday. When it’s on the calendar, it’s harder to ignore.
* Involve the family: Cleaning will go more smoothly if everyone does their share. Kids could clean up the week’s clutter—schoolwork, sports equipment, laundry—before the weekend, and adults could sort mail and bills so everything is out of the way.
* Count cleaning as a workout: A clean house is a healthy house, and when it comes to working out, chores also burn calories. According to WebMD, 30 minutes of moderate chores such as vacuuming and mopping can burn up to 200 calories. With summer approaching, every little bit helps.

Covet: Must-have products for the home
Outdoor Pizza Oven
Warm weather means getting outside and having barbecues, and what’s better than hamburgers and hot dogs? Pizza. With the Artisan Fire Pizza Oven from Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet you can make a Neapolitan-style pizza in less than three minutes right on your patio. It is powered by either natural gas or liquid propane and has a large open flame that mimics the heat of a wood-fired pizza oven. You can choose to have the oven built-in to your outdoor kitchen or utilize the convenient counter top version. The oven will even bake bread and roast vegetables, meat and fish, creating an easy way to cook a complete outdoor meal. (Available at for $6,895)

Who Knew? Unusual uses for common products
Olive Oil
The finishing touch on many Italian dishes, it can perform other home miracles, such as:
* Shining stainless steel and brass: Bring that stainless steel fridge back to life by pouring a small amount of olive oil onto a soft cloth then buffing the surface in a circular motion.
* Removing paint from hair: Get paint in your hair while redoing a room? Drip some olive oil on a cotton ball and slide over the affected strands.
* Quieting squeaky hinges: No WD-40? A spritz of olive oil will do the trick to hush that pesky squeaking noise on any door hinge.

Kids Corner: Liven up the little spaces
Stokke nursery set
While raising a child may be deemed as hard, we’ve never found a product that has made it so easy—until now. The “little nursery with big possibilities” from the well-known and innovative Scandinavian Stokke brand is a four-piece set with a versatile design. Including a crib, cradle, changer and dresser, the individual products can be attached to make the most of a small space or broken up to fill a large one. Stokke Home can even be transformed for the toddler years by making a bed out of the crib and a desk using the cradle stand and changer. Built using sustainable materials, this furniture set is ready to grow with your little one., $1,836 for all pieces shown

Bookmark: Add this to your bookshelf
Windsor Smith Homefront: Design for Modern Living
Windsor Smith’s first effort showcases her eye for seamlessly mixing the modern with the antique, creating a style that allows our guests to see not only where we’ve been, but where we wish to go next. Bursting with descriptions of beauty and elegance, Smith’s book will not disappoint as it shows you how to bring balance to a home, and ways to take advantage of those spaces so often neglected in the modern homefront. (Rizzoli, April 2015, $36,

Educational Elements: What to know about ... power washing
The snow outside may be melted, but that doesn’t mean the mess is gone; in fact, you might find that the exterior of your home has been dirtied by the collection of dirt, mud, dust, or even mold caused by this year’s snowfall. If this is the case, you may be thinking about power washing or pressure washing your home, car, patio, grill or plastic children’s toys as part of your spring cleaning regimen, and this is a great idea; here’s some tips to show you how to do it just right so that you’ll have your home looking fresh and new again in no time.

* Always make sure to buy the machine suitable for the type of work you need done. The three main types of pressure washers are consumer (electric $100, gas $250), semi-pro (electric $500 and up, gas $650 and up), and commercial (electric $700, gas $570, mounted $5,000.)

* You can use detergent while power washing, but it is not required; many pressure washing machines come with an optional detergent tank.

* Power washers can either be powered by gas or electric motors. Electric ones are generally cheaper and can be used for lighter work, while gas powered ones deliver higher water pressure and can be used for wooden deck surfaces or deep-cleaning situations.

* When power washing, be sure to wear protective covering for your eyes and put in ear plugs; work gloves and long-sleeve shirts are recommended as well.

* Be sure to realize the limitations of your machine and never turn the pressure up too high, as this can cause serious damage to your property and injury to yourself or others; if something is unwilling to come out no matter how hard you spray, leave it be.

Green Thumb: What’s growing on us this month …
Butterfly Gardens
Spring is here, so why not guarantee yourself the visits of beautiful butterflies? Creating a butterfly garden is a fun and easy project to do with kids. Here is what you need for a welcoming environment:

* Garden location: A sheltered area where there may be walls on two sides of the garden is ideal to keep the wind from blowing plants around. This area needs to get at least six hours of direct sunlight.

* Host plants: Necessary for adult butterflies to lay eggs, caterpillars will hatch on these plants and eat them for nutrients. The more popular host plants are alfalfa, milkweed, clover, nettle and parsley.

* Flowers: Butterflies are attracted to bright-colored, sweet-smelling flowers that give them easy access to nectar. Some ideal, easy-to-grow plants are marigolds, lavender, cosmos and butterfly bush.

* Butterfly birdbath: Primarily for male butterflies, sink a shallow container into the soil of your garden and fill it with wet sand to give the butterflies the salt and amino acids they need.

* Resting area: Place flat stones in the sunlight around the garden for butterflies to relax and warm their wings.

Published (and copyrighted) in House & Home, Volume 15, Issue 10 (April, 2015).
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Author: Andrew Anastasio, Kaytlyn Mroz; Edited by Liz Hunter & Rachel Morgan


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