March- three months into the year already! How are you doing on your
New Year's resolutions? It's a good time to take stock of where you are in
keeping or accomplishing them.
The name seems like an order-March!
Whether you are controlling a growing calendar of activities, waging a war
on wan wall colors (say that ten times!) or fighting the battle of
bulging closets and drawers, there is hope and help. Make this month an
action month. Plan it and do it. Read on for tips and ideas on making it
||St. Patrick's Day Celebrations
The custom of
celebrating St. Patrick's Day first started in America in 1737. Though
there are many different ways to celebrate the occasion, one thing all
parties have in common is the liberal use of the color green. Fill a
silver bowl with fresh green apples so you'll get a fresh smell and feel,
as well as the light reflecting off of the shiny silver. Fill clear glass
containers with different shades of green candies like M & M's, Jordan
almonds, even wrapped candies like Ande's Candies for color and fun.
Sprinkle shamrock confetti around your center piece of fresh spring
Traditional foods are Irish soda bread, old fashioned
corned beef and cabbage, Irish coffee and a good beer. Cheese plates,
potato soup, simply prepared seafood and beef dishes, and cakes are also
appropriate for the occasion.
AN IRISH FRIENDSHIP WISH
May there always be work for your
hands to do
May your purse always hold a coin or two
May the sun
always shine on your windowpane
May a rainbow be certain to follow each
May the hand of a friend always be near you
May God fill your
heart with gladness to cheer you.
~ Barbi Ford, Roomspinners
||Going Green-Recycling Electronics
Is a new flat screen
TV in your life or in your future? The two questions that are associated
with these new purchases are where to put the new piece and what to do
with the old TV.
I'm happy to help with ideas for placement. For
ideas on how and where to dispose of your old TV and electronics click on
the link below.
||Your Exterior Renovations Pay Off
As Spring approaches,
the exterior of your home will become more of a focus. The extremes of our
winter weather may have dealt a blow to siding, roofs, gutters, doors and
windows, even your driveway. Homes built in the 80's housing boom are
naturally showing their age.
Routine maintenance extends the life
and look of a home's exterior but eventually, updating will be necessary.
If your home is a candidate for exterior work, the following article will
be of interest. It discusses the expected return on exterior renovation
projects and how important they are even in a slower housing
Waiting until you
need to sell your home is not the best time to start renovating. There are
enough details and stresses involved in moving without adding construction
to the mix. Why not enjoy your well maintained home while you live in it
rather than fixing it up just for the next owners? Keeping up the
appearance of your home should be on-going, catching small repairs before
they become big and expensive. It also alerts you to future needs, like a
new roof, so that you can more easily fit a project like that into your
Everyone will have to
sell their house at some point in their lives. Will your home be ready
with little effort? The planning is up to you.
||Accessory of the Month: Plants
Nothing softens a room, adds fullness without heaviness, creates a
backdrop to furnishings and provides a spot of color like a plant.
Strategic placement can make up for sparse furnishings in a room and
bridge awkward gaps in placement of artwork and furniture.
Real or artificial? Both have their pros and cons. Real plants do need
to be cared for and provided with the proper lighting or the result will
be a sickly looking, pathetic thing in your nicely appointed room.
Artificial plants have come a long way in the past few years and can be
excellent stand-ins for real plants if chosen carefully. They are a good
choice for homeowners with curious children or pets with "gardening
instincts", people who travel a lot, "brown thumb" gardeners and anyone
Consider your needs and choose plants for their
height, texture, color, mature size, weight and maintenance. While
artificial plants don't require re-potting as real plants do, consider
choosing a plant that may be re-potted if your decor changes. Both plants
will benefit from regular dusting and occasional damp cleaning. The shower
works for most real plants and some artificial. Test for colorfastness or
follow the manufacturer's care guide.
As with any accessory, use a
light hand when decorating with plants. Too many will make your room look
like a botanical garden. The effect should be seamless and natural-even if
you go for the "silk" variety!
||Reminder: Party Cloths/ Event Planner Sale March
Are you planning a special event this year or are you in need of
upgrading your table linens and party supplies? Party and event company,
Party Cloths in Silver Spring, is having a sale March 1st on their linens,
dance floors and chairs. Check out their web for site for more information
or call 301-604- 2337 or (800) 439-8729 for times and directions.
||Creamy Potato Soup with Scallions
This recipe can be served as part of a meal or offered as appetizer
Creamy Potato Soup with
6 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch
3 pounds Russet potatoes (about 5 large)
3 1/2 teaspoons
1 cup sour cream
1/4 pound butter (1 stick)
2 2/3 cups whole
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 scallions, thinly sliced
shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Cook the bacon pieces over medium
heat in a medium skillet until crisp. Transfer bacon to paper toweling to
drain and set aside. Peel, rinse and cut the potatoes into thirds. Place
them in a large pot with water to cover, add 2 teaspoons salt, and bring
to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are very
soft -- about 45 minutes. Drain the potatoes, discarding the water, and
return them to the pot. Mash them with a potato masher until smooth. Add
the sour cream and butter and stir until melted. Add the milk, pepper, and
remaining salt and bring the soup back to a simmer. Divide among 8 bowls
and serve the soup hot, garnished with scallions, cheese, and bacon.
||Sun Room Redesign
This large airy room had wonderful architectural features. Although the
furniture easily fit in the space with room to spare, the scale and weight
of the upholstered furniture gave the room an off-balanced feel. The room
had just been painted and furnishings had just been moved back into the
space when I was called in for a makeover.
||Sun Room After
Because the house was going on the market, it was important to showcase
the room's features as well as make the space attractive. The height of
the table and chair set was in perfect proportion to the scale of the
room. It was found in the lower level of the home where is was rarely
used. Accessories were placed sparingly to compliment the open feeling.
Because the room opened off of other seating areas, it wasn't as important
to incorporate more seating into the room, although with this arrangement
there was ample space for rattan or teak upholstered conversation groups
at either end of the room.
The love seat, chair and matching tables found a home in the lower
level off of a study and exercise room where they fit the previously empty
||The Newest Redesign Party
Parties are here!
Indoor Plantscaping with Real and
Artificial Plants has just been added.. It's the perfect antidote for
Cabin Fever and is timed just right to get your rooms ready for
The Decorative Accessory Exchange Party will help
you jump-start your Spring cleaning and help inspire you with seasonal
room changes that anyone can make. Guests may bring their most difficult
to use accessory to exchange and learn ways to use these challenging
For more information
on these or any of the Redesign Parties please call or email Faulkner
Notebook is devoted to tips and articles relating to interior
redesign, decorating, entertaining, organizing and related subjects, and
may include contributions from members of the Interior Redesign Industry
If you have an interest or question that
you would like to see addressed, or a community event that you would like
to see included that relates to our subjects of decorating, real estate
staging, entertaining and organizing please contact me. Your comments and
suggestions are always appreciated!
~ Pam Faulkner, Faulkner House